As I stood staring at my bathroom sink, at the dozens of bottles, tubes, pencils, and tools, I realized that I only use about ten of these regularly. I could easily toss out (or use up) most of these beauty items and toiletries, never buy them again and still have everything I need to take care of my skin and hair. On top of the fact that I could easily pare down my beauty treatments to a dozen items, the good news is, they are all very affordable.
#1: Body wash I like to change body wash based on what is on sale. When nothing is in sale, I get suave naturals. Right now, I am using Pure and Natural body wash. I never pay more than $3.00 for a bottle and I use it sparingly so that a bottle lasts 2 weeks to a month.
#2:Tooth Paste I am not fussy here either, but prefer something that fights cavities and plaque and is on sale. Spending a little more on toothpaste can save a lot later in the dentist chair.
#3: Toothbrush I purchase a new electric toothbrush every 2 years and new head every 2 months. These keep your teeth squeaky clean and I never need whitening.
#4: Tea tree oil I cannot live without this tiny bottle of inexpensive oil that heals scrapes and blemishes. When I have eczema flair up, I pour a couple of teaspoons into my body wash and mix. When I get excess dandruff, I pour it into my shampoo. A little goes a long way.
#5: Cetaphil face cleaner This gentle face cleanser can be purchased in store brand if necessary. It can be used with or without water and cleans skin gently and thoroughly. I keep it in the shower and use on my body if I get a little sunburn or skin irritation. It is non-allergic. You don’t need a face mask if you use a washcloth to exfoliate your face.
#6: Cetaphil lotion This lotion firstly is a nice compliment to the facial wash, but it can also be used all over the body, including the face. This saves me from buying a separate facial moisturizer. It comes in cream and lotion forms.
#7: Treseme Shampoo and Conditioner In college, I used Treseme as a body wash in addition to shampoo. The bottle no longer instructs you to use as a body wash, but if you run out, you should know that Treseme is a great body wash in a pinch. You are of course entitled to your favorite brand, but I have tried many over the years, and for them money, I believe Treseme is best (even for African American hair).
#8 :Mani/Pedicure kit It is either this or expensive trips to the nail salon. Skip the polish. It just wears off. Instead, get a set with a fingernail clip, a toenail clip, a file, and a buffer to make your nails shiny.
#9: Jojoba Oil or Coconut oil These natural oils absorb into the skin and hair shaft, improving strength, appearance, and overall health. Use a tiny bit on your scalp regularly (for African Americans), and on he ends of your hair. It also helps to smooth rough patches. These oils also do a good job of removing makeup without causing blemishes.
#10: Shaving kit Everyone needs to shave something. For women, a depilatory crème is nice. Men must be able to choose whatever they are comfortable with.
#11: Hydrogen peroxide: This cleans ears, works as a skin toner, and cleans cuts and scrapes. It is a must-have item in any home. It is more gentle than typical store bought astringents and gets the job done.
#12: Hair utensils For some, that is a comb and a brush. I also use a flat iron to tame my naturally twisted hair when it wants to stand straight up.
Splurge item: Makeup kit. What? Women need this splurge item, even if it is just foundation, lip color and mascara,. Just keep it simple. I like mineral foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, lip color/gloss, mascara, and (false eyelashes). There are of course some brushes and tools in the makeup kit. Keep it contained by purchasing a small makeup bag or basket and making sure you don’t have more than you can fit in it.