I can not tell a lie. I love buying beauty products.

If I see a cool item on sale, I want to test it out. New mascara that will double your lashes — why not! Shampoo promising to stop frizz and give you volume — sounds good! And it turns out I’m not the only one.

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A study by Mintel found that consumers spent $2.32 billion on shampoo and $1.71 billion on conditioner in 2010 alone. Of course, my beauty product shopping bill is still very reasonable — I write about saving money after all.

Andrea Woroch from Kinoli, Inc., a company behind many money-saving websites, fills in ‘Good Lifers’ on some the best way to save on essentials without resorting to dollar-store cosmetics.

Makeup Money Savers

Clean makeup tools are happy makeup tools, but they can also extend the life on those expensive brushes and makeup applicators.

Woroch suggests if you really need replacements, consider a tip given to her by a MAC Cosmetics artist — buy art brushes at craft stores and use those instead. They cost a fraction of the price.

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If you want your foundation to last longer, she said always apply a base before putting it on. Powder, liquid or mineral foundation will stay put longer on your face and you’ll use less. Woroch said some good options are The Magic Perfecting Base by L’Oreal, a favorite among top fashion magazines, and costs around $12.

Finally, sometimes it pays to be picky and not wear your entire cosmetics collection every day of the week. Woroch said going for the “au natural” look on mellow workdays or weekends can help stretch your dollar. To see how to pull it off, she suggests using Real Simple’s step-by-step instructions.

I might also suggest using what you have first before you go buy new cosmetics. Makeup doesn’t stay good forever, so don’t hold back. In the same vein of “don’t save your good china for the queen, she probably isn’t coming,” don’t save your “good makeup” for a special occasion, use it before it goes bad.

I also like the idea of experimenting with makeup trends by using a beauty discounter, like E.L.F. (eyeslipsface.com). Most of their makeup items sell for $1, so if you wanted to try out some neon lipstick or smoky eye shadow, that’s the place to go in my opinion.

Check back later this week for part two and three of Beauty Best Buys.

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Know of any other deals, share them with other ‘Good Lifers’ in the comment section. You can also read more money-saving blog posts here and text WCCODEALS to 84816 for a ‘deals of the week’ reminder.