Money & Career

Bring your sexy back (on a budget)

Eight cheap and simple ways to get your groove back

Chatelaine

You don’t need a lot of time or money to feel beautiful. Read on for simple tips to unleash your sexy side.

1. Swap it
Why wince at price tags when you can shop your friends’ closets for free? Score new goods without dropping a penny by hosting a clothing swap party. Put a twist on the traditional clothing swap, where guests exchange items, by asking friends to bring apparel and accessories that made them feel sexy. Make sure you are ready to part with any item you bring! This is a great way to get rid of items you haven’t worn in the last year or two and replace them with an entirely new and sexy wardrobe. Send evites and keep the guest list to a maximum of 20 so that the clothing stays tidy and easy for perusing. Grab a full-length mirror, turn on some music and you’re all set. Tip: donate leftovers to a charitable organization near you.

2. Take it off
A tastefully executed nude photo shoot is a fun way to see your body in a sexy new light. “We spend enough time staring and scrutinizing the things we hate most about ourselves,” says professional photographer Josée Caza, owner of boudoir photography studio Elisir. “A different eye and perspective is a great and creative way to see how others see you – which is always, always a kinder interpretation.” So get a friend or lover to photograph you in a series of beautiful poses in your own home. To improve your pictures, Caza suggests posing in the room with the most natural sunlight instead of using the flash. “Natural light is much more flattering than artificial light, and much more romantic in photographs,” she says. “Instead of using lingerie and high-fashion hair and makeup, opt for bed head, natural makeup and a simple bed sheet for your close up. Every woman looks phenomenal wrapped in a sheet, and you can use one in a variety of lovely ways. Make sure that your photographer is always photographing you from a slightly higher angle, and when posing, remember that a long neck is always more beautiful and feminine, so point that chin up!”

3. Hide it
Renee Rayles, author of The Super, Sexy Mom on a Budget and The Super, Sexy, Single Mom on a Budget, agrees that a woman may need to see herself differently to feel sexy again. “Buy some sexy underwear and bras — even if no on else sees them but you,” recommends Rayles. Get fitted for the right bra size so your girls look their best. If you’re single, wear your hottest lingerie to work or while running errands and you may find yourself smiling at the thought of what’s underneath. If you’re coupled up, saving the look for your partner’s eyes only is a sure way to fire up a hot reaction and watch your sexual confidence flow in return.

4. Fake it
Amp up your look for a night on the town by purchasing fake eye lashes. There are plenty of cheap options to choose from at your local drugstore and they are easy to apply. Trim the lashes if they are wider than your eye, then dip them into the glue provided and using tweezers, place them right on top of your natural lash line. Holding them steady, press over the lashes for about a minute or until the glue is fully dry. Then curl the lashes and apply mascara and eyeliner to make your eyes pop. After you’ve fluttered the night away, remove lashes with a warm washcloth so you don’t lose any of your own hairs. Wipe off any glue that remains on the fake pair before storing them to maximize their shelf life.

5. Rent it
You don’t need to break the bank on a whole new outfit when accessories can help you reinvent the clothes that are already in your closet. Feel sexy with sunglasses on a sunny afternoon. “If you are ever out and don’t have time to get ready,” says Rayles, inexpensive sunglasses “always make you look fresh and sexy.” Plus, these days you don’t have to splurge to carry around the latest designer bag. Try a website such as Got 2 Have It Handbags or Jenny Fleur and rent a designer handbag for a fraction of the cost of buying one. Bags are authentic, in good condition and can be shipped across Canada. Ideal for big occasions, you’ll be the envy of your friends for two weeks and then you can trade the bag in for another new look.

6. Soak it in
Make a date with your body to help you feel sultry (on the cheap), proposes Caza. Grab your biggest, fluffiest towel, close your bathroom door and put the stopper in the bathtub. Run warm water and slowly pour shampoo or body wash under the tap. This creates the perfect amount of bubbles – sans expensive bath products. Enjoy your soothing bubble bath for as long as you like. To up the sexiness factor, sip on a glass of wine while you relax.

7. Work it out
If having the time for gym classes is a distant memory, an at-home workout is perfect for you. Just get on the Internet, hit up your favourite video-sharing website and type in any exercise you’re interested in. A cardio workout routine, a quick abs tutorial or a Zumba fitness class are popular examples of exercises you can do without leaving the room. Many videos are catered to women who have 10 minutes a day or less. Need more motivation to sweat? Husband and wife trainers Peter and Edna Perieira explain that “women who work out regularly become aroused faster and are able to reach a more intense orgasm because exercise increases blood flow throughout the body.” They also share another budget-friendly workout idea: sexercise. “For every 15 minutes of sex, a 180-pound man can burn approximately 90 calories, and a 130-pound woman can burn approximately 60 calories – proof that a lengthy love-making session can be considered an effective cardiovascular workout!

8. Keep it a secret
Don’t let being tight for cash put a damper on your libido. Sex therapist Teesha Morgan hosts the The K-Y Intimacy Experiment, providing homework assignments to help Canadians “inject sexiness into relationships without having to spend the money on elaborate dates and gifts.” One of Morgan’s effortless tips is to send naughty text messages or emails. “Little things,” she explains, “can add to a woman’s overall sense of sexiness.” If there is no one at the moment worthy of a sexy message from you, swing by the library and discover erotic literature or poetry instead.

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