How often do you go to the salon for a haircut, colour, or other form of beauty maintenance? What about your monthly personal care product spending? Have you ever been astonished (or filled with dread) after adding up your expenses?
Haircut & Makeup Free and Loving it
The fact is that I’m not very concerned with looking “good.” Sure, I like to appear well-dressed, and yes, I will dress up for big meetings, date nights, and so on. There are moments when I want to get all dressed up. But, in general, I don’t place much importance on my looks on a daily basis.
Value Your Appearance Without Spending a Fortune
I appreciate my looks in terms of not appearing like a dirty or disheveled mess, but not so much that I spend a substantial fortune preserving some ideal of beauty that only models and superstars can achieve. I also feel that the most attractive appearance a woman can wear is natural.
I’ve developed a basic, low-cost regimen to keep myself looking my best without breaking the bank or succumbing to product overload or having a closet that’s overflowing at the seams.
Vanity is what keeps us poor.
I once read an article in Siren Magazine that stated that vanity is what keeps the typical woman poor. The author indicated in it that the average expense of looking beautiful for a girl might range between $10,000 and $12,000 each year! Even typing that makes me want to fall out of my chair, as it did when I read the story 4-5 years ago.
While I believe that the number should be closer to $3,000-$5,000, you can’t deny that all of these values are considerable quantities of money. Consider how many haircuts, manicures, treatments, clothing, cosmetics, shoes, and jewellery you purchase each year. Now add up all of the individual expenditures to get a yearly total. Are you surprised by what you’ve discovered? It costs a lot of money to look beautiful!
Or does it?
Read also: Simple Ways to Define Your Personal Style
Look Good on a Budget
It’s actually possible to look like a million bucks…without spending a single dollar. Here are some ways I keep my style and appearance fresh while still maintaining a natural approach to beauty:
- Borrowing or swapping clothes. Consider pairing up with a sibling, friend or neighbor who is the same size as you. Trade and share your wardrobes for an instant influx of “new” clothes without spending a dime.
- Practice good hygiene. As I mentioned above, showering, brushing teeth and keeping nails trim/free from dirt are paramount. Brushing your hair is a quick and easy fix to refresh yourself midday, and it’s great for your hair because it helps distribute those much-needed oils it naturally produces.
- Be a sample Queen. I’m not too proud to ask for samples in stores such as Sephora and CVS. I’ve also scored great freebies from Mary Kay and Avon. Instead of tossing them away, I put the samples to use for me, often creating an entire look for a night out…for free!
- Make your own products. Sure, this might be cheating because you still have to buy the ingredients, but I most likely would have them from cooking or baking anyway. I’ve taken oatmeal baths, scrubbed a lemon on my face, and washed my hair with beer. I’ve saved thousands of dollars on beauty treatments, and I get compliments on my skin at least weekly.
- Sit up straight. Or walk straight with your shoulders back. Both of these exude confidence and confidence always looks fantastic!
- Exercise. Being active is good for more than your muscles and heart–it paves the way for glowing, clear skin that can’t be produced from anything that comes in a bottle.
- Smile! This goes hand-in-hand with confidence–when you’re smiling, you draw attention away from anything you are physically wearing. It’s truly one of your best accessories.
- Speak kindly of yourself and others. I once wore a pair of pants that was just a bit too short as a last-ditch effort to get one more wear out of them (sorry, I loved them!). I was a bit uncomfortable thinking how short they were when I sat down, but did I complain or mention it to anyone? Nope! In fact, I paid a few extra compliments to my co-workers and nobody was the wiser. Yes, the pants went to Goodwill the next day but by not drawing more attention to my perceived flaw, I was able to relax because nobody noticed!
Overall, I think the key is realizing that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to look good. It IS possible to look good on a budget! While I won’t go a year without a haircut, I’ll continue to keep my down-to-Earth approach to maintaining my appearance.
**In no way do I want this to seem as if I’m passing judgement on those who do spend more to maintain their appearance…it’s just a case of “different strokes for different folks” and some food for thought!