While we’re on the subject of health and beauty, since we talked a bit about getting fit for less last week, let’s take it to the more superficial level. As many females are quite aware, it can take a lot of dolla dolla bills to keep up with the keepup of our looks. Some people put lots of effort into how they look, and this sometimes means spending quite a bit of money on products– makeup, hair styling products, waxing appointments, hair cuts, et etera et cetera.
Now, I am all for lookin’ good, but if you’re struggling to pay your electricity bill, but somehow the most expensive shampoo always ends up in your basket, maybe it’s time to take a step back adjust your priorities.
Now, remember, there isn’t anything more important at the end of the day except that you have a safe, warm, dry place to lay your perfectly coiffed head at night. Remember when we talked about necessities and budgeting? Beauty products are at the bottom of this list, if even. Believe me, I understand that you might have a job where you need to go in with great hair and glowing skin, but you’ve got to feed yourself if you want any chance of having great hair and glowing skin, right?
Okay, so now that we’ve established that maintenance is important but is not necessarily one of those things you should be spending a good chunk of your budget on, let’s see how you can be pretty for less.
1. Assess. See what products you already have, throw out what is bad or what you don’t use anymore. Make a list of what you need. Divide the list into what you absolutely need (foundation, blush, mascara, the most essential hair product for man hair) and what you want (lipsticks, nail polishes, awesome designer eye shadow kits, expensive cologne). Make sure to budget for what you need; every month, if you want to spend some of your discretionary income on splurging on an item, go for it. You should treat yourself to getting what you want, but only if you can afford it.
2. Do you really need all your products to be MAC? Probably not. Would it be awesome? Definitely. But ain’t no one got money for that. Buy the important basics at the best quality level you can afford– your foundation is more important than lipstick, so buy a cheaper lipstick. Get two kinds of hair product– a cheaper one you can use on the daily, and a nicer “BRAND NAME” one you use for special occasions when your hair needs to look awesome.
3. Make sure you’re getting the best deal. A haircut that costs you $68, including tax and tip may be a little excessive if your wince when you pay it. Shop around online or get recommendations from your friends for places. I used to spend $68 for a haircut, tried a new place, got the same cut for $28. You can, too. Now, if you’re haircut is really difficult and you’re BFF with your stylist, by all means, budget and pay for that cut, but maybe you only need it two or three times a year and you can get your trims for way cheaper somewhere else. See what you’re okay with giving up if it’s costing you too much.
4. DIY. Want awesome manicures bi-weekly? Guess what? God gave you two hands for a reason–to do your own nails. If you’re not going to a wedding or some other important, equally dressy occasion, multiple manicures a month are sucking your bank account. Also, Chanel nail polish might be a better chemical composite, but YOU’RE POOR. Can’t afford the $12 to get your eyebrows waxed every 6 weeks? Tweeze them weekly to keep the growth maintained. Make your own face masks– you’ll feel gangsta with a egg mask soaking up the excess oil and getting rid of acne scars on your face, while costing you a whopping 76 cents.
5. Don’t let yourself get sucked in to everything! Those weird booths in the mall that sell that weird stuff that makes your nails shiny? You don’t need to buy it. You can buy a buff bar at your grocery store. ULTA is having a 3 for 1 sale for nail polish? Okay, fine, but there’s no reason to buy the Urban Decay eye shadow box while you’re there. Remember– beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And even if you don’t feel like that’s true, think about this: being pretty won’t make that money you spent on that luxury hairspray come back. Probably.