Thrifty Thursday: Beat the Bin


We all want our make up, clothes and accessories to last forever. Throwing away something that we only bought 3 weeks ago will result in a ever-shrinking wardrobe as well as an ever-shrinking purse. In an attempt to preserve our collection of fashion goodies, here are a few tips to make those staple items last that little bit longer.

The problem: gunky, thick nail varnish

We’ve all encountered this problem far too often. When we leave our nail varnish in a hot place or it’s just been hanging around unused for too long, it becomes thick and useless. Here is the solution: poor a tiny amount of nail varnish remover into your nail varnish, give it a shake, at hey presto – good as new.

The problem: dried up mascara

You’ve got 5 minutes to get ready on a Friday night, and you’ve almost finished your make up when – oh god – your mascara is as dry as the sahara. Fear not! Pop it in a cup for boiling water and it will be just fine for one last application. Even better, pop a bit of baby oil in it and it will be good as new! (For a while, you will have to buy new mascara at some point, sorry.) When your mascara is in the prime of its life, there is one key rule to follow: DO. NOT. PUMP. When you pump your mascara, lots of air is let in which causes it to dry out more quickly. Twist, don’t pump.

The problem: green fingers

So, the real solution to this problem is probably ‘don’t buy cheap jewellery’, but on a student budget, that ain’t gonna happen. If you buy a ring from a high street store, after a month or so, it will start to make your finger go green, and eventually turn a strange browny colour itself. To avoid this, simply apply a coat of clear nail varnish to it when you first buy it. This will preserve its colour, and stop you looking like you’ve got an worrying infection whenever you wear it. 

The problem: ladders in your pretty tightsladders

I seem to always, always, ladder my tights. This means I am very reluctant to buy remotely pretty hosiery. But, by carrying a bottle of clear nail varnish in your bag, you can save your favourite pretty tights when you accidentally catch them running around at Bridge. Dot clear nail varnish around the tear, and it will stop in its tracks.

The problem: my shoes have a mouth

This happens a lot. When it’s a pair of £10 brogues from Primark, we can’t really complain, but it happens to even the best of our footwear. To extend the life of your shoes, dry them properly whenever they get wet. Put scrunched up newspaper in the toes to make sure all the moisture is absorbed and leave them until they are completely dry before wearing them again. Another thing to remember is to polish and clean your shoes regularly. It might sound a bit onerous, but it will extend the life of your shoes by a long, long way.

The problem: running low on my over-priced perfume

Now, I won’t claim to be a perfumer but I can tell you some things you can do to make what you have last longer.  If you find yourself applying perfume two or three times a day – STOP, and follow this advice. First of all: do not rub. Rubbing in your perfume will just make it lose its scent. Secondly, it isn’t how much you put on, but where you put it. Putting it on pulse areas makes it smell more strongly – that is, on your wrists, neck and even behind your knees. I think, however, that a squirt on your hair is what really counts: your hair will lock in the perfume’s scent and whenever someone hugs you, they’re breath in your pretty aroma. Lovely!

Now – here’s one I have not tried, but I have heard great things…

The problem: faded black clothing

When your staple black top fades to a dull grey, it can be very disappointing and even heart-breaking. But, word on the street is, if you rinse your clothes in warm water with a little dose of coffee granules or tea, your boring grey will be back to its sultry black in no time.

And there you are! Nothing difficult, nothing scientific, just a couple of things you can do to keep your stuff stronger for longer, and make that student loan stretch a bit further.


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