Budgeting Beauty: How to Save on Essentials

When it comes to shaving our budgets, most ladies put beauty products in the “need” category. A study commissioned by Mintel validates this assumption, reporting consumers spent $2.32 billion on shampoo and $1.71 billion on conditioner in 2010 alone.

So what’s the best way to save on essentials without resorting to dollar-store cosmetics? Here are nine tips to keep both your beauty and your budget intact.

1. Hair Products
Consider extending the life of your shampoo (and hair color) by using dry shampoo or baby powder in between washes. When using shampoo and conditioner, check out these great tips and best bargain buys from DailyFinance.com.

2. Hand Soap
Foam hand soap is all the rage these days, and one of the easier beauty products to DIY. Refer to EHow.com’s recipe for specific instructions, but ultimately all you need is a lot of water, a bit of soap and a few drops of essential oil.

3. Makeup Brushes
In addition to extending the life on pricey makeup applicators, regularly cleaning your brushes is just the sanitary thing to do. And if you really need replacements, consider a tip given to me by a MAC Cosmetics artist; buy art brushes at craft stores for a fraction of the price!

4. Foundation
Whether you’re a liquid, powder or mineral foundation girl, you can use less of this beauty staple by applying a base before application. The Magic Perfecting Base by L’Oreal is a favorite among top fashion magazines, and is available for less than $12 from Walmart and Target.

5. Fragrance
Let’s be honest — designer fragrances are among the most expensive beauty purchases, with $80 buying less than 6 ounces of product. If you can’t part with your signature Chanel scent, buy gift cards at a discounted rate for retailers selling your fragrance and enjoy immediate savings.

6. Body Lotion
Moisturizing is a must for anyone who wants to avoid the shar pei-look at 50, but lotion gets pricey when you see the words “illuminating,” “firming” or “age-defying” on the label. Unless you have a serious skin issue, consistent use of most drugstore moisturizers is sufficient.

7. Hair Color
Prolong your color-treated hair between salon visits using household ingredients. Brunettes can use a strong pot of cooled coffee and blonds can use a lemon juice-water mixture. Apply the treatment after shampooing, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse, condition and style as usual.

8. Hair Accessories
Today’s trendy hair accessories can be homemade for a fraction of salon and department store prices. Channel your inner domestic goddess and create one-of-a-kind hair candy with beads, feathers and artificial flowers found in craft stores.

9. Less is More
There’s no need to wear your entire cosmetics collection every day of the week. Consider giving your wallet a break by opting for the basics during mellow workdays or lazy weekends. For tips on how to pull off the “au natural” look, refer to Real Simple’s step-by-step instructions.

Guest post written by: Andrea Woroch is a nationally recognized consumers-savings expert

The Beauty Diaries: The Importance of Primers

As women, we naturally want to juggle everything and look great while doing it.

Many don’t know the benefits of using a face primer and sometimes skip this essential product. However, after washing and moisturizing the face, primer should always be applied before any makeup application.

Primer is essential for many reasons; it serves as a barrier between your skin and makeup. Primer also helps your makeup last all day and gives you a flawless appearance. Face Primers are responsible for smoothing skin imperfections and temporarily filling wrinkles, closing pores and keeping oil at bay, so your makeup will last. When using primer, you will decrease the amount of makeup you need to apply in the morning, so you will be out of the door much faster just by adding this simple step to your routine

 Benefit the POREfessional Face Primer

Benefit Pore-fessional Primer

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The Beauty Diaries: How to save a sunburn

Sunburn Care

You wore sunscreen. You even reapplied it. But somehow, it happened: You got a sunburn. Maybe you forgot a spot, or maybe you didn’t reapply often enough, but whatever the cause, it’s red, it hurts, and you’d like it to be gone as soon as possible—without peeling, please and thank you. I asked New York City dermatologist Doris Day what to do if you burn more than just the marshmallows for your s’mores this Independence Day.

Get out of the heat.
“As soon as you notice the burn, the first thing to do is get out of the heat. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do that. Immediately, get to a cooler place and take a cool bath if you can to cool the skin so it stops burning.”

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Sleek and Shiny: How to Straighten Your Hair the Right Way

Sleek and Shiny: How to Straighten Your Hair, ProperlyWhen it comes to beauty, there are few things more covetable than long, sleek, shiny, straight hair. You know the look—the one that beguiled audiences at shows like Ralph Lauren and Chloé this past season? It’s the kind of style that somehow manages to look chic with everything from a great dress to a lazy Sunday outfit. (That’s how it differs from the more formal—and now, more passé—princess curls.)

But, according to some of our friends in the hair world, there are concerns about at-home straightening. After all, you’re clamping your precious, pretty hair with an iron that’s at the temperature required to bake a whole pizza! To help you upgrade your game, we asked them exactly what we’re doing wrong… and how to fix it. Read on to see how you score.

1. You’re not starting in the shower.Let’s get one thing clear: no shampoo or conditioner will straighten your hair. But hair care items labeled “smoothing” may be able to help prepare the strands for the process by providing major moisture. “Take a paddle brush to comb the conditioner through,” suggests stylist Sarah Potempa (who’s tamed Lea Michele’s mane!), “then rinse your hair gently. Once you’re out of the shower, don’t towel dry like crazy! That will enhance the natural curl. Instead, pat downwards gently.” As an alternative to traditional terrycloth, which promotes frizz, try the super-soft DevaTowel to promote sleek strands.

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The Beauty Diaries: How to Apply Bronzer

No matter what time of the year it is, bronzer is always one of my makeup staples. Some girls can pull off that creamy pale skin look perfectly – I don’t feel like I am one of those girls. I feel the most confident and happy with my looks when I have some sort of sun-kissed glow happening, whether it’s natural from a day at the beach, or fake from a healthy dose of my favorite bronzer.

If you feel the same way, I’m sure you’ll love this post. Bronzer is easy to use once you know what you’re doing – but a few extra swipes of the brush, and you could end up looking too orange, or worse, like your face is a different color than the rest of your body. It can be a little tricky to nail at first, so that’s why all of these tips are so helpful. Want to learn how to apply bronzer like a pro? Here are 8 bronzer hacks, tips and tricks for the perfect summer glow.


1. Apply your bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face, like so: 

how to apply bronzer tips


2. You can also use bronzer for contouring. Here are the best ways to apply based on your face shape. 

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