Save or splurge on… personal grooming
MAKING the most of our appearance not only makes us feel good, but it can also boost our bank balance. Giving a good impression can help you secure a mortgage or business loan or nail a top new job.
Here, cashy takes a look at personal grooming – whether you’re on a tight budget or have the means to splash out…
Even in a sharply pressed suit and understated make up, poorly managed nails are a dead giveaway of a lack of professionalism – for both men and women.
If you choose to care for your cuticles at home, you’ll need a range of products: nail polish remover, cuticle oil, emery board, base coat, nail polish and a top coat. Individually, these products are inexpensive, but when you add them up, a starter kit can amount to an average of AED 300 ($82) as a one-time investment.
These home products, used every two weeks, should last all year, so splitting that figure between each at-home mani/ pedi adds up to a very affordable amount.
There are a range of products out there. High-end nail polish, from brands like Chanel, come in at AED 130 ($35) per bottle, while at the lowest end of the spectrum you can get box sets from department stores that offer ten colours for AED 5 ($1.36).
Watch you don’t fall into a false economy: something in the middle should do the job nicely.
Benefits of a salon mani/pedi include having professionals handle what can be the tricky application on your dominant hand. They can also advise you on the latest trends and what would suit you best in terms of styles and colours.
You can also branch out from the basic one-colour rut many people get stuck in when they do it themselves. Nail art, French tips and textured nails are some of the add-ons you can play around with at the salon.
Gelish and Shellac manicures are growing in popularity. You don’t have to wait for this hybrid polish to dry and your nails should stay looking good with no chipping or cracking for two to three weeks.
The hardened gel also reportedly protects your nails, so if you’re into using your digits like a multi-tool, you can still do so without ruining a perfectly good manicure.
Depending on the place you go to, and the options you choose, salon nail care can total anywhere between AED 50 ($14) and AED 1,000 ($272).
On average, a decent mani/pedi can come in at under AED 100 ($27), but the trend conscious can always opt for luxury nails where snakeskin, peacock feathers or gems are placed on the varnish and coated over to stay embedded on nails.
For the boys
There’s no way around it: people notice hands. Men have spent decades waxing lyrical about the impact of a perfectly delivered handshake. Your image can take a massive nosedive if your nails are chipped, chewed off, at uneven lengths or caked in dirt.
Thankfully in Dubai, the stigma surrounding male beauty regimes is virtually non-existent. Get thee to a nail salon, and let a professional buff and file. The average cost of a mani/pedi for men is AED 150 ($41), but the effects last longer since chipped polish isn’t an issue.
Remember the old adage about being your crowning glory? Hair can make or break your image. The rakish look on men doesn’t translate well in a power suit, and neither does having a fringe that sweeps your lashes.
Trim and go
A no-fuss trim, wash and dry at your average neighbourhood salon can be less than AED 100.
Time for change
If you’re looking for something radically different, you’ll need an expert opinion on what suits you the best, and what fits a corporate look. Places like JetSet, Sisters Salon, and Toni & Guy, have stylists who know their relaxers from their deep conditioners.
The price can be pretty steep, averaging between AED 200 ($54) and AED 1,800 ($490), depending on the treatment, colour or hairstyle you choose.
If you treat your hair, think about purchasing follow-up shampoo from the salon, even if the price is high. Treatment masks, shampoos and conditioners can go for AED 200 a pop, depending on the treatment and its after-care rules. If you can afford to, think of it as an investment to get the most value out of your style.
A study from Northumbria University on male appearance revealed that men with any kind of facial hair (including stubble) are seen as more aggressive and flakey – two traits that won’t help your case with headhunters or bank managers.
Either opt for a close shave at home, or invest in facial hair grooming kits for trimming facial hair. These range between AED 150 to AED 300, and come with extensions that can take care of unsightly nose or ear hair.
Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Check out cashy’s additional tips for beauty on a budget? What are your top money-saving grooming tips? Tell us...