Budget Babe’s Guide To Looking Expensive, Even On A Shoestring Budget
You might have gotten your 13th-month bonus this week, but with Christmas and New Year’s Eve coming up, you might end up poorer than you started off with after spending all your moolah to look good for all the upcoming parties and meet-ups for the festive season. But you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on facials and manicures just to look good. Here are some ways to look fabulous for the party season without burning a hole in your pocket.
Text: Budget Babe
1. Get your nails done for cheap
Gelish manicures have become more affordable lately, with some nail salons offering it for as low as $20 (my friend even caught a promotion for $5 at Yishun!). Avoid OTT designs if you’re on a tight budget. Solid, classic colours can also make you look like a million dollars. But if you really want intricate nail art, here’s a cheaper alternative: do it yourself.
I personally use the occasional nail stickers. If you buy high-quality ones and apply them with care, the results can be as good as those done professionally. I’ve lost count of the number of people who thought my nail (stickers) were done at a salon when they merely cost me under $5 and 30 minutes of application for a set.
2. Prep your skin with organic beauty products to keep it in tip-top condition
Skip the eyelash extensions, eyebrow embroidery and facials at the salon, and spend your time treating your skin to at-home treatments instead so that you nourish it from deep within to give you that dewy, natural glow.
Having clear skin also means your makeup will look better and stay on for longer. Other than putting iced cucumbers on my eyes, I also like to slather organic masks from homegrown skincare brands like Blended at least twice a week to make sure that my skin is in its best condition for important occasions. Instead of using oil blotters, I carry an organic mattifying powder to touch up my makeup during the day.
3. Use DIY hair dyes and treatments
Instead of getting my hair done at a salon for special occasions, I dye my hair at home. I’ve also been applying hair treatments in the shower weekly, as well as applying organic Argan oil to the ends of my hair every day, which makes it silky smooth. Doing this religiously can help you save a lot of money as you don’t have to splurge on hair treatments at the salon.
4. Buy good and cheap clothes online
If you want to make your cheap clothes look expensive, the trick is to wear well-fitted clothes and choose the right accessories. There’s no need to feel ashamed about shopping on value-for- online money sites like Taobao or Rakuten because they can have some pretty good deals. Most importantly, read the reviews and confirm the size measurements so that you can be assured of a good quality fit. I personally purchased all of my CNY clothes for this year online. I also use a number of other hacks to help me save even more when I shop online, including coupon codes, cashback sites and more.
You can read my tips here.
5. Make cheap shoes look expensive
There are many stores selling affordable shoes, but the real secret to making them look expensive lies in choosing shoes that fit you perfectly and that you can walk effortlessly in. Another tip is to go with simple, classic designs. Shoes with busy designs are a dead giveaway that it’s cheap and usually of inferior quality. Many shoes made from patent leather are not only extremely uncomfortable and painful but also look cheap with their bold colours and shine. Try suede instead, which looks a lot classier (even faux suede looks like the real thing!) for less.