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- RESEARCH & AWARDS
ShopSmart magazine, a production of Consumer Reports, reports in its June issue that shoppers can save 40 percent on beauty products with private label items rather than national brands.
The magazine surveyed more than 1,000 women to find their beauty-shopping habits, then used price scans and secret shoppers to find the best bargains on beauty products.
“There's no reason to overpay or to miss a potential deal when buying beauty items,” said Lisa Lee Feeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart, in a release announcing the reports. “Also consider store-brand beauty products – if you like them, the savings can be worthwhile in the long run.”
The survey showed that facial moisturizer was the product women were most brand-loyal to, while lip gloss had the least brand loyalty.
The magazine offered four suggestions on savings on beauty products:
1. New private label items. Private brand beauty products offer more choices than ever, the magazine said, with savings as high as 40 percent on products such as facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturizers and eye serums. CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart offer at least two tiers of store brands – a basic line that competes solely on price and a premium line. It also suggested considering bargain beauty products lurking in unlikely places such as Aldi, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
2. High-end look-alikes. These “equivalents” compete with higher-end name brands with comparable ingredients. They might be more expensive than mass brands, but in most cases are cheaper than premium brands. The magazine found CVS equivalents to best sellers such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and L'Oréal Day Lotion Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair.
3. Celebrity lines. CVS, Target and Walmart offer celebrity makeup lines that can't be found anywhere else. Target carries an exclusive cosmetics line from celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk with great prices and selection; 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.
4. Bulk buys. Warehouse stores and their websites are great places to buy high-end beauty goods, the magazine said. Costco is a secret source for high-end skin care and other beauty products for less, it said. Kirkland Signature, Costco's house brand, carries versions of Borghese products, a high-end beauty brand sold in upscale stores. Though Borghese doesn't say that Costco's version is the same, it does say that the Kirkland Signature line is made specifically for Costco in the same factory.
The magazine sent secret shoppers to CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to compare items.It found that Walmart had one of the best private label deals, with the 6-ounce size of the retailer’s Equate Refreshing Apricot Scrub at $1.97, 40 percent less than the same size of its brand-name equivalent St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub, $3.27.
Walmart privatebrands saved the most, with 33 percent savings over name brands. Target store brands saved 30 percent over name brands, and Walgreens and CVS store brands saved shoppers 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively.