Live cheaply, feel like a million bucks

The holiday season always makes me feel like I should put forth some extra effort and try to look extra nice. Sometimes, like this year, it’s a bit difficult as 90% of my clothing is packed in a 10-foot-deep storage unit, and just my luck, all of it is in the very back. So, while I look like an extremely casual photograph (think Yuengling-pints-and-house-whiskey-shots-bar dress code sort of casual) as we approach the social season (my long sleeve Henley t- shirts will need retirement afterwards) I can at least make sure my actual BODY looks taken care of.

Winter always makes me want to scrub down vigorously and then soak in a tub of warm almond oil drizzled with rose oil. I hate itchy legs. After every ounce of moisture has been sucked out of the air by all the snow and heaters the front of your shins look crackly and you scratch constantly. I really hate that. I also hate rough, dry feet and dry, frizzy hair. I am lucky in that I own a small soap and body care company and can grab some product or whip up a quick solution to the itchies. Most people cannot or do not know how to combat winter dryness without buying some good pre-made products. Admittedly, a good, natural scrub will work best, and a lovely natural moisturizer also works best, but hey, we’re trying to be cheap here!

Scrubby, scrubby in the tubby!

I do make a wonderful salt scrub for my company, and it works very well, rinses nicely without leaving you too oily (and smells awesome), but you can make something that works very well at home with some things you probably have in your cupboard. Since you don’t have certain ingredients, it won’t rinse off as nicely or easily, and it won’t stay well mixed, but if you make a small batch to use as you need, you’ll be happy with the results.

About 1/4 to maximum 1/3 of a cup of scrub is all you need for one use. This will give you approximately 1/4 cup.

  • 1/8 cup of one or a combination of the following: extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, even canola oil in a pinch!
  • 1/8 cup sea salt or raw sugar, and again, in a pinch, regular salt or sugar will do
  • a couple of drops of essential oil like peppermint, lemon, tea tree, or whatever suits your fancy (optional, especially if you use the coconut oilas it smells awesome)
  • Very small squirt of a natural liquid soap (also optional, but helps with the rinse off)

If the coconut oil is solid, you can put it in the microwave for a couple of seconds (I mean very few, as in 5-7) to soften it up and then just mix everything together in a non-breakable dish and take with you to the shower. Be extra careful, this leaves your tub or shower stall very slippery, not to mention the container you have it in. If you use a ceramic or glass bowl, stepping on broken glass in an extra-slippery shower while naked won’t make your holiday memorable in a good way.  Standing out of the water, scrub very gently, paying attention to rough spots, rinse and pat dry, leaving the residual oil on your skin.

Are those chicken feet?

Tough, thick soles and callouses are great for someone living like a native out in the bush somewhere, but if the boyfriend, or girlfriend, offers to give you a foot massage, you want those piggies to look sweet and soft. If you live in an urban area, you walk a lot, and during the holidays, especially, women walk a lot in heels. Add in winter dryness and you have lots of calloused, white, dry, scaly feet. Trust me, that is not an attractive quality in these parts.

There’s an easy solution, but you have to do it regularly so your feet always look inviting. Remember the oils you used for the scrub? Before bed, grab one of them, extra virgin coconut or olive oil being your best bets, grab a couple of baggies, the plastic bags you put your veggies in at the grocery, or even some plastic wrap, and some socks. Make sure your hooves are clean, slather on that oil, put on the baggies or plastic and slip socks over that, and go to sleep (an added benefit is your feet will be warm). During your morning shower, use your pumice stone. You’ll find the rough skin and callouses are softened and easier to smooth off and your hooves will once again become feet. If you do this once a week, you’ll never have nasty feet, and always be Ready Freddy! for a relaxing foot rub, sans socks.

I love Gilda Radner, but don’t want to look like Roseanne Roseannadanna

Hair gets dry in winter, just like your skin. Grab some of that extra virgin coconut oil (are you seeing a trend here?) or olive oil, rub a few drops between your palms, and smooth through your hair. If your hair is really fine, just do the ends. I also leave conditioner in my hair after I wash it.

You know what else that coconut oil is great for? Removing makeup! It’s gentle, natural, and if I see you using baby oil, I’m going to smack you myself. Mineral oil? In your eyeball? Seriously. Don’t make me come over there.

Hey, I love the holidays. I just can’t afford to spend like I’m getting a money tree for Christmas. You don’t have to, either. Look naturally hot and don’t spend all that money on an $80 body exfoliator. Spend it on me, instead. You know, Christmas cheer and all that?

No? Well, it was worth a shot!

Cheap Love,

Gloria