A dog might be a 'man's best friend', but makeup is definitely mine.Makeup

The power to transform you into someone new, make you feel like a Hollywood star, or - more realistically - make you look less ghostly so that heavy drinking session from the night before doesn't give you away at work.

It really does seem like our best friend does it all, well, if we forget the little issue of cost that is. With the range of makeup products on offer these days extending further than ever - foundations, concealers and the more recent 'contouring kits' - we're investing more than ever on our faces. But despite what the media may say, spending a fortune on fancy packaging, brand names and hundreds of products to get a picture-perfect profile isn't actually necessary. I'm going to show you that with a little bit of thrifting, savvy shopping and restrainment, you can get looking your best without blowing the bank.

1. Store cards

Whilst our automatic answer when asked if we're interested in a store card' is often a defensive no, they're not actually the devil, and can save you lots of money. They 'buy now, pay later' schemes which operate like credit cards are best avoided, as they make financial matters more complicated than necessary, however, the shops offering simple points schemes get a yes from me.

How to use them? You buy, you collect points, you get free stuff - it's as simple as that. Most loyalty schemes also reward members with exclusive offers, from discount days to insider deals. To really make the most of your card, you should use those days to spend and collect points for all-around savings.

2. Samples

Now, you know how we love a good beauty sample here at Free Stuff World. We're one of the best resources you'll find to hear about all the latest and best beauty freebies on offer. Sign up to the Free Stuff World newsletter now to start getting yours.

Samples don't just mean free makeup, but they give the opportunity to 'try before you buy', helping you avoid spending your hard-earned cash on products you're going to regret later.

3. Multi-use products

Just because your makeup is designed for a certain facial feature, it doesn't mean you can't get a little creative. Break the rules: swipe a bit of lipstick on your cheeks for an instant, natural glow. 

Lipsticks are the most versatile, as the creamy texture makes them ideal for use as cream eyeshadows and cheek tints. Don't believe me? Watch Cosmopolitan give one lovely lady a full-face makeover with one lippy alone!

When you know you can use one product in multiple ways, you won't need to spend so much money on buying every product under the sun.

4. Cheaper brandsred lipstick

I get it. the Chanel, Dior and Lancôme packaging is extremely alluring, so pretty in fact that you may be fooled into thinking the purchase of a £30 lipstick is life or death,  but I promise you, it really isn't. 

I'm going to let you in on a secret: a lot of the designer makeup is made from exactly the same ingredients and in the same factory as the cheaper brands. The difference? Maybe a squirt of fancy fragrance or two, but apart from that, you're paying double the price for snazzy packaging and a highly-regarded name. Doesn't seem quite as worth it when it's put like that, huh?

Swallow your pride, save yourself some money and downgrade on your beauty brands.

5. Hot-water trick

Whether your lipgloss costs a fiver or twenty pounds, it's frustrating when a fifth of the contents is unreachable due to the tube design.

Get every pennies worth of your makeup products - use the 'hot water' trick. Simply place the offending object in hot water, then pour the remaining contents into a small container like an old contact lens holder. 

Want more like this? Visit A Thrifty Mrs who will show you how to get every last drop of all the products in your bathroom cabinet.

6. Offers

If you're willing to wait a little for your new makeup goodies, there are some brilliant savings to be had. Sign up to newsletters online and keep a look out in department stores to stay up-to-date with all the latest offers from your favourite brands.

If you really are too brand proud to ditch the expensive goodies for something more affordable, offer time can be a great opportunity to splash out on your favourites without breaking the bank.

7. Less is more

It's easy to get into the habit of putting more on our faces than we actually need. What starts as a small blob can turn into a palms worth after a month or two - time to reign it in.

Start to see every drop of your makeup as money, and you won't be tempted to use as much. Not only that, but your makeup will sit better and your pores will get less clogged.

8. Layer-up lipstickslipsticks

Want a burgundy red lip to match your glamorous manicure? Don't rush out to buy one just yet - you may be able to obtain the perfect shade with what you already have.

Layering lipsticks is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Whether it be a bright red and brown/purple to create a seductive cherry red, or combining pink and orange to make the loveliest, peach summer shade, playing around with what you've got will mean having endless colour options at your fingertips.

If you didn't pay attention in Art class and don't know which colours combine to make what, Scatty Natty xx's YouTube video will help to get you started. Watch and learn as she makes 10 gorgeous shades from just two lipsticks!

9. Alcohol to fix powders

NOOOOO! We've all been there: our new, glorious powder smashed to smithereens. Well here's a tip to rival all tips and save your post-powder breakage doom and gloom.

Live Love Glam shows you that with a few drops of alcohol, you can smooth your beloved makeup back into place and get it looking good as new. You'll never have powder-induced anxiety again!

10. Blogger discounts

If you're not following any beauty bloggers, shame on you. Not only do they offer brilliant tips and tricks to get you looking truly sensational, but they often hold the key to exclusive discounts on some of your favourite beauty brands.

If that's not a good enough reason to cyber befriend someone, I don't know what is. Be sure to check the profiles of bloggers you follow and under their YouTube videos to take advantage of their codes.

11. Duty freeDuty Free

Holidays: a truly joyful time of year. The sun, the sea, Duty-Free.

Plan in advance and arrive at the airport a little earlier than usual to take advantage of the tax-free shopping awaiting you inside. If you get lucky and the currency your using has a great conversion rate, you may just be able to bag yourself some amazing buys at cut-back prices!

With the beach-waves hair, glowing, tanned skin and fancy makeup, you'll look like a new woman by the time you return!

12. Discount stores

Stepping into a high-ceilinged, mirrored, spotless department store full of stands from all your favourite brands - there's nothing quite like it. However, it's so easy to get carried away, and with the elevated prices, your money really doesn't stretch far at all.

While discount stores are significantly less glamorous, they are practical, in more senses than one. You're likely to be less distracted by the beauty of the place and products, and therefore only buy what you need. The products are also cheaper to start with, so it's double savings for you. Next time you're contemplating where to do your beauty shop, and feel yourself being drawn towards the department store, ask yourself if the experience is really worth double the cost.

Next time you're contemplating where to do your beauty shop, and feel yourself being drawn towards the department store, ask yourself if the experience is really worth double the cost.

13. Define your look

If you have Instagram, you'll know that the world of beauty is getting more outrageous than ever: glitter coated lips, contouring, preened, painted and polished eyebrows...there's so much to play with, so much fun to be had.

But that's just it, it's 'fun' and not practical for everyday use. It's easy to get drawn in by the rainbow of colours on offer on the makeup stand, but stick to what you know. Whether it's a red lip, warm brown tones or pretty pinks, find out what shades and products suit you best, then define yourself a look that is unique to you.

Whilst it may seem a little boring, a defined look will mean you won't have to faff around trying to decide what to put on your face every time you step out the door. You'll have a small collection of makeup you love and use, and won't be as tempted to impulse buy on outlandish products.

14. Recycle your containers

Free makeup alert! At MAC, Kiehls and Lush, you get rewarded for spending and looking after the environment.

All you have to do is save up your old product containers and pots and take them into store. In return, you'll get free makeup goodies! Better think twice before you throw away your empties in the future.

15. Snip your containersmakeup palette

Oh if only we could go back to the simple days when makeup was a two-product thing. These days, Bb creams, primers and serums play a part in most of our beauty regimes, adding extra cost to an already expensive ordeal! What's worse, is that the design on these troublesome tubes often mean that a lot of the product is difficult to squeeze out and get thrown away.

Don't throw your pretty pounds down the drain, simply cut your packaging in half and scoop out the remaining product - you'll be surprised how much is left! Transfer to a spare container to prevent drying out.

16. Fuller lashes

After that full-lash look? You probably think that a pair of falsies is the only way to go. If you're anything like me, you'll also know how troublesome they can be! Wonky, off-centred, glue stained - how do these beauty bloggers make it look so easy!

Well, there's no need to go through all that drama any longer. Save yourself some hassle - and cash - and use a cotton bud to coat your lashes with baby powder instead. Alternate mascara layer with powder for the ultimate, eye-catching look.

17. Nail au-natural

The au-natural look is arguably one of the most admirable of them all! There's nothing like the beauty of fresh, bare, dewy skin, yet it's a look most of us are afraid to try. That's where our beauty blogger buddies come in handy! Katerina Beauty Blog's no makeup makeup tutorial is stunning and easy to follow and you can recreate right now.

Ditch your pore-blocking make up for early nights, lemon tea and cucumber slices to get your skin looking so good, you won't need to spend money on covering up ever again!

18. Fix your lippy

it's a sad day when your fave shade of lippy snaps on you. However, despite what  you may think, this is not the end.

You can fix your lipstick back into place with the help of a bit of gentle heat. By using a match or even a hair dryer on the broken end, you'll be able to turn it gently back into place. You're lipstick lives on!

19. Invest in some brushesmakeup brushes

Ten pence makeup sponges are a thing of the past, or at least they should be. The key is in the name: sponge. Just like your kitchen sponge, these tools are designed for mopping up liquid, not making the most out of it! Using one of these on your expensive makeup products is as good as pouring it straight down the drain.

Make your makeup stretch further: invest in a set of makeup brushes which will glide your makeup on sparingly.

I hope I gave you some ideas to get saving not splurging on your makeup obsession!

Sophie xx

You may also like:

10 Ways to Save Money on Food

10 Ways to Save Money on Food

Save up to £100 a week and follow these tips on how to save money on your food shopping.   Re-think your Meat The most popular cuts of meat - like chicken breasts and pork chops - can be the...

More info...