This time of year, I think we’re all a little strapped for cash, or at least try to stretch our dollars as far as they can go. Balancing your wallet and your makeup stash isn’t always easy; beauty products and services get expensive. If you’re trying to make peace with your budget and your makeup bag, here are some little things I’ve found that can really add up to big savings.
1. Go for the samples.
When you’re planning to drop $20 on blush or $50 on an eye cream, it’s best to be well acquainted with that product. Samples are a great way to see how a product works for you. Sephora always gives free samples of any product they sell in the store–you just have to ask for them. All their samples come in the same size – a tiny standard plastic pot. I recently got a sample of a liquid blush there, and I’ve been using it for weeks, and have barely made a dent in the pot. Depending on the product, you can actually use the samples instead of purchasing the product. (Although Sephora does have a generous return policy, so if you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can usually get your money back. Save your receipts.) Sephora also offers 3 free samples with each online order, but the selection is limited to a handful of certain products. If you go to a brick-and-mortar store, you can get deluxe samples of anything. (Image via Marie Claire)
2. Invest in high-quality tools, and take care of them.
If you’re spending a lot on great brushes, they’ll last for years. I have literally had some brushes for more than a decade, and they’re still going strong with regular use. Spend a little extra on a brush cleaner, and clean your brushes weekly. You’ll have them for so much longer if you take care of them properly. And if you don’t want to spend a lot on brushes, read this post about Bdellium Tools…I am honestly obsessed with this brand. Their brushes are incredible, high-quality, and absolutely affordable. (Image via Elite Daily)
3. Hit the drugstore.
There are some really great products on the shelves of your local drugstore, from makeup to skincare. You don’t have to spend big bucks to get stellar results. If you’re willing to do a little research before you go, you can find out which products might work for you, and which earned the best reviews from consumers on sites like Makeupalley.com. Drugstores have amazing products–you just have to find which ones are best for your skin type/hair color/etc. (Image via SheKnows)
4. Establish relationships with your beauty gurus.
Whether it’s your hairstylist or the woman who takes care of your hair removal needs, it’s important to establish relationships with people who you trust to make you look great. When you show that you’re a loyal client (and tip well), your colorist, hairstylist, esthetician (or whoever!) sometimes will throw in a free service, like a gloss/glaze or a double waxing. Even something small makes a big difference; whenever I go to the salon, my stylist touches up my makeup before I leave. Showing your loyalty and gratitude can result in little gestures that make a big impact. These little bonuses can add up to big saving in the long run, and in some cases, can help you extend the time between appointments. (Image via Corbis)
5. Create a beauty budget and stick to it.
You make sure you have enough to cover your rent/mortgage, utilities, and all other bills each month, right? So why wouldn’t you do the same for your beauty purchases? I’m the type of person who will walk into Sephora, Ulta, or MAC because I’m bored, and walk out $100 later with a bag of pink lip glosses, when I already have about 25 tubes in the same shade at home. When I lay out my finances at the start of each month, I make sure to tally up my beauty-related purchases. This includes services (with tip), money for products I need to restock, and, if possible, some extra cash for spur-of-the-moment purchases. When I hit my limit, I’m done. Although it can be really difficult (I speak from experience!), sticking to a budget has helped break my habit of splurging mindlessly on beauty-related purchases. (Image via Kate Spade)
What are your best tips for stretching your beauty budget? Do you even have a beauty budget? Share your thoughts in the comments section!