Shopping for clothes and beauty items is difficult when your heart says yes but your wallet says no. It’s hard to strike a balance, but maybe you don’t have to. Here are nine tricks you can use to look good for less. These tips will keep your heart and your wallet happy.
1. Keep it Classic
Fashion trends are fun but expensive to follow. Think about it. How much did you pay for that fringed leather jacket in the eighties that only the Tiger King would wear now? You’ll save a ton on your clothing budget if you stick to classic pieces that never go out of fashion.
The same is true for your hair. There’s nothing wrong with changing up your look now and then, but again it’s best to stick to the classics. A sleek bob, for example, is going to stay in style much longer than that I-want-to-speak-to-the-manager haircut. Get a trendy cut as a fad abruptly ends and you could end up spending more at the salon prematurely.
2. Shop Used
You can find a lot of great clothing, shoes and accessories at thrift stores and reuse-it shops. Sometimes you need to dig a little, but there are plenty of treasures to find in these shops. Unless you tell them, no one will know you only spent $5 for that $50 purse.
Remember to shop in your own closet, too. Most of us wear about 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. Dig deep into the back of your closet and you’re likely to find some cute clothes you’ve forgotten about. Some may even still have the tags on.
3. Always Shop with Purpose
We’ve all gone to the grocery store when we’re hungry and come home the proud owner of everything in aisle five. The same thing happens when we shop for clothes and fashion accessories when we’re hungry for a little retail therapy. Shopping for its own sake is equal parts fun and dangerous. Only visit the store when you actually need new shoes or a blue top for work. Shopping with a purpose helps curtail fun but frivolous purchases.
4. Try Home Remedies
If you want to save some cash, try skipping the spa and pampering your skin at home. You can, for example, reduce the appearance of rosacea and facial flushing with a homemade mask of crushed organic blueberries and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. You can also add honey to your hair or moisturizer to fix dry hair and skin. The internet is full of homemade beauty hacks that work like a dream and cost almost nothing.
5. Makeup Tattoos
If you wear a lot of makeup, you can save some cash by having your makeup tattooed on. You’ll have to pay for the tattoo, of course, but this can save you money in the long term since you won’t have to keep replenishing your makeup supply.
If you go this route, remember our previous mantra about sticking with the classics. Don’t tattoo a permanent cat-eye look onto your face, since one can only hope that this particular trend dies off quickly.
6. Swap With Your Friends
If you’re feeling the need for some fresh style but you’re watching your budget, consider raiding your friends’ closets. Maybe not Jackie who is a size two (and we hate her for it), but friends with the same shoe and clothing size as you are invaluable. If you’re sick of everything in your closet, call a friend and make a few trades.
7. Break Up With Your Dry Cleaner
That top may be super cute, but if it’s dry clean only, it’s time to part ways. Dry cleaning is expensive and largely unnecessary. While it’s fine to keep a special item or two that need dry cleaning, making the overwhelming majority of your wardrobe wash and wear is far more economical.
If you just can’t part with your dry clean only duds, try purchasing a home dry cleaning kit. These kits use your dryer and special solvents to mimic the dry cleaning process at home. It’s not the same, but it may save you some money or let you wear an item a few times before taking it to the pros for a deeper clean.
8. Go to Beauty School
Like anyone learning a trade, the students at beauty school need a chance to hone their skills. To let them do so, cosmetology schools often open up to the public, offering hair care and makeup services at discounted prices.
Scheduling an appointment at one of these schools lets you get a much cheaper hair cut and gives blossoming beauticians hands-on salon experience. It’s definitely a win-win.
9. Skip Online Shopping
Shopping online in your pajamas is nothing short of amazing. There’s not much better than having little boxes of happiness delivered to your doorstep, but it’s best to avoid shopping online for clothes and shoes. For starters, it’s hard to discern a product’s quality when you can’t feel it or touch it.
Note too that every manufacturer labels their sizes differently. You may drown in one manufacturer’s medium and not fit into the next one’s large. Buying clothes in person lets you try them on and know that they fit. If not, you can simply hang them back on the rack rather than going through the hassle and expense of shipping them back where they came from.
Style doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and these tips and tricks will help you look good for less and without breaking the bank. Remember, though, that the best beauty secret is taking care of yourself on the inside. A happy, healthy glow looks good with everything and it doesn’t cost you a penny.