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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How To: Budget Beauty Pampering

There's tons of DIY tips & tricks on beauty out there, especially since Pinterest came along.  Although I don't do everything myself, I've figured out some pampering pointers to help you stay on a beauty routine budget.

*The biggest tip I can give is to spread out when you have your services/treatments done.  Although it might be easier to have a "you" day, get yourself on a schedule where you switch out the extra spending.

1st week of the month - spray tan/products + eyebrows
2nd week of the month - toes/nails
3rd week of the month - massage + eyebrows (if needed)
4th week of the month - hair color, treatment or facial

Below, I've outlined 5 ways to budget my favorite beauty services:

1. Manis/Pedis
There's nothing I enjoyed better after a long hard day at my serving job than treating myself to a pedicure.  These days, Scott and I both are in need of them with all of the running we're doing, so I've been skipping the manicures.

To make nails/toes fit in your budget:
Stick to the basics.  Go for the standard (or basic) pedicure, which usually lasts about 30 minutes for under $30.  French polish is usually an additional $5, so when you get there opt for the first color you're drawn to.  Instead of going every 2 weeks, treat yourself once or month or once every six weeks, kind of like getting your hair done.

2. Massages/Facials
The health benefits of a full body massage are often overlooked.  Going in to relax is an obvious one, but loosening up muscles, helping circulation and releasing toxins are even better ones.

*TIP: When scheduling a massage, be sure to include what you're looking for.  Tell them what kind of pressure you need, and if you have areas you need extra time spent.

Massages and facials can be extremely expensive, especially at high end hotels or salons & spas.  If you can't justify spending money on either ask for them as a Holiday, Anniversay or Birthday gift.  That's the only time I get facials, and instead focus more on working out the muscles in my body.

To fit massages into your budget:
Look for companies that specialize in massage services.  They tend to run specials and affordable monthly memberships.  Both Scott and I are members of Massage Envy, paying $40 each a month, which includes a massage and $40 for each additional one.  Whatever we don't use rolls over into the next month, and you can go to any location all over the country! 

3. Eyebrows
I am a huge advocate for eyebrow maintenance and I'm the last person to want to shape my own.  I've been getting my eyebrows threaded since college and haven't really turned back.  If you don't have threading near you, try to shop around for an affordable place that does waxing.

To make sure you get your eyebrows in:
Really do some research.  It may be convenient to get your brows done at your hair salon, but know that good eyebrow shaping can be found other places.  Try out different shops and see where getting yours done makes the most sense.  When I wasn't getting threaded (which only costs $9), I had a few friends in the field that offered to do mine at a discount.

Also, try tweezing the strays between waxing/threading.  You can extend the need to go a week or so with a little at-home grooming.

*TIP: While grooming at home, keep the shape the professional started and only grab the strays.

4. Spray Tans/Products
I haven't gone into this yet on my blog, but I am an avid artificial tanner... and no, I don't mean going to "fake bake."  Tanning beds are horrible for your skin, not to mention your health.  If you care to have an extra glow or need to darken up for a light outfit, get a spray tan or invest in your own personal line of tanning products.

To save on a spray:
Leave the $30 a spray tan for only a few times a year.  In between those "sprays" I lean on my Loreal Sublime.

This stuff is a Godsend.  It comes in all types of shades, as well as an Instant Action intense color and when I found out about it a few years back, I swore I would never visit a tanning bed again.

The darkest "self-spray tan" I've seen is Sunbrushed, and it's a liquid solution you wipe on with a wash cloth.

 I'll go into all of my favorites DIY tans in another post, but for now know there's other alternatives out there.

*TIP: Love these products? Order online from sites like for a fraction of the price!  

5.  Hair coloring/Treatments/Products
If there's one beauty regime I know I'll be stuck with for the rest of my life, it's hair coloring.  I just don't see myself in the mousey-brown hue I was born with.  With coloring, comes a much needed Hair Care & Products routine to keep your locks healthy.

To avoid spending your paycheck at the hair salon:
Invest in quality hair products, but don't get them all at once.  Aim to spread out re-stocking your products between a few months, or even a year.  Every time I get my hair done I am tempted to buy the new "it" product my stylist shows me.
Don't do it.

Take time to research, or even ask your stylist what you really need.  Get on a product line that works best for your hair and only by a product at a time.  Eventually, you will get everything and the products will usually run out in the same order you purchased them.

I hope these tips help you to plan out your beauty days and budget.  If you have any questions, comments or additional tips feel free to comment below or message me personally.

Happy Pampering! :)


  1. Heather- you can also go to a massage school and get even cheaper massages- I have gotten some of my BEST massages from students for about $12 + tip- my best massage EVER was in Salt Lake City where they offered discounts to Delta employees- every time I flew into Salt Lake- my crew and I would go get our massages on- and they were the best!!

  2. I recently lost weight and finally feel good about wearing shorts. I used self tanner last week and can not wait to wear this new dress I just bought. Make sure you exfoliate before applying self-tanner product. Using a body exfoliator removes the dead skin cells allowing your self-tanner product to go on smoother giving you an even looking tan. Here are some self-tanner product recommendations.


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