How do I save on beauty buys? Glad you asked!

I’m cheap. Yeah, I said it and I’m not ashamed. I’ve been a frugal somethin’ ever since I’ve been on my own and I make no apologies about it. And if anything, 4 years of college taught me how to stretch a dollar. Don’t believe me? Give a college student $10 and see how they can manage to put gas in their cars, eat dinner AND rent a movie. Seriously.

And despite being a beauty blogger who loves higher-end products and drugstore deals, I have managed to learn how to save on those beauty goodies. And here’s how….

  • I buy multipurpose products. For realsies. Is my shampoo suitable to also be used as a face wash and body wash? Yup!
  • I shop at my friend’s houses. I have a girlfriend that is forever getting rid of beauty goodies to make room for new goodies. One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure. I need a new blush and instead of spending $14 on the one I’ve got my eyes on, I shop a girlfriend’s beauty bag and score the one she’s barely touched. Hollers!
  • I only buy things that are on sale or if I have a coupon. I blame Mama Clumps for this one. My eyes usually only target products or stands that have displays with the word “SALE” glowing above them. I don’t care if I’m at a drugstore or department store, I’ll wait a few weeks until my item of choice goes on sale before I even consider purchasing it.
  • I keep inventory. Okay. I know you’re going to laugh at me but this can actually be REALLY helpful. Keeping inventory of the products I have helps me decide what I need and don’t need.
  • I make a monthly budget. No one likes budgets. And you know it’s true. In the perfect world, we’d want to spend as much money as we could without ever going to debt. But this isn’t a perfect world and so as “adult” as they sound, budgets keep me on track. I have finally goten to a place where I really stick to ’em too. Spend only $50 a month on beauty products? No problemo!

What are some of your budget basics and how do you save money on the everyday things? Tell me!


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Fifth Third Bank via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Fifth Third Bank.

  • I keep inventory (by going thru my stuff from time time), and keep a budget. Also when going to drugstores I take exact change, because let’s be honest, they place is like temptation island with sooo much beauty goodies everywhere I’m just dying to try. That way I can’t make impulse purchases.

    Being a beauty blogger and watching others haul/review products constantly also -almost- made me want to buy in excess. Till I took a step back one day and realized that I only really need ONE blush, one mascara, etc… Not 10 pink blushes, a bunch of black eyeliners, etc. I now make it a point to finish products before trying new ones.

    Last but not least, I check out reviews before buying. It can save you disappointment and you don’t throw money away on a product that sucks.

    • Sumatra

      You are right, haul videos have cost me a ton of loot. I’m in the process of banning any new purchases of makeup, hair products, and jewelry until i finish a lot of what I have.

  • I love a bargain! great tips! If I am interested in getting a few things from 1 brand I look for gift sets to get the best price. Also, has great deals on beauty from time to time. I just picked up a few things at 50% off from The Balm!

  • I’m a bargain hunter. I definitely notice sales 110% more than full price.

  • great post, i liked your ideas. especially shopping friend’s stashes, unfortunately i’m the friend taht everyone shops from lmao, no one else has good stuff that i want

  • I just adore your thriftiness!

  • I tend to make lists of big ticket items I want and buy them when there’s a sale. Like my Clarisonic I bought when there was a Sephora Friends & Family sale. Great suggestions!

  • i’ve just begun the task of limiting myself to one beauty splurge a month, so far it’s been working

  • Um $10 for gas, food, and renting a movie? No way. Make it $20 😛

    • Brittany

      Not in my day. 😉

  • I salute you. When I first started making my own money, my beauty budget was already $400 (slightly less than US$300).

  • victoria

    I pretty much buy basics and I hit pan on them (and use them all up). For example I just got a Laura Mercier eye shadow in Coffee Ground and although it’s expensive I use it everyday and I’ll end up using it all up.

    Before I buy nail polish I look at swatches online, and I watch reviews on YT before I buy any cosmetic.

  • I like functioning on budget and setting goals (that sounds kind of weird if you think it’s only about cosmetics :D). I guess it’s just the way I was raised.

  • Great tips! Especially doing an inventory and having a monthly beauty budget! Coz being a beauty blogger and reader of those blogs, can make you start cravings for things that you don’t even need but you been seeing it every where :( it suddenly become a must have for you!

  • Kurls

    Great tips! I can be really naughty when it comes to cosmetics. However I love a great deal. I have become a couponista fashionista :-) sometimes using the right combination of coupons with a sale can score you a great deal. For example I was able to score all of the Maybeline color tattoos for less than $2 each at CVS.

  • Charlotte

    Learn how the drugstore savings programs work.. and use them to their fullest. You can save 75% on a weekly basis. Don’t buy it until it goes on sale (unless it’s LE… darn those LE’s!), it will somewhere within a month usually. Find a good coupon blog (I like southernsavers) where they show coupon matchups… you don’t have to start rummaging through dumpsters for newspapers, many coupons are printable these days and very convenient. By combining coupons with sales and drugstore rewards you can feed your addiction.. and yourself at the same time.

  • I have a one-in, one-out rule for beauty items as well as clothes. Unless the original is completely unable to be used any longer, I *never* buy another of something I already have. It’s got to get used up entirely before I’m “allowed” to get another.

    This not only helps me to resist impulse purchases, but keeps my place free of the clutter that results everywhere when I have more than 1 of anything.