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Beauty & Fashion

Flawless Makeup on a College Budget

If you love to wear makeup, but find it a little too expensive for your budget, here are some tips to help you look great without spending a lot!


Only splurge on a few key items that are really important to you.

For example:

  • Buy a really nice base lipstick and then use coats under or over it to change the tone.
  • Get that fancy new fiber-last mascara everyone is talking about, but only use it on special occasions.
  • Use a drugstore brand of face wash, but splurge on a small bottle of under-eye cream that helps with dark circles.

Coats of Lipstick


Refresh aging makeup. 

As a general rule, foundation, concealer, eye shadow and blush are good for two years, and lipstick and lip and eye pencils are usable for 12 to 18 months. Mascara and eye creams are the most perishable, lasting about six months.

For example:

  • Add some moisturizer to foundation that is getting dry.
  • Put broken lipsticks into a pot and add a little petroleum jelly to make it a gloss.
  • A teeny tiny dab of eye makeup remover spruces up pots of liquid eyeliner.

Pot of Liquid Eyeliner

Shop strategically to get stuff for free.

For example:

  • Wait to buy Clinique products until bonus time. If you spend a certain amount, most of the time about $27, then you will get a set with lots of products for free. (The amount may vary store by store, but the limit is always less than the value of the bonus gift.) The gift includes favorite cosmetic products, as well as some new stuff to try that’s in a sample size.
  • When you shop at beauty supply stores like Ulta and Planet Beauty, ask at the counter if they have any samples.
  • Anytime you are at a store buying one of your favorites, double check and see if there are any that include extra products. Sometimes when cosmetic companies are wanting loyal costumers to try their new products they will include a sample within the packaging of another.

Clinique Bonus Time


Learn which products have dual uses.

For example:

  • Coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover, conditioner, shaving cream and moisturizer!
  • Concealer can be used to cover dark circles and blemishes, and as an eye shadow base.
  • Dark eye shadows can be used as a soft eyeliner (and some even as a brow darkener) when wet.

Coconut Oil


What budget beauty tips do YOU have? Share them in the comments section below!

Image: Thinkstock


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  1. beautiful_ending

    Posted by beautiful_ending on March 16, 2015 at 21:41

    I’m a huge fan of Ulta brand products, and a couple times a year they have a fabulous sale. they often do like a foundation/mascara sale, 2 for $10 (the original for one costs $12). and they do that for all of their products and make them way cheap. I buy them and often I get two, but don’t open them until I’ve used one of them. best sale ever!

  2. Trinity

    Posted by Trinity on March 16, 2015 at 20:17

    The website missA has makeup and jewelry for $1 each. I don’t know about the quality of it because I just ordered some stuff the other day and it hasn’t come in the mail yet.