Get Valentine's ready on a budget

1. Cheat at gel nails

They look great but gel manicures cost around £25 a pop. If you want the high-gloss look without the hefty price tag, use your favourite polish and add a Seche Vite topcoat (widely available in stores like Boots for around £9) – this miracle polish makes nails appear as if they have a gel mani without the cost.

2. Hack your beauty

Try some money-saving beauty hacks rather than splurging on new products such as:

  • De-clump your mascara by sitting the tube in some hot water for a minute or so, give the wand a little twirl in the bottle and voila!
  • Fix gloopy nail polish by adding a little clear polish or some nail varnish remover
  • Use mascara as eyeliner - with an angled brush, grab some mascara from the brush and use it along your lash line. It's creamy and creates a perfect cat eye!
  • Mix a little highlighter with your body lotion to let your skin gleam with a polished sheen.

Women splurge £81 on pre-Valentine’s Day beauty and fashion – 350% more than the £18 men spend!

3. Think ahead

Prices for everything from clothes to perfume to flowers go up over Valentine’s week. Buy your outfit in advance using a voucher code. always has something to help reduce the cost of that new top or dress so make sure you check before you shop.

4. Bargain salon hair

If you want your hair done but can’t afford to spend a lot on it, consider booking a junior to do your blow-dry - this is usually a fraction of the price and just as good. Alternatively, if you need a cut you can call your local salon on the day and ask for a standby appointment. Even the best stylists don’t want to have gaps in their schedule, so call up first thing in the morning to see if they’ve got any – these will be cheaper if available (just £28 for a cut and blow dry at Headmasters).

5. Get a free makeover

If you want your face looking ultra-glam on the day, book in a free makeover at a makeup counter for the 14th February. Though bear in mind you’ll have to face a sell on products. That said if you choose your make up counter well it won’t cost you a fortune. Try No 7, The Body Shop and Benefit.

6. Take advantage of online beauty

Check out online retailers such as Lookfantastic and Beauty Expert, they stock all the big brands and often have flash sales and discount codes which can save you up to 20 per cent on your makeup essentials. has 15% off your first purchase with Lookfantastic until August 2015 and 20% off orders with Beauty Expert.

7.  Get some cheeky freebies

Ask for beauty samples in department stores – this is a great way to save on new makeup and also try it out before a big buy.

8. Borrow from friends

From bags and jewellery to scarves and jackets, you can have a fashion swap for the night and save £££s. If you’re really lucky and have a good friend the same size as you, she may even loan you an outfit for the evening!

9. Join mailing lists

Sign up for email newsletters from your favourite brands and you’ll automatically get money of. Many brands offer up to 20 per cent off as a bonus for joining their mailing list – try The White Company, Joy and GAP.

10. DIY beauty

DIY facial or wax job for half the price. It will do the trick and save you around £25. Check out YouTube tutorials or beauty blogs for helpful tips.

Money-saving tips from lifestyle editor, Anita Naik.