Sunday, 11 April 2010

How to buy high end make up for less

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will have noticed by now that I have a lot of make up. And I mean A LOT of make up. Nowadays I tend to pretty much only buy high end make up, with the exception of a few lipsticks and lipglosses from Max Factor, Avon, No 7 and the likes. And let's face it, high end make up costs a lot. But there are certain ways of buying high end make up that can save you a lot of money, and I would like to share these with you. This is just my experience, and might not suit everyone, but I thought some of you might benefit from it. 1. Testers I buy a lot of testers, especially really expensive brands like Guerlain, who have lipsticks costing £25-27 where you pretty much pay more for the packaging and the brand, than the actual lipstick. I mean look at the G lipsticks, with such an extravangant case, even a mirror is included. And yes, it is nice, but seriously do you NEED it? Of course not. So if you don't mind not having the pretty case, you can get testers of Guerlain's G lipsticks on eBay for as little as £6. You still get a full size lipstick, but instead of the gorgous case, you get a little plastic cap and a coloured plastic end that shows the number of the colour. Exactly like the ones you can try on at the counter. Of course they are brand new, so as good as any other lipstick, but at fraction of the price of the original product. You can always buy one for the case if you really fancy it and get the other shades in testers.
Same goes for the Kiss Kiss lipsticks which normally retail at £20. You can get them for as little as £4! And because they all have caps, you can still carry them in your purse (if you don't mind pulling a tester out of your bag in the restroom - I don't).
Same goes for Guerlain's blushes and eyeshadow quads which come in neat little plastic cases with lids. You can get them for at least half of the normal retail price.
I also buy perfumes as testers. They usually come in the biggest size, or in some cases bigger than any of the "normal" products you can find, and usually come boxed in a plain box, often without a cap. If you don't mind not getting the pretty box and in the case of the Harajuku Lovers perfume the pretty doll that sits on the top of the bottle, then you can get yourself some excellent bargains. I mean sure, the little Gwen Stefani doll is cute, but what do you do with it once you've finished with your perfume? Instead I bought a 100 ml tester for a little over the price of the 30 ml product. Makes sense, doesn't it?
2. Preview/sample items

On eBay you can often find make up that was sent to magazines or bloggers for reviews and then sold on, usually brand new as they were only photographed and not even tested. They usually come with a sticker on the bottom stating that they are review items, but usually in their normal packaging, so they look just like the product you would buy in shops. And who cares about a little sticker when they can save several pounds? I have many Mac (and other high end incl. Clinique) items that I bought on eBay and are marked as samples, including lipglosses, lipsticks, eyeshadows and blushes. See photos below.

3. Trial size items

I use very expensive skincare products (Guerlain's Orchidee Imperiale range) and am of course more than happy if I can save money on them. One way of doing it is buying trial size items. You know the little tubes of creams, etc. that you are given with your purchase to try out. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Exceptional Complete Care serum costs £230 per 30 ml, which I have never paid for it, I would be mad to, when I can buy 10 little tubes (3 ml each) on eBay for often as little as £30-40. Sure, I don't get the fancy packaging, but then again, no packaging is worth paying £200 for, right? ;)

4. eBay

Now I have mentioned buying from eBay in every one of the points above, but I wanted to give it a separate mention, because you can find brand new items in normal packaging at a fraction of retail price as well, you just have to keep an eye out for them. If you don't mind it if something's used, items that have been tested sell for even less. (Although eBay is now not allowing people to sell used make up anymore, not that it stops people, lol.) There are fakes on eBay, especially high end make up (not just Mac, I have seen plenty Chanel, Guerlain, etc. fakes), but if you do your homework, you will be fine. I have bought over 500 items on eBay and only bought one or two fakes myself (and managed to get my money back anyway thanks to Paypal).

5. Sale / reduced items

And of course we all love sales, and you can always pick up some nice items at half price or less. Unfortunately that often means waiting for months and possibly missing out on certain products, but I have picked up a few limited edition items at half price that I never thought I would, including Guerlain's Meteorites Voyage Powder!

Well, that's it. I hope you've enjoyed my post and you can use some of my tips next time you are looking for something to buy.


  1. Great tips, I love it when you find a bargain like that!

    Ellie x

  2. Congratulations.
    Sorry, I'm not fluent in English,
    I am Brazilian, I live in Rio de Janeiro.
    I loved your blog ♥ ♥ ♥ !!!!
    I arrived here via Google searching Guerlain.
    I do not know to identify forgeries, I want to learn.
    I will not write much, so you do not laugh at my mistakes of language ...:))))

  3. I'm obviously writing a comment some time after your blog entry - I just found your site tonight.
    This is a really interesting and useful post and I'm going to start some searches tomorrow morning using your tips. Thanks!

  4. This is a really useful post! Thanks so much!

  5. Thank you! I found a new obsession!

  6. fabulous tips! I always wonder where the ebay sellers get testers from - i want to raid there stash! x


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