Five Tips to Save on Beauty Spending in 2021


If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that life is full of the unexpected. Who could’ve imagined that it would be a year with a pandemic that brought uncertainty for jobs and income? As I approach graduation this May, I’ve been looking for ways to start saving knowing how important it is to have extra saved just in case.


I follow @moneywithkatie on Instagram who is a UA alum sharing tips on saving as a young woman. She pointed out earlier this month that women incur extra spending on beauty and personal care through things like manicures and makeup that men do not. She suggested taking a comprehensive look at how much you spend on personal care.


Looking back on this year, there are a few new habits that I’ve picked up that cut spending for me in this area, and I wanted to share in case you’re looking to as well. While I certainly would not claim to be a beauty blogger or expert by any means, I hope these tips help!


Learn to give yourself an at-home manicure

Pre-pandemic, I got my nails down consistently every three weeks. I really enjoyed this experience and made it a routine. I like having my nails done as it helps me feel more put together and looks nicer to me. 


Come week four of quarantine in April and businesses were shut down for the foreseeable future in Illinois, I began doing my own nails out of boredom. I can’t lie — it looked like a kindergartener painted them. I missed the precision and clean look that the salon gave me. Luckily with time on my hands, I repainted them every week or so and started to get the swing of it. I was reluctant to go many placed when Illinois began to open back up, so I continued this throughout the summer. 


I have not returned to the nail salon since March, and while I wouldn’t call myself a professional, I have gotten pretty good at doing my own nails every two weeks. It took lots of practice, but beside purchasing a $10 bottle of nail polish every six months or so, I have completely cut this area of spending. I do miss the salon and the experience but have easily saved more than $100 by picking up this skill on my own. 


My biggest recommendation with this is to practice and accept that you likely won’t be an expert right off the bat. I carved out time to do this on the weekends and would put on a show or movie while doing so. Another perk of using your own tools at home is that you can easily touch it up should you chip a nail too! 


Learn to pluck your own eyebrows

Plucking my own eyebrows is another skill I picked up in quarantine. While I did not get my eyebrows done consistently prior to the pandemic, a sweet sorority sister who lived next door to me would do them and I was always so impressed! I noticed that I needed to clean them up during quarantine and set out to learn to do them myself.


While this wasn’t a huge expense for me prior to quarantine, learning to do them myself has saved me money. My biggest recommendation for this is not over pluck and to find a tutorial on YouTube for the look you’re trying to achieve. This was a helpful video I watched when I was getting started. I have found that sometimes I have to do this in two parts to make sure I don’t overpluck and let the redness die down. 


Master the at-home blow out

I’ve talked about the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer before, but I will certainly talk about it again. I rarely use my straightener these days and almost entirely rely on my hair dryer. I watched several TikToks to learn how to style my hair using it and am also considering getting curlers to add some extra volume too.


If you’re looking to save on hot tool products, I think investing in the Revlon is worth it. It’s currently 30% off and dries, straightens and adds a bit of curl all at the same time. I also use it when my hair is completely dry to touch it up and add some volume. The best part? It dries my hair in about 10 minutes. Purchasing the Revlon rather than a blow dryer, straightener, curling iron, etc, would save money if you’re going for a blowout look.


Use Sun In for natural highlights

I have never dyed my hair or gotten highlights, but made my hair much lighter using Sun In. This heat activated product is under $4 and will last months. I spray it toward my roots after showering and then dry my hair. I started noticing results a few weeks later, and after consistent use my hair is much blonder than it used to be. If you already color your hair, I would recommend waiting until it grows out before trying the spray.


I only use it to touch up my roots now but was impressed by how much of a change the product made. If you’re looking to lighten your hair or give yourself natural highlights, I definitely recommend Sun In for an inexpensive way to do so.


Invest in good self-tanner

I’ve been using self-tanner on-and-off for a few years now and used to opt for Jergens because of its affordable price. I found that I had to apply multiple layers for it to show up and required constant maintenance. I decided to try the St. Tropez after hearing reviews from my friends and other bloggers. 


After seven months of using the St. Tropez, I would definitely recommend this brand instead. Though it is more expensive, one bottle lasted six months compared to the Jergens which I felt only lasted around two months. The St. Tropez only requires one layer and lasts much longer which makes the bottle last longer and gives a more natural, even glow in my experience. Despite the higher price tag, investing in a higher quality product in this case will help save money in the long run (and more natural too!).


I hope you found something in this list that you’re interested in trying or sparked an idea of additional ways to save. I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you picked up during quarantine too!

1 comment

  1. Discovering ways to trim beauty expenses is a savvy move in 2021. Implementing strategic tips can make a significant impact on your beauty budget. From DIY skincare to exploring budget-friendly brands, these five tips provide a roadmap to maintain your beauty routine without breaking the bank. Invest in your glow without overspending!