By Aly Walansky, Daily Makeover
Buying beauty productsEven when times are tough, it's important to feel our best. Stretch your budget by getting creative with your beauty routine, so you feel pretty while spending less.
1. Make the most of what you have. Squeeze your conditioner and lotion bottles until they cry for mercy, or just cut them in half when you're done to get the remaining product out. This works with other toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste and face wash, too. "If you use a product such as a concealer that pumps out too much at once which causes you to through extra product away, consider transferring the product to a different container, which allows you to use more of the product at smaller quantities at a time," suggests Miranda Reiter, a personal finance expert.
2. Find store or generic brand alternatives. Kendal Perez of Hassle-Free Savings used to buy Aveeno moisturizer for $15 until she compared its ingredient list to Wal-Mart's Equate brand. "I decided to try the store brand since it was priced $10 less. I've used the moisturizer ever since without problems, though Wal-Mart did raise the price to $10 (current savings: $5). I also buy the Equate brand of oil-free eye makeup remover that has the same contents as Neutrogena's popular product for $1 less," says Perez.
3. Use the real thing. Use pure products instead of diluted, more expensive ones. For example, there are products on the market with shea butter, aloe vera juice, olive oil, or rose water in them. If you use these products for your shampoo, conditioner or shower gel, it could be cheaper to add a little bit of the real thing. You get more for your buck, especially if the pure product in your readymade shampoo is way down at the end of the ingredient list. "Manufacturers list ingredients by order of volume contained in the product. Before using the pure substance, it's safe to test them to ensure you don't have allergic reactions against them," says Reiter.
4. Buy in bulk. "Last year, Sam's Club was running an Instant Savings special on select Aveeno products. I purchased two three-packs of Positively Radiant Daily Scrub for $10.98, $3 less than the typical selling price. I bought each bottle for $3.66 each, versus the $6.27 I typically pay per bottle at Wal-Mart. Regardless of the sale, buying in bulk always saves me over $1.50 per bottle," says Perez.
5. Learn to multi-task. Be creative, and think outside the box. Let your lipstick double as your blush. Let baking soda double as toothpaste. "There are numerous ways to reuse common beauty products in uncommon ways. Just because the packaging doesn't give you permission to do so doesn't mean you can't," says Reiter.
6. Stock up during sale time. "Ulta offers a coupon $3.50 off purchases of $10 all the time, but the deal excludes most prestige products that I purchase. Once or twice a year, however, they offer a 20% off coupon that includes prestige brands and that's when I stock up," says Perez. Instead of hunting for the paper coupon, consider mobile coupon apps like Coupon Sherpa to keep track of it digitally. Try to search for coupons whenever making a beauty purchase at places like Sally Beauty Supply as well as department stores. You never know what you'll find!