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32 Money-Saving Tips Every Makeup Addict Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Study up, queens.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tricks for saving money on makeup. Here are their suggestions!

Charlotte Gomez / Via BuzzFeed

1. Sephora will give you free samples of any product you want to try! All you have to do is ask.

The Krazy Coupon Lady / Via

"I’ve never been told no, and an associate once told me that there’s no limit to how many you can get. I’ve been using my free sample of Urban Decay Primer Potion for months instead of buying it." —Katherine L. Brown

2. Buy the professional size foundation. A one-ounce bottle of Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation is $45 from the store. The 6.7-ounce professional size is $89 on eBay from beauty sellers.

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"Insane savings. Same product.

"I don't have a specific store, but when I need to purchase, I look for sellers with tons of sales/feedback and a high positive rating (98% or higher).

"As an eBay seller myself, I can tell you that anyone with thousands of sales (or tens of thousands) is not going to ruin their eBay standing by intentionally selling a false product. That's the #1 way to get your eBay selling page ripped away and years of feedback gone. eBay is much more concerned about the buyer than the seller, so if the seller has been on eBay for many years, I wouldn't worry!

"Worst case: eBay will get you your money back if the product is wrong." —Rachel Chaney, Facebook

3. With mascara being so expensive these days, try cleaning and reusing an old wand that you like, but buy dollar-store mascara and toss out the new wand.

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"You get the look you like at a much cheaper price." —clizvega

4. "Cut open my empty makeup products (that come in plastic packaging) and take out all the product left inside."

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"Fill it in those sample containers you can get at pretty much any makeup store. You wouldn't believe how much actually gets stuck in there. Plus you can always take those sample makeup containers with you for like trips or just have one in your bag for touchups." —Momo Napoles, Facebook

5. Use $2 E.L.F. lip tint underneath $24 NARS matte lipstick as an alternative to a more expensive lip pencil.

@stylewidus / Via

"My lip stays all day, and I have a long-lasting lip tint for more low-key days." —kahoogs

6. Never buy mascara. Instead, get the minis. Sephora, Ulta, and all the department stores always have mascara minis as a gift with purchase or as a gift for point redemption.

@bikkngocc / Via

"Not only do I save money on that particular product, it is also more hygenic, as you are supposed throw mascara away after a month of use, and I never even come close to using all of a full-size mascara in one month." —Amanda Kohut, Facebook

7. Sometimes Sephora gives out five free samples with no spending minimum so you can buy some cheap $5 mask, and if you have two-day Flash shipping, you're all set!

http://@rushing.jessica / Via

"I try to split up my orders strategically to get as much free stuff as I can swing. Technically I'm not breaking any rules!" —Elaine Doyle, Facebook

8. Use Arrowroot Powder as a dupe for the BareEssentials Mineral Veil.

@consultjoanne / Via

"For setting my makeup and to absorb oil for hours. After you do your makeup, whether it’s liquid foundation or powder, go over it once with arrowroot powder to set it and absorb oil throughout the day. Buying a whole bag could possibly last a year. Sometimes I even use it without makeup to combat oily skin. Putting it in a small container to carry around in my purse and it functions as a highly cost effective oil blotting trick throughout your day. No smell. All natural. No irritations. I love it. It probably works best for fair skin (because it is white) but test it in small amounts on any skin tone." —jaclynmichelleh

9. Instead of buying expensive primers, use Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel.

Elle Sees / Via

"They have very, very similar ingredients." —c4f4cb991f

You can get Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel here for $9.95.

10. At Ulta, just ask for multiple samples of foundation and they'll give you as many as you want (within reason).

@thesweets_beauty / Via

"They're the perfect size to take while traveling. I get the Benefit Oxygen Wow Flawless Foundation." —sagek471cca62c

11. Use baby shampoo to wash off your makeup! It’s really cheap and safe on the eyes because most of them are tear-free.

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"And it always does a good job removing my makeup." —marshuella

Get it here for $6.28.

12. Take the sifter out of powders to get everything out and the stopper that removes excess product out of your concealers and anything that comes in a tube.

Caitlyn McCartney / Via

13.! It asks you the brands and shades of foundations you’ve used in the past and matches you to a variety of both high-end and budget brands!

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"It helped me go from spending $60 on a bottle of foundation to $15!" —chrissysod

Charlotte Gomez / Via BuzzFeed

14. Watch reviews or tutorials. The person reviewing usually tells you the nitty gritty about the product, plus they sometimes have discount codes.

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"Also, they say if they would recommend it/what type of skin types and tones would work best with the items." —Oreeda Khan, Facebook

15. As far as drugstore makeup, use coupons from the Sunday paper and match them with sales! So if you have two Revlon coupons, wait til CVS or Walgreens has Buy 1, Get 1 50% off.

@_frecklemefancy_ / Via

"Also you can use manufacturer coupons on clearance items. Look for those red stickers at Target and orange flags at Walgreens." —Elaine Doyle, Facebook

16. There is a great blog called Nouveau Cheap. They post the weekly drugstore sales (including Ulta) and about a ton of other deals.

Nouveau Cheap / Via

"I always check Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx for beauty items as well. is another great place with discounts and they have big brands like Becca, Too Faced and The Balm." —laurenc4a0c9fbf0

Check out all of their sales posts here.

17. When you find something you like, but cannot find easily, try buying it from Amazon instead of the manufacturer.

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"Recently I found a brilliant eyeshadow primer from Elizabeth Mott called Thank Me Later (it really is the best) that was FIVE DOLLARS less on Amazon plus free shipping. Those massive warehouses really do save money." —chrisa443ec9017

18. Shop the beauty section on Hautelook! They sell name-brand makeup at a discount.

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"It can take up to two weeks to receive your items but the discounts make it worth the wait. Also it’s free to sign up." —cameojade

Sign up for Hautelook here.

19. There’s an account on Instagram called @dupethat. They post tons of cheap dupes for high end beauty products!

@dupethat / Via


For example, instead of spending $28 for the NARS lipstick in shade Do Not Disturb, you can get the Nabi lipstick in Cute Red for $2.

20. Joining emailing lists for the higher end makeup brands to get periodic discounts.

Sigma Beauty

"All of them have really good sales at least once a year, that's when I stock up on pallets that are normally $50-plus for $20." —Julie Crump, Facebook

21. TJMaxx has high-end brands like Stila, Too Faced and Living Proof for cheap.

@nouveaucheap / Via Instagram: @nouveaucheap

"I’m also a skincare junkie so TJMaxx is great for that too. Marshall’s and Burlington also have great markdowns on essentials, like 99-cent Beautyblenders/sponges, cheap tweezers and brushes, etc. —jaelgurl

22. Sign up for Ebates! 4% cashback from shopping online at Sephora, 7% at Amazon, with occassional double or triple rewards!

Augusta Falletta / Via BuzzFeed

"I totally thought it was a scam at first, but my friend convinced me and it's awesome." —Annie Kowalewski, Facebook

23. Ipsy and Birchbox! They're both $10 a month.

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"It takes a little bit to start collecting things, but I now have unopened backups of primers, mascaras, lotions, eyeliners, and more eyeshadows than I will ever use. So I hardly ever have to go purchase items in the store anymore except for my specific favorite foundations and concealers. Plus, if you do want to buy a full size of something Ipsy or Birchbox have, they always give you coupon codes to use on the product's website. For instance, right now I have a 30% coupon I could use on Too Faced's website." —Bailey Pratt

24. You can buy, sell, and trade that makeup with other people on Reddit r/makeupexchange and get some tremendous deals!


"All of that makeup you bought but turned out to not be so flattering when you get home, but you can’t exchange or return it can be swapped or sold on this thread." —jarrahg

25. has a feature that allows you to list your unwanted products for either swapping or selling.

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"You then send a request to swap for the items of your choosing, the owner responds by choosing items of equal value from your own listings, and then you mail each other the packages.

Any time I need new makeup, instead of buying it, I can just browse the Swap Site for whatever I need and trade for just the cost of postage. The great thing is that most people swap based on the retail value of the makeup. So if you paid $21 for a box worth $100, you can turn it around and pick out $100 worth of stuff.

And there is so much more than makeup! Candles, jewelry, home decor, accessories, etc…you name it, it’s probably up for swaps." —dividedbyzero

26. Follow your favourite beauty brands on social media. They'll often post about upcoming sales, and discount codes.

@jouercosmetics / Via Instagram: @jouercosmetics

"It can be a lifesaver!" —Kelsey McGuire, Facebook

27. Wait until you have $50 worth of product to order from Sephora online so shipping is free. Take advantage of the three free samples you automatically get with purchase.


"I haven’t bought perfume in years, because I have enough samples to last me a very long while. Lastly, take advantage of the weekly specials shopping code Sephora provides on their site to score a bonus-sized sample. You end up with so much free makeup that it really stretches the time between initial purchase and needing to restock." —leahlantryh

28. Get a MAC Pro card!

@belroque / Via

"I haven’t worked as a paid makeup artist in over 10 years, but once a year I pay my $45 membership and get 40% off all my purchases (which I can easily make back in one trip). Best deal ever! MAC is cheaper than drugstore for me!" —suzannec411531ac7

To apply for a MAC Pro Card, read the terms here.

29. Sign up for Influenster and Bzzagent.


"After doing the surveys they usually send me full size beauty products to try for free and I just review it and include photos, etc." —nancyp4cdf73662

30. Try the Honey extension for Google Chrome. It has a lot of coupon codes for different stores.



Read more about Honey here.

31. Wait for Ulta to do their 21 Days of Beauty in March and September!


"It’s great if you want to try new products or just stock up, you can get some high-end makeup for like 50% off." —caraobiwan

32. Use Shopkick! It's an app for iOS and Android where you can get free gift cards to stores like Sephora and Macy's!


"Also swagbucks where you do surveys!" —Erin Marie, Facebook

Download Shopkick for iOS here or for Android here.

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