Q: I’d like to treat myself but I’m on a tight budget. Any ideas?

A: You can treat yourself by creating a DIY mask for your face. Also, remember that small splurges can feel luxurious. If you’ve got $10, splurge on vegan nail polish. SpaRitual is free of DBP, formaldehyde and toluene and offers an extensive line of lacquers. Depending on where you live, you can score a manicure — that even includes a mini-massage — for under $10. (Usually, these are bigger cities, but it doesn’t hurt to call around and ask about the specials!) Or try Korres Lip Butters, deeply hydrating lip balms that double as blush and come in a variety of colors. Got $20? Splurge on an ultra-moisturizing hand cream or foot cream. Our hands are exposed regularly to environmental assaults like UV rays and chilly, windy weather, and feet take a beating on a daily basis. So pampering them is really a must! Got $30 or $40? Consider a lip gloss that also plumps your pout or an entire set of plumpers.

Q: My acne treatment just isn’t working as well as it used to. What can you recommend?

A: Your skin may have become accustomed to the formula. Look for formulas with higher concentrations of active ingredients. If you’re using a treatment with 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, go up to 5 percent. You also might consider seeing a dermatologist for a stronger prescription. Retinoids are highly effective at treating acne and they repair signs of aging and sun damage, too.

Q: What’s an easy, effective DIY treatment for dry skin?

A: The Daily Green has a great hydrating recipe: Mix 2 tablespoons of real mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon of baby oil. Apply the treatment to any area that feels dry (from your face to your feet). Rinse with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.

Q: What are the latest in-style nail polish colors?

A: In addition to gray nail polish, according to BellaSugar, these are the hottest colors: “hot pinks, mushroom tones, smoky metallics, burnt oranges, deep, intense greens” and purple.

by team
Are you noticing lackluster skin? Saving your makeup for special occasions? Or simply bored with your beauty routine? If your regimen is a big yawn, here are five pointers to perk up your routine.

1. Buy a beauty something. Nothing shakes things up like a new purchase — especially something you wouldn’t normally choose. Get adventurous with a bold red lipstick or a new fragrance. For instance, if you gravitate toward floral aromas, pick something woody, minty or spicy.

Give this season’s biggest trend — gray polish — a try. You can also try mixing your polishes, another hot trend spotted at this year’s runway shows, reports Glamour. This is a great way to get creative and build your own signature look. How to do it? Get an empty bottle of nail polish from a beauty supply store and avoid filling the bottle to the brim so you can easily mix the colors, suggests the magazine. Then, mix away by blending your favorite lacquers.

Other trends? For the eyes, seek out bronze shades and vanilla-gold hues, makeup artist Brett Freedman tells BellaSugar. Also, go for multi-toned mascaras. For the lips, Brett suggests lavender, plum and deep tones.

Still clueless about what to pick out? Ask a friend to recommend a new product or choose one for you. Browse through your favorite magazines and Web sites for more ideas. If you’re looking for a splurge this season, check out our article on luxurious buys. Or get more inspiration with our holiday gift guide.

Product picks:

2. Evaluate your skincare. You might be bored for good reason: Your skin may be looking lackluster because it's time to replace your products. Look through everything you currently use and scrutinize your skin. Is it dull, extra dry or red?

It may be time to adjust your routine. Maybe you need to exfoliate more often or use a gentler scrub. Or perhaps you need a richer moisturizer or a lotion specially formulated for sensitive or irritation-prone skin. See here for ideas to cold-proof your routine. And consider seeing a dermatologist, who’ll examine your skin and make recommendations for an effective skincare routine.

Product picks:

3. Breathe new life into your beauty space. Refresh your beauty corner by clearing out the clutter and redecorating. Organizing is a great cure for idle hands and a sad space. Plus, it helps you see what you need and don't need. You may even rediscover a few products. However, be sure to consult our expiration guide since some formulas may be ready for the trash. And remember that clearing out clutter on the outside seems to do the same thing on the inside —so you might end up feeling calmer all around.

Next, consider creative ways to spruce up your cabinets or counter space to liven up the place — and your beauty routine. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • For lip gloss and other smaller products you frequently use, look for a pretty tray to display these regulars so they’re easily accessible.
  • For perfume, get a small glass tray or use a mirror.
  • At your local discount store, find a few cute bowls to house eye shadow, foundation, blush and cream.
  • Finally find a function for old gift boxes by using them to store your makeup, too.
  • If your eye shadows are individually packaged, stack them in a wide, square vase on your dresser. It’s decorative and functional.
  • Remember to keep products out of the bathroom and car, where the temps are too variable and can hasten your products’ demise.
  • Add a few fragrant candles to promote relaxation and boost your mood when going through your beauty rituals.

4. Treat yourself to a DIY treatment. Nothing revitalizes your skin better than a refreshing facial or skin treatment. You’ll not only feel more relaxed and rejuvenated but you’ll notice improvement in your skin’s overall look and feel. If your budget allows, visit the spa for a tailored treatment. If you’d prefer a less pricey option, do it yourself. Consider your skin’s biggest concern, and go from there. Is it dryness, dullness, acne or excess oil? Here are some great recipes for skin-boosting DIY treatments.

5. Visit the makeup counter and experiment away. Sometimes, getting a different and unbiased perspective — from someone who doesn't know you — can help revamp your look. Be open to suggestions. While you don’t have to go through a routine revolution, you can pick up a product or two for a nice (and comfortable) change. Bonus: You can see exactly how the colors look on you and get a professional makeup application for free. You never know; you just might pick up something that banishes your boredom along with a few tips.

So if you’re stuck in a beauty rut, there’s light at the end of the tunnel — there are various ways to refresh a stale routine. Whether you decide to buy something you typically wouldn’t, try out a DIY treatment or visit your fave beauty counter, you can easily turn your beauty blues into beauty bliss!

See also:

The Minimalist’s Makeup Routine

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Pedicure

Steamy Secrets: At-Home Facial Steaming



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Jurlique Calendula Cream This soothing, non-greasy cream is rich in Calendula and Witch Hazel, to restore and condition delicate skin. "
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"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."