Cosmetics are expensive, fact. With foundation regularly costing £20, good shampoo and conditioner coming to over £5 and even moisturiser costing near the same, prices soon add up. One day last year, when my bank balance reflected a Millennium Dome scale crisis, I decided to start making cosmetics myself and here I am to share my wisdom with you…

Instead of forking out on exfoliators and body scrubs, make your own. For a base, take equal parts of sugar to olive oil and add some scents. Honey is fragrant, but I prefer to add lime and lemon juice for that ‘wake me up’ zesty smell. Not only is this a smart beauty product, but also put in a nice jar with some ribbon makes a thoughtful, cheap present.

There are dozens of recipes for conditioners; egg whites, mayonnaise, honey (my favourite), but to give your hair a little extra shine, pour on two tablespoons of malt vinegar and rinse thoroughly. Somehow smelling of a chippy makes the shine less attractive!

Run out of dry shampoo and haven’t got time for a shower? Combat grease with a little baby powder or talcum powder on the roots for blonde hair and a dusting of bronzer for brunettes. Job done.

Not only are they delicious, but strawberries should be your new beauty staple. Save yourself money on expensive teeth-whitening toothpastes; mix a little mushed strawberry with your toothpaste and brush. Their acidic nature has been proven to whiten teeth. Baking soda is more commonly suggested, however, this can be a little harsh on your teeth.

Here’s another strawberry trick! Replace acne products with ¼ cup of fresh strawberries and ¼ cup of yoghurt. Spread on your skin, leave for 15 minutes and rinse. Strawberries contain salicylic acid, which is an ingredient commonly found in skin treatments.

A quick Google search will give you hundreds of facemask recipes, but my favourite is with avocado. This is great for those of you with sensitive skin. Mix avocado, yoghurt, honey and a little cream; spread on; leave for 15 minutes and wash off. If you’re on a really tight budget, using olive oil on your skin has similar effects – although I’m not sure the smell and texture would be quite as nice.

Pick up some cheap rose petals, pack a cup tightly with them and pour boiling water over the top. Leave until the liquid is cool, strain the water out, refrigerate and you’ll have yourself a cheap, scented toner.

If you’re a nail-varnish abuser and have been left with stained nails, soak them in hot water with a slice of lemon and watch them brighten up. Lemon juice can also help sort out patchy fake tan.

If you’ve had a night out on the town and are feeling worse for wear, all you want to do is get better, pronto! For an effective detox, make yourself a hot water and slice of lemon in the morning; both refreshing and cleansing. If you have puffy hangover eyes, try the classic cucumber slices on your eye lids. Slices of potato also work great.

When a friend suggested this to me, I was skeptical. If you struggle to walk in heels, rub a little vodka on the balls of your feet and you will see miracles. Don’t ask me to explain how this one works but trust me, it does!

Remember, no amount of products will help you if you’re loading your body with takeaways and fizzy drinks. Drinking plenty of water, green tea and getting your 5-a-day is unrivalled for health benefits, so pay as much attention to the inside of your body as you do the outside!

Written by Lauren Cope