How to stop spending so much money on makeup

expensive beauty

So you’re broke and you have about 20 foundations that have never even been touched – it’s time to stop spending so much money on makeup. When makeup is your thing, your hobby and it is something you surround yourself in (Facebook groups, following Instagram accounts, reading blogs, watching hauls on YouTube) it can be tough at first to kick the habit of spending too much, but there are some super simple little things you can do which will make a huge difference to your bank account. And it is totally do-able without any tears and tantrums.

Over the last year I have made a conscious effort for different periods of time to completely stop spending money on makeup and beauty products and at different times to just really calm down the spending, keeping purchases for things I REALLY want or need. My friend Lena (from is a total inspiration and has gone months without buying a single makeup product.

Today I share our top tips and personal experiences aptly themed: IF WE CAN DO IT SO CAN YOU!

1. Unsubscribe and delete

Having your inbox fill up each day with emails about sales, discounts and last chance offers is not only a time waster, but a huge temptation you don’t need. You’ll suddenly find yourself justifying that the pink lipstick is totally worth it even though you already have five in that shade and don’t even wear them “it’s on sale, and it’s such a good deal so I’m practically saving money!” – Unsubscribe from the emails or send them to a junk folder and delete those shopping apps.

2. Make some money goals

Motivation is key when you are trying to change a habit – so making a goal which you can work towards is a great idea and it can also become a reward for all your hard work. Whether it’s a holiday, a cellphone upgrade or a luxury spa day. Every time you are tempted to buy something you can think “well I can buy that, but if I do that’s less money to spend on my tropical getaway”. Think about how great it will be when you have all the extra money you would have usually wasted away.

Make the goal work for you, if you are a visual person make a specific bank account for your goal saving so you can see your account rising. Some people say that just physically writing down your goal (rather than having it as a random idea in your head) makes you more likely to achieve it. Even better, create a savings goal plan.

3. Shop the stash

Shopping the stash is when you ‘shop’ from the products you already own. It’s a chance to discover things you bought, completely forgot about and probably never even used as well as rediscover products that you use to love but then stopped using for one reason or another. Move these products so that they are within your eye sight, it will be like having new makeup and because they are right there you will use them. do a great regular post on what products they come across while ‘shopping the stash’.


4. Know what you already have

Do a makeup clean out and really take note of how much you already have and what you have. It can be a real eye opener when you count exactly how many nude shade lipsticks you own or when you see you already have two brand new foundations for when the one you have now runs out. This will make it much harder to justify purchases that you really don’t need, resulting in more money saved. It is also a good opportunity to throw out old, expired makeup and reorganise your storage (click here for lots of makeup organisation tips).

If you realise that you have products which you no longer want, sell them and add that money to your savings!


Lena hasn’t spent a cent on makeup or beauty products in months! I interviewed her with a couple of questions to see how she is getting through!

♥ What made you decide to stop spending so much on makeup and beauty products?

My credit card balance was growing, and I just HAD to stop – it wasn’t really optional unless I wanted to keep getting into debt.

♥ What has been the hardest part about stopping?
There are so many things that I want to buy! I endlessly read/hear about cool products, like the new MAC lipliners that match lipsticks like Candy Yum Yum, and knowing I can’t have them is SO hard.

♥ When there is a product that you really want to buy, what keeps you motivated to keep your cash inside your wallet?

At first it was that I just desperately didn’t want to go bankrupt or anything like that. Now, it’s because I’m finding it satisfying paying off debt, and I’m enjoying exploring my existing collection of makeup. I actually have so many products that I rarely touch, and it has been fun making an effort to use them all.

♥ Are you seeing big results from not spending so much on makeup?
I am! I’m going well at paying off debt which is so great, and I’m also using up a lot of products which is helping to clear some space in my room. I was finding myself overwhelmed by my collection a bit, and all the new products coming in meant my storage was overflowing. Having some financial breathing room, and storage breathing room has been great.

To see more about Lena’s thoughts on bloggers spending too much money, click here (it’s a great post!)
What are your tips for stopping spending when you hit the beauty counter?
Top image from & final image from
  • Great post Laura! Having a concrete goal is so crucial to me – saving for the sake of it isn’t very easy, but saving for a trip, or to buy xyz, or to have enough to do a term deposit or something is much more effective I think.

    • Thanks for helping me out and making it great! I definitely think having a money goal is a huge motivation to help start saving and much more effective for ‘first time savers’

  • Christel Hansen

    I loved this post!! It’s so ridiculously easy to get carried away and buy everything.. back in the day I was never satisfied until I could get 4-5 things from every MAC collection that took my fancy. Now I can settle on 1 thing (but only if I do seriously want it).

    One thing I do is follow the 52 week savings plan. I can’t remember exactly where I saw it, but the main idea is that each week you put a certain amount into your savings account – based on what week it is. So for week 1, you put $1 into your account, week 2 you put $2 into your account, week 3 – $3 and so on until you get to week 52 and make your final transfer of $52 into your savings account. At the end of the 52 weeks, you’ll have over $1000 (can’t remember the exact amount) without any real effort at all! (This won’t help you save at the beauty counter – but it will help you save so that if you want to do a big beauty haul at the end of it, you can do it without the worry of putting yourself in debt!)

    Also a huge thank you for mentioning us, shopping the stash is one of my favourite things to do! oxoxo

    • I haven’t heard of that savings plan before, it’s such a good idea. I feel like it would be a good method of saving money to have a little nest egg stashed away. It is so easy to get crazily carried away, it’s ridiculous! I love your shopping the stash posts, so I hope your are going to keep up with them!

      • Christel Hansen

        Yeah! When I found out about it I was like WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN DOING THIS ALL MY LIFE?! 😛
        Another thing I did when we were saving for a deposit for the bach was save $100 a week – after a year it was over $5000! It’s crazy to think how quickly it all adds up. $5k would easily cover a pretty decent holiday – or would be a fantastic nest egg.
        Thank you! Will definitely keep doing them – it’s so much fun rediscovering beauty products! oxoxo

  • Such a great post Laura! I agree on the email part. I’ve recently unsubscribed from all the emails I was getting (About 50 in a day!) and its such a breather. Saving with a goal is actually a pretty rewarding procedure. I’m actually frickinn addicted to saving. Hence no fancy new products on my blog!

    • And how time consuming is it having to go through all those junk emails everyday anyways, right! Yeah, I totally agree – when you start to see your money rising it is such a great feeling and it encourages you to keep going. It’s just starting at first that is really the hardest!

  • great tips, will use them next time

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award if you want to check it out.