There’s a certain joy to be had when you’re shopping for beauty products that you know your skin will love. Even more so if you get to go home with the perfect MLBB lippy or can’t-live-without foundation at a fraction of the price! Because let’s face it, if there’s only one thing us girls love more than shopping for our favorite things, it’s doing so without making our wallets weep. But while you may have already memorized all the holiday and annual sales of your favorite stores, there are still plenty of ways beauty aficionados can splurge on their skin while saving those bills! Curious? Read on because we’ve gathered tried-and-tested saving tips from beauty bloggers, makeup lovers and shopping experts!
If you’re a fan of shopping from the comforts of your own home (or bed, let’s be real), then you probably know your way around online stores. Shopping online is a great way to save extra bucks from exclusive deals, first purchase discounts, email signups and flash sales. Beauty publicist Sakita Holley, founder and CEO of New York-based PR firm House of Success, suggests signing up for newsletters right away if your favorite store or brand has one “as that is where the coupons or discounts are usually announced.” Don’t want to overwhelm your inbox? That’s fine. Holley says you can still get first dibs on flash sales and coupons by turning on your favorite store’s Instagram notifications.
Rewards and loyalty programs are another great way to get the most out of every dollar you spend. Aside from letting you earn redeemable points, most online retailers also offer additional members-only discounts on top of the usual deals.
Dermstore Editors’ Tip: Dermstore Rewards lets you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on Dermstore.com. For every 100 points, you get $1 to spend on any beauty product of your choice—no exclusions! Plus, you can use your rewards on top of other offers and promotions.
Whether they’re high-end or drugstore brands, makeup counters (and beauty sites) often come loaded with samples for customers to try before investing in an expensive product. All you have to do is ask for them! “This is what I do especially when it comes to skin care,” says makeup artist and beauty blogger Hillary Kline. “Skin care can be pricey, and when you have sensitive or acne-prone skin like mine, you want to make sure that your skin doesn’t have a poor reaction before buying the full-sized bottle.”
Plenty of online stores also offer free gifts with purchase, and although not all gifts are created equal, these could be great incentives especially if the item you have to buy and the free products are something you need anyway.
It’s no secret that almost every store gives great deals if you buy items in large quantities, and it’s the same for beauty products. “This might seem counterproductive to some, but you are actually saving money in the long run,” says Kline. “I do this often on makeup remover pads and wipes—it’s better to buy these in bulk because I know that I will use them quickly, and it’s also an essential part of taking off my daily makeup.”
“Bulk items or sizes can last for months at a time and help you cut down on the discretionary purchases and random trips to the store that could result in way more things ending up in your cart than you intended,” adds Holley.
Dermstore Editors’ Tip: Did you know you can save an additional 15% when you subscribe to your favorite products on Dermstore.com? Plus, your products will be automatically shipped to you—for free, of course—according to your desired schedule, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of your favorites!
Not for your hair but for your browser! This is probably the smartest tip on this list and one we don’t hear often: when shopping online, switch to Chrome and update it with shopping-friendly extensions like Ebates and Coupon Cabin. “With the Ebates desktop extension, you’ll receive an alert that a cash back offer is available, and with Coupon Cabin, you’ll be alerted to both coupons and cash back offers. All you have to do is click on the banner to activate the offer,” explains smart shopping expert Trae Bodge.
You’ll come across plenty of flash deals and special discounts when you shop online, but beauty blogger Sharvonique Renee has a favorite time of the year to hoard her favorite products. “November is the best month to buy makeup because it has the biggest sales. That’s usually when Friends & Family sales happen along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. I typically save as much as 30% to 50%.” And if you’re the type who schedules one or two yearly shopping sprees instead of multiple random purchases, this is definitely the best time to get the most bang for your buck.
If you’re a big fan of lipstick and go through several tubes a year, then makeup artist and hair stylist Mindy Green, owner of MG Beauty, has a beauty saving tip for you that’s also eco-friendly: save your empty containers and swap them out for a new item at makeup counters. Not all brands have this kind of recycling program, so if you’re not sure, just shoot them a message and ask. Other brands also let you buy refills of certain products (like foundations), so it pays to keep those containers to save on packaging costs. If you bought something that you suddenly regret or doesn’t agree with your skin, don’t throw them out just yet! Just bring them back to the store as most retailers would have no problem accepting returns as long as they’re still in excellent condition.
You know this struggle: you have expensive taste that your budget can’t afford. You’ve tried hoarding all the samples you can get your hands on, but it’s been your fifth “sampling trip” and the lady at makeup counter is starting to get suspicious. There has to be another way, right? Well, that’s what dupes are for! Almost every high-end makeup product out in the market today has a wallet-friendly twin just waiting to be discovered. “Just because a designer brand is more expensive doesn’t mean that they are better. There are great lower-priced products that work just as good as high-end brands,” says makeup artist Sandy Taylor, editor at Foundation Fairy. And if you don’t have the time to scour the beauty aisles for the perfect dupe, you can always turn to the Internet. “There are a ton of websites and tutorials on YouTube that will help you find a dupe product,” adds Kline.
If you’re a skin care fanatic, you know how expensive it can be especially if you follow a complete regimen that requires several products to treat specific concerns and address different needs. And sometimes, we only get visible results from products that are a bit out of our reach budget-wise. So what’s a girl to do? Simple: do some digging and find the active ingredients in that pricey night cream your skin craves. “Go to a website that provides all the ingredients for beauty products and copy the first five ingredients in a product you’re interested in. Then paste those ingredients into Google and you’ll often find less expensive options,” says fashion and lifestyle writer, blogger and book publicist Andrea Kiliany Thatcher, author of Atelier to Runway.
Every smart shopper knows that the dollar store is the best place to get some of your basic household needs—whether its home décor, cleaning products, party supplies or greeting cards. But if you live by the mantra “beauty on a budget” and are all for drugstore brands, the dollar store could open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. “Consider buying supplies like cotton balls and hair clips at the dollar store. You can find basic goodies for a fraction of the price you would pay elsewhere,” says Taylor.