For those of you that have read any of my previous articles in Cliché, you know I’m a BIG fan high-end beauty products. I absolutely love discovering, sampling, and sharing my favorite top of the line beauty essentials with our readers. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than finding a brand of mascara that actually gives you larger than life lashes or a shampoo that really does take care of those pesky split ends. Unfortunately, my love affair with pricey products does not mesh well with my new budget as a recent college grad and a newly employed schoolteacher. It’s painful to part with my favorite high-end products, but I’m starting to think it’s possible to stay fabulous on a budget. Here’s how:
While I’m not a huge fan of “do it yourself” projects, I’ve recently realized that it’s not a bad deal, especially when it comes to beauty products and remedies. In our last issue I featured one of my favorite beauty essentials of all time: European Wax Center’s Exfoliate. Not only is it incredibly effective in removing dry, dead skin, but it also smells like heaven and it’s super gentle. The problem? At $34.00 a pop, it’s not the sort of product I can afford to buy every couple of weeks. While scoping out Pinterest one day, I found one especially effective (not to mention super easy) home recipe for an exfoliator using equal parts brown sugar and warm olive oil, and a few small spoonfuls of honey. Scrub gently on a weekly basis for envy-worthy, budget-friendly smooth skin.
2) Choose Cheaper Alternatives
Obviously, you won’t be able to come up with a homemade version of all of your favorite high-end beauty products. Some products you will need to go out and buy. In that case, do a little research before buying and think about swapping your favorite posh product for a cheaper alternative. For instance, I have been addicted to Benefit’s “They’re Real” Mascara for months now. But like my favorite EWC’s Exfoliate, it’s not cheap ($23.00). Fortunately, there are tons of more price-accessible, drugstore brands that pack just as much punch when it comes to your lashes. Case in point: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume. At only $9.00, this consumer favorite saves you a few bucks and takes your lashes to the next level.
I’m totally aware that we (as in I) are not willing to part with some of our favorite high-end beauty products. I like to call these your “beauty non-negotiables.” Maybe you’ve searched for a cheaper alternative, but nothing you find has the same effect. For me, it’s Benefit’s Fake Up Concealer. This beauty essential offers unbelievable coverage. What’s even better is that the actual concealer is encapsulated by a moisturizing stick, which helps you avoid the cakey dried out look we all dread. This is a huge selling point for me personally, considering all of the harsh, acne-fighting products I use on a daily basis. I’ve tried time and time again, but no other concealer offers the same coverage while also moisturizing my dried out blemishes. So, what’ the fix? Because I know I need this product, I use it in moderation. Keep in mind that most high-end products are packed with strong ingredients, meaning a little bit goes a long way.
4) Join the Club
Along with DIY projects, I’m not a big fan of joining retail email clubs or frequent buyer cards. Most of the time, they only clog up your inbox with irritating announcements and surveys. But, there is an exception. Most beauty retail stores, such as Ulta and Sephora, use these email lists and clubs to send out coupons and invite-only sales for their most valued customers. Joining email lists or frequent buyer cards can be your ticket to purchasing your favorite high-end products and services at a discounted price. What’s not to love?
Photos courtesy of Sephora and CoverGirl.