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i’m more of a drugstore gal since there are ways to get the desired effect (whether on eyes, lips, face) that’s similar to using dep’t. store brands. im into online shopping since some local e-tailers offer big discounts. 😀 when makeup gurus (like you :D) come out w/ all those MAC, i try to find cheaper dupes and work it out with what i already have.. 🙂

shopping my stash works, too! 😀 i definitely don’t need the same matte or shimmer white e/s or a blue-toned pink l/s! :))

I agree, drugstore, drugstore, drugstore! Brands like Milani, L’Oreal Hip, and NYC have some of the same products that MAC and Urban Decay have – like the crazy pigmented colors and the long-lasting lip colors. As much as I LOVE the department store and Sephora brands, drugstore is perfect for beauty-on-a-budget in this economy. And with all of the great looks posted on this site, it’s easy to print out the picture, head to the drugstore, and play match-up!

I agree. Milani has some pretty amazing things for less then 3 or 4 dollars. I love their eyeshadows, lip liners, eyeliners, bronzers. I hesitantly tried their foundation and now I am in love with it. NYX jumbo pencils are the best eye primers. the colors just glide on.

Shop my stash. Yea, that’s one good way. Wait… there’s the ONLY way I know!! I need some tips!! I can’t stop!!

Or I start exploring drug store brands which I don’t normally try out. And then I end up buying a BIG BUNCH of drugstore products that I sometimes don’t end up using. So much for a saving strategy.


When you want to go out and beauty shop, figure out what it is exactly you would buy (i.e. that gold shadow from MAC you’ve had your eye on, your HG red lipstick to repurchase, etc.) and see if 1. You can mix and match a few colors from your existing products to get a good dupe of what it is you want, or 2. You can find a cheaper version – I find that getting samples from MAC is a good way to get a new product, with spending a fourth of the price. We ALL know that if you buy as many beauty products as you do, you probably won’t go through a whole product and a sample will suffice. 🙂
Hope I helped!
– Hi 🙂

When possible I buy the lil pans for the mac pallets to save a few bucks. I try to purchase items from sephora where you get samples and have a point system to get more for your buck. My lip primer is always a drugstore chapstick. Thanks to you I am able to look at several collections ahead of time and budget! Still, if I have to I can say no to LE es/glosses/blushes but if I run out of mositurizer/foundation/mascara I think it is critical to cough up the $.

I normally try to buy eyeshadow,lipstick and blush palettes instead of buying them separately when possible.

Honestly I just try to think about how much am I going to use the product I am buying and if it’s necessary. Plus NEVER impulse purchase, this is where I always tend to spend too much.

Brushes and hair care. It’s fine that others spend $20+ on brushes separately but I absolutely can’t when I could be using that money on make up. Same with hair care…I budget more on hair stuff and even clothes so that I can splurge on make up.

Cut down spending in other areas! For me it’s usually clothes and stuff, I shop high street (which suits me fine) so I can get more makeup etc. I’m also trying to shift a few of my drugstore purchases on my blog so I can get what I want 🙂

I preview awesome sites (like Temptalia!) before making purchases. It helps me pick and choose what I need to make a trip to the store for. Saves money and gas 🙂

Yeah, I totally do this. I like to know what everyone’s in love with and which products to be leary of. generally, if everyone’s raving about something, I’ll probalby be pretty happy with it.

I never buy anything at full price. I only buy if it’s on sale or if there’s an awesome GWP that I know I’ll use. Free shipping also helps!

I try to think of drugstore products I can use to substitute for higher end products. For example, I recently switched to Maybeline’s eyebrow pencil, which cost me half of what I was paying for MAC’s product. I also switched mascaras. I was using MAC’s Plush Lash, and switched to a drugstore brand. I know that I am always going to use MAC’s eyeshadows (just can’t give them up!), so I try to think of other areas where I can “go drugstore” ans still achieve the same look.

i LOVE mac’s eyeshadows – I really, really hope that a drugstore brand comes out with a shadow formula like mac’s at an affordable price. I heard L’Oreal Hip and Milani shadows are good-quality dupes! 🙂

i LOVE mac’s eyeshadows – I really, really hope that a drugstore brand comes out with a shadow formula like mac’s at an affordable price. I heard L’Oreal Hip and Milani shadows are good-quality dupes! 🙂 What drugstore mascara did you switch to? I switched from MAC Mascara X to Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft – the Maybelline is half the price and works twice as well. After hearing rave reviews, I also want to try L’Oreal Voluminous. 🙂
Happy makeuping!
– Hi 🙂

I budget on my clothes/eat out to save money for my MAC! I don’t have any other addictions other than Mac so I figure I’m doing good…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself! LOL!

I actually try to look more for multi-purpose products. Things like MAC cream color bases or NARS multiples (ELF has something very similar to those) can be used in many ways without spending more money on each product separately. For example I own a MAC cream color base in fabulush. I use this on my eyes, (even though you are cautioned against it), cheeks and lips. You can also try to use products that you already have in new ways. For example, I use my MAC MSF’s for eyeshadow as well as for face color. I find it fun to try and use products that I already own in new ways!

I do the same too!
I love to find new ways to use products that I have. Some lip liners become eye liners and vice-versa, blush and finishing powders can be used as e/s and even as l/s with a clear l/g as a base. Pigments are also very versatile. There are really no rules that says that an e/s should only be used as such, or any other product for that matter.
That’s my only strategy because I honestly don’t do anything else to save money on m/u and beauty products! Plus, I don’t really do that to save $$$, but more for fun & creativity! I know, I’m really bad 😛

Well, I don’t suppose praying is a major strategy? I’m in serious need of a new shadestick since it’s the only base that works for me and I’m being forced to spend what ever money I have on clothes. =/

I usually look for coupons or BOGO deals for drugstore brands, and alot of times I’ll hit up Ulta since they always have promotions going with their club card!

When it comes to mascara or things that have a short shelf life more than likely id go for drugstore but when it comes to items like foundation or moisturizer i prefer department store. I usually try to stock up when they have sales and browse different sites to find the better deal.

I’ve been buying only stuff on Cherry Culture and those huge palettes with a ton of different colors from China on eBay, except foundation, because I’ve found that Studio Fix fluid is worth the money more than any drugstore foundation. I’ve also been spending way less, under $100 a year, and looking in my collection for similar things that I saw that I liked and wanted to buy. Even though I haven’t really been affected that much by the recession it’s still good to save money and utilize what I’ve already got.

I always swing by CCOs when I get the chance. I’ve found a lot of good perm items there including brushes. I also save a little by getting the blush and eyeshadow pans instead of the pots.
I haven’t seen a huge difference with expensive skin care so I save money by using drugstore cleansers and products.

i pretty much only buy when things are on sale, especially since there have been sooo many sales lately! i have a running wishlist in my head and i try to refrain until a good deal comes up. also, i swap for things i kindof want to try but am not willing to pay for. my skincare is all pretty cheap (except for the clarisonic i bought full price last year >.<, but worth it). the only thing i’ve splurged on this year is the bobbi brown eye brights palette that i got at her 25% off sale + free shipping.

I buy discontinued/limited edition lip glosses and bronzers off Ebay. I only splurge on skin and hair care. I rarely buy any HE items. MAC is really mid-end; so, I only dabble in that when the mood hits. I use MAC pigment samples.

My mom works at Macy’s and I still qualify for the dependent discount. (And sometimes she just pays the bill without asking me to cough up the money 🙂 ) So I very rarely will buy anything if Macy’s doesn’t carry it. Only if I can get a really good sale, like Sephora Friends and Family, or if it’s something that I just HAVE TO HAVE. In addition to that, about 2 times per year there is an additional discount on cosmetics and fragrances. In December I got 50% off!!! So I stockpiled like crazy 🙂 Oh and also, there are no Bloomingdale’s stores around me, but my boyfriend lives near one, so if I go to visit him, I can use the discount there for some other higher end brands that Macy’s does not carry.

Yea I’ll pretty much be screwed if my mom decides to quit her second job, lol.

I try not to get over excited with new collections. First, when I see the pre views here… man, I want everything! Then I think twice at home before going to the shop and make the list. I try to buy only essentials which can’t be duped by anything in my stash. Or not to but a bold color which I find really, REALLY pretty, but I know I will wear once in a 6 months.

I try to save up money every day, not to buy snacks and not to spend too much money when I go out aswell.

I, like other ladies, wait for sales. When companies I like run a promotion that’s when I get my goodies!

I just stop buying. I have enough stuff to do a variety of looks and can easily convince myself I don’t need new stuff. It helps to add up the cost (plus tax) of the new stuff you want and consider how much that is. Just think about what else you could spend it on, or what else you’d rather spend it on!

Ulta 20% off coupons for when I want to buy another Urban Decay 24/7 liner. I refuse to buy MAC eyeshadows unless it’s in a pan form, same goes with other eyeshadows! I’ll only buy a new eyeshadow if it is in a palette or can be put in a palette, good for saving money and for organizing!

Hit up Beautycrunch for Stila steals! I’m really trying to restrain myself until May, when the new Stila Indian Summer line comes out.

Oh and Makeup Alley may not be for everyone, where you swap make up you don’t use anymore with other users on the site, but this is a good place to swap for MAC pigment samples.

I wait til Walgreens, Rite Aid, or Long Drugs have the BUY ONE GET ONE FREE deal. They ALWAYS have it every week but you gotta look in the ads depending which brand you want but at least one of these stores have it. If not, wait til next week! This week Rite Aid has Revlon buy one get one free and I am thinking about getting the Colorstay foundation but I still have A LOT of other foundation so I will wait on it. =) I only buy drug store items for BUY ONE GET ONE FREE because it’s sucha great deal. I recently got the Maybelline Stilletto at that deal so it came out around $4 something each rather have $9 a piece!!!!

For Sephora, I usually wait until they send me a $15 off or 15% off for being a beauty insider or wait for the friends and family 20% off. If not, then I wait until they give out a trial size sample of something or more samples at checkout.

Well mostly I wait for wait there’s deals out there and always get free shipping!!!

try not to get into the frenzy of the new releases.. specially that MAC is having evey other week or so. Just stick to what you really need and avoid getting dupes.

Also try ordering online from sephora or ulta or website that gives samples and free shipping… if you cant get the product at a discount price, atleast get some freebies with it.

drugstore brands like Loreal HIP eyeshadows are the best. NYX is very good too so try dupes for MAC colors. These lists the dupes very well.


I shop online when there’s a good sale. When there was the 30% of prescriptives sale, i tried their foundation and also bought a gel liner, even though i wouldn’t otherwise have gotten it there. Of course, i scoured the internet for reviews on what i bought before i made my purchase.

Also, when i go to Sephora, i limit myself to one full price item.

When I shop, I think of the things that are most important. When it comes to nail polish and mascara, I usually by drugstore brands because personally, I find them better than any high-end brand. And usually, I plan in advance the things I want from MAC or Sephora (looking at future collections) then crossing out the things I can live without so I can save the most money possible.

I swap things that I don’t use. I sometimes sell it online. I also buy slightly used makeup from other people. I take advantage of sales.

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