Save money on cosmetics with these 43 top tips. The beauty industry is one of the most lucrative and competitive markets on the planet. Our favourite products continually become more and more expensive as demand for them grows. We have put together a comprehensive list of ways you save money on cosmetics, so that you no longer need to break the bank to look after your health and beauty. Check them out below:
1. Only Buy What You Need
We have all gone shopping with the intention of buying a specific product and been drawn in by the sensory overload of bright lights, special offers and tactical marketing to buy something we hadn’t planned on. The endorphin rush we get from making purchases can make us spend way more than we originally budgeted for. The best way to save money on cosmetics when shopping is to make a list of the products you actually need and don’t deviate from it.
2. Maximise the Use of What You Have
Most of us restock our cosmetics supply when we shop in fear of running out. This leads to a buildup of unused products which get thrown out. Use up any products which have been opened first, before opening the next one. This will ensure you are getting the most out of what you are spending. For example, here are a few ways how to Get the Last of the Toothpaste out of the Tube which can be applied to a lot of other cosmetic packaging i.e.The hot water technique also works for getting the clumps out of dried mascara.
3. Repair Rather Than Replace
If you have powdered makeup, for example, which is cracked or broken you don’t need to throw it away. Prolong the lifetime value of your products by repairing them to save money. Use rubbing alcohol to restore broken eye shadow. The video below shows this fantastic makeup hack in action:
4. Keep Your Products Fresh
In order to prolong the life cycle of you cosmetic products, it is crucial you keep them in the right environment. Over exposure to air or high temperatures can dry out products like moisturisers, natural oils, toothpastes, makeup etc. Keep containers sealed to maintain their moisture and stop bacteria exposure. Products which contain oil can go off if kept at room temperature and not used everyday. These can be kept refrigerated to maintain the oils turning bad and developing an odour.
5. Switch to a Lower Cost Brand
The beauty industry is a highly competitive market, each product has several competing brands, each with similarly effective products. Brands with stronger marketing can charge more as their product will be perceived as being better. Local pharmacies are a great place to find mid-range products that are a good compromise between the luxury brands and the budget ones. Trial a generic brand to see if you notice a difference. Your pocket certainly will!
6. Find Your Favourites For Less
Most cosmetics customers spend countless hours trialling different products until they find one which works for them. This trial and error process can be extremely expensive so when they do find something they like, they tend to stick to it. However rising prices or discontinued lines can make this impossible to maintain. luckily you can use a ‘Dupe List’ to find something comparable in a less expensive brand. Temptalia.com is a great online tool to help you find alternatives as well as where to buy them. You also use Google’s shopping search to find the cheapest places to buy your favourite products. Simply type the product name into Google search, then select ‘Shopping’ as the type of search result you want returned. This will show you a list of retailers who stock that particular product and which is the cheapest.
7. Buy In Bulk
The more you buy at once or the larger the quantity, normally you can benefit from a lower cost per unit. This is simple economies of scale. If a higher quality brand of toothpaste is on special offer for example, stock up, you will save money in the long run. Be careful though, as some retailers know people will normally opt for the ‘family size’ products thinking they are getting a better deal. This may not always be the case. Make sure to do the math and check the price per unit.
8. Beauty Blogger Giveaways
The beauty industry is filled with bloggers and influencers. Most of which get sent free products to trial and write about. Because of the quantity they get, they tend to either give them away to selected followers or sell them at heavily discounted prices. Have a look at MUABS.com (Makeup Addict Blog Sales) where you can find various blog sales or purchase items from other members in the makeup marketplace.
9. YouTube Discount Codes
With the beauty industry being one of the heaviest influencer filled marketplace online, there are several opportunities to capitalise on unique offers. Brands which partner with these social media influencers normally provide special discount codes so that the audience are persuaded to buy and they can track the effectiveness of the partnership. Next time you are watching a cosmetic tutorial video on YouTube, have a look in the description below to see if you can find any.
10. Recycle For a Reward
Some of the more eco-friendly cosmetic companies have started to reward customers who recycle their used containers with free products. Lush have a promotion where you can bring five empty pots to any of their stores and you’ll receive a free fresh face mask. Kiehls giveaway a free travel-sized product of your choice when you bring back 10 empty, full-sized Kiehl’s bottles. MAC’s programme, ‘Back to MAC’ rewards you with a free lipstick of your choice when you return six empty containers to one of their stores. The video below has some great tips on how to depot MAC eyeshadows. If your favorite cosmetic brand doesn’t currently offer a promotion like this, why not suggest it to them and see if they will start one. It’s great PR so most companies will consider it.
11. Search for Coupons to Redeem
There are Coupon Websites you can visit to bag yourself a bargain and save the time and stress involved in comparing all outlets in person. Retail Me Not is a great place to find coupons for top brands.
12. Check Daily Deal Websites
Sites like HauteLook and Gilt are any makeup addict’s dream. They have regular flash sales and post daily discounts and deals on cosmetics. By signing up to their email list you can receive free vouchers and coupon to use online.
13. Sign Up for Sales Alerts
Join various mailing lists or follow your favourite brands or retailers on social media to be notified when certain brands are having sales.
14. Buy Duty-Free
If you’re a frequent traveller then you really should be taking advantage of the huge savings to be had from duty free stores. These stores sell products without local import tax so there are some incredible savings to be had. Some even have websites, such as DubaiDutyFree.com, when you can simply pre-order online, then pickup and pay at the airport when you next travel.
15. Collect Free Samples
It’s always a good idea to try before you buy. Especially with some of the more expensive products. Keeping a stockpile of free samples from your next trip to the mall is a great way to benefit from designer brands on a budget. If they aren’t handing out free samples, simply ask for one. Sites like Sephora.com, Ulta.com, and Beauty.com also give out free samples when you buy online.
16. Benefit From Brand Loyalty
Because the cosmetics industry is such a competitive market, brand will go to great lengths to maintain high levels of customer loyalty. You can benefit from this by continuing to buy from the same manufacturers who offer loyalty programmes or membership packages. Some, such as Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, will give you in store credit based on your total spend or they may have a free giveaway once you hit a purchasing threshold. For example, when you make five purchases from L’Oreal and their Gold Rewards Programme will give you a free hair color product. If your favourite brand doesn’t already offer something like this, why not suggest it in an email or post on their social media accounts?
17. Meet Minimum Purchase Orders to Receive Free Gifts
If you normally purchase all of your cosmetic products from the same brand or store, you can normally redeem a free gift for orders placed over a certain value. Nordstrom are a good example of a store which offer some fantastic free gifts from spending as little as $11. However this is an extremely effective marketing ploy to maximise the transaction value from each customer. Don’t get sucked into spending more than you have to.
18. Use Less
This may seem the simplest and most obvious piece of advice but it really does work. How many times have to overused expensive shampoo or conditioner only for it to be immediately washed down the drain? What a waste! Try gradually reducing the amount of moisturiser, hair gel, make up you use each day and you will start to see your cosmetics bills reducing.
19. Buy One Product For All
How many people in your household use different brands of the same product? One marketed for men, one for women and another for the kids? Try amalgamating all products to one brand where possible. For example a universal mosituriser, hand soap or toothpaste.
20. Buy Multi-Taskers
Why buy a product to serve one purpose when it can cover two and potentially halve your costs? Tinted moisturiser for example, keeps your skin soft and wrinkle free but also acts as a foundation for makeup and gives you a tan complexion. You can use hair conditioner as a shaving cream or Johnson’s Baby lotion as a makeup remover for your face and makeup brushes. Vaseline makes a great replacement for lip gloss and you can use baby powder to lengthen your eyelashes. The video below will show you how:
21. Multiply Your Inventory
Cut up a makeup sponge or or cotton ball to get more use out of it thanks to a greater surface area.
22. Make It Yourself
This may sound the hardest method but can prove to be a healthier option and have the largest saving. These Home Makeup Hacks can be crafted from ingredients you already have in your kitchen. The best part is that these Easy Makeup Recipes use all natural ingredients so you can be sure you are keeping your skin as healthy as possible. Make your own Rosemary and Mint Scented Shaving Cream from Coconut Oil and Shea Butter, or make your own hair conditioner by mixing one can of coconut milk, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of olive oil. You can make your own Homemade Body Scrubs using brown sugar and honey.
23. Try An Alternative
As an alternative to washing your hair daily with shampoo, which can remove the much needed oils from your scalp, try these Three Home Haircare Remedies which all have the added benefit of helping maintain healthy hair and combatting hair loss of hair thinning. You could also swap out a makeup brush for a paint brush. This may sound ridiculous, but they provide a similar result and are much cheaper.
24. Combine Brands
Have you ever bought a product which didn’t live up to your expectations? Rather than just throw it up and waste your hard earned money, why not try and remedy the situation first. How? By combining it with other inexpensive products to achieve the same results and a highly priced alternative. Let’s say you’ve bought a new fragrance with is stronger than you thought it would be or maybe it doesn’t react well with your skin. Try Diluting With Essential Oils to alter the scent or reduce your skin’s reaction to it.
25. Shop Somewhere New
If you continue to shop for your cosmetics in the usual places you miss out on opportunities to discover new brands or find better offers. Try local discount stores or market stalls where you can find low cost options or unique brands.
26. Shop Smart
Most supermarkets and retail outlets are extremely methodical in the way they layout their products in store. Prime real estate such as eye level shelves, end of aisle stands or point of sale at checkout tills are where they place their best sellers or most expensive brands to capitalise on the convenience factor for shoppers. Next time you are shopping take a look at the bottom shelf to find hidden gems.
27. Can You Do Without It?
Question why you need your selected brand of cosmetics or even if you need the product at all. Maybe you buy it out of habit and can survive a trial week without it. The thought of wearing less makeup to work for example, might scare you now but if you gradually reduce the amount you wear you may start to become more confident with your natural beauty and save money in the process. Win-Win!
28. Research Before Buying
Rather than guessing which highlighter matches your skintone or which lipstick complements you eyeshadow in the store, do some research online for products which compliment each other and try testers to be sure before you make the purchase.
29. Buy ‘All-In-One’ Kits
All-in-one makeup kits can save time as the colours are selected to compliment each other and blend well together. They are also perfect for travelling, saving you much needed room in your luggage. Check out the Body Shop’s latest deals on All-in-one makeup kits for even greater savings.
30. Swap Out The Sponge
Sponges absorb a lot of your foundation as you are applying it. A better solution is to apply with a brush or your fingers and then smooth out with a sponge. This way you get the same results by using up less of your makeup supply. The video tutorial below will help show you how to do it:
31. Invest In High Quality Makeup Brushes
As the saying goes “Buy cheap, buy twice!” Investing in a High Quality Set Of Makeup Brushes will last you for years compared to a budget alternative. They can also make application easier, meaning you won’t waste as much product applying several times. Make sure to clean and maintain them regularly to prolong their lifetime use and protect your investment. Check out Elle.com’s article on ‘How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes Like a Pro’ for some great tips on how to do this.
32. Combine High Quality Items With Low Cost Solutions
While it is extremely difficult for generic brands to provide the same high quality packaging or brushes as their higher priced counterparts, where they can compete however is the cosmetic product itself. Why continue to pay a higher amount just for a new mascara brush each time, if the generic brand mascara provides the same result. Simply buy the more expensive brand’s product once to acquire the better brush, then continue to use it to apply the lower priced mascara. Keep the brush in good condition and the saving will start to add up. You can also add the last few drops of an expensive perfume to an unscented body lotion to give it an added benefit.
33. Go Old School
Revert to a traditional bar of soap rather than expensive body wash in order to save money and create less environmental waste.
34. Check The Expiry Date
Once a cosmetic product has passed it’s expiration date, it can no longer be used safely for it’s intended purpose. This means it is wasted along with your investment. In order to save money on cosmetics you should always check the production and expiry dates, or Period after opening (PAO), before you buy, as well as regularly checking the inventory of products you currently own to use up anything before it goes off. Some cosmetics have a drawing of an open jar with a number representing the number of months of use after opening.
However it’s not always as simple as it sounds since most cosmetic companies don’t list expiry dates this way, or in the normal way we are accustomed to on food products for example. Cosmetic companies are only required by law to state expiration dates on products which have a shelf life of 30 months or less. Instead they use batch codes to identify the batch in which the product was produced. These are a short mix of letters and numbers, normally printed on the bottom of the packaging, which may as well be a foreign language to most consumers as they are impossible to decipher without know the manufacturer codes. You can however find out when a product was produced by entering it’s batch code at Checkfresh.com
35. Find New Uses For You Old Beauty Tools
Here are 8 Uses For Old Mascara Wands. You can used expired face and body lotions to care for any leather items you have, turn your Eyeshadow Into Nail Polish or Melt Together Old Lipsticks to create your own unique colour.
36. Make It Your Christmas Gift
How much money do you waste each year on poorly thought out christmas gifts which go unused? Switch to exchanging gift vouchers with your loved ones over the next festive season and treat yourself to some designer cosmetics which weren’t in your budget. Who wouldn’t want a selection of Lush Bathbombs to relax in, instead of a jumper you’ll never wear!
37. Take Makeup Lessons
The best way to save money on cosmetics and minimise waste is to learn how to use your cosmetics effectively. It may be worthwhile investing in makeup lessons with an expert to hone your skills. This will not only save you time and effort by making you more effective at makeup application, but you could also turn it into a side business charging your friends and family for your services and advice. Beginner courses with makeup training schools, like The Lipstick Makeup Institute, aren’t as expensive as you may think.
38. Protect Your Investments
If you do opt for more expensive cosmetics, you want to make sure it doesn’t get damaged and become unusable. You can prevent compacts from breaking in your bag by padding the inside with a cotton ball.
39. Take Advantage of Employee Discounts
If you don’t already know someone who either works in retail or the cosmetics industry and can get you access to employee discount, simply network with those who do. Maybe you can exchange services with them for something they are in need of which you can provide. An alternative is to take up a part time position as a sales rep for your favourite brand which allows you to benefit from heavily discounted products but also provides a secondary income. Full time cosmetic sales reps can also enjoy a healthy work-life balance that allows them to be at home to raise their children, maintain an active social life while earning money promoting the brand they love to others at social gatherings etc.
40. Preserve Your Hair
Maintain your hair color by not washing it every day. Try to refrain from exposing it to extreme temperatures as heat and air conditioning can dry out your hair making it weak and more likely to become damaged.
41. Purchase Off-Season Products
Similar to how fashion retailers mark up their clothing line for each upcoming season, cosmetic brand’s prices also fluctuate. Stock up on the products you like in the off season to save money.
42. Return If Unsatisfied
If you buy a cosmetic product you don’t like, simply return it to the store. Most will be happy to refund you or offer you store credit, even if slightly used.
43. Shower in Purified Water
Cosmetics are an incredibly expensive method of remedying the various health and beauty issues we all face. Some are purely for our own vanity reasons but other are a necessity to help combat more serious issues such as hair loss and dry skin. Prevention is always better than a cure and there are several causes for these issues. Alot of hair and skin issues can be linked to using impure shower water which contains large amounts of dirt, metals and harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, which has been shown to be a Major Contributor to Hair Loss and Dry Skin, especially in the GCC region. It is for this reason we developed a shower purifier which is the only one on the market proven to remove 98% of the chlorine from shower water.
Another benefit of showering in purified water is that your skin and hair retains more moisture due to your body’s natural oils being maintained. This means we don’t need to spend as much money on expensive shampoos and lotions. If you want to learn more about it you can visit Our Product Page.
If you have any additional tips on how to save money on cosmetics, please let us know in the comments below.