While there are definitely some women who prefer a simple beauty routine, there are a ton of ladies who absolutely love beauty products. And it’s absolutely no surprise – they can be a lot of fun! From going to Sephora to browse the shiny new items to digging through your make-up bag for that perfect shade of lipstick to complete a vibrant, bolt lip, it can be an absolute blast to play around with beauty products.
However, as many make-up addicts know, beauty products don’t always come cheap. Sure, there are some good drugstore options, but when there are several items that cost 40 or 50 dollars each – or more – those seemingly small tubes of potions and products can definitely add up.
So what’s a beauty addict to do, give up on her multi-colored toolbox and use the same five products every day? Absolutely not! Where’s the fun in that? Instead, if you want to be conscious of your budget as well as your fab new looks, you just need to consider a few cost cutting tips that’ll help reduce those bills. Lucky for you, we compiled 13 great tips that might serve you the next time you’re jonesing for a shiny new beauty product.
13 Snag those samples, either online or in store
When it comes to beauty products, particularly pricier beauty products, samples are a godsend. Simply put, they allow you to try out a new product without spending a ton of your money on it, because nothing is worse than dropping a significant chunk of change on something that you end up hating. But where do you get these awesome samples? Well, if you’re shopping for your beauty products online, most websites will allow you to include a few samples when you check out. In store, they’ll often offer you one or two if you show some interest in the product. You can even ask for things like small vials of perfume at most department stores – it’s a great way to try out some new scents before committing to a full bottle, and the reps often have so much that they’re happy to give them away.
12 Monitor Flyers
Most budget conscious girls are probably flyer queens, skimming through the latest flyers on an app or website to see what the best deals for the week are. However, flyers can save you money on more than just groceries – a huge portion of flyers for any grocery store or drug store feature beauty products. You likely won’t find the really high end products on sale much, but if you’re trying to save some money on those Essie nail polishes or that to-die-for mascara that you love, just keep an eye on those flyers – when it goes on sale, stock up on a few of your favorite product. That way, you’ll never have to pay full price!
11 Find New, In-Case Make-Up on Used Sites
Every bargain hunter knows that sites like Kijiji, Facebook or eBay often feature incredible deals on things like furniture, books, and more. However, did you know that you can find make-up there as well? Now, this budget tip comes with a huge caveat – you need to look for make-up that’s new, untouched, and unpackaged. You definitely don’t want to be sharing something like that with a total stranger. However, a lot of beauty addicts receive gifts that might not suit them, or simply buy something in the heat of the moment that they end up not wanting. Make sure it’s not used, make sure it’s an authentic product and not some chemical-packed substitute manufactured halfway across the world, and you might find something great.
10 Go For Single Use Products
Many of us seem to think that the best deals come when you buy in bulk, going for the biggest size foundation or most massive palette available. However, if you’re looking to get a few high end products on a budget, single use products are actually really great. For example, Origins sells a popular active charcoal mask that beauty fans love. You can shell out about $30 to get a tube of it, or, for $10, you can get four small, single-use pods, totalling only $2.50 per luxurious use. This can be particularly great for a product that you don’t use regularly, and that might go bad if you buy a huge container of.
9 Find The Mini Versions
You know those endless bins near the check out at beauty stores like Sephora, filled with endless treats and luxuries that you find yourself unable to resist? Well, good news – you don’t necessarily need to be avoiding those if you’re on a budget. In fact, they can be a phenomenal substitute. Many beauty companies will package a smaller, travel-size version of their most popular products. Even for high end brands, the price tag usually doesn’t go above $20, often for products whose full sized versions are $40-60. If you absolutely love a particular product, you can save up and splurge on the full sized version at some point. Plus, who doesn’t love having a few small treats kicking around their purse?
8 Rewards Programs
Everyone knows about Sephora’s legendary Beauty Insider program, and every beauty lover has experienced the thrill of receiving a certain number of points and being able to pick out a great sample product. However, pretty much every store that sells beauty products, from Kiehl’s to The Body Shop, has some sort of Rewards program. Many will have you collecting points for an eventual free sample or discounted amount on your next purchase, you’ll often get e-mails sharing great deals, and more. Particularly if there’s a store that you shop at quite frequently, it can be a fantastic way to help your beauty budget.
7 Subscription Services
Okay, beauty addicts, listen up – when we say that subscription services can be a great way to indulge your love for beauty products on a budget, we mean if you’re subscribing to one service. We’re not talking about signing up for every beauty-related subscription service available, and shelling out hundreds a month to get surprises in the mailbox. Just think about it, though. For most subscription services, you’re paying the same amount monthly as it would be to buy one product. For example, Birchbox costs about $15 a month, including shipping and handling. That price gets you a few small products to try out each month, meaning you can sample new products without having to pay full price. Plus, you get a nice surprise each month – who doesn’t love that?
6 Follow Beauty Blogs
Many true beauty geeks will have a handful of beauty bloggers or vloggers that they follow. Don’t steer clear because you’re worried you’ll be too tempted to buy a basketful of products after seeing their videos – they can actually be a great resource for ladies on a budget. Beauty bloggers/vloggers often have built relationships with certain brands, and will often buy excessive amounts of products to test out (for example, buying every shade of lipstick in a new line). As a result, they often have products that they neither need nor want – and who better to give them to than their loyal fans? This isn’t a sure-fire way to score free products, but often simply filling out a few giveaway forms might get you some pretty luxe products for a low, low cost.
5 Find some reliable dupes
Okay, we know – high end beauty products can be a wonderful treat, and there are some that many of us swear by and would never dream of switching out. However, if you’re watching your budget, you’re in luck – there are legions and legions of beauty bloggers and vloggers out there who have catalogued a series of ‘dupes’. What’s a dupe, you ask? Basically, if there’s a popular high end product, they will find a few drug store alternatives that are very, very similar, and provide a budget-friendly alternative to your favorite. Sure, someday you can splurge and treat yourself to that high end version, but if you’re watching your budget, dupes can help you score that million dollar look for pocket change.
4 Look for special codes or coupons online
Brands like to reward loyal customers, and consequently, will often give out coupons or codes that will do everything from get you a free product, free shipping, a discount on your overall purchase, and more. A girl would be silly not to take advantage of those offers! While websites will often advertise these codes pretty clearly, some women may not know that many vloggers will include their own codes (provided to them by the brands they’re using) in the description of their videos. So, if you see a killer video tutorial for a new look, take two seconds to check out the description – you might find something that’ll shave a few dollars off your next purchase.
3 Subscribe to flash sale websites
It can be a lot of fun browsing flash sale websites to see the lower prices on high demand items like designer clothing and bags. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the sales switch out every couple of days, meaning that you always have something new to look at. However, did you know that make-up is also a staple for these sites? Flash sale sites like Hautelook and Rue La La will often have a pop up shop by specific make-up brands. If it’s not a brand you’re familiar with, you might not feel like taking the risk. However, if you’re a die-hard Stila fan and you come across a Stila flash sale? You’re going to be getting some serious discounts on your beloved products.
2 Get out of the drugstore /department store
We get it – when you’re thinking of picking up a few new products, you’re either going to head to a the make-up section of a drug store, the beauty section of a department store, or a make-up store like Sephora or MAC. However, we’re going to give you a little tip – there’s another great source for beauty products that might not pop into your mind. We’re talking about discount stores. Stores like Winners (if you’re in Canada), TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, etc., will often have a small beauty section where they’ll have products at more affordable prices. Sure, they might not always have your favorite products, and the variety isn’t always great; sure, you might find the absolute perfect high end foundation in a shade that just doesn’t match your skin. However, if you do a bit of digging, you’ll often find some real gems.
1 Trade in your Empties
You know the moment when you finish up a product, scraping the last bits out of the container before throwing it in the trash? Well, stop throwing those beauty products in the trash – even if there’s no longer any product in the packaging, the packaging itself is invaluable. That’s because a lot of stores, including MAC and Lush, have programs where you can get either a totally free new product, or a hefty discount, by simply returning empty packaging to the store. It benefits the environment, and it benefits your budget – it’s a win win! Although, for the sake of the salespeople, remember to wash out the packaging before you bring it in.