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Monday, March 21, 2016

Taking Control of Your (money) Hair & Skincare Products

Everybody is probably tight on money sometimes, but we still want to look and feel as good as we can. I'm a big believer in part of the holistic theory of health: it really is all connected. If you look good, you feel better and if you feel better, you look better. Or maybe that's just me.

Since I know that money is tight for me, and I still do like looking and feeling as good as I can, I really like finding ways to balance all that. One way I've found to save money is to stop buying pricier hair and skincare stuff. I also have been happy for the last few years in getting back to a more natural way of taking care of myself. 

With all that in mind, I want to talk about ways to take better care of ourselves and save money at the same time. I'm too lazy tonight to do anything but a bullet list type of post. Here goes with my rambling list of ways to save money and do right by ourselves in our pursuit of beauty:

Stop buying expensive shampoos and conditioner and lotions just because they promise something good. If, for example, you use a pricey shampoo because it does something great for your hair, why not find out which ingredient causes that? Some of us black women like what proteins to for our hair. We'll pay more for Shampoo X when we could be buying the cheaper Shampoo Y and just adding protein to it.

Making Cosmetics is my go-to for finding base ingredients that brand name items use. I think you guys remember how I went from paying so much for a store-bought "blurring" product because I found the much cheaper base ingredient. That was this product from Making Cosmetics.

Just for kicks, go over and browse this page at their site.

If I wanted, I could probably whip up a liquid version of Garnier's  Second Blur. Once again, I'm lazy. I prefer to just use the M.C. Blur powder under or over my foundation.

Another example of using base products to amp up a cheaper store brand item is to buy Collagen Protein or *** or *** and add it that less expensive product. You could get the same results (at a cheaper cost) of some salon version product. So, why the heck not?

By the way, I hype Making Cosmetics because they are one of the companies out there offering base products that I know who have excellent customer service to go with their quality products.

Perfumes are another feel-good item that can rip a budget right to shreds. I know because I am a fragrance freak. Love, love, love to smell good. In the past few years though I've been substituting oils for brand name scents. Also, I love taking advantage of the Travalo refill from Perfumania. But, better yet, there are places like The Fragrance Shop, where you can get really good imitations of popular perfumes. You can also pick up some nice E.O. blends there, but they tend to be pricey. (And, I notice that, as I've gotten out of my 30s, I need oil-based scents if I want lasting effects of a fragrance. Hormonal changes are a sonofagun!)

Another way to smell wonderful without smelling broke is to do a little research on mixing oils to create nice scents.

Making essential oil perfumes | Natural health Blog | WellBeing Blog:
Another good DIY Perfume site.  Offers different profiles/formulas for % of base, middle/heart, and top notes.:
One thing that I still haven't ventured into yet is actually mixing and making my own cosmetics. Well, that's not really true. Anyone who has trouble finding shades in lipsticks and foundations has probably done a little blending and mixing to get what they need. What I'm talking about here though is actually making a product from scratch.

I love the idea of this blush that you can deepen in color...

DIY: blush:
Check source for more
Avoid nasty chemicals with homemade deodorant. This Primal Pit Paste inspired natural deodorant is aluminum free, paraben free and even cheaper than the commercial stuff!:
Making your own B.O. fighter?
More recipes at the Pin page

As far as taking care of your skin and hair, I've adopted the policy of "If I can't safely eat it, why would I want it on my hair or skin?" (Did I do that right?) Seriously, I think it's fine to use some chemically enhanced things to care for our hair and skin, but I just don't want to be lathering myself with layers of chemicals and toxins. I'm starting to wonder if all the years of processing my hair and spraying myself with deodorants and other things didn't help lead to this chronic disease I now have. At any rate, I figure I can stop and do better now. So I'm trying to. I've pretty much stopped using anything but dye on my hair (and that might be over with), and I try to use natural rocks and other forms of deodorant. I'm even brushing my teeth with natural oils and butters.

I'm really curious about ways that other people find to "hack" their health and beauty routines. I spoke with one lady in a store recently and she told me that she replaces fancy foot files for sanding blocks from Lowe's and Home Depot. What are some ways that you all find to save money and deal with your beauty needs?

Yesterday, a woman told me that she refreshes her eye-shadows and other such cosmetics by spraying them with rubbing alcohol. I'd never heard of that before now, but, yep, it's a thing. A serious thing.

Another tip I picked up somewhere online was to add a little Lavender EO to your mascaras. I guess it helps lash health and growth. Who knew? I didn't.

I did know about adding a little bit of oil to the tips of pencil type eyeliners to make them easier to use. Back when I was using them as a teenager, we'd either warm the ends with a cigarette lighter or tap the end in a bit of Crisco or olive oil from the kitchen.

What I need is for you guys to share your little beauty tips and secrets with the rest of us!


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