Valdosta Daily Times

July 14, 2013

I love funk ... but I don’t love being funky

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — My lady budgeteers, Beyonce might have said that if he liked it then he should of put a ring on it, but maybe he didn’t put a ring on it because you are in a summer funk. What is a summer funk, you say? It’s when the heat makes you sweat, the sweat makes your face oily, the oil gives you pimples, the humidity frizzes your hair, and you look like an all-around hot mess 24/7.

Too harsh? I kid, of course. I’m sure his lack of commitment has nothing to do with your funk and everything to do with the fact that it’s totally him and he’s just not the man you deserve (we’ve all been there). Either way, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands. Seriously, your hair looks like it just mated with a Swiffer duster. So whether your funk is ruining your love life or your single life, or even if you’re just tired of looking at yourself in the mirror every day, here are some ways to stay fresh this summer ... on a budget, of course!

Baking Soda a.k.a. the Holy Grail

Recently, Hollywood starlet Emma Stone released her numero uno beauty secret to the world. It wasn’t a $200 face cream or even expensive procedures, nope, it was good ole à la Arm & Hammer. That’s right, $1 baking soda! Stone told French Elle magazine that she uses it every day as an exfoliant. Considering Stone has like perfect, glowing skin (even without makeup), I had to try this for myself and let me just say, wow! I started using it last week and I can already tell a drastic difference in the quality of my skin. It’s less oily, looks more vibrant, and is even helping clear up all my pimples caused by summer funk (I’m not ashamed to admit it).

How to use: If you like to be precise, mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of warm water in a small bowl and stir with finger until it forms a soft paste. I just pour some in my hand, drip some faucet water over it, mix it in my hands and lather it on my face. I also do the same thing when using baking soda to wash my chest and back.

The Witch’s Brew

If you’re extra funky like me, you need a toner to go along with an exfoliant. I have used a plethora of expensive products, and if the blow of the price wasn’t bad enough, they didn’t even work that well. Finally, I discovered an all-natural solution right in Walmart: T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel for just under $4 per bottle. I started using it at the beginning of the summer and have even hooked my mom on it. You get 16 fluid ounces per bottle, which lasts forever because you only use a few drops twice per day.

How to use: Put a few drops onto a cotton ball and gently rub all over face. Be sure to focus on your t-zone: forehead, nose, inner-cheeks and chin.

Pimple Elixir

No matter the brand you buy, acne spot treatment is pricey. Even if you buy over-the-counter brands, you’re still looking at no less than $8 per tube. Hey now! That’s more than a 12 pack of Diet Coke. That’s why when I need to zap a pimple; I reach for Equate First Aid rubbing alcohol at just $1.50 per bottle. It’s the best way to just dry those bulky, summer pimples right out. I use it on my face, chest, back and yes, even my legs (again, I feel no shame).

How to use: Put a drop or two of alcohol on a cotton ball and rub only on the affected areas. If you’re just drying up a few, sparse pimples, the drying won’t really affect you, but if you are trying to clear up say your entire forehead, you will notice mild-severe drying. Sometimes sweating can also cause pimples and blackheads in the outer ear canals. I put some alcohol on a Q-tip and rub on the affected areas. Warning! Do not put a Q-tip or alcohol in the inside of your actual ear.

When “Hairy” met Sally ...

During the summer, the humidity makes my hair look like a stack of hay. Again, I turned to Emma Stone to learn how to get her flawless hair. Her solution? Coconut hair masks. What started with hair masks has turned to an all-out coconut milk, hair-product obsession! And the best part? I didn’t buy everything at some fancy beauty store, I got it all at Walmart.

My favorite everyday product is Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. While it’s made to help subdue split ends (which many Southern ladies endure due to the heat), it also helps to regulate my frizz. It’s just under $8 per bottle and because you only use a few drops, it lasts forever! OK, so not forever, but I haven’t bought a second bottle yet and it’s been like six months.

My favorite as-needed product is also Organix, the Coconut Milk Instant Repair Treatment. I use this once a week and it really helps keep my hair smooth. It too is just under $8 per bottle.

I know this sounds like I’m getting paid to do this (haha, I wish), but I just really believe in these products and I believe in the price. In good conscience, I just couldn’t recommend outrageously priced products, no matter how well they worked.

How to use: Use serum on damp, towel-dried hair and work just a squirt or two from ends up to the roots. Be sparse around the roots so it doesn’t look greasy. Blow-dry your hair to finish.

Use the repair treatment as a conditioner after you shampoo.

Leave on for the duration of your shower and then fully rinse.

Well, my sister-budgeteers, I hope these tips help you defeat your summer funk! Don’t forget to Like me on Facebook at and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.