Anyone who’s bought expensive makeup from department stores knows we can get free “gift with purchase” if you know when and how they are scheduled from Estee Lauder, Clinique and Lancome to high-end brands like CHANEL, DIOR or LA MER. There are also goody bags, beauty bags, or AKA beauty gift bag and beauty samplers – those are huge cosmetics bags filled with mixed-brand cosmetics freebies. I’ve been reviewing beauty gift with purchases for years, and every year there are more stunning gifts! I’ve rounded up the best places to shop online for beauty GWP!
Here is the list of the 10 best online beauty stores to get your beauty gift with purchase in 2019 – 2020. IcanGWP’s best online site chart includes:
- Space NK US
- Cult Beauty
- Sephora and Sephora.ca
- Neiman Marcus
- Saks Fifth Avenue
Bonus: Beautyhabit – Best new indie beauty gift with purchase. Harvey Nichols UK – Highest value goody bag in the world. Barneys New York (now Barneys at Saks) – Farewell to the previous best place to get beauty gift with purchase.
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Best Online Beauty Store to Get Beauty Gift with Purchase 2019 – 2020
This year, 2019, we have four department stores in IcanGWP’s chart: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. The four beauty heavens that have both brick-and-mortar shops and e-commerce stores like Sephora, Ulta, Space NK and Bluemercury also deserve to be in the chart. We have two online-only beauty sites Cult Beauty UK and SkinStore that are shining in this year on the best online beauty stores chart!
I’ve rounded up the best places to shop online for beauty as the following.
I recommend applying to the Bloomingdale’s Loyalist membership. It’s free and we get points, free shipping – double to 5x points on beauty majority of the time.
Price: Gift bag contains 15 or more beauty samples with a $125 – $150 beauty purchase.
Why it is the best: The Bloomingdale’s beauty event pops up almost every month. During their event, we normally get Bloomingdale’s sitewide gift together with brand’s gifts and $25 back on any $100 beauty purchase promotion. Bloomingdale’s divides their beauty dept into Glowhaus boutique, Wellchemist, Space NK Apothecary Shop-in-Shop and general.
They normally run “choose your free deluxe gift with fixed amount purchase” from each category and as well as entire beauty department. They have “choose a free sample with every $25 purchase” and “3-piece mystery gift with any $75 beauty purchase” very often and some of the brands are high-end! Not even mentioning the Space NK gift yet. Bloomingdale’s is the only place that runs a bi-annual Space NK Beauty Edit Gift other than Space NK direct. This year they had added “mystery gift” like a 20-piece Lancome mystery gift or a 20-piece with any $75 beauty purchase. I haven’t tried any but one reader reported that it was the best gift she ever received.
What could be better: They’re sort of like Macy’s – their gifts are too well thought out and planned. Loosen it a bit, let us get more, or lower the buy-in.
9 Saks Fifth Avenue
Price: Saks offers seasonal beauty bags and they are around 20-piece with $200 purchase.
Why it is the best: You can use up to 5 promo codes per order and shipping is free year-round (code freeship). The gift with purchase items are mostly exclusive and only the top lines from upscale beauty brands. They have a bunch of cool upscale beauty samples with any $25 beauty purchase. The coupon codes for 10% off are offered very often. They usually send a 10% – 20% off unique coupon code to your inbox – sign up for free here.
What could be better: I’d like to see $100 – $125 buy-in offers from Saks.
8 Neiman Marcus
This is the first time Neiman Marcus is in the list of top places to get online beauty GWP. Neiman Marcus, owned by the Neiman Marcus Group, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was founded by Herbert Marcus, his sister, Carrie Marcus Neiman, and his brother-in-law, Al Neiman. The high-end department store has what’s called the “Neiman Marcus Beauty Cue Gift” and it’s a true gem!
Price: Neiman Marcus runs seasonal beauty gift bags and they are around 10-piece with a $200 purchase.
Why it is the best: The Neiman Marcus Beauty Cue Gift is a monthly Neiman Marcus exclusive gift that requires a coupon code to add to the shopping cart. They are normally 5 deluxe gifts and is free while supplies last with any $50 beauty purchase. They sell out quick and sometimes within 24 hours after they send out the email for select subscribers.
Their brand specific beauty GWP is much more exciting this year. They normally have around 50 GWP available with several step-up gifts. Also, it’s this year that they run 20% off ALL BEAUTY, even including some high-end brands that I haven’t seen discounted before (ever)! I highly recommend signing up to receive newsletter. They send out semi-targeted coupons that you’ll be able to use it if your email is in their system like $5 off $20 beauty purchase.
What could be better: Bigger gift bags.
Top Brands: Augustinus Bader | Bioeffect | Cannuka | CHANEL | Clinique | Dior | Dyson | Erno Laszlo | Estee Lauder | Guerlain | Givenchy | Lancome | Kiehl’s | La Mer | Marc Jacobs Beauty | Molton Brown |NARS | Omorovicza | Oribe | Revive Skincare | Sunday Riley | Tom Ford | Tula | YSL | Holiday Beauty | Travel Beauty | Makeup | Trending beauty | Seed Phytonutrients |
The LVMH-backed beauty retailer Sephora dropped their rank quite a bit in this chart but still a good place to shop for beauty!
Price: Sephora and Sephora.ca offer new gift with purchase almost every day at Sephora.com/beauty-offers. They are a few deluxe samples with $25 purchase. They offer Sephora sample bags that contain 7 or more samples with $35 – $75 purchase several times per year. Their sample bags are well curated and contain items that are loved by several … clans.
Why it is the best: First, Sephora, Ulta, Bluemercury and Space NK offer free birthday gift (reviewed here). Sephora’s 3-tier membership consists of Beauty Insider, Sephora VIB (spend $350) and Sephora VIB Rouge (spend $1000). VIB and VIB Rouge members will get extra coupon codes and more perks that are reserved for them only. We can choose 2 free samples at checkout with no minimum required. Sephora Flash subscription is $15 per year for unlimited free shipping.
They also have Sephora Favorites— awesome multi-brand kits. We can redeem the points for free samples or full size for VIB and Rouge at Sephora.com/rewards-bazaar. Sephora Play beauty box is only $10 and is one of the best subscription boxes. The return process at Sephora is among the best. It’s reasonable – no pressure, they really do care about our satisfaction – beautiful and bravo!
What could be better: I like all the perks and online customer service. They are very good but there’s room for more. Send free samples that we picked from checkout process. We appreciate that you substitute the out of stock items. We know that warehousing and logistics are a tough thing, but it’s so disappointing when you don’t get what you picked. Sephora Rouge perks, something epic for big spenders, can you do a 20-piece gift with $200 purchase? I want the $$$ Pat McGrath palette and can’t really take the beauty bag with $75 purchase.
Top brands: Anastasia Beverly Hills | Beautyblender | Bite Beauty | Drunk Elephant | Fenty Beauty by Rihanna| GLAMGLOW | Huda Beauty | Kat Von D | Make Up For Ever | Marc Jacobs Beauty| Milk Makeup | PAT McGRATH LABS | Sunday Riley| Surratt | TATCHA | Tarte | Too Faced | | Urban Decay | Violet Voss | Viseart
This is the first time SkinStore is entering the best beauty stores chart! The THG group is hugely successful worldwide and are stepping up SkinStore to a new era. They have excellent brand relationships to really entice you with incredible beauty GWP like you won’t get it anywhere else!
Price: You can get huge stackable gift bags with $100+ purchase. They also have small gift bags like 8-pieces or so with a $75 purchase.
Why it is the best: SkinStore’s vast array of solution-based skin, makeup, and hair products have you covered. Get yourself on their email subscriber list. They have semi-exclusive gifts that can only be added to the cart if you click through the email link and they STACK with almost everything they are advertising on the site. The brands they are carry are huge from K-beauty to European brands to emerging US brands. I really like that I can get alternative beauty products here and easily get 25% off the majority of the brands they have. They launch SkinStore beauty box regularly and they are such a good deal when combined with discount coupons and free gift bags.
What could be better: If they are going to be on par with other online beauty retailers in the chart here, they could add 3 free samples at checkout. They have a nice blog here, but when I’m shopping I sort of want to see what people think about the products I’m interested in. They are new around here but they could build up some participation and user reviews to make the site more like brick-and-mortar stores (like the next online-only store in the chart).
5 Cult Beauty
The British site Cult Beauty disrupts how we shop for our cosmetics. Alexia Inge, Cult Beauty Co-Founder & Co-CEO, lives in North London and the site was founded in 2007. This beauty influencer-favorite destination contains all the trendiest products selected globally all in one place. Their Cult Beauty goody bag deserves a big applause!!
Price: Cult Beauty is like an international phenomenon. They are trustworthy and ship worldwide with a 40 GBP purchase. In addition, non-EU shoppers will get approximately 17% off the price listed on their site! I’m serious.
Why it is the best: Cult Beauty Goody Bag and Cult Beauty Box are deserving of our adoration and loyalty. The Cult Beauty Goody Bag only lasts a few days and runs four times per year. If you don’t sign up to IcanGWP, you’ll miss it.
This Cult Beauty Goody Bag usually contains three+ full size beauty products, 15+ deluxe beauty samples and a coupon code. The minimum purchase is usually 150 to 175 GBP (lower for non-EU). They contain all ‘cult’ beauty brands, Europe’s most loved brands, US brands and a bunch of Korean brands. Good wellness selection. All Cult Beauty goody bag and gift with purchase are provided here. Brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Omorovicza or Caudalie are a little cheaper compared to here.
What could be better: I did have a makeup palette arrive completely shattered. Well, it traveled all the way from the UK and took 10 days in transit. I won’t bother trying to return it. Do you think that a Cult Beauty US warehouse is possible so we can get a better and easier returns and 3-day shipping? Enable us right now please!
Top brands: Alpha-H | Anastasia Beverly Hills | Becca | BLEACH London | Briogeo | By Terry | Charlotte Tilbury |Dr Barbara Sturm | Drunk Elephant | Emma Hardie | FARMACY | Fresh | Herbivore | HOURGLASS | Huda | Iconic London | Emma Hardie | Laura Mercier | Lime Crime | Milk Makeup | MGC Derma | Morphe | NARS | Natasha Denona| Nurse Jamie | NYX | NYX and Farmacy | Olaplex | Omorovicza | Pixi x Caroline Hirons | Pixi | SkinOwl | Su-Man| Sunday Riley | Surratt Beauty | THE INKEY LIST | The Ordinary | TONYMOLY | Tata Harper | Uma | VENeffect | Violet Voss | Viseart | Zelens | Zoeva
Rising star Bluemercury, a luxury spa-like shop, is owned by Macy’s (since 2005) and their gift with purchase has improved like a dream. Bluemercury was founded in 1999 by Marla Malcolm. They celebrated its 20th birthday earlier this year.
Price: The major ones are approximately 10+ deluxe samples with a $75+ order to 20-piece with $175 purchase.
Why it is the best: We can choose three free samples at checkout and it could be as cool as full size Guerlain lipstick! We can choose one free gift with purchase and use one discount code – always stackable. The Bluemercury Anniversary gift are their best gift and only run once per year every fall. They have the Skinceuticals brand that nobody else with brick and mortar stores carry. We can always use coupon code WELCOME to get 10% off everything including La Mer. They had recently introduced Bluemercury Bluerewards. And you’ll get $5 back for every $100 purchase + a free birthday gift. Bluemerucy has awesome house brands like M-61 or Lune+Aster that people really adore and are totally affordable, too. They recently added a mystery box.
What could be better: There is no clearance sale, why? Bluemercury is the only one store in this chart that has no clearance.
Top brands: Aerin | Alpyn Beauty | Augustinus Bader | Avene | Beautyblender | Bloomeffects | Bobbi Brown | Bumeble & Bumble | Chantecaille | Clinique | Darphin | Deborah Lippmann | Diptyque | Dr Barbara Sturm | Estee Lauder | Fresh | Hourglass | iS Clinical | Jack Black | Jane Iredale | Jo Malone | Kevyn Aucoin | Kiehl’s | Kjaer Weis | La Mer | LAFCO | Laura Mercier | Lune + Aster | M-61 | Mario Badescu | Maya Chia | Moroccanoil | NARS | Natura Bisse | Nest | Odacite | One Love Organics | Oribe | OSEA | Retrouvé | ReVive | Shiseido | SkinCeuticals | Smith & Cult | Supergoop! | Surratt | The Beauty Chef | Tom Ford | Tracie Martyn | Trish McEvoy | Virtue | Yves Saint Laurent |
Ulta, American chain of beauty stores in the United States, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, is finally in the top 3 online beauty store to get beauty gift with purchase! Ulta is a gold mine to get every beauty you desire from drugstore to high-end.
Price: Big random swings. It could be a 22-piece gift with $75 purchase or a 19-piece gift with $150 purchase. The Beauty Break gifts are usually 4-5 deluxe samples with $50 purchase and run 4 – 6 hours.
Why it is the best: Stacking! They stack — all gift with purchase offers, coupon (printable version) and all things we can add to our cart will likely be stackable. We really like the secret $10 value gift with any online purchase – I list them (literally) every day in my post. It felt satisfying, didn’t it? The three tier membership and Ulta rewards are awesome. You’ll get Platinum and Diamond exclusive gift with purchase offers that are to-die-for plus additional sale items that are only available for Platinum and Diamond only. You can treat your points like money. See the chart here.
They have the biggest event called Ulta 21 Days of Beauty event that is out-of-the-world cool both GWP and 50% off daily steals.
What could be better: The samples are a mix of drugstore and premium brands. It’s convincing when you can buy drugstore items and get premium gift with purchase but not vice versa. It’s a love/hate relationship. What do you think? They normally ship free with a $50 purchase, come on.
Their point system is so complicated. The ‘must’ activation bonus is annoying.
Top Brands: Anastasia Beverly Hills | Ardell | Becca | The Body Shop | Clinique | Colourpop | Dose of Colors | Elizabeth Arden | Essence | Estee Lauder || Exuviance| It Cosmetics | Kate Somerville | Kylie Cosmetics | LASplash | Laura Geller | Julep | Juvia’s Place | Lime Crime | MAC | Morphe | NARS | NYX | Ofra | Philosophy | Poo Pourri | Real Techniques | Rituals | Skinfood | Smashbox | Sunday Riley | Tarte Cosmetics | Too Faced | The Crème Shop | Tula | Ulta | Urban Decay | Vichy | Vita Liberata |
2 Space NK US and Space NK UK
Space NK US and Space NK UK the ultimate destination for luxury beauty discovery, are true beauty gift with purchase queen. Space NK was founded in 1993 by Nicky Kinnarid. They have rigorous chosen process and bring beauty products that people genuinely want to use every day.
Price: Space NK’s major bi-annual gift bag events require approximately a $250 or more purchase.
Why it is the best: Shop their assortment for all of your most fancy-pants beauty whims like Vintner’s Daughter or Saint Jane. Space NK Beauty Edit Event is phenomenal and is the highest value beauty bag among all US beauty retailers. Barneys is closing and no one is on par with Space NK from now on. We are talking about $500+ worth of freebies and $300+ worth of step-up gift. Space NK US hosts these Space NK Beauty Edit Gift Bags twice – Space NK Spring Beauty Edit and Space NK Autumn Beauty Edit. It’s the Real Deal (reviewed here). You can choose three free beauty samples at checkout with any purchase.
N.Dulge members will get $5 back every for $100 purchase and you can use it like money. They recently have a brand of the month and you’ll get double points, $10 back every $100 purchase. Space NK has a secret Space NK Edit Box every quarter or so and it contains outstanding curations. They run bi-annual clearance events that you shouldn’t miss. When they let go of their stock, they mean it.
Sign up to the N.Dulge Membership here to get early access to this gift bag and earn a free Space NK birthday gift. Alternatively, simply follow the IcanGWP beauty blog by email (click follow) and WordPress will send you an email every time a new post is up on my site! Space NK has had several exclusive coupon codes for discounts or freebies for IcanGWP readers. Don’t miss out! Space NK lists all current deluxe size beauty gift with purchase offers here.
You might see a massive list of Space NK coupon codes at several coupon sites. I’d say, don’t bother. Space NK used to allow unlimited coupon codes for free gift with purchase but they have updated since 2018 to no promo code needed.
What could be better: I feel that Space NK US has a lot less brands compared to Space NK UK.
Top Brands : 111SKIN | African Botanics | Aquis | Aromatherapy Associates | Aurelia Probiotic Skincare | Artis | Briogeo | Bumble and Bumble | By Terry | Chantecaille | Christophe Robin | Clark’s Botanicals | Coola | Diptyque | DR. BARBARA STURM | Dr Dennis Gross | EVE LOM | Goldfaden MD | HOURGLASS | Joanna Vargas | Kat Burki | Kevyn Aucoin | Ilia | Lipstick Queen | Malin + Goetz | MARA | May Lindstrom | MD SOLAR SCIENCES | MILA MOURSI | MAULI | Natura Bisse | Odacite | Olaplex | Omorovicza | Oribe | Oskia | R+Co | Rahua | REN Skincare | Revive | Rodial | Saint Jane | Space NK Beauty Box | Surratt | Sunday Riley | Space NK | Tula | UMA Oil | Verso | Vertly | VINTNERS DAUGHTER | Virtue | Votary | ZIIP |
NORDSTROM is crowned as a king of beauty gift with purchase heaven this year, three years in a row! Honorable – The ultimate destination for gift with purchase addicts! John W. Nordstrom was the co-founder of the Nordstrom department store chain since 1901.
Price: Big variations here: $75 – $125 for 11 – 25 piece sitewide gift bags. They also have category gift bag like Hair Care gift bag, Makeup gift bag, Skincare gift bag, Fragrance gift bag, Grooming and Cologne gift bag or Natural Beauty and Wellness gift bag – all combinable. In addition, they normally offer at least 50 brand specific gifts year-round.
Why it is the best: This high-end and luxury beauty destination lives up their reputation. They are always offering big Nordstrom beauty bags filled with the latest in the beauty world for us every month and you’ll receive it on sitewide beauty purchase. Beauty brands that Nordstrom carries also offer their gift with purchase and they are top notch. Nordstrom beauty sale page here is always awesome. They have a few secret new high-end samples that require promo code with any beauty purchase regularly.
You can get unlimited gift with purchase as long as your cart qualifies for them. The shipping is free sitewide, big or small. We can choose an extra three (or five or even ten sometimes) samples and normally includes some deluxe samples. Nordstrom doesn’t offer a Nordstrom beauty box (yet?) but they are offering hundreds of Nordstrom Exclusive beauty. Have I mentioned Trust! “Nordstrom” is a trustworthy destination for us beauty junkies – no problem whatsoever that they can’t solve to make us happier.
Last and most importantly, Nordstrom will price match most US retailers that are on par with them, brick and mortar or online with Nordstrom live chat here. And you know what—they are matching prices even from Amazon (all shipped & sold by Amazon or beauty only here). See details in my post here or Nordstrom pricing policy here.
In addition, there are more perks at Nordstrom that I can’t fit it here – the return policy is very generous, you’ll get Nordstrom Note on any beauty purchase, cardholders can set up Nordstrom personal triple points dates, the annual Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale or the biggest sale from Nordstrom called Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and more. The Nordie club launched in October 2019 make us Nordie loyalty shoppers even more happy! They put us in a tier now and with a $500+ spend, we will be in the Nordie Insider tier with more perks.
What could be better: I can’t be happier with their customer service and Nordstrom is the only department store that has special Beauty Customer Service – I wish that others would learn from them. Birthday gift?
That’s the top ten best beauty retailers in the US!!
These are my picks and my favorites. I had so much fun writing this post. It’s like I can let it go and get it all off my mind. Let’s do the reader-favorites in the comments below! Anything to add? Where do you shop and why? I’m all ears to get your personal ranks and fave stores.
Katie @ IcanGWP Beauty Blog
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