How to Save Money on Your Favorite Beauty Products

These days, a monthly stock up of skin care products, shampoo, conditioner and makeup can cost you a pretty penny, even if you don’t buy top of the line beauty products. And if you’re like the average woman, you’ll shell out $15,000 on makeup alone in your lifetime! Going out on the town bare-faced suddenly doesn’t sound quite so scary now, does it? The good news is that if you can’t bear to break your current beauty regime, you don’t have to change it up too much in order to save some serious cash.
These seven beauty-product budgeting tips will allow you to be the beautiful woman you already are without going broke.
Budget Beauty Tip #1: Shop Sales at Beauty Supply Stores
Did you know that many beauty supply stores are open to the public? Sure, there are certain items that only salon and spa professionals can buy (typically professional hair color and developer), but there are a plethora of beauty products available to the average woman who wants to save. And, usually, you don’t even have to wait for sales to save a few bucks at these stores! Simply pop in to your local beauty supply boutique or beauty supply chain store for larger bottles of your favorite salon shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products. Professional skin care products and high-end makeup lines are available at discounted prices as well. Always remember to sign up for the mailing list after your transaction to get special deals and sales sent directly to your email inbox.
Budget Beauty Tip #2: Snag Free Samples and Special Deals Online
We think this is the Internet’s best kept budget beauty secret! There are several websites where you can sign up and get a handful of your favorite beauty products for free. Though some of these samples and deals are given to you upon purchasing another product, they’re still free and will save you money you otherwise would’ve spent at the store. For example, websites like will give you free samples--that you select--with every purchase you make, plus free gifts with other qualifying purchases. is also a great, free service from the Gannett newspaper company that provides you with local ads, coupons and promo codes to save money on your favorite health and beauty products.
Budget Beauty Tip #3: Get Rewarded with Beauty Rewards Cards
Whether you’re shopping expensive makeup lines at the mall, heading to the drugstore for your favorite mascara and even shopping online, if you’re not taking full advantage of signing up for beauty rewards cards, you’re not getting the most bang for your beauty buck. Beauty product stores like Sephora will give you points on your rewards card for every dollar you spend. When those points add up, they’ll offer you lovely freebies like limited edition products, and even things you already need and use like moisturizer and shampoo. Pharmacy chains, such as CVS, also offer rewards programs that give you money back after spending a certain amount on beauty products in the store, “birthday bucks,” and exclusive coupons in your email inbox.
Budget Beauty Tip #4: Ditch Department Stores for Drugstores
If you’re used to top of the line everything when it comes to your beauty regime, shopping at drugstores for makeup, skin care and hair care products truly isn’t as bad as it sounds. Many women don’t know this, but the majority of beauty products are made by two of the most enormous cosmetics companies in the world: Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. And L’Oreal actually owns and manufactures the less expensive brand, Maybelline, and the most expensive brand, Lancome. So, if you have a favorite face cream from the organic makeup line at the mall, by all means keep it in your budget as a splurge, but staple products like body lotion and mascara will do your body just as good when purchased at a drugstore. So, if money is tight, know that you can still get amazing results from drugstore beauty products at a fraction of the price of your go-to department store brands. Couple that up with a rewards card and you’ll hang on to even more of that hard-earned cash.
Budget Beauty Tip #5: Depend on Dollar Stores for Beauty Basics
As if deciding to head to the drugstore for beauty products wasn’t daring enough for you, you’ll be incredibly surprised at this easy way to save. Almost every woman has a daily need for bobby pins, makeup applicators, cotton swabs and scrunchies. So why are you spending four dollars on bobby pins instead of a buck? The fact of the matter is that many of us don’t even think about heading to the local dollar store for these types of beauty steals! You can even stock up on hand sanitizer, manicure kits and makeup staples like mascara and eye shadow from some of your favorite brands. Make a trip to the dollar store for these beauty purchases and we guarantee that you--and your wallet--will leave pleasantly satisfied.
Budget Beauty Tip #6: Research and Try Before You Buy
One thing many of us fail to add to our beauty routines is to research (and even try) products before we make purchases. Websites like provide reviews on popular beauty products based on their ingredient lists, published research and comparisons to similar products. You can even download beauty applications such as ModiFace Makeup or InStyle Hairstyle Try-On to see if a certain hairstyle or makeup looks good before you buy or head to the salon. Free cosmetic samples are usually available at specialty beauty stores or your local day spa so you can try before you buy, too. Did you purchase something, try it and not like it? You may still be able to get your money back. Most online retailers and drugstores have relaxed their return policies for beauty products, so save that receipt!

Budget Beauty Tip #7: Be a Multi-Tasking Maven
Is moisturizer and bronzer on your beauty shopping list? Perhaps you should look into purchasing a product that does double (and even triple!) duty to save some dough. Investing in multi-purpose beauty products is a great way to do just that. Nowadays, certain body lotions can also double as sunscreens, tinted moisturizers sometimes include anti-aging agents and some lip colors and stains can also give your cheeks and eyelids a natural flush. Need to cover up a few pimples? Try a skin clearing concealer that treats your blemishes as you camouflage them. There are even shampoos available that can double up as your daily body wash.
When Should You Splurge?
You should always splurge if you’ve found a skin care line that’s perfect for your skin. Never cut it out of your budget if you can help it. Because the better the canvas you have to work with, the less you’ll spend on other products to perfect your skin or cover up flaws.
Crooks, Ross. "Splurge vs. Save: Which Beauty Products are Worth the Extra Cost,", accessed on May 7, 2013.
Matlin, Jessica B. "Have Your Beauty Products Gone Bad,", accessed on May 7, 2013.