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How to Find Good Quality Makeup Affordably

Updated on January 17, 2013
how to find good makeup affordably is doable.
how to find good makeup affordably is doable. | Source

Thinking Outside The Box ~

If you want to find good quality makeup affordably then you have come to the right place.

It is very doable for all cosmetic, perfume and makeup lovers to find quality brands including Mac, Urban Decay and Estee Lauder at discount prices through a variety of ways. Quality makeup does not have to be extortionist prices if you know what to look out for, when are bargains common or where to shop for affordable cosmetics.

Everyone has different ideas on what equates to quality or expensive.

As someone who has worked within the cosmetics industry, I have tried many different brands and products through the decades and have my personal favorites. I would have spent a bit extra on them but now I refuse to pay outrageous money that I just don't have.

Read on for some tips that will mean having to compromise on quality will not have to be an option, if you think a little outside the box.

Duty Free Shopping at Airports

When travelling abroad be sure to avail of duty free shopping at the airports and ports. Terrific savings can be made on all the top end cosmetic and fragrance brands.
When travelling abroad be sure to avail of duty free shopping at the airports and ports. Terrific savings can be made on all the top end cosmetic and fragrance brands. | Source

Duty Free Shopping ~

Part of the International holiday experience is treating ourselves or friends at duty free at the airport, onboard or in-flight.

Prices should show significant savings compared to High street prices and will offer selected brands at 40% below the normal prices.

Duty Free will also offer limited editions or exclusives in pack sizes and gift sets that are not available to buy in the High Street stores.

Another great reason to stock up on your favorite perfume, makeup or skin care product is reduced prices does not mean fake, they are all genuine.

Tax Free Shopping

an important aspect to  International travel is knowing if you are entitled to your tax back when purchasing on the high street.
an important aspect to International travel is knowing if you are entitled to your tax back when purchasing on the high street. | Source

Avail of tax back ~

For all visitors to Ireland who are visiting from America, South America, Canada, Asia, Australasia, Indonesia and all Non European Union countries, make sure to ask for a tax back form at all shops you purchase from.

Retailers should offer this but it pays to be informed prior to travelling in case they don’t mention it.

You are entitled to claim back all tax paid on goods which may be done at the airport when departing or posted on when you are home. Remember to keep all your receipts carefully.

Clinique Cosmetics

prices vary from country to country so check out prices before heading off to see if it is worth buying your must have favorite makeup brands.
prices vary from country to country so check out prices before heading off to see if it is worth buying your must have favorite makeup brands. | Source

Know Prices of Products –

Knowing what type of prices to expect in the country you are visiting may result in great savings on quality brands.Always avoid buying cheap designer perfumes at markets or by the roads, as they are most likely fakes.

For example, Irish travelling to USA will notice a sizable difference in American brands including Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Trish McEvoy, Mac, Bobbi Brown, Revlon and Max Factor.

I have been like a child in a sweet shop when visiting New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles as these brands were up to 50% cheaper with the exchange rate in the department stores and drugstores.There was no real price changes with the top European brands such as Lancôme, Clarins and Yves Saint Laurent (YSL).

Avail of Staff Discount

use staff discount to purchase quality cosmetic products at greatly reduced prices.
use staff discount to purchase quality cosmetic products at greatly reduced prices. | Source

Staff Discount ~

Many businesses offer access to discount shopping stores to their staff as a perk which can be a considerable saving.

Family are often able to avail of this too. For example, my brother works for Aer Lingus our national airline and when I was visiting New York, he gave me the address of a store off Broadway only open for those who were authorized.

It was all top end cosmetics at incredibly low prices. Needless to say I was there quite awhile stocking up on makeup for work and personal use which saved me hundreds of dollars.

Airline staffs often have these concessions available so if you or a family member works for an airline, look into it particularly when travelling to America.

Coupons Give Savings

using coupons will give instant discount off quality brands when redeemed.
using coupons will give instant discount off quality brands when redeemed. | Source

Coupons ~

Not a practice I have used in Ireland for cosmetics but I did come across a great American coupon website called RetailMeNot that has a host of top makeup brands and lists of different discounts available.

You name a brand and it seemed to be there including Mac, Bobbi Brown, Kiehls, Elizabeth Arden and Urban Decay.

I noticed many had expired by the end of 2012 and had not been updated, however there were some great value offers available with free shipping coupons and more.

Coupons were available for department stores too like Macys, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Do check this website out if you are a coupon clipper or someone looking for a good affordable way of getting what you want for less.

Mac Cosmetics

recycle with Mac by keeping all your empty containers including lipsticks, eyeshadows and foundations.
recycle with Mac by keeping all your empty containers including lipsticks, eyeshadows and foundations. | Source

Recycle Scheme ~

Not all cosmetic companies operate a recycling scheme but impressively Mac cosmetics do.

If you bring back 6 empty Mac primary containers to your nearest Mac beauty counter, you will receive a FREE lipstick of your choice in return as a thank you!

How cool is that? You can equally do it online if no counter is easily accessible to you, just visit the Mac website for details and check out the Back to M-A-C Program.

Macy's Department Store

Sales just after Christmas are a great way of picking up bargains in your favorite brands. Cosmetic companies often have limited editions and perfume gift sets for Christmas that they sell at half price after the festive season.
Sales just after Christmas are a great way of picking up bargains in your favorite brands. Cosmetic companies often have limited editions and perfume gift sets for Christmas that they sell at half price after the festive season. | Source

Cosmetic Promotions ~

The majority of quality cosmetic brands will have promotions from time to time at the beauty counters in department stores.

These will often take the form of gift with purchase – you spend a certain amount and you receive a gift.

Many companies such as Clinique, Estee Lauder and Lancôme are known for terrific promotional gifts which often include full size products, limited editions, travel size products or even makeup brushes.

Check out your local department store and ask to be put on the mailing list so you don’t miss it.

They usually run for a week, maybe two and generate huge interest.

Woodbury Common Outlet, New York

Woodbury Common is well known as a must visit Outlet shopping destination when visiting New York.
Woodbury Common is well known as a must visit Outlet shopping destination when visiting New York. | Source

Outlet Shopping ~

A style of shopping that I always associated with being available in America has grown throughout the globe and yes Ireland has several now.

I have been to several in England, America and have worked at the Kildare Outlet Village and love them.

The savings can be considerable and cover a wide section of stores. Cosmetics may be limited but it is still worth checking out as there can be 33% discount or more on offer. Stores will vary but much of the stock may be previous seasons colors and not necessarily the most up to date products.

Honey and Lemon Great for The Skin

homemade skin care and makeup products are easy and quick to make in your kitchen.
homemade skin care and makeup products are easy and quick to make in your kitchen. | Source

Make Your Own ~

Using quality, natural and chemical free ingredients, what could be more beneficial to you and your pocket than making your own beauty products?

After spending years selling cosmetics I have spent time making homemade products and cannot say enough about the fantastic benefits. With gorgeous ingredients we use or have easy access to, a whole new world opens up that is full of goodies that easily turn into gorgeous beauty products such as:

DIY Apple Cleanser, Olive Oil Moisturizer, Citrus Lip Gloss, Banana face Scrub, Chocolate Face Mask or even a Sugar Lip Scrub. Don’t forget your makeup brushes and save money by cleaning them with a homemade brush cleanser. For more recipe ideas and makeup know how, check out my full body of works here.

Max Factor - Affordable Quality

One of the best budget cosmetic brands there is that won't break the bank. Max Factor is way better than many expensive brands.
One of the best budget cosmetic brands there is that won't break the bank. Max Factor is way better than many expensive brands. | Source

Inexpensive Quality Brands ~

Brands that I find full of hidden quality gems include Maybelline, Covergirl, Rimmel, Boots no.7, Body Shop, Botanics, Max Factor and Revlon.

Just because a brand is inexpensive does not mean it is inferior. For example I use Rimmel liquid eyeliner and find it really stays put. I also love all Max Factor products particularly their outstanding range of mascara’s.

I have tried more expensive mascara's but keep coming back to Max Factor ones. Revlon has many fantastic products including foundations, lipsticks and nail polishes that I have been using consistently for over 10 years.

Boots a Giant in Affordable Makeup

now in partnership with Walgreen's Boots offers terrific value for money in cosmetics.
now in partnership with Walgreen's Boots offers terrific value for money in cosmetics. | Source

Boots ~

Now in partnership with Walgreen’s in America as of 2012, Boots started off as an herbal medicine shop founded by John Boot in 1849.

Today it is a multi million pound business that has continued to expand within the United Kingdom and into Ireland, China, America and Canada. Offering great value all year round they have many different offers going continually and can be extremely beneficial to the pocket.

Offers popular in cosmetics and toiletries are 3 for 2 (pick 3 items get the cheapest free) money off products and being able to mix and match brands to get discount.

They do some terrific skin care ranges such as their own range called Botanics (I used for years) which is plant based and so affordable. Make sure to check them out!

Good Quality Makeup for Cheap!

5 of The Best Discount Websites

Online Websites ~

There are a phenomenal amount of websites globally offering discounts on all brands of cosmetics. Amazon and eBay also provide discounted products.

The big disadvantage with your favorite product is the see and feel test. You are buying blind which for color cosmetics and skin care may be an issue for some people.

I have to admit I have not bought products this way as I am cautious about not being able to try or at least see the product and check primarily for colors, authenticity, shelf life dates and hygienic seals.

I did however buy a fantastic set of Trish McEvoy makeup brushes on eBay which saved me €500.

I was working for Trish McEvoy and the brushes were superb but costly in Ireland and even with my discount a set of all the essential brushes was extremely expensive.

Another avenue to explore is online product and website reviews. These can be extremely useful when looking for feedback on a product and opinions on a website before making a purchase.

My Tools of The Trade

good quality brushes will last when looked after and will make a big difference to your makeup application.
good quality brushes will last when looked after and will make a big difference to your makeup application. | Source

Quality Makeup Brushes ~

Good quality makeup brushes are worth spending some money on as they will not only last a lifetime when looked after properly, but they may make or break how a product performs.

The right brush for the right job is how you will make the most out of affordable cosmetics brands.

Using a brush for applying foundation, blusher, eyeshadow and lipstick will use less product and give longer lasting results.

Do You Buy Expensive Cosmetics?

See results

Makeup Quotes ~

"The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion but cosmetics are easier to buy"

Yves Saint Laurent


"Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world"

Marilyn Monroe


"Don't be too serious; it's only makeup"

Francois Nars

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

How to Find Good Quality Makeup Affordably Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank God! Finally some suggestions I can use. I've been looking for quality makeup that is affordable, and my Irish friend is here to save the day. LOL

      Okay, that was all b.s., but hey, we can always use a laugh, right? I'll pass this on to Bev but truthfully, she hardly ever wears makeup. :)

      Sending you hugs and well-wishes my friend.

      bill

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Ah you crack me up you do! DELIGHTED to hear you have taken my suggestions on board, we all need to watch those cents!! I can see you clipping them coupons and saving your Mac lippy containers to bring back, with a spring in your step to Macy's for a free glossy red lipstick you crave!!!! LOL

      Many thank for giving me a laugh as I am feeling shattered and in need of a wake me up!! Appreciate you always :-)

    • abbyw1989 profile image

      Abby 4 years ago from Ireland

      Some great suggestions here and quite a few I shall be following up on - thanks so much for sharing :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      I like to buy Clinique foundation when they're having a free giveaway. The giveaway includes a free makeup bag, skincare products and makeup, such as blush, lipstick, mascara. Even though the foundation is a bit pricey - around $28 - it lasts a really long time, as do the other products, so I wind up getting lots of good quality makeup for a relative steal!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. Very well written and your peeled the make up in good manner. I'll show this hub to my mom and my sister. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up. Have a nice weekend!

      Prasetio

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Wow, I was not expecting such as comprehensive overview of this topic! Great detail on so many different options. Thanks!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi abbyw1989,

      Thanks so much for commenting and it is great to know you enjoyed these tips and ideas. There are always ways around buying makeup at better prices!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Crystal,

      Lovely to see you! I know the gifts with Clinique and availed of their great promotions many times. Clinique is one brand I and my mum would stock up on in America through my brother flying there regularly as it is so much cheaper!! $28 is cheap for us for this brand believe it or not! Thanks so much for stopping by, always appreciate and welcome your thoughts!!:-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi prasetio,

      Many thanks for taking a read here and appreciate your kind words. Hopefully these ideas will prove useful for your mum and sister when looking for makeup. Cheers for the vote of confidence! Wishing you a great weekend too!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi randomcreative,

      Delighted you found this list useful. Prices vary so much across the world in cosmetics and everyone is more conscious of spending wisely these days. Appreciate your input and kind words as always!!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      suzie....well, this is nice to know...and it just so happens, I am only a little over an hour from a huge, "Duty Free" outlet.....that has EVERYTHING.

      I have purchased fragrances at the Duty Free Shop, at a very good savings.

      Never happen to be in the market for make-up, while there, but will definitely keep this in mind for my next trip out there!

      Thanks Suzie.....You are such a BOAT LOAD of fabulous information!! Always..........UP++

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Paula,

      You are always a breath of fresh air to see visit! Lucky you to live close to an outlet or then again it could be dangerous!! I was working at two different ones in England and Ireland which were so tempting to browse at, It would have been a nightmare for me to restrain, particularly the one in England as the shop selection was fab!!!

      Many thanks for your kind words, I hope to please with these bits of information!! Appreciate all your words of encouragement, humor and votes - you rock!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I see that 40% of us buy the expensive brands as needed. I do purchase what I can in the generic, but since I have sensitive skin most of mine are a bit above standard costs. Love your suggestion to make your own, something I may try eventually.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi teaches,

      Many thanks for checking this out and your input. I know expensive brands are popular and quite often it is a case of people sticking to what they know works for their skins. I have a few myself that are superb, particularly in makeup products so have been experimenting with skin care and find they really work! Hopefully you will give a try and son't forget to do a patch test on a small coin size area first to check for any reaction. Particularly good for sensitive skin types. Thanks again my friend!!

    • followthestray profile image

      Samantha Harris 4 years ago from New York

      Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm pinning this one too.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Sam,

      Many thanks for visiting and so appreciate you pinning! A girl has gotta know where to get her bit of indulgence at good prices!! LOL

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