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Once upon a time, before I had children, I spent at least half an hour a day applying makeup and making sure it was perfect. I experimented with new types and colors. My makeup supply was diverse and plentiful. Since having children, makeup application has been shortened to about five minutes each morning. I follow the same routine and use the same colors every day. I don’t shop for makeup very often, unless I’m running out of one of my must-have items.

Is your makeup outdated and disorganized? Find out how to restock your makeup and organize it for under $20.

Last weekend, I looked at my makeup organizer and realized it was no longer organized at all. That is partially thanks to Miss M. She loves copying everything I do. When I’m applying eye shadow, she is smearing it all over her face. She’s especially rough on my lipsticks. She twists them up with the lid on and ruins them immediately. It doesn’t help that my makeup is currently within her reach. The only spot it fits is on the bottom shelf of the little closet in my bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked in to find her sitting on the floor with makeup spread all around her. Her face looks like a clown, and her smile shows that she is so proud of herself. It’s really hard to get mad at that cute little face, but I’m never very happy the next morning when I realize my eye shadow is destroyed.

Is your makeup outdated and disorganized? Find out how to restock your makeup and organize it for under $20.
My Messy Makeup

After assessing this situation, I realized that I was in desperate need of a makeup makeover. I needed some new products, and I needed to clean out the ones I had. While I was at it, I decided to look at my nail polish organizer, too. I keep that on the top shelf of my bathroom closet. I learned that one the hard way, too. First of all, how does a one-year old learn to twist off the top of a nail polish bottle? Secondly, since when does painting your nails involve painting all your toes and the bathroom floor? After that episode, my nail polish took the coveted spot on the top shelf of the closet. The rest of my makeup was left at the hands of Miss M. This needed to change!

Is your makeup outdated and disorganized? Find out how to restock your makeup and organize it for under $20.
My Messy Nail Polish Collection

Step 1 – Cleaning Out Your Makeup

I started the process of restocking my makeup by taking inventory of what I already had. I’m embarrassed to tell you what I found. Eye shadow from my wedding – I’ve been married for over eight years. Nail polishes I haven’t worn since high school – I graduated in 2001. Anything that I knew was more than a year old or I knew I would never wear again went in the garbage. That really helped to clean things out. I was left with a few lipsticks that weren’t destroyed, liquid concealer and powder foundation I purchased recently, and some nail polish colors I wear regularly.

Step 2 – Make a List of What Makeup you Need

When I cleaned out my makeup organizer, I realized that I haven’t bought new eye shadow in a very long time. I had to throw all of it away because it was all more than a year old. Therefore, eye shadow was at the top of my list. I needed new lipsticks, since only a few weren’t destroyed. I also wanted to try some new colors. Finally, another new shade of nail polish would be nice.

Step 3 – Shop Around for Deals on Makeup

First, I need to admit that I am not terribly picky about the brand of makeup I use. I am willing to try new types, especially if they are on sale. The only exception to this is my eyeliner. I LOVE the Really Black Quickliner from Clinique. It’s pretty expensive ($16.98 on Amazon and even more at the makeup counter in the mall) and would have blown most of my budget. Don’t worry, though. If you have a particular makeup item that you can’t part with, I’ll tell you how I get mine for free and how you can do it, too.

Look at the Weekly Circular

Many stores have a weekly circular in the Sunday newspaper. If you don’t get the newspaper delivered to your house, most stores also post them online. Look in the circulars to find the best deals for the week. You can compare prices at different stores to see which ones have the best deals on makeup.

My store of choice for makeup shopping is CVS. There is one right across the street from my house, and they always have great deals each week. When I got my newspaper last weekend, the first thing I pulled out was the CVS ad. They always have some makeup on sale, so I wanted to see what brands were on sale this week. On the front page of the ad, there was a picture of CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Burt’s Bees cosmetics. For each of them, if you spent $15, you would get $5 of Extrabucks. I decided to focus on those brands.

Clip or Print Coupons

You may not like clipping coupons, but it’s a great way to save money. When you’re watching TV before bed at night, just grab a pair of scissors and your newspaper inserts. Clip while you watch, and you’ll be done in no time. You can also find printable coupons online. Those can also be easily cut out while watching your favorite show. Some stores even let you send your coupons directly to your store loyalty card. Then, there’s no clipping needed. If you don’t already use coupons, I encourage you to try it. The money you’ll save will be worth the few minutes you spent cutting.

The coupons are another reason I love CVS. You’re able to use their coupons in addition to the ones you print and clip. This week, a 30% off coupon was delivered to my inbox. I sent it to my CVS card. I love the CVS app because I don’t have to remember all my coupons anymore. I can load them directly onto the card, and they are automatically applied when I checkout. There were already two other great coupons on my CVS card. One was $5 off of a $15 purchase. The other was $3 off of a $15 cosmetics purchase. As long as I spent $15 on makeup, I had already saved $8!

I didn’t have any makeup coupons in my coupon organizer, so I went to the Coupons.com app on my phone. I found a coupon for $1 off of a CoverGirl cosmetic purchase. Then, I found a $2.50 off a Maybelline cosmetic purchase coupon. I printed both coupons twice, which is the limit per account on Coupons.com. I paperclipped my coupons to my list for CVS.

Use Apps for Additional Savings

This is a money-saving method I just recently discovered. There are apps that give you cash back for buying certain items. By far my favorite is Ibotta. I only joined last month, and I’ve already earned over $20. They are giving a $10 reward just for joining. When I looked at the deals that were available on Ibotta this week, I found one for $1.50 off a Burt’s Bees cosmetic purchase. Perfect! To claim the reward, I would just have to take a picture of my receipt after my CVS trip.

Step 4 – Let’s Go Shopping

Once your list is ready and you’ve collected all your coupons, hop in the car and drive to your store of choice. Find your brands and select the items that are on your list. Double check your coupons to make sure the items you’re choosing qualify for the offer. Once you have all of the items you need, go to checkout. As your items are scanned, make sure the prices are accurate. Make sure all of the coupons on your card are applied, and give the cashier all of your printed coupons. If something doesn’t look right or you’re not sure if a discount was used, make sure you ask. I can’t tell you how many times one of my coupons has been accidentally missed or the computer has failed to show the sale price.

I selected the makeup items that were on my list from the brands I had seen in the weekly ad. Then, I proceeded to checkout. I’m always nervous when I have a certain budget that I don’t want to exceed. I set all of my items on the counter and watched the total climb as the cashier scanned item after item. When she scanned the last tube of lipstick, I had a grand total of $52.72. Wow, that was way over my $20 budget. Would my coupons bring my total down enough? I wasn’t sure.

The cashier started by applying the coupons on my card. She deducted my $5 off $15 and $3 off $15. She also found that I had $5 Extrabucks on my card from the CVS Beauty Club. That hadn’t even shown up on my app. Then, she took my paper coupons, and that deducted another $7. Now my total was $32.72. That was better but still not where I wanted it to be. I wondered why the total wasn’t as low as I had anticipated. Then, I remembered the 30% off coupon from my email. I asked the cashier if that was showing up on my card. She searched for it and found it. If I hadn’t asked about that coupon, I would have missed out on saving another $13.60. My grand total with tax came to $19.12. I happily handed the cashier my $20 bill and 12 cents.

If the cashier hadn’t found the extra five dollars of Extrabucks on my card, I wouldn’t have met my goal. That happens sometimes. Don’t get discouraged. Just be glad you saved as much money as you did and try again next time.

Added Savings

I got an added surprise when my receipt printed. There were $15 of Extrabucks at the bottom of it. Since I spent $15 on Maybelline, CoverGirl, and Burt’s Bees, I earned $5 Extrabucks from each of them. Extrabucks are another reason I love CVS. You can spend them just like cash on anything in the store. I could stock up on even more makeup – or I could buy something more practical, like toilet paper. Either way I would get something for free. Yippee!

I also didn’t forget about my Ibotta coupon for Burt’s Bees. I scanned my CVS receipt into Ibotta and was credited another $1.50. I promised earlier that I would tell you how I got my Clinique Quickliner for free. Here’s the secret. When you earn $20 on Ibotta, you can cash it in for a gift card. I got an Amazon gift card when I cashed in, and I used it to buy my Clinique Quickliner. If you haven’t tried Ibotta yet, just click on the link to set up your account today. It’s free money for scanning your receipts, and some stores even let you load your store loyalty card. Then, they automatically get your receipt each time you shop. It’s the easiest $20 I’ve ever made.

Organizing Your Makeup

When you get your new purchases home, it’s time to organize. I cleaned out my makeup organizer after emptying it. I didn’t want to throw my makeup brushes away, so I looked up how to clean them. I found a great article at The Everygirl. It turns out all you need to clean makeup brushes is some baby shampoo, and that’s one thing I always have. I just ran the brushes under warm water, swirled them around in the baby shampoo, rinsed them, and let them dry. That made them as good as new.

Next, I sorted my new makeup and old makeup by type. All of the nail polish went in one section of my organizer. Lipstick went in another section, and so on. The end result was an organized and much better-looking collection of makeup. I carefully slid my organizer onto the top shelf of my closet, where only my nail polish had been. Now it will be safe from little fingers.

Happily Ever After

While my makeup makeover hasn’t made more time for me to get ready in the morning, it has made my makeup application go more smoothly. I no longer have to dig for what I need, and I don’t have to worry about ruined makeup anymore. I also have a little bit more variety to choose each day. My makeup is very happy living on the top shelf of my closet. The only one who isn’t living happily ever after is Miss M. She was very disappointed when she realized I moved my makeup. However, she has decided that she likes playing with the soap at my sink just as much. At least when she smears that everywhere it cleans things instead of making them dirtier. I guess we’ll call that a win for all.

I hope I’ve inspired you to give your makeup a makeover. Use my tips, and you can restock your cosmetics on a budget, too. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for more time and money-saving tips.