Did you know that the average American woman spends $15,000 on make-up over the course of a lifetime? If you add in shampoos, conditioners, and other basic beauty and grooming products, it’s easy to see how making sure you look your best – or even just presentable – can add up to a major chunk of your household budget.
With this in mind, it’s worth seeing how you can make savings on your essential make-up and beauty products. This doesn’t have to mean compromising or going about looking dowdy and un-styled. After all, if you’re not looking your best, it’s going to affect your confidence and mood, and chances are you’ll end up spending more money on other things to make you feel better. Cutting back on beauty essentials is a false economy. However, there are still ways that you can save money without letting your carefully worked out beauty regime slip.
Do your research
Perhaps the most important advice is to shop around to make sure you get the best deal. Who hasn’t bought the latest beauty product only to find it on sale cheaper somewhere else the next day? The beauty retail business is extremely competitive, and the big stores and companies are constantly watching their competitors to make sure they’re not being undercut. The trick is to make these price wars work to your advantage.
Going online is a great way to compare prices without having to tire yourself out walking from one store to another and taking notes. There are also review and comparison sites that do the hard work for you. Some will even compare ingredients. Particular products are often sold at reduced prices at certain times; for instance, it’s cheaper to stock up on sunscreen once summer’s over, while certain types of make-up will also be more expensive or cheaper at certain times of year. Think ahead and stay one step ahead of the crowds.
Use your local drugstore
The make-up counters at the big department stores are all attractively laid out, with perfectly presented assistants waiting to sell you top-of-the-range products – at top-of-the-range prices. In actual fact, however, the cheaper products on offer at your local drugstore are probably made with exactly the same ingredients, and even by the same multinational company, trading through a subsidiary. At the department store, you pay more for the designer name and the luxury packaging, but sometimes this can actually be a worse deal. For instance, glass jars may look fancy, but they often can’t keep beneficial ingredients stable. Squeeze tubes are actually a better option, even if they look cheaper.
Beauty product websites often sell items much cheaper than bricks-and-mortar stores as they obviously have fewer overheads to consider. Of course, you have to factor in shipping costs, but free delivery is becoming increasingly common, and there are many coupons and promo codes available. Another advantage is that you can shop around to find the best online stores from the comfort and safety of your own home, 24/7. Free samples and special deals are often available when you buy another product, or even through submitting a customer review.
Choose what’s best for you
There’s no point in buying the cheapest product available if it doesn’t work for you; you’ll just end up spending more money trying to correct the problems. Find what works for you and get it at the best price you can, then stick with it. Avoid gimmicky products; the novelty may be appealing, but it’s probably just there to disguise poor value for money. Don’t be sucked in by flash advertising or scripted TV “infomercials”, and be careful of offers that seem too good to be true – they usually are! Similarly, “daily deals” at a spa or a salon may sound tempting, but factor in the hidden costs such as getting there and any strings that may be attached. Phone them first and get a feel for the place; if the assistants sound bored or rude, then maybe give it a wide berth.
There are many ways to save money on essential beauty products, but really it comes down to shopping around for the best deals and looking beyond presentation and packaging. Even dollar stores can be good for basics such as bobby pins, scrunchies, and applicators. Take advantage of discount cards, coupons, and free samples, try before you buy, and remember that the only thing that’s important is that it makes you look good and feel good – not the name on the jar in the cabinet back home.