1. Buy in bulk.
If you share a shower with family or roommates, look for economy sizes or multipacks of your favorite products. Buying in bulk will save you money and time on return trips. Many brands also offer bonus-style packaging with an extra trial and sometimes full-size portions of the same or new items. When planning your shopping trip, try to be realistic about how quickly you will go through everything. “Many beauty products have expiration dates, so the less you buy, the less you’ll waste if you don’t use them before they expire,” says Woroch.
2. Find dupes.
Search the Web for makeup dupes and you’ll find reviews of popular expensive makeup brands alongside the cheaper versions. You can also look for generic versions of your favorite drugstore brands, which are typically displayed right next to them. You’ll find many products are comparable to your everyday staples.
3. Look online.
The introduction of limited-time deal sites, like Lifebooker, has proved a real game changer in the beauty industry, allowing shoppers more leverage and an easy platform for comparing prices. In addition to listing services, LivingSocial, Groupon, and (Bliss Spa regular) Gilt City offer discounted vouchers and products, often for upwards of 50 percent off.
4. Become a model.
Don’t let expensive upkeep fees (especially when it comes to regular blowouts and color touch-ups) keep you from reaching your full hair potential. Instead, look into salon programs that offer discounted services to those willing to give students experience. At the Aveda Institute, customers can expect to pay about half of what they would at an Aveda salon, if not less. “When students are in their first phases, they often need models to practice with, and those services are generally free of charge,” says Suzanne Bettendorf, Aveda’s executive director of Institute Development. And there’s no need to be afraid: “The students graduate to the clinic floor after significant dedicated theory and practice hours. They are also supervised by a licensed educator throughout their service,” she says.
5. Save your empties.
Tend to stick to one or a few brands when racking up products? Check to see if they reward recycling with complimentary products. Through M.A.C.’s Back to M.A.C. program, you can score a free lipstick of your choice as a thank-you for returning six M.A.C. primary-packaging containers either in store or through the mail (just visit the website to fill out a quick form before sending). Similarly, Lush offers customers a free Fresh Face Mask in exchange for five empty, clean Lush pots, and Kiehl’s awards shoppers a complimentary travel-collection product for every ten full-size product empties returned. (Both offers are in stores only.)