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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?