Before I became a “City Girl Savings” gal, my biggest budget buster was definitely my “Beauty/Grooming” area. I thought it was justified – I went to makeup school for a bit, was occasionally doing freelance makeup, and I thought I could afford it. Well, March 2020 happened, and well, you know what came next.
Without going too deep into my “rock bottom” moment (maybe another blog for another day), if I wanted to still be creative in makeup, I had to quickly learn how to cut my beauty category. Keep reading to learn how to creatively save money on makeup!
#1 Use What You Already Have
I can only speak for myself, but more than likely you have a mini Sephora/Ulta in your beauty stash and you don’t even realize it! I know it can be hard to try to keep up with all the new makeup releases. From the new “must-have” eyeshadow palette, a new drop from Fenty Beauty (Hey, RiRi girl), or whatever celebrity decides to break into the beauty world.
However, make it a goal to use the palettes you already have and “hit pan”, meaning to use it up until you get to the bottom of the pan! Also, you really don’t need 8 different red lipsticks…I know what you’re thinking, but you really don’t. Keep reading on how you can get creative with the makeup products you already have. Just PLEASE make sure to check the expiration dates on your products!
#2 Buy Budget-Friendly Brands
Now I know this may be one of the most obvious tips, and I’ve already written an article about my favorite budget-friendly makeup brands, but please don’t think that your makeup application will look impeccable using only fancy, expensive, department store brands. In fact, some of the best makeup brands are affordable or can be found at your local drugstore.
Brands such as Colourpop, Morphe, and NYX are super affordable and have every product you can think of to complete a full face of makeup! Most of these brands do n’t have products that cost more than $20, which is a great buy…and some of these brands arguably provide better application than the expensive brands.
#3 Use Less
Depending on your lifestyle and the seasons, you can definitely get away with a minimal and effortless beauty! Sometimes we don’t realize just how much makeup we’re wasting by just applying way more than we need. For instance, if you work from home full-time, or even hybrid, chances are you’re not wearing a full face of makeup while you’re working.
Now, perhaps you have a role that requires you to be on camera for meetings, I highly doubt anyone is going to notice your makeup. If I am working from home that day, I have no issue with applying just face powder/tinted moisturizer, lip gloss, and mascara. Aim for looking presentable and use less makeup.
Also – who really wants to wear a full face of makeup in the summer anyways? Less is More
#4 Create Your Own
MY FAVORITE MAKEUP HACK!! I believe that makeup should be multipurpose, and I need to get all my money’s worth haha! When I was in makeup school (before TikTok and Instagram beauty influencers became popular), my makeup teacher taught me to never invest in makeup products that couldn’t be used for more than one purpose. Please see my short list of hacks, you’re welcome 🙂
- Use lipstick as cream blush
- Use eyeshadow as blush, contour, and highlighter
- Use foundation as concealer and concealer as an eyeshadow base
- Use eyebrow pencils for lip liners and lip liners as eyeliners
- Mix clear lip gloss with a colored eyeshadow for a new lip color
Essentially, as my makeup teacher said, “a cream is a cream, a powder is a powder, a liquid is a liquid, and a pencil is a pencil”. My rule of thumb, as long as you have 1-2 eyeshadow palettes (a neutral and a color palette), you’ll be fine.
#5 Be Intentional
This was something that I had to learn. I was just buying makeup just to be buying it. There was no reason why I was in Sephora when I was barely able to afford my minimum credit card payment (oh and I was definitely putting Sephora on that credit card too).
It was really bad when I would buy something only to discover that I already had that
product, and guess what – I was so lazy that I didn’t even bother returning it, I would just keep it. I had to start asking myself, “What do I really need from Sephora? Am I just buying because I’m bored? Why am I here again?” No lie, I’m super proud of myself and my progress 🙂
#6 Don’t Succumb to Beauty Influencers
Social media and the influencer culture is truly a phenomenon that we really didn’t see coming 10-15 years ago! If I would have known that I can become a millionaire by posting makeup looks, I would have started a long time ago haha! However, social media can be a place where it’s very easy to feel like you aren’t “enough” and it can even affect your budget.
But next time you see a James Charles or a Jackie Aina, or another popular beauty influencer’s new makeup “haul”, always remember that they most likely did not use their own money to purchase those products. They are paid by these companies to give rave reviews so their followers will buy. I’m also willing to bet (in fact, I know so), that a lot of them are not huge fans of the products.
#7 Find Your Signature Look
Last but not least, you have to find your style of makeup and find your signature look. What’s a lipstick that looks amazing on you? If you don’t like false lashes, don’t wear them! If you think you look like a clown when you wear highlighter, don’t wear it!
What I love about celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lopez is that they know what makeup looks work for them and they stick with it. Gwen and Taylor love a bold red lip, so we’ll usually see them with a bold red lip. Jennifer looks amazing in her “J.Lo bronze glow”, that’s her signature look.
Finding your signature look will not only save you time, but money as well because you’re not going to question your makeup stash or feel like you constantly need to update your look. Don’t fix what’s not broken!
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Although these are just few ideas to earn some extra cash, there are plenty of options out there. Have you tried any of the methods listed above? If so, which one was your favorite and why? Check out our Facebook page and do not forget to join the Facebook group to keep up with all of our newest City Girl fun. Also, follow us on our other social media accounts Instagram and Twitter at @citgirlsavings, we will be sure to give a follow right back!