Makeup can be really expensive, especially if you’ve just started building a makeup kit. Some products will seem great at first and then turn out not to work at all, other products will improve as you learn how to use them.
So what are some tricks you can use to make your heard earned money last a bit longer?
Knowing there’s always going to be some smart-ass who will say ‘just don’t buy makeup’, let me just say that I’m entirely aware that’s the cheapest option of all. It’s however a pretty useless tip to give someone trying to build a makeup collection or kit without breaking the budget. Some of these are aimed at people just starting out, others at people aiming to build a sizeable collection or kit.
- Sign up for loyalty deals.
Both Sephora and Mecca have points based loyalty programs that are free to join. One of the best things about these programs is that you get free sample boxes every now and then with Mecca. With Sephora, you need to spend 250 AUD to be upgraded to the Beauty Pass that gets you decent benefits, which is a bit of a downer.
This also includes getting cards at places like Priceline or any other place where you shop more than once or twice per year. At worst it costs you nothing, at best you get the chance to try high end products at home and get access to unique benefits.
2. Consider longevity
It’s not always easy to know which items to splurge on and which you should be more conservative with. A good thing to keep in mind is the longevity of the product combined with how often you use it. Mascaras are notorious for having short longevity and it’s really easy to tell when it has gone off, it stinks. If you’re not an everyday mascara user, consider buying smaller sized products.
Here’s an example. Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara can be bought at Sephora for 19 AUD if you buy the travel sized option. If you buy the full sized version, it will cost you 40 AUD. These two items have the same longevity. They’ll last at least 3-4 months according to the description. If you know there’s no way you’ll use all of the full sized product before those four months have passed, get the small version. It’s incredibly annoying to have to throw out an expensive product because it has gone off.
You can read up on longevity online quite easily, but as a general rule, liquids and powders last longer than creme or oil based products. Thus it might be worth splurging on a good versatile eyeshadow palette since it’s one of the products that will last the longest.
3. Clean your tools
When you put a dirty applicator or tool into a product, it brings in a lot of additional bacteria. That bacteria then parties in your product until you reapply it to your face. Not only can this cause skin issues, but it also causes the product to go off early. Powder compacts is a good example of this. Clean the applicator every now and then and have a layer of plastic between the applicator and the product to minimise the risk of a bacterial infestation. As a side note, don’t pump your mascara. Swirl it instead. Pumping brings additional air into the product which makes it dry out faster and indeed helps bacteria grow.
4. Buy multipurpose products.
There’s this odd trend in makeup at the moment where you need a unique item for every single little thing you want to do. Spoiler alert, you don’t. Lipsticks can be used as blushes, just to give a very common example. I don’t have any specific brow products because I almost always leave them alone. When I do need to add a little bit of colour too them, I use an eyeshadow. Not once have I been told that it looks weird, in fact I’ve gotten compliments for my makeup when I’ve done it. However, if I were to tell people that it was indeed eyeshadow on my brows, they’d look at me as if I’d told them I brush my teeth with vaseline. If you already have a product that gets the job done, use it.
5. Buy products for men.
The only thing you need to keep in mind here is to ensure you don’t get that overwhelming shaving foam scent that a lot of men’s products happen to be infused with. In saying that, if you use shaving cream rather than waxing or any other method for hair removal… 9 out of 10 times, you’ll get a high quality product for a better price if it was designed for men. If your legs feel a bit itchy after shaving, use a men’s shaving balm for sensitive skin. You get more product for the same price and it does a great job. Same thing with hair spray and wax: same quality, better price.
6. Store things properly
When it’s extremely hot or humid, your makeup can react in some interesting ways. Mainly by sweating or melting, but exposing makeup to extreme temperatures can also change the product on a chemical level in ways that are more difficult to detect until you use the product. Some people store their most sensitive products in the fridge, but usually it’s enough if you ensure that it is in a relatively cool area. Move your makeup to a cooler part of the room or move a fan to be closer to your makeup table. If you’re investing a lot in products like lipstick, ask which temperatures that product can survive.
7. Wait until the hype has settled.
Like any gamer will know, consoles drop in price when they’ve been out for a while. Makeup is kinda the same. When a product is going through the ‘hyped as fuck’ stage, don’t buy it. Wait until the hive mind has moved on to something else. Then read the reviews. Give others a chance to experiment with it and be able to truly test the product before you trust their words. A lot of YouTubers give only first impression videos of a product and thus don’t test for longevity or versatility. When it has been out a while, you’re more likely to get reviews that represent the product. Not to mention that you’re more likely to see the product on sale or in a value set when it has been out for a while.
8. Read the list of ingredients
As you know, or at least should know, all makeup contains chemicals. Knowing a little bit about these chemicals can help you determine if a product is for you. On a very basic level, it’s checking for things like alcohol. This is one of the things I always do with skincare products since my skin tends to react badly to alcohol. If you’re struggling with mild-medium acne, you might want to look up benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. The idea that things you can’t pronounce are inherently harmful is an outright lie. By learning what ingredients to look for, you’re rather likely to decrease the number of products that don’t work for you after you’ve purchased them. Knowledge is power. Or at least a chance to save.
9. Buy online
A lot of websites have deals where you get free shipping if you spend a certain amount, combine this with the fact that a lot of makeup is more expensive in Australia than overseas… With a bit of maths and currency conversion, you might discover that it’s actually cheaper for you to buy things overseas and having them shipped to Australia. Even if they don’t, certain brands are a lot cheaper where the sheer number of products you can get for a certain sum is still greater than what you could find in Australia. ColourPop is an example of such a brand since their products often cost around 5 USD each. Geek Chic Cosmetics have free international shipping if you buy for more than 100 dollars. Bulk orders from overseas can sometimes be cheaper in the long run if you’re trying to build a sizeable collection.