Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

I wrote a hair post in both 2007 and 2008, so I suppose it’s only appropriate to continue the tradition in 2009!

The recession is a major reason why I’ve been neglecting my hair a bit during these past several months: skipping my straightening treatment ($250), trading down my stylist (from $60 per cut to $20 per cut), and spacing out my haircuts (long layers mean I haven’t cut my hair in… I’m too embarrassed to admit how long!).

Recently, I thought about getting a digital perm (~$250) because I have a hankering for long loose curls. A few of my girlfriends got it done and they look beautiful. Imagine long cascading waves that tumble past your shoulders. 😉

But I decided to put it off given that I have many uncertainties looming in my life: job and the whole recession doom and gloom, expenses for a possible new business, a new apartment w/ increased rent, the need to save for retirement (or else be reduced to a life of penury), etc.

A gorgeous head of hair is lovely, but I’m not sure it’s so important that I need to get it done right this moment. So, as many others have done, I’m putting off the “big-ticket” items in these uncertain times.

Have you decided to trade down on haircuts / treatments and or products because of the recession? Did your hair budget decrease from what it was in 2007 or 2008?

If I have any hairstylist readers out there, how are you faring?


Read Full Post »

It’s been confimed. The recession has had no impact on dampening my love for fine paper goods.

I have written of my penchant for thank-you notes by the impeccable Crane & Co. This weekend, on a trip to Target, I fell in love with premium handmade cards fashioned by Papyrus. Forget those $1 or $2 cards you find at drugstores – these cards, with fabric appliqué and glitter and gold foil, are works of art, all in their own.

Their prices, accordingly, are pretty high. At first I have to admit some sticker shock ($5+ for a card?!), but you know, beautiful cards for my beautiful friends! So in the spirit of compromise, I picked up a handful of cards for $4 to $5 each, but skipped the $7+ ones that I liked.

Here are some of my favorite designs, available from the website:

Read Full Post »

Now that we’re all on a budget, here are some little luxuries that a girl can treat herself to without breaking the bank.

1. Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa shampoo & conditioner ($2.50-$2.99 each): Get both and you’re still WAY under $10. Each 16 oz bottle is chock full of expensive-sounding ingredients such as rosemary and citrus oil, and it’s sulfate-free! The shampoo and conditioner makes my hair soft and leaves a light but pleasing scent.

2. Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Sheer ($7-$9): Perfect for those days when you want to add a little color but don’t want to look too made-up. My favorite color is Shimmer Blush. I have two of these and they are my go-to lip color. If you have a coupon you can get these for even cheaper.

3. Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer ($9.99): An all-in-one set for you to look flawless. I haven’t personally tried this set, but the reviews are pretty darn great.

4. Sonia Kashuk Brow Kit Arch Alert Palette ($9.99): My Sephora brow powder is on its last legs, so I think my next stop will be to try this palette. The price is right, and the reviews are wonderful. Includes 4 shades & two small applicators.

5. Bath & Body Works Hand Cream in Warm Vanilla Sugar ($5 – on sale!): Lovely scent if you like vanilla. (I am also a sucker for anything with a name that sounds like it can be edible).

6. Boots Botanics Face Pamper Kit ($10.99): Okay, so technically this isn’t under $10. But cute little package is worth the additional 99 cents. Boots Botanics is one of my favorite brands at Target. It doesn’t irritate my skin and I especially love the scent. This set includes Quenching Face Mask, Day Moisture Lotion, Skin Brightening Deep Clean Gel, Skin Brightening Toner, Night Moisture Cream. A good starter / travel kit.

Read Full Post »

It’s been over a year since I did a hair post, so… lo and behold, the hair post of 2008!

Inspired by a comment from reader Stacy:

One thing that I discovered was eating up a chunk of money is my hair. I tallied up how many times I got my hair cut and highlighted last year — not many, and the total cost came to $530 with tips! This is for four haircuts and three highlights, at not even very expensive salons and when I was trying to go a long time between each salon visit. This also doesn’t include hair products — on which I don’t always buy the drugstore versions, but I do wait until I can get a deal (a Redken buy two get two free special was the last one!) and then stock up. I have thin hair that is very hard to make look nice, so basically my philosophy was to do as much as I could to make it look good…

So…I hope I don’t sound like a snob here. Most girls I know spend WAY more than this on their hair. What do you think? Thanks!

I tallied up my own hair costs… I have thick wavy hair that tends to frizz up even if there is no humidity what-so-ever. I never dye my hair (it’s so dark that the stylist would have to strip out all my natural color, then deposit the new color – I can’t just get highlights or lowlights like a light brunette or a blond can).

A year ago I splurged and paid $200+ to professionally straighten my hair. It’s been nice and straight and much more manageable, but I don’t know if I want to pay such big $$$ to re-do the procedure. Some people have complimented me on my hair’s “body” and “waves”, but unless I’m willing to spend 10+ minutes in the morning working on it, it just looks messy.

If I make the chemical straightening a once-a-year thing, I’d be looking at a ~$400 annual hair budget:
Straightening: $250
Shampoo & conditioner: $10 a set x 4 = $40 (I use drugstore stuff without any sulfates)
Haircut: $20/cut x 3 cuts = $60 (I gave up my lovely little hair boutique)
Total: $350, maybe with another $50 tossed in for incidentals.

That’s about $30 a month on hair. HAIR. Dead cells! (But such pretty dead cells).

So my current plan is, wait until my hair gets so unruly that I can’t stand it anymore, then go get it straightened again. I think I can hold out at least ’til May.

Readers – how much do you spend on hair? Gentlemen are welcome to chime in!

Read Full Post »