1. Wear lipstick at least once a week. You can completely change your entire look with a $10 tube from a drugstore. You’ll look more polished and feel empowered with just one swipe. Just make sure it’s your color—and that you don’t have any on your teeth. It’s ideal for days when you want to look presentable for a meeting or are getting happy hour with your colleagues and think Tim, the cute IT guy, will be present.
2. Look alive. I’m all about bargains (hello!), but I haven’t been able to find a lower priced dupe for the Becca Eye Brightener. I have genetic dark circles, a shadow from my brow bone, and trouble sleeping at night, and this is the only product that wakes my face up. It’s worth the investment because a tiny pot of it lasts forever.
3. Get color matched for foundation. Foundation is worth the splurge, because if that’s wrong, nothing else on your face will look right. Whether you’re at Sephora, Ulta, or a department store, request samples of several shades and formulas. Try each one in natural light (outside or by a window), wait a few hours, and check again to make sure the colors don’t oxidize on your skin or break you out. The money you’ll save on makeup that you end up throwing away or never using will make up for a pricier one-time purchase that will last you months.
4. Stop using expensive mascara. You have to throw it away every three months, so why splurge on this? Never pay more than $15 for one tube.
5. Make sure you’re using the right shampoo. Color-treated hair can benefit from sulfate-free shampoos, but if your hair is on the oilier side, sulfate-free formulas can turn you into a greaseball. Dry hair can benefit from conditioning, and limp hair needs much less of it. Talk to your stylist to figure out what formulations will work best for you.
6. Get a multitasking hair product. Often the only styling product you need is a quality serum. Ask your stylist for recommendations and save yourself time, money, and bathroom space!
7. Embrace the drugstore. Cover Girl makes great blushes that blend beautifully. Maybelline has great liquid liners and basic contour kits. Play around! It’s disposable. Also a good idea? Buy cheap versions of the fancier stuff you love to stash in your purse for touchups. You won’t be devastated if you leave it in a public restroom!
8. Streamline your AM routine. Keep your everyday essentials, from foundation to blush to brushes, in one pouch or bag to avoid digging around on a groggy Monday morning and accidentally using neon blue eyeliner for lipstick. Save your Saturday night goodies in a train case or other bags, divided by type (shadows, blushes, lipsticks).
9. Don’t put off washing your hair. You know why? Because the very day when you realize with horror that you’ve gone too long without a shampoo is always the day you have an unexpected meeting or spontaneous plans that you really would love to do—if you didn’t feel gross and greasy.
10. Drink more water. It’s free, and your skin, body, and hair will look and feel better!