Beauty Recessities

What to do when giving up necessities like hair color, manis, and Botox.

By Genevieve Monsma

Save Big, Look Beautiful

We shell out our biggest bucks at the salon and doctor’s office. So we got cash-saving tips from colorist Rita Hazan and dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD.

Grow Out Your Hair

Short styles aren’t low maintenance; most need to be trimmed once a month. But letting your hair grow a little longer (as in a bob rather than a pixie) lets you schedule appointments every eight to 10 weeks rather than every four.

Skip the Streaks

Highlights are labor intensive and pricey; a single, allover color takes 20 minutes and costs $75 to $100 (versus several hundred dollars for highlights). If you’re just covering gray or enhancing your natural hue, single process is the way to go.

Stretch Color with Gloss

"The top color complaint isn’t re-growth; it’s fading," Hazan says. A tinted gloss costs around $50 and boosts your hue instantly — allowing you to put off allover color or highlights for two to three more weeks.

Go Generic

A number of anti-aging and anti-acne prescription products are now available sans brand name at considerable savings (a generic form of Renova made by Spear Pharmaceuticals hit the market this year). Check with your doctor.

Do Your Own Peel

Extend the benefits of in-office peels or microdermabrasion by using an over-the-counter exfoliating product like Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel ($45; sephora.com) weekly. "Rather than coming in four times a year, you may be able to get away with just twice," Fusco says.

Buy in Bulk or Prepay

Ask your doctor if she’ll discount her fee if you pay for a series of peels or a year’s worth of Botox up front. You’ll get some savings, and the doctor will get guaranteed business. It’s win-win.

— Nikki Ostasiewski

Originally published in MORE magazine, December 2008/January 2009.

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