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How to Save Money on Makeup

by Kimberly Perez


Photo by Akintomide Akindele from Pexels


Makeup is something you use almost every day, but if you don’t know ways to save money on it then there's a chance you'll end up broke. There’s not just one lipstick color. There are hundreds. Even more when you consider matte vs liquid lipstick vs gloss. Extrapolate that over every beauty item and it’s easy to see why you have so much makeup. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to save money without cutting beauty completely off your list. The following are my best tips and tricks on how to save money on makeup.

Shop The Sales

Maybe one of the easiest ways to save money is to shop the sales. Find out when your favorite makeup brand has a large annual or semi-annual sale. Several large makeup companies have twice-a-year sales that their loyal customers look forward to. These sales are often during the holiday season but I’ve seen them during spring and summer as well. Once you know about upcoming sales, hold off on replenishing your supply until you can get it at a good price.

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Everyone knows one of the best ways to save money on makeup is to buy in bulk when the price is right and a lot of the time, it’s cheaper to buy products online. When you see an online sale, if you buy enough or have a code, you won’t even have to pay for shipping. Sign up for email updates from your favorite brands to receive alerts, or frequently check their social media to find out when your favorite products will go on sale. We all have that one product that we couldn’t live without. Whether that’s your foundation or your eyeliner, as soon as it goes on a really good sale, stock up! This is a product that you know you love and that you use at every possible opportunity.

Only Buy The Most Important Products

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but one thing I can’t go without is mascara. It makes my tired eyes look more vibrant and alive. Similarly, if I can choose one thing to wear for the rest of my life alongside mascara, it would be eyeliner. It is my signature look and I don’t mind spending a little more money on a quality eyeliner that I know will last and hold. Choose the important products and treat them as a splurge – or the only makeup you purchase at all.


When shopping in-store, ask for samples. If you want to try out a new brand, samples are the perfect way to test out a new product you’re unsure will fit your skin needs. It saves you money on makeup and also gives you a little trial of the product before you commit fully. Some stores and brands offer refunds if the product doesn’t meet expectations. Learn more about stores and brands’ policies, to see if you can return items you don’t like.

Unsure of your shade? Sample small before you buy big. Beauty products come in a ton of different colors, and it’s sometimes hard to get the correct shade for your skin tone. Liz Rettiz sells travel-size foundations that make it easier to try multiple shades without spending a lot. When you’ve picked out the best shade, you can buy the full-sized version then.

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Finish What You Have

Many of us abandon our makeup before we even finish using them because we decide we don’t like something about them. Make it your mantra to not buy any more makeup until you finish what you have. It’s incredibly easy to accumulate more and more makeup until it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to get through it all. If this sounds familiar, try to instead stop yourself from buying any more cosmetics until you finish what you have. As mentioned above, makeup does have an expiration date so you don’t want to risk having to toss everything in the trash.

Often, the applicators and pumps that dispense makeup leave a lot behind. Because I don’t like wasting a single product, I try to squeeze every last drop out of my foundation that I can, and run my brushes through broken highlighter until there are pretty much no crumbs left! Make the most of your purchase by cutting off tops of squeeze bottles to get the last little bit, and buy a small beauty spatula to scrape the inside of the glass jars. Before recycling the containers, get every last drop out of that bottle.

Fix Broken Makeup

If you break an eye shadow kit or crack the lid of a compact, you don’t have to throw the product away. Instead, scrape the remains of the product into a tiny jar or box with a lid, and continue to reuse the product.

Keep Track Of Makeup Expiration Dates

Yes, makeup expires! Some quicker than others. If you have tons of opened makeup that is getting older, you may be about to throw away hundreds of dollars. Check to see when your makeup expires and make it a point to use those items first. If you have a lot that needs to be used up quickly, going on a makeup spending freeze saves even more money.

Different types of makeup products have different expiration dates. For instance, you should only keep eye makeup, such as mascara, for three months. On the other end of the spectrum, dry makeup, such as blush, lasts for two years. If you buy makeup, make sure you can use it before the expiration date. If you can’t use it all, you should consider buying less.

Skincare First

Think about it… Your skin is the canvas for your makeup. No amount of quality cosmetics will make up for basic skin issues. If your skin is dry, patchy, or oily, you’re going to use a lot more makeup to get the look you want. Dry skin, blemishes, enlarged pores, etc must be treated for your makeup to wear well and look good. If you’re going to spend more on anything, splurge on a quality skincare kit and use it regularly.

A good skincare routine includes removing makeup at the end of the day. If you leave it on your face overnight, your pores will be clogged and will appear dull for the next day’s application. Remember, skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. Understanding what your skin wants and needs to look its best can be done with inexpensive brand products.

Learn To Use Primer

This is one exception to the rule. It does require you to purchase another product, but it will save you in the long run! Buying makeup primers that will give you an all-day look for your eyeshadow and foundation is especially important. Without it, it doesn’t go on smoothly, and you'll have to use more products for smoothing creases or smudges in the long run.

Use A Setting Product

Every time you reapply or touch up your makeup, you’re using more. To combat this, always use a setting product to hold your look in place. Topcoats for your nails, lipstick treatments, and setting spray/ loose powder are wise investments and are typically less expensive than products with color and pigments.

SPF Everyday

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on the best skincare products, you're still ruining your delicate skin when you skip applying the right type of sunscreen to your face daily. Many studies show that sunscreen not only reduces your risk of skin cancer but using it daily also slows down aging. In other words, sunscreen prevents dark spots, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of premature aging. Sunblock is seriously inexpensive and it’s important to start applying SPF to your face each day going forward for healthier-looking skin.

Use Quality Makeup Brushes

Sometimes it really doesn’t matter what product you use as long as it is applied properly. You can have the most expensive foundation but if you’re using low-quality brushes, it can still look streaky. Applying eye shadow with a Q-tip is not going to look as good as an eyeshadow brush no matter what brand you choose. A good quality makeup applicator and brush give you precision resulting in an even coverage and a nice finish for inexpensive makeup.

If you do use quality makeup tools, they can be expensive so it’s essential to know how to properly take care of and clean them. Makeup brushes, sponges, and applicators last longer when you wash them in soap and water every three to four months. Carefully rinse the brushes and applicators, squeezing away any excess water, then leave them to air-dry on a clean towel. While you may initially spend more on these, they’ll outlast numerous purchases of low-quality brushes over time. Always apply cosmetics with an applicator, not your fingers.

Go Double-Duty

Since makeup has expiration dates, finding products you can use for more than one purpose can save money because you have less to throw away. Have you ever heard of BB Creams? CC? Even DD? Research the differences among them and then try one out for yourself. You might find that you don’t need as many products as you thought! There are many products you can buy that can do more than one function. For example, you can use some gel blushes as lipstick, lipstick can be used as a cream blush, eye shadow kits for blush, as eyeliner, and also as nail polish when added to a clear base. Just make sure that the makeup product is safe for use in another area of your face, especially your eyes and mouth. Our Diamond Glitter Pressed Powder Palette is suitable to use for the eyes, lip, and cheek.

Find Your Signature Look

A signature look sounds a lot fancier than it is. Usually, you have a go-to eye makeup routine or daily makeup that you know how to do well, for example, mine is the signature cat-eye. It took numerous amounts of trial and error, and tedious YouTube searching for the best tricks, but I managed to find my way of doing it flawlessly, and so of course it is my everyday staple to showcase this mastery. By narrowing down your number of looks, you can cut down on the amount of makeup you need. You may have 10 tubes of lipstick and 20 eyeshadows, but it’s unlikely that you consistently use all of them. I suggest perfecting a daily look, classic evening look, and bold party looks.

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Use Less

Don’t overdo it when you apply makeup. Makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty, not hide it. You only need a couple of coats of mascara and one coat of blush to last the entire day. Using a damp makeup sponge to apply foundation cuts down on the amount of foundation you use. Go even further and don’t wear makeup every day; save your products for when you have special plans, instead. When you use less makeup, not only do you save money because your makeup lasts a lot longer but you’re ultimately letting your skin breathe and regenerate naturally. Remember, less is more in this case.

Go makeup-free

It might not be the most appealing thing to go au natural, but it’s great for your skin and your budget. If you go makeup-free on those days that you are just hanging out around the house or running a few errands, you could be saving yourself from spending more money in the long run. It’s an easy way to save on makeup, and you don’t even have to do anything differently!

Find Budget-Friendly Cosmetic Brands

If you need to save money, the easiest option is to find a less expensive makeup brand. This may seem obvious, but many people think they must buy salon-quality shampoo or department store makeup. If you have always used pricey name-brand products, you may not realize how many great, affordable makeup brands exist now.

If you’re looking for a cruelty-free makeup brand that adheres to clean standards, this is the perfect time to look into Liz Rettiz Cosmetics. Not only do they pride themselves on cruelty-free products, but the brand gives back to animal rescue charities with every purchase.

Use Natural Alternatives

Look for clean and vegan cosmetics. Unlike other options, vegan cosmetics use natural and gentle ingredients suitable for sensitive and condition-prone skin, while many non-vegan options use harsher ingredients which can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions and breakouts. Go a step further and opt for cruelty-free and sustainable brands that give back to the community.

Don’t Overlook Drugstores

Drugstore prices do not always mean bad products. My all-time favorite mascara that I have been loyal to for years is from Maybelline. While drugstore makeup brands are inexpensive they are almost preferable to supposedly higher quality brands - paying more doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll give you better results. Plus, you can always find and print a ton of coupons for makeup, too! Combine these with store sales and extra rewards, and you will seldom have to pay full price. Keep in mind that a lot of emerging brands appear in your local drugstore before making their mark in the beauty world. You can find a lot of great quality products at affordable prices if you just take a closer look through the makeup aisle.

Stop Watching “Haul” Videos

Did you know that many of the beauty haul videos on YouTube are made up of products brands sent to the YouTuber for free? The brand may have even paid them to include their makeup in their video. Yes, even for the 16-year-old beauty gurus! While makeup hauls are fun to watch, the efficacy or benefits of the products are often overhyped. It ends up making you feel like you’re missing out on amazing products which can cause you to go on a cosmetics shopping spree of your own.

Avoid Impulse Buys

It’s so easy to impulse buy, especially when the price is $10 or less. BUT $10 here and there quickly adds up so it’s good to be aware if you tend to do this. Sometimes impulse purchasing becomes more of an issue and is compulsive. Is it really necessary to buy every product that goes viral? So many of us love to experiment with makeup, and there isn’t anything wrong with it, but it does hurt us when it comes to saving money. If you clean up your makeup bag and become more minimalistic, then you won’t have to waste money on expensive products that you may never use more than once or twice. This doesn’t mean you have to go and throw out all your expensive makeup! Maybe just don’t buy every product you see the next time you go shopping.

Keep A Makeup Wishlist

A makeup wishlist should have a handful of items that you have been eyeing for a long time. This includes high-end luxury products and classics that seem out of your price range. Instead of buying another shade of lipstick you don’t need, put that money towards saving for something on your wishlist. By doing this, you will stop to think more critically about your purchases and will find that doing without becomes easier and easier. The motivator is that by the end, you’ll eventually have enough saved to splurge on your makeup wishlist. Yay, positive reinforcement!

Final Word

Saving money on makeup doesn’t need to be restrictive. There are many easy and realistic options to do that won’t feel limiting. By combining a few of these tips, you’ll be able to spend less money on makeup.

Follow us on Instagram for even more affordable skin care tips and don't forget to take advantage of our sales!

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