By making greater use of coupons and discount codes and purchasing store-brand items, women could save more on beauty care purchases at chain drug and mass retailers, according to a survey from Consumer Reports.


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Retail News Breaks

Poll: Women can save more on beauty purchases

May 15th, 2013

YONKERS, N.Y. – By making greater use of coupons and discount codes and purchasing store-brand items, women could save more on beauty care purchases at chain drug and mass retailers, according to a survey from Consumer Reports.

The consumer advocacy group said Tuesday that of 1,000 women surveyed by its ShopSmart magazine, 56% said they don't take advantage of coupons and discounts codes. What's more, a ShopSmart "secret shopper" study found that choosing store-brand beauty products can save women up to 40%.

According to the survey, 43% of women indicated they bought cosmetics only when they were on sale, and 33% said they had regretted a beauty purchase made in the previous 12 months.

Foundation, including tinted moisturizers and BB creams, was the No. 1 item women said they splurged on, while lip gloss was the item they "cheapened out" on, Consumer Reports said. Mascara was the cosmetic item women said they used the most.

More than half of the women polled have spent more than $20 on a single beauty item, and 14% have spent more than $50 on one product.

The survey revealed that facial moisturizer was the top beauty item in terms of brand loyalty among women, and lip gloss was the least. Sixty-one percent of women said they had beauty products that were expired or they no longer used.

To identify beauty bargains, ShopSmart asked secret shoppers nationwide to price six name-brand and comparable store-brand beauty products at CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Two of the items in the price scan — facial moisturizers and facial cleansers — were two of the three top products to which women were most brand loyal.

The study revealed that store-brands save money for beauty shoppers. Walmart had one of the best store-brand deals: the 6-ounce size of its Equate Refreshing Apricot Scrub cost $1.97, 40% less than the same size of the brand-name equivalent St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub at $3.27.

Walmart had the lowest prices on store-brand beauty items, according to the secret shopper study. Walmart store brands saved the most, with 33% savings over name brands, followed by Target store brands (30% savings vs. brand names), Walgreens store brands (29% savings) and CVS store brands (27% savings).

"There's no reason to overpay or to miss a potential deal when buying beauty items," Lisa Lee Feeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart, said in a statement. "Also, consider store-brand beauty products; if you like them, the savings can be worthwhile in the long run."

The study showed that store brands can save shoppers as much as 40% on products such as facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturizers and eye serums and noted that CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart offer at least two tiers of store brands: a basic line that competes on price and a premium line.

Another path to savings for shoppers would be to consider "high-end look-alikes," according to ShopSmart. These product "equivalents" compete with higher-end name brands with comparable ingredients and, although they might be costlier than mass brands, in most cases they're cheaper than premium brands. ShopSmart found CVS equivalents to best-sellers such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and L'Oreal Day Lotion Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair.

In addition, ShopSmart said, CVS, Target and Walmart offer exclusive celebrity makeup lines that can provide an affordable alternative to high-end brands. For instance, Target carries an exclusive cosmetics line from celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk; Walmart recently launched Flower, an exclusive makeup line from actress Drew Barrymore, whose items typically cost $10 or less; and CVS sells actress Salma Hayek's Nuance line.

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