As much as I might proclaim myself a diva, I’ve never actually been the kinda girl to spend a lot of money on the accoutrements of beauty.
If something doesn’t make a statement, it just seems pointless and by that logic, fancy and expensive makeup, creams and lotions have always struck me as the ultimate waste of money—especially since I can buy the cheap stuff at the drugstore and splurge on something like this. 
Anyhoo, with the markets headed south and the chill of recession upon us it seems like my “cheap” frugal way of thinking is actually in style. Lucky for you, when it comes to advice I’ve always been the “pushy” generous type.
Here are some of my favorite cheap and easy ways to look posh and pinch pennies at the same time:
1. Don’t hesitate to get things altered or fixed.
I think we live in a bit of throw-away society and that can get expensive. Why not get stuff fixed or altered to your liking instead? I’m still wearing my favorite Parasuco jeans I bought in 2000 because I have had the knees neatly patched twice. The clingy ankle length dress I wore on one of my first dates with my husband more than a decade ago is still a favorite because for $10 I had it altered to above the knee when it started to look dated. And the skinny jean trend? I did it on the cheap too: I took two pairs of my most flattering pairs of flared pants and had a tailor stream line them from the knees down for a new look at a cost of $12 each. Most neighborhood dry cleaners do easy alterations on site, so start looking at ways you can update your current wardrobe.
2. St. Yves Apricot Scrub.
Yes, that same stuff you can buy in the grocery store is one of the best exfoliates you can buy. I keep a tube in the shower and use it several times a week. I firmly believe men often age better than women because they shave every day and are therefore always removing dead skin that’s what women need to do as well and it need not be expensive.
3. As, I said before, I swear by drug store makeup.
Have you not seen some of the most gorgeous women in the world model Cover Girl cosmetics? And doesn’t Kate Moss look pretty good in those Rimmel ads? More expensive makeup does not make you look better, it’s just more expensive. If you take care of your skin (see #2) you can look just as stunning in the stuff they sell at Shoppers.
4. Try coloring your own hair. I did it!
I was so pleased with the results I don’t know if I’ll ever invest the time, and especially the money, getting it professionally done again. Home dye kits have come a long way from the harsh, inexact ones that we used as teenagers. Not only did it save me money, it kinda made me feel like a teenager again too!
5. E-bay. I don’t really need to tell you about this, do I?
I mean, you wouldn’t dream of buying brand name jeans, jackets, or handbags anywhere else, would you? If you’re not on this bandwagon, climb aboard now! My favorite trick is to try on the perfect pair of jeans in a high end store and then find the exact make and model on-line. Easy-peasy. I get ‘em with the tags on for less than half the price. Try it, you’ll never buy retail again.
6. The old pillowcase trick.
Strictly speaking this tip for washing hand washables in the machine is more of a time-saving, as opposed to a money-saving, trick but it works so well I had to include it. The reason most items are deemed ”hand-wash only” is because of their potential to get stretched out of shape during a regular cycle in the washer. To solve this problem just pop your hand washable into a pillowcase, secure with a pony tail holder and wash as normal. No stretching, no problem, and you end up with a clean pillowcase to boot.
So those are my best tips, now how about yours? What’s your secret for staying drop-dead gorgeous during the downturn? Spill …
Originally published on Don Mills Diva