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?

49 thoughts on “Why you should never pay full price for your beauty products

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!

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