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I’m not going to lie, this beauty blogging hobby of mine is expensive. Like really, really expensive. Recently, I’ve had a few people reach out to me asking the same thing: “I don’t have a large makeup collection and I don’t have a lot of money – can I still create a blog or Instagram account?”

This question really got me thinking. Is it possible? In a short answer, yes. Here are a few ideas that I have thought of for how to save money while blogging:

  1. Start by blogging about the products you already own. I’m sure you’ve used them 100’s of times and can easily write a review on them. How do you like them? Why did you choose them over other products? Etc.
  2. Do not purchase a new camera to take your pictures. I personally use a DSLR camera for most of my product shots because I love photography and happened to already own this camera. However,  I find that my iPhone camera works almost as well. Start by using your phone camera or a digital camera that you already own.
  3. Do not purchase expensive lighting for photography. I own a light tent and lights but I’ve recently started taking most of my photos outside in natural light. Yes, this limits when I am able to take pictures but it is FREE. I also find that natural lighting looks better than all of my purchased lighting.
  4. Do not purchase expensive backgrounds for your photos. I have used a paint canvas, various table tops in my house, a $2 marble tile from Home Depot, a notebook, a piece of scrapbook paper, etc. for my backgrounds. A friend of mine actually uses wrapping paper as her background. Get creative, you can find amazing looking backgrounds for very inexpensive.
  5. A lot of brands have started selling travel-sized versions of their most popular products. They aren’t usually a better deal than the full-size but they ARE cheaper.
  6. When you do purchase makeup, do it online!! First, you can use the Ebates to EARN money every time you purchase. (If you haven’t heard of this website, and you are interested to learn more.. let me know and I will write a blog post).
  7. Another reason to purchase makeup online is that you can find coupon codes for free product samples. I ALWAYS check RetailMeNot for coupon codes. For example, I just used a code and received 10 product samples with one Sephora order. That could be 10 blog posts if I wanted it to be.
  8. Write blog posts about your first impressions of products using these free samples. I do not think that a sample sized product is enough to give a hugely detailed review but it is absolutely enough product to give a first impression. I’ve actually received a few samples of new, very popular products that I plan on writing first impression reviews on.
  9. Consider signing up for a beauty subscription (i.e. Sephora Play, Ipsy, etc.) The two I mentioned, Sephora Play and Ipsy, cost $10/month but you receive multiple products each month that you could use and review.
  10. Think outside of the box/get creative. For example, this blog post is costing me $0 to write. Try to come up with things you can write about (that are still relevant to your blog and interesting to your readers) that do not cost anything.
  11. “Trade” or borrow makeup from your friends. I saw Mallory Ervin and Alexandrea Garza (two of my favorite YouTubers) do a video where Mallory tried a bunch of Alex’s products. Ask your friends if you could try some of their favorite makeup products to then write about.
  12. Buy used makeup on Poshmark. I know – this sounds gross and not appealing. However, you CAN sanitize used makeup. (Think about it, if you’ve ever been to a MAC counter and tried one of their lipsticks. This is USED makeup that they spray with a sanitizer before you try it on. If you’ve ever gotten your makeup done professionally or at a beauty counter, this is USED makeup). As a buyer, the thing you should be on the lookout for is how LONG they’ve had the product (not how many times it has been used). I’ve noticed that sellers focus on how many times they’ve used it and not necessarily how long they’ve had it (which would give you a clue as to if the product is expired or about to expire).
  13. Go to MAC/Nordstrom/Sephora and ask for samples. I’ve gone to Nordstrom and asked for samples of foundations to take home and try. Or you could go to MAC and ask to try one of their lipsticks and take a selfie for your Instagram or review the color and wearability for your blog.
  14. Ask companies if they would be willing to send you product. I am including this one last because I think this should only be done once you have built up your blog or Instagram account. If you have a “large” following, brands will be more than happy to send you products for FREE because you are essentially providing them marketing.

In the end, I think it is impossible to write a beauty blog without spending ANY money. However, I definitely think you can write a beauty blog while on a strict budget and not spend very much money. If you have any tips on how to blog on a budget, leave them in the comments below!


16 thoughts on “HOW TO BLOG ON A BUDGET

  1. Tracys Way says:

    This is a very helpful and honest post. I started my blog just over a year ago and only recently did I purchase a DSLR /tripod. They definitely make things easier but I only used my phone at first as well. The only piece of advice I would add is blog about things you love. Don’t buy things you normally wouldn’t just so you can get content out of it. People will see right through it. Plus minimalism is in so less really is more. Once I found my groove things kind of took off and now companies are reaching out to me and I’ve been able to be a part of some really cool events. Just be true to yourself. Just a side note. I started off with WordPress and switched to Squarespace and both are really good platforms depending on what you want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • katelovesmakeup1 says:

      That’s a really good point – I might add something about that. Blog about things you love AND buy things that you actually want, not because they are hyped up. I used to buy things that were hyped that were never going to work for my oily skin. Thanks for your comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. EREdgar says:

    I like how your pictures are set up Kate. And you know I really enjoy you and your posts. I don’t really enjoy reading or even looking at posts or pictures are too over the top or over stylized or posed. I enjoy reading about real people. Not paid advertisement. It’s not appealing to see the fake stuff or too professional pictures. I want to know that you really use this stuff in your bathroom or makeup room.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. itsheyjune says:

    This is a great and really helpful post! I’ve read so many generic “do this to blog on a budget” posts *cough millionaire’s digest cough* but yours is so much more real and honest. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ms Tantrum says:

    Brilliant post Kate. So many ideas. I agree about blogging being an expensive hobby. My sister wants to blog but she recently got married and is saving money for a new house. I will direct her to your post 🙂
    By the way, I use wallpapers, baby blanket, my top, snood or sometimes inner fur lining of my jackets as background for pictures 😂😂
    Ash |

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Clarissa says:

    Thank you so much for this post it was so helpful. I do have a couple of questions however. How do you get in touch with companies to ask them to send you products? And is this just a hobby or do you make any money through WordPress to help you build your collection?

    Liked by 1 person

    • katelovesmakeup1 says:

      Hi Clarissa! Thank you for your comment and awesome questions. I personally just go to the company’s website and see if they list a PR contact or email. If they do, I email that person – if not I send an email to their general email address. I do this purely as a hobby, but it has gotten so expensive that I am hoping to make enough money to purchase more makeup to continue blogging. I recently added links using ShopStyle and I’ve made a whopping $4.35 🙂 I AM hoping that I can generate more money to keep this going!


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