How To Live On $0 A Day: Keeping Up Appearances -- Revising Your Beauty Regimen

06/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Probably the most jarring thing about going broke is the effect it can have on your appearance.

Imagine the horror of realizing that those one inch gray roots you're sporting aren't going away and you can't afford to continue paying Monsieur Groovy Pants $120.00 plus tips to fix it. Needless to say, the panic and loneliness are mind-bending.

Or worse, those doggone "elevens" between your eyebrows come back and you start to look as worried as you really are. What do you tell the children?

But poverty doesn't have to age you if you're creative.

If you have scientific tendencies, you can always grow your own botulism toxin. In fact, you may have some growing in your refrigerator or cupboard right now. Keep your eye open for bulging cans and jars. If you don't have any botulism lying around, improperly jar or can some food (old fruit and vegetables found in the nearest dumpster will do), wait two weeks and you're good to go. Click here for self-injection tips.

Cut and dye your own hair. Give yourself some really heavy bangs if you feel uneasy using homemade botox. Sure, dying and cutting your hair for the first time is a little scary. But if you've watched a few episodes of "Shear Genius", you probably know all you need to know.

Consider the advantages. Trying new things keeps you young. The rush of fearful adrenaline is exhilarating (particularly now that you can't afford coffee). Styling your own hair is one of the few creative outlets you can afford to pursue. Unlike your retirement account, your hair will grow back if you screw up.

Which leads to the beauty and splendor of scarves. Chances are, you've still got a few designer scarves tucked away somewhere in the bottom of your drawer. Now's the time to dig them out. In a pinch, an old pashmina or Ikea dish towel will do.

Here are a few examples of how a scarf can be used in your beauty regimen:

A poorly executed haircut or dye job can be camouflaged by creative use of the scarf. Click here for stylish scarf wrapping ideas that won't make you look like a chemo patient, hippie or mammy (not that there's anything wrong with it).

You've finally scraped the last molecule from your $500 dollar Kanebo neck cream, your neck is starting to resemble a shar pei, and you've already sold all your cashmere turtlenecks on ebay.

Of course, the scarf can also be used to mask other cosmetic issues such as deflating lips, the "elevens" between the brows, even crows feet and drooping eyelids. Use your discretion to determine how liberally you wish to apply your scarf. Always make sure the designer logo is in plain sight. It'll make you look classier.

To learn about more invasive do-it-yourself cosmetic procedures, see my article about duct tape.