Beauty on a Budget
I don’t know about you, but for me, money has been a little tight lately.
I mean, I can’t complain. I have a great job doing what I love. I truly look forward coming to work for Prodigal Magazine everyday. And between my husband and myself, we make a modest living.
We have absolutely everything we need, and more.
But we’re also up to our necks in school debt, which we’re trying to attack aggressively in this season so we can get rid of it forever, which means we’re on a strict budget. Budgets are relative, of course, but this one feels a little snug for us. We’re also learning what it looks like to be radically generous with what we have.
Although the sacrifices we are making for these two things are worth every penny, there just isn’t room for the beauty products I used to buy.
Before I share the products I’ve found and love that still happen to fit into our budget, I want to say I’m actually really thankful for the circumstance we’re in. There are all kinds of reasons I could find to complain about it — how I don’t get many of the things I want, how difficult it is to stay with the trends, or even feel beautiful, without some wiggle room in my budget, and how insecure I feel when my big, crazy hair just won’t be tamed without expensive curl creme.
But I’m finding God is teaching me so much about beauty in this season.
He’s teaching me my beauty doesn’t depend on products.
He’s showing me how I used products to mask my insecurity, and how, now that I can’t do that, this is my opportunity for healing.
He’s teaching me not to measure my beauty by comparing myself to others.
I’m finding so much freedom in this season of restraint!
That said, I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few of the products I’ve found to work really well, even though they’re much less expensive than their counterparts. I get all these products at Ulta, because it’s a one-stop shop for me, and I find it to be cheaper than Target, but you can find them many places, including online.
Cover Girl Invisible Concealer($5.99)
I don’t know about you, but ever since I passed 21-years-old, I can’t live without concealer. It’s the one make-up product I never leave the house without. I like Cover Girl’s invisible concealer because it’s liquid, and doesn’t go on too heavy. It’s reasonably priced and really easy to use. Mine lasts several months.
BB Cream by Rimmel($6.99)
Someone got me hooked on a really expensive tinted moisturizer (which wears lighter than a base make-up) a few years ago, and I’ve felt spoiled ever since. BB cream is the first time I’ve found an affordable equivalent. I use it every day, and I love it.
Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser($4.99)
I have sensitive skin, so it took me a long time to find a cleanser that didn’t make my skin dry, but also didn’t make me break out. I love the way this cleanser foams, and how gentle it is on my skin.
Maybeline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara($5.49)
If you ask me, this is absolutely the best, least expensive mascara on the market. It doesn’t clump, it keeps for a very long time without drying out, and it makes my lashes look long and natural.
Redken Clear Moisture Conditioner($29.50) (33.8 oz)
This one is a tiny bit of a stretch for me, but it’s a big bottle, and my most recent one has lasted me almost a year. I have a ton of really fine, curly hair and this is the cheapest conditioner I’ve found that does what I need it to do without needing to use half the bottle. Also, Ulta often features “Buy 1 Get 1” sales.
Trader Joe’s Beauty Line
One other thing I should add is that I use Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil shampoo, and also the Tea Tree Oil facial cleansing pads. They’re both inexpensive, all natural, and work just as well as anything else I’ve tried. You can check out their beauty line if you have a Trader Joe’s in your area.
Are you on a budget? Will you share your beauty tricks with me?
Allison Vesterfelt is a writer, managing editor of Prodigal Magazine and author of Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage (Moody, 2013). She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband Darrell. You can follow her daily on Twitter or Facebook.