Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Thrifty Girl's Guide To: Buying Cosmetics

[As published on Emmagem.com HERE]
You know that annoying friend who likes to tell you she got something at a ridiculously cheap price, and then rub it in your face so you feel jealous?
Well, that’s me.
(But I don’t really rub in in though!)
I’m always on the lookout for great bargains. My friends kind of hate me, because sometimes I get something for half its original price, and it’s still fairly new/not expired. Like the time when I got a Nivea Intensive Moisture Serum for RM9.90 (instead of RM17.90) from Caring Pharmacy, or when I got a Beautylabo foaming hair colour for RM10 off its original price. I’ll stop now. I’m sorry if you hate me too.
However, I like to think of myself as ‘thrifty’, not ‘stingy’.
So, I’ve decided to share some of my tips on how to get the best deals around town when shopping for your beauty essentials.
Know how much your favourite items cost.
I keep a mental diary of the prices of my staple products. That way, when it’s on sale, I can compare prices and buy from the store which offers the lowest price. Usually stores offer a 15% discount, but if you’re lucky, you might find soon-to-be discontinued items going for half price, with 2 more years until expiry date!
Always keep your eyes open for new product launches. 
Follow the brands you love on Facebook so you’ll know when they’re launching new products. New products usually come with an enticing introductory price and/or extra freebies, so it’s the best time to buy. Though if the ‘introductory price’ is simply 50 sen cheaper, then don’t bother because they’re not sincere in offering people the chance to try their products anyhow. Just don’t tell anyone I said that.
Check out the clearance items. 
Firstly, make sure the expiry date is not a week away. It has to be at least 6 months away – if you start using it tomorrow you won’t die. When I say ‘clearance’, I don’t mean goopy lipgloss or faded eyeshadow that should rightfully belong at the bottom of the trash bin. I mean products that have torn labels, wonky boxes, dented bottles, you get my drift. Those are okay to be used. NOT THE MOLDY LIPSTICKS!
Get more discounts with memberships/coupons. 
I have a whole stack of membership cards (free application!). Some give really good discounts, like 15% off storewide. Some allow me to collect points which can be redeemed for a cash rebate. In dire times of need, I’ve also come across cut-out or print-out coupons that offer a substantial discount on beauty products I want to buy. Save wherever you can.
You’ll find the best deals in the least expected places. 
Last month I was about to tear my hair out at the prospect of shelling out RM40 for a brow powder compact. I’d been to so many stores, and they all cost north of RM35, and Daiso didn’t have the colour I wanted. And then I found my perfect shade at Hyaku Land, Times Square (kind of like Daiso, but less famous) for RM5 (!!!!!) It hasn’t burned a hole in my skin, and neither have I started losing brow hair, so I’m pretty happy with my buy. Sometimes you don’t know where you’re going to find a good bargain, so make sure you don’t stop trying or hoping!
The bargain hunter’s favourite stores & brands:
  • Daiso – everything at RM5! Great makeup remover tissues and eyebrow pencils.
  • Hyaku Land, Times Square – everything at RM5!!
  • Etude House – keep an eye out for their ‘buy 1 free 1’ promos!
  • Silkygirl – decent products for less than RM20, especially blushers and mascaras.
  • In2it – great eyeliners, but not-so-great lip products.
  • Senka – by Shiseido, but a whole lot cheaper! (Cheaper than Za and Aqualabel)

Shop smart, ladies! Put your hard-earned cash to good use!
(Images: openclipart.com, thegraphicsfairy.com, myinspiredwedding.com, mylifeinbeauty.com)

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