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Beauty and the Budget: The Makeup Edition

September 18, 2018

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Welcome back to part two of our beauty and the budget series! This week, we’re leaving the hair behind and are diving deep into the world of makeup.

In case you missed our last beauty and the budget blog on hair care, click here to read the full article.

Makeup Bag

In order to come up with our best makeup and money-saving tips, we took to our offices to gain some insight from our budget-conscious staff. Here’s what they came up with:

  1. Be smart about the products you’re using

    Beauty blenders have taken the cosmetic world by storm because of their uncanny ability to turn your foundation-filled face into a wonderfully blended masterpiece. The unfortunate thing about beauty blenders however, is that you can lose a lot of your foundation in the sponge because of how absorbent they are. If you find yourself losing more product than you’re using, ensure you’re wetting your beauty blender accurately. This not only ensures you get that perfect dewy look, it also helps your foundation go that much further!

    If you’re open to a beauty blender/sponge alternative, try applying your foundation with a brush and then simply use the beauty blender to remove any lines or streaks. This way, you can be sure that you’re not wasting any of that expensive foundation but you’re still getting the flawless look you’re after. Pro tip: try applying your finishing or setting powder with your beauty blender instead of a brush – it decreases waste and helps ensure that makeup is staying put!

    When it comes to mascara, remember that what sets them apart from each other is generally not the formula itself, but the brush. If you have half-full mascaras kicking around because you replaced them with ones you like better, hang onto the brush of the better one once its formula is all gone. You can reuse the brush in your half-full mascaras and more than likely achieve the same result. To make sure that you’re using all your mascara, once it starts getting close to the end, put a few drops of saline in it and give it a swish with your brush – your mascara will be rehydrated and will likely last a few more weeks.

    Next time you’re picking out a new lipstick, give a liquid lipstick a try. These lipsticks are a little pricier upfront, but are designed for long wear meaning you won’t have to constantly reapply for the day. While you can find liquid lipsticks made by many of your favourite luxury brands, we’ve found that some less expensive brands offer products that are equally as good quality. Here are a few of our favourites:

  2. Pick up some free samples!

    We’re not sure which part about free cosmetic samples is better – the fact that they’re free, or the fact that you get to try a small amount of makeup to see if you like it before splurging on a product that you may never use again. Because the makeup industry has blown up to the proportion that it has in 2018, there are plenty of retailers who are willing to give you free samples of their best-sellers. Some of these retailers include Sephora, MAC, Ulta and Clinique. Don’t forget to hit up department stores with makeup counters, either – along with their makeup displays they are usually provided with some testers or samples to give to customers who inquire (although not everyone does!)

  3. Makeup Subscription boxes

    In addition to free samples, there are a number of different (and cheap) subscription boxes that are delivered on a monthly basis and offer, on average, five to seven beauty products in each. While they might not be a great option if you’re picky about your products, they are perfect if you’re just starting out or are looking to add some alternative items to your makeup routine. Here are a few of our budget-friendly boxes:

    • Target Beauty Box – that’s right, Target has a subscription box (well kind of) and it will cost you under $10 a month! Although it’s not officially a subscription box, Target releases new beauty boxes about every other month, and they sell out within hours because they are that good. The value is always great, they come with Target coupons, and they have a good mix of samples and full-size items.
    • Walmart Beauty Box – Although this box only ships to the U.S., it’s a steal at only $5 per month! In your Walmart Beauty Box, you’ll find beauty samples and tips on products sold at Walmart and on Walmart.com.
    • Ipsy – last, but certainly not least, we have the Ipsy subscription bag that goes for approximately $15CAD (depending on the exchange rate). We’re calling this one a subscription bag because Ipsy sends you five beauty and makeup samples each month PLUS a makeup bag! This is one of the best beauty subscription boxes in terms of retail value compared to cost – most bags have values of $40 or more. It’s also a great subscription for getting full-size makeup. The brands are a mix of high-end, mid-range and drugstore brands, so expect to get some cheaper makeup. (And they also occasionally send beauty tools like brushes, tweezers, etc.)
  1. Commit to going bare-faced every once in a while

    Many of us do it – wake up, shower, apply makeup and do our hair before embarking on our day. But what if we made a commitment to ourselves to go two days per week without any makeup at all – could you do it? Not only would this benefit your skin’s health, but it would also save you some coin. You may not see immediate benefits, but as a long-term investment you’re definitely going to spend less money on cosmetics by taking some time off of them. Who knows, you may end up feeling liberated on those two days per week and choose to wear less makeup on the other five days, or extend that two-day period to three! The less makeup we wear, the less makeup we pay for – it’s just that simple.

At the end of the day, one of the most important things to remember about living in a culture that is obsessed with physical appearance is that it doesn’t need to consume you or your wallet. You can look and feel just as fantastic as the next person, but you can cut some corners in the process to better suit your budget. Everyone ages eventually, but it’s up to you to decide how gracefully that happens.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s dive into the budget-conscious world of makeup. Stay tuned for our next beauty and the budget blog where we take on the ever-evolving world of skincare!

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