Save Big Bucks on Stila and Smashbox at Costco

Published in: Makeup, News


After that free Chanel makeup class wrapped up this afternoon (soooo fun — a post with deets on how you, too, can attend one to follow shortly), I stopped by Costco and browsed the bulk beauty aisle while El Hub stared hypnotized at the store’s giant row of HD TVs.


I found some really great deals!


Seriously, I nearly fainted when I saw this cute limited edition Stila set called Brown Look ’08. For $18.99 you get one palette with four full-size pans of color coordinated shadows (brown, wine, peach and khaki), the #5 All Over Shadow Brush, the #9 All Over Blending Brush and one .18-oz tube of Major Lash Mascara in Black.

The exact same set sells for $40 on the Stila website (and it’s currently out of stock, to boot). Um, can you say hella cool bargain?


I wasn’t quite as psyched about the second bargain I found but figured hard core Smashbox fans might appreciate knowing it’s there. $20 ($19.99) gets ya nine Smashbox items: Picture Perfect Eyeshadow Quad; a sample of Photo Finish Primer; three mini lipglosses in Pout, Fame and Glitz; Skintint in Radiance; a mini Lash Primer; That’s a Wrap mascara in Black and a cute, pink mirrored mini lipgloss case.

For $20, whoa!



I expected to find 6-packs of 12-oz bottles of Lubriderm and cases of oversized jars of Vaseline at Costco, but I didn’t expect to find Stila and Smashbox. Somewhere along the way Costco got hip, or perhaps I was just too busy standing in line for the $1.50 hot dogs to notice, LOL!

It was hot here today (86 degrees F), and we don’t have air conditioning, so I was glad to get out of the house for a while. I got some interesting tips in that Chanel class at Macy’s this morning, like when you’re looking for a foundation color, look for a shade that matches the color of the skin beneath your chin where it meets the top of your neck. More to follow on that later…

Any exciting plans (makeup or otherwise) tonight? I’ve got a date with the couch and some ice cream.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 57 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. shockingpink says:

    omg!!! that is such a bargain.
    but i’m confused as to why it is possible that they sell this at such a low price? don’t Stila set the prices, and why is there such a difference i’m confused. i’m not american so i don’t know about Costco. can you please explain.

  2. Alexa says:

    wow thats cheap
    i don’t think i have any costco’s around me

  3. Kani says:

    Hi Karen!

    This finally got me out of my lurking mode and I decided to post =]

    I saw the same sets at Costco (the same one actually, bay areaaa), it was definitely the last thing I expected. I was just looking at industrial vats of containers of shampoo while my parents were checking out, and then I finally got to the end of the aisle and there they were! Too bad my parents would never buy me makeup.

    @ shockingpink: I think because Costco is a wholesaler, they can get some pretty sweet bargains from the manufacturers. This also cuts the cost of the wholesaler reselling again to a retail store (like Sephora) because when you resell to another store, the store that buys the merchandise has to sell it to consumers so they make profit too, which means we have to pay a bunch more! I hope that made… some sense. =] And it’s partially because Costco is just so cool <33

  4. lynbird says:

    What?! That’s crazy awesome. Just one more reason to love Costco.

  5. Asta says:

    I want to go to Costco’s right now, but they’re all at least half an hour away. Booo.

  6. Glosslizard says:

    I think I feel a pressing need to go to Costco this week! πŸ™‚

  7. Dao says:

    Now I want a Costco membership. My area just opened a Costco but I have a Sam’s club card πŸ™ I wish Sam’s also sells something as cool! My mom is a fan of those giant Olay bottles that are twice the size of the regular ones. I bought some big (ass) bottles of body lotion that still last me after 2 years. Yay to wholesale stores!

    Daos last blog post..A Little Bit About Me

  8. Marisol says:

    Don’t you just love how they remodeled that Costco? I think Costco got hip once they started having designer purses on display. I am gonna have to send my mom to get me some of those Stila sets. I guess I could also check the one in my town.

    Dao – I thought Sam’s Club and Costco were owned by the same peeps. I would inquire but I could be wrong.

    Marisols last blog post..Lazy Saturday

  9. Karen B says:

    WHAT? I have just fainted. We have something like Costco here in Belgium but they don’t sell anything remotely as cool… Meh.

    Karen Bs last blog post..flist is ♥

  10. Anna says:

    A heartstopping bargain there Karen !!

    My local Costco’s dont carry cosmetics for some reason. Hehe, I’m the same as your El Hub when I’m there, I just stare at all the massive HD flatscreen, salivating at the notion of taking one home with me and sticking it right in front of my bed πŸ™‚

  11. Joanne says:

    I bought some really cool Smashbox kits from Costco last year, and during X-mas time last year they went on sale and I bought a whole bunch as presents. I always get excited when I see those kits. I’ve never seen the Stila ones there. And I just went to Costco today (boo), but I didn’t have time to stop by the makeup isle. You should also check if they sell perfumes cuz they sell full size or smaller ones for 40 bucks. I bought a D&G light blue toilette for 40 bucks compared to probably $60 or $70 for one bottle. I love costco! — especially for their cheap snacks and free yummu samples =)

  12. Lydia says:

    Omg I didn’t even know Costco had that stuff either! I love Smahsbox! I’m gonna have to go check that out!

    Lydias last blog post..Chocolate as Sunscreen???

  13. Lydia says:

    Do you have to be a member to shop at Costco?

    Lydias last blog post..Chocolate as Sunscreen???

  14. Share says:

    Karen!! You are making me want to go to to Costco now!!! Why can’t BJ’s carry anything this cool? πŸ™

    Shares last blog post..Excitement!!

  15. Chris says:

    Sam’s Club is owned by Walmart (named after Sam Walton – the Walmart founder) and Costco is independent. I think with Stila being indy now – they are owned by Sun Capital – they are looking for sales opportunities and Costco is VOLUME VOLUME VOLUME.
    Plus, if the set is OOS on website it is probably cause they moved stock to Costoc right?
    Way too much retailer biz info…sorry.
    The set looks very cool. I saw a YSL Touche Eclat and mascaras at Costco once but never again and never when I needed them!

  16. Erin says:

    Oooo I am SO going to Costco today and hoping they have some bargains like this!

  17. Roxy says:

    I forgot to check that aisle in costco the last time I went! lol About the foundation part is that why when I ask the people in Sephora to color match my skin they always swatch colors around that area? I never thought about that until now.

  18. Rowena says:


    There’s nowhere like that in the UK. Ok, we have Costco, but they sell spanners…at thats about it.

    *cries more*

    Rowenas last blog post..Nars Blusher Haul & Korean Lioele

  19. Kyl says:

    Hi Karen:

    I’m going to have to take a trip to Costco (we have the original one in Seattle!). I’ve def seen Smashbox sets there almost every time I’ve gone, but never Stila! OMG! Thanks for sharing!

    Kyls last blog post..Egg-cellent

  20. Tekoa says:

    Holy cow! That’s a gold medal for bargin finding. I’m thinking I should investigate Costco next week.

  21. Shefali says:

    I’ve seen Stila and Smashbox cosmetics every time I’ve gone to Costco in the last few months. It’s pretty cool…but I haven’t seen the Brown 08 collection yet. I go to Costco like every week or every other week…I love it! It’s a total treasure hunt.

    I did hear on other blogs that the items Costco is getting they are getting illegally from black market sellers, hence they are able to sell them. Don’t know if it’s true…

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Shockingpink,

    It is quite a deal. It’s a store that sells wholesale items, so like Kani says below, you can get products at cheaper prices.

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Alexa,

    Yeah, the one closest to me is kind of a trek, too, but I just happened to pop in so it was a nice bargain surprise. πŸ™‚

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Kani,

    Yay, another Bay Area girl! It’s great to meet you. πŸ™‚ Question for you Why would your parents never buy you makeup? Are they strict (mine were in certain ways… I did get to wear makeup in high school though)?

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Lynbird,

    Right? It’s such a great deal! Gotta love those random finds along with the bulk packages of 50 rolls of toilet paper, LOL.

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Asta,

    Mine is kind of far away, too, but I just happened to be in the hood that day.

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Yeah! While you’re there say hi to the folks giving out food samples, LOL. I love those guys.

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    I’ve heard of Sam’s Club but I’ve never been there. That’s cool that they have a beauty section though… those big ass bottles last forever!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    That Costco also has a fun furniture section. I also like it when they have plants for sale!

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Ahh, that’s too bad! Do they at least sell beauty stuff like shampoos and lotions?

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Anna,

    Those HD’s are so cool. We don’t have one (hence El Hub’s hypnosis), and I’m not really a television fanatic, but I have to say they are really unforgiving when it comes to makeup. At Costco yesterday I watched part of a Celine Dion concert and was transfixed by the detail in her makeup. You could see EVERYTHING. I am so glad I am not on TV!

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Joanne,

    LOL, that’s why I love Costco, too! There furniture section is pretty nice, too…

    I hope you find a Stila set soon!

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Lydia,

    Yeah, you have to get a membership. El Hub and I joined a few years ago because they have pretty good deals and have a fantastic return policy.

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Share,

    It’s an awesome deal! Don’t worry girl, I’m sure you’ll run into a cool beauty bargain soon. πŸ˜‰

  35. Karen says:

    Hi Chris,

    It’s a very cool set. I mean, one brush usually costs that amount.

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Erin,

    I hope you find some too! Good makeup luck!

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Roxy,

    The Chanel makeup artist said that’s the true color of your skin! That area doesn’t get a lot of sun so it’s the best place to match.

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Rowena,

    Awww, girl! I’m sending you some virtual makeup bargain luck…

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Kyl,

    Cool! I hope you get your hands on the Stila. πŸ™‚

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Tekoa,

    Go to it, girlie. I’m hoping that it’s there when you visit.

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali,

    Oh, cool. Did you pick up any cool sets? I am now going to religiously check the beauty aisle. I hope more cute stuff pops up in the future.

  42. Brittany says:

    Awesome. I don’t have a Costco near me. I have a BJ’s though, which is similar. I have no idea if they sell makeup like that. If they do, I would totally be tempted to become a member. I hope you picked up the Stila set, that’s an awesome deal. I scored a Nivea Micro-Dermabrasion kit at the the dollar store this weekend. That was my good deal of the day!

  43. ines says:

    AHHHHH (zombielike noise) *makes grabby motions at stila set*

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    What a great steal. Have you used your kit yet? Do you like it?

  45. Karen says:

    LOL, Ines! πŸ™‚

  46. Christine says:

    Me and him walked around and couldn’t find the number of the stila item and you wouldn;t guess where it was located!!!

    It was near the condiments isle about 7 lanes down from the cosmetic isle!!!

    Wooo it was worth it!!!

  47. Christine says:

    p.s this is not the first time stila was at costco! For the past 6 months they had different kits palettes etc… but not alot of ppl know! Just GO ASK THE MANAGER OR SOME OF THE nice guys tat work at costco!, also i notice the women working for costco ALOT of times have attitude problems oh well

    Good luck getting it

    p.s.s the e.s does not have names of the color!

  48. Tanya says:

    *iz ded*
    Okay, my Costco officially stinks! I had also heard it through the grapevine that some stores were carrying packs of lipglazes

  49. Tanya says:

    Ooops! My browser went wacky on me and posted prematurely πŸ˜‰

    Anyways, I just wanted to ad that my Costco hasn’t had a good makeup deal in quite a while. We had some awesome Smashbox sets in the past and since then it’s been dudsville =/ Hopefully these kits will come my way!

    Tanyas last blog post..How to be a Drugstore Maven.

  50. Georgia says:

    Amazing. Limited edition Stila sets and bulk shrimp. Costco can do no wrong.

    Georgias last blog post..Sweet and Soapy

  51. LaQuesta says:

    No AC in Florida! I have breathing problems so I must have AC. I need to check out Costco sometime.

  52. Karen B says:

    Yeah they do. But we rarely go there as it’s so far.

  53. mandi says:

    i went to Costco last Sunday, and strolled down the make-up aisle FOUR times..they didn’t have it..BUMMER!

  54. April says:

    I went and bought these yesterday! Did you notice that they had a grey look Stila set too mixed in with the brown? I see it in your picture on the bottom left! Now you’ll have to go get the other one! LOL

  55. Andrea says:

    ok OMG. I was just about to buy the $40 limited edition grey set on the stila website when I stumbled upon your blog. Can i just say THANK YOU???? I’m here in the LA area and there are a bunch of Costcos around. I’m hoping they have the Stila set…I’ll let you guys know! Thanks Karen!

  56. Andrea says:

    update: Costco in Alhambra, CA has these Stila sets. The compact is the refillable kind too with the magnets inside! It’s a way better deal than the original smoky set that comes with the talking instructions, as this limited grey set has two of the same colors (slate and ebony) AND to top it off comes with 2 brushes and a mascara.

    Note: Costco is also selling single MAC eyeshadows in select colors for $11.49! Better than the $14.50 price at the MAC store. Colors I saw included Deep Truth, Sumputious Olive, Beauty Marked.

  57. Amy says:

    Awesome! I want the stila kit! Will definitely have to stop by Costco. I knew I got that membership for SOME reason πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge