I bought some yummy chocolate covered muesli bars recently & after finishing them I realised that I could have saved some money by having peanut butter or nutella on rice or corn thins. And also I would not have consumed so many unnecessary calories. And I think that with staying, or...becoming...youthful, we need to look at these little details. Nutella probably isn't the healthiest choice, but my very yummy muesli bars I bought were in a packet from a shop shelf, keep pseudo-fresh by use of chemicals. Chock full of artificial sweeteners. These artificial additions to our food do nothing really to increase our vitality, in fact, I often feel that they block our vitality by interfering with our body's processes, the natural chemical reactions of our body. So one of the first things that we can do, that fits in with a budget, is look for food choices that have the least chemicals...or.....have the most life force. For example, if you are out & thirsty & your blood sugar is a bit low, so you pop into the diary for a drink: a fizzy drink would have very little life-force, a bottle of fruit juice would have more life-force depending on the juice....because it would have more vitamins....an apple would have the most life force because it is fresh & not tampered with, unprocessed. With it you could have a bottle of water. Choices, choices!! As we went down through these choices, we came closer & closer to youthful type foods, which are always the foods with the most life-force & which are also the best for you. (and the best was the cheapest). Even cheaper would have been to take a piece of fruit with you & fill up a water bottle from home.
In my research about anti-ageing, I read of a woman aged 69 who looked fantastic, with beautiful skin & a toned face & neck. She said that she had not had good skin in her 20s & 30s. About 20 years ago, she started having porridge made with just 3 tablespoons of oatbran, & low fat milk, for breakfast every day, for health reasons. Then when she went through menopause, her iron levels dropped, so she started having chicken & spinach, every night for dinner. She never varies her breakfast & dinner, & said that since she had been doing this, her skin became lovely & stopped ageing. Oatbran & milk are cheap. And if you can't afford spinach, it's always possible to grow a pot or two of iron-rich silverbeet instead. I buy organic milk...but when my finances aren't so good, I buy the cheapest. Do the best that you can.
Make-up: I met a very glamorous & gorgeous young woman recently, & me being me...I just had to ask her about her makeup. The surprise was that she used a Garnier BB cream from the supermarket & a face powder from K-Mart that was only $3...honestly!! I raced off to K-Mart & found the powder but they were out of my colour.....And talking of K-Mart...they have cheap, effective face wipes, just $3, & I know quite a few women with nice skin who use them.
I knew a woman who looked many years younger than she actually was: she dyed her own hair & used a tinted moisturiser from the supermarket. She only ever used the same lipstick which was from the Constance Carroll range, very cheap. That range might be now discontinued. Twice a year she bought a mascara & eyeliner pencil in the Avon sales. I would do that too once but now I only go for make-up & skin care which is Cruelty-free. A friend says to use Designer Brand as it is cheap, good, & not tested on animals. Find out what looks good on you, & stick with it in a cheaper brand. At present I'm using 2 lipsticks from my sister's bathroom cabinet..the best "shop" that I know of.
I would always recommend dyeing your hair yourself, unless of course, you have lots of money to spare. Basically you go by the number on the packet. I was using Miss Clairol number 6...they put another number in front of the 6, so it might have been 116. Now I prefer Garnier number 6, because it looks better on me. If you have cool colouring you can use a number which has the number 1 after it. So if Garnier had a 6.1 & I was a cool colouring, I would use that one. Or, for cool colouring, look for the word "ash", for warm coloured skin look for "golden".
In a pinch, you can even cut your own hair. Which I did recently, following a friend's directions (and, incidentally, these are the same directions that Helen Mirren gave about cutting her own hair!). I pulled as much hair as I could up into a ponytail on top of my head, & cut evenly across the top of it. This created layers. Then I took it down & made a little fringe. Not the best haircut ever, but I have been getting haircuts which look amazing, & I leave the hairdresser's feeling like a million dollars. Two days later I look ratty & sad because it was too complicated for me to do myself. Or I've been blessed with hack jobs. I much prefer my own hack job....for a while, at least.
Skin care: I was at a friend's place, she's a working solo mum who doesn't have much money spare. She has beautiful skin. In her bathroom was a supermarket facial cleanser, a Comvita moisturiser with SPF, and a body lotion from the $2 shop. Just the basics. I have looked at some of those lotions in the $2 shop...& was surprised to find that many of them had less artificial preservatives in them. You can also use grapeseed oil or olive oil. So. after your shower, when you are still wet, rub the oil all over your body, then lightly pat it dry so that you don't wipe it all off. If that sounds too unappealing, you can wet a flannel, tip on a bit of oil & wipe it over your dry body. A lot of the beneficial work of the oils is actually that they seal in moisture i.e. water. So it's helping the oil if there is some water to work with. If your skin is really dry, you can just add some oil to your body lotion. And in Victoria Beckham's beauty & fashion book, amongst all the expensive stuff she uses, was her recommendation for using baby oil as a body lotion.
At present I'm using a cold cream to take off my make-up...just because I hate standing in the bathroom freezing & splashing water over my face, which to me is misery personified. (It's still cold in Auckland!) I bought the cream at a $2 shop. Bargain. And I have convinced myself (so it may or may not actually be true!) that it's making my skin soft. And I'm using a baby body lotion that was in a $2 bin at the Warehouse. I'm feeling most virtuous with all this economy.
I read an article a few years ago, about a local celebrity who always looks amazing. She has used the same Fresh Nivea body lotion & Olay sensitive face cream, for over 20 years. Not exactly top of the range, but she looks great. The whole point is: we don't have to spend a fortune to look good. Looking good, youthful, it's about other things, not about how much money we spend on ourselves.
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