July 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM ET
When it comes to cosmetics, you don't just have to hit the bargain bin to save. TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas shares thrifty ways to make the most of your beauty budget.
Give back, get back
MAC, Lush and Kiehl's are giving away free stuff! All three retailers offer up opportunities to bring back your empty containers in exchange for a free product. Mac gives lipstick, Lush hands out face masks and Kiehls passes forward any travel size product. Friendly to the planet and friendly to the pocketbook. What more could you want? Visit their websites or brick-and-mortar stores for more details.
Try before you buy
While drugstores offer affordable beauty, they don't offer testers for sampling, which can lead to a cosmetic drawer full of regret. Fortunately, technology is getting us one step closer. L'Oreal's free Make Up Genius app turns your iPhone or iPad's camera into a virtual 3D mirror allowing you to see yourself in different shades of makeup, trends and more. Although products are not sold via the app, you can use it to scan the bar codes of over 300 items in stores.
More bang-for-your brush
Double (or triple) your dollar with multitasking tools like Avon's 3-in-1 Travel Brush. Our purses can be black holes that suck up everything from compacts to ponytail holders and bobby pins. This fab find remedies the situation with a smartly placed mirror on the back of the brush and a clear, hollow handle for storing all those small accessories. It even comes complete with three fabric and elastic hair ties ($5.99, shop.avon.com).
Our resident style editor and author of The Power of Style, Bobbie Thomas shares the buzz about beauty, fashion, and more here on TODAY and at Bobbie.com. Consider her your go-to girlfriend, style MacGuyver, and wikipedia for women who you've seen in her underwear. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.