About 180 million people coast-to-coast take part in the shopping frenzy that is known as Black Friday -- infiltrating still-dark parking lots like packs of scurrying ants during the wee hours of the morning, with coupons and flyers in hand in order to score the best bargain buy of the year.
But if you're not prepared, braving those daunting crowds can feel like a hazing. A few simple steps can help you conquer the craze, and return home victorious -- and in one piece.
"Pick an outfit that's comfortable, stylish and practical," advises Michele Rothstein, vice president of Premium Outlets. Not only will you be able to power through longer when you're comfy, but dressing in layers allows you to skip crowded changing rooms by trying an item on right on the spot, over your tank or T-shirt.
Also, opt for shoes that slide off and on easily, as well as, a lightweight cross-body or shoulder bag that will keep your hands free to rummage through shelves of products and quickly find the right shades, says Rothstein.
Before you make your list of stores to hit, you'll want to check out return policies online and only shop stores with generous rules. "If you see it and love it, buy it because it will be gone soon," says Rothstein. But if you change your mind later, you can always bring it back if you did your refund homework first.
While Black Friday early birds do luck out with the best deals and selection of the day, many feel the stress, traffic and lines aren't worth the aggravation. Heading out after 3pm will still allow you to take advantage of one-day-only deals, with a lessened crowd to fight through.
All set, and ready to rock? We've amassed Black Friday's best beauty deals, so you can paint the world more gorgeous -- one lipgloss at a time.
Anthony Logistics - Keep the man in your life looking good with a 20 percent off discount on the grooming brand's website through Monday. And if backne or ingrown hairs are dampering those romantic moments, you may want to send him our tips on how to prevent both.
Arcona - In one of the biggest beauty discounts of the day, the Los Angeles-based skin care brand is taking 40 percent off buys of $100 more online and in the Santa Monica store, as well as, gifting a free Arcona canvas tote bag with each purchase.
Arganica Oil - With Argan oil all the rage in natural beauty today, Arganica Oil's fair trade harvesting of the nutrients via women's cooperatives in Morocco ensure product that is both good for the skin and the international community. Look for a 20 percent discount site-wide, as well as, free shipping when you order two or more products.
Bare Escentuals - The San Francisco-based brand that caused a mineral makeup revolution is offering $20 off your next purchase of $40 or more when you spend $50 on Black Friday. The only catch is, you'll have to redeem your coupon between 12/13 - 12/31. (And psst -- we also hear Bare Escentuals will run a 20% off Friends & Family special from 12/9 to 12/12.)
Bath by Bettijo - The natural brand features both vegan and raw bath and body options with skin-saving ingredients like cocoa, mint and shea butter. Code HOHOHO will get you 25 percent off the site from Friday through Monday.
Bobbi Brown - Stock up on your favorite best-sellers like palettes and foundation sticks, and then enter code HAPPY11 for three travel-sized gifts of Crystal Lip Gloss, Extreme Party Mascara and Intensive Skin Supplement, as well as, free shipping through Monday.
Curls - Especially created for women with natural curls and texture, the haircare brand is giving the first 100 customers to purchase Milkshake on Friday starting at 1am PST a free Coconut Sublime for free. Meanwhile, the first 50 customers to purchase a Cutie Cleansing Cream and Q Gel-les at the same time will receive 50% off, or both products for $15.
D.L. & Co - If fanciful candles are your weakness, check out D.L. & Co's elegant collection of candles that are sure to incite some serious gift-envy. Code BLACKFRIDAY will score you 25% off, and will also work on sister brands Modern Alchemy and Burn.
Dr. Gerald Imber - The New York-based plastic surgeon and author is serving up his star product, Youth Corrider, at a 20 percent discount through December 3rd. The serum boasts 10 percent vitamin C, vitamin E and melatonin to revitalize aging skin with powerful antioxidants.
Fresh - Cult best-sellers will be the gifts of the day, with shoppers receiving a free one ounce Brown Sugar Body Cream for purchases over $75 and the body cream, plus a Soy Face Cleanser to go with purchases over $125.
Goldfaden - A dermatologist-developed line that centers around the concentrated skin benefits of red tea, Goldfaden will offer 25 percent off all purchases made through the website, and include a free peppermint-infused Body Exfoliating Polish with every order.
Ilana Jivago - A Beverly Hills-based fragrance house to the wealthy and connected, you can enjoy 20 percent off site-wide with code GOLD20 from Friday through Monday. White Gold and 24K Gold are two of the brand's recent sensual floral launches, featuring sparkling notes of jasmine and Bulgarian rose.
Juicy Couture - If you've been lemming the new fruity floral Peace, Love & Juicy Couture scent from the brand known for its luxury take on dressed-down velour tracksuits, you can spend $175 and get a free reversible tote bag both online and in stores. (The first you've heard of the new scent? Glimpse the commercial here.)
Kahina Giving Beauty -- A line of natural skincare based on the healing powers of argan oil, Kahina is offering 20 percent off their website with code CYBER from Friday through Monday. A full 25 percent of all profits are always donated to fair trade women cooperatives that source the oil in Morocco.
Karmissie - If you've always wanted to learn how to thread at home, but thought it an impossible task, check out this DIY kit with self-holding threading guider, numbing lotion and aftercare soothing cream blend. You'll score 35 percent any purchase on the site all day.
Kiehl's - The highly-charitable brand is running its annual Friends & Family to coincide with Black Friday weekend, when code FAMILY10 will get you 20 percent off all purchases, as well as, complimentary ground shipping on orders totaling more than $30. To redeem the coupon in-store, you'll have to print it out here and bring it with you.
Korres - The antioxidant-rich Greek brand is slashing prices on four top-selling gift sets. The Luscious Lips Collection will be the most frugal steal at 70 percent off, or just $26.50, while The Scentsational Bodycare Collection will be 50 percent off. Additionally, the Wild Rose Brightening Blockbuster will be cut by 60 percent, and the Eye Heart Korres Collection gift set on sale at 65 percent off.
LaLicious - The all-natural bath and body line that blends with yummy scents like passionfruit lime and brown sugar and vanilla is featuring a 30 percent site-wide discount on all of their scrubs, butters, oils and soaps through Monday. Formulations are free of both parabens and sulfates.
Lancôme - The French luxury giant is offering up what it does best -- mascara. Grab gift boxes that feature a best-selling mascara formula like Définicils Precious Cells, Hypnôse Drama or Ôscillation with travel-sized Cils Booster base, Bi-Facil eye makeup remover and a full-sized eyeliner for just $39.50 a set.
L'Occitane - Gift sets will be on steep sale at the French retailer's free-standing and online boutiques. Take 30 percnet off Shea Orchard Medley and The Cherry Blossom Delicate Escape, and 25 percent off the Verbena Hand Wash and Lotion duo and Fleur Cherie Hugs & Kisses. A Buy One Get One Free special will run on a host of soap and shea butter items throughout Monday, and shea butter, almond and verbena products will be only $10 a pop with any purchase on Black Friday only.
LovelySkin.com - Carrying a diverse range of beauty brands from Fusion Beauty to RapidLash to Burt's Bees and Jane Iredale, you can expect 25 percent off the entire site on Friday and double rewards points on all purchases. An Obagi Elastiderm Eye Cream will be gifted with purchases over $200.
Lush - The natural brand known for its freshly whipped up soaps and scrubs is gifting a free one ounce limited edition perfume for purchases over $150. Choose from Olive Branch, Candy Fluff, Honey I Washed the Kids and So White. Orders over $100 will also get free ground shipping, while orders over $120 will be rewarded with free two day shipping.
M.A.C. - Declaring the day "Pink Friday," the cult makeup brand is collaborating with rapper Nicki Minaj on a vibrant pink hue that mimics the star's signature hot pink hair style. The limited edition lipstick will only be on sale for four Fridays while supplies last - November 26th, December 3rd, December 10th and December 17th.
Perricone MD - The New York-based dermatologist who helped pioneer the use of antioxidants in skin care is known both for the skin care technology in his products as well as its luxe price, but you can take $25 off any purchase of $150 or more with code MYLITTLESECRET at checkout.
PürMinerals - All orders placed on the mineral makeup brand's website will receive a 20 percent discount through Tuesday the 30th, and $5 from every customer purchase on Black Friday will be donated to the American Heart Association. Now that's true beauty.
Remington - With the recent launch of a new line of hair styling tools, Remington has been making waves. The Cool Style Printed Iron and Dryer will be reduced to $14 at Target, while Amazon.com will carry the D2012 Hair Dryers and Sleek n Curl Iron for $29.99 each.
Sibu Beauty - Containing nutrient-rich sea buckthorn harvested from the Himalaya mountains, Sibu Beauty's Wellness Holiday Set containing detox soap, reparative cream and revitalizing juice will be $20 off (code BLACK), while the Anti-Aging Holiday Set with gel supplements, sea buckthorn seed oil and dense eye cream will also be $20 off (code FRIDAY) through Monday. That's an additional $20 off the sale prices for both items, a savings of 67 percent.
Skyn Iceland - Known for its paraben-free line of skin soothing products that treat stressed skin with ingredients like white willow bark, omega 3's and glacial water, Skyn Iceland is running a 20 percent discount on all orders, as well as, free shipping on carts totaling more than $45 with code SHOPFRIDAY2010.
Stark Waxing Studio - With fancy candles, luxury body scrubs and the fashion-savvy RGB nail line in stock, this trusted waxing stop is offering 20 percent off all products, as well as, free shipping from Friday through Monday with code TWENTYOFF.
The Body Shop - The eco-chic and charitable beauty giant will be equally generous with customers on Black Friday, offering a 17 piece collection for $25 when you spend $30 or more -- a value of $175. The sleek silver tote will be filled to the brim with Jolly Orange bath and body products, as well as other body butter, moisturizer and bathtime goodies. Offer good in-store only.
Urban Decay - The alternative brand known for its array of glittery power-packed hues is offering eyeshadows, colored mascaras and lip glosses for just $6 through 3am EST Tuesday, with chic nail polish sets and sleek shadow palettes going for only $12.
Victoria's Secret - As if the naughty lingerie brand's annual fashion show wasn't enough to heat things up, the pink-striped retailer will offer special pricing on Bombshell, Dream Angels, Secret Garden and Pink fragrance and body gift sets both in store and online. Most discounts will range from 20 to 50 percent off full retail value.
Zeno - If you've been wondering if the Zeno device really does zap zits on contact, you can find out first-hand with a 25 percent off discount plus free site-wide shipping that will run through Monday. (It did, after all, win an Empire Beauty Award his past year.)
Want more Black Friday deals? Head over to our friends at WalletPop for the scoop on the mega shopping day!