Beauty on a Budget

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Looking to pamper yourself with life's small luxuries while still watching your pennies in these tough times? Here are a few money-saving beauty tips to help you look fabulous and fresh for less.

Even when you're on a tight budget you should never neglect the skin on your face. It's thinner and requires more care.

Dermatologist-recommended Cetaphil offers a line of gentle, fragrance-free products available at drugstores everywhere. Soothe, soften and cleanse the skin with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $8.99, drugstore.com

TIP: Always treat your neck and chest with the same products you use on your face.

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There's nothing like a skin-soothing balm to boost your mood. The most common ingredient in these types of creams is shea butter. It is a known moisturizer, emollient, anti-inflammatory agent and has been found to be effective at fading scars.

Carol's Daughter has a new limited edition treat called Roses and Honey Shea Soufflé,$20, carolsdaughter.com. It feels and smells so decadent you'll forget your financial woes.

If you're interested in targeting trouble spots, Rx for Brown Skin's Skin-Evening Body Butter, $27, sephora.com, hydrates while inhibiting melanin formation to minimize hyperpigmentation.

Newer skin cells absorb products better. To uncover them, JASON has a line of food grade scrub bases of rice bran, walnut powder or corncob meal. Choose the level of scrubbing power that suits your skin type. We like this Jason Natural Cosmetics Aloe Vera Soothing Body Scrub, $8.79, drugstore.com.

TIP: Make your own body exfoliant by mixing ½ cup oil and 1 cup fine sea salt or sugar with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. Scrub limbs toward your heart and follow with a warm shower or bath.

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As with your skin, the protein that forms hair needs water to function properly. We like the Mixed Chicks line, which is designed to help the hair maintain moisture. You're going to love their deep conditioner, $10.99, mixedchicks.net, that moisturizes both curly and staright hair.

If you straighten your hair, avoid damage from blow dryers and flat irons with FHI Heat's Hot Sauce, $9.99, amazon.com. It's a thermal protectant with jojoba crystals that seal in moisture when used with your styling tools.

After washing the hair, towel-dry and apply a small amount of Hot Sauce evenly to damp hair. Concentrate the product on the ends and mid strands. Let Hot Sauce seep through your strands for one minute. Blow-dry hair and style.