1 | Ulta I shop at Ulta a lot. They usually always have what I'm looking for, their prices are great, they always have either a $3.50 off coupon or a 20% off coupon (that can be used online or in store) and I love that I can get both (some) luxury lines along with drugstore brands all in one place. They have makeup, haircare, skincare, hair accessories, nail care, a salon, the list goes on and on. Also, their rewards program is really awesome! All sorts of different perks AND you get a full-sized luxury product on your birthday! Sign up if you haven't already! If you don't have an Ulta near you, check them out online! Don't forget to choose your 3 free samples at checkout!
2 | Sephora I honestly don't know of a woman who doesn't know about Sephora. They have all my favorite brands and their Beauty Insider program is fabulous. They also do the 3 free samples at checkout, so don't forget to do that!
3 | Nordstrom Obviously you can shop in-store for personalized service, however, shopping for cosmetics online at Nordstrom is also a great resource. Nordstrom does a great job at giving you all the latest trends in makeup on their website with things like their Beauty Concierge, New Arrivals, and Recommendations. Just like Ulta and Sephora, you also can choose 3 free samples at checkout. Lastly, if you weren't aware, Nordstrom recently adopted a free-shipping and free-return policy. They ship (almost) anything on their site for free to anywhere in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). This is a great option if you buy something and don't love it and need to return it. Once again, Nordstrom coming in clutch with amazing service!
4 | Target Seriously...I love this store. I'm there about 3 times a week. However, when I can't make it in or can't find something in the store, I look online. I have a Target RedCard so I get free shipping on anything (no minimum) and 5% off all my purchases. It makes it a great option if I'm running low on a product and don't want to drive in, since I don't have to pay for shipping! Also exciting, Target recently added premium skincare lines Borghese, Vichy Laboratories, Laneige, La-Roche Posay, MD Complete, 29, and Own Beauty. All of a sudden shopping at Target just got a lot more high-brow!
5 | Beauty.com If you've heard of Drugstore.com, then you've probably seen the extra "tab" along the top of their website for Beauty.com. They have TONS of great brands and since they are a shared site, you can grab your higher end cosmetics, put them in your shopping cart, and then click the Drugstore.com tab and add whatever drugstore products you need and they go to the same shopping cart! SO convenient! Free shipping over $35, free returns, free samples. Things like "save your list" and "auto-reorder and save" and advice and trends. Also make sure to check out their Gifts with Purchase options to see if you can nab any cool deluxe samples with items you already need to swoop up!
6 | Directly at the cosmetic websites. You may be wondering why you'd do this as opposed to finding them at Sephora or Nordstrom. Well sometimes the websites have special offers, freebies and sales that the department stores don't have. Sometimes they have exclusive products that you can't find anywhere but from them. Lastly, most of them offer some type of percentage off your first order if it's the first time you've shopped with them! Some of my favorites are: Urban Decay, MAC, NARS, Benefit, YSL Beauty, NYX Cosmetics, Smashbox and Tarte.
And please don't forget, if you are going to be doing some online shopping, check to see if they are a participating retailer on Ebates so you can get some of your money back. It's free and so easy to sign up. I get money back constantly for taking a couple seconds beforehand to check them out and find my retailer first.
If you become familiar with all the different options for shopping for cosmetics online, you'll be amazed at how much you can save (and score in freebies)! Think outside the box and do some research before you commit to the first thing that comes to mind! Happy shopping!