I realised by checking my referal stats that an awful lot of people seem to land here by searching for “how to buy cheap cosmetics’ “how to buy cheap mac cosmetics” “how to buy cheap revlon cosmetics” (and so on and so forth). No doubt it’s similar for many beauty bloggers. Here is my advice on buying ‘cheap’ cosmetics;
Step 1 – is to work out your budget, and whether this is a once off or recurring budget item. You can get good makeup in any price point but there will often be a step up in quality with different price points.
Step 2 – is to work which look you are going as that (with the price point) will drive the brands you buy. If you are going for a subtle, neutral based look you might look at Benefit or Bobbi Brown, a colourful, latest trend based look might come from MAC or Illamasqua, and a classic look might come from Elizabeth Arden or Chanel.
Step 3 – Do a search and review all your current makeup. (Try putting it in an app like My Makeup Collection even!). Figure out which items you need to complete the look you want (eyeliners, lipsticks, etc) and what colours you might be look for and this should hopefully narrow down your selection
Step 4 – OK, hit the internet. Try the makeupalley reviews and try some google searches for blog reviews. See what other users like and which products do not work.
Step 5 – Tired yet? TIME TO SHOP. It looks like you know what you want and how much you have to spend. Try online retailers but be wary as there are fake cosmetics by the tonne out there (be very wary of OPI nail polish and MAC cosmetics on ebay, these are notorious for high levels of fake products). Try the very highest rated ebay sellers but also try the (home) websites of the brands – urban decay, benefit and stila for example all do great run out on their sites. Also worth trying the retailers like amazon.com, beautybay.com, sasa.com and sephora.com. Compare prices regularly as sales come and go and it’s worth stocking up on the flash sales.
Step 6 – Sob a little. You want makeup you can’t afford! You don’t want fake products! Try the makeup sales on blogs and forums like specktra.net and makeupgeek.com. People with huge collections will often be selling barely used products and you can pick up some bargains if you search around enough. Also try the tester bar at your drugstore. People are often amazed by how much Essence makeup I have, but it’s great quality for the (very low) price point and a great way to try trends I’m not 100% sold on yet.
Anyway, what are your tips on saving money on cosmetics?