5 ways to cut the cost of cosmetics

Kim Kardashian recently revealed the contents of her make-up bag tot up to an astonishing £1,290. Whilst most of us don’t have such a large price-tag attached to our daily cosmetics, it's worth bearing in mind that the average make-up bag's contents add up to £200.

 "The good news is there are ways to lower make-up costs without having to put up with inferior quality or forgoing your favourite items,"  says Anita Naik, VoucherCodes.co.uk’s beauty expert. "By shopping smartly you can still have a fab bag of products." Here are Anita's top tips:

1. Shop budget for trend products

Trend products are those beauty items that you know you're only going to wear for the season. This means things like last year's neon shades, or this year's clumpy mascara. Saving here allows you to work the trend but also save money for the items you do need to go big on. So, for clumpy lashes, my pick is Miss Manga Punky Mascara (£8.99 from Boots), or for the blue aquatic eye as seen at Chanel and Elie Saab - The Body Shop's Shimmer Cube Palette in Sea Green (£16) is a great alternative to the more expensive palettes. And finally, for the electric pink lips seen on the catwalks of Moschino and Versace try Stila After Glow Lip Colour in Electric Pink (£12 from Feelunique).

The average make-up bag's contents add up to £200

2. Don’t skimp on foundation, concealers and problem areas

Make-up wise, where your money should go is on the products that you either use a lot of (foundation) or on problem areas that need to be addressed (creams that fight dry skin, blemishes and fine lines). Spending big on foundations and concealers also means one more thing - spot on skin matches. The more expensive ranges not only have better formulas but also a more extensive range of shades. For instance Nars Sheer Foundation (£31 from Lookfantastic) not only has an innovative formula that brightens and clarifies your skin tone but you have 11 shades to choose from. Another great option is Clinique's 2-in-1 Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer (£25 from John Lewis), this fab two-in-one has multiple skin benefits and an impressive 21 shades to choose from.

3. Try cheaper brands

Don't be afraid to try cheaper brands. You may love MAC and Nars eye shadows but these can set you back as much as £30. By comparison, L'Oreal and Bourjois shadows are usually around the £7 mark and have a very good texture, pigmentation and staying power. A good example is the Bourjois Little Round Pot (£6.99) or the Quad Smoky Stories Good Nude (£7.99) both from Superdrug. The quad allows you to prime, shadow, define and highlight the eyes with four shades that are incredibly velvety and soft and have a quality that goes beyond its price tag. Bourjois's little round pots are also cult favourites as they have an ultra-soft, silky, light and easy-to-blend texture and can also be applied wet for extra intensity.

The same goes for lipsticks. You may love Bobbi Brown Nude lipstick but it's £19.50. An equally good nude with great staying power is Rimmel's Birthday Suit (£4.99 from Superdrug). It's very like the MAC Myth lipstick but it’s half the price and looks just as good.

4. Spend on perfume

There's a reason why spending on perfume is worth it. For starters, your perfume will last longer and, most importantly, the more expensive perfumes have more subtle multi-layered notes. This means you won't end up just smelling sweet or fruity or woody but get a more dynamic scent that's very personal. That said, you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds to get a top-end perfume. The best way to bag a designer scent at a cheaper price is to grab a discount from sites like VoucherCodes.co.uk. Until 14th March, you can get an extra 15% off in stores and online with The Fragrance Shop which means you can pick up a 50ml bottle of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle (usually £67) for £57 or Marc Jacob’s classic Daisy (usually £52) for just under £40.

5. Shop smartly for nail polishes

Shopping smartly for nail polishes doesn't always mean going for the cheapest polish. For a polish to be a smart buy it should hit three criteria: 1 - be the right shade, 2 - have staying power and 3 - go on smoothly. For this reason, mid-range polishes beat £1 polishes hands-down. One of my favourites is the Maybelline Color Show range (£2.99 from Superdrug). There are 50 shades to see you through any occasion from current fashion favourite Urban Turquoise to summer-ready Urban Coral. Also worth trying are The Body Shop's Colour Crush Nail Polishes which are £5, the range has 26 shades in a quick dry, high gloss finish. Top colour pick for this month is Gorgeous Grey.

  • Like these? They try our 5 ways to recycle leftover beauty products here.