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Saving Money on Makeup

Category Make Up Tips
Cosmetics can be very expensive to buy. This is a guide about saving money on makeup.


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May 15, 2012

You know when you drop your make-up and it crumbles, you no longer need to throw it out. Add a few drops of alcohol to the powder and let it soak in. Press the powder in place using the back of a spoon. Let it dry for a day or two. No more loose powder.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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By 3 found this helpful
January 11, 2011

I rush through my mornings and have found several ways to save time on makeup application. The first is: Do not wear any. It's actually freeing. But if you do want to wear it, I have my makeup in a little drawer under the sink that is removable.

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March 8, 20103 found this helpful

Cosmetics can be expensive and colors often look completely different after we get them home and actually apply them to our face. After many years of costly makeup mistakes, I learned some money-saving tips.


First of all, instead of buying costly cosmetic items on impulse, try to find samples of any product you plan to buy ahead of time if you can. Some stores offer "beauty days" where samples are available for free. New product samples come out in magazines or can be requested on company websites.

You can often get samples of new products just by requesting them when checking out at cosmetics counters, especially at large chain drug stores. I usually just ask "Do you have samples of any new skin care or cosmetic samples I can take home and try?" In addition, ask at your favorite stores and see if any of them will take cosmetic item returns that are the wrong color or that have been opened. Most won't, but some will.

If all else fails, whenever you buy a cosmetic and the color doesn't look right after you get it home, try mixing it or layering it with a darker or lighter shade to change the color. I have lighter and darker lipsticks I put over wrong colors to alter them. Blush that is too light can be used as a highlighter or underneath a darker shade to add an overall glow to the face. Liquid foundations are easily mixed with lighter or darker colors to get just the right shade. Eye shadows can be lightly layered and blended to change incorrect shades.


If you can't find a way to layer or blend the incorrect shade, go to the manufacturer's website and see if they offer a money-back guarantee. The cost of postage to send in the item is often less than the cost of the item itself. Be sure to keep all your receipts just in case!

By G. Lomax from Dallas, TX

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By 2 found this helpful
May 10, 2010

I know this isn't for everyone's skin type, but I added a hefty dash of cornstarch baby powder to my squat little wide-mouthed tub of mineral makeup to increase the amount and it worked!

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August 18, 2008

With the price of so many things skyrocketing I have found myself looking for areas to cut costs. One of them is the cost of beauty supplies.


When a decent anti-aging cream costs about $20 I want to get every last drop.

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July 20, 2011

Crisco Shortening is an excellent moisturizer for the lips when combined with honey which has healing properties. I use the old containers of lip gloss, that have been cleaned out and washed.

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March 16, 20050 found this helpful

When I was at the mall last night, I ended up in a department store and wandered around in the makeup section. I discovered you can get a free trial-size bottle of a new Lancome foundation ...

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By 0 found this helpful
May 30, 2013

Instead of buying expensive face powder, I simply fill a small container with corn starch. It works well and gets rid of the shine!

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By 0 found this helpful
November 27, 2012

Makeup foundation is so expensive. Much of the liquid clings to the side of the bottle. I use a Q-tip to get every ounce of makeup from the container. I do this with concealer too.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 10, 2012

Several years ago, I began buying Allure magazine in October when they do a thorough testing of all makeup products. For me, it saves money to choose a few new pieces that are well rated then waste money on items that don't really work.

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March 3, 20050 found this helpful

When my powdered foundation compacts are almost all empty in the center but still have a little around the edges that are hard to get to, I've been sticking them in a drawer, not knowing what to do with them.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 24, 2005

Does anyone know of a budget mineral makeup store online for e.g. sheer miracle, bare essentials, or other items that are just as good.

Sandy from Woodside, NY


By Laura Burgess (Guest Post)
October 24, 20050 found this helpful

Try She makes her own but it's as good or (IMO) better than the "big name" mineral makeups. She also has some good lotions, soaps, etc., all homemade and all-natural. HTH!


Laura in TN

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By octoberbabye (Guest Post)
October 25, 20050 found this helpful

On ebay many sellers offer small jars of the product. I bought a few to try them out and didn't spend as much as the special offer.

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By pam333 (Guest Post)
October 25, 20050 found this helpful

I went to that online "store" and tried to order something. I filled out checkout 5 or 6 times and couldn't get through. Has anyone else tried? Maybe I did something wrong.
You can answer me at pamob38 (at) wmconnect (dot) com

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By Serenity (Guest Post)
October 28, 20050 found this helpful

I order from skin-1. Free shipping on all their products. I'm not sure how to spell their web address. Number is 888-877-5461.

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By judy (Guest Post)
November 3, 20050 found this helpful

I've ordered samples from, and their prices on regular sizes are good.

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By valerie2267 (Guest Post)
November 12, 20050 found this helpful

I have tried probably a dozen of the Bare Escentuals "knock-offs" and not met my expectations. They were alll too powdery and drying & not creamy and glowing like BE. The glow from the foundation goes away & is replaced by a different glow when the mineral veil is applied. That glow is what diffuses the light from the fine lines & zits & stuff so your face looks like porceline.


People say Bismut is bad,but it is not the chloride it is the oxychloride and happens to be the main ingredient in Proactive Acne Solution. I sleep in it & never looked better. My husband thought I had Botox or something expensive done & she showed me a better way for me to use the concealer the way my eyes are. it does not leave it shiny and oily looking and if you r skin gets dry, spray with skin REV-ER Upper or a knock off that is good and refreshing.

So I FINALLY found Minerals By Design. The girl is really sweet, but doesn't have the foundation, concealer and veil listed in store. It is offered in literature after buying Bare Escentuals starter kits,which are very cheap & high quality.

The brushes are worth the whole kit and she gives ample amounts---4-8 X's most and in her Minerals By Design, she gived full 30gr jars of foundation, veil and corrector in sifters which is more than be gives and about 15 grams of eye and or cheek color which would be like 30-40 jars of BE eye color that costs $14/ea. She gives that free and shipping is VERY reasonable. ypu can see some of her stuff on

http://ebaystor  mineralsbydesign

and then ask about the other line. She doesn't have a site yet just eBay, but has the cheapest prices I have seen. Even on BE: 2 PUMP DISPENSING POWDER/MINERAL BRUSHES FILLED WITH BE MINERALS FoR UNDER $50, but I bought the a lot cheaper with her liner. you can't tell the difference side-by-side! Surely she will list her own too soon since it is the closest to BE I have EVER seen! at least I know where to get it and everyone i meet does too! I have earned $50 in 2 months,althouh I spent $500 this xmas from her directly and probably got over $1000 in minerals & tools/accessories and "make your own kits" in several things. My kids had a blast with ther first order and they will love the xmas one even better! she is globear07 and email is globear69ATaol. She also gives free stuff and cash credit for referring people to her. She has been coming out with new products almost weekly and says she plans a whole face careline.Already has more than just the basic ol' mineral stuff and brushes are cheap and VERY high quality.
I am a repeat buyer for sure. She will save a sample of your mixture of foundation if you need to mix colors & mix it for you, will customize the SPF if you need more and can copy regular makeup into minerals. She has coycats of a lot of BE and the foundation color names stay the same to keep confusion down when changing over. That helped me A LOT. I have used BE for 3 years and never will again, unless it is free! LOL! but true! I was going to put a PIC from her store, but she may not appreciate that, although i could never see her mad!

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By Lori Rickman (Guest Post)
December 2, 20050 found this helpful

I have just opened an online store.My mineral makeup is high quality and I have good prices also. Anything under $25.00 ships free. I will also include samples of my other colors with each shipment. Visit my site today and see for yourself.I also have my makeup in a salon, if you happen to be in the area.
email separated to fool those robots.

look forward to hearing from some of you .

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By dawne (Guest Post)
December 28, 20050 found this helpful

I really enjoy Cory Cosmetics for my oily 32 year old skin. Samples are only .35 a piece at The finish is totally matte. You can add shine if you want it, unlike BE which is just shiny. I also adore her blush and shadow selections.

Mineral Basics and Aromaleigh gave less coverage for me and I also had more oily breakthrough. I did LOVE Mineral Basics Dusky Dawn blush, though. I would buy shadows and blushes from those stores again.

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By Julene Jaeger (Guest Post)
January 18, 20060 found this helpful

I order Mineralogie Mineral makeup online from and have been very pleased with what I got. It's high quality stuff so its not dirt cheap but I'll go back again and again. They sell samples at a VERY reasonable price.

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By Jennifer (Guest Post)
February 26, 20060 found this helpful

I came across and it is over 50% less than the big boys and works great! It doesn't have the Bizmuth ingredient either. I got a 9 piece starter kit on Ebay (cheaper than their website) for $19.95. Foundation, Concealer, Finishing Powder, Bronzer, 2 Multi-Purpose colors and 3 brushes. My skin looks flawless!

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By Lisa (Guest Post)
July 1, 20060 found this helpful

Does anyone know how you can become an owner of one of these online make up stores?

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July 1, 20060 found this helpful

I use Barb has an ebay store too. I am happy with the quality and consistency. She has a lot of stuff to give you shimmer. Amy in IL

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Read More Answers

August 21, 20010 found this helpful

How can I save on cosmetic basics such as eyeshadow, mascara, and lipstick, without sacrificing quality?

By Mary P.


August 21, 20010 found this helpful

I have found the neatest site Alot of time they have free makeup. They also have alot of other free stuff to try. We have really recieved alot of nice things. You might want to try this site

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August 27, 20010 found this helpful

I buy a lot of my cosmetics from Avon. They have great products and offer specials in every booklet. I've gotten eye shadow for as little as $1.99 and they often have buy-one-get-one-free offers.

Another suggestion is to pay attention to drugstore ads in your Sunday paper. Every week, stores like Rite Aid and CVS offer many coupons good for cosmetics and hair products, and they will also accept manufacturer's coupons on the same product. So if they have something on sale with their coupon for $1.99 and you have a manufacturer's coupon for $1.00, you get the product for $.99. Last week, they had hair color on sale for $4.99 and I had a $5.00 coupon - free hair color!!!
- Lynn in Virginia

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August 29, 20010 found this helpful

There are several brands that are less expensive, but are still quality products. You really have to try different things to see what works for you. As for lipstick and facial powder (loose) you can extend their life! For the lipstick, you can dab the color onto your lips and use a lip balm or petroleum jelly to even it out. Or you can take a small amount of the lipstick (say that in the bottom of the tube) and mix it with a bit of petroleum jelly and apply with a lip brush. You can also buy a pack of lipsticks (usually 10 or 12 tubes) at a discount store for around $5, and mix different colors to get a shade that is right for you.

To extend the life of your loose powder, you can mix cornstarch or baby powder with it. (Obviously this works better on lighter complexions)
- Brandi

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Read More Answers


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 3, 20100 found this helpful

Here are tips for saving money on makeup as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.


I check for coupons usually in the Sunday paper, they are usually good for a few months. Then watch the ads for my favorite drug store to have a sale. Especially the "buy one get another for half off". I like the drug store because if it's the wrong shade or I don't like it they will take it back with receipt.

By Peggy

Coupons and Sales

I agree with using coupons. I just did a "buy one get one free" on Covergirl plus and had a dollar coupon so I got my mineral make up and an 8 dollar mascara for 7 bucks (I normally get the 4 dollar mascara). Also, switch to mineral make up, it saves steps and works great. I have a red face and used to do foundation and powder and the mineral make up does better than both put together.

The Big Lots in my area usually has awesome deals on make up. I just got an Almay lipstick for $2.

I also love to stock up on perfume. I hit the chain stores after Christmas and also Big Lots. I got a Ralph Lauren spray for three dollars. I usually never pay more than 8, even on expensive perfume.

By kathleen

Baking Soda

I recently read that Queen Latifah uses baking soda mixed with a little water to exfoliate her skin. It rinses off easily and I find that it works just as well as the expensive products - and it's always in the house!

By Chris

Clean And Clear Coupons

I found some really good saving coupons for Clean and Clear products here:

By PatPlays27

Ask For Samples

My wife asks for samples from makeup counters all the time. If they have samples in bowls, she takes a few. She has ended up with enough samples that would fill a bottle.

By Terri

Try eBay

If you know the brand names that you like, you can often get them at reduced prices on eBay. Just make sure you are buying brand new, never opened products and ask for the "open by date" if it is not posted.

By Janet

Free Sample Of Everyday Minerals

I got a free sample at Everyday Minerals. Here is the link to the page with the free sample:

This kind of like the Bare Minerals Brand, except WAY less expensive. They lasted for a little while. Then I ordered some travel sized makeup and it lasted for a very long time. I bought a small Baby Kabuki brush to use for $6 - and I am still using it years later!

I know some people do not like mineral makeup, but it is really good for my skin. I hope this helps.

By Savings Assistant

a href="http://www.savi …

"Free Samples" And Other Tips

Warning: If a site asks for your payment info then it's not 'a free sample' :-( These sites make their money from shipping and handling charges and are taking advantage of (and are counting on) people wanting a 'free' sample as a sales pitch for other items as well.

What I do is check out Walmart samples weekly (they change weekly) to see if there is a product I might be interested in trying. Their samples show up 'for free' within six weeks. I've actually switched my cat's brand of food as well as paper towels, deodorant, shampoo and even facial foundation because I sincerely liked the sample brand better. I also tried a facial self tanner sample (tested on my hand first) and loved it!

I also check Walgreens and Rite Aid flyers weekly for coupons and sales.

By Deeli

Do you have any advice to share? Feel free to share you ideas below.

Saving Money on Makeup

Visited the Everyday Minerals site but didn't find the samples. What am I doing wrong? (10/04/2008)

By upperd

Saving Money on Makeup

Queen Latifah did NOT say she uses baking soda and water. She said her grandmother did. Reader's Digest, Oct '08, pg 78. Still a good tip, but no need to put words in her mouth. (10/05/2008)

By Louise

Saving Money on Makeup

I rarely pay full price for makeup - but rather am always on the hunt. I have found new makeup at odd places like thrift shops and yard sales, even! Since I know my palate, I just re-stock whenever I find a really good deal.

I have also found eye makeup and lipstick at the 99 Cent Store! And just picked up mascara and some Revlon kits (50 cents each!) at Big Lots. I also like the Wet N Wild brand - I use their concealer, powder and lipstick (I have a favorite color) and on sale they are not much above $1!

Check out the lower-priced "teenage" brands for current colors at a bargain. I also always look in the bargain bin at the drug store and sometimes there are finds there, too. Now foundation you can get at the drug store is as good as the dept. store stuff. Also check deals online! Of course, good old Maybelline mascara is great (and with coupons even better).

Also got a sample mascara in the mail and won a fancy blush, too. Mix and match my lipsticks for good color and according to the condition of my lips.

Again, when you find a deal in a staple get a few of them if you can manage it. They are OK as long as they are sealed and unopened. Then you don't have to run out to get an expensive replacement. (10/05/2008)

By pam munro

Saving Money on Makeup

Don't put baking soda on your face unless you have tested in elsewhere, like on your wrist. My skin itches and burns if it comes in contact with it. I'm guessing I am not the only person allergic to it. I can't even use toothpastes that have it as an ingredient. (10/06/2008)


Saving Money on Makeup

I can be pretty cheap... but I also like quality items. I wear E.L.F. makeup. You can order it online at or you can use their store locator to find out where it's sold in your area. The product if nice, I love the mineral foundations! Wverything's great.

Otherwise, I only buy at places like BigLots, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree. I don't know if you have any of those places near you, but that's where I go. (10/08/2008)

By Sarah Leach

Saving Money on Makeup

Wear just a lil bit of once in a blue moon. Buy yourself some mascara and lipgloss. (01/18/2010)

By ChildGoddess

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