How to Maximize Your Beauty Budget: A College Student’s Guide

With all the demands of being a student, your beauty budget may take a seat to the more important necessities, things like text books, meal plans, and housing. As you sit at your dorm window and wallow in your life of mere survival, you may think that feeling and looking good is a post-graduation luxury. Fortunately, pretty doesn’t come at a high price, and there are plenty of hacks to have you feeling like a Kardashian with products right off the drugstore shelves. Here’s how!

How to Maximize Your Beauty Budget: A College Student’s Guide

Save your money for the face products.

There are plenty of ultra-cheap color products that are just as good as department store brands, but you may want to set aside the bulk of your beauty budget for face products. This includes foundation and skincare, which form the basis of any look. Having a clear and clean canvas will eliminate the urge to pile on product, so choose skincare products that are quality and won’t clog your pores. Luckily, drugstores offer many viable options, but this is where you want to be careful. Don’t skimp on foundation either, as you want to find a base that is suitable for your particular skin while not breaking you out (and thus requiring more foundation).

Pro Tip: Use a brush or your fingers to apply foundation, as sponges tend to absorb creams and waste  product.

How to Maximize Your Beauty Budget: A College Student’s Guide

Even better, double dip.

Products are pretty versatile once you know all the tricks. An easy way to save money while still looking fly is to use the same product for multiple purposes. If you’re really looking to save (money and time), opt for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to slap on in the mornings. This will eliminate the need for both foundation and moisturizer, while still giving your skin added coverage. Following the same guidelines above, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra here, as color products are a dime a dozen!

For decades, women have been using lipstick as cream blush, and the trend has recently resurfaced. Get that doll-like natural glow by using your lip shade on the apples of your cheeks for a chic and coordinated makeup look (even on a pretty tight beauty budget).

How to Maximize Your Beauty Budget: A College Student’s Guide

Palettes, palettes, palettes!

The eye palette is an absolute staple that does NOT require tons of cash. Drugstores have recently upped their games with creamier formulas, but the difference between drugstore and department brands is quite trivial. Sure, you may have to work a little harder to blend, but who cares? You’re a woman with priorities; you’re used to working hard.

Opt for natural palettes that include a shimmery shade for the lid, a matte shade for the crease, and a darker color for the lash line. Even better, find a palette with a matte shade that could also double as your contour shade, meaning it possesses cooler undertones to mimic a shadow. The shimmery shade can double as a highlight, while you can forgo eyeliner by pressing the darkest color into your lashline. Voila!

How to Maximize Your Beauty Budget: A College Student’s Guide

Think before you throw out that receipt.

Seriously. Most drugstores offer plenty of deals and BOGO sales that find themselves at the bottom of the trash bin. Become a coupon queen, and save the receipts and catalogs for more than just scrap paper. Oftentimes you can find great deals on the essentials (like shower products, and duh, mascara) that can keep you stocked for a long time–for less. Many stores are recently offering generous return policies as well, so you don’t waste your money on duds. Just remember, it doesn’t take an army of expensive products to make you beautiful; you already are!

What are some ways you maximize your beauty budget? Let us know in the comments below!

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