A broke girl's guide to juicing those Black Friday sales for all the beauty products you can't afford
Use the deals and discounts to indulge in guilt-free retail therapy, or maybe just a little less guilty
Despite dating an American for six years, I still don’t fully understand Thanksgiving. Something about Pilgrims, the US president pardoning a turkey, but also not talking about the genocide of American Indians by the settlers. What I am thankful for, however, are the Black Friday sales. Not just in terms of getting a better deal on American e-commerce sites and maybe not having to pay international shipping. But for the fact that Indian retail giants have imported this tradition to help our struggling bank accounts.
The Black Friday sales are the time when I can finally hit checkout on the 9 things sitting in my shopping cart. I use the deals and discounts to indulge in guilt-free retail therapy. Or maybe, feel just a little less guilty. Studies say that we feel bad when shopping — sometimes for having spent a large amount of money — but also because we feel we’ll later stumble onto the item being sold at a better price. But the discounts don’t really get better than during these Black Friday sales.
Given that it always comes at the end of the month, I still have to be smart about budgeting. Do I want to spend all of it on one fancy appliance, or sprinkle it around on a couple of skincare bundles and makeup combos? There’s not too much time to think about it either. Everything starts to sell out fast, especially the luxury products that drop from aspirational to attainable.
I’ve hit add to basket faster than butter melts on a hot paratha to score the high-end lipstick I’ve been failing to dupe for months. I’ve stocked up on body care products in all the different aromas my nose has fallen in love with. Tracking all the Black Friday sales, we’ve put together the best deals and discounts on beauty products that are worth spending on. Some are investment buys that’ll last you a very long time, others are value-for-money, daily use items that you’ll always need.
All prices listed below are sale prices, in stock at the time of publishing.
The best deals and beauty buys to take advantage of during the Black Friday sales
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Walk of No Shame
People get hyped over the lipstick Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury, but this one right here is the real MVP. A pinky-berry lipstick that will suit pretty much every Indian skin tone.
It’s a pop of colour without being so loud that your neighbourhood uncle will question your character. The lipstick has a matte finish but sits comfortably on the lips. If not this shade, go for another. The entire Charlotte Tilbury lipstick line comes at a premium but use the Black Friday sales to stock up on some real quality product.
MAC Cast A Spell On Woo Combo
This bundle includes the much-loved and universally flattering Ruby Woo red lipstick by MAC. Probably the first red lipstick you ever tried. The lipstick is super matte, so go on with some lip balm before. It’ll still last you all day.
Along with the lipstick, you get the soft and creamy Technakohl pencil-style liner. Just one stroke and you’re set. If not, then you also get a mini finishing spray. I’m kidding, please don’t spray it in your eyes.
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
This mascara gives the ones created by high-end luxury brands tough competition. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve added this to my basket only for it to sell out before I can commit to my final order.
It gives volume and length without being goopy or crumbling off your lashes one hour later. A staple on beauty lovers’ repurchasing list, buy it while it’s still in stock.
Maybelline New York Intense Eye Combo
Everything you need to perfect your cat-eye look is right here. Not only do you get the Hyper Curl mascara, which happens to be a favourite of professional makeup artists, but also a pot of gel liner and brush.
Separating the eye product and liner brush gives you some artistic freedom when it comes to applying your liner. You can create a simple wing, get experimental or go full glam.
Huda Beauty Naughty Nude Eyeshadow Palette
I have a love-hate relationship with Huda Beauty products, but few pull off eye shadows formulations quite like them.
Investing in a palette gives you a rainbow of colours to play with. This has 18 pigmented colours including matte browns, glittery pinks and molten gold. Put together a simple day look, then add a bit of sparkle and you’re ready to head out for the night.
Benefit Cosmetics Cheektopia
I was looking for a blush palette but found one better. Technically, this isn’t a palette, but I’ve been waiting for Black Friday sales to start to try out Benefit Cosmetics.
This is a great pick if you’re unsure of which one you want because you get a pack of 5 minis in one shot. Four of their best-selling blushes and a bronzer that covers shades of peach, rose and nude brown and baby pink. They’re minis, but a little product goes a long way when it comes to Benefit Cosmetics.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Winter is here, and so is the time to restock on our all-time favourite moisturiser, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
With glycerin, squalane and urea, it’s deeply hydrating with added emollients that’ll lock all the goodness into your skin. It doesn’t leave a waxy film on your face either. You can try a mini, but if you’re living up north where it’s only going to get colder, then you’ll definitely be coming back for more.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
If your skin doesn’t get too dry, then go for the Hydro Boost Water Gel. I love its jelly-like texture (I’m clearly a sucker for gel creams) and you’ll find it deeply hydrating without making you oily or sweaty.
Some consider it a dupe for the Clinique Moisture Surge cream but I’d say they’re more cousins than twins. This one also works really well under sunscreen and makeup.
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Joia Conditioner
Creators of the infamous Bum Bum cream have finally made their way to the Indian market. Their signature scent is pretty much in every one of their products, whether it’s the cream, shampoo or dry shampoo.
And the scent really is to die for. It’s hard to describe it other than it smells like a luxurious beach vacation. The product itself is very moisturising so great for people who need extra love for their ends. You get a free mini too.
L’Oreal Professionnel X-Tenso Combo
This combo has everything you need for a DIY hair spa. Especially if you have chemically treated hair.
Infused with keratin, it nourishes the hair and can strengthen it too. You get a shampoo, hair mask and a leave-in smoothening serum. Each soothes the hair dryness and tames frizz without weighing down the hair or making it look greasy the next day.
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
If you’ve ever looked into K-beauty, then you would have definitely heard of snail mucin. Especially the essence created by COSRX.
This one contains 96% snail secretion filtrate which hydrates skin by working as a humectant, helping to strengthen your skin barrier. It’s super lightweight though you may have to get used to the consistency. It seems a bit, well, sticky coming out of the pump, but as soon as you spread it across your cheek, you’ll see how quickly it seeps in.
This sells out really fast everywhere so just trust your gut and take the plunge.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
Murad skincare has some hits and misses for me, personally, but the retinol serum packs a punch.
It’s gentle on the skin, but is an overachiever when it comes to doing its job and you’ll definitely notice a difference with consistent use. As with any retinol product, start slow and use it only at night with a good amount of sunscreen the next day to reap its benefits.
Dyson Corrale hair straightener
Dyson really is unbeatable when it comes to technology and design.
It’s an investment but look at the payoff. For someone who likes to regularly style their hair, in the long term, such a product means less hair damage because you’re not using extreme heat on your strands. A quick whizz of hairspray on top and you’re all like with salon-like hair at home.
The mother of all hairbrushes. It’s got all the ammunition you need to untangle the beautiful mesh called your hair.
This two-tiered hairbrush swiftly glides through your hair and detangles without a fuss or an ouch. Use it for fancy hair styles or swap it for every day use and tame those annoying flyaways for a smooth finish.
Flawless Finishing Touch Facial Hair Remover Blush
This works amazingly well in times of crisis or when you want to take a break from salon visits. It’s small and handy, you can carry it anyway and painlessly get rid of unwanted facial hair.
This is a trimmer with a razor, it won’t pull out your skin but easily cut down the hair without nicks and burns. Don’t fall for the hysteria that says it will somehow make your hair regrow faster or darker.
It can take some time to adjust to epilation but it makes hair removal at home so easy.
This Braun one is genius, getting your hair out from the root without any pulling or tugging on the skin, leaving you with a smooth finish. It has a little inbuilt light as well that can help guide your hand to the flattest of hairs stuck to your skin.
Follow the instructions for the best method of hair removal, and remember to disinfect your epilator as well.
Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Now
If you like a woody musk with a floral hint then you’ll love this one by Tommy Hilfiger. It’s got top notes of mandarin orange and bergamot with a base of musk and splash of magnolia and mint.
It makes for a refreshing spritz to recharge your sense to get over the midday work slump. And you’re getting a half-price deal on it, what’s not to love?
Bath & Body Works Buy 2 Get 2
I usually want to spend half my monthly salary on smelling heavenly, so getting a 2+2 deal on everything in their range right now makes me happy. Mix and match your favourites and you’re sorted for the next year at least.
I’ve got my eye on the Warm Vanilla Sugar body cream, Sunshine Mimosa shower gel, Eucalyptus Spearmint pillow mist and Waikiki Beach Coconut body scrub.
Click here to see their collection