Save Money On Prom Makeup With These Places & Apps That'll Help You Get Your Face Done On The Cheap

Prom is one of the most expensive high school milestones, so you'll likely be trying to conserve cash by any means possible. Saving money on prom makeup is one of the easiest ways to lower your budget. Sure, there’s a constant pressure to keep up with everyone else in your school, and that often means trying to look as flawless as a celebrity walking the red carpet. It’s unrealistic to expect a Rihanna-esque entourage of hairstylists, makeup artists, and stylists on a limited budget, but if you have a bit of creativity (and a few like-minded friends), the DIY aspect of prom is half of the fun.

When it coms to your makeup, apps and other affordable alternatives to the traditional professional makeup job can save you an impressive amount of money — or even cost you nothing at all. If your dream dress and that luxe limo that the rest of your group insisted on renting are already stretching your prom budget thin, you can save a bit on your makeup while still looking totally gorgeous.

There are a number of places to read about the latest makeup tips, browse glam looks that you can replicate at home or even get your makeup professionally done for a whole lot less than full price — provided that you know where to look. Read on to find out more about affordable prom makeup alternatives.

1. Makeup Genius App

The Makeup Genius app from L’Oreal Paris is... well, genius. It enables you to try out a number of different types of L’Oreal makeup virtually, which is perfect if you want to test a bold cat eye or bright red lips before investing in pricey new products. Just upload a selfie and the app will switch up your makeup right before your eyes.

2. Groupon

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You likely already use the popular coupon site for great deals on dining and shopping, but you might not realize that Groupon also offers promotions at local beauty salons as well. Just search for makeup application in your area and be sure to read the salon’s reviews before making an appointment.

3. Department Store Makeup Counters

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If getting your makeup done at a local salon is out of your price range but you still want a professional look, try making an appointment at one of the makeup counters at a local department store. Places like Macy’s and Nordstrom offer makeup applications at their individual brand counters, and many of them offer a minimum product purchase price in lieu of an actual application cost. Be sure to book in advance, however; these places are almost always swamped come prom season.

4. Ulta

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Most Ulta stores feature full salons in the back, and while you’ve likely noticed the whirr of the blow dryer, you might not have realized that they offer professional makeup application as well. For around $40 a pop, you can have your entire face powdered, contoured and glossed to perfection. Ulta even offers false eyelash application for just a bit extra.

5. YouTube

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If all else fails and you truly can’t afford to schedule yet another prom prep beauty appointment, do your makeup yourself by using everyone’s go-to makeup guru: YouTube. Running a search for “prom makeup” yields thousands of results, so browse the videos with a few days to spare and maybe even run a test run before the big night. Best of all? It won’t cost you a dime.

Images: Getty Images; iTunes; YouTube