How do you save money when buying makeup?

Ulta has the best rewards program that I’m aware of-points that convert to dollars off – with opportunities for 2x, 3x, and 5x points throughout the year. I like Nordstrom’s rewards, since you can spend on anything, not just beauty. For items that are not urgent and are higher-end, I try to wait for a Neiman Marcus gift card event (spend X, get Y back to spend in the future). For basics, I’ll try to buy 1-2 backups of go-tos (like moisturizer or lip balm) when retailers run a 15-20% off promo.

— Christine


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kristin Avatar

yes! I try to keep track of all colors I have as well not to buy dupes. Its crazy the money you can spend on almost identical products and not even realize it!

Katherine T. Avatar

Christine, if you add a link to Ebates and Mr. Rebates under the Support Temptalia tab (or even on the top of this website so people can see it), and I click on those links, do you earn a commission on the sales ? I almost always use those websites to buy stuff online, because the cash back adds up really fast (have received hundreds of dollars back), and it would be great to also support your website at the same time.

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

Yes, ditto here. I’d love to support your site but the cash back is really helpful to support my habit! Also, sort of related but not, I got a notice that is discontinuing their Drugstore Dollars Program effective in 2 weeks from now.

Katherine T. Avatar

I heard those sites were shutting down, so might be some good sales. I didn’t buy a lot from those sites, but I ‘ll check to see if I have any dollars earned. Thanks for the heads up, hope you can haul some good stuff !

Ray Avatar

I try not to buy online unless I want enough products to qualify for free shipping. I also stop myself from buying into BOGO deals, where you have to spend more to save more. The day I buy three bottles of moisturizer at once is the day I discover something I like even better.

Nancy T Avatar

I absolutely agree with everything you said about Ulta, Christine. Theirs is the BEST rewards and bang for your $$$’s, for sure! I much prefer actual dollars to deluxe samples that Sephora gives, and those bonus points are the best. Plenty of BOGO sales, too.
I do love those few nice Sephora coupons and sales per year to buy lux items like a TF perfume or something along those lines! BUT; I do wish Sephora would do $’s back like Ulta. Wishful thinking on my part, I suppose.
Thank you for reminding me that I need to pick up more JB lip balm, I’m almost all out!

Arantxa Avatar

I don’t ?. We have no reward systems where I live and if there are any, you have to spend a fortune first to get a โ‚ฌ5 discount. Brands like UD, Tom Ford, Viktor&Rolf, MAC, Smashbox and Bobbi Brown are always excluded from any discount a store offers and since we don’t have stuff like CCO over here, I never actually save money when buying makeup! The only way to save is buying drugstore products I guess.

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

I almost never buy anything without a promo or discount. Like you, I buy backups of products I use frequently when the sale is good. I try to stack deals on top of each other. I am weaning off Sephora (as I said in a prior reply) because their program is lousy and they overcharge me on tax. Like you, I prefer Ulta because of their rewards program and now that they offer a credit card to double points, they will easily be my preferred retailer (once I have a big enough order to apply and get the 20% off on the first credit card purchase). My only issue with Ulta is they don’t carry many brands I really like (like Marc Jacobs).

Alli Z Avatar

Honestly, that’s my issue with Ulta, too. I agree that their rewards are the best, but there are many brands that I like and that I shop regularly that they do not carry.

Mariella Avatar

I try to wait for things like Sephora’s 20% off VIB sales and for places like The Bay, I’ll wait for a good GWP offer when it comes around for a product line where I need something. Best of all, of course, is Shopper’s Drug Mart because using their points, which I collect all the time on things like distilled water, toilet paper, sunscreen, toothpaste, etc. (which I purchase when they have their very frequent 20X the points), I can redeem those points and get cosmetics and skin care product for free (paying only the taxes). Using these Optimum Points, I’ve received “free” two Stila Eyes are the Window palettes and one LE Holiday One, Guerlain eyeshadow quads and Meteorites, Shiseido foundations, eyeshadows, Lise Watier colour cosmetics, Clarins products, Prada and Marc Jacobs fragrance sets….the list goes on and on. I only wish I lived closer to a store that also carried Dior and Chanel but those all involve a highway drive toward Toronto and I’m not willing to make that drive. But quite honestly, the amount of quality cosmetics I’ve received “for free” is quite astounding. Canadians here will probably know just what I mean.

Stephanie Avatar

I totally agree. I stock up on skin care on Senior’s Day during Beauty Weeks where it’s 20x all week. I get 20% off to start, and another 20% plus in points value. Today I picked up $131 in makeup and a brush for a grand total of $19.86. Can’t beat that! And now we can use points on their online site too. I purchase most of my makeup there, and pick the odd thing up at Sephora and Rexall too.

Mariella Avatar

I forgot to mention the Seniors Days (every Thursday) when everything is 20% off. Pair that with the Optimum Points and the savings are phenomenal. I don’t really like or enjoy purchasing cosmetics or even skin care online…I like shopping in store and trying stuff, seeing how it looks on me. And the cosmetics gals are always really generous with samples too because I tend to shop regularly at 2 or 3 SDMs (at one, they even GAVE me a Shiseido cream eyeshadow I’d been trying to get and it wasn’t available ANYWHERE; for some reason, they had a virtually untouched counter sample and the cosmetics manager just gave it to me!)

Cathy Avatar

Absolutely Mariella ๐Ÿ™‚ SDM’s Optimum rewards program is amazing! I’ve also developed good relationships with the SA’s at my regular high-end counters and so they are very generous with the deluxe samples when I want to try a new product. In general, though, I don’t really refer to “cosmetics” and “saving money” in the same breath lol.

Mariella Avatar

Too funny! When Sephora has their 20% off for VIBs, I will say to my husband “But I’ll save 20% if I buy this now” and his response is always “I know how you can save 100%…” and he’s right. I am actually getting to the point (this has happened before but I think it’s really serious now) where I’ve so much stuff that I am almost not enjoying my collection which I know sounds nuts and also like sacrilege. But it’s true…most mornings, I’m overwhelmed by choice of what to wear/use. I’ve started taking out things that have been put aside and not used, and putting them in a little bin on my bathroom counter so I’ll remember to use some of the very much loved but unused products I’ve amassed. I don’t know how someone like Christine does it, though I guess in her case, she’s always testing out new products with the purpose of reviewing them here rather than going out every day into the “real world” (where 2 different eye looks and 2 different blushes might seem odd!).

Cathy Avatar

Your husband is so funny lol. I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed by the stash at times! I totally get that. My problem also is that I get bored of things pretty quickly, which is a very costly problem to have. I love the thrill of acquiring new makeup but after awhile – even the very *special* items like TF lipsticks – end up being ignored. But, new makeup is just so pretty <3

Mariella Avatar

My collection is so out of control that I never actually get bored with anything…I don’t use most products long enough and they just get pushed aside because I’ve purchased new “stuff”. That’s why I’m finding it such a drain on my enjoyment….I don’t even get to the point where I’ve tired of something. If I can reign in my purchasing, I think I will actually enjoy what I have even more.

Shira Avatar

Dermstore always has 20% off deals and they sell a lot of good makeup brands. I’ve gotten the Beauty Blender, Cover FX, Jouer, Tarte, Stila, etc all 20% off.

Linda Avatar

Here in Canada, Shopper’s Drug Mart has an amazing loyalty program, where bonus points days typically equate to 25-30% cash back. My local Shopper’s carries Urban Decay, Stila, Benefit, Clinique, YSL, Smashbox, Shiseido, Estee Lauder and Lancome, so there’s lots to choose from within these brands. I usually save my points until “redemption days” where the points are worth even more, then I haul whatever beauty stuff I need and get it all for free, sometimes over $200 worth. Then I only buy from Sephora if I can’t get an item through Shopper’s.

Shopper’s has a sister store over town called Murale that carries Nars and some more brands that also offers points, but it’s just a bit far for me to drive – hoping they bring Nars to Shopper’s too.

But my Canadian sisters, if you’re not working the Shopper’s Optimum points you’re missing out!

Dianne Avatar

In general, I try to shop more at Ulta than Sephora, and I try to make big purchases/buy more expensive items at Ulta during a 5x point reward promo or a 20% sale. I’m an Ulta Platinum member so I always earn double points and have probably spent $200 of free money in points in the last three years or so.

If there’s something that Ulta doesn’t have, like Nars or my favorite skincare, I’ll generally wait until one of the Sephora sales. I also try to purchase skincare in value sets because you can find the product you want in a good size and try 3-4 other products for a similar price.

I don’t often purchase beauty products from other retailers but if I do it’s because they’re running a sale equal or better than Sephora or Ulta. I also use Ebates whenever I purchase online. I try to avoid buying beauty products on sale sites like Hautelook because I find I buy things I don’t want/need because they’re on sale.

Mostly, I try to remind myself that I don’t NEED anything. I have tons of samples of eye creams, moisturizers, cleansers, brow products, sunscreens, and other items I use up more quickly than color cosmetics so I have the time to wait until a sale to pick up something new.

Marta Avatar

We have a 50% off all drugstore makeup twice a year hear, so it’s easy to stock on essentials (foundation, concealer, mascara) and test some new launches that I like to try but can wait (Maybelline new lipsticks, anything Bourjois).

As for HE, I do not have allergic/problematic skin so I do not feel like need to go HE. I treat myself if there is a great value to price ratio on anything I like at Sephora. For example when I wanted to get Benefit’s Hoola and Dallas, I found the Cheekathlon palette (5 full size products), and Sephora’s -20% came around. So I got 5 products for the regular price of 1,5. By the way, I do not buy set’s/pallets that contain items I am sure not to use so the extra three blushes in the palette were welcome.

Stephanie Avatar

Saving money and buying makeup don’t always go together with me…but it could be worse. I take full advantage of Ulta’s rewards program. I try to wait for multiple points on a certain brand or on everything to make bigger purchases, and I save up points. I also look for sales when possible, and try cheaper dupes (or near-dupes) of shades I want to try but I’m not sure about before spending the money on a mid to high end product.

Susan Avatar

I wait until Ulta has a 5x points promotion on a prestige brand that I want to buy, and I save my Ulta points until I have at least 1000 of them before using them. I also wait for killer sales, like the recent UD Naked Smoky Palette for 50% off.

Hildegard Avatar

Sadly, I don’t :/

Most retailers and/or department stores in my part of the world don’t do sales when it comes to makeup, nor do they offer any significant discounts in your purchases, be it online or at their actual shops. If you’re lucky you’ll run into an unadvertised sale (like the time I got a Clinique Cheek Pop for half price, or a NARS nail polish for 30% off), but it’s a matter of sheer luck. Buying online from US retailers isn’t much of an option, as shipping expenses would eat away most, if not all, discounts I could get from a sale. It’s very, very frustrating.

The upside to the situation that I described is that I’ve learnt to be very careful when it comes to buying makeup. I know it’s going to be expensive, so I can’t be rash or impulsive.

Erin Avatar

I usually just shop at VIB and buy some staples. I don’t buy what I don’t need. I’m very clear about wants and needs. I need skincare, shampoo/conditioner, and body lotion. I need makeup basics. My only real kryptonite is lip stuff. I’m pretty good about that too though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it!

I’m also very tough on myself for what I know I will use and what I won’t use. I may like the look of baby blue liquid liner but it doesn’t fit into my current life style so it doesn’t get purchased.

I also try to keep lip stuff to the rule of threes. 3 mid tone pink lip products… gloss, sheer, full coverage or maybe frost/pearl finish. I don’t go too crazy.

I also rarely fall for packaging no matter how pretty it is.

I steer away from sets or palettes where I know I’ll only use a few shades.

Mo Merrell Avatar

I am just like you, Packaging plays no part other than if it’s too bulky to store then I most likely will not buy it.

I don’t care for palettes either. Now I have three UD palettes, one too faced chocolcate, my black radiance, buxom custom and a sigma palette. Between those and my smaller quads and singles, I have more than enough lol.

Mo Merrell Avatar

I like Ulta’s points to $’s but every time I go in there I find myself looking at what I’ve seen in Sephora then trying to find something else but that never works and I’m always missing the deadline for a coupon cause I didn’t find anything. I did find that Ulta have my body lotions and skin care stuff there with sales so that’s nice but Sephora is so close to me so I buy there and as I enjoy the perks of ulta $s and even the deluxe samples from Sephora, I generally don’t care about them enough to make one place a go-to over the other. It’s about location.

I buy my expensive items from Sephora during VIB sales and coupons. I would like it if Sephora turned points into $s cause I spend dang near over $1K a year there not really to keep my VIBR status but cause I’m addicted lol so I’d appreciate those dollars spent turning into dollars/coupons.

Otherwise I buy drugstore items usually at Walmart cause Target, Walgreens, and CVS be tripping with the price hikes! I don’t buy offline unless I spend enough to get free shipping.

Brittany Avatar

I have many sites I go to when buying makeup. Apart from and, I am also a big fan of using the Ebates app, as well as Hautelook, Tophatter, and Poshmark!

Rachel R. Avatar

Drug store: I try to buy what I can at the drug store, rather than high end, as long as the quality is there. Sales, coupons/coupon codes, belonging to store’s rewards programs, ebates when shopping online. High end: Sales and coupon codes whenever possible, friends and family events for permanent items, belonging to rewards programs, and ebates.

Bonnie Avatar

The problem I have noticed, with Ulta and other stores, is that when they have friends/family, or some other storewide coupon, like the 20% coupon, is that sales come off and everything is full price again. So it often isn’t worth it – the sales are better.

AmyR Avatar

For brands I know and like, I always check the sale section of online retailers like Sephora before I go on to peruse the regular prices. It’s hard to be aware of sales when there are so many places to buy. I do like E-bates for cashback. They have a toolbar add-in so you don’t miss any of their affiliates. Honey calculates promo codes. I also like to check Revelere for low prices because they check real stores. You don’t have to worry about fakes or expired, which is a real problem when the price is notably low.

Lucia Avatar

I agree with you Christine, I already got so many expensive items for free from ULTA just using my reward points. I always save until I have 2000+ points and get perfumes, eye shadow palettes, hair dryers and etc. I always use the coupons from Sephora as well and LOVE when I see a sale like BOGO anywhere.

kellly Avatar

I am saving my points up until I have about 20 million and by then they’ll hopefully have that awesome new Dyson hair dryer!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jessika Avatar

I don’t buy it often. Lol. Not everything in the makeup world is a must have. I know how to cut corners. I purchase things on holidays (if there’s a sale), I use promo codes, reward points and I only purchase items that have excellent reviews and are inexpensive. That’s it.

Yenners Avatar

These days I mix high end with drugstore buys. And here in Oz there are half price sales on all drugstore brands about twice a year so I stock up on half price Maybelline eyeliner and my fav nude lipstick from Rimmel.

For my Chanel vita lumiere foundation and my fav high end brands there’s not much opportunity to save.

Genevieve Avatar

Have you tried OzSale/BuyInvite and Deals Direct – they are an online retailer that often sells HE brands much more cheaply. Every day they come out with deals. Joining is free and I have purchased stacks of items – children’s clothing for my grand children, lots of makeup etc and there have been no problems. They have paypal too. I have returned items – no hassle at all.

lizalea Avatar

I usually buy when there’s sales and I like to get samples first if I can before I waste money on a product that doesn’t work for me,especially foundation, Saphora and Indy brands are good for getting samples.

Kylie5 Avatar

Try to buy only When I have a promo Code or When the product is reduced in price.
Especially high End products or products I use every day or very often.
Unfortunately in Germany we have not so many and/or good reward programs or Beauty offers. And we Do not get a lot of gifts which I Do not understand because I think People would buy more When they had the Chance to try it first. I would Love to live in the USA.

Chacha Avatar

I have differents ways…
*Wait and Use a 20% or 25% off to Sephora,Marionnaud,Nocibe…(beauty stores)
*in January and June starts the sale in France so you can make a good deals. For example i have bought some products from By Terry with 40% and 70% off last month!
*And the last but for me the better…Ebay!! Yes! You can imagine how many people sell makeup on Ebay here. When i want something and new product i go on Ebay first to see if i can find it and if the price is less than at store with a coupon lol
I get everytime good deals,franckly i have purchased brands like Laura Mercier,Chanel,YSL,Armani,Mufe,Too Faced…And sometimes for ridiculous prices trust me.
My last crush An Armani powder in limited edition for 88$ bought 22$ can you imagine? ( I suspect some Bloggers and Youtubers beauty to resale some products.Because when there is a launch for a new product,you can be sure to find it in the days on Ebay,but its okay for me,the brands for example send to some bloggers all the shades for a foundation so why keep a dark shade if you’re pale?! sell it for less ans you’ll make someone happy)

Yenners Avatar

A few years ago I bought a Benefit blusher on ebay and it turned out to be counterfeit ๐Ÿ™
I contacted the seller who refunded me immediately and I’ve been too afraid to buy make up on ebay since.

Chacha Avatar

Oh yes i understand! Its my fear too,its why i didnt buy some brands like Mac,The Balm,UD naked palette,Too faced for some products,Anastasia Beverly for lipstick also some Chanel products…etc
Because i know they not can be fake but they are fake!
For example i know exactly what Chanel sell in makeup so when i see some weird colors from Rouge coco lipstick for example i know directly they are fake or when i find some solid lipstick from ABH that isnt exist in real i know also they are fake… ๐Ÿ™‚ So when you want make up from Ebay you need to be aware and know a little about makeup,and sometimes ask the seller,say you dont want to buy a fake product and some are honest and they answer to you the truth…You can also search what the person sell generally,like this if you see that the girl sell some make up and beauty products with rare brands,limited edition or news you can also judge it by being a makeup addict and normally its ok…
But for me i never had problems still today,because i’m searching for limited edition who just come out,some Brand who you’ll dont find copy or a new produt just launch so its not the kind of product who are made fake usually like a Mac lipstick can be…
But you have right,you need to have big eyes opened on Ebay and say NO Way for some brands and never forget to read the evaluations of the seller!!

Bonnie Avatar

For the most part, Ebay and Paypal protect you if there is an issue. But if there is a ridiculously low price, and it’s coming from China, it’s probably fake. China also has a ton of sites selling counterfeit items in both the beauty and the fashion worlds…the item is not what’s in the picture.

kellly Avatar

True. I don’t buy stuff coming from China because I pretty much assume it’s fake. For $20 items that they list for one cent, it’s pretty much a dead give-away. Or they charge one cent for the item and $40 for shipping it!

Bonnie Avatar

If you ever do want to take a chance on any of those deals, always use paypal. That’s your only hope of recovering your money if you are dissatisfied. I have heard horror stories about these sites and how they have absolutely no customer service once they take your money, but paypal will help you recover your money if you get scammed.

kellly Avatar

I always use PayPal whenever buying anything online. I’ve used eBay for more years than I want to admit, and have only had one or two times that I’ve had to use the PayPal dispute process and ultimately got refunded my money. It’s the only way I’d pay for things online/

Kesha Avatar

I price check for sales first…but I’ll agree that Ulta has the best program as far as $$$ back for use on anything in the store. But I check around. Recently I knew it was almost time to re-up on my Philosophy Purity cleanser and Renewed Hope in a Jar moisturizer. I was one click away from ordering ion Ulta’s website (because my local store NEVER has the Renewed Hope in stock?) when I got an email reminder about Nordstroms Anniversary sale. Found the set with a bigger jar of the moisturizer, same size cleanser, and the nighttime Renewed Hope moisturizer for only $6 more than I would pay for the cleanser and a jar of moisturizer that was half the size. Would have loved the double Ulta points but couldn’t pass up that deal.

Kathy B Avatar

I browse and sample products in the brick and mortar stores. But I purchase online through the Discover card shopping portal (Discover Deals) to get 5% back in cash rewards from Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s. Available year round and increases to 10% around the holidays. I can still use store coupons or promo codes for the additional discount. It kills me to actually buy something in the store and not get at least the 5% rewards. So I rarely do that!

Naomi Avatar

I shop mostly at ULTA and save up my points until I get $30-$50 off, also shop during 2x, 3x, and 5x point periods. I try and get deluxe samples of hot products at Sephora, and I LOVE the point program at CVS, they give me lots of great coupons to use!

Calimom Avatar

I try to wait until Ulta has their 20% off the whole store for Platinum members and stock up then. has the same type of sale but sadly they are shutting down. For drugstore I am on the cvs email list and regularly get 20-30% off coupons (not good on sale items). I also use cvs extra bucks and Ulta rewards.

Nicole D Avatar

Totally agree with my Canadian sisters with respect to the Shopperโ€™s Drug Mart loyalty system !

Also, I take advantage of some great warehouse sales here in Montreal (usually twice a year – in spring and in autumn), i.e. Clarins warehouse sale (includes brands like Nuxe, Thierry Mugler, Burberry, Pur Minerals etc.), Lise Watier, Marcelle, L’Oreal (the latter is a private one so you need an invitation; l’Oreal is a distributor for several high-end brands here in Canada i.e. Lancรดme). When ordering online, I always use Ebates.

Something that might be of interest for my US sisters as well :); a cash back mobile app Zweet just launched here in Canada, that will soon come to the US. They have weekly offers for certain products and you can buy those products at any store unless the deal is for a certain store (i.e. Walmart). Then you snap a picture of your entire receipt through the app and the money are deposited in your account, plus you get reward points. When you reach a minimum $20 you can request a cheque. This week for instance you get $2.00 back for any Essie 2016 summer collection nail polish, $2.00 for the Maybelline New York Eyeliner among other offers.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Oh, I forgot Haute Look and a few other online stores who have 20%off frequently like skinstore and dermstore. I never pay for shipping.

Genevieve Avatar

We have absolutely nothing like Ulta, Nordstrom etc here in Australia. At Priceline, a budget beauty shop, they do often have sales on DS brands and I tend to stock up on my skincare and DS beauty products then. There is a loyalty card too. Some brands are a % off and others are buy 2 get the third one free.
Myers/David Jones, department beauty stores, are quite woeful at offering sales on HE products – just the usual GWP from Clinique etc.
We also have Ozsale/BuyInvite and Deals Direct, which often promotes brands on sale. But it is usually the products that are older. However, the discounts are really good. It is an online retailer.

ShirlJ Avatar

-Ebates (esp double or triple rewards days on Sephora)
-Sephora semi-annual sales to stock up (superb service, btw!! Quickly and apologetically sent me a replacement without asking for return on unsatisfactory product)
-Canadian chain Shoppers Drug Mart (sells moderately high end brands like Shiseido, Smashbox, Clarins, Stila, Guerlain, Dior, etc) has a fantastic points program. I buy when there are 20X points days, then watch for the weekends when they have extra rewards (eg $200 reward for same # of points that usually gets you $175). They also have a pretty good house brand called Quo. I’m loving their newly renovated brush line! My favourite tapered angled eyeliner brush and a really great soft dense face buffing brush.
-I love a good House brand (e.g. I love the Sephora dupe for the Dior Airflash foundation) or Drugstore brand. Just discovered bhcosmetics (I bought the foiled eyeshadow palette and I’m very happy with it, plus I’m currently absolutely living in the color lock lipstick!)
-Online sales, such as Tarte’s recent 30% off. I restocked my Amazonian Clay foundation.
-I try to avoid paying full shipping charges by hitting the minimum. I’d rather spend that money on merch. Shipping to Canada, however, often means some shipping charge (except Sephora!!! Yay!)

Tami Avatar

I utilize all the normal rewards programs (Nordstrom rewards, Bloomingales Loyallist points, etc) I LOVE eBates. They have cash back options to tons of stores. And you can combine with % off or sales, too. So for high end stuff I compare the percentage off from the major department stores (the aforementioned two plus Saks and Neiman Marcus) and then get the best cash back I can. I get almost a $1000 back a year this way!

Natalia Avatar

As a rule, I almost never buy anything unless there is some sort of a special deal on. It can be sales, client days, store openings, etc., etc. Well, if I reeeeally want smth I might pay the full price, but I try not to.

Like the only reason I bought BECCA shimmering skin perfector pressed is cause they were offering 50% back in limited time gift cards.

Unfortunately, that does not apply to MAC. UD also almost never has any special offers.

Violet Wyne Avatar

We don’t have stores that give rewards points here but I always get 10% from Sephora since we get 10% off once we spent $150. Sephora here also often has 20% discount. For the drugstores items, we always get buy 2 get one free or 50% off.

Alicia Morris Avatar

I agree about Ulta rewards! I save up my points for Christmas time (which happily coincides with nice sales and holiday releases). I do 90% of my shopping online and always use Ebates. The cash back really adds up! Also, Urban Decay has started a loyalty program where you earn $10 off “kickbacks” and their birthday gift was my choice of any shadow. I find with Sephora, I rack up points and hardly ever spend them, as there is seldom anything I am really interested in in their rewards boutique (I generally am more interested in making sure I keep my VIB status for the yearly sales). Whenever Ulta or Sephora has the 20% off of anything promos, that’s when I tend to get my big ticket items.

Tracey E. Avatar

Like many, I wait for gift card with the purchase of X over samples where possible. I hawk eBates, too. We have a Bon Ton Dept store that had a Goodwill Sale 2x/yr where cosmetics are 15-20% off and I combine that with discounted gift cards that I buy on eBay (try to get min 12-15% with balance verified upon receipt). Also buy eBay ‘deal’ gift cards, typically a bonus with purchase and usually to Sephora or JCP with a Sephora inside.

When I go home to Canada, my Mom and I pool our Shoppers purchases. We buy makeup on the senior discount Thursdays, with a bonus $10 off coupon also given the last Thursday of each month with a $50 purchase. We usually go to one store where we get a little extra (like a Lancome gift set) from this one sales associate. We love her. Shoppers has cornered the beauty loyalty market, which helps given the higher sales tax. I wish their online presence was stronger, and that they had a broader range. In Canada, I buy discounted gift cards from Cardswap but you have to grab a deal when it’s available as they sell out quickly. Points add up to a bonus gift card of your choice and all cards come with verified balance. (Good for restaurant, mall, and coffee cards, too.)

Every so often, the best deal is to use what I have – samples, GwP, etc. and delay the purchase of skincare, foundation, etc.

Christina Avatar

I shop through Upromise (it’s like eBates but you can use the rebate $$$ towards a 529 plan or get a check, so I will alternate using my $$$ back between the two options).

I have also started cutting back on my beauty purchases in general, I just have way too much stuff and wasted so much $$$ on impulse purchases it really is sad.

That being said, I’ve been buying most of my beauty products from Ulta or Macys (I have a credit card and they have a pretty decent rewards program). I also scour eBay as well.

Brittney Avatar

I’m actually really lucky and most of the makeup I buy is sold at the store I work for so I always get my associate discount on it. If I earn rewards dollars I can use them on my makeup as well. I got the new Urban Decay Moondust shadow brush for free because of my discount and rewards dollars and then was able to get the new All Nighter foundation for about $20 instead of $40 thanks to discounts and coupons. We also have cosmetics coupons on occasion or 5x to 10x the points events. If I’m having to buy from Sephora or another retailer I get most of what I’m buying when there’s some sort of coupon. As much makeup as I have there’s really not a whole lot that I’ve paid full price for.

BonnieJ Avatar

I love Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream and Bronze Shimmerbrick, but at $46 each, it’s highway robbery for my budget. Whenever I visit a Cosmetic Company Store outlet (CCO) at an outlet mall, I check it to see if they have my shades in Bobbi Brown at 20 percent off. I also shop Sephora’s F&F sales twice a year for anything I need.

Alecto Avatar

I’d say by mostly going with indies. When I go for something at a store like Sephora or Ulta, if I can buy it at Ulta, I get it at Ulta because of the rewards program. Outside of that, I don’t really attempt to save money on makeup. I occasionally have lucky coincidences of sales at times when I go shopping, but I don’t wait for sales. I should probably be better about that.

Jacqueline Avatar

I buy some drugstore products and some department store products. I can find items like eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara at Shoppers Drug Mart/Walmart/London Drugs that are outstanding quality. If I’m lucky I will find a good blush or eyeshadow but they are very few and far between.
Will buy foundation and concealer (and maybe some sort of unique product ) at MAC. I’ve been using the same foundation for 15 years and they’re both HG status.

RMW (Rose) Avatar

Hi Temptalia!
I love the reward points at Ulta! I’m lucky though because reap the rewards from my bestie beauties! If they don’t like something that they bought, they just pass it on down to me!! But other than that I get alot of gift card’s from my husband, my family, my best friend’s, my future daughter-in-law and my mother-in-law! And when there is a dry spell of these, I absolutely buy the dupe’s! And I’m a happy camper!!! ????

Nancy Avatar

I’m a fan of ebates and try to purchase when items are on sale. However, my best money saving advice is to only buy what you need and use. I have learned that impulse buys usually disappoint, or don’t get the use that my researched, well-thought out purchases do. Being more selective allows me to afford more luxurious items, but in a smaller collection that’s used frequently.

Bonnie Avatar

Ebay. I don’t bother for a single drugstore item, but if it’s high end, or an entire collection, like a nail polish color collection, I generally look on Ebay. When they have the whole collection, if you divide the price by the number of items, it’s almost always a great buy. Also great for finding discontinued and sold out items. Often the newest items not yet in the store are there also.

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