How much do you think you’ll spend on makeup over your lifetime? If you’re like many women, the sum will be in the tens of thousands of dollars – kind of crazy to think about, right? The average woman in the UK, according to a study by Bionsen, keeps about 54 products in her makeup drawer and has about $213 worth of makeup in the bag she carries around every day.


If you’re looking for a place to cut spending, your makeup bag might just be it. Here are a few tips to help you stretch the lifespan of your makeup so you can save money.

Spend to Save

Every good financial advisor will tell you that, sometimes, you have to spend money to save money. This is true when it comes to makeup. In some instances – particularly when it comes to blush, concealer, and foundation – higher-quality products that cost more will actually last longer and do the job better. That doesn’t mean that you need to drop $50 on a tube of concealer, but it does mean it’s worth your while to stick with quality name brands on certain products.

Save on Trendy Makeup

On the other hand, sometimes certain makeup products have a shorter lifespan just because of what they are. Eyeliner, eye shadow, lip gloss, lip stick, and nail polish often come in trendy colors that will go in and out every season. Sure, a pot of eye shadow could last for a couple of years, but you’re not going to wear that crazy color next season when it’s out of fashion. Why spend heavily on products that you’re not going to get any use out of in a few months?

Salvage Every Bit in a Tube

If your makeup product comes in a tube, you’ll have a toothpaste-type problem getting the last bit out. Using a toothpaste tube squeezer can help you get the rest of your makeup out of the tube, but another option is to actually cut off the end of the tube to get to the last bit of makeup. It could save you buying a new tube of concealer or lip gloss for a week or two.

Don’t Use Sponges

Sponges can sometimes give you slightly smoother application of your makeup, especially liquid foundation, but they also soak up a great deal of the actual product. You can just use your freshly-washed fingers to apply liquid foundation, or use a makeup brush for your powder foundation.

Prevent Products from Drying Out

If you find that you’re constantly buying new makeup products because the old ones have dried out, consider transferring a small amount of the product into a smaller container. That way, you can use the small amount in the container first, and avoid constantly opening and shutting the larger container of product. Since opening the lid is what causes the product to dry out, you can avoid this issue and make your liquid or gel products last longer.

Thin Out Old Nail Polishes

If you have a favorite old nail polish color that’s getting globby and thick, just add a tiny bit of acetone polish remover to thin it out and make it useable again. Just be sure to add only a little bit at a time, or you risk getting it too thin to use.

Store in a Cool Place

Storing makeup in a cool place – particularly items like concealer and mascara that are prone to bacterial growth – can slow the growth of bacteria and extend the life of your makeup, saving you money in the long run. Just set aside a compartment in the fridge for your makeup, and watch the savings add up.

Don’t Pump the Mascara

Putting the mascara brush in and out of the tube several times before applying the mascara is a habit many women have. But it actually pushes air down into the mascara tube and causes bacteria to grow in it more quickly. Even though you should still replace mascara every few months – or risk an eye infection. – simply pulling out the brush and applying your mascara will make it last a bit longer.

As you can see, there are plenty of great ways to extend the life of your favorite makeup so that you spend less in the long run. Now the key is to only buy makeup that you love, since spending money on makeup that you’ll wear a couple of times before tossing out is a little ridiculous.