Thursday, July 24, 2008

Frugal Beauty Tips of the Day

With our current economy situation and gas prices, everybody's concern is "gas vs. food". Since gas is more than $4 in my area and around $5 in others, it takes out a big chunk of cash from everybody's monthly budget which leaves less allowance for entertainment and beauty products. As I am a graduate student, my monthly income is below the poverty level. Being a makeup addict doesn't help my wallet at all. Today, I'm going to disclose my tips to maintain my beauty budget without breaking the bank. These tips may cost you less than $5 and two of them actually costs you nothing!

Tip #1: Shop at discount stores

The Dollar Tree is my favorite "hunting place" as everything is a dollar. I really feel like a hunter-gatherer when I go there. The one near my place has a long aisle of makeup products, ranging from Cover Girl to Maybelline to LA Colors and even Physician's Formula. I sometimes found some nice lip glosses, lipsticks, eye shadows that are still in wraps. Those products are sold at full retail prices at the drugstore but only priced for one dollar at Dollar Tree. At first, I thought there was something wrong with them but after spending a dollar on a lipstick and didn't die from lead poisoning, I came back for more.

Big Lots also has a stock of makeup, beauty, bath and body, and even skincare products. One time I got a conditioner from Nature's Gate for $1.50 USD. The brand decided to change their packaging and offloaded the products in old containers to Big Lots. The same bottle would have cost me an arm and a leg at my local health food store.

My advice if you decide to hunt for goods at these places, you need to be really selective. After all, these are the products you are going to use on your body and probably ingest some of them as well (lipsticks and glosses). Therefore, you don't want to buy from brands that you're not familiar with. Also, if the consistency of the products does not look right, it does not worth your pretty dollar.

I've heard some stories of people got MAC shadesticks from the dollar store. I've been searching for that elusive shadestick from my local Dollar Tree as well!

Tip #2: Don't forget your Vaseline

Our favorite glam girl Tyra Banks, the creator of America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show, uses Vaseline y'all! If Tyra, the one who has everything, uses Vaseline and looks gorgeous, why shouldn't we?

Unlike what people thought, Vaseline is not clogging your pores. Also, it is a very versatile and many makeup artists use it. Let me point out some possible use of Vaseline to y'all:
  • As a moisturizer: Tyra uses it as her eye cream, I use it as my lip balm, and my roommate uses it as her foot cream. It works wonder on chapped lips, cracked heals, dry cuticles,...
  • As a natural eyeshadow: it gives a glaze when applied on your eyes. So when you're crunch on time, just swap some Vaseline on your eyes and off you go;
  • As a base for lip gloss: you can mix some of your favorite mineral blush colors to a pot of Vaseline and voila, your custom-made, one of a kind lip gloss. Mix some avocado oil or olive oil for extra shine if you want.
And if you purchase a jar of Vaseline at your local dollar store, it only costs you a dollar and lasts a very long time!

Tip #3: Look for sales and deals

I love sales and try to squeeze as much out of them as possible. Most if not all of the stuff I have come from sales. Since I'm living with limited income, I need to stretch my money very very much. And I do get satisfaction out of getting things for much cheaper than the regularly marked prices. For makeup, the local drugstores are great as they always have "buy one get one" sales. Target has sales on Olay skincare products almost every week. It also has 30-75% off in some items that are in the sales area. Walmart has gift with purchase items so you get 2 items for the price of one.

Also, don't forget your coupons in the Sunday magazines. Once I got a mascara from Max Factor for $3 after using my coupon and store discount. The cashier scanned the mascara 3 times to make sure the total was correct. That's what I called "shop victoriously" ladies.

For online deals, I always look for free shipping because it's annoying to wait for the box to come while you pay for it to ship. If free shipping comes with a restriction, I would consider if it's worth it to place an order. Remember: always take shipping into consideration.

Tip #4: Get free samples

Most department stores and drugstores have free items for customers to try. Drugstores always leave them out and you're free to take one (d0n't be greedy, think of the people that comes after you!) However, you have to ask for samples at the department stores. I always ask for perfume samples to try. One time I asked for a skin care sample from Clinique. And I asked for samples at MAC all the time (when I make a purchase, of course!). With a right look and a right smile, those samples will be yours.

I always be nice to those sales associates when I ask for samples. My line is, "Excuse me, I like this perfume/skin care product/color so much but can I please have a sample to try just to see if it's suitable. If it works, I promise I'll come back to get it!"

If they have samples in stock, they should give you some. If not, they would tell you they do not have. Just be nice to them either way since SA's make money out of sales commissions.

Tip #5: Use what you have

Almost everyday I have an urge to buy something new. It's like a disease y'all and as much as I'd like my money to stay in my pocket, sometimes the force is just too strong. So every two weeks or so, I do a product inventory check. I just simply pull everything I have out, touch them, pet them, check them, classify them based on colors, texture, brand and then put them back. Usually, at the end of this ritual, I come to my realization that I have a wad load of makeup and skincare products to use! So why the heck I need to bring more of them home?! And by doing so, I realize my color purchase pattern, that I prefer one group of colors more than another and I simply have so many neutrals now that I don't need to buy any of them anymore!

Believe me, since I started doing this, my wallet has been happier and I have been a saner makeup addict. Now I know I need more greens and some purples so on my next purchases I'll concentrate more on them. In a weird sense, doing a product inventory also keeps me grounded and makes me feel proud of myself.

That's it ladies, these are my 5 tips to help you from overspending your precious cash. Who knows when gas will go down ever again. And who knows if gas price will ever go down at all! Until then, it's good to keep your money tight.

Stay pretty y'all and if you have any tips, please feel free to share.

Your Frugal Makeup Blogger

P.S: thank you Stephie for adding me to your blog roll! Her blog probably was the first makeup blog I read and she is so nice and talented. If you go to her blog, please tell her Dao from mymakeupblog says hi!


  1. hey! i love vaseline & use it religiously!

  2. hoorah! Another vaseline lover! It is great, isn't it? Thanks for commenting, girl on top.

  3. you're welcome & you can certainly add me to your blogroll!

  4. Hi Dao,
    I'm looking for a good eye cream. Vaseline is ok but it doesn't help erase the wrinkle. Do you know any good one for dark circle as well as fine lines and wrinkle?

    Ngoc Ha

  5. Hi Kaolee,

    Already added you, now we're linked!

  6. Hi Ngoc Ha,

    I think the All about Eyes from Clinique is pretty good. I'm using Aveeno Positively Ageless eye serum and it's ok, not quite as moisturizing. The eye cream version from Aveeno is probably better.

  7. Wow... your tips are so worthy, I can also save money on beauty products by following them.

  8. Hi Nadia,

    Thanks for your comment. I'm happy you like them.


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