It can be all too easy to rush out and buy every new beauty product you fall for, only to realise that you’re spending more on skincare than socialising and something has to give. If this is you then don’t despair, there are lots of ways in which you can make savings that will help to minimise the damage.
If you’re not signed up for Quidco and TopCashback already, get on there pronto and download the widget that will remind you every time you head to a site where cashback is available. I can’t believe I’m so late to the party on this one (half of the media plans I see in my day job include these sites but I’ve only been using them myself for a few months). Cashback sites essentially offer you bribes to buy something you were going to buy anyway but to get it from a specific site (often the one you planned to buy from). With offers of usually up to 10% cashback from sites from Boots to Cult Beauty, Bobbi Brown to Rodial using these is an absolute no-brainer. All you do is sign up, download the widget and when you visit a site offering cashback you’ll see a pop-up which you click to be directed back to the website via the cashback site. This logs your journey and any purchase value. The retailer site then confirms the cashback (this isn’t immediate) and it’s paid in to your Quidco or TopCashback account ready for you to transfer into your bank. Not just for beauty – you will make savings on just about anything you buy online from hotels to insurance (and then you can use them to buy more lipstick).
I know, it’s a Marmite shop. But even if you can’t face trawling through the racks for a new coat you should still give the beauty shelves a chance – they cover a far smaller area and you can see everything at once so it’s must less stressful. I almost always come out with some type of bargain – Superfacialist cleansing oil for half the price of Boots, Butter London nail polish for £4 etc etc….
Maximise your points
I’m assuming that pretty much everyone has a Boots Advantage card, but have you also got their loyalty app? Boots were quite late entrants to the marketplace with their app launch last year but it was definitely worth waiting for – the offers from the app are updated regularly, almost always relate so something you’ll actually buy and can be added straight to your loyalty card so you don’t have to remember to find a bit of paper that expired 2 weeks ago in your bag. Now if they’ll just send me all my offers via the app rather than still sending the ones that get lost in my purse as well I will be very happy!
Embrace brand loyalty
If there is one brand that you regularly buy a mix of products from, work out the best way to maximise your spend with them. Do you build up points if you buy in store, or always get extra samples? Or is it better to buy online – with Clarins for example this is definitely the case – buying online means you build up points (and they grow pretty quickly to a £15 discount), always get a GWP (usually refreshed monthly) and get to choose 3 free samples per order from a really wide range. And I’ve just realised that they do cashback as well!
Shop the country of origin
Buying something from a website based in the country it’s from isn’t always cheaper when you throw in shipping prices but it can be especially when you’re buying a few things. From the US check out Sephora (£6 shipping when you spend over $50) and Nordstrom (part of the Borderfree shipping programme), and for French brands look at Easyparapharmacie. If you’re not sure whether it’s cheaper, put together the same basket in Boots or Space NK, go through to payment and check the final price.
Know your ingredients
You don’t always need to splash out on skincare if you know the ingredients your skin needs. For example, my skin is reacting really well to glycolic acid at the moment, and the £4.89 Superdrug glycolic peel off mask is doing wonders. Look for what’s near the start of the ingredient list – these are the substances in highest concentration. If the active ingredients are near the front, they will work more powerfully, and if what’s near the start is lots of mineral oil then the more active things have been diluted. Check out Caroline Hirons and Beauty by the Geeks for info on ingredients and formulations if you want to know what to look for (this post or this one on how to read an ingredient list, and this on what ingredients to look for are a good place to start). But the key thing is that cheaper brands don’t always mean inferior ingredients.
I’d love to hear your other savings tips – comment below if you have any!