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10 Ways to Save Money on Fashion and Beauty Items

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We've all heard the saying "beauty is pain," but what kind of pain exactly? For fashion and beauty lovers, perhaps the famous saying is referring to the pain that we can feel in our wallets. Those receipts for the perfect pink lipstick, a new pair of shoes, and the latest nail polish can add up quickly. By implementing a few money-saving fashion and beauty tricks, it's possible to exchange pain for pleasure, and perhaps some of your savings for that new purse you've been dreaming of.

Pack your Polish -- Next time you go for a manicure or pedicure, bring your own nail polish. As your nails grow or chip, you'll be able to fill in the imperfections and extend the overall life of your manicure.

Double Up -- If you use cotton balls to apply toner, it's time to stop. Cotton balls soak up excess product, and often don't apply it evenly. Try switching to cotton face pads, and while you're at it, cut them in half to double your investment.

Switch and Swap -- If you're bored of your closet contents, organize a clothing swap. Ask friends and family to bring items that they no longer wear, and have fun trading, trying on clothing, and swapping items.

Get Gifted -- Keep an eye out for department store "gift with purchase" promotions. Monitor the levels of your favourite beauty products, and even if you're not officially out, stock up during a promotion. You'll get to try new products that that you may be apprehensive to splurge on, and the testers are perfect for travel or makeup touch-ups on the go.

Cut it Out -- The next time you finish a product with flexible packaging (toothpaste, eye cream, foundation etc.), don't throw it out. Use scissors to cut it the tube in half, and scoop out the leftover product inside. Depending on the packaging, you'll get a few additional applications, and give yourself some more time before you run out completely.

Go Surfing -- The Internet is full of fashion and beauty deals, especially group buying and flash sale websites. Websites like Onespout can help you stay on top of all the online deals by proving an extensive list all in one place. While you're surfing the web, sign up to become a member of flash sale websites like Beyond the Rack and Stylehopper. Monitor their promotions and sales, but be ready to act fast; product on flash sale websites sell out quickly. If you're worried about junk mail, create an email address that is strictly for website subscription newsletters, and check it once a day to take advantage of the best deals.

The Gift of Thrift -- For those who don't mind second hand stores, there are some major thrift store scores to be found. Second hand stores are a great place to find closet basics (leather belts, dress shirts, the perfect clutch), and even the occasional designer item. Vintage Burberry, anyone?

Au Naturelle -- Feel like a deep conditioning treatment or a moisturizing mask? Instead of visiting your drugstore to purchase a pricey product that you'll only use a few times a year, make a visit to your own kitchen. Create your own beauty products from natural ingredients like oatmeal, eggs, avocado, or mayonnaise. Choose from the wide range of beauty recipes that can be found online, and you'll also avoid harsh chemicals like parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Coupon Queen - If you're looking to purchase a specific product or brand, check the company website for coupons or special offers. Companies like Proctor and Gamble and Physicians Formula often have rebate offers or coupons that can save you money. If you really want to save big, wait until your product of choice goes on sale, and use your promotion on the sale price of the item.

Give and Get - If you're a M·A·C cosmetics fan, save your empty cosmetics packaging and participate in their Back to M·A·C program. Return six empty M·A·C containers (eye shadow, foundation, lipstick, etc.), and in return, they will give you a free lipstick of your choice. Looking good and doing good has never been so rewarding.

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