- If you need a simple beauty procedure (e.g., retouch for roots, all-over color, trim, simple layers, manis, pedis and facials):
- Consider going to a beauty school. Prices are usually at least half what salons charge. Students are monitored by their instructors, so you don’t have to worry.
- Wait for your salon to offer specials and discounts! Also, ask if there are stylists/assistants in training there that need models! Be a hair model and it will be free or at least cheaper than what you would normally pay for the service.
- Try a franchise/chain – Great Clips, Supercuts, etc.
- Say “no thank you” to service add-ons (hot oil/deep conditioning/scalp treatment). You could even forego the blow-dry and go home with wet hair (if you’re not going anywhere special afterward). Plus air-drying your hair is always better!
- Don’t feel like you have to buy a whole bunch of salon products. If your stylist has used various products on you and suggests you buy them, maybe pick the one that gave you the best results, and if you know you’ll actually use it, buy that one – not all 5!
- Maintain a “low maintenance” hairdo. Don’t get a super short haircut or colors that are drastically different from your natural color – you’ll be at the salon more often. If you must have highlights, try more subtle highlights and only get them at the crown, or just around your face and part.
- Space out your salon visits, like every 2 months or so. Get your hair trimmed a little shorter than usual, so it will last longer! If you are using permanent color, consider demi-permanent. You can wait longer between colorings, because your roots will be less noticeable. It is less damaging too!
- Cut your own bangs. Get a reasonably priced ($20-30) pair of shears (you can get them at Sally Beauty – you don’t have to have a cosmetology license to shop there). Comb your bangs straight down and snip them at little at a time with the shears held slightly angled up. Don't cut straight across because they will look unnatural and possibly uneven. If you don’t want to try this, ask your salon if they do free bang trims!
- At-home haircolor is OK! Celebrity haircolorist, Rita Hazan, even agrees! Just find one a couple shades lighter or darker than what you have. If you have a hard time reaching the back, ask a friend for help. L’Oreal and Clairol make good colors. Use Vaseline around your hairline and ears so you don’t stain your skin. Glazes and glosses, like Clairol Shine Happy, Nice ‘n Easy ColorSeal and John Freida Luminous Color Hair Glaze, add shine and boost color between visits without changing the tone. Also try Clairol Professional Jazzing. It is temporary (with heat), and semipermanent (without heat). Don’t use with heat immediately following a chemical service! You don’t have to mix anything and it can be used on ANY hair! Jazzing also comes in Clear if you just want shine.
Gloss – A little more permanent than a glaze because it penetrates the hair cuticle. Adds shine and adjusts the tone (e.g., gets rid of brassiness). Lasts 2-4 weeks.
Glaze – Less permanent than a gloss because it only coats the cuticle with shine and semi-permanent color. Lasts 1-2 weeks.
- Don’t shampoo more than every other day. Only use a quarter-sized amount of shampoo and conditioner. Leave your conditioner on for as long as you can – it continues conditioning up to 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water. When they are about to run out, stand the bottles on the other end. When there is just a little left, add a little water to use the last few drops! Next time you buy shampoo and conditioner, buy in bulk! Or start using all those little shampoos and conditioners you’ve collected from hotels! But if you have colored hair, use color-safe shampoo so you aren’t washing your color (and money) down the drain!
- Use baby powder on your roots to soak up excess oil between washings. It’ll give your hair more volume too! If you have dark hair, don’t dump it right on your hair (there’ll be too much white and you’ll be able to see it) – put some on your fingertips and work it in that way.
- Need new thermal tools (i.e., flat iron, curling iron, waver, crimper)? Buy “Hot Tools” brand products – they are reasonably priced and work amazingly! Available at Ulta (Watch for sales! They have discounts on styling tools, and everything else in the store, all the time!) or go to www.HotTools.com for more locations in your state.
- Drugstores! Buy inexpensive makeup brands! Who cares if you can’t afford to own all department store makeup? It’s not what you use; it’s how you use it! But if you know there are certain brands or ingredients that you are allergic too – don’t buy those!
- Sephora and Ulta! Buy their in-house brand makeup lines. They’re inexpensive and they carry great palettes with tons of colors to try!
- Visit your local dollar stores and shop the beauty aisle. A lot of dollar stores carry name brand items – I like to buy lip glosses, nail polish and hair accessories there. You can also save on things like cotton balls, nail polish remover, baby powder, facial wipes, etc. Of course, don’t buy anything if it looks old, is open, or the packaging is damaged. Another great place you may not think of to get makeup is Big Lots! You can find great beauty buys there!
- Before you go shopping, take inventory of what you already have at home (in your bathroom, bedroom, purses and car). I have tons of lip stuff – so when I’m tempted to buy some at a store – I tell myself “no, you have all that stuff at home to use up first!”
- Be smart with your money; don’t buy 10 lipsticks, just buy what you need and what you know you will get good use out of. If you really want a wide range of colors, shop brands like ELF, Wet n’ Wild, NYC – you can buy a lot for a little! A lot of drugstore brands have eye shadow palettes of two, three and four eye shadow colors.
- There are certain makeup items you really only need one, maybe two, of: mascara, powder, foundation, concealer, and eyeliner. Use eyeliner as your eyebrow pencil. Use foundation as concealer too.
- Use coupons from your fashion magazines – yes, they’re in there! They’re also in the Sunday paper “insides” for many drugstores.
Making the Most Out of Your Makeup
- When I get to the end of my pressed powders, especially facial powder, I take the end of my powder brush and break/crush the powder so it becomes a loose powder.
- Get the last drops of your concealer and foundation buy adding some facial lotion. I also like using lotion as eye makeup remover! You can also use Vaseline and baby oil as eye makeup remover.
- Get the last of your lipsticks by using a lip brush. Lipglosses have a little plastic “wiper” (I don’t know what else to call it) inside that gets rid of excess gloss as you pull out the wand. Pull this plastic wiper out (use a pair of pliers) and you can reach any remaining gloss!
- Don’t wear makeup on days you don’t need it – it will also give your skin a chance to breathe!
- On days you don’t wear makeup, create natural beauty products using what you have at home: fruits, vegetables, yogurt, eggs, milk, oatmeal, tea, etc. These things are as healthy IN your body as they are ON it! There are tons of recipes online! Here’s a good site: http://www.naturalbeautyworkshop.com/my_weblog/NaturalSkincarerecipes.html
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What are your Beauty on a Budget tips?