Money Saving Tips for Makeup Junkies on a Budget

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Makeup is so expensive nowadays; even drugstore brands are beginning to compete with department store brands, raising the quality of their products and the prices right along with it. Even though that gorgeous little single eyeshadow pigment you saw on the shelf said $4.99 on the tag, you happened to spot 9 more pretty shades and boom! Here comes a bill totaling over $50, just for eyeshadows! Not to mention there are now some drugstore foundations that retail over $10, lipstick prices are starting to move beyond the $5 and under mark they used to be, and drugstore setting sprays like the L’Oréal Infallible makeup setting spray are nearly $20!

Inflation is a drag, ain’t it?

Whether you are a makeup enthusiast, beauty blogger, or makeup artist, you know it’s mad easy to spend up a lot of money on your craft/hobby (or addiction. Let’s be honest.) and when you’re paying full price for almost everything, rarely taking advantage of sales, don’t know where to look for good deals, or just being totally impulsive, your end balance can rack up a total that’ll make your eyes bulge and your stomach sink.

If you have these common issues, and if you’re a beauty lover on a budget, these money saving tips are going to be life savers for you. I’m always for a good deal. Frugality is my middle name! So here at Rose Gold Pearls you’ll always have the assurance that I’m going to offer you what’s the best bang for your buck! Here’s how you can save more money on makeup.

Shop discount stores 

You wouldn’t believe how many deals you can score in stores you probably never thought carried good makeup! Places like Marshals, TJMAXX, Nordstrom Rack, and even some online shopping sites like Mercari carry makeup, skin care, hair care, and bath and body products for really impressive prices! I often find deals for 40% off or more! I’ve found brands like L’Oréal, NYX, Clinique, The Body Shop and even really high end brands like  Bobbi Brown, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Caudalie in these stores. For instance Nordstrom Rack carries a very impressive range of beauty products in my opinion. I’ve found items that are sold at Sephora and Nordstrom (of course) in there.

I’ve scored some really nice things at TJMAXX plenty of times!

save money on makeup at discount stores like tjmaxx
Check out how cool these prices are!!

save money on high end makeup at tjmaxx

discounted anastasia beverly hills lip gloss at tjmaxx
This gloss was only $10!

Depending on where you go, you may have to do a little digging. Sometimes the items are random, people may have left a few things open, and they might even be a bit damaged. But in my experience I find some great things for great prices! There’s also plenty of options in the hair care, bath and body, and skin care categories. Sometimes the skin care and bath + body sections are my favorite. I usually find plenty of gems over there.

Join rewards programs

lancome elite rewards program benefitsurban decay beauty junkies rewards program

elf rewards membership program tiers
You will save so much money when you join beauty company’s rewards programs. Not only do they constantly offer great discounts and sales straight to your inbox, but they also have points systems where you’re entitled to a certain gift or gifts after making specific purchases or afte you’ve spent a certain amount if money.

Take advantage of free samples

Grab all the free samples you can get ladies! They’re free for a reason. Sadly a lot of people don’t really take advantage of them. Sephora gives out three free samples on most beauty products, whether you’re buying anything or not. Except, this only applies in-store. Online, you’ll have to add your free samples to checkout, but you get to choose what you want to try. Unlike Ulta, where samples are given from a certain category at random.

I ALWAYS make sure I get a sample from Sephora before I commit to buying a product, given how expensive the brands in the store are. I’d hate to waste $30+ on a product that ends up being disappointing.

Always be on the lookout for good sales/deals

in store and online sales

I make it a habit to (almost) never buy a thing unless it’s on sale or have a promo code or coupon for it. Just because it is brand new and hyped up doesn’t mean you have to have it right this second! Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have a negative balance in your bank account after that impulse buy.

Don’t be so quick to buy brand new releases 

Like I just said, just because it is brand new and being super hyped up does not mean you need to rush out and buy it. Give yourself a chance to see other peoples reviews on it. Check it out in person a few times and do some samples too if you can. Wait a little while and if it’s still playing on your mind, go ahead and treat yourself!

Personally, I almost never buy new releases because I know that they are going to mark the price down considerably and either put it on sale or start distributing it in the discount stores.

For instance, I remember back when Gwen Stefani’s collaboration with Urban Decay was booming. The biggest uproar was about the eyeshadow palette which retailed for a little above $50. That released December 2015.

I remember how pretty that palette looked. I wanted it but I couldn’t afford to spend $50 on eyeshadow at the time. Well in summer 2016 it was right there on the Nordstrom Rack shelves selling for $25! The other products in the GwenxUD collection were selling considerably lower than they originally retailed for too. I imagined how much I would’ve kicked myself if I had spent the original price on that palette, only to see it marked down so much a few months later. I’ve still never bought the palette; after searching in person I wasn’t impressed with the chalky texture and minimal color payoff. Even all the gurus were hardly talking about it anymore, and the reviews I saw weren’t 5 star either.

Moral of the story is, I’m sure you’ll find that really hyped and expensive makeup product for much less money after you give it a little time.

Adopt a more minimalist approach

minimalist makeup
This money saving tip is a no brained, and is something you probably don’t wanna hear: as tempting as it may be, DO NOT overspend on makeup! It’s just not worth it. Plus, it’s not gonna be very fun having a huge supply of makeup (which half you probably won’t end up using anyway) but no money for groceries or that Drake concert, right?

When I say take a minimalist approach, I mean stick to your favorites! Buy items that you know and love and stick to them. If you’re still trying to figure out what your favorites are, don’t just buy a whole bunch of stuff just because it caught your eye. Do your research. Ask industry experts questions. Get free samples and try them at home. Keep inventory of how much stuff you have in each category. I doubt you need to buy another red lipstick if you already have 10 more in your makeup drawer, or the exact same hue.

Also, go through your collection regularly and get rid of things that are old or didn’t work for you. Give them away, toss them in the trash, donate them to charity, resell it, the possibilities are endless! If you keep your makeup collection to a minimum of basic essentials and absolute favorites, you’ll naturally be inclined to spend less money because you no longer feel void of anything.

Related: Top 10 List of Makeup Products For Minimalists


Shop with Ebates

I’ve written an entire blog post on how and why I use Ebates. It’s in my humble opinion, the BEST cash rebates app on the scene right nw. They’re partnered with thousands of retailers including Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, high end department stores like Nordstrom and Barney’s, and more!

They have options for you to shop both online and in-store. When I plan on making a beauty purchase online, I always check my Ebates app to make sure I don’t miss any sales or coupon codes I can use to either save more money or add more makeup to my cart for free. Having the browser extension really comes in handy, too.

Ebates is so cool, that they’ll actually pay you $10 just for signing up and spending your first $25 through one of their partnered retailers. Plan on doing  a little makeup haul online? Make sure you do it through Ebates and get your $10, along with any freebies or coupons you can find!


Q&A Time!

Let’s start a convo in the comments section by answering these questions:

  1. What are your methods for saving money on beauty products?
  2. What’s your favorite place to shop for the best deals and sales?
  3. What are your favorite cashback/rebates apps to help you save more AND earn more at the same time?

1 Comment

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