Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today's Beauty Budget: Shrinking?

Any sort of discretionary beauty expenses are almost looked down upon these days, when other bills and credit card balances are skyrocketing.

It's no surprise then, that practical working women everywhere are trying to balance looking put together while not bouncing checks. Enter, the lower maintenance beauty routine.

It's probably as good a time as any to explore lower-cost alternatives to higher-end products. The lower sticker prices make one feel a little better about keeping up their looks and saving a few bucks as well.

Then there's other routines such as blow-outs, hair color, expensive spa treatments...there's typically a number of ways one can approach cost-cutting with these expenses. For hair color, sometimes asking your stylist for suggestions for a lower-maintenance look can provide an excellent number of possibilities: switching from high-contrast highlights to something more blended that can grow out more before a touch up, longer layered hair versus a bob or crop that needs more maintenance, etc. In regards to blow-outs, one can learn about one's natural hair pattern and work with it versus having to blow out and iron it out, or maybe decide this is the one thing splurging on is worth it. When it comes to expensive spa treatments, such as peels and resurfacing, there are many over the counter options that can help lengthen the in-between periods between treatments. Many websites now offer free shipping, which further reduces the cost of what would have been a spa treatment regime on a tight, periodical schedule.

It's a good idea to review one's routines and try to pare down a little on occasion--obviously respecting those parts of one's routine that have proven results--in an attempt at not only reducing costs, but becoming a little more aware of the impact of the products and the results on one's health and skin/hair.

Personally, I've reviewed good strong standbys and am only purchasing these when I run out, versus stocking up as I might have done occasionally. I always am on the lookout for potential new replacements, but with a keen eye for proven results. I'm also reducing my hair care routine, by switching from highlights to all one tone of hair again, and the Ouidad hair cut which not only works with my hair texture to reduce styling time, but that also requires very few cuts during a year (2-3).

How are you paring down or cleaning up your beauty act in these economic times?
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