When people muse on the cost of beauty, often they are referring to the metaphorical cost. The cost of worrying about how we look; the damage it can do to our self-esteem; the image it projects of us as a society. All valid points well worth considering, but there is another cost that doesn’t get mentioned so often: the literal cost.
It is hard not to conclude that there is some link between looking good and being able to afford to do so. If you have sagging facial skin and an empty wallet, then it’s mainly tough luck or taking your chances with free facial exercise. If you’ve got cash to burn, then the same problem has solutions like high-end products or even cosmetic surgery. You have far more options when you have money to spend, so it’s difficult not to see the direct correlation.
But what about those of us that either don’t want to, or can’t afford to, spend a small fortune on maintaining the way that we look. It might be an ethical choice or a purely practical one based on our budgets, but it’s worth pausing and considering if it’s possible – and if it is, how you can make it work for you.
It’s All About Priorities
Rather than trying to do everything to the same standard, it makes sense to focus your resources where you’re most going to benefit from the expenditure.
Hair – Long or short, it’s one of the first things that we notice about a person. The cut doesn’t have to be high-fashion, but your hair should be in as good a shape as possible. Smooth, frizz-free and without split ends is all it takes.
Teeth – some studies have linked bad teeth with not being offered employment opportunities.
Nails – bitten, untidy or scabbed nails both look off-putting and reflect poorly on you.
Facial skin – we might all like to play with eyeshadows and lipsticks, but foundation and facial skincare should be the foremost considerations.
Make The Savings Where You Can
Having discussed where you need to focus, where are the areas that you can cut down on your costs?
Body hair – Shop around. For example, 99 Cent Razor is a dollar shave club for women which means you don’t need to spend half your weekly wage going to a salon for a wax. Shaving is simple, effective and is something you can do for yourself without the help of a professional.
Multiple makeup products – If you follow one of the multitudes of YouTube tutorials on a smoky eye, then you might be told you need: eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, highlighter. For a “simple” eye effect! Try and cut the variety of products you own down and learn how to make the same product pull double-duty. For example, black eyeshadow and a steady hand = eyeliner.
Contouring – Perhaps we have reached Peak Contour, but generally, this is something to reserve for special occasions only. Excess contour is making everyone look the same, so go individual, do without and save on the resulting products.
So save where you can, spend where it matters and bring together your finances and your love of beauty.