I’ve been planning this post for a while, and the onset of Columbus Day weekend seemed an auspicious occasion for posting a few tips on how to save some money on cruelty-free beauty products, or really any nonessential (beauty-gods forgive me) items. These tips are especially geared to the beauty-obsessed, but employed, among us, who don’t have the time or the will to stalk social media all day long waiting for notifications of flash sales and the like. We’re people, too 😉
Join rewards programs. Lots of store/brands have them, Sephora, Pixi Beauty, 100% Pure, and my personal fave, Ulta. In most programs, you earn points toward coupons or gift certificates every time you shop. You just have to be sure you’re logged into your account before you hit that ‘buy now’ button. It also often makes you eligible to receive member only discounts, advance notice of new products, and more!
Sign up for e-mailing lists. This is sort of related to tip 1, but it’s definitely a separate step since getting on a brand’s mailing list won’t automatically enroll you in their membership/points program. You do often get some of the same benefits, like advance notice of sales. Also, almost every brand I’ve ever signed up for offers a discount code to new ‘signer-uppers’ (is that a word?). Of course it’s a marketing tactic, but if you’re going to buy from them anyway, why not take their discount?
Check out discount sites or cash-back sites. I’ll admit, I thought these sorts of sites were kind of scammy at first. But, I’ve had good luck finding more spendy brands like BECCA and Illamasqua on Hautelook. They often feature TheBalm, too. I also joined Ebates about a year ago and I’ve earned almost $100 in cash back so far. Which, of course, I convert to Ulta gift cards ;). Don’t take my word on these though, make sure to do your own research to decide if you’re comfortable signing up for these types of sites before you do so. If you decide to skip it, check out all my other tips, like tip 4!
Wait to buy until it’s on sale. This is toughie, but let’s face it, we don’t absolutely have to have every new product the nanosecond it’s launched. Whenever I want a spendy product that I know is carried at Sephora, I’ll pop in into my cart and then wait for the April or November VIB sales. Of course, November is better since it’s 20% rather than 15% off, but if it’s February, a gal only has so much will-power. Individual brands often also will have annual or semi-annual “Friends & Family” sales, wherein all products are discounted. Two of my faves have been 100% Pure’s, they offered a whopping 30% off, and Trish McEvoy’s, you get a good discount + she offers really nice gifts with purchase. Brands and stores will also often have sales in recognition of holidays. And I use the term holiday loosely. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day… Arbor Day. Ok, maybe not Arbor Day yet, but I wouldn’t put it past them.
Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale. This is the flip side of tip 4. Once you get geared up for a sale, the momentum can fool with you. You start putting things in your cart that you don’t need or even really want. You just figure, what the heck, it’s on sale! Dangerous business. One strategy I have is to fulfill the urge by putting everything I see that I even remotely like into my cart, and then I force myself to remove/edit a bunch of things out before buying. Another is to have my list of specific items ready and force myself to stick to just those items.
DON’T BUY BACKUPS. I should have made this tip 1. I have a whole drawer, that’s right, a whole drawer full of backups of products I like. Probably that I bought just because they were on sale or in case I ran out after they got discontinued. Really? I had multiple, yes multiple, backups of The Balm’s Mary Louminzer. It’s a great highlight, but who am I kidding, I’m never gonna hit pan let alone run out, it’s huge. Learn from my mistakes, people.
Don’t buy it just because it’s inexpensive. There are a lot of great, high quality, low-cost products out there, at the drugstore and online. But it can get a little out of hand. You start throwing things in your cart thinking, what, it’s only $5. Yes, but $5 x 20 products is, well, you know… By the way, Colour Pop, I’m looking at you. For my view on that situation, disseminated in a funnier way than I ever could, check out Toni Estes “I Hate Colour Pop” video. I think I might have woken the hubs up the first time I watched it I was laughing so hard, and I’ve watched it many times since. It’s funny ‘coz it’s true.
Just don’t buy it. This, of course, is the one no one wants to discuss, least of all me. But, if you need encouragement, just check out Kimberly Clark’s Anti-Haul series. I ❤ her.
Happy Saving 🙂
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*These are only my opinions, formed through my personal experience as a consumer. I am not a medical doctor, an aesthetician, or a health/beauty professional. There is no guarantee what effect, positive or negative, these products may have on anyone else.