The average American spends $707 a year on beauty products — and that doesn’t include salon visits or spa treatments! Here, are eight pro tips to help you feel beautiful without breaking the bank.
Best Makeup Dupes
Nab “dupes” of pricey cosmetics
“A little-known secret? Some makeup brands create duplicates of high-end products that are alike in almost every way except for the price. To find that bargain, Google the brand name of the product you want and the word ‘dupes.’ Or you can search Findation for low-cost brands that make foundations in the same shade as pricier brands.” — Sandy Taylor, makeup expert at Foundation Fairy
Can You Return Used Makeup
Save your receipts.
“Many women I work with report having drawers full of foundations and lipsticks that are the wrong shades. What they don’t know: If you have the receipt and packaging, you can get a refund on products — even if you’ve used them! — from places like Target, CVS or Kohl’s if requested within the store’s return window!” —Jennifer Trotter, makeup artist and owner of Lip Service Makeup
Best Day For Haircut
Get midweek haircuts for 50 percent off.
“Most salons offer great deals if you come in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays, since these are their slowest times and they need the customers. I’ve seen prices cut by 50 percent! Another way to save: Opt for a dry cut. It’s just as good as a wet cut, but it’s often cheaper since the salon doesn’t have to factor in the cost of shampoo or a blowout to the overall price.” — Kristie Glenn, owner of Blue Labels Boutique
Best Shopping App
Use an app to pinpoint bargains.
“Who wants to hit up three stores to save $1 on hair spray? I let an app do the work for me. With the Basket app, when you search for specific products, it lists the prices they’re being sold for at different stores — you can plan your shopping run based on their list. And the Flipp app has a feature where you select items and input them on a shopping list to find local deals — it even pairs them with coupons.”
— Vivian Cook, money-saving expert at Sight Commerce
Ask for a deal via phone or email.
“Often, a salon will do everything in their power to get you in the door. The best way to find out what they’re willing to do: Simply call them or send them an email and ask for a deal! Tell them you were interested in certain services, but wanted to check if there were any specials available. Sometimes, they’ll offer you a discount or, better yet, they may throw in a free conditioning treatment or a manicure to make it worth your while!” — Vivian Cook
Hit up ‘happy hours’ at new salons.
“During a new salon or spa’s first few weeks or months in business, they tend to run promotions as a way to drum up business. The best savings can usually be found at happy hour, where they will offer savings like, ‘come in on Mondays after 4 PM and get a manicure and pedicure for $20,’ or ‘50 percent off waxing after 6 PM.’ Also, new salons will sometimes offer customers a free treatment if they are willing to be photographed for their social media.” — Natasha Rachel Smith, money-saving expert at Top Cashback
Save On Makeup
Consider bulk beauty buys.
“You can actually score 40 percent off your favorite brand by buying their products in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club. And you don’t have to worry about unused items going bad! Hair spray, shampoo, and conditioner usually last until you use them up, and many creams and makeup have expiration dates that apply only once the packaging has been opened. Note that SPFs can lose their efficacy if they sit on the shelf for too long.” — Trae Bodge, money-saving expert at True Trae
Cheap Hair Tricks
Snag makeup and more for cheap.
“One great site that saves me tons on makeup is Shop Miss A. They import products (from makeup to bath bombs and lotions) straight from the manufacturer of well-known brands like e.l.f.cosmetics and L.A. Colors and sell them for only $1. You pay $4 for shipping, but it’s still a bargain. I also like Makeup Bonuses, a site that tells you which brands are offering ‘free gift with purchase’ deals and lists discounts and coupon codes at various makeup stores, websites, and salons. Plus, they have a ‘search by brand’ option, so you can find out if any of your go-to’s are on sale.” — Carol Widmore, mom of three, Denver
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.