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City Pulse: How to pamper yourself on a budget

By Bianca Montes
Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.

Nail technician Phuc "Cindy" Nguyen paints a clear coat of polish on Casey Tucker's nails while giving her a manicure  at Pro Nail in Victoria.

Do it yourself

Everyone needs some pampering, and a lack of funds shouldn't keep you from enjoying a little bit of luxury. Thank God for the pinboard styled website Pinterest and its "Pampering on a Budget" pinboard.

The board shows do-it-yourselfers how to mix up clarifying facial masks, create a detoxifying foot scrub and even how to do a professional manicure at home.

One home remedy board showed how to get rid of baggy, dark circles without spending hundreds of dollars on department store cream. Another showed how to make your own Burt's Bees-style lip balm for 8 cents a tube.

You'll need:

• Vaseline

• Cinnamon

• Pure Cane Sugar

Blend the cinnamon and sugar together. Mix one-part cinnamon sugar to one-part Vaseline and stir. Put the scrub in a jar or travel-sized container and scrub away whenever you need a little exfoliating. Just make sure to wash it off when you're done.

The first time I walked into a nail salon, I was about 9 years old, and my mother took me.

Sadly, it wasn't to get my nails done but instead to sit silently in a black swivel chair and watch a nail technician gracefully shape and sculpt my mother's signature red acrylic nails.

I desperately wanted my short, fat fingers to transform into long, thin works of art like my mother's, so I put on my saddest face and waited for someone to notice me.

Lin, another technician, came up to me and asked me if I wanted my fingernails painted. I looked at my mother, and before she could say no, Lin said, "for free."

Lin dipped my fingers into warm, sudsy water and carefully ran a emery board across my nails until they were smooth and round.

She chose a light pink color, and when she was done applying it, she painted a white rose on each fingernail.

I felt like a princess.

It was at that moment I realized the key to happiness wasn't money or a white picket fence - but instead, the art of pampering yourself is where true joy really lived.

If you've had a bad day, get a pedicure. If you feel ugly, have your hair blown out.

Life isn't about smelling the roses. It's about the roses painted on our nails when we're little girls and taking pleasure in our femininity.

So next time you need a little pick-me-up, sit down, relax and pamper yourself.

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