6 Ways to Save Money on Cosmetics

Get more bang for your buck by using simple tricks to shop smarter.


Avoid Department Stores

When shopping for make-up and other cosmetics, never ever shop at department stores! Because of sales commissions and the cost to rent the space at the store, they’re never a bargain. Instead, check out your local grocery store or discount store such as Walmart or Target—they almost always have the exact same brands for much less. If you can’t find them there, try to find a cosmetics discount outlet such as Ulta, or search for “discount cosmetics” online. If you still can’t find your brand, consider switching to another brand you can find. Choose one a good friend uses, and ask her if she’d be willing to buy it from you if you don’t like it. It shouldn’t be too hard to find one you like just as much that costs much less.

Shop Online for Shampoo

Addicted to fancy shampoo? Find all the same brands you buy at your salon for much less at SalonSavings.com. Shampoos and hair-care products are 10-80 percent off, and skincare and fragrances are offered at much less as well. This site is also a great place to check if you have a favorite beauty product that has been discontinued.

Shop Online for Make-Up

Good make-up doesn’t have to be expensive! For a great deal on cosmetics on the web, head over to EyesLipsFace.com, where they have everything from lip gloss to nail polish for only a dollar apiece. They also have a great “Gifts” section, with cute box sets for unbelievable prices. For instance, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, a brush, and an eyelash curler for only $5!

Take Advantage of Insurance

If you’re lucky enough to have an insurance plan that covers vision expenses, it can provide you with big savings on your eye exam, frames, lenses, and contacts. Even if you don’t have this coverage, however, it’s important to know that you can still save if you belong to AAA or the AARP! Major glasses retailers, such as Pearle Vision and LensCrafters, offer up to 30 percent off when you show your membership card.

Compare Active Ingredients

When trying to compare a pricey cosmetic with a less-expensive one, you only have to look at one thing: the active ingredients list. Products that have the same active ingredients are going to do almost the exact same thing, even if the percentages are a bit off. (The only thing you might have to worry about is which smells better.) You’ll be surprised how many expensive brands—especially hair products like shampoo—have the exact same ingredients in them for vastly higher prices.

Look for SPF 15+

If you’re looking for a way to cut back on your cosmetics budget, the first place to start is with your moisturizer. Whether it’s night cream, day cream, anti-aging lotion, or anti-wrinkle solution, it’s all pretty much the same. Pick a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15—other than that, go with a less expensive brand whose smell you like. Your wallet will know the difference, but your face never will.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.