Friday, 13 May 2011

How To Save Money On Makeup

After reading Jennie and Alyse's posts about how much their makeup costs, it really made me think about how much I spend every year sustaining my Clinique and Benefit makeup and skincare habits, neither being particularly cheap brands, and both being where almost every single thing in my makeup bag and bathroom cabinet is from. I currently use £389.15 worth of products on a daily basis. This is a figure that needs some serious thinking about. 

I thought about it for a bit, and there is no way I'm going to be giving any of my favourite products up for cheaper options any time soon, but there are some smart shopping tips I can employ to help save a bit of money on what I do buy. 
Bonus Time

If you buy products in Clinique, you can utilise their bonus time feature they run in all of the big department stores where they are stocked. I know Estee Lauder and Lancome run this sort of promotion too. When you buy any two products, you get a free makeup bag filled with lots of Clinique sample sized products. Popular in these are eyeshadows, lipsticks and samples of their cult High Impact mascara. This is the black mascara I use, so it means that I have to buy it less often having so many samples, and I can also always carry one around in my handbag for touch ups when I go out. All of the products and tools int he picture above I have received via bonus time. I have never, ever had to buy a eye tool, I have been using 7 Day Scrub for about 3 years and I've only ever paid for one tube, and I have been using Moisture Surge for about 2 years now and I have only just bought my first ever full sized pot. *edit* (16/05/11) You can find out which stores are running Bonus Time in the next few months on the Clinique website
Promotional Codes

Make sure you sign up to the mailing lists of all your favourite brands so you don't miss out on any of their promotions or money off codes they may be running. I love Benefit, and they hardly ever give out any samples, so I always try to buy my products when I know there is an offer on. On my last order I took advantage of the free shipping throughout April and the 15% off Royal Wedding discount code, both of which I found out about from being on the Benefit mailing list. 
Magazine Samples

Buying magazines just because they happen to have a free gift with them is stupid, and will do nothing to save you money unless you actually want to try the product on offer, but be sure to look out for when your favourite products come as free samples. Even if you don't actually read the magazine, the sample is usually worth more than the actual title. In the picture is a full sized Clinique Superbalm, and the same gloss as a sample I got with Elle magazine. Smaller, but still does the job. The big tube cost £13, and the magazine cost £4.50. I've also had Clinique samples with Glamour magazine in the past, and Glamour only costs £2 - they have some great gifts throughout the year including products from Benefit and full sized Nails Inc. polishes at Christmas. 
Saving Empty Packaging

Above you can see the MAC lipstick I use almost every single day (satin in 'Brave') and the eyeliner I'd almost be lost without. I get through loads of these. You can also see my favourite red MAC lipstick (satin in 'Captive') which I got for free. I did this by collecting 

Lush also do something similar when if you bring back 5 clean Lush pots they'll give you a free Fresh Face mask. 
Duty Free

Though this one is a bit of a no brainer, stock up on your favourite products at duty free where they will be cheaper. Also, many brands do duty free special product bundles where you'll make even more savings. This sample stack of my Clinique Moisture Surge face cream and All About Eyes eye cream, as well as this All About Eyes serum under eye roll on came with my full sized Moisture Surge as a special bundle, and I saved about £30 pounds on product. 
Collecting Samples

They may be small, and you may only be able to use them once, but collecting sample sachets of your favourite products from the makeup counter is also a great way of getting to try new products without having to spend money on them, and to get small amounts of your staples to take with you in your handbag or when you're traveling. 

What are your tips for saving money on high end brands?


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  2. Great post, Rachel. I also try to take advantage of the cosmetic promotional deals in department stores. A lot of the time, though, I am less inclined to use what I got. Clinique always hands out their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion in my area (which I can't use because of my acne).

    I should total up my skincare/shower products, too. I bet I'm right up there with you in terms of worth. :p

  3. That's a really good idea, I actually have that benefit plum mascara too but it's not that effective on me because the brush is really fat lol.

  4. Lovely post :) Really funny we do the same stuff with Clinique and Estée Lauder samples, hahaa! :D I'm a huge Clinique fan, so I always buy two things at a time to get their goodiebags. I love it!

  5. I used to buy two staples from Biotherm and I always waited unti they had a promo wiht a bag full of deluxe samples as well! Also, my boyfriend like Clarins for Men, so I try to do the same with its products, even though Clarins is sometimes hit and miss.

    As for magazine freebies, they can be really great, especially with Glamour, as the mag is only £2. I don't really like InStyle or Marie Claire, but if a great freebie is up for grab (like the Nails Inc one right now), I will go for it.

    By the way, the InStyle mag right now with the Nails inc is really boring!It's great for them they included a freebie, otherwise, totally not worth £3,70!)

  6. Thank you !
    Oh I love magazine samples ;p
    haha, sometimes it's the only reason why I buy a magazine x)

  7. This is a great post! I especially love when magazines give away products, I'm always there buying lots of them hehe xo

  8. Great post! Very helpful!

    I always try to hold out for bonus time with my Clarins products! I also ask the makeup counters (Chanel in my case) if they have any promotions such as 10% off coming up and pencil it in my calendar/diary!

    Not something you want to hear when it's close to Summer but I always stock up on my perfumes on Boxing Day sales when they have HUGE reductions on gift sets in Debenhams/House of Fraser! If I go on holiday I buy from Duty Free as well :)

    I love it when magazines give away samples...I have a little box full of them!


  9. I love the samples magazines give, I bought Glamour yesterday, and got a free Clinique tinted moisturiser sample :) xx

  10. We so love cosmetics:)

  11. Some great tips here!
    I am an Avon rep and I usually buy samples of lipstick to take on nights out instead of buying loads of big ones!

  12. Love this post! I hardly ever spend money on brand new products, and these are some great little tips! x

  13. Brilliant tips, I'll be mentally installing these. I hate to think how much money I spend on make-up... x

  14. Really great post hun! Who doesn't love to save on makeup?

  15. it's very useful post. now i have food for thoughts.

  16. This post is so helpful :) Great tips! xxx

  17. This is a fab post! It's quite scary to see the cost of even just the cost of products you use on a regular basis,let along the drawer full of stuff I've tried out and disguarded!

    I definitely need to sign up for more mailing lists pronto!

  18. im always stocking up in duty free!!!

    its guilt free shopping for me lol!!


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  19. Clinique bonus time is my favourite kind of time :)
    It would be mine

  20. love this post, just linked to it! i got some free body shop butter in a magazine this week, gotta love the freebies xx
    Ella @ Belle Vintage

  21. great tips! thanks for sharing!

    and thank you for visiting and commenting my blog, :D



  22. Great post, I forget about the bonuses when you buy a few products at once. I take full advantage of their samples, I got a Clinique tinted moisturiser recently, and it lasted me 3 or 4 uses!
    Sirens and Bells xx

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  29. Well that's a pretty good observation. I do utilize clinique bonus time offers and i'm just waiting for the upcoming offer i.e Lord & Taylor Clinique Bonus Fundraiser. The gift set includes Bamboo Pink Longlast Lipstick, Twilight Nude Lipstick, High Impact Mascara, 7 Day Scrub, All About Eye Serum, + 2 Cosmetic Bags. Isn't it great...!! :)