11 Unexpected Ways to Save Money on Makeup

Are you looking for clever ways to save money on makeup? Do you need to save money for a big project this year?

If you always seem to have more month than money but you still need to look attractive everyday then keep reading.

Many of us have been led to believe that the more money we spend on stuff it means the quality is superior.

However, this is not necessarily true in all areas of life.

If you ever heard the analogy of the fish in the fishbowl you’ll know about this one thing.

When the fish is placed into a bigger tank it will increase in size to match the environment.

Of course, this is not always the case with all fish.🤣

The same concept applies to us as consumers, when we have a small salary we survive and stay within our budget.

Somehow when we get a bigger salary we seem to spend more to match our new ability to spend.

In this post, you will learn a few clever ways to spend frugally on make-up so that you can save hundreds of dollars every month.

woman's hand with teal nail polish on a keyboard and some makeup brushes next to her

Motivation + Goals

One of the secrets to finding the motivation to reduce your monthly expenses is to have a goal that you need to accomplish.

You may not be aware of this but it takes quite a lot of motivation to save money and reduce your expenses.

If you go to the supermarket to buy food or even to the beauty counter to purchase lipstick here’s what will happen.

Every time you will be presented with options which will involve purchasing a more expensive item.

Can you remember the last time this happened to you?

I know that in the past I would go with the more expensive option every single time.

However, because I have big goals to accomplish today I’m always looking for ways to save money.

It is not going to be easy but you will require a certain level of discipline to say no to spending more money.

The main reason is that you have the money available for another project so it is only a matter of reallocating the funds.

Make a Budget

Another clever secret to choose lower-priced, good quality items is to make a budget and stick to it.

You are probably thinking that it is going to be very difficult to stick to a given budget.

The truth is that you are absolutely correct that it is going to be hard.

I can guarantee you that when you go to the store, you will see all those women at the beauty counter looking pretty.

A sudden urge to want to look your best will come over you from nowhere and you’ll want to get a beauty makeover.

My advice to you is to run away because you will feel the need to buy all those things to get the desired look.

Of course, if you have vouchers or coupons to purchase a specific item at a reduced cost then that’s fine.

Otherwise, stick with samples and keep moving.

If your budget is $50 for the next 6-8 weeks then stick to your budget and your bank account will thank you later.

make up brushes and a white instax

How to Save Money on Makeup?

There is going to be times when the item that you need is priced slightly higher than expected.

Here are 11 hacks that you can use to get the same or similar result as well as to save money on the branded items.

1. Save Money of Makeup Brushes

A few years ago, when Mac makeup was super popular the common practice of applying makeup by only using brushes, was all the rage.

Of course, it meant that you would need about 7 brushes to apply your makeup flawlessly.

The trick here is to try and get your brushes from non-beauty shops like the dollar store and thrift shops.

Also, let friends and relatives gift you with the more expensive set.

2. Broad Spectrum Colour Palette

A cool way to never find yourself stuck without an eye shadow colour to match your outfit is to buy wide.

Before purchasing your next colour palette think about the general colour scheme of your wardrobe.

This will help you to avoid purchasing a palette for every 3-4 outfits.

Of course, the odd colours like gold, silver and bronze can be purchased separately if it is not already included.

3. Think Classic Colours

When it comes to fashion trends it can be pretty dangerous to fall into the trap of buying makeup to match current trends.

However, what I have learned over the years is that trends can be costly.

You are better off sticking to the classic colours like black, white, red and blue for your makeup.

These basic colours rarely go out of fashion and they can still be useful in 12-18 months depending on the expiry date.

brush and a eyeshadow palette sticking out of a glittery gold makeup bag

4. Buy Clothes to Match Your Existing Makeup

The moment you decide to go clothes shopping it is important to note your available makeup.

I have been in situations when I buy a new outfit only realise that I need to buy shoes, purse and even makeup to match it.

In the long run, this can set you back significantly from achieving your big goals.

5. Free Samples are Your Best Friend

There is nothing more annoying than purchasing makeup only to discover that it did not work for you.

To avoid the disappointment take advantage of free samples which are given out at beauty counters.

Also, scan the exhibition sites for upcoming trade shows where you can collect bags of free samples.

6. Use Every Last Drop

You have paid for the contents in the makeup bottle or tub yet still when there is only 10 per cent left, you throw it away.

My advice to you is to use every last drop that is available before opening or purchasing a new one.

It’s time to behave frugally even when you’re not broke because you have big dreams to fulfil.

7. Hunt for Coupon Codes

Why pay full price when you can get a discount? With so many national days it is important to grab discounts when you can.

Here are a few ways to get discounts off your favourite makeup brand.

  1. Join their email list
  2. Do a search on Google (“product name + coupon code”)
  3. Follow your favourite beauty blogger on Instagram or Youtube
  4. Check magazine publications
  5. Add your favourite items to wishlists

As you can see there are so many ways for you to find coupons so that you will not have to pay full price.

8. Loyalty Cards

You may have a love-hate relationship with loyalty cards but you have to admit that many of them have their perks.

The two popular ones that I like to use is the one from Boots as well as the one from Superdrug store.

On many occasions, I was able to get skincare items free because of the loyalty points.

pink nail polish on a mirror

9. Sell Unused and Unopened Makeup

If you have many friends who are girls you may find yourself on the receiving end of all sorts of makeup items.

These items in many cases will remain on your dresser unused and unopened.

You may want to consider selling your stuff online as a way of getting more cash to buy the things you really need.

10. Broken Makeup Items

You will be tempted to throw away your makeup that inadvertently got damaged or broken, like lipstick, eyeshadow and compact.

I have seen in many places online where they suggest to use nail polish, saline solution and even rubbing alcohol to fix them.

Because I have sensitive skin I am not going to suggest any of those hacks as they may cause a breakout of rash.

What I do suggest is to transfer it into a more manageable container and use a smaller brush as an applicator.

11. Save Old Containers + Brushes

Many years ago I purchased a waterproof mascara from Clinique and it was perfect because the wand was just the right size for my tiny eyelashes.

I tried many times going back to see if they still do the same size wand in the newer mascaras but they don’t so I just kept the old one.

At times you will come across a mascara or foundation that comes with the perfect brush or applicator.

Remember to reduce the hassle of finding it again and kept that article for use with newer products.

three girls hand holding a phone

12. Makeup Swap Party

Another cool way to save money on makeup is to become a hostess of a makeup swap party.

Everybody you know and their friends have makeup at their homes that they don’t use for several reasons.

At a makeup swap party, everyone can bring what they have and you can put it on display.

Feel free to charge $1 per item sold to cover the cost of refreshments.

13. Become a Makeup Influencer

When all else fails and you find that you still need to get your hands on elusive beauty products then there is one more option.

Maybe it is time to consider becoming a makeup influencer where you get free makeup products in exchange for doing review videos or Instagram posts.

If you never did it before it is pretty easy to get started. You just start by reviewing the items you already have.

Then reach out to brands showing them samples of your past reviews. Of course, you will need to have a small number of followers on your profile and channel.


This list of hacks to save money on makeup is not very long but I will do a summary anyway to help you.

Here are the 11 ways in a nutshell.

  1. Lower cost makeup brushes
  2. Broad-spectrum colour palette
  3. Think classic colours
  4. New clothes match old makeup
  5. Free samples are your friend
  6. Use every last drop
  7. Hunt for coupon codes
  8. Loyalty cards
  9. Sell unused items
  10. Use broken items with brushes
  11. Save one of a kind items
  12. Makeup Swap Party
  13. Become an influencer

As you can see these are a number of practical ways to get the best results for your makeup budget.

eyeshadow palette and brushes


It can be really difficult to become frugal and save money on makeup because of all the pretty packaging.

The good news is that it is possible to still look good with low-cost or discounted makeup.

Even your bank account will look good after you completed shopping.

The bottom line is that you get to save sufficient money to meet your long-term goals and still look your best doing it.

What has been your experience with low-cost makeup? Have you ever been able to save money on makeup?


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If you need to save money in other areas of your life then check out this list of things to stop buying to save over $1,400 every month.

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30 thoughts on “11 Unexpected Ways to Save Money on Makeup”

  1. They seem simple advice, but they are really wise. For example, having a palette with a wide spectrum of colors actually saves you from having a multitude of palettes. One purchase for maximum use!

    • Cristina, it is true. I can relate to having a multitude of palettes until I figured about having one palette to rule them all.

  2. I’ll show this to my daughter. She’s all about her makeup. I do try to always save coupons for her. I know during Black Friday she stocked up at Ulta on many things.

  3. Great advice. I’m replacing my old makeup, as is my annual tradition. So this will help me make the right (but also cheap, because I don’t use it very often) decisions.

    • Kay, that is interesting. I never thought about looking at the brush from the trial-sized mascara. Thanks for that tip😉

  4. This is so timely to me because I just saw mascara I wanted that was $53 on Amazon (where I have gift cards) and only $29 on the actual brand website, but I don’t have gift cards there. Decisions.
    I do use every last drop, though! That’s a great tip.

    • Tamara, that is indeed a difficult decision to make. Maybe see if any of your beauty influencers have a coupon code to get it cheaper from the brand website. I cannot believe that it is a lot more expensive on Amazon.

  5. These are all really good tips. Not only did I find brushes at my local dollar store, but they had some foundation and eye shadow choices that were as good as my more expensive brands. I was shocked.

  6. This is a fantastic list. Budget is so, so big, and what I have to live by to keep myself in check. Thinking classic and less trendy is also great advice. Neutral looks that can be worn with anything go a long way!

  7. These are some great tips! Lately I don`t use much make up, mostly I got for free from my sister in law, she works in Dior so she brings me make up. SO I don`t spend much here which is good 🙂

  8. All of these are great tips. Being a makeup influencer would definitely save you on makeup if you get it in press packages!

  9. I must say it’s a great list of tips to save money. I also try looking for discount codes while purchase, but not thought of selling unused items. Will try.

Comments are closed.

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