How To Indulge In Beauty Products On A Budget

Have you ever gone into Sephora and had to face the tough choice between buying the new Naked palette and eating for the rest of that weekend? While I've never been in a predicament that extreme (though I've been fairly close), I understand how hard it can be to indulge in beauty products while being on a budget. Especially with the often outrageous prices of makeup, it's difficult to buy multiple products without breaking the bank. And if you're trying to save, living the post-grad life, or just attempting to pay off your student loans, this is probably one of the obvious areas that comes to mind to cut back on.

As a general rule, you don't need to buy $100 hand creams, $25 lipsticks or $80 cleansers in order to look put together or feel good. In fact, in many cases, more expensive beauty products aren't any better performing than their drug store counterparts. Beauty comes down to using the principles of science, optical illusions, and art to create the masterpiece that is you. As logic would suggest, using ingredients that are organic, natural, and earth-based can help to enrich your look more than harsh chemicals ever could. So here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate beauty into my life, while sticking to my budget:

1. DIY Your Face Masks


I love making my own face masks! You can usually whip something up in your kitchen in a couple of minutes that I think does a lot more for your skin than processed formulas. You can find great recipes online using things like avocado, yogurt and bananas.

2. While You're At It, Whip Up A Scrub

Body scrubs can often be pricey and making your own body scrub couldn't be more simple! One of my tried and true recipes uses olive oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Any gritty substance that will exfoliate mixed with a thick liquid will do the job!

3. Buy Your Makeup At The Drugstore

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Many people cringe at the thought of purchasing makeup that doesn't come from Sephora, but there are plenty of good quality drugstore brands out there! As a proud Target beauty connoisseur, some of my favorite brands are E.L.F., Wet n Wild and Rimmel London.

4. Skip The Nail Salon

Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

I've only been to professional nail salons a handful of times in my life and I find that the sticker price is usually not worth the service: After all, why would you pay $20 to spend a half of an hour doing something you could do yourself in five minutes?! Instead, invest in some home manicure tools that you can use to get the same spa effect.

5. Use The Products You Already Have

Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you're bored, it can be tempting to go and buy yet another lip gloss, even if you already own 50. Resist the impulse and commit to using the products you've already invested in until they're used up, before buying anything new.

6. Buy Multi-Purpose Products

If you do need to get new makeup, buy items that you can use for more than one purpose. For instance, color sticks can be applied as creamy eye shadows, blush and lip gloss, making them extremely versatile. Buy products like this that you can get more use out of, instead of a new product for each of those purposes.

7. Shower Less

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

As gross as it might sound, science has suggested that we are showering too much, since you only need to shower two to three times per week in order to get clean. If you're dealing with dry skin, skip the lotion and limit your shower time!

8. Buy In Bulk

There are many beauty products that you can purchase in bulk that will cost you a lot less than if you were to buy the products individually. Makeup remover wipes, nail polish remover and cleansers are examples of things you can often get for less if you buy more at once.

9. Embrace The Natural Look

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

No, I'm not talking about no-makeup-makeup, but actually wearing less. Have days when you wear no makeup at all and try to see if you can create your favorite looks with less products. Most days I can stick to just foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow and lipgloss and look just as put together as when I add primers, liners or concealers to the mix.

10. Stop Buying $70 Perfumes


Stick to body sprays! They smell just as pretty and fragrant as the latest couture fragrance, but for a fraction of the price. Most of those scents are just marked up because of their branding, anyway.

11. Try Before You Buy

Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The beauty of department stores and high-end retailers is that most let you try samples of the products before you purchase them. Use this to your advantage; if you're looking to invest in a foundation, for instance, try on different brands and shades at the makeup counter, instead of chancing it with what looks good from the packaging.

12. Just Say No To Impulse Bins

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

They are called impulse bins for a reason — these aisles near the checkouts of stores are designed to get you to buy cheapskates you didn't even know you wanted. Many of these items are beauty related (lip balms, nail polishes and mini lotions are common finds you'll see tempting you as you wait in line). Every time you want to make a purchase from a bin like this, put it back. Refuse to give into temptation.

Hopefully, you've been inspired to cut back on your beauty spending — imagine what you could do with all of the money you'll save! If you really want to see the results, calculate approximately how much you've spent in the last month on beauty products and challenge yourself to cut that amount in half. You can even keep a piggy bank or jar so that you can literally see the extra cash! I know that I always feel great knowing that I have stretched my beauty dollars as far as they can go.

Images: Fotolia; Depolo; thedabbelist; Flickr/Rab; Getty