ShopSmart study eyes store brands as way to save on beauty products

YONKERS, N.Y. — According to a recent poll that will appear in the June 2013 issue of ShopSmart, 56% of women do not take advantage of coupons and discount codes when it comes to purchasing makeup, skin care items and other beauty products.

"There's no reason to overpay or to miss a potential deal when buying beauty items," said Lisa Lee Feeman , editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. "Also consider store-brand beauty products — if you like them, the savings can be worthwhile in the long run."

 In response, ShopSmart offered some ideas to help consumers save on beauty products:

  • New store brands. Store-brand beauty products offer more choices than ever. ShopSmart's recent beauty-product price scan found store brands can save shoppers as much as 40% on products such as facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturizers and eye serums. CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart offer at least two tiers of store brands — a basic line that competes solely on price and a premium line. Also consider bargain beauty products lurking in unlikely places such as Aldi, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
  • High-end look-alikes. These "equivalents" compete with higher-end name-brands with comparable ingredients. They might be more expensive than mass brands, but in most cases are cheaper than premium brands. ShopSmart found CVS equivalents to best sellers such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and L'Oréal Day Lotion Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair.
  • Celebrity lines. CVS, Target and Walmart offer celebrity makeup lines that can't be found anywhere else. Target carries an exclusive cosmetics line from celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk with great prices and selection; Walmart recently launched Flower, an exclusive makeup line from actress Drew Barrymore, whose items typically cost $10 or less. And CVS sells actress Salma Hayek 's Nuance line.
  • Bulk buys. Warehouse stores and their websites are great places to buy high-end beauty goods. Costco is a secret source for high-end skin care and other beauty products for less. Kirkland Signature, Costco's house brand, carries versions of Borghese products, a high-end beauty brand sold in upscale stores. Though Borghese doesn't say that Costco's version is the same, it does say that the Kirkland Signature line is made specifically for Costco in the same factory.

 Other findings in the ShopSmart poll included:

  • When They Shop: 43 percent of women bought cosmetics only when they were on sale;
  • Beauty Hoarders: 61 percent of women say they had beauty products that were expired or they no longer used;
  • Buyer's Remorse: 33 percent of women said they had regretted a beauty purchase made in the previous 12 months;
  • Spend vs. Save: Foundation (including tinted moisturizers and BB creams) was the number one item women say they splurged on; lip gloss is the item they cheapened out on;
  • Favorite Makeup Product: Mascara was the cosmetic product women say they used the most;
  • Brand Loyalty: Facial moisturizer was the number one item to which women said they were most brand loyal to; lip gloss was the least.


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