Ever since moving out, as you would expect, I’ve been a lot more conscious of unnecessary costs. Well, you might, seeing as you didn’t know me as a teenager. My friends witnessed me happy to splurge on any and every occasion, should for anyone who couldn’t afford to keep up. Spending upwards of $150 on a night our was a common occurrence. Now, if a café charges extra for oat milk in my coffee, I simply won’t have one, and my friends have to wait for me to decide if the largest item on the menu will be better value for money if I only eat half, and have the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.
When it comes to skin, hair, and body care, it’s more than just a case of ‘what’s the cheapest option on the shelf?’ The perfect balance must be struck between cost, value, and efficacy. You wouldn’t buy a cleanser which only does half the job, or a conditioner that left your hair dry and brittle. Or maybe you would, bur that’s where I draw the line. If I’m honest, I’m not quite dedicated enough to do all the research and calculations myself. For that, I usually watch YouTube tutorials, or read women’s magazines. Once you’ve spent enough time in online skincare and haircare circles, it becomes very clear which vloggers and journalists are trustworthy, and which ones are just chasing money. I mean we’re all trying to make a living, but some people are genuinely interested in their world, and it’s those people I look to for guidance.
A key buzzword I’ve started to look out for is ‘dupe’. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more focus is being put on budget buys, where you don’t have to sacrifice on quality. I’ve seen a lot of celebrities sign brand deals and become official ambassadors of their favourite brands. A good example is Reece Witherspoon. We’ve watched as influencer and celebrities tried to counteract the ‘everything is inauthentic online’ sentiment in recent years, so it’s no surprise that these individuals are turning to brands they can undoubtedly promote with real passion for the products. That being said, most of these people are rich, and use the high end products that the masses don’t necessarily have access to. So it falls to the journalists and vloggers to find affordable alternatives. The ingredient endorsement stands, so it’s not complete blind faith that is required of the consumer. I read one such article about squalane oil UK recently, and thankfully their dupe/budget buy looked fantastic because it sounds like the ingredient could really revolutionise my routine without breaking the bank.
There’s also probably something to be said for personal recommendations from friends and family, especially those in the same or a similar financial situation. I look having a good debrief with my siblings, because if anyone is going to understand my specific skin and hair needs and concerns, it’s going to be the people I share so much DNA with.
Do you have any dupe brands or recommendations? Budgeting hacks? Let me know in the comments!