When it comes to looking beautiful, I have learned that being a regular shopper at Sephora isn't always forgiving to my pocketbook. And it doesn't always go over well to explain to my very resourceful husband why I need $100 in makeup every other month. The truth is, I don't need to spend that much and I can still look and feel my best, keep up with the latest trends and even dabble in the extravagant.
I have learned a few great ways to keep my makeup current, trendy and fresh, without breaking the budget. I hope you will find some of these tips useful for a starting point.
For starters, where you shop is going to almost inevitably determine how much you spend. You can get a lot of the same major cosmetics brands at all retailers, at variable prices, so keep that in mind. I tend to do a lot of my cosmetics purchases at the drugstores. Walgreens and CVS have a huge selection of the major brands, while some of the others offer a little less.
If you have plans to head out to a drugstore, browse the online ads first to see what kinds of specials and deals are running. Some of my favorite brands often go on sale for 40-50% off, or buy-one-get-one type discounts as well. Now obviously, you aren't going to find designer cosmetics in a drugstore, however; you might stumble upon some at my next favorite places to shop beauty, Target, Fred Meyer and Walmart.
Before we talk designer cosmetics though, let me show you an example of a great find in Target beauty. I recently started using gel and creme eyeliners because they are the easiest way to perfect the cat-eye and winged looks that have become so popular. I nabbed this Maybelline Creme Liner in the clearance section for 70% off. It was unopened, probably in clearance because not that many people are willing to rock a brown liner, which for me does wonders for my blue eyes.
I always always check the clearance bins in Target beauty when I go there - no matter what I am shopping for that day. I recommend you do the same any time you visit one of these stores as well as the drugstores, but make sure to check packaging for use - you don't want to pick up any items that may have had contact with someone else who felt like testing it out.
These gorgeous bright pink lipsticks were one steal of a deal, costing $1 each. The bold pink/fuchsia/purple lip has been a hot trend this Spring, so I was excited that I could try it out without spending tons of cash on a look I was sort of intimidated by. If you want to try something new with your makeup, don't be afraid to head to the budget brands! NYC New York Color, WetNWild, Milani and Rimmel all make quality products that seem to get better every season! I honestly love these two pink lipsticks and have been impressed with them enough to not have to buy a more expensive brand. I snagged the Milani Lip Flash below on clearance for less than a dollar! Its both a lipcolor or pencil and is again a part of the bold pink trend, but with sparkles for a really adventurous and fun look.
Let's move onto nails - one of my favorite obsessions. I have always loved getting my nails done at the salon, but over the years with less time and less room in my budget for those dates, I have become a big fan of at home mani/pedi's. With practice I've become pretty good at doing them, and have even begun playing with nail art designs. So where can you get awesome nail polish and tools without spending a small fortune? I found the best supply of fun nail polish and tools at Fred Meyer - the Essence brand.
Everything above is Essence brand except for the pedicure kit by Mrs. Manicure, and all of it cost me around $20, less than the price of a salon pedicure! I have to say that not all polishes are made equal and several of the polishes out on the market contain ingredients that are not the best for you to use all of the time. I still think that for occasional use you can use brands like Essence, Sinful Colors, and even these gorgeous Fergie nail colors by WetNWild. All of which cost less than $5/bottle.
To make inexpensive polish go farther, spend more on a quality base coat and topcoat as well as a polish thinner. I prefer Essie millionails, grow stronger and good-to-go for my base and top coats. The polish thinner will help to keep the inexpensive polishes less goopy and thick which can be a problem for a lot of them. If you are able to spend a tad bit more for a quality polish, I would highly recommend Julep polishes through their maven program. You spend $20 per month and receive 2 or more polishes plus product (valued at well over the price you pay) and you get polishes with their 4-Free formula which do not contain the harsh chemicals of some of the other polishes.
But what about those designer brands that cost a fortune!? Well, some of their products truly are incredible!! And you can still get your hands on them for less! One of my all time favorite ways to continually try products I may not go out and buy (mostly because of price) is through IPSY. Ipsy is a $10/month beauty subscription (yes, like Birchbox, but way more awesome!) Each month they send a cosmetic bag filled with 4-5 deluxe samples or even occasionally full sized product. I have tried so many brands I would have never considered. And how can you beat $10 a month!?
To get designer looking nails on the cheap, I love Kiss Nail Dress and Broadway Nails ImPress Manicures. One is appliques that leave your nails looking professionally designed, the other is a press-on nail that is incredibly simple to apply and requires no drying time! Both look great, and last for up to a week or more.
And then of course, there is Sephora! I say, go ahead and get your fix once in a while, but get the most bang for your buck. Try deluxe sample sizes of products you want to try before shelling out big money for something you may not like down the road. Check their website often and even check out the products you want elsewhere, like Amazon or the brand website. Also check brand Facebook pages for discounts and deals that you may not hear about otherwise.
Lastly, make sure you wear a smile on your face and be a loving and joyful person, those are qualities that will make you gorgeous whether your rocking a bold purple lip or brown winged eyeliner - and best of all, they are free!!