Every year millions of women pay big bucks to go under the knife. In 2005 alone, Americans spent $12.4 billion on both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. If you're contemplating a nip, tuck or injection, there are some cheap alternatives you can try right in your own home. Elaine D'Farley, beauty director of Self magazine, shares some advice on ways to bring out your glow.
Bangs vs. BotoxBangs, from long to short, can help hide brow furrows with less cost and maintenance than a forehead lift. Many celebs are showing different trends with bangs. An added bonus is that you can keep them trimmed on your own, saving money between cuts, or some salons will cut bangs for free. If cutting them yourself, use texturizing shears (the blade looks like a comb), cut a few hairs at a time, never bluntly, and you can trim worry-free. Try Seki-Edge Thinning and Blending Shears, $40.
Can't wait to get the shears? Go for small paper or straight nail scissors. The sharper they are, the cleaner the cut. To trim, comb dry hair forward. The more sharply you angle texturizing shears, the more hairs you’ll trim with each snip. So keep the shears straight up and down to be more conservative. Try nail scissors from Tweezerman, $20.
Get clear, glowing skin and even reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Neutrogena has a safe and effective system that is clinically proven to deliver surface skin-rejuvenating improvements after 11 uses — compared with two professional in-office treatments — at a fraction of the cost of an in-office treatment. A cream with aluminum oxide crystals promotes high-level surface cellular renewal without irritation. The soft foam sponge head massages the skin and evenly distributes the cream. The system applicator has two speeds so you control the intensity of the treatment. Try Neutrogena Advanced Solutions at Home MicroDermabrasion System, $39.99.
For an at-home peel, try MD Skincare Alpha BetaDaily Face Peel. A two-step system that is safe to use every day, it uses a plant estrogen found in soy to help improve skin's radiance and clarity. Step 1 uses both Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acids to exfoliate the skin. Step 2 neutralizes the acids applied in step 1 to stimulate collagen production that soothes and replenishes skin. MD Skincare Alpha BetaDaily Face Peel, $72 for 30 pads or $75 for box of 30 travel size individual packettes (equals $2.40 per use)
Endermologie is a procedure that uses a machine for deep tissue massage that temporarily, yet effectively, reduces the appearance of cellulite. Using the WellBox, you can perform endermologie safely at home. The machine uses a technique called tissular rolling, which folds and smoothes the skin to diminish the appearance of cellulite and reduce the circumference of affected areas. You can use it on three areas: stomach, hips and buttocks, thighs and knees. Try WellBox Body Optimizer, LPG, $1,600; www.WellBox.com — equals $15 per treatment (2x per week for 1 year), but the machine is a one-time purchase for life.
You don’t have to get an eye lift to boost your eyes open. Of course nothing will take away sagging skin, but there are tricks to diffuse attention from the problem. Three easy steps will keep eyes bright: Groom your brows, define your lids with shadow, and emphasize lashes. These easy rules for eyeshadow work for any occasion.
- Lids: Swipe the lightest shade across your lids. It reflects light and makes the eyes the focus of the face.
- Crease: Add depth by brushing the second-darkest hue from the crease to right below the brows.
- Lower lash line: Line eyes with the darkest color. A small, angled brush gets close to lashes. Smudge with a Q-tip.
- Outer corner: Lightly dot the brightest hue here with your finger. Blend into the lid to create a simple smoky eye. Try Almay Intense i-Color shadows in four shades, $7.50.
Groomed brows are also key to keeping eyes looking wide open. Keep brows full but finished and don't overdo it. Eliza, the brow guru at Avon, suggests fine tuning brows with an eyebrow pencil and plucking strays. Try Eliza's Eyebrow Essentials Kit, $68, avon.com. Individual items from the kit are available for purchase separately.
Finally, the all-time classic — Maybelline Great Lash Mascara — is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. This mascara never goes out of style, and is a make-up artist's favorite because you can brush it on for a natural or bolder look. Curl your lashes first for maximum impact, and start with the wand at the base of the lash, working up. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, $6
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