I’m a Beauty Expert, and Here’s My Black Friday Shopping List

November 24, 2020 at 06:30AM

It’s a controversial thing to say but, in theory, Black Friday is so not my thing. I spend my working life advising people to consider their beauty purchases very carefully, and that message simply doesn’t align with the concept of Black Friday. Trust me, I totally understand the temptation of a bargain, especially when it comes to pretty beauty products. However, doing your research and working out which products are right for you is just as important on Black Friday as it is any other time.

With that being said, there’s no doubt that now is the time to stock up on age-old favourites and dream products that have always been slightly out of budget. If you’re anything like me, your inbox will be flooded with flash sales, discounts and offers from every beauty brand and retailer out there, and as overwhelming as it seems, there are certainly some treasures to be found.

This year, more so than ever, I have been thinking carefully about where and how I spend my money. In the past, I have been known to splurge in beauty halls on the prettiest looking products. However, over the years I have learned that the buzz I got off buying beauty in this way was always short-lived. More often than not, I was left with shelves of products that just weren’t quite right for me. 

To avoid repeats of years gone by, this Black Friday I’m taking advantage of the fact that in-store shopping is off the cards. By removing the chance of my inner magpie tempting to me make impulse buys, I have spent the last few weeks compiling a list of the products I actually want to purchase – and I’m promising to stick to it. While it’s highly unlikely I’ll be purchasing everything on the list, I certainly won’t be straying from it. After weeks of careful consideration and a whole bunch of research, keep scrolling to discover the products I’m planning to buy this Black Friday, including a roundup of all the best deals to be had.

With up to 20% off selected lines across beauty, I plan on taking full advantage of John Lewis’s discounted fragrance offering this Black Friday. While there are plenty of fragrances I’d love to buy right now, I think now is a good time to replace an old favourite that comes with an eye-watering price tag. I used up my last bottle of Tom Ford Neroli Portofino in the spring and went the whole summer without it. It was sorely missed, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it full price. With 17% off right now, it’s definitely something I’m considering.

Price includes saving.

It’s rare that Elemis products get discounted, so I always make my cult purchases on Black Friday. This year, the brand is offering 30% off, plus a free five-piece day or night gift when you spend £100 after discount with code SPECTACULAR. I’ll be stocking up on my go-to Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm in the biggest size available. I use it every morning and every night, so it never goes to waste.

With 30% off sitewide, Ciaté London is set to be one of my go-to destinations this Black Friday. I’m already borderline obsessed with their nail stickers (Cheat Sheet Vol. 2) which make at-home nail art super-easy, and I’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to try out some of their other products for a while now. This super-lengthening and volumising mascara has been on my list for ages and I can’t wait to give it a whirl.

Preaching a message that I can definitely get behind, Deciem is offering 23% off its entire site throughout the whole of November. With the aim to encourage customers to shop slowly and thoughtfully, it avoids any last-minute rush and panic buying. I recently finished off a small bottle of the mega-hydrating, anti-ageing Buffet serum from The Ordinary, and I loved it. I’ve since discovered they do it in a supersize 60ml, so I’ll definitely be stocking up before the month is over.

With savings of up to 20% on selected premium beauty products and fragrance, as well as other flash deals, it’s safe to say Boots is a sure-fire hit for a Black Friday beauty bargain. Adamant not to stock up on products I simply don’t need (although Boots’ offering makes it very tempting), I’m just going to stick to a safe restock of my favourite skincare product ever made, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex. With a saving of 20%, it makes total sense to stock up now.

My go-to site for all things beauty, Look Fantastic already have a number of enticing deals online, with up to 35% off selected lines. Right now, I’m fully sold on the fact they have up to 33% off Sarah Chapman, including the cult facial steamer. I’ve been in the market for a steamer for a while now (they’re great for boosting glow), but they can be quite expensive. However, with 33% off, I think now might be the time to take the plunge.

Right now, you can get up to 20% off selected lines at Selfridges by using code SELFCCE at checkout. To be quite honest, the offering is quite overwhelming, with countless products that wouldn’t usually be discounted included in the offer. But without a doubt, the bargain of the whole of Black Friday for me is 20% off my favourite Diptyque Baies candle.


My treasured GHDs broke a few months ago and I’ve been holding out for Black Friday to purchase some more. With up to 20% stylers, hairdryers and curlers, I’m upgrading my straighteners to the Platinum+, which promise to be more effective, and also kinder to strands.

Not to be outshone, Feelunique is offering up to 33% off selected brands. I’m particularly intrigued by how drastically prices of French pharmacy bestseller, La Roche-Posay, have been slashed. With 34% off, I’m picking up a tube of Effaclar Duo Anti-Imperfections Moisturiser to help keep my mask-induced breakouts in check.

If you’re shopping for Christmas presents, can I please turn your attention to Charlotte Tilbury? With 30% off selected lines, there are plenty of bargains to be had. Having said that, I’m being good and sticking to just one thing that I really want. OK fine, it’s technically three products. Eyes To Memerise cream eyeshadow is by far one of my favourite eye products out there, and I use my pots to death. This week, there’s 30% off when you buy a trio of shades, and Charlotte can count me in.

With 20% off sitewide, you better believe I’m picking up some pretty Mac faves. If you’re yet to try the brand’s Powder Kiss Lipstick, let me enlighten you. It’s matte, but totally weightless and leaves lips with a pretty, blurred finish. I’m totally in love with the shade I already have (Sultry Move), and I’m ready to add some more to my collection, especially burnt red, Devoted To Chilli.

My favourite bath and body brand is offering 25% off sitewide using code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout. I’m fully stocked with their delicious bath oils, but I have been waiting for the right time to repurchase the sleep-inducing Deep Relax Body Treatment. Parting with £42 for a body cream isn’t easy, but with 25% off, it’s a little easier.

Prepare for this one: By Terry is currently offering up to 70% off selected lines. By far one of my favourite makeup brands, there’s a long list of the things I’d like to buy right now, but I’m being sensible, remember? One of my go-to products form the brand is this highlighter/foundation hybrid. I just swipe it along the high points of my face to blur, perfect and boost luminosity. I’m in total disbelief that it’s only £12 right now.

Everything at Glossier will be 25% off (up to 35% when you shop sets) from Friday 27th through to Monday 30th. It might not be sunny out, but we should all be wearing SPF all day, every day if we want to protect our skin against harmful rays. The minute Glossier’s Black Friday deal starts, I’m adding the lightweight Invisible Shield straight to my basket.

Between 26thNovember and 1stDecember, Nars will be slashing 20% off their prices across the whole site. I’ll be using this opportunity to buy a back up Soft Matte Complete Concealer – my everyday staple.

Up next, I have a feeling this will be 2021’s biggest skincare brand.

Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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