2 Places to Get Free Beauty Products.

You know who spends a lot of unnecessary money on makeup? Beauty bloggers. I mean, make up artists have copious amounts of makeup, duplication of shades, and formula, but that’s their job. Me, a self-described beauty blogger? Well my job is to consume and consume more. Which, I don’t mind, but let’s be real here: if I were to add up how much I spend annually on makeup, and skincare, I probably have enough for a downpayment for a house.

I don’t mean to have the title of this post as a click-bait because I hate that kind of tactics too. However, I wanted to do a quick post to share my two most beloved places to get free beauty products from, as well as share any updates pertaining to any changes to the program.

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Since I am a very analytical person and spend my entire day crunching out numbers, I whipped out a quick ROI analysis (just because) so you can compare the value that you get from the different products and retailers. The ROI is calculated based on benefit/cost calculation (i.e. value of free product divided by investment)

MAC Cosmetics

First of all, if you haven’t heard of Back to Mac or if you have been throwing out your old MAC products just because, you have been missing out! The recycling program is called “Back to Mac” and is undoubtedly one of the best in the industry. That’s because you can exchange pretty much any old MAC packaging, and most places don’t have a cap as to how many you can exchange per visit. With a wider variety of products you can exchange for, the Canadian company is one of the best places that offers a good “value: for recycling your old products!

They used to be quite lenient about getting lipstick or eyeshadows from the limited edition collection but it seems the policy has changed in recent years. Some stores restrict how many you can exchange per visit, but I have exchanged up to 5 products with no problem.

The Rule: exchange six (6) empty MAC products for one (1) eyeshadow, lipstick or lipgloss of your choice from the permanent collection.

How to Make the Most of It

Value: Lipstick ($20), eyeshadows ($18), lipgloss ($16)
The ROI:

  • Scenario 1: Assume that you purchase 6 of the least expensive products (i.e. travel-sized products) @ $6.95 each = $41.70
    • ROI: 0.38 to 0.48
  • Scenario 2: Assume you purchase your regular, favourite products that averages out to costing $18 each
    • ROI: 0.148 to 0.19

Lush Cosmetics

Another brand that I adore stocking up on and getting freebies from! Lush Cosmetics is one of my favourite skincare and beauty destinations because of the unique product offering. The recycling program is slightly limited, but is a good value regardless if you shop there quite often.

My favourite way to stocking up on the eligible products is to stock up during Boxing Day when the seasonal items are discounted at 50% or more to sell them off!

The Rule: exchange five (5) empty black pots for 1 free face mask.

How to Make the Most of It

Value: Face mask from the non-seasonal collection ($7.95 – $12.95)
The ROI:

  • Scenario 1: Assume you buy the cheapest face masks @ $7.95 each (Investment: $39.75)
    • ROI: 0.2 to 0.323
  • Scenario 2: Assume you purchase a variety of eligible black pot products that average out to $10 each (Investment $50)
    • ROI: 0.159 to 0.259
  • Scenario 3: Assume you stock up on eligible products during Boxing Day that averages out to $6 each
    • ROI: 0.265 to 0.43

Do you know of other retailers that offer a beauty recycling program?

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