Sunday, 15 March 2015

Beauty On A Budget: A Student's Guide

beauty, lifestyle, money, budgeting, savvy, shopping, saving, make-up, cosmetics, student, lifestyle, 2015, youwishyou,

The struggle of being on a tight budget and make-up lover is real. As a student I know first hand that it isn't easy to feed a beauty habit when you don't have much of a disposable income and although it works for some people to go cold turkey, for some of us a spending ban just won't cut it. One benefit of being skint (really the only benefit) is that you're forced to learn to be clever with your money; not just setting a budgeting but being able to make it stretch.

-Get Educated On Dupes-

I've said it before, I'll say it again, who doesn't love a good dupe? 
Dupes are also a great way to try before you buy in a sense as you can see how you get along with the cheaper alternative before forking out for the expensive version. You might find yourself falling in love with the dupe anyway, so don't feel you need to buy the expensive one anymore, which is always great when you are looking to save yourself some money. Unless it's a product you know you 100% need and will get on with, I'd always recommend trying a dupe before the expensive version if you're shopping within a budget as you may be saving yourself quite a bit of money in difference. If your unsure of what dupes are out there, one of my favourite places to find them (and favourite places in general) is Pinterest, so have a browse of that before splurging.

-Find Hidden Discounts-

I'm all about hunting those bargains out, and there are places all over the web that have hidden discounts available. When I'm shopping online I always search for coupon codes to get money off my basket and one of the best websites to find these codes is My Voucher Codes. They have codes available for some of my favourite stores like ASOS, House Of Fraser and The Body Shop. I know sometimes coupon code sites can be a bit intimidating as, let's be honest, a lot of them look illegitimate and the codes barely work, but My Voucher Codes is definitely the best of the bunch as it has a clean, easy to navigate website which is updated constantly so you can find and use your discount codes quickly and easily.

Another website that's my go-to for finding discounted items is Fragrance Direct, which has a massive range of discounted make-up, skincare and fragrance products. If there's a particular make-up item or fragrance that I'm after (particularly fragrance, they have a wider range with more impressive discounts), I'll have a quick check to see if it's available on this site before heading to town for it. 

-What's Worth Your Investment?

So, this is something that I feel would change from person to person as we all have those individual areas in beauty that we care about that little bit more than the others. For me it's skincare as it's where I have the strictest regime and have to be very picky, therefore I allow myself to spend more money on it. I'd spend £30 on a cleanser in a blink of an eye as I know that makes the biggest difference to me but I would save my pennies for a while before splashing out £30 on a lipstick. However, someone may find that they have very dry lips and a lot of drugstore lipsticks formulas aren't compatible with their lips as a result, so that would be their investment area. I find myself wondering over to websites such as Born Pretty when looking for a particular item that I don't want to spend the world on such as fake lashes, makeup sponges and nail accessories; they have a huge variety to choose from and at a fraction of the prices in stores!

-Don't Impulse Buy-

Damn, the amount of things I've returned as a result of impulse buying. Impulse buying is an absolute devil, it's so, so easy to do but it can really throw a spanner in the works when you're trying to stick to a budget. The thing with impulse buying as well is that if you're not strict with yourself it becomes a habit so you've really got to cut it out completely, then when you have the money to spend you can free of guilt and worry. When you're in town shopping for something in particular write yourself a shopping list of exactly what you need and don't stray from it! Likewise, if you're shopping online for something then stumble across something you want but isn't within your budget for the week or month, bookmark it and go back to it when you can definitely afford it. I find waiting a week or two will also help determine if you actually want it; there's been so many occasions when I've been close to buying something, then I've resisted, bookmarked it, gone back to it in a week and thought 'I don't even like this'. 

These are the main things I've learnt that help me still maintain my make-up obsession whilst on a tight budget, I hope they can be useful to you too if you need to cut back on your beauty spending but don't fancy the idea of a complete spending ban!

Have you entered my advertising and beauty bundle giveaway? Prizes include make-up from MAC, Make-up Revolution and Collection!



  1. This is such a helpful post! I definitely struggle with not buying things, I hate a spending ban! x
    Eden x / edenroses

  2. I'm not a student anymore but still have to reign in my spending! I definitely need to investigate more dupes to save money. Great post x

    embrace the detours

  3. Elf seriously is a lifesaver. To be honest, their liquid eyeliner has lasted me longer than any other brand I've bought, for sure! I love this post. Very helpful to those who ARE on a budget :D

    Kalee |

  4. Pinterest is perfect for finding highstreet dupes for high end products, there are so many x

  5. There's some great advice here! I definitely recommend dupes, some are even better than the real thing!
    Hayley -

  6. I am the worst with money, and I impulse buy all the time, basically constantly! It's not good. I definitely think shopping for dupes and discounts is the best way to save money.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  7. We're definitely ones for spending way too much money on makeup that we're then too scared to use because it looks pretty in the pan!
    We love ELF and Barry M for all of our essentials on a budget.

  8. Love the pinterest tip, I've never even thought about looking for dupes on there, I'm always too busy looking at baking recipes!

  9. What a really good post for students on a budget, full of interesting tips!!

    Great post.

  10. This post is perfect! I always look for a bargain even when it comes to make-up, and honestly, I am surprised at how good the 'cheap' brands are!

    Much love,

    Lauren Nicole O'Hara
    Lifestyle Blogger

  11. I keep a beauty product wishlist so that when I do come into some money, I'll remember what I really wanted and avoid impulse splurges!


  12. I always buy dupes, in fact i want high end but i just cant justify it anymore especially when sometimes its the price of a lunch out that I could have!! I love using cashback sites and my unidays is always pretty helpful too xx

  13. Really good tips! A friend of mine also enlightened me to the 'honey' way of life - it's a chrome app that shows you discount codes running for the site you're on... then tries them all for you!

    little miss fii || Fii x

  14. I really need to look more into dupes! I also like to use eBates for shopping online and it gives you cash backs and shows you the available coupon codes from the stores you want to purchase from.

  15. This is such a helpful post! I'm so bad at impluse buying I literally can't help myself. I use voucher codes all the time when I shop online, and cashback sites too - I've earned over £250 from them so far!! Great post x

    emily x ❤ | emilyloula


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