The average woman spends $313 a month on everything from haircuts to razors. But if you enjoy your beauty routines, you shouldn’t have to cut them out of your budget altogether! Using the best tricks to save here and there will help you hold onto your hard-earned cash while still finding excellent products. After talking to experts, we uncovered the best ways to do just that while spending less.
Nab 50 percent off makeup.
According to Heather Lovett, money-saving expert at Deal News, you should always track special deals on beauty products held by department stores. “It may seem like high-end cosmetics never go on sale, but most department stores offer special events where you can score them for a steal!” she says. “For example, at Macy holds a biannual 10 Days of Glam sale (this year, it was held from October 15 to 24), during which you can save 50 percent on select products and get free shipping on daily beauty offers. To find similar events at Nordstrom, visit Nordstrom’s beauty deals.”
Snag salon discounts on this site.
If you want to see deals across the internet (and not just on one department store website), Yelp is the way to go. That’s the buzz from our First for Women reader Vivian Cook, an aesthetician in San Diego. “Yelp is not only a great way to read business reviews, but you can also find deals,” she says. “For instance, if you’re looking for a haircut, search the site using keywords like ‘hair salon women,’ then under the filters tab, select ‘Offering a deal’ — all the places with deals will pop up. Each business’s page will have a green tab that says something like ‘$20 for $40 worth of services.’ Just click the link!”
Use your FSA money.
Don’t let those FSA funds go to waste! “Many shoppers aren’t aware, but you can buy health-related items like antidandruff shampoo, sunblock, eczema lotion and acne face wash using your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), taxfree, which can add up to big savings,” says Gina Calloway, beauty blogger at Fear No Beauty. “Check out the FSA online store and click on the homepage’s ‘Personal Care’ tab. You’d be surprised to see how many things are eligible!”
Click here to pay less on toiletries and beauty products.
“I bought my favorite argan oil shampoo and conditioner for $20 a bottle at Walmart, until I found them both for as low as $13 on Amazon,” reveals Kinsey Schofield, a news anchor in New Orleans. “And when I clicked on the beauty department page’s ‘Sales & Special Offers’ tab, I found coupons for 20 percent off Aquaphor and Degree deodorant. I got another 15 percent off items I use regularly by using their Subscribe & Save program to set up an auto-delivery schedule.”
Shop brands that nix the pink tax.
“Certain brands are making serious strides towards defying the ‘pink tax’ — personal care items marked up simply because they are marketed to women,” Lovett explains. “For instance, Billie is a well-known razor brand designed for women that costs the same as men’s razors — about $10 for a five-blade razor and two extra cartridges, whereas at the drugstore, a similar razor set might cost $14. the online wholesale store Boxed also sells many personal care products for women labeled as pink tax–free, so you can shop knowing you’re getting a fair price.”
Use an app for cash back and more.
“My beauty-savings secret? I use Swagbucks, a coupon, cash back and paid survey app, to get up to 30 percent cash back when I shop my favorite makeup stores like Sephora,” shares Bonnie K., a money-saving blogger at Sweet Money Bee. “The app also allows you to accumulate points on your online purchases, as well as by just surfing the web, taking quick daily survey polls with beauty-related questions and watching videos. Those points then get converted into cash rewards or free gift cards. In fact, I just scored a $50 gift card to Sephora just by doing this!”
Check the ‘dupe list’ for low-cost beauty products.
“I go through makeup fast, so I search sites like Temptalia for dupes, affordable drugstore alternatives (with similar shades, performance and ingredients) to high-end cosmetics,” says Molly Thompson-Tubridy, a makeup artist in New York City. “I just input the name of the product I want and the site shows me the dupes, their price and where I can buy them!”
Score free spa treatments.
“Facial product brands and makeup lines often send makeup artists and aestheticians to well-established spas and salons to teach stylists about new techniques and products,” reveals Gina Layland, a manager at Harrah’s Spa in San Clementine, CA. “Visiting experts will often choose volunteers to perform treatments for demonstrations, and sometimes the spa’s staff will offer things like mini services for free during the event, as well as hand out free samples. The best ways to stay informed about upcoming events hosted by your favorite salons and spas is to visit their website or ask to be put on their event mailing lists.”
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.