How to look drop dead gorgeous for £21.84
You can be both beautiful and rich if you follow our money-saving tips.
Believe it or not, before I started writing for lovemoney.com, I used to be a bit of a financial crash-dieter. I would spend weeks studiously saving the pennies and abstaining from luxury - then get so depressed that I'd march out and blow the whole lot on a nice sparkly dress and an extortionately-priced lip pencil.
As the summer holiday season cranks up a gear, looking your best can give you the boost you need to power on through to winter.
The good news is that you can do this without blowing a hole in your wallet - in fact, by spending just £21.84 on hair, skin and make-up.
And it's not just ladies who can benefit. To scrub up for those hot days at the beach, I have moneysaving tips for gentlemen too.
In Part One, I'll show you how you can get your hair cut, coloured and conditioned - and how to get your nails in order - for just £12.23.
- Get your hair cut cheaply, or for free, by booking yourself an appointment with a trainee hairdresser. Many salons offer trainee cuts (and colourings) at a fraction of the usual cost. No need to fear hair disaster, either, as they work under supervision.
- Alternatively, you could choose to be a hair model for qualified hairdressers taking optional or extra courses. Vidal Sassoon, Toni & Guy and many other salons regularly offer this sort of cheap deal. Just let them know your dos and don'ts before they start snipping.
- Try visiting a village salon rather than one in a city centre. Village salons are very often staffed by experienced hairdressers who now have families and have moved out of town in search of a better quality of life and more control over their working hours. These places generally charge a lot less than their urban equivalents.
- If you don't need a blow dry and are happy to dry your hair yourself - say so. A wet cut on its own usually costs far less.
For men: Why not dodge the hairdresser altogether? Hair clippers can save you loads of cash if you trust your friends or family to wield them! You can get a pair for under £20, and lots of different styles and grades can be achieved with a bit of practice.
- You can dye your hair at home very cheaply. Superdrug Colour Sensations cost between £2 and £2.59 a sachet.
- Alternatively, Wella Shaders & Toners, for example, usually cost about £1 each. This sort of dye won't change your hair colour completely, but it should add extra tint and gloss to your original tones. Because it's not permanent, it won't be a total disaster if you don't like the results - and you'll also be able to avoid the expensive retouching usually required for nasty root regrowth.
- Whisk one egg with a tablespoon of olive oil. This is great for dry or frizzy hair, calming it down and adding lots of shine. Wash hair as normal, then dump the whole lot on your head and wrap in a towel or plastic bag. Leave for 20 minutes, then rinse like mad.
- Beer. This will increase the volume of fine hair and adds shine. Again, wash hair as normal then pour a bottle or can of it over your head. Rinse immediately - and thoroughly - with cold water.
- The Toni & Guy academy - cutting and styling for just £5.00
- Colour sensations in ‘Rich Chesnut' from Superdrug - £2.59
- Superdrug Naturals Shampoo Tea Tree Peppermint 300ML- 300ml – 99p
- Homemade egg/olive oil conditioner - approximately 20p
- Soak your fingertips (and toetips) in warm olive oil for ten minutes before your DIY manicure. This adds moisture and softens them up before the next stage of treatment.
- Try using a nail block. This all-in-one manicure kit shapes, smoothes, buffs and shines, so after wielding it you might decide you don't need expensive varnish after all.
- Warm olive oil treatment - c. 0.20
- The Elegant Touch four-way nail block from Superdrug - £2.25
- Red Make Up Academy Nail Polish again from Superdrug - £1
As you can see, Superdrug consistently comes out on top, beating Boots every time. I did find cheaper versions online, from websites like chemistonline.co.uk, fragrancedirect.co.uk and healthinajiffy.co.uk. But when you added on postage & packing, Superdrug was cheaper.
So, that's your hair and nails sorted for a grand total of £12.23. But no makeover is complete without a skincare and make-up overhaul - especially when it costs just £21.84. Find out more in Part Two.
- Read Part Two: How to look drop dead gorgeous for £21.84
- Read our Frugal Friday blog for details of this week's hottest beauty bargains
- Find out how to Cut the cost of going out