Saving money on beauty!

This week Janet our guest beauty Editor from Beauty Dossier shares with how to save money on beauty and skincare products. Plus to celebrate, our month of beauty you can still enter to win 1 of 5 Beauty Dossier courses each week.

To enter just tell us in 25 words or less, what your beauty, skincare or make up regime is every morning.

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“The best way to save money when shopping for beauty products is to know exactly what you need. If the product you purchase isn’t exactly right for you, it’s actually money wasted. We all have that “drawer of death” where so many products go to die. You know the ones. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but we never really used them? The Beauty Advisor told us it was perfect, etc…. We know what works on us and what doesn’t and it’s very easy to get pressured into purchasing something you don’t actually need or want. Information is power. An oldie but a goodie. The better informed you are about what you need and what you want, the less likely you will be to add another skeleton to that drawer.”


Tip 1. Sign up for cosmetic brands’ and retailers’ newsletters. This will keep you up to date whenever there is a GWP or special offer so you always get extra value on your basic beauty purchases.

Tip 2. Test and trial. We talk about ways to do this in Beauty Dossier. Whenever you are in a pharmacy or beauty retailer check out their counters. I am a huge believer in always testing products prior to purchase to ensure it’s right for you.


Tip 3. Always buy from approved retailers. I can’t stress this enough. The “Grey Market” is out there and products with prices that seem too good to be true, usually are. The Grey Market products are often out of date, discontinued or in some cases, can actually be counterfeit. It’s not worth the risk.

For me, beauty is just as much about the experience of using and wearing beauty products as it is about the result. We are all pulled in so many directions every day, beauty is that few minutes in the morning and evening when I feel like I am looking after myself. For some women, they feel like that when they exercise or meditate. Beauty can be a very ritualistic experience.


Whilst beauty is a technically a luxury category in as much as it is not necessary for survival, I’d love to see someone try to take my beauty products away from me!

Should you buy prestige brands or mass brands? It depends entirely on the product you are looking at.

I did an exercise recently where I listed out every product from cleansers through to lipstick. It was very generous in including nearly 20 skincare and colour products from cleansers right thru to lipgloss. I costed it out at prestige prices and then at mass prices based on 18 months average usage and using all products 5 days per week. At prestige prices, it works out to less than $1.60 per day. At mass, it’s 88 cents per day. Most of us spend more than that on a morning coffee. When we purchase that eyeshadow, we think….oh it’s $40! But that eyeshadow will last you at least 18 months, so it’s not as much of a “luxury” as we might think when we purchase it.


Applications and concentration of ingredients can vary between prestige and mass. Particularly in skincare, I find I need far less product than if I use a mass brand. Concentration and delivery of the product then becomes a factor as it’s a cost per use proposition and that can bring the end cost down considerably. (In fashion they call it “ cost per wear”) There are also differences by product category. For example, I’d rather have a less expensive brand of hand cream, body lotion, lip balm, and sun protection (for the body) as liberal and frequent application of these products is far more important than having a luxury brand that we don’t want to use too fast because it cost more. Where you tend to land is usually a function of your purse, your personality and your need.


There is a lot of research and development that goes on at the high end of beauty, and it often then translates into mass brands soon after. R&D is hugely expensive and certainly that is factored into the price. The cost of advertising and models is not unique to luxury brands. That is almost a cost of entry into the business of big beauty so all brands factor that in. Packaging certainly contributes to the cost. It’s not just making the packaging beautiful… is it functional, and will it last well and not fall apart after repeated use? Great packing is unfortunately expensive.


Then again, if you buy a beauty product and before you’ve finished it the packaging breaks, or the compact doesn’t close properly, or doesn’t protect the integrity of the ingredients, well, it’s not so much of a bargain. Certain topically applied vitamins (Vit C as one example) need to be packaged in specific containers that are designed to protect the ingredient, as Vit C is fundamentally unstable. Again, maybe you could buy one that is less expensive, but if the packaging has compromised the efficacy of the main ingredient, you are wasting money.


Research what you need. Experiment in store. When you buy what you need and love, beauty becomes much more affordable.

Beauty Dossier is an online beauty course, designed for women over 40, valued at $80- It consists of over 2 hours of video tutorials, broken down into 10 minutes capsules, that you have unlimited access to for one year.

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