10 budget beauty hacks every Singapore woman must know

Counting your coins and budgeting your beauty? #SadSmiley. Happily, I'm a grooming god with (just about) all the answers, so read on for a flurry of fantastic beauty hacks that should please the penny-pinching budget barbies out there. Enjoy!

1. Use your night moisturiser as a power-packed pre-cleanser.

That pricey pot of fancy face cream you blew your bonus on is giving you pimples. What now? Don't toss it out! If you suspect a cream is too rich for all-night use, slap it on before cleansing, let sit for five minutes, then take it all off. Beauty bonus: You'll find that your warpaint slides off that much easier too, thanks to the extra lubrication.

2. Ice, ice baby.

I swear by this incredibly "cool" if strange-sounding beauty hack: Simply "ice" in the morning. Hold a cold compress against your cheek for a minute or so, then pat dry. The plunge in temperature shrinks the skin's blood vessels and takes care of puffiness, pores, ruddiness and such for instant Insta-ready skin.

3. Ask for more seaweed with your hawker centre fish soup lunch.

Don't forget to eat your sea veggies! This marine manna is so very good for you. The most direct beautifying benefits? Seaweed boasts a stress-alleviating stockpile of B-vitamins that bolster your body against fatigue by fortifying your adrenal glands - and this in turn will help to soothe stress-induced skin sallowness. Ask the canteen auntie for an extra spoonful in your fish soup the next time you're lunching!

4. Lengthen the longevity of lip gloss.

It's time to embrace the limitations of lip gloss - all very Zen, but bear with me.What I mean is that we should aim for a medium sheen instead of full-on shine. Here's how. First, press your gloss applicator into the centre of your pout, then slide it back and forth in one smooth pendulum-like movement.

Wait a beat, then apply a second coat. Once you're satisfied (keep in mind that, like a mood ring for your mouth, most stains will deepen in depth over the course of a day), blot softly with a sebum-absorbing sheet - the oils in glossy formulas are the main culprits of colour slippage. And voila, a Goldilocks-esque stain that hits the sweet spot between wet and matte, with the added benefit of being long-lasting to boot.

5. A milky treat for a milky mien.

My household's magical ingredient? Milk of magnesia. While it's meant to allay tummy aches, my little trick involves slapping it onto my skin to radically reduce the redness of rashes. How on earth does this embarrassingly simple solution work? As it turns out, the active ingredient in milk of magnesia (impress your chemist by saying "magnesium hydroxide") is an excellent anti-inflammatory, making it great for balancing out blotchy skin. Simply dab onto affected areas, relax and kick off your kitten heels for a couple of minutes, then rinse off for smoother, softer skin.

6. Try before you buy!

Remember: The early bird catches the cream. Aim to arrive at the cosmetic aisles in the first hour of the store raising its shutters, when shoppers are sparse and you're more likely to receive rapt attention from the counter crew. Beauty bonus: When foot traffic is light, the makeup consultant on standby will also be more likely to throw in a full face makeover, if that's what you're gunning for as well.

7. Extend your extensions' shelf life.

"Eye" know how you like 'em: The longer and thicker, the better. (Yes, we're talking eyelash extensions here.) To make your falsies last longer, always peel away the gluey goop sticking to the spine after use. These clumps are a cesspool of bacteria build-up, and can weigh down upon and warp the natural curves of your eyelash band.

To circumvent this sorry state of affairs, simply use a pair of tweezers to take off the glue, paying special attention to the inner and outer corners, where grime tends to gather. Bonus tip: Be extra careful during application by always keeping within the line of the spine - getting glue onto the hairs will mean the sticky kiss of death for that particular pair of falsies. Cheers to fluttering those falsies and faking your way to a fabulous time!

8. Do this with your eyes wide open.

If you're particularly puffy from pulling too many all-nighters, try this neat little "eye-xercise" after applying your eye cream. Using clean fingers and starting from the inner corners, press gently for about five seconds. Inch outwards at five-second intervals: Five seconds of pressure close to the tear ducts; five seconds at the midway point directly below your pupils, and a final five seconds at the tapering end of your lash-line. This prodding of your pressure points prompts further fluid drainage, plus it'll feel pretty darn good after a long day of eyeballing your electronic devices.

9. Mix your very own lip balm.

Here's my super quick and super dirty recipe to transform any cream into a lip-loving lotion: Dump equal parts moisturiser and Vaseline jelly into a clean mixing bowl, give it a good stir, then stash the slurry into an airtight jar. Tadah! Your very own pucker-pampering treatment.

10. Nail whitening, anyone?

Here's the "dark" side to pitch-black polish: All those goth greens and midnight blues will stain your nails a sickly shade of yellow the morning after, in a process that's similar to how downing coffee, tea and other blackish brews can cause tooth discolouration.

The trick to restoring your nails to their pristine pink state is the exact same as that for your pearly whites: Hydrogen peroxide by way of teeth whitening strips. Head to your nearest pharmacy and ask for off-the-counter hydrogen peroxide. (Scrutinise the label to make sure it doesn't exceed the three per cent concentration threshold; any greater and there's no guarantee you wouldn't well, get your fingers burnt.)

In any case, mix one tablespoon of said three per cent bleaching agent with about two tablespoons of baking soda. This creates a paste that you can plaster like polish over your nails. Wait a couple of minutes and wash off for perfectly pearly nails. Genius, yes? Told you I had "talon" for this sort of sorcery.

You know the drill: Spill the #deets if these tricks work for you, and do me a favour by sharing this story with your fellow beauty buddies. Cheers to "priceless" complexion!

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