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Instant beauty lifts

They say that when the economy tanks, lipstick sales go up. I get that.

When you’re in search of a beauty lift, you can’t always justify a full shopping spree. If the budget’s been stretched and you need a cheaper fix, a new lipstick does nicely.

There are many lipstick-like beauty lifts, however — things that, proportionally speaking, make you feel a whole lot better than what you’d expect the investment to yield. Here are a few I love, most of which you can find locally:

Fake eyelashes

For $25 or less, you can get a set of lashes applied by a professional. If you’re anything like me and have tried to do it yourself, you know why it’s money well spent. The pros at Groom Service at the Hotel @ the Lafayette are my go-to gals for special occasions, and the lashes usually last around five days. Nothing does so much to invigorate my look for so little.

Eyebrow grooming

Whether it’s sugaring or waxing, cleaning up that messy brow line is an instant refresher. Bonus: depending on where you go (like the small mani-pedi place in the strip plaza I frequent), it can take about 5 minutes and cost less than $15. Bonus on time AND money saved.

Shapewear

I wouldn’t wear it every day. Or even all day (if you’ve ever tried, you know how, by the end of the day, you feel your vital organs may fail at any moment). Not worth it. But for special occasions, those waist-cinchers and thigh huggers can make you look like you dropped 5 to 10 pounds instantly. And all the admiration makes up for the torturous wrestling match you’ll have taking it off. You can find decent inexpensive stuff at Target, but check out Blum’s on Main Street in Williamsville for the high-power artillery.

A tan

Yes, we all know tanning is evil. But that makes it even more of a forbidden fruit, no?

Fortunately you don’t have to expose yourself to UV rays to get that golden glow. At Ulta or Sephora (or your nearest drugstore, for that matter) you can find great tanning lotions for under $20 that do the trick quite nicely. Or, if you want a whole-body glow for a special occasion, consider a spray tan. Usually around $25, you can tan as much — or as little — of your bod as you are comfortable exposing to your spray technician.

Still too many chemicals for you? Try Organic Pharmacy Self Tanner, which purports to be clean and non-toxic. You’ll need to order it online and yes, it’s $69 per bottle, but the per-tan price is much lower — and the peace of mind is priceless.

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