Staying Makeup-Fabulous On A Budget (ie, Free): 10 Tips

Makeup does not have to cost you an arm and a leg (or anything at all…)

Hi folks, I wanted to do 2 posts today since I had some spare time on my hands. I have always been a makeup and perfume junky, and it is easy to blow lots of $$ on makeup, perfume, and skincare if you’re not careful. So I thought I would pass along some of my longtime, tried-and-true tips for looking fabulous on a budget (or even free!)

  1. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse. Now I know a lot of beauty magazines and even healthcare providers say that you should replace makeup frequently to prevent infections. (And in the case of things like mascara and eyeshadow, they’re right; replace eye makeup every 3 months.) But that doesn’t mean you have to do this for ALL of your makeup. Lipstick, liquid foundation, face powder, and blush can all be used pretty much indefinitely, or until they’re gone. (Cream-based blush, aka rouge, can last a REALLY long time). For extra mileage, try doubling up and using lipstick as rouge (or vice versa), or even as cream eyeshadow. (I have done this, and even received compliments). Use rubbing alcohol on the tips of lipsticks, eye/lip pencils, and such between uses to keep them germ-free.If you have a drawer full of dried-up nail polishes (and who doesn’t these days), you can get a little more mileage out of them by using an eyedropper to put some nail-polish remover into the dried-up bottle. Close the lid, shake well, and voila! You’ll find that crusty block of crud is now usable polish, at least for a few more uses.
  2. Shampoo Your Brushes. Makeup brushes looking crusty? Instead of opting for new ones, wash the bristles of your brushes with shampoo, dry them with a hair dryer (seriously), and then you’ll find them likely good as new. Do this weekly if possible, and your makeup brushes will last for years longer, and also stay cleaner/more hygienic.
  3. Go Old-School. Instead of buying the latest smoky-eye trends, stick with a few classic colors of makeup in formats that are both economical and inexpensive. Some of my favorites are Airspun Loose Powder by Coty(foundation and powder in one that is very Old Hollywood and comes in many colors/lasts forever), Wet and Wild Simply Red/Dead Ringer ($2, lasts forever, looks good on everyone, and is better than many department store lipsticks), and Maybelline Great Lash mascara ($3-$4, drugstores). Those three things will always look good, are cheap, and are usually more than enough to look fabulous all by themselves. If you want to go super old-school and save on having to buy mascara every three months, go super old-school and dab some plain Vaseline onto your lashes for a natural look.
  4. Stock Up On The Cheap. Online makeup stores like Avon have buy-one-get-one free sales, or sell old stock via their Outlet for mega-cheap; if you find a product you like on sale/offering freebies, get several at the lowest possible cost and keep them in a drawer in their original packaging (Not in your bathroom, pick someplace cool and dry) until you’re ready to use it. I do this for mascara and concealers, often buying 10 at a time (like buying 5 at $2 apiece and getting 5 free via Avon Outlet) and then just using them as I need them.Another great way to get makeup in bulk for cheap is to buy up all the makeup multicolor pallettes that are popular as gifts around the holidays—-except buy them after Christmas. I have gotten Super Mega Dealios (like $50 pallettes for $8 in the mid-January bargain bin) at places like Target and Kohl’s during the shopping wasteland that is January 15 or so. Sometimes I bought 2 or 3 of them, and I was all set on makeup for literally years—-for the cost of one department-store lipstick.
  5. Save Makeup For Special Occasions. If you want your makeup to last areally long time, you can just choose to wear it less often. (Sounds simple enough, right?)
  6. Get Free Samples. Lots of department stores, drugstores, mail-order services, and representative-based makeup companies (like Avon and Mary Kay) offer tons of free makeup samples. I know people who maintain entire makeup collections made up entirely of samples! Click here for ideas on how to get free makeup samples.

Stay fabulous, everyone. I remain your Cheap Yuppie Mom.

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