Save. Spend. Splurge.

Inexpensive beauty tips to help save you money

What I personally spent on beauty

  • 2012 = $1646.99 or $157.56 a month
  • 2011 = $1385.57 or $115.46 a month
  • 2010 = $1287.40 or $107.28 a month
  • 2009 = $411.65 or $34.40 a month

Hmm. Somewhere between 2009 and 2010, my makeup collection exploded, and I can definitely attest to that. I started playing around with makeup more, and trying out natural products, which accounts for the higher price tags.

I admit it all!

The good news is that now I have everything I need, and I am very reluctant to buy more.

I still try to save money, and I really believe you don’t need to spend that much (even what I spend is a bit crazy to me) to look great, here are a few of the ways I save money but still keep up on looking my best:

Wear Sunscreen Daily

I can personally attest to this. After I started regularly patting on a physical sunscreen (not chemical), I’ve noticed my skin has looked much healthier, with less blotches and my dark spots are fading, and not multiplying.


It can be hard to wear a physical sunscreen because it turns your face white, it peels off when you wear a primer and it’s just another layer you feel may not be as necessary…. however it is my staple now.

With physical sunscreens, I am currently using Skinceuticals Physical UV SPF 50 Defense sunscreen by itself (no makeup needed), or the Suhadafit Sarasara Skin UV Milk in SPF 50.

Use a Clarisonic Mia Face Brush

Instead of going to spas where I spent $100+ a visit, I bought myself the cheapest-of-the-line Clarisonic Face Brush for $119.

Within the first two weeks of using it, it has been a HUGE difference.

My skin feels softer, I use it twice daily, and it’s never been better. Totally worth the cost.

Use Coconut Oil as a Hair Treatment

You can also try Argan Oil, but I read a study that said coconut oil is the only oil that absorbs into your hair, not olive oil or almond oil.

I rub a little on the ends and let it soak in.


Sleep at least 8 hours a day

I know this sounds silly, but it helps. Sleeping helps you look and feel more energized, which is always a good thing.

Always remove your makeup before sleeping

I’ve never understood the idea of not removing makeup before sleeping, because I’ve never skipped this step. I like my skin to look and feel clean before bed, which means I have to remove every bit of it before I crash!

My friends however, admit to this sin of not removing their makeup before sleeping and it shows on their faces in breakouts the next day.

Avoid junk and processed foods, even dairy in some cases

I don’t care what anyone says, the day I stopped eating junk and processed foods, was the day my skin cleared up.

Now when I eat junk, you can see it on my face.

You will look more attractive if you eat more fruits and vegetables.

Your skin will know exactly what you are ‘allergic’ to by breaking out after you keep eating certain foods.

For me, I think it’s the ‘soy lecithin‘, which pops up in processed and junk foods often, used as an emulsifier. I noticed that every time I ate something with that single ingredient in there, I broke out.

Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients were things like cocoa, cocoa butter, and sugar — everything I have independently verified I am not allergic to.

You’ll also save a bundle of cash by cooking at home and eating healthier, which drops your healthcare and dental costs as well!

How much do you spend on beauty?

Do you have any other tips?


  • Pauline @ Make Money Your Way

    I don’t spend much on beauty, being tanned most of the year (and sweating!) I almost never wear makeup. My day cream is Elizabeth Arden with SPF15 which is pretty low so I wear 50 if I stay under the sun on a day trip. Other than this, not much!

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      If I lived where you lived, or in a country that was hot year-round, I wouldn’t wear ANY makeup.

      That is the case now, I don’t wear anything on my face in Europe because it’s so damn hot in Spain… I just wash with water.

  • Aleksie

    Don’t touch your face too much because the dirt and oil from your hands can get on your face and clog your pores.

    Drink plenty of water. Hydration helps your skin so much.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I really try to drink a lot of water but I always feel too full or bloated. I drink when I feel like I need a drink or when I am thirsty but no more and no less.

      I also try not to touch my face but it’s so hard… 😛

  • Debt Blag

    Oh my. Remind me never, as a man, to complain how expensive it is to take care of myself…

    As someone who just can’t stay in bed past six hours, I’ve finally become OK with believing that it’s different for different people. There’s some science too

    To be fair though, I’m not very pretty… but I don’t know that this has to do with sleep…

    • Paige

      @Debt Blag: Too much sleep is a symptom of severe depression which is definitely associated with a shorter life span. I agree with you that each person has different sleep needs. We need to listen to our bodies as much as possible when trying to determine our own “correct” amount of sleep.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Yes, you are not allowed to complain any more. You don’t have to wax or shave anything, which is extremely painful…

      Haha! Sleep is something that really does help your body repair itself, so I’m on board with sleeping a lot.

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