Look Great for Holiday Parties Without Breaking the Bank


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Find out how to look your best on a budget this holiday season.

This article by Jamie Simmerman comes from MoneyNing

Especially for women, preparing for holiday parties and functions can get expensive. A new dress, shoes, accessories, jewelry, spray tanning, facials, makeup, hair… All that primping can add to a hefty price tag. With a little DIY attitude and a few hours, you can reduce the cost of looking great for the holidays. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Hair tips for less

1. Coconut oil. Dry, dull locks are common around the holidays. Cold weather, decreased moisture in your home due to your furnace, hot showers, and too much coloring or heat styling all take a toll on your hair. To perk up your winter looks for a party, try coating your hair in coconut oil. This organic treatment is a cream-like substance at room temperature, but quickly turns to a liquid when scooped from the jar and rubbed into your hair. Massage your ends and scalp well, cover with a warm towel, and let sit for an hour. Wash as usual. Cost: $6.42 at Walmart for a 14-ounce jar (lasts all year). Deep condition and scalp massage at the local spa cost: $35 plus tip.

2. Style your own hair. My hairstylist once told me that nearly all great updos start with some type of pony tail. Well, I can do a pony tail, I just never know what to do with it after that! The Internet comes to the rescue with tons of tutorials on YouTube, or lists like this one with 100 hairstyle tutorials can help you find and create a suitable party hairstyle you can do at home. Savings: $55 plus tip for a special-occasion hairstyle at the local salon.

Frugal healthy skin

3. Get glowing skin with…baking soda? Yes, that’s right, baking soda is good for your skin. Get a healthy glow before your party by mixing up a paste of baking soda and water and rub it into your face with gentle, circular motions. Leave the mixture in place for five minutes then rinse off with warm water. Savings: $55-$100 (plus tip) for a salon facial.

4. DIY tanned skin is easy at home. Need a little healthy glow to go with that new party frock? You don’t have to bake in a tanning bed or resort to a salon spray tan. Most women can achieve a healthy look by boosting their own natural skin color instead of going for a deep, dark tan that really isn’t realistic for most skin types. To boost your natural color, try Sally Hansen’s Leg Makeup. You can use it on any exposed skin, not just your legs, for a nice subtle glow. Be sure to let it dry before getting dressed, and you’re set for the night. It washes off in the shower without any residual effects. You can also add a little blush to your cleavage area and the tops of your shoulders for a sun-kissed look. Cost: $11.24 at Walmart. Cost of a spray tan at the local salon: $25.

Frugal party wardrobe ideas

5. Recycle your old dresses. If you can’t afford to go all-out on a new party dress, try sprucing up something you already own. You can alter a garment by changing the hemline, neck line, or sleeve length. You can also change out the buttons, add shoulder pads, or simply have the garment altered by a seamstress to improve the fit. Savings: $50-$500.

6. Borrow from a friend. A great way to avoid investing in a party dress that will hang in your closet and collect dust the rest of the year is to ask a friend to help out. By raiding a friend’s closet for a jacket, blouse, dress, skirt, or accessories, you can put together a nice party outfit without investing a dime. Of course, it would be nice to return the favor for your friend or buy her that scarf she’s been eyeing as a thank-you gift. Savings: $50-$500.

What frugal tips do you have for looking great over the holidays?

Stacy Johnson

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