Tips to Save Money on Cosmetics, Makeup & Beauty Products

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Looking to save money on makeup, toiletries, and other beauty products? Use our tips outlined here to cut down on your cosmetics budget, and save.

Millennials have a true lust for beauty products, far greater than that of their parents. The boom of online YouTube make-up professionals means that everyone knows how to prime, highlight, and contour, but are we spending too much in the name of beauty?

Millennials are the driving force behind the rise of the cosmetics industry. According to research firm NPD, they are buying almost a quarter more cosmetics than they were two years ago and many use six or more products to beautify themselves daily. TABS Analytics, meanwhile, has found that millennial women are the heaviest consumers of beauty products, accounting for 47% of all ‘heavy buys’.

How to Save on Makeup

Looking to save money on makeup, toiletries, and other beauty products? Use our 4 tips outlined here to cut down on your cosmetics budget, and save.

1. Go Natural

Skincare or haircare should not be complicated, toxic to your health, or hard on your pocket. Many people swear to the benefits of natural skincare, and the ingredients can be found in your pantry.

  • Make your facial mask by mixing honey, essential oils, and oats. You can change the ingredients based on the condition of your skin.
  • If the toner is a part of your daily skincare, a DIY facial toner is natural to do at home. Just mix apple cider vinegar with filtered water then add your favorite essential oil. Rosewater is also a great ingredient to make facial toner by yourself.
  • Natural hair products are an easy way to save money and are simple to make, for example, a DIY hair conditioner only needs two simple ingredients: honey and olive oil.

2. Downgrade to Less Expensive Brands

Drugstore brands offer reasonably-priced skincare products and cosmetics compared to department store brands. This can help you save money on makeup expenses.


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Millennials may be spending big-time on make-up, but they are savvy buyers who aim to take home the most for their buck.

A Harris Study showed that 85% of 18-to-34-year-olds research their products heavily, finding the product they want but looking at various sites and stores until they find the best price.

As noted by PYMNTS, millennials are also the most likely to purchase items from direct-to-consumer brands like Glossier, Stowaway, or Bevel. These companies are also saving on advertising, by relying on social media and influencer content to garner interest in their products.

Therefore, millennials are already doing well in so far as finding the best price for cherished products are concerned.

3. Combine Coupons with Sales

Saving money on makeup is easy by using coupons for makeup during promotional sales events. When you see beauty products selling for less than normal prices, combine them with store coupons, and stock up on them to cash in on this steal of a price. You also score factory coupons for free.

The most effective way of getting free coupons by mail is by contacting the company itself. The Krazy Coupon Lady blog did an experiment and sent out emails to 54 companies asking for coupons, and dozens of companies sent back high value coupons. So it really does work.

Many companies love to receive positive reviews and feedback about their products.  So when you reach out to them and show support, they could send you coupons to show gratitude or motivate you to give their product a second trial. It’s usually worth the effort!

The problem is that reaching out to companies for free coupons by mail seems to be a lot of work for some people. But if you are looking for some free coupons by mail then this is usually one of the best options. To avoid wasting time, you’ll want to focus on companies that are known to send free coupons like the ones listed below.

Companies that will send you coupons by mail:

To make good use of your opportunities to receive free coupons by mail, there are important tips that can be of assistance to you.

  • Even if you are not necessarily posting positive feedback, you can send negative feedback or reviews with a measure of politeness. Always try to remain professional and civil at all times will win your respect and possibly coupons.
  • Specify what you are praising. If you enjoyed something be specific as to what you like.
  • Provide detailed information. If you have a complaint, make it as explicit as possible stating even the specific problem you had. If it is a commendation, provide details too.

4. Testing Comestics is Key

When was the last time you bought an expensive foundation online that didn’t quite match your shade? Or the time you spent $40 on a highlighter that falls off your face in seconds?

Vloggers are a huge help when it comes to seeing how good products look on the face, but they can be of less help in terms of the longevity of products, which varies according to skin type.

Those with oily skin, for instance, can find that glittery, sparkly products (both for the face and eyes) can be very short-lived.

To avoid wastage, it is key to try out products, either at stores such as Ulta, or by asking for samples. Most large beauty stores pop a couple of samples in your bag when you purchase make-up or perfume.

Don’t be shy about asking for a sample of a particular sample you are interested in. Sometimes, samples end up on the shelf past the expiry date because they are unsuitable for your skin type.

4. Make the Most of the Makeup You Have

If millennial beauty buffs are using six products daily, is there a way to save on any of these?

It is key to make a list of items you just cannot do without. This might be a pore refining primer, a 24-hour matte foundation, or a make-up setting spray. Some products, however, have a ‘feel-good’ finish but can be easily replaced by household products that cost a negligible amount of money.

Baby powder is considered safe for the complexion and can be applied with a big brush to reduce the appearance of oiliness throughout the day.

Simple rolling paper or brown recycled paper does just as good a job as brand name blotting paper. Coconut oil works beautifully to smoothen cracked lips.

5. Get Free Make Up Samples

Some beauty stores (including Sephora, Smashbox and The Body Shop) seen you free make-up samples when you buy items online.

Take your time to look well through beauty sties when purchasing so you don’t miss out on freebies. Other companies offer free make-up samples when you follow them on social media.

Still, others give out samples of products they are testing. Groups to approach include Swaggable, InStyle Trendsetters, and Elle Inner Circle.

Make-up is a well-deserved luxury for modern millennials, who like skin to look slick and smooth all day long. Although women in this age group are certainly thinking before they shop, those wishing to save more every month should consider ways to reduce their make-up expenditure.

Ideal ways include trying out products at stores, testing new products, and trying free samples. ‘Try before you buy’ is an optimal way to discover whether or not a new products is truly a ‘must-have’.

Looking Good Should Not Burn a Hole through Your Pocket

Living on a frugal budget is possible and realistic. You can save so much money by carefully selecting beauty products and shopping for clothes wisely.

  • Buy clothes off-season to save money. For example, summer clothes are usually on sale during the colder months. You should also take advantage of clearance sales where you can get as much as 80% off on apparel, shoes, and bags.
  • Drugstore brands offer reasonably-priced skincare products and cosmetics compared to department store brands. This can help you save money on makeup expenses.

Do you have any tips on how to save money on makeup, cosmetics, or toiletries? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

Jennifer Scott
Jennifer Scott is a freelance finance writer who’s always looking for a way to save money on her path to FIRE.

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