Your Beauty Budget: 5 Ways to Save on Makeup

beauty budget neutral palette

After walking out of the strongly scented Sephora in my local mall, I remember turning to my friend, staring at our bags, and saying, “Did we REALLY just spend that much money in Sephora?” *Amount omitted, due to being incredibly ashamed of what I spent on a tiny tube of waterproof liquid eyeliner. Sorry Mom! Time to get a Beauty Budget, and fast.

Now, I like quality makeup as much as the next girl. Because I spend a lot of time watching beauty tutorials and product reviews on YouTube, there’s always something new out there that I’m dying to try – (I’m a sucker for ANY kind of matte liquid lipstick) and most of the time, it’s pretty pricey. As a beginner in makeup, however, and a semi-broke college student, I’m also picky about what kind of makeup I purchase, and how much I spend.

What if the 40 dollar highlight I purchased doesn’t match my skin tone? What if I just don’t have 40 dollars to blow in the first place? *Thankfully, I haven’t reached the point where I’m willing to shell out 40 dollars for a highlight, or any kind of makeup for that matter – unless it’s an Urban Decay Naked Palette, but I digress. The reality is, sometimes I just want my makeup to look really awesome and not break the  bank.

Time to establish a Beauty Budget, and fast.

beauty budget naked palette
1. Know what works for you.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what kind of makeup works on your skin and what doesn’t. This can be tricky, especially if you’re just starting to get into makeup. First, identify if you have warm, cool or neutral toned skin. The best way to do this is to look at the veins in your wrist – if you have a more blue tone, and your skin is very pale, you’re cool toned. If you have a more green tone, and your skin is darker, you’re warmed toned. If you have a mix between the two, you’re neutral toned. This is key for identifying foundation shades. Foundation should disappear on your skin, not change the look of it. Not the time for a tan.

It’s also helps when choosing what kinds of colors work best with your skin overall. For instance, I’m cool toned, so I tend to gravitate toward silvers, blues, and pinks – while someone who is warm toned may gravitate more toward browns, reds, etc. Knowing what works for you, which is a learning process, will save money in the long run, because you won’t purchase products that aren’t right for your skin tone. Lesson learned, beauty budget saved.

2. Start out small – Don’t be afraid of the drug store!

I don’t recommend starting your makeup collection at Sephora, or even Ulta. If you’re just beginning to get into makeup, stick to the drugstore. It’s far less expensive to try out shades of 99 cent Wet N Wild lipsticks and 7-12 dollar foundations that can be easily replaced or thrown out if they don’t work for you. The drug store is great for getting a sense of what makeup is all about and how it works.

Drugstore makeup gets a bad rep for a lot of reasons – it’s cheap, sometimes it doesn’t work very well, and it doesn’t always contain the BEST ingredients for your skin. But in recent years, the drugstore has upped its quality – I’ve had amazing luck with brands like NYX, E.L.F, Wet N Wild, and Maybelline.

3. Get familiar with your skin type.

Does your skin get shiny easily? Does your skin feel extra dry, and does it sometimes flake off? Is it shiny in some places, but dry as the Sahara in other places? Once you identify what kind of skin you have, you’ll be able to pick the right foundations that work for you – and a proper skin care regimen. What I’ve learned from using makeup is that you HAVE to take care of your base, aka, your face! The wrong kind of makeup could give you a serious allergic reaction, or break you out. Which is not only a painful, messy disaster, but a total waste of your money. Beauty budget winning.

Beauty budget skin care
4. Beauty budget deals.

I am a member of Sephora’s and Ulta’s beauty rewards, and in the long run – that has saved me money. The more points you build up by purchasing items, the better deals you get on products, and you even get things for free! For any beauty lover, it’s a really smart decision.

Also, there’s some makeup you can’t get in stores that you can get online. If you stick strictly to Sephora, Ulta, and the drugstore, You’re missing out! My favorite place to get makeup online is definitely Colourpop. Their makeup, especially their lip products, and super shock eyeshadows are amazing – and for 30 dollars, I can cash in on three lip sticks, a highlighter, and two eyeshadows, whereas 30 dollars would get me one liquid lipstick and a sample size of lip balm in Sephora.

5. Have the brutally honest “Do I really need this?” talk.

Whenever I walk into any kind of makeup store, I instantly get overwhelmed with all the brands, colors, and scents. I firmly believe that this is purposeful, in the sense that it’s hard to focus on one product when the one next to it is even more interesting and appealing. Before you end up buying that bright green eyeshadow because it’s a unique shade to have in your collection, ask yourself if you’ll use it, or if you want it for the sake of having it. Though make up is fun and exciting, save yourself the money by monitoring how much you spend.

Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two from my experience (and some mistakes). Just think, the more you save, the more you have for that $40 highlighter… actually no. Don’t do that! Enjoy and happy beauty budget hunting Metiza!