Budgeting for Makeup and Beauty: 6 Smart Tips and Hacks (2024)

For many women, makeup and beauty products are a passion and a way to express their creativity. However, between high-end brands, must-have seasonal trends, and constant product launches, it’s easy for beauty spending to get out of hand. The good news is there are plenty of smart hacks for affording your beauty routine without breaking the bank. With a little planning and savviness, you can indulge your inner makeup artist while sticking to a budget.

Look for Coupons and Discount Codes

Don’t purchase anything without doing some due diligence first. Search online coupon sites and even check the brand’s website for any promotions or discount codes you can apply at checkout. Sites like Upgraded Reviews have frequently updated coupons and discount codes for beauty products. Also, sign up for email newsletters from your favorite companies so you’re the first to know about sales or exclusive offers. 

Buy Mini and Travel Sizes First  

When trying new makeup like a foundation or eyeshadow palette, resist the urge to splurge on the biggest size. Opt for travel sizes, minis, or sample packs first to make sure you actually like the product enough to commit. Some great places to shop for affordable mini makeup include Target, Sephora, and Ulta, which all carry comprehensive budget-friendly collections so you can test a variety before buying full size.

DIY Natural Beauty on a Budget

Skip the middleman and make some of your beauty staples from items you likely already have at home. Whip up hydrating face masks from ingredients in your kitchen like Greek yogurt, avocado, honey, eggs, and lemon. Make a sugar or salt body scrub with a neutral oil like almond, olive, or coconut. Even make your own tinted lip balm with crayon bits and Vaseline. Check out Pinterest for tons of beauty DIY inspo that barely requires any spending.

Always Wait for Sales

Patience pays off when shopping for makeup and beauty essentials. Wait for big sales around major holidays to stock up on some of your ride-or-die products as well as splurge on bigger ticket items you’ve had your eye on. Ulta and Sephora have major sales during the holidays as well as special 21 Days of Beauty events throughout the year. Even the drugstore has seasonal sales worth hitting, like buy one get one half price. 

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs and Rewards

If you’re going to frequently shop at chains like Sephora, Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, etc., make sure you sign up for their loyalty program or membership. This gets you exclusive discounts, first dibs on sales, free gifts during your birthday month, and the ability to earn money toward future purchases. These programs often have tiered levels, so the more you spend the more perks you get—which ends up saving you major money.

Shop Subscription Boxes

For a low monthly fee, subscription boxes deliver an array of surprise makeup, skincare, haircare, and other beauty samples right to your door. It’s a great way to discover new products you may end up loving for just a $10-15 monthly investment. Popular beauty boxes include IPSY, Birchbox, Sephora Play, and more. Many allow you to customize your preferences to get items suited to your needs whether that be all skincare, cruelty-free brands, non-toxic picks, etc.

Maintaining your beauty routine doesn’t have to demolish your budget. With inside tips like using coupons and rewards programs to your advantage or signing up for makeup sample subscriptions, you can afford the products you covet. Getting savvy about sales cycles, buying mini sizes to test out first, and even formulating your own DIY beauty staples allows you to have it all while sticking to your bottom line. Implement a few of these hacks and you’ll look good and feel good about your spending.

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