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For lots of women, a beauty routine is an essential part of life. In fact, there are some women who wouldn’t even leave the house without make-up. But it can also be an expensive habit: for example, a MAC lipstick is £15.00 and a single Nars eyeshadow palette could set you back £18.00*.

To help out, we’ve put together a few handy tips for saving money on make-up and beauty. It’s all about being smart with your money and not being afraid to try some cheaper alternative products.

Be a bit less picky

One of the best ways to save on beauty products is by opting for own-brand basics. Products like make-up removing wipes, cotton wool buds or nail-polish remover often tend to be very similar and you could save money by buying own-brand over more expensive branded competitors.

If you’re not willing to go completely off-brand, try budget shops for branded products. Retailers such as Wilko or Home Bargains offer a number of top brands significantly cheaper than high-street competitors. This is a great way to buy products such as shampoo or sun cream: a 200ml bottle of factor 50 Nivea sun spray will cost you £8.00 from Boots or just £3.99 from Home Bargains.

Be a savvy shopper

Make-up shops often place their most expensive products at eye level to entice you, so don’t be taken in by an impressive display or an over-eager sales girl. Rather than buying on a whim, consider beforehand what products you don’t already have and what you actually need. Watch videos of make-up tutorials and reviews of different products before making a big purchase.

Don’t be afraid to try a few different places and experiment with a variety of products until you find the one that suits you. Test out every product you look at on the back of your hand to check you really do like the colour and tone. If you’re not sure about something, buy a small size or ask for a sample – and don’t be afraid to return a product you’re not happy with.

If you watch a lot of beauty bloggers on YouTube, check the description boxes of videos for discount codes for products they use in their videos. Bloggers who get sent a lot of products to promote may also sell some online on their websites, often for a discount. There are also websites online dedicated to finding cheaper versions of high end products, such as budget versions of MAC lipsticks.

Another way to bag a bargain is to pick up a loyalty card. The Boots Advantage card is one of the most generous around. As well as making back four points on every pound you spend, you will also receive coupons in the post that can help you take advantage of savings and offers.

Don’t give up on existing products

There are many different ways to lengthen the life of your make-up. Broken lipsticks can be heated up to melt back together and if you have an eye shadow you don’t wear anymore, you can mix it with a clear nail polish to make a new shade for your fingers. You also can find tutorials online on cheap ways to wash your makeup brushes. If you do find yourself going through brushes quickly, a budget alternative can be to buy basic paintbrushes instead – they’re often of a similar quality and come in a range of sizes.

It’s really easy to save money in your beauty regime, so take the time to think about what you’re spending your money on and if you really need to do this. Other helpful ways to cut down on costs include looking around for free or discounted haircuts – check out our blog to find out how you could get your hair cut for free in London.

*Prices correct at time of writing - 09/09/2016 

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