My Beauty Philosophy: Where I Save and Spend

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I'm always fascinated to hear about other women's beauty philosophies - the things they're willing to spend on and where they skimp. My priorities have shifted over the years, of course, but here's a look at my current beauty breakdown.

Spend: Hair color. From fifteen-years-old until my late 20s, I skimped on my hair color. I'd been blond (ish) as a kid and wrongly assumed that I'd get back to that shade naturally by just hanging in the sun. When that didn't happen, I used Sun-In or whatever boxed hair color was on sale. I eventually made it to a semi-salon, but it was really more of a school where people practice on you. I left with orange highlights. And yes, getting your hair colored at a nice salon costs a lot of money, but it's worth it (I'd tell my college-aged self to spend less at fast fashion stores and more on my hair). It's something you see everyday and if the shade doesn't look natural or complement your coloring, it's hard to feel your best. I get my hair colored at Ramirez Tran salon, by Stephen Garrison

Save: Eyebrows. Aside from some questionable shapes I favored in high school (it was the '90s), I'm pretty good with my tweezers and prefer to do my own eyebrows. Sure, I'd like for them to be a lot thicker, but even when I don't touch them for weeks, they simply don't fill in where they should (i.e. in my arches, not my upper eyelid), so I figure it's best to handle them myself.

Spend: Hair cuts. I have a lot of hair and so if I get a bad cut, it's really noticeable. For years, I just assumed that my natural shape was reminiscent of a pyramid -  triangular and big - but that was because I wasn't seeing the right person. I only get my hair cut about twice a year, so I'm willing to spend to make sure it has great movement and texture. I actually just went for a fresh chop, and got it cut by Donovan Mills, also at Ramirez Tran. 

Save: Blowouts. I have a few friends who get blowouts regularly and I'll be honest: they always look incredible (hi, Raina, Alina, and Lily). They're the ones who never seem to have to put their hair up in a messy topknot because it's oily/frizzy/flat and it makes them seem put together all the time. But for some reason, this is just one of those expenses that I can't wrap my head around, especially since most of the time stylists can't nail down exactly what I want. So instead I blow out my hair once a week and am satisfied enough by my tolerable job that I don't do anything else.

Save: Waxing. There are some really beautiful waxing salons in L.A., but I've never been inside of one. Mine has makeshift walls, the lady that waxes you barely speaks English, I'm in and out in twelve minutes and it's great. My take is this: if I'm getting a bikini wax, I'm going to be fairly miserable regardless of if I'm in some fancy spot, sipping cucumber water, or sprawled out on a bench with paper thrown on top.

Save (and sometimes spend): Nails. Most of the time I do my own nails. I find it oddly calming and I'm randomly good at it, so I paint them when Sloan is down for her Sunday afternoon nap. But that being said, I'll get them done every so often at a nice salon just for that deep cleaning, cuticle-clearing kind of experience which I can then easily maintain. The occasional indulgence leaves me feeling relaxed and pampered.

Save: Massages. I always think that I like massages, but by the time I'm lying naked under a towel, I realize they're just not my thing. To start, I'm very ticklish and have so many old sports injuries that it makes it nearly impossible for a masseuse to even touch me. Additionally, I kind of just prefer for someone to give me back tickles anyway, but since that would be weird/creepy to go somewhere and ask for that, I'm lucky that G obliges every now and again in the comfort of our own bed.

Spend: Facials. I don't make it to my facialist very often, but theoretically, this is something I'd do with much more frequency. I saw her pretty regularly when I was pregnant, since my skin was all over the place, but now that it's calmed down, I haven't been making this a priority. But perhaps in time for my 33rd birthday in May, I'll start going again since I really do notice a difference in the condition of my skin. I see Francesca Paige, who did a post for us awhile back on common skincare mistakes

Save: Spray Tans. I've only gotten one spray tan in my life, which was a few days before my wedding. And it was awesome. I left looking bronzed, glowy and with a seriously even skin tone. But to get a decent spray tan, it's pretty expensive (around $60 a pop in L.A.), so I prefer to do it at home. I swear by Tan Towels and try to do them about once a week.

I'd love to know: what are the areas you splurge and skimp on when it comes to beauty? Up next week, Alina will be sharing her beauty breakdown.