You can get really cheap make-up if you know where to shop.
Fiftypencefashion.com is exactly as it sounds – you can get a whole host of beauty goodies for 50p each. The minimum spend is £10, with free postage, so you'll get a fair haul for that.
It does stock some more well-known brands like Miss Sporty and Makeup Academy, but for the most part, expect unbranded items.
Fragrance Direct does cheap make-up from larger brands. You can bag a decent Maybelline eyeshadow product for less than £1 – that's if you're not taking advantage of the flash sales to pick up some other bargains.
Do your research
Reviews can save you a lot of time when you’re deciding what products to buy. Beauty blogs and vlogs have exploded on the internet in the past decade. You’ll get an idea of what the reviewer thinks of it and how it looks as well as seeing commenter feedback to help you make up your mind. YouTube is a great place to get some inspiration.
Discounts, voucher codes and cashback
Sales are always a cracking place to start for money saving. Check out beauty brand sales coming up over the summer months. You never know what bargains you might bag on your favourites.
Online shoppers can use a couple of sneaky tricks to save a bit of cash.
Voucher websites are a tremendous source of money saving on anything, let alone make-up. Try Voucher Codes and vouchercloud for a chance to get loads of money off at Boots, ghd, feelunique.com and more.
Cashback sites are great too as they give you money back on everything you spend. Sign up to a cashback site like TopCashback or Quidco for absolutely free and peruse their latest offers. After that, it's just a case of making your purchase as normal and waiting for your cashback to appear in your account.
Use the right card to pay
You can pocket further cashback if you do your shopping with a cashback credit card. Check out The best cashback credit cards.
Don’t forget loyalty cards
You should make the most of your loyalty cards too.
For example the Boots Advantage Card gives you four points for every £1 spent in store and ten points if you’re over 60 or in the Parenting Club.
Sign up to The Body Shop loyalty scheme and get 10 points for every £1 spent and you’ll get a £5 voucher to spend on any product every time you earn 500 points. You’ll even get a £5 gift on your birthday.
Those points can really add up and bag you some free goodies! Read about them at The top loyalty cards for shoppers: Boots, Nectar, Waterstones and more.
When it comes to actually buying, colours will be cheaper ‘off-season’. Brighter shades are more popular in the summer, while pastels are big in the spring and natural shades are more expensive in the autumn.
Working out prices per gram or millilitre could save you a fair bit too. Sometimes you’ll find that the smaller bottles will cost less per unit than the bigger ones so you’re better off buying two smaller bottles.
Try before you buy, as you might not like how the shade on the box looks on you. It can help you identify rashes and skin irritation before buying too.
Finally, have a careful look at returns policies. Expensive beauty products tend to have more lenient returns policies than their cheaper counterparts.
Test and sample
Sign up to a product testing website and you'll get free make-up sent through the post. Samples can come through as regularly as every week, and it's likely that you'll be asked to do reviews on social media or for the cosmetic company's website. You do have to fill in quite a detailed profile before you begin so that they know more about your age, lifestyle and skin type. Go to ProductTesting.uk.com for more information.
Have a look online for all sorts of free make-up samples. Free sample websites like Latest Free Stuff have entire sections devoted to free make-up and beauty products.
Women’s magazines are also really good sources of free cosmetics – they sometimes have free samples included. Have a flick through the competition pages too to see if you can win any more goodies.
You’ve probably been to one: a group of friends gather at someone's house, open a bottle of bubbly and talk about make-up, candles and even Tupperware, if you're into that kind of thing. Avon, The Body Shop, Mary Kay and other direct selling companies give you the chance to earn a few extra pounds selling their products around your own schedule.
As for cosmetics, Avon will send you new products to try for free. The snag with direct selling is that your income can be a bit volatile and you have to pay for catalogues.
So for all the fun, without worrying about profits, you could try holding swapping parties with friends or colleagues instead. Just rummage around for some unwanted make-up, get together and exchange it for something that you do want. For hygiene reasons, avoid swapping eyeliners, eyeshadows, mascaras and lipsticks.
Get money off treatments
Daily deals websites are filled with all sorts of money off deals on beauty treatments.
Groupon generally has some good deals, but if you want to find some lesser-known gems in your area then head over to Wahanda. It has hundreds of spas, salons and health centres to choose from. Just type in your postcode and off you go.
You can land a free haircut if you don’t mind having it done by a trainee stylist. They’ll be supervised by a senior hairdresser and will fix any mistakes they make free of charge. There may be certain styles or colours that they need to complete their training, so for women it’s ideal if you’re after a pixie or bob cut.
Much like the model haircuts, you can book in an appointment at your local beauty school so that the students can practice their newfound skills by giving you a treatment for a fraction of the price.
Make your make-up go further
First off, try using less make-up when you apply it and use the right tools to get the most out of your money. Don’t use sponges to apply foundation as they suck up valuable foundation which should be going on your skin. Use a brush instead as you’ll get more applications out of the bottle.
Store any liquid make-up and nail varnish in the fridge to help it last longer. Just keep it securely shut and away from the lightly-scented food.
Lush will give you a refill if you take your old empty container back to the shop.
Or you could use the empty containers to make your own cheap homemade alternative. All you need to do is have a root around in your kitchen cupboards for a wellbeing pick-me-up.
To make a lemon and honey facial scrub you need two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon each of lemon juice and olive oil and a tablespoon and a half of sugar. Blend the ingredients in a bowl, put it on your face and rinse with warm water.
Products that you don’t fancy anymore or that don’t suit you can be repurposed for another part of your beauty regime. For example, lip balm can be used to tame your eyebrows and moisturiser that’s a bit past its best can be used on dry elbows or calloused hands.