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Picture Perfect Pretty with Pocket Change

I am on a budget. Yes, times are tough and the economy isn’t great, but I’m always on a budget. When times are good, my bank account suffers. When times are bad, I am pretty much living like a homeless person. I’ve maxed out dozens of credit cards and my husband forced me to cut all of them up. Still, every credit card offer that comes in the mail sweetly whispers in my ear, “C’mon open me. Just one more credit card. You won’t use me much and you’ll pay me off right away. Just buy a few things you really need to survive: a few exfoliating, super-shine lipsticks, organic hair oil, and a battery-packed eyelash curling iron (don’t ask), and that’s it; you’ll never use me again ...”

Yes, folks. One day at a time. I just take it all one day at a time.

It’s awful that my mortgage payments are hard to muster up when I’ve spent it on the latest, greatest, and still-stinky fake tanning lotions, slimy teeth whitening strips, and designer zit-crèmes. But unlike men that may wash their face with old bar of Ivory soap when their feeling a little adventurous and consider Blistex medicated chapstick a luxury; our womanly products are must-have-essentials. What lady wants to sacrifice her girly beauty products just because cash is low? My mortgage payment? At the end of the day, a house really isn’t that cool. And do I really need food and toilet paper? Not if I can’t have my Gucci perfume and MAC lipstick!

But ladies, it’s really not our fault if money is tight, because, let’s admit it: being a woman is just so darn expensive! Not to mention, our beauty products are not something that we can just quit cold-turkey. I’ve never seen a pack of gum to lessen my desire for anti-aging foundations, powders, and bronzers, and I’ve never been able to find a “reduce-the-cravings-for-mascara-patch.” All in all, I don’t think that we women should ever have to cut back or give up our special girl-things that make us look and feel good. But I do, however, think we need to be a little more creative and think outside the box with new solutions for inexpensive beauty alternatives. 

So, how can we save some serious cash-flow and still feel ultra-glamorous? Two words, my friends: Virtual Makeup. Yes, physical makeup is so overrated! What really counts is looking great in our photos. We may slap on a pair of old jeans and beach sandals to go to grab a bite to eat and run a few errands, but do we post these casual, greasy hair-in-a-ponytail and no makeup photos on our Myspace or Facebook profile? No way! Only our best looking mug-shots end up being the sacred Profile Pic! With all the ex-boyfriends and old competitive girlfriends out there in social networking cyber space, there’s no chance we’ll upload our every-day, sweats, T-shirt, and a few zits pics! But with virtual makeup, we can save money and transform our regular pics into gorgeous, professional-looking head shots! Virtual makeup allows us to make easy, natural-looking edits to our photos, so that we can whiten our teeth, remove pimples, get rid of wrinkles, airbrush photos and look ultra-fabulous for pennies!

A new online company called Digital Scrapbooks and More makes instantly downloadable photo editing training that specifically focuses on virtual makeup, called the Digi MakeOver Madness Tutorials. The Digi MakeOver Madness Tutorials has a simple motto; a philosophy that I think we can all appreciate: “Spend $5 … look like $500.” It’s true, as each individual tutorial is ridiculously inexpensive at $1.99 or less, and features super-easy training to make your favorite photos look even better. Convert photos to vintage black and white pics, whiten teeth, get rid of blemishes and wrinkles, digi tan, even airbrush photos (celebrity or not)! And although Digital Scrapbooks and More cannot legally make any guarantees, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made several new random Facebook friends after posting my newly edited pic.

So what if you’re worried that you don’t have photo editing software to follow along with the training in order to apply virtual makeup to your own photos? Don’t despair; you can get a free thirty-day trial of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements through the Adobe Web site. With no hidden tricks or gimmicks, you really, truly can get picture-perfect pretty with nothing but pocket change. And thank goodness, right? Now I can survive one more day without opening another credit card and can avoid being forced into a makeup addiction support group by my husband … if one even exists. I lucked out, I know!

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