20 Cool (& Cheap!) Things Every Beauty Junkie Should Try, ASAP

You've probably heard us wax poetic about luxury beauty treatments and products a bazillion times by now. And well, can you blame us? Fancy five-star facials and $50 lipsticks will get any beauty junkie’s blood pumping. That said, the reality is that most us don’t have the cash flow to keep up with such lavishness.

But we're not here to make you depressed. Rather, we're here to assure you that it’s 100% possible to indulge your beauty obsession without breaking the bank. To prove it, we did some digging and came up with a whole host of ways you can satiate your thirst for beauty — on the cheap. Click through for your beauty fix.
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Create Your Own Palette
More often than not, when you purchase a makeup palette, you don’t end up using all the shades it comes with, amirite? This fact is not only frustrating, but also a total waste of money — which is why we think Inglot’s Freedom System, which allows you to customize your own perfect (and affordable) palette, is pretty damn awesome. For just $23, you can build a 20-pan palette made up of whatever shadow or lipstick hues you want. The options are myriad, the quality is bomb, and the price is on point. That’s all.

Inglot Freedom System, $7-$39, available at Inglot.
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DIY Your Own Multipurpose Balm
We love a good do-it-all skin salve just as much as the next beauty buff, but if you’re looking to save, then we highly recommend you get creative and make one yourself. Chances are, you’ve got all the ingredients you need right in your kitchen — unless you live and die for take out, which in that case, the fixings shouldn’t cost you more than $20. We suggest starting with this super-simple, three-ingredient recipe.

Yaley 100% White Beeswax Pellets, $6.79, available at Walmart.
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Photo: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Get A Low-Key Makeover At Your Local Beauty Counter
Some peeps shy away from beauty counters for fear of making small talk or being coaxed into spending way more than they should. But the experience can be really whatever you make of it. Visiting counters is a great way to gain some beauty education, play with new products, and have a professional make you over. At Sephora you’re required to spend $50 in-store for a 45-minute makeover, which we think is pretty reasonable considering you’ll get a fresh new lewk, garner some knowledge from the makeup artist, and go home with some new goodies.
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Test-Drive A Beauty Subscription Box
If you’ve yet to try out a beauty subscription box and you love sampling prods as much as we do, we’ve gotta’ ask: What have you been doing all this time? If it’s the commitment factor that’s keeping you away, we suggest trying one like Beauty Box 5, which allows you to subscribe monthly for $12 (plus free shipping!), or quarterly for $30. Either way, it’s an easy new way to test out some new products without signing on for the long haul.
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Dye Your Hair A Crazy Color At Home
Coloring your own hair a high-voltage hue can certainly seem like a daunting process (we know, we know). But if executed properly, with effort and care, it can turn out looking seriously rad — and save you from a hella expensive trip to the salon. Our advice? Never go in blind: Watch some credible YouTube tutorials first or chat with a professional who can guide you through the dos and don’ts.

Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream in After Midnight, $10.49, available at Sally Beauty.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bite Beauty Lip Lab.
Customize Your Own Lipstick
It goes without saying that buying a new lipstick is a good time. But you know what’s arguably even more fun? Crafting your very own lippy from scratch. At the Bite Beauty Lab in Soho, NY, you’re allowed complete control of the finished product. Color, texture, even scent — it’s all you. Make an appointment or walk on in and one of Bite’s professional blending specialists will help you whip up whatever your heart desires. Full disclosure: These babies aren’t exactly cheap, but for $60, you can get TWO personalized, high-quality lipsticks, and a swoon-worthy beauty experience.
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Photographed by Maria DelRio.
Get A Quickie Facial
Fact: Facials are one of those beauty treatments that tend to make a hefty dent in your wallet. Depending on where you go and what you get done, some can even cost you upwards of $400. But thanks to places like True Beauty in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you can now treat yourself to a quality 30-minute facial for just $45. If you don't have mini-spa nearby, we recommend treating your crew to a DIY face mask soiree. All you’ve gotta do is find some legit recipes on Pinterest, ask everyone to bring an ingredient or two, and spend the night devoted to pampering at a low price point.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Take Beauty Classes At Sephora
If you’re a Beauty Insider at Sephora, which we’ll go ahead and assume many of you are, then we highly advise getting on-board with its FREE (yes, you read that right) beauty classes. With the classes running the gamut from mastering false lash application to flawless foundation and contouring tips, and one dedicated solely to skincare, there’s bound to be at least one that ignites your interest. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by experts and other beauty lovers like yourself, so obvi, it’ll be a grand ole time.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE DETOX MARKET.
Visit An Out-Of-The-Box Beauty Shop
You may consistently find yourself going back to mass beauty stores like Ulta Beauty and Sephora (who doesn't like a little familiarity?). But if you’re looking to get a little adventurous and possibly be introduced to a slew of new-to-you products, then we can’t recommend visiting a niche beauty boutique or apothecary enough. Not sure where to start? We broke down some of the very best, here.
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Barlean's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $13.28, available at Swanson Vitamins.
DIY Your Own Body Scrub
First things first, we suggest you make a whole night out of this. Bring your squad together, throw on whatever Netflix series you’ve been binge-watching, and bond over body scrubs. There are countless recipes on Pinterest, but can you really go wrong with anything coconut and/or coffee-related? Just saying.
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Try Out Different Looks With A Tailored-To-You App
Afraid to take the plunge and dye your hair? Or spend money on makeup that may or may not flatter you? Well, good thing it’s 2016 and apps like ModiFace exist. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a (free) app that uses a patented face and skin mapping technology that allows you to create an über-realistic visual of what different makeup and hairstyles will look like on you IRL. Play around with as many looks as you’d like. Who knows, maybe it’ll spur you to make a bold beauty move you wouldn’t have done without the clear visual.
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Create Your Own Nail Art
...Using your Instagram! Mind blown? Us, too. But that’s exactly what you can do thanks to NailSnaps, an app that turns your ‘grams into custom nail wraps. If you’ve secretly always wanted cute pictures of your cats displayed on your digits, you can finally do it. Simply design what you want using the app and they’ll send the wraps straight to your door.
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Stock Up On Beauty Staples At Muji
If there’s one thing we know as beauty buffs, it’s that you don’t have to head anywhere fancy for the basics. And Muji, an originally Japan-based store similar to Ikea, is straight proof. In addition to selling just about everything from furniture to food, Muji also offers a beyond-impressive array of staple beauty buys, including (but not limited to) cotton, makeup containers, brushes, toning water, sheet masks, and much more. The best part: it’s all crazy affordable.
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Try At-Home Dermarolling
If you’re at all into skin care, then you’ve likely read about the myriad benefits of dermarolling, a.k.a. microneedling. It’s a treatment that works to boost collagen production and improve the penetration of products by creating tiny little micro-injuries in the skin. We know it sounds scary, but word on the street is it’s a total game-changer. And guess what? It can be done at home. As long as you do the proper research first, experts say there’s no reason you can’t do it on your own in the comfort of your decently lit bathroom. The majority of dermarollers go for around $30, making it pretty inexpensive skin care treatments you can try for yourself at home.

Professional 540 Needle Dermaroller & Micro Needling Therapy System, $21.95, available at Flawless Beauty and Skin.
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Give Yourself Some Temporary Tats
In the last few years, temporary tattoos have seriously taken off — and to be honest, we’re still obsessing. The semi-permanent tats are a surefire way to stand out at a festival or party, or to simply spice up your look and get outside your beauty comfort zone. And the best part is, most of them come pretty cheap.

Flash Tattoos Beyonce x Flash Tattoos, $28, available at Flash Tattoos.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Get Your Lashes Tinted
We’d all love to splurge on lash extensions on the regular — but at $250+ for a set that lasts 4 to 6 weeks, it’s simply not realistic (unless you’re rolling in dough). Instead, we suggest lash tinting, which adds a noticeable boost to your lashes, sans the hefty-as-hell price tag. It depends on where you go, but most places do tinting for around $15-$25.
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Photo: via @fatmascara.
Listen To A Beauty Podcast
It seems there’s a podcast for just about anything these days — and luckily for us, beauty is included, too. We highly suggest you check out Fat Mascara, which features some refreshingly relatable beauty ramblings hosted by Cosmopolitan’s deputy beauty editor, Jessica Matlin, and Marie Claire’s beauty and health director, Jennifer Goldstein. It’s free and it’s definitely worth a listen.
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Reorganize Your Makeup
If you own a lot of makeup, chances are your collection has been in shambles at one point or another. If right now is that time, then we suggest you embark on a trip to Target or The Container Store — both of which sell super-cheap makeup containers and organizers — and get down to business. Not only will your setup look Instagram-worthy after you’re done, but we swear it’ll feel good when you’re doing it. Beyoncé jams help.
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Give Yourself An At-Home Spray Tan
You all should know by now that tanning IRL, or in beds, is off-limits. But spray tans are something we’re all for. That said, all the upkeep can definitely get expensive. So, we suggest you challenge yourself to master spray tanning on your own. Sally Beauty’s Salon Bronze Airbrush Tanning System is under 15 bucks and makes application as effortless as brushing your teeth.

Sally Beauty Salon Bronze Airbrush Tanning System, $12.99, available at Sally Beauty.
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Try A New Makeup-Removal Method
If we’re being real, high-quality oil and balm cleansers are usually our makeup removal method of choice. But hey, we heard somewhere that change is good. Lately, we’ve read some pretty staggering (as in amazing) things about this cheapie makeup cloth, otherwise known as The Makeup Eraser. It’s only $20 and gently removes every last speck in one swipe. Bonus points: It’s reusable.

The Makeup Eraser The Original Makeup Eraser, $20, available at Sephora.
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