Posted 24th Mar 2023

Last week I went through my beauty cupboard (yes I have a makeup and skincare cupboard because I am a freak, don't judge me ) and I realise that in the last couple of years my habits related to purchasing beauty products or even just considering purchasing a skincare item or an eyeshadow palette have changed quite extensively.

Obviously the cost of living crisis is affecting every aspect of our daily life and doesn't spare our hobbies and passions, but with a bit of research and little adjustments you can still enjoy products or treatments without having to give them up completely.

I found a number of tricks and tips that helped me on a practical level to save some money but still be able to have a skin, hair and makeup routine that is right for my needs and doesn't break the bank.



1. Find Your "Core" Products And Stick To Them

As much as Social Media and Beauty Brands try to tell us we need a 21 steps skincare routine, we really don't.
I found that budgeting on the essentials leaves me some wiggle room at the end of the month to buy some small treats that I want to try.

Finding your core products doesn't mean going straight to luxury brands, but just putting together an essential routine tailored for your skin type, that will help with your basic needs and can look like the following:

  • Face Wash
  • Moisturiser
  • Eye Cream
  • SPF
  • Lip Balm

2. Shop Your Stash And Re-Purpose Products You Don't Use

Did you buy a cream and found out is too rich for your skin? Don't let it go out of date in your cupboard, just use it as a hand cream or a neck cream.

We all have products that we buy on a whim because we like the packaging or we just constantly see it on social media and we cave in for the fear of missing out (Hello FOMO!) and we either don't end up liking the formula or they are just not right for our skin. They don't have to go in the bin, you just need to find them another job.

3. Read Your Ingredient List For Best Value For Money Factor:

The INCI of a skincare product is the list of ingredients put in the back of beauty products packaging that relates to their percentage in the formula.

If you are buying a Hyaluronic Acid Serum for example, you want to check that products box and make sure that the acid is in the top three ingredients. Like this, you will ensure that your money are going towards a product full of active that will actually make a difference and it is not "watered down".

There are plenty of resources to use if you have any doubt likeINCI DECODER or SKINSORT


1. The Good Old Dupes

I wrote another full thread about them (HERE if you want to read) but finding dupes are the best and more immediate way to save money on your make-up.

Products Like E.L.F Cosmetics and Makeup Revolution have paved the way for drugstore brands to have in their range products very similar for formula and performance to high-end expensive ones, without the price-tag.

I recently ditched some VERY expensive complexion products and replaced them with dupes and I have to say, some cheaper items were not only comparable to their luxe counterpart, they were actually better.

A clear example for me has been Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter VSCollection Gorgeous Glow filter finish primer and illuminator: same formula, same consistency but I found the Collection one less greasy and more suitable for my textured skin. The price comparison is quite astonishing: £39 vs £6.99

Also, let's not forget budget-friendly stores such as Aldi, Lidl and Primark that recently came out with an impressive range of dupes, from make-up to skincare to perfumes. Absolute gold mines.

2. The Era Of Multi-Tasking Makeup Products:

I kept breaking my makeup pouches because I had them filled to the brim as I am the kind of person that needs to take a full face plus some more in her handbag every day.

It was not only impractical but also quite expensive as I kept leaving stuff in my office, losing chopsticks everywhere, breaking eyeshadow palettes in the tube and just buying a double of every product just to have it in the bag.

Multi-tasking products literally changed my life when it comes to practicality and performance.
A cream blush can be used for cheeks, lips and as a cream eyeshadow, a shimmer shadow can be also used as an highlighter, an eyebrow pencil can sometimes be a decent eyeliner and so on...

One good example that I have now in a few shades and occupies close to no space in my bag is the e.l.f. Monochromatic Multi Stick(my favourite is in the shade Luminous Berry)

3. Dig In That Tube

This is a thing I learned the hard way. I bought several base and complexion products and ended up throwing away loads of it when I thought it was finished as it was super hard to make it come out of the tube.

Turns out you need to cut that pack and rescue all the missing products we are just gifting to the garbage can.

Some tubes seem almost designed to make us mad on purpose with the plastic being so hard that you end up throwing away a quarter of the product but I took the executive decision that it doesn't matter how cute is the packaging, I will cut it out.

I recently did this with my Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation...I thought it was finished, I cut the pack and OMG the amount of products that was still in there was insane. Saved me from spending £35 way before time.


1. Cut the Wastage

Sounds kind of obvious but believe me when I started doing this I notice a big difference in how long my hair products were lasting: don't put too much stuff on your head!

Most products have directions on the back that need to be followed even if it seems like we are not using enough, we actually are and we can stop buying a bottle of shampoo every other week.

2. Welcome to the Land of Solid Products

Shampoo and Conditioner bars are the same exact products that our classic liquid ones, but they come in solid form.

Solid, organic hair care products are very popular right now but aside from the hype factor, as their active are more concentrated that classic liquid ones, I find them to have a bigger cleansing and moisturising power.
Due to their concentration, you end up needing way less product leading to a much bigger duration and money saving.

Holland & Barrett has quite a few brand to choose from, but my favourite ones are Jumping Juniper (£9) and Cocount Rice Cake (£9) both from LUSH.

3. Check for Students Hair Stylist

This is a thing I only started doing after I moved to the UK: if you need a basic cut or a basic colour or just a blowdry, instead of going with a professional stylist, you can book an appointment with a hair school student like the Tony & Guy Academy pupils.

They will most likely be supervised appointments with one of their tutor being present to guide them and you will get your service for a much much smaller price.

I personally had only good experiences with this practice but I would not advise going to these type of appointments if you need a complex service or you have very damaged/complicated hair.

A Couple of General Tips:

Always, always keep an eye on beauty retailer websites, Hotukdeals etc for codes and promotions. I often save a considerable amount of money just doing so. Subscribe to websites and retailers' newsletters as they often contain bespoke promotion and exclusive sales and discounts.

For the best beauty deals, always keep an eye on our Health & Beauty Categories:

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  1. Rmcstar's avatar
    Nice thread!
  2. Rena_P's avatar
    Thank you some great tips here. Recently my local poundland was selling Umberto Giannini shampoo/ conditioner for £2.50, savings for folks like me. Also got a bargain @superdrug 45p for panten "hair biology" hair mask.
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