We invest a lot in our beauty regimens: from our time to our precious counter space to our hard-earned dollars. But like everything, there are a few time-honored tips and tricks that can help you save, especially when it comes to your precious income. Whether it’s extending the life of the items you have or scoring some new items at a great price, we’ve listed our top 10 hacks for beautifying yourself on a budget.
1. Coordinate Your Colors
Got a favorite eyeliner you wish you could coordinate with? Turn some of it into a custom nail polish by mixing a small amount into a bottle of generic clear polish.
2. Get a Better Brush
When it comes to products like mascara, a big difference in the cost ends up being the brush that comes with it. Since most containers are universally sized, when you find a brush you love, simply clean it off when the original product runs out and place it in any newer, less-expensive product you’re trying out. Often you’ll find you can save a lot on product while getting the same results thanks to that patented brush.
3. Clone Your Favorite Look by Using Samples
We all have a go-to look we like to use more often than others, but recreating it while on the road can mean hauling your medicine cabinet with you. A great solution is to cruise your local shops and ask for samples of your favorite products. Not only are they free, you’ll never have that pricey bottle of product confiscated by the TSA again.
4. Get In Some Hot Water
A great way to extend the life of any liquid makeup housed in those pesky tubes is to put the entire container in a mug of hot water. This will help do everything from releasing any especially gooey lip liners to un-clumping your mascara.
5. Baby Your Lashes
Fake lashes can be both expensive and tedious to apply. Instead, apply some baby powder with a Q-tip between coats of mascara. This will not only help build up fine, full, beautiful lashes, but when it comes time to wash them away, the powder will help release the mascara for easy cleanup.
6. Recycle to Reduce Your Costs
Certain brands like M.A.C., Kiehl’s and Lush have policies that allow you to return empty containers in order to get reduced prices — or in some cases even free product.
7. Remove Makeup
If you wear makeup often, you’ll know that the cost of makeup remover can become a real expense. Here’s a trick of the cosmetology industry: Though it may not have the fancy packaging or branding, Johnson and Johnson’s No Tears baby shampoo makes a fantastic makeup remover that’s both effective, cheap and (of course) gentle on your skin.
Another option? Vaseline, which many makeup pros swear by as a cheap, effective way to remove the day’s look.
8. Learn to Love ‘Dupes’
It’s a dirty secret within the industry that plenty of brands’ products are identical in every way except for the branding on the package (which is what you end up paying for). These are called “dupes,” and it’s well worth your while to Google the term to discover an entire world of products you love, as well as which versions you might be paying too much for.
9. Bring Some Booze Into Your Beauty Products
We all know how annoying it can be when you open a pressed powder product only to discover that it’s cracked and caking its way into your garbage bin. An easy fix is to simply add a bit of rubbing alcohol to the product until you have enough moisture to smooth it out with your finger. The alcohol will evaporate, leaving a smooth, single surface for you to use with ease once again.
Want to prevent them from breaking in the first place? When traveling, put a cotton ball in the container to keep the product in place.
10. Pucker Up at a Lower Price
Lip-plumping products are all the rage right now, but ultimately they all work because of the same thing: cinnamon. Head over to your local natural food or holistic shop to pick up a vial of pure cinnamon oil for a few bucks. A drop applied to your lips with your fingers will give you the same desired result as more expensive products for mere pennies.