Whether it’s your first day on campus, or this is your last year before graduation, many people — fashion geeks or otherwise — want to put their best foot forward. Just because you’re ready to look your best for back to school doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg to get there. Let’s have an in-depth talk about different aspects of fashion and what you can do to save money while still looking fabulous. Today, we’ll talk about cosmetics and skincare.
Cosmetics & Skincare Products
While I’m definitely an advocate of spending money to support boutique stores, this isn’t something that is always realistically accomplished. Besides, there are other things that you want to buy that some of these boutique companies like Geek Chic Cosmetics don’t sell, like pencil eyeliners, mascara, and liquid foundation.
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you: I prefer pharmacy cosmetics to department store cosmetics. I am a huge fan of the lines of makeup produced by L’oreal and Revlon, and prefer them over brands like Estée Lauder and MAC (which are both nice, but very expensive and not all that much better than a good bottle of Revlon foundation). Many of these pharmacy brands are actually made by the same companies that make department store cosmetics, so really you’re getting almost the exact same thing, just not paying for the name.
Whether it’s L’oreal, Revlon, Maybeline, Cover Girl, or any of the other store-brand cosmetics that appeal to you, there’s another way to save even more on your favorite makeup: buy it at the pharmacy.
I know what you’re thinking: buying things at Walgreens or CVS is ridiculous — everything they have is super expensive! Well, this is usually true; you’re more likely to find better deals in general at big box stores like Target. However, the great thing about pharmacies when it comes to buying makeup is that there’s almost always some kind of sale. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved on foundations, eyeliners, mascara, powders, and so on during a good cosmetics sale at CVS. At least twice a year, CVS has a buy one get one free sale on many cosmetics lines; so does Walgreens. First of all, the $13.99 I would spend normally on a bottle of Revlon ColorStay foundation is already much cheaper than the $34 I would have to invest in a bottle of Estée Lauder foundation; but when it’s $13.99 for two bottles, that’s a deal that can’t be beat. If you’re not lucky enough to get one free, you will more than likely be able to get one for 50% off, which is still a good deal.
Stores like CVS also offer rewards for purchasing when you have their little club cards. For instance, not too long ago, I purchased two bottles of L’oreal True Match foundation; regularly priced at $13.99, they were on sale for $6.99 each — hey, that’s half price! Plus, CVS had a special where if you spend $10 on any L’oreal cosmetics products, you receive $3 back in Extra Care Bucks that can be spent in any CVS. A few weeks later, when I needed to buy a new tube of mascara (which, of course, was also on sale), I saved $3 by using those Extra Care Bucks.
The same kinds of deals can often be found on skincare products. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside of a CVS when there wasn’t some kind of sale on Neutrogena products, whether it was a BOGO or some deep discount. Work these to your advantage and stock up on things that won’t expire. For instance, I recently bought two bottles of Aveeno facial cleanser during a buy one get one free sale at Rite-Aid; if I had just bought one, it would have rung up at half price — but I know that I’ll use both, so I went ahead and invested in getting two.
Doing little things like this lets me save up to splurge on other things I love, like more expensive lipsticks or boutique store eyeshadows. Sure, shopping for makeup at the pharmacy doesn’t sound glamorous, but you’ll still look fabulous whether you’re rocking Revlon or MAC.
Tune in next time when we talk about clothing!