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Five Frugal Beauty Gifts That Will Save Your Friends Money

In the spirit of frugality, why not give you gal-pals beauty gifts that will save them money?  My favorites are:

1. Beautyblender: $20 for 2, Amazon.com

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This soft, teardrop sponge does a fantastic job of applying foundation (especially liquid).  I used to spend a pretty penny (i.e. $40 or so!) on foundation because only the expensive brands came close to giving me the coverage I needed.  But, when I tried out the beauty blender, I was delighted to find that not only did it work well with drugstore foundations, it also took less foundation to achieve the desired effect.  Finally, its unique shape allows for both general and precise application of foundation/concealer.  So, you don’t need a separate brush to apply concealer to blemishes and dark under-eye circles.  It’s an all in one tool!

2. Precision Pore Cleansing Pad: $5, Sephora.com

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It’s been a year since I first began using this scrubber as part of my nightly facial cleansing routine.  The pad is made of silicone which gently exfoliates and freshens your skin, allowing you not only to avoid using toner, but also requiring less cleanser than you would normally use. I’m still using the scrubber I bought last year.  For $5, this is a great and frugal gift.

3. Pack of Six Mini Bath Sponges: $5, Amazon.com

While a bath sponge may not be the most original idea, a pack of mini bath sponges promotes not only better hygiene (by encouraging your friend to trash old sponges), it also saves the user money by requiring less soap.  As I have noted, I used to dollop a whopping dose of body wash onto my sponge without realizing that I needed much less to clean as well.  A mini sponge “tricks” you into using a smaller amount of soap, because the sponge itself is smaller.  This gift is perfect when paired with your favorite body wash.

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4. Razorpit Razor Cleaner: $22, Amazon.com

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This nifty little gadget extends the life of your razor by removing dirt and grime from the blades.  Instead of constantly paying a premium for new blades, this product allows you to get more uses out of your current blade.  Depending on your shaving habits, it will pay for itself in as little a month!  An old leather belt works well too, but is not as aesthetically appealing as the Razorpit. 🙂

5. Accu-Massage: $25, Amazon

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I know what you’re probably thinking–what does this product have to do with beauty or frugality?  Let me explain.  The accu-massage is, put simply, the single most effective self-massage tool I have ever used (and, I’ve run the gamut of do-it-yourself massages).  It gets down to business in the hard-to-reach areas like your next and shoulders, lower back, and more.  I consider this the perfect beauty tool because it helps me to relieve stress (which has been shown to cause all sorts of beauty woes).

Furthermore, this tool is actually frugal in a few ways.  First, it is much cheaper than many of the “at home” massagers.  But, it also helps to thwart frequent masseur and chiropractor visits, can prevent headaches, and help you sleep better, have better circulation and flexibility, and a whole host of other benefits.

This gift is on my own list for several people this year (men and women alike!) and I heartily recommend it.


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Money-Saving Tools: How to Save on Bath Soap

We’re huge fans of any beauty tool that can save time or help better achieve a desired effect.  Yet, beauty tools can be expensive, so when we come across one that actually saves money, we’ll highlight it in this blog.

Not only is using a loofah or bath mesh fun and easy, each is super cheap and can save you money by using less bath products.

Loofahs exfoliate your skin by removing dead cells that lay on top of the skin causing itchyness, dullness, and dryness. Loofahs can also help promote blood circulation by washing in gentle circular motions from your neck to your toes. Wash cloths (unless they are more abrasive) exfoliate as well and often require more effort to work the soap into a lather which can irritate your skin. Wash cloths are harder to use in the shower and usually end up requiring more product to get enough lather.  Loofahs range in cost from $1 to $2 and up, but when compared to washcloths or hand-washing, they can save you up to 15% on body wash or soap per year.

Bath Meshes usually aren’t the best at exfoliating your skin but they offer the best way to save on your favorite soap by making it last longer.  All you need is a quarter sized drop of soap or less (unless you use a bar).  Ruffle up your mesh to distribute the soap evenly and scrub your body in small circular motions; for soap, just twirl the bar in your mesh twice and sud up.  Bath meshes are SUPER cheap and are easy to wash (just pop ’em in the washer/dryer!).  A quality mesh can last up years with proper care.  The average person uses 4-5 bottles of shower gel/soap a year — adding up fast.  This can save you 25% or more on body wash or soap and let you indulge in your favorite shower splurges a little more often.

My pick between the two is a bath mesh.  The initial investment can be as little as $1.00, though I decided to buy a higher-quality bath mesh for around $3 that has lasted me for 3 years.  Yes, 3 years!  While this may seem disgusting, I make sure to keep it clean by air-drying after every use and by machine washing it every so often.  I’ve found that spending a bit more upfront on a quality product has really paid off in this case.

To maximize your savings, experiment with how much soap you really need.  Prior to my conversion to frugality, I would thoughtlessly dump soap onto the mesh without paying attention to the quantity I was using.  I experimented with various amounts and realized that a nickel-size amount works well for me.  This is less than half of what I was used to use.  In other words, I was dumping at least 3 bottles of body wash down the drain every year.  While I don’t use expensive body wash, the savings from this revelation alone have been significant.

So, bottom line, pick the right tool for your bathing needs and be cognizant of how much product you need (versus how much you typically use).


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Money-Saving Tool: Silicone Scrubber, $5

We’re huge fans of any beauty tool that can save time or help better achieve a desired effect.  Yet, beauty tools can be expensive, so when we come across one that actually saves money, we’ll highlight it in this blog.

I was looking for a cheap filler item to meet the $50 minimum for free shipping at Sephora once upon a time, and came across this little beauty: a silicone scrubber for $5.  It got pretty good reviews, so I decided to take the plunge.  I’m super glad I did.  Long after the items I had used to fill my cart have been forgotten, this scrubber is a tool that I use daily.  It does a fantastic job of providing mild exfoliation but, the real benefit is that it requires less cleanser than normal face-washing.  Another huge bonus is that it helps my cleanser do such a good job of removing makeup and grime that I have been able to skip my usual astringent step altogether.  I estimate that I use 25% less cleanser with this silicone pad, cutting my yearly cleanser expenditures from an already meager $48 down to $36.  Since I have cut out astringent altogether, I’m saving roughly another $50 or so per year!  As you can see, this tool pays for itself rather quickly (depending on how much you spend on cleanser) and is built to last.

Where to buy?

I tried to find an even cheaper alternative to the one offered at Sephora, but could not.  So, if you are looking to get this scrubber, I’d recommend Sephora (here).