Search For A Dupe
One of the best things that beauty blogs can offer is knowledge about the best 'dupes' - for anyone who doesn't know, that's short for 'duplicates', more affordable drugstore versions of high end products. If you're eyeing up a high end beauty product but can't afford the price tag, simply Googling "Product Name Dupe" can often help. Following accounts like '@ihaveadupeforthat' and '@makeupdupess' on Instagram is useful too.
Websites like Fragrance Direct and Feel Unique specialise in discounted beauty products and both stock a whole host of drugstore and high end brands, usually a good bit cheaper than on the high street. They're also a great way of getting your hands on limited edition collections that are no longer available in stores. Even places like ASOS are great for beauty, they often do discount codes and with free shipping, you can't loose.
Get A Sample
A lot of high end beauty counters will have samples of their latest launches, just waiting to be distributed to potential customers. Go for a browse, chat to the consultants, ask questions - if they have a big box of samples hidden under the counter, they're far more likely to give them to genuinely interested browsers than random by-passers.
There are also certain products that counters will be able to give you a tester of for you to try at home, foundation is a perfect example. Getting a sample and trying it out for a few days will give you a feel for it and can help if you're unsure whether or not to invest in a full bottle.
(Bonus tip - If you fake tan for special occasions like I do, getting a sample of a darker foundation will save you buying another bottle in a darker shade and the tiny size is handy for your handbag too!)
Know What Products Are Worth Investing In
There's a time and place for drugstore beauty. There's time and place for high end beauty. Get to know what you don't mind investing a little more in and stick to it. I don't grudge spending more on foundation, lipstick or skincare but I'll be damned if I spend any more than £5 on a nail polish or an eyeliner.
Try Before You Buy
Nothing's more gutting that buying a new beauty product and finding after one use that its just now for you. MAC's Creme D'Nude lipstick, I'm looking at you. £15 down the drain. If a friend has it, ask to borrow it and give it a try for yourself, even just for one day. It'll give you a chance to see if it's really for you.
Boots, Superdrug, Debenhams, Space NK and The Body Shop all have loyalty schemes that offer loads of great freebies like points to pounds, exclusive deals, events and special discounts. Get them, get them all!
Department Store Brand Events
Debenhams and House of Frasers both have regular (roughly 4 times a year) brand events with percentages off each department. Typically, 10% off beauty products and fragrance. Stocking up during these events if you have high end products in your everyday makeup routine or waiting til then to treat yourself can save a good bit.
If you fancy trying out a product but aren't sure if you'll love it, why not check out Boots or Superdrug's travel miniatures section? Buy a mini version, try it out and if you love it, go back for the full size. If you hate it, at least you've only spend £2 instead of £10. Boots travel mini's are usually 3 for 2 and include brands like Soap & Glory, Sanctuary Spa, Aussie, John Frieda, Tresemme and Nivea.
It's kind of generally accepted that beauty products don't often go on sale. You either pay the price or you go without. Well, that isn't strictly true. While it's not often that single product goes on sale, gift sets often do. Be sure to out the Boots or Lush website on Boxing Day morning and grab yourself a bargain.
Return Your Empties
Did you know if you return 6 empty MAC products to a counter or store, you get a free lipstick of your choice? Or if you to return 5 empty black Lush pots, you get a free fresh face mask? These schemes are designed to encourage repeat custom and help the environment but are also a great way to try out something you're perhaps hesitant about parting with cash for.