Beauty on a Budget

From Dupes to DIYs

By Onielia Wilson, Copy Editor

Many college students have difficulty affording costly beauty products and services. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve the same expensive look on a budget.

On average, people spend approximately $100 a month on beauty products and services, but this total can significantly increase with a few high-end items and a visit to the salon. People can opt for product dupes and do their beauty treatments themselves to cut back on these costs.

“The price really depends on the choice you make. You can get acrylic nails done at the salon for $80, or you can go to CVS and get $8 press on nails,” said Jezzy Yeb, a junior. “I do my own nails often, saving me hundreds of dollars.”

People can learn how to do almost every beauty service at home. It may take some time and practice, but the money it saves is worth the effort. People can follow several beginner-friendly tutorials on the Internet and increase their skills.

The Internet is also an excellent source for finding product dupes. For most luxury beauty products, there is a cheaper alternative with the same result.

It has become a trend for beauty gurus to find dupes and share them with followers to make beauty on a budget effortless. There are also websites like, which are dedicated to selling product dupes and sharing what high-end items they substitute for.

“My recommendation is to look at the expensive products first, then find cheaper products with similar ingredients,” said Cecilia Medina-Fernandez, a junior. “I like to go the cheap route and purchase drugstore makeup at Walgreens or Publix. The same product I spend $15 on at the drugstore will cost over $50 at Ulta or Sephora.”

Drugstore makeup and DIY beauty treatments are usually enough to satisfy the average college student’s beauty needs, but there are some things that people insist on splurging for.

“Sometimes you have to spend a lot of money on beauty products, but I think it’s worth it, especially when you know the ingredients are high quality,” said Olivia Simpson, a senior. “For expensive items, I like to buy the travel sizes first to see if I like the product so that I do not waste money on something that does not give me my expected results.”

College students do not have to break the bank to achieve their desired look. Before spending away savings, always remember to research cheaper options for how to do beauty on a budget.

A YouTube tutorial comparing drugstore makeup to luxury makeup. Photo/K. Strack
Jezzy Yeb showing affordable press on nails. Photo/ O. Wilson
Students discussing their favorite affordable makeup products. Photo/ K.Hanna.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.