I love buying beauty products. All the pretty scents and exciting colors…the promise of a new, glamorous, and alluring look. Even in a recession, women want to look good. And it’s not just a frivolous thing. Studies show, attractive women are more successful professionally. That doesn’t mean looking like a model or movie star, but it does mean being well-groomed and put together. But can you do it without emptying your wallet? Yes, you can.
The beauty industry won’t tell you this little secret: with the higher-priced creams and cosmetics, you are often paying for pretty packaging, fancy ads, and eye-catching counter displays…but not a better quality product. I used to spend a lot more on beauty until I realized this. Now, I pay a fraction of the cost and l look just as good. Here are some fantastic tips to get gorgeous for less.
1. FORGET PRICEY SKIN CREAMS – This is probably the single biggest beauty budget-buster for many women. Department store skin creams can cost $50 and up, and they promise you eternal youth. Sorry, but no cream will accomplish the same as surgery. They all serve the same purpose – helping your outer layer of skin retain moisture. So take a trip to your local drugstore, Target, Wal-Mart or other inexpensive store. For example, I found a fantastic new and well-reviewed product called Clean And Clear Soft at my local Target. Or you can get it at Drugstore.com. Don’t forget our $10 Drugstore.com Coupon.
The oil-free Night moisturizer costs $7-8, has glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin, and it works better than the pricey brand I bought at Sephora.
2. FAKE BAKE ON A BUDGET – Tanning salon spray tans are around $25 a pop. Unless you’re a celebrity, you don’t need this, do you? But the cheapest option – old fashioned sun tanning – is just inviting skin cancer. So I spread on the glow with a $3.99 bottle of Wet N Wild Megapump Bronzzer. Silly name, but it’s a great product, a convenient pump bottle of gel bronzer to use on face or body. It stays on well, yet washes off easily. If you’ll be out in the sun, blend the bronzer with your sunscreen. You’ll look fab and be protected from SPF’s at the same time.
Tan in a bottle
3. BARGAIN BASEMENT MAKEUP – You probably can’t get cheaper than this – E.L.F. brand (short for Eyes, Lips, Face) makes amazing products at only 1 measly dollar apiece. I bought Natural Radiance Blusher in Glow (a peachy color) and it’s a beautiful, flattering shade. True, the product sizes are kind of small, but that’s just as well, since you should really replace your makeup every so often for sanitary reasons. E.L.F. is available at K-mart or you can shop online.
4. BUDGET BATH AND BODY – If there’s one beauty indulgence that suckers me in, it’s bath and body products. I adore scented bubble baths and lotions, and I used to drop a lot of cash at those enticing mall stores. Now, I make a trip to my local dollar store and shop to my heart’s content without going broke. Dollar Tree stores have their own line called April Bath and Body, with an amazing array of scents in your choice of lotions, bath salts, body butter, and more, all just a dollar each. Find your nearest store here:
Dollar Tree Store
5. SILKY HAIR FOR LESS – "Salon brand" shampoos and conditioners can really set you back – or you can pay just a couple bucks each for a cheap-but-good mass market brand like Suave. Their "Professionals" line is excellent; I’ve found their Daily Moisture shampoo and conditioner quite similar to the much more costly Nexxus products.
6. GOING, GOING, GONE – Still can’t shake the upscale makeup habit? I found a site that sells discontinued products from the more expensive brands, at considerable savings. For example, I saw a complete Stila beauty kit with tinted moisturizer, two foundations, mascara and lip glaze, just $15, reduced from $35. Downside? With discontinued items, it’s strictly while supplies last, and you won’t be able to restock your favorites.
7. DOUBLE DUTY PRODUCTS – Sometimes you don’t even need to buy a specialized beauty product at all. Petroleum jelly does a nice job as a lip moisturizer; use olive oil for a luxurious skin-smoothing bath; dip a Q-tip in baby oil for an easy and cheap eye makeup remover.
8. MIX IT UP AND SAVE – I do like to splurge on a a good foundation. It’s worth the money for a foundation that matches your skin tone really well. But I mix it with an inexpensive facial moisturizer. This stretches my beauty budget and gives a more sheer and natural look, too.
9. CONCEALER? YOU CAN DO WITHOUT IT – Sure, after a late night, you want to cover those dark circles under your eyes. But you don’t really need a separate product. Just dab on a little of your foundation and blend well with a sponge or brush.
10. SHAVING CREAM? SURELY NOT – I don’t know about the guys, but for us ladies, we don’t need a separate shaving cream. A nice, moisturizing soap or body wash is fine. Again, check out your local dollar store.
What money saving beauty tips to you have?
Photo Credit via Flickr