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Friends' tales of backpacking through Bali, spending weekends in the Hamptons, or wintering in St. Kitts are enviably enticing, though they might be fewer and farther between these days as everyone opts for staycations over vacations.
Take a break in a more affordable and accessible destination — Veranda Beach, also known as your backyard, patio, or three-season room — with these best-value health & beauty products. They'll send you packing on a tropical, Proustian daydream for just pennies on the dollar as summer days soon turn into crisp, cool fall evenings, perfect for an at-home spa on a Shoestring.
ECO CHIC CANDLES
As the days get shorter, shed light on your escape with these all-natural Sophia Luxury soy candles from maddison avenue, available in scents like Tahitian black ginger, island mango, pineapple paradise, coconut lime verbena, and hibiscus passion Not only will you be saving some hard-earned dough by opting for candlelight over electricity, you'll be doing it in a romantic, green, and responsible way. These candles are made from pure soybean wax, and are free from paraffin, lead, and other ingredients harmful to your health and the environment. (from $6.95, for 2oz. travel tin with 20 hours of burn time, maddisonavenue.com)
CENTSABLY CARIBBEAN SIPS
Coconut water has been all the rage this summer with the "in" crowd, but just because we’ve said adieu to August doesn’t mean we need to nix the tropical beverages, too. Try Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water for a nutritious and refreshing treat that's high in calcium and potassium, giving this water—which you just pop open and sip (we recommend it cold)—added value and flavor, for less than half the price of an umbrella-laden cocktail. ($24 for a 12-pack of 11 oz. bottles, Amazon.com)
LUSCIOUSLY BUDGET BALMS
Losing your favorite lip gloss — in the sand or just in your purse — is always a bummer, but these two staycation-scented products for lips are just $2 or under, which means stocking up won't break the bank. Cococare Cocoa Butter Lip Balm ($1.25, amazon.com) and Coconut Crazed lip gloss tins ($2, eyeslipsface.com).
We absolutely love this Coconut Cream Body Scrub from The Body Deli — it's completely fresh and all natural, so much so that you have to keep it in the fridge, which is how it got its name as "fresh food for the skin." Although it's on the pricey side, you'll use it so sparingly (a little goes a long way) that it's worth more than twice every penny. Every Veranda Beach vacation deserves the feeling of a little sand between the toes, too. ($28, thebodydeli.com)
PERFECTLY TROPICAL PERFUME
When you return to the office after your stint in Veranda Beach, wear a bit of this Pacifica Bali Lime Papaya Solid Perfume to transport yourself back to that rejuvenating, tropical paradise. This eco-friendly perfume won’t make a dent in your wallet (solid perfumes last forever) or purse (small and portable), plus it's 100% vegan, not tested on animals, and free from parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfites, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosens — harmful chemicals that are currently linked to many health problems. ($9, Amazon.com).
BONUS: GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Hold on to your summer tan — or at least keep your skin silky soft — with Origins Shedonism Deeply hydrating body butter. The shea butter, sweet almond, and coconut oils hydrate your skin while the jasmine, mandarin, and basil scents will truly transport your mind to Veranda Beach. The Shedonism line has been discontinued, but you can buy discontinued Origins products (sometimes at deep discounts) through Estee Lauder's Gone But Not Forgotten program . Also, while you're on the Origins website, enter the Origins "Leave it all Behind" Sweepstakes for a chance to win a real tropical getaway to Los Cabos, Mexico. ($32.50, origins.com)
Story & Image: Copyright 2009, Shoestring LLC.