Confession time — makeup is my guilty pleasure.

But here’s the thing: “Prestige” (or luxury beauty brands) don’t have to cause guilt when you know how to get the goods without paying full price.

Here’s how:

 

1. Get Clinique gifts sets for up to 70% off (or free!) from Macy’s.

  • Regular price: $10-20 (retail value for set when purchased individually is $70)
  • Aim to save: 70% or free
  • How to get the discount: Shop Macys.com and use a 20% off any purchase promo code (or coupon) + pay with a discounted gift card. Or, get $10 Macy’s Money with your $10 purchase, making it free.
  • Best place to get discounted Macy’s gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 8.1% off, on average.

Macy’s is hands-down the best place to buy Clinique products.

First, keep your eyes peeled for Clinique gift sets marked as low as $10. You can routinely score six-piece sets worth $70 for just $10 that usually include face wash, lotion, makeup remover, lipstick, mascara and a makeup bag.

Once you see them on sale, use your 20% off coupon (usually sent via email when you sign up for Macy’s emails), and pay with a discounted gift card.

In the past we’ve seen a $10 Macy’s Money credit with each $10 gift set, making it free.

And forget about shipping fees, because Macy’s beauty purchases always ship free if you’re ordering online.

 

2. Buy Tarte lipsticks at Ulta, and aim to save at least 30%.

  • Regular price: $12-24 each
  • Aim to save: 30%
  • How to get the discount: Use a coupon for 20% off your total purchase (make sure it’s good on prestige brands) + pay with a discounted gift card.
  • Best place to get discounted Ulta gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 9.23% off, on average.

Tarte lipsticks are a cult classic, but you should never pay retail price ($12-24) for a tube, ever.

At the very least, if you pay with a discounted gift card and use a 20% off your total purchase coupon from Ulta, you should aim for a 30% discount. That’s a $3-$7 savings per tube of Tarte lipstick, taking it down to a reasonable $9-17 per tube.

Just join Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program to receive these high-value coupons about every 90 days!

 

3. Buy Big Sexy Hair shampoo and conditioner at Ulta to save up to 50%.

  • Regular price: $28.95 per bottle of conditioner
  • Aim to save: 40-50%
  • How to get the discount: Use a 20% off any purchase coupon and pay with a discounted gift card, or wait for the buy two get one free sale or the Liter Sale when these products go on sale for up to 40% off.
  • Best place to get discounted Ulta gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 9.23% off, on average.

Salon-quality hair care can be seriously pricey, but the Liter Sale in January and July, or the B2G1 deals at Ulta make this the most affordable place to pick up salon-quality products.

You can also watch your inbox for coupons that can be used on prestige products, like the famous 20% off your entire purchase coupon, then save another 9-10% by purchasing a discounted gift card.

 

RELATED: How I Use Ulta’s Loyalty Program to Get Free Makeup and Hair Products

 

4. Get a free full-sized perfume bottle by purchasing a Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler set at Sephora.

  • Regular Price: Get the sampler set for $65, then pick out any full-sized bottle you love for free (up to a $90.00 value).
  • Aim to save: 100%! You’ll get a voucher for a free full-sized perfume bottle inside your sampler set.
  • How to get the discount: Buy a Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler set with a discounted gift card, and get a voucher for a free full-sized bottle of perfume.
  • Best place to get discounted Sephora gift cards: Raise for 6% off, on average.

This deal lets you try out 14 deluxe-sized samples of Sephora’s best-selling perfumes, and then redeem the included certificate for a free bottle of one of the samples.

This is amazing, because not only do you get a full-sized bottle of your choice (some of these cost upwards of $90), but you get a huge selection of smaller bottles too.

Pair this deal with a discounted Sephora gift card from Raise, and you’re saving another 6%.

 

5. Buy BareMinerals foundation on Ulta.com to save an average of 20-30%, plus get free gifts with purchase.

  • Regular price: $28 per foundation
  • Aim to save: 20-30%
  • How to get the discount: Watch for 20% off your total purchase coupons, plus opportunities to snag a gift with your purchase (you should never, ever buy at Ulta without getting free gifts with purchase). Then pay with a discounted gift card. (You’ll also get free shipping on your order with the purchase of any BareMinerals foundation.)
  • Best place to get discounted Ulta gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 9.23% off, on average.

Ulta has an ongoing promotion with BareMinerals where you can get free shipping on your entire order if you buy any BareMinerals foundation.

Combine free shipping with the 20% off coupon (get it by signing up for that Ulta Loyalty program!), making each foundation only $22.40, which you can pay for using a discounted gift card for another 9.23% off. Final price: $20.34.

 

RELATED: 28 Ulta Hacks That Will Save You Serious Cash

 

6. Get your Smashbox palettes at Macy’s to save an average of 50%, plus score free gifts.

  • Regular price: $29-49
  • Aim to save: 50%
  • How to get the discount: Use your 20% off any purchase coupon, or a $10 off $50 coupon during a Smashbox sale. Pay with a discounted gift card.
  • Best place to get discounted Macy’s gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 8.1% off on average.

Wait until Macy’s has a coupon code + sale. I repeat, wait until Macy’s has a coupon code.

Approximately every eight weeks, Macy’s offers promos for 10%, 15% and 20% off.

And every six months or so, we see a $10 off $50 coupon that can be used on beauty. Be sure to check your Macy’s newspaper inserts and website for the latest coupon codes.

Find the corresponding Smashbox sale, and use either offer on Smashbox sale items for maximum savings.

We’ve seen some awesome gifts offered with purchase of Smashbox palettes at Macy’s, including free makeup bags, Smashbox primer, and three-piece gift sets, especially around the Holiday Season.

Get that final 8% off by paying with a discounted gift card.

 

7. Buy Urban Decay palettes for 60% off from Macys.com.

  • Regular price: $54.00
  • Aim to save: 60%
  • How to get the discount: Use a 20% off any purchase coupon, or a $10 off $50 fragrance and beauty coupon when Urban Decay palettes are on sale. Pay with a discounted gift card.
  • Best place to get discounted Macy’s gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 8.1% off, on average.

We’ve seen these insanely popular shadow palettes for as low as $22 at Macy’s, a full 60% off regular retail prices when you combine a sale with a coupon (then pay with your discounted gift card!)

Plus, all Macy’s orders that include a beauty item ship for free, which makes any Macy’s deal all the sweeter.

 

 

8. Get an average of 25% off Philosophy skin care at Ulta.

  • Regular price: $39 for a 2 oz. jar of Hope in a Jar
  • Aim to save: 30%
  • How to get the discount: Use a 20% off any purchase coupon that includes prestige brands, and pay with a discounted gift card.
  • Best place to get discounted Ulta gift cards: Gift Card Granny for up to 9.23% off, on average.

Hope in a Jar is a cult skincare classic for a reason — it works like whoa. But at $40 for a teeny tiny jar, it breaks the bank just by looking at it.

Combine a 20% off your entire purchase coupon to save $7.80. If you purchase using a discounted gift card, you’ll increase your savings to almost 30%, making Hope in a Jar around $27.

 

9. Buy Stila face palettes at Nordstrom Rack for up to 55% off.

  • Regular price: $39.00
  • Aim to save: 55%
  • How to get the discount: Just shop there using a discounted gift card (this is why we love Nordstrom Rack).
  • Best place to get discounted Nordstrom Rack gift cards: Raise for 5% off on average.

Nordstrom Rack can be hit or miss with makeup, but it’s worth checking in. Stila is a brand we see regularly for up to 50% off.

In the last year, we’ve seen Stila Balm Jovi palettes for only $19.99, marked down from $39! Combine that with a discounted gift card from Raise, and you’re looking to save at least 55%.

 

UP NEXT: 23 Insider Hacks from a Sephora Employee

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