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If there’s one thing in college I’ve learned, it’s that money really doesn’t grow on trees. Before college I had no financial responsibility whatsoever, so whatever I earned I spent. I would treat myself to mani pedis, regular hair appointments and even expensive waxing sessions to get the perfect brows.

Once I got to college I knew I had to make some changes, Thankfully with the rise of TikTok I pretty much learned how to DIY-fy my beauty routine. Here are tips and products that I picked up along the way.

Nails

For me personally, nails were a huge part of my beauty routine. When I first came to college I realized that I couldn’t afford to get gel manicures from the salon let alone an acrylic set. I tried just painting my nails, but I just couldn’t keep up with the upkeep and they never looked that good.

I then was inspired by a friend to buy my own gel manicure set from Amazon (yes they have those). I bought the super popular Beetles Gel manicure kit with the full size LED lamp included. I think mine was around $35 but it was a game changer. I’m also a big fan of press-on nails for special occasions. My one note is that if you do your own gel manis at home please take it off correctly with acetone or else it will ruin your nails.

Hair

The thing with hair, unlike nails, is if you mess up it’s pretty darn hard to cover it up. That’s why I’m not going to give you some silly tip to try and bleach or cut your own hair at home. If you do that though, more power to you. I realized that I could get a pretty good haircut by going to beauty schools. Usually since they are still learning they offer discounted rates. So if you really need to chop those split ends off I recommend looking for an appointment at your local cosmetology school.

Waxing

Now learning to wax yourself can be very tricky and can go wrong fast. Before I even touched my brows I started to learn to wax by waxing my upper lip. Once I felt more comfortable with the wax I moved on to learning how to do my brows. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that less is more in waxing. I won’t lie, one time I took off one of the tails of my eyebrows. For several weeks my eyebrow pencil was my best friend. 

I use the Sally Hansen all over body wax. Be cautious because this stuff can be very powerful, especially when used on your face. If you don’t want to buy pre-made wax, sugar wax is always another alternative. There are plenty of tutorials on TikTok and YouTube and they get great results.

Tanning

My last budget girl beauty tip is to learn to self tan. It can seem intimidating at first because so many people have bad experiences, but if you take your time and use good products it will go well with your time. For me, I hate the waiting time and then having to rinse off fake tan so I started using fake tan drops. My favorite ones are the ones by Tanologist in the shade medium. With the Tanologist tanning drops you mix it in with your lotion and apply. These give me a great color and I haven’t ever been left streaky.

ABC

All beauty tips aside, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you look physically because beauty is truly from the inside.

Hanna Brown is currently a sophomore at the University of Kansas. She is working on obtaining a bachelor's degree in strategic communications with minor in creative writing. She hopes this experience writing for Her Campus will allow her to gain valuable experience writing in a professional setting.
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