In these frankly quite terrifying times, our calming skincare routines and methodical makeup rituals do a lot more than just surface level aesthetics, from much-needed confidence boosts to simply providing some time for yourself.
Our beauty routines are for nobody but ourselves and while we’re all scrambling to cut Netflix subscriptions and invest in heated airers, I’m here to reassure you that your favourite regimens don’t have to face the chopping board.
To help you out, this week I have sought the expertise of my beauty industry go-to’s: the people who spend their days creating products, setting trends and delivering first-class services.
So before you create your budget spreadsheet, make sure you read this first:
Tip one: be smart with your product use
My idea for this week’s column began when I was on a Zoom launch for Bouclème’s new Seal + Shield collection.
Michele Scott-Lynch, founder of the haircare brand aimed at curls and coils, explained that she didn’t make a leave-in conditioner for the range because she didn’t want to create products for the sake of it.
If you’re tight on a budget, rinsing out your in-shower conditioner to replace with a leave-in version is pointless. Instead, when you’re in the shower, leave some conditioner in your hair when you rinse.
Tip two: less waste, less money
“Instead of buying cotton pads every couple of weeks to remove makeup and cleanse, I love washable reusable make up removal pads like the Garnier Eco Pads, which can be used up to 1000 times,” she explains.
“This saves money and is less wasteful.”
Tip three: use what you have before buying more shades
Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is the QUEEN of hacks, and I knew she would have a good one for me when I slid into her Instagram DMs.
True to form, she replied within 30 seconds with a voice note advising everyone to stop buying more shades of blush and instead try mixing your liquid lipstick and foundation together to create custom shades for no extra cost. Genius.
Tip four: extend your manicures
Painted by Jools (aka Julia Diogo) may be Luxury Manicurist at London’s Corinthia hotel, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate that extending the life span of your manicure is a must when on a budget.
To get the most out of your mani, Jools recommends asking for a “soft, square shape,” as it’s easier to maintain and will give you that appointment stretch.
Tip five: think creatively with your products
Dermatologist Dr Soma inspired me with this tip as it’s solved a problem I experience a lot with all the products I test.
Yes, there’s nothing worse than not liking something you parted your cold hard cash on, but rather than tossing it, Dr Soma recommends re-purposing it somewhere else in your routine.
For instance, that face cream you didn’t get on with could work wonders as a hand and foot cream.
Tip six: 2-in-1s aren’t all bad
I almost fell off my chair when Patrick Wilson, celebrity hairstylist and Jodie Comer coiffeur recommended a 2-in-1, but thankfully you don’t have to steal your dad’s shower gel anytime soon.
“Often people forget to use heat protectors just like SPF,” says Patrick. “So, my top tip for saving is to choose one that will double up as a style supporting spray.
Tip seven: double up your bases
As host of BBC’s The Glow Up and Global Senior Artist at MAC, Dominic Skinner knows a thing or two about multi-tasking, which must be where his tip comes from.
“Instead of applying your face primer to your skin and then laying foundation over the top, mix them. This will make a smaller amount of your base go further, you’ll also use less of your primer plus, when combined, it’ll make your foundation last just as long.”
Tip eight: know where to spend
Dr Raj Arora recently told me I had the skin of a 29-year-old (I’m 35), so of course she is now my go-to GP and aesthetics expert.
Her advice is particularly savvy in that it involves changing your skincare buying patterns.
“Splurge some and save some,” Dr Arora recommends. “Simplify your routine: Cleanse, tone and SPF in the morning, and cleanser, toner and retinol in the evening. Invest in medical grade retinols and SPFs to ensure you are getting the maximum benefit from your products.”