Beauty Tricks that Actually Work

Most young women would be lying if they said they didn’t want to look good. We try to become the best version of ourselves by using different beauty products.  The problem with using a bunch of products is that it can get quite expensive. Just ask whoever it is that would buy this $13,000 jar of face cream.

Although some expensive products are totally worth it there are often cheaper, more eco-friendly alternatives that can give you great results. Here are a few that I’ve learned over the years:

Hair Oil. I have been attempting to grow Rapunzel-length locks for about 2 years now, and am constantly looking for the healthiest products to use to get my hair to grow as long as possible. I became obsessed with Moroccan hair oil after my hairdresser used it on me a few years ago. It smells like heaven and my long, curly, and dry hair felt so much softer and more moisturized after using it. At about $30-40 per bottle, it’s not exactly cheap. A few months ago, I learned that Moroccan oil is actually full of filler, with very little of the actual natural oil in the product. Using olive oil is a better alternative. It resembles your own natural oils more than other types do, and it’s $8 for a bottle that would last you 5 years. If you like the smell of Moroccan oil, you can buy a medium-sized bottle for about $18 and add a tiny bit to the olive oil, which still ends up being much less money in the long run.

(Bridget says: If you want to try some DIY from your own pantry, try this Honey & Olive Oil Hair Mask! Works so good even though putting honey in your hair is really scary…)

Homemade lip scrub. I love to wear lipstick and lipgloss. I’ve had some days where my lips were too dry or flaky and my lipstick ended up looking awful. I “borrowed” a lip scrub my mom had purchased and I was amazed at how soft and smooth it made my lips. (Am I the only person that stole and continues to steal all of her mother’s beauty products? It’s a wonder she didn’t disown me.) My dog approved of the sugar and oil ingredients, as was observed when we came into the bathroom to find the pot torn apart and the contents mostly gone. How dogs manage to get into things is pretty impressive sometimes, in an Anchorman kind of way.

Once I realized what was in it, I figured it’d be pretty easy to make it myself. There are a lot of great recipes online. This is one that’s pretty great.

Body Brushing.  I would have to say that this is probably the best thing I’ve done since switching to facial products with glycolic acid in them, and that’s saying a LOT. I originally bought a body brush to see if it actually reduced cellulite as some websites claim. The jury is still out on that one, but my skin has never been so soft in my life. It takes about two minutes of dry brushing before you shower, which is completely worth it. It got rid of any clogged pores I had on my body, as well as any tiny bumps, dry skin, blemishes, etc. I know, this is a really sexy post. You should get a flat, long handled natural bristle brush. I purchased one from Winners for $7 which was a complete steal, but I’d say it’s even worth $20 to invest in one.

Are there any frugal beauty tricks you’ve learned? Or any beauty products you spend a lot of money on but it’s totally worth it?

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  1. I’ve heard about body brushing but I keep forgetting to try it! Thanks for the tips…I haven’t heard of using olive oil on my hair either! You can also use a little cornstarch to set your makeup after you’re done applying it. It translucent and keeps your skin from getting oily and holds makeup in place. Oh, and it’s cheap!!

    • Oh! Cornstarch is a great idea! I am definitely going to try that. And you should try the brushing! It makes skin amazing soft.

  2. mochiandmacarons says:

    1. Coconut oil has been proven in research to be better than mineral oil and olive oil for your hair.

    Can’t find that darn link, but Livestrong talks about it:

    2. Cellulite can’t be made to disappear with a brush.

    3. You can make lip scrubs with sugar. Anything ‘abrasive’ works, even a toothbrush would work.

    • Coconut oil is good, but it costs quite a bit more, and more people have olive oil on hand already. I think I might try coconut oil the next time I need some though! :) Thanks for the info.

      And yep I wouldn’t say it has disappeared. But I’m glad I tried it because I love it for so many other reasons.

      • Jojoba oil is a great one, it is supposed to be the closest oil to our skin’s natural oils… I am prone to breakouts, but I can even use jojoba oil on my face (i.e. to remove waterproof eye make-up) without negative consequences! Unfortunately it can be pricey as well, so I often use grapeseed oil… which I can get as cheap as olive oil at the Italian Centre :-)

      • I love coconut oil for my hair, and I also mix it with sugar for a homemade lip scrub – delicious and it works! :)

  3. I’ve never even heard of body brushing!

    Also- no, you’re not the only one who steals her mother’s beauty products. My mom has been known to hide her “good” lotions whenever I come home :)

  4. I mostly use cheap products and I don’t usually try new things. I have been wearing the same eye shadow for 15 years!!! =)

    • Well the thing with cheap products is that if you find ones you like it’s worth it to stick to them, because some of them don’t work well. (I worked at a cosmetics counter as a drug store for a few years and learned which products were pretty bad and always returned). It’s like that Maybelline mascara in the pink tube that has been around for YEARS. It is way cheaper than other drugstore mascaras (In Canada it’s about $5 whereas other types are usually closer to $10 or more!), it’s great, and it continues to win beauty awards. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Sometimes cheap products can be just as good.

      • Hey Gillian! Any pointers about which foundation to buy? I feel as though drugstore products are getting cheaper in terms of quality and am having a hard time finding a foundation and sticking to it, but I am not willing to spend 45+$ on a product that I seldom wear.

  5. haha ! Poor moms ! And now I can actually afford my own and I still find myself creeping through her product cupboards to see if there’s anything new I haven’t tried yet.

  6. I definitely need to try the brush idea!

  7. I used to use Moroccan oil too until I saw it was full of crap =\ now I use Ojon which is probably equally as expensive but I like it so far.

    One of my frugal beauty tricks is stealing the expensive shampoos & soaps from hotels. HAHA.

  8. I noticed that my cuticles really improved while using Moroccan oil so if you want to quit using it on your hair you can always use is on your nails! And now that Bridget’s mentioned Ojon I’m totally going to go buy a bottle.

    I think my favourite budget beauty tip came from Lauren Conrad’s kitchen beautician series. It’s a brown sugar & olive oil body scrub and it works so well and smells amazing. And of course, it’s super cheap to make.

    • That sounds great! I haven’t tried using sugar in a body scrub but it sounds pretty amazing with the olive oil! And I have a tiny bit of moroccan oil left in my bottle so I’ll just do that instead! I didn’t want to throw out something expensive haha.

  9. Here’s a blog I follow for homemade beauty tricks that some of you might enjoy: In particular, check out the wash-your-face-with-honey challenge!:

  10. What I spend the most money on is a face cream with SPF15. I live under the sun so need protection and found a cream that works great for my complexion. In my hair I like coconut oil too, sometimes I rinse them with lemon juice, or sleep with an olive oil mask (and a towel to protect my pillow).

  11. Mrs. CBB says she uses coconut oil ( I asked because I know I saw her using it one day) as she says it is much better and she has very long hair but it’s soft and very shiny. As for body brushing she says she’s heard of it but has no idea where to get the brush… now look what you’ve done lol…. Mr.CBB

    • haha! Well tell her to try Winners, that’s where I got mine for really cheap! Other than that, I am not too sure where you could find one. Maybe the Body Shop?

  12. I don’t use a brush but I do exfoliate with a body scrub, they’re super easy to make too if one wanted out of salts and natural oils for fragrance.

  13. I’ve never tried dry brushing but I hear good things about doing it. I make a homemade body scrub using coconut oil, plumeria oil, lemon and sugar. I smell like hawaii when I’m done. Heaven!

  14. Just a comment re: hair oil, olive oil is actually not the oil that most closely resembles the oil that your body secretes, jojoba oil is. It’s a bit more expensive, though still cheaper than moroccan oil (which is actually just a specific brand of argon oil, the real ingredient that makes a difference) but well worth the price.
    Not trying to sound like a know-it-all but I spent a good year researching this stuff when I decided to use only natural products on my body. Hope it helps :)

    • You’re totally right. I didn’t word it right. It just closely resembles natural oils and is the best (or very close to it) for the price. Coconut oil is great as well as jojoba. But olive oil is a bit more frugal. It’s all cheaper than the stuff that’s full of fillers ! Thanks :)

  15. Oil for the hair ‘eh? I’m going to have to investigate further. I’m a total hair dunce, so anything that can help me manage my mane on the cheap would be awesome!

    • You should definitely try it. My hair is pretty unruly and dry and it’s mostly the only hair product I use anymore, asides from a bit of mousse when I am doing my hair naturally (curly)

  16. I like the body brushing idea – I’ll have to check out Winners!

  17. I try to stick to vegan products so homemade scrubs, shampoo, etcetera are usually easier for me. I use baking soda to wash my hair, I rinse with lemon juice, and I use argan oil. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been. I’m also spending less money, so that’s a bonus.

  18. I love hair oil. I have to use it only on the ends though…if I get it all up in my roots I start looking real greasy. Will have to look into a body brush!

  19. Love it Gillian! Great post. I am obsessed with MoroccanOil, it’s the one place I splurge on my hair. It is full of filler though, you are so right. I’ve been trying to grow my hair super long too and I just started taking biotin. My cousin has a beauty blog and has a great DIY lip scrub recipe here ( I have been ushing Lush lip scrubs but knowing there are literally two main ingredients makes me feel like I should start making it at home too. LOL

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