Beauty Guru: 5 Ways to Save on Your Beauty Products

Ladies, we need our favorite beauty products; am I right? But how can we get them at a good price while still supporting small business? Here are 5 ways to get them at a lower cost while still supporting those small companies within our communities:

1. Subscribe to email lists. Some people don't like doing this because of spam, but if you simply set up one email account specifically for this type of emails, you can check it for your specific needs when and if you need your beauty products.

2. Sign up for VIP Cards. Many times there are perks throughout the year for using these. The idea is for you to shop more frequently (i.e. spend more). But be a smart cookie and only shop when you need to. If you are afraid a coupon will expire before you can use it, just remember that another one will come your way. Don't let marketing get the best of you. Expiration dates create a sense of urgency to hurry up and buy, but wait it out until you need it, or you will find yourself buying every time you get a coupon, even if you don't need anything specific!

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3. Sample Sales. Try websites like birchbox or beautyarmy to try a variety of things at a set price each month. You can opt out when you are fully loaded up on your products. Typically, these are better quality, professional products. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for full-sizes, you get samples of many different things. It's like a party when your box arrives!

4. Go to resell sites for cosmetics. Makeuptalk.com has a buy/sell/trade section. Be extremely careful and know that most makeup expires after one year, and never trade used mascara or anything that goes around the eyes. Perfumes and nail polish seem to be big sellers on this site and others.

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5. Groupon. I'm not an advocate of Groupon and other such websites when shopping at small businesses. Groupon takes a huge chunk of the money you spent, leaving that business with barely enough to cover the cost of their goods. If however, it is a large chain, Groupon isn't affecting their business costs as much since they get a better price on their goods to start with, and a better cut from Groupon itself. If shopping at a chain, it is worth it to give yourself that nice discount.

So why am I not telling you to go to a national drug store? Well, you could. But advocating small businesses, buying local, and saving money on better quality products is a better path to take in the long run for our community, our wallets, and our hearts. Also, high-end products aren't typically found in drug stores, and while they may seem more pricey in the beginning, they tend to last longer, work better, and have less carcinogenic ingredients in them. And, yes, there is always a way to find them on sale.

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Mel B. is a writer of all things beauty, educator, and brand manager for HAI Styling Tools, and CoFounder of www.AskASalon.com, where Beauty Pro's connect, network, and answer questions for savvy women wanting the best beauty information. When she's not working, you'll find her hanging with her family in Encinitas, CA, or just contemplating life with walks along the beach, typically with a coffee in hand. Email her at mel@askasalon.com.