If you wear makeup, you know that buying these products can make quite a dent in your annual budget. In fact, many people were shocked last year when a survey revealed that the average U.S. woman spends about $300,000 on makeup over the course of a lifetime.
After you absorb the astounding sum of that figure, it’s a good time to reconsider what else you could do with $300,000 in your life. Most of us could use an extra $300K, and can think of far more important things to do with it than using it to extend our lashes or brighten our cheeks.
However, the odds of American women suddenly ditching makeup completely and going au naturel are very slim. Most women have a set beauty routine that involves at least some makeup now and then, and it would be a massive cultural shift to forego cosmetics completely.
While you may not be able to cut makeup expenses from your budget entirely, there are ways to reduce the expenses associated with your beauty routine. Check out these quick tips to find cheap makeup.
Avoid Trendy Brands
Although many of us have an affinity for a particular brand of cosmetics, the reality is that changing the brand is not something anyone would probably ever notice. A black mascara from a $3 brand is probably not going to look dramatically different than a black mascara that set you back $30. The odds of anyone noticing the difference when they look at you are infinitesimal, and since most people replace mascara at least quarterly, that’s a difference of about $108 annually between those two price points.
Many brands are simply considered trendy because they are worn and promoted by celebrities, some of whom perform makeup tutorials online. That doesn’t necessarily mean those brands are better or will look on you like they do on the influencers, and you should always investigate cheaper options when you see appealing products advertised.
If You Must Buy THAT Brand, Find Promos, Sales, Coupons
Despite the knowledge that many makeup brands are quite similar to one another—with only the price being different—many Americans are still drawn to a particular brand over another one, either through force of habit or the fact that they prefer the way it feels on their face. If that’s the case in your situation and you strongly believe you must purchase the higher-priced brand of makeup, make sure not to buy it without a coupon, promo code or deal.
For example, stores like Sephora and Ulta maintain exclusive website where they list their deals, coupons and clearance items. In addition, both of these retailers have reward clubs and email lists—joining those will allow you to hear about discounts and sales first. If you see something you like that’s on sale (and better yet, if you can combine that sale with a coupon or promo code), buy as much of the product that you can use before it expires so you won’t have to purchase it again (particularly since you never know when it will go on sale again).
Let Others Aggregate the Best Deals for You
Even if you’re following all of the top makeup brands as often as you can, you’re likely to miss some deals that will allow you to save big on your cosmetics. Fortunately, others are interested in doing that work for you, with several different companies creating websites dedicated to sharing the best cosmetic deals available each week.
For instance, Allure Magazine maintains a website listing each week’s makeup deals. As of this publication date, the weekly sales included discounts on products from Clinique, Sephora, Clarins and other high-end brands.
Likewise, SlickDeals has a similar listing that focuses more on lower-priced cosmetics. As of press time, the weekly listing included deep discounts on brands like L’Oreal, Maybelline and Neutrogena, among many others.
You may want to bookmark these pages, and others like them, on your internet browser so you’re reminded to check them on a regular basis to get the most up-to-date sales information.
In addition, don't forget to keep an eye out for coupons that will give you further discounts on your makeup purchases. These can typically be found in the Sunday paper, mailers and even online.