In this post, I'm specifically going to talk about drugstore makeup brands. Some of you might be wondering, "What is a drugstore brand?" Typically this refers to brands like Revlon, Maybelline, L'Oreal, etc. that are sold in drugstores, such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid and are also sold in discount retailers like Target and Walmart. Even though Ulta Beauty store is not a drugstore or discounted retailer, they do sell most drugstore brands along with higher-end brands as well.
So where do you find the best deals? Well, I thought it might be easiest to see the best deals by doing a price comparison on two specific items: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Stick and Revlon Colorburst Lipbutter. Based on the prices in my area and what I found online, if I wanted to buy both of these products, here is what I could expect to pay....
*If I don't get them on sale, the combined regular price for both the lipstick and lipbutter at each store is as follows:
- Target and Walmart: $11.45
- Ulta: $14.48
- CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid (average price): $16.68
*But, let's say that I want to wait for a sale. Since Target and Walmart already offer such low prices, they typically don't put makeup on sale for more than about 10% off. Ulta and the drugstores, however, quite often offer deeper discounts. However, will their sale prices be cheaper than the regular price at Target and Walmart? Let's find out.....going back to our example of the lipstick and lipbutter purchase...
1) Buy 1, Get the 2nd for 50% off Sale - Since the regular retail price at Ulta and the drugstores starts so much higher than Target and Walmart, this is not going to save you as much as you might initially think.
- Target and Walmart Regular Price: $11.45
- Ulta ~ Buy 1, Get 2nd for 50% off: $10.99
- CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid~ Buy 1, Get 2nd for 50% off: $12.54
2) 40% off Sale - This is the best sale and the one that will save you the most money. Typically, Ulta and the various drugstores will only offer one brand at a time at 40% off and they rotate the brands throughout the year. Here's the price comparisons for both a lipstick and lipbutter purchase:
Target and Walmart Regular Price: $11.45
Ulta ~ 40% off Revlon Sale: $8.68
CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid ~ 40% off Revlon Sale: $10
Ulta again is the winner here and finally, the drugstore is saving you some money :-)
*If you aren't already an Ulta Beauty member, sign up on their website or the next time you are in the store. Not only will you receive their ads in the mail but you will earn rewards with each purchase which you can redeem for money off purchases. They also offer coupons quite often for $3.50 off your purchase of $10 or more.
*For sales at your drugstores, check the weekly ads in the Sunday paper. Or, you can view the weekly ads on the websites for each of these stores.
*To save additional money on drugstore brands, check your Sunday paper for manufacturer's coupons.
*Keep an eye out at your drugstores for "Last Chance, 75% off". Drugstores will do this when an product/color is being discontinued. Usually, these aren't products/colors that I would normally buy but sometimes can't resist at a super low price :-)
Up Next: Where are the BEST deals on higher-end makeup brands?