How to Save Money on Hair and Beauty – Tips From an Ex-Hairdresser and Beautician
When I was younger I worked as a hairdresser and beautician, I even had my own business at 19. I’ve worked in both luxury and budget settings and do a lot myself from things I have learned over the years. A lot of hair and beauty can be done yourself, at home for quite cheap.
Often, more natural products have been more effective as well. With some experimenting over the years, I’ve worked out how to get thousands of dollars worth of beauty done for a few hundred a year.
Here are some of my top tips.
Disclosure this post may contain affiliate links.
1. DIY vs Professional
Some things should be left to a professional, especially if you are not confident. For example, if you are doing your hair from dark to blonde or if you want a Brazillian, both of those are often better left to professionals.
Decide what you are comfortable doing and want to learn. Not everyone needs to DIY everything but there are many things that can be done yourself. Often, it is simply a matter of getting the right tools such as a wax pot, nail kit and hairdressing scissors plus a little knowledge and practice.
What to I do Myself?
Everything, although at times I opt to have my waxing done in a salon. Going from head to toe, here is what I do and how:
I use coconut oil for dandruff when it is an issue. Macadamia or other nut oils I prefer for a full treatment or the ends of my hair to protect from split ends.
Bleach is used to colour my hair and I do my own foils. 30vol peroxide and bleach. Then I tone it regularly by mixing a tiny amount of intense purple dye with my conditioner and leave it in after shampooing for a few minutes then rinse out.
I use Innisfree products but I purchase them in bulk on sale. Cleansing is done with a microfibre cloth and if I have used heavy makeup I will use a cleanser. My face scrub is usually rice flour mixed with a little green tea (a Korean friend with flawless skin told me this one).
Drinking a lot of water, proper sleep and eating well are all essential for good skin too.
For a full facial, I cleanse, scrub, use a mask, toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser. My daughters love doing the full process with me and I am often mistaken for being younger than I am so I think the products and process works.
Also, when I want my eyelashes or eyebrows tinted e.g. if I am doing a dive trip, I do them myself with a kit from Priceline. Other than that, they don’t get permed, waxed etc and I don’t get eyelash extensions. My lashes are blonde but they’re long and curl up naturally.
My eyebrows are shaped naturally, I don’t wax or pluck.
Having Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome means I have excess body and facial hair due to hormones. My face is waxed every 2 weeks, plus other areas are done every 4 weeks with my own wax pot. I wax my daughter’s legs as well (teen girls and they requested it).
My preference is hard wax (which doesn’t use strips) for my face and sensitive areas. Strip wax is used for legs etc. Wax goes on in the direction of hair then ripped off and as soon as it is ripped off, place your hand on the area to ease the pain a little.
Don’t use deodorant or other products within 24 hours of waxing. Sugaring is another option but I haven’t tried doing it myself yet. I will be this year though.
Nails, Body and Massage
Coconut oil is used for my heels and anywhere I am extremely dry, otherwise, Dove has a coconut one, my family love. My body scrub is usually coconut oil and sugar but I prefer it when I have coffee grounds too.
When I regularly use a dry body brush, my skin is so much better. I noticed using this every day before my shower and the coffee body scrub reduced the appearance of my cellulite too.
As for nails, I have a kit with my file, buffer, cuticle stick, polish, top coat and a foot file. This is all I need to file my nails, push back cuticles, buff ridges, clean, paint and coat my nails. My foot file is used every morning after the shower because my heels are like my mums and crack easily.
My sister is an internationally accredited makeup artist who has been featured in magazines, different websites and has done some amazing shows. Meanwhile, even though I did makeup too, I have nowhere near her talent or interest.
So my basic day to day is BB Cream and mascara. Sometimes my eyebrows are pencilled in. For events, going out or when I am on TV, I use foundations, concealor etc but I do not have an extensive kit, I don’t like all the contouring and prefer a more natural makeup look.
Cosmetic and Other Treatments
Friends of mine have lip fillers, botox, pigment treatments, laser etc. Honestly, at times I talk about some treatments but haven’t pursued any yet. I tried laser hair removal which I highly recommend if you are eligible for it as women I know who were successful love it.
With PCOS and being blonde with white skin, it isn’t doable as you need contrast. Laser eye surgery is something I want still, along with treatments to freeze fat.
How you spend your money and what treatments you get are up to you. Personally, I have had plenty of success using natural options.
2. Use Natural Products
Your pantry has plenty of products you can use to create body scrubs, hair treatments, face masks and anything else you can think of. My best body scrub is coffee grounds, coconut oil and brown sugar. My favourite face scrub is a little green tea mixed with rice flour.
Coconut oil is essential for us as we use it for everything from cracked heels to body scrubs, scalp masks, massage oil and even healing. Due to the nature of coconut oil, it can be great for healing infections.
Since I was a teen, I have tried different mixtures for face masks, beauty products, even a skin wrap. There are so many recipes you can try depending on your needs. One I loved was the gelatine peel.
1 Tablespoon gelatine
2 Tablespoons milk
– Clean your face.
– Mix gelatine and milk together in a bowl then heat in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave. Mix the milk and gelatine to make a smooth paste. Test the temperature before applying it to your face. You don’t want to burn your skin.
– As with all masks, avoid the skin close to your eyes as it is more delicate and this mask is strong, it can remove some facial hair, so be careful.
– Leave it on your face for 15 minutes then peel it off. Go gently as your skin might be sensitive in areas. You don’t need to rip it off fast like a band-aid.
– Clean your face again, then tone and moisturise.
3. Use Up Everything
Too often we throw something out before we use it all. Cut open bottles, use brushes to get the last bits out of jars and be smart about the products you have. I found, when I have a large container of something we go through it quickly than are much more careful with how much we use when it is almost empty.
Now, I use small bottles and top them up as needed from a bigger bottle hidden away.
However, do not use items that are past their use-by date or have issues. This can pose a health risk.
4. Schedule Time To Do It
Before my pregnancy, when it was just my older two daughters and me, we scheduled our beauty time in easily. Every weekend we had a girls night or girls time where we did masks, our nails and hair etc. They loved it.
With the complicated pregnancy, blending my family, moving etc. That stopped.
Saving money on beauty and doing it well means scheduling it in is essential. You won’t magically find the time as we are simply too busy. So put it in your schedule and do it.
5.Wholesalers, Sales and Warehouses
Never pay full price. Even if you are using supermarket brands, they go on sale all the time. If you want to use professional products look for warehouses that sell to the public in your area.
More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. However, after trialling many products for my Polynesian daughters, we found Coconut Curls works best for them and when not on sale it’s $20 a bottle so we ALWAYS look for it on sale.
Find the products which work best for your needs and buy them on sale or at discount warehouses etc. Check out eBay and Facebook Marketplace too.
6. Only Get What You Use
How often have you bought something because of advertising or it looked cool? Then it ended up sitting in the cupboard going to waste. Think carefully about your purchases and needs when it comes to beauty then buy only what you will actually use.
When places have free gift time or bonuses it can be tempting to buy things but do you really need them or are you just buying because it’s free gift time?
7. Cash Back and Discounts
Along with the sales I already mentioned, look for cashback and other discounts. Check out Cash Rewards, Shopback and Honey to get cashback on all your purchases.
How do you Save Money with Beauty?
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