Gigi here! Well, 2009 nearly went out with a true “bang” for me this year. We had a natural gas leak caused by a squirrel which came down the chimney, rewiring as he or she went. I smelled nothing unusual. What was unusual was my complete inability to think. The rational part of my brain recognized something was “off,” yet it was as if I were being pulled toward my bed by a gigantic magnet. Try as I might to stay awake, I still opted for our bed rather than doing anything else at all, including eating.
My husband came home before I expired or the house exploded and I am very grateful to God that our dog and I were spared. It was yet another lesson on loving my life and living it fully. On the downside, it was necessary to have massive repairs done along with hiring a pest control technician. (Fellow animal lovers, you can breathe easily–I fed the squirrel and gave it water before it was released into the woods behind our home.) But it was right before Christmas, and nearly all of the money meant for gifts was written out in checks for huge repairs.
That gave me inspiration for this piece. While most of us are still feeling the effects of our economy’s downward spiral, I thought that a list of free (yes, free) and affordable beauty resolutions for the New Year would be useful. I was aided in this by my friend Sharond, whom I have dubbed the “Queen of Common Sense.” Allow us to bring you the fantastically frugal.
1) Drop the daily hair washing routine unless you are a coal miner or toil in the fields for a living. Washing weakens the fragile structure and causes a need for dry heat and damaging tools. Instead, try Lush’s “Big” Shampoo or American Crew’s “Peppermint Cleanse Shampoo,” available at bargain prices on eBay. You can literally feel impurities being pulled from your hair while you delight in the fresh scent. Your hair will stay clean for days and a small amount goes a very long way.
2) Rinse your hair weekly with vinegar; it does the same as the aforementioned for a fraction of the price.
3) Try shopping with beauty catalogs as often as possible–it helps to prevent impulse buying. I’ll peruse a catalog with a pad of Post-It notes at hand. The first time through, I must have everything I see and thus I flag the pages with the yellow notes. If I continue to view the catalog daily, I discover how much I don’t need and the yellow squares disappear, saving me money.
4) Commit random acts of sincere kindness. You and the recipient will both feel and look better. Expect fainting–this society is losing its ability to handle gentility.
5) Exfoliate your face, body, and hands on a regular basis. With old cells sloughed away, you’ll reveal new, glowing skin. For wonderful results, mix liquid facial cleanser and baking soda until you have a thick paste. Rub in thoroughly but very gently. It’s acidic neutrality makes short work of dry, flaking skin and clears embedded pores. While you’re at it, add it to your toothpaste for a natural breath freshener and whitener.
6) Skip the super size of your favorite shampoo or conditioner even if it’s on sale. If you’re fickle like I am, you’ll tire of it before you use it. Opt for a smaller or trial size. Ditto for eyeshadows, blushes, and powders–when was the last time you saw the bottom of a pan? Betcha haven’t!
8) Tame your skin and hair as you do your appetite. Follow meals with gummy vitamins (now made for adults). They satisfy your sweet tooth as they nurture. Gummy bear calories don’t count.
9) Exercise. Your curves will thank you, you’ll find that you have more energy, and an improved circulation will be manifested in your face.
10) Create poreless, radiant skin by putting ice cubes in a washcloth and pressing briefly against your face. The cold will close enlarged pores and cause a flattering flush of color.
11) Purchase something you normally would not, like a vibrant nail polish or colored mascara. A new look gives confidence and you remain in fashion.
12) Angry with someone? Avoid stress and lines by looking at them through a fork and pretending that he or she is in jail!
13) Pure olive oil is a miracle when used to deep-condition hair. It also cleanses and softens facial skin like nothing else. Just be sure that you have plenty of towels and a shower cap so that you don’t wind up as a salad ingredient covered in oil.
14) Use your lipstick on your cheeks and you won’t need an expensive lip and cheek tint.
15) Make water your new best friend. It rinses out toxins, plumps cells, satisfies your appetite, and boosts your metabolism.
16) Put a gleam in your eye by appreciating life’s simple gifts, like snow (if you don’t have to drive in it), the wonder of babies, pets, the beauty of a pomegranate, roses, the scent of fresh-cut grass, a relaxing bath, a great cup of coffee in the morning, holding your significant other’s hand, and much more.
Last but certainly not least, may you have a New Year replete with great things beyond your belief–perfect health for you and those you love, prosperity, peace, and joy! You are treasured here more than you know!