- Sally Anscombe/Getty Images
- I love to pamper myself by visiting my local salon, but it can get expensive over time and the pricier services don’t always fit into my budget.
- The Insider Reviews team contributed some of their favorite at-home treatments and products that help them save money on salon and grooming services.
- Solutions like DIY gel nail kits and at-home tanning lotions keep us feeling pampered while keeping our money (or at least most of it) in our pockets.
Whether it be a morning journaling session or an evening yoga class, we all have our “thing” that allows us to escape life’s regular chaos. For many, it’s a daily ritual that becomes near habitual – for others it’s an occasional indulgence that eliminates stress almost instantaneously.
My personal solution to life’s everyday stress is a trip to the salon – followed by a much-needed manicure, tan, wax, or hair treatment. Although these services certainly do the job of helping me relax, I find myself passing up on regular visits because of the ever-increasing prices.
I’m a DIY kind of gal, so I’ve meticulously searched for ways to save some money on my favorite services by mimicking them from the comfort of my apartment. I figured I wasn’t the only one trying to save money this way, so I went to my colleagues to ask about their go-to DIY products that have helped them save money on salon services, too. It turns out I’m not the only one trying to stick to my budget – plenty of people here have their own tips and tricks for avoiding pricey treatments.
Below, I’ve shared eight products that Business Insider staff members swear by for getting salon-like services at home and on a budget.
A self tan bronzing mousse
St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse, $44, Available at Amazon
This summer, I was guilty of getting weekly spray tans. I had a membership at a local salon, so it was a little less expensive, but still ended up being over $40 per tan!
The instructions say that the St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse is meant to be worn for only 3 hours, but I find that leaving it on overnight gives me the exact same results as a spray tan. I also put some on my face which I am always careful to wash off after the three hour mark. Since it doesn’t last quite as long as a professional tan, I apply once every three days – but still, and entire bottle costs around the same amount as a professional tan. – Grace High, Insider Reviews senior analyst
An all-over body wax kit
Sally Hansen Extra Strength All-over Body Wax Kit, $9.22 (Originally $12.99), Available at Amazon
I’m not lying when I say I have saved a ton of money avoiding waxing services with this kit. Most salon waxes cost anywhere from $15 to around $60 depending on the service, with almost all salons fitting in that general price range. Though I had been paying to get my brows, underarms, and legs done for years, I got to a point where these regular trips became a luxury that I couldn’t always afford.
Knowing my crafty nature, I wondered if I could do it myself. I found this kit at my local CVS, but I was hesistant at first because the price of the entire kit equaled to around half the price of the cheapest salon wax. Turned out that it not only worked, it worked better than I could have ever expected. By following a simple four-step process, I was able to achieve the same look I would have obtained from the salon at a fraction of the price. –Megan Foster, former Insider Reviews editorial intern
A sleek electric razor
Bevel Trimmer with Square Blade, $199.95, Available at Bevel
If I could afford to get a haircut once a week, I would – but since I refuse to spend $100 or more a month on haircuts, I’ve learned to give myself trims in between visits to the barbershop – and the Bevel Trimmer is my favorite tool to use. Designed to be used by everyone from at-home groomers like myself to professional barbers, it has an adjustable blade and a shape that allows for total control. It helps me shave without irritation and can achieve sharp lines on my hairline, mustache, and beard. At $200, it’s kind of expensive, but if it can save you from paying for frequent haircuts (not to mention the time and effort involved in going to a barbershop), it’ll pay for itself. – Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews reporter
A healing clay mask
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Facial & Body Mask, $9.95, Available at Amazon
I used to get facials all the time but have stopped ever since using the Aztec clay mask. I actually first read about this in an INSIDER article and ordered it immediately. I mix the powder with apple cider vinegar and my face glows for days after! – Chelsey Hoffman, Insider Inc. content producer
A jade roller kit
EDive Holdings Chi Jade Rolling Kit, $22.95, Available at Amazon
These jade rollers make for great DIY facials at home. I recommend popping it in your freezer and using the cold roller to massage the contours of your face. This will help drain fluid buildup, while de-puffing and firming your skin. You can also use it with your skincare products to better work the products into your skin. -Kyle Kerchaert, INSIDER video producer
A gel manicure starter kit
Sensationail Gel Polish Starter Kit, $28.96, Available at Amazon
I’ve been getting my nails regularly done since I was about 16-years-old, and after adding up how much I have spent over the years, I was floored.
I found this gel kit on the internet and realized that the price was less than the cost of a single manicure in the salon. After talking myself into the purchase, I tried it out and received multiple compliments on my nails – not to mention a few inquiries about where I got them done.
It has been eight years and I am still using the exact same kit with the exact same supplies that came in the original package. The only thing I’ve had to replace is the “gel cleanser” which is easily substituted with isopropyl alcohol. I still treat myself to a professional manicure every once in a while, but this alternative has sure saved me the time and money needed to make a salon visit. –Megan Foster, former Insider Reviews editorial intern
A rechargeable trimmer and shaver
Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body Trimmer and Shaver, $49.95, Available at Amazon
Another one of my favorite tools for staying fresh in between trips to the barbershop is the Philips Norelco OneBlade. Since I prefer electric shavers over multi-blade razors, it’s sometimes hard to achieve a super smooth shave, but this gets the job done. It can be used wet or dry, so it works with any style of shaving. Although it only has one blade, it has loads of functionality. It can shave, edge, and trim hair at any length, and it comes with several guards – if keeping some stubble is your preferred style. As many times as I’ve used this, I’ve never cut my face, which would probably be hard to say if you’ve been getting straight razor shaves at the barbershop or using a standard multi-blade razor at home. – Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews reporter
A bottle of hair-repairing treatment
Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment, $28, Available at Amazon
This is the third step of a three-part hair repair system loved by pretty much any and every hair care expert. The first two steps are usually only available in salons or to those with a license, but you can get the third step at multiple locations, including Amazon. This product saved my hair after I decided to dye my whole head purple with a $10 bottle of hair dye I bought online. Needless to say, I was left with some pretty damaged hair – and the color was washing out drastically each time I shampooed. Olaplex restored the color and helped seal my damaged ends, which saved me from having to drop $400+ for an emergency color-correction and deep conditioning treatment at a salon. -Kyle Kerchaert, INSIDER video producer