Beauty Topic: Saving money in 2018 & top picks to stay on budget

It’s the start of a new year, and many of us make resolutions to improve our lives. Mine this year is to save more money. I want to travel more, and pay down debt, so in order to do that, I need to look at my overall lifestyle. If you Google “how long does it take to develop a habit”, there are few studies that come back with a variety of time ranges – anywhere from 21 days to 66 days is the average. But one thing that I think that can help in achieving a new goal, or fulfilling a resolution, is to think about the various factors that contribute to it overall. To achieve my resolution of saving money, I thought about the amount that I spend on beauty products in a given year and how I shop. Within the beauty industry, there’s a ton of marketing and advertising to drive the message home that you NEED to have prestige beauty products. But in reality, is that really the case? In a PeopleStyle.com study from March 2017, they determined that the average woman will spend $15,000 in her lifetime on beauty products. This doesn’t apply to services like hair cuts or pedicures, but just beauty products alone. I’m here to say “no” – you don’t need to spend a ton to look great and take proper care of your skin, hair, body and nails. Especially in this day and age, there are so many great brands that are delivering high-performance products that provide you with multiple options to spend exactly the amount you are comfortable with, without having to sacrifice quality or style. If you absolutely love a prestige beauty product (like perfume, foundation or lipstick), you can also look at splurging where it matters most to you, but then saving money in other beauty categories to make up the difference. Let’s take a look at some of these brands, products that deliver, and my top picks to help you spend less this year on beauty:

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Clockwise from the top:

  1. Trader Joe’s beauty: from skincare to body care, their formulas rival top dollar brands’ ingredients and performance, but cost a fraction of the price. The Nourish All-In-One Facial Cleanser is great for both men and women, and helps to combat acne while also being anti-aging. Their Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 15 is a great dupe for the Olay Complete SPF 15 lotion, and is safe for sensitive skin. If you love lavender, their Spa Lavender Hand & Body Lotion is naturally scented and soothes skin. I usually keep these stocked, as my entire family loves to use these products daily.
  2. e.l.f. Cosmetics: this brand was started years ago to provide quality beauty products for very low costs. I hate to call them “cheap” because it has such a bad connotation. What they do is remove the hype and high-cost markup that is found in prestige beauty brands, but still deliver on-trend and classic colors that perform. In addition to their Mineral Mascara (amazing!!), one of my favorite e.l.f. products is their “Tickled Pink” Blush, which is a direct dupe of the iconic NARS “Orgasm” blush. For $3, you can’t go wrong to give this a try and see for yourself.
  3. Simple skincare: available at almost all drugstores, this brand is focused on quality care for sensitive skin. I LOVE their Micellar Water, which gently removes all makeup, dirt, and oil as an essential pre-cleanse step in your nightly routine. This award-winning product rivals some of the most expensive French formulas on the market. I’ve often gone into a Walgreens or Target when traveling to pick up skincare products by Simple, especially if I realized I left an essential at home.
  4. LORAC makeup kits: yes, this prestige brand holds a special place in my heart. It’s founder, Carol Shaw, is an icon in my book. But what I also LOVE about this brand is that they often package their best selling products in kits or gifts at an incredible value! For example, a single LORAC Alter-Ego lip gloss is around $17 each. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I got this amazing Mod Goddess Alter-Ego lip gloss collection from ULTA on sale for less than the $26 sticker price! It’s a beautiful 6 piece set of high-performance lip gloss at a steal (worth $102). If you’ve never tried LORAC’s lip gloss, I highly recommend them – the color payoff is incredible, and the long-wearing formula deeply moisturizes. Makeup kits from prestige brands are a great way to save while shopping your favorites.
  5. L’Oreal mascaras: in truth, L’Oreal is one of the largest beauty companies in the world, and owns a large percentage of many beauty brands on the market. But one of their best performing values is the Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. If you want dramatic, long and full lashes, this is a go-to mascara for less than $10. Extra bonus, you can usually use coupons when purchasing or find a BOGO deal as well! Mascara needs to be changed out every 3 months to avoid eye infections, and there’s really no reason to spend more than you have to!
  6. EOS lip balm: while their classic round spheres are immediately recognized, I prefer the stick version of these awesome lip balms. I bought a few twin packs, as I keep one in my gym bag, desk drawer, night stand, and purse. Packed with organic ingredients and natural butters, they are a much healthier alternative to the petroleum-based lip balms and cost an average of $4 for a twin pack. I freak out if I can’t find my lip balm, so these packs make it easy to stock up and keep in convenient places.
  7. TRESemmé shampoo and hairspray: oh, how I love TRESemmé! One of my former coworkers once commented that she wished to be able to afford “fancy shampoo” someday. Why? There’s TRESemmé! I use their Extra Firm Control hairspray daily, and I’ll switch back and forth at times between their shampoos and other brands. They recently launched the Repair & Protect 7 shampoo, which is fantastic for color and chemically-treated or heat-styled hair. Shampoo goes down the drain, literally. So, I’m much more apt to switch up shampoos when needed, based on how much I want to spend. If your hair needs some serious repair, while maintaining color, give this one a try!
  8. Dove Sensitive Skin soap: this truly is a family-friendly, daily beauty product, and can be used from head to toe. It’s also incredibly budget conscious, and you can buy it in bulk at Costco, or multi-packs at Target. There are no synthetic fragrances to irritate sensitive skin, and it keeps skin healthy by cleansing without stripping moisture. Plus, it makes a really great shaving lather for legs!
  9. SheaMoisture skincare, hair and body care: this brand is fantastic! Not only for it’s social consciousness, but also it’s variety of quality, high-performing natural products. This brand is available at both ULTA and drugstores, and offers great solutions for beauty challenges, such as problem skin, dry hair, and anti-aging. If you want to take better care of your skin this year, and perform home facials more often, I suggest their African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask. Priced around $15 for a generously-sized jar, this mask deeply cleanses, soothes, brightens and unclogs skin, while being safe for those with sensitivities. Tip: Once a week in the morning, smooth this on your face, and then jump in the shower. The steam activates the charcoal in the mask, and allows it to work even better. As you wash your hair and body in the shower, let the mask sit for a few minutes to get spa-quality facial in a few minutes! Rinse and finish your shower as usual.

As you use up products in your daily routines, and want to cut back on costs, think about where you may be able to save while still maintaining your personal style and quality. Plus, all of the brands I mention above are raved about by beauty editors and magazines alike – the proof is in their performance, and you’ll see a savings!

© 2018 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Dry brushing & argan oil for healthy skin

With the arrival of fall weather, many people cringe at the thought of their dry skin getting worse. There are few tools that you may not be familiar with, but that are very effective at keeping skin healthy, glowing, and conditioned – dry brushing and argan oil. Both are actually ancient practices, dating back to Middle Eastern and Japanese cultures. But in our Western culture, it’s not something that has been usually taught or recognized in our day-to-day lives. When attending beauty school, I learned about both of these topics as means as both treatments and a healthy routine to adopt daily. Plus, they are easy and affordable to use!

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Let’s talk about dry brushing first: this is a method of lightly brushing the skin with a specially designed brush to gently exfoliate body skin, and promote a healthy lymphatic system. There are a bunch of YouTube videos and websites that talk about techniques on how to brush, as well as recommendations on the type of brush. For me, I love Sephora’s Dry Body Brush ($14), since it has a easy to grip design with two circular sections. Dry brushing should occur in the morning, and only take you about 3-5 minutes total. I do caution people with hyper sensitive skin that 3 minutes is usually enough – you don’t want to over-stimulate the skin, or risk irritation. For basic technique, start near the tops of your feet, using the larger of the brush’s sections to start circular, quick motions up your legs and body. I then use the smaller section on my arms, chest and shoulders in the same circular motions. After brushing, shower as normal. The benefits from routine brushing include helping to stimulate circulation, improve lymphatic flow, detox the body, and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

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And now let’s chat about argan oil: this oil has been used for centuries in Morocco, in both food and cosmetics. You will see it named or packaged differently within the beauty industry as Moroccan oil or argan oil, but it is essentially the same thing. Argan oil has a high content of Vitamin E, fatty acids, and is more resistant to oxidation than other plant oils, such as olive oil. But the benefit is that it’s easily absorbed into skin, and helps promote healthy moisture balance and skin cells. Some people do dry brush after applying oil to the skin – but I’ve found that this just makes the dry brush a bit gross after a few uses. So, I prefer the other common method of dry brushing first, showering, and then applying oils or lotion after showering. I don’t usually use argan oil just on its own – I especially like to boost my body lotion with a few drops of oil (combining both in the palm of my hand) to help my skin hold moisture. Argan oil mimics the skin’s own sebum, but it does not cause clogging even within combination or oily skin types. I love Trader Joe’s Argan Oil, which is a steal at $6.99. There’s no added fragrance that would irritate skin – it’s just pure, organic argan oil!

Another benefit to having a bottle of argan oil on hand is that it helps tame frizzy hair (just a drop or two), heal dry cuticles, and boosts the effectiveness of any moisturizer. I don’t recommend using it on the face during the day, for two reasons. One, if you have somewhat oilier skin, this can cause your makeup to slide a bit or not last the full day. And two, oil breaks down SPF protection – which you should be wearing during each day! Unless you have extremely dry skin, I suggest using argan oil on your face at night if you typically wear a full face of makeup.

Give these a try, especially if you typically suffer from dry, itchy skin. It’s also great practice to keep up with year round – you’ll notice smoother, radiant skin without having to spend that much!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Trader Joe’s moisturizing cream shave

For sensitive skin, hair removal can be a chore. Not that it isn’t already, but sensitivity also adds an element of increased irritation. In my experience, my skin has always been too delicate and reactive to wax frequently, so I’m basically left with shaving as my go-to daily hair removal. I’ve tried a lot of different shaving creams too, but I’ve found that foaming formulas or heavily scented ones create more irritation and redness. Many of you know I already love quite a few of Trader Joe’s beauty products, and I really like their Honey Mango Moisturizing Cream Shave as well.

 

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a great non-foaming shave cream

This formula does have a very light scent to it, so it is not fragrance-free. But what I really like about this product is that it provides great slip to the skin to reduce the drag of the razor. Plus, it is thick and doesn’t become watery in the shower, even though it is a non-foaming formula. It is very comforting to the skin, and rinses easily without leaving any waxy buildup. My husband uses it also for his face, and really loves the soothing results. For the price, it is a great value – we usually split a tube between the two of us for a couple months, and it’s a really generous amount to begin with. 

Naturally-based shave creams can often be oily, but this is not. I’ve not really been a fan of the whole “use coconut oil for every beauty product” bandwagon, and I know that many people were advising using coconut oil to shave with. But in truth, I didn’t like the idea of using an oil in the shower (because I’m a klutz and I’d probably slip), and I need to be able to “see” where I shaved or else I would totally miss spots. So, instead, this is a great product that not only delivers results, but is a great bargain for the impressive list of natural ingredients that it includes. Until I decide to try laser hair removal, I’ll stick with this.

© 2015 28daysbeauty