One of my favorite clients recently said to me, "You have to have fabulous hair in your forties". She certainly does, and it looks great. I have nice hair too when I color it, trim it regularly, and blow-dry it professionally. The whole process takes an entire Saturday morning and, in Los Angeles, costs about $200 plus tip. I have so much gray that I was running to the salon every 3 to 4 weeks, and the costs were mounting. Of course there are also the manicures, pedicures, occasional facials, and much needed botox treatments.
Well, I had to find a breakthrough, and I did...at my local beauty school. I have to admit, my mom always went to the local beauty school in Long island when we were growing up. I actually think the schools have gotten even better. I introduced myself to the head of the school. She is an experienced hairdresser with beautiful hair and great color. I asked for an advanced student and for her oversight with mixing the color. Once we found the right mix for me, she wrote it down for future visits and she promised to oversee my future visits. The cuts have been a little more inconsistent, but the blow dry always looks great. Then again, many of my $200 haircuts were inconsistent too. A great blow-dry can make most hair look fabulous. The whole treatment: $20...and that is in Los Angeles.
Probably the most effective cost saving action I can take in the realm of beauty is maintaining my weight. Gaining weight is expensive because it wrecks havoc on my wardrobe. While I am growing out of my size 8 suits, I am wearing them to threads and they begin to look terrible. Then I have to buy a new size 10 set of clothes and finally even some size 12. By then, I begin to hate myself, so I start losing weight and get back to a size 10, but my suits are so stretched and worn that I have to buy new size 10 suits. Am I alone here? Needless to say, it is a very costly journey. I go through this every two years or so — a crazy spiral of self-loathing and expensive wardrobe maintenance.
Swapping services with moms in your neighborhood is another way to creatively save money while maintaining your budget. Recently, a friend came over and did a closet and wardrobe overhaul and I babysat her children overnight. She calls herself a closet editor, and came over and pulled everything out of my closet, and we put together outfits and created more choices for me in the workplace. I just needed some help and encouragement to get rid of some old clothes and try some new combinations. It was very productive, but now that I think about it...we really need to schedule a tune up!!