I used to spend more on my beauty products than I did my electric bill. I turned my nose up to generic makeup brands. I was convinced that only higher-end beauty products did the trick. Anything of lower quality was a cheap gimmick that would make you look like a drag queen.
Even as a single mom with a tight grip on discretionary income, I still made it a priority to buy high-end face lotions, face wash, foundations, eyeliner, eye shadow, and the list goes on. And on.
I consider myself to have a good grasp on budgeting (I am a P.h.D student of personal financial planning, for heaven’s sake), but my fancy beauty products were a blind spot for me.
A light bulb finally went off when I had an allergic reaction to the $155 lash serum I bought. (admitting that makes me cringe)
The skin around my eyes is extremely sensitive to beauty products. And, it threw a tantrum when I tried the fancy lash boost product. Which made me think, what alternatives are available to the high-end products, that perhaps my skin would like better? I want pretty eyelashes, damn it.
This was the first point that I released prejudicial biases towards non-high-end beauty products. I didn’t want to waste the most precious part of my budget, my “fun money”, on expensive products that clearly didn’t make my body happy.
Bingo. A financial light went on. After doing some research, late at night on my phone in bed, I found a whole new world of beauty products. Not only are they much more economical, but they also have fewer chemicals.
I’m not a purist when it comes to beauty products. But I am slowly transitioning my beauty product supply in that direction. I think the all-natural products work just as well, and they are much less irritating to our systems. Plus, they are a heck of a lot cheaper.
MY FAVORITE NATURAL & INEXPENSIVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation
This product is raved about by YouTube influencers, AND it one of the best rated (chemically-wise) foundations Healthy Living App.
This foundation is in a league of its own, at a $6 price tag. Other high-end brands can’t even compete.
I was still hesitant about going to a drug store brand. But, the fact that beauty enthusiasts love it (thank you YouTube), and that it is rated well on Amazon, was enough to get me to test it out. The toughest part was finding the right color. Unlike the luxurious shopping experience at Sephora, were staff color matches you, you have to figure out your own color. It’d hard to go back to that after years of being pampered with makeup assistance. But, at the $6 price tag, it was worth buying every color in my range to test it out.
The result: it passes my fussy girl standards. It’ full coverage. It blends well. It’s pretty. I likey.
Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
When you look at the label of high-end toners, most likely witch hazel is the first ingredient listed. While it may not have some of the extra minor ingredients, it does the job well, at a fraction of the price. I also like the short ingredient list. That means there are no harmful chemicals added to the mix. It’s just a plain jane, all natural formula.
What does witch hazel for your face? It reduces redness, shrinks pores, and helps balance oily skin.
This stuff doesn’t produce immediate results. I have used it daily for 2+ years, and I can see the improvement over that long period of time. But if you would have asked me one month in, I wouldn’t have been sold on the product yet. However, this would be the same for high-end toners as well. It takes time to work its magic.
$14 32 oz
This one is my favorite beauty hack. Castor oil is a gift from God. It’s sticky oil that is extracted from castor beans. It’s known as laxative, although I have yet to test that.
I first started using it as a substitute for the uber-expensive lash serum. Once I saw how well that worked, I expanded my horizons, putting it to use for it’s many other spectacular properties.
- Like miracle grow for eyelashes
- Calms my frizzy, lion mane
- Tricks my oily face to produce less oil
- Nightcream replacement
Castor oil is sticky and shiny. It takes about 20 minutes for it to dry. Longer for some areas on the face. I suppose one great benefit to being a single mom, is that I can slather this all over my face, neck and decollete area at night without it interfering with my nightly activities. If you catch my drift.
The hair application is really weird. I run the castor oil through my dry hair, and let it sit overnight. Shower in the morning. Strange enough, my pillow doesn’t seem too oily. But, I change it out after I do it, just in case. Others dilute the castor oil down, so it’s not so sticky to apply. But I haven’t bothered to do so. I just use it straight up. I’m not sure how to describe the miracles it works on my hair, other than it really tames the mane. I love seeing the results the next day, when my hair looks soft and brilliant.
HOW TO CHECK THE TOXICITY OF PRODUCTS
“Healthy Living” is an app that my Beauty Counter friend told me about. I love their products (all natural) but not the price tag.
On the app, you can look up a specific brand and product, to see how the products in your beauty supply rate.
To find alternatives, I search by product type. The app will list the safest products first. I scroll down until I see one that is sold at a drug store. Then, I go to Amazon to check reviews. If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, then I go to Target to see what colors will work for me.
The color matching is the toughest part, at least for foundation or concealer. Because you won’t have a beauty counter expert there to color match you. You can bring a mirror with (or grab one from the home goods section), or bring your old foundation bottle with to try to eyeball the closest color.
These three beauty hacks can save you a ridiculous amount of money. Let me know if they work for you!
You’re beautiful inside in out.