Beauty deals and spring steals

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Never before have I seen so many coupons, specials and sales. With the tanking economy, deals on beauty products are plentiful.

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So, I did a little research and went beyond the coupons to uncover some specials that are almost too good to be true. From double coupons to homemade stuff, I was happy to find a couple of ways to spring into spring with some steals and deals that you have got to know about!

Divine Drug Store Deals

Most of my segment planning includes trips to my local drug stores to scour the shelves for unique and cheap items that also work well. This time around I took the time to actually ask a salesperson what weekly deals were taking place. She couldn't wait to share with me several of the ongoing promotions that customers need to know about.

Those little in-store coupon books called the Walgreens EasySaver Catalog has deals that are truly unbelievable. First of all, they can always be combined with regular coupons found in the newspaper, so instead of waiting and searching for grocery store double coupon weeks, Walgreens offers this deal year-round. For example, I scanned my newspaper coupons while holding my Walgreens EasySaver book looking for a match on something that I needed. I found an Almay $1 off coupon for blush, so I paired that up with the $3 coupon in the EasySaver and ended up getting the $11.99 blush for only $7.99, a 40% savings. So, combining coupons is a winning combination for the consumer. Another surprising offer in the EasySaver book comes in the form of a rebate that is better than any rebate that I have heard of. Buy a product that has an advertised free rebate coupon, send in the rebate and you get 100% of what you paid back! Yep, I said 100% so the product ends up being free, and even better, if you choose to take your refund back in the form of a Walgreen's gift card instead of a check, then you get the refund plus an additional 10% credit. So in this instance, the drug store pays you to shop there! The beauty advisor that I spoke with and she told me that customers that know about this not only regularly go for the gift card, but use that card to pay for their prescriptions or give the cards as gifts. Now that is smart shopping!

Saturdates, as Walgreens calls this event, is another money-savings promotion to know about. Every Saturday the beauty advisors give out free samples and additional coupons for products that are being introduced to customers. As much as I go into this drug store, I had no idea that this department was so specialized with well-trained experts offering the latest and greatest in beauty steals and deals.

Online drug store deals can be found at with regular coupons that are sent directly to your email. Free shipping is also offered on orders that are $25 and over. CVS has a Customer Care Card that keeps track of how much customers spend and then prints out quarterly coupons good for savings on many products that include a lot of beauty items.

SPRING STUFF I LIKE FOR UNDER $10 If coupons are not your style, but you still want superb savings on spring stuff, then I did a test-run on a few items so I could try it before you buy it. Here are some of my favorite finds...

Favorite Fashion Spring Cleaning Deal: My petite purse always gets attention from women who stop to ask me if my little handbag really works for me. I tell them that it truly does! I bought this little imitation of the full-sized designer bags and I love it. I no longer have the shoulder pain that my heavy handbags were causing. Called a Mini Fashion Purse, it is made by Hollywood Color Company. I found mine at Walgreens for $7.99. Do some spring cleaning and downsize your big bulky purse for this light-weight petite purse.

Favorite Best Buy Beauty Deal: Shimmer skin for spring styles with Olay Body Wash Plus Tone Enriching Ribbons. This body wash adds a multi-tasking tone of shimmer and moisture so that skin glows under the more revealing spring and summer styles. Mica minerals are combined with moisturizer and body wash which enhances the body with a more radiant and even sheen. At only $3.99 for a 10 oz. bottle, the price is right plus this product is like getting a body wash, moisturizer and shimmer all in one very inexpensive bottle.

Favorite Copy Cat Deal: If you like Victoria's Secret scents, but can't afford the price, then head to your local Walgreen's and try the Sexist Fantasies line. Several types are offered that smell like Victoria Secret's Dream Angel and other fragrance brands. The copy cat Sexiest Fantasies line offers a 7.35 oz. of a body spray called Strawberries & Champagne for $6.99 while a comparable bottle from the Victoria line will set you back right around $23.

Favorite Cheap Beauty Trick Deal: Many of us are trading in our fake fingernails for next-to-nothing home manicures. So, if you miss that finished manicure look and your formally long nails, try the Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen. It is not only is easy to use, but it also comes in french manicure pinks with white tips for right around eight bucks. And a cool beauty trick to know is that short nails with a french manicure naturally look longer than they really are. Several nail technicians told me this and I tried it and it is true. Plus, most nail salons will give you a polish change with french manicure colors without the full manicure for under $10.

Homemade Spring stuff for your beauty cabinet If you have a next-to-nothing beauty budget, try making some of your own beauty items. In my last segment, I gave show host, Lisa Haffner the money-saving book called "Banana Peels, Baby Oil, Baking Soda and Beyond" by Reader's Digest. That book is filled with homemade ideas for beauty, cleaning and more. I also like the concoctions that are shared in the Reader's Digest book called "Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things." Both books can be purchased at the Reader's Digest website at I have a few recipes for radiance that I'll share here...

Bad Breath Buster Mouthwash: Spring pasta recipes are delicious, but often come with garlic in the dish. The book says to rid your breath of garlic, simply mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with half of cup of water and then swish in your mouth, discard and rinse. For a painful canker sore, this mouthwash provides some much-desired relief as well!

Home Manicure Nail Builder: Tis' the season for pretty Easter pinks and French manicured hands. For stronger nails, the book says to soak your nails in a bowl of mayo for five minutes followed by a warm water rinse. Sounds crazy, but works!

More Manicure Miracles: Use good ol' vinegar to soften cuticles and to prolong the life of your nail polish. Soak fingernails in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar before you begin the manicure. Prepped and softened nails will be easier to file and work with. To stretch your beauty budget for longer lasting nail color, dampen your nails with vinegar, let dry and then apply your nail color. Reader's Digest says that your nail color will not fade or chip as fast.

So spring into savings by making homemade beauty items. Or try some of my favorite finds that I listed in this article. And don't forget about clipping coupons. You can get through this recession looking your best, even on a shoestring beauty budget!