Beauty on a Budget

Sometimes products that make us look and feel our best can be expensive. However, I do not believe the price tag should stop us from using the things that make us feel confident. Over time, I’ve found some ways to avoid the price tag while still enjoying products I love (and need)!

Perfume Dupes

First on my list is perfume dupes. The dupes smell good and are easy on your wallet. Both CVS and Walgreens offer dupes for name brand perfume items such as YSL, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, and more. And for any men reading this, they offer cologne dupes as well!

  • CVS sells Perfect Scents for $9.99 and 2.5 oz of product
  • Walgreens sells Instyle Fragrances for $11.99 and 3.4 oz of product

I will purchase either brand (depending on where I’m shopping that day) because I personally like both. The dupes are sometimes on sale for buy 1 get 1 free or buy 1 get 1 half off which makes the beauty savings even better. Using these dupes can save you $50-70 per bottle of perfume. I have found the dupes are not always as strong and long-lasting as the name brand item, so my solution is to buy your favorite luxury brand for special occasions and use the dupes on a day to day basis.

Reusable Razors

Next up is reusable razors. I stumbled upon this razor when I was frustrated with my sensitive skin and razor burn. The Panasonic Close Curves 3-Blade Wet & Dry Women’s Rechargeable Electric Shaver retails for $19.99 at Target and has lasted me close to 4 years already. The beauty of this razor is it can be used wet or dry, making it easy to touch up missed spots (which seems to happen every time I shave) and it does not give me razor burn. I still keep a traditional razor on hand for when I’m in a rush because the electric razor can take more time, but not buying blade refills has saved me so much money! Blade refills alone can add up to be $40-50 per year already saving me over $100 in the past 4 years.


Utilizing free samples / sample size products is one beauty savings technique that just recently brought me an exciting surprise. First, never pass up a free sample. I hope this point is obvious, but free samples are a great way to try out a product at no cost. The less obvious fact of this beauty savings subject is samples sized products. A lot of brands will sell their products in a smaller size for travel or for testing the product and it is usually cheaper. This is a great way to see if you think a product would be worth the investment, especially when it comes to high end makeup. Sample size products will let you know if the product is truly worth more than the drugstore option. I recently had a gift card to Sephora and planned to use it for new mascara. I have never bought high end mascara, but I figured with a gift card it would be worth a try. I picked out the mascara I wanted and just before I was checking out I saw a sample pack of 5 mascaras. This pack included the mascara I wanted to buy. The samples were $4 more, but would allow me to test all 5 mascaras verses just trying one. This seemed like an opportunity I could not pass up. After I got home, I opened the sample size mascaras to find a coupon for a FREE full size mascara of any of the 5 brands included in the sample. I’d consider that a win for me, testing 5 products and getting one full size for free. The point is, these sample sizes will be worth the investment to test products before buying them.

Having your nails done can make you feel more put together and looks nice for special occasions. Getting your nails done though can be quite expensive, especially on a college budget. I invested in a gel manicure kit which was a curing light and gel nail polish, totaling about $55. A gel manicure is usually around $25-30 which makes this investment worth it after just 2 uses. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to do your own gel manicure and it will last 1-2 weeks. This kit is great for regular use and then once in a while, you can treat yourself to the real manicure at a salon.

Buy 3 get 3 FREE

My final beauty savings tip is to wait for the deals and stock up. If there’s a product you love and frequently use up, buy it in bulk when it is on sale instead of waiting until you run out. I personally love the Bath & Body Works body creams. I put them on every day after I shower and it leaves me feeling moisturized and smelling fresh. The body creams retail for $13.50 each, but Bath & Body Works will usually have a buy 3 get 3 free sale before I run out. If I buy 6 of them and stock up, it cuts the price in half and will last me a long time before having to repurchase. If you have a staple product that usually goes on sale, pay attention to that and take advantage of it when you can.

If you try any of these beauty savings tips, let me know on social media and use #BeautyonaBudget. I hope you can start saving money in ways you didn’t even realize!

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