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Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

Is there any way to look stylish on a VERY tight budget?

(39 Posts)
VirtualAssistant2011 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:02:56

I want to have more up to date clothes, make up etc. I have £40 per month spare to cover EVERYTHING (clothes, make up, skin care, personal care, prescriptions if I need them etc.) If I ask family for gift vouchers for presents I can raise about £300 per year in vouchers.

At the moment I hardly have any clothes (just what ever bits I buy with my gift vouchers), have semi decent make up (no7, bourjois), hair care from bargains at tkmaxx, all which I spend my £40 a month on.

I would love either good quality items or up to date fashion items or a mixture of both.

How on earth can I achieve this on £40 a month and gift vouchers at birthday and christmas with a total of £300 a year in vouchers, what shops should I ask for vouchers from etc. How can I look nice on such a tight budget.

Help me!!!! x

KristinaM Thu 14-Feb-13 20:02:30

£20 a month for toiletries is quite a lot, even assuming that you are including toothpaste, tampons etc. if it were me I would split it £30 and £10 and buy superdrug and aldi products

I love the tips on this thread BTW

VirtualAssistant2011 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:19:02

At the moment I spend the whole £40 a month on toiletries and makeup hence why I have no clothes hehe. £20 will be cutting back a lot. I do not buy expensive products just No7, Loreal, Aldi, a mixture really, I get through a lot of conditnor as I have very dry hair and a lot of pressed face powder as I have shiny skin. There are some products I don't want to change such as sensedine (sp?) toothpaste, bio oil, and loreal hair products as I have tried others buy my fine dry hair suits loreal much better. So the toiletries just seem to add up each month. £20 a month will be a bit of a challange but I am willing to do it to free up the extra £20 a month for some clothes.

TravelinColour Thu 14-Feb-13 21:58:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marthamydear Fri 15-Feb-13 01:21:41

Just to let you know that bio oil is cheap in primark atm ... £5.00

I have a large bottle of unopened bio oil if anyone wants it? It smells of ham to my nose.

I'll put it in the post... also - a little bit odd - but if anyone would like Aptimil follow on milk powder (6 months plus) unopened. Let me know.

Intersat Fri 15-Feb-13 07:21:55

Sorry to interrupt the thread. My fine dry hair is a nightmare. Which L'Oreal products do you use? blush

CambridgeBlue Fri 15-Feb-13 08:16:37

I've noticed 'Bio Oil' in the £1 shop as well, no idea if it's as good as the real thing - probably not but may be worth a try for the saving.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Fri 15-Feb-13 08:29:24

Ooo. I love this thread as I'm on a tight budget too.

I bought the MUA undressed eye palette recently - 12 shades for £4 - and they are really good. I also bought the mascara but tbh it's rubbish, so I'll be going back to max factor. I also got a great scarf in primark for £4, which transforms my jeans/jumper uniform.

merrymouse Fri 15-Feb-13 08:36:57

You don't mention hair?

I would blow the lot on regular hair cuts and ensure that I looked really fit and healthy by walking everywhere. (Easy with 1st baby, not so invigorating when you are with walking toddler...).

LittleFriendSusan Fri 15-Feb-13 08:39:33

'Genuine' Bio Oil also regularly in Home Bargains for less than a fiver. They do their own brand too for £2-3 but not tried that one.

Primark good for accessories: scarves etc; Dorothy Perkins often have nice jewellery in the sale. Also subscribe to all the voucher websites / apps: I rarely pay full price for anything any more!

Agree with the TK Maxx & charity shop recommendations, although my local charity shops seem to be mainly full of Primark stuff for more than it cost originally... Not sure why, as everyone I know takes their old clothes to charity, so they should have nice stuff!

Gingersnap88 Fri 15-Feb-13 09:29:00

I used to use bio oil but now use jojoba oil which is cheaper and doing more for my skin- you can use any oil really, even olive oil, and it will do wonders for your skin. That's why they often recommend it for babies.
So that's my cheap beauty tip! (Oh and you can use it to give yourself a hair mask too)

Also, sign up for emails from and other beauty / shopping websites as they often have great deals on beauty products / clothes. I recently got a bare minerals kit for £27 instead of £150!

I am an eBay fiend. I buy nearly everything from eBay or in the sales, I try to buy better quality pieces that will last longer without creating too much demand (silly hippy I know).

VirtualAssistant2011 Fri 15-Feb-13 09:41:25

Intersat The loreal hair products I use are the shampoo and conditnor, intensive conditnor, and the elixir (sp?) oil. They are the ones in the white bottle, called full restore 5. I have very long dyed hair and my hair is super dry but this stuff has transformed it, it is great.

merrymouse I get my hair dyed and cut every 6 weeks but luckily my friend is a hairdresser so this does not cost me much (and comes out of the family budget with the kids haircuts!).

I am currently using the bio oil to avoid stretchmarks as I am pregnant, I am a bit scared to change to anything else at the moment buy will once DC is born. I will have a look at the jojoba oil that sounds really good.

Intersat Fri 15-Feb-13 10:40:08

Thanks VirtualAssistant2011 smile I am going to give that a try as your hair seems a lot like mine.

Gingersnap88 Fri 15-Feb-13 10:52:20

Ah I completely understand! I used it religiously throughout and avoided stretch marks altogether (ended up with a big scar instead though confused)

Congrats by the way!

Messy but, an avocado and olive oil hair mask can work miracle on your hair!

VirtualAssistant2011 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:02:47

I used it first time round with DD and did not get any stretch marks. This time I got stretch marks at about 12 weeks on my legs before I had bought the bio oil sad So I am using it after every shower now, I have no idea if the bio oil helps but I don't want to run the risk, the ones on my legs look awful sad

Where do you get the jojoba oil from? I will try that mask they sell avacados really cheap in my local aldi.

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