Guest blogger week, day 4: Maddy’s tips for saving money and looking cute

Hey everyone! Valentina asked if I would like to be a guest blogger about a month ago and I’m really excited to have the finished product ready for everyone to read. My name is Maddy and I’m in school for journalism in Canada, however my biggest passion is fashion and makeup.

The school year is, sadly, fast approaching and as most of you reading this know, keeping up to date on fashion and makeup trends can be a fairly expensive thing to do. You’ll find yourself rationalizing skipping out on groceries in order to buy a new makeup pallette, or working a few extra shifts to get that jacket you saw and loved. As a student, it’s taken me a couple of years of experimenting, but I’ve finally figured out a few ways to save money and still look incredible.

  1. Rewards Cards

I can’t begin to stress enough about how much reward cards have saved me. Almost every store has rewards and sooner or later they are bound to add up points. This past week I went into Sephora and asked to redeem my points for the lowest level tier. Usually you’d think that the lowest level would have things you would never use and want to spend your saved points on; however, for only 100 points I was able to get a free sample of Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ mascara. Not only does this allow me to try brands and products I was unsure of before, but this mascara “sample” is also big enough to last me until I can redeem more points for other free mascaras!11949643_10153636547068223_1421536623_n

  1. Email Subscription

Yes this may sound ridiculous (and slightly annoying) but hear me out. Create a separate email that isn’t connected to anything school or work related, then go in store or even online and sign up for your favourite store’s email programs. Many stores give you discounts upon signing up, like 10% off your next purchase, but the most important thing is that you’ll be in the know for whenever there are sales.

The emails sent out will not only notify you when there are store wide sales available for all customers, but many stores will also give you sales only available for subscribers. Just walk in store, show the cashier the email you received, and it’s instant money saved. It costs absolutely nothing to sign up, but it’ll save you a lot in the end.


  1. Monthly gifts

Websites like Birchbox and ipsy send you gifts every month with a fairly inexpensive subscription. This allows you to try a lot of different high quality products for a minimal price. Both subscriptions are around $10 a month and while this doesn’t always guarantee a good haul, it will allow you to experiment with products you’d never thought you’d use. While I’ve never used this service, I’ve heard great reviews from friends and family who don’t have the time or money to go looking through stores for products.

  1. No-name brand matches (dupes)

This tip is more specified to makeup, however the idea behind it can be applied to all brands of trends. Many people, especially students, truly don’t care what brands you’ve bought. There, I’ve said it. Brands. Don’t. Matter.

That being said, many expensive brands usually have higher quality products. Therefore the only solution is to look for brands that are very similar in style and quality. For example, at MAC there are many lipsticks I love and adore but can’t spend the money on. Instead, I’ll grab the name of the lipstick and search up what its matches, or dupes, are on Google.

It’s that simple. You aren’t the first and you certainly won’t be the last person trying to look fashionable on a budget. There are entire makeup blogs dedicated to helping you find your matches with almost every makeup brand, you just have to know where to search.

Here are some links to get you started:

While these tips and tricks seem obvious, many people, including myself, don’t use them often enough. I started paying more attention to saving my money this year because of my ridiculous University tuition and I’ve still managed to stay on top of the latest trends. So, as the summer comes to a close, I wish everyone good luck in the new school year; may your fashion sense flourish and your grades stay high!

Thanks again to Valentina for being her usual lovely self, I hope I’ll be able to guest write again!