Five Ways to Save Money on Makeup

Tired of always paying full price for your makeup and hair products? With these tips, you’ll be able to find better deals and discounts on many (though not all) products.

1. Go direct. Determine which products you currently use (or want to use) and sign up for their mailing lists, their Twitter, and their Facebook. If you do that, you’ll always be the first to know of any special sales and can stock up quickly. A few of our favorites (who have recently had promotions) include Bumble & Bumble, Clarins, and Stila.

2. Find coupons. Sign up for Sephora, Ulta, BeautyBar, and Beauty.com emails and follow their Twitter and their Facebook to find out their best promotions. Though they don’t come often, these websites sometimes have 20% coupons that will apply to brands you normally can’t get discounted. Between the four, they offer hundreds of brands, so you’ll have more choice and variety than if you just follow our first tip. Do the same for Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS, and you’ll know the best promotions for drugstore brands (including the higher-end ones like La Roche-Posay and Vichy).

In the DC area, we recommend checking out the Harmon Discount drugstores located in Bed Bath & Beyond locations at Gallery Place, at DC USA, and in nearby Falls Church. All of those 20% Bed Bath & Beyond coupons you get should still apply to any purchases made within the Harmon Discount departments (but double check with each individual store to make sure).

3. Follow like-minded sources. Know before you buy what you’re getting and if you’re getting the best deal. Our favorite resources include Makeup Alley and Nouveau Cheap, but there are many, many more online. Always be careful not to fall for “scam” websites and always try to verify deals when possible. Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Go small. When you’re at a store, ask if there’s a free sample of the product you’re looking to try. That way, if you decide to get it, you’ll know if it’s a product you really want to use. You might also want to consider a subscription to Birchbox, which allows you to try a bunch of new, higher-end products for a low monthly price. It’s a lot cheaper than buying full-size products every month!

5. Compare prices. Amazon and wholesale stores including CostCo and BJ’s Wholesale Club can have a surprising number of hair and makeup products at lower prices. You’ll always want to factor in potential shipping costs if you order online to determine if it is, in fact, the best deal. Check if larger sizes are cheaper (per unit) than smaller ones – if it’s a product you know you use a lot, it can be worth it for the initial splurge. You can also check the FDA’s guidelines if you are concerned about the shelf life of cosmetics products.

Our bottom line: stock up when there’s a deal and save, save, save!

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