Frugal beauty: How to look good on a budget

Pinching pennies doesn't mean you can't make yourself pretty. Yes, it's true that personal-care products and services can take a big bite out of your budget. By the time you've paid for your salon visit, your skin cream, your hair product, and your lip balm, you can easily be out $100 or more in any given month. You don't want to overindulge and blow a lot of money on personal appearance. All the same, it's important to take care of yourself, and it's possible to do so frugally. Here's how.

Do Less

I'll tell you a secret: I haven't washed my hair in weeks. I rinse it with water every morning when I take my shower (in my fancy, newly-repaired shower that now features hot and cold running water!). But I only shampoo and condition it about once a month. When I do, I use a 50-percent solution of shampoo and water. This means I'm using about 1/60th of the shampoo I used to use when I washed my hair every day with full strength shampoo. Needless to say, one bottle of shampoo lasts me a whole lot longer.

There's a whole “no-poo” movement for people who don't want to shampoo their hair. A lot of them rinse with baking soda and vinegar instead, but I've found that even that is optional.

But you don't have to dive into the deep end to minimize your beauty routine. Simply taking good care of yourself can dramatically cut down on the number of beauty products you need to use. When I asked readers for their favorite DIY beauty tips, a lot of them boiled down to simple self care.

Simple, free things you can do to take care of yourself without the need for products include:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink lots of water. No — I mean more water than that. Lots of water.
  • Smile!

Do It Yourself

Whether it's doing your own manicure or making your own deodorant, there are lots of ways you can cut down on personal care expenses by embracing the DIY spirit. Look at each of your regular personal care expenses and ask: Would this be cheaper if I did it myself?

Some ways to take charge of your beauty routines include:

  • Have a friend cut your hair. This clearly doesn't work for everyone, but if you have a relatively simple cut and don't need it to look perfect all the time, having your hair cut at home by a helpful friend or family member can save you a lot of money. Haircuts are probably my biggest personal care expense, so I try to space out trips to my stylist by trimming my hair at home and seeing her once every few months.
  • Use oils as skin cleansers. Instead of indulging in expensive skin treatments, many of my friends swear by the oil cleansing method for cleaning and moisturizing their skin. I've never used the exact method, but I have used olive oil as a skin moisturizer for years and love it.
  • Make skin scrubs out of sugar or salt. It's surprisingly easy to make very good salt scrubs at home with sea salt, massage oil, and a little essential oil. These are great for home use and make lovely gifts.
  • Making your own toothpaste. It's easy to make your own toothpaste. You can do it with just baking soda and water, or you can get a little fancier. Either way, it will totally get your teeth clean. Confession time: I did this for a year or so and then went back to using Tom's of Maine. It was just too weird to switch away from the toothpaste I'd grown up with. For me, toothpaste turns out to be one of the products I prioritize spending on, as I'll discuss below.
  • Make your own deodorant. Making your own deodorant is dead simple and it comes out great. Plus you can scent it any way you like. If mixing a few ingredients is too much for you, or if your skin is very sensitive, one commenter on the Instructables article linked above suggests getting a small spray bottle and filling it with apple cider vinegar to spritz under your arms.

Virtually any beauty product can be made simply and cheaply at home. Lip balm, soap, lotion, face masks, shampoo: A quick Google search will turn up DIY recipes for all your favorite stuff.

Doing it yourself isn't always worthwhile. Some DIY approaches, like making your own soap, can be time-consuming and expensive. Sometimes you can't easily replicate the quality you'd get from a commercial product. But often a DIY solution is fast, cheap, and easy. It's usually worth considering.

Prioritize Your Personal-Care Spending

Once you've minimized your beauty routines to the really worthwhile stuff, you'll probably find you have a few luxuries you're loath to part with. I have a dear friend who cuts her own hair, makes her own shampoo and deodorant, and never wears make-up. She splurges on $75 French moisturizer for her face, though. Nothing else works as well on her delicate skin. Since this is her one personal care luxury, she feels good about paying for the product she really loves.

You may find that homemade skin cream, or cheap stuff from the drugstore, suits you just fine, but you're unwilling to part with your Aveda hair product or your monthly visits to your stylist. Great. This isn't an exercise in deprivation. It's about examining your spending so you can prioritize paying for quality on the things you really want, while saving money on ones that are less important to you.

How have you saved money on your personal care routines? Tell us your favorite DIY beauty tricks in the comments.

More about...Frugality, Health & Fitness

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Margie
Margie
8 years ago

Drinking lots of water is terrible advice and people really need to stop giving it. You only need to drink enough to satisfy thirst and prevent dehydration. Unless you are exerting yourself or hanging out in Death Valley, it is generally not that hard to do. In general, you only need to drink water when you’re thirsty, not more than that. The whole “8 glasses a day” thing is not true and discounts the water present in all food we eat. And drinking past thirst, drinking excessive amounts of water in the name of better skin? Besides being totally pointless… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

Actually, I think water poisoning only occurs if you drink a large volume of water at once, not throughout the day. (You aren’t going to get water poisoning drinking 8-10 glasses of fluid a day.) I’m wary of the guideline myself, but I don’t think it’s as hard as it sounds. When people think “glasses”, they’re often thinking tall water glasses which actually hold more than a cup of fluid. My tea mugs hold about 16 ounces, for instance, and my water glasses hold about 18. A mug of tea three times a day and a couple of full glasses… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Elizabeth wrote: “My tea mugs hold about 16 ounces”

No they don’t. Measure them. You apparently have no idea how much 16 oz. is. I guarantee you that a normal-sized teacup – or even a regular coffee mug – holds nowhere near 16 oz.

Another Elizabeth
Another Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

I assumed she meant a travel mug, which probably does hold 16 oz…If you check amazon.com there are a whole bunch with 16 oz capacities.

Gia
Gia
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

My tea mugs also hold about 16oz of fluid. Maybe they’re not normal sized tea mugs, but that is the mug *I* am using for tea, and I do factor that into thinking about my daily fluid.

Your mileage (and your mug size) may vary.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

I do have a big tea mug that holds 16 ounces, actually. (Yes, I measured) I like giant cups of herbal tea in the winter. My water glass estimate was a typo though — they hold 10 but I have one that holds 12. That being said, the vessels I’m using right now — a large coffee mug and a tall water glass — each hold 12 ounces. So if I have a cup of tea and a glass of water in the morning, that’s 24 ounces right there (three cups, if my Canadian math isn’t off). My point is… Read more »

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thank you, Kevin, expert on all mugs. Ever. Everywhere.

Just for fun, I just measured the amount of water in my preferred mug for tea. About 20 oz.

Alexandra
Alexandra
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

I agree Margie.

It makes no sense that humans would have evolved to dehydrate without any warning. It turns out we didn’t – we get thirsty when we need hydration. When you’re thirsty, drink. When you are NOT thirsty, there is no benefit to it.

Too much water gets regulated by the body (we pee it out). It does not get magically stuffed into our facial pores to plump up our skin. That’s just silly and bad advice.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Alexandra

I’ve been at work concentrating so hard on tasks that the day will be almost over and I’ve forgotten to drink water, eat lunch, even go to the bathroom! Unfortunately I’ve trained myself to ignore nature’s cues and I’ve seen the same thing happening with my coworkers. If I don’t consciously decide to drink water, I won’ do it. Yes, ideally we would drink when we are thirsty but that doesn’t always happen, so I think the reminders to drink enough water are still needed.

Katie
Katie
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Except that 99% percent of the reminders are about drinking water, not making sure you eat enough, despite that being equally crucial to survival.

Jessie
Jessie
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I’m with you, Vanessa. If I don’t remind myself to take care of basic functions while at work I won’t do it until it gets to an extreme point. The reminder to drink water is an important one for me, otherwise I’ll forget and get a headache.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

@ Katie — I don’t think many North Americans need reminders to eat enough. Seems to me we go the other way…

I keep a full glass of water by my side at work because I tend to “mindlessly” drink while reading or on the computer. Helps with the hydration, and sticking to water only means I’m dodging all the extra calories too.

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I agree. On top of that, many of us drink so much coffee (many times with added sugar) and other substances that leach water out of your body. Not to mention people who drink sodas, juice, etc.

I notice when I don’t drink enough water, I have headaches, slow bowels, etc. I try to drink a gallon of water a day, but then again, I do work out often.

Erin
Erin
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Exactly! People need to be reminded to drink water because it does not come naturally for most people. I work with several people who drink Diet Coke all day and NEVER drink water (haven’t for 3-4 years). Water helps flush impurities out of your system and helps curb false hunger (when you’re acutally thirsty and can’t tell). It would take a person chugging more than a gallon of water in one sitting to get water poisoning so that above comment is just ignorant.

Margie
Margie
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Water most definitely does NOT flush out impurities. Sorry, folks.

Suzanne
Suzanne
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I will jump in on this yet again. Water poisoning is a real concern, and it happens. I have learned a little about it because I have a friend that can only drink small amounts for medical reasons. Water poisoning is caused by a lack of sodium in your system. Drinking water flushes out the sodium, which is normally a very good thing. But you do need a small amount of salt in your body. So if you keep chugging it, particularly if you’ve had stomach issues (I think you know what I mean) then you really can flush out… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I agree with this. I think most of us have trained ourselves to ignore thirst. I know that if I sit down to meditate, the first thing I am aware of is that I am incredibly thirsty. So now I drink before I sit. I was not aware of thirst until I started drinking more water, now I really notice it in thirst and how my body operates. When i work out, it isn’t unusual for me to need 4 or 5 cups of water to stay hydrated.

fetu
fetu
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

It is a known fact that the bodies of elderly people seem to tell them less that they need to drink more. That is why many elderly that are admitted to ER are dehydrated which can lead to other issues. So if you are getting older you need to push yourself to drink more water.

lmo
lmo
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

Actually, thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated. So no, it is not a good idea to only drink when you are thirsty, not to mention that quite a few people have “broken” thirst detectors as their bodies have adjusted to not craving water. With the invention of AC and Heaters, and dieretic medications and drinks, today’s humans is our society need to be reminded if it is not a habit. To say it is “terrible advice” makes no sense. As others have mentioned water functions beyond satisfying thirst. Ideally, your urine should be pale, almost clear. If… Read more »

Margie
Margie
8 years ago
Reply to  lmo

I’ll just leave you with these:

http://www.slate.com/id/2188159/
http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Sara A.
Sara A.
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

The Snopes article calls it a “rule of thumb, not an absolute minimum.” So your sources are arguing against you.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

The ‘eight glasses of water’ adage is one of the greatest medical myths that won’t die! Close on its heels is the concept of ‘flushing out’ anything. I hate that people waste time and misinform each other without checking facts! This will be easier as more journals become open-access and we improve our scientific literacy, I like to think! For background, I do public health research (PhD) and am surrounded by doctors (MDs). My boyfriend actually looked up that 8 glasses of water (mis)citation back in medical school to see how it got started. Those citing the paper missed the… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
8 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

This is the problem when you rely strictly on “research” only…UGH. Sorry…but as a bedside ER/ICU nurse for 15+years this is one of pet peeves…when “research” dictates that everyone must be a round peg that fits in a round hole. For goodness sakes..there are people that will need 4 glasses of water a day to “feel good” and there are people that will need 14 glasses of water a day to “feel good”. And in my career I have seen only a handful of cases of hypnatremia leading to cerebral edema caused by over indulgence in water. Usually all cases… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer

@Jennifer: I think we’re in agreement. The ‘eight glasses per day’ rule was more of a problem with medical culture than the state of research, however. I’m not a medical doctor, but I agree it seems reasonable that different people will have different requirements for how much water they need from day to day. Foods differ in how much water they contain, and someone eating more fruits and vegetables will need to drink less water than someone consuming more. Older people and people who drink a lot of caffeine will need more water. (My thirst sensation definitely gets messed up… Read more »

Ali
Ali
8 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Yep, I didn’t get my peaches and cream complexion from drinking lots of water, I got it from a prescription to Accutane and daily applications of sunscreen. Unfortunately, my clear complexion comes at a cost, but it makes for a much better quality of life.

Jennifer
Jennifer
8 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Yes…it does sound like we are in agreement:-)

BUT…

I never will forget one of my all time favorite docs stating that there has NEVER been a study concluding that evidence based medicine results in better outcomes. Never quite knew if he was serious or not..LOL

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  Ali

@Jennifer: That cracks me up. I love that “evidenced-based medicine” is even a distinct concept. It’s like, “Medicine: New & Improved–with Science!”

Angie
Angie
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

Margie says, “Drinking lots of water is terrible advice and people really need to stop giving it.”

Agreed! Vodka for all!

Also, the Slate article you linked to further down in the comments had another article on their site, “How does booze extend your lifespan?”:

http://www.slate.com/id/2265659?wpisrc=obinsite

LOL…. now, as you were comrades!

Geoff
Geoff
8 years ago
Reply to  Margie

I encourage people to read the advice provided by the experts at the Mayo Clinic regarding water intake.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

I’m skeptical of all “golden”, “one size fits all” rules. Do your research as it relates to yourself. Your actual experience should be more important than what people post on a public forum…

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  Geoff

I was wondering how this post could have 272 comments… now I know– it’s all about the drinking! Water, cup size… incredibly controversial topics.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago

“How to look good on a budget” by looking like a hippie? Filthy hair and terrible haircuts? Really??

Next: How to save money on rent by living in the street. And on Frugal Kitchen– Rats. It’s what’s for dinner!

Suzanne
Suzanne
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I have to agree. I know that this article (like most at GRS) is not meant for everybody. I really do. But washing your hair once a month to save money??? I have a friend with super long hair who washes it onnce a week. I guess if you don’t work out or don’t perspire maybe it can work. I have to wait three days after getting my hair highlighted and its like torture. The last day it looks wilted (yes, I rinse it). What % of GRS readers don’t work in a traditional office setting? Maybe its larger than… Read more »

Peter Brülls
Peter Brülls
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

It totally depends on the hair type and of course if the hair and skin is exposed to outside influence.

If you work at a farm, coal mine, kitchen, etc – you’ll need some kind of soap.

If you don’t work up a sweat and change clothes daily *and* have no BO condition (like malfunctioning glands or disagreeable bacteria in your armpit), you can get by with water. OTOH, some people just have naturally oily hair. In summer weather, they’ll need shampoo.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago

Yeah — the more you wash your hair, the more it needs to be washed. That is, if you wash it every day, it will start to look stringy, greasy by the next day. Extend it to two days and after a couple of days, it won’t look like that until two days are up. Keep going and… In the first 2/3rds of the last century, weekly hair washing was the norm. I remember some of my mom’s friends warning her that my hair would all fall out if it was washed daily. Your body adjusts its production of oil… Read more »

L
L
8 years ago

I wash my hair with baking soda each day (no vinegar, didn’t look good.) But I do consider it *washing* since I use enough to get clean!

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago

@Jen, remember, carrying orange peels in a handkerchief for use when the body odors of others got to be too much was also the norm. 😉

Another Kate
Another Kate
8 years ago

Well, maybe I’m the kind of person who has extra oily hair. I have wavy hair and tried the “no poo” thing for a decent stretch of time (at least a month) thinking it would improve the way my hair looked (that’s what a book on curly/wavy hair suggested). Turns out I just had people who cared about me tell me “you really need to wash your hair more often, dear.” I’m much happier and better-looking with modern American grooming habits.

mbass
mbass
8 years ago

I have to agree that this is too much. Saving and watching what you spend is one thing, but to not use shampoo and make your own deodorant to save money? Next step – digging through others’ trash.

Crystal @ BFS
Crystal @ BFS
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

I work in an office setting and I have a really dry scalp, so I only wash my hair once a week to prevent itchiness. I never get oily hair. It really depends on hair type, right?

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Crystal @ BFS

I only wash my hair with shampoo when I use other products on it, or if I sweat a lot. I’m with you, if I wash my hair daily, my scalp gets too dry. Heck, if I shower more than every other day, my eczema goes insane. And no, I don’t smell. Heck, every other day and I can still smell my “unscented” soap-smell. I use deodorant about once a week–even with a salt scrub in the middle, it works for that long. My boyfriend can stick his nose in it and not notice I don’t have any on. Bathing… Read more »

Laura in Cancun
Laura in Cancun
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

I always washed and conditioned my hair every day, and it would get greasy by day 2. About two years ago, I started gradually waiting longer between hair washes… first one day, then two, then three… After 2 years, it’s gotten to the point where my hair will look clean for 3 days. By day 4, I might need to pull it up into a ponytail. I wash my hair 1 – 2 times a week (more if I go to the beach, obviously). Even when I do wash it, I only lather up the roots. I don’t do it… Read more »

Leah
Leah
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

I work out, and I only wash my hair once a week. I did go a month once without any shampoo/conditioner (just rinsing), and it seemed to work okay. But I prefer the texture of my hair with that weekly washing. Somehow, when I work out, I seem to be good with just a “sponge bath” (washcloth + sink) in the sweaty areas. My hair dries out just fine and doesn’t smell. And I promise you I really don’t smell gross — my boyfriend and several friends have assured me that I smell just fine. What works for me definitely… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I’m not buying that whole your hair adjusts to less washing thing. I grew up with a Dad who washed his hair once a month “whether it needed it or not.” We kids embarassed him into washing it once a week, but it was still pretty gross by day 5 or so – and he showered every single day.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

I would say that it does adjust, if you are not super oily – at least for a moderate amount of time between washings. In highschool, I “needed” a shower every day. Now, in an attempt to save time and money – I have a “real” shower once every 2-3 days. Before my hair looked horrible if I even tried to not wash it on day 2. Now I can make it to the end of day 2 or 3 and have it look okay. I agree that a month is far too long (for me, at least). I might… Read more »

Caitlin
Caitlin
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Needing to wash your hair everyday is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Washing your hair every day with shampoo strips the natural oils from your hair. This causes your scalp to really ramp up production of those oils, in an attempt to regain balance. This excess production of oils makes your hair look oily the next day, so you shampoo again and “lather, rinse, repeat” the cycle every day.
If you can break the cycle, your scalp will stop over-producing oils, and your hair won’t be oily. Simple.

Lindsay
Lindsay
8 years ago
Reply to  Caitlin

Washing with shampoo *should* strip the oils from your hair. The oils produced by your head (unless you are black, in which case you do not produce these oils) are what make hair dirty, stinky and lank. I’m not saying you need to shampoo every day, that is excessive for most people who can brush the oils through their hair, but after a day or two, it starts to get really heavy with oil and it smells. I knew someone who was doing the “no-poo” thing. He was talking about how great it worked. I didn’t have the heart to… Read more »

Natasha
Natasha
8 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay

Black people produce the same oil. You just don’t see it as much because our hair is more curly/coily and it absorbs much faster.

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I genuinely don’t see how a person with even low levels of perspiration can go a month without washing their hair!

ali
ali
8 years ago
Reply to  Luke

What Sierra is talking about still is cleaning your hair, just not with shampoo. And again it depends on the type of hair you have. From what I’ve read people with curly hair benefit more for the no shampoo thing than those with long straight hair. However, I used to have really really short hair- couple inches long – and I used a lot of product to style it. I only used shampoo on my hair twice a week. But each day when I was taking a shower, I’d scrub my hair clean with water. It was easier to style… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  ali

Fact: accumulated sebum gets rancid, just like every other fat exposed to oxygen. Draw your own conclusions with regards to smell and attractiveness.

James
James
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

This is exactly the kind of response I feared this article would bring. Too bad there’s no “unlike” button. El Nerdo, you have completed misunderstood the thrust of the article. The last two paragraphs are quite clear that it is about cutting what you don’t need so that can spend more on what you need/want to look good.
No one wants to look ugly, but you don’t always need expensive shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, moisturizer, shaving cream, makeup, etc to do so. As always on GRS, it’s about spending/consuming *consciously*.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
8 years ago
Reply to  James

No, El Nerdo got it right. As is the theme lately, Sierra’s articles are mostly just about “how to live like Sierra”, which seems to be synonymous with “how to be a hippie”. There is nothing in this post about looking good — not a single one of the “tips” even implies *anything* about looking good. Sure Sierra doesn’t wash her hair. Does it look *better* that way? The post doesn’t claim so. It doesn’t even claim to look *as good* as regularly washed hair. The “get a friend to cut your hair” tip pretty much concedes that it will… Read more »

jennypenny
jennypenny
8 years ago

I couldn’t agree more. I’d rather skip eating out once a month and put that money towards grooming. (Who’d want to go out with me anyway if I smelled like apple cidar vinegar??)

This post takes “sweat the small stuff” to a whole new level.

Sara A.
Sara A.
8 years ago

You’ve obviously never seen Sierra in person. I have. Trust me, when she implies that she does all this and still looks good, she’s telling the truth.

Bella
Bella
8 years ago

I hit the like button but I just had to follow up. these suggestions are WAY better than the posts – the thing is except for smiling, they’re harder to do than say just not washing your hair. They’re more about fundamental changes to how one views one’s health and wellness – more GRS.

Jessica
Jessica
8 years ago

Julia Roberts washes her hair once a month. Any reputable hairdresser will tell you to wash your hair as little as you can get away with. I don’t know you, Tyler, or any of the other people on this thread commenting about rancidity and the ‘aggression’ of other people’s smells, but I can guarantee that those sorts of people know more about looking good and not looking like a filthy hippie than you guys do. But yes, obviously getting an hour or so of cardio a day is a much better tip for looking good on a budget than anything… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  James

“This is exactly the kind of response I feared this article would bring. ” James, are you a GRS editor? If so, you should have requested a rewrite so that the article conveys the notion of “conscious spending” rather than “personal hygiene miser”. I did not misunderstand the thrust of the article. Sierra shampoos once a month. This is not surprising. She was also willing to live with a broken shower in order to pay for yoga lessons (it’s in the discussion before she wrote the out-of-context apologia that’s linked from here). Good for her however she rationalizes it. Makes… Read more »

James
James
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

El Nerdo, I am not an editor, just a commenter like yourself, but as I read the article I knew that many of the comments might be “She can’t look good!” and “I don’t want to smell like a hippy!” My interpretation of the article differs from yours. I see it as Black offering some ideas that she uses that others might try, not a commandment to adopt every piece of her advice. Some commenters say they have tried some of the ideas; good for them. In some cases they worked, in some cases not. I’m just going to quote… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

C’mon James, nobody is saying that Sierra is going to take away our soap at gunpoint– that’s a straw man argument. What Tyler, Margot, Jennypenny, yours truly, and others are saying here is a lot simpler. We’re saying that suggesting that you stop shampooing in order to save a few pennies is crap advice from both the grooming and financial standpoint. This is not about how to look good on a budget, it’s about how living by agrarian ideals in a late capitalist economy can save you a few pennies. If you choose to “save” money by tolerating pre-modern hygiene,… Read more »

imelda
imelda
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

El Nerdo, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. The “no-poo” movement is well-established at this point. I have at least two curly-haired friends who swear by it, and I assure you, they do NOT smell bad. Their hair does not look dirty – in fact, it looks fantastic. Everyone is different. Everyone has different hygienic needs. Many black people do not need to shampoo nearly as often as white people – once a week, or even less, is enough. Sierra’s article is an invitation to reconsider our grooming habits. Maybe we’ve been deluded by advertising into doing more… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I’m curious about whether it’s truly sanitary to go a month without using soap on hair. I study the transmission of viruses and bacteria, and a lot of research goes into determining the role of “fomites”–things like door knobs, desks and neck ties that people touch many times between cleaning, and which can (depending on the pathogen) be a great surface on which to persist and get picked up by someone else. If you have very short hair that you don’t touch often, I guess it doesn’t matter how often you wash it, but I wonder about hair that’s touched… Read more »

Valerie
Valerie
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Having a friend cut your hair doesn’t necessarily mean terrible haircuts. My husband and I cut each other’s hair and we have no formal training. I use clippers followed up with scissors for trimming his and he watched a bunch of Youtube videos to learn to do mine. The first cut he tried turned out different than what I was used to, but it wasn’t terrible, and now he’s even gotten the hang of layering. A professional stylist might be able to tell the difference, but no one else can. We save a good $45/month doing it this way and… Read more »

margot
margot
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Agreed,El Nerdo. Washing one’s hair once a month, just to save money, is idiotic. If it’s because that’s your grooming preference or because you’re trying to save the environment, at least those are good reasons and please indulge in irregular washing. However, it’s possible to buy a bottle of shampoo for around 99 cents on sale or at a dollar store or cheaper grocery store. The bottle will last for months. With the hundreds of ways to be frugal, this suggestion is idiotic. And it barely saves pennies. In fact, making one’s own products is rarely cheaper than just buying… Read more »

Storms
Storms
8 years ago
Reply to  margot

I work in the Personal care manufacturing business and I can tell the generally most of the products that are sold at a lower cost are made from lower quality ingredients. So something that retails for $0.99 the ingredient cost could be as little as $0.10 or lower. Thinning out the product is going to dramatically reduce its effectiveness. When Ms. Sierra might think that shampooing her hair once a month with a very very small amount of shampoo is effective she may as well not do it at all since she has diluted the product. While she is entitled… Read more »

Sarabeth
Sarabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

What’s with all the over the top outraged about someone else’s beauty product choices? Living in California, I interact with my fair share of hippies. Both the no-shampoo and oil cleansing method (for your face) are pretty common hygiene choices among my friends. And they work fine. People are cleaning themselves, just using slightly different methods. In fact, most people I know who use these methods do so not to save money but rather because it improves their appearance. Look, if these things don’t appeal to you, don’t do them. But the gratuitous insults for choices you obviously know nothing… Read more »

Christine
Christine
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I am a stay at home mom and still need to wash my daily, it’s just my hair type. One thing I did when I decided to stay home with my girls was just switch to a cheaper brand. I use coupons and match with sales. I try to stretch out my haircuts, but I will always take the time to splurge on highlights.

Basically there are other ways to save.

Karen in MN
Karen in MN
8 years ago

I’ve been obsessive about skin care for most of my life, and yes I do spend a lot on fairly high quality basics (Clinique, Estee Lauder etc). If you tend towards acne (I do) you need balanced and light moisturizers–olive oil just isn’t going to cut it.

Also, one of the things you can’t DIY is sunscreen it’s in all the high-end commercial moisturizers. You may not care now, but when you’re 50 like me it’s really worth it to not to have wrinkles and sun damage all over your face.

Lis
Lis
8 years ago
Reply to  Karen in MN

Karen, I have very sensitive, very dry skin that is also very prone to breakouts. In highschool, college, and beyond, it was not unusual for me to have several large, painful zits and simultaneously have multiple areas of visibly dry skin. Even in my mid / late 20’s (I’m 29 now), I experienced regular breakouts along with easily irritated and dried skin. I had highly visible blackheads all the time. I had a serious problem with moisturizers – if my skin was finally comfortable and not dry, I broke out. If the zits were under control, my skin was flaky… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
8 years ago
Reply to  Lis

I have Rosacea and found Jojoba oil to be the best for my skin type. Very light, not greasy.

STRONGside
STRONGside
8 years ago

I understand the spirit of this article, but I really don’t think it wise, smart, sane to spend all of the extra time it takes to make your own personal hygiene products when you can get them VERY cheaply at stores all across the country. For me, its about saving money in the big areas, and working to increase my earnings, rather than obsessively worrying about cutting out these small items, and yes, I wash my hair every day.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  STRONGside

I think it depends on what you try. A lot of recipes I’ve found for beauty products expire in a short period of time because they don’t contain any preservatives. That’s a good thing, but I don’t have time to keep making product. Then again, I’ve never been one for facials, scrubs, pedicures, etc.

I do use olive oil as a conditioning mask once a month and it does wonders for my hair.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  STRONGside

I make most of my own personal hygiene products and household cleaners, not because of frugality (though that has been a HUGE perk) but because of chemicals. We absorb 1/2 to 3/4 of what we put on our skin, and most of the commercially-available stuff (and ALL of the cheap stuff) is loaded with crap. It doesn’t take that much time to prepare cleaners (it’s not like I need to whip up a fresh batch of deodorant every morning!), they’re much healthier, they’re much cheaper, and they work just as well (since I have no medical conditions that would dictate… Read more »

Morbly
Morbly
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Hear, hear! I also make my own beauty products because I can’t stand the fragrances in even the ‘unscented’ or ‘fragrance free’ versions. The deodorant I make at home works well, smells fine, and costs almost nothing. I have to say that washing hair with a baking soda solution really does feel like washing with shampoo, once it dries. I do that and use a solid conditioner bar from Lush (that has lasted a year so far) and my hair looks wonderful. Even acceptable in a high-profile business setting. I would say this isn’t “not washing your hair”, as some… Read more »

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Morbly

If you don’t pour it on, it works great. You just need enough to kill the bacteria that causes odor, not enough to smell like a pickle.

Storms
Storms
8 years ago
Reply to  Morbly

I am sorry I just can’t process not having an antiperspirant. Deodorant makes you smell nice at the moment but an antiperspirant will prevent you from sweating. Perhaps it is just me and the California summers but a hot day will make me sweat just walking to the car. Now I haven’t tried them either so perhaps they do keep you from sweating. But I get my name brand deodorant with antiperspirant for free with coupons and I think that is a fine trade.

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

Not exactly DIY, but here’s a piece of advice from my own experience – cutting my hair short drastically increased the amount I needed to spend on trips to the hairdresser. It would be 6 weeks before my hair would start looking raggedly and in need of tidying up. Now my hair is way past my shoulders I can tie it up, and I can get away with getting my hair cut twice/three times a year. I don’t know if they have this in the States (I’m in London), but I look around for hairdressing colleges that have a training… Read more »

Suzanne
Suzanne
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

The training school haircut can be great or terrible, depending on the trainee. I used to do it when I was in college. But I got a couuple of bad cuts and now I don’t take the chance. I think its a great idea for young people who don’t hjave much money and can get away with funky looks if it doesn’t work out.

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

The ones I go to have very strict supervision from their teachers! Also, since I have a very simple long hair cut, it works for me, but yeah, if your hair is difficult, then maybe I wouldn’t recommend it! 🙂

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

I have had mine buzzed for the last year and change, and it is DIY 😉 Most women won’t wear their hair as short as mine it, though.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago

As I was editing this post last night, I kept thinking, “I am so not the target audience for this article.” For one thing, I don’t spend much on my appearance. I get my hair cut once every 4-6 weeks (just spent $16 on it yesterday), wash my hair once per day, wash my hair once per day (sometimes I skip a day if I’m not going out), and splurge for fancy shaving cream from London. I’ve always assumed I don’t spend much simply because I’m a guy. That said, I know people (men and women) who spend a lot… Read more »

STRONGside
STRONGside
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I probably spend roughly $15 per month. Mainly shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, Gilette razors 9which are crazy expensive) and soap. That’s it. I did find that there is a really cool way to sharpen Gilette Razors by running them backwards over your arm or leg hair. It works well, and extends one Gilette disposable razor for about 6-8 weeks.

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

It honestly probably averages out to like $3. I cut my hair myself, the last time I bought shampoo was, jeez, 2009, I use plain bar soap and a store brand face wash in the shower, don’t wear makeup… there’s not much to spend.

But apparently that makes me a disgusting filthy hippie!

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I think women probably spend more on average than men, but I don’t think too many men spend much more than $20 or so a month. Virtually all our shampoo, soaps, razors, toothpastes, etc. get purchased on sale with a coupon and cost very little.

I would guess I don’t spend much more than my husband. He gets his hair cut probably every 3 weeks or so and I’m probably every 6 to 10 weeks so that helps bring our numbers closer together.

Cgirl
Cgirl
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I think a lot of women probably spend less than a lot of guys think. OTOH, there’s probably a lot of women who spend a lot more than I would guess. When I keep my hair short, I spend about $10 ever 6 or 8 weeks on a haircut. When I grow my hair out I spend nothing on haircuts, but much more on shampoo and lots more on conditioner. I’d say it averages about $10 or $12 a month on hair. Razors, deodorant, toothpaste I’d guess probably $5/ month. I DO splurge on soap. I found a soap I… Read more »

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

‘wash my hair once per day, wash my hair once per day (sometimes I skip a day if I’m not going out)’

I’m confused J.D. – do you wash your hair once or twice? 😉

Suzanne
Suzanne
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I am sure that I spend more than 90% of your readers. It is my one huge splurge. And I live in an expensive urban area.

Hair: $180 every six weeks for cut, color, etc.
Shampoo/conditioner: $5-6/month
Makeup: $400+/year
Skincare: neutrogena all the way; $6/month

Geek
Geek
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I spend about $100/mo on appearance right now (haircut + keratin is 70 of that, the rest is shampoo, conditioner, and other soaps.)
Makeup is just too much work. I’m even getting my hair cut so I can stop the keratin. My mornings are worth it!

Carla
Carla
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Monthly, I spend about $20-30 on my hair and about $20 total on skin care (face and body) and far less on make up. Because my hair is super think, fairly long, natural curly/kinky “ethnic” it takes up a lot of time and products (conditioners, stylers, etc) so the most money (and time). I could cut it short, but I wont. For skin, SPF is very important to me, so are cleansers and soaps that wont strip my skin. I use nut and veggie oils out of the shower to lock in moisture. Skin care products and makeup can last… Read more »

Katelyn
Katelyn
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Probably averages out to $30/month, with a haircut once every other month (or two), cheap grocery store face wash and moisturizer, lotion, eyeliner, mascara, razors, deodorant, and shampoo/conditioner. Very easily fits into my grocery store budget, especially since the haircuts are so spaced out.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I spend about $0 and I look, IMHO, pretty good, to be honest. I mean, I have soap, and deodorant, and toothpaste, and that’s about it.

General fitness makes more difference than anything else.

Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate
Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

J.D and Sierra., I buy “White Rain” shampoo form Fred Meyer for 89¢ per bottle, which is highly rated by both Consumer Reports and “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me.” I get $10 haircuts 2-3 times per year, stock up on toothpaste when it’s on sale + coupon (often free) and don’t use deodorant. I go back and forth on coloring my hair, which I do myself using the pricier $15 at-home kit which has a single color plus highlights. When I bother with it, I get compliments. I rarely wear makeup, as it’s too much trouble and… Read more »

SarahT
SarahT
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Female, thirty-something, university job. Shampoo ~$15 / 5 months Soap ~$7/bar, 4 per year? (handmade, olive oil, from craft markets) Lotion ~$12 / 6mo. (handmade, from craft market) Sunscreen if I’m going to be in the sun a lot. Long hair – trimmed by my mum 2x per year. Haven’t worn makeup in YEARS! Haven’t used deodorant either… stopped it about 10 years ago. And my friends would let me know if I needed it – I don’t. Luck of my body chemistry. Razors – just bought a new pack – will probably last a year… So that’s about $80/year?… Read more »

KM
KM
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I wash my hair every single day, and twice a day when I exercise! This excessive habit forces me to buy 2 bottles of shampoo at the grocery store each year at the huge yearly cost of $6 per bottle or $12/year. Thus I am somewhat baffled by the people here who have said that they stopped using shampoo to “save money” because if I stopped washing my hair for a whole year all it would net me is greasy hair and a free candy bar. I have no idea how much money I spend on buying ivory bar soap… Read more »

A-L
A-L
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I spend $70 (including tip) every 6-8 weeks to have my hair done (perm and trim). I probably spend about $70/year on makeup. This year I’ve started spending more on skincare, so let’s say $100/year for that. And I don’t think I spend more than $40/year on razors, soap, deoderant, etc. So it averages out to about $50-60/month for my health/beauty expenses for this professional female.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

27 yo chef & direct sales consultant; 29 yo waiter boyfriend. * My boyfriend bought a $20 salon shampoo & conditioner set in 2008. With my help over the last year, we’re about 3/4 through it. Let’s call that $5/year/person, $.50/month (rounding up here). * We buy Yardley soap at the dollar store, and he goes CRAZY on the amount of soap. Probably lasts 3 weeks. So, $.75/month/person. * Tom’s of Maine toothpaste at the outlet store, $3/tube, lasts about 2-3 months (at once-to-twice daily for 2 people). $.50/month/person. * $3 for a stick of deodorant that lasts 6 months,… Read more »

LR
LR
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

I am a self described product junkie and spend about $600 a year. Next to clothing, beauty products are my top indulgence. I’ve even thought about starting a blog about them! That’s only about 50 bucks a month though – how do I do it? 1.) Everyone knows I love products so most gifts I receive from other people are their favorite this or their favorite that because they want me to try it. 2.) I USE every bit of every product I buy. A lot of people will try something and then quickly decide it isn’t for them and… Read more »

Cely
Cely
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

I spend a lot, more than $2000/year for hair, nails, skin, including cut and colors, facials, pedicures, etc. Most important is working out and eating right, however.

Laurel
Laurel
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

My spending is very touch and go month to month, but usually I spend: $15 for a haircut every 4 months at the beauty school. It takes longer, but frankly, ever since I’ve started going to the beauty school (5+ years now) my haircuts and styles are WAY better than any other salon I’ve tried. The students are fresh in learning the techniques, and the instructors are there for any corrections. I also keep my hair long. $20 for fancy-pants shampoo/conditioner every 6-8 months. I buy a large bottle at the beauty school where they have a discount, so I’m… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Roth

Hm… Well, I get my hair cut about 2x a year whether it needs it or not… I don’t seem to go through shampoo very quickly. (Like Crystal at BFS, I wash my hair about once a week because more than that makes my scalp dry.) When I do buy things, I buy somewhat expensive things ($50-$80 haircut, Paula’s Choice shampoo), but I can do that because it’s not a frequent purchase. So let’s say $200/year for all beauty stuff. Except this year… I got tired of shaving so I’m in the middle of laser treatments for my legs. 🙂… Read more »

mbrogz3000
mbrogz3000
8 years ago

I thought deodorant, toothpastes, and grocery store soaps are exactly the types of items people save their coupons for and buy on triple coupon day when they go on sale for a lost-leader discount or become buy-one get-one….and end up obtaining all the items for $0 or actually a few cents back from the store… I typically stock up once or twice a year on these items when they are heavily discounted and with coupons. Haircuts I can see for us guys, just get some clippers, set your length and cut. The $15 hair gel I use, can now be… Read more »

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

I think I spend less than $20 a month… as a student I have got used to going without for many years.

Having ridiculously good skin does help a lot – it means I dont need foundation, moisturiser or anything too fancy. I wear makeup sometimes but not very often.

But then again, I often meet American women who are literally SHOCKED AND APPALLED that I have never had a manicure or pedicure. Or use fake tan. I think America has higher expectations of womens’ grooming.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

I think we focus too much on looks as Americans – especially for women, because we still act like there is nothing more important for women to look good and get a man. I, too, have never had a professional manicure or pedicure (my sister likes to paint my nails when I’m home from school) and I will NEVER have a fake tan. I like my pale skin and so does my DH. I don’t mind a bit of color in the summer – plus the vitamin D from 20-30 minutes of exposure is good for me, but I don’t… Read more »

Clare
Clare
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

I have to disagree w/the claim that American women are more preoccupied with their appearance than women of other countries–or at least say that it really varies.

I have lived in Spain, and have spent time in France, Brazil, and Argentina for work. The women I knew in these countries (some of whom were my roommates or colleagues) spent a lot of time and money on their appearance, and were often shocked at how casual American women (including me) were about their appearance, both in clothing and make-up/skin care.

Kate
Kate
8 years ago
Reply to  Clare

I totally agree! I don’t get why Americans are the blame for everything we think is “immoral”, materialist, or selfish.

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago
Reply to  Clare

I’ve spent time in South America and I have to agree with Clare. Argentine women are shocked at how little American women care about their appearance. They believe we are still too influenced by the Puritans.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

Good points, but I’m really surprised diet wasn’t mentioned under ways to take care of yourself. The nutrients we need for good skin don’t just come from the outside, they come from the inside. The skin is an organ and like other organs, it needs good nourishment to function at it’s best. What we eat contributes to (or fights) inflammation in the body, which can affect our appearance.

Erin
Erin
8 years ago

Gotta love the typical “hippy” insults. The problem with a lot of the products people put on their skin is that they are full of chemicals and other unnatural products. I do have some skin issues so I try to be as natural as possible, sometimes using unconventional products like vinegar and honey. If you use vinegar for deoderant, you just spray some on a few minutes before your shower. There’s no need to smell “like a hippy” just because you want to scale back on product. I used to buy all the fancy shampoo/soap and got my hair cut… Read more »

El
El
8 years ago

I tried the ‘no poo’ method for about a year because it was recommended in ‘Curly Girl’, the bible for caring for curly hair. I used the baking soda scrub with white vinegar rinse. Just in case, I tried it on a weekend first, but friends confirmed that there was no vinegar smell. It’s not so different from a beer rinse. I’ve gone back to salon hair products because it’s just easier. However, you wouldn’t know if a coworker were using the no-poo techniques if they didn’t tell you.

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I think most people know but are too polite to inquire.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Mikey

I disagree, Mike. I have several friends who are no ‘poo and I would have never guessed or suspected until they told me.

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

I work with someone who is doing it, and, to be frank, her head has a definite odor. I wish I could say it smelled natural or even tolerable, but I can’t.

This is the topic of blog posts as well. See the wonderful blog “Ask A Manager” (http://www.askamanager.org/2008/03/telling-employee-she-has-body-odor.html)

Annelise
Annelise
8 years ago

No, no, no! The writer here is making the classic mistake of thinking that because she herself has low standards when it comes to personal grooming and thinks certain things don’t matter, everyone else must think that way too. As someone has already said, following these tips will make you look like one of those horribly judgemental accept-me-or-else hippie types. And these “natural beauty” articles are becoming a huge internet cliche. Unwashed hair looks horrid – greasy and flat, and your scalp will suffer terribly from not being cleaned. Home-made products will spoil easily and are usually ineffective. You will… Read more »

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

I’d bet you a hundred bucks you’d have no idea from looking at Sierra’s hair that she only shampoos it monthly.

Since we’re on a personal finance site, it would be remiss of me not to advise that you decline that bet.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Um, so wearing make-up equals intelligence? Really? I think we can all think of examples of women who wear tons of make-up who won’t be winning any Nobel Prizes anytime soon.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

This:
“As someone has already said, following these tips will make you look like one of those horribly judgemental accept-me-or-else hippie types..”

And this:
” I’m sorry to generalize, but I find it really hard to trust a woman who never wears make-up. Such women usually have very narrow horizons, and tend to “think small” rather than think big.”

Who is supposed to be the judgmental one, again?

Mary H
Mary H
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Annelise- Might want to take a good look at yourself before you go calling other people “horribly judgemental.”

lostAnnfound
lostAnnfound
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“I’m sorry to generalize, but I find it really hard to trust a woman who never wears make-up. Such women usually have very narrow horizons, and tend to “think small” rather than think big.” Why does this apply to women only? Does a man also “tend to think small” and is hard to trust because he does not wear makeup? I find it very disheartening that women feel they “need” to wear makeup/put their face on to be presentable. That is the makeup industry selling it in commercials, saying that we are otherwise less than “perfect” if we do not… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Really? Women have to wear makeup? That is so disgustingly…I don’t even know what word to call it, but it is just sad that you feel that way – and that you would think it is okay to vocalize that to other women. I have nothing against makeup, and I use the occasional sweep of mascara, or a little powder, but really it is not necessary and it doesn’t make me any better of a person when I put it on. (Even better, no one treats me like I am stupid for not wearing any)

Annelise
Annelise
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Wow – no, I’m not being judgemental, I’m just speaking from experience. As for the make-up comment, I’m not saying a woman needs to plaster it on. A tinted moisturizer, a little eye make-up and a tinted lip balm are fine for most everyday situations. And by “thinking small” I don’t mean “unintelligent”. What I mean is that this kind of ultra-practical no-make-up woman will always think things “won’t work” or will suggest scaling things back in the face of problems rather than rising to the challenge. That’s my experience dealing with lots of fellow women. This is the kind… Read more »

Becka
Becka
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“This is the kind of woman who will turn down the thermostat rather than earning more money to pay for proper heating, or stay in a crowded hostel rather than a nice hotel.” Sounds to me like you’re the one “thinking small” if you feel those are poor choices. Your comments are judgmental and small-minded whether you think they are or not, and regardless of whether you yourself are judgmental and small-minded. People make their ways very differently in the world, and as long as they’re not harming anyone, who are you, who is anyone, to criticize them for their… Read more »

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“What I mean is that this kind of ultra-practical no-make-up woman will always think things ‘won’t work'”

You wear make-up and have dismissed the contents of this article as things that won’t work. Perhaps the make-up has nothing to do with it…

FrugalTexasGal
FrugalTexasGal
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

As to the how much I spend monthly……a fifteen dollar hair cut (I can do it because I have really short hair.) and thirty dollars for a pedi every two months (I dont do manicures, Ima quilter and gardenr, there would be little point). As a serious couponer. I pay nothing for most skin and hair products, and about five dollars a month for my skin care, always bought on sale

barnetto
barnetto
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“I’m simply speaking from experience here. Please stop shooting the messenger.” Everyone’s experiences are different. What field do you work in? I did not wear makeup to my interview. I was asked technical questions related to my field and I answered them. I got hired. In terms of income, I’m in the highest quintile. I don’t know that you’re misogynistic, but you do seem to have taken your life and are proclaiming generalizations based on it that don’t stand up to scrutiny in the broader world/other circumstances. (And not my cup of tea either, but what’s wrong with a neatly… Read more »

Tim
Tim
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“This is the kind of woman who will turn down the thermostat rather than earning more money to pay for proper heating, or stay in a crowded hostel rather than a nice hotel.”

Is this for real? Are you trolling? Did you possibly miss the definition of “frugal” when it was handed out in class?

Assuming the latter, you may want to head back to https://www.getrichslowly.org/about/ and read up on some of the basic principles there. In particular, “Spend less than you earn,” “Small amounts matter” and “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Annelise
Annelise
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

In response to “Tim” – your comment is very patronizing, and you shouldn’t question whether someone’s opinion is “for real” just because you disagree with it.

May I remind you that one of the pieces of advice on this website is to think about trying to generate more income instead of just cutting back on expenses – this will help you spend less than you earn. Just cutting back instead of trying to earn more is an example of “thinking small”, hence the thermostat and hostel examples.

ali
ali
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Yes you are being judgmental. Saying women who don’t wear make up are “untrustworthy” is judgmental. That’s like saying all women who wear make up and buy department store and salon products are vain and stuck up. It’s not true. So what if a person who see with make up regularly doesn’t wear it for a day or two you suddenly don’t trust them? And what’s wrong with staying in a hostel and saving money? When I’ve been on vacations where I needed to stay in a hotel I’m pretty much in the hotel just to sleep. Why spend a… Read more »

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

I can’t reply to Kat either, but did feel that adding a few words wouldn’t hurt (as Anneliese’s comments seem to have turned into a bit of a running battle!) I stand by my comments that there’s nothing inherently mysoginistic about her statements, although she does attack the way that *certain groups* of women choose to portray themselves. Basically, she portrays herself as someone who believes in power dressing, looking the part and earning more (as opposed to scrimping). It strikes me that the statements made are fairly polarising – re. comments about ‘hippies’ pretty much sum up the antithesis… Read more »

Naomi
Naomi
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I know what to call it. Misogynistic. That is THE MOST disgustingly misogynistic comment I’ve read in a long time. And I wear makeup.

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  Naomi

Disagree with Anneliese all you like, but she’s not being misogynistic ‘the hatred or dislike of women’. She’s just holding up standards that are important to her, but not to you. Let’s not get into a slanging match here – she may have come across a little strong, but some of the commentators here are coming across as incredibly puritanical. My fiancee spends plenty on her looks and I’ve often tried to get her to spend less (she’s a beautiful redhead and really doesn’t need much effort to appear stunning!) But guess what? She isn’t willing to spend less, because… Read more »

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  Naomi

Exactly. I think Annelise shows that women can often be their own worst enemies. To extract any sort of universal claim to a women’s character and work ethic based on their make-up (or lack thereof) is patently absurd. I personally often look at a woman with make up on and think how much nicer she would look without it! But that’s just me. Ever notice on Survivor how the women often look more beautiful in the wild? And then when you see them all dolled up in Hollywood, you’re not impressed? “the same applies to men, but obviously you can… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Naomi

Luke, I don’t think it is about money so much as a statement that she judges based on artificial looks. If I don’t have make-up on, I am small minded and don’t rise to challenges. What? My character is not determined by pricey mascara, cheap mascara, or no mascara. Telling women they must wear make-up or else they are “less than” is not appropriate. If you wear it because you like it, by all means. I do. I skimp some places, I spend others, but it is for reasons other than to establish my worth as a person or my… Read more »

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Naomi

It won’t let me reply to Luke, but YES, it IS the definition of misogynistic. I love wearing makeup, I buy the expensive department store stuff and the cheap drug store stuff to try to stay in budget and I wear it all the time…and I find her comments misogynistic. It IS a hatred and dislike of women, she is saying that women are ugly need to cover it up or they lack character. This is different from shaving, keeping clean, that men need to do, since if this was the case, women would just have to be well groomed… Read more »

MWB
MWB
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

I have to comment to plug my new favorite product- the $3 moisturizing cream from Trader Joe’s! It’s organic, light, includes SPF and is about 1/10th of what I was paying before. Even better, if you’re not satisfied with it, TJ’s has a 100% refund guarantee for all of their products. The first one I tried there made my face irritated (I have horribly sensitive skin) so I took it back and tried another. I’m hooked! I also love their incredibly cheap body wash. Love love love the cheap and quality Trader Joe’s beauty products! Averaged over the course of… Read more »

Katelyn
Katelyn
8 years ago
Reply to  MWB

I use TJ’s tea tree oil face wash and the same moisturizer you do– have for years, and love both products. My skin doesn’t need anything more.

FrugalTexasGal
FrugalTexasGal
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Sorry, but as someone who has been forced to cut way back, oen does not need “clinique” standard products to ahve good skin. After much research and trying everything from avon to the body shop to neutrogena, I have found that for my extremely dry skin, Olay total effects is the best, least irritation thing out there. Please dont buy into the name brand myth. I wear absolutely no makeup most days. I have a brain, I come in contact with manypeople and I look just fine. Once in awhile I will put on blush because I am one of… Read more »

margot
margot
8 years ago
Reply to  FrugalTexasGal

So true that it’s not necessary to use expensive beauty products (at least in many cases). Consumer Reports did scientific testing of face creams, and Olay came out on top – it even beat $200 department store brands. My cousin works in the beauty industry, and in some cases where one large company owns several lines of makeup, the exact same eyeliner will be going down a conveyor belt and one will get slapped with a drug store label and the other will get a fancy department store label slapped on it. You’re wasting money to always assume that expensive… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago
Reply to  margot

A couple of years ago I started using organic extra virgin coconut oil for my face as a moisturizer, mostly because I had some and didn’t have a regular moisturizer. I kept it up because I love it. Now I have people stopping and looking at my skin and marveling about how I have “such perfect skin” or something. It is kind of weird because that is all I use (well, after a gentle soap). Don’t use it on my body usually because it is kind of oily. Even in the winter my facial skin never feels or looks dry.… Read more »

barnetto
barnetto
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

“That said, it would be great to read an article with tips about how to *really* look great on a budget.”

Why don’t you write that article? Or series (since it may need research and trial and error).

Rosa
Rosa
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

I’m sorry, but this comment was so ridiculous it actually made me laugh. Very hard to take this commenter seriously. You don’t trust a woman who doesn’t wear makeup? Hu??

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

Annalise: If you’re “sorry to generalize,” then why do you do it?
Of course, that’s just me — the me who stays in hostels and doesn’t wear makeup.
I live for the day when someone opines, “You know, people would take J.D. a lot more seriously if he did something about that gray and wore just a TOUCH of eyeliner and lipstick.”
Folks, what works for Sierra is what makes her happy. If it doesn’t work for you, then don’t do it.
P.S. I wash my hair every other day. Sue me.

ali
ali
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna Freedman

Donna, I was thinking of you and hostels this weekend. I was in Burlington VT and walked right by the hostel. It’s between the waterfront and Church st and for 30 bucks a night you get breakfast, access to a kitchen, and other things. MUCH cheaper than staying at a hotel in the same location.

Grace
Grace
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

What a ridiculous comment! You come off incredibly judgemental and snobby. What is wrong with staying at a hostel? They’re good for people who are travelling by themselves, can’t afford a hotel room, or just want to meet people. I think whether or not you should wear makeup depends on the situation. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just expected. I’m an engineer. My duties don’t require me to wear makeup so I don’t. Putting too much efforts into your looks can actually work against you. Many people, including a manager in her department, suspects this one woman slept her way into her… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

I’ve the same experience. Makeup is incredibly uncommon in my field of academia. I’m the only woman I know with a PhD who wears it, and I don’t wear much. I think more would work against me until I’m quite “proven” in my field. And then I can wear whatever I want.

Nicole
Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

This is also my experience. Not the sleeping her way part, but that women who wear make-up are not taken as seriously in general as those who are just a little bit dowdy, no matter how undeserved. I’m perfectly happy to fit the positive stereotype. And I also spend nice amounts on all sorts of luxuries and do not care for staying at hostels, though I understand their attraction. (I’m picky about certain things.)

Fanny
Fanny
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Heard that the castor oil is also great stuff to use as a cosmetic agent. Anyone tried it out yet?

justanemployee
justanemployee
8 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

FYI just because a product is expensive does not make it better than a store brand. That $21 SPF 25 clinique sunscreen is made with city tap water and some of the same ingredients as the $3 one at walmart. I know because I work at where they make it. You are paying for a brand name my friend.

April Dykman
8 years ago

I have tried numerous DIY methods and all-natural brands. The result has always been awful hair and bad news for my skin, no matter how many weeks I’d stubbornly stick it out. The last time I tried it, my skin broke out in a rash so bad that I finally went to see an esthetician. She said it was caused by not just the skin products, but the all-natural hair stuff, too. She didn’t even try to sell me the spa’s product line–my skin was so stressed that she wanted me to use Cetaphil (cheap and available at the drugstore)… Read more »

El
El
8 years ago
Reply to  April Dykman

I use Cetaphil too! Feelin’ thrifty now… 🙂

Donna Freedman
Donna Freedman
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I have rosacea and the dermatologist recommended Cetaphil as a moisturizer. She also said I could use it as a cleanser.

Annemarie
Annemarie
8 years ago
Reply to  April Dykman

Cetaphil is excellent. My mom’s caregiver introduced us all to it, and Mom was able to enjoy the softest, most beautiful skin she had ever had.

Not to sound like a commercial or anything.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Annemarie

Cetaphil is very good, but as someone with sensitive skin and years of experience with non-evil soaps I currently prefer Vanicream. It’s about the same price as Cetaphil, though unfortunately it melts a bit faster. Still, for my taste, Vanicream smells better, and the moisturizers are more effective than Cetaphil’s. It’s got the same coconut-derived compound as Cetaphil– sodium cocoyl isethionate– instead of the usual (usually irritating) SLS. But for some reason Vanicream works better on me. Of course Cetaphil is sold wholesale at Costco so it’s really cheaper if you buy it that way.

partgypsy
partgypsy
8 years ago
Reply to  April Dykman

Yay another Cetaphil lotion fan! Simply putting the cetaphil face lotion on my skin calms it down. Maybe when I was in my 20’s I was willing to experiment with what might work or was more environmentally friendly. Especially as I work in an office and have meetings and have patient contact, not willing to go through my hair going through shampoo withdrawal. And I don’t see how this saves that much money. A $14 bottle lasts months and months. I use a more expensive shampoo ($14?) but it comes in a big bottle and even when my kids use… Read more »

KSK
KSK
8 years ago
Reply to  April Dykman

I, too, am a fan of Cetaphil. I’ve been using it for 20 years. I have dry, sensitive skin, and it’s very gentle on my skin. Rite Aid and Target both make a “generic” version of Cetaphil that I like, too.

El
El
8 years ago

I’ve been trying to decide if I want to say how much I spend monthly on grooming, since JD specifically asked. Sometimes I think folks don’t want to admit to any unthrifty ways on pf websites. So far, no one commenting spends more than $20 monthly? I’d have to get all McGuyver to achieve that. “This look? I did it with a hairpin, six inches of string and a sock.” Anyway, I spend about $200 a month on hair, nails and products. Since I meet my saving and other goals and have an 8 month emergency fund, this is fine… Read more »

Mom of five
Mom of five
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I don’t think I could say specifically how much my husband or I spend on grooming. He gets his haircut every 3 weeks or so and I get mine cut every 6 to 8 weeks. He goes to the barber, I converted to a cheap salon ($15 haircut/$10 eyebrow wax) about 6 months ago and have never looked back. Other items like razors, soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. get purchased with the groceries and I have no idea of the breakdown of toiletries versus household items versus food. However, I’m reasonably certain we’re nowhere near $200 for both of us –… Read more »

CNM
CNM
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I spend, on average, $80 per month. The biggest expense is definitely spa hair waxing. (Sorry, this is a TMI.) I budget it and it’s no big deal. I would way rather spend the money than being the bearded woman/dog girl side show act. As for home made beauty products, that is just not worth my time. Toothpaste and shampoo isn’t expensive enough to make me want to invest the time in making my own. ETA: The biggest expense is probably razors as those things get expensive. I don’t have a good solution for it, although my husband buys his… Read more »

Cheryl
Cheryl
8 years ago
Reply to  CNM

Here’s a tip I think I read about on Clark Howard’s site. After you are done using your razor, dry it as thoroughly as you can. This tip really works and has extended the life of my razors quite a bit.

Storms
Storms
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Cleaning the blades in mineral oil (available at target and the likes) also extends the life of the blades.

Ellen K.
Ellen K.
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I estimate I spend about $100/month on personal care and grooming, although most of my purchases are in 2-month cycles. Haircut every 8 weeks plus eyebrow wax = $55 with tip. I don’t need to color my hair yet. Laser hair removal = $59 every 10 weeks. Skin care system = $20 for a 2-month supply. Unlimited spray tanning package during the summer = $37/month. I buy most toiletries and some cosmetics with coupons and sales, and once or twice a year, I buy Clinique moisturizer, face sunblock (not sunscreen), and eye cream. My dermatologist’s sun damage repair serum is… Read more »

Sloane
Sloane
8 years ago
Reply to  El

I will boldly go – I budget $200/month for personal care. This budget includes everything – toiletries, makeup, skincare, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and also my dry cleaning (is this weird? I don’t know).

And Siera’s advice, while interesting, wouldn’t really save me much money. About a year ago my hairstylist recommended that I not wash my hair everyday. I now wash it about 3 times a week, so I buy maybe 2 bottles of shampoo a year – not a lot of savings to be had there.

Maureen
Maureen
8 years ago

My dental hygienist gives me coupons for quality toothpaste with each visit. Ask, they may at least have some samples.

I find colouring my hair to be a major expense. I have done it at home for many years but I really hate the process and am thinking of just going natural although it would make me look older. Sigh.

Probably the very best investment you can make in your future beauty is to use sunscreen and stop smoking if you currently smoke. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

SB (One Cent At A Time)
SB (One Cent At A Time)
8 years ago

In India there is a complete medical study stream called “Ayurveda”. This post reminded me of that. Google for Ayurveda and learn the age old tips and tricks of cure, how the objects arrounding you can be used to enhance beauty and cure illness.
The tips like make your own deo, cleansers and scrubs are very exciting and easy to do, as Sierra said they frugal too.

Ayurveda can teach you many more such tips, nice beginning Sierra!

sandycheeks
sandycheeks
8 years ago

I don’t consider many of these items “beauty” as much as basic personal hygiene. Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo are considered by most people to be necessities and are generally inexpensive to begin with. (I tried no poo and it was a disaster for me so I consider shampoo a basic necessity, ymmv) Ways to save on beauty items/services would be: try the Hair Cuttery for inexpensive cuts. Try a local beauty school for haircuts, color, manicures, pedicures. Or buy the supplies from Sally Beauty and do your own mani/pedi. Sign up to be a volunteer at a local massage school or… Read more »

SF_UK
SF_UK
8 years ago

I don’t spend much on grooming products, although dental care is an area where I don’t skimp – there’s a lot of evidence that poor dental care puts you at risk of infections elsewhere. I also have skin that’s become increasingly sensitised over the years, so I have one product (E45) that I use as cleanser and moisturiser. The only other thing that ever goes on my face is sunscreen, and then only after the E45 to reduce the risk of eczema. I’ve had similar issues with my scalp, so I limit what I use – I wash my hair… Read more »

Emily
Emily
8 years ago

I don’t really understand the logic of letting one’s hair be dirty and greasy to save a few cents on shampoo. Drugstore brands cost a few dollars for a bottle that will last for weeks or maybe months. This is just silly.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Where are people getting the idea that Sierra is saying you have to walk around with dirty hair? If your hair is dirty enough to need shampoo, use shampoo. But sometimes a good rinsing will do. Cleansing is not just about the soap, but also the agitation of your fingers loosening the dirt. You can also wash your hair with conditioner– “co-washing”– as it also has a bit of detergent in it. This method isn’t suitable for every hair type but if your hair has any kind of wave, curl or coil, I’d recommend it. And drugstore products aren’t for… Read more »

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago

I just spent over $30 on moisturizers from The Body Shop. I’ve found their products very effective for my skin type (oily/acne-prone) so I think it’s worth it. I also like that they try to be environmentally responsible so I feel like I am supporting a good cause. My favorite scrub is The Body Shop’s tea tree oil cleanser mixed with sugar. I grind the sugar with a mortar and pestle so it’s not so coarse, and it’s a great exfoliator. Actually, any cleanser can be turned into a scrub by adding sugar to it. I used to be hung… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

I think that if you coupon and watch sales and stock up on personal care items, you can get most of them for cheaper than making it yourself. I have stocked up enough free toothpaste after coupon that we have not only enough for me and my husband but enough to supply my mom when she runs out as well – now I only grab some when it is a money-maker after coupon (now, I don’t “extreme coupon” and have hundreds, but easily enough for a year). I buy 2 packs of razors – hydro fives and proglide fusion for… Read more »

Caitlin
Caitlin
8 years ago

I always find comments to be hilarious on thee types of articles.
People are fine with reading about putting the cheapest, most over-processed and chemical-filled foods into their bodies, they are fine reading about how most poor financial habits are caused by mental blocks (as opposed to actual problems), but as soon as you write about using less shampoo they flip out.
It’s one mental block that has become firmly entrenched into our modern society.

Alyssa
Alyssa
8 years ago
Reply to  Caitlin

This is exactly what I was thinking. If only people realized that a mere 40 years ago, people only washed their hair once a week. Thanks to a commercial with Farrah Fawcett in it, where she encouraged people to wash almost every day did people begin doing so. I did the no-poo method this past winter/spring and my hair looked great. The only reason I started shampooing again is because it’s 105 and my scalp was super sweaty. As soon as it cools off again, back to no-poo. For all the skin issues/concerns, your skin is an organ. If you… Read more »

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa

I only hope that Annalise is not, and never is, in a position to hire anyone. If a female applicant doesn’t wear makeup she doesn’t stand a chance.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Why would you go to a job interview without at least attempting to look your best?

It’s fine to expect men to be clean-shaven, with their hair neat and tidy, and to wear clean, professional attire instead of jean shorts and a sleevless tank-top, but expecting a female applicant to wear makeup is over some imaginary line? Huh?

Annelise
Annelise
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

I do sometimes interview new applicants at my company and I find that the good women all seem to wear make-up as a matter of course, so it’s never been an issue in itself. A good (female) applicant will automatically know that it’s inappropriate to attend a job interview without at least a little make-up, just as good male applicants would never turn up unshaven. It’s the same with clothing – you wouldn’t employ somebody who arrived wearing gym clothes rather than a suit, would you? It’s not just make-up – there are lots of no-no’s generally accepted by the… Read more »

shash
shash
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Annelise-

“An intelligent, competent person doesn’t need to hide behind tattoos, beards, piercings, dreadlocks, or any other attention-seeking ‘accoutrements’. That’s not just my opinion, but that of the entire business world.”

I think the numerous bearded men at the top ten law firm I work at would disagree. Thank you, however, for the statement that you speak for the entire business world. It was terribly amusing.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

@Kevin, why does wearing no makeup= I’m not looking my best? I am clean, neat, and dress appropriately. And I hold no judgment on men who have facial hair. It’s their personal preference and I just don’t pay close enough attention to care. @Annalise. Of course in your world only the good women wear makeup, that’s your bias. Doesn’t mean it’s true. Not too long ago, just being a woman was automatic disqualification for certain positions but thankfully we’ve evolved past that. And if your opinion represents the whole of the business world (whatever that is) then I’m glad I’m… Read more »

Frugal Texas Gal
Frugal Texas Gal
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

As a woman who got hired with no make up (and gray hair no les) more than once,,,,,bah humbug

Shauna
Shauna
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Maybe this is being too generous, because I don’t think any woman should have to wear makeup to get a job, but I also wonder whether these “norms” people are throwing around are really specific to their location. I lived in Las Vegas for many years and wouldn’t have dreamed of going to the grocery store at midnight without nice clothes, hair done and makeup because that was the norm there. Now I live in Portland, and most days I don’t wear makeup to work because if I did, I would look out of place next to many of my… Read more »

Jenna
Jenna
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Men must be clean shaven, no piercings, dreadlocks, etc…I think Analiese needs to adapt to the modern times. Not everyone needs to look like some corporate clown, I mean clone.

Grace
Grace
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

“An intelligent, competent person doesn’t need to hide behind tattoos, beards, piercings, dreadlocks, or any other attention-seeking accoutrements”.

One could also classify makeup as an attention seeking accoutrement.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

@ Shauna — I was wondering the same thing too. I was once told after an interview that I didn’t wear the right kind of suit. (I was wearing a short sleeved blazer with a skirt in the middle of summer when apparently I was supposed to have worn a black or navy suit full-sleeved power suit). I was flabbergasted, but I went out and bought one because that’s what it takes to play the game. In the industry I’m in now, you look like you’re trying too hard if you show up in a power suit. I guess that’s… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
8 years ago

Oh boy. You know, to each their own. If you love shampoo, use it. If you swear by Clinique, by all means. However, I think everyone probably has more “dirty hippies” in their lives than they realize. I work in an office at a well known company as a marketing manager. While I buy toothpaste from the store, I do make my own deodorant, wash my hair only once a week with baking soda/vinegar, wash my face with raw honey/oil. I am hesitant to do this, because I in no way claim to be some sort of model, but I… Read more »

abby
abby
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

I knew it. You are totally a dirty hippie. I mean, just look at you! 🙂

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

You are sitting in a garden and are therefore a treehugger – where do I claim my prize? 🙂

beth
beth
8 years ago

Ewwww! Folks, we can buy shampoo for ONE DOLLAR! Let’s do our coworkers and friends a favor by WASHING OUR HAIR!!! I guess you don’t live in the south where things get so humid and sticky and–yes–stinky; to NOT WASH would be rude to make other people smell your stink! *THAT* is when you have taken saving a penny toooooo far. Using LESS shampoo is fine. NOT WASHING FOR WEEKS is stinky and unsanitary.

Crystal @ BFS
Crystal @ BFS
8 years ago

I personally use Crest, Suave deodorant, Equate brand Pantene Pro-V, Loreal foundation, tons of SPF 30 or better sunscreen if I will be outside, and wash my face with warm wash cloths at the end of the day. I guess my method to save money in the beauty department is just to keep it simple. 🙂

KB
KB
8 years ago

Beauty products are an area I choose not to skimp on. I’ve found that there is often a big quality difference between the $5 tube of drug store mascara and the $15 tube at Sephora. I’d rather not have my mascara flaking off or have raccoon eyes. I do keep an eye out for less expensive products that work well (lip gloss is often an easy area to save on), but I’m usually disappointed by the quality of the less expensive products.

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I’ll admit to spending more than $20 a month on looking good. I get a pedicure about once a month ($35, including tip). I get my hair cuts and colored every 6 weeks ($80). I will buy some skin care or makeup items (maybe $25 a month). Like someone else said, my savings goals are being met, so I don’t feel bad spending it. It also meets some emotional needs (I suffered for years with acne, so I really enjoy taking care of the good skin I have now. I also have a 4 year old son, so escaping the… Read more »

Susan Fillippeli
Susan Fillippeli
8 years ago

Sierra is right. I shampoo my hair a couple of times a week and rinse the other days. It works just fine. I use an expensive shampoo that I really like. A bottle will last me a year, so I don’t feel bad spending a lot on it. That said, personal care spending is a healthy chunk of my discrationary income. I spend $100 for a cut and color every 8 weeks and at least $100 per month on skin care and/or make-up. I don’t spend a lot on clothes or entertainment, but do on personal care and fitness. I… Read more »

LauraElle
LauraElle
8 years ago

I think Sierra’s goal here is not only frugality but also a living green. Her recommendations are all evnironment-friendly.

Kevin
Kevin
8 years ago
Reply to  LauraElle

Not to those unfortunate enough to be residing in her immediate “environment.” No deoderant? Greasy hair that hasn’t been washed in weeks? Eeew.

Sarabeth
Sarabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Unless you actually know her personally, you are making up these objections. The whole point is that there are ways to cut back without being unhygienic.

Annemarie
Annemarie
8 years ago

I spend less than $10 a month, for shampoo and conditioner. When I hit my 40s I knew I had to do something about my hair, but didn’t want to cut it; I like long hair even if I have to put it up to keep from looking too drawn and old. Then I found a vintage hairstyles book and learned how to use curlers to get that menopausal-helmet look (only cooler) without paying a hairdresser.

It also helps living in a rural area, where a lot of women don’t worry about their looks.

caroline
caroline
8 years ago

No shampooing for a month? That’s just nasty…if you exercise or go out in the heat every day your hair smells, it just does. I can understand cutting down, but a month?

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  caroline

Remember that no shampooing doesn’t necessarily mean no washing. Many people who only use shampoo once a month (my hairdresser among them) “wash” their hair in the shower with water and a vigorous finger rub. For my dry scalp, this works well to rinse away dried sweat and dirt without over-drying my scalp and hair.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

Interesting comments so far! I think the bottom line is to be conscious of your spending on grooming and beauty. Everyone has to decide for themselves what is or isn’t worth spending their money on. Personally, I spend on good tools — i.e. decent make-up brushes, a good flat iron, etc — and make sure I know how to properly care for them. Still, I think it’s good to be open to new ideas even if you find they don’t work for you. Our bodies are different and our spending priorities are different. JD’s advice to “do what works for… Read more »

Rhonda
Rhonda
8 years ago

Tried the ‘no poo’ thing, it doesn’t work for my fine hair.

Sunscreen, water & good basic drugstore skincare have worked for me for years, but I don’t have sensitive skin. LOL, after rationing my Olay Regenerist serum, I asked my mother & sister to buy me some for the holidays, and now I have enough for two years. We see nothing wrong with giving practical gifts when it comes to skincare.

BLG
BLG
8 years ago

I’ve always wondered how well the whole “no-poo” (could you think of a less appealing name for a movement?) thing would work for someone who exercises a lot. I’m usually in training for a marathon or 1/2 marathon, and my hair is soaked with sweat after a 5 mile training run. I have fairly long hair (down to my waist), and I’ll skip a shampoo/conditioning if I haven’t exerted myself that day, but there’s no way I’m just going to do a ‘rinse’ after a long run . . . I should add, for the sake of data, that I… Read more »

Morbly
Morbly
8 years ago
Reply to  BLG

BLG, I’m an avid cyclist with shoulder-length no-poo hair. It works. I still take lots of showers, but I use baking soda instead of shampoo and my hair is healthy and looks good.

BLG
BLG
8 years ago
Reply to  Morbly

Thanks, Morbly! I’m definitely more willing to give it a try now that I know about your experience.

Frances
Frances
8 years ago
Reply to  BLG

Sweat is water-soluble, just for the record. It rinses off.

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  BLG

BLG- Right now I have a broke foot, but before that a weekly schedule looked like- heavy free weights three times a week, do an hour of power yoga 3-4 times a week, run about twice a week, and cycle about 10 miles a day as a main form of transportation. I use no’poo and I have incredibly thick, wavy hair down to my waist. This was my experience- http://cortneywithoutau.blogspot.com/2011/06/hygienic-hippies-giving-up-shampoo-and_14.html

I loved it and it worked great for me!

Susan D.
Susan D.
8 years ago

I’ve been almost howling with laughter reading these responses. As long as you’re clean, groomed, and don’t stink, does how you get there really matter that much?

Jane
Jane
8 years ago
Reply to  Susan D.

I think the point is that some of these people who don’t wear deodorant or wash their hair all that often might not realize that they actually DO stink. I think sometimes you can become immune to your own smells. Several people have already attested that they know people who have stinky hair.

Susan D.
Susan D.
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

And this is relevant to what I wrote because…?

Erin
Erin
8 years ago

My spending on personal care varies from month to month anywhere from $50-$150. I am also not the target audience for this piece, as I don’t want to make my own beauty products to save a couple of bucks. I already buy the deodorant/toothpaste/razors that I have coupons for or are on sale. I get my hair cut approximately twice a year for $40 each time and get it highlighted or colored 4-6 times a year at %50-75 depending. I also wear makeup almost everyday and keep my nails painted. Some ways I save money on these things are buying… Read more »

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago

I spend about $100/mo. on beauty/personal care, and almost all of that is for my big splurge: every 3 months I spend $225 on a haircut and color. I know it sounds insane, but that is my one splurge. The rest of my beauty routine is drugstore stuff, or products that I only have to buy once or twice a year… a little makeup, nail polish, Aveno lotion and face wash, Alpha Hydrox (red box) lotion and sunscreen. All the comments about not shampooing are making me giggle… I shampoo/condition once a week and just rinse with water and condition… Read more »

Jay
Jay
8 years ago

Make your own deodorant? you serious about that?

How much is that really going to save – maybe 50 cents? I don’t know a single working person who would think thats a good use of their free time.

I’d rather go to work and not have to worry about smelling like a hippy, then save 50 cents and waste a bunch of time

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Jay

I am a working person and make my own deodorant, and I think it’s a good use of my time. While this is a finance blog, my reasons for making my own product are health. There is all kinds of crap in most store-bought personal hygiene products. I was a cancer survivor at age 31 and am doing what I can within reason to reduce the amount of garbage that goes into my body. Deodorant is a big one. There is no product that I can buy for “another 50 cents” that contains no nasty chemicals.

bkwrm
bkwrm
8 years ago

A lot of this depends a lot on your body’s chemistry, your social/work/community environment, what you’ve got to work with, and your age. I was able to get by with spending next to nothing when I was a twenty-five year old housewife. I’m a forty-year old student now and have to spend a little more. When I re-enter the workplace in a year or two, I expect my expenses in this area to go up significantly. It is a sad fact of life that people treat you differently based on how you look. Spending a little time and effort on… Read more »

Adam P
Adam P
8 years ago

Is shampoo really that expensive that we need to ration out usage of it and wash hair once a month? I can’t get behind this side of personal finance, it’s clearly not aimed at me. I buy a nice shampoo specifically for my hair, and a bottle is expensive (about $14) but lasts me for a year, washing every day. Maybe women have to use much more of it than I do, and this accounts for a GRS article focusing on “no-poo”. But this is even worse than those insipid latte factor posts. Negotiating my condo lease down $50/month took… Read more »

Luke
Luke
8 years ago
Reply to  Adam P

Absolutely Adam – I think a lot of people are turned off about articles where the writer/commentators are talking about saving miniscule amounts on products that help keep us clean/ensure our colleagues aren’t secretly judging us for smelling of dirty hair. Think I spend about £6/$9 a year on shampoo. Put into context, that’s less than 0.005% of my salary. Renegotiating my mobile phone contract/working a part time job for 1-2 hours or forgoing purchasing a novel could save the same amount. It’s this sort of dull penny-pinching that’s a huge turn-off. Where people are making their own cosmetics for… Read more »

Adam P
Adam P
8 years ago
Reply to  Luke

Totally agree Luke, if this was to live “Green” to help the planet or about the health benefits of using a more “natural” hygeine products…that’s worthy of discussion. Discussion on a Green blog or a Health blog. But this is a Personal Finance blog first and foremost, and so looking at the frugality of it, I’m not sure that this is a tip to take home for anyone who isn’t up to their eyeballs in debt and unable to afford basic necessities like shampoo and toothpaste. Also, while SOME people may be able to get away with baking soda washed… Read more »

Jo
Jo
8 years ago

To each it’s own. Women in my country go to the hair salon every.single.week. The processed hair needs different treatment therefore washing their hair every day makes no sense at all (but even women with “natural hair” still do the weekly visit. It is almost a religious thing!) Keep in my mind I’m not talking about a place with cool weather but an island in the Caribbean were the coldest month is about 65-70 degrees average yet waiting 5 days to wash your hair is the norm for us. Women always look put together and extremely clean though, and they… Read more »

kelsey
kelsey
8 years ago

Well, I spend about $30 a month. I splurge on expensive handmade soap. I also buy expensive sunscreen, because I can’t stand using the chemical kind on my face. Other than that I let my hair grow out (no haircuts) and wear very little makeup. I also only shampoo once or twice a week. 😉

K
K
8 years ago

With my sensitive skin I am interested to try the oil cleansing method. Thank you for sharing this post with us.

hilary
hilary
8 years ago

A good place to learn about drugstore cosmetics that work well is allure.com. Searching through their reader’s choice awards and review sections will introduce you to products that in some cases work even better than the high end department store brands. I have used this site for research before and it is a very handy tool, especially if you take your cosmetic purchases seriously.

camille
camille
8 years ago

Wow! Sierra, I bet you had no idea what was coming after you hit ‘post’. Lively! I think it’s weird and a little rude for people to get so offended and up in arms about Sierra’s and others’ suggestions. We’re all part of the GRS community, so while healthy debate is good to co-inform, heated comments telling others what they NEED to do, and what absolutely, positively DOESN’T work, just miss the point. Plus, they’re annoying! Anyway, I don’t know if this has been posted on GRS before, but I really like the website http://www.cosmeticscop.com. If you click on the… Read more »

Carol in Mpls
Carol in Mpls
8 years ago

Pretty interesting comments from across the spectrum. I’d say I’m in the middle, spend more where I like and appreciate the ‘feel good’ factor, and spend less where it doesn’t matter as much to me. Right now I’m in job-hunt mode, so I feel that my regular hair cut (every 7 weeks) is important both for looking nice, and as that small treat for my well-being. I want to look presentable and ready to go. Same with the makeup; overhauled that and the skin care products last year, so I’m fully stocked with stuff I like, wear and use. It… Read more »

MJG
MJG
8 years ago

This whole post is EEEWWWW!!! What’s next, eating out of your neighbor’s garbage to save money?

Mutantsupermodel
Mutantsupermodel
8 years ago

Well ok then. I’m just going to skip all the judgy-judginess and go to how I keep my personal care bills down since that’s what the question was. I looked at my Expenses and it turns out, I’m averaging about $25 a month on my own personal care this year so far. This includes ONE $85 haircut (with tip) so far this year. For the sake of explanation, my Personal Care expenses include: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, moisturizer, facial products, make-up, nail polish, nail polish remover, perfume, toothpaste, cold medicine, floss, toothbrushes, mouth wash, razors, tissues, shave gel, sunblock,… Read more »

brooklyn money
brooklyn money
8 years ago

I have gotten pretty good at making certain luxuries. Like Tend-skin. I make that. There’s a recipe if you google it. Saves the $20 or so it costs to buy it in the salon. Also, Crisco is an amazing moisturizer. If I needed to cut costs, I would use it as a daily body moisturizer. It is NOT greasy, as you would expect it to be. It gets absorbed quickly. A beauty blogger did an experiment with Creme de la Mer and found that Crisco worked better. Also, I can’t imagine spending so little on personal care. My shampoo and… Read more »

Em
Em
8 years ago
Reply to  brooklyn money

Crisco is EXCELLENT for preventing diaper rash!!!

Tara
Tara
8 years ago

I have a hard time imagining ever using any of these tips. The no-shampoo thing MIGHT work if you don’t have to style your hair with products like gel, mouse, hairspray, etc., but even still what about the smell? These tips are so exteme, even for this site!

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