Recession Beauty Tips 101 - Buppie Style

*Sigh.* All of this "doom and gloom" news about the economy is forcing me to scale back on things that are contributing to my overall well-being. But since I'm STILL in Obama celebration mode here in DC, I'm still spending on social events and enjoying time with friends (I cut back on eating out big time, but I still spend on certain events and cocktails, you know how it is). So, I thought about where I could cut back and it was easy - first, beauty supplies.

I'll admit it, I'm completely fooled by fancy packaging and promises to deliver amazing results if you spend a little extra in a fancy store while being conned by sales people (think Sephora, MAC, etc).

So what did I do? I made the decision to reevaluate some of my beauty purchases, spa treatments, and occasional hair salon visits (4 times/year) if I'm trying to make an impact in my personal savings. Despite this linked article I found on the Wall St. Journal a couple weeks ago, I do believe that Black Women can save money and STILL look fly.

So what did I do? For the last month, I've decided that if a new purchase must be made, I'm going to think twice. I went on a super beauty shopping spree (recession style) in an effort to find some money-conscious alternatives to my usual favs. Let's reflect on some of list of OLD VS NEW (Ressession Style):


  1. MAC Eyeliner - $14.50 vs. Maybeline ($4)
  2. MAC Viva Glam lipstick $14 - Covergirl ($6) - but I'm more of a gloss person only anyway so I haven't had to buy any yet.
  3. MAC lip gelee - $14 vs. Covergirl Queen Collection ($5.50)
  4. MAC foundation - (okay can't give this up - but send me a message if you have an alternative for medium-dark complexions - this is the BEST I've found) - $29
  5. MAC Iridescent loose powder (for bronzing effect) - $21 vs. Jane Shimmering Bronzer ($6)
  6. Shampoo - I've found it doesn't really matter what kind of shampoo you use, but how you moisturize and condition your hair afterwards. So call me cheap, but I've switched from Nioxin and Nexxus shampoos ($9-$17) to Suave Biobasics Shampoo ($3.29) and 100% coconut oil.
  7. Deep Conditioner - Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment ($48) and Nexxus Scalp Therapy ($20) vs. Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Cream ($3) - add some coconut/tea tree oil and leave on for 30 minutes and it's just as good, lol.
So so far they've been mostly small changes, but everything counts, right? I think it's more about changing my way of thinking. Packaging isn't everything. Brands aren't everything. I'm looking a little deeper. Shout out if you have any other beauty savings tips (best lotions, skin treatments, facial cleansers, etc.). I'd love to hear them. Smooches. <--I hate when people say that or "Toodles", lol.

Spa Treatments
Massage - Favorite DC Spa $100 for 50 minutes vs. a Massage School - 60 minute massage for $40.
Pedicure - @ home pedi is only about $10 max
Manicure - @ home mani is only about $5 max
Wax - instead of waxing I'm not "nairing" and it works quicker and with less pain. I do it only 2 times/week and it takes about 5 minutes. Not the best smell, but it works. I also have at home wax for my brows, etc. It cost me about $10 and will last for several treatments.

Health and Fitness
In my quest to get the toned Michelle Obama physique, I'm all about health and fitness, so here are a few ways I'm cutting back.

  • Gym - $65/month vs. My feet ($0), + there's a gym in my condo bldg. (easy)
  • Organic Foods are OUT. Pretty packaged veggies are OUT. Instead I cut up my own veggies and slice my own fruits. Saves tons. I'm also, trading Whole Foods for Safeway or Trader Joes (although I also love peapod).
  • Lastly I only shop with a purpose. I make a menu of what I'll eat for about 4 days at a time and only buy food for those days. Before trying this method, I'd spend easily over $100/week and throw away half of it. Ugh, the life of a single buppie...

Other Tips:

  • Organize your cabinets/closets - you have more than you realize. Utilize what you ALREADY have before shopping for new purchases. If you like the "new" feeling, have a "beauty trade day" with friends.

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