Beauty doesn’t have to be expensive

frugal beauty

One of the most frustrating things about the frugal world is while most people acknowledge that everyone is different when it comes to budgeting and spending, the approach to beauty is relatively one size fits all. The consensus seems to be that you don’t need to spend money on beauty products.

But personal appearance is an important part of living your best life. In order to be confident, it’s essential that you feel comfortable in your skin, whatever that means to you. Everyone is different, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to invest in your personal appearance to ensure your confidence.

That doesn’t mean beauty budgets don’t need limits, though. As I’ve said many times, the trick to living a full frugal life is balance. Here are some tips to ensure you look and feel your best without blowing your budget:


What is most important to you when it comes to appearance? Do you have sensitive skin that requires specialty makeup or lotion? Are you self conscious about your body and need certain clothes to feel comfortable? Figure out what it is that makes you feel your best, and focus your budget there.

My naturally curly hair is dry, frizzy, and requires a lot of effort to look nice. I spend a little more on shampoo and hair products, but I wash and style it less frequently to cut back on the products I’m using. Look for compromises to reduce the impact of your beauty¬† needs on your budget.

Try alternatives.

Don’t assume that the most expensive product is your only option. I spent years trying different hair care products to find a balance between quality and price. I’ve settled on some moderately priced hair care products bought in bulk to give me the results I want while spending the least amount possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other brands, generics, and even natural alternatives like baking soda and vinegar. If you can get the desired effect without spending as much, it’s win-win.

Go for quality, not quantity.

Find makeup products that work for you, and stick with them. If you have a drawer full of cosmetics, really consider how often you’re using those products. Wouldn’t your money be better spent on a few high quality products that work well for you? Really consider how much you need to look your best. Try to limit yourself to cosmetics that you’ll use every day.

If stylish clothing is important to you, it’s okay to spend a little more on the latest styles, but if you’re buying expensive fashions you’ll have to get by with fewer clothing items. Try to stick with classic styles that are likely to be fashionable for longer than passing trends. You’ll look stylish without having to buy a new wardrobe every season.

Focus on you.

So much of fashion and beauty is based on other people deciding what’s trendy, fashionable, and acceptable for everyone. The problem is that the beauty and fashion industry is focused on convincing you that you have to spend a lot to be beautiful. Do your best to focus on what makes you feel comfortable. The point isn’t to impress the world with a large collection of clothing and shoes; the point is to make sure you feel comfortable and look your best.

Ignoring the world’s perception of beauty is a difficult habit to break, but it’s an important step in looking and feeling confident without putting yourself into debt.

6 thoughts on “Beauty doesn’t have to be expensive

  1. Jill

    Have you read anything about the “no-poo”…people not using shampoo or any other cleansing product to wash their hair? Apparently it looks terrible for awhile but then the condition of your hair improves? As for beauty products, there are some where I splurge, some where I save. I’ve been using Cetaphil soap to wash my face for almost 12 years! It’s like 3 bucks, hehe
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Shred Level 2 =-.

  2. anne

    Good post! I feel my best when I’m well-groomed with a proper fitting outfit. Not neccesarily expensive either…

  3. Becky

    I always buy my makeup on ebay – new / sealed of course – but it saves me $ to buy someones surplus.

  4. Grace

    Good points! Another tip I try to keep in mind for makeup is to spend more on things that I can keep around until they are gone (moisturizer, blush, etc.) and less on things that have to be thrown away often due to health/bacteria concerns (eye products). Also, using a more expensive primer can make a less expensive shadow or liner or lipstick behave more like a higher quality one (last longer, show up brighter, etc).
    .-= Grace´s last blog ..Post BlogHer exhale =-.

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