If you love makeup and skin care, you probably have an expensive habit. Between $50 Urban Decay Naked palettes and Kylie Jenner’s $360 brush set, it’s easy to blow your paycheck on beauty products.
According to a survey by retailer SkinStore, more than 85% of women apply at least 16 beauty products to their faces each day, and the average daily cost is $8. Some women will spend up to $300,000 on skin care products and cosmetics in their lifetimes.
When your budget is tight because of crippling student loan payments and rent, spending that much money on makeup isn’t the wisest idea. Here are seven ways to score the good stuff for free.
1. Follow your favorite brands on social media
If you love specific brands, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. They often host contests and give away full-size items to their social media followers.
You could win free face masks, shampoo and conditioner, or hairstyling irons. Often, all you need to do is comment on or share a post to enter a contest, and you can enter multiple contests at once.
2. Enter blogger giveaways
Big companies aren’t the only ones giving away products; beauty and fashion bloggers do too. Giveaways are a great way to increase their readership, so bloggers frequently give away makeup palettes, beauty tools, or gift cards.
Blogger giveaways can range from inexpensive products to luxury items, such as straightening irons or the latest eyeshadow palettes.
3. Sign up for rewards
When you sign up for rewards programs with retailers such as Sephora and MAC Cosmetics, you can earn points on every purchase you make. Over time, you can trade in those points for free items. Plus, you can get free items or coupons on your birthday.
However, rewards programs aren’t only for luxury-brand cosmetics. You can score free products from drugstores too. CVS and Walgreens both offer generous rewards programs that give you points you can redeem for free or discounted beauty supplies.
4. Recycle packaging
If you hold on to some of your makeup’s packaging, you may be able to exchange it for free stuff. It’s a great way to help the environment and get a high-quality product.
- MAC: With the Back to MAC Program, you’ll receive a free MAC lipstick of your choice when you return six MAC primary packaging containers.
- Lush: Return five clean, empty pots to any Lush shop and get a free face mask.
5. Stock up on free samples
Many high-end cosmetics companies offer free samples so you can test products without wasting money.
- Sephora: Online, you can select up to three free samples with any purchase. Sephora is also well-known for its generous in-store sample policy.
MAC: Depending on how much you buy online, you can get several free samples, including mascara, primer, and fragrances.
Nordstrom: You can get three free samples (even of expensive brands) with any beauty or grooming purchase both in store and online.
- Lush: Lush often includes free samples when it ships purchased items.
Samples are perfect for travel, or you can use them to try pricey products that would otherwise be out of your budget.
6. Launch a blog and send inquiries
If you’re passionate about makeup, fashion, and beauty, consider starting a blog. Share your experiences using different products, post hair or makeup tutorials, or post your outfit each day.
If you build an audience, you can leverage your following to get free products from companies. It can take time to reach that level, but it can be a fun and lucrative hobby. Website ToughNickel has email templates and tips you can use to request free beauty products from top brands.
7. Review purchases on Amazon
If you frequently shop on Amazon, make sure you leave reviews about your purchases. Not only will you help your fellow shoppers, but you also could get free stuff through the Amazon Vine program.
With Amazon Vine, companies send customers products, sometimes weeks or even months before they officially launch. The items are yours to keep in return for your honest feedback. Products can range from shampoo and conditioner to expensive creams and moisturizers.
Amazon Vine is an invitation-only program. However, you can increase your chances of being selected by regularly leaving thorough, honest, and useful reviews.
Saving money on beauty products
You don’t have to sacrifice high-quality makeup or skin care because you’re on a budget. If you use these tips, and you can get free products, helping you save money each month.
Need more money to afford both your student loan payments and your favorite products? Consider launching a side hustle to boost your income.
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