How to get MAC lipstick for free + sneaky MAC money-saving tips

Get free MAC lipstick by turning in empty containers! Details at

Wanted to pop in and share a quick makeup freebie tip that you may or may not have known about!

Today while my older kids were at preschool I ran some errands that have been on my to-do list for…well…about 4 months, I swear. One important errand? Pick up my favorite $16 MAC lipstick…for FREE!

All you have to do is…

Save your MAC containers and turn them in for free lipstick!Save your empty MAC containers. Once you get 6 containers (any kind of MAC product, it doesn't matter), then turn them in for a free lipstick! Just take your empty containers into a MAC makeup counter (at Nordstrom stores), hand them over, and tell them what lipstick color you want. Easy peasy!

Now, as you saw on my “everyday makeup routine” video, I use a blend of fancy makeup (like MAC), and plain ol' drugstore makeup. So no, I don't buy a ton of MAC makeup. But I keep a little baggie under my sink and collect my empty containers over time. It may take me a year (or two…) but saving them takes up no space so it doesn't bother me…and when you can get $16 lipstick for FREE, why not right?? My favorite color is High Tea, by the way.

Free MAC lipstick for turning in empty makeup containers

 I'm not a bold lipstick girl so I love this color because it is so feminine, natural, and pretty. I can wear it to the grocery store and not feel too done-up, but I think it makes my lips look fuller and makes me feel a bit more done-up than normal old gloss.

Get free MAC lipstick by turning in empty containers! Details at

I'm a believer in learning when to splurge and when to save. In terms of makeup, you can typically go cheap-o with lipstick (my favorite lipgloss is only $1, after all!). But the 2 products I buy and love from MAC that I feel are worth the investment are:

  • Their paint pots. As mentioned in my makeup tutorial, as long as you have a great eyeshadow primer, you can get away with wearing the cheapest of cheap eyeshadow. My favorite color of theirs is Bare Study. I put it over my entire lid, all the way up to my brow bone, and use it as my base color as well as a great primer.
  • Their eyeshadows. Even though you can get away with cheap eyeshadow with a good primer, I love having a small selection of drop-dead amazing shadows that really take my eyes to the next level. At $16 each they aren't exactly cheap (by a long shot). But MAN, their pigment intensity is amazing. My favorite colors include Honeylust, Expensive Pink, and Woodwinked – all super shimmery, subtle, and pretty. I loooove them.
    • TIP: To keep the eyeshadows from crumbling, split a cotton ball in half and close it on top of the shadow when you shut the lid. It helps pad and protect it in your makeup bag.
    • Another savings tip: The eyeshadows are $16 each. BUT…if you buy them in a palette they are more like $12 each, and are only $10 to refill – for the same size eyeshadow! I bought a 4x palette online and got free shipping (automatically), so it saved me $16 on the exact colors I would buy at the counter.

Again, it might take me quite a while to get up to 6 empty containers. But since I'm buying a few MAC products anyway, doesn't hurt to toss them under my sink, be patient, save them up, and get a free $16 lipstick out of it!




  1. AvatarAshley Mayers says

    You can actually pick between a lipstick or an eyeshadow with your 6 recycles at the MAC store. Just FYI in case you need eyeshadow instead of a lipstick. Love your blog!!

    : ) Blessings,

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      No way!! That’s awesome! Our store said just lipstick but someone told me that MAC stores NOT in Nordstroms let you choose between 2 or 3 things. I’m going to try that next time, thanks!

  2. AvatarBethann says

    I love this post Jordan thanks for the awesome tip! I’ve been saving my containers as I heard that you could do this, but I never thought I would get enough empties. I didn’t know you could bring in any kind of product totally bringing in those crazy colors I bought and will never use!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Bethann, those crazy colors you bought? You can return/exchange them ANY TIME. Even if they are 10 years old or crumbled into a million pieces, they will take them back and you can get a refund, or you can exchange them for colors you will actually use! You’d get much more value out of exchanging them so go for it!

      • AvatarLiz P. says

        I have a bunch of colors I have bought over the last couple years and never use. Will they look at me like I have 10 heads if I try to exchange them???? I’d love to get some colors I use!!
        PS- Woodwinked and Naked Lunch are 2 of my fav colors!!!!

  3. Avatarmakeup hacks says

    If you depot some of the products out of the containers you can get them faster than using all of the product. There are tones of tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube then once the product is depotted you are left with the little metal part and you just pop it in a magnetic pallet and then you have the containers to turn in. I have heard that in sephora or ulta they will. refill the containers for free or cheap instead of a free item.

    • AvatarLyka says

      What if I got my empty tubes but some logos are worn out and erased? Do you think they’ll still accept that for the exchange? Thanks!

  4. Avatarjessica says

    I’ve got a bunch of old lipliners that have gotten so har that they are impossible to use anymore. I saw pictures of lipliners on your post, so can I trade those in too?

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