Hey all!

Considering Easter Sunday is in a few days, then a fabulous opportunity to do a Brilliant Frugal Living segment on “Better Philly” at WPHL Channel 17 first thing Monday morning, it occured to me yesterday that a Frugal Mega Spa Day might be in order. (As to the effort required at this point, think “Miss Congeniality” when Sandra Bullock is locked in an airport hangar overnight & beauty technicians do their magic). Would LOVE that scenario personally, but being short one airport hangar (and 57 beauty technicians at my beck & call), I’m going with the next best thing – doing it myself.

If you’re thinking of going for a “let’s try to make people think we look like this ALL the time” look this weekend as well, here are the moves that have given me an outstanding frugal bang for the buck, head to toe.

Okay, first things first. Time for Prep – deciding what is really necessary to do, and what is not. Quick look in the mirror (pre-coffee, no less) tells me it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just touch up, ummmm, everything. Alrighty then…

Haircut: A quickie hair trim is a no brainer & not so tough, been doing it myself for decades. Trust me folks, if I can do it, ANYBODY can. A quick 1/4 inch cut to eliminate split ends is also a smart move before working with any haircolor. Total cost: $0

Deep conditioning hair treatment (pre-color): if you’ve never done this, try it once – you’ll LOVE the way your color looks afterwards. Tresemme has some great salon-worthy conditioning products. Pretty pricey when purchased retail, but still less than a salon. I buy my Tresemme stuff (shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning, etc) at my local discount gourmet grocery, usually find it for about 70% off. Very cool. Total cost for today’s treatment, about $1.

Haircolor: In high school, my hair, courtesy of Mother Nature, would best be described as “black”. With my 25-year reunion rapidly approaching, my hair color would now be best described as “Loreal Mega Browns series in Truffle, combined with Oreor #20 developer”. Fantastic, fast, frugal, effective. Total cost: $4.50, vs. $150 in a salon. Nuff said.

Nails. Gloriosky. I run after two fantastic Energizer bunny children during the day, and bang on a computer keyboard mornings, nights, and anytime the kids allow me a break. Enjoy the visual on what my hands look like. Since I’d like to perpetuate the illusion of looking like an actual GIRL for Easter, it is sooooo time for a manicure. Cuticles, heated lotion treatment, nail tips, filing, polish, boom. done. And hello, thank GOD for fast-drying nail color, as it lends itself well to the non-stop commentary from the other room… “Mommy, can I have a glass of grape juice… Mommy, Robbie is making funny faces I think he needs a new diaper… and my favorite – Mommy…Robbie is trying to put the remote into the fishtank again!” calls from the other room. In a salon, todays hand transformation would easily cost $50. At home, we’re talking more like $5.

Facials – I so love these, and I just finished my eyebrows (I find eating chocolate simultaneously is a great numbing agent), so pain is over, let the pleasure begin! I do everything with the Olay Regenerist line, which I’m completely addicted to. Regenerating Cleanser, Pore Minimizing Thermal Scrub, Eye Derma Pods & Transforming Cream, finishing off (as Michael Caine’s character so perfectly said it…) with “two more coats and a sealant”, my sealant of choice being Olay’s Micro-Sculpting Cream. Got all of my Olay products for roughly 80% off at BB Grocery Outlet in Morgantown, so today’s treatment (yes, in frugalista fashion, I calculate these things…) comes to a total of $2. My freaking face doesn’t know what hit it. However, when I finish up, I ask my highly-perceptive 5-year old daughter: “Does Mommy look different?”, her immediate response (after a brief glance my way): “No. Can I have some more grape juice?” Yokay…Whatever.

Smile Time: Coffee addicts like myself are wise to use a whitening tooth polish, keeps the worst of the “Bold Columbian” effects at bay. Really not bad already, but couldn’t hurt to do a super whitening treatment. Not sure what they cost at the dentist – at home it’s two sets of whitening strips for $2. (bought them for next to nothing at B&B). Good stuff.

With the fabulous sunshine & high temps expected this weekend, briefly considered doing a self-tanning job, I’m in possession of plenty of Loreal self-tanner (GREAT product) and it’s pretty easy to do. Decided against it, but will definitely hit this fabulous stuff later in the month.

Okay, looking *pretty* good. Time to get the outfit ready: Found a GORGEOUS Evan Picone suit in cobalt blue at the Goodwill Outlet in Morgantown, freshly dry-cleaned no less, for $1.50. Great cut, great color – I adore this suit, perfect for Easter.

Shoes: More Evan-Picone – found brand new shoes, again at Goodwill, for $1.50, perfect match for an adorable Kate Spade bag that I recently purchased at the Exton Goodwill for $4.

Okay, hair, face, nails are done, quick dry run with the outfit on, shoes on, handbag in hand. Final Result? Definitely better than I was this morning, feeling far more camera worthy.

Final cost: $14.50 for head to toe frugalista glamour treatment, another $7 for brand new Evan-Picone/Kate Spade Easter Outfit, for a total of $21.50.