Cheap Thrills: Beauty on a Budget

cheap thrills

A good beauty tip is like a good friend, it’s always there for you, and never gets old. A good, cheap beauty tip is like, well, winning the lottery! For just a few bucks, it can change your life forever. Read on for some of the best nuggets we’ve gathered over the years.   

Repurpose Your Makeup Counter Samples

Samples. Everyone loves them, but who really uses them? How many mini bottles of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer and patent leather makeup bags can we store in our bathroom cabinets? Yes, it’s nice to leave the makeup counter feeling like we’ve beat the system, but the thing is, we have our tried-and-true face lotions…and we’re not switching.  

However, there is a perfectly good use for those itty-bitty bottles of better-than-drugstore moisturizer: hand lotion! Just toss the bottles into your purse when you’re leaving Bloomie’s – and leave them there. The next time your hands are in need of moisturizing, you’ll be pleasantly equipped. 

St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub

Drugstore Exfoliator

St. Ives Apricot scrub. The standby. It’s been around forever, so it must be great for some, but certainly not great for all. Those of us with sensitive skin can’t take the harsh exfoliant on our face. But it does make a fantastic body scrub! 

toilet seat covers

Oil Spills

An oily face happens to everyone. But not everyone remembers to buy (and carry around) blotting papers. What’s a gal to do? Head to the bathroom! Toilet seat covers are made, more or less, from the same material as blotting papers. Simply dab the paper on your t-zone or other oily spots and voila – a beauty shop in every stall!

Models wearing bright lipstick

Lip Service

Turn old into new.  Instead of buying new lipsticks every season, try layering your existing shades to create fun, seasonably-appropriate colors. Combine browns and pinks for a deep rose, or corals and reds for a fuchsia.

Get GlowingJohnson's Baby Lotion

No need to purchase an expensive highlighter to get a sparkly, dewy look, just mix a bit of shimmery eyeshadow with your lotion or foundation for a complexion that glows.

Be a Baby

Johnson’s Baby Lotion, the pink bottle from our childhood, can come full circle and be of use to us once again. It’s ultra softening, cheap (about 5 bucks for a huge bottle!), and it still smells amazing.

Deep Condition

We read this tip in a magazine (Sassy, perhaps?) at about 14 and still use it to this day: instead of spending hard-earned money on a deep conditioning treatment, just apply a generous amount of everyday conditioner to towel-dried hair. Wrap hair in foil and blast with a hairdryer for about three minutes. Leave conditioner in for as long as you’d like afterwards. When you rinse, your hair will be incredibly shiny and soft.

Spot Treatment

Spot treatments are tricky – not only are there a million to choose from, but they can leave skin looking red, flaky, and irritated. A cheap alternative to drying creams is Bauch & Lomb Opcon-A Itching and Redness Reliever Eye Drops, it takes the red out of everything. Put a drop or two on a Q-tip and dab it on the affected area. In a minute or two, the redness will completely be erased. It also acts as a gentle drying agent which helps diminish the blemish. The best part? No walking around with white dots all over your face!