Beauty On a Budget

Editor’s Note: Mrs. TM decided she had a little more to add the conversation.  We’re hoping she’ll turn into a regular contributor around here!

As a woman I know that making sure your hair, nails, makeup and wardrobe are on point can be very expensive to maintain, but my time spent as a student helped me to develop some strategies to cut down on these costs without having to sacrifice my style.  By harnessing your DIY power, and doing a bit of online research, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.

Skip the Salon  (as much as possible anyway)

In high school I got into the routine of having my hair professionally coloured every 6 weeks.  I went to the salon in my small town where prices were very reasonable.  I paid for the visits myself, because when you’re living at home and your only other expenses centre around going out with friends a few times a month, it’s an affordable luxury.  Fast forward to university and I made an appointment at a salon in Winnipeg to have my hair coloured and cut as usual.  Being a naive 18 year old from the country, I didn’t even think to inquire about their prices; imagine my shock when I was faced with a $200 bill (including tip) at the end of my visit!  I found out after that at this particular salon, not only did they charge for the procedures performed (cut, colour, blow dry), but also for the time you were in the chair.  I have very long hair and my hair appointments always take a couple hours, so I realized that this was no longer a luxury I could afford.  It was an expensive lesson learned.  Here’s a few alternatives I came up with:

Beauty On a Budget
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Box dyes:  The top-of-the-line boxed hair dye will  only set you back about $20, which is a considerable savings compared to what you’d pay in a salon.  If you stay within two shades of your natural colour, there really isn’t too much risk in using a box dye.  If you’re nervous to try it on your own the first time, you can always enlist the help of a friend to make sure you’ve evenly coated every strand.

Make friends with a professional:  Ok, so I’m not saying you should seek out friendship with a professional stylist just to save money on your hair, but if you should happen to be so well-connected, use this to your advantage!  I had a friend who worked as a stylist at an elite salon in Winnipeg that I couldn’t afford to go to.  She told me that she actually preferred to work on her friends and family from her home, because it was more profitable for her, and much cheaper for us!  Because she has the credentials, she is able to buy professional dyes and equipment to use from home.  For $40 (including a generous tip) I had my hair professionally cut and colored, while catching up with a friend at the same time!  If you don’t mind having your hair rinsed in your friend’s bathtub, this is a great way to go.

Beauty schools:  Having your hair done by a stylist-in-training is a great way to save money and still receive salon treatment.  Students can cut, colour, perm, or style your hair for about a third of the price of a salon, and with teachers critiquing students’ every move, you can be sure that attention to detail is being paid.

Manicures and pedicures are another fun way to treat ourselves, however you’d be hard pressed to find a salon that’ll perform the basic mani and pedi for under $40.  Assuming that these basic paint jobs will only last a week, if this is a part of your beauty regime that you’d like to keep up, it’s going to add up quickly.  Doing your own nails at home is fun, and definitely a whole lot cheaper!  And trust me, the more you practice at it, the better you get.  Pledge to do your own nails at home and you can afford a new OPI ($9) or two every month!

Do your homework!

Not all drugstore makeup is created equally, but there are some great products out there that are affordable, too!  With the help of pinterest, you can find all sorts of blogs devoted to reviewing and ranking drugstore makeup products.  If you are thinking of splurging on a high end makeup product, I again advocate making an informed decision.  Google the product you’re considering and you’ll find in-depth written reviews and video reviews as well.  After you’ve done your research online, if you’re still interested in the product, ask for a sample!  Most department store makeup brands will help you find your personalized colour match, and provide you with a 10-day trial so that you can make sure you are getting enough bang for your buck!

Does anyone have any of their own money saving beauty tips they’d like to share?  Lord knows the two guys that run this site weren’t likely to come up with any other their own! ;)

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Great post! I was blonde for so long, and highlights were expensive. Heck my blog is even called Budget Blonde. But, I’m brunette now. Saves me so much money!

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