24 Fashion & beauty tips

If money is tight, spending on fashion and beauty is one of the first things to go.

But looking and feeling good could be all you need to help pull you out of that recession slump.

Sarah Harvey and Edith Schofield offer some cheap fashion and beauty tips for recession-hit fashionistas.


1 Spend money on classic pieces and scrimp on the rest. Chain stores such as Glassons, Supre, Wild Pair, Dotti, Max, Witchery and Country Road can set you up for seasonal trends, as well as basics, if you know what you are looking for. 2 Some items, such as lingerie, are not seasonal, so look for sales racks or for factory outlet sales where you can pick up nice pieces at a fraction of the price.

3 Never buy on the spot. Give yourself a couple of days grace before buying. That way you will know if you really need it.

4 Try to buy classic pieces when they are on sale at the end of each season. They should last you a couple of years at least, so it does not matter if you haven't had them for that season.

5 Keep warm with cheap layers underneath your more expensive, and fashionable outer. Wearing thick tights or merino undergarments will keep you warm and it won't matter what they look like.

6 Swap clothes with friends. Designer clothes sales are a great place to either make some money on pieces that you no longer wear, or pick up some cheaper designer pieces.

7 Remember that fashion is seasonal but style can be learned. Do not be a fashion slave - pick a few pieces from the season that might suit you and mix them with a wardrobe of classic basics.

8 If you are really brave, make your own clothes. Choose a pattern you like - it should also give you guidance as to what material and how much to buy. Making clothes doubles as cheap entertainment.

9 Choose a hairstyle that does not need constant maintenance. Why not go for a darker colour that needs less retouching or for a longer style that does not need trimming as often?

10 It's amazing how long a good pair of shoes or boots will last if you reheel them and resole them BEFORE they get a hole.

11 If you have to have an item but it is beyond your budget, why not try to sell some of the clothes you are no longer wearing, to pay for it?

12 Visit grandma and learn some old-fashioned skills such as knitting or darning. Hats and scarves keep you snuggly warm and are generally easy projects to get started with.


1 Buy your skin care and cosmetics online.If you are a sucker for expensive brands, try searching on the internet for them, on sites such as Strawberry Net. They are often much cheaper.

2 Go to bed. Sleep is free and most of us don't get enough of it. Banishing bags and red eyes is a great beauty boost.

3 Do you really need that big blob of shampoo? Try using less, you often don't need as much as you think.

4 Double it up and shop with a friend to take advantage of buy one get one free, or cheaper, deals.

5 Brighter whites. You can brush your teeth with baking soda, but be warned the taste might take some getting used to.

6 Switch to green tea if you drink tea or coffee for an antioxidant boost to help minimise the effects of ageing. Check out specialist Asian supermarkets for bulk green tea deals.

7 Making your own face masks is easy and even ingredients such as honey or yoghurt, straight from the pot, can work wonders. Leave on for five or 10 minutes then rinse off. For a winter dry skin boost try combining 1Tbsp avocado, 1tsp honey, 3 drops cider vinegar and a little sesame oil to mix.

8 Make your own gentle face scrub by putting a handful of oats in a bowl with enough water to moisten them, and massage into skin.

9 Make your own body scrubs with the most straightforward recipes, simply suspending salt or sugar in oil, such as olive oil, then scooping it up and massaging into skin in the bath or shower.

10 For a feet treat, add a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts to a foot bath filled with warm water. Relax and soak feet for 20 minutes. Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be found in supermarkets. They are made of magnesium sulphate and can relax muscles and calm the nervous system. Good for baths too.

11 Try a Cleopatra-inspired soak by adding half a cup of honey and one cup of milk to a bath. Sprinkle in some lavender buds or a drop or two of essential lavender oil to add some fragrance and extra relaxation.

12 Short showers can save on water-heating bills. Most of us spend on average 10 minutes in the shower. Consider installing a low-flow shower head.

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