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The beauty (sorry, we couldn’t resist) of shopping drugstore makeup is without a doubt price point and accessibility. The luxury of being able to quickly stop and pick up a product you just ran out of or have been curious about trying, without breaking the bank, is hard to top. Of course, the only rebuttal to this convenience has been that drugstore makeup is not as good as high end brands — until now. You see, many high end and drugstore brands are owned by the same parent company. It's similar to how car manufacturers have tiers of vehicles, as a Toyota Camry could have similar features as its much more expensive big brother, Lexus. The difference between big purchases like vehicles and makeup (aside from the obvious) is investment. While it can be argued that both product categories are used daily, the repurchase cycle in beauty products doesn’t compare and falls short of this justification.
So, considering many drugstore brands are formulated with the same ingredients as their high end sister brands, coupled with the fact that the need to frequently repurchase is high, you’re left with few good reasons for choosing drugstore brands over designer. To push you further to team drugstore’s side, you can save more on top of already low prices if you know where to look.
Best Drugstore Beauty Rewards Programs
Drugstore beauty programs like Walgreens, CVS and Ulta are great for knocking off a few bucks from your total without lifting a finger. If you haven’t, we highly recommend signing up for beauty programs offered by all retailers and download their apps. This is key for saving through coupon stacking, an easy way to combine retailer and manufacturer offers.
Walgreens Beauty Enthusiast Reward Program
Are you a drugstore beauty maven? If so, the Walgreens Beauty Enthusiast reward program is for you. Walgreens has listened to customers and revamped their beauty section as well as a beauty rewards program. On top of redesigning store’s beauty sections to offer a wide variety of brands and products, Walgreens also has beauty experts ready to guide you through new items, share best sellers and answer any questions. It’s always smart to ask those who are immersed in the industry their thoughts — you might just be surprised at what products they are their personal favorites as well as what products they see frequently returned.
Walgreens Beauty Enthusiasts Perks:
- Free to join
- $5 Reward for every $50 spent on beauty
- Digital Coupon for 20X everyday points rewards upon sign up
- First access to new products
- Tailored offers for future purchases
- Early access to events and samples
Pro-Tip: Download the Walgreens app to help track reward points, which are also available to donate to select charities. After downloading the app, check out the savings sections. Here you can activate exclusive offers for accelerated point purchases, BOGO deals and manufacturer coupons that can be combined with Walgreens offers and reward points for maximum savings every trip.
Ulta Ultamate Rewards Program
If you’re an Ulta shopper, regardless of frequency, you need to sign up for Ulta’s free Ultamate Rewards program. Ulta is known for being a budget-friendly one-stop shop for beauty, skincare and beauty tools. Ulta has separated itself from the pack of beauty retailers by not only offering a mix of drugstore and high-end brands, but also by offering salon services and exclusive brand collaborations. Most Ulta shoppers already know about the magic $3.50 off coupon that can be applied to orders over $15 (in-store and online) on qualifying products. This being said, Ultamate Rewards members can unlock even more savings that can be combined with the coupon. For every dollar spent in-store and online, you’ll accumulate Ultamate Rewards points that can be applied towards future purchases. In addition to earning points for future purchases, Ultamate Rewards members also receive exclusive perks and tailored offers based on frequent purchases.
Ultamate Reward Perks:
- Earn points for every purchase
- Free Birthday Gift
- Earn 2X Rewards Points during your birthday month
- Receive a $10 coupon during your birthday month
- Points never expire
- Gain access to exclusive rewards and accelerated point offers
- Free shipping with tier access
- Salon discounts with tier access
Recently, Ulta joined forces with Target to bring the Ulta shopping experience to the beloved retailer. Remolded and expanded beauty sections in select Target x Ulta Beauty stores not only have Ulta-trained staff on hand to answer any questions, but you can shop a selection of Ulta brands and products, saving a separate trip to the store. The best part of this collaboration, other than convenience? You can connect your Ultamate Reward program to Target Circle to combine forces in savings. You’ll earn points for Target x Ulta Beauty purchases, in-store and online, that can be used at Ulta.
Pro-Tip: Download the Ulta app to track your rewards programs, easily shop deals and check out the sale and coupon section for all current offers. Don’t forget to activate extra point offers before you shop!
Sephora Beauty Insider Reward Program
It’s safe to say that for many, a trip to Sephora is visiting the mecca of all things beauty. Sephora is known for carrying high end and exclusive makeup, skincare and fragrance brands. Because Sephora caters to a higher price point, taking advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider reward program is key to saving. The free program has tiers of savings levels for both sporadic shoppers and Sephora loyalists. Each tier gives members accelerated point opportunities during sales and events. However, depending on your tier status, only some members gain exclusive early access to events and gifts based. All tiers receive access to Beauty Insider events and services as well as gain points for services.
Sephora Beauty Insider Perks by Tier:
Sephora Insider Level Perks
- Free to join
- $10 Cash reward (500 points)
- Brand point-multiplier events
- Free standard shipping
- Free birthday gift
- Exclusive perks
- Rewards Bazaar access to redeem points for samples
- Exclusive events
- Exclusive access
Sephora VIB Status Perks
- All perks included with Insider status
- Must spend $350/year to qualify
- Access to events before Insiders
Sephora Rouge Status Perks
- All perks included with VIB and Insiders status
- Must spend $1000/year
- Rouge Reward for $100 off (2,500 points)
Although Sephora’s Beauty Insider reward program has tiered levels, many customers feel they don’t reap rewards until they reach the infamous Rouge status.
Pro-Tip: Download the Sephora app to stay up to date on in-app exclusive offers, early access to shop and track your point progress.
CVS ExtraCare BeautyClub Rewards Program
Another awesome drugstore beauty program to join is CVS BeautyClub. CVS is beloved by drugstore shoppers for volume of coupons shared weekly, albeit coming with a receipt long enough to stretch the globe. If you’re a fan of CVS coupons, definitely join the free BeautyClub program to take advantage of extra savings.
CVS ExtraCare BeautyClub Perks:
- Free monthly gift with $30 beauty purchase in-store or online
- 10% back in ExtraBucks Rewards during events
- Mobile exclusive savings when you sign-up for texts and push notifications
Pro-tip: Download the CVS app to take advantage of savings offers and sign up for BeautyClub texts to receive savings sent straight to your phone.