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Part 2: The Price -- and Profit -- of Beauty

Ylan Mui

After we posted about the price of beauty this morning, this e-mail from a local reader came into our inbox. We thought it was a great example of how you can make frugality actually work for you! We'd love to hear any other strategies you may have for looking good on a budget. Post a comment or write us at muiy[at]washpost.com or trejosn[at]washpost.com.

From our inbox: Your friend, Grace Van Cleave - the shopaholic and beauty addict, with amazing bargain prowess has become....an Avon Lady. (wait, sorry, Avon Independent Sales Representative)

So, as you all know, I have a bit of a shopping habit. I love clothes, makeup, shoes, home furnishings - you name it, I can tell you the high and low end designers, who/what is worth the money, and where to find the best deal on just about anything. However, in these economic times, I feel that everyone is looking for ways to save. When I tried to justify to my boyfriend that spending $25 on mascara was completely normal and "totally worth it", I realized I was starting to sound a bit ridiculous, so I went on a mission to find a cheaper solution to my beauty needs without sacrificing the quality I found in department store and boutique brands.

And that's how I came across Avon.

I loved it. . . . So much so that I was telling all my friends, and decided I might as well live out my beauty counter dream and become an Avon Sales Rep myself (excuse me, I'm supposed to refer to myself as an "Avon Independent Sales Representative" or I think they get mad).

From us: Grace tells us that she has saved more than $100 by switching to less-expensive skincare and cosmetics brands over the past month and a half. And she's using the money she makes from selling products to her friends to help pad her savings during these recessionary times.


By Ylan Mui  |  April 7, 2009; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Faces of Frugality , Ylan Q. Mui  
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Next: Green and Hip, on the Cheap

Comments

I think that Avon is such a smart way to go. And Ms. Van Cleave provides a wonderful environment to purchase beauty products - she very skilled at finding just the right thing!

Posted by: eebaylor | April 8, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I switched to Avon after a divorce and job loss. Will never return to Lancome and Clinique. I love the sales they have, the gifts (for teachers and stocking stuffers) and the great SPF products. Good for teens also.
Best is their slogan - women are beautiful. Sold! Use the online site to help pick colors if you don't have samples. And their no-questions-asked returns policy makes ordering easy.
I just breeze past the dept. store counters - marked up glop that I find as good or better from my Avon lady.

Posted by: nancyjeanmail | April 11, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

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