How to Save Money on High-end Makeup


Hey there everyone!  I wanted to do something a little different for today’s post.  I’ve been posting more about high-end makeup in the last few months, and so I wanted to talk about how to save  money and get a better value on your high-end purchases.  High-end makeup can be very expensive, and often times it is just not worth the money when a drugstore alternative can be found.  This blog is built on the philosophy that a woman does not need to shell out tons of money to still be able to enjoy makeup.   However, let’s face it, sometimes there are high-end products that are just too hard to resist.  My goal with this post is to give you some ideas or tips on how to indulge, without totally breaking the bank.

Never order à la carte.  Most high-end products are going to cost somewhere between $20 and $50 each.  You can find items outside that range, but in general, that’s what we’re looking at for high-end.  Let’s pause for a moment.  Even on the lower end, $20 for a single eye liner or lipgloss is completely outrageous.  $30 for cheek stain (Benefit), $42 for foundation (NARS)… Who decided that was okay?  Talk about price gouging!  Even if you can afford to pay these prices, why should you want to?  Even with the best ingredients, $47 for a single lipstick (Guerlain) is straight up crazy sauce.  Luckily, most brands offer value kits and palettes, which is where you will find your savings.  When I reviewed Urban Decay’s Naked2 palette, I showed you the price break down on how much it would have cost if I bought each full-sized shadow individually.  Buying them in the palette saved me over $150.  You can often find sets of 3 or 4 products that cost the equivalent of two, so it’s like getting the rest for free.  You will feel much better about paying $50 for four (or more) products rather than just one.  Value sets are available all year round, not just at the holidays, but they are especially prevalent in the fall as companies gear up for Christmas.  Most of the sets contain full-sized products, and often times limited edition shades as well.  Another option that you may be able to find are sets of “minis” that will allow you to try several products out before paying for the full-sized version.  Right now Tarte is offering a Clean Slate Primer trio for $9 that lets you sample mini versions of the Clean Slate line of eye primer and two face primers.  The minis are a quarter of the size of the full products, but are priced at only an eighth of the cost.  Kits like this are the perfect way to try before you buy, so you can see if you like the product before you shell out the cash.  Which brings me to my second point.

Do your research.  Have you ever bought a new foundation or mascara from the drugstore and simply hated it?  Did you feel like you has wasted your money?  Imagine how much worse you would feel is that items cost $30 instead of $7.  If you are going to buy high-end, know what you are buying.  The internet is an invaluable resource.  The information is out there, you just have to look for it.  Now, I’m not saying that you should spend hours poring over blogs and youtube before every purchase, but a five minute Google search won’t kill you.  Check out makup alley, look at the rating the product has on Sephora’s website, read some reviews.  Basic things like “This product is great for dry skin, but may feel too greasy for oily” or “The texture is great, but it tastes weird” can save you time and money in the long run.  Also, ask for samples.  I am really bad at this, but I need to work on it.  High-end retailers offer samples, you just need to ask.  If there is a mini version, buy that first to see if you like the product.  You can always go back for the full-size later.  Also, be familiar with your retailers return policy.  If the product doesn’t work out, can you return it for a refund or store credit?  A little knowledge can go a long way to getting you full value  for your money.

The internet is your friend.  In addition to all the information the web has to offer, you can also find online retailers that offer high-end makeup for less.  One example of this is where you can find brands like Stila, Tarte, The Balm, and more for significant discounts.  Another really good option is QVC, though I personally haven’t gotten anything from them yet.  I have heard that the beauty “Today’s Special Values” are fantastic.  I do know for a fact that they often feature new items online well before they are released in stores.  I know some of you are resistant to buying makeup online, and there are some drawbacks.  It can be hard to get an accurate idea of the specific size or shades of what you are getting.  Shipping costs can sometimes be pretty high.  But there are ways to work around that.  Going back to doing your research, check out swatches online so you don’t have to only rely on the color representations the website offers.  A lot of sites offer free shipping with an order of a certain amount.  Wait until your can make a larger order to take advantage of reduced or free shipping.  If you are willing to work for it, you can find amazing deals online.

Sign up for mailing lists.  I know it’s annoying.  I know.  But there are a lot of sales going on all the time that range from 10%-30% off.  Many companies have friends and family sales or anniversary sales.  You can’t take advantage of these offers if you aren’t aware of them, and you can’t only rely on beauty bloggers to tell you about a sale.  Sign up for email offers.  Like your favorite brands on facebook.  If you are worried about clogging up your inbox, sign up for a separate “public” email address that you use solely for this kind of stuff.  You don’t have to check it every day, but try to check two or three times a week, so you don’t miss out on any special offers.  This is especially true around holidays because you can find the best deals on the products you are interested in if you know what discount each retailer is offering.

It is possible to save money on high-end items.  I hope that this post helped give you some ideas, not only on how to save, but also on how to get the most value for your money.  I still stand by drugstore, but with these tips maybe you can splurge for less on high-end.


About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

4 responses »

  1. This is a great post–fabulous advice! My favorite thing about drugstore makeup (or online purchases) is that I can browse and shop without having to interact with other human beings. But. When I’m interested in buying a high-end item, I find that it really pays to go to the boutique or department store in person to try out the items and get samples. In my heyday of buying expensive makeup, I liked to shop at Nordstrom because you can return anything if it turns out that it doesn’t work for you. This is particularly helpful for foundations, because sometimes they look great under the lighting in the store, but as soon as you head outside, you’ve got clown face. I can’t tell you how many foundations I returned because they were too yellow/orange/pink/pale/what have you.

  2. I always wait for SALES or get value kits like you stated above. That is the ONLY time I buy high end products. I recently got the Tarte down to earth kit which is $49 but would have cost me $90 if I got everything separately.

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