Whether you want to look good or just feel better, makeup and skincare traditionally come at a significant cost—but not if you’re a dedicated cheapskate. While the medications and beauty products you use must be safe, there’s no reason that you have to pay exorbitant prices to accomplish the goal. Here are some functional hacks for saving time and money on everything from deodorant to skincare and more.
Visit the Men’s DepartmentBuy men’s toiletries if you have a choice when it comes to unscented deodorant, shaving foam, and hair colorings, for example. Products manufactured specifically for men tend to be significantly cheaper ounce for ounce than those made for women. Go figure.
ShampooWith great confidence, you can confidently stop being a shampoo snob. In a Consumer Reports test of 132 name-brand shampoos, the lowly cheap brands from the supermarket rated just as highly as the pricey salon brands. Just make sure you know how to read the product’s list of ingredients. See EverydayCheapskate.com/shampoo.
Sunless TanSmooth baby oil on your skin and allow it to penetrate before applying sunless tanning lotion to achieve a more even, lighter tanning effect, especially on elbows and feet.
Hair Tint AlternativeSounds wacky, but bear with me here. As a color pickup for drab brown hair, rinse it with warm, strong, stale coffee. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse again, this time with cool water.
Hair ConditionerSlather mayonnaise liberally on your hair. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or a small plastic bag and heat with a hair dryer. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Shampoo and rinse well. This beauty secret is brought to you compliments of a professional cosmetologist’s collection of a secret bag of tricks.
Makeup RemoverYou can continue to spend big bucks for brand-name pricey makeup removers, or you can save a bundle and use baby wipes. They’re made for sensitive skin and won’t cause dryness or irritation.
Makeup PrimerMy new primer is not actually sold as a makeup product, but it is an amazing gel that doubles as a fabulous face primer. You have to trust me on this; I would not lead you astray. Monistat Chafing Powder Gel is outstanding for this use and outperforms any primer I know of.
Lipstick PaletteDon’t waste the last half-inch of lipstick buried inside the tube. Do what professional makeup artists do. Using an orange stick or other clean implement, transfer all of the product from the bottom of the lipstick tube into one compartment of a compartmentalized pill organizer (the kind with a little compartment for each day of the week, available at the drugstore for less than a couple bucks). Use a lipstick brush to apply. As you accumulate other colors, fill the rest of the compartments, and soon you will have a portable makeup palette.
Face-LiftHere’s how to give yourself an instant “face-lift” and beauty treatment: Mix 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and olive oil to form a slightly thick paste. Gently massage it into your skin, rinse well, and then pat dry.
Powder Your LashesThe key to fluffier and fuller lashes is a little translucent powder. After the first coat of mascara, dust your lashes with a gentle coat of loose powder. This will add volume to your eyelashes by making them look thicker. Add a second coat of mascara to cover the dust, and you'll see the difference for yourself.
Refresh Clumpy MascaraIf that favorite tube of mascara is starting to get a little clumpy, add a few drops of saline solution and swirl your brush around (don’t pump it up and down). That will add moisture to the mascara’s formula and give you added days of product.
Earring Back ReplacementIf you lose the back piece of a pierced earring, cut the eraser from a pencil and insert it on the post for a temporary fix.