Bargain basement beauty
We all struggle to keep our hands on the pennies every now and then. So to ease your money worries and your overdraft woes, check back the first Friday of every month for a series of little hints on tips on how to make your moolah stretch further or work harder for you.
The UK beauty industry is worth approximately £3.7bn a year and the average UK consumer spends around £304 per year on cosmetics. Blimey. That is quite a lot when you put it like that. The thought of handing over £300 on make up and beauty in one go sort of sickens me, and yet as an average beauty consumer, I probably do just this over the course of the year.
But there are ways to be cunning with your cash spend on beauty, just as there are with other areas of your life. We spoke before about cheap little tricks in a pot that can transform your daily regime, but there are other ways to save. So here are all the tips I’ve amassed to get your beauty spend down a notch or two.
Cosmetics can be a pricey business, with new technologies and basically new things to layer upon your face coming out every week. primers, BB creams, powders, bronzers, blushers, foundations, concealer – and that is just the base! Add to this a selection of thickening and lengthening mascaras, and colour cosmetics such as nail polish, eye shadow and lipstick and you’ve practically taken out a mortgage on your skin. But I save money in the following ways -
- Poundland can be a godsend for some basic branded make up. The Stila debacle aside (as seen on a recent Dispatches programme), you can often find Rimmel, Collection, Sally Hansen and Revlon at rock bottom (well a pound) prices.
- Boots vouchers and points are brilliant – often, the tills will spit out £5 vouchers to spend on No7 products and I often use this to stock up on lippies, glosses and some basic face wipes.
- Check out high street lines – I am a huge fan of Miss Sporty Waterproof Mascara, MUA Eyeshadow Palettes such as Heaven & Earth (a good dupe for the Urban Decay Palettes) and Barry M Nail Paints.
- Scour eBay, especially for main line Mac eyeshadows and Essi/OPI nail polishes at a bargain price from the USA.
I have a regime on my face these days which would make your eyes water. I currently use a mix of Liz Earle, Alpha H, Dermalogica and Estee Lauder in a day and night routine that is finally combating my oily skin and fine lines. I’m happy with my routine and for me it is worth the money, but here is how I pay as little as possible for it:
- As with cosmetics, eBay is your friend. I got Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer for half the price and the same with my Alpha H Liquid Gold with a bit of searching. Saved searches are your friend here.
- Buy from Jersey – especially if you like Dermalogica. Jersey Beauty Company is cheaper than buying direct.
- Samples are a great way of trying a product out before you commit. I hunted down Advanced Night Repair samples from Estee Lauder counters before I investing the full amount.
- Buy travel size for small use products. Serums and eye creams are great here, because a travel size is cheaper and wil start last for ages if you are strapped for cash.
- Check out supermarket lines. Lacura from Aldi has had rave reviews from Beauty Editors everywhere, and Tesco’s Skin Wisdom has been developed by therapist Bharti Vyas.
Upkeep for my bleached/highlighted and unruly thick mane is not cheap at all. The hairdressers like to rip as much as possible from my purse at each visit, so upkeep at home is really important. It means I can extend the time before rip off trips for as long as possible. Home haircare isn’t cheap either – but I’ve found some tips which help!
- If you colour your hair, colour fade is going to be an issue, especially for reds and blondes. There are plenty of colour despoiling products out there but many are expensive. Superdrug Colour Effects is a wash in wash out treatment for less that £1.50 for about 3-4 uses which adds depth and tone to all hair colours. There are 2 reds, 2 blondes and at least a couple of brunette shades.
- Did you know that high end brand Kerastase is made by L’Oreal? Well you do now. So stock up on L’Oreal masks and shampoos, especially on 3 for 2 deals and save your pennies.
- Hair oils are massive right now. Morrocan Oil is expensive s why not try a drug store alternative like Tresemme Liquid Argan Oil. I promise it works just as well!
Body care is the thing I spend the leas amount of money or time on, but I really shouldn’t. I suffer with Eczema so I have to be careful with what I buy which means I often can’t sick on brand moisturiser on and be done with it.
- As with the L’Oreal example above, Soap & Glory is made by the people behind luxuriously expensive Bliss Spa. It is ALWAYS on 3 for 2 in Boots. And it is good. So stock up.
- Whilst we are on 3 for 2 offers, if you are sticking with a product, stock up and store it – it will save you cash in the long run.
- Fancy body exfoliators are awesome, but a good shower gel and 99p exfoliator gloves will last longer and do the job. So get to it.
- Coconut oil is a fabulous multipurpose product for washing and moisturing, and it costs only £7.50 for a huge tub from your local Holland & Barrett.
To end, our favourite thrifty goddess El at A Thrifty Mrs has a whole range of posts on budget beauty that can help out any fashionable bargainista. And if you’ve saved all your money and you really want to splash out, her excellent video with beauty bloggers Zoella and A Sprinkle of Glitter will tell you what investment make up is worth the money.