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money-saving beauty coups!

November 3rd, 2005 at 03:47 pm

Due to my divulging that I spend $150 (with tip) getting my hair cut and highlighted, I may have given the impression that I spend a lot of money maintaining my appearance. That's actually not the truth--while I do like to look as good as possible, I like bargain even better! In the spirit of this website, I thought I'd share some money-saving beauty practices that have worked for me. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

*Having long hair: When we first moved to the Boston area, I felt compelled to get a trendy, choppy, shoulder-length haircut. It made me feel very hip for about a month, and then it started looking shabby. It wasn't cheap to begin with, either. Now my hair is just past my shoulder blades, with very long layers only in the front. It needs to be cut about once a quarter.

*Toning down the bleach: I used to lighten all of my hair, and had gone much lighter than my natural dark blonde color. Roots were a BIG problem. Now, I get highlights, and I need touch-ups only as often as I get my hair cut.

*Washing my hair 3 times a week, and not blowdrying when possible: This practice started during a less happy time--I'd gone through a very stressful period and was losing a lot of hair. It was too depressing to see my hair go down the drain and fly away when blowdrying, so I did it as little as possible. Then, I realized it made what was left of my hair look better, and my stylist talked about how healthy it looked every time I saw him! By shampooing less, I save money and time, and my hair is happier for it.

*Buying Paula Begoun's books and a subscription to her "Cosmetics Counter Update" newsletter: This woman has saved me SO much money. I also like many, though not all, of her products. Many people feel she's got something against expensive lines, but she consistently gives very high marks to Chanel products, for example. http://www.cosmeticscop.com/

*Buying from the drugstores, not department stores or salons: This is mainly due to Paula--I like to think I'm no sucker, but if I hadn't read her books I'd probably be buying from expensive hair, makeup and skincare lines today. Now, I use primarily Olay products for skincare. Most of my makeup comprises drugstore brands, except for a couple of Paula's Choice products and a Sue Devitt powder. I mainly use Suave shampoo and Dove conditioner, though I also spring for Rusk's $13 "sea kelp" conditioner.

*Painting my own toenails: I know this will deduct some points from my girlie-girl street cred, but I find getting pedicures really boring. I'd much rather get a massage, or something. Plus, nail salons are stinky.

*Removing hair at home: While I might not advise at-home bikini waxes--I'd be too scared to try it, myself--I do remove the hair from my arms with a little device called a Silk-Epil. It hurt quite a bit at first, but I've gotten used to it. I use Sally Hanson wax to clean up my hairline a bit (no sideburns for me!). I also take care of my eyebrows at home but that's really because they require daily maintenance!

*Home teeth bleaching: I did spring for custom-made trays at the dentist, but I've found the same bleach online for MUCH less than what he charged me for refills. If I hadn't done this I'd probably use some of the drugstore tooth whiteners--I've heard good things about them.

I think those are my biggies. Now I'd be really interested in hearing what some of the ladies--and gentlemen!--on this forum have done to save money on maintaining their appearances!

2 Responses to “money-saving beauty coups!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I'm with you on the hairwashing part. My hair is fairly dry - I wash 2X a week. I tend to rotate my shampoo brands a bit. Somehow if you shampoo with the same old stuff it doesn't seem to clean as well.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I'manother one who doesn't wash my hair every day. It's long and thick, and it can go more than a day between washings. I also don't blow it dry more than once or twice a week at most if I can help it. I switch shampoos all the time, but I've had very good luck with Dove's shampoo and conditioner - left my hair very soft and easy to comb out.

    I love Olay's daily defense facial moisturizer - it has sunscreen in it, is unscented and light going on. I use it every day now.

    I don't wear much make-up, so I can get away with drugstore brands. I basically wear eyeliner and mascara, and maybe some lipstick. Sometimes I wear some eyeshadow, and sometimes I use some of Revlon's sparkly powder (or is it Loreal? I'll have to look) - can't think of the name of it offhand.

    My tutoring student is here, so must go. Smile Loved reading your tips!

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