Money-saving shopping tips & beauty hacks for make-up enthusiasts

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Anyone who’s enthusiastic about makeup will tell you that cosmetics are like wine – once you’ve gotten a taste of good quality, it’s almost impossible to go back to using the cheaper options. But, just like fine wine is going to cost you more, top-of-the-range makeup can easily set you back hundreds of pounds after just one shopping spree.

Unfortunately, not everybody who is enthusiastic about makeup and wants to get the best quality can afford to splash out on high-end stuff. I’m a cruelty-free cosmetics enthusiast and some of those high-end products can cost ££s = way beyond my budget. But the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to save money on your make-up collection…


The secret to getting long, full, and luscious lashes is all down to the wand that you’re using, rather than the mascara itself. Mid-range mascaras can do the job just as well as a high-end one if you have the right wand. So, all you need to do is invest in one high-quality mascara and once the mascara has finished, simply purchase a mascara that’s within your price range and apply it with the more expensive wand. Give it a go – you may be surprised!

Also, I’ve previously blogged about the best budget cruelty-free mascaras so have a read of my post to compare the options for yourself. My current favourite is only £2 a time, which is an absolute steal so I’ve stocked up (as you can see below)!


When it comes to makeup, there’s certainly no shortage of free samples. You’ll be able to pick up a fair few free samples and mini versions of products simply by walking through the makeup section of your local department store and asking. Or if you go online, sites like this help you save money with a wide range of makeup samples to try from a variety of different brands.

And if you are thinking about investing your money into some more expensive makeup, then getting a free sample to try beforehand will help you make sure that it’s the right decision, and you’ll avoid spending money on something that you don’t end up getting much use out of.


Just because a cosmetic product is labelled as ‘eyeshadow’, ‘lipstick’, or ‘bronzer’, for example, doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to only using it for that one thing. In fact, many makeup products can be multi-use, and there are several different looks that you can achieve from using a certain product in an unusual way.

For example, your lipstick can double up as a cream blush. You can use a dark eyeshadow to fill in your eyebrows or a shimmery eyeshadow as a highlighter. This means that, if you do invest in a high-price product, you’ll be able to use that one item in multiple ways, so you don’t have to buy two or three items that do pretty-much the same thing. Plus, it streamlines your make-up bag too!


Unlike the cosmetic products themselves, you’ll usually find that make-up removers tend to be more or less the same, no matter what price you pay. So, if you’re spending above the average on a makeup remover just because it comes with a high-end name tag, chances are that you are paying the extra for just the name. Most budget makeup removing products will do the job just as well. And, you may be surprised at some products that you can use for removing makeup – Vaseline and moisturiser tend to do a great job.


If you find yourself longing for a new lip colour, then it can be worth playing around with the shades that you already have before you hit the shops and spend money. Layering or mixing different lipsticks is an easy and very affordable way to create brand new lip colours. You can take a small amount of each lipstick and mix it separately before applying with a lip brush. Try an ombre look on your lips with different shades or use a gloss over a matte lipstick base to add a different colour and texture to your look.

Being a makeup enthusiast doesn’t mean you have to go broke! Which tip did you find the most useful? I’d love to hear from you in the comments with any other thrifty advice for getting the most out of your cosmetics 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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