Frugal Personal Care and Style for the Ladies

A few months back, we had some friends visiting San Francisco and we stopped at Sephora near Union Square for our friend to pick something up. That was my first time walking into a Sephora retail store, and I'm 27 this year (and female!). I was overwhelmed by the amount of product choices there, and had no idea what to do with 90% of the stuff I was seeing.

When I saw the huge crowd of women lining up to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy skin, hair and other personal styling products, I realized that I was significantly more frugal on this front than the average millennial. Of course, frugality is a spectrum, and according to Mr. Frugal Hacker's standards, my daily beauty regimen includes many things that he would consider splurges.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I'm not 100% anti-makeup and do dress up for special occasions. However, there's a tremendous amount of unnecessary social pressure for women to wear make-up on a daily basis, just to fit in with our society's perception of beauty standards. That's bullshit. I don't fall for it, and neither should you. Here's how I do beauty:

Mrs. Frugal Hacker's List of Personal Care Products

  1. Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner from Costco
  2. Kirkland Body Wash from Costco
  3. Homemade DIY Face Wash (Castile Soap + Tea Tree Oil recipe costing ~$10/year, ingredients from Liberty Natural)
  4. Deodorant - Dove or Suave Roll-on ($1 - $3 per purchase, lasts so long I don't keep track of it)
  5. Coconut Oil for Moisturizer - I bought this from Amazon for $15 because I didn't want anything larger than 32oz, but Costco's organic coconut oil (Kirkland brand) is amazing value for money
  6. Witch Hazel for Facial Toner (also from Liberty Natural - $5/year) 
  7. MAC Powder Foundation - $28/year
  8. MAC Lip Gloss - $10/year
  9. Eyeliner for special events - $10/year
  10. Calvin Klein Perfume for occasional use (bought this for $28 from Amazon 3 years ago, still have 90% left)

Things I Don't Spend On Anymore

  1. Waxing - razors and hair removal creams are significantly cheaper and get the job done just fine.
  2. Manicures and Pedicures - I trim and clean my nails myself, and have decided to go nail polish free.
  3. Massages - I don't pay for massages anymore but made an exception in Bali where we treated ourselves to 4 hours of spa + massage for just $30 American.
  4. Fancy haircuts - I paid $70 for a haircut once and immediately regretted it. I have straight hair that's easy to manage and I don't experiment much with new hair styles. Aveda has a training school in San Francisco where you can get great cuts for $10. Since my haircut needs are straightforward, this works out great for me.
  5. Expensive acne/skin enhancing treatments - I have sensitive skin that's very acne prone (the worst!!) but I stay away from the magical concoctions that promise to clear my skin overnight. The only thing that works for me is eating healthy, working out, and maintaining basic hygiene.

My biggest frugal fail in the personal care realm: I spent $40 over the last 6 months for eyebrow threading and shaping. I've been trying to teach myself this skill by watching Youtube videos, but gosh it's tricky. 

How much do you spend on personal care per year? Share your frugal tips in the comments!