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42 Money-Saving Tips Every Makeup Addict Needs To Know

Less money, more makeup.

1. If you buy a lipstick but don't like the color, layer it with another brand to make it last longer and look better.

You can also add lip liner underneath or lip gloss on top to darken or lighten a shade that doesn't flatter you. See more here.

2. Get the last of any liquid makeup out of a tube using hot water and a small container, like a contact case.

Simply melt the product by setting it in warm water, then pour it out into a more shallow container. See the full instructions here.

3. The hot water trick also works for getting the clumps out of dried mascara.

4. You can recycle old MAC, Kiehl's, and Lush containers to get free products in return.

Check out each store's policy for details: MAC / KIEHL'S / LUSH.

5. If you want to recycle your shadow containers but you still have shadow left, learn how to de-pot the MAC shadows here.

6. You can also add a few drops of saline to old mascara to make it good as new.

7. Save money on things you can easily DIY. Like pricey brush cleaner.

Directions here.

8. And disposable cleansing cloths.

Directions here.

9. And mineral makeup.

Make your own Bare Minerals-style makeup with this tutorial.

10. Johnson's No More Tears Baby Shampoo makes a great (and cheap!) makeup remover.

Get it here.

11. Makeup stores like Ulta and Sephora put the most expensive products at eye level.

Make sure to look below eye level for things that might be the same quality but cost a lot less.

12. Reuse old brushes from more expensive brands in new bottles of cheaper mascara.

The brush is often what you're paying more for, so reusing can save you a lot of money. Just rinse your brush in hot water to get rid of clumps and you're ready to go.

13. You can reuse lots of old beauty tools for new things.

Mascara wands can be used for cleaning jewelry, taming fly-aways, unclogging drains and more. See them all here.

14. If your perfume is running low, pour the last drops into a bottle of (unscented!) lotion to make it last longer.

Marc Jacobs / Vaseline

15. Save money on liquid foundation by applying with a brush instead of a sponge.

Sponges absorb foundation so they use it up quickly. Instead, apply with a brush or a cotton round then blend with a sponge. See more about how to apply foundation here.

16. If you buy online at,, or, you get free samples.

Samples are great for trying out products you don't know whether you like, and also serve as free travel-size products for trips. See more tips on getting the most of your sample sizes here.

17. Keep an eye out for blog sales from beauty bloggers.

Bloggers who get sent or purchase too many products will often have sales of the unused ones at a steep discount. Check your favorite beauty blogs, this site, or search Bloglovin' for sales.

18. Before buying online, check RetailMeNot for coupons.

Even if they don't have huge savings, you can almost always find codes for free shipping. Visit here.

19. Use this nifty coin trick to get the most out of your powders.

20. Before you buy a whole bottle of perfume, ask the store for a few sample sizes.

You'll want to try it out for a couple of days to make sure you don't get tired of it before you invest. Almost all stores are happy to give you trial vials.

21. Cut open bottles to get all the product you might be missing otherwise.

This works even for sample sizes. Learn more here.

22. Doing the math can pay off: Some brands like Benefit sell smaller versions of popular products that are actually cheaper per ounce than the larger versions.

This reddit user figured out the trick and saved $52 on her haul.

23. Use paint brushes instead of makeup brushes.

They are much cheaper and you can find them with the same size and texture as makeup brushes at any art or craft store.

24. Use baby powder to get the look of falsies.

Just apply with a Q-tip in between coats of mascara. See the full tutorial here.

25. Lots of websites list the cheaper versions, or dupes, of high end products.

Places like this and this catalog every color and brand meticulously so you know which cheaper brands are the same shade and consistency, saving you big bucks.

26. And make sure to follow GlamCenter on Instagram for daily dupes.

27. Buy off-season shades to save cash.

Most brands rack up the prices of certain colors that are "in season," (bright colors in the summer, pastels in the spring, jewels and nude tones in the fall) even if they carry those shades year round. Stock up on the colors you like in the off season to avoid markup.

28. Buy a darker shade of foundation or bronzer than you normally use and mix it in with a little moisturizer to extend its use.

Or make a DIY bronzer with this recipe.

29. Fix broken eyeshadows and pressed powders with a little rubbing alcohol.

30. To prevent compacts from breaking in your bag, put a cotton ball or round inside.

31. Or, turn broken eyeshadow into a custom nail color by mixing the pigment with clear polish.

Get the directions here.

32. Instead of buying an expensive lip plumper, you can make your own with cinnamon oil.

33. Cut your makeup sponges and cotton rounds in half to get more uses out of them.

34. Pumping the wand traps air inside and makes the mascara dry out faster. Instead, spin the brush to get rid of clumps.

35. Fix broken or smashed lipstick by heating it quickly with a match or hairdryer.

See how here.

36. Or, for easier travel, learn how to de-tube your lipsticks and transfer them to a pot.

This is also better for brush applications and when you want to try and mix shades for a new hue altogether. Instructions here.

37. Store your makeup in the fridge to make it last longer.

Products that have oil, like lipsticks and liners and foundation, will eventually go rancid. And if your home is at drastically different temperatures throughout the year, it can damage your cosmetics. Keep them fresh as long as possible by storing them in a cool, dry place like the fridge.

38. Activated charcoal makes a great chemical-free smokey eyeliner.

You can find it at any drugstore, and it also comes in handy as a natural teeth-whitener. Instructions here.

39. Flash sale sites like Gilt and HauteLook often have beauty and makeup deals.

Check them often because the deals change every day.

40. Check the description box on YouTube tutorial and haul videos for discount codes.

Lots of bloggers have partnerships with their favorite brands and they pass the savings on to you. Make sure to check the full description for deals.

41. Discount stores like TJMaxx and Nordstrom Rack often have high-end products for a lot less.

And even if the powders or lipsticks are broken, you now know how to fix them! See some of the many brands they sell here.

42. If you get a product home and don't like it, just take it back! Almost all makeup stores and drugstores accept gently used makeup returns.

It can be life changing to feel OK buying makeup without testing it in the store and still have the option of getting your money back.