Ways to Save Money when Buying Makeup

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

The topic of consumerism has been on my mind quite a bit lately, as it is rampant in the US, especially so in the beauty community. With brands releasing products faster than you can blink, the market is saturated with things that we're constantly told we need to buy. Influensters especially can feed the flames of desire, leading you to purchase products that you really don't even want or need. Every ad I see on Instagram is targeted towards a beauty product that I can buy simply by pressing a button on my phone. Sometimes it can be hard to stay afloat and avoid succumbing to the pressure to buy makeup that you will only touch a handful of times. 

With all that being said, it's obvious that I love makeup and still make informed purchases of new products. Money is super tight for me at this point of my life, so I've discovered some strategies that help me navigate the makeup market. This week I wanted to do a mini-series on the blog, talking about those strategies I use to save money when purchasing makeup and how I always get the most bang for my buck. Today, I'll discuss some tips and tricks on how you can simultaneously have a beat face and a happy wallet.

  1. Ask for samples at Sephora. Did you know that you can ask an employee at Sephora if you could test out a sample of a product? They'll make a mini sample for you to try from the tester. This is especially helpful for ladies with sensitive skin who are worried about how their skin will react to a new liquid foundation. It gives you an easy way to determine whether or not you like a product before committing to purchasing the full-sized version. Never be too shy to do this, but also please do not abuse this policy!
  2. Returns: Return any product that you don't like or aren't using as long as its within the date range listed in the store's return policy. Both Ulta and Sephora's return policies allow you to return products that have been opened and lightly used within 60 days of the purchase and be refunded in your original form of payment. If it's past 60 days, you will receive a refund in the form of store credit. I know that some drugstores like CVS have amazing beauty return policies similar to Ulta and Sephora, so definitely make a return before letting a product lay around unloved until the end of time.
  3. Rewards policies: We all have a love-hate relationship with the rewards policies at beauty stores. Over time, I've come to one major conclusion - I prefer to shop at Ulta because I would rather have cash rewards over the small point perks that Sephora offers. The sample sized rewards at Sephora are notoriously small. It's hard for me to justify redeeming a tiny mascara that will last me less than a week after spending $100 there. At Ulta, you get 1 point for every $1 you spend. Here is a breakdown of what differing amounts of points are worth:

    100 points - $3
    250 points - $8
    500 points - $17.50
    750 points - $30
    1000 points - $50
    2000 points - $125

    Ulta also has amazing point bonuses - once a year they have 3x and 5x point offers, and you always get 2x points for the entire month of your birthday! That leaves a whole lot of savings to redeem on your next beauty spending spree.
  4. Sales: In addition to their rewards program, I prefer shopping at Ulta because products frequently go on sale there. My favorite drugstore brands are almost always on some sort of promotion every week at Ulta. I often see older high-end products that are beginning to phase out from the market in the clearance section on Ulta's website as well. 
  5. Shop your stash: One of my favorite concepts used to avoid accumulating unnecessary pieces in your makeup collection is called "shopping your stash." What this simply means is browsing the products that are currently in your makeup collection, and making a conscious effort to use products that you don't touch all that often to avoid the temptation of buying new things you don't need. Rediscovering old favorites can be just as thrilling as swatch a new product. Some other budgeting ideas I've seen to try out are a pan project, where you use a few palettes or products exclusively until you've hit pan on them, or a weekly rotation of products that you must use together to create looks from for an entire week.
  6. Shop at savings-focused department stores: I am a frequent shopper at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and Homegoods. I am a sucker for getting high end products at just a fraction of the price. Recently I've found that my local TJ Maxx has really stepped up their game in the makeup department. I frequently see products from Kat Von D, Bite Beauty, Marc Jacobs, Estee Lauder, Stila, MAC, and many more on the shelves. Oftentimes these products are hugely discounted because the brand is discontinuing the line. However, if you're like me and that does not matter to you, you can score some great deals for awesome makeup.

I hope you've enjoyed my tips and tricks on how I save money when making my beauty purchases! On Friday I'll discuss how to get the most bang for your buck before you hit that "complete order" button.

What are your favorite money-saving tips when it comes to buying makeup? Leave a comment below to help a broke girl out!