A Free Makeup Haul From an Impromptu Stop at the Store!
I love makeup! As a little girl I was in awe of the fancy bottles and tubes that lined my mother’s vanity. I longed for the day when I could have my own. What I didn’t realize was just how much I would spend to have all of those pretty colors and compacts. We all know there are ways to save on our groceries, but many people still pay full retail for their cosmetics. Whether shopping online, or purchasing in-store, there are always deals if you know where to look. Not only can you have nice makeup on a limited budget, but you really can get a lot for free!
COUPONS AND STACKING
I used to purchase almost everything online to get the best deals. And while you can get great deals combining the methods I will mention shortly, I didn’t realize the opportunities that I was missing for in-store discounts. Even more, I didn’t realize just how much I could actually get for FREE! I knew I could save big on my groceries, but for some reason I never thought about doing the same with my beauty purchases. For the best deals available, no matter what your shopping preference is, stacking multiple discounts is the key! While in-store shopping, almost all stores allow you to use both a manufacturer coupon and also a store coupon for each item. Even stores like Ulta take manufacturer coupons. In addition to the two coupons per item, you can often use special store percent off discounts, or dollar amount discounts, along with them as well. Learning your store’s coupon policy is absolutely essential. Even store associates are not always familiar with their coupon policy, so printing it off online and carrying it with you can prove to be very helpful. Learning the sales cycle of the items you purchase most, can also make sure you are buying the item at it’s lowest price point. Using coupons and discounts in addition to timing your purchases with store sales, will result in amazing savings and free products! I recently purchased $115 of Almay makeup at my local pharmacy. At the end of my transaction, and with all savings methods applied, I only paid $6 out of pocket! I did this by stacking a $4 off Almay manufacturer coupon for each item, a 25% off entire purchase mobile coupon, a $3 off $15 cosmetics store coupon, and timed it all with a “Buy 1 Get 1 50% off in-store sale. High value coupons come out regularly for brands such as WetNWild and Rimmel, that even without store sales can mean getting items totally free.
Free Almay and other FREE Products from a CVS trip
Where To Find Cosmetic Coupons
- Swagbucks–I am listing this site first because of its versatility. It will save you money when buying online and when making in-store purchases. A great feature is that you can also earn quite a bit of money by using it as well. They pay you to use them as your search engine, for doing surveys, trying products and programs for free. They also have exclusive discount offers and cashback. It is free to join, and they offer a variety of ways to actually earn money as well. One of their many features is that they offer free printable manufacturer coupons. Besides having the best coupons available, they also PAY YOU to use them! For every coupon that you redeem at a store, they pay you the equivalent of .10. You would be surprised at how quickly it adds up. All you do is click on the coupon you would like, print, and give them to your sales associate at checkout. Each coupon has your unique member code, and will automatically show in your account. Their cosmetic coupons can be found by clicking the “discover” tab, then “coupons,” then choosing the “Personal Care” category. The “Swagbucks” that you earn can be redeemed for cash through Paypal, or store gift cards. Use them for stores like Ulta and Sephora and get even more makeup for free!
- Your Sunday Paper-Coupon inserts have manufacturer coupons that vary regionally. Getting extra copies when a high dollar coupon comes out, multiplies your savings. Always read the fine print on your coupon. Sometimes a manufacturer will limit the number of “like” coupons you can use in a transaction. If this is the case, you can usually separate your items into multiple transactions per visit. I have friends and family give me all of their unwanted inserts/coupons. Also, in my area, our local convenience store chain gives a half off discount if buying multiple papers. Besides having manufacturer coupons, there are often store coupons found in weekly sales ads. These can be combined with manufacturer coupons and sometimes even with other store discount offers as well.
- Coupon Clipping Services-There are quite a few coupon clipping services available online. I know it sounds strange to pay for coupons, but it is a great way to get coupons in multiples, without the expense of multiple papers. It is also a great way to get coupons that did not come in your regional inserts. While you can print coupons online, most are limited to two prints per computer. It is also against the law to photocopy coupons. When you present a manufacturer’s coupon to a store, they send it in to be reimbursed. If a coupon is a copy, or if you have given a coupon that is expired, they can not redeem them with the manufacturer. My personal favorite clipping service is Coupon DeDe. I have tried several, but her site usually has the best prices, fastest service, and the best coupon inventory available. Ordering from her site generally takes 2-3 days from the time you order until delivery, and typically costs 10% of a coupon’s value. For instance a $1 off coupon will typically cost .10 cents. Even when you pay for high value coupons, it still will save you a great deal of money in the end.
- Mobile Coupons-One of the easiest ways to save money now is by using mobile coupons. These are electronic coupons with nothing to clip, and ready to use by just opening the app on your phone. Just pull up the coupon you would like to use, hand it to your sales associate, who will scan the barcode displayed on your screen. Most stores are now equipped to scan them at the register. However, they also have a written code that the sales associate can enter manually. Most of the mobile coupons I use are for a dollar amount off the total purchase, a percentage off the total purchase, or when stores are offering free products. Stores like Bath and Body Works, Sally Beauty Supply, Sephora, and Ulta, frequently offer great discounts and free products as incentives to shop. Offers change weekly, so make sure you check your apps on a regular basis. There are a lot of free mobile coupon apps, so I will just list the two that I use the most for cosmetic purchases. These two have consistently shown the best offers and most “free” offers of all the apps I have used.
- STORE LOYALTY PROGRAMS-Most stores now offer some sort of loyalty program. Make sure you sign up with all that are available, and at all of the stores that you frequently shop. Some stores like CVS even have a specific “Beauty Club,” which issues exclusive coupons and rewards you for your purchases. CVS gives you $5 for every $50 you spend on any “Beauty” purchases. And in many cases, you can use the rewards and coupons you receive from loyalty programs, combined with all of your other coupons and discounts as well. Make sure you also visit each store’s online site to sign up for their newsletter. I recommend having a separate email address that you use only for these types of programs. Just make sure that you check it often. I receive some of the best discounts through my email.
- FACEBOOK-Most companies now have a Facebook page. Many will offer special discounts and coupons on their pages, or just for “liking” their page or sharing certain “updates.”
I love to shop online, I can shop in my pajamas and I never have to even leave the house! Just as stacking is the key to shopping in-store, it is also the case with making online purchases. My most recent online beauty purchase was from Bath and Body Works. I purchased 12 full sized items that were regularly $12.50. After all discount methods were applied, my final cost was only $26.88. I paid just a bit over the cost of 2, which was like getting 10 items almost for free! I timed an amazing store sale that gave buy 3 get 3 for free, a special temporary markdown, a Coupon Code from RetailMeNot, and then Cashback on my purchase. Combing coupon codes with online cashback, can give you the best deals available.
CASHBACK SITES-I never buy anything online without getting the best cashback available. Cashback sites are free and easy to join and use. Before making an online purchase, just sign in to your account and use the cashback site to click through to the store you are purchasing from. They get paid for driving traffic to stores, and they pass the earnings on to you. They also have exclusive coupon codes and discounts that are not available elsewhere. Cashback percentages vary, and they change often. Each site also has a different list of stores that they work with. I always check to make sure I am getting the best deal available. There are quite a few cashback sites, but these top my list of favorites and have consistently given the best deals.
- TOPCASHBACK-Topcashback has proven to be the best cashback site I have ever used. It has several unique features not found with similar sites. It offers the highest cashback percentage rate guaranteed. It also has special offers where you are reimbursed more than 100% for products. I have gotten everything from Coffee to diapers for free, plus even been paid a bit extra. They also offer “no purchase” offers where they pay you for things like signing up for a store’s newsletter, or trying a program for free. For example, right now they pay you $15 if you try Microsoft’s Azzure program free for a month. You are also paid $10 for every friend that you refer. And since your friends will ask how you are getting all of these products for free, your referrals will add up quickly. The only issue with Topcashback is it takes a bit longer sometimes for cashback to become payable in your account. However, it is worth it as the cashback percentage is often at least double of what other sites are giving, and it will eventually clear.
- BIGCRUMBS– Bigcrumbs was the first cashback site I started using years ago. and is still a favorite. They are also one of the only sites that gives you cashback for Ebay purchases.
- EBATES-Ebates is another cashback site that offers great deals as well as cashback. They also have a great referral program that pays well for helping your friends save too. Right now you get paid $20 for your first referral, $25 for your second, $30 for your third and so on! They have a maximum of $25,000 for paid referrals which is far more than most.
- MR. REBATES–Another great site that has been around for some time. They also offer deals, coupons, cashback, and a referral program.
SUBSCRIPTION BEAUTY BOXES
More and more companies are offering monthly subscription “Beauty Boxes.” Every month you are sent a box with different cosmetics and beauty products. It is a fun way to try new products, and usually for a fraction of what they would normally retail for. Most companies also offer a “cancel at anytime” guarantee, and let you order month by month. Even better, there are usually deals and offers which allow you to get your first box free, at a huge , and some even pay you to try them!! Also, most offer some type of referral system which will give you more free boxes by sharing the savings with your friends.
- GET PAID TO GET A FREE BEAUTY BOX FROM JULEP-What is better than free makeup? Actually getting PAID to get free make-up! Sign up for a free account with SWAGBUCKS. They are offering a deal to get a free Beauty Box from Julep, paying only $4.99 shipping. BUT….When you order your first box using Swagbucks to click through, then entering the code they give you making your box free, Swagbucks will credit your account with 600 Swagbucks which equals $6!!! You will actually be making $1.01 to get nice make-up for free! When you receive your free box, it also comes with a coupon for 50% off your next box as well! Invite your friends and earn even more boxes for free. If you do not wish to receive any more boxes, you can cancel and still keep your free box and the money you made to get it.
- TARGET BEAUTY BOX $5 – Last year, even Target jumped on the beauty box trend. And while they only offer their beauty box sporadically and not yet one on a monthly basis, it is well worth keeping an eye out for it! They offer the entire box with shipping, for only $5! Make sure you use one of the cashback sites I listed above and also check for any available coupon codes, and it makes an even more amazing deal! Not only does the box come with 5 great Beauty Products, it also comes with coupons worth more than what you paid for the entire box. Just one of the products you will receive. retails for more than you paid for them all. They only offer their Beauty Boxes online, and these do sell out quickly. Whenever they become available, I always buy several so I can have one for me, and at least one to keep on hand for a fantastic gift! The photo above was the most recent Target Beauty Box.
- BIRCHBOX– Birchbox has great monthly beauty boxes and a lot of products you can purchase through their site. You can earn points by referring friends which will give you credit on your future purchases and even free boxes. There is a great deal for new Birchbox subscribers that will get you their monthly beauty box for only $7. Sign up with a free account with Ibotta, a free phone up that pays you cash for products you purchase. Click on their “Health and Beauty” category to receive your link for your discount. Use code BB100 at checkout and get a free $10 credit as well!
- GLOSSYBOX– There is a fantastic deal from GlossyBox. For the month of May, you get a free $25 gift card to Bergdorf Goodman which can be used in-store or online, use code INT58RD at checkout, and your box of 6 “luxury sized” beauty products will only cost $17.85!! Refer your friends and get points for more free products.
STORES AND SITES WITH HUGE SAVINGS
- IDEELI– Ideeli is an online store that has sales on luxury items from Prada, to home, to jewelry, to cosmetics. They advertise up to 70% off. However, using their regularly offered coupon codes results in even better savings, and even some for free! They have been issuing coupon codes for $10 off $10 periodically. Their sales change daily and a regular account with them is free. You can upgrade to a paid account which allows you first access to sales. However, even with my free account I have scored some fantastic deals, and using the $10 coupon when it is available, will definitely get you a free cosmetic or beauty item. They offer a lot of nice products from a variety of lines, and they also credit you $25 for each friend you refer who purchases an item.
- GROUPON-Cosmetics and beauty items show up quite a bit on Groupon. From luxury brands to even brands like Maybelline, some really nice offers come up consistently. Groupon regularly has coupon codes available which you can combine with cashback sites like Topcashback for incredible savings.
There are almost always at least some rebates available for beauty items. Even if the rebate is only partial, if you time your purchase with a store sale, or use coupons, even a partial rebate can end up covering your purchase. Many companies also offer product guarantees. If you purchase an item and are not happy with it, they will refund your total purchase price. Because the rebates offered change frequently, it is a good idea to check for them often. You can find available rebates by visiting a company’s website, or performing an online search.
FREE Physicians Formula VaVaVoom Sexy Booster Volume Mascara
- Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Mascara– Purchase a Sexy Booster VaVaVoom Volume Mascara before 11/30/2014 and get a full refund. Just print off the form, follow the instructions, and mail in for your rebate.
- Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Makeup-Rebate for up to 3 products. Time with store sale and can be free or even a moneymaker.
- Physicians Formula BB Makeup– Rebate for up to 3 BB make up products. Time with a store sale and can be free or even a moneymaker!
- FREE MAC LIPSTICK WITH BACK TO MAC– When you return 6 empty MAC product packaging to a MAC counter, get a free MAC lipstick
- FREE SECRET CLINICAL DEODORANT– Receive a free Secret Clinical Deodorant through mail in rebate when you send in 4 Secret Clinical UPC codes.
- NATURAL ESSENTIALS TRY FOR FREE REBATE– Natural Essentials has a “Try For Free” offer where they will refund any purchase up to $9.99 with a mail in rebate.
FREE WITH COUPON
- WETnWILD- WETnWILD has changed a lot over the years and developed some really nice products in their line. While it is still at one of the lowest price points, they have really stepped it up with the products that they now offer. They have also teamed up with celebrities like Fergie to create some fun and trendy additions as well. They regularly offer $1 off coupons in regional Sunday inserts. This means that you can get their eyeliner, nail polish and creamy lipstick totally free at Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart. Dollar General and more. Time your purchase with store sales and store coupons and you can get a lot of nice products from their line.
- RIMMEL- Rimmel also offers $1 off coupons both online and in Sunday inserts regularly. This means that with these coupons you can buy their nail polish for .50 at most stores. Time with store sales and you can get several items free and a lot of items from their line at hardly any cost.
- NYC- They regularly offer manufacturer coupons online for both $1 off one or $1.50 off of 2. Print these coupons off Swagbucks and you can get their nailpolish at Walmart for .50 or time with sales and store coupons to get free. You also will be paid the .10 for each coupon you print and use.
- REVLON– Revlon regularly offers Swagbucks printable coupons and Sunday insert coupons. They typically range from $1-$3 off. This means that you can get their single eyeshadows free at most stores and several products from their line free if you time with sales and other discounts.
- NEUTROGENA– They offer both printable and Sunday insert high value coupons. If you time with Walgreens sales and store coupons, you can get their makeup wipes and several other products free.
- Almay– Almay on occasion offers a high dollar $4 off coupon in regional Sunday inserts. These will get you free makeup remover at several stores. Combine with store sales and their lip balms will be free. If you time your purchase when other store discounts and coupons are available as well, you can get quite a few of their products for free.
PRODUCT TESTING, SAMPLES, AND FREEBIES
My Latest Free Pinch Me Box
- PINCH ME– Pinch Me is a really great program that sends products delivered to your door totally FREE! No credit card, and no subscriptions you need to cancel. Sign up for your free account, fill out your profile, and choose the products you would like to have shipped in your box. It really is that easy and truly is totally free! You can earn extra points for even more products by leaving feedback on what you have tried. This program makes my favorite list, because so far I have been able to choose a make up product in every box. They ship boxes out every few weeks, so make sure you check in to see when the next shipment will be, and what time you can choose your products. The next scheduled shipment is May 27th, 2014 at 12pm EDT.
- TOLUNA– Toluna is a market research site that has a phone app as well as an online site. While it is known mostly for surveys, it offers product testing and makeup is often on the list! Getting to test fun new products before they even hit the market is always fun. Sign up free for an account, fill out the user profiles, and apply for any of the products that you would like to try for free. While you won’t be able to try every product you apply for, keep trying. The more active you are, the more opportunities become available.
- P & G EVERYDAY-Proctor and Gamble is the umbrella company over many different brands. They issue really nice free product boxes seasonally, and also samples you can have sent to your home for free as well. The great thing about getting their boxes and samples is that they come with the best manufacturer coupons available. They also send free full size product vouchers. They have also consistently offered rebates for $15 when you spend $50 on any of their companies.
- SMILEY360– Is a product testing community. Sign up for free to try free products, and share your reviews. Get points for referrals and earn even more opportunities for free products.
- WALGREENS– Their hidden rebate page where you can find deals for free products. Use your rewards card, coupons and other sites and apps like Ibotta to even make money off products.
- TARGET– They have a sample area of their site which always has great beauty samples and even free full sized product deals. They usually come with great coupons as well.
- WALMART– Has a section on their website where you can order free product sample. They change constantly and have consistently offered some really great products which come with really great coupons.