How To Save Money on Beauty Products

Hey Everyone! Today I’m sharing my top tips on how to save money on makeup and beauty products. Hope you find these helpful and let me know if you have any other tips to add! πŸ™‚

How to Save Money on Beauty Products

1. Join Loyalty Programs

My first recommendation to anyone looking to save money on beauty products is to sign up for loyalty rewards programs. Beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta both offer customers point rewards for every dollar you spend, and depending on how much you shop, the points can quickly accumulate and go towards purchasing big purchase items.

Drugstore chains such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS also offer reward programs which often give you cash back for purchases and coupon discounts on items you frequently purchase. Another nice perk in being a loyalty member is getting rewarded on your birthday or during your birthday month with a discount or freebie.

Here’s just a few programs I’m part of and would recommend signing up for:

Rite Aid Wellness +Plenti, CVS ExtraCare Beauty Club,Walgreens Balance RewardsSephora Beauty Insider, Sally Beauty Club, Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards, Shop Your Way Rewards

2. Shop Drugstore over Department Stores

If you’re truly looking to make your dollar stretch further when it comes to shopping for beauty products, hitting up your local drugstores will save you a ton of cash. Although there are occasions where the higher end makeup comes out on top, there are several products out there that perform just as good and in many instances better than your higher end versions. Which brings me to my next tip…

3. Use Beauty Blogs & Beauty YouTube Channels for Product Reviews, Dupes, and Tips

Want to know the best way to get the most bang for your buck? Do your research! Subscribing to your favorite beauty blogs and YouTube channels will help you determine whether or not a product is going to fit your needs and which products are worth spending more on.

Beauty bloggers/vloggers take the guesswork out for you in doing in-depth product reviews and notating drugstore dupes when they find them. Nouveau Cheap is one of my favorite websites, as it provides daily and weekly beauty deal alerts, and helpful beauty saving tips.

I also recently shared my favorite Beauty Youtubers over here, and plan to do a post soon with some of my fave beauty bloggers! πŸ™‚

4. Combine Coupons with Sales

Coupons are a great way to save extra money off of beauty purchases, and brands including Covergirl, Loreal, Maybelline, Rimmel, Wet n’ Wild, and Almay frequently put coupons in the weekly newspapers or online at Combine those with awesome weekly drugstore sales or in-store deals at beauty retailers, and you can score beauty products at a discounted rate.

For example: Let’s say CVS has all Wet n’ Wild products on sale for 40% off, plus you have a $1 off 1 coupon. That would take a $3.99 eyeliner down to $2.39 and minus the coupon would make it $1.39!

Stores like Ulta and K-mart also frequently have B1G1 sales which can make for some great discounts when combined with in-store coupons from and reward points. I’ve also noticed I often have better luck in finding newly released products at these stores because most people shop at drugstores nowadays and new products get gone fast.

5. Buy Beauty Basics at Dollar Stores

I should just be a Dollar Tree spokesperson at this point as much as I sing their praises, but seriously they sell so many beauty essential items that are too great of deals to pass up. We all have those beauty items that we go through quickly and it’s crazy to spend $5 on it when you can get it for $1.

I love purchasing items such as Q-tips, cotton balls, Vaseline, nail polish remover, hair ties, and bobby pins, and I’ve even scored a few e.l.f. brushes from time to time as well.

When To Splurge vs. Save?

Splurge: Skincare items, Foundation, Concealer, Eyeshadow Palettes

It’s important to take care of your skin, which is why I recommend investing in skin care products which meet your individual needs. Sometimes that means spending a little bit more money on products that are higher quality and will last longer.

While, there are several drugstore foundations and concealer products which are great for everyday use, higher end brands sometimes offer better coverage and contain higher-quality base ingredients which last longer on the face.

I also personally recommend going ahead and spending more on high quality eyeshadow palettes with brands such as Lorac, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Makeup Geek, and MAC. The eyeshadows are long-lasting, the pigmentation is tenfold better than most drugstore shadows, and it’s worth the long-term investment.

Save: Lipgloss, Liners, Nail Polish, Mascara

Products such as lipgloss and nail polish contain virtually the same ingredients no matter the price point, which is why I recommend saving your money and buying the drugstore versions.

Unless you’ve found a holy grail product, I also recommend buying drugstore mascaras since mascaras are technically supposed to be replaced every 3 months. Plus, I’ve personally never found a high end mascara that’s beat out my go-to drugstore products! πŸ™‚

Extra Tips for Extra Savings:

  • Always visit your favorite brand’s website to see if they have an e-mail sign-up for discounts, freebies, insider sales, and product release notifications.
  • Plan ahead for Annual Sale Events such as Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty or Sephora’s VIB Sale, which offer deep discounts on consumer beauty favorites.

Be sure and check out some of my other beauty tips, and check out this post if you want helpful tips on How to Save Money on Groceries! Have any other tips or advice on how to save money on beauty products? Share with me in the comment section!

Please follow me on Bloglovin’ if you aren’t already, and share this post with a friend if you love it! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful week!- Cara

Linking up on Inspiration MondayBusy Monday, Merry Monday, Amaze Me MondayTotally Terrific Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, You’re Gonna Love It TuesdayTutorials & Tips, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Best of the Blogosphere, Wonderful Wednesday


  1. SUCH A GOOD POST, girlfriend!! You’re absolutely right on all accounts. Loyalty programs are the bomb dot com, and drugstores are where it’s at! I lovelovelove being a Sephora Insider, and when you shop CVS and get ExtraBucks from their beauty insider program…it’s INSANE. You’ll get literally free money just for buying your makeup there!!

    Coming Up Roses

    1. Thanks Erica! I agree, getting free coupons for simply buying makeup at CVS is always awesome! Love it! πŸ™‚

  2. My fave way to save money is to combine as many coupons as possible WHILE the products are on sale or there’s a “buy one, get one free” type of sale. Great advice! xx Adaleta Avdic

  3. I love couponing cvs is where I get a lot of my greatest makeup Deals for loreal Love it great tips cara!

  4. Great tips Cara! I totally agree about buying at drug stores – they always seem to have tons of offers so you end up saving a lot in the long run! Although splurging on foundation and your key cosmetics is so worth it, especially as you’re putting it on your face every day!

    1. Thank-you! I agree, more money needs to be invested on products for your skin, as it’s so important! πŸ™‚

  5. Love love love!! These are such great tips on saving money. You know I’m all about the deals. πŸ˜‰

  6. Did you see my post on #5? I love the dollar store too girl!! i’m all for saving money when I can!

  7. I love these tips! I’m still trying to find the balance between brand names and drug store products.

    1. Thank-you! If the quality is there, it doesn’t matter what the price tag is. πŸ™‚

  8. Great tips Cara! Another one is that I like to buy travel sizes of mascara, because they last just as long as the real thing, but they’re half the price!

  9. These are really great tips for saving $$$ on beauty items. You’ve inspired me to start looking for deals and steals. I really need to make more of an effort to use coupons and combine them with sales. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to shop smart!

    1. Thank-you! Happy to help, and I hope you’re able to use some of these tips to save a little extra when shopping for beauty products! πŸ™‚

  10. I love all these tips especially your Save and Splurge ones. Smart thinking and I often go by many of these and have a nice mix of higher end and drugstore brands. CVS has such great bucks back deals on makeup.

    1. Thank-you! I love when CVS does their bucks rewards! You can get beauty products for next to nothing!

  11. Great tips! I never would have thought to check out the dollar store, but that totally makes sense! I’ve really come to love Elf products, their canceler stick is actually my FAVORITE.

    1. Thank-you! I know it’s a little out of the norm to think of buying beauty products at the dollar store, but for items like q-tips and bobby pins it’s crazy not to. πŸ™‚

    1. Me too! What most people don’t realize is most drugstore brands are affiliates of higher end brands. Thank-you! πŸ™‚

  12. Awesome tips gurlie! I’m all about the loyalty programs (SOOOOO glad MAC finally has one – it’s about time!) and jumping on sales and utilizing coupons. That’s why I’m a Sephora fan over Ulta since Ulta’s coupons are usually pointless and don’t work on the brands I’m trying to shop πŸ˜›
    Green Fashionista

    1. Thank-you! Yes, I can’t believe I forgot the MAC one (adding it!) It’s all about what gets you the best bang for your buck on the brands you love! πŸ˜‰

  13. Such great tips Cara! I’ve noticed more and more that loyalty programs are really helpful. Also, I think buying when things are on sale at drug stores can really help save, like you suggested. And, YES to The Dollar Tree!

    1. Thanks! Loyalty programs are easy ways to save extra money and get rewarded for your purchases. πŸ™‚

  14. SO many great tips. Loyalty programs are amazing and give the best deals and savings. This is such a jam packed informative post- I love it!

    1. Thank-you Emelia! It’s crazy not to join loyalty programs when there is no cost involved πŸ™‚

    1. Agreed! I always do a quick google search to see if something is on sale and/or if there are coupons out there! πŸ™‚

  15. This is great advice, and I love your save v. splurge categories! I literally just spent upwards of $150 on makeup today, so perhaps I should have read this earlier πŸ˜‰

  16. Really good ideas!! It’s amazing how expensive skincare and makeup products can get–I’ve gotten pretty excited in the past over being able to combine sale price with a coupon, haha!

  17. All of your saves and splurges are right on point with my beliefs. I am a member of pretty much everything you listed out. I love beauty products but you gotta save some money where you can. Great tips!

    1. Thanks! I agree, there are areas where splurging is necessary, but if it’s something you are only going to use for a short time before tossing (i.e. mascara) it makes sense to buy drugstore!

    1. Thank-you! I agree, I could think of a lot of other things I’d rather spend my money a vacation πŸ˜‰

  18. I always look at beauty blogger/youtube guru’s for dupes and reviews before buying any new beauty products! They usually have a promo code as well, so I can save money that way too πŸ˜‰

  19. Love these tips! I always use coupons at ulta and just found out they accept manufacturers coupons too!

  20. Great tips! My mom has been buying her stuff at Dollar Tree for years. You guys should mount a campaign. LOL

  21. what is your drugstore mascara? I used to swear by covergirl in that fat orange tube…but then it kept flaking off so I’ve been using they’re real for a few years now.

    1. Loreal Telescopic or Covergirl Supersizer (it’s in a bright blue tube)! Both are amazing for lengthening the lashes and adding definition! πŸ™‚

  22. Love the splurge vs save tips. I always thought mascara was one to splurge on! But now I know I can probably find the same quality at a fraction of the price. Thanks Cara!

    1. Thanks! Mascara is one of those products that really should be switched out every 2-3 months for hygienic reasons. My favorite drugstore mascara is Loreal Telescopic and Covergirl Supersizer! πŸ™‚

  23. Great tips! Who doesn’t love saving money, I certainly do. I’ll definitely have to check these out.

  24. This post has so many great suggestions, beauty products get so expensive so quickly! You’re totally right on with the advice to splurge on foundation and eyeshadow, you can tell a huge difference when you buy the quality brands!

    1. Thank-you! I agree, although depending on what primer you use you can make drugstore version eyeshadows work, the quality is so much better with the higher end versions. πŸ™‚

  25. These are great tips! I actually will do all of these things to make my dollar stretch more. Something else I’ll do is a bit of research when I am splurging on a product so I know if it’s good or not.:)

  26. Yes to this! I agree that loyalty programs are the best… particularly at Ulta. I saved $18 there last week. It can’t be beat!

    1. Yay, that what an awesome saving! I always get so excited when they send me my ulta-rewards update-haha πŸ™‚

  27. Totally bang on with splurging on skin care products. This a nice thorough list and perfect for someone like me who is always looking for bargain deals on beauty products.

  28. I agree with you on the drugstore mascaras. I love my L’oreal one just as much as the $25 Dior one, and to have to replace it every quarter could get very expensive if I kept buying the latter!

    1. Exactly! If you only had to purchase it once a year, I could see investing a little more, but I usually switch my mascara every 2-3 months, so I buy the drugstore versions. Plus I think they work really well!

  29. I agree, I spend money on skincare products! I’m a huge elf fan…so is my wallet! xo, Kristina

    1. Skincare products are worth the investment! You can really get a lot of bang for your buck with elf products, and I’m a huge fan too! πŸ™‚

    1. It’s a delicate balance. I definitely prefer spending more on eyeshadows and skin products, but then lipstick I struggle with spending $30 a pop on. I’d rather buy the $3.99 version-haha πŸ™‚

  30. I have never thought to look for basic items at the dollar store and I go there all the time with my kids!

    1. Yes! They seriously have so many inexpensive items. We always go there to stock up on things like toothbrushes and bath poofs when we’re going on vacation. It’s a great way to save!

  31. I agree 100% with all of this! Skincare..absolutely invest (even though its still hard to fork over the cash!) but mascara… I love the drugstore πŸ™‚

    I blogged about a recent discovery.. Milk of Magnesia for primer for oily skin?! It worked so well!

    1. Wow, that is so neat! It’s always cool to learn about other uses of everyday products. πŸ™‚

  32. I always splurge on skincare items. My skin is so temperamental and I never used to wear foundation. One summer I tried and had the worst breakouts. I caved and went to Sephora and am SOO happy I did! Some items are definitely worth spending money on. I definitely still try to find deals wherever I go. Coupons are my best friends πŸ™‚

    1. It’s all about the ingredients and your skin type and truthfully if it’s something you’re putting on your skin daily, it needs to be a good fit! I definitely agree coupons are awesome! πŸ™‚

  33. I’ve really just now been checking out YouTube videos & getting the facts & seeing how things work before I buy. Saves a lot of useless spent money

    1. I agree! They make youtube videos for everything now too, and it’s pretty nice knowing what you are buying ahead of time.

  34. Great tips! I never thought of getting all those items at the dollar store.. I almost never go but it’d def be worth it for things like that/

    1. Thanks! I mean who wants to spend $5 on cotton balls that are used once then thrown away? haha

    1. Thank-you! It’s a delicate balance, and of course these tips are just what I’ve personally found helpful, but I think it’s good to find areas to save when you can, though! πŸ™‚

  35. 1000000% agree with splurging on skin products (ie. creams/serums etc). my items cost a lot but are so good/work so well with my skin.

    1. Yes! I’ve bought the cheap stuff before and regretted it almost instantly after it touched my skin. It’s worth the splurge.

    1. Thank-you! Great tip! Shopathome is another great one too, and I usually try to compare it and ebates to see which has the better cash back deal! πŸ™‚

  36. I love couponing and shopping the sales for my makeup! When Walgreens has my brand Buy One, Get One half off and I have coupons!!! I have a small stash to get me through the nonsale times.

    1. Yes, I have a small stash too with my faves! I love the 40% off sales too, you can get a lot of good deals that way! πŸ™‚

  37. I love these tips! I am working on transitioning to more organic products, which can be pretty pricey, but looking around for specials and searching for coupons really help! Great post!

    1. Thank-you! I use a lot of organic products for my skin, and it’s so nice knowing what ingredients you’re using. πŸ™‚

  38. I love having the reward programs at Ulta & Sephora. Saves me money when I rack up the points.

    1. Yes me too! Plus once I have racked up enough points for a good coupon, it’s like an incentive to shop for more makeup πŸ˜‰ haha!

  39. When to splurge and when to save was a great help. Plus love you included all the different stores and what you can purchase there and save money.

  40. One of the best beauty related posts that I have read. Really you make a lot of sense. I always go for non branded drug store products that will touch my skin for really little time. Only my daily use products are good quality.

    1. Our skin is so important and it’s worth spending a little extra money on! Thank-you!

  41. I completely agree with you that you should splurge on skin care items and save on mascaras, lip products, etc. I love that you mentioned going to YouTubers for dupes and recommendations for less expensive products! I’m constantly doing this, and I feel like so many people can benefit from it!

    1. Thank-you! Yes, I do that too! Anytime I’m on the fence about a product I go to my fave bloggers and youtubers for advice! πŸ˜‰

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