Beauty is Pain – For Your Purse!

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As students, most of us are often rather strapped for cash, but we all find plenty of things to spend that hard earned student loan on. Some things are luxuries, holidays or frequenting Luvians for example. Others are necessities, bread, milk… and soap! This I, and I hope everyone else, would include in the necessity column of my expenses. But, when I’m standing in the aisle of Boots, the question that always takes me a good ten minutes to answers is – which soap? Do you go for the basic cheap and cheerful that does the job? Or the luxurious, expensive, exotic smelling concoction at the other end of the aisle? Or, do you go somewhere else entirely and buy something that has a little bunny on the bottle? And as if all this wasn’t enough there are the dilemmas of hair care, waxing, facials, manicures and all those expensive lotions and potions. So what is worth spending money on, and where could we afford to save?

Expensive Basics
Now, back to the soap dilemma… The truth of the matter is soap is soap when it comes down to it, it all gets you clean. So, for me, the only reason to spend more than a couple of pounds of shower gel is clear, it’s the smell. It’s so much nicer to wake up in the morning to the smell of orange blossom or coconut milk than…well, nothing. However, remember thatthe expensive stuff still gets washed off just as quickly.

Body lotions, now those are entirely different, right? I mean, they sit on your skin all day… Wrong! Some of the most iconic and well loved body lotions are the cheapest. Palmers Coco Butter is hailed as a miracle cream.Plus,you get to smell of chocolate all day, and even Johnsons Baby Lotion will do just as good a job as any body lotion for half the price. So there really is no reason to splash the cash when it comes to your every day basics.

Facials and Manicures
Not worth the money for one reason – you can do it yourself at home! It may take some practice, you may look like a five year-old attacked your fingers a few times, and you may very well leave a strip of facemask down your jaw line when you leave the house (yes, this is from personal experience), but eventually you will be able to achieve salon results in your own home.

There are, however some things that really are worth spending on. But they don’t have to cost you the earth…

Hair Cuts
Now here I insist that it is worth spending some money. Your hair is the accessory that you cannot take off (unless you get a number one all over) so you have to be happy to wear it every day. This means avoiding the bad hair days whenever possible, and this is best achieved via a good hair cut.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend £200 in an exclusive salon. Try colleges and hair dressing academies, and hairdressers with trainees who will have loads of studentslooking for models. Plus they will be supervised to make sure you get a good cut. Both of these options could save you loads of money and stop you looking like you were attacked by a young Johnny Depp…

Waxing
Now, I know that there are people out there who are perfectly willing to use razors, creams, home waxing kits and, God forbid, epilators for this task.

Nevertheless, for many of us there is only one real option(and this can cost you upwards of £30)- waxing. Although, once again, if you do your homework, it need not cost this much. Every Tuesday the Fairmont offer a discount for students, meaning that this monthly ritual could cost you as little as £6.

Organic and Fair Trade
This is a hard one. Organizations such as PETA (that’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have lists on their websites of companies that test on animals and the number of harmful chemicals and that are produced by the cosmetics industry is staggering. So shouldn’t we all be buying products that, not only get us clean, but also give us that added glow which only comes from the moral satisfaction of the organic lifestyle? I would willingly say yes here, companies like Original Source and Lush are not that much more expensive than the companies that do test on animals. Despite this, so many of these products, especially those billed as organic, are more expensive and there are so many companies that still test on animals that keeping a mental list would be almost impossible.

It really depends on your moral stand point. If the thought of buying products tested on animals is enough to make you break out in hives, then by all means look at these lists and know what to avoid. If, on the other hand, you do not feel such qualms about using L’Oreal shampoo, Johnson and Johnson body lotions or Unilever deodorant (to name but a few) then that is also your choice. Here the financial difference really can’t be your guide, because there are cheaper alternatives that are more ethical. Just remember that if beauty is pain, whose pain is it?

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