Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beauty and the budget

The slumping economy shows no signs of letting up and even the most committed fashionistas are considering ways to trim spending. That’s OK. You can keep your look, and your money.

“Style goes beyond fashion and beauty products,” says personal style expert Bobbie Thomas, who often appears on the “Today” show. “You can be stylish without spending a dollar.”

Read Thursday's Style section for more tips, but here's one that might surprise you: shop for beauty products in your kitchen.

Olive oil, essential oils, sugar and salt are just a few ingredients that do double duty. If you use items you have on hand in conjunction with a box or two of hair color, salon-perfect hair at home is very do-able, says Lorri Goddard-Clark, author of "Hair Color Mix Book: More Than 150 Recipes for Salon-Perfect Hair at Home."

“Schedule an appointment with yourself,” she says. “Your home hair salon never closes.”

What are your tips for cutting expenses while staying stylish?


  1. Tough times call for tough choices, and I've made a few:

    Buying products on Ebay versus at the mall (a little more unpredictable but the savings are great!)

    Opting for a junior stylist for a haircut versus my senior stylist for every other haircut

    Waxing at home (although it's pretty messy and it takes much longer it's a ton cheaper than going to a salon)

    Buying store brand shampoo and conditioner

    Manis and pedis at home while watching TV

    I don't love this change and I look forward to getting back to the good 'ol days of salon visits, but I'm saving a lot of money relatively painlessly. I'm anxious to hear tips from others!

  2. I prefer online shopping for all my beauty products, it's so easy & saves money also.

  3. You don't save $$ with a Jr. Stylist! I, too, went to a "jr" stylist about two months ago. Still having the grow out mistakes growing out. Asked for NO layers, just a bob w/bangs, got layers,some so short, 3" to be exact, that it will take six months to grow out. And the color! Like a dead animal - mangy brown. Sure, the owner "fixed" it after I sent her several emails, but you can't "fix" layers when you didn't want them. I had one, told the Jr. Stylist, do not touch this, I do not want layers, this is the last one growning out. Without glasses (I wear bi-focals) I am blind, can't see my face in a mirrow, so I had no clue what she was doing. I spent $100 on color (if you can call it that) and a butcher job and hours of my time to get it "fixed." Word to the wise, no one can fix hair cut too short, you are going to look ugly for months. Don't do the Jr. Stylist thing, it really doesn't pay. Your hair will be fried, chopped up, not lay right and even with an owner "fix" you are not fixed. I went to Valeria to their Jr Stylist. I could have gotten the same or probably better at Great Clips.

  4. I would definitely recommend the chain hair salons--go to one for a haircut first and change to another one or another stylist if one suits you. Or, check out the stylists hair and walk out if you don't like it. I get my hair cut, colored and highlighted by some who is terrific and I have save big bucks.