Most people I meet (mainly the gentlemen) love this statement “God you must spend a lot on makeup”. Or the ladies often phrase it a little more politely, “oh I could never afford to look like that every day”.
WRONG! There is a huge misconception that taking care of yourself is expensive, that products are overpriced, Australia marks everything up (yes true) and its unaffordable, or there are better things to spend your money on. And I totally 100% agree with that. There ARE better things to spend your money on which is why I’m determined to keep my goo cupboard fully stocked for a small price.
There is also a lot of stigma around buying and using beauty products; you have too much time on your hands, you’re not saving, you’re self -absorbed or narcissistic, you’re high maintenance or spend too much time preening. All of which is a crock of rubbish. Spending the time to slap makeup on your face, spritz some perfume and brush your hair is key in boosting your morale for the day, improving self confidence, creating happy memories, feeling empowered, and plain old looking after yourself. I don’t look like a Disney princess when I wake up so my 15 minute face-hair-perfume routine is a daily essential in making me blend in enough to actually maintain eye contact with the human race for the day.
Back to budgeting!! Here are my top tips on getting all the beauty goodies you ever wanted for a whole lot less.
~Don’t buy anything at full price without looking at cheaper alternatives or waiting for a sale.
My latest foundation favourite is $30 – way over my usual $17 budget. So I wait for the regular Priceline sales or purchase it when I have a voucher earned from my club card. $15 saving. Easy. Then when I’m less fussed about my face and who is seeing it I wear a $7 (!!) alternative to save on the good one. Most of the time the cheaper versions are completely sufficient. Don’t be a makeup snob.
~ Become BEST buddies with every makeup counter chick. Ok not every one because then they’ll catch on to you but one on either end of the department store floor is totally fine. Join their loyalty club (usually free), go to every event they hold that’s free or cheap, go in regularly to browse or buy on sale if you can and they will flood you with free samples, gift bags, event invitations and goodie bags and probably do at least half your makeup on the spot for free just for something to do. I know this from working on a counter. Even paying for a lesson isn’t a bad idea, you learn some tricks and you get your payment back in products – just choose wisely and DO NOT BUY A LIPSTICK. Get a powder or a shimmer brick or even an eyeshadow. Choose products that practically never go off and even better if they have multiple uses like a brick which works as bronzer/shimmer/contour/eyeshadow.
~If you have little spare cash and don’t buy cosmetics and skincare regularly, sign up to a beauty box for 1-3 months. For $15-$20 a month you get a box full of goodies. Some are slightly unhelpful but do your research and it can save you a heap here and there. Bellabox, Violet Box, and Lust-Have It are a few and some even have green/Eco versions. Remember to stop your subscription (usually no charge) once you have a sufficient horde of goo.
~This one may seem a bit far fetched but bear with me. If you have the time and money, go and do a makeup course. Eg a bridal course. (Please do this AT an actual makeup academy not a retail cosmetic brand that has its own “school”. The course can be pricey ($650) but often it comes with a makeup kit and a roll of brushes and the best part is you have the opportunity to pick up a skill that can make you money over the years. Friends daughter is going to her formal? Do her makeup for $30-$60. Offer mates rates. Bridal? No worries, you’re qualified and might have time on the odd Saturday morning with 6 months notice (which is how far ahead you’d probably be booked). Casual work for a makeup counter on weekends? Hundreds of dollars of free product, a few hours of fun not to mention a small pay packet. Birthday parties for young girls, lessons for neighbors. The list is endless providing you have the energy and desire to do it and are willing to practice your skills.
~ On that note, if you do ever have an event coming up and don’t want to pay much to have someone do your makeup professionally, call a makeup school and ask to book a student. This is work experience for them and they need around 400 hours to pass. Same goes for beauty treatments, schools and TAFE offer full beauty services for a fraction of the cost as long as you’re happy to have a student. Keep in mind they are continually watched by their teacher and it’s hard for them to stuff up.
~Finally, and this comes back to not being a makeup or beauty snob. Try everything. Just because it says MAC doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best there is or that it’s worth the price tag. 99% of the time people don’t know the brands in your cupboard at home, and on the occasions you pull out a lipstick or gloss in front of your friends? They’re more likely to notice the COLOUR and then be blown away by how little it cost you.
Being a budgeting queen is something to be proud of. Rock it.
All my love,