Friday, June 15, 2012

How I Save Money On Makeup

Let's state the obvious: High quality makeup can be VERY expensive. It gets worse when you are allergic to practically every makeup brand out there, such as myself. From drugstore to high end, there are only a few brands that I can actually use. Also, it's not so much the brand but the ingredients in a given product. For example, I can use Too Faced eyeliner, but their mascaras and eyeshadows irritate my eyes and make them very itchy.

I don't have the extra income to constantly try new brands and take the risk of being allergic to it, so when I find a product that I can use, I stick to it. But what if that product is expensive? If I could use a $5 mascara rather than a $20 mascara, I'd do so in a heartbeat. But I'm not as lucky as many people who have no reactions to mascaras, so managing my money is very very important to me. Also, I'm not a makeup fanatic, so I don't have 4 foundations, 8 blushes, 100 eyeshadows; I own a normal amount of makeup.

Another thing you must always remember is: "A high price does NOT equal high quality." I recently purchased my first M.A.C. lipstick and I do not like all! I find the packaging to be quite cheap, my Avon lipsticks come in beautiful high quality packaging for a lot less money. I also did not like M.A.C.'s formula, it's very drying and does not last long on my lips unless I apply a lip balm and gloss over it, then the color looks GORGEOUS. But I think I'll stick with my Avon lipsticks that go on smoothly without having to apply a lip balm AND a lip gloss to have it look nice. I have not found a brand, whether drugstore or high end, that can beat Avon lipsticks <3 (; So there you go, I just recommended a brand hehe ^_^

Here are the makeup brands I can use:

For eyes:
Urban Decay
Physician's Formula (only their mascara)
Too Faced (only their eyeliner and eyeshadow primer)
Eyeko (found them through Birchbox)

For face [Makeup]:
Urban Decay
Physicians Formula
Laura Mercier
Laura Geller
Make Up For Ever
Dr. Jart

For lips:
Avon (My absolute favorite lipstick brand out there)
M.A.C. (which I don't like very much)
Urban Decay
Sephora (lip glosses; I don't like their lipsticks)

How I save money on makeup:

1. I try to purchase all my products online | Whenever I purchase from, I am guaranteed 3 free samples with my order. Free samples give me the opportunity to try a new brand and see whether I am allergic to it or not. Also, whether you purchase in-store or online, try to become a member of stores like ULTA or Sephora where you accumulate points and then exchange them for a deluxe sized sample [usually 100 points] or a kit [usually 500 points]. The reason I prefer over the store itself is because my Sephora store never has free samples to give me, and as you can see I love samples (; ULTA usually never gives me the promised samples I ask for online, so I avoid them unless there's a sale with something I need.

2. I like to purchase during the holidays and sales | During Christmas time, I have noticed that company's will come out with value kits that will easily save you hundreds. I remember getting my mom a Smashbox value kit with tons of Smashbox products for only $36, and it had a value of $146. It included a full size face primer, blush, bronzer, lip stick, eye shadows, eye shadow primer, and more I can't remember. But that alone saved $110.....$110!!! That's insane! My recommendation is to save your money during the year and during holidays or sales purchase the best value kit you can find, or a brand you have been wanting to try. Also, palettes will save you more money than buying the eyeshadows individually. The individual eyeshadows I own have been gifts or from sample boxes, which is my third way of saving money on makeup.

3. I am subscribed to 3 $10 sample box subscriptions | Yes $30 a month may break the bank for some people when it comes to makeup and beauty, but I can afford it so I choose to spend it. Keep in mind that I do not purchase clothes, leisure products, or any other makeup during any given month (unless it needs replacing). Those $30 is all I spend on myself. But in doing so, on average, I receive 12-18 deluxe size to full size products. One time I received a $29.50 blush in my $10 box, last month I received a $22 eyeliner, and this month I received a $15 eye stick. If I were to go and pay full price for those mere 3 products I would spend $29.50 + $22 + $15 = $66.50! That's A LOT of money if you're on a budget or just trying to save for the future like I am. The ones I'm subscribed to are Birchbox, LookBag, and now MyGlam.

My favorite of the 3 is Birchbox because I can accumulate points and then get $X off a future purchase. My favorite FREE way of getting points is by giving feedback to the products I received in a month. I get 10 points for every product I give feedback to and when I get to 100 points I get $10 off. Right now I'm at 181 points, which I've gotten by leaving feedback and purchasing a product or two. My goal is to get to 400 points by not purchasing anything. There's a moisturizer that I loved but it's $44! By getting to 400 points, only by leaving feedback and not spending money, I will get that moisturizer for $4!! That's awesome (; You can also get points for buying a product through them, for every $1 you spend you get 1 point.

Also, I had actually unsubscribed from MyGlam after being subscribed for 3 months when the company first began because it was not sending good sized samples. But now that has changed and in the past 2 months I have liked what others have received, so I resubscribed and should be receiving my next bag in July.

Also, I share my samples with my mom, who is allergic to a lot of products (I get it from her hehe).

4. I bid on eBay | This one requires patience and searching. I once got a $64 Urban Decay palette for $15 on eBay, that's an INSANE STEAL :D On eBay, I also purchase my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for $30 rather than the usual $50, and yes, it's authentic and not a fake. But like I said, this requires patiences and constant searching.

5. I try before I buy | I never ever ever ever purchase anything unless I have tried it (except that M.A.C. lipstick >.<). This is why I like stores that allow me to try the product before I purchase it. This is very difficult to find in drugstores, which is why friends come in handy (; My best friend purchase 2 of the Revlon lip butters, which I was skeptical to buy because I didn't know if my lip/chin area would get itchy because of it. She let me try one and what do you know, no reaction ^_^ So once I'm finished with my tinted Nivea lip balms, I might just try it (;

If you can use any makeup brand without any allergic reactions, here are some ways I've seen and helped others save money on cosmetics:

6. Coupons | In the newspaper, I always see coupons for brands like Revlon, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Sonia Kashuk, Almay, Physician's Formula and Loreal. You can also find coupons online, print them, and use them at the store.

7. Dollar Tree | I always see brands like E.L.F., L.A. Colors, Almay, Jordana, and N.Y.C at Dollar Tree. I can't use these brands but I've heard good things about them and you can find these for a dollar which is cheaper than what CVS or Walgreens might be selling them for.

8. Make a wish list or ask for a gift card | If you're a makeup enthusiast, make a wish list of products you would love to receive from family or close friends. This can be for Christmas or your birthday. Or even better, ask for a gift card so you can spend the money on whatever you like. I prefer to give visa gift cards rather than Sephora, Target, or ULTA gift cards, so that they can spend their money at a high end store or a drugstore, and try products they've been wanting(:


  1. i loved this post!! I've been realizing that most make-up I've used recently(say eye liner and mascara) irratates my eye so I think ill try one of those subscriptions.

  2. I remember in one of your vlOgs u said ur boyfriend gets you one of your subscriptions, so does that mean you're getting four boxes a mOnth?! It must feel like your birthday every month lol! <3 if birchbox etc was available in my country I would so be on that wagon! Sucks to be in a small place :/

  3. Where are you? Is everything ok? Please, post something :)

  4. what happened to your youtube channel??!?!

  5. Aily, what's going on? We miss you and your great advice, please come back!