If you are someone who buys what you want and never worries about cost, this article is not for you. There is actually not a lot of content on this blog for you, unless you like detailed reviews. Those who do not mind returning products and try all the products they purchase before the return period lapses will want to skip to the second half of the article. I will use a line to help guide you there. A lot of people with sensitive skin are weary to try new products. Unless you have products you already love, you exploring with a little research can help you find ones worthy of repurchasing. My skin is sensitive, but I still love trying new things. As a deal shopper who loves kits, GWP, and subscription boxes, that is probably a given.
I do not believe in nail polish expiration dates. Microbes typically cannot survive in polish, and the period after opening number on some nail polish bottles is merely a formality. They are there for governments or consumers who like them. Surely there are exceptions, but polishes that are well taken care of generally last a long time. Store them away from heat and light, and make sure you close them as tightly as possible after each use. Keeping air from penetrating the bottles is key. Bottles that are not tightly closed will go bad quickly, even if they’re brand new. Over time, some polishes break down faster than others. The brands I am mentioning in this article are guilty of this. Before tossing polish, it is always a good idea to attempt restoration. If your polish is so hard that you cannot pull the brush out, restoration gets a lot more difficult. Tossing those is probably best, although not necessary.
Deal shoppers love a nice GWP. We also tend to love ways to sample items for a decent price through subscription boxes, favorite sets, limited edition boxes, and any kit that gives us more value than we pay for. Sometimes our collections grow to a point where you can no longer use everything in a timely manner. I’ve written about product expiration dates before and have mentioned that checkcosmetic.net and checkfresh.com can help you check some of them. The problem is those sites do not cover all brands or all products within a specific brand. Manufacturers usually try to help if you write into their customer service department for production date information on listed batch numbers, but I’ve had hits and misses that way.
Julep canceled its subscription program on February 15, 2019, which was a fantastic way to save money. There are still some tips for getting the best deal at Julep I can offer. Anyone who had a Maven subscription when the program ended was grandfathered into the Maven deals listed below other than the box itself and the Jules, which were eliminated. I removed the information regarding the subscription box and Jules once they were canceled.
How do you get the best deal at Beauty.com and Drugstore.com? Deal stacking at Beauty.com is less complicated, but it is possible at Drugstore.com with a little effort. I’ve never seen a guide for getting the best deal for either retailer (even though one may exist). Putting everything I can think of in one place to make deal shopping a little easier seemed like a great idea, because the site is not the easiest to navigate and does not make deal searching easy. A lot of deals are link activated, and the links are temperamental. Dealing with these temperamental links is challenging, but there are ways around it. There are always new things to learn, so I will edit this any time I discover something new. Details scare some people. If you’re scared of detail, click that little X and back out now. Do not say I did not warn you!
How do I offer tips for getting the best deal at Sephora when it only hosts two real sales a year? Sephora is DisneyWorld for makeup lovers. As someone who probably loves Disney more than makeup, I do not say that lightly. Although I love a lot of beauty and makeup stores, I experience pure joy when visiting Sephora. My son calls it my store. He’s not wrong, because I love shopping there. Deal stacking at Sephora is not always possible, but there are times when it is. There are always new things to learn, so I will edit this if I discover something new. I’ve seen guides to getting the best deal at Sephora before, but they’re not usually comprehensive and miss many important tips. Details scare some people. If you’re scared of detail, click that little X and back out now. Do not say I did not warn you!
How do I condense the article on tips for getting the best deal when shopping at Ulta when it has all the best offers? I won’t. Ulta encourages deal stacking, so there are a lot of things to cover. Some deals are a little harder to find, because it rewards our digging efforts with a larger bounty. I’m half-joking. Most people will place orders without putting too much effort into finding a deal, and Ulta knows this. For those willing to do the research and put in the time, Ulta gives us the deals we need to place an order. If you’ve mastered the art of deal (like Tony Schwartz), I’d love if you can think of anything else. There are always new things to learn, so I will edit this if I discover something new. I’ve seen guides to getting the best deal at Ulta before, but they’re not usually comprehensive and miss many important tips. Details scare some people. If you’re scared of detail, click that little X and back out now. Do not say I did not warn you!
Dates printed on beauty products without clear terms before or after are confusing. Sometimes, they are manufacturing dates. Other times, they are expiration dates. There are times when numbers look like a date, but it is not a date at all. I use checkcosmetic.net or checkfresh.com to see when something expires. Some brands do not take part in those verification sites and batch numbers are not always available on the brands that do. Read more about expiration dates on cosmetic products.
I got into the skincare game late in life. Prior to age 33, I had never used a traditional serum. Essence was not introduced until very recently at 35. Though I’ve had traditional facials, I did not get them as often as I could have. My first at-home sheet mask waited until I was 34. Regular facial masks and exfoliation are things I skimped on until recently as well. Genetics play a role in making me look older than I really am. Is it too late to take care of my skin? Reversing damage is difficult and even the most expensive, promising treatments have a harder time reversing damage than preventing it.
What are those dots on your lipstick? If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’ve probably Googled it looking for more information. Unless your Google skills are superior to mine, your search results probably did not yield a lot of information. Being the deal shopper I am, I often buy lipsticks (and a ton of other items) when they go on sale or have a great GWP offer attached. In August 2014, I bought 12 Kat Von D lipsticks from Sephora when they went on sale marked from $19 to $7. After tax, the lipsticks cost me over $100. I also purchased the Bite Deconstructed Rose Trio for $35 from Sephora on 12/19/14.
I know most of you are thinking those are incredible deals, and they were. That is why I pounced on them. The problem is I do not wear makeup as often as I should with what I buy. In April 2015, I purged and cleaned my makeup. Remember that it is only a good deal when you buy quality items, so price is not king. Only one of the three Bite lipsticks and 2 of the 12 Kat Von D lipsticks are used. That means 12 of my 15 incredible deals are completely untouched. They have not even been swatched. There were a few other lipsticks that had dots but only Kat Von D and Bite Beauty had dots on almost every lipstick within their respective brands.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a deal shopper. Some people confuse deal shoppers with people who will buy anything as long as it is on the sale. While that is a perfectly acceptable method for those who choose that, the average deal shopper has brands or specific items they’re interested in. When the deal is right, they strike. Whether one is a deal shopper or not, we all want to get the most bang for our buck. Spending a lot to get our desired items is totally worth it when we use the products to the item’s fullest potential.
Most probably read the first paragraph and said, “duh.” But, are you really using your products correctly? In our time, there are so many products and innovations on the market. Our mothers and their mothers had fewer choices, so they did not have to stay on top of research. It is important that we research our products, because what good is a deal if we are counter acting the effectiveness of our products? I have been guilty of mixing products that do not mesh well. Have you?
If you’re like me, you’ve invested in quality makeup brushes. Lousy brushes must be replaced more often, and they usually waste more product than higher quality brushes. High end makeup with cheap brushes usually do not mix. Though I find high-end brushes with cheap makeup mix fine! Are you taking all the right steps to take care of your brushes? Without proper maintenance, you may as well buy cheap brushes, because you will be replacing them often.
How often you clean your brushes is really up to you. If I am using a cream or liquid product, I think for germs sake, I need to clean it after every use. If you dip a dirty brush into a cream product, the germs you are placing into the product will be far greater than the germs placed into a powder product. Sometimes, when I am running late, and when am I not, I do not always clean them right after use. The longer you let the product soak into the brush, the harder it is to clean. It can even stain depending on the product, so I clean it as soon as I can. I do not thoroughly clean my brushes after every use on powder products, so I applaud your diligence if you do.
You’ve scored a great gift with purchase, hit the sample mother load or bought items in bulk to get the best possible deal. Can you use all the products before they expire? This is the question that plagues a deal shopper. We’ve all thrown out products that were perfectly viable when we obtained them, because they expired before we could use them. Food labels tend to have expiration dates to prevent us from getting sick. Though I’ve saved a lot at Sam’s Club, I’ve also thrown away a lot.
It is a little harder with cosmetics. Some list expiration dates, but others do not. If you’re like me, you’ve researched products to see how long they’re viable. Which products can you push past the expiration dates, and which products do you toss the moment they expire. When your backup stash gets large, it is time to put a system into place to make sure you can use as many products as possible before the inevitable expiration date approaches. Of course, you can always gift extras away once you know you cannot possibly use it in time.
How do I get the best deal? This is a question I see often. Sometimes it is directed toward specific retailers. Other times it is more of a general probing. Let’s face it. Getting the best deal can be a lot of work. Have you ever been so proud of yourself for doing your research and locking down an incredible deal only to find out you did not get the best deal available? You are not alone. This has happened to me, too. We live and we learn from overpaying. Then, we get more savvy in the future. There are the tricks everyone knows. Subscribe to the retailer’s updates. Do Google searches for promo codes. Use ebates, ShopatHome, Mrrebates, or TopCashBack to get a percentage back on what you order. Of course, you can always visit sites like this one that try to list all known deals in one place. What are you missing though? Can you do anything else?