Has a carefree summer vacation left your wallet feeling blue? Being committed to beauty can cost you and arm and a leg but it doesn’t have to - you can maximize your routine without lots of extra spending. Here are our tips for beauty on a shoe-string:

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Wash your beauty tools regularly

Keeping your beauty tools, such as make-up brushes, make-up sponges, konjac sponges and even your pillowcase (which your face rubs against every night) clean can make all the difference in avoiding unnecessary breakouts and infections. No special cleansers needed; just use a little of your favorite face wash for make-up tools and always let them dry thoroughly to avoid cultivating bacteria.

Invest in tools and accessories that last

Trying to save can sometimes present a false economy and sometimes splurging on products which last, such as beauty tools, can save you more in the long-term. For example, if you apply make-up daily, buy a good set of brushes that maintain their quality with regular cleaning. Spending less on more simple brushes can mean that you need to replace them more often. Investing in a silk pillowcase can mean saving more in anti-aging treatments in the long-term, as silk helps keep your skin crease-free and hydrated while you sleep - which you should be spending over 7 hours doing daily.

Do some research before purchase

Understand your skin and it’s likes and dislikes - this will save you a ton of money in the long-term, and do your research thoroughly before spending any money. Read reviews and inspect ingredients lists when it comes to buying any products - from a simple, low-cost face wash to more substantially-priced serums and treatments. It might be a no-brainer when it comes to more expensive investments but it also pays off to avoid lower-priced products which may not work for your skin type and lead to breakouts and other skin conditions. Adverse reactions can be costly and time-consuming to fix so avoid getting yourself trapped in this cycle.

Request samples before investing in new products

Almost any reputable beauty retailer will provide - or make - samples of the products you’re interested in because trialing a product can make all the difference. If you have sensitive skin, always patch test. For example, Powder offers 3 samples with every purchase but requests for particular samples can always be accommodated because we recognize how important it can be to patch test and try before you buy.

Invest the majority of your beauty budget in the products that have the biggest impact

If your budget is limited, invest the majority of it in the serum step of your routine. Your face wash is very important - and we highly-recommend double-cleansing for all - but ultimately, as long as it does its job, it washes off so can be kept simple and inexpensive. Creams are predominantly occlusive, which means they seal moisture and goodness into your skin, and although it can be nice to have them packed with additional beneficial ingredients, it is not necessary when you are trying to save. Where it makes sense to invest is in your serum or treatment step, which is where your personal needs - such as for clarity, luminosity, minimizing the appearance of aging, dehydration or anything else, should be addressed. Look for active ingredients that work with your needs and invest in those for the best returns.

Remember that less can be more

Is that highlighter/mask/serum really necessary? If you are just looking for maintenance, are those expensive oils really going to make a difference and help you achieve your beauty or skin goals? Resist marketing temptation and listen to your skin – you often benefit more by buying less and

Work with your natural hair type

Styling your hair with heated tools and drying colorants can either be damaging or costly. If you want to avoid having to spend more than you have to on regular salon visits, masks and hair treatments, work with your natural hair type. Experiment with new styles and research how best to treat your hair - your natural style will always suit you if treated and maintained gently.

Drink a ton of water

It’s obvious but it is also the easiest way of improving your appearance and encouraging a natural glow without spending any extra cash - drink water regularly and generously. In our air-conditioning heavy, humid desert environment, making sure you stay hydrated can save you a small fortune in serums and treatments your skin may need to remain luminous.

Keep your lifestyle clean

Stop smoking. Not only is it expensive, but has a noticeable impact on the appearance of your skin, in addition to other (more serious) health risks. If you are committed to your skincare but don’t want to spend any more than you have to, avoid the smoke. This includes second-hand smoking in polluted restaurants and bars - always choose the non-smoking section even if you occasionally indulge to avoid doing unnecessary contamination. The same goes for avoiding junk foods and late nights; if your health is being compromised, one way or another your appearance will reflect that.

Avoid picking and touching your face

However often you wash your hands, often they’re not always clean. Picking and touching your skin can do some serious damage, leaving scars which only fade with either lengthy periods of time or often expensive treatments. Picking can be seriously addictive (trust us, we know) so confront this issue head-on and make a commitment to yourself to change your habits. Write this commitment down, repeat affirmations and keep a stress-ball handy so your hands have something to occupy them when temptation strikes.
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