How I saved 60% on a year’s worth of make-up by hunting down the best Black Friday deal
Black Friday isn’t just about discounted gadgets – it can be useful for stocking up on everyday items you know you’d buy anyway at the absolute cheapest price. So come shopping with me, and I’ll show you how a Deals Hunter shops when it’s Black Friday…
I’m not normally a sucker for brands, but when it comes to make-up I have to confess I do pay extra for a specific brand that suits my skin and my lifestyle. In my case it’s Smashbox – you might have your own favourite – as its oil-free primer doesn’t make my face break out, and its foundation is actually available in my skin colour, which is helpful!
I don’t wear a lot of make-up, and I don’t wear it all the time, but I know which products I like – so I try to stock up on those when they’re cheapest. Having decided Black Friday, or at least the week leading up to it, was probably going to be a good time to pounce, I set myself the challenge of saving as much money as I could on a beauty haul that’ll hopefully last me a full year.
See our Black Friday 2021 guide for more deals and analysis on make-up, perfume, gadgets and more.
How much is it normally?
At the very least, I knew I would need to buy foundation and a primer. My Smashbox foundation retails for £29.50, and the primer is usually £28 – a grand total of £57.50. Ouch! Having checked various retailers’ Black Friday week offers I’d seen discounts of 15% and 20%, plus some offers of ‘free’ samples when you spend a certain amount. So I set about comparing the deals to work out what would be best…
Boots – 15% off plus free primer
The first time I bought Smashbox I’d headed to a big Boots store to get a proper match for my skin, so this was the first place I thought to check online. The offer at Boots* was 15% off beauty, plus a free £15 travel-sized primer – making my basket total £48.87 for £72.50 of product (combining the normal full price of my make-up with the value of the free gift). Not bad, but as always I wanted to check elsewhere before buying.
Lookfantastic – 22% off plus free primer
I looked at other online retailers to be sure I would be getting the best discount, and I found there was a code for 22% off at Lookfantastic* (BLACKOUT, valid until 23.59 Fri 29 Nov, but there could be a better code on Black Friday itself) plus the same free £15 primer as at Boots – making my basket £44.85 for £72.50 of product. Getting better, but I still wasn’t done.
Smashbox – 20% off plus free primer, lipstick & highlighter palette
Of course, it would be silly not to check the brand’s own website, right? I found Smashbox had 20% off for Black Friday as well as the same free travel-size primer. That’s not all though, I would also receive a free 1.5ml sample of primer (worth £1.40), a free mini liquid lipstick (norm £4) AND a free full-size highlighting palette (norm £26), as well as free delivery. I’d found a clear winner.
This made my basket £46 for a whopping £103.90 of products. I ordered this via Topcashback* so should also get £4.78 cashback, making my eventual total £41.22 – a 60% saving overall, and not only did I end up with everything I needed but also a couple of new products for no extra cost. Happy Deals Hunter!
Last year, the lipstick freebie wasn’t vegan (I am), so I sold it with some free samples of primer and a Smashbox bag I got free with another order for £10.50 on eBay - which is a good way to make back some money if the freebies aren’t something you'll use.