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How To Save Money When You're Obsessed With Makeup

This obsession doesn't come cheap.


Makeup, skincare, haircare, and beauty treatments are not cheap. Sure, there are ~*cheaper*~ alternatives, but truth is, being obsessed with anything beauty-related can put a serious dent in your bank account if you’re not careful. Here, 17 clever ways you can save money, even as a beauty-obsessed and kikay girl:

1. Do your research.

When you want a specific product that’s a little pricey, do your research first. Read reviews and blogs, look at swatches, or watch YouTube videos of your favorite beauty gurus. Also, take into consideration factors like the reviewer’s skin color, skin type, and most importantly, the climate of where she’s from. Most of the time, Western bloggers can get away with thicker full-coverage foundation because it’s cooler where they are, but these products can be too much for our tropical climate. Be smart about little details like that.

2. Be a smart tester.

Don’t be shy! Before making a big purchase on a product, go ahead and ask the brand’s makeup artist to swatch the product on you first. This is very important, especially if you’re getting foundations or concealers. Try it on first, walk around the mall for at least an hour, see how it settles on your skin, and THEN decide if you really want to get it.

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3. Try asking for samples.

It might be a little dyahe to go up to an expensive counter and ask for samples, but doing so will save you from potentially spending for an expensive product that won’t work for your skin. Just be very polite when asking!

4. Consider subscribing to beauty boxes

The fantastic thing about beauty boxes is that you get to sample and discover several products without paying full price. We recommend trying out Salad Box, a local beauty subscription box service. They partner with premiere beauty brands (like Benefit and VMV Hypoallergnics) and subscription starts at P1,500 for three months. That’s P500 a month for a box filled with products that are worth much more.

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5. Look for dupes and alternatives

Sometimes, your P1,000 lipstick has a P500 dupe. Do your research and look for dupes for high-end products. You won’t believe how much you’ll save!

6. Do a regular inventory.

Once a month, sit down and go through your makeup and skincare collection. Get rid of everything that’s expired and consider giving away products that you don’t use anymore. This will give you a better idea of what products you already have, so you don’t end up buying more.

7. Store your products properly.

Get smart storage solutions like see-through acrylic cases that let you see the products that you have on hand. Make sure that you also store your cosmetics away from direct sunlight, as that can ruin their formula faster.

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8. Take note of expiration dates.

We recommend placing small stickers on your products and writing the date you opened them, so you can keep track of how long you’ve been using them. This trick is particularly important for products like mascara, foundation, and eye cream, because they expire quicker than other things.

9. Sign up for loyalty programs or leave your contact details with your favorite brands

This way, brands can get in touch with you when they have sales. Most of the time, high-end beauty brands don’t announce that they have sales—they only text or email their loyal customers.

10. Learn how to DIY your products.

Really, who needs to buy expensive scrubs when you can make your own with items that you already have in your kitchen?

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11. If buying in bulk is cheaper, do it!

Economize. If buying the biggest bottle of shampoo or conditioner turns out to be cheaper than constantly purchasing the small size, then go for it.

12. If you’re buying online, try buying with a friend.

This will help you save on shipping cost! Most of the time, that’s what makes buying online expensive anyway.

13. Go to department stores to check out your alternatives.

Especially when it comes to buying makeup bags, kits, and clear cases to transfer your products to.

14. Take proper care of your tools.

Beauty tools like your makeup brushes and hair tools are meant to last you forever, as long as you take care of them properly. Regularly wash and sanitize them to keep them in top shape.

15. Always go for authentic products.

No to fake makeup and skincare products—EVER! Sure, they’re cheap and look like the real thing, but the consequences of using them will cost you WAY more. An expensive trip to the doctor to get your skin irritation checked because of your fake makeup is not worth it.

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16. Be on the lookout for deals on beauty treatments.

Reputable websites like Dealgrocer and Metrodeal regularly carry vouchers for beauty treatments for good prices. Check their sites often or sign up for alerts for sales on laser hair removal, haircuts, hair treatments, and even spa sessions.

17. Make smart beauty "investments".

Pick products that you’re willing to splurge on. For example, we recommend spending on a good quality lash curler, but stick to drugstore mascara. Invest in your skincare and makeup and hair tools—those should last you forever. 

What are your hacks to save money to feed your beauty obsession?

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