If you were to listen to advertisements you would find it hard to believe that you could look good on a small budget.  The hair and beauty industry is big business and we are constantly being bombarded with information and advise on how we can improve the quality of our lives through using the right shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, make up, razors, shaving cream and so on.  The truth is looking and feeling good doesn't need to cost and arm and a leg.  Here are some tips on how to look your best on a budget.

1.  Remember advertisements primary role is to sell products and make money
No matter how much scientific jargon, celebrity endorsements a product gets and claims that the product will make you more beautiful, more successful, healthier and younger looking, you have to keep in mind that the advertisers are competing in a vastly over saturated market and are primarily after sales.  Pay close attention to the small print as this is where the facts and research are usually found.  When a product makes claims like '90% of women said this product helped them look younger', check how big the sample size is.  This should be stated in the small print and you can normally expect the amount of people taking part in the research to be fairly small.  When you start to unpick some of the claims you begin to realise how much is sales pitch.

2.  Check you local discount stores
Discount stores such as the £1 shop and 99p shop can be found in most towns and cities.  Also check stores like Wilkinson's, Savers, supermarkets and local markets.  You may need to hunt around but you can usually find brand name products sold at discounted prices.  However, be careful when purchasing items like razors at very low prices  as  you are unlikely to find the same quality in a cheaper brand.  Although saying this, if you are female you may want to consider buying men's razors.  Many companies sell different razors for men and women and, more often that not, women’s ones are more expensive.  Usually the product itself is very similar but you are just paying extra for the a larger choice of colour or some minor adjustments.

3. Scan charity shops for new, unopened gift sets
Often people donate unwanted gifts and charity shops will often have a number of unopened gift sets for sale.  This can be a low cost way of buying yourself a treat.  You can also feel good as you are giving money to charity and helping reduce waste.

4.  Buy in bulk
If you can afford it and you use a product regularly, you may want to consider buying it in bulk.  A large bottle of shampoo which holds twice the quantity rarely costs twice the price.  Also look out for multi-buy deals where you buy two of an item and get the third free. 

5. Look at natural alternatives
Solid coconut oil can be a very reasonably priced alternative and can be used in a variety of different ways.  You can use it to moisturise dry skin, as a cuticle cream, as lip balm, on sunburn, as eye make up remover, to moisturise your skin after shaving and much more.  You can purchase coconut oil either online or through whole food stores.  It's well worth shopping around as prices can vary.  Another natural products that can be used in your personal care routine is bicarbonate of soda.  Bicarbonate of soda can be used as deodoriser so can be used to prevent feet from smelling, as a deodorant (although you may need to mix it with some coconut oil to make it easier to apply) and in household cleaning.

6. Experiment with multi-purpose products
Look out for product that have more than one use.  Many make up products can be used in more than one way, for instance lipstick can be used as a cream blusher.  Also a search of the internet, especially searching for 'beauty hacks' will show you that there are a wide range of products that can be used in multiple ways.  Some may seem a little unexpected so do your research and have an experiment. 

7.  Learn to love yourself
A hair or beauty product can only offer you so much.  They can help you refine your appearance and keep you clean and healthy.  True beauty however does not come with a price tag, it comes from within and from how well you treat yourself and others.  No product, no matter what the adverts say, will provide you with a better standard of life, happiness and respect.  Learn to love who you are, appreciate your qualities and acknowledge that perfection is an illusion not a reality.