Feel like Beyoncé on a peasant budget
I’m a bit of a brand groupie when it comes to all things beauty. If Space.nk or Sephora or Kiehl’s sold contact solution, I’d be buying that shit for sure. It’d probably be made from the rose-infused tears of woodland nymphs living in the South of France and raised on a champagne diet, and I am just too darn good at making “because I’m worth it” purchases when there’s pretty packaging and elitist marketing involved to say no. #NoRagrets.
Sometimes you want to splurge a little to feel good. When you begin to feel more guilt than pleasure, though, it’s time to scale back. That’s how I discovered the power of little luxe things that can make you feel fancy without breaking the bank. Even if times are so tight that you have to turn back to drugstore moisturizer (OH LORD PLEASE NO), you can still feel like a lil’ glamourpuss with these temporary fixes. Check out my picks!
1. Fiber masks
A single-use fiber mask is an AMAZING pick-me-up. It’ll definitely put some pep in your step, even if you do look like Michael Myers while wearing it. Just don’t sneak up on anybody. Pop one on fifteen minutes before bed and wake up singing Becky G. I’m a huge fan of the Sephora pearl mask, which leaves your face bright and reinvigorated for days. At only $6 a pop, it’s a steal. Sephora pearl mask, $6, Sephora.com
2. Bath bombs
Got a bathtub? Use it! Toss a bath bomb in, sink beneath the fizzle, and feel your troubles literally melt away. I love the Dragon’s Egg bath bomb from Lush. It’s like an adventure: as the egg spins, each layer reveals a new surprise. By the time the bomb has dissolved completely, you’re swimming in shimmery, delightfully-scented gold water. It’s awesome. Awesome. You may even find yourself making weird dragon noises, if you’re like me and/or are six years old. Best part? They’re almost always under $10. Lush Dragon’s Egg bath bomb, $6.25, Lush.com
3. Sticker manicures
The right sticker manicure will last you nearly a week and will get you loads of compliments. I like Sally Hansen Salon Effects a lot, and you can get them at nearly any drugstore. You can also use them, as shown above, as an accent nail. It only takes a moment to apply and there’s zero drying time, which leaves SO MUCH MORE TIME FOR HOODRAT ACTIVITIES. You can try out all kinds of über-trendy nail art, too, without having to fork over the big bucks at Valley Nails or at the cost of your living room carpet. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips, $9.99, Ulta.com
4. Lip balm
A new lip balm can make you feel like a new person. It’s just science. I’m a big fan of Korres. Korres lip butter, $12, Korres.com
5. Travel-sized lotions & creams
Throw a luxe travel-sized lotion in your handbag for an on-the-go pick-me-up. My former roommate got me hooked on Kiehl’s Creme de Corps. I’d keep the bottle she bought me in my bag at all times, and when I finally ran out, I immediately replaced it! Also recommended: L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, $11, Kiehls.com
6. Rollerball fragrances
So maybe it’s a little more than your average mini-splurge, but if you’ve got $20-$30 to spare, a rollerball sample set is an awesome idea. You’ll get samples of several popular fragrances in addition to a certificate for a full-sized rollerball, and you can really get to know how well you wear each scent before committing to one. I’m a huge fan of this deal! Sephora Favorites Rollerball Sampler, $24, Sephora.com
Of course, if the thing you crave most doesn’t come in a mini-me size, you can always execute this pro play: ask for a sample. Most beauty supply and department stores can make samples of liquid and cream products for customers to take home. It can be kind of awkward at first if you’re shy, but pretend for a moment that you’re a Very Important Customer who has the $$$ to buy $145 vials of unicorn piss that prevent crepe-y eyelids (or whatever new product is en vogue). Most salespeople are usually more than happy to help. I got through a particularly rough (punssssss) breakup by going from store to store and asking for samples of facial scrubs. My face felt like a baby’s butt for nearly a month. It was awesome. Plus, I finally found the perfect scrub, and it cost way less than the one I’d previously been using. Who knew? Hooray for penny pinching!
P.S. Did I miss anything? Do YOU have a mini-splurge that you love? Share in the comments below! xx