As a beauty editor I've seen a lot of gimmicks, but these 5 easy swaps can genuinely save you money

Helping your beauty budget to go further

Storage box with skincare products
(Image credit: Yulia Naumenko/Getty Images)

I don’t think it’s an unreasonable assumption to make that most of us like to save money where possible. And while I am sceptical of some of the money-saving advice I’ve seen shared in my years as a beauty editor, there are some hacks that will help your budget to go further.

Whether you're looking to cut back on the expense of your skincare routine or salon appointments, there are ways you can save money without jeopardising the end result. But a word of caution: first and foremost, the thing that will save you the most money is using up absolutely everything you currently have in your beauty stash; don’t buy a load of new products simply because they feature here. The most affordable (and sustainable) products are the ones you already own. 

The key to saving money in your beauty routine is to make these swaps over time—ahead, I’ve shared five tips and long-term swaps that could help you save precious pounds in your beauty budget. 

5 money-saving beauty tips, according to a beauty editor

1. Invest in reusable cotton pads

After the initial investment, using reusable cotton rounds with make-up remover will save you money long term, not to mention be better for the environment than single-use pads. (The only time they can’t replace regular cotton wool pads is to remove nail polish.) There are lots of iterations on the market, including from big brands like Garnier, The Body Shop and Medik8, which often come with a mesh bag to wash them in. Dry them on a flat surface to keep their shape. 

2. Tint your brows at home

I do think it’s worth adding on a tint to a service like threading or brow lamination while you’re there. But in the interim, at-home tinting kits get brilliant results in the comfort of your own home—and are priced fairly reasonably per treatment. Eylure has been my go-to for years, but Blink Brow Bar also recently brought out its own kit, which is housed in a useful storage tin. 

3. Switch in refillable products

Immediately going out and replacing everything in your current skincare routine and make-up with refillable beauty products will not save you money—in fact, not finishing up everything in your current regime is wasteful from both sustainable and financial points of view. However, checking which of your go-to products offer refills, and ensuring you buy those next time, can save you a couple of pounds with each future purchase. Simply keep the pump or relevant piece of packaging and purchase the necessary refills going forwards. Alternatively, if you aren’t massively attached to a certain product, when it runs out you can purchase something that is refillable in its place—both of the below are refillable.

4. Seek out multipurpose beauty buys

Investing in multipurpose beauty products can help you to spread out your purchases. You’ll save in terms of not having to buy two separate items, but do bear in mind that you’ll go through a product quicker if it’s serving more than one purpose in your regime. Next time you run out of blusher, get a cream formula that doubles as lip colour, like Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge. Some bronzer formulas can also make for a great neutral shade of eyeshadow. Thick, cream cleansers can also be used as a nourishing face mask—Lixirskin’s Electrogel Cleanser is designed specifically for this. 

5. Track prices of your favourites

If you know what you like and use the same products on repeat, it’s worth keeping tabs on discounts. Some sites allow you to track the price of a product and get notified when the price drops. So, if you’re running low on your favourite moisturiser, you can set an alert to bag a discount on your next pot. 

Another site that’s worth browsing is Boop, which saves beauty products from landfill or being destroyed, selling them at a lower price—they call themselves the "wonky veg" of beauty. They currently have a limited selection of brands, though the list is expanding, but Aromatherapy Associates, Bouclème and Antipodes are all currently stocked on the site. 

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.