Don't miss a deal!

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Don’t Love Your Beauty Products? These 13 Stores Let You Return Used Makeup

Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

More Health and Fitness

ulta bag and makeup

Just because the latest product in beauty is a bestseller doesn’t mean it’s best for you—and these retailers totally get it! Check out these popular stores with expansive makeup and skincare selections that actually let you return used beauty products when they’re just not working out for you.


1. Birchbox

Two Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascaras and Bag

  • Return Timeframe: 90 days
  • With invoice policy: Full original payment refund of the purchase price.

When ordering full-size products from Birchbox, you’ve got three months to determine if something just isn’t working for you. For more details, check out their full return policy.


2. CVS

makeup wipes and products at cvs

  • Return Timeframe: 60 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full original payment refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: A refund will be issued as CVS store credit based on the lowest advertised price within the last 60 days.

CVS offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of their beauty products, so if you don’t love it, take it back! For more details, check out their full return policy.


3. Dermstore

makeup eyeshadow pallet with bright colors

  • Return Timeframe: 30-60 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full original payment refund of the purchase price within 30 days, store credit within 60 days.

The makeup selection on Dermstore is massive, but knowing you’re going to like a specific shade without testing it in person is tough. Good thing you have a month to try it. For more details, check out their full return policy.


4. JCPenney (Sephora)

sephora store inside JC Penney

  • Return Timeframe: 60 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via credit card or Beauty Insider account. Without either, no return can be made.

You can often find tester products inside the Sephora at JCP, but if your purchase isn’t performing as expected long term, take it back within two months. For more details, check out their full return policy.


5. Kohl’s

kohls beauty

  • Return Timeframe: 30 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via credit card, but without it, a refund will be issued as Kohl’s Merchandise Credit based on a discounted lowest 13-week sale price of the item.

It looked great in the store, but you quickly realize that plum-colored lip gloss is just not for you. Take it back within 30 days for a hassle-free return. For more details, check out their full return policy.


6. Macy’s

purity cleanser from macys

  • Return Timeframe: 180 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via credit card, but without it, a refund will be issued as Macy’s store credit of the lowest price of the item over the last 180 days.

If you discover a forgotten product in the back of your makeup drawer you no longer care for, you have a six-month window to return it at Macy’s. For more details, check out their full return policy.


7. Nordstrom

eyeshadow palette

  • Return Timeframe: Anytime
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via credit card, but without it, a refund will be issued as Nordstrom gift card of the current price of the item.

Talk about flexibility! At Nordstrom, there’s no return deadline. Their only ask? Take products back if you truly don’t like them, but don’t abuse the return system. For more details, check out their full return policy.


8. Rite Aid

revlon eyeshadow at rite aid

  • Return Timeframe: 90 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via wellness+ card or phone number, but without it, a refund will be issued as a Rite Aid gift card based on the lowest advertised promotion price of the item within the last 45 days.

Rite Aid offers a risk-free beauty buying experience with a generous three-month window on returns. This allows customers to be daring with their makeup choices but safe with their wallet. For more details, check out their full return policy.


9. Sephora

sephora store

  • Return Timeframe: 60/90 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price within 60 days, store credit for returns within 61-90 days.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier may perform a receipt lookup via Beauty Insider rewards program for a full refund, but without it, no return accepted.

Saw it, liked it, wanted it, got it…but completely changed your mind? No worries! Take it back to Sephora, but be sure to have your receipt or Beauty Insider account info for the return. For more details, check out their full return policy.


10. Target

Maybelline cosmetics at Target

  • Return Timeframe: 90/120 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price within 90 days, up to 120 days if Target RedCard was used on the purchase.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via credit card, but without it, a refund will be issued as Target merchandise return card.

We all know how easy it is to get caught up in adding products to carts at Target, but returning them is also a simple process. Better yet, you have a 90-day return window, plus an extra 30 days if you used your Target RedCard. For more details, check out their full return policy.


11. Ulta

nyx section at ulta

  • Return Timeframe: 60 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: The cashier can perform a receipt lookup via Ultamate Rewards account for a full refund, but without it, a refund will be issued as Ulta store credit based on the lowest selling price within the last 90 days.

Run in and out, only to find you grabbed non-waterproof mascara instead of your favorite water-resistant formula (speaking from experience here)? At Ulta, you can take it back within two months for quick exchange or full refund. For more details, check out their full return policy.


12. Walgreens

rimmel makeup at walgreens

  • Return Timeframe: 30 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: A refund will be issued as Walgreens store credit based on the lowest advertised price.

Walgreens has quite the selection on their website (they acquired Beauty.com), so you can send any unloved cosmetics back within 30 days for a full refund. For more details, check out their full return policy.


13. Walmart

neutrogena products at walmart

  • Return Timeframe: 90 days
  • With receipt/invoice policy: Full refund of the purchase price.
  • Without receipt/invoice policy: A refund will be issued as a Walmart gift card for refund values $25 and up, and you may receive cash as a refund for values under $25.

You can buy pretty much everything at Walmart! Better yet, they accept a majority of opened items for return, including beauty products, within 90 days. For more details, check out their full return policy.


Retailers may be tracking your returns—here’s what you need to know.

Join The Discussion

Comments 24

  1. Seph

    Does anyone know of any stores that help you throw out/recycle used makeup and nail polishes safely like what H&M does with clothing and textiles?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Seph! You may need to visit your local hazardous waste facility. Be sure to call ahead to confirm that they do, in fact, accept those items. Hope that helps!

    • Julie

      In the past, Origins, in Macy’s recycled containers.

  2. Lesli

    That’s good to know. What do you tell them as a reason to return? That you just don’t like the color? I feel so awkward returning makeup when a color doesn’t turn out to be what I thought it would be. I’m just not good at picking out the right shade for me.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Good question, Lesli! I would just keep it simple and honest and tell them whatever reason you truly have for the return. Did you find the product drying? Oily? Does the shade look different outside the light of the store? Did you just change your mind and decide the product isn’t right for you? Really whatever the reason, they’ll likely take it back.

      In some cases, there’s a no-questions-asked return policy but if the associate does try to find out the reason of return, it’s probably just to help recommend a different product based on your feedback. Hope that helps!

    • lydia

      I’ve returned a couple of things at sephora and ulta over the years. Lipstick that made my lips dry out, blush that just wasn’t right… be honest and tell them what you didn’t like about the product. Most of the time they can offer to help you find something that will work better for you. Especially at sephora, their employees are very knowledgable and eager to help.

  3. Lo

    I saw on reddit that too many returns to sephora can get you kicked out of their beauty club (rewards system).

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      The nice thing about Sephora is that you can try up to 3 samples per visit, whether its makeup, skincare, even fragrance I believe. They may try to limit returns because of their sampling policy, but I’m not 100% sure on the exact number of returns that could get you removed from the rewards program. It could just be a case by case basis.

  4. J

    Off topic, Amazon has Nivea women’s gift set $24.94, with a 50% off coupon! Do the math & that comes out to a great deal. Please post this deal to share.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing with us, Laura!

  5. Lacey

    My local ulta store requires you to make return with original packaging (box). Once I had the receipt for a return (within 30 days, brand new condition)but not the box that the product came in and they give me a hard time. I confirmed returning with original packaging is not listed as a requirement on the receipt.
    I have found this policy to be inconsistent as I went to different store and they weren’t sure about the original packaging as requirement

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, Lacey! Good to know!

  6. riss

    I was upset at the sales person at Macy’s. I bought a Philosophy product worth $70+. I think it was the miracle worker in purple jar. I asked if I didn’t like it, can i return it? She said only if i have allergic reactions to it, like itching or redness. So i used it for a few days and it made my skin so oily i stopped using it. A few months later, I chatted with Philosophy customer service about something else and mentioned about their return policy. And she said i could have returned it at Macy’s within the time frame she mentioned if my skin doesn’t agree with it. Of course, this was past their return grace period. $70 down the drain!

  7. OregonLexy

    I once bought a Foundation at Walgreens but the shade was too dark so I just wanted to exchange it and when I went in store they were charging me extra since it was cheaper online – so I just passed and simple for the money (almost double the price in store)

  8. Kat

    In Columbus Walmart don’t accept makeup return…I don’t know why

  9. Kayla

    I returned an unused hair product to Wal-Mart without a receipt and was told their policy is to only accept beauty/personal care returns with receipts. That store has a lot of theft unfortunately so I’m sure it’s related to that somehow.

  10. Shelley

    Check with your state laws as well. In California, you are allowed to return any cosmetic item to any store if you have any kind of allergic reaction. They might give you a hard time, but I’ve never had that happen in any store when I’ve said that I had an allergic reaction.

  11. Amanda

    Dillards has a good make up return policy too.

  12. Kathryn

    One quick add-on to the cosmetic return topic. I find a simple, “She didn’t like it,” to be the best reason for returning almost anything to any seller!

Leave a Reply

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

It's not your Grandma's coupon site!

Sign up for a Hip2Save account (it's free) to access all of the awesome features!

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot Password

Don't have an account? Register

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!

Already have an account? Login

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!



Already have an account? Login

Thank you for rating!

Would you also like to leave us a comment?