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      How To Look Beautiful On A Budget

      By Cadence McManimon·· 4 min read

      Want to trim your beauty budget, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered!

      With the rise of minimalism and a growing awareness of sustainable sources, society today has a spotlight on how much money is spent on beauty. A 2017 study conducted by OnePoll suggests that the average woman spends $313 on her appearance monthly. It doesn’t seem like a lot until you add up the annual cost of $3,756 per year!

      I don’t know about you, but that kind of dent in my bank account would set my savings back a lot. You can cut back on your beauty spending without having to sacrifice your favorite lipstick. The general question is, how do we, as women who enjoy looking lovely, stick by practical beauty budgets? I answer with a general rule of thumb: only buy things you truly want and use!

      Only buy things you truly want and use!

      Sounds simple, right? Let’s dive into what this might look like in your beauty routines.

      Makeup:

      Almost every girl I know wants to declutter her makeup down to only what she likes. Start by going through your makeup bag and sorting out your items into three piles: your daily use products, special occasion products, and products you don’t like or never opened. If there are any repeat items, expired items, or things that smell funny, throw them out instantly. This should leave you with only the makeup you use and enjoy!

      How do you keep this collection minimal? First, consider carefully what you actually buy in the store. If you’re an eyeshadow or lipstick lover, like me, think about buying shades in singles instead of palettes. This way, you can save money and know you’ll use the product! You should also try samples before buying a product, to make sure you’ll like it first.

      Hair Care:

      You’ll be off to a great start if you know what you do and don’t need for your hair. For instance, I don’t buy dry shampoos or volumizing foams for my curly hair, simply because I don’t need it. Girls with straight strands can often stop buying heavy conditioners and gels. Understanding your hair needs will streamline your hair budget.

      As for cuts, you should still get a quality one--but don’t fall for the idea that expensive = quality. Name-brand boutiques that charge upwards of $100 often do great work, but a local stylist with her own small business might do comparable work and only charge $30. Do your research, and once you’ve narrowed down your stylist search, check their work out on Instagram, Facebook, or ask to see their portfolio.

      Name-brand boutiques that charge upwards of $100 often do great work, but a local stylist with her own small business might do comparable work and only charge $30.

      Also, take advantage of free trims or bang touch-ups salons often offer. Finally, don’t make the mistake of getting a cut every month. Your hair, unless it’s really damaged or in a high-maintenance style, only needs a trim a couple of times a year.

      Skincare:

      First, you can stop paying for expensive facials at the salon, and start learning how to do them at home! There are thousands of Youtube tutorials on how to use kitchen items like honey, oils, and fresh fruit to make your own face masks. Experiment with what’s already in your kitchen. (This also works for hair masks and deep conditioners, too.) If you’re not into homemade recipes, try investing in a bottle of your favorite mask, facial steamer, etc. to use at home instead of paying for a professional service.

      There are thousands of Youtube tutorials on how to use kitchen items like honey, oils, and fresh fruit to make your own face masks.

      You could also try samples or sheet masks to experiment with new products--save yourself buying a whole container of new clay just to find out you’re allergic. Get a free sample of your favorite eye cream at Sephora and it will last for a long time! Another common purchase is a plastic razor. If you’re looking to save money in the long run, or stop using so much plastic, you can try an epilator (a.k.a. electric tweezers.) It works great for many people; see if you can rent one or try one at a store before purchasing your own, just to make sure it’s what works for you.

      Nails and Manicures:

      I’m a do-it-yourself type when it comes to nails. Start with throwing out polishes you don’t use and then buying just your favorites to keep your cost down and your drawer clutter-free. If you’re into fake nails, try stick-ons. My sister swears by them, and they are much cheaper than visiting a manicurist for a set of acrylics.

      Just like with skincare, there are Youtube tutorials everywhere for nail care, so do a quick search! But if salon manicures are your favorite thing, there’s no reason to stop doing them-- focus on extending the manicure you already have to make it last longer. Remember, your fingernails see the most rough-and-tumble care in daily life, especially with household chores and washing your hands. If you do invest in salon nail services, make sure to know how to properly care for your new manicure to make it last as long as possible and stretch your spending on it. With proper care, many can last up to two weeks longer!

      Conclusion

      Finally, if you feel your beauty spending is out of control, consider making yourself a beauty budget envelope system. Commit to only spending cash on your beauty, and budget out how much you actually can afford to spend every month. Take that money out of your paycheck in cash. Then put this cash into an envelope labeled Beauty--or, if you want to organize further, separate envelopes into Skincare, then Hair Care, etc.

      Commit to only spending cash on your beauty, and budget out how much you actually can afford to spend every month.

      That will be the only money you can use on the designated category the whole month. When the envelope runs dry, you have to consider your budget capped, and you won’t spend any more until your next round of designated cash is back in that envelope. It can be tricky to stick to cash-only purchases, but this gives you a great perspective on how much you’re actually spending, as well as sticking to your budget. It works like a charm!


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