Eight-hundred dollars for an ounce of moisturizer. Twelve-hundred for a facial. There is no shortage of beauty products and services one can buy with an unlimited beauty budget. (Still flush with cash? How about a rose petal and Evian bath with a price tag of $5,000?) But if it's beauty steals you are after, rather than splurges, I've rounded up some of the best bargains on the market.
Eye spy an online deal
Lorac Cosmetics is a high-end collection known as the "Red Carpet Authority," thanks largely to founder Carol Shaw's reputation as the makeup artists to an expansive list of A-list celebs. The Lorac brand promises to deliver red-carpet-worthy results and, thanks to some online digging, I found Lorac products at a fraction of the normal price. Just log on to Lorac.com and click on the "VIP Sale" link where an ever-changing array of Lorac's products is offered at a deep discount; right now Lorac's "Long Lasting Eye Shadow," normally $19, is just $6 in a variety of hues.
Gifts with purchase galore
Sure, you can pick up a great lipstick at any local drugstore for less than $10. But if your lips aspire to wearing something more highbrow, gifts with purchase could be the path to justifying spending $26 for Estée Lauder's "Pink Riot" or $30 for Lancôme's "Red Chiffon." And while I regularly post roundups of GWPs on my blog, through Aug. 6, Nordstrom's anniversary sale offers dozens of beauty GWPs, available while supplies last in store and online at Nordstrom.com. (Reminder: Nordstrom.com offers free shipping and returns on most items, every day.) So, for example, with any $45 Estée Lauder purchase you'll get a GWP valued at over $155 replete with a full-sized lipstick, a faux snake-skin clutch, eye shadow, mascara, lacquer and more.
Nail summer's best manis and save
Julep (photo above right) is a collection of toxin-free nail colors that I first discovered years ago as a boutique lacquer collection based out of an individual nail salon in Washington. The line has grown, as have the brick and mortar salon locations, with the addition of Julep Maven, a polish subscription club of sorts. Monthly Maven boxes include two new lacquer colors and other beauty samples. A recent box included "Zora," a frosted pink pearl lacquer, "Myrtle," a red crème lacquer and three full-sized lipsticks, all for $19.99. Plus, special offers are easily found online, such as a recently tried and (successfully) tested code "FREEBOX," which makes a first Maven subscription box free (sans $3.99 shipping). There are also a bevy of polish shades at Juelp.com that are on sale for just $4.99, a deep discount from the normal price of $14 a bottle.
And while a $5,000 bath may not be in your future, you've saved enough to buy yourself the biggest bottle of Evian on the market.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBay.PrettyCity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn via @tampabaypretty.