On a Budget
How To Beautify Without Breaking The Bank!
Those stereotypes claiming that women "let themselves go" as they age and add daily pressures of children, job, hectic schedules, etc., doesn't apply to this LA mama. Oh, noooo. Me? I'm getting better with age. Why? Because I care more... maybe because I have to try a little harder.
Listen, I'm not trying to toot my own horn (too loudly) but I definitely take pride in the efforts I make to feel good about myself... superficially speaking. While taking the time to beautify does in fact take time, it doesn't actually need to take that much money. You can get gorgeous, feel fantastic and come out shining from top to bottom, head to toe, without breaking the bank. Here's some of my favorite things to do that don't require a big budget but will make you feel like a brand new woman:
1) GET A MANICURE AND PEDICURE, JUST DON'T LOOK DOWN. To me, there is nothing more gratifying than a newly manicured hand. Shiny, pretty, clean, a fresh manicure and pedicure makes me feel feminine and put together. I personally notice when people have manicures and nicely cut and painted toes, so I assume others notice this on me. Therefore, I do get a manicure every week. Now, before you judge me for tossing money down the drain (as a regular manicure is bound to chip in like 3 days when you have a child), I can assure you, I go to a very cheap place.... Like the kind of place that probably has been on Eyewitness News for getting some sort of slap on the wrist for breaking health department standards. FINE, maybe I'm exaggerating. But the point is, for $21 for a manicure and pedicure in Los Angeles, I'll happily turn a blind eye and the sanitizing, or lack there of, in exchange for a fantastic selection of Essie and OPI colors. AND if this place has a back room where they offer black market waxing (as in, it's unlikely any of these woman have a permit to be pouring hot stuff on my face), you're really in the money. But at a nail salon, I say stick to waxing above the waist (or neck really). No looking down. For anyone.
2) WAX DOWN THERE, A LOT. AND PAY VERY LITTLE. So here's the deal: Over the years, I've probably doled out thousands of dollars to waxing professionals in and around Los Angeles. Scared that I'd get some sort of crotch fungus from an unkempt salon (see #1), I flocked to the hoytiest toytiest of bikini waxers and forked over ridiculous amounts of money to "look presentable." But guess what? Almost every time, that wax, imported from farm raised bees in Provence caused more redness and itching than poison ivy. And for what could have been used towards a fabulous blouse, it hurt way too much.... That is, until I met a big fat Russian woman who for $20 will go where no man's gone before (well, not entirely... but you catch my drift). Working out of her home, in a "guest bedroom" adorned with carpet art (yes, I think she framed a carpet and hung it), this woman, dressed in her house coat gets IN and gets OUT in 8 minutes flat (oh yes, I've timed it). Her house is far from perfect and it's possible she double dips. Gross? Maybe. But people, after you get over the powder and oil that she slops IN EVERY direction, you come out camera ready and ready for a CLOSE UP. And you're only down $20. My advice in all things bikini wax: Find someone cheap and even a little dirty. It'll help YOU get dirty... without feeling cheap.
3) BLOW IT OUT, BABE. We all have "our girl…" The girl or guy that has been cutting our hair for 20 years and knows every secret, every bit of juice and gossip in your life. I've been going to "my girl" for literally 22 years (she was at my wedding... as a guest!)... So believe me, I'm all for hair loyalty. BUT, when it comes to a blowout, you gotta throw caution to the wind and let your locks get some love from someone who has no idea who you're dating and why your best friend is being a bitch. Places in cities like Los Angeles are booming with boutique salons like Blow Angels and Dry Bar specializing in blowouts for as little as $30. You get to choose from a menu of different looks and in under an hour, you will walk out feeling fantastic and clean. Because let's face it, half the fun of a blowout is having your hair washed without you having to do the follow up work on it.
What's your favorite way to beautify that doesn't break the bank? Share your thoughts here!