1. Take advantage of samples.
Sephora lets you choose three samples when you order stuff online so I like taking this time to try new products like perfume or foundation or cleansers. I’m sure others do something similar. And there are always magazine samples, too! Sometimes Sephora will even let you take home a sample if they do your make up in the store.
2. Compare prices (and reviews) on Amazon or at local stores.
Sometimes I find a perfume or mascara that I really love but am not sure I want to pay a lot of money for so I Google the brand to see who else carries it and if the price is better. If it’s something that I’ve never used before, I rely on reviews to help me (but not necessarily the same reviews from the same store).
Look for clearance sales!
3. Use RetailMeNot!
I don’t know why more people don’t use this site but more often than not if you type in the store that you are shopping at, there’s some type of deal or discount happening that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
4. Ask for gift cards at holidays and for birthdays.
Because I love Sephora but can only afford things under $20, it’s cool when my relatives and in-laws get me gift cards because I have the chance to make my money go farther. But then I’m also more careful because I don’t want to spend $20 on lipgloss.
5. Shop when you can but always go to the same store so you get rewards.
I think I have like 1500 Sephora points which, unfortunately, means I have spent about $1500 in the past four years with them. You can exchange points for travel or full sized items like lotions, face masks, lipstick, moisturizer, etc. which is really neat. As part of their rewards program, you also get a free gift for your birthday!
6. Borrow from a friend.
In high school, my friend would do my make up all the time because I didn’t have a clue about what looked good. Whenever I had a date or special event she would let me come over and borrow her stuff because I didn’t have the money to buy anything other than lipgloss and maybe eye shadow. I never knew about foundation and smoky eye tricks or cover up until she showed me!
7. Choose cheaper brands with the same features (i.e. organic or brush style).
If you like organic make up and there are stores where you want to buy stuff because they’re know for their organic stuff, take a step back and try stores like Target or Walmart. These days, a lot of stores and pharmacies carry organic cosmetics at a price that won’t break the bank! I tried Physician’s Formula bronzer pad once and it was only $10.
I also loved the mascara by Lancome but it was $30. I had a gift card the first time I tried it and when it ran out I was sad so I just looked for a cheap mascara that had the same style brush and found one at a supermarket for $7! Since I care about lengthening my eyelashes that was the most important feature. I could cake on extra layers for a darker look.
8. Buy two products to do the job of one.
I was looking for a blush that was less ‘showy’ when I started working so I bought a brown one but it looked too dark for my face. I kept searching Sephora for a nice blend of pink and brown that would make me look better but never did. Their browns are too brown for my skin tone and I didn’t want a bronzer. So I bought a cheaper bronzer with light tones and mixed it with the pink one I already had at home. No point in spending tons of money if you can’t find what you’re looking for!
9. Wash your face daily so each product is able to do its job.
This one is a must for life! If you don’t wash your face, whatever you put on the next day won’t work as well and you put yourself at risk for acne and other blemishes. I don’t like spending money on acne coverups.
10. Mix & Match!
If you must have that expensive mascara, because you think it completes your look then go for it! And just shop the next best thing for your other cosmetic products like eyeliner and blush and foundation. And remember that most expensive doesn’t always mean best quality so try different things and see what you actually like. Something that’s not brand name could surprise you!