Quick Beauty

By Kristen Castillo

January 30, 2014 5 min read

If it feels like you spend a lot of money on beauty, you're right. According to a Mint.com survey, the average woman spends $15,000 in her lifetime on makeup, including lipstick, lotion and foundation. Many of these products and others can help you look and feel good, plus they often can do double duty, working in more ways than you expect.

For example, extra lotion can help more than dry hands, and adding a few kitchen products to your beauty routine can clean and moisturize your nails. Need to save money on beauty? Raid your bathroom cabinets for cheap, effective ingredients for skin scrubs and blemish treatments.

Read on as beauty experts share their tips for quick, convenient and affordable get-pretty fixes.

*Dry Cuticle Cure

Don't have cuticle oil? Make your own at home.

Nail expert Katie Saxton, founder of CustomNailSolutions, suggests soaking your fingertips in olive oil for 10 minutes, followed by massaging the oil into the cuticles and applying hand cream.

"Olive oil performs moisturizing magic and will keep your cuticles looking pristine and fabulous," says Saxton.

*Baby Your Beauty

Use baby powder to invigorate your look. "For oily/dirty hair, run a brush with baby powder through locks for a quick refresher that soaks up the 'didn't-have-time-to-shower' look," says Amanda Gabbard, beauty specialist and makeup expert at the Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York.

She also suggests running baby powder through your eyelashes before applying mascara to create eyelash volume.

*Shiny Hair

What woman doesn't want shiny hair? Get the look while softening your hands.

"Don't waste lotion," says Celeste Hilling, CEO of Skin Authority. "After applying in the morning, smooth remaining lotion that's still on hands on your hair for a sleek shine."

*Self-Tanning Troubles

Overdid it with the self-tanner? Here's the fix: Use whitening toothpaste, says Tetia McMichael, of Lakeview at Fontana, a boutique mountain spa.

*Banish Blemishes

Need to get rid of a pimple? The answer is in your medicine cabinet.

"Crush an aspirin, add a little water and mix to create a paste," says Meredith Foster, founder and principal of Truth In Beauty Consulting, who suggests using a cotton swab to apply the paste to the blemish.

The reason it works? "Aspirin contains salicylic acid, the same ingredient medical estheticians and dermatologists use in powerful, in-office treatments to help control acne," she says.

Sooth an irritated pimple by applying an ice cube wrapped in a wet paper towel to reduce swelling, says Gabbard, who suggests applying a topical cream like Neosporin "to prevent further damage."

*Pampering Pedicure

Forget fancy pedicure soaks. Spoil your toes at home in a relaxing foot bath of two quarts warm water mixed with a half cup of Epsom Salt. The Epsom Salt Council advises massaging the whole foot, including heels and ankles, followed by rinsing and drying the feet.

It also suggests mixing half a teaspoon of Epsom Salt with a facial cleanser for a deep pore cleaner.

*Strengthen Nails

Instead of buying a nail hardener, make one on your own.

Start with clean, polish-free nails and use a cotton ball to apply this Do It Yourself hardener: three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, one egg yolk and three teaspoons of olive oil. Saxton recommends applying the homemade nail hardener to the whole nail, including the sides and corners of the nail, which are prone to break or chip. Leave the mixture on your nails for an hour, followed by a hand washing and hand cream application.

*Protect Eyelashes

Lots of women wear fake eyelashes, but what can you do if you don't want to get them wet while bathing? "Apply Vaseline above your eyebrows before showering to create a barrier," says McMichael.

*Erase Deodorant Stains

If you're fed up with those annoying white deodorant stains on your clothes, try Gabbard's fix: wiping the stains with a dryer sheet or a baby wipe.

*Eye Shadow Magic

Looking for a new shadow color? Blend a new shade right at home. Hilling suggests combining broken shadows and blushes to "create your own new color."

*Avoid Fragrance Overload

Oversprayed your perfume? The remedy is in your bathroom cupboard. "Apply non-scented lotion, such a Lubriderm, over the spray to lessen the scent," explains Gabbard, who says a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and rubbed on the skin will also "diminish the fragrance."

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