...well almost never.
So when I started really getting into beauty products I would blindly walk into the store, pick out my products, and not even think twice about coupons and sales. Around that same time I also started noticing my funds getting lower and lower. Beauty products are definitely not cheap, even the drugstore brands can run you $40 plus dollars for a good face cream or treatment.
Then one day about two years ago I saw a friend of mine on Facebook post a photo of her extreme coupon-ing haul. I had of course seen the shows and marveled at the time and dedication these people put into coupon-ing (but honestly I don't have that kind of time) and I really had no interest in 20 bottles of yellow mustard or 50 rolls of toilet paper. However when my friend posted her picture it had beauty products in it; body lotions, shampoos, and conditioners that I knew weren't cheap, yet for her were practically free.
Photo Credit: Nouveau Cheap
So I of course turned to my close and crazy smart friend, Google. I started googling away and stumbled across a little gem called Nouveau Cheap. Meet G, the lovely lady behind Nouveau Cheap who blogs about beauty products, and even more importantly how to save on beauty products. Every week she pulls together a crazy detailed list of all the drugstore beauty sales from CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid (and of course any honorable mentions from Target, Ulta, and Sephora). She links coupons and practically lays out the lovely little map for you to find your beauty treasure.
Now I practically refuse to pay full price for a beauty product (especially from the drugstore). My bank account is happy, my inner beauty addict is over-the-moon, and my helmer cabinet is quickly becoming cramped.
Here is the method to my madness:
1. Start a "try" list.
It is very hard to not run out immediately and snatch up the newest mascara you just saw a commercial for, or lip balm you just saw in Allure (and sometimes it's downright impossible, that's ok) but if it is something you can hold off having for a week put it on your "try" list. I started one in the Notes app on my phone, but you can start one wherever is convenient for you. Whenever I am browsing online, reading a magazine, or hear a friend raving about a product that I want to try I just add it to my list of products I want to pick up. I started small but as time went on and my list began to grow I eventually organized alphabetically by brand (this definitely helps when you're researching whats on sale).
Remember to delete products when you get them to keep your list organized and up-to-date.
2. Start a email account just for newsletters.
I have actually done this for years. I was so sick of my personal email always getting 30-100 newsletter emails a day that only interested me 20% of the time. However that 20% of the time can be something MAJOR and you don't want to simply unsubscribe to them and miss a great sale. I started an email that gets all those newsletters (if you have a mac I highly recommend iMail so you can access all your accounts at the same time). Make it a point to sign up for ANY newsletter of brands you enjoy. Almost every single brand out there has a newsletter that will send you special promotions, private friends and family sales, etc. I go through this email account usually once or twice a day and see if there is anything good.
Outside of the brands themselves I recommend signing up for HauteLook and MyHabit emails because they frequently have some killer beauty sales. I also get a lot of great coupons from Target newsletters, and also get their coupon texts which allow me to just show my phone to the cashier at the store.
Not so much about saving money but another good newsletter to sign up for is All You Daily Free Sample, a lot of times its a great little beauty freebie!
3. Save those coupons!
Pull out those coupons from magazines, you get at the register when you cash out, on free samples you get in the mail, and store them in an envelope you keep in your car (so you have them handy when you're out).
4. Follow your favorite brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
It definitely pays to follow your favorite brands on social networks because a lot of time they run special fan only promo codes and pre-sales even before sending out a newsletter about it. A nice feature that Facebook recently put into effect was a pages feed. You can find it on the left hand side of your page under PAGES, clicking on it will show you a news feed but only for the pages you like. I also check this once a day.
5. Check your weekly store AD's or Nouveau Cheap for the weeks sales
Make note of what brands are on sale, and what items from your "try" list you can pick up for a bargain this week. G from Nouveau usually has some great coupon links, and lots of times you can double up.
For example this week I had a $2 off Simple Skincare item (manufacturer coupon), $1 off Simple Skincare from Target, AND Simple was on sale this week at Target so I scored a pack of Simple Face wipes for a crazy $2 instead of almost $8!
So those are my tried and true tricks of the trade. This little method took a while to nail down, but it works really nicely for me. I would say I only ever buy full price from drugstore 1% of the time. Higher end brands get a bit trickier but you can definitely score some great deals on them as well. Thats where those newsletters come into play. Look out for friends and family sales not only from the brands but also from Ulta and Sephora (they only run them a few times a year).
Hope you lovelies enjoyed this post! I really enjoyed sharing the money saving knowledge with all of you, it has saved me so much money and allowed me to buy more!
Good luck on your beauty coupon-ing adventures, and of course let me know how it goes.