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Beauty And The Budget


Girls, want to fluff and buff without spending an arm and a leg? You can look your best all over for less than you'd spend on a single (overpriced!) manicure.

Elsa K. Simcik

e’s coming to pick you up in 17 minutes. Your hair’s fried, your eyebrows are uneven, and you have enough baggage under your eyes for a monthlong vacation in Singapore. And the worst part: It’s the first date.

Sure, you’d love to impress him with your flawlessly arched brows and silky mane. But the fact is you spent your last paycheck on that contraption that
Don’t pour that beer in a glass — pour it on your head.
braids your hair for you. Hence the frizzies.

You could coerce your friends into submitting your picture to a talk show for a long-overdue makeover. Or you could save yourself the humiliation and use these five beauty secrets designed especially for single girls on a budget.

1. Toss one back.
Don’t pour that beer in a glass — pour it on your head. Just wash your hair with your regular shampoo, but condition with a cold one. Beer, especially flat beer, adds body to lifeless hair. And beautifying with the brew instead of drinking it may help you on your quest for supermodel abs.

2. Let it shine.
Sprinkle body glitter in just a few places — your neck, your shoulders, your cleavage — to add the perfect amount of sparkle for a first date. Don’t go overboard, though, or you may walk out looking like Barbie and the Rockers.

3. Unpack your bags.
All the body glitter in Brazil can’t hide those bags under your eyes. The old cucumber method is always worth a try, but so are tea bags. Grab some generic
Sprinkle body glitter in just a few places...
herbal tea and let the coolness reduce your swelling. Sleeping can help, too, especially if you prop up your head on two pillows. If you don't have another pillow on hand, just fold yours in half.

4. Fire your manicurist.
She overcharges and causes you pain, anyway, and there’s nothing she does that you couldn't do yourself with a home manicure kit and a little free time. And, really, your nails are for you, not for your date; when you feel stunning, you will exude confidence. If you keep going to the salon or spa for $50 manicures every week, you’ll quickly have no choice but to exude poverty.

5. Pluck. Shave. Wax. Repeat.
Take a good look in the mirror. Is anything catching the light that really shouldn't be? That excess fuzziness can make you feel less than polished, not to mention self-conscious. But there’s no need to suffer through expensive electrolysis, waxing or threading. You most likely own a pair of tweezers and a razor, so put them to use! The do-it-yourself method may take a little longer than a lunchtime-defuzz appointment, but it’s better than letting your unibrow grow in (not to mention those little friends on your chin).

These tips will come in handy whether you're getting ready for a blind date, finally meeting someone you've been flirting with online or stepping out with your girlfriends. So don't be afraid to try a more economical path to glam. Surely no guy can resist a thoughtful, gorgeous girl whose hair smells ever so slightly of beer!


Elsa K. Simcik is a freelance writer in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Dallas Morning News, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, among others.
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