Koichi Kamoshida/ Getty Images
All those blowouts, eye creams, gel manicures, facials, and laser treatments can really blow a girl’s budget, so I talked to some of the best minds in the beauty world about how to cut back on the insane cost of being pretty (and threw in a few of my own, too).
Ask for package deals
“Ask about package and pre-payment deals. Most salons have some sort of package deal rate if you ask for it. For instance, at the place I get my brows done, if I pay in advance, I can get 6 brow waxings for the price of 5. And I get 10% off all appts simply by booking them at the time of my previous appointment.” – Aly Walansky
Stop buying body scrubs
“Fancy body exfoliators/scrubs look pretty on the vanity, but I’d rather spend $ on something I won’t immediately wash down the drain. Instead, use a nylon exfoliating washcloth (There’s a Japanese brand called Salux that makes one 35″ long so you can do your own back) or exfoliating gloves. They cost less than $5 and you can toss them in the laundry every week to keep them bacteria-free. Exfoliate in the shower, then, while still in the stall, rub body oil into still-damp skin and pat—don’t rub—dry with a towel. I’m saving you money and your life— now you won’t slip in the shower on oily scrub residue and die.” – Meirav Devash, writer and beauty expert.
Stop buying overpriced makeup removers
“Most of the makeup removing oils and sexy body oils we buy and pay a pretty price for, are pretty much made of carrier oils you can use in your kitchen or elsewhere. Investing in a quality tub of coconut oil can go a long way towards DIY makeup removal, body moisture, and hair-related hot oil treatments. Aloe vera juice and glycerin can make excellent add-in ingredients to your hairstyling products if you need more moisture and shine.” -Patrice Grell Yursik Creator, afrobella.com
Remove your own gel polish
“Take off your own gel manicures at home before going to the salon. Many will charge you extra for removal – and even if they don’t, it costs serious time (and time is money!) – there’s lots of at home gel-manicure removal solutions that are safe and easy to use, and most are under $5.” – Aly Walansky
Stop dishing out for $40 shampoo
If you’re addicted to Kerastase, you can put the orange-capped bottle down and downgrade your spending by about 85%. A bunch of other, cheaper drugstore brands have basically copied the exact technology that the expensive stuff relies on— using silicones to ‘fill in’ the broken, damaged pieces of your hair. Try a bottle of Clear Extreme Damage Relief Shampoo for under $6.
You can buy the cheap wipes
“I buy CVS brand eye makeup remover wipes and then dump 1/3 of a bottle of an actual eye makeup remover liquid in the jar so that they work much better, but it’s still cost effective.” Any oil will do the trick, too. -Amber Katz, rouge18.com
$50 deep conditioners are dumb
“I use coconut oil for everything – including deep conditioning. I’ll wet my naturally curly hair and saturate with coconut oil. Then, I put on a shower cap and let it chill for about 20 minutes (you know, long enough to fold a never-ending pile of laundry) and then rinse. Gives me all the moisture I need (since my hair is drier than the Sahara desert smh) plus works just as good as the expensive deep conditioners at the store. I also use coconut oil to remove stubborn, waterproof makeup as well!” -Andrea Arterbery, writer, theartofbery.com
Stop using so much, okay?!
“Stop wasting your products! Most people use way too much shampoo and conditioner each time they wash their hair when all you really need is about the size of a nickel.” – Jeannine Morris, Beauty & Wellness Reporter
Stretch the life of your pedicure
Did you know that adding a coat of gel polish that doesn’t require a UV light can stretch your polish for up to an extra week? I’m personally obsessed with topping my fave colors (of any brand) with Vinylux topcoat — the bottle itself is a little pricy but lasts about 20 pedicures, and gives each pedicure about a 3 week lifespan. That means I only need one or two bottles a year and can cut down on my $40/pedicure habit.
You can save a ton of cash on your forehead injections
How? By not actually using BOTOX— there’s a cheaper version about it that your doctor might not be telling you about because ‘BOTOX’ is the only brand American girls know of. “Xeomin is a second generation neurotoxin… It works in a similar way to block the signal from nerves to muscles causing the muscles to relax and thus improving the appearance of wrinkles. It is also appealing to me because it does not require refrigeration making it easier and safer to handle and store. My patients also take advantage of Xeomin’s competitive pricing.” – Ulysses H. Scarpidis, MD, ScarpidisAesthetics.com
Stretch a few extra days between eyebrow threading or waxing appointments
If you’re diligent about going every 2 weeks, on the dot, you can easily squeeze out an extra 4-5 days between appointments by keeping the arch below the brow itself highlighted— adding highlighter here tricks other peoples’ eyes into thinking you still have a great, well-maintained arch while you manage to cut your eyebrow budget by more than 20% annually. My fave highlighter is this one by IT Cosmetics because it lasts all day without a thought.
Make sure your manicurist knows what she/he is doing
“A gel manicure will never last a long time if your manicurist uses hand lotion on you before applying the gel polish— that’s an old technique for traditional manicures, but the oils will stop the gel from adhering properly, and you won’t get a long lasting manicure.” -Lily Gruber, owner of French Touch Tel Aviv Salon
Don’t waste your lipstick nubs
“Once my lipstick hits that flat stage of life, I use a butter knife to scrape out all the extra product into an empty lip pot jar. This will give you at least an extra week or two before you have to go shell out another $20 for a new tube. If you want to get extra fancy, mix the extra lipstick with a touch of coconut oil and boom, instant tinted lip balm.” -Misti Schindele, Entertainista.com
Stop buying $25 lotions for your mild eczema
A lot of the specialty creams out there for eczema are just loaded with ceramides and oatmeal, unless they’re Rx strength. If that’s the case, it’s downright silly to pay for anything more than a good drugstore brand like Aveeno’s Eczema Therapy line, most of which is in the $10 range.
Just wear less makeup so you don’t need all that acne stuff
“Some makeups, especially liquid foundations can clog pores and lead to breakouts in predisposed patients, so I recommend avoiding makeup whenever you can,” shares Joshua Zeichner, MD of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. “That is not always an option, so stick to mineral based or powder foundations when you need coverage.”
Make the glow from your facial last longer
You won’t want to hear this, but steering clear of dairy products may actually help you have clearer, more radiant skin for much longer than the ordinary few days you get out of a facial. Indhira Santana of MyWellnessSolutions.com, tells all her post-facial clients that skipping the ice cream, cheese, and milk may be the easiest way to have reliably radiant skin.