Sunday, July 12, 2009

Make It Yourself Monday: Beauty Products

When The Frugal Hostess suggested a homemade body scrub as part of Miss Georgia Sugar's rehabilitation for Frugallazy, it got her thinking about other beauty products that can be made at home. When she forgets herself at parties, TFH can (uh, somewhat frequently, much to her shame) be found railing about the need to detoxify one's life, so today's ideas nicely tie those ideas together.

[While the narrative suggests that a paragraph or two about detoxifying one's life should go here, The Frugal Hostess has kindly put them at the bottom of the post. That way, she can GO OFF without disrupting your flow. Ommm.]

So, here are some fun beauty products/treatments/concepts to try at home. Any of these could be adapted for a hostess or birthday gift, and you could use several of them for a Girls' Spa Night In. One of our readers, Madame Quist, is hosting just such a party sometime soon, and The Frugal Hostess can't wait to hear about it.

Sugar Scrub:
Put one-third of a cup of sugar in a bowl. Pour a tablespoon of almond or canola oil over the sugar, mixing together. (If you end up using canola oil, you may want to drop in a good-smelling essential oil or some vanilla extract, just to take the fish fry ambiance out of the scrub.) In the shower, scoop some out and rub it on your skin. Presto - exfoliating, moisturizing body scrub. You can do the same thing with salt, if that's what you have. (As usual, TFH reminds you that her measurements are approximate, so don't be afraid to change them. If she ever publishes something that requires very exact measuring skills, TFH will be sure to both call her sister for help and let you know.)

Person Brine Bath Soak:
So, you know how brining meat, especially The Frugal Husband's most excellent pork chops (pictured), makes the meat more tender, moist, and flavorful? Well, this recipe assumes that the same is true for people. So, whip up a batch of Person Brine and feel your muscles get tender, moist, and flavorful. Wait - maybe "relax" is what TFH means. In a hot bath, dissolve two cups each of sugar and salt, along with some cloves (the spice, not the annoying psuedo-intellectual's cigarette) and a drizzle or two of honey. You can also use this recipe for brining a turkey, FYI.

Leftover Egg Mask:

Many dessert recipes call for either just an egg white or just an egg yolk. Rather than tossing whichever one you didn't use to make custard, save it and apply to your face for a mask. Both are purportedly good for treating acne - the whites tighten your skin and the yolks address scarring via Vitamin A. Who knows, but The Frugal Hostess thinks it's better than wasting half an egg.

Homemade Shampoo:
Don't laugh at her, but The Frugal Hostess uses this homemade shampoo all the time. It works well, feels great, and alleviates any guilt about buying chemical-filled plastic bottles of low self-esteem. Fill a clean jar with a cup of liquid Castille soap. Dr. Bronner's is the most famous, available at fine grocers everywhere; and Trader Joe's makes a store-brand version. Add two tablespoons of oil, with almond or sesame oil being preferred. But, truly, any kind is totally fine for your hair. Sprinkle in a few drops of essential oil, shake like hell, and, voila, shampoo. You'll have to shake it every time you use it. In the summer, TFH adds peppermint, which adds a cooling tingle and refreshing scent. In the winter, you might like tea tree oil, which is helpful for dandruff or dry scalp. Feel free to substitute another essential oil for a different fragrance - try coconut, orange, or even citronella if you'd like to remind people of their favorite bug spray. An important note: the container will undoubtedly get slippery in the shower. In fact, The Frugal Husband recently insisted that TFH switch to plastic. No worries; find some of those plastic squeeze bottles that you use for sauce, ketchup, mustard, etc. at the thrift store, or recycle an old shampoo bottle.

Deep Conditioning Treatments:
Wet your hair but don't wash it. Squeeze out all of the excess water, and pull hair back in a bun or ponytail (or comb back short hair). Starting at the hairline, massage a small amount of almond oil at a time into your scalp, covering the whole head. Then, pour a teaspoon or so into your hands and rub them together. Smooth your oil-covered hands over your hair, paying particular attention to the ends. Wrap in a scarf or towel, and let sit for at least two hours and preferably overnight.
OR, if you didn't want to put your leftover yolk on your face, you can mix it with two tablespoons of oil (any old oil will do) and apply it to your hair in a similar fashion for a deep conditioning situation.
OR, if you are getting ready to go on a diet (which The Frugal Hostess strongly discourages) and need to clear out temptations, spread mayonnaise on your head the same way to deep condition. Caution: this may make you hungry.

OK, here's the speech about detoxifying your life, so stop reading here if you aren't into that.

YOU HAVE GOT TO WATCH WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR SKIN!!!!! Whoops, The Frugal Hostess did not mean to get all alarmist, but she feels very strongly about this. Your skin is your body's biggest organ and first defense. According to some reports, as many as 95% of your beauty products contain chemicals that are linked to cancer. Holy crap, right? Here's a good link to the most dangerous personal care ingredients.

WE'RE A BUNCH OF GREEDY BASTARDS! QUIT BUYING STUFF!!!!! Whew, that one was especially exhausting. All TFH is trying to say is, while it's not as easy to make stuff yourself and recycle your jars - not just in the recycling bin but actually reusing them in your day-to-day life - it's also not that hard. If the various reports about the planet's coming exploding-freak-out-implosion are true (jeez, even if they are only one-third true) it only makes sense to get yourself under control now, before necessity forces you to. So, in terms of beauty products, this means that you can make your own shampoo and put it in the same bottle instead of buying a new bottle every two weeks. Now, The Frugal Hostess understands that she has a lot more free time than some, what with being self-employed and barren and all, but she urges you to pick one little thing to stop buying and start making yourself.

Love you!!!!


  1. Dear TFH,

    The Frugal Mom's New Year's resolution this year was "no waste." So far, it's going pretty well, especially in the food department, much to the disgust of the Unfrugal and Very Picky Dad.

  2. Miss Georgia Sugar is vowing to immediately discard all of her Frugallazy ways and start trying to be less wasteful, more dialed in, more in tune with nature.



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