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Five Frugal Cosmetics Tricks

From a face treatment with cucumber slices to how to get makeup off at a fraction of the cost of makeup remover--creative ideas to lower your bills at the cosmetics counter, with common household substitutes.

An easy way to clean your hair on one of those days when you haven't a minute to spare is to put a double layer of cheesecloth on your hairbrush and brush your hair vigorously.

You probably know that if the area below your eyes is looking puffy, it's a good idea to lie down for a few minutes with a thin slice of cucumber or a used tea bag on each eye. Incredibly, a major manufacturer of cosmetics launched in 1998 sales of jars of imitation cucumber slices, made of some synthetic and designed to look like slices of the veggie. The price? Thirty-three cents a slice or $8 for twenty-four slices.

To blot your lipstick, use a square of toilet paper rather than wasting a whole tissue.

The cheapest way to remove make-up is to smooth some petroleum jelly over the area and, after massaging it in, use a tissue to get off the cosmetics. (Petroleum jelly is cheaper than baby or mineral oil, which in turn are cheaper than the expensive products the cosmetics industry wants you to buy.) One tissue will suffice for your whole face if you keep refolding it to obtain a clean area of the tissue. This saving of tissues explained in this and the previous hint is good for the environment, too.

You can get cosmetics, fragrance, and body-care products for the whole family at great prices by mail. Yves Rocher is a respectable purveyor (call 1-800- 321-3434). You usually can't use a tester for cosmetics colors or fragrance (the company mails some fragrance samples with its catalogues at times, and sends free sample-sized assortments with your order). However, you can choose cosmetics colors similar to ones you have successfully used in the past. Also, Yves Rocher will accept returns at any time and return your money or send you the alternative products you request. Their products are not tested on animals.

Get a FREE sample issue of Deborah Michelle Sanders' monthly frugality newsletter, THE PENNY ORCHID -- "Thrift with Flair". It's filled with sensible solutions for busy people -- no "recycling dryer lint" hints here. Every issue has a vegetarian or fish recipe and authoritative health news, plus rotating tips to save money in 15 other areas of your life. THE PENNY ORCHID could be described as a cross between Amy Dacyczyn's TIGHTWAD GAZETTE and BOTTOM LINE/PERSONAL. Deborah Michelle Sanders is a retired lawyer who has lived on Social Security Disability Insurance. She has always enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, even without much money. For your free sample issue, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: THE PENNY ORCHID, Attention: Nancy Ralston, PO Box 642335, San Francisco, CA 94164-2335 USA

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