After the frenzied gift-buying and parade of parties, if you’re anything like us, you’d reached the darkest depths of your bank balance mere minutes into 2015.
As a result, right when you’re in need of for some serious pampering and retail therapy to raise your spirits and banish those January blues, it’s just not an option. Or is it? With a bit of know-how, you can still treat yourself, without inducing debt-driven panic and guilt.
From at-home fixes and online offers to sub-£10 finds that’ll have you turning your back on high-end equivalents, we’ve got the money-saving beauty tips that will see you through the most depressing month of the year, and beyond...
Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today, the old saying goes. But if what you’re putting off is a pricey hair appointment or spa treatment, it pays to delay.
These clever products will help you make it through to payday without sacrificing your looks.
Available in six shades, Colour Wow Root Cover Up looks like a giant eyeshadow palette, but you actually use it to cover up regrowth or greys, by brushing the powder onto dry hair.
The bestselling Josh Wood Blending Wand, which comes in seven shades, is a non-permanent cream colour that’s brushed on pre blow-dry.
Addicted to monthly gel manicures but wincing at the thought of the £30 a pop fee? A DIY kit will work out cheaper in the long run, but you’ll still have to shell out up to £100 initially. A way more affordable quick fix is Sally Hansen’s latest innovation. Called Miracle Gel, the polish gives gel-level staying power without the need for a UV lamp, just two coats of colour and a top coat (sold separately).
CHEAP AS CLICKS
Department store counters may be best for playing with products or discovering a lush new lipstick shade, but once you’ve found your favourites, they’re usually cheaper online.
TK Maxx is a well-known source for discounted cult beauty faves, but if you don’t want to face the crowds in store you can shop online at TKMaxx.com. Similarly, DirectCosmetics.com offers designer and high street brands at heavily marked down prices.
Perfume may well be the most expensive item on your dressing table, but now is actually a very good time to buy, with sales at places like The Fragrance Shop (www.thefragranceshop.co.uk) continuing until the end of January. Year-round, sites like FragranceX.com and HalfPricePerfumes.co.uk sell cut-price un-boxed scents.
The really savvy shopper, however, will turn to eBay, to take advantage of all the unwanted Christmas presents flooding the site right about now. Many will be unopened, but if you’re willing to settle for a bottle that’s not entirely full, you can snap up fragrances at even lower prices.
Cheaper beauty treatments are just a few clicks away, too. Booking site Wahanda.com has thousands of deals all over the UK on hair, nails, massages, spa days and more.
Also nationwide, SalonGuineaPig.co.uk connects trainee beauticians with participants to practice on (that’s you). Typically, you’ll just pay cost price to cover the materials - so £5 for a manicure, for instance - and some treatments are even free.
With so many budget brands around, it can be hard to know which to trust, so we asked the experts for their less-than-a-tenner winners.
“Bourjois Cream Blush, £7.99, can be used as a matte lip colour and an eyeshadow too,” says celebrity make-up artist Bryony Blake, brand ambassador for LowLow frozen ready meals’ ‘Take 5 and make a difference’ campaign (facebook.com/lowlowmeals).
Addicted to Urban Decay’s Naked palettes? Bryony’s found a doppelganger at a fraction of the price: “Eyeshadow palettes are a great money-saver, as you get lots of colours and you can use any dark matte shades as eyebrow colour,” she says. “Makeup Revolution is a new brand that does a great budget palette for eyes and cheeks, and it’s only £4.”