1. Ask For Samples
There are so many products available that people love and rave about. However, not every product works for your skin type.
Do yourself (and your wallet) a favour by trying out samples first before purchasing a full-sized product. Most stores give out samples if you ask, and brands like Kiehl’s are forward with sharing samples so that you get to try out if a product suits your skin before you make your purchase.
No samples? Opt for a travel-sized version. Usually, there’ll be sufficient to last for a week so it will allow you to test out the product for a few days. And if you love trying out different new products frequently, this is a good way to prevent product wastage — and money.
2. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
K-beauty has created multi-stepped beauty rituals which many of us don’t have the time – or need – for. Sure, when you have a peaceful weekend, sans kids, you may want to indulge. But for busy weekdays, an 11-step beauty regime is an unrealistic target for most.
What’s important is to understand your skin and its needs, and to make sure you have the necessary bases covered. Ideally, you should be cleansing, toning and moisturising on a daily basis. If you have needs like spot targeting or hydrating, then add on serums or overnight masks to boost your skincare routine.
So, instead of gunning for the more-is-best approach, spend more time discovering your needs and concerns, and target these with specific skincare, instead of aimless layering.
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3. Make Your Own Face Masks
Save the more expensive face masks for when you need that boost of radiance or moisture for a special event or occasion.
In the meantime, you could find affordable alternatives from your grocery store. In fact, by using ingredients such as bananas, egg whites, oatmeal or milk, you can easily whip up your own moisturising and exfoliating face mask.
An easy one to make to help refresh skin is to combine 1/2 cup hot water with 1/3 cup oatmeal. Oatmeal is known to have skin-calming and soothing properties, so it’s great if your face is feeling sensitive. Add the water (not boiling) to the oatmeal and leave for about three minutes. Add in a couple of tablespoons of plain natural yoghurt, 2 tbsps of honey for its anti-bacterial benefits, and skin-tightening egg white from one egg. Mix well and place the paste on face for 10 to 15 mins, before rinsing off with warm water.
Another way to make good use of your hydrating toner, like Hado Labo Hydrating Lotion or Orbis U Lotion, is to use it with an expanding sheet mask pellet (available at Daiso). When you need extra hydration, soak a pellet with your toner or lotion and place the sheet on your face. You’ll love the effect!
5. Use Reusable Cotton Pads
Cotton pads cost money – and they are also non-environmentally friendly. These single-use products pile up in our landfills and take years to disintegrate.
To save money and the environment, consider switching to reusable pads such as bamboo rounds or reusable makeup removers such as the Face Halo or Makeup Eraser. These reusable pads can be used and reused. You just need to throw them in the wash when you are done.
6. Multi-Use Products To The Rescue
You may think that multi-use products are specifically reserved for men who can’t be bothered to get a different soap for their face, body and hair. However, there are some pretty interesting multi-use products for women, too.
For example, you can use jojoba oil, argan oil or Vaseline for your nails, as a moisturiser or even a lip balm. You can even use Vaseline to tame frizzy hair or keep unruly eyebrows in place. A little goes a long way and if using on hair, keep to ends only.
Finding a product that’s multi-functional is a great cost-saving trick as it reduces the need to purchase a product for every part of your face and body.
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7. Stock Up At Sales
Many makeup and skincare brands and stores regularly hold seasonal sales to get rid of older stock or to promote new items. Take advantage of these for-friends-and-family sales and use them to stock up on beauty essentials which might otherwise cost considerably more.
However, do look at use-by dates when committing to the purchase or you could end up with products you won’t be able to use up by their expiry dates (nullifying any savings you were hoping to make!).
9. Get Your Foundation To Last Longer
When you find a foundation that suits your skin type and skin tone, it’s totally worth buying. However, on days when you don’t need as much coverage, use less by mixing your foundation with a drop of moisturiser.
In effect, you have a tinted moisturiser which gives you hydrating benefits as well as light coverage — and your bottle of foundation will last longer too.