Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, may have hit women where it hurts most when he unveiled this year’s budget. Increased excise duty on cosmetics and beauty products by 10 per cent is a big setback for women. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t survive.
Here are 10 pocket-friendly make up tricks for Kenyan women on a tight budget.
1. Egg white facial
You can put all your eggs in one basket, but don’t boil or fry all of them. Use some egg white as an easy mask to temporarily tighten pores, thus reducing chances of blackheads and dealing with those pesky breakouts. Egg whites are also rich in nutrients for your skin, and are a little less drying than some other home remedies for blackheads. Get it, black head?!
2. Charcoal boils more than just githeri
Charcoal can boil your nyoyo (githeri) and also double up as a beauty product for clearer skin. It clears blackheads and removes pore-clogging dirt, as well as opening up the pores.
3. Mkojo moisturiser
Yes. You read that right! Pee is being used as moisturiser, as it has been since Julius Caesar was Emperor of Rome. ‘Urine therapy,’ as it’s called, has a long history as a skin-conditioning treatment. Beginning in Indian culture at least five centuries ago, the use of urine made its way to the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and is now in Kenya, where your bursting bladder can save you money for chama!
4. Mnazi deodorant
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which kills odour-causing bacteria. Dab a little oil under your armpits to stay fresh (and smell good) all day. You can also try making your own homemade coconut oil deodorant, I tell you!
5. Sellotape contouring
You simply place the tape as guideline around the areas you want to apply foundation that is darker to your skin tone. Once applied within the tape, you peel it off and apply a lighter shade of highlighter or foundation and blend. Then ta-dah! You are left with Kylie Jenner-esque cheekbones!
6. Aspirin for acne
Aspirin is typically used to cure headaches, but it apparently works wonders on acne too. The pain reliever is a form of salicylic acid, proven to ‘reduce swelling’, ‘unclog pores’ and ‘soften thick, scaly skin’. An experienced woman knows how to crush five tablets and mix the powder with a tablespoon of plain, full-fat yoghurt and honey, to create a ‘soothing and moisturising’ face mask.
7. Bye bye, eye pencil
Thousands of women are turning to permanent make-up, also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, as the answer to their beauty problems: a hustle-free alternative to applying eyebrow pencil, eyeliner or lip liner every day. It’s used particularly by older women, as eyebrows can become thin and lips can lose their definition with age, but now the young ones are embracing it to stop spending too much on eyeliners.
8. Honey and milk adhesives
Both milk and honey have properties that are good for skin. Honey has antibacterial properties and the lactic acid in milk is said to help keep skin soft and supple. When mixed together, they form a formidable adhesive.
9. Oil and avocado hair mask
Mix two tablespoons of honey with a medium-sized avocado and apply to dry hair for 20 minutes. Your hair will be moisturised by the avocado’s unsaturated oils and the honey’s moisturising qualities.
10. Glue si ya mbao
While it’s not advisable to use glue on any part of your body, it’s one of the best products to open pores for a thorough, clean as well as remove black and white heads.