Photography by Katherine Gail Co.
Last week I shared how we’re living a simpler life on the blog. A big part of this is aiming to reach complete financial freedom. However, we live in a culture of consumerism and debt. In fact, I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t have any debt. Although some debt is better than others, we’re still aiming to live as debt free as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Because makeup and this blog are such a big part of my life, I’m still going to spend money on beauty. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to rack up thousands, or even hundreds on my credit card.
After looking at my spending habits, what I do and don’t do, I’ve come up with one major take-away: Do as much yourself as possible. It seems like such a no brainer, but we often throw it out the window with the excuse of: treat yo self.
So, for today’s Five on Friday, I’m going to break down five ways to save money on beauty products and services.
Beauty on A Budget
Consider cutting your own hair
If you find this unusual, just look up cutting your own hair on Youtube.
As long as you have medium to long hair, and don’t have a complicated hair situation, you can probably do a decent job on yourself.
I’ve been doing it myself for over two years now and have yet to end up in tears over a bad haircut.
I use a few different techniques now, but at the beginning I essentially combed all my hair towards my forehead (pretend you are trying to do a ponytail at the top of your forehead instead of the back of your head) and did a straight cut across. Because the hair around your crown is closest to the pony tail, it’s cut a bit shorter than the back creating some layers. The key is to comb your hair as neatly and evenly as possible before you do your pony tail. The first time I did this I cut about half an inch. Now I’m confident enough to cut up to 2. I never wear my hair completely straight so even if it’s not perfectly even, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Watch this tutorial to get started.
At home hair removal
I used to spend hundreds on waxing packages at the European Wax Center. Every time I went I would walk out completely hairless. And I loved it. But, after reassessing my expenses, I realized that even when buying waxing packages, each visit was at least $60-70 (including a tip). So, I said no more and started doing it all at home.
I use either these or these wax strips. They are so easy to use and I don’t have to deal with melting wax or anything like that. I’ve been waxing long enough that the hair on my legs only grows in patches so I can get away with using a few strips here and there every couple of weeks. I’ll also buy the smaller facial ones if I want to wax my eye brows. I just cut them into whatever shape I need.
Still want to keep your salon waxing appointments? Do it, but space them further out and do at home waxing in between.
At home mani/pedis
There was a time in my life that I got a mani/pedi every couple of weeks. It was my guilty pleasure – reading trashy magazines while getting a foot massage. And don’t get me wrong, I wish I still did this every other week. But, when you are trying to live as debt free as possible, $50 every two weeks on mani/pedis isn’t the best strategy.
These days I just give myself mani/pedis. I don’t make a big production out of it, I just file, scrub and push my cuticles back a bit. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll also paint my nails. I’ve finally been doing it long enough to get decent at nail polish.
Same as above, if you love getting mani/pedis, do it, but space it out a bit more and do some upkeep at home. Alternatively, you could just go in to get your nails painted versus a full manicure.
Wait for sales
I know this isn’t groundbreaking, but just waiting a month or two for a sale can make a huge difference in how much money you spend on products. The Sephora VIB sale happens in April & November every year so I usually wait until then to stock up on favorites or buy any new launches.
I also don’t buy products at the actual drugstore.
Yep, you read that right. I always refer to products as drugstore makeup (because of the price), but I don’t actually buy them at CVS or Walgreens. Unless I can’t find a product in store, I ALWAYS buy makeup at Target or Walmart. Not only is it much cheaper than the drugstore, but I can usually find more coupons. I have Target’s Cartwheel App on my phone so I’m constantly checking for sales. Further, I have a Target Red Card debit card which gives me 5% on top of anything else. Today for example, there is a 20% coupon on Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes – so, although full price is $7.99, with the 20% off coupon, plus my Red Card discount I can get it for $5.69.
Do your research & return products
Nothing is more expensive than spending your money on crap products AND keeping them around.
Yes, I make a few impulse purchases here and there, but for the most part I don’t buy any products without reading reviews first. This is specially true for any high end makeup or skin care. Nowdays you can find reviews on Youtube, blogs, Amazon, Sephora, Beautypedia, etc. The odds of buying something that won’t work out are minimized if you do a little research first.
Thinking about trying a new bronzer? Google the bronzer name and “swatches” to see what the color looks like on other people’s skin. You may realize it’s not for you simple by looking at the swatches.
But, if you read reviews and the product still didn’t work out – go return it!
I still hear friends saying they are embarrassed to return open cosmetics. But, WHY?! Sephora’s return policy literally says you can return anything new or gently used “if you are not completely satisfied with a Sephora purchase for any reason”. Any reason people. You don’t have to come up with a three page essay on why you are returning it. Just say you didn’t like it. End of story.
Further, Target’s return policy on cosmetics is: Most beauty items bought in stores or online can be returned, even if opened, within 90 days with your receipt, or up to 120 days if purchased with your Target REDcard.
Ulta’s policy is similar!
If it doesn’t work out. Return it and get your money back!
How do you save money on beauty products or services? Any apps or plug ins I should know about?
As always, I’m linking up with with the ladies at Carolina Charm, Meet At The Barre, A Cup of Tea ,The Slaughters sand September Farm for today’s Five on Friday. Make sure to check out their Five’s on the links above.
Happy Friday Everyone!