How To Save Money On Cosmetics

   More expensive is not always better, it's the ingredients that count. Personally, I shell out money for just a few products (sunscreen and a couple of oils) and then buy good quality but inexpensive essentials. And then there are the products that I save on.
   Either I don't buy them and use something else in their place, or I use something from my kitchen, or have found a cheap-and-good version that I love. Obviously this list is very subjective and you might have to modify it to your needs.

Cosmetic items I save on:

Skin Care

Showering gel:

  I use solid soap, because it lasts longer (liquid soap is basically the same stuff but diluted with water, also the pump often dispenses more than we actually need). It has a lower carbon footprint because it has less packaging and takes up less space when transported. Solid soap also contains less preservatives (because it doesn't contain water) and is cheaper. Win all the way

Body moisturiser:

   The skin on the body is not as picky as that on the face, so you don't need fancy-ass stuff. I personally prefer products without parabens, mineral oil and other toxins, since I'm slathering big amounts of the product on myself; and love inexpensive body butters. You can also use creams and oils that your face didn't like as body moisturisers.

Scrubs and clays:

   Sugar for the face and used coffee grounds for the body (both mixed with a moisturiser or cleanser) beat most store-bought scrubs. If you want to be even more thrifty, try dry brushing, or a kessa glove for the body and a microfiber cloth for the face. Clays are much cheaper if you buy them pure than if you buy a clay-based mask in a sachet.

Shaving creams:

   Try using conditioner, oil, or soap. They work just as well, I promise.

Undereye cream:

   Your regular moisturiser will work fine most of the time. In fact, most under-eye products have less active ingredients than moisturisers! I also like to use oils and heaver creams for this area.

Foot cream, hand cream, cuticle cream, and so on

  Any heavier cream, body butter or oil usually works for all of these.


   In this amazing video the reporter decants two lines of makeup into neutral packaging, and asks a professional makeup artist to guess which brand is the cheap one and which the expensive one. The makeup artist tries out the products on the woman and has a hard time guessing as there was not much difference. So, basically you need to read reviews (for example on MakeupAlley) to find quality affordable products.


   Eco tools are great brushes for beginners. I also like the dirt-cheap brushes from E.L.F's studio line. You don't need anything expensive if you are just doing basic makeup. I also quite like the Ebelin brushes from DM. Again, read reviews to find the best option in your price range.


   Get a good eyeshadow primer and then you can get away with cheap eyeshadow. A good primer makes colours look more intensive, make it go on smoother and stay on longer. If you really want high-pigmented eyeshadow, look for mineral ones which are usually very affordable. (I mean real mineral products, the ones in most stores are only mineral-based. You need to go online for the real stuff). Palettes are usually cheaper as compared to single eyeshadows.

Foundation and Concealer

  I don't always recommend scrimping on these, as it is not very easy to find a foundation that gives you the right amount of coverage, has the right tone, behaves well on your skin and doesn't dry out or break you out. However, again here you should be trying out the cheaper as well as the pricier options. I personally love mineral makeup (I use Lumiere), which is quite inexpensive because you need to use very very tiny amounts. As for concealers, they can be hit or miss in all of the price ranges. My current favourite is the cheap Catrice camouflage.

   It's seriously easy to find a great and cheap blush, since it's mostly all about the right shade anyway. Again, I love mineral blushes because a tiny amount lasts me a really really long time.


  Floss properly once a day. Getting teeth fixed is pricey in most parts of the world.

Hair removal:

  Epilating at home is way cheaper than salon waxing, and also probably cheaper than disposable razors on the long run. Laser is a better investment than IPL (the effects of the latter last only a couple of months).

    For me the biggest temptation comes from high-end cosmetic blogs who use and recommend pricey stuff. Many of those products are of course good, but you can usually find good stuff that doesn't cost as much. I mean, I know how much pure hyaluronan costs (not much), and am not going to pay 80€ for one hyaluranon-based moisturiser when I can find others for a tenth of that price. I usually try to avoid the cheapest option available, and try to buy certified natural products when possible (which admittedly is not hard to do on the cheap in Germany). And of course I often mix my own cosmetics.

  How do you save money cosmetics? Do share your secrets! Also, what do you like to splurge on?

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