*this is a collaborative post but images are my own
Sometimes part of the whole embracing your natural features-thing can be buying, wearing and enjoying makeup, to bring out and accentuate our favourite features. We all love the way that our favourite makeup, hair products, accessories, clothes and other beauty paraphernalia make us feel, whether we’re stepping out to paint the town red or preparing a badass ensemble for the boardroom.
But while we should celebrate our love of the things that make us look and feel beautiful, we should also be aware that buying beauty products can become an addiction. What started as a simple drugstore habit can quickly progress in to high end beauty buying compulsions, easily justified by the gorgeous and sumptuous makeup content everywhere on instagram! Suddenly you’re three Sephora orders down and wondering “Well, I have three months’ worth of ‘Better Than Sex’ mascara… Now how am I going to be able to eat?” Luxury or high end beauty products normally presented on instagram tend to be expensive and have become seen as every day sorts of items, rather than the luxurious goods they may be. Plus, unlike clothes, beauty products can be tricky to return if they arent right for you. And while buying them, taking them home and unboxing them is all part of the fun, it can have a detrimental effect on your bank balance… but you don’t want to stop either!
If your beauty habits are making you look into taking out another credit card or consider taking out guarantor loans from a direct lender, maybe it’s time to pump the brakes. Because you don’t want to give up on your passion any time soon, here are some ways you can still keep looking and feeling gorgeous without maxing out credit cards or wondering how you’re going to pay for the essentials.
. Do lots of lovely research and read reviews! When you find yourself swayed towards a product, first head to Google and do some extensive research. It can be so helpful to see if the product does what it promises, how it works, if it really works for people and it can also allow you to see what each shade looks like on different skin tones, beauty reviews will never go out of fashion, they are always so, so helpful and they often lead me on to discovering new products that will suit me even better! Make a little Pinterest board full of your favourite beauty posts and reviews.
. Start a special fund for that product – it can feel so satisfying saving up for a product you really wanted – or putting a little bit of money in to your ‘beauty fund’ every month, to be able to purchase a product you really, really want when it comes out! This can feel amazing, treating yourself knowing you’ve earned it and not letting it dip in to your bank balance at the same time!
. Aim for products you need – it’s easy to get swept up in the glamour of a new product launch but keeping tabs on what you have in your makeup bag, what you use the most and what you automatically keep reaching for – or keep borrowing off your friends/sister! – can ensure you get lots of lovely use out of the products you buy.
. Swatch to your heart’s content – take advantage of free swatches and samples in store! I feel like when we approach a counter there is a pressure to ‘get in and out’, to get the shade swiped on the back of our hand and quickly move along. Sometimes when it’s busy I like to pop back at closing time – or opening time the next day! Wednesdays and Fridays are said to be the best days as this is when tester supplies are meant to be refreshed in stores, but this might be different for every store – to spend some time with my favourite shades, allow myself time to browse and compare the shades I like with other shades, to figure out how much wear I would get out of them and allow myself time to browse as long as I need to. I also love to take wipes along with me because I know I will almost definitely end up a glittery smudgey mess haha!
. But be wary of department stores – there is an inherent sense of glamour about department stores. Everything is set up to compel you to make a purchase, glossy displays, counters, even the lighting is specially designed and strategically placed to make you fall in love at first swatch with every shade you try! They all look impossibly shimmery and gorgeous. A trick I like to use is to head out in daylight when I have swatched a product
or three and see how they look in natural daylight and also artificial light. Beauty stores look and smell amazing, they can make us feel gorgeous and sophisticated as we chat with the stunning and immaculately made up people behind the counter and there’s even the option to get fully made up ourselves. I love to support shops on the high street as I feel they will end up a rarer occurance soon – but avoid buying on impulse!
. Try making some of your own – for the girl with some time on her hands who loves a challenge, why not try making your own beauty products? Everything from lip gloss to eye shadow can be replicated from the comfort of your own home using inexpensive household items. It can be an amazing skill to have, to be able to make things yourself, and you can tailor them to yourself, make the products you always wanted to have or buy. A highlighter with the perfect amount of dewy, with no chunky glitter, the yummiest lip scrub, a really soft, creamy and whipped bb cream. Everyone starts as a beginner and you could make the dreamiest cosmetics. Make it girl!
Bea Johnson’s, author of Zero Waste Home, shelves were once positively lined with beauty products. Now her entire bathroom has only a few packaged items and she owns 15 pieces of clothing from which she can make 50 outfits. She barely spends anything on beauty, yet nobody could accuse her of being unglamorous. If you love a challenge, here are some great recipes for a wide range of beauty products. Trying your hand will save yourself a small fortune and the planet will thank you too. Even ethical beauty brands come with a lot of packaging, and in an era where hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling gets thrown into landfill waste, less packaging makes for a happier planet!
Load up on trial sized goodies – Free trials or travel sized essentials are a cash-strapped girl’s best friend. Trial sized skin care and beauty products not only help you decide which brands deserve your hard-earned money, they also help you to look and feel amazing without breaking the bank. Next time you’re browsing in the shops, don’t be afraid to ask about free trials. Or, better yet, check out sites like Magic Freebies. They’re an awesome source of information on where to find the best free stuff not just in beauty products but in all aspects of day-to-day living.
Get to know the active ingredients – Beauty products are just like any other products… Brand recognition goes a long way. But instead of paying a fortune for the brand name, it’s a good idea to get to know the active ingredients behind the products you love and find other, more affordable products that use them. You may well find that there are other products out there that use the same active ingredients or have a virtually identical formula for a fraction of the price.
Know which active ingredients actually work – Speaking of active ingredients, when it comes to skincare products, you can save yourself a small fortune just by doing a little research. Many of the impressive-sounding active ingredients emblazoned on expensive cosmetics don’t actually have the amazing properties that the brands claim they do.
For example, many moisturisers claim to be enriched with collagen and elastin. And while these are essential for firm and youthful skin, they cannot be absorbed into your skin. The molecules are simply too big. Your skin needs to be able to make its own, and that comes not from spending a fortune on brightly packaged products but from eating well and staying well hydrated. Here are some foods to try that will help boost your skin’s production of collagen.
Beauty products and cosmetics are fun, they are a wonderful way to enhance your natural gifts. Rounding out your beauty habit out with other lovely things like a healthy diet, good company, early nights can ensure extra beauty happiness… it’s all about finding that perfect balance.