Day 21: Save Money on Makeup

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! 

Create a natural, flawless look for LESS with these 6 ideas to save money on makeup. #3 is genius!!

While I’m not a total makeup junkie, I do have a morning routine that takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. It’s definitely not over-the-top, and I probably don’t even use most of the products properly, but it works for me in the stage of life I’m in right now. I just want to apply it and go!

As a result, I’ve tried all sorts of foundations, mascara, blush, lipstick, and eyeliner {in multiple brands} to get the look I want — so I know a lot of what works and what doesn’t. I will probably do a list of my favorites in another post, but for now, I can honestly say I don’t pay much more than drugstore prices and still get the quality I like and need.

If you’re looking for ways to cut down on beauty costs, and still create a natural, effortless look, these 6 ideas are a must-try!

How to Save Money on Makeup:

1. Use What You Have {or Return It!} – Am I the only one who seems to forget there’s unused makeup stuffed in a back drawer from an impulse buy or drugstore sale? If I would only remember to check my own stash, I wouldn’t really need to run to the store at all! Set aside a specific spot for extra products, and always check before adding to the grocery list. But if you do buy something, and end up not liking it at all, don’t hesitate to send it back. Both Target and Mary Kay have very generous return policies, and you can exchange just about anything you’ve already opened.

2. Buy from the Drugstore – Drugstore prices do not always mean bad product. I have found a lot of Cover Girl makeup that is inexpensive, but almost preferable to supposedly higher quality brands. Plus, you can always find and print a ton of coupons for makeup too! Combine these with store sales and extra rewards, and you will almost never have to pay full price.


3. Go Double-Duty – No longer does a makeup bag have to be full with moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunscreen separately, instead, you can grab a cream that rules them all. Have you ever heard of BB Creams? CC? Even DD? Research the differences among them and then try one out for yourself. You might find that you don’t need as many products as you thought!

4. Make It Yourself – Try scouting out recipes for brush cleaner, makeup remover, mineral makeup, and more, then set aside a Saturday to try making them yourself. The ingredient list costs just pennies a piece, and they won’t have nasty artificial ingredients in them either. This makes your next beauty routine a win-win!

5. Grab Free Samples – One of my favorite ways to try new makeup is through free samples. Even though most stores have those generous return policies we talked about before, I hate spending money in the first place for something I’m not even sure I’ll use! Scout out sites like or and sign up when beauty freebies are available. You can also ask your Mary Kay consultant for a few samples as well. Even though these are mostly for one-time application purposes, I can usually squeeze at least 2-3 uses out of them. {Psst….if you don’t have a consultant, I can hook you up with mine!}

6. Use Every Last Drop – Because I don’t like wasting a single product, I try to squeeze every last drop out of my foundation that I can, and run my brushes through broken eye shadow until there are pretty much no crumbs left! Make the most of your purchase by cutting off tops of squeeze bottles to get the last little bit, and buy a small beauty spatula to scrape the inside of the glass jars.

Today’s Challenge:

Are you ready to save some serious money on makeup? Spend 5 minutes today going through your makeup bag, and throw out any old products that you don’t use anymore. Then take a quick inventory of what you need/don’t need, and search for free samples before buying new. You can also try a hand at making your own! 

{Go to Day 22: Afford  All Things Hair Care}

If monthly payments are taking control of your budget, you don't want to miss this 31 Days Series to Radically Reduce Your Expenses.

Create a natural, flawless look for LESS with these 6 ideas to save money on makeup. #3 is genius!!

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  1. I agree with you, drug store make up doesn’t mean bad. For someone like me that uses very little make up I don’t want to pay those high prices of fancy make up places.

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