5 Ways to S t r e t c h Your Beauty Dollars

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup Tips/How To

Written by !i$@ bee

To help gals get more bang for their bucks, blogger !i$@ bee shares 5 ways to s t r e t c h those beauty dollars.

5 ways to stretch your beauty dollars

Hey there, lovelies! I know many of you are curious as to how far you can make your precious, hard-earned money go when it comes to makeup. Too many times I’ve seen friends drop money on a product they could probably duplicate with something they already have in their current makeup stash. Well, fret no more, because !i$@ bee is here to drop some knowledge on ya.


1. Double and triple duty products

I never understood why someone would buy two products — say, a brow filler and a brow-colored eyeshadow — when one might do. Not only can you use eyeshadows as brow fillers and eyeliners (if you wet them first and apply with an eyeliner brush), you can also use your lipsticks as blushes and your blushes as eyeshadows. It may not work with all formulas, so check ingredients and packaging instructions first, but where it does work it can save a lot.

2. Palettes

Palettes are a great way to not only store your makeup, but also to experiment with multiple eye colors for a fraction of the cost of buying products separately. There was a MAC shadow I’d been eyeing (no pun intended), but I wasn’t sure if the color would complement my skin tone, so I headed to my nearest discount beauty store, where they offered a similar color and seven others (!!!) in palette form. Not only was I able to test-drive the color I wanted, I was also able to experiment with some new looks thanks to the additional shades. All for less than the price of a single MAC shadow I may or may not have liked. Sweet!


3. Eyeshadow base

As a relative noob to this whole makeup thing, I didn’t have a collection of eyeshadow bases to keep my shadow in place during the day. In a pinch, I’d just use concealer as a base and continue on with my shadow application. Since then, I’ve discovered the wonders of a proper base, specifically NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils. These really make my shadow colors pop and wear longer, and depending on the base + shadow combo, allow me to create some new colors.

Another great thing about NYX Pencils: the price. You can find them online or sometimes in beauty stores for $5 or less. Not bad for such a versatile product!

4. Discount makeup stores

These, my friend, are a godsend for the budget-conscious makeup fiend. You can find a lot of brand name, discontinued shades at discount stores, often at reasonable prices if you look hard enough. Some stores I frequent and have found to be reputable are AllCosmeticsWholesale.com, CherryCulture.com, Cosmetics Company Store (click here to see if there’s one near you), and MakeupAlley.com, which is less of a store and more of an opportunity to swap makeup products with other members.

5. Smarter shopping

The key to keeping your makeup budget under control is to shop intelligently. For basic shades like blacks, browns, and neutrals, I head to the drug store. Drugstore makeup tends to fit a neutral color palette well, since the majority of women use such shades. For funkier, more distinct shades, I’ll shop my favorite higher-end brands. When it comes to specific items, though, like foundation and concealer, I know from previous experiences with drugstore versions that the color ranges just don’t work for me. I’m much more likely to spend more on them with a higher-end brand than buying them from CVS or Rite Aid. Ultimately, it comes down to finding what works best for you and planning your shopping from there.

What are some things you do to stretch your beauty dollars?

Written by !i$@ bee

This post was written by freelance writer and pro-blogger !i$@ bee. She loves both high end and drugstore makeup brands but has a particular soft spot for NYX. Understandably, one of her goals this year (YAY!) is to adopt a kitten.


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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kelsey says:

    I’m all about palettes.
    .-= Kelsey’s last blog post… Happy 4th of July- =-.

  2. MJ says:

    Great tips! I love using palettes especially when experimenting with different looks and colors. I definitely splurge on the foundation because its super important to have a good base to start with and I also splurge on primers so that way my inexpensive eyeshadows last longer and don’t crease! I’m definitely going to try using lipstick as blushes (me and the powder ones don’t seem to get along! LOL!)

  3. ect says:

    Great tips! I’m all about products that can multi-task! 🙂
    .-= ect’s last blog post… Circle lenses- Not So Cute Controversy =-.

  4. Nina says:

    I definitely love discount stores, they are life saving. And I’m trying my best not to impulse-shopping by making a list beforehand and it really helps. Sometimes I just lose control though 😀

  5. Amy says:

    Kinda random, but what color is that on your nails? It looks great!
    .-= Amy’s last blog post… I love- I want- =-.

  6. Tracy says:

    Great tips especially the double & triple duty products-one of my faves is Benefit’s Posietint.
    .-= Tracy’s last blog post… Products Im Loving Right Now 50 =-.

    • charmain says:

      I think it’s Play Del Platinum by Essie – Gorgeous!! it will defo be a new purchase for me soon.. 🙂

  7. Amber says:

    I do some of the same things! My very favorite medium brown eyeshadow (MAC Coquette) just happens to be a perfect brow filler for me, and I always buy a cheapo product first if I want to try out a color I’m not sure about. I also make my eyeshadows do double-duty as eyeliner because I tend not to like a hard line.

    I shop upscale for things where pigment and wear-time matter most — eyeshadow, foundation, and the few liners that I know I will use. I may occasionally splurge on other products, but anything else is fair game for drugstore brands.
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Lime cake with lime sugar glaze =-.

  8. Mandy says:

    Lately I’ve accepted that my acne-prone skin requires higher-end products to stay clear, so I normally shell out the bigger bucks for that. I’m on a pretty tight budget these days, so when I splurge on make-up I stretch my dollars by buying expensive products for cheap on ebay or speciality sites like beautyticket or beautycrunch. I’m almost hesitant to give those sites away because they are so great but I’m sure everyone here has heard of them before anyway!

  9. Meghan says:

    great article and great tips! i think i need to follow your advice about getting more of the basic stuff at the drug stores. i have been trying to limit my makeupbudget and i think from now on the only think i’m gonna splurge on is foundation! thanks!

  10. Elle says:

    Thanks for the tips! This made me want to take a trip to my closest CCO…haven’t been in a while!

  11. Jayme says:

    I love this post. I am super into finance (even having a blog on it), however my guilty pleasure is makeup. I do not like palettes but have started using drug store instead of high end. That being said i have honestly never considered using my products as multi use. I am definately going to need to try this out with some of my shadows and lip sticks.

  12. Jeni says:

    Good tips! I have become obsessed with coupons lately, so I try to wait til my favorite drugstore products are on sale, and then get them with coupons. Stocking up when stuff on sale is probably my biggest way to save money. And once I find a cheap product I love, I don’t stray because it costs so much money to find your next favorite eyeshadow/foundation/sunscreen, etc. But that also makes things boring because even the best product gets boring after a while.
    .-= Jeni’s last blog post… Does Rogaine Cause Wrinkles =-.

  13. Ninni says:

    I love GWP-offers. For instance I always buy my Clinique-products when they have GWP-offers. When shopping on Cherry Culture I always wait for their offers since I know that they have 20% discount a few times every year.
    .-= Ninni’s last blog post… 10 saker ni kanske inte visste om mig =-.

  14. Jen says:

    I love palettes! I have tons of eyeshadows, but most of them are in palettes, so I feel like I could use them up faster than if they were full size.

    I have one of the NYX Jumbo Pencils (Milk), but unfortunately that creases on me. Boo… NYX does make separate eyeshadow bases though (white, pearl, and nude), and I’m really curious to see how those fare.

    I think BOGO sales are always good to stock up on things you already love. And, as someone already mentioned, gift with purchases! I love those! But at the same time, they’re horrible to me because I wanna buy stuff that I don’t need just for the free gift. Haha, I have a problem, I know.

  15. Scientific Housewife says:

    Great posts, I forget these sometimes!

  16. Thea says:

    I lovee these ideas! Great advice to save a few dollars. My only concern about drugstore cosmetics is lack of quality. For simple things like eyeshadows, I’m with you all the way. However for your quality foundation, I would go with a brand you trust. other than that, this is great advice!

  17. Karen says:

    Awesome tips, Lisa! Thank you for guest posting. 🙂

  18. Nina says:

    Awesome tips! 🙂 There is always a sale going on at the drugstores/mass market retailers and that helps a lot!

    I actually have a Rocket City palette – its a nice palette. Cant find it around anymore though! 🙂

  19. Trinidad says:

    I agree palettes are the way to go. You get to try a lot of new things without spending a lot of money! Great tips!
    .-= Trinidad’s last blog post… TBS COMMANDMENT 1- Thou shall seek true love – when shopping- =-.

  20. Laura says:

    I love allcosmeticswholesale.com! They have a huge selection of department store brands at discounted prices – whenever I see something I like, I always check there first to see if they have it.

  21. Trisha says:

    I am all about eyeshadow palettes. I feel weird buying single shades because it seems lik eI’m wasting my money.
    .-= Trisha’s last blog post… Giveaway- Avon Advance Technique Lotus Shield =-.

  22. Sobriquet says:

    For drugstore products, Neutrogena is pretty dependable. I use their 3-in-1 concealer for eyes (eye treatment + sunscreen) and their powder foundation with sunscreen. Everything has to do double, or preferably triple, duty. I also use my dark brown eye shadow as a liner. Skin care is the one thing I spend the Clinique bucks on, so–oh, yeah–gift with purchase!

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