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Monday, June 17, 2013

The best [unexpected] places to buy beauty products!

A little about me: I feel like I was bred to be a bargain hunter. My grandma is an amazing one and since I was very little she taught me the best places to find awesome clearance deals and insane markdowns. BUT, as I got older I developed a love/passion/obsession with makeup [that my grandma doesn't share- though she will NOT leave the house without lipstick :)] So I took a bit of what she taught me and learned some tricks on my own when it comes to finding beauty bargains. I think a lot of people would be surprised where to hunt down beauty bargains so I thought I'd compile a small list and give you some tips & tricks on how to find good, name brand makeup ...for CHEAP!

[in no particular order, though the last store is my favorite for finds!]

Dollar Tree:
I could talk and talk about how much I love the dollar tree  -I'll spare you-  BUT if you don't frequent this place, you should. BTW, if you're unfamiliar everything is a one dollar, everything. Regarding beauty, it is hit or miss as far as name brand stuff is concerned. They usually have LA Colors and random stuff, which is okay. But once and while you'll be strolling down the beauty aisle and... BAM! you see Milani, or ELF, or Maybelline!

I just recently got these gems (which helped to inspire this whole post):

3 Milani HD advanced lip colors and 2 Milani eyeliners

I always get so giddy when I see name brand stuff and I look through alllllll of it which brings me to tip 1: look through everything, you may not initially see "the hidden gem(s)" make sure to scan the entire beauty section (no matter what store you're at) and when things are hanging up look to the back of each peg, making sure not to miss anything.

With the Milani lipsticks pictured above I almost missed the color I ended up liking the most because as I was looking through I noticed it was only really 2 different colors available (which I had already put in my basket, of course) and after filing through about 10 or 15 I moved on to the eyeliner but before I left the aisle I thought I should look through all the lipsticks just to make sure they weren't anymore shades and with a little more digging I found a beautiful berry shade, which is now my favorite!

T.J. MAXX/Marshall's:

Most ladies probably are aware by now of the almighty bargain that is TJ MAXX & Marshall's, both are one of my favorite places to shop, and if you're not checking their hair/beauty/skin care section, you must!

This is the absolute BEST place that I've found to buy high end hair care products. I've seen practically ever name brand there from Bedhead to Joico, and it's at least half off. I have also found some AWESOME makeup including the balm, OPI, and Urban Decay! It is also a great place to get quality makeup tools like [dupe] beauty blender sponges, eyelash curlers and sometimes brushes. It can be hit or miss but 9 times out of 10 I usually find at least one thing I don't need can't live without.

Rite Aid:

Confession: I try to avoid any drugstore like the plague, I do so because when I go in I practically drool over all the makeup... then scoff at there ridiculous mark-up of prices (compared to Target or Walmart). The exception to that is Rite Aid, in my experience they have some GREAT sales, more so than CVS or even Walgreens. tip 2: sign up for store's email, then you'll know about the latest shipments and sales. I include this tip under Rite aid  because they send you coupons once a week or so [it's the only place I will buy Essie nail polish because once and a while I'll get a 2 dollar off coupon in my email!]

 Not to mention they're sales are phenomenal! They don't just do the typical "buy one, get one half off" other stores do, they have real clearance and sometimes they'll have ALL of NYC cosmetics 40% off or ALL of Rimmel. That's when I rack up, I got my favorite/holy grail bronzer (Sunny by NYC, more about that bronzer here) for a $.140, at that price if you already know you love it, get 2 or 3 back ups! Last time I went they had all of they're older stock of Wet n' Wild 75% off...

I got 3 loose powder blushes (which I intend to press- so I'll use them more) for ONE DOLLAR EACH and the mascara was no more than 2 dollars. A trend I've noticed with Rite Aid is that they aren't afraid to markdown "older" cosmetics when new collections come in and they don't have room on their displays... and that is alright with me!

Big Lots:

My all time favorite! Why you may ask? Because 99% of the time there is always something worth buying and their prices are absolutely fantastic, on everything (not just makeup). I have to brag for a minute and share the best, most high end brand I've found at Big Lots...

Philosophy: 2 eyeshadow quads, highlighter, 2 cream blushes
That's right Philosophy makeup! These products we're 3 dollars each, I definitely got back ups and even sold a few for a profit, haha. It just goes to show you can find great items by shopping discount places and always having your eyes peeled.

I just went to Big Lots yesterday so I took a few pictures to show you the typical lay out and to give you a few more tips and tricks.

Jackpot of Drugstore goodies!
Just in this one picture you can see there's Revlon, Sally Hansen, Maybelline, Covergirl etc. Most of the items will be hanging by hooks, so remember like I mentioned in when talking about the Dollar Tree make sure to look through the hooks so you don't miss anything.

Tips for Big Lots:

Make sure not to miss anything, as I was looking through all the crap at the top of the picture, I spotted this tiny box at the very bottom filled with revlon eyeshadows, concealers and l'oreal nail polish . I don't know why but (in my experience) Big Lots is NOTORIOUS for doing this, so check every inch of the aisle to maximize potential of finding something great!

Display of Physicians Formula on the end of  an aisle
Also don't forget to check the end of the aisle or (as we call it in the retail world) end cap! At Big Lots this is usually where their new arrivals are displayed OR where great name brands are [this is where I found the Philosophy stuff!] Also worth noting, you can usually find great hair care, personal hygiene stuff and sometimes skin care at Big Lots!

Well, that wraps it up my beauties! I really hope you enjoyed the list and I hope you learned a thing or two about where to shop for beauty bargains and HOW to shop for them!

As always please comment, share and subscribe!

xo Leah
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  1. I definitely agree with the marshall's tip! I tend to find OPI and china glaze nail polishes for $2-3 on sale! In the past I have found stila, smashbox, and some discontinued revlon products there! Great post!!

    1. Yes oh my gosh me too! I've found a ton of OPI and the balm, which was awesome! The discounted drugstore makeup is always great too because its sooo cheap! Thanks so much for reading xo please subscribe if you'd like!

  2. Wow, love this topic! I totes agree with those places and frequent those places myself. I don't have a Rite Aid nearby, but I do find good deals at CVS. Their full prices are way too high, fo sho, but with manufacturer coupons, plus CVS coupons, plus their reward bucks, I get good stashes. Do you have any Bealls Outlets near you (this might be very specific to the South East?) I've found so many high end cosmetics there for cheap plus on clearance to boot. But I love the Big Lots tip. I forget about them and I have several near me. And the Dollar Store is awesome! My friends and sister ALWAYS ask me where I find stuff and they dont believe me when I tell them it came from there. They look one time, dont find it, then give up. I think the world is split between those of us who love looking for bargains 24/7 and those who suck. Haha JK. Great post!

  3. You mentioned pressing your own blush from the loose powder. Do you have a tutorial on doing that? Great tips btw!!