Beauty On A Student Budget: Where to Shop

By Isabella Trelles on April 22, 2019

When on a student budget, it can be extremely hard to find affordable beauty products. This just means that it is important to get creative! This means checking out discount department stores and even experimenting with cheaper brands until you find products that work for you. Below I’ve listed how to get bargain products for hair, makeup, and skin while working with your college budget!

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels


It can be difficult to find high-quality shampoos and conditioners when you’re living off an allowance or a small paycheck. Places like Ulta and Sephora have astronomical prices, making it hard to afford quality hair products. Luckily, there are many affordable options to take care of your hair.

Marshall’s has the best finds! On countless occasions, I’ve gotten salon brand hair products here at greatly discounted prices. Some of my favorite brands are Joico, Chi, and Art Naturals. Joico can cost you $16.00 at other department stores but I’ve been able to snag these bottles for only $8.00!

While I am a huge fan of Marshall’s, it can be hit or miss. Since this store carries discounted brands, it’s not always consistent. This means that they could have your favorite Joico shampoo in stock one day and not the next, so it is important to try to go consistently to find the brands you love! This sounds tiresome but it’s very important to invest in shampoo and conditioner because most drugstore hair products contain sulfates as well as other harmful chemicals that will damage your hair.

However, there are still certain products you can still buy at the drugstore, as long as they are all-natural or organic. One brand that makes the cut is Shea Moisture. They are a company that prides itself on having all-natural products and emphasizes leaving out harsh chemicals.


It’s gotten incredibly easy to walk into Sephora, spend an obscene amount of money, and only come out with four products. So here are some products to stay away from those high prices.

The best trend that has hit 2018 and is now making its way into 2019, is affordable makeup brands. Yes, that’s right, new affordable brands have been making their way into Ulta and Riley Rose. One of my favorites is called BH Cosmetics, this brand has some of the best affordable makeup brushes and they are great quality. I recently purchased a set of 12 makeup brushes for only $25.00, they were so soft and a great price!

Another great affordable makeup brand is Revolution Beauty. This brand features great quality makeup pallets like contour kits and eye shadow pallet! My personal favorite is called the Revolution Jewel Collection Eyeshadow palette; this palette has some beautiful colors and the shadows are extremely pigmented.

But if you still can’t shake the amazing quality of Bare Minerals or Anastasia Beverly Hills, you can always find these brands on sale at Nordstrom Rack! You can even find the Naked Eyeshadow pallet by Bare Minerals here for about $25.00!

Up next again is Marshalls. I swear by this place but it’s for a reason, like Nordstrom Rack they also carry many luxury makeup brands for discounted prices. You can find so many makeup brands you usually see in Sephora for a bargain price, I’ve even found an Anastasia Beverly Hills blush for $10.00 here!


Skincare can cost you an arm and a leg but there are many ways that you can work around breaking the bank. One of my go-to skin care products from the drugstore is the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer. This moisturizer works with most skin types and is very lightweight on the skin! Another great option for skincare is the Clinique Clarifying Lotion.  This toner is a bit pricey but completely worth it. Lastly, I love the St. Ives Acne Apricot Scrub, this face wash is one of the best ones that I’ve used. I love it because St. Ives is an all-natural brand that produces affordable and quality skin care.

Tip: I love mixing good quality affordable products and investing in expensive products because they still have great results and will still save you money!

Photo by Anderson Guerra from Pexels

Final Thoughts

I know it can be difficult to pay for beauty products when you’re living on a strict budget but it’s very possible if you just put a little research into it! Looking into discount department stores and reading into products online can help save you a few dollars. Although, once you get into the habit of this you can get all of the beauty products you never thought you could have!

Hi! My name is Isabella Trelles, I am an English major at Florida State University and I am so excited to be apart of the Uloop team! I will be posting weekly articles on various topics including budgeting, health, and mainly anything from a college person's perspective! Check my profile every Sunday to keep up with my postings. :)

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