Being a frugal natural beauty isn’t hard if you know a few tricks. It’s just not necessary to spend a ton of money on beauty products to have great skin and a natural makeup look.
While it’s great that there are many natural and organic beauty products available nowadays, I’m going to focus on the “reducing” aspect of the equation. If you don’t NEED it, the frugal thing is not to buy it, even if it’s natural and non-toxic.
Frugal Natural Beauty: Skin Care
First, eliminate stuff you don’t need
If you read many books written by beauty and skin care experts, most of them agree that you only need 3 products: a mild cleanser/makeup remover, moisturizer, and sunscreen. That’s it! If you’re over 35, add a retinol at night and Vitamin C during the day.
Separate moisturizer for eyes, face and neck? Nope. Marketing propaganda. (You probably do need a separate lotion for your body though, since the skin on your face is thinner.)
Toner (or astringent) is unnecessary. Wash your face well and rinse well. Skip the toner. Toner was invented because older cleansers didn’t rinse well. The modern ones do.
Using sunscreen daily is one of the most important ways to reduce premature aging. If you have oily or normal skin, you may not need a separate moisturizer and sunscreen. If your skin is dry, use the gentlest cleanser you can find, and you might need less moisturizer. (If your face feels dry and tight after cleansing, it’s because your cleanser is too harsh.)
Most people, unless their skin is extremely oily, don’t need to wash their faces with a cleanser in the morning. Of course it goes without saying that you should thoroughly cleanse your face and remove makeup at night. But as long as you do this well, your face is clean enough in the morning to just splash with warm water.
Exfoliation is important for healthy and pretty skin, but you probably don’t need an expensive product. Use a very clean washcloth to gently scrub your face. Or put some baking soda in your hand and use that as a gentle scrub. Or, exfoliate with a bit of sugar or salt mixed with a little olive oil.
By the way, olive oil and coconut oil are both great eye makeup removers and moisturizers. Coconut oil can be used for deep cleansing, moisturizing and even for the hair. Some people break out if they use coconut oil on their faces, but it’s great for the body and hair and in recipes that are rinsed off (such as the sugar scrub pictured above).
Frugal Natural Makeup
Skip foundation all over your face. Most people don’t need it all over, just a little bit under the eyes, around the nose and maybe the chin. I prefer tinted moisturizer (I use this one, it’s so cheap and works beautifully) or try mineral makeup, which makes your face look flawless and seems to last forever. 3-in-1 makeup sticks are nice and save time and space too. As I’ve gotten older, I find that less makeup, applied with a lighter touch, is more flattering.
Curl your eyelashes – An eyelash curler opens up the eyes and really makes them pop. If your lashes are curled, you might be happy to skip eye makeup. If I were stranded on a desert island and could have only two products, I would want my eyelash curler and lip color. Buy a good eyelash curler, the cheap ones tear at your lashes. They last forever, and you can buy refill pads for them. The frugal and eco-friendly choice is to buy quality and keep it forever.
Keep your brows groomed. This shapes and “frames” your face without any product. In addition to tweezing, try trimming the longer hairs that stick out after you comb your brows. I use cuticle nippers for this.
Skip shampoo entirely and try “no poo” or minimal shampoo. Or, simply rinse your hair with warm water, scrubbing your scalp well. If you do need shampoo, use the tiniest bit you can get away with, and only every few days when your hair is actually greasy. Most people find that their scalp produces less oil when they shampoo less frequently.
One caveat: no ‘poo doesn’t work well for many wavy or curly haired girls. I’m not sure why, but I’ve heard this over and over again from other curly girls. I prefer minimal shampoo, once every 4 or 5 days.
Make your own natural beauty products
Making your own skin care products usually means you’ll use less packaging and you might save money too. It doesn’t have to be super complicated. You can mix honey and salt to make a body or facial scrub. Or sugar and olive or coconut oil. Lemon juice, salt and olive oil are great to exfoliate and bleach elbows and heels.
Always test your homemade recipes on a small, inconspicuous part of the body before using them – you can be allergic to anything, including a “natural” ingredient.
Learn to love your own beauty
I have a story here. My sister has super thick, curly hair, the kind that other people spend $100 per perm to try to achieve. Now, she accepts her hair and doesn’t fight nature, but when she was a teenager and everyone had Farrah Fawcett wings, straight was the look. She would spend money and time trying to chemically straighten her hair, which was mostly an exercise in futility!
Curly hair is beautiful and doesn’t have to be straightened (and vice versa). Ask your hairdresser to help you choose a style that works with your facial shape and hair texture.
The more you try to change your natural look, the more money and time you’ll spend.
Personally, I stopped coloring my grey and I absolutely love my hair. I get compliments on it daily, which is surprising to me. I wish I’d done this years ago. While I used to spend time and money fighting nature, now I embrace my “highlights”, and my hair has never been healthier.
A frugal beauty accepts her natural face. Freckles are cute. Don’t cover them up. So many things we consider “flaws” are what our loved ones love most about our face!
Another way to go green with your beauty and save money too is to use up what you have on hand before buying more! Also, if you enjoy reading frugal natural beauty tips, grab a copy of my book, The Temporary Tightwad. There’s a long chapter in it with dozens more frugal beauty tips.
Another favorite beauty read is The French Beauty Solution. Those French ladies are all about natural, minimalist beauty.
Now- what are your favorite frugal, natural beauty tips?