Conquering the cost of cosmetics — A holiday gift guide

18 Nov

by Jessica Dawkins

A sample of my favorite DIY Christmas gifts.

A sample of my favorite DIY Christmas gifts.

Conquering Cost-metics

It’s a universally known fact that fashion doesn’t come cheap. The same applies to fashion for your face. With makeup brands varying from the single digits to over a hundred dollars, it’s difficult to know which products to choose. Thankfully, by watching YouTube tutorials and following blogs, many fashionistas have taught themselves the ups and downs of cosmetics and what to look for in a good product. From buying to DIY-ing, here’s how to have and affordable holiday season.

If it’s cheap, does that mean it’s junk?

Not necessarily. A lot of great products won’t break the bank while still providing the quality you want. E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) Cosmetics is a good place to start your collection, or an option to run to when you absolutely need a certain product before payday. Even if money isn’t tight, this brand has high quality products, but not everything they sell is up to par. Look at reviews and use your best judgement on if you should purchase it. Available at Target, Walmart, Walgreens and more just in Cheyenne, E.L.F. is also an easy to find brand, especially around the holidays when they’re showing off their cute gift sets.

Research, research, research. That’s the key to finding good deals. Look for “dupes,” duplicates, of expensive department store brands hiding in the stock at Walmart under a different brand name. A lot of beauty gurus are dedicated to sharing the inexpensive options, just Google it. But beware, make sure a product isn’t being sponsored or you might not be getting the whole story.

Going green

Many people are concerned about the chemicals and ingredients that go into store-bought makeup and body products, and that’s completely understandable. Allergies, super sensitive skin, and personal beliefs are just a few reasons to consider. That’s where some people turn to DIY. This way, the ingredients are completely controllable and can be adjusted to all organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or even ingredients from your own garden.

Stop by this video for three recipes of homemade body products: whipped coconut oil, cooling peppermint toner, and soothing bath salts. The ingredients can easily be found at trusted health stores like Natural Grocer’s.

Shopping smart, saving time

College fashionistas: take note! Student discounts are officially “in.” At certain stores such as Sephora, you can get 10% cash back just by showing your school ID. They don’t usually ask if you are a student, so if you want to pinch some pennies, be persistent. Specific restaurants and fast-food places will offer student deals, so it never hurts to ask.

Check out places like, that are dedicated to helping college kids save money and find deals. The internet is not against you when it comes to saving money.

Coupons are really a girl’s best friend! If you haven’t yet mastered the art of coupling, it may be time to jump on the bandwagon. You don’t have to go “extreme,” even just a coupon every now and then will cut costs where they hurt. Plus, many manufacturers of makeup will post coupons for their products on their own sites. Keep your eyes open for deals and steals!

Whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift, these tips and tricks of stepping into the budget-friendly zone of college life should help you keep your sanity intact this season. And remember, it’s not about the gifts.

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