Looking Good On A Budget

Posted: November 26, 2012

Who doesn’t like looking good? 5 frugal beauty tips to save money and still be beautiful and well-groomed!

By Prerna Malik

With the festive season in full swing, chances are trips to the salon and boutiques are on the upswing. However, when one is on a budget and doesn’t want to break the bank, looking good may be a slight challenge.

Can you look good on a budget?

Yes, you can. You can look beautiful and be frugal as well. Here is how some smart women (including yours truly) do it:

Frugal beauty tip 1

Nourish your inner beauty: Yes, nourishing your body from within is a great way to look good outside. When you eat right, get enough sleep, laugh a lot and stay hydrated, your skin clears up, looks radiant and literally, glows.

I’ve had friends ask me what cream I’ve been using when all I’ve been doing is eating plenty of fresh fruits and salads, and drinking lots of water. Bonus: You get to stay fit and lose weight too!

Neera Ahluwalia, a Delhi-based busy mom of three, also swears by getting in some yoga or aerobic exercise to flush out toxins as well as meditation to reduce stress and the resulting worry lines.

Frugal beauty tip 2

DIY beauty = budget beauty: I have a confession to make. I don’t use soap to wash my face. Really. I use a blend of olive oil and castor oil and it works wonders. Not only does it cleanse my face, but it also moisturizes it beautifully.

Making your own beauty products is not all that difficult. My face scrub is nothing but a mix of some besan or gramflour and a teaspoon of turmeric that I mix with some yogurt at the time of application.

Another great body scrub is mixing some brown sugar or plain white granulated sugar with olive oil, rubbing it on and then, rinsing it with plain water. Deliciously soft skin in minutes!

Ahluwalia also vouches for rubbing squeezed out lemons on the back of her hands during summers to remove the tan and using half a tomato on her face for the same de-tanning purpose.

You can also do your own grooming at home and save money while looking like a million bucks.

Alka Ahuja, a Mumbai-based businesswoman, spends just some time every weekend giving herself a nice manicure and pedicure. She says, “I play some lovely music, light a diffuser or candles and create the perfect ambience, while luxuriously soaking my feet or hands and then, grooming them”.

Both Ahuja and Ahluwalia believe in looking good by choosing the right clothes for their respective body types. Well-fitting clothes, in colours that flatter their skin tone, are what both these women own. Personally, I own few outfits but the ones I do can be mixed and matched with the others and fit me well. As Ahluwalia says, “Clothes don’t need to be expensive. They just need to make you feel good.”

Frugal beauty tip 3

Believe in basics: Do you really need eye shadows in 10 different colours? Or blush in 5? How about paring down your makeup so that you have a select few items that really bring out the best in you and make you look gorgeous easily and simply?

Vandana Rahi, a Chandigarh-based makeup artist, says, “Most women buy makeup with friends or when they see other women wearing something. It may not always be the best choice for them.” Choosing your makeup products wisely will not only help you cut expenses but your skin will also thank you for not piling on too many products on it.

Frugal beauty tip 4

Bring the salon home: While Ahuja does give herself a manicure-pedicure at home, there are other ways in which you can bring the salon home. For instance, Nita Sharma, a single 20-year old student, loves blow dried and styled hair but can’t afford the salon each time. Investing in a styling kit has been her best decision ever, she says. Now she gets “parlour-like” hair at home.

I, for instance, colour my hair at home. I spend money on the colour by buying a brand that is expensive but easy-to-work with but I still end up saving a LOT.

Frugal beauty tip 5

Splurge sensibly: Finally, while being a budget beauty is definitely do-able and a great idea, you need to prioritize your skincare needs. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, maybe using olive oil to moisturize it wouldn’t work. Investing in an expensive but nourishing face cream will be a good idea in this case.

When you go the budget route for most beauty products and grooming routines, you can afford to splurge on things that you really need. Whether that is a rich hand cream for extra dry hands or a lipstick that lights up your face, splurging sensibly will not dent your budget as much when you’re saving smartly elsewhere.

So, go ahead, revisit your makeup and beauty routine and see how can YOU look gorgeous frugally and easily? Share with me in the comments and let’s look good together!

*Photo credit: yenhoon.

About the Author: Prerna Malik is the editor of The Mom Writes, a site for work-from-home moms and co-owner of Social Media Direct, a digital agency that offers quality, customized social media and web content solutions to business owners.

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Comments

1 Comment


  1. Good one, Prerna. One of the things I like about frugal beauty is that not only does it save your money, it is lighter on the earth too 🙂 Time tested options like using besan-milk to cleanse your face, green gram paste for rough elbows etc don’t cause any harm in the “manufacturing process”!

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