A modern girl’s guide to saving money on makeup.
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but with how the economy is doing today, having the money to buy diamonds has been hard to come by. So I resort to makeup shopping. But even cosmetics are hiking up in price nowadays. So I’ve come up with the best money-saving tips I’ve got up my sleeve.
With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to stock up on your essential beauty items. Whether you’re looking to shop for gifting options or to simply stock up your professional makeup kit, Christmas deals are a great way to save money. Here’s my Top 8 tips:
Tip #1: COUPONING
I’ve got to admit, I didn’t care much for couponing in the beginning. Collecting Sunday papers, clipping coupons, organizing coupons to make sure they’re still valid – it’s a lot of work. But what made me a recent convert? A few too many episodes of Extreme Couponing. It’s amazing how much money you could save, even if it’s just a few bucks. Websites like RetailMeNot and Coupon.com or other similar sites have coupons that could be used online or in-store. Or if you want to get the best deal, just consult our good old friend Google. Coupons may not be a tremendous amount of savings, but when your favorite retailers or high-end brands (that rarely go on sale) give out coupons, it eventually adds up.
Tip #2: FLASH SALE WEBSITES
Most of the websites are members-only but it’s usually free to sign up and you get instant approval. My favorite one is Hautelook – it’s my go-to site for some high-end makeup brands. They routinely have sales on brands like TheBalm, Stila, Urban Decay, Makeup Forever, Face Atelier, and the list goes on. Other websites I frequent are MyHabit, Ideeli, Ruelala, Beyond the Rack, and Gilt. Simply create an alert on your calendar about upcoming makeup sale events so you don’t miss out. One last thing to keep in mind is that items purchased on these sites generally don’t ship out until about a week after your order date. Shipping may take a while.
Tip #3: CCOs
CC what? What is a CCO? It stands for ‘Cosmetics Company Outlet’ or sometimes it could also go under the name ‘Cosmetics Company Store.’ Depending on the retailer, CCOs could carry brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Giorgio Armani, YSL, Clinique, Lancome, etc. CCOs are located in outlet malls and it could be a CCO operated by Estee Lauder or L’Oreal. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can find both kinds of CCOs in one outlet mall. Prices may vary, but items are typically priced at 30-50% off, but some run other deals like ‘Take Additional 50% Off Clearance!’ Although these items are all original and authentic, there might be slight discrepancies. It could be change of packaging, slight color difference, or the product is simply discontinued or have been part of a past holiday collection. Keep in mind though that CCOs do not stock the same items. What you find in one CCO might not be available at another CCO.
Tip #4: PRO MAKEUP DISCOUNT
If you’re a makeup artist, cosmetologist, hairstylist, performer, photographer, or an artist actively working in the industry, these perks are always convenient. You get anywhere from 10-40% off discount and some brands even let you use your discount on sale and clearance items. A few downsides are some these pro discount memberships could only be used online and they also put a limit on your spending, so spend wisely!
Tip #5: OFF-PRICE RETAILS CHAINS
Department stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls are great places to score awesome makeup deals (especially false eyelashes!). Like CCOs, stocks and products carried vary from store to store. But it gets better – a lot of the items are priced at 30-50% off or even more. Just make sure you check the condition of the product or packaging before buying anything. I’ve been lucky to find brands like Eylure, Korres, Elizabeth Arden, DDF, and Too Faced.
Tip #6: MAJOR BEAUTY RETAILERS
Big chain makeup stores like Sephora and Ulta are notorious for giving incredible deals on sets and holiday collections. They also have sales on a regular basis and both have reward programs. Ulta usually gives out $3.50 off coupons while Sephora always offers great high-end brand trial sizes. They also offer points based on purchase – let them bank up and claim a perk or reward after so many points.
Tip #7: GET ON THAT MAILING LIST
Visit your favorite brand’s website regularly or at least subscribe to their mailing list. This is how they usually announce sales and special deals going on. Let them flood your inbox! It’s a lot easier to mark and delete emails than have to regret missing out on a great deal. Also, if you’re up for a little bit of stalking, follow them on Twitter.
Tip #8: CASH BACK SERVICES
There’s a number of good cash back services out there, but Ebates is what I personally use. Cash back percentage varies from store to store, so if you want to be savvier, sign up for two different cash back accounts and compare which service offers you a bigger cash back percentage. This is basically free money while you spend money. Just keep in mind that banking up your cash backs takes some time (and money).
Makeup is probably one of my biggest splurges and one of the best solutions to any problem I have. It’s a great stress-buster! If you’re ever on a hunt for great deals, I hope my tips helped you out.
“Shopping is a lot cheaper than a psychiatrist appointment.”
Feel free to comment and share your best money saving tips on makeup. It will be well appreciated! Have fun makeup shopping!