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DIY Beauty: At Home Beauty Tips That Save Money

Updated on February 1, 2013
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In the struggling economy, many people find themselves needing to make cuts. Unnecessary expenses that used to be enjoyed begin to add stress to the wallet. Little indulgences start adding up, and the time comes to take those high-end salon shears to the budget.

But a girl still wants to look good. So how can you make your beauty regime more frugal?

Here are some DIY beauty tricks to keep you looking lovely on a budget:

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Do your nails at home.

A trip to the nail salon can become a money vacuum when acrylic and gel nails require refills every 2-3 weeks. With a full set of acrylics costing $25-$50 (up to 20% higher for specialty designs like multiple color strands) and refills costing $15-$40, these beauties can pack a real punch to the wallet (prices based on low- to mid-range salons). Simply reverting to your natural nails can save you a bundle. Switch to at home manicures and you will really be saving.

DIY nail products have come a long way and there are many excellent options now on the market. Nutra Nail Gel Perfect 5 minute manicures, Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips, and Broadway imPRESS press on nails can help to give you the look of salon nails from home. Nail polish pens and mini wands enable cute DIY nail designs, and can be great fun to use with friends.

Select a hair style that grows out well.

A platinum blond pixie cut can be absolutely adorable, but be aware that this style will require a good deal of maintenance. Frequent trims and color touchups will persistently peck at your budget. Selecting a cut that grows out well will enable you to go longer between salon visits without looking sloppy. Consider something with mid to long layers or a bob that will also look good as a lob (long bob).

Cut back on the highlights and try going back to your natural color. If you have done a lot of bleaching, your locks will thank you for the break, and a darker, more natural color can be a gorgeous change. Not having to constantly keep up with your roots will relieve stress from both your schedule and your wallet.

Try at-home hair color.

We have all seen or experienced the nightmare of at-home hair coloring gone wrong. For many, this causes a permanent, irrational fear of home dye jobs. But if the right product and color are used, DIY hair coloring can move from a beauty don’t to a beauty do. The average price of single process hair coloring in a salon is $50. Compare that to an $8 box of home dye, and suddenly the option seems worth looking into.

As with many other beauty products, at-home hair kits have come a long way. Colors are longer lasting, easier to use, and healthier for your hair. The best rated at-home hair dyes include L’Oreal Feria (bright color with natural highlights), Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Color Blend Foam (easy to use, resistant to fading, and multidimensional), Garnier 100% Color (conditions as it colors), and the slightly more expensive Fekkai Salon Color (boasting professional quality color).

The biggest mistake people make with at home color is trying something too drastic, or choosing the wrong tone. Stay within 1-2 shades of your original color and select a cool, warm, or neutral shade depending on your skin tone to ensure natural looking results. Most hair dye brands have a hotline you can call for advice if you are unsure what color or dye type to use. If your hair has already been heavily processed, call the hotline listed on your hair color box before using to verify that you will not get a weird result due to chemical reactions.

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Cut your own bangs.

If you love a little fringe around the face, you can save yourself many trips to the salon by learning to trim your own bangs. Invest in a pair of small hair cutting scissors, as regular scissors are too dull and will give you split ends. If you are not confident in your shaping abilities, have a professional do the first cut. Then as your bangs grow, you can follow the lines already in place to attempt your first DIY trim.

Watch some tutorials on how to cut bangs online until you feel comfortable with self-trimming techniques. Once you are ready to give it a go, take it a little at a time! The most common mistake in cutting bangs is going too short. To help prevent this, dry your hair fully before you begin. Hair that is wet is weighed down, so it will always look shorter when dry. Remember, you can always go shorter by trimming a bit more, but once you have gone too far there is no coming back. Take your time and don’t rush the process.

Skip the high end makeup brands and try drugstore options.

There is something to be said for good quality products, but more expensive does not always equal better quality. If you haven’t used them in a while, you may find yourself surprised by current drugstore cosmetics. Have fun experimenting with lower priced makeup (do a blind test with the help of a friend for unbiased comparisons). If you are a die-hard high end makeup user, try mixing just a few cheaper brands into your existing collection. Every bit helps when it comes to saving money!

Here is a list of some of the best drugstore makeup based on user reviews:

Maybelline's Master Drama eyeliner

L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes

Maybelline Fit Me foundation

Covergirl SmokeyShadowBlast

Revlon Colorstay eyeshadow

L'Oreal The One Sweep Sculpting Blush Duo

Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick

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