Steals and Deals Favorites Tuesday, Jul 1 2008 

I’m a sucker for beauty products, and when I say sucker I mean I can not go within 10 feet of Sephora without being pulled to it like iron to magnets or a moth to the flame (or women to Robert Downy Jr, I mean for being a 10+ year drug addict the dude is smokin’… but I digress). The downside to this obsession of mine is the high price in which I pay to look (or maybe it’s just appear) beyooooootiful (my grandma’s words not mine….is anyone else noticing the obscene amount of parenthesis I seem to be using?). Anyway, there is nothing I love more than a cheap beauty find that happens to reside in the drugstore, because with me convenience is always worth it. So here’s a list of my favorite cheapies that work.

Jergens Natural Glow $6.99
Oh Jergens Natural Glow how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…errrm I never was one for Shakespeare but one I am for? A natural tan that doesn’t scream “OOMPA LOOMPA!” and if you believe this is the age of natural self-tanner you would be wrong. I love this tanner because, though it takes a few days to develop, it gives me all over color that appears natural and light. I usually use it after I’ve spent the day at the beach or by the pool since it seems to do much better as an enhancer rather than building a tan from scratch. Not to mention, the stuff smells good and pulls double duty as a lotion. Makes my skin soft and yummy? Check. Gives the appearance of a longer tan? Check. Gives me the brown skin I’ve alwasy longed for? Aaaannd Check.
O.P.I Nailpolish $7.50
Ok so at $7.50 a pop this stuff doesn’t exude deal, per se, but it sure beats a manicure. The reason I can justify the $7.50 price tag? Rich color and long lasting. This stuff never chips or cracks, and if I spot a chip it’s usually because I’ve been wearing it for a couple weeks without any touch-ups. The assortment of colors (over 200) doesn’t hurt one bit either.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer $14.39
I suffer from dry skin and this rich moisturizer never leaves me feeling greasy, yet soothes my skin and leaves it soft and dewy. The Positively Radiant formula also evens skintone and I noticed the improvement after a couple weeks. Plus the SPF 30 means I don’t have to apply seperate sunscreen and will protect me from wrinkles (fingers crossed).
Clean and Clear SOFT In-Shower Facial $6.99

I read about this gem on 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic. You apply in the shower, leave on for a minute then scrub with the exfoliating beads. They aren’t kidding when they say it leaves your skin smooth and soft. The results were incredible for a product that costs as much as an In-N-Out meal.

e.l.f. Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes $12
Love these brushes and cheap cheap cheap! At a buck each or $12 for a set of 12 (it’s not rocket science people), these brushes allow you to stock up on brushes you never even knew you needed (an eyeliner smudger, 3 different types of eyeshadow brushes, brow brush etc).

Olive You, Olive Oil! Tuesday, Jul 1 2008 

Last night I was treating myself to an at-home pedi when I realized I was lacking some heavy duty moisturizer that would do my dry little tootsies some good. So I did what any dollar-conscious, frugal loving gal would’ve done and took a gander through my kitchen cupboards. I came across some olive oil and figured, why not? I dabbed some on a paper towel and proceeded to rub my feet down with the oil, paying special attention to my cuticles on my toes. I rubbed the oil thoroughly and then slipped on some cushiony socks and would you believe I woke up this morning with the softest feet ever? It got me thinking and after a little research I found that olive oil is incredibly versatile around the house (the baking soda of oils, if you will).

Body Aches and Pains: It has been said that olive oil can relieve pain caused by arthritis, and the results last for a substantial amount of time. You can also ease muscular tensions my massaging the oil into sore spots. You will feel the effects immediately.

Earache relief: According to Rachel Lewis, MD, a pediatrician at Columbia University Medical Center. Warm olive oil can be used to soothe the symptoms of an achy ear. (Note: Only for kids 2 and up). Use a syringe to place 2 to 4 drops of warm oil in the ear of child, 5 to 10 in ear of adult. Make sure to follow up with doctor as this is not a cure.

Dry-hair conditioner: Healthy Living found this use for olive oil: Revive damaged hair with this treatment from John Masters of John Masters Organics hair- and skin-care lines: Saturate hair with extra-virgin olive oil, then wrap with a warm towel for 20 minutes. Shampoo, rinse, and condition if needed.

Lip Balm: Mix olive oil and bee’s wax in a 1 to 1 ratio.

Bath Oil: Pour 1-2 ounces of olive oil into the bath (mix with essential oils for a soothing aromatherapy affect)

Body Scrub: Mix oil with sea salts or sugar for an invigorating and hydrating scrub. You can also use coffee grinds, which will minimize the looks of cellulite.

Sleep Better: By having a sip of olive oil before bed, you may hydrate a dry throat and lubricate throat muscles. …this is one I’m going to have to pass along to my parents.

Treat Lice: Apply olive oil to your youngster’s hair, and leave on for at least 40 minutes. Shampoo twice, then apply a preventative.

Remove paint from your skin: Rub on olive oil onto messy hand and arms (or faces) and allow the oil to soak into the skin for five minutes, and then rinse with soap and water.

spa-aahhhhh Tuesday, Jul 1 2008 

So I think by now it’s pretty safe to say I’m a spa addict. I can admit to that without (much) shame. I mean, really there is no better feeling than walking out of the spa, face nice and tight, body relaxed and toes painted, but all those warm and cozy feelings go away the minute I look at the impact all that indulging has on my bank account.

So for all you fellow self-indulgers out there, here are some at-home recipes you can try that won’t hurt the pocket books and will still give you that same spa feeling (ok, ok maybe not the exact same but we’re on a budget people!) Recipes courtesy of Spa Index

p.s these work wonders with a nice glass of red wine and your closest girlfriends handy.

Apple Cucumber Facial Mask
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon apple mint leaves
1 drop lime essential oil

Combine all 5 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the essential oil last and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes.

Apply a layer to your clean face and neck area and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water. Apple Cucumber Facial Mask is best when used immediately as the ingredients are perishable. The leftovers can be refrigerated in the coldest section of the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days but should be discarded after that

AVOCADO CARROT CREAM MASK
This mask combines avocados, which are rich in Vitamin E, with carrots, which are high in beta-carotene and antioxidants, and cream, which is high in calcium and protein. These ingredients will rebuild skin collagen, improve tone and texture, and fade age spots.

1 avocado, mashed
1 carrot, cooked and mashed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and follow with your favorite toner.

Frozen Egg & Honey Facial Mask
Recommended for dry skin
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1 tbs. honey
Step 1: Beat the egg in a small bowl until frothy and well-mixed. Slowly add the liquid coconut oil and honey, beating until your mask is the consistency of mayonnaise.
Step 2: Take an empty toilet tissue roll and set it on end in a clean bowl. Spoon mixture into the cardboard toilet paper roll (or consider using an empty deodorant container). Place tube, in the bowl, in the freezer overnight.
Step 3: To use, peel away just the top 1/4 inch of the cardboard roll and smooth the frozen stick over your face (think of it as a push up pop). Leave your mask on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

Return the cream stick covered with plastic wrap and frozen between uses.
Particularly soothing on a sunburn. Keeps indefinitely.


OATMEAL BLUEBERRY MASK
This easy mask, used once or twice monthly, will both deep clean and exfoliate your face. It’s particularly beneficial for oily skin, as it drying and pulling effect.

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon honey
5-6 almonds, whole

Puree all ingredients in a blender until finely blended. Spread mixture over your face, and allow to set and dry (10-15 minutes). Rinse with warm water, and splash your skin with cool water or toner. This mask be may stored in your refrigerator for up to one week, covered tightly.

SPA INDEX HONEY OATMEAL FACIAL
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons of honey

Finely grind or process the oatmeal in a blender or food processor. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together honey and yogurt, and then add ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly until a smooth paste consistency has been reached. Smooth over your face and neck, leave on for fifteen minutes, and rinse off with warm water. Can be used daily.

ALMOND-MAYONNAISE SCRUB
Recommended for Dry Skin; Exfoliation

1/4 C. almonds
1/8 tsp. mayonnaise

Grind almonds in blender until they form fine almond meal. Whirl in mayonnaise. Gentle rub scrub onto your face, and leave in place 10 minutes. Rinse. Use a toner thereafter. Shelf Life: Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.

so….is anyone else kind of hungry?

e.l.f, more than just a mythical creature Tuesday, Jul 1 2008 

So I recently discovered e.l.f cosmetics, and though the path that led me to this discovery was paved in gossip and ruminations, I certainly don’t regret the destination. Some of you may have heard the rumblings of Bloomingdale’s purchase of a small internet-based cosmetics company. Well these rumors are untrue, however the price of the product is very, very real. Most items on the site can be purchased for $1; that’s right my fair, frugal friends, you can stock up on make-up brushes, and all your cosmetic needs for a buck each.

I received my package about a month after my order was placed (due to high volume of orders, shipping takes an obscene amount of time). While I wouldn’t necessarily choose their eye shadow as my first pick in a line up, I found their lip balm, make-up brushes and eye liner to all be suitable. C’mon folks, for a dollar it’s at least worth a lookie loo. Check them out at: e.l.f