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BEAUTY MAGPIE: Top money-saving beauty hacks

Isobel Lawrance 5th May 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Top money-saving beauty hacks. 

Spending hundreds of pounds on your beauty regime is a thing of the past. Buh-bye huge bills, hello budget buys!  

Hello fellow beauty lovers! I’m Izzy, and this is my brand-new column. Each month, I’ll be bringing you all things makeup, skincare, haircare and lifestyle. From my fave low-cost finds to the latest beauty hacks, my mission is to help you save your money. 

This month, I’ll be discussing some of my top beauty hacks to help you get more for less, as well as bringing you my monthly must-haves. I’ll also be comparing two facial SPF sun creams – one high end, one drugstore.  

I’ll also be sharing my love for beauty over on our TikTok account – make sure to follow if you haven’t already! 

Pick of the month

Before we discuss beauty hacks, here’s my pick of the month.

Get your first month for just £7.50 by clicking here! Plus get your hands on the Best of British edit now.

Scrimp, scrape and save

I’m sure many of you do this already, but one thing that will save you money and extend the lifespan of your products is cutting them open and really getting in there. There have been countless times I have “run out” of a product, only to cut the tube in half and find I have another two-weeks’ worth left in there. 

This, of course, is easier with tubes – they’re easier to cut to get to the remaining product. But don’t be shy when it comes to pumps and bottles – use the utensils you have at your disposal to get your money’s worth.  

According to Arnaud Plas, co-founder and CEO of clean beauty company Prose, an estimated 20 to 40 per cent of beauty products end up as waste. So, make sure to use up every scrap of something. You paid for it, after all! 

Don’t buy it, DIY it 

Beauty booking app Pamperbook found that on average, their clients were spending a staggering amount on beauty treatments every month. That’s £150-£160 for nails, £150-£300 on hair appointments, an eye-watering £400-£500 on aesthetics and on top of that, £200-£250 per month on other beauty treatments. 

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t treat ourselves from time to time. There’s nothing better than getting pampered and feeling glam. Just a few weeks ago I splashed out on a cut and colour – after a year of DIY haircuts, colours and even a bleaching incident (but we don’t talk about that one), I decided to get it professionally done as it has become such a state. 

But I know I don’t have the money to get this done often and the same can be said about other beauty treatments. In fact, a recent study by Currys found that TikToks labelled #faketanroutine have over 544M views and the most searched DIT beauty hashtag is #diyhaircut, with 452.2M views.  

There are easy ways to DIY your beauty treatments in between professional appointments, to save you a pretty penny and still leave you feeling as beautiful as you deserve.  


Post-Christmas 2022, I was skint and with New Year’s Eve looming, I wanted to look and feel my best. I couldn’t afford to go and get my lashes done (and quite frankly, resent how much they cost for how little time they tend to last), so investigated doing it myself. I found these Fenshine Cluster Lashes on Amazon and was truly obsessed! 

They are simple and easy to apply – comfortable wear, with different lengths and thicknesses available depending on your preference. They lasted a good few days, and although they sit over £16, the pack of 144 lashes lasted me months. Plus, it’s cheaper than the £45 to £95 some salons charge. They’re also easy to remove. I use a cleansing balm and warm water to gently ease them off. 


I’ve also received so many compliments on my nails in the past. My secret? £1 glue-ons from Primark. My flatmate also loves them – she wears them to work and even typing all day, they seldom come off. I’ve worn a pair for about five days before they’ve started to fall off. I also like the look of this bulk pack of 24 different colour press-ons. 

Of course, you can also buy kits that allow you to do gel nail sets at home. I wish I had the steady hand to do them, but afore mentioned housemate is currently teaching herself to do them (and of course I offered to be a guinea pig to practice on!). You can get starter kits for as little as £23. 

But, if you are seriously considering ditching the nail salons altogether, you can get professional kits that offer the full works, such as this kit from Mylee. Although it’ll cost more, it’s the price of about four gel nail appointments (on average), and you will get far more out of it, saving you big bucks in the long run. 


Utilise discounts 

We can be guilty of just buying things at face value. Many of us (me included!) often don’t think to find discounts before purchasing an item. But there are deals to be found, discounts to be grabbed! 

Browser extensions such as Honey automatically find any available discount codes, apply them to your cart and save you money. Karma is a similar browser extension. It automatically finds coupons from across the web, plus you can save items and get alerted of any price changes. Mino (formerly Minty) is also a great tool for this. 

If you do want to go to a salon and get a treatment, try looking on Wowcher or Groupon first. Many businesses also do exclusive discounts when you book through websites like Treatwell and Booksy. 

If you are a student, have a blue light card or are a key worker, businesses will often offer exclusive discounts to you. Particularly post-pandemic, salons want to thank you for your hard work – and you deserve it too! 

Websites often shout at you as you open them. “30% off for new customers!”, “Exclusive discounts when you sign up to our newsletter!”, “Enter your email for a chance to spin the wheel and get a treat!”. I used to shun them – I don’t want your spam flooding my inbox just to get 10% off. 

So, I created a new email address specifically for this purpose. A throw-away email account purely for spam. Get the discounts, without the spam. Work smarter, not harder, am I right? 

Cashback sites 

Cashback websites are often a bit of a waste of time to be honest. I’ve bought countless items through them only to never receive a discount, get a solid 10p back (woo!) or be waiting months for it to come through.  

However, we recently worked with a cashback app called Jam Doughnut – and I genuinely love it. This post isn’t sponsored, absolutely no one has asked me to talk about them in this column, but it’s me, Izzy – not Izzy who works at MoneyMagpie, but Izzy the money-conscious consumer and human being – recommending this app wholeheartedly.  

It’s simple. You go to buy an item on a website. It comes to £13 plus shipping, let’s say. You go to Jam Doughnut and buy a £13 gift card for that website. You get the cashback instantly from the gift card alone – you don’t have to spend it to receive it! Then, you use the gift card on the website and the rest is history. Cashback is in your pot before you’ve even finished the transaction. 

I got 3.5% back on my Asda shop the other day – result! It’s not just beauty websites, either – most of your faves are on there. I also referred my friend, and when she cashes out her cashback, I’ll get £4. Larrrvely! 

Project Pan 

‘Project Pan’ is a craze that swept the internet a few years ago, but is something I still try to do. Essentially, it is when you make it your mission to use the entirety of a product before buying a new one. 

A ‘pan’ is the metal casing in which many makeup products are pressed into. You know when you’re using a bronzer or eyeshadow, and the silver plate it sits on starts to peak out where you’ve used all the product? That’s the pan. 

This will save you serious money, especially if you buy duplicates of a product. I went through a phase where I was truly obsessed with buying makeup. I ended up with about 10 blushes, too many highlighters to count, well over 30 eyeshadow palettes and that’s not the half of it.  

I began project pan, determined to use up what I have before buying more – and I’ve save more than just a few pennies, I’ll tell you that much. Give it a go! Not only does it save you major bread, but it’s quite a fun sort of mission. You also save money because you ask yourself; “Do I really need this?”. 

There are some items you should deffo not use past the expiry dates – mascaras for example. But some things last longer than they claim to, and really do you no harm. They may just dry out a little. Which brings me onto my next hack. 

Put new life into your makeup 

My absolute fave brow product is an Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pomade. I’ve been using the same item for 7 years now. I get it – £19 is quite a chunk for 4 grams of product, but I’ve only ever bought three in my life. They last forever, seriously.  

But the thing is, it dries out from time to time. Do I chuck it and get a new one? No way. I just add a few drops of my face oil to it and bam, she’s back in business. Don’t bin stuff before you’ve had a chance to give it new life! 

Dry mascara? Put it in a glass of lukewarm water for a few minutes or blow a hairdryer over it for a minute or so. It’ll cause the mascara to melt just a little, renewing your mascara. 

I will admit I’ve dropped products before, causing them to smash completely. Luckily, most of the time they are closed, containing the mess before I lose too much product. But it’s a pain and it’s tempting to just bin it. However, with some rubbing alcohol, paper towels and makeup remover, in this article, Masterclass teaches you to how repair a broken powder product. 

Battle of the brands

The low-cost SPF wins! There is really no difference in these products, except the Glow Screen gives you a radiant glow. Simply add a few drops of liquid highlighter to your SOS SPF and voila, job done!

You can buy SOS SPF here, prices starting from £5.

Worth the hype?

I’m a big fan of this product – and the brand as a whole! You really do get what you pay for and I love the brand ethos. Quick! You can get 30% off selected items at the moment – click here!


Do you have any fab money-saving beauty hacks? Let me know in the comments below! Speak soon, Izzy x

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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