Anyone who knows me knows that I am a beauty junkie. I like to experiment and find high-end brands to work just as good as the drugstore brands. Try as I might, not all drugstore brands work as well for me. Sometimes I spend more for a few high-end products.
But, you know me. I find a way to save in everything!
If I were to look at where I purchased the majority of my beauty products from last year, Ulta would win out with Sephora being a close second. I like that I can order online from both places if I'm running low and can't make a trip. But honestly half the “fun” for purchasing beauty products (for me) is being in-store so I don't order online too often.
Ulta is one of the only stores I've found that carries my favorite line of hair products, Kenra. I used to order from Folica.com but they are no longer allowed to sell Kenra products online. Note: sometimes manufacturers prevent sales online to help the brick & mortar retailers sell more which is annoying to someone who likes to purchase exclusively online.
Coupons and Rewards Programs
Ulta offers store coupons but sadly you cannot use those coupons on these name-brand products. You CAN use manufacturer coupons at Ulta though. Many people aren't aware of that.
Also, Ulta offers a rewards program so you earn for your purchases and you CAN use the rewards credits towards your name-brand product purchases! It's a small way I can get a small return for my beauty rewards.
I've mentioned the Sephora Beauty Insiders Program before. I absolutely love it!! Since all of the products at Sephora are high-end brands, there aren't coupons available on specific items.
Of course there are always different online coupons available for your online purchases at any store, including beauty-focused stores including Ulta, Sephora, Folica and department stores. Check our online coupon code page before you finalize your purchase to see if you can save.
Of course, the drugstores offer lots of reward with cosmetics products too. That's a great way to try products super cheap or even free! You can find all those sales with suggested coupons to use on our Weekly Sales page.
Free Gift with Purchase
When it comes to cosmetics products, I purchase equally from Ulta and Sephora. I rarely purchase cosmetics products in a department store unless I am getting a refill on my Mac foundation. Other than my base of foundation, I purchase lots of different brands including drugstore brands.
I like that Ulta seems to offer more “free gifts with purchase” so I try to time my purchases around those :) I'll admit, I also tend to try more brands because of those free gifts.
Many high-end brands also own a drugstore brand. The formulations are nearly identical when you look at the ingredients. I've shared before but one of my favorite drugstore mascara is Maybelline Falsies. I personally LOVE Diorshow and Tarte mascara which run $18-$25. Falsies is around $6, or even less when they have a coupon available!
Check out my friend Jenny's posts on makeup and drugstore brands she loves. There have been several drugstore dupes I've tried directly because of her posts.
Also, somewhat related to all of this, I have just started to use coconut oil for my moisturizer. I've tried SO MANY brands of moisturizer (from $5 – $100 a bottle) to find something that works well with my combination skin. I also want to start to minimize the wrinkles. While it is too early to tell if this is working entirely, I feel like it is helping somewhat so I'm sticking with it.
I purchase my coconut oil for cooking and skincare at Vitacost. You can get a 54-ounce container for just $22. I have one jar that I leave in the bathroom just for skincare use. You can get a $10 off $30 Vitacost purchase coupon when you sign up here.
If you're a member at Costco, the same container runs around $17 so purchase there instead for a better price. Some Costco stores don't carry coconut oil at all so keep that in mind.
I also purchase these skincare products directly from Vitacost:
Finally, not skincare related but I purchase this pure Moroccon oil from Vitacost. I use it daily as it helps strengthen my hair and I believe it's making it grow (so does my hair stylist). I haven't seen this brand available in-store anywhere so I have to purchase online.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways that you can save on beauty products, whether they are high-end or a drugstore brand. I'd love to hear what your favorite brands and products are and how you go about saving money with your purchases. Please leave a comment and share!