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How to look good on a budget

Hellen Njeri @PeopleDailyKE

It is amazing how much female grooming requirements can cost annually. Experts say a woman spends about Sh200,000 per year to look pretty. The beauty therapy includes nail polish, waxing, hair dyes, manicure, body massage, hair extensions and facial treatment.

The amount barely covers take home products required to conceal, hydrate, buff and gloss your skin. Although grooming and maintaining a professional appearance gives you not just positive impression but also respect in the workplace, sometimes the cost does not commensurate with your income and one needs to strike the balance.

Here are some tips on how to.

1. Be creative

Salons are probably the biggest consumers of your budget. The quickest way to cut costs is to alternate your haircuts. When you’re due for a new ‘do, go to your trusted salon professional.

Once you’re happy with your cut, head to a training salon to maintain the look. If all you need is a trim, training salons, beauty schools, or even a less experienced stylist will give your tresses the tender, loving care at a third of the price. Besides you can buy hair equipment and do your styling and maintenance at home. 

Do not buy beauty products at the salon: the mark up at salons is often steep. If you are visiting a new salon, do your research on the stylists too: blindly scheduling an appointment could land you in the chair of a senior stylist, which is fine if you are willing to spend double what you budgeted.

2. Push a little more

Making your beauty products go the extra mile is really quite easy, given that most of us use way too much shampoo, conditioner and skincare products as it is. Stop yourself from dispensing more than a blackberry-sized spew of shampoo or cherry-sized spoonful of conditioner into your hand.

Most face creams only require small nut-sized amounts. If you take scissors to your “empty” tubes, slicing open your products and scraping the insides will give you at least another three to four uses. Buying your beauty products in bulk will also save you plenty of money.

3. Look out for coupons and discounts

Hunt the daily deals sites, like Jumia during Black Fridays or social media pages, and you could very well never pay full price for a manicure again. If you are already loyal to a nail technician, try both your manicure and pedicure at once.

Most salons offer discounts when you do both. You can bring your polish colour with you to the salon. Also you can touch up in between appointments to stretch out your visits. Keeping your nails moisturized and adding a fresh layer of top coat every few days will also extend the life of your manicure.

4. Limit your Indulgence

When it comes to makeup, limit your indulgence to the products that really matter to you, get used to products that have more than one use. A good cream blush can do so much more than flush your cheeks.  Storing all of your beauty products in clean, cool, dry spaces, where they will not break is important if you want to avoid unnecessary product replacement costs.

One of the most expensive cosmetics to buy is perfume, but if you identify the ingredients/composition you like in a pricey fragrance, you can purchase an essential oil or two to mimic the scent for a fraction of the original price. Also knowing the ingredients and their scent will help while shopping online. Always make sure you get the best deals possible when fragrance shopping especially online.

5. Work Remotely

One of the perks of working from home is that you do not have to spend on a wardrobe or commuting every day. Thankfully in this technology driven era, many companies are willing to allow employees to work from home. If your company does not have the policy, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

6. Look Happier

People who smile are seemly more attractive. Smiling is free. The science behind it is simple. Smiling makes people look friendly and responsive creating a easy environment even to work.

Evolutionally, people have been programmed to seek out happier people who will be approachable to their request especially in the business environment.

Smiling can boost your mood when you are feeling blue and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. A 2010 study found that making yourself smile when you are feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts which may lead to a genuine smile.

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