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Let’s face it: Everyone loves a bargain. Yet what I want for my readers is value: the most efficacy and quality available per dollar. For the past few weeks, I’ve been viewing the best of stores on the web, finding the best quality details for the lowest possible price. Here are 100 beauty secrets, products, and services that are available for less than your average venti double-espresso latte:
39. Eyeliners: I’ve tried them all, ranging from $1 to $26, and I keep going back to the Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner($3.78).
38. It retails for $19.99, but i.d. bare Escentuals Mineral Veil powder is just $4.99 through Amazon. i.d. bare Escentuals Mineral Veil powder is designed for use with bare Escentuals mineral foundation, but works well as a lightweight, light-reflecting powder as well.
37. It doesn’t get any cheaper than this: Two tubes of award-winning Maybelline Great Lash mascara for $1.96.
36. I’m a huge fan of false eyelashes, but at $6 per pair, it’s simply too much to buy a new pair every 2-3 days. That’s why I was stoked to find 10 pairs of false eyelashes for $3.95 (Amazon).
35. It doesn’t contain sunscreen, so I won’t use it before going outside. However, I will use Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream ($3.45) religiously after every hand wash when I’m on duty in the hospital.
34. Neutrogena SPF 60 Body Sticks ($1.99) won’t break the bank, but they will keep you protected from potentially harmful UV rays.
33. Ever wish you could get Bath and Body Works lotions after they are discontinued? You can – you just need to search religiously online. One of my favorites, Summer Lemon Vanilla, is available as a body lotion for just $4.66.
32. So they’re $1.04 apiece and have to be purchased as a 6-pack, but OPI Avojuice Skin Quenchers smell great, absorb quickly, and feel great on the skin. My manicurist has these on-hand, and I’m always delighted when it’s time for this lotion!
29. In a rush? Neutrogena Cleansing Towelettes ($4.97) are fast and easy to use. They contain mainly esters and fatty acids, leaving your skin feeling clean, not dehydrated from sulfates and SD alcohol 40 like many other cleansers.
28. Neutrogena Ultra Soft Eye Makeup Remover pads get the job done. The price is $5.97, but drops to $5.07 if you subscribe to the reordering service. Either way, a great deal.
27. The eucalyptus oil in Noxzema ($3.29) leaves skin feeling surprisingly fresh. I used Noxzema as a teenager, and the scent makes me want to rock out to N*SYNC all over again. (Yes, that’s right, I said that).
26. Dove Soap ($1.15) is one of the most gentle cleansers out there. Use it all over your face and body for soft, lightly hydrated skin all winter long.
Hair Care and Removal
25. Pantene ProV ($4.86) contains panthenol, which has been proven to increase the tensile strength of the hair.
24. Avalon Organics Shampoo ($4.84) also contains panthenol. Leaves hair feeling surprisingly light and clean, even without drying sulfates. Another selling point? It’s completely natural and organic.
23. Three Vidal Sassoon Styling Combs for under $4? Win. Including a pin-tail comb? Major win.
22. Got embarrassing facial hair? Bleach it for just $3.06 with Sally Hansen Facial Hair Bleach. While the hair itself is still there, it’s significantly lighter and less noticeable. This is perfect for dark-haired women who do not have the time to get to the salon for a wax or threading: it takes just 10 minutes to use!
21. Carrie Bradshaw would not approve, but there are times when a woman needs a hair scrunchie. Get 5 in wearable colors for just $3.99 – even if you only wear it around the house or to the gym!
20. Need makeup done for less? Many beauty consultants at the make-up counter and Sephora are happy to work for a tip rather than a purchase. Ask beforehand about the policy. Typically $5 is acceptable for a lip or eye makeup consultation, $10 or more for full-face.
19. Got a big event coming up? Call a local beauty school and ask to be a volunteer. I personally wouldn’t risk letting someone who is learning cut or color my hair. I would, however, definitely let her style it. Better yet, you can get a discounted manicure! For a directory of beauty schools, visit Beauty School Advisor.com.
18. Register for all of the free websites that inform you of majorly discounted, limited-time deals on beauty services. The deals will generally cost more than $5, but it is free to sign up, and you can save hundreds! Popular sites featuring beauty deals include:
17. Offer to pay for future services in advance. Some salons and spas will grant customers a bulk discount for certificates of $100 or more.
16. Try out to be an Allure Insider to get free samples and exclusive deals throughout the year. Some insiders even get to visit spas and salons for free, so get active in the group if you’re interested!
15. The taste and aroma of Yogi Fasting Tea ($3.37) is definitely unique, with a blend of fennel seed, licorice root, and Garcinia cambogia. Yet I swear the garcinia decreases my appetite significantly. Due to the fact garcinia can be hard on the liver, I keep it down to one cup per day.
14. Pedometers can cost upwards of $30, but a simple pedometer with a calorie counter can be as low as $4.60, as this model from Amazon.com proves. Will it last long? Probably not, but long enough for you to a.) know if you can make it to 30000 steps per day and b.) realize if you want to buy another pedometer!
13. The Calorie King Food & Exercise Journal ($3.99) is small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, and contains spaces for recording 10 weeks’ worth of food and exercise. Given that it takes about 21 days for a new habit to form, this one is well worth the money!
12. Pilates for Abs ($4.60 for VHS, $12.99 for DVD) is the best abs workout I have ever gotten in my life. I do not say this lightly. I have been doing Pilates for Abs several times per week since I was 19 years old. Within three months, my stomach became one of my favorite parts of my body. It’s really a life-changer.
11. Exercise for free with 10-minute YouTube videos. If you have a computer (and I’m assuming you do since you’re reading this), find a clear space, slip off your shoes, and start doing yoga – or boot camp! Better yet, use YouTube video samplings to determine what types of workouts work best for you, and then purchase classes, a DVD, or a gym membership.
10. Fashion-forward? The very now brown-grey of OPI You Don’t Know Jacques is available for just $4.44 through discount retailer Amazon.com.
9. Looking to try the new “shatter” look for nails without breaking the bank? Try OPI Pink Shatter for $4.60 through – you guessed it – Amazon.com.
8. I have no idea why someone is selling Seche Vite Top Coat for 12 cents a bottle on Amazon.com, but that’s what is happening now. Stock up!
7. If you love mint green, the top shade of 2009, you can get it now for $4.60 (Essie).
6. Sally Hansen Teflon Tuff ($3.99) has been a staple of mine for years. Apply it as a top coat and your nails are tough as, well, Teflon.
5. Sign up at Birchbox, and receive 4-5 beauty samples monthly. The service costs $10 per month. However, I’ve found that it’s best to sign up with a friend – I never like all of the beauty samples that come my way, after all. Plus, then it’s just $5!
4. Get the following fashion apps for $1.99 or less:
- ShopStyle – review hundreds of clothes and accessories, and buy them through the app directly
- Pocket Closet – organize your outfits in your closet. Great for those who like to pre-plan their outfit (and make sure they don’t wear the same thing to the same place with the same person twice)
- Sartorialist – like the popular website, Sartorialist shows you daily updates of what real people on the street are wearing.
3. Get the following beauty apps for $1.99 or less:
- Sephora. Probably the gold standard of beauty shopping apps, this one keeps you on top of what’s going on with America’s leading upscale beauty retailer.
- OPI Nail Polish app lets you try on any color in the entire collection. Perfect before you make a purchase – or your manicurist starts applying…
- iStylist Makeover lets you try on hair and makeup before you get to the salon. Beautiful.
- Family history of melanoma? Baked in the sun as a teenager? Get the LoveMySkin app, stat. The app lets you track your moles, freckles, and overall skin appearance over time, giving you an accurate history to show your dermatologist.
- Want to know what you’ll look like when you’re old? Try the HourFace app!
2. Make your pics look more beautiful before you post to Facebook:
- Want to appear slightly thinner? Do some free adjusting with WeightMirror.com.
- Want to make your photo black-and-white, smaller, or brighter? Try Picnik.com for free.
- Just looking for some stylizing? The Coolibah Cool Cam app lets you make photos look like a stylized scrapbook.
1. Of course I’m going to say it – keep visiting FutureDerm.com! FutureDerm.com is committed to providing high-quality, well-researched beauty product and ingredient reviews. Plus we’re having free daily giveaways every day until October 19, 2011!
Please note: All products are available on September 18, 2011 at the prices listed through the links provided only. I cannot guarantee prices listed will be available at later dates/times, nor can I guarantee the quality of items through third-party services. However, all items are returnable via the Amazon or Drugstore return policies. Thank you!
Photo source: Five Dollar Bill Re-design, originally uploaded by Ken Roberts Photography.
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