Inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe, Mrs. Frugalwoods and Lisa Valinsky, who have all recently shared their beauty routines, I thought I would share my own beauty and personal care routine. While I surely haven’t hit Elise’s level of green, Mrs. Frugalwoods’ frugality or Lisa eco-friendliness, I have been able to optimize my routine to achieve some financial and sustainable efficiencies.
I try to keep my beauty routine as simple as possible. I do care how I look, but I am generally pretty happy with the way that I look, so I don’t feel the need to spend a ton of time or money on my appearance. My goal is to keep personal care quick, easy and cheap!
Here are the details of my beauty routine:
- I donate my hair. For about the last six years, I have been in a cycle of growing my hair long and then chopping it off to donate to a great program called Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which uses donated hair to make wigs for women with cancer. This has several benefits. First, of course, is that it is a nice thing to do for other people. I think of it a bit like giving blood, only less painful. Next, it provides me with a good excuse for changing my hair drastically every two years. Without this my hair would likely always look exactly the same. I’m kinda boring that way. Finally, it gives me a good reason to keep my hair the same between donations, which helps me save money on haircuts. Because I am basically always trying to grow my hair out, I only get it cut about twice a year on average. In fact, I recently cut my hair for the first time since July of 2014, and you know what? It was completely fine!
- I don’t care where I get my hair done. I don’t have a stylist I love, and I don’t color my hair at all (another HUGE money saver). My hair just isn’t that complicated, and I’m not too worried about someone messing it up. This allows me to go wherever I can get the best deal for a haircut. Typically, I look at Groupon and Living Social when I decide a need a haircut and see what salons in my area are offering a deal. I usually pay about $25 for the coupon and another $10-ish for tip (I always tip on the full amount of the service).
- I do my own everything. Aside from haircuts, I do all of my own personal care. I paint my own nails, tweeze my own eyebrows, blow dry my own hair. Heck, I even give myself back massages using tennis balls! (Sounds weird but feels AMAZING!)
- I don’t use fancy products. My entire collection of beauty products can be purchased at Target. This includes my makeup and all bath products. I use Dove body wash; Herbal Essences, Pantene or Garnier shampoo and conditioner (whatever is on sale); Cetaphil face cleanser; Olay face lotion ; Secret deodorant; CoverGirl mascara; and Almay eyeliner and blush.
- I experiment. Over the years, I have played around with cutting down the costs of my beauty products. While I can now purchase all of my beauty and personal care products at Target, there is of course a range of options even there, and at times I have purchased more expensive products from stores like Sephora. Now, I don’t buy the most expensive stuff, but I don’t buy the cheapest stuff either. I do experiment to make sure that the products that I am paying a little more for are actually worth the money. A great example is Dove body wash. At about $5 a bottle, it certainly isn’t going to break the bank, but there are many less expensive options available. I have tried many of these other options, including competing brands and store brands, in an effort to find an equally effective but less expensive body wash. In the case of Dove, I’ve found that all other products are inferior, so I go for the name brand. In other cases, I’ve found that the expensive brand isn’t as effective for me. An example of this is face lotion – I’ve tried basically everything, including fancy stuff like Boscia, but Oil of Olay just works best for my skin. In either case, the important thing is that I have tested out the alternatives and know that I actually value the features of the product I use.
- I don’t wear much makeup. If I had it my way, I’d never wear makeup at all. I like the way I look, so why cover it up? Unfortunately, without makeup I sometimes look like I’m 13 years old, so for work I do put on a bit of makeup. I keep it as simple as possible, forgoing foundation and cover-up altogether. In fact I do not even own foundation or cover-up. Or lipstick. Or more than one eye shadow. For work, I wear eyeliner, mascara and a cream blush. I can put it all on in less than 3 minutes, which is great on busy mornings. Even for special occasions, I’ll only add a touch of (very subtle) eye shadow.
- I buy on sale. I talked all about how I use Evernote to save money in this guest post, and one of my favorite ways is to keep a running list of non-perishable items that I am running low on. I typically keep an extra bottle of most products on hand, and when I start using that extra bottle I put that product on my list so that I can keep an eye out for a good sale. When I shop, I consult my list to see what items I’m low on and buy any that are on sale.
- I splurge on certain items. There are a few items in my beauty routine that are clear “splurges.” Several years ago, I received a Clarisonic Mia as a gift and I LOVE it. At $100, it isn’t cheap, but it has lasted years and works so well. The brushes are actually the real splurge, running about $25 each with recommended replacement every three months. Fortunately, I have found a way around that by purchasing these brushes . I did little experiment (figuring that I’d only be out about $5 if it didn’t work) and learned that these brushes work perfectly and are a fraction of the cost. My other big splurge is on Venus razors. I find that they are much better than the cheaper alternatives and are of such high quality that I can use the same blade for months. I probably only use three to five blades a year, which helps reduce the cost.
What is your personal care routine like? Do you spend a lot of money on beauty products?
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