HOW TO: Save Money on Makeup, Hair & Clothes! // Guest Post

Hello everyone!

Today I have a guest post for you written by Natalie who's a member of The Money Shed! The Money Shed is the UK's largest community website dedicated to earning money online in the comfort of your own home. It has thousands of posts and over a thousand members all sharing their fabulous money saving/earning tips.

Natalie will be sharing an abundance of tips on how you can save money on makeup, hair & clothes - over to Natalie!

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Everybody wants to look nice, but regular shopping trips to update your wardrobe and top up your make-up cabinet with the latest ‘must haves’ can really start to add up, and undo all of your money-saving hard work. Here’s the secret that make-up, beauty and clothing brands don’t want you to know: you don’t have to spend a fortune to stay on trend and looking good. Here are a few top tips on making sure your fashion and beauty budget doesn’t break the bank.

1. Make your make-up and beauty products go further.

With the average woman reportedly spending around £100,000 in a lifetime on cosmetics, and the average make up collection including a whopping 54 items, it’s obvious that beauty products are a naughty splurge for many women. However, you can make it all go further with some simple money-saving techniques.

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  • To make a shimmer lotion or highlighter for your face and body for a night out, stay away from expensive brands and simply mix the remains of any bronzer with any moisturiser.
  • If you’ve dropped your blush or eyeshadow and smashed it – don’t be tempted to throw it away and replace it. Adding a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol will help it to reset. Alternatively, transfer them to a small pot and use a brush to apply them – they’ll work just as well.
  • Bought a hair conditioner that you don’t like? It’ll work just fine as shaving gel for your legs, so step away from the bin.
  • Not sure what to do with the remains of an old lipstick? If you can’t get anything more out of it (try using a cotton bud!) then use a clean finger to apply it to the fullest part of your cheek and along your cheekbone as a cream blush.
  • You don’t need to apply powder all over your face. Just sweep a brush over your T-zone, and anywhere else that’s shiny, and make it last longer.
  • Add a few drops of nail polish remover to old nail polish that’s gone gloopy. Give it a good shake, and after a few moments it’ll be as good as new.
  • If you find you’re getting through your cream foundation quickly, dilute it with moisturiser. Not only will it last longer, but it will be smooth to apply and the colour will be light and even. Speaking of moisturiser – always use the testers in department stores before buying a full-size product. The back of your hand is a better testing spot than nothing, but to be absolutely sure that you’re buying the right shade, (opened make-up can’t be returned, remember!) test it out on your face.
  • Your fridge is for more than just food! Keeping eyebrow and eyeliner pencils in the fridge keeps them from softening, which stops you from using too much of them. Nail polish can also benefit from being kept in the fridge, as letting them get too warm can contribute to them getting clumpy and thick.
  • Lipstick is usually one of the more expensive items of lipstick in a woman’s purse. Save money by skipping lipstick in your everyday routine. Save it for special occasions, and go for a more natural look: use a little Vaseline to keep your lips looking healthy and shiny instead. If you can’t dare to be bare, Vaseline and Nivea do tinted lip balms for a hint of colour at a much lower price than lipstick.

2. Snip the price of your haircut.

Hair can be another huge expense, as women reportedly spend an average of over £28,000 in a lifetime on cutting and colouring their hair. It’s a great place to make savings, and you don’t have to resort to home dyes to scrape back a few pennies.

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  • Don’t fall into the trap of failing to think about the upkeep of a cut before you go for it. A short, layered bob sounds lovely, but are you prepared for the regular cuts to keep it in shape? (Cuts that look best in a particular style also take a lot of time – do you really want to straighten your hair every morning?) Save time and money by asking your stylist for a style that doesn’t require regular trims.
  • Likewise, think carefully about the maintenance of highlights before you have them done – they’re more of a commitment than you might think. If you aren’t brave enough to try it yourself with home kits, but don’t want to be heading back to the salon every few weeks to top up regrowth, try looking into the balayage, ombré and dip-dye trends. Balayage is especially hot right now, (think Khloe Kardashian style sun-kissed waves) but none of these trends need regular up-keep as the dye doesn’t start at your parting, but half-way down your hair or even lower. As an added bonus, these fashions are very easy to grow out if you get sick of them, so you won’t need to pay for expensive dye cover-ups.
  • Most salons offer a free trim for your fringe, so never hand over any cash for this.
  • It may sound scary, but getting your hair cut or dyed by a hairdressing student isn’t as risky as it sounds, because they are very closely supervised in the process. You can bag yourself an amazing discount by heading to your local hairdressing school (or training salons – look up your local SAKS) to be one of their ‘models’, and if you’re not fussy on style or colour, you can even get a freebie from time to time. (The same goes for your nails, by the way – local beauty colleges will often charge as little as £3 for a manicure!)
  • If you’re not convinced by letting a student loose on your hair, save a few pounds by requesting a junior stylist at your regular salon instead. You could save up to £30 depending on which ‘tier’ your regular stylist is on, and will be dealt with by someone who is fully qualified, although newer to the profession or the salon.
  • Finally, if you’re not happy with the cut or colour you’ve had done at a salon, tell them about it. If you discuss it before you leave, something can probably be done about it. If you only realise after you’ve left, head back as soon as possible and explain. Don’t be embarrassed – stylists will want to please you to keep your custom, and it’ll save you money in the long run as you won’t need to fork out for expensive ‘fixes’ at another salon.
  • Always keep an eye out for deals on voucher sites like Wowcher and Groupon – there’s often a hairdressing bargain to be had.
  • Lastly, try looking up a local mobile hairdresser instead of heading out to a salon. Their lower overheads can often lead to a hefty saving for you.

3. Don’t let your wardrobe become a money pit. 

Most women are guilty of having a wardrobe stuffed with clothes that they never actually wear. At nearly £85,000 for the average lifetime spend on clothing, there are definitely savings to be had here, but you don’t need to cramp your style to save some cash.

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  • ‘Capsule wardrobe’ is a term most of us have heard, but have you actually sorted yours? As a general rule, don’t buy an item that can’t be worn with at least three other things in your wardrobe, and don’t have more than three of any item (three jumpers are enough – step away from the sale!) Many classic pieces can be switched around to create a whole new look – make sure you have a good pair of jeans, some leggings, a little black dress and some simple block colour cardigans. Adding accessories – particularly statement necklaces, large scarves or handbags – can make the outfit look entirely different. Primark have a huge range of handbags and printed scarves that will only cost a few quid.
  • Ditch the stuff you don’t wear. Go through your wardrobe and think honestly about the last time you wore a piece of clothing. If it wasn’t in the last year, then it needs to go. Ebay is a great place to sell clothes – especially on a free listing day – but there are many other dedicated sites. Another alternative is clothes swapping among friends – it’ll give both of your wardrobes an update and cost you nothing.
  • Charity shops are always worth a rummage. If you love designer or vintage clothes, then this is a great way of getting the look for less.
  • The same goes for Ebay – if you’ve found something you really want to buy but aren’t keen on the price tag, check it isn’t on Ebay before you hand over any money. Search for the brand, size and name of the item, but also try a general description if that doesn’t work, (for example, ‘grey skater dress’) as people often don’t list the brand or name. If you can wait, set up an Ebay alert to be emailed when someone starts to sell one.
  • Buy clothes at the ‘wrong’ time of year. Winter coats are cheapest at the start of spring, and summer dresses are heavily discounted at the end of autumn. Shop the sales this way and you’ll save lots. Just avoid buying clothes that are smaller than you currently are, thinking you’ll look fabulous when you diet into them – it might never happen!
  • Care for the clothes that you already have. Read the label, follow washing instructions carefully and avoid the dryer unless absolutely necessary to make your clothes last as long as possible.
  • Stick to cheap shops for generic basics – don’t pay over the odds for a plain t-shirt from a designer store, as nobody will ever know. Even high street stores like Topshop and H&M can be much more expensive than Tesco or Primark for basics.
  • Get shoes repaired rather than replacing them – it won’t be free but it’ll cost a lot less than buying a whole new pair.
  • Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s or ASDA are a great place to pick up fashion bargains. Give them a go if you don’t shop there already – you’ll be surprised. If you’re looking online, click and collect is a great option to avoid postage fees.
  • There are some simple general rules to follow when trying to save money on fashion and beauty. Firstly, try to avoid ‘trends’, as clothes and shoes can become dated easily and constantly replacing items for the latest fashions can be expensive. You can also fall foul of this in beauty and make-up – the latest mascara is not always the best one! Before you buy beauty items, check out blog reviews with honest photographs attached, and always keep in mind that you might have a slightly different result on your own skin/face. If you absolutely must have an expensive beauty item, look for a sample size or request a sample at a beauty counter to make sure that it’s everything that you want.
  • Lastly, it’s all about control. You don’t have to deny yourself your favourite moisturiser or a dress you’ve absolutely fallen in love with, as long as you can make savings elsewhere. Choose which things are most important to you, and don’t make any hasty buying decisions. If in doubt – walk away. If you’re still thinking about ‘that’ pair of shoes/handbag/coat/nail polish 3 days later, then go back and get it (as long as you’ve already checked Ebay and Gumtree, of course!).

Well I don't about you but I think I've learnt a lot from Natalie! If you want more tips about money saving & earning, head on over to The Money Shed!

What's your top money saving tip?

Thanks for reading,