How to Save Monies While Still Being a Beauty Addict.

by Molly Gardner

One of my most favorite things is opening a new tube of lipstick and seeing the smooth, untouched surface.  Just sitting there, waiting to change my life.  (Not you?  You’re normal?  Congrats, you can skip this paragraph.)

There are few things in life that I love more than new makeup and products.  The hope!  The potential! This is why I laughed the first time I saw the name of Philosophy’s now best-selling face cream “Hope in a Jar.”  The honesty kills me.

This is part of the reason why we buy new things, right?  This will be the lipstick, shampoo, fill in the blank product that will be my beauty holy grail and forever make my life that-much-better/easier/prettier.  I’m a sucker.

Now, I also know that there are “normal” people out there who just buy things because they NEED them, so novel, and I live my life in constant envy of your breeziness.   But for me, I love to see if products stand up to their claims, I love feeling the texture/longevity/pigmentation of new lipsticks, foundations, etc. and I have a feeling that is not going to change any time soon.

Waiting for the moment we can finally be together.

Waiting for the moment we can finally be together.

Like any addict knows, I can rationalize spending almost the entire check on new shiny tubes of hope/makeup.  However, saving some money from every paycheck is also a favorite thing.  Paging Suze Orman, aren’t you proud of me?  So here are my tips on how to try products and also pay your rent on time.

The shame of beauty addiction. Don't look at me.

The shame of beauty addiction. Don’t look at me.

1.  Look for sets.

Companies package products together as “value sets.”  If you look on ulta or sephora, or at your local beauty store, you can usually find a limited edition set that will have a few products in it.  Benefit used to put out a lot of these, they were usually under $40, had mostly full sized products, and had a retail value of over $80.

Sephora has whole pages dedicated to sets, both makeup and skincare.  These are an awesome way to try products you might not have tried from a company that you already love.

Ulta has one Benefit set available right now “The Pretty Committee”, I bought it last year because I had been wanting to get the Bella Bamba blush after a makeup artist used it on me.  (It gave my skin an other-wordly glow.)  In this set you can try a travel size High Beam, my holy grail product, as well as a full size eye primer (something I never would have bought on its own), and the Eye Bright pencil (which I needed to replace as I’d used my other one down to a stub).

2:  Join the club.

If a store has a beauty club, join it, like, as fast as you can.  Sephora has an insider program, Ulta just revamped their rewards program, CVS has a beauty club that gives you $5 in “extrabucks” (CVS cash) for every $50 you spend.  Sephora and Ulta’s program gives you birthday gifts.  Ulta’s new program gives you points with every purchase that translate into dollars off your next purchase.  Beauty Collection in West Hollywood gives you 10% of whatever you spent in a coupon to use on your next purchase.  Julep nail polishes have a “maven” program that gives you free shipping and 20% off every purchase.  This program does send a box every month, but you can opt out of the box, and just buy what you want from their website if you are picky like me.

Thank you, Sephora, for my birthday gift!

Thank you, Sephora, for my birthday gift!

3:  Coups.

Buy a Sunday paper, go through the coupon fliers, and actually use the coupons.  Is this glamorous advice?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Using coupons does not feel glamorous, I will give you that.  But having money in your bank account because of coupons?  Glamorous.  Put them in your wallet so you’ll actually use them.  The other day I went to CVS with my extrabucks and coupons.  CVS had given me $12 in extra bucks, a 30% off my whole purchase coupon, and I had two coups from the sunday paper.  I bought Revlon eyeliner and L’oreal lipgloss.  My total should have been $21 and instead I paid $1.50.  Even I was surprised my that one.  They add up fast.  We never think we’re spending as much as we are, and then David Suliteanu, the CEO of Sephora, is knocking on your door to personally thank you for funding his second beach house in Bali.

I hope you're happy, David.

I hope you’re happy, David.

4.  Want your own beach house?  Trade products.

We all have a drawer of products that do not work for us, that we spent our hard-earned monies on.  Give them to your friends.  You got a for oily skin in a kit, but have dry skin that itches even thinking about salicylic acid?  Give it to your friend.  Seriously.  At least twice a year, go through your products.  If you haven’t used it in six months, put it in the giveaway bag.  Do not be a hoarder.  Think about how much your friends will love it and then let it go.  The other night, I went to a party at my friend’s house and she gave me a box, I repeat, a BOX, filled with products.  I haven’t stopped shaking yet.  That same night another friend told me she’d been putting makeup aside for me too, and just remembered.  It was also filled with Heaven.  But guess what?  Even within those boxes, there were products that didn’t work for me, so I added them to my own giveaway bag.  Tell your friends you have a give away bag to see who wants it, trade within the same group of friends if you are all beauty obsessed, ask on facebook who wants your giveaway bag, whatever.  Just keep it moving.

I have amazing friends.

I have amazing friends.

5.  Buy your makeup during a “Gift With Purchase.”

I have tried so many amazing creams that I wouldn’t normally buy for myself, Hello, Creme de la Mer, from department store gifts with purchase.  Neiman Marcus had an amazing one, see Creme de la Mer above, that also included a gorgeous Bobby Brown blush, and a ton of other crazy awesome products. just had an amazing promotion, if you spent $100 they sent you a beauty bag filled with products.  I bought two Vapour Organic Foundations (will review soon) and a POP nail polish and they sent this cute leopard print clutch filled with samples and a full size Boots Tinted Moisturizer and a full size Stila eyeliner.  One of my fav beauty bags so far.  Ulta has a “21 days of Beauty” promotion they run once or twice a year with crazy deals.  My point being, if you wait to buy your Lancome mascara until a gift with purchase time, then you will get to try some amazing stuff and you might find a new product winner.  Patience is your friend.

Ulta "21 Days of Beauty" score. Butter London nail polishes, buy one get one free. The joy in my eyes. Oy.

Ulta “21 Days of Beauty” score. Butter London nail polishes, buy one get one free. The joy in my eyes. Oy.


6.  Use People.

To be clear, I’m not telling you to be a people user.  Gross.  I am telling to you use people’s knowledge, however. Before you buy, ask questions.  Do you think this is the right cleanser, toner, foundation, shade of eyeshadow for me?  Any beauty store, big or small, will have consultants that are usually really well informed on most of their products.  Sephora will even make you a sample to take home, so you can make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.  Even at Target and CVS, they generally have a few testers out.  Btw, don’t be the jerk who opens the product that isn’t a tester.  Would you want to buy a lipstick that somebody put all over their crusty stranger lips?  No?  Me either.  So don’t be the crusty-lipped jerk.  But do try the ones they provide testers for.  It’ll save you time and money trying to match the right shades.

Look, it's you and all your monies!

Look, it’s you and all your monies!

I hope this post helps you!  You can follow me on Instagram, user name: girlgetglamorous.  As always, thank you for reading!  Feel free to share this post on your facebook wall, twitter, or email to friends you think might like it.  You can also subscribe by entering your email in the subscription box above.  I appreciate your support!

xoxo – Girl Get Glamorous

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