3 Beauty Investments Worth the Big Bucks

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 • Permalink • 

It pretty common to see blog posts and magazine features on amazing drugstore beauty finds. While it’s always fun to score a beauty steal, I want to spend a little time talking about the other end of the beauty price spectrum: beauty investments that are worth the blow to your budget.

Here are three big beauty investments that I’ve come to rely on to save me both money and time in the long run:

Brazilian Blowout
Investment: $350.00 + tip every 3-6 months


Throughout my childhood and teen years I had hair as straight and soft as cornsilk, but my mid-twenties brought a radical change in hair texture. Suddenly I had a head full of frizzy, tight spiral curls that were nearly impossible to style. You just gotta love freakish hormonal changes.

After years of fighting my new normal, my longtime hair stylist suggested the original Brazilian Blowout. I won’t lie, the chemicals involved in the real deal Brazilian Blowout don’t have the best reputation. But, if you’re not adverse to heavy duty chemical treatments, the results are amazing.

I put my mid-back length hair through the Brazilian Blowout treatment every six months. The three-hour treatment time drives me nutty, but the long-term time savings is worth it – post Brazilian Blowout I can blowdry my own hair stick straight in exactly 12 minutes! Plus, my at home blowouts easily last three to four days post-treatment, massively reducing both daily prep time and hair product costs.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly suggest Jennifer Bradford at Edge Hair Salon in Palo Alto. Otherwise, you can consult the Brazilian Blowout website to find a qualified stylist in your area.

Professional Facial
Investment: $190.00 + tip every 4-6 weeks


It’s amazing the difference regular facials make. I’ve been getting a facial every six weeks for the past three years and my skin has never looked better. The combination of deep cleaning, extractions, and enzyme peel I get make my skin glow.

Facial treatments can vary pretty widely depending on the type of treatment you get and the esthetician you use. I like a facial that combines cleaning elements (cleanser, mask, extractions) with exfoliating elements (scrub, peel, microdermabrasion). Once you start a regular treatment schedule your esthetician will be able to customize your treatments to suit your skin’s individual issues and needs.

Thanks to my regular treatments, I no longer need foundation (I use a tinted liquid sunscreen to add a little color) and only use concealer under my eyes. This saves both time getting ready and the cost of foundation, powder, and concealer.

If you are in the San Francisco area, I recommend my esthetician, Gailee at Bliss San Francisco Spa. I suggest starting with a Triple Oxygen Facial, then letting Gailee pick at your subsequent appointments. You can consult the Bliss website to find a Bliss spa near you.

Gel Manicure
Investment: $40.00 + tip every 3-4 weeks or $159.00 & up for home kit


I’m new to the world of gel manicures, but I’m definitely a believer. These UV or LED-cured manicures take a little extra time and cost significantly more than a standard manicure, but stay shiny and chip-free with zero maintenance for up to a month. I'm a fan of the CND Shellac manicure, but there are several other salon and at-home options available.

I haven’t tried the gel manicure home kits, but they are very tempting. I’m particularly intrigued by the (relatively) low cost Sephora by OPI gel kit.

If you regularly get manicures, going with a gel manicure instead could potentially save you $20 per week, plus time spent touching up chips. For me, the gel manicure is really about having the ability to paint it and forget it. 30 blissful days of gorgeous nails that I don’t have to even think twice about… perfect.

I've been bouncing between CND-authorized salons, trying to find that perfect fit of convenience and service. You can find an authorized CND Shellac provider near you on the CND website.

Now that you’ve heard about my big beauty investments, tell me about yours.