Amazon offers a variety of cosmetics and skincare items, but if you’re looking to cut costs your local drugstore is your best bet for finding deals on affordable brands such as CoverGirl and L’Oreal, Livesey suggests. Chains including CVS and Walgreens often have in-store coupons and sale promotions, as well as free rewards programs that allow customers to score even deeper discounts on select items.
Amazon tries to entice beauty shoppers with temptingly low prices on certain products such as lip balm, but be aware that these items will likely only be available to purchase as an add-on item to a larger order. That means you’ll need to place a minimum order of $25 to score the low-priced lip balm. At Walgreens, for example, we found a tube of L’Oreal brand mascara for $7 (after using a $1 off Walgreens Balance Rewards coupon).
On Amazon, that same mascara sold for $5.55, but only as an add-on item. At CVS, a four-ounce bottle of Oil of Olay facial moisturizer totaled $8.40, while the same size bottle was priced at $7 on Amazon – but, again, available only as an add-on item.
When it comes to high-end cosmetics items (think: La Mer or Estee Lauder), you should probably steer clear of Amazon altogether, Latham advises. That’s because the site has a documented problem with counterfeiters in its third-party marketplace, she notes. Those merchants could be selling fake cosmetics or skincare products with harmful ingredients. Buy high-end cosmetics direct from the manufacturer’s website or through an authorized retailer to ensure you’re getting an authentic product.