Buy Drugstore BrandsThere's no reason to shell out a month's car payment for a moisturizer (see Is Crème de la Mer Only Worth a Fraction of the Price?). There's also no reason to spend the big bucks on cleanser, which is meant to wash off impurities and is only on your skin for mere seconds.
You can find great cleansers and moisturizers at your local drugstore. Look for these brands: Aveeno, Purpose, Neutrogena, Olay, Cetaphil and Eucerin. Also make sure to choose a formula that works with your skin type. This means if you have dry skin, buy a creamy cleanser (or my favorite, Pond's) and a super moisturizing, hardcore moisturizer. If you have oily skin, buy a cleanser formulated for oily skin.
Still not convinced? I give you even more reasons to trust me in Splurge or Save: Cleansers & Moisturizers.
Skip the TonerUnless you have super oily skin, you do not need a toner. They are an extra step in your beauty routine and worse, an extra expense. And don't let the salesperson at the fancy department store counter tell you otherwise. She gets paid on commission (or her boss does).
Get the full scoop in Is Toner Necessary?
Skip the Pricey Eye CreamsI have several eye creams at home that I have bought or were sent to me. Each one costs upwards of $100 and I don't use any of them because I'm not convinced they work (see Is Eye Cream a Myth or a Must?). If you are trying to save money, you can skip the pricey eye creams and use a rich, heavy moisturizer with shea butter, caffeine and antioxidants under the eyes.
Check out different price points for eye creams in The Best Eye Creams.
Make Your Own Masks & ScrubsWhy spend a lot money on fancy masks and facial scrubs when you can make your own using ingredients found in your refrigerator? My homemade face mask recipes are some of the most popular pages on this site because they work. Choose one that works with your skin type and try them out. I guarantee these organic, natural masks and scrubs will leave your skin feeling wonderful. Ok, that sounded a bit marketing-speak, but it's true.
Check out Make Your Own Homemade Face Masks & Scrubs.
Skip the Spa, Do Your Own FacialsWhile there's really nothing better than a spa facial, a great one can set you back $150 or more. Treat yourself in between the spa visits with your own at-home facials. They are relatively simple to do: place a warm towel on your face for 5 minutes, exfoliate with a fine facial scrub and finally, finish your facial off with a mask. If you don't want to spend money on the scrubs and masks, try one of my homemade recipes above.
For full step-by-step instruction, check out How To Do The Basic At-Home Facial.
Never Pay Full Price for a Spa TreatmentI will share a little secret with you: There is no reason to ever pay full price for a spa treatment.
There are many discount spa Websites that run daily deals of up to 75% off beauty services including massages, facials, eyelash extensions and hair straightening treatments. My favorite Websites include Lifebooker, Groupon and Living Social.
Here are a few other ways to save at the spa:
- Buy a package. I buy a package of ten 90-minute massages for $1000 from my favorite massage spot in Brooklyn, Opal Massage & Allied Therapies. I go there so much, it makes sense to buy a package. Doing so adds up to a savings of $150. Hello!
- Turn your 1-hour treatment into a spa day. Book your services at a spa that has a sauna, hot tub and steam room and make sure these amenities are part of your treatment. An hour or 2 in a water room can be worth $50 (how much it costs to just use the water room at my beloved Great Jones Spa in New York City). Just make sure to schedule the extra time into your day.
- Head to the spa early in the week. Some spas offer discounts for treatments Monday through Wednesday before 3 p.m. Extra bonus: The spa will likely be quiet at this hour doubling the chance you'll get the sauna and hot tubs all to yourself.
- Call and ask for specials. Most spas offer a couple promotions a year. You can call around and ask for promotions and book for those times.
Try an At-Home Microdermabrasion KitA chemical peel or microdermabrasion at a spa can cost $1,000 or more. Save the bucks by doing them at home with a kit.
I include my favorite at-microdermabrasion kits in this list of the Best Facial Scrubs, Microdermabrasion and Peels
Invest in Retin-A or RenovaMy biggest anti-aging secret is Retin-A and Renova. I write about these guys all the time and know many, many dermatologists who use this Vitamin A cream and have for decades. Don't freak out at the cost. A tube requires a prescription and costs $100 or more, but the product lasts a year or more. Using these products early in life will save you money later on peels, lasers and ultimately a facelift, if you are a facelift kind of girl (it's too early to tell if I am, but ask me in about 15 years).
If you travel abroad, check out the pharmacies for Retin-A or Renova. I get my Retin-A in Mexico for $20. Just be careful, you should not use Vitamin A topicals if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. And you must wear sunscreen when using these products.
Learn more in Is Retin-A the Secret to Youthful Skin?
Wax Your Own LegsThis is just way too much work for me, but I have some friends who love to wax their own legs. My own waxer does her legs at home. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of girl, why not save yourself the bucks and buy a kit at the drugstore.
You can also save on bikini waxes by getting a basic bikini wax instead of the more costly (and more painful, not to mention embarrassing) Brazilian.
Get the full step-by-step on how to wax your own legs in How To Wax Your Own Legs.
How to Save on FillersFillers can be super expensive (think $2,000 a visit for results that last about 4 months). To save money on fillers for your cheeks, ask your dermatologist for Perlane or Radiesse, which are thicker than Restaylane and can last about 2 months longer, according to Dr. Howard Sobel in Allure Magazine. You can also consult with your doctor on less expensive filler options.
How to Save on BotoxBotox is pricey and only lasts a few months, so I recommend planning your Botox injections around important events, like your wedding or the Oscars (full disclosure: I like to think some frugal-minded, Oscar-caliber actresses read my Website). You can even get your underarms injected so you don't sweat up that wedding dress or Oscars dress (see 5 Amazing Uses for Botox).
Some med-spas allow you to buy Botox in bulk. For example, because you pay for the area treated, you can pay up front for a number of injected spots and take your time for using them. If you wear bangs, consider skipping the forehead and focus instead on your eyes or the furrow between your brows.
Get the full scoop on Botox in What is Botox?
Take Care of Your FeetYou'll need fewer pedicures if you take care of your feet by exfoliating a couple times a week in the shower with a pumice stone (more on this here). If you have super dry, cracked heels, fix them yourself. It's quite easy. Learn more in How To Soften Dry, Cracked Heels.
Loved this? Well, you are in luck. For other beauty-related saving tips, check out: