The Beauty Industry is a business like any other.
Executives sit in endless meetings trying to find new ways to sell us the same old products, for new problems we didn’t know we had.
Behind the glow of photoshopped celebs and miracle elixirs, it is a business which relies on us believing in its magic to succeed. Allow me to reverse the spell, just for a short while, in the interest of saving you a penny or two…
Strong brows are a huge trend at the moment with models such as Cara Delevingne allowing hers to practically take over her face. Picking up on this, a product called brow gel has sprung onto the market. Please don’t be fooled, this is clear mascara with a different label. Normal black/brown mascara also works just as well for taming brows.
9. Painting by numbers
You may have noticed little tub symbols with numbers on them appearing on your cosmetics in the past few years, this is the beauty industry’s universal system of ‘use by’ dates. The number on the product corresponds to the number of months before you should throw it away.
I personally pay little attention to them, but I don’t want to be responsible for anybody’s ill health so follow the guidelines if you wish. One thing you can do to increase the longevity of products such as nail varnish, is keep them in the fridge. This really does work (tried and tested).
8. Water baby!
Supplements, creams and cleansers promise to ‘refresh’ our skin and keep it baby soft and moist, but nothing beats drinking fresh (free) tap water.
7. Out of season?
Just as fashion has its seasons, so now does beauty. Each summer the glossy mags encourage us to throw away our berry red stains and deep wine nail varnishes, only to be told to go out and buy a shade lighter/redder/bluer next year. No.
Most of us know what suits us and work it perfectly successfully each year. If you are tempted to try out a new trend, work it gradually into your standard seasonal look and master one new product before buying another.
6. More Water, baby!
Want to open up your pores? Use warm water and a flannel. Want to close them? Use cold water and a hand.
5. Think like a man
Shops show women absolutely no respect (bear with me). They firmly believe that because they display oceans of pink, floral bottles, we won’t go down the aisle and check the price of the men’s version of the product.
Men’s shaving foam, disposable razors, bath bubbles, shower gel, and body sprays are often cheaper than women’s, and smell a lot less like pot pourri.
4. Sugar and spice
Exfoliating your skin is really important. But if the price of exfoliating products is making you wince, invest in a pair of exfoliating mitts which are usually under £1 and use the soap you already have.
Or make your own scrub by mixing sugar and baby oil together, and spice it up by adding essential oils.
3. The Big Squeeze
Getting the very last drop out of products can require serious elbow grease, but you would be surprised how much product we throw away when we discard our bottles.
You can now buy beauty spatulas, companies such as Mahi Naturals include them with their products, and they allow you to squeeze out every last drop.
2. Placebo effect
A recent study by the University of Warwick showed that dietary supplements have no effect on health. These can be very expensive, so maybe swap these for a bunch of grapes until more research is done.
1. Make Vaseline your BFF
Multi-purpose products are the enemy of the beauty industry. Just some of the uses for Vaseline include: eyeshadow (pop a little on your eyelid for some sparkle), lipbalm (duh), deep moisturising treatment (slather on hands/feet and put into old gloves/socks overnight), cheek highlighter, nail cream, and emergency hair gel (just kidding… kind of)
P.S. Always look at the ingredients label on a product before you buy it, not least to check if any nasties are lurking in there, but if there are only a few main ingredients which are widely and cheaply available, why not try and make it yourself?
Advice on storing cosmetics: http://www.thefactsabout.co.uk/content.aspx?pageid=169
Vitamin Supplement Research: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/17/vitamin-supplements-waste-money-scientists