Why you should never pay full price for your beauty products

Whether you buy your make up and skincare in the supermarket or you buy it in Harrods, you don’t need to pay full price. Yup, I mean it. In true Feast Style Thrive fashion, here is how to get what you want, for less.  How to save money on beauty products.


The first step is planning.

Look at all the products you use. Everything from your mascara to your toothpaste. And make a list. If you love a brand and you’re not willing to budge on it, then fine, write it down. But if you are willing to shop around, write down a ? next to the type of item.

With all the items that are question marks, now is your time to get trialling!

Free samples

When a beauty or cosmetics company creates a new product, they’ve spent a LOT on that process.  Therefore, a sales flop would be a disaster. They want to get that investment back, and more. No company wants a failed product. So, they invest even more money – LOTS and LOTS – in marketing that product. And that marketing includes producing free samples for people like you and me to try!

If you’re yet to find your can’t-live-without mascara, or the lipstick that-is-better-than-anything-else-ever, then you could stock up on enough free samples from different brands to last you months!

Here’s how you get your hands on these free samples:

  1. Simply go up to the make up and beauty counters at department stores and say you’re bored of your make up and want to try something new. If they offer to give you a makeover say that’s fine but “you’re heading to the gym in an hour and want to be able to test the make up for a whole day to see how it lasts and works in different lights.” That should get you a few freebies to take away.
  2. Sign up to freebie sites such as FreeStuff.co.uk,  Myfreemakeupsamples.co.uk and Latestfreestuff.co.uk . They always have a load of free samples available.

Join a beauty review panel

Another method brands use to market their products is to use a consumer panel to trial the product and approve it for use. The consumers on these panels get the items for free and sometimes even get paid too! So why not join one?

Here’s a list of sites to join (in no particular order):

Go second hand

Ok, hang on hang on. This is not as disgusting as it sounds. By this I mean, share with people you know. Wait, no, that sounds gross too. Let me explain.

Go into your bathroom, and pull out all the unused samples and beauty/cosmetic products that you’ve bought but only used once or twice. Ask your mates to do the same.

Then invite everyone over to yours one night with those items (and wine, obviously) and do a bit of swapping. You’ll end up with some fab new stuff.

So I promised you I’d share how to save money on beauty products and so far I’ve told you how to get them for free! You’re welcome.

As for those items that you’ve already decided are keepers such as the-only-shampoo-that-keeps-your-hair-sleek or undereye-concealer-that-actually-works, then you need the following tips:

Sign up to mailing lists for special vip nights and for discounts

Let your favourite brands communicate with you. Let them reach you and share their love. To brands, consumer data is like gold dust so give them your contact details and let them reward you with offers, sales alerts and invites to VIP events. Yes, it’s that easy. For us it’s just an email address but for them it’s a way of contacting you to build on your brand loyalty. It’s likely you’ll get a discount code as soon as you sign up to their mailing list so do it when you need to stock up!

Become a brand ambassador

If you have a good social media following, exploit it. Produce some compelling content that promotes your favourite product (perhaps using imagery or video so that people can see how good the product looks) and share it on your social media platforms. Then contact the brand you’ve promoted to share what you’ve posted. The PR agency or the marketing team is the best point of contact. They may take an interest in your posts going forward and reward you for your kind words with some free products to trial! That’s called collaboration, baby.

One word of advice – go easy on the language. It needs to appear genuine.  So phrases like “I love this brand so much I named my first daughter Chanel” and “I’ve stopped buying food so I can spend that money on more Dior make up” are to be avoided.

Use cash back sites and voucher codes

This one actually involves spending some money. When you come to buying what you need, don’t just go straight into the store, or straight onto the brand or department store’s website. That’s craaaaazy. What you need to do instead is check out if there are cashback or voucher code offers available. For info on how cashback sites work and links to the best ones, you can read my guide here.

I would always recommend buying your products online rather than in-store as you can shop around on a range of sites for the best deal.

And they are my tips on how to save money on beauty products. Plenty of reasons why you should never need to pay full price for your make up.  Reckon you’ll give these a try?



  1. February 25, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    I love my products but I love to save money too! Great tips 🙂

  2. ERFmama
    February 26, 2017 / 2:27 am

    I have to admit that I am really bad when make-up is concerned! hehe, I don’t spend much money at all on it. I didn’t even know you could get it 2nd hand! 😮 Thanks for some lovely tips!

  3. Emma
    February 26, 2017 / 9:47 am

    I always wait until there’s a special offer in stores to stock up on the ones I buy regularly. A two for one often comes up on my foundation. Also I love the idea of asking for samples to try new products.

  4. February 26, 2017 / 10:22 am

    I have just joined a cashback site and was amazed at how much I saved

  5. February 26, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    What a great post! I don’t really wear much makeup – never foundation, and only mascara, eyeliner and lipstick ever so often, but even I can get some good use out of these tips. Good research 🙂

  6. February 27, 2017 / 10:00 am

    I hadn’t heard of those free stuff sites. Good tip.

  7. February 27, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Great tips for saving money on buying make-up, my mummy doesn’t wear a lot in order to be a brand ambassador however she will look into the samples!

  8. Lynne Harper
    February 27, 2017 / 10:57 am

    I do spend lots on makeup and products but I also love the samples that counters give. Some fabulous tips here, some I hadnt thought of x

  9. February 27, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Great tips here, I always tend to search online for the best deals on my new makeup pieces x

  10. February 27, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    Argh I am so bad at this and must have wasted so much money on beauty products because of this. I never thought about swapping with friends.

  11. February 27, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Beauty products can definitely be a big drain on your budget so finding ways to save money when buying them or getting freebies is a great thing. You have some really good tips here!

  12. February 27, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    I’m a big fan of second hand and sales. I don’t need the latest clothes!

  13. February 27, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Ooh so many fab tips on how to save money! I will take these into account!

  14. February 27, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    Some fab tips! Always wish to save money and think it’s helpful to all ladies x

  15. February 27, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    I tend to get cheap products but the mascara I use is always pretty pricey so I do like the sound of cashback vouchers. Joining a beauty panel is a great idea as well xx x

  16. February 27, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Great tips! I’m a member of Alba Science and I love the products they send me to try. It’s like getting presents!

  17. February 27, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    So many great ideas – bookmarking for later!

  18. February 27, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    I’ve got to say I usually leave it until last minute to buy new makeup and then end up paying full price! I always feel really nervous at the makeup counter asking for samples!! Using cashback websites is a brilliant idea though 🙂

  19. Ali
    February 27, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    some really good tips, I really like he idea of the swapping with mates too. I’ve got a few which I know I’ll never use.

  20. February 27, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Great tips i don’t like to spend too much when it comes to my every day make up.

  21. February 27, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    I am signed up to a couple of sites but might look into joining a beauty review panel as that might work better for me. Thanks for the tips.

  22. February 28, 2017 / 7:23 am

    Who doesn’t like to save money? Hahaha! Great tips, thank you!

  23. February 28, 2017 / 8:21 am

    What a fabulously informative post with some great ideas! Don’t have a lot of time to think about beauty these days, but so many people would find this useful (and double whammy when you are saving money!)

  24. February 28, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Oh what fab advice! I love samples and offers and discounts! Hadn’t heard of those sites, thx sooo much!

  25. February 28, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I love using samples which I get from magazines, freebies when ordering other products and from beauty boxes, they’re also so useful to use when travelling x

  26. February 28, 2017 / 10:30 am

    I am signing up for freebies right away! Thanks for the tips x

  27. February 28, 2017 / 10:41 am

    I need to buy some new make-up but tend to wait and get it at the duty free

  28. February 28, 2017 / 11:43 am

    What a great post, and very helpful. Beauty products are expensive and finding ways to get your favourites or must haves and save some money as well, is great.

  29. February 28, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Great tips. I’ve started to ask for samples more as they are so handy. Great for trying products and perfect for travel x

  30. Dannii
    February 28, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    There are lots of great tips here. I love a free sample and I always try to pick up loads when I see them.

  31. February 28, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    What a great idea on saving money buying make up and only buying things that you end up loving!

  32. March 1, 2017 / 4:56 am

    This is such a nice post. Good for those who are checking out on how to save money on make-ups just like me. I need to try that panels too.

  33. March 1, 2017 / 10:34 am

    What brilliant tips – I had no idea there were so many ways to try out new products for free. I’ve never thought of planning my beauty buys in advance either – I tend to panic-buy once I’ve run out but I can see how being more organised could really save some cash!

  34. francesca
    March 1, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Some pretty awesome tips Its never occurred to me to get cosmetics cheaper actually!!! I’m not sure I’d be quite so into swapping with others though even if I did know them haha but unopened stuff sure!

  35. March 1, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    So many great tips, I never thought about sharing make-up with friends before!

  36. Emma
    March 1, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    Some great tips! I don’t think I would feel comfortable using second hand make up though.

  37. March 1, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    What a lovely post full of great tips. I’m a big fan of second hand makeup although tend to be the giver rather than the receiver (I hate things going to waste). This year I learnt what a bargain the beauty advent calendars were and treated myself to a liberty calendar … I won’t have to buy much this year now as it was full of gorgeous cosmetics, creams and potions that will last me a while

  38. March 1, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Yay great tips that Ill find useful- love the idea of inviting my friends round for a swap shop! I always look for discount codes on google before I buy ANYTHING online! xxx

  39. March 2, 2017 / 12:43 am

    Great post! super informative and I know these techniques works really well! L x

  40. March 2, 2017 / 11:41 am

    Planning is definitely a good one and I agree that you can get some really good deals on voucher sites and stuff like that too. Samples are great but I’d be careful going back to same shop every time … and being too cheeky.

  41. Angela Key Milnes
    March 2, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    What a good ideas and I love saving money, Glad that you share this with us. I would love to give it a try

  42. nicol
    March 3, 2017 / 11:57 am

    ooo some good tips on this! ive got a box full of samples i need to try out.

  43. March 3, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    Signing up to review panels is a great idea – I think my friends would take a bit of persuading to do the beauty swap but worth a go.

  44. Fi Ni Neachtain
    March 5, 2017 / 6:57 am

    These are really great tips. I have a whole host of beauty products and make up that I’ve never used and would love to swap!

  45. March 5, 2017 / 9:39 am

    I had no idea about any of this!!! What a revelation! I need to sign up to some of these. I spend a small fortune on make up xxx

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