Monday, 2 April 2012

Tips for saving on higher end makeup products

I'm always looking for new ways of saving money on makeup products, whether it be higher end or drugstore/high street but when it comes to high end products, the price is something that is one of the deciding factors of whether I'll purchase or not. For me, if I'm going to invest in high end makeup I want to know the product works or that I'll like it before parting with all that cash. With drug store if I don't like the product it doesn't seem as bad because I've paid less than half of what I would for a high end product. I'm always on the lookout for new ways of saving some money and I know most of this might seem obvious to a lot of beauty bloggers I thought it would be nice to have it all in one place and to show you how I try and save my pennies. From what I've seen high end brands rarely ever go on sale so when I see a bargain I try and pick it up. Here are a fe ways I save :)

Reward Cards

Several stores have a reward card that you can collect points with whenever you buy from them. My favourite is the Debenhams beauty club card, I like this one because Debenhams have a wide range of makeup and brands including Smashbox which is exclusive to Debenhams in the UK. They also have regular promotions where if you spend a certain amount on beauty (usually £30 or £40)  they'll give you bonus points, usually 500 or 1000. 500 points = £5. When you order online you also earn more points, so if I'm ordering something I'm repurchasing or that I know I want I always order online as it's 5 points per £. If you're purchasing in stores I think you earn 3 points if spending over a certain amount. I've purchased the Benefit Hervana Blush for £13 and They're Real mascara for £8 which I'm glad I did because I was quite disappointed with this product and would not pay the £18 price tag. This is the only department store that I know of that has a rewards card, if there are others feel free to let me know. Other stores that have rewards cards are suprerdrug and boots. I don't actually have either of these so if you use either of these and recommend them let me know in the comments.

Two cards I signed up for in the states are the CVS card and the Beauty Insider card from Sephora. CVS doesn't carry high end makeup but I thought it was worth mentioning for any American readers because it's probably one of the best rewards cards I've had, CVS has offers literally all over the store. I've already saved around $40 using this card and then when you have enough extra bucks points they give you a voucher to spend in store. You also get offers through email, recently they sent out a %25 off coupon which can be used with all other offers in store! The Sephora card is a little different, instead of saving points to get money off you save points to get a free gift. The gifts vary for different amounts of points, the first free gift is given at 100 points and every $ = 1 point. If you're from the UK and visiting the states I would recommend signing up, all you need is an email address and if you're a frequent visitor it might be worth your while. Don't forget there are Sephora stores in France and Spain (not sure of other european countries?).

Gift Sets

Gift sets aren't that popular from what I've seen, it's usually around christmas that they come out so when November/December comes around keep an eye out! Benefit cosmetics sell gift sets around christmas time with a reduced price than the RRP and it usually states how much you're saving. You might also want to check after christmas because sometimes if the gift sets haven't sold they'll usually go into the sales which means saving even more money! I managed to buy two gift sets from Benefit last year. I bought the Legally Bronze gift set from Sephora which sold for $35 with an RRP of$105 and bought it for $30 on sale. The other was All Decked out which was £35 and I paid £23 in the sale from House of Fraser. I've also seen gift set's popping up around spring time, I recently purchased another Gift Set from Benefit which I posted about here and I've also seen a few on the NARS website which is great because NARS is one of the more expensive brands.

Gift with purchase

This isn't necessarily a way to save money but it does make the hefty price tag of some items more worth while. I recently purchased a blush from Estee Lauder at Bloomingdale's which came with a gift with purchase. I'm glad that it did because the $40 was a blow to my wallet. The gift itself was a rather large makeup bag with 6 items, most sample items I think maybe 1 or 2 full size products but all are pretty big in size, especially for free. Check with any department stores to see if they have any offers like this. Debenhams has offers similar quite often so check out their website. I think gifts with purchase vary for each department store though, so check before hand to compare stores. I've also recently seen a few online stores giving away free makeup bags, Benefit, The Balm and Philosophy have had recent promotions like this.

The official NARS website is also always advertising free mini blushes with online purchases.


This one seems quite obvious but a lot of high end brands never go on sale. The one website I check frequently for Sale items is because they always have something on the sale page. I've seen Benefit items for 10/15% off before along with other items. Debenhams also has regular sales, usually they'll have one shade of a certain lipstick on sale for brands like YSL so be sure to check because they do sell out fast. They also have promotions where all beauty is 10% off, it may not seem like much but can make a lot of difference. What I find is that the brand itself never has a sale but stores carrying their products do, a brand I know that does have good sales is Too Faced. This is one of my favourite makeup brands and they have some good items on sale as well as put together bundles of products for a reduced price.

Discount stores

Stores like T K Maxx or T J Maxx, Ross and Marshalls. There aren't many options for us in the UK for this as we only have T K Maxx and all I've ever found in my local one is literally cheap crap that no one wants. As for the American stores, it's a whole other story, I've managed to save a lot just by browsing the beauty sections of these stores, I've managed to get my hands on a Peace Love & Juicy Couture gift set ($39.99 instead of $80 for 50ml bottle), a betseyville toiletry bag set, several makeup gift sets, skin care and nail polish sets. Have also seen brands such as Clinique and Estee Lauder in there (!)


If you're lucky enough to live near a CCO you can also check in there. A CCO is a Cosmetics Company Outlet or Cosmetics Company Store. The CCS is an Estee Lauder owned outlet store which sells past collections and sells such brands as MAC and Bobbi Brown. I bought some Venomous Villains items from here and a brush set from the Wonder Woman collection at a reduced price. The nearest CCO to me is at Bicester Village in Oxford. Quite far for me to go and have only been the once.

Duty Free

If you're travelling outside the EU be sure to check the duty free before flying, I think you only save around %10 on makeup but when I was at Heathrow a few weeks back I visited the MAC counter and the two products that had sold out online and in stores were both available here and at a cheaper price. Needless to say I purchased both ;) 


This seems to be one of the less popular ways to save because I've only seen one brand recently that is doing this kind of promotion, boots no 7 is (was?) currently doing a £5 off coupon. I know lots of people have taken advantage of this coupon already and while boots no 7 may not be the most desirable brand in terms of "high end" it definitely has some good products. 

These are all the ways I can think of that I've managed to save money when buying makeup. I hope it's helped you in some way or given you some insight for future purchases. What are your favourite ways to save money?


  1. Blog sales!! That's one of the major ways I save money on make-up...Much more reliable than Ebay, or other discount make-up sites (e.g. CheapSmells).


    1. I'd forgotten about these, I've never bought from blog sales though :( Buyapowa is my new favourite website :)



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