Want vs. Need: Beauty & Style During a Recession

Michele Zipp
Beauty & Style

recession guide


Photo from Amanda_Jeanne

CafeMom Amanda_Jeanne admits that not much has changed with the recession -- she was already a minimalist when it comes to beauty and style. What better person to get tips from! This tomboy at heart is pregnant with her first child. Congrats! She's also in the Navy.

Amanda gave me some straight talk about want vs. need in beauty and style -- and it's great advice we can all use...like instead of paying for a massage, trade off massages with your husband at home. I like the way she thinks!

Introducing Amanda_Jeanne....

On makeup...

I'm a bare minimalist. My daily essentials are some under eye concealer so I don't look like a complete zombie with droopy purple bags under my eyes, and I'll swipe on some mascara and walk out the door. If my face is particularly shiny I'll pat on some Cover Girl compact powder to spare the public from being blinded by the insane reflection of light off my nose. Other than that... if and when I go out for something special (which is also rare) I might put on some foundation and a little eyeliner.

On hair salons...

I get my hair cut and colored once a year. That may sound insane to some ladies who are used to going for the regularly scheduled four to six week split ends trim or those who like to maintain their color. I see a trip to the salon as a treat for me and usually will only go around the time I get my tax refund back. I don't need a new hairstyle or highlights; I do need to keep a roof over my head, food on the table, essential bills paid, and some money saved in the bank.

On maternity clothes and fashion...

Right now I'm 5 1/2 months pregnant with my first child. I have honestly bought only two pairs of maternity jeans and three maternity tops. Maternity clothes are expensive! As much as I love the cute styles and clothes at shops like Motherhood or A Pea in the Pod, they are too pricey for me. Stores like Ross or TJ Maxx are great to get more discounted clothes. I just don't see the point of spending a lot of money on maternity clothes that I will wear only for a matter of months. I'd rather save the money or buy clothes for the baby who will actually need them. I don't need a cute designer maternity top. Sure, it would be nice to have, and it might even make me feel beautiful or a little more sexy, but to me a momentary feeling isn't worth the extra bucks.

On spending less, yet getting more...

For those who aren't used to this money crunch right now, what it really boils down to is the word need. Do you really need the little luxuries you're used to? Even if you cut back on a $20 pedicure once a month, although it may not seem like you're saving a whole lot of money, over time it does add up. That $20 could put some gas in your car, or buy groceries to cook dinner at home or take your lunch to work with you, or stock up on extra baby formula or diapers in case things took a turn for the worse. Rather than drop a wad of cash at a spa for a relaxing massage, trade off massages with your hubby or significant other at home. Call up some girlfriends and have them bring over some of their old clothes, mix up some homemade cocktails, and have a clothes swap to get some fresh looks in your closet and enjoy a girls' night together. You can do the same to get new makeup and hairstyle tips, too. Make your own natural homemade lotions and potions right in your kitchen instead of spending a lot on the commercial name brand products. A little bit goes a long way!

You don't have to completely give up treating and pampering yourself like a queen to get through this slump in the economy... just be smart about it and make small changes. They add up.

Thanks for the fantastic tips, Amanda!

Have any other tips to add?

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