This Is Why Target Beauty Prices Are Often Less Than Drugstores

Updated 08/13/18

We love a good beauty deal as much as the next person, which means shopping around for the same product at different retailers. For prestige brands, the price is pretty consistent across the board, unless there's a major sale happening (hi, Nordstrom Anniversary), but when it comes to drugstore products, there's a major discrepancy among retailers. More specifically, we've noticed that Target tends to have the most competitive pricing compared to other major drugstores. (My all-time favorite Revlon ColorStay Foundation is $8 at Target but $15 at its competitor.) This could be because of scale and volume discounts, which translates to a smaller price per unit when Target orders larger quantities of a product as compared to drugstores.

The general competition among the stores could also be a factor in Target negotiating better prices for the same products you can get at other major chains. This is all speculation of course, but when we asked the folks at Target corporate to comment on their pricing strategy, they remained tight-lipped.

"We don't comment on pricing specifics for individual products or business categories," they said in an email. "We want to ensure guests feel confident they're getting great value every time they shop with us. That means offering them competitive prices every day, along with additional ways to save through meaningful sales." Whatever the strategy is, we're grateful for the affordable pricing on our favorite budget-friendly buys. Below, take a look at how its beauty products compare to another major retailer.

Cetaphil Pro DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer $15
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Competitor's price: $23

Cetaphil, a dermatologist-loved, low-cost skincare brand, is more than just its cult cleanser. This oil-control moisturizer mattifies the skin, keeping it shine-free throughout the day while also shielding it from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $6
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Competitor's price: $10

Bey's makeup artist, Sir John, is a big fan of this formula for its "fluffy, feathery" prowess. "It grabs a lot of product, which in turn delivers a lot of product to the lash and really coats them," he tells us.

Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen $8
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Competitor's price: $10

Microblading may seem awfully scary (our editorial director, Faith, can attest to that), so this non-invasive method is a great alternative. It's got a silicone brush head with small bristles and an inky formula that mimics the effect of tattooing brow hairs onto the skin (minus the pain) and lasts all day long.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo $5
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Competitor's price: $7

Free of parabens, dyes, and aluminum, this dry shampoo not only sops up oil without leaving a residue, but it's also refreshingly fragrant, so no one will know it's been almost a week since you last washed your hair.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick $5
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Competitor's price: $9

A classic lipstick, Revlon's ever-popular Super Lustrous blend comes in four finishes: sheer, matte, pearl, and crème. It's formulated with micro-fine pigments, vitamin E, and avocado oil for a high-impact, moisturizing experience.

Roc Retinol Correxion Eye Cream $15
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Competitor's price: $25

We know retinol is a powerful wrinkle-reducing agent to use on your face, so it's just as important to employ it in your eye cream, too. The under-eye area is thin, so by using retinol, you can thicken the skin to hide dark circles and reduce signs of skin degradation.

Revlon ColorStay Foundation $8
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Competitor's price: $15

I recently wore this foundation to an intense Sculpt Society class, and afterward, several girls commented on how shocked they were that my makeup was still intact after sweating buckets for an hour. This formula doesn't budge, doesn't clog pores, and leaves behind a porcelain, blurred finish. I've been using it since high school.

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