Beauty hacks for the low-maintenance girl!
I wouldn’t call myself a tomboy, although that might have fit when I was younger. But I’ll gladly claim the title of “low-maintenance”.
That would definitely describe my beauty routine/life/just about everything. Or you can call me lazy, whichever. I’ll admit to them all.
Most times though, I look for a simpler, more cost-effective way to go about my daily routines, whether it be getting ready in the morning or preparing meals for the week or streamlining my workflow. Whatever it is, if I can do it with minimal effort, that’s my cup of tea. I know that does sound lazy but I’m a busy mom (like all of us, right?) so I prefer to not spend my day doing things I really don’t enjoy so I can spend more time doing what I enjoy more.
But as far as looking for the cheaper way to go, that’s pretty much hard-wired into me. We didn’t have a lot of extra cash growing up so we always did things simply. And when I paid my own way through college, that way of life came in real handy for me. And being a mom with a budget, well, you get the idea. Budget-friendly is the way to go for me.
Now, let me preface this article with saying I have nothing against “high-maintenance” girls. I love the passion that drives them to do all the things. I just don’t share that passion. And if you’re anything like me, you like the high-maintenance look but prefer to achieve it without all the fuss. And price tag.
So here are some low-maintenance beauty tips that have helped me save money and time through the years:
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Low-Maintenance Beauty Tip #1
Cut your own hair.
I’m not sure why I’m starting with this one, other than it has a bit of shock value, doesn’t it? I mean, cut your own hair? Who does that?
Well, I do. And so do many others, apparently. YouTube has countless videos on how to cut your own hair. I have tried many methods until I found one that I liked and have been using that method ever since. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a salon for a hair cut.
And with three girls who love their long hair, it’s just so much cheaper and easier to do the cuts at home.
But I would only attempt this with long hair, though. After every birth, I always went short with my hair because it was easier to maintain, so those cuts were always done by a professional. But my girls are self-reliant now so we can keep the budget low on this item.
If you aren’t ready to try a full cut on yourself, you can always just trim your bangs. That alone will save you money if you are going in for a trim every few weeks.
However you choose to save money on your cut, whether it’s taking length off your ends or just giving your fringe a trim, you must first invest in a good pair of scissors. I have been told that so many times and I always thought that was just a gimmick. But a friend compared my blunt scissors with her sharp ones on my hair and the difference really shocked me. So I went out and bought myself a good, professional pair and it really has been a good investment for the amount of use we get out of it.
Along those lines, If you have boys at home, learn how to cut their hair the way they like it and save yourself the money. Whatever you spend on a good set of clippers you will easily make back with what you save. I gave my husband a tapered cut with length on top, for years. It isn’t hard and saved us so much money.
Low-Maintenance Beauty Tip #2
Visit a cosmetology school.
Before I learned how to cut my hair, this was where I went to get a haircut. I had friends plopping down $20-30 for a haircut and I was paying only $8 at the time. I saved tons of money going to schools instead of a salon.
Some people have reservations about going to a school for a cut, but let me assure you, it isn’t a “you get what you pay for” situation. Yes, there are the rare cases, but I’ve paid good money at really nice salons and hated the cuts. At least at a school, if you don’t like your cut, you didn’t spend much on it. But what you might not know is, the teachers pair your desired cut with a stylist who has been trained enough to cut it. And the teachers are on the floor inspecting every step of your style so you can feel at ease knowing your hair is in good hands.
This is their grade so you can bet the stylists will take care to do your hair right. When the cut is finished, if you are not satisfied, the teacher will fix your cut. Although, I’ve never needed my styles fixed in all the years I have gone.
The only con I have ever found going to a salon is the time. Expect to be there a good 2-3 hours depending on your desired cut. That is how thorough they are!
For me, it wasn’t a negative thing: I enjoyed the nice reprieve. I got my hair washed, cut and styled for barely anything. If we had a school closer, I’d probably still go just for the pampering. 🙂
Low-Maintenance Beauty Tip #3
Dye your own hair.
I know, a lot of what I’m suggesting takes courage if you’ve never attempted these things on your own. But you can totally get great results on your own. Two things I would advise before you try coloring at home, though: do not use a box color and get your supplies at Sally’s Beauty Supplies.
I used a box color for years until my stylist girlfriend had to spend two days getting my dyed black hair back to its original dirty blonde. She made me promise never to use box color again and taught me how to mix color from Sally’s. The price was only slighter higher than what I was already paying.
However, one of the things I LOVE about Sally’s is I rarely pay full price when I shop there. They always have sales for members. Oh, I hear you, the members thing just turned you off…
Let me tell you how easy it is to become a member.: you tell them you want to be a member, they take down your info, you pay them $5 FOR THE YEAR and they hand you over a $5 coupon. For the amount you save at Sally’s it would be foolish to not be a member; it’s technically free. AND if you sign up for their emails, you get exclusives deals and discounts on top of what they offer in the store, plus a $5 coupon on your birthday every year.
And another thing, if you aren’t sure about something you want to do, ask an associate. I spent nearly half an hour once talking with one about my hair and the best products for it. My hair has seen a night and day difference since I went with her advice.
But wait! There’s more! If you try a product and don’t like it, you return it to the store, no questions asked.
I just love Sally’s! And I’m a low-maintenance girl! Ha!
Low-Maintenance Beauty Tips #4
I’m sure some of you have never heard of epilating and you’re wondering where in the world I’m going with this article. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either until two years ago, but boy, am I glad I found out!
Do you hate shaving? The time it takes, the cost of razors and the prickly feeling an hour after you shave? I hated the latter SO much that I actually resorted to waxing. I know that is the opposite of low-maintenance, especially since I made the wax from scratch but it was the only alternative to shaving I had at the time.
Although the results felt amazing, I hated the in-between growth time and the stickiness and the constant burns. It was almost as frustrating as shaving.
Then I came across epilating. It’s essentially an electric razor but instead of cutting the hair, it pulls the hair out much like it does when you wax. When it boasted the same results as waxing, I knew I had to try it. These are the pros and cons I discovered for myself:
- As soon as you notice the hair growing back you can epilate again without waiting.
- No sticky wax.
- No burns.
- One session lasts weeks.
- Half the time of waxing.
- After a few sessions it’s nearly painless.
- The first time you use it is very painful.
- It is harder for the teeth to grab hairs the finer they are.
- You may need to go over an area more than once.
If you would like to try it, I recommend the Deluxe Epilator. It has ceramic heads which gives you a better experience than ones with metal and helps with your comfort level. I have been using mine for three years now and have no intentions of ever returning to anything else.
Low-Maintenance Beauty Tips #5
Sleep with your hair in a bun.
This one is almost a freebie but you’d be surprised how many girls never use this super easy and effective technique!
Even though I get impressive results with a curling iron, I don’t always take the time to do it. When I know I’ll be rushed for time in the morning, I dampen my hair the night before, throw it up in a top bun and when I wake up, my hair is ready for the day.
French braids work just as well, depending on how tight you want your curls.
These techniques work great for my girls but I actually, do mine slightly different. My hair holds a curl really well so after I wash my hair, I will spend time curling it for the day. Then at night I do what is called “pineappling”. You basically gather your hair into a ponytail on the top of your head but when you pull your hair through on the last go, you only pull it out halfway so the rest is still caught up in your hair tie.
This technique is perfect for my layers and keeps my curls until I wash my hair again. Talk about low-maintenance! I cannot tell you how much time this one tip has saved me. If you do this, make sure to use a scrunchy or you will have creases in your hair the next day.
Alright, I think I’ve spent enough time on these five tips that I hope will save you time and money. I’ve used these all and they really aren’t hard to do, so I hope you give at least one a try. 🙂
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About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.