Beauty On A Budget

Last Updated on January 21, 2019

Today’s post comes to you courtesy of my friend, former roommate, and fellow blogger, Debbie. If you are interested in contributing a guest post to my blog, please contact me. I’d love to feature your post! Enjoy!

Hello readers of My Life I Guess… My name is Debbie, and I’m from the blog CosmeticsCounsel. I also run a YouTube channel under the same name. I’ve known Amanda for a long time now, we actually went to the same University, and lived together for a couple of years.

My blog and YouTube channel are beauty focused, with product reviews, make-up tutorials and other beauty related content. While my writing style and typical topics of discussion are much different than hers, she’s given me a chance to be a guest blogger here!

So I’ve done a lot of thinking since Amanda proposed this idea to me, and I wanted to share with you my best tips for finding and building a makeup collection you can be proud of and excited about, on a budget.


Discount Websites

My biggest tip when it comes to saving money on beauty products is making use of discount websites. These websites often feature makeup and skincare, bath and body products, hair care, hair styling and many other products on huge discount. Who doesn’t love a good deal? Often, they are free to sign up, and if you are on the lookout, you can save a lot of money!

My favourites are:

  • Hautelook: This website features new ‘beauty’ promotions almost daily, often including higher end brands and sought after makeup items from companies such as theBalm, Too Faced, Stila and Urban Decay. Other reputable beauty product brands I’ve seen are Dr. Brandt, Macadamia hair products, Alterna and many more.
  • Beyond The Rack (affiliate link): While this website is more focused on fashion rather than beauty, I’ve seen great deals on skincare from companies such as Clarins, a higher-range skincare brand. I’ve also ordered some MAC products from this site in the past.
  • All Cosmetics Wholesale: A massive website with great deals on all sorts of makeup brands!


Value Sets

Value sets are a great way to save money. Many brands offer them, often with trial sizes of products. This way, you end up being able to try more expensive brands without breaking your bank and you can make a more informed decision on whether the full size product is worth the price. The best place I’ve found that sells these is Sephora. (You can find their value sets here.)


Multipurpose Products

Using the same product for multiple things is a great way to save money. Just because a product is marketed as one thing, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it as another.

  • lipstick as cream blush
  • eye shadow as a highlighter (if it is a light, shimmery shade)
  • bronzer as an eye shadow
  • eye shadow as a bronzer
  • concealer as an eye shadow primer

When you start to think about your products in this way, you have so much more than you thought you did to begin with. The possibilities are really endless and you don’t spend any extra money!


DIY Beauty

You can very easily make your own beauty treatments at home. Face masks, hair masks, and body scrubs are super simple to make. You can even make your own bath bombs at home if you are willing to try.

Popular Face Mask Ingredients:

  • bananas – moisturizing
  • honey – antioxidant, good for acne
  • oils: coconut oil, olive oil – nourishing
  • tea tree oil – antiseptic, good for acne
  • vinegar – great for a skin toner
  • milk – rejuvenating
  • oatmeal – soothing
  • yogurt – cleanse skin and tighten pores

Popular Hair Mask Ingredients:

  • avocado – revitalizes scalp, controls frizz, adds shine
  • bananas – hydrates, smooths hair
  • mayonnaise – restores moisture and vitality
  • beer – adds shine to hair
  • eggs – proteins and natural moisturizers
  • oils – coconut and olive oil – hair growth and conditioning
  • honey – vitamins, minerals and moisturizers


Be Creative – Think Outside The Box!

You can save money if you think differently about where to shop for beauty products. I am constantly on the lookout for makeup and beauty products in clearance sections of drugstores and grocery stores. I very often check Dollarama for makeup and beauty products because sometimes regular brands can be found there for a great price! Think, if a company is repackaging their product, sometimes the excess with the old packaging gets sent to stores like Dollarama and you can pick it up for dirt cheap.

Dollar Tree is also a great place to find items at a lower cost. Sometimes they will have brands you’ve never heard of, with products that are meant to be comparable to more expensive products. They’re worth a try, right? You might find something you love!


Save Your Money

If you DO want to splurge on a makeup item, or other beauty product – plan for it. Save your money and cut spending in frivolous items in order to get that item you really want. Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not always that simple. Before you buy something, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want this item, or do I NEED it?
  • Do I have something like this item already?
  • If I do have something like this, do I have a backup of this type of product already?
  • Do I need a backup of this particular product?
  • How many hours of work is the price of this product equal to? Is it worth it?
  • Is this item going to help me in some way?
  • Will I keep thinking about this item if I don’t purchase it?

This can help you to weed out unnecessary purchases.

I hope that you guys found this post helpful and that you’ll come check out my blog or YouTube channel! Thanks Amanda for letting me take over your blog!

– xo –

Debbie (CosmeticsCounsel)


Do you have any tips to add for finding and building a makeup collection on a budget?


I don’t know much about makeup and beauty products, so I wanted to thank Debbie for contributing such a great post on the topic to my blog!


My Life, I Guess

My Life, I Guess is a personal finance and career blog by Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and older millennial from Ontario, Canada that strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it - it's FREE!

16 thoughts on “Beauty On A Budget”

  1. Thanks for all the tips, Debbie 🙂 I am soooo not a makeup person at all, so this is almost all news to me!
    I see the universe has aligned and it is makeup post week (Frugalwoods, too).

  2. Great article and ideas! Love the ideas of making your own concoctions and masks. Also if you have discount stores near you like Big Lots or in New England there are Ocean State Job lots (CT &RI anyway) TJMaxx Marshals(not sure if Canada has those but I have found some discounted high-end brands or some very great discontinued drugstore and even current drugstore brands at very low prices (just found one of my fave concealers the “old cover girl Olay concealers for $3) Definitely check this places out before buying full price!

  3. These are some great tips! Last year, I stopped buying skincare products and saved over $200/year as a result. I just buy a huge tub or raw honey, coconut oil, a bottle of argan oil and witch hazel for my skin regimen. They are so much cheaper than buying separate products like conditioners, masks, toners, moisturizers, lotions, etc. They all have multiple uses so I’m so glad I made the switch 🙂

    • And your skin is probably thanking you for it, right!? It’s crazy how well our skin responds to simple and basic natural skincare when the anti-aging industry is one of the biggest money makers out there.

      • I basically stopped using all cleansers on my skin – except for water, a tea tree oil from Lush, and a moisturizer – and my skin is clearer than ever before, but could still be better. Maybe I should look into more natural products to see if that finally does the trick?

  4. I’ve totally done DIY and multipurposing products, residually since they usually expire before I can use them all up for their intended purpose anyways! I’ll have to look into the discount sites, though!!!

    • You’re right, most of the time products do expire before you can completely use them up for their intended purpose! A lot of people don’t even realize that makeup and beauty products even have an expiry date! I’m glad you’re gonna look into the sites – you can save money on great items if you’re on the lookout!

  5. I like the DIYing it yourself suggestion. It’s actually really inexpensive and pretty easy to make your own lip balm and I’ve heard great things about how easy it is to make bath bombs before too.

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