7 Ways to Save Money on Beauty Products and Buy With Intention
It’s the first month of the year, which means we’re all still focused on our new year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve made an unconventional resolution or are staying focused on a more popular one like saving money, you can combine both for a unique resolution that helps you save money by shopping smart.
Makeup and other beauty products are sold at a high markup, so knowing how to strategically cut costs on these purchases means you can still buy new products without breaking the bank. Read on for my 7 ways to save money on beauty products this year and for new habits that will help you buy with intention.
1. First, You Must Declutter!
Before adding to your beauty collection, go through what you own and minimize. Getting rid of old and unused makeup will help you understand what you actually need to replace. Discarding makeup is also good for your health as old makeup can harbor bacteria.
Take a tip from Marie Kondo’s famous KonMari Method from her book the life-changing magic of tidying up and gather all of your beauty products from every corner of your life – grab your lipsticks from your purses, pull forgotten eyeshadow palettes out from the back of your vanity drawers, and lay every piece of makeup out in front of you. The KonMari Method requires that you hold each item in your hand and ask if it brings you joy, but an even better place to start is by checking expiration dates.
If you would like tips from Marie Kondo, you can find a comprehensive guide on how to organize your home with the KonMari method checklist. It is completely free and you can find it here: https://happydiyhome.com/konmari-method-checklist/.
Period After Opening (PAO) symbols can be found on your products and let you know when you should discard them.
2. Try Samples Before Buying Full Size Products
There are two options here – you can buy smaller, travel sized items, and/or ask for free samples. Buying travel sizes of products can be a great option for two reasons, 1) the travel size is cheaper and still has enough of the product to allow you to use it for a decent amount of time before deciding if it works for your skin, and 2) you’ll have travel size products handy for when you actually travel or to make an emergency makeup kit to keep at work or in your car! Ulta Beauty and even Amazon Prime Samples have a great selections of products you’ll actually want to try before you buy.
When it comes to stores that have a makeup counter, you can usually take home free samples if you ask. This article on The Balance lists stores, program, and different places you can request makeup samples. You will love the article! It even covers test groups from companies like Vogue, Elle, and L’Oreal that you can apply to and they will send you products to try and review.
3. Understand Return Policies
If you’ve purchased products that you don’t love, it doesn’t have to be considered a waste of money! Keep track of your receipts when you purchase new products, because a lot of beauty stores actually have great return policies – even for opened makeup. Sephora gives you up to 60 days of the purchase date for a full refund. Most stores will issue store credit if it’s been longer than their stated time frame, which is still a win in my book! Drugstores like Walgreens are also known for their generous return policies.
4. Use Store Reward Cards
While I wouldn’t advocate for having a lot of store credit cards, store reward cards can be worth it if you’re a frequent shopper. Ulta Beauty’s Ultamate Rewards card is a perfect example. It’s a loyalty card that gives you points on purchases and emails you coupons. Sephora and many other beauty stores have similar programs for their shoppers. Over time, your reward points can earn you free products and allow you try new lines that you may have never bought for yourself otherwise.
5. Save Money on the Basics With Men’s Products
For many women’s beauty products, there is an incredible markup sometimes referred to as “the pink tax,” simply because they’re marketed to women. According to BeautyPie founder Marcia Kilgore, “the mark-up on makeup is huge — it’s 10 to 12 times [the cost of production].” The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs also found women’s personal care products cost 13% more than men’s. So when it comes to your basics for skincare – moisturizer, shave gel, deodorant – invest in men’s products that work really well and save you a few bucks.
For deodorant, a popular recommendation is Dove Men +Care 48 hour antiperspirant. It’s powerful and it doesn’t overwhelm your senses with flowery scents if you’re not into them. For face wash, moisturizer, and even lip balm, try the Jack Black line of skincare products. It’s marketed to men, but has a cult following from many women because it’s simple, smells great, and all works well.
For shaving needs, consider trying Harry’s line of products that you can subscribe to. Not only will a subscription save you time and money, you can get quality razors shipped to your house and you can also try their shave gel – it’s a great product that only costs $1 more than a can of Barbasol and is better for your skin. Harry’s is now sold in Target too, so you can check out their kits in person – and have another excuse to go into Target!
6. Play With The Makeup You Already Own
Sometimes – and this is hard to admit out loud – you don’t actually need new makeup. [Gasp!] Sometimes, all you really need is new inspiration for how to use the makeup you already own. The best thing you can do is turn on some YouTube tutorials from your favorite makeup artists and play at your vanity with what you already have. Learn how to blend new palettes and color combos you already own, make small adjustments to your everyday beauty routine, and layer some of your lip pencils with a different lipstick to come up with a new color. By using what you already own before buying something new, you’ll have created a new look for free! The best price there is.
And then there’s those times, you just need to make the purchase. But before you do, there are often extra discounts available where you can earn cash back for your purchases. I set up an account with Rakuten.com and earn cash back for purchases at many stores! The discount changes all the time and will apply on top of any sale price. Here’s my running total of cash back for this year!
Not bad right? I have their widget installed in my tool bar. Any site I shop, I get a pop-up if there is a Rakuten discount and it gets applied toward my purchase. There are also discounts for in store shopping. The cash back appears in my Rakuten account and once a month, I have the system set up to deposit the cash savings into my Paypal account! If you are going to shop, don’t leave any money behind! And there’s no fee to set up a Rakuten account!
What other makeup saving tips do you have? Please share them with me so we can all meet our resolutions and feel amazing.