New Beauty Department & How to Shop at Kohl’s

So in case you’re unaware, I used to work at Kohl’s. I started in the summer of 2012 and quit in the summer of 2013. Oh the joys of working retail (not). The beauty department within Kohl’s has always housed their exclusive brands such as Vera Wang, Flirt!, and Elle. Of course as soon as I leave, they decide to completely remodel the makeup section, adding many well known brands. My girl Danielle was promoted from working the register, and is now one of the leads of the beauty department, so I went to go visit her and see what Kohl’s had to offer.

The first aisles I wandered down were that of Cargo, Lorac, and Purminerals. Kohl’s is housing their full collections… anything from these brands you may be looking for, they’ve got it.


Next, and what I was most excited about checking out, was the Real Techniques section. They’ve got all the brush sets plus individual brushes, as well as brush cleaner, makeup remover wipes and pencil sharpeners.

 So I thought that was going to be it, but then Danielle asked if I had heard of theBalm. HAD I HEARD OF THEBALM?? She took me around the corner and I was in Heaven! I immediately recognized some of my favorite items from my own collection, like the Nude ‘Tude palette and theBalm Girls lipsticks. Kohl’s has almost the entire brand’s worth of items, and Danielle said they’d be expanding the display soon. The best part was the exclusive Kohl’s gift sets:  $34 for 3 Instains and $29 for a Bronzer and Luminizer box set. Considering Instains are individually $22 and bronzers/luminizers are individually $24, these are a steal!

Since I worked at Kohl’s for a year I know how to get the best deals. One rule I always had, even as an employee, was never shop without a coupon. Kohl’s gives out a ridiculous amount of coupons every week. If you sign up for their emails and rewards program you can double up on savings. Often times they’ll send you $10 to spend… without a minimum. You can also find these types of coupons in local newspapers in the form of a sticker. Of course, don’t forget about Kohl’s Cash: during a Kohl’s Cash week (make sure you check before going in!), if you spend $50 you get $10 to spend in store the following week with no minimum.

If you apply for a Kohl’s card and get approved, you can get 20% off that purchase and then pay off the balance right away using cash or check, so you won’t get a bill later.

You can also stack coupons! You will always be able to combine percent off with dollar off coupons. Depending on the promotion you might also be able to stack more than one dollar off (you can stack as many Kohl’s Cash coupons that you have). You can NOT, however, stack percentage off. Oh my god explaining this has brought me right back behind that register.

Even though I can’t use my employee discount anymore, I’m still glad that I can now get Real Techniques and theBalm locally instead of ordering online, which was the only way I could for all this time. My ULTA is about 40 minutes away and is just not worth the trip if I’m just looking for one small item.

UPDATE 1/16/14: I’ve learned that Kohl’s has changed their policy and the only coupons you can use on makeup items is Kohl’s Cash, or ones specifically for cosmetics. General percent or dollar off coupons will not apply. 🙁 Lame! The tips above will still help you slash tons of dollars off of general merchandise purchases.

The new beauty departments at Kohl’s are rolling out slowly, testing the area store by store, so go check out if yours received a makeover! You can now receive makeup consultations from the beauty experts as well! I totally endorse Danielle at the Northridge store. 🙂

So what did I pick up? I grabbed the blush brush from Real Techniques. I had a $5 coupon, so I got the brush for only $4.36!

Have you ever worked retail? Did you like it? I definitely liked the discounts but hated dealing with customers!



  1. My mom loves Kohls and I don’t like the store. Hopefully though the one I have to take her to will get these. I haven’t seen TheBalm in years. I’ve never seen coupons other than the % off and I thought I’d read you couldn’t use them on these items.

    1. Check your newspaper, and also the emails they send out often have dollar off savings. And you can use the general coupons on anything in the store unless it’s a special promotion for a certain type of clothing or department. Kohl’s also has a lot of separate promotions for their cosmetics section with dollar off discount coupons, they usually leave a pile in the beauty department.

  2. That’s great to know! I love shopping at Kohl’s… MVC card is a proof of that! 🙂 Haven’t seen Cargo cosmetics at my local kohl’s yet…..hopefully soon!

  3. Cargo! That is a blast from the past. We used to have it in Australia many many many years ago.

  4. No kidding about the coupons! I don’t shop at Kohl’s often because they aren’t convenient to where I live, but whenever I visit my mom we coupon up and head to the massive one in her town, haha. I think some of this stuff is up on their website as well… they often have % off coupons or cash back deals on there too.

    I have worked several retail jobs and all of them sucked, haha. The things people think are acceptable to do or say in public amaze me. Classiest example: I had a complete stranger tell me that I was a “f***ing b**ch” and that he was going to MURDER me because I said “Sorry sir, we’re closing for the evening” after he wandered in when all of the lights in the shop were off. Thankfully I remain unmurdered. Oh, and if you work at a supermarket there’s the people who try to steal meat by hiding it in their clothes, but that’s a whole other can of worms…

    1. Yes all of their coupons and Kohl’s cash deals work on the website too!

      Hahahahah I love hearing nightmare stories about working retail. It just makes you truly aware of the crazy that exists.

  5. Yes, Kohl’s coupons kick some serious booty!!!! That is so great that we can use them on the beauty section. Exciting!!!!

    1. Do they ship to you I wonder? You can still use all those great coupons and deals for online orders!

  6. I always thought Flirt! Was cute, but since they’re not CF I don’t purchase them anymore.

    I’ve heard great things about Cargo. I really like Pur Minerals and the Real Techniques brushes.

    I like shopping at Kohl’s because they usually have a great petites section.

    1. I’ve had good luck with Flirt! lipsticks. Everything else is a little too shimmery for me, lol.

    1. There are just so many ways to save money at Kohl’s, if they keep adding high end brands, Sephora might even have some competition!

  7. i haven’t been to Kohl’s in the longest time but I do love that place – ALWAYS find great deals on all sorts of things. I will definitely have to check out the new beauty department for sure! Thanks for the tips on their discounts! I worked retail for a long time years ago (Claire’s was the most recent – imagine eighty bazillion tiny cards of different jewelry and picking about 80% of that up off the floor about nine thousand times a day – definitely not fun!) and I’m right there with you – hated it! Couldn’t stand having to work weekends and nights too!! 😛

    1. Girl don’t even get me started! I hated not being able to have time off around the holidays because my family doesn’t live anywhere near me. I had ONE day off for Christmas, I closed up shop on Xmas eve and had to drive up to my mom in NorCal to spend a whopping 12 hours with her -_______- Luckily I got a couple of days for Hannukah off because I told them they couldn’t deny it, it’s a religious holiday (I celebrate both with different sides of the family).

      1. Hahaha! I hear that!! I worked in a huge outdoor outlet mall so during the holidays not only did it take me around an hour to get there because of the traffic (usually a 15 minute drive!!!), but we had to park down the road a half mile or so and they shuttled us to the mall. It was ridiculous. I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to work at somewhere like Ulta or Sephora but I just couldn’t deal with the hours/people/retail world in general!

  8. This is great! I live really close to Kohl’s, so I’ll have to stop by sometime soon to see the new remodel.

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