By Brielle Urciuoli
With the start of the semester, many college students find themselves with empty wallets after spending what seems to be their life savings on books, meal plans and all the other start-of-the-semester expenses. When it comes to skincare, health and beauty products, you don’t always need to break the bank to be fabulous, although sometimes, it is worth it. Here’s a guide to when you should save and when to splurge.
1. Mascara: Save. Every three months, you should get new mascara because bacteria builds up on the brushes, which can cause eye infections. Why splurge on something that will be thrown out in a few months? Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara is under $10 and has been one of the highest-selling mascaras for over a decade. And if you want a “high end” mascara, go with the smaller, cheaper trial sizes. It will be less expensive and will most likely run out around the time it should be tossed anyway.
2. Lotions: Save. From Aveeno to St. Ives, the drugstore shelves are lined with nourishing moisturizers under $15. Burt’s Bees body butter has natural shea butter for the driest of skins, while Aveeno has gentle, yet effective moisturizing agents for sensitive skin.
3. Gym Membership: Save. Physical fitness is a huge part of being healthy and both looking and feeling great. But you don’t need to dish out the big bucks to get in a good workout. Using the PEC is obviously the cheapest solution (it’s free!), but for those of you who don’t want to bear the burden of some broken machines and reserving a treadmill, try taking an on-campus yoga or Zumba class, joining the crossfit club or a club sport or even seeking an off-campus gym membership. There are many in the area that are less than $30 a month.
4. Hair tools: Splurge. Unfortunately, the healthiest of hair does not come cheap. Constantly straightening or curling your hair with a low-grade, high-heat product can leave it unhealthy and lifeless. However, the CHI straightener uses infrared technology and ceramic plates to retain moisture in your hair, causing much less damage. The downside? They can cost over $100.
5. Vitamins: Save. Vitamins are worth spending money on to promote general health and well-being, but oftentimes the generic or children’s brands offer the same benefits, but with a lower price and yummier chewable flavors. Look for something with the daily value of folic acid, because this vitamin helps create healthy and strong skin and hair.
6. Razors: Splurge. Many people may argue that reusable razors give a closer and smoother shave, but are afraid to dish out the big bucks and refer back to disposable razors instead. However, after calculating the yearly cost for both, it actually costs less to make the initial investment of a good razor and then replace the cartridges when needed.
College life requires a great deal of making decisions. Just like budgeting your study time well will result in better grades, budgeting money for your beauty routine the right way can be just as rewarding.