I’ve always been a woman on a budget. My father used to gather his coupons to go to Kroger every other day to find deals. My mom, on the other hand, told me to “TREAT YO’SELF!” within reason, of course. So growing up with these ideas, a girl could feel conflicted. Do I try to save money and treat myself? Yes. The answer is yes.
Loving fashion, beauty, and style has been a passion of mine since I was a third grade diva in Lexington, Kentucky. Watching house of style with Cindy Crawford in the 90’s gave me life on Saturday mornings. So, how could I be just as beautiful and stylish as her? I mean, she was a supermodel. And I, a chubby black teen from the suburbs. Oh, what a paradox!
As I grew older, and moved from KY to NYC, style was a thing here. I worked in Harlem where everyone was bold and unique. I watched and learned and listened to style tips from my people. I needed some help too! I was rocking polyester wigs for years before truly embracing my afro. True story. I thought everyone bought from high end stores. Then, I realized these cool, stylish glam gods, I loved, were rocking vintage clothes from thrift stores and beauty supply store lipglosses. I knew that was something I could do! I now thrift and beat my face on a budget because this studio on Rego Park isn’t gonna pay for itself, honey!
So, after watching tutorials and doing my research–I’m still working on it, y’all–I’ve come up with a list that helps the stylish teacher, creative, and just anyone on a budget.
How to be Inexpensively Classy, practically posh, and consistently cruelty free.
1. Read labels.
As a vegan, I read labels as often as I can. Cruelty free and vegan makeup matter to me. And there are a lot of brands, by choice and accident, that are cruelty free.
2. Look for super sales and season change.
When summer turns into fall, CHA-CHING! Bathing suits, shorts, cute tops all are nearly 75% off by October. Stock up! I also sign up for newsletters so I know when the best times are to buy.
3. Do it yourself.
Listen, I’ve watched so many tutorials and I’m bold enough to admit that GREAT teachers borrow! I go online–usually Pinterest and find my way to the DIY world. I’ll be doing some DIYs on here soon! If I can’t afford it, I can create it.
4. All makeup goes bad.
I realize this is a statement more so than a guideline but, I say this to myself all the time. I can’t afford $50 foundation powder. I’ve done it. And guess what, it shattered on me and to be totally honest, it wasn’t cruelty free either. That was a sign, y’all! So, my budget ranges from $10-$50 on any given day for a beauty haul. If I can get a lippie for $10 bucks and below, I’m doing awesome! Nothing wrong with a splurge but I’m super mindful of my beat budget.
5. Last, but certainly, not least, do what works for you.
I’ve been watching hair bloggers for some time now. I tried all these remedies, subscribed to beauty boxes and style bags–and I’ve learned my beauty is different from theirs. My tightly coiled hair gets super shrinky (a made up word) with just using water! I can’t do it. I need some type of hold. So I take samples and try them out and when I’m ready, make a conscious purchase.
Treat yo’ self on a budget, of course!