Saturday, January 8, 2011

What I've learned about getting the best price for drugstore makeup

It's very rare that I'd be willing to pay full price for drugstore cosmetics. So rare, in fact, that I don't remember the last time that I did. While you could walk into say a Walgreens and find Buy One Get One Half Off offers fairly often, that really only means you're getting 25% off of what is already a slightly inflated price. Occasionally they will have clearance items, but not everyone has the time to wait.

CVS has spruced up their cosmetics department and they have a beauty rewards card as well. If you buy other things from that pharmacy, extra bucks promotions may be of interest, which when combined with manufacturer coupons you can find in the paper or online, could help cut down costs. You might want to note that Walgreens does not take coupons printed out from a computer. CVS might though.

The worst prices you'd find for drugstore brand makeup would probably be a supermarket. This is not always the case but often is. I find that Ulta always prices theirs at least a dollar or so more than at Target but they do have a weekly coupon (either 20% off one item or $3.50 off of a $10 purchase) which may make it worth your while if you have a few items to buy. You can sometimes find Ulta coupons for $5 off of a $10 purchase in magazines too. I'm a Target shopper though so I buy almost everything there. If you have a RedCard, you also get an additional 5% off.

I'd been doing a little online research about Target and someone has posted what appears to be the markdown schedule for items in the store. I typically go to Target a few times during the week but I never really took note of when items get their markdown stickers. For cosmetics, the schedule (as per this one person and may vary by store) seems to be Fridays. The discount goes from 15%, down to 30, 50 and then 75% off. Sometimes, like with holiday stuff, it even goes down to 90%. But if that ever happens, its slim pickings. I usually wait for at least half off before I buy anything because it's never an immediate need. I browse the cosmetics aisles every time but some stores have separate clearance bins at the endcaps so the discounted items won't be with other items from the brand but with a whole slew of clearance items somewhere else. With drugstore brands, I only buy things on sale because they do go on sale and also because if it turned out to be a dud, some places won't allow you to return used items. CVS and Target would, but if I can wait for eyeshadow to be a dollar before I buy it, I'd prefer not to have to subject the store to a return of a used item that they can't resell.

Anyway, all reasoning aside, here's the dish on the last couple of weeks. I mentioned it previously that a couple of Revlon lipstick shades are going for just over a dollar and some, if not all items from their Fire & Ice collection are down to 75%. I got two nail polishes from that. Almay, which is owned by Revlon, looks like it is discontinuing some of their eyeshadow trios as there are new ones out. Some of these trios even come in a bonus pack, with an eyeliner and you'll find them at half off. Some of the single eyeshadows are marked down to half off too and occasionally, you will find ones with a bonus color attached to it. This way, you are getting two eyeshadows for the price of one. And watch out for coupons that print from the Target registers. You can also get them from Target's website, from magazines and the Sunday paper. Those will help shave off a few extra pennies. If you are not too familiar with Target's coupon policy, they will accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for any one item. Sometimes, combined, you can even get items at no cost.

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