I believe in treating yourself with what you enjoy (within reason), and I think that everyone has got their ‘thing’ that they love collecting. For some it’s designer handbags, for some it’s clothes, and for some it’s expensive watches and jewellery. For me, it’s makeup and beauty. I have a tonne of lipsticks that are more similar in colour than I’d like to admit and way more eyeshadow palettes than I actually need for my one pair of eyes, but hey, i’m a self-confessed makeup lover and I love to try new products out for my blog. But it’s all too easy to get a bit spendy when it comes to makeup and beauty. I am guilty of giving into the hype on certain products and i’m a sucker for luxe packaging, but despite this, i’ve also learnt some tips on how to save some money when you’re looking to buy new makeup. Some of these tips could save you more than others, but I hope they are all slightly helpful if you’re anything like me. So if you’d like some ideas on how to save on makeup, please keep reading…
1. Loyalty card points –
One of the biggest ways I save money when buying beauty products is through loyalty cards. Whether it’s drugstore or high end, a lot of brands offer loyalty cards or programmes where they offer points when you spend on their products. The amount of times i’ve saved money with my Boots card or got money off with my Debenhams Beauty card, or i’ve been able to choose a sample product with my Sephora Beauty Insider points – it’s definitely worth signing up for these benefits. Plus, with a place like Boots which not only stocks cheaper brands but also high-end brands like Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Benefit, Clinque, Clarins, Smashbox, Bareminerals, and Estee Lauder to name a few, saving up your Boots loyalty points could help you save money on any of these brands.
2. Follow your favourite brands on social media –
Following brands on social media is a great way to stay in touch with new releases as well as flash sales and free shipping. If makeup spending is getting too much, i’d recommend unfollowing brands on social media altogether – but if you just want to cut back, social media is also great for finding out about offers straight from the brands themselves and being given discount just from being a loyal follower.
3. Subscribe to beauty websites –
This is another good way of being made aware of discounts and flash sales. A lot of brands will ask if you want to subscribe by email, and although this may seem annoying and time consuming, it’s a good way to save money. You’ll often find that you get emailed discount codes on your birthday and can access the sales around holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc.
4. Collect samples –
A lot of brands are happy to give you samples of their products in the hope that you’ll return to buy it in the full size. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying out new skincare or a new foundation and want to see how it reacts to your skin over a few days. Samples are the perfect way to integrate products into your routine without splashing out the cash straight away. You can make doubly sure that you love the product before committing to buying.
5. Try before you buy –
Similarly to the last point, a good way to save money is to try products out in store and then return after you’ve given the products a fair test. Stuck between a few different shades? Swatch, swatch, swatch and compare them. Not sure if a lipstick suits you? Try it on in store and see how it looks in different lights and how it wears throughout the day. Not sure if you want to buy that perfume? Spray it on and leave it for a while to see if it stays on, and if you still like it after a few hours of wear.
6. Invest in quality brushes –
Brushes may seem like something you can save on, which is true, but I would recommend investing in a couple of quality makeup brushes that are going to last a long time and apply makeup well. Eyeshadows and foundations can look different depending on how its applied onto the skin. You don’t have to spend the earth on brushes, but a couple of good ones from brands like Real Techniques, Eco Tools, Zoeva, Sigma or Morphe can really help you out.
7. Double duty makeup –
If there’s one thing I love, it’s multi-purpose makeup. You can now buy multi-sticks for lip and cheek colour in one, or use those shimmery champagne eyeshadows as a cheek highlight, or even your favourite bronzer as a warm eyeshadow. Just because a product is labelled as something, it doesn’t mean you have to restrictively use it just for that one purpose.
8. Recycle your makeup –
A couple of brands that I am aware of have a recycling policy that involves taking finished and empty products back into the store for a reward. Mac has the ‘Back to Mac’ policy where you take back 6 used products and get a free lipstick, and I believe there is a similar policy in Lush and apparently Kiel’s too. It’s definitely worth checking out for freebie.
9. Hunt around –
A lot of brands and department stores put their flagship products centre-stage, and quite rightly so. But these products are often the most expensive ones, and they’re usually at eye-level. Some good advice is to look around not just at eye level and not buy the first thing you see, and you may find products that are just as good but for a little bit less.
10. Blog sales –
If you’re not following beauty bloggers, then you should be… A lot of bloggers either get sent or buy more makeup than they can actually use, and so often put up blog sales or links to their Depop and other selling pages where they sell beauty products at discounted prices.
11. Check product dupes –
More often than not, there are often a lot of cheaper alternatives out there for those high end products. Drugstore products are not always worse quality, as believe it or not, a lot of high end brands are made in the same factories as those drugstore brands. So you may be paying more money for a name and for luxe packaging, when you could buy something of similar quality for a lot less. I did a post a while ago on 10 Beauty Dupes for some popular high end favourites which some of you found to be quite helpful.
12. Stack up on off-season products –
I’ve found that brands often rack up their prices when a product or colour is in-season and on-trend, even if its something that they sell all year round. You can save quite a bit of money by stacking up on your favourites when they’re out of season, or waiting until the hype of a product has died down and the prices get lowered until you cave into buying.
13. Discount codes in YouTube tutorials –
Another good tip is to check the description boxes on YouTube reviews and tutorials. Bloggers and vloggers will often be affiliated with brands and so will put a discount code or link to the website where you can save a bit of money through using their name or code.
14. Beauty subscription boxes –
If you’re someone who loves to try new products, then a good way of doing this is to sign up to a beauty subscription service. These services usually require you to pay a relatively small amount of money per month and receive a box of samples to try, and sometimes some full size products which is a bonus. You can usually cancel these services if you change your mind, or can sign up to an annual plan if it’s something you can’t get enough of. Some popular beauty subscription boxes include Birchbox, Look Fantastic, Glossybox, Ipsy, and more. These services are often bringing in new brands into their portfolios and the best thing is these get delivered straight to your door.
15. Look after your purchases –
This one might seem really obvious, but it’s important to look after your beauty products to get the longest and best use out of them, especially if they’re worth a small fortune. Wash your makeup brushes, don’t let products dry out, and keep expiry dates in mind. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you in return.
16. Read reviews first –
It’s so easy to fall in love with a product from reading into the hype on social media. But sometimes people focus too much on the good and don’t really talk much about the bad. There are reviews everywhere in blogs and videos, so it’s easy to check a few of them out before giving into the hype. A couple of good sites that I swear by are Makeup Alley and Temptalia. You can sign up to Makeup Alley to read honest reviews from people that own the product and are completely independent of the brand. They can post honest reviews and rate the product out of 5. If a product gets good reviews on Makeup Alley, I know it’s a good’un. Temptalia is also so useful when you’re umming and ahhing about a product. She does honest reviews and gives ratings of each product with swatches, as well as lists some close alternatives in other brands with side by side comparisons. Definitely recommended!
17. Know when to splurge and when to save –
If you know that you can get a bit spendy with a certain type of makeup – for me it’s eyeshadow palettes if you haven’t already guessed – then try and save in other areas of beauty. Knowing which products to save money on makes it easier and more justifiable when you want to treat yourself on those products that just get you every time. I personally like to save on foundations, concealers and mascaras, so I can spend a bit more on eyeshadows, lipsticks, and skincare.
18. Duty free buys –
It’s a good idea to take advantage of the tax-free haven that is duty free when you’re jetting off on holiday or coming home. You can often find some of your beauty favourites at a slightly lower price, and if the currency conversion rates are good, then you can save yourself even more and get a real bargain.
19. Limited edition holiday sets –
Especially around this time of year, brands release beauty gift sets which contain some of their most popular products or some new festive releases. These sets often contain an assortment of products and are sometimes sample-sized, which is a great way of collecting and trying out products for less.
20. Use what you have –
The important thing to keep in mind is that despite all of the beauty products out there to try and to own, you only have one face. Before you rush out to buy that lipstick shade you’ve got your eye on, or that eyeshadow palette you just need in your life, it’s a good idea to see if you can use what you already have. You might have similar eyeshadows in other palettes or in single form, and you could layer lipsticks with other lipsticks or glosses to create that shade you’ve been after.
21. Declutter your collection –
On a similar note to the previous point, it’s always a good idea to see what you have already. There are nearly always products that you’ve forgotten that you even own, or products that are so similar that you don’t need both. By decluttering your collection, you can clear out any old and unwanted makeup, and streamline your collection to items that you know and love. You can notice trends in your collection and identify what you can cut back on, or what you can afford to have more of.
I hope this post has been helpful to those makeup lovers out there! I’d love to hear if you have any more tips for saving money on beauty products.