Beauty on a Budget: 99p wax strips (I can’t live without them!) & 15 tips to save you money!

It’s totally possible to have a great beauty routine on budget – beauty products and treatments can be so expensive, so it helps to cut corners and save money where possible. From at home beauty treatments (you’ll want to check out my favourite 99p wax strips – total game changer!), to ways to make your products last longer, cashback and discounts, recycling rewards, and multi-purpose or re-usable items – there are lots of ways to overhaul your beauty routine to suit your budget without sacrificing self-care. Here are 15 simple tips to help you to save money and reduce waste…

1. Try my favourite 99p budget wax strips

I’ve learnt over the years that sometimes beauty products are worth the investment and that often you get what you pay for. However, a few years ago I discovered an amazing product and I still cannot believe the price tag! Big brand waxing strips can easily set you back £8+ and I was so frustrated by the money I was spending when so often there would be unusable strips in the box, where they wouldn’t peel away properly.

99p DIY budget wax strips, 15 beauty tips, save money and reduce waste, frugal mum, photo of Vital wax strips

So I decided to try some budget wax strips that I found at Home Bargains as I was sick of paying the high price tag for the leading bands. I discovered ‘Vital’ wax strips for just 99p for 36 face / underarm strips or £1.29 for 20 body strips – and they are the best wax strips I’ve ever tried! The green, gel-like strips peel apart easily, so I’ve never had to waste a single strip.

As someone with lots of allergies and sensitive skin – I get no reaction to them, and very little soreness.  They are large and very effective, which has cut down the amount needed per waxing session. I simply cut them into smaller sections to make waxing easier. They also contain aloe vera which I think accounts for how quickly the redness disappears. Online, I’ve spotted them on Ebay for around £3 – so if you can’t find them in store, that’s still a much cheaper option than the big brand equivalents.


2. Buy reusable products

Replacing essentials like cotton wool pads with washable alternatives is a great way to reduce waste and save money in the long run. Prices on Amazon start from around a fiver for 10-15 large pads, and I LOVE mine! They’re so soft and each one is really large, so you don’t get through them anywhere near as quickly. They get thrown into the wash with my normal load every other day, and come out clean and ready to be used again. They’re great for cleaning up grubby kiddies too! Make sure that you take care of your equipment and brushes too, washing them regularly to ensure that they last a long time.


3. Use what you’ve got at home

There are plenty of recipes for making your own DIY face and hair masks online – usually from the contents of your kitchen or bathroom cabinet! This is a great money saver, as well as being much more environmentally friendly than buying packaged products, so it’s a win win!

A quick search online and you’ll see tried and tested recipes from all the big women’s magazines like Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan; they’ll even tell you which ones to try for your skin type!


4. Heat up your mascara tube

There’s nothing more annoying than a tube of dried out mascara – especially when you know that there’s wasted product inside. A friend gave me this tip, and it’s halved how often I replace my mascara – yay!

Simply hold your mascara tube under the hot tap or hairdryer for just a few seconds; it will heat the tube and soften the mascara. It works a treat and will make your mascara last so much longer – I usually manage to stretch mine out for a couple more weeks!

99p DIY budget wax strips, 15 beauty tips, save money and reduce waste, frugal mum, woman applying eye makeup


5. Chill your nail polish

In reverse, nail polish does better in cool temperatures and it can last a lot longer in the fridge! Refrigerating nail polish helps to prevent clumping and slows down the discolouration which naturally happens over time. So, store your nail varnish collection in the fridge to keep products at their best and reduce how often they’ll need replacing.


6. Touch up your own roots

If you colour your hair you might find yourself spending a fortune on trips to the salon or home colouring treatments. To lessen how often you colour your hair, try a root touch-up kit or cover-up spray to hide your roots (and the greys!) and extend the time between expensive hair appointments. Boots often have these sorts of products on 2 for £10ish deals too – so it might be worth stocking up when you see them on offer to save even more!


7. Recycle old cosmetic packaging

Some companies will reward you for returning old product casings to be recycled – a win, win for your wallet and the environment, as these often can’t be recycled at home. Here are some current recycling offers that will save you some money on future purchases too:

  • Lush offer a ‘bring it back’ scheme – when you return packaging from your empty products, you’ll receive money off new buys.
  • With the John Lewis Beauty Cycle Scheme, you can get £5 off when you spend £20 or more in exchange for bringing in five or more clean, empty beauty product containers to any of their beauty counters.
  • Boots recycling programme will give you 500 Advantage Card points when you bring 5 empty products to one of their in-store recycling bins and spend £10 or more on new products.

So check out what your favourite brands and stores offer, to see if you could be making some savings on future purchases.

99p DIY budget wax strips, 15 beauty tips, save money and reduce waste, frugal mum, lipsticks photo


8. Ask for sample products

It may not be widely advertised, but a lot of companies will happily send out samples upon request. Due to sensitive skin I stick natural make-up brands, buying most of my make-up from Natorigin, but it isn’t cheap and it can only be bought online. They’ll send me colour samples for foundation and eye make-up so that I can make an informed choice without wasting money on the wrong colours.

Similarly, another company were happy to send me mini samples of their entire skincare range, when I emailed them to explain that I often have a reaction to new products. It’s always worth asking, that way if a product isn’t great or it upsets your skin, you haven’t lost anything by trying it.


9. Compare prices online

There are so many online pharmacies and stores, so don’t forget to check on the web before you hit the high-street. When it comes to voucher codes, discounts and offers, you’re generally much more likely to find these online.

You’ll want to use cashback websites like Top Cashback and Quidco too – if you’re going to buy it anyway, you may as well make some money back on it! And, often simply having it delivered to the store can help you to avoid postage charges, but still benefit from online offers and cashback rewards.


10. Consider multi-purpose products

Purchasing fewer products means less cost, less waste and less storage. Can some of your make-up items do more than one job? For instance, a creamy blusher can often also be used as an eyeshadow or to colour lips. Or, eyeshadow with a liner brush makes a great eyeliner without a harsh line – in fact I prefer it! And, a tinted moisturiser with SPF could replace moisturiser, suncream and foundation – whilst saving you time on your morning beauty routine too!

Looking beyond make-up, hair conditioner also makes a great shaving cream! Instead of purchasing shaving foam, slather some conditioner onto your legs and they will be super smooth and shave beautifully – you’ll probably be able to skip moisturiser then too!

99p DIY budget wax strips, 15 beauty tips, save money and reduce waste, frugal mum, makeup bag filled with makeup


11. Check the gift aisle for deals

If you have a favourite brand, then consider purchasing what you need in a gift set. Gift sets are often reduced, particularly after Christmas – the Boots January sale could save you a fortune in their 50% off sale.

Lots of supermarkets will also reduce gift sets to half price after the festive season, and after special occasions like Mother’s Day, when they’ve stocked up on extra products and then need to clear the shelves. So stock up when things are cheap, and remember to check the gift aisle when you need new cosmetics or perfume.


12. Cut the tube

Even when the product stops coming out, there may still be a decent amount stuck at the bottom of the container. Get out the scissors and cut the bottom of it to get every last drop! You can decant what you find into a small pot to keep it fresh while you use it all up.

This works really well for products foundation, exfoliator and moisturisers, and well as shower items (like body wash and shampoo) and toothpaste. Don’t bin it until you’ve really used it all up!


13. Avoid big brands where possible

So often the ingredients doing the hard work are natural products or essential oils. For instance, tea tree oil is amazing for blemishes, and it’s in a lot of skin care products. The Body Shop sell a 10ml pot of tea tree oil for £12 but a 10ml bottle of tea tree oil from Amazon is less than a fiver – that’s a massive saving!

Similarly, Aldi have a brilliant face wash range which has near identical ingredients to branded Simple products. I really love Aldi’s Lacura Moisturising Face Wash – we all use it our house, it’s improved my skin and you can’t go wrong for 99p (especially when you have two pre-teens pinching it too!). You can check out my full review here: Swap or not? Lacura Moisturising Face Wash review – Aldi, 99p. So, do your research, and check the ingredients before you buy, sometimes you’re just paying for the brand name.

99p DIY budget wax strips, 15 beauty tips, save money and reduce waste, frugal mum, essential oils on hand


14. You are what you eat: think inside out

Products and potions can’t be the answer to improving our skin and hair on their own – don’t forget that we are what we eat (and drink) so we have to think about what we’re putting into our bodies. Green tea can be picked up cheaply online or from any supermarket and it has lots of body and health benefits. It’s a natural, chemical-free way to improve the skin and balance out hormones.

A glass of lemon water is also a great antioxidant, to help your body from the inside out; and it’s a tasty, refreshing drink too – bonus! A few healthy swaps in the weekly shop can help your body to help itself. It’s amazing what drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can do for your skin too!


15. Boycott beauty treatments

Brow tints, facials, waxing and all sorts of other expensive treatments can soon add up. Take the time to reassess what you can do without, and what you can do at home yourself – simply painting your own nails could save you £20 a month, and colouring your own hair could save you £80+ every time!

With the internet at our finger tips (and a You Tube video for absolutely everything!) it’s worth taking the time to learn some new skills. Love a salon blow-dry? Why not learn how to recreate it at home? If you get creative, and DIY your beauty routine, you could save hundreds of pounds every year!


You might also be interested in…

Review: Are Faith in Nature products good? Affordable, natural, eco-friendly shampoo!

faith in nature zero waste products, shampoo, condition, soap frugal mum review


Swap or not? Lacura Moisturising Face Wash review – Aldi, £1.15

Swap or not, Lacura Moisturising Face Wash review, Aldi, frugal mum money saving beauty tips


Looking to save money and live a more frugal lifestyle? Check out these articles:

10 ways to create a sustainable and affordable wardrobe

10 ways to create a sustainable and affordable wardrobe, frugal mum money saving tips


The Ultimate Family Frugal Living Guide: 25 simple tips to save you money!

ultimate family frugal living guide, frugal mum tips, 25 ways to save money, simple lifestyle


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  1. Hello Natalie.
    I have just discovered your page.
    Thanks for the tips. I like to find ways to save money on beauty treatments etc love your blog xx

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