When it comes to sales I am prone to impulse purchases… what has helped me resist is knowing (1) whether it is possible to get a better deal or free shipping from another retailer and (2) whether the sale will come around again (that way, if it isn’t a good time for me to spend money, but I know in a month or so there will be another sale I can hold off until then). Sometimes a brand is ONLY available at one online retailer, so if that retailer is having a sale, then I know that that would be a good time to buy that product. My process is usually to look up what stores stock a brand, and then see if coupon codes are available or may be available in the future (during recurring sales, for example). For example, I never buy Sunday Riley Good Genes during the Sephora sale because Skinstore.com will often have 25-30% coupons that work on Sunday Riley. (The last coupon code from Skinstore was back in July and it was 30% off all Sunday Riley products). If the retailers have similar coupon codes then I look at shipping costs.
The main point of this post was to provide a database of brands and 16 online retailers so that myself and others could use it to know where to buy a brand’s product and hopefully find ways to save some money!
To scroll through the brands (there are 1,695 total!!) and find which retailers stock them, click here to open the Excel File:
Clicking on the link above will open up the complete Excel spreadsheet with 16 retailers and close to 1,700 brands.
To filter the data (and make searching for a brand easier or to just look at the brands offered at one retailer), you will need to click on “Data” –> “Filter views”–> “Create a temporary filter view“. (Or click on the little filter symbol shown below). And then you can type in the name of the brand, or if you are filtering for a retailer you can choose “X”.
Below I have tried to gather some of the cost saving strategies I use when I shop online. I have tried to include as much info as I can to be helpful, but I am sure there are lots of other deals and tricks you all have learned and use. Please comment below to share those with others!
First Way to Save: Cash Back App/Website
My First Tip is to make sure you are using some sort of cash back website. The one I use is Ebates. Ebates lets you stack coupons to save more money. For example, if Dermstore has a 20% off coupon and Ebates is offering 12% cash back, its like saving 32%. Also, for certain brands that never work with coupon codes (like my Chanel Le Lift eye cream), ebates is the only way I save money on those purchases. The small amounts add up and then they send you a check every 3 months.
If you haven’t signed up before you can get $10 in your account after your first purchase of $25 or more for using this referral link: ebates.com/r/NESS119
For those in the UK, or for anyone that shops at Cult Beauty, Quidco is like the UK’s Ebates. I signed up just so that I could get cash back on Cult Beauty orders (Ebates doesn’t cover Cult). Here is my referral link, if you care to use it: click here
At the bottom of the page I will include some additional tips and info about how to use Ebates from your phone or computer for those that are interested.
|Cultbeauty||No, but available on Quidco|
|SPACE NK||Yes, also available on Quidco|
|The Detox Market||No|
Second Way To Save: Check for Coupon Codes or Referral Codes
This is for when I want a product but there may not necessarily be a sale going on. For those instances I turn to newsletter and referral codes.
Newsletter and Referral Codes. Below I’ve included a table with info about referral and newsletter codes for the 16 online retailers I have compiled, but you can also search for the specific brand you are interested in buying on an amazing Reddit forum that I link to below. For example, Algenist is sold at a number of retailers, but there may also be deals from the Algenist website that are even better.
To view a list of brands that offer newsletter discounts, check out this helpful list posted on Reddit MUAontheCheap.
For the retailers in my database, there are also some referral codes and newsletter sign-up codes provided below (as always, you can use anyone’s referral code so feel free to not use mine, but if you do… thanks!).
|Store||Ways to Save|
|Cult Beauty||£10 off when you spend £50 on your first order
Or if you sign up for their newsletter instead you can get free worldwide shipping off of first order.
|Dermstore||Sign-up for their newsletter and receive 20% off (with a unique code)|
|Lookfantastic||15% off first order when you spend $50 or more
Referral code: VANESSA-R2W8
|Neiman Marcus||Sign up for newsletter and get 15% off first purchase|
|Skinstore||25% off when you sign up using referral link (here)
Or use referral code: VANESSA-RCX
|SPACE NK||Receive $15 off your first online order of $60 or more using this referral link (here)|
|Violet Grey||Sign up for newsletter to receive free shipping on first order|
I don’t really love reward programs, but I may be in the minority there. But the table below shows some other ways that you can save.
|Store||Other ways to save|
|Beautylish||They offer Flexible Payments as an easy way for customers to pay for orders over $50 in monthly installments at no extra cost|
|Beautytap||They have daily deals that offer steep discounts for 24 hours|
|Nordstrom||Earn points through Nordstrom rewards. For every 2,000 points you earn, we’ll give you a $20 Nordstrom Note to spend.|
|Sephora||Beauty Insider program (more info here)|
|SPACE NK||Sign up for N.dulge and you’ll receive 1 point for every $1 spent, and when you reach 100 points, you’ll be treated to a $5 N.centive (reward).|
|Target||Save 5% (on top of any sales) when you use the Target Red Card.|
|Ulta||Ulta rewards program (more info here)|
Third Way to Save: Check for Ongoing Sales
My first stop to check for current promotions is that same Reddit forum. https://www.reddit.com/r/MUAontheCheap/
What I love is that they also list upcoming promotions on the right side of the screen.
They are both amazing accounts that put A TON of work into posting about the latest sales and promotions.
Fourth Way to Save: Consider Shipping Costs
I have been so spoiled by Amazon Prime that it is pretty painful to pay for shipping. In fact, that is the main reason I never end up shopping at Ulta online, because I hate having to meet the minimum (I paid for Sephora free shipping for a year and it was well worth it).
|Store||Domestic Shipping Costs||Link to info about International shipping policy|
|Barneys||Free||Link for more info|
|Beautylish||Free $35+, $5 under $35||Link for more info|
|Beautytap||Free $70+, $25 under $70 (there are number of products that are selected for free 3-5 day shipping)||Link for more info|
|Cultbeauty||Free £40+, £6.95 under £40 (brand of the month ships free)||Link for more info|
|Dermstore||Free||Does not ship to international addresses|
|Lookfantastic||Free $25+, $5 under $25||$15|
|Macys||Free for beauty purchases||Link for more info|
|Nordstrom||Free||Link for more info|
|Sephora||Free $50+, $5.95 under $50 (or $15 a year for flash 2-day shipping… WORTH IT)||Link for more info|
|Skinstore||Free $49+, $5 under $49||Link for more info|
|SPACE NK||Free $50+, $10 under $50||Yes|
|Target||Free $35+, Free shipping when you use your Red Card||Does not ship to international addresses|
|The Detox Market||Free $80+, $4.99 under $80||Link for more info|
|Ulta||Free $50+, $5.95 under $50||Does not ship to international addresses|
|Violet Grey||Free $50+, $8 under $50||Does not ship to international addresses|
Fifth way to save: Shop Internationally
A more recent tip I have learned is to compare prices at Sephora, dermstore, etc. with Cult Beauty because sometimes (primarily when the brand is not US-based), you can save money! Cult Beauty integrates UK sales tax into the prices. Once you add it to your cart (and sign in so they know you are US-based) the price will be less because it deducts tax if you’re ordering from outside the EU. Using a currency converter you can see if it is cheaper to buy from Cult Beauty or from a store in the states.
Check out some of these savings….
- Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen
$97.50 at Cult Beauty vs. $115 at Sephora — $17.50 savings!
- Omorovicza thermal cleansing balm 50mL (be prepared to be shocked)
$56.33 at Cult Beauty vs. $110 st Sephora — $53.67 savings!
- Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter
$32.50 at Cult Beauty vs. $44 at Sephora —$11.50 in savings!
And if you haven’t shopped at Cult Beauty before, use a referral code to save $13 off your first order of $65 or more. Here is my referral link if you need one.
How to use Ebates from your phone:
- Download the Ebates app and then before you shop online you would need to open the Ebates app, search for the store, and then click “shop now”.
Using Ebates on laptop/desktop (this is my preferred way to use it for the reasons below):
- If you shop on your laptop/desktop, you can download a widget that will pop up in the corner of your screen (see example below) to tell you how much cash back that store has as well as current coupon codes. This is the best way for me to remember to use Ebates because I often forget to first go to ebates.com and then click on the store link. Using the widget means you can just go directly to the website and then click “Activate cash back” and you never have to leave the site.