How I Save $$ When Buying Makeup

Makeup Looks from Almost Her Blog

Hello friends!

It’s no secret that one of my best loved hobbies is makeup. All of it. Sometimes that can get a little expensive if you are not sure what to watch for so I thought I would pass on the few things that seem to work best for me! (Note: This is not a one-size-fits-all post about all makeup, if something else works better for you than my little info here I say, “Go for it!”) I’m just passing a few small things along in case anyone else is in the market for some new fun items. 🙂

Even though this post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form it was brought about because Ulta is having their 21 Days of Beauty Sale going on March 13th-April 2nd and I just get so dang excited about it that I have to share!!

Makeup Looks from Almost Her Blog
Still some of my all time faves!

Before we start I want to say that this post does lean more toward getting things at Ulta but it can work for other places, I just use this most often because you can get high-end makeup and also drugstore makeup. Also, I will leave you with the few suggestions of things that I have my eye on for the upcoming sale days!


First things first: If you are a lover of makeup and get some things more than once or twice a year you should consider signing up for a rewards program. Sephora has a great points system that can be redeemed for some fun things and Ulta also has a awesome rewards system for actual money off of any purchase. If you are more of a drugstore makeup kind of gal then make sure you have your Walgreens card handy so you can rack up the points on those suckers too. This goes for anywhere that you go to buy makeup, be on the lookout for rewards programs to sign up for!

Why sign up for a rewards program you ask? Free stuff!!! If you sign up for Ulta’s Reward Program you not only get several coupons sent to you that are not sent to the general public but you also get a free gift on your Birthday (last year I got an Urban Decay eyeliner for free and $10 off any purchase!)  and every purchase earns you points that can be redeemed for money off of your future purchases. No lie, I saved my points throughout the whole year and ended up getting several of my Christmas presents for friends and family for NOTHING because I redeemed my points!! They were nice gifts too that I felt really happy about. Want to save the points for that Naked palette that you’ve had your eye on all year for yourself? Do that! It’s a free for all.

I think rewards programs are so smart because they build repeat customers and help the customers out. I always keep my eye out for when the products are 5 times the points (which equals more money back) or the occasional holy grail of coupons: 20% off even prestige makeup.


Secondly: Coupons. This kind of goes hand in hand with signing up for the rewards program because you do receive more coupons if you have it. Now, as I stated in a previous blog post on my Top Summer Essentials I just LOVE the Batiste Dry Shampoo (the Cherry one is my favorite) so I’m using this as an example. The general price for a bottle of that is about $7.99 ish. If you wait until Ulta has a sale on it, which they usually have buy one get one half off pretty frequently, the price for two would be $11.98. Ulta almost ALWAYS has a $3.50 off of $10 coupon on their site so you’d be able to use that and it’s almost like you got the second bottle entirely for free!! This is just one example but if you like the brand NYX or Almay or other drugstore brands such as I do they have the same sales and the coupons work for those as well!! You just have to time it out around those sales to save money while you can. Every little bit helps!!

Almost Her Blog's Summer Essentials! Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry #batiste

Thirdly: Online Deals. It might surprise some of you to know that I haven’t set actual foot in an Ulta in a long time. How come? The online deals are so much better usually. If you are getting something small or want to see a product definitely check it out in store. This is a personal preference but I tend to get SO many more samples of things when I order online. In fact, I have a whole little drawer in my makeup container dedicated to just free samples of things that I get when I place an order. Sometimes the stores run out of things before online so I usually stick to online to ensure I get what I went there for. Don’t live near a makeup store? Go online. If you end up buying all of your essentials at Ulta and become a Platinum Member you can get shipping for free a lot of times too. In fact, for the duration of the 21 Days of Beauty Sale Platinum members get free shipping on any order no matter the dollar amount, which means more samples!! I’ve tried so many new and upcoming things this way and it really helps me weed out which products I like best.


Fourthly: This is something that I’m new to in the last year because I didn’t really understand what it was or how it worked but: Ebates. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard commercials for this and might be skeptical of it, as was I, but it actually is a thing people. Ebates is a cash back service that might seem like a small amount when you start to use it, but as I said, every little bit helps. After you sign up you just go to the website, like Ulta, through the link that they provide and you get a certain percentage of your purchase back. Right now it’s 6% which could just be change, but that’s just for one place. They ALSO are great at providing you with coupons that you can use through them to get cash taken off!! They add all of your little transactions together and send you the money (I choose via check) quarterly. I’ll be getting my third check coming up here.

A recent purchase I made was for $19.95 at Proactiv. (My skin decided it wanted to be a teenager again recently. Woof.) I went through Ebates to make my purchase online and the current Ebates rate cash back for that was 37.5%….I looked at my statement today and I’m getting $7.48 back from that purchase. (!!!)  I use Ebates anytime I book a hotel or use Groupon or even Ticketmaster. There are a ton of businesses on there!! Trust me, it’s worth it. So far I’ve gotten over $143 dollars back from them JUST this year so it’s a great way to help you stretch a dime.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

I’m going to let you know right away that if you sign up for Ebates using this link above I will get cash back from the referral, but honestly I would recommend it even if I didn’t get anything. If you don’t want to go through me I suggest just typing in separately and seeing for yourself!!! It’s a great thing and I still tell all my friends and family about it.


Lastly: Take advantage of sales. This 21 Days of Beauty thing is no joke for me. Some of the best products are going for 50% off of their normal price. When I got the catalogue in the mail I was SO excited to see that my favorite mascara, Tarte’s “Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-In-1 Mascara”, which is normally $21 is on sale for $10 on Saturday March 26th (I got this also on the last sale) and that Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is on sale March 24th so I can try it out! The first day I got one of my favorite all time products ever, IT Cosmetics “Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-Powder” for HALF the price. Not to mention I already received it in the mail with a YSL perfume sample and some lavender samples while earning points AND used my Ebates. I think the best way to save it to double up on the savings as best you can!!


I know this post is specific and not for everyone but I’m hoping that it might help someone out that’s on the fence about trying that new powerhouse mascara or radiant blush or even someone looking to get more into makeup in general.


Any tips that you like to use?? Leave them in the comments for all to hear and share!!!




4 thoughts on “How I Save $$ When Buying Makeup

  1. Thanks Anna! Super helpful! Eye primer, does it really do anything? And do you know if UD eyeshadow us allergy free by chance? I want to get the Gwen Stefani stuff, but I don’t want to waste my coins if I can’t use it. Love your blog!!!

    1. Hey! I’m so glad you enjoy my blog!! 🙂 I definitely love and always use an eye primer before my makeup looks. I use Urban Decay’s Orginial Eye Primer and actually got that on sale 1/2 off and it’s lasted me a long time! It does go on sale sometimes if you wait for it which is nice 🙂 I have noticed a difference in my staying power from it for sure and I like the way it smoothes out things and gives me a better base.

      Also I am not sure if the UD eyeshadows are allergy free but here’s a link to the ingredient list if this helps:

      I know that Ulta has a really good return policy (within I believe 30 days with receipt or ship it back) so that always makes me feel better knowing I can return something if it doesn’t work out for some reason, especially if I paid a decent amount for it. Hope this helps a bit! 🙂

    1. Kelley!! You’d LOVE Ebates!! Especially with your traveling…it’s amazing. Last hotel I stayed at I got $10 back! I just checked and right now they have it if you sign up and make your first “qualified purchase” of $25 or more (going through their link) you also get $10 right away plus the cash back. It really has saved me a lot of money on not just makeup but pet food, travel, tickets, etc. They even have an app or widget to remind you to use them if the site works with them. It’s amazing and free!!

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