Sunday, May 24, 2009

Beauty on a Budget

With the economy the way it is, maintaining a budget while easing a makeup addiction can be challenging. I've been rummaging through some of the samples that I've collected through the months but have been to lazy to use and thought that a blog on being smarter with makeup purchases would be fun to write. Here are just some random ideas...

1) Buy in Bulk
I've always been an advocate of buying value packs. You get so much bang for your buck that way and some of the sets that are available these days are amazing. On face value, it's always harder to shell out that much money at the onset but if you divide the cost between the products, it's so much cheaper. Why would anyone pay $18 for a single stila eyeshadow when they can buy a set and pay less than $10 after dividing the cost?

2) Discount Websites is one of my favorite beauty websites. They offer steep discount on older Stila products. I was able to purchase Stila look books for around $10, a 6 pan shadow palette for under $10 when they are usually priced at close to $30. Websites like Sephora or also have sale categories where you can get high end products on the cheap. I was able to pick up a Nanette Lapore perfume 1.7 fl oz. usually priced at $55 for around $20.

3) Frequent Flyer
Be aware of loyalty incentives. offers 5% back on your purchase. Stila has a rewards program where you get perks like free shipping or $50 to $100 back if you spend up to a certain amount each year.

4) Friends and Family
Splurge on high end products that rarely go on sale during friend and family sales. Most of my Nars collection is from friends and family sales. I usually reserve my high end splurges to products like Nars that rarely go on sale in the US. Also, your friends and family can be a good source for makeup as gifts during Christmas or birthdays, especially for products that can be a little more pricey.

5) Discount Stores
Nordstrom rack for me is not only a great place for clothing and shoes but they also carry great hair products, makeup and perfume. Burberry perfume, Stila makeup, CHI hair products... I've also heard that Marshells, TJ Maxx stores sometimes carry high end products for steeply discounted prices as well.

6) Make Lemonade
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Experiment with what you have already. Make homemade tinted moisterizer this summer with your sunscreen and foundation instead of going out to buy one. Mix lip products that did not quite work to make a different shade that is more flattering. I mixed together all the "nonmatched" sample foundations from everyday minerals sample kits collected when I was still finding out the right shade for myself and was able to get a full size jar of mineral foundation that was a good fit for my skin tone.

7) Multitask
Buy products that serve multiple purposes. Stila convertibles are $25 which is a little steep but when you think that you can use it as both a cheek and lip product, it makes a little more sense to invest. You can make the product work harder for you.

8) Palettes
Palettes are another way for you to get amazing savings. Just like the value sets, they are an investment but they are totally worth the initial cost. For example, the nars palettes are usually priced at $65 which is a lot. But you are getting 4 shadows, 2 blush/cheek products and 4 lip products. That is just amazing value especially when nars lipsticks and cheek products are $25. Granted they are not full sized but there isn't a better way for you to get to try out high end brands like Nars than with these palettes. The versatility and portability also needs to be considered with these palettes. When literally, all you need is the palette to create endless looks... who wouldn't get it?

9) Rediscover Drugstore
There is nothing wrong with drugstore makeup. Especially when brands like Revlon are coming up with foundations and liners that match if not work better than department store brands. And there is no need to buy a high end mascara for that much money if it's just going to be tossed out in 3 months. Especially when there are so many comparable drugstore mascaras out there. Think of the savings if you are able to find drugstore alternatives for staples like foundation and mascara that you are using on almost daily basis. Also drugstore dupes are great places for potential savings. Rimmel has a great blush in peach which is similar to Nars orgasm. HIP eye kohls are great alternative to the Guerlain. Also when buying drugstore, look for BOGOs. They happen so often that it doesn't make sense to buy drugstore products full price. Stock up on essentials like mascara when they go on BOGO. Why would you buy mascara for $7-10 when you can buy for $3?

10) Sample Sale
Ala Jennifer Aniston in Friends with Money. I'm sure I'm not the only person who gets conned into buying makeup for the sample packs that are offered. And with samples being given at each purchase, it's not difficult to accumulate quite a few of them. But even with this, I rarely reach for them because I'm just too lazy to use it. They are really a great resource for great high end products. I'm definately working to dig out my box of samples and try out a few of the products. I pulled out an alterna shampoo and conditioner sample and was able to use it over a period of three days for my hair. I've accumulated 3-4 samples so if I use it regularly, I'll have close to 2 weeks of alterna. I have a few Fekkai products as well and should be able to complete the month with the rest of my samples. I did the same for a urban decay primer potion sample... who knew there was so much product in those dinky things. Perfume samples are also a great way to either experiment with new scents or stock up on scents that you love without having to go out and buy. I have literally close to 10 samples of J'adore by Dior and don't see myself purchasing anytime soon because I'll never finish using it all.

Wow... that was a long one. I love makeup and I'm guilty of overspending but at least by doing this, I can limit some of the damage.

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