Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Save When Buying Beauty Products

I thought we'd take a break from DIY recipes and talk about the different ways I save money when buying beauty products. I'm frugal by both choice and necessity, so I'm always looking around for the best deals. I give myself a max of $20 each month to cover hair care and body products, plus any new makeup I may need. And by need I really mean want, let's be honest here. Now $20 isn't a lot in the beauty world, but I've managed to stretch that pretty far some months.

The first thing I look at whenever I start shopping somewhere is whether or not they have a rewards program. Sephora, Ulta, and even Birchbox have a rewards program that translates into free products for me. Unless there is a sale going on somewhere else I get 99% of my stuff at Ulta and Birchbox because of their fantastic rewards programs. Right now I'm placing a $100 order at Birchbox that after a 20% off coupon they sent me and $70 worth of points will cost me less than a lunch out. That is some great savings.

Speaking of sales and coupons, Ulta does either a $3.50 off $10 purchase OR a 20% off one item coupon each month. If you combine that with the already existing sales they have going on, you can walk away with a ridiculous amount of free products. Ulta also has the best sales, like buy one get one free or half off. This month the shampoo/conditioner I like is buy two get one free and there's a 20% off one item coupon as well, so I will be stocking up a bit. And I've noticed that NYX, Maybelline, and Physician's Formula are almost ALWAYS buy one get one half off at Ulta, so if I miss a sale I can just wait another month or two before stocking up. Or buying an obscene amount of lipsticks.

Stocking up during sales is the key. If I wait until I'm out of something, like my dry shampoo, I often end up getting stuck paying full price. But if I buy a few bottles during a buy one get one half off sale, I'll not only be set for a while but I'll have some great savings. Unless I have a huge stockpile I ALWAYS buy at least two bottles of my usual items whenever they go on sale. Like the Freeman masks I love, I've never paid full price for those. In fact, I've gotten over half of them for free thanks to buy one gt one free sales, coupons, and points.

Sometimes you do run out unexpectedly, then what? Look around and see who has the best price or sale/coupon available. Amazon has makeup products for a good price, but all the shampoos/conditioners I like are twice the price of my local Ulta. Freeman masks just went up in price at Ulta but my local grocery store carries them for almost a whole dollar cheaper. And I always check the beauty aisle of my Dollar Store, sometimes I get lucky and find name brand products there. My point is look everywhere, sometimes you can find a really good deal in a surprising place. And don't discount store brand items, the Target Up&Up line is really great and so much cheaper than the name brand item they are duping.

My personal rule is to never pay full price for anything. Being frugal requires a bit more work than just grabbing whatever I need/want, but in the end I'm getting a much better deal which amounts to me being able to get more on my budget. If you have any tips or questions share them below in the comments.


  1. Awesome tips, thanks! I always end up waiting until I need something and pay full price... I know I've needed to watch sales more closely, but have prioritized keeping track of other things instead. Also, I too, have noticed how expensive shampoo is on amazon, so weird!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I get an Ulta catalog mailed to me each month that I sit down with and figure out what I need from and check for good sales. I can also compare past ones to look for trends and what is always on sale. Glad to know I'm not the only one baffled by Amazon shampoo prices.