There’s a psychological aspect to shopping sales—a mysterious mood lift. Still, in the beauty world, some of the best options rarely go on discount. Unlike fashion collections that are constantly updated, redlined, and replaced, luxury beauty bestsellers remain in demand—and often full price. Insiders know there’s a way to make the system work for you: “The first-time-visitor sweetener is every shopper’s best friend,” says Sarah Brown, executive director of Violet Grey’s Violet Lab. “Virtually every e-comm platform has a welcome discount lurking—Violet Grey included—and it takes the sting out of, say, a $265 must-have like our Bader Rich Cream.”
Brown has been surfing for everything from office supplies (“Staples is my new Barneys”) to nap dresses (“I succumbed”), and she is finding shopping to be “an oddly comforting lockdown legacy.” According to experts there’s something particularly powerful about a deal: “Buying something on sale or discount may lead to a sense of winning, which can result in a temporary mood boost or the feeling of a high,” says New York–based psychologist Jessica Egan, Ph.D. “It may even lead to a kind of stress release,” she adds.
Egan notes that the phenomenon can create the sensation “of being special,” which adds up. Maeva Heim, founder of Bread Beauty Supply, finds that shopping the best makeup sales, promos, and discounts is “like an early birthday present every time,” and the insiders in her circle stay up to date on the best options. “Catching a great deal is all a part of that fun,” she says. Credo brand ambassador and makeup artist Katey Denno agrees. “The serotonin surge that happens when I see the word SALE is such a delight.” For those who are chasing that feeling, we’ve compiled the best makeup sales and beauty deals that insiders are talking about and how to shop them:
“Otherwise known as ‘the cream that works,’” says Brown of the line’s “clean science” and subsequent dewiness. “This is the reigning cult classic people come to Violet Grey for, no matter the season.”
At Violet Grey, where Augustinus Bader is sold, new shoppers can take 15% off with code AUGUST15.
$265.00, VIOLET GREY
With fatty-acid-rich avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, and 150mg of full-spectrum CBD, Happy Dance’s first facial moisturizer is designed to soothe skin. According to founder Kristen Bell, the line’s name describes “the experience of what I felt when I was using CBD.”
From August 17 to August 31, Happy Dance offers 15% off of any first purchase with the code AUGUST15.
$29.00, HAPPY DANCE
“This may be the most innovative product to launch within the clean-beauty makeup category yet,” says Denno of Exa’s clean range of sheer pigments. “It’s a surprisingly versatile product: apply a thin veil with your fingertip, or use a brush and press it on top of a powder shadow for more dimension. They’re perfectly hydrating, so those with more dry (dare I say crepe-y) lids can wear them beautifully, and then those with oily lids needn’t worry about movement either.”
Credo Beauty, where Exa is sold, is offering 10% off through August with the code AUGUST10.
$22.00, CREDO BEAUTY
Celebrity facialist Kristyn Smith calls this mask her “deserted-island must,” and uses it on clients like Bella Hadid for a reason: “Of all the techniques that I use to treat my client’s skin, I have definitely noticed the greatest improvements have come with the incorporation of infrared light,” says Smith. “I am continually amazed by its ability to renew the skin (due to the fact it reenergizes cells and allows them to function optimally), and it’s the Omnilux mask that I am particularly obsessed with! Not only is it portable and incredibly easy to use, but my clients and I all notice an almost immediate decrease in puffiness (we know it reduces inflammation) and gives the skin a beautiful luminosity after masking.”
Omnilux offers 10% off through August with code AUGUST10.
Heim calls the bundle she designed “super travel friendly” as the end of summer wraps. “Our macadamia oil is perfect for refreshing the ends of your hair and slathering all over as fragrance-free body oil,” she says. “The bread-puff is the satin scrunchie essential to protect curls overnight, or wear it on your wrist as an accessory!”
$38.00, BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY
“I love the versatility of this two-in-one concealer and foundation,” says makeup artist and Omayma Skin founder Omayma Ramzy. “Its vegan formula features caffeine that visibly revives the skin as well as oat extract to calm and soothe.” She appreciates its crease resistance too, making it ideal “for under our eyes and to brighten around the nose and mouth.”
“Growing up in Korea, it was a common practice for our grandmothers to rub cold watermelon rinds on our backs during the hot summer months,” says Glow Recipe co-founder Sarah Lee of the line’s popular watermelon products. “The rind would instantly soothe and heal our heat rash, so this superfruit became the inspiration behind our very first product, Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.” Now, it’s the signature ingredient to the line’s dewy effect. Cofounder Christine Chang shares that customers are loving Tik-Tok favorites like Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner, and “our newest addition to the line, our Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial.”
From August 22 to August 26, Glow Recipe will offer 10% off sitewide with code WATERMELON10.
$34.00, GLOW RECIPE
$34.00, GLOW RECIPE
$45.00, GLOW RECIPE
“We are so excited to announce our long-term partnership with Foster Nation, which kicked off earlier this month,” says Somerville. “To celebrate the partnership, we launched an online bundle featuring my favorite products, ExfoliKate Cleanser & Exfoliate Intensive Duo (SRP $88, value $128) on Sephora.com, with 10% of sales donated to Foster Nation.”
“VB famously has the best taste, and it translates to her luxe, clean cosmetics line, too,” says Brown. “Literally all of her products—Posh Lipstick, Lid Lustre, Satin Kajal Liner—are among our top sellers. But let’s talk about this mascara: It lifts, lengthens, and separates, but even more compelling: It does not clump. It somehow resists humidity and does not budge all day long (I mean, I’ve gone swimming wearing this stuff), yet comes right off with soap and water so you will never again ruin a white washcloth. It’s even vegan!”
At Violet Grey, where Victoria Beckham Beauty is sold, new shoppers can take 15% off with code AUGUST15.
$28.00, VIOLET GREY
“This primer is fantastic for getting an additional step in on your sun protection,” says Ramzy. “I love that it is translucent and leaves no white cast or ashy finish. It can also control excess shine.”
True to Lord Jones’s industry-favorite packaging, the chicest lip balm in the game also offers a punch of 25 mg of CBD straight to the lips. Alternatively, the brand’s ultra-popular gumdrops offer an internal delivery of chill.
Lord Jones offers 15% off throughout the month with the code AUGUST15.
$19.00, LORD JONES
“These staples are always stocked in my kit,” says makeup artist Jessica Monzalvo, who works with artists like La Goony and Kablito. “Mix and match the brown and black liner for a graphic eye look, then top with the mascara for long, full lashes.”
$20.00, ULTA BEAUTY
“Summer would not be complete without my very own skin care being available to all!” Ramzy enthuses of her creation that boasts organic argan, prickly pear, and sea buckthorn oils rich in antioxidants as well as Vitamins A, C and E.
Omayma Skin offers 20% off (through September) with code AUGUST20.
“The Crown Affair’s Renewal Mask constantly sells out for us, so it’s no surprise that people are living for the brand’s cool limited-edition collab with D.S. & Durga,” says Brown of the leave-in treatment that leaves a trail of “I Don’t Know What,” which she describes as a “runaway hit fragrance.”
At Violet Grey, where The Crown Affair x D.S. & Durga is sold, new shoppers can take 15% off with code AUGUST15.
$50.00, VIOLET GREY
“This morning-noon-and-night-appropriate toner is great for teens, oily adults, and super dry skin types,” says Denno. “It’s alcohol-free, high in soothing and antioxidizing (think repair from sun and pollution damage) ingredients, and the aloe and cucumber make it a great midday pick-me-up on naked skin as well as a great makeup refresher.” Denno likes to mist a makeup sponge with it to rehydrate makeup. “It’s a great way to add moisture to the skin without butters, creams, or waxes, which can lead to breakouts in those with sensitivities.”
Credo Beauty, where Indie Lee is sold, is offering 10% off through August with the code AUGUST10.
$34.00, CREDO BEAUTY
“This particular item (which comes in Bergamot, Sandalwood, Eucalyptus—my go-to—or Fragrance-Free) has a strange, strong pull on people,” Brown shares. “Our customers buy three at a time. Once you try it, you cannot imagine using another body wash—ever. It is as if you have been hypnotized while in the shower. I reside in this camp. I can’t explain it. It’s simple, and perfect.”
At Violet Grey, where Nécessaire is sold, new shoppers can take 15% off with code AUGUST15.
$25.00, VIOLET GREY
“These lip and cheek tints are really fantastic if you’re looking for an easy, versatile product that can have multiple purposes,” says Ramzy. “I love using them on the lips as well as cheeks for a beautifully monochromatic fresh look—they’re also wonderfully buildable, so you can add a little or a lot!”
“This vivid violet is a mood for fall. I’m excited to see these plummy shades back in the mix,” says Monzalvo. “Aside from its rich color that suits every skin tone, I love the versatility of this lipstick—pat it on with your finger for a wash of color or glide it on to show off the intense pigment.”
“This brow pen makes big bushy brows easy,” says Ramzy of the clean formula that uses hemp oil and aloe to hydrate and condition. “I love to brush the brow hairs up using a spoolie, then draw in tiny brow hairs in space areas, followed by a clear brow gel for a perfect finished brow look.”
“A fall must!” says Monzalvo of the facial steam she created. “The soothing aroma of jasmine and the stress-relieving ashwagandha creates a tranquil moment to step away from the day’s activities, and its steamy essence leaves your skin super supple.” She promises that if you’ve never steamed your face before, “you’re about to fall in love.”
$35.00, SKIN BY JEM
Originally Appeared on Vogue