How To Get Expensive Makeup For Cheap

So many people have a lot of fun creating new looks, showing off their skills, and trying out the latest makeup products. One of the biggest problems with makeup is that it can be extremely expensive. If you enjoy high-end makeup but don’t enjoy the price, I have some good news for you!

With so many different brands and new products hitting the market almost weekly, it is easier than ever to add to your makeup collection without emptying your wallet. Let’s talk about where you can get expensive makeup at an affordable price and how you can make sure it is safe to use.

Is It Possible to Get Expensive Makeup for Cheap?

Makeup is one of those expensive items that we don’t necessarily need but that many people enjoy. With that being said, if you are purchasing makeup, it can get expensive quickly. The good news is that because so many new items are coming out so often, it is really easy to get expensive makeup for a much lower price.

A few ways to get expensive makeup at lower prices:

  • Stores and Online
  • Depop and Poshmark
  • Subscription Boxes
  • Social Media
  • Rewards Programs
  • Sale Sections
  • Sample Products
  • Product Testing

These are not the only ways to get expensive makeup at a more affordable price, but they are a few of the most popular ways. Depending on where you live, there may be more ways to get makeup for cheap, especially for those interested in creating beauty-related content or even testing out new products.

Keep in mind that just because makeup is a brand name, it does not always mean it is safe to use. Make sure that your products are safe by examining them. With so many ways to get cheap makeup, risking your skin is not worth a few dollars. Let’s talk in more detail about a few of these options.

7 Ways to Get Expensive Makeup for Cheap

So many people think that expensive or high-end makeup is out of reach because of the price. It is now easier than ever to find makeup that is typically expensive for a lower price to swallow. Here are seven of the best ways to find more fantastic makeup at a better price.

Shop Both In-Person and Online

Believe it or not but many stores that you may already shop at sometimes offer a discount on higher-end makeup. While some stores may offer a deeper discount than others, it is still relatively cheaper than you would find at other stores or even on the brand website.

Some stores to look for cheap, expensive makeup include:

  • TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross
  • Ulta
  • Gilt
  • Nordstrom Rack

If you are shopping in person, the makeup that you are able to find may be limited. Larger cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and even just more populated areas typically get a better selection simply due to foot traffic in and out of stores.

For this reason, more and more people are shopping for discounted high-end makeup online. Stores like Gilt and Hautelook have risen to the challenge of the demands of the makeup consumer industry. While QVC and HSN, and similar sites do not offer discounts or sales, you can often get more for your money with their value packs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many stores have rewards programs where you earn money back for each purchase. You can put those rewards toward things that may be out of your budget or a price you are simply not willing to spend.

Shop at Resell Sites Like Depop, Poshmark, or Glambot

With many stores changing their policy on returning items, more people are looking to get something back for products that are not working for them. This is where resell sites really come into play. Stores like Poshmark, Depop, and Glambot allow users to sell gently used makeup at a discounted price. Some of the things you can find include:

  • Beauty tools such as brushes or mirrors
  • Limited edition collections
  • Discontinued products that are no longer in stores

While gently used makeup may seem scary or unsafe, most of these websites require photos and proof that the item is either new or gentle. Sometimes you can even find brand new items that may have been gifted or came with their purchase. You can also ask the seller any questions prior to your purchase.

Different resell retailers are starting to have sellers ship in items to the company so that they can certify the products are genuine and safe to resell. If you are worried about buying pre-owned or gently used makeup, this may be a great way to assure yourself that the products are safe.

Sign Up for Subscription Boxes

When the beauty industry exploded, along with it came subscription boxes. There are a lot of different types that all cater to different needs and preferences. Some of the most popular beauty subscription boxes include:

  • Birchbox
  • Glossybox
  • Easy
  • Beauty Pie
  • BoxyCharm

Subscription boxes allow you to pay one monthly fee ranging anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the box you choose as well as the different levels within each subscription. You are then sent different products based on your skin tone, your hair, and different variables that they ask you about when you are signing up.

Some of these boxes can include really high-end makeup from brands such as NARS, Benefit, and even Natasha Denona. You can often find full-sized products in these, and the value of the items you receive is typically more than the price that you paid for the box.

You should also check out the website for different boxes. They often have marketplaces where you can buy products from the boxes at a discounted rate for members or even use your points from the boxes you have received over time. Find out which subscription box is perfect for you with this article from Harpers Bazaar!

Utilize Social Media!

You are probably aware that social media and influencer culture have really taken off over the past few years. Even if you are not ready to post your life on Instagram, there are still certain benefits that you can get just from being online. Here are a few ways that you can get cheap makeup with social media.

  • Become an influencer yourself and work with different brands to help promote their products. You will get mailed products for free in return for a post on social media.
  • Follow your favorite brands online to be updated on sales or exclusive discounts.
  • Many accounts help you find cheaper high-end makeup. You can see what stores such as TJ Maxx or QVC have, which can help you get the best deals.

This is more of a long-term way of getting expensive makeup for cheap, but it is possible. If you dedicate the time to it, you can possibly get on the PR list, which means that you are getting a full range of makeup each time they release a new collection.

More and more brands are also having flash sales and using social media as a way to let consumers know. If there is a brand that you really love, make sure you follow them so that you don’t miss out on a great deal on one of your favorite products.

Join a Store or Brand’s Reward Program

We covered this earlier when we talked about the Ulta rewards program, which allows you to earn money back from purchases that you make either online or in the store. Depending on where you are shopping for makeup, they may also have rewards programs that can help you earn your money back.

Suppose the stores that you shop at do not offer this type of program. In that case, you can pick up a credit card or even a designated store card, which can allow you to make payments on products that are expensive, or even sometimes earn cashback or rewards through the card itself with your regular spending.

Don’t Forget About the Sale Section

While sale sections may not be as large as they are at certain times of the year, chances are the shop that you are in probably has a sale area or a clearance shelf that you can check out. This is a great place to find deep discounts without having to jump through any hoops. Most of the products here fall into three different categories:

  • The product did not sell well, and they are trying to sell of stock.
  • The product may be discontinued, and they are trying to move it out.
  • There may be an odd number of the item left.

Whatever the case may be, a sale section can be great! Especially if you shop at places such as TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack that are already discounted, you can really maximize your savings. Another tip is to know when your store has markdown days so that you can see the brand-new sale items before they get picked over.

Applications such as ShopTagr can also help you find out when your favorite products are going on sale. You can mark different products and get notifications or emails to let you know when they go on sale. If you are looking for a particular product, this is a great way to make sure that you are able to get your product without being picked over.

Get Some Samples

Almost all makeup stores will give you samples, even stores like Sephora! If you are really interested in trying out a product before you decide to purchase a full-size, ask one of the employees if they can make you a sample. It will be small enough for one-time use, but it can help you decide if the product is right for you.

Some things to keep in mind.

  • Do not abuse this service! Many stores are doing it as an accommodation because they know their products are expensive.
  • Before getting your sample, talk to the employee about other options or products that they recommend based on your complexion.

If you are looking for more ways to get free samples from Money Pantry. They have 45 different ways to try different beauty products without ever leaving your house!

Sign Up to Be a Product Tester

Many beauty companies are always looking for people to test new products and new formulas. While it can be challenging to get started, this is a great way to receive new products on a regular basis and help create products that people love and will use. Keep in mind that not all companies are genuine, so do your research!

A few companies to apply to:

  • Branded Panel
  • Toluna
  • MySoapBox
  • Influenster
  • InStyle Trendsetters
  • Allure Beauty

Look up product testing in your area to see if there are any local companies where you can sign up. You can also do a quick internet search to find applications to fill out. Keep in mind that this may take a while to get started, but it will be worth your time. If you are looking for more companies to apply to, check out this article from Product Review Mom!

What are the Most Popular Websites to Find Expensive Makeup for Cheap?

We mentioned how many different online retailers are giving amazing discounts on high-end makeup. Many of these websites offer brand-name products that you can find at stores like Sephora, but they also offer great deals on drugstore or more affordable makeup brands.

Nordstrom Rack

One of the most unique websites on this list is Nordstrom Rack, formally known as HauteLook. It acts as a virtual pop-up shop that has rotating deals on top products. They also sell home décor and clothing in addition to top beauty brands at discounts up to 65% off.

A downside to this website is that they rotate sales, so repurchasing your favorites may be difficult. If you find a product that you love, then you may want to pick up a few so that you do not run out. See what Nordstrom Rack has for your right here!


Although they mainly specialize in more affordable makeup, there are more prestigious brands on the site that you can shop for. Some of the more popular high-end brands such as Tarte, Too Faced, and Elemis may be hard to find on the site, but every now and then, you can find a great deal.


We mentioned Glambot earlier in this article, but unlike others on our list, it sells gently-used makeup. While that may seem unsafe or scary, the company evaluates each product before it is sold. Someone else’s least favorite product may become your new favorite, and you can get a fantastic deal on it as well.

Find your favorite beauty products on Glambot right here!

Beauty Encounter

Another popular place to find expensive makeup for cheap among beauty lovers is Beauty Encounter. They have a wide variety of products to choose from as well as an email list you can sign-up for which can help you save even more money. It is also a great place to find perfumes if that is something you are shopping for!

You can check out all of the amazing products from Beauty Encounter right here!

How Can Stores Sell Expensive Makeup for Cheap?

One of the biggest questions when it comes to buying expensive makeup at a cheaper or discounted rate is how stores are able to do that. Most of the makeup that you see at discount stores such as Marshalls is simply overstock of the product. Either the brand or another retailer had too much product that was not moving.

The overstock is sold to different stores as a way to make up for the losses on full-price sales, and the consumer gets the benefit! Some people have even found products at TJ Maxx that are still stocked at Sephora or Nordstrom for the total retail price. This leads us to the next question, is it safe to use makeup you find for cheap?

Is Cheap High-End Makeup Safe to Use?

We have all heard the horror stories of people getting cheap makeup that they think is high-end and having terrible results. This can happen regardless of where you buy it, but there are two main reasons why there may be an adverse reaction to cheap makeup that is marketed as expensive.

  • The makeup may be expired or damaged.
  • The makeup could even be counterfeit and full of harmful ingredients.

In some larger cities and even online, counterfeit makeup has become a real issue. People are sometimes paying top dollar for makeup that is full of ingredients not approved to be used, or sometimes just not as effective as the genuine product should be.

How to Know the Discounted Expensive Makeup You Bought is Safe

No matter where you purchase something you are using on your skin, you should always check for safety precautions. This can be represented as a sealed item, protective layering, and even the expiration date, which can be found on all products as a small jar with a number on it telling you how long it is suitable for.

Per FDA guidelines, every single product that you put on your skin needs to know what is inside of it, how long those ingredients are suitable for, and even how it is applied to your skin. There are no exact laws in place, so it focuses more on manufacturers and retailers doing their part. Here are a few things to look for when it comes to makeup.

  • Ensure that any product you purchase online or in-store are sealed either inside of the original box or the component that it comes in.
  • If the outer packaging of the makeup is broken, check for fingerprints, applicator cleanliness, and even the product itself for consistency issues.
  • Be cautious of purchasing used products or products online. There is often a higher chance of the product not being safe to use.

Because of these reasons, many stores such as Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack have been securing the makeup products they are selling to ensure that they are safe for the consumers who purchase them. If you are interested in more information from the FDA concerning makeup or skincare, this is a great resource you can check out!

If you purchase makeup from someone else or a different store, there are ways to check and make sure that the products you are using are safe. One of the most popular ways is to use the website You can use the brand name and batch code to see when it was created. Note that not all brands are not available on this site.

Is Expensive Makeup That Much Better?

Even with expensive makeup at a lower cost, it can still sometimes be more expensive than more affordable options would be at their regular price. This often leads people to wonder if expensive makeup is actually worth the additional cost, even if it is cheaper than the regular price.

One of the main reasons why expensive makeup is because the ingredients are very different. They tend to offer different skin benefits as well as more pigmentation. The pigmentation alone can make the product last longer and give you better results.

With that being said, there can be products that may actually cause more issues with your skin. Some higher-priced ingredients may have bad reactions to your skin. Even if they are at a discounted rate, they still may not be worth the price that you pay.

Can You Find Every Makeup Brand for a Lower Price?

Since we have covered where to get expensive makeup for cheap, you may be wondering what the point of buying full-price makeup is. That is a good question, but you need to keep in mind that not all makeup is available on these sites. There are some brands that prefer to remain prestigious. These brands often include:

  • Chanel
  • Gucci
  • By Terry
  • Dior Beauty
  • YSL Beauty

While it is harder to find them, that does not mean it is impossible. During the holidays, you may be able to find value packs from these brands where you can test out different products. While it may not be as cheap as others, it is the best discount you can get.

If you want to try anything from these brands, gently used sites may be a great option. Make sure that you see the product and have it authenticated before purchasing it to use on yourself or others. A lot of high-end or expensive makeup tends to be faked or duplicated, so always make sure your products are authentic.

Are There Other Ways to Get Expensive Makeup for Cheap?

We have covered where to shop and a few tips that you may not have thought of, but are there any other ways to get high-end makeup for a lower cost? Here are some things that you may not have thought of yet!

  • Get a job at a makeup store! Not only are you going to receive a discount on your purchases, but you may even be able to get trial products from the store as well. Many of those stores work on a commission system which means the harder you work, the more money you can earn or even save on your makeup purchases.
  • Sign up for programs such as Honey or Drop, which allow you to earn money back on your purchases, and it also searches for discount codes that you can use to save money on top of your deals.
  • It would be best to consider that many affordable brands are coming out with new and exciting dupes of high-end products. If you think about that high-end bronzer, see if there is a similar product at a better price from a more affordable brand!
  • Different companies such as Afterpay and Klarna are great ways to spread out the cost of what you purchase online. Depending on where you are shopping, you can choose this option both online and even in-store to spread out payments into four additional payments.

These are just a few ways that you can save some extra money on top of expensive makeup. While these may not make it really cheap, they can save money on top of savings that you already find on different websites!

Final Thoughts

With the beauty industry growing at such a rapid rate, there are always going to be new brands and products coming out. While makeup can often be expensive, it does not always have to be. We have covered a few ways to find expensive makeup for cheap, both from stores and online.

Since makeup goes directly onto your skin, you want to make sure that you are using approved makeup that is safe and not expired. You can do this by looking at expiration dates and buying from certified retailers.