1) Hydrogen Peroxide - I LOVE Hydrogen Peroxide. I bought a 32 oz bottle for .89 cents at Target that will last me months. This is hands down the cheapest and easiest teeth whitening product out there. I rinse my mouth with 1 capful (the little white cap it comes with) for 1 minute with it every morning. THAT'S IT! This is the whitest my teeth have ever been. I drink red wine, coffee, tea, and sometimes I even sneak the occasional cigarette (I know, I know...). But this stuff just rocks. Other uses - mix it with vinegar and disinfect your house - totally organic, no harsh smell and super cheap. And I also comb some into my hair after I wash it...it makes really subtle highlights when you blowdry your hair.
2) Vaseline - I buy the generic, cheapest brand I can find. I can usually find a big tub of it for under $2. I use this for everything. I rub it on the heels of my feet every night before bed (yes, I have some mighty soft feet - thank you very much!) I use it to remove eye make up, rub it on chapped hands in the winter (works , like a charm), put it on lips over chapstick for a nice "lipgloss", rub a dab onto eyebrows to smooth and keep in place all day.
3) Face moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. I used to buy the really expensive stuff, but at $14 a bottle it was a bit much. Now I buy the generic brand at Target - works perfect and saves me a ton of $$. I use this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In addition to keeping the face moisturized and looking youthful, it provides SPF protection which as we all know is number 1 cause of aging skin. The best beauty advice my mother ever gave me was to wear sunscreen every day....rain, snow, winter, summer....doesn't matter. I started wearing it when I was 23 and don't think I've ever missed a day. Thanks mom! :)
4) Chapstick - Let's face it - nobody likes dry, cracked lips. It looks bad and feels bad. Lipstick flakes...it's just a mess. I'm addicted to chapstick -I admit it. I use it like it's going out of style and I have to say if I was ever on a deserted island and could only bring 1 "comfort product"- it would be chapstick. Right now I'm using Burt's Bees...I like the pepperment smell :) But I'm not picky....in fact I typically buy the generic Dollar Tree stuff - sometimes 2 for $1. I always have a backup supply...you know, in case the end of the world ever happens and they stop making chapstick ;)
5) Body Lotion - I will say that I always buy generic, but usually the unscented and hypoallergenic (like generic Lubriderm). So I save a few bucks but still get a quality product. This isn't something you want to buy at the $$ store...spend the few extra bucks and get a decent product. This is also something I use everyday. Use it as soon as you get out of the shower - towel dry and use right away while still in the steamy bathroom. It holds the moisture in and makes for supersoft skin. I sometimes mix my favorite scent it with it...it's nice and subtle but stays with me all day. I get the unscented lotion so I can change the scent according to my current fave scent :)
6) Rubbing Alcohol - Isopropyl - I bought 2 bottles for $1...it'll last for months. I use it to clean my cell phone (dip a paper towel into it and clean phone)....it cleans the germs off and makes the screen crystal clear. Just don't use too much...you don't want to drown your phone. A little goes a long way. I also soak my earings in a small dixie cup full of Isopropyl Alcohol before wearing. It cleans them and makes them nice & shiny, too. This is also a great first aid product - it disinfects small cuts and also works great on bug bites. Stops the itch/sting almost instantly.
7) Baby Oil - LOVE IT!!!! I use it on freshly saved legs as soon as I get out of the shower. Bye Bye razor burn! Rub it into your legs and let it absorb, then put your normal body lotion over it. Soft, silky legs with no unsightly red bumps or itching that sometimes accompanies shaving. I also use it on my kids after their bath...it's perfect for their sensitive skin. This is another product that you can buy for a few bucks and it will last many months. I've had my current bottle for close to a year!
8) A Pair of Salon Scissors for Cutting Hair -I got mine at Sally Hansen for under $10. You don't have to go crazy buying the professional stuff. Just a decent pair made for cutting hair. Use strictly on your hair as to not dull the blades. I bought mine 4 years ago. I clean up my dead ends about once a month. This greatly improves the texture and gives it a nice healthy infusion in between visits to the salon. It also extends the life of a haircut for a few extra weeks. Go to Youtube.com and find a tutuorial. It's so easy, and after a few times you'll be a pro. I also cut my kids hair....it beats trying to get them to a salon and paying for it. So far, so good ;)
9) Daily Face Wash - You need an everyday face wash and a weekly face wash. For the everyday wash I LOVE Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
I have super sensitive skin, but need something that will really do a great job of removing the make up residue every night. This stuff rock. It's less than $7. I use it daily and have had it for 3 months. The best part about it is that it's so gentle, you can lather up the foam on the eyelids and it washes even the mascara right off. No burning or stinging eyes.
10) Weekly Face Wash - You need something that will really scrub off the dead skin without drying out your skin. I love Apricot Scrub. St Ives has one, but I buy the generic...you can find it anywhere. There's really no difference...so save yourself a few bucks. I use it once a week (twice a week in the summer when my pores tend to get clogged more often due to the heat & humidity). You'll feel the difference after just one use. Softer more radiant skin. Just be sure to follow up with a face moisturizer so you don't dry your skin out.
Dear Chaz Dean: Your WEN is Zen
Ok, so I'm all about finding a good bargain and making smart purchases. However, there are some things that are just worth the money - and one of those products is WEN Cleansing Conditioner. I'm not going to sugar coat this - it's a $40 Shampoo/Conditioner, and as far as I know, they're only available online as WEN products are not sold in retail stores. Before trying this magical potion in a bottle, I thought it was crazy to spend that much on a conditioner...I mean how well could it really work? Well it turns out this stuff is like magic! It works and now I'm addicted. Add it to my list of vices ;) But there are a few tricks I'm learning to stretch that bottle o' magic as long as possible. So here's the skinny....
First off, there are also lots of WEN products - cleansing conditioner, styling cream, texture balm, leave in treatment oils....lots more. The only thing you really need is the cleansing conditioner. Save yourself the money & hassle of buying the other products- I'm not saying their not great - they're just unnecessary. WEN's ace in the hole is the cleansing conditioner. It can be used as a shampoo, conditioner, as well as a leave-in conditioner. This is all you need. The cleansing conditioners come in a variety of divine scents - that's just a matter of personal preference, although I think they all smell yummy :) You can order the products right from the WEN website, or from Amazon - for a standard 16oz Cleansing Conditioner you can expect to pay about $38 including shipping. On Amazon the cost is $38 plus free shipping, where as on the WEN website the cost is $32, but then they charge you for shipping. So either way it comes out to about the same price.
When you're miracle in a bottle arrives, the instructions will leave you a little dizzy and quick math will tell you that if you were to follow the instructions and use the 3,000 pumps per hair wash like they advise - you'll be out of it in 4 days and will have to remortgage your home to keep up with your new hair regimen. So here's what I do.....first I wash my hair with regular old shampoo. Then I wash it again with a modest amount of WEN - just enough to cover my hair. This stuff doesn't lather - it can seem a bit strange at first. I work it through my hair, then put it up in a pony tail for the rest of the shower. Right at the end as I'm about to get out I quickly rinse it out. They key is to leave it in for about 3-5 minutes while it works it's magic. It cleans and conditions at the same time, so as you're rinsing it out you'll notice how silky your hair feels. I then put just a little in as a leave in conditioner - when I say just a little, I mean a little. The first time I used it I noticed a difference, but as I used it more I noticed an even bigger difference. I ran out a few weeks ago and my hair is sad. I'm currently awaiting my next fix :)