You know those girls who always seem so put together? They have their nails done, have white teeth, and always smell good? You already have someone pictured in your head, don’t you? For years I have spent more time than I would ever like to admit obsessing over how to become one of those girls. I’ve often found myself asking, how good would I look if I could actually afford to pamper myself the way other girls do? Now, before you judge me and say I care too much about what other people think, it was never about what other people thought, it was just about me feeling like I had my shit together. I almost gave up on this dream with the conclusion that you had to have money to be that girl, but I’ve picked up so many tips and tricks on how to be that girl on a budget. I have what I call “maintenance” days where I just spend some time on myself. About once a week I turn my bathroom into my own personal salon and you can do the same.
1. Cut my own hair
I know this sounds like the scariest thing in the world, but I have been trying to grow out my hair forever, and it seemed like every time I got my hair done it was back to square one. How was I supposed to get that long silky hair when I can’t grow it more than a few inches past my shoulders? I stopped getting my hair cut. I haven’t gotten a haircut in over two years. But how? The dead ends! As tedious as it is, I will sit there and individually cut off each dead end I see. It takes forever, but I don’t lose any length from this and I was able to grow my hair so much faster! The average haircut for a woman is $43 and you get that done every few months? I’ll pass! Invest in a good, sharp pair of scissors and don’t be scared to make a few snips. You got this, girl! No one knows your hair better than you do.
2. Pluck my own eyebrows
I’ll be honest with you, when I was in grade eight I had huge, bushy eyebrows. I’m talking Cara Delevingne eyebrows. It took a long time for me to learn how to actually shape those caterpillars that had crawled onto my face, but could you imagine how much money it would have cost me to get my eyebrows waxed or threaded every time they morphed back into their original form? If you pluck your eyebrows regularly like I do, it takes a minute and costs no money. Free? That’s what I like to hear.
3. Wax my own legs
I needed help the first time I did this. I had to get my sister to rip the strips off because it hurt so much, but the more times you do it, the less it hurts. Getting your full leg waxed can cost $40-60 which isn’t exactly in my budget, considering it grows back in about two weeks. I buy my wax and strips from Sally’s Beauty Supply and have been waxing my own legs for about a year and a half. It lasts longer than shaving, and the hair that grows back isn’t as thick. I find the best way to get that perfectly smooth feel is to wax and then briefly go over it with your razor and it will stay smoother for longer.
4. Whitening my teeth at home
I honestly don’t know anyone who actually goes to a dentist to get their teeth whitened, but I had to add it to my list. I have always been self conscious about my teeth, but recently I’ve had people comment on how my teeth look whiter and it’s the first time I’ve gotten compliments about them, so I was so excited that it was working. I use Crest 3D strips, which can get a little pricey, but I don’t use them that often so I’m able to fit it into my budget. You would be so surprised how much having a white smile boosts your confidence and overall appearance.
5. Do my own fake nails
I started doing my own nails at the beginning of the summer when my friend introduced me to the Kiss packs of 100 nails. I have longingly admired girls who always have fake nails for years. I feel like it just makes you look so put together. I didn’t have the money to get my nails done at a salon every month and my nails had been pretty badly damaged from working in a factory, so I turned to doing my own fake nails. You can get a pack of 100 from Walmart for under $10 and I find the nails last one to two weeks. That’s a great deal! You can use regular nail polish on them and it won’t come off. I did not expect the amount of compliments I get on my nails on a regular basis. Apparently I’m not the only one admiring other girls’ nails.
6. Do my own eyelash extensions
This is new for me, too. I am still experimenting with this and figuring out what works best, but you can buy the Ardell lashes from Walmart (that’s the cheapest place I’ve been able to find them so far) and get the black Ardell eyelash glue at a beauty supply store. I would suggest watching a YouTube tutorial so you can get a visual of how to apply them. I love the look of eyelash extensions, and I feel like I spend way less time doing my makeup because there is no need for a timely smokey eye with the big lashes. The lashes make me feel glamorous every time I catch my reflection in a window I pass.
Hopefully these tips have given you some hope that it’s possible to step up your beauty routine without breaking that cute piggy bank. It takes more time to do these things, but that’s the best time to get my Netflix fix. Go pamper yourself! Be the girl you’ve dreamed about.