beauty hacks on a budget
beauty hacks on a budget

Trending Beauty Hacks On a Budget

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Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

With “Euphoria” recently wrapping its season finale, the internet is buzzing about the show’s dramatic makeup looks.

If you’re wondering how to perfectly achieve these and other unique beauty styles… well, you should probably hire a professional makeup artist. But if you want to come pretty close – and pay a lot less money – check out these budget-friendly beauty hacks.

Start with a dewy look

One of the major beauty themes in “Euphoria” is a dewy, no-makeup look. To recreate this at home, makeup artist Anna Bearman says you should start with moisturizer. Ideally, you should moisturize as soon as you wash your face or get out of the shower. This will help seal in the moisture and lock in a dewy look.

Bearman recommends the Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion, which only costs $14. You can also use this as a body moisturizer. After moisturizing, use a foundation and concealer to complete your no-makeup look. If you already have a solid foundation and concealer routine, stick with that. There’s no need to buy anything different.

If you’re looking for a new foundation, Maybelline’s Fit Me line costs less than $10 per bottle and has more than 40 shades. 

Look on YouTube for Ideas

No matter what kind of makeup you’re trying to find, Bearman says it’s easy to get cheap ideas from YouTube. Just type in words like “affordable” or “cheap” along with whatever you’re searching for. 

You can also start following YouTubers who focus on ways to create makeup looks for less. Some of Bearman’s recommendations include:

Use Drugstore Picks 

Dramatic eyeliner is a staple for the “Euphoria” characters, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to create your own pronounced look. Bearman’s favorite frugal eyeliner picks include NYX, which is available in most grocery stores and drugstores.

Just like its name suggests, ColourPop has a wide range of colorful eyeliners with drugstore prices.

If you want a regular black eyeliner, Bearman recommends either the regular eyeliner pen or the superfine eyeliner pen from Essence, both of which only cost $2.99. For a dramatic lip, Bearman likes Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks, which are about $9 each. She also likes Milani Color Satement lipliners, which are $5 each.

Compare prices

Just like any other product, prices for makeup items can range widely depending on where you’re shopping. One store may charge $10 for the same mascara that only costs $7 at another store. 

Drugstores usually charge higher prices, so avoid them if you can. Stores like Target and grocery stores often have better prices. Even department stores like Macy’s often have good deals on makeup. 

Make a list of what you want to buy and compare prices at drugstores, grocery stores, department stores, specialty beauty stores and more. You never know who’s having a special sale. 

If you’re shopping online, try to maximize all available discounts and coupons codes. For example, ColourPop offers a 10% discount if you sign up for their email list. Sephora has a free Beauty Insider program you can join to earn rewards and free sample-size cosmetics. 

Follow forums like Reddit’s MUAonthecheap, where users post special sales and both in-person and online coupon codes. Reading forums regularly will also help you figure out what’s a good deal and what’s overpriced.

Find affordable eye crystals 

The eye crystal look is in right now, but it can seem wasteful to spend $10 on gems you can’t wear again. To save money, Bearman suggests buying crystals from arts and craft stores and applying them with eyelash glue. Make sure you don’t get the crystals too close to your eyes.

You can also buy crystal sheets in bulk from Amazon, which are about $2 a sheet. If you don’t need that many eye crystals right now, ask a friend if they want to go in on the deal with you.

Stack coupons

When trying to save money on beauty products, it can be helpful to stack different sales, discounts and coupons. For example, if you have a credit card that offers extra cash back on grocery stores and you found a good deal on eyeliner at a grocery store, make sure to use that credit card when buying the eyeliner.

If you have a Target Red card, you’ll also get 5% off most purchases, including makeup and skincare items. 

Sign up for retailer email newsletters so you can be notified when there’s a sale. Most sales occur around major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Take care of your makeup

One of the easiest ways to save money on beauty is to make your products and tools last as long as possible. Always screw on the cap tightly, especially for items like mascara and eyeliner that can dry out quickly. Don’t store your makeup in extreme temperatures, like your car on hot days.

Also, try to avoid hoarding items. Keep your makeup in the same place so you can easily see what you have and what you need more of. This will prevent you from accidentally buying another clear lip gloss when you already have two.

Try before you buy

If you’re not sure how a certain trend will look on you, visit a store like Sephora where you can try on makeup before you buy it. For example, if you love how teal eyeliner looks on a model, use it on yourself before deciding on the purchase. This will potentially save you from buying items you never end up using.

Ask for samples whenever possible, especially for foundation or concealer. This will help you avoid skin sensitivity issues. Don’t be afraid to return something if it irritates you. Most stores have a 30-day return policy for makeup and skincare, so keep the receipt just in case.

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further

Zina Kumok
Zina Kumok

Written by Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins. More from Zina Kumok