As you all may have guessed, I purchase a lot of beauty products. Whether it’s hair care, skin care, body care or makeup, I have a crap ton of it! (Not proud of that so much, but it’s the truth.) I thought I would share with you one of the ways I save on all these things specifically at Ulta today. And let me add that this post is in no way sponsored or supported or even known about by any of the places mentioned. It is just my honest experience of how to save on beauty products. Sooo…we all know that most high end brands rarely, if ever, go on sale. Fear not my fine friends because there are ways to save! To prove it, I most recently ordered $265 worth of products and paid $34 (plus tax of course). How, you’re probably wondering? Well, sit back and I shall share my secrets! 😉
My biggest and best tip for any store where you tend to shop, even if it’s just once in a while, is to join their rewards program. I’m not talking about opening a credit card account at Macy’s or anything, but things like the Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program which rewards points for every dollar spent. (If you use my referral link, we both get a $10 off coupon! You can also sign up in store or on Ulta’s site if you prefer.) So every time you buy anything at Ulta you receive 1 point for each dollar spent. The brilliant thing about Ulta’s rewards program is that these points turn into cash that you can redeem on anything in the store whenever you feel like it! Though that’s exciting, it can get even better with a bit of patience! 🙂
Ulta’s rewards system is a little sneaky…in a good way! You absolutely receive 1 point for every dollar spent. When you have 100 points, you can redeem $3 off any purchase. However, if you hoard those rewards point as I do, they start multiplying! When you reach 250 points you have $8 to spend, 500 points gives you $17.50, 750 earns you $30, 1000 points equals $50 and get to 2000 points for a whopping $125 off a purchase!!! It keeps multiplying too! Granted spending $2000 in one year is excessive, but then again if you think about all of the products from razors to shampoo to body creams, facial cleansers, sunscreens and hair dye that are available at Ulta in addition to high end and affordable makeup, it may not be as much of a challenge as you might think. And there are more ways to amp up those points as well! 😉
So you’ve signed up for the Ultamate Rewards program, but you want to earn points as quickly and effectively as possible, right? Join their email list. You will receive about 1 email each day, but it’s well worth it. Why? Every so often Ulta offers 2x, 3x and even 5x points on purchases! So say you go in, buy something for $10 and Ulta is currently offering 3x points. You will now have 30 points collected in your accruing points bank! By signing up for Ulta’s emails, you also will receive a birthday gift, often with a special coupon and a nice bonus offer for bonus points throughout the entire month! But there is still another way to make this even better!
As I’ve mentioned, Ulta sells a little bit of everything the beauty-interested just plain need (read shampoo, razor blades, makeup and hair brushes, hair ties, etc). If you manage to spend $450 in one year (it’s easier than it sounds in my experience!) you jump to the Platinum membership. Now your point building ability really jumps. You receive more coupons as well as one day offers for specific products often as much as 50% off! Again, make sure you’re paying attention to Ulta’s emails because you will usually receive something encouraging you to activate various offers (you can access those offers from within Ulta’s site as well). Most recently I received an offer for 5x points back on all IT Cosmetics purchases! There are many times throughout the year that there are just plain 5x points back on all purchases! That means you get 100 points for every $20 spent! So reach Platinum status and your point bank will likely increase rapidly without any more spending required!
To add a bit more sugar to this saving bonanza, Ulta offers their coveted 20% off everything coupons from time to time. I would guess 2-4 times a year. It’s difficult to tell because it seems to vary for each person. If you’re a Platinum member, I’m fairly certain you receive these coupons even more frequently – at least 4 a year I believe! Plus Platinum members (not sure about regular members) get random offers for free sample size products (no purchase required) and insane discounts on specific full size items, plus more 20% off a single item and dollar off coupons from time to time. Joining the Ultamate Rewards system really pays off!
So are we getting a sense of how I snagged such a haul for so few $$$…at least on that specific purchase ;)? Being a Platinum member, I try to take advantage of the 5x points offers as much as possible. And with a birthday in January, I receive 5x points on all of my purchases throughout the month early on in the year when a lot of new products are launching (this will vary depending on your birth month of course). So I hoarded my points and allowed them to accrue to a high dollar amount that I actually had to work at to spend! I also had a 20% Off everything coupon which I stacked because points work more like a gift card instead of a coupon. And here is the breakdown of my purchase:
I added $265 worth of merchandise to my cart
I added the 20% Off coupon for a discount of $53
I had $178 worth of points that I redeemed
I paid only $34 before tax!!!
Crazy, no? 🙂 Obviously I had spent a fair amount at Ulta to begin with, but I think these points had been accruing since before January so it’s been some time at least (justifying my insanity…makes me feel a bit better!). I do not think the points will expire and you also can qualify for another year of Platinum status after spending a certain amount above the $450 as well. I’ve already qualified for all of 2017! 😮 Whether you reach Platinum status or not, I highly recommend signing up for Ulta’s rewards program and subscribing to their email list. You really will see some benefit. And of course, do not forget to use the almost weekly $3.50 off a $10 purchase coupons that Ulta even makes available on their website!
One quick last saving tip – when shopping online, I always use Ebates! I have been a member for quite a few years now and I hate to admit how much Cash Back I’ve received. The way Ebates works is that you sign up for an account (I have a referral link that I would appreciate if you use because I receive a $10 credit, but if you would rather not, just go to Ebates.com) and either go through the Ebates website to shop or install their browser button which will prompt you with a reminder to click their button to receive a percentage of your purchase as cash back (usually 3% at Ulta). Going through Ebates you’ll find tons of popular shopping sites that participate, meaning many chances to save on things from diapers to coffee to pet supplies and more! This Cash Back from eligible purchases will be deposited either into your PayPal account or sent by check about once a quarter. You would be shocked…and perhaps horrified how quickly this adds up! As I said, I’ve been a member for years now and have nothing but fantastic things to say about the service. Ebates has recently added a way to receive cash back shopping in stores as well, but I haven’t tried that yet. I find it a fantastic service that basically pays me back for buying the things I need or want! Highly recommend Ebates to everyone! 🙂
So there you have it! Tips for saving money on beauty products most specifically at Ulta, but there are so many stores with similar programs. I will admit that Ulta is not my favorite store to shop at, but because of their updated Ultamate Rewards program I try to frequent the store or their site as often as I can…assuming I need or want something they sell. 😉
Let us know if you have any tips for saving money on beauty products because who doesn’t love saving money? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and I hope this was easy enough to follow. Until next time…
love and stuff,