I decided to go on a low buy before Christmas of 2018. It ended this month and while I have purchased a few things, that I’ll talk about more in my end of the month wrap up, I’ve noticed that the way I think about making purchases has changed.
Last year I REALLY got caught up in the process of buying more and more stuff. It was partly because I’m a blogger and I love to review new products but it was also because I used shopping for makeup as a coping mechanism for my depression. I got addicted to shopping for something new. I loved the whole process of filling my virtual cart, researching everything and then anticipating the arrival of my goodies.
Stressed? Buy makeup. Bad day? Buy makeup. Out of blog post ideas? Buy makeup. Let’s also not forget the influence of the Youtube and blogging communities. My choices were entirely my own and not the fault of anyone else but when I saw my fellow reviewers gushing over something new and shiny the fear of missing out got real.
My makeup collection is nothing compared to some of the larger beauty gurus but it’s much larger than average. I don’t mind having a decent sized collection because I enjoy doing creative looks and reviewing products BUT makeup expires so I’ve had to take a hard look at how much new stuff I’m bringing in.
I’ve came up with ten questions that I now ask myself before making any cosmetic purchase. Some of these might only pertain to me as a person or as a reviewer but I think some, if not most, would be helpful for consumers in general.
Question 1: Can I dupe it?
I was a serious over buyer of highlighters and peachy blushes. I’ve finally realized that once it’s on my face, nobody is going to know which individual champagne highlighter it is out of the 10 I own. The same goes for that neutral palette with a pop of blue or that nude lipstick. There is no need to keep buying the same shade of any individual product. Of course, there might be one formula that’s better than the other and when that happens I’m now decluttering the one I like less. If I can’t bear to declutter something then that means I like it enough to not need something new. If I can dupe it, it doesn’t get purchased.
Question 2: Can I afford it?
I’ve always had a budget and just save up to get what I want so this doesn’t really pertain to me. However, I’ve watched Youtube videos and read blog posts where people are in serious credit card debt because of makeup. Most brands also offer a feature called After Pay now. After Pay is exactly what it sounds like, buy now and make payments later. I think using After Pay is a great way to get yourself in a bind later on if you don’t have the money to make that payment and it’s also a great way to impulse buy products you might regret. If you can’t afford it just wait until you can. It’s just makeup, not food.
Question 3: Does it add value to my collection or serve a purpose?
Anytime e.l.f. Cosmetics used to have a sale I would load up on cheap makeup. At the time, I was learning what worked for me because I was new to makeup but many times I was only buying it to buy something new. None of those purchases added value to my collection or served a real purpose. Sometimes you’re going to buy stuff that just doesn’t work for you but you can cut back on that by not just buying things because they’re cheap or on sale. Also, I don’t really struggle with this but buying something just because it has pretty packaging does not add value to a collection or serve a purpose.
Question 4: Is it unique?
This primarily pertains to those of us with larger collections already. It also goes hand in hand with the “can I dupe it” question. I’m only interested in adding new products that are unique and do something nothing else I own can do. Of course, if I’m replacing something that is a staple to me or a need then it doesn’t have to be unique.
Question 5: Is it good quality?
Sometimes it’s impossible to know the quality of something before you try it but if you know you hate eyeshadows, for example, from a certain brand, don’t keep buying them! I kept giving e.l.f. Cosmetic eyeshadows a try and I hated them every time. I also tried the Wet n Wild matte liquid lipsticks numerous times despite hating the formula. I wasted so much money trying to like those formulas. I try to make it a habit now to find good reviews from people I trust. As a reviewer, however, sometimes I do buy things when they release so I can get a review out to all of you.
Question 6: Is it cruelty free?
This is a very simple one. If a brand isn’t cruelty free, I’m not buying from them.
Question 7: Is this a brand I want to support?
Some brands are problematic and no matter how good their releases look, I’m not going to purchase from them.
Question 8: Is it limited edition?
I rarely ever buy anything that is limited edition for two reasons. The first reason is if I review it that review becomes obsolete as soon as that product is no longer available. I would rather review permanent products. The second reason is if I use up the product and love it, I can’t repurchase it. Limited edition is usually an easy pass for me.
Question 9: Will it work for me?
I usually have a pretty good idea about what will work for me but sometimes I try something KNOWING it’s not going to work but I just want it to so badly. I have dry skin so there’s no need for me to buy super matte foundations. I have a fair skin tone so there’s no need for me to buy highlighter palettes with bronze highlighters. Knowing what works best for you does take trial and error but once you learn, don’t continue to waste your money.
Question 10: Am I only buying this product because of hype?
Do NOT let any influencer convince you you need something. I will never say in my reviews that anybody needs makeup. I will tell you who it will work for and how it performs, that’s it. Take time to really think about and research your purchases. Don’t fall into the hype and FOMO of new releases. When I start getting really excited about an upcoming release, I go back to question one. Odds are I can dupe it and if I can’t I go through the rest of these questions.
I do want to make a note that shopping for makeup shouldn’t be stressful. If you really want something but you know you have something similar already, just buy it if you REALLY want it. I definitely have dupes and similar colors for quite a few pieces of my makeup and I’m sure I’ll buy more in the future that I don’t necessarily need to buy. I think you should just use your best judgement and know at what point it’s getting out of control, which is different for everyone.
I hope this helped any of you that might struggle with buying too much makeup. Makeup is so much fun and it’s even more enjoyable when you’re really loving what you’ve spent your hard earned money on. I’d love your feedback and to know what you do to make smart purchases! Thanks for reading and have a great day!