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So you’re on a budget – saving money can be challenging on its own, especially if you’re cutting out luxuries you usually get to enjoy. And in a world where looking good is almost synonymous with spending a ton of money, how does one upkeep their appearance without the luxe beauty products and pricey clothes?

Not to fret, self-care and managing your appearance can be much easier than it’s often depicted on social media. In fact, doing it well does not have to cost an arm and leg!

Here are seven simple ways to look fantastic while staying on your budget.


1. Drink lots of water

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Looking great starts from within, and with 60 to 70 per cent of our bodies made up of water, drinking enough H20 should be a top priority.

In fact, staying hydrated not only helps improve your complexion, it plays a role in everything from flushing out toxins to boosting your immune system, and even preventing cramps and sprains!


2. Watch what you eat

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Mindlessly indulging in greasy, oily and generally unhealthy foods not only hurts your wallet, it often leads to breakouts, a sallow complexion and weight gain. While it can be difficult to kick the habit of bingeing on fast food and snacks, reducing such foods not only helps you look and feel good, it lowers your chances of developing a wide array of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Instead of getting rid of all your favourite meals and snack items, find healthier yet equally delicious edibles to replace them. For example, cut out soda by drinking coconut water or flavoured tea instead. Snacks such as potato chips or crackers can be replaced with items such as nuts or fruits.


3. Frequent exercise is key

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Keeping your heart rate up for even a few minutes every day can help manage your weight better, keep you toned, lower your blood cholesterol level, and even reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Keeping fit also gives you that confidence boost to get you through the day, not to mention help you get the dream body that you fancy.

Before you skip over this one with the thought ‘I hate exercise’, try pinpointing what exactly you dislike about working out. For example, do you hate being under the hot sun? Things such as swimming (indoors), yoga, table tennis, Zumba and working out at the gym do not involve subjecting yourself to the rays of the sun.

With so many different sports and exercises out there, there is definitely a potential new favourite for everyone. You just have to find one you enjoy.


4. Be on the lookout for sales

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Why pay full price for that adorable mini skirt if you could get it for less? Sometimes all it takes to get a great deal on an item is being at the right place, at the right time. Taking just a few minutes to sign up for free memberships, or subscribing to newsletters and emails from your favourite stores can help you stay in the know whenever there’s a big sale or offer. Or check sites such as SGDTips regularly.

Stores such as Refash and pop-up flea markets such as Fleawhere are also great options for bargain hunters. They keep fashionable styles affordable by reselling pre-loved items in great condition, at only a fraction of their original prices.


5. Hooray for home remedies

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Every woman’s skin deserves TLC, especially when they endure the harsh Singapore weather and possibly cold, dry conditions at the workplace. But that doesn’t mean you need to splurge on expensive skincare worth half your paycheck every month.

Caring for your skin can be as simple as knowing what it needs, and then finding an affordable remedy to help nourish it.

For example, if you have dry, chapped lips, exfoliation is the answer. Instead of heading to the nearest drugstore for a little tub of exfoliator, you can make your own lip scrub with basic items at home by mixing up some brown sugar, raw honey and a few drops of gentle essential oil.


6. Make up your mind on which products you really need

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With beauty brands churning out makeup products at an alarming pace every year, beauty lovers often get swept up in the frenzy of keeping up with the hottest new trends and looks.

From eyeshadow to highlighters to lip products – the options are endless, but do you really need them all?

Aim to minimise your makeup stash and focus on only buying products you truly require. Before checking out an item, ask yourself these questions: Do you use the product less than three times a week? Do you already own a similar product? Is there a lower-priced product that gives the same effect?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it may be best to leave the product at the store.


7. Multitaskers can save you money and time

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Who doesn’t love a trusty, multi-tasking product? Whether it’s a facial scrub that’s suitable for use on your body, a reversible jacket that can be worn multiple ways, or simply picking a flat iron for your hair instead of a curling one (it’s easy to curl your locks with a straightening iron!), a two-in-one item can provide convenience without sacrificing your hard-earned money. More bang for your buck!