Shop Smarter: Don't Splurge on these 8 Beauty Products
Updated: May 2, 2020
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If you know me, you know I like to save where I can and SPLURGE where it matters. Beauty products and skincare became the center of my spending a few years ago and after trying multiple expensive products, and a visit to my Derm... I realized some of the lesser expensive alternatives worked just as well (if not better) for me.
As a general rule: Splurge on what makes you happy and what makes you feel your best.
Now, if you're trying to cut back on beauty expenses without sacrificing quality I've compiled a few items you can easily swap for cheaper items in order to save some cash.
01. Makeup Remover
Something we use EVERY day and BLOW through fairly quickly, therefore, spending a ton ON is makeup remover. This is a simple one to save on because essentially they really ALL do the same thing, albeit some better than others.
So I found the happy middle ground between being able to remove my make-up effectively and also be approved by my Dermatologist: Micellar Water.
It's very inexpensive, the residue is fairly easy to wash off and it lasts me around 2 months.
02. Makeup Brushes
Hear me out. If you are a beauty aficionado or a professional hair and makeup artist then, by all means, splurge on these. But if you're like me and only wear eye shadow to parties or Halloween then... do you really need a $30 brush?
There is no need to spend a ton on these when you're really not using them to their full potential and can get by with one that costs less than $10... a pack.
03. Facial Cleanser
If you haven't yet been to your Dermatologist for a consultation let me repeat what 3 Dermatologists have said to me every. single. time.
Your facewash should do ONE thing and that is CLEAN your face. The fancier you go with your facewash the higher the chance your facewash will have more ingredients than it needs to actually get that ONE job done.
Their recommendations always involve something like Cetaphil or Cerave for my sensitive skin. I know you're thinking "but those don't remove all of my make-up", but hey that's what make-up remover is for.
04. Cotton rounds
Cut down on waste and expenses by eliminating these from your routines and shopping carts.
Let's focus on re-usable, washable, sustainable products like these.
They work just as well and take up LESS space.
*The prices pictured are my personal expenses, prices can vary by retailer, size, and sales.
Related: The best makeup remover
05. Nail Clippers, Combs
Ok, so at some point, I owned like 15 nail clippers and combs, some in travel bags, some in random purses, a few extras that came in kits.
There is no reason to have so many of these and absolutely no reason to splurge on one when you can find them for SO cheap and they all do the same thing. Matter of fact, I can't tell which one of my nail clippers is the expensive one of the bunch and which comb came from the Dollar Store.
This tried and true Revlon Nail Clipper is under $3.
Related: How to Always Look Put Together
06. Hair clips and Hair ties
Bobby pins, hair clips, any one of these things should never be a splurge.
I know there are fancier "no break, no crease" hair ties out there but trust me :( they do NOT work.
I have them and if you like a tight ponytail your hair WILL inevitably have some form of crease. (If you have one you swear by let me know in the comments...)
And besides, don't we lose them all anyway?
Super affordable hair ties here.
07. Edge and Fly-away tamer
Edge tamers / Fly away tamers, basically any putty, pomade, or gel you need to make your hair stay in place.
Get edge tamer here.
Tip: Buy mini sized mascaras!
For a while I believed all mascaras were basically different variations of the same formulation. While most mascaras still contain: Humectants, Thickeners, Emollients, and Preservatives now mascaras have a lot of additions thanks to the beauty industry boom this decade. We have seen so many new companies, advancements, tweaks, and additions to formulations I can't say they're all the same anymore.
What I CAN share is my money saving hack: Buy mini sized mascaras.
My go-to mascara for years was Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara but alas their formulation changed. This new formulation didn't work for me so I went with a cult favorite:
Too Faced's Better than Sex mascara mini size for $13.00
I didn't want to splurge on the full size in case I didn't like it. Well, I LOVED IT. So I bought the full size ($25) only to realize it lasted the SAME amount of time as the mini size. The fact is mascaras dry up after a few months of use no matter how much product is left in the tube.
BONUS. Retinoids / Retinol
The main reason you shouldn't spend on over the counter retinols or retinoids (or go crazy trying to solve your skin issues on your own) is that you should visit your Dermatologist to address your skin problems.
If indeed a retinol/retinoid is for you, you can have this prescribed and fully or at least partially covered by your insurance.
IF your insurance won't cover this OR if you don't have insurance visiting your Dermatologist is STILL the best way to determine the safest and most effective skincare routine for you.
Related: Shop Smarter; The 10 clothing items you shouldn't splurge on
Got any more products to add to this list?
Let us know below!