The Zero Dollar Beauty Project

zero dollar project

The phrase “desperate times call for desperate measures” can speak to many things, but mostly it relates to women in a beauty bind (or so I think). One such bind for me took place at Macy’s, where I was trotting from counter to counter under the pretense of cosmetic curiosity but in reality making up my face ahead of a last minute date. I was on a mission to look a little less Halle Berry circa “Jungle Fever” and a little more Kerry Washington circa now (don’t kill the dream). It worked, sort of. I’ve since learned a few more free (or just cheap) beauty solutions that work in desperate situations.

Rough Lips

The coffee station lip exfoliation was born when it was clear that an afternoon swipe of lip balm wasn’t keeping flakey lips at bay (and have you ever applied lipstick over flakey lips?). Depending on what’s handy, dab your finger in honey or lip balm, and then dip that same finger in a packet of sugar. After exfoliating your lips with this mixture, wipe off excess with a paper towel and watch how smoothly your rouge glides over your pout.

Oily Skin

Speaking of coffee, harness the power of the Starbucks napkin in all of its blotting glory. Seriously, this stuff works better than some of the priciest blot papers. Another alternative is the toilet seat cover, which is apparently suitable for both cheeks.

Revived Hair

When I’m trying to extend the life and freshness of a blowout, I reach for dryer sheets, which when smoothed over my hair, tames flyaways and makes my hair smell like a bag of fresh linen.

2-in-1 Cosmetics

Sometimes you need to teach a limited makeup stash how to multitask. In a bind, red or pink lipstick is an excellent cream blush, and powder blush dabbed on lips with chapstick or just water warrants an effective balm or stain. Just try it.

Correctional Facility Pigment

Let me be upfront, I learned this last trick while watching “Prison Wives” (I won’t judge your viewing habits if you won’t judge mine). Kool-Aid, as it turns out, is also useful as a cheek and lip stain. Crystal Light works as well. Just mix a small amount with a few drops of water for a facial pick-me-up. It tastes great too.

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7 comments on “The Zero Dollar Beauty Project

  1. Addison Cain says:

    This post is amazing. I know a few quick fixes myself, but Kool-Aid as a cheek stain is definitely a new one. My own personal fave is using toilet seat covers as oil blotters. If I can stock up on those every once in a while, I hardly ever have to spend money on pre-packaged oil blotters. Another thing I just learned was that a slice of lemon supposedly works as a deodorant alternative. Though I haven’t given that one a try yet, it’s something to think about!

    • admin says:

      Yes, I LOVE the toilet seat covers–they are the best blotting papers. My friend just told me that her mother says to shower with lime for a natural deodorizer. One of these days I’ll give the citrus alternatives a try!

  2. Lynda says:

    haha i saw the kool aid trick in a prison show too!

  3. Mysty says:

    Haha Kool-Aid, who knew! Great post! 🙂

  4. Portia says:

    Yes! Starbucks napkins and toilet seat covers are great blotters!! Whole Foods napkins are also good.

  5. Monique C says:

    I love the solution for oil skin. Napkins are a great idea (-: