Get The Skinny On High-End Beauty Products

makeupThere's no shame in it: We buy most of our basics at the drug store. But, sometimes, cheap Rite-Aid moisturizer just doesn't stack up to the sorts of products we'd buy at a spa or from our dermatologist. We have expensive taste when it comes to beauty products, but we don't plan to turn purple over it.

The Problem.

It's not wrong to treat your skin. That said, it’s unacceptable to pay full price ($65!) for thatBulgarian lavender body oil by Tammy Fender.

The Solution.

Buy your favorite beauty products for up to 70% off, at a members-only site.

The Action.

Check out the Skinny, which you can think of as a Gilt Groupe for beauty products. The basic idea: You sign up for a free membership in order to gain access to limited-time bargains. Plus, the Skinny provides free educational videos and individualized advice to help you do right by your skin type. The company’s founder is Lauren Forners, a licensed esthetician who harnesses her knowledge, passion, and even her personal experience with adult acne to steer readers in the right direction.

Discounts at the Skinny are sometimes as high as 70%. Past deals include products from International Orange, Lisa Hoffman, ICS Skin Therapie, and, of course, Tammy Fender. During the Tammy Fender event, members of the Skinny could buy that same lavender oil $65 for $26.

According to Lauren, "Our goal is to get our members the best deals in luxury beauty and ensure they understand what they're buying." After all, she notes, "You aren't saving money if you buy the wrong product (no matter how great the discount) and have to toss it after one use." That's why the company focuses on educating members before they dive in face-first.

If you can't find what you're looking for at the Skinny, consider turning to sites like the infamous Gilt Groupe, which doesn’t specialize in beauty products—but has been known to offer some specials on beauty brands like Mario Badescu. Also check out Ideeli, HauteLook, Market for Drama, and Rue La La.

One Drawback.

It’s easy to over-shop simply because something’s 75% off, especially if the website scares you into buying quickly. Remember that these sites are in the business of providing deals. There will be another stellar deal…when the time is truly ripe.

With the help of these websites, our faces will be happy, fresh, and oh-so-clean.

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