A Guide to the Best Beauty Bargains

Sick of spending money on makeup? Learn where to find the best beauty bargains with this strategic guide.

Beauty Bargains


Shop department stores for beauty expertise, makeovers and samples and deals on high-end makeup.

Purchase with More Confidence
Because you can't test products at drugstores, certain item—particularly foundation, which needs to match your skin tone—might be worth the splurge in a department store. Employees at the counter are typically experts at matching colors. Or, see what they suggest, request a sample and try to replicate it at a drugstore. Stores such as Sephora also hire specialists who can help with acne, rosacea and other skin problems.

Nab Luxe Trial-Size Produce 
Kiehl's and Sephora are known for being generous with trial sizes, but just about any brand will give you some if you request them. If a sample doesn't exist or if the store doesn't have one in stock, it's not uncommon for an employee to open a jar of a product you're interested in and dab some into a small container for you to take home.

Take Advantage of Bonuses
Department stores virtually never have sales on their brands, but they do offer gift-with-purchase promotions and special-collection kits throughout the year. The kits are often priced around $40 and contain close to $100 worth of makeup—steal if the palette is right for you. Befriend a salesperson and ask her to tell you the timing of promotions so you can plan your purchases wisely.

Check Your Mail
If you have a department store credit card, read its statements. That's where the company typically alerts customers to in-store promotions.