The cost of personal care keeps soaring — this past year, prices on everything from toothpaste to shampoo to face lotion have risen 7.7 percent. It might not seem like much at first — it’s just a few cents here and there, right? Actually, the price increases are so steep that people have stopped buying some of their favorite toiletries, cosmetics, and beauty products. But you don’t need to skimp out: Here, money-saving experts share their secrets to looking lovely for less.
Save on Shampoo: Check Out SalonSavings.com
“After a recent cut at my salon, I loved how my hair looked and felt but didn’t want to spend $64 on the Kerastase Specifique Hair Masque they used. Instead, I wrote down the name and searched for deals online, then I came across the product at SalonSavings.com for just $22.99. That’s 65 percent off! Bonus? They sell most salon brands for much less, plus high-end skin-care products and perfume.”
—Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin, savings expert at QuickAndDirtyTips.com
Save on High-End Beauty: Check Out Discount Stores
“To try out high-end brands without the high price, I always advise checking out the personal care section at TJMaxx or Marshalls. When brands change the packaging or formula for a product, these stores buy up the old lots. The product itself is still perfectly fine, but they’ll sell it for up to 70 percent off. I’ve found everything from Theorie Shampoo for $6 a bottle, (it retails for $26) to Pacifica Mineral makeup palette for $7 (it retails for $21).”
—Andrei Vasilescu, co-founder of DontPayFull.com
Save on Perfume: Stock Up at Freeflys.com
“About four years ago, I started checking freebie sites for perfume samples, and I haven’t bought a single bottle of perfume since. Designer perfume costs anywhere from $30 to $80 and up per bottle, but I have an ever-growing stash of perfume from brands like Coach, Lancôme, Prada, and more. It’s so easy to click through a website — I like Freeflys.com — and fill out sample requests. You just give your mailing address and receive the samples in about three to four weeks. It’s nice not having to spend money to smell great.”
—Jane Klein, grandmother of five, Houston, TX
Save on Skincare: Use Private Label Products
“Devotees on my Aldi Facebook group have been raving about Aldi’s private-label beauty products, so I just had to try some out. With my sensitive skin, I was a bit nervous, but I picked up the exfoliating facial scrub and foaming face wash from Lacura, Aldi’s private-label brand — both were just $3.29. Not only did they not irritate my skin, but they contain the same active ingredients as my favorites — Clean & Clear Action Exfoliating scrub, which sells for $5.97, and Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, which costs $8.50. I couldn’t tell the difference between the products, and the savings really did add up.”
—Katie Banks, mom of three, Omaha, NE
Save on Cosmetics: Try the Dupes
“An inside secret to saving on makeup? Dupes — inexpensive products with the same quality, feel, and color of a pricier option. For example, Milani Glow Hydrating skin tint, a dupe of $26 Glossier skin tint, works even better and costs only $10.97! A great place to find these dupes: DupeDrop.com. Simply input the name of the product you want and the site generates a list of cheaper options.”
—Harman Awal, beauty expert at YourGirlKnows.com
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.