LAST UPDATED: 11/27 at 3:30 pm ET
This year’s holiday season is obviously much different than normal, which means that a lot of my usual shopping this year also looks different. I plan on shopping from more independent retailers and small businesses this year instead of focusing on big department stores. Like many, I also plan on spending less than I normally would.
I cannot stress enough how shopping for makeup and beauty is part of a fun hobby for me, not a necessity. If you find yourself tempted by the sales, please shop responsibly. The discounts seem to be getting deeper every year, and I find that Black Friday is not the biggest sale of the year for many brands.
Also, I definitely do not any comprehensive list of sales. For that, I recommend Sharmtoaster’s blog or Temptalia, who always have great lists of all the retailers offering discounts. Consider my list a more edited guide of what I am most interested in this year, plus some DC-area small businesses to support.
I’m sure it goes without saying, but supporting smaller businesses is more important this year than ever as they are the ones hit hardest but shutdowns and restricted hours. For all my gifts to friends and family, local stores will be my first stop before checking anything else.
With that said, here is what I would recommend for sales, and what I have my eye on! All affiliate links and affiliate codes will be noted. I appreciate any support though my links and codes!
Some sales aren’t live or public as of today, 11/26 (also Thanksgiving). I will update the sales as I see them.
Allies of Skin – now-unknown, 30% off with ALLIESFORLIFE30. This brand has completely changed my mind on skincare. While it’s a pricey brand, everything in the line is super potent and effective. I love the 35% Vitamin C serum which is one of the most effective Vitamin C serums I’ve ever tried! I’m also curious to try their new 20% Vitamin C serum.
Bodyography – 11/27, 30% off site-wide, no code needed. I heard that their glitters were a dupe for the Hourglass Scattered Light Pigments, so I’m very curious to try them out.
Boy Smells – now-11/30, 20% off the core collection with code BLACKCANDLE. I love Boy Smells candles, and I rarely see them going on sale. All of the scents are really unique, and there are so many to choose from. My favorite all time scent is Cinderose, which is just an intoxicating sweet and smoky scent. The only candle I wouldn’t recommend is Cedar Rose, which is a dud of the line since it doesn’t have any throw at all.
Danessa Myricks – 11/26-11/30, up to 50% off site wide. I love everything I’ve tried from the brand, including the Vision Flush blushes, Color Fix eye and multi-purpose pigments, and the Dew Wet highlighting balms.
C.O. Bigelow – 11/25-11/30, 25% off the C.O. Bigelow house brand Iconic collection, no code needed. I love the hand washes, body gels, body lotion, hand lotions – basically everything! The hand wash in Musk is a staple for me.
Dedcool – now-unknown, 30% off with code COOL30. I love the fragrances from this brand, and they also recently released detergents in some of the scents! My favorite fragrance is 01 Taunt, and I’m interested to try their layering fragrance.
Epi.logic – 11/27-11/30, 20% off sitewide with code BF20. This brand has some really promising products (I haven’t tried any yet – only ogled them online!) that look simple and effective. They have a Coq10 toner which I am seriously eyeing as Coq10 is extremely soothing and moisturizing for dry skin.
Habit Skin – 11/25-unknown, 30% off the site with code HABITHOLIDAY. I love their SPF mist, and they just came out with such a cute loungewear set.
Hyper Skin – 11/27, 50% off Hyper Clear with code HYPER50. This up and coming brand started with a vitamin c serum launch that is affordable (for a Vitamin C). As I’m starting to run low, this is definitely a serum I want to try.
Live Tinted – 11/24-11/30, 25% off, no code needed. I’ve been dying to try this brand for their super inclusive and versatile hue sticks and hue glow highlighters. I’ll definitely be purchasing a few items!
Mented Cosmetics – 11/25-11/30, 30% off sitewide, no code needed. I tried a few of their products over the summer and was so impressed with everything! I love the bronzer, lipstick, and lip gloss, and am definitely interested in trying their eyeshadows, blushes, and foundation. I reviewed the products I bought here.
Necessaire – 11/26-11/30, free full-sized body serum with any purchase, no code needed. I love their body exfoliator or the body essentials set that includes the body wash, exfoliator, and body lotion (affiliate links). I really want to try the body serum so I might try out their hand cream.
Palm Trees and 80 Degrees – 11/27, 15% off with code CANDLELOVER, or 4 candles for $75 with code MORECANDLES, plus with the purchase of 2 candles, receive a free Matte Black Wick Trimmer with code TRIMTHATWICK. These candles made by fellow Instagrammer, @miamibeautyvice, have become my all-time favorite candles. They have amazing throw, burn super evenly, and last a long time. There are currently four scents, and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them!
Pat McGrath – now-unknown, 25% off or 30% off $150+ on everything except sale items. Their Mothership Eyeshadow palettes in Bronze Seduction, Divine Rose and Divine Rose 2 are my favorites. Plus the set with Divine Rose and Divine Rose 2 is a great deal at $230, and with the 30% discount, you would get both palettes for $161 when each palette retails for $125. Their new Interstellar Icon quad is also absolutely stunning and one of the more unique palettes I have. The Ritualistic Rose quad from last year is also one of my most use Pat McGrath products, and much more wearable for an everyday look (affiliate links)!
Propa Beauty – 11/27, 35% of all lip products. I love their lipsticks so much! The formulas are so creamy and pigmented, and they last really well on my lips. I find the lipsticks to be pretty affordable already, and the sale is just a nice bonus.
Range Beauty – 11/27, 35% off sitewide, excluding the golden hour holiday trio. Their foundation has quickly become one of my favorites for being hydrating with a satin-matte buildable finish, and I’m curious to try their other products.
Rituel de Fille – 11/27-11/30, 20% off site wide with code REBIRTH20. Free full-size limited edition Lip Sheer in Lilium with $50 purchase, free limited edition Creme Luminizer in Halo with $100 purchase, and free limited edition celestial sphere eye soot in shade Monoceros with $150 purchase (spend $150+ to receive all 3 products for free). I’ve reviewed everything I own from the brand here.
I also have my eye on some of the Color Nectar Pigment Balms and some more lip products!
Skinstore – starting now-11/30, sales on many brands up to 50% on the site, prices marked. I have an affiliate code to give you an extra 10% off the sale brands. Use code STEPHANIE10 for the extra 10% off. Some highlights include:
- 20% off Elta MD, Face Halo, Hero Cosmetics
- 25% off DHC, Chantecaille, Algenist, ReFa, Omorovicza, Pai, Wander Beauty
- 30% off Christophe Robin (excluding holiday sets), Stila, Verso, Erno Laszlo
Skinstore gave me a voucher to purchase some products, and I picked up the Elta MD UV Clear tinted SPF 46 sunscreen, my all-time favorite DHC Cleansing Oil, a backup of the Christophe Robin Rose Volumizing conditioner, Hero Cosmetics Micropoint for Dark Spots, Chantecaille blush and lip chics. I also love the Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Mask (affiliate links).
Surratt Beauty – now-11/30, 30% off with code GIFT30. This brand is really an extraordinary brand with formulas that are beautifully created. The blushes and eyeshadows are among the best I’ve ever tried – don’t be fooled by shades that look and sound basic – the textures are anything but. I also love all the lip products…and really, everything from the brand.
The Lip Bar – 11/27, 40% off sitewide, no code needed. This is a newer discovery from me and I love what I’ve tried. I have their blush and bronzer duo as well as their concealer. The concealer is a great affordable medium-coverage concealer that has caffeine in it, such a plus for my puffy eyes!
Trinny London – 11/27-11/30, 10% off the whole site, no code needed. This is another new-to-me brand that I’ve been enjoying. The color products come in stackable pots so they are super easy to carry around! I’ve really liked their lip2cheek tints. I also want to try the cream blushes
Uoma Beauty – 11/27, up to 80% off the whole site, no code needed. This is another brand I tried this year and loved. The foundation is another one of my favorites, and the lipsticks are fantastic. I definitely want to try more products from the brand!
Vesca Beauty – starting now-11/27, 15% off $30 with VESCA15, 20% off $75 with code VESCA20, 25% off $150 with VESCA25, or 30% off $200+ with VESCA30, plus sets. This is another new and inclusive brand that I’ve been dying to try!
Victoria Beckham Beauty – 11/25-unknown, 20% of sitewide, no code needed. I just tried the Posh lipsticks (pictured below) and made another large order of products to try.
DC LOCAL (all categories)
Even though I’m based in New York now, I still am much more familiar with DC-based local businesses.
Ivy Wild Beauty – 11/28-11/29, $5 off $50, $10 off $100+ with code SMALL. I worked here for a little while when I lived in DC, and it really was like my second home! They sell brands like Kosas, Rituel de Fille, Indie Lee, Ded Cool, Joanna Vargas, Odacite, and more. This store means a lot to me, and I even wrote a post about them here.
Appointed – 11/27, up to 30% off sitewide with code GIFT30. The planners from Appointed have become well known, and for good reason. The planners are so carefully thought out and come in different options for what you need. But what really makes their paper products worth it is the actual paper they use. It’s just the right thickness to prevent any type of ink from bleeding, but not so thick that you have to carry around a heavy notebook. They are hands down, my favorite notebooks to use, especially since they come in grid options. Ever since I started using Appointed, I’ve been disappointed with every other notebook I’ve tried.
Shop Made in DC – 15% off with code SHOPSMALLBIGIMPACT. This store is a collective of local artists and entrepreneurs all over the DC area, and the ultimate place to go for unique gifts for anyone! The store has food, home goods, fashion, jewelry, kids, and beauty. By shopping with them, you will be directly supporting the hundreds of small businesses and entrepreneurs that are based in the DC area.
Steadfast Supply – 11/27-11/30, 15% off with code SHOPSMALL15. This is another store that stocks mainly DC-area artists, although there are also some other national artists here. I have also bought many gifts and homegoods from here, and I also love that they have curated sets.
Lost Sock Roasters – TBD. This is my favorite DC-based coffee roasters (see below for my all-time favorite). Their beans are fantastic! I don’t know enough about coffee to know exactly what they do to them to make them extraordinary, but I do know that I taste a difference in my coffee with their beans.
The Chocolate House – 11/28-11/30, 15% off with code SHOPSMALL15. If you are a chocolate enthusiast, this is the store for you! They stock chocolate bars from all over the world, so you will definitely find something new here that you’ve probably never tried or is hard to find elsewhere. I’ve bought my chocolate from here for a long time and always find a new brand or flavor I like.
Black River Roasters (NJ) – now-11/30, 25% off coffee and merch no code needed, 15% off gift sets with BFGB15. And as a bonus, representing my home state of New Jersey, Black River Roasters is hands down my favorite coffee roastery. I have used their beans for years and the craft that goes into these beans is exceptional. They prioritize sustainability, and all of their coffee beans are organic. If you are picky about your coffee, I highly recommend browsing through their coffee selection!
I hope you all find something different to shop from this guide! While it’s always wise to use Black Friday as a time to stock up or buy essential products, I tried to find brands that aren’t talked about as much.
If you have another sale you’re shopping, let me know your recommendations!
Shop responsibly, everyone!