When you are addicted to beauty products, it is all too easy to spend far more than you can afford to. Here are three tips for shopping smart.
1) Look critically at your purchasing patterns
What I find to be really helpful is to look carefully at what you buy regularly and what you spend a lot of money on. For this really concentrate on things like hair care (especially shampoo and conditioner!), skin care, and maybe mascara. These are all things that you might purchase on a more regular basis. After you have compiled a list, think about how much you pay for the product. Then it is time to do some research. Can you get the same results with a cheaper product? The answer may be no, but it also could be yes. If so, ask yourself what it is exactly that makes you continue purchasing the product that you are currently using. Is it for the product itself, or is it for the experience that you get while using it? Then see if the better experience justifies the cost for you. That gorgeous packaging may be worth the extra $20 for you because it is just such a pleasure to use. That is completely fine, I am a sucker for packaging as well. I love my Dior and YSL as much as the next girl. But no matter what, make sure you have consciously evaluated your choice and have found the price justified. Otherwise you may be wasting your money on some expensive product in boring-ass packaging that works well, but not any different to something that you could get for a fraction of the price at your drugstore.
2)Do your homework
Ever bought something on a whim, tried it, and hated it? If that thing was $3 it really isn’t that much of a tragedy. But what if it was $20? $100? $500? To make sure that you avoid this mistake, I am a firm believer in stalking whatever product you are planning on buying before handing over your hard-earned money for it. I do this regardless of whether it is $3 or $30. Make sure you know exactly what you are buying, and what kind of chances it has for working with your particular skin type/hair type/coloring etc. I would recommend reading in-depth reviews on beauty blogs as well as going on sites like MakeupAlley. Reading reviews on blogs are good because you really find out the specifics about the product, such as if there are any particularly good or bad things about the packaging. If you find a blogger with similar characteristics (e.g. skin type) as you, all the better. Sites like the aforementioned MakeupAlley are good for just seeing a huge variety of experiences in one easy location. This will really help you see how the product performed on all different types of people, and it is much easier to find people who have similar characteristics.
Another thing to think about is dupes. I talked about this a bit before, but if you want something, do a quick search to see if there is something as good or better for cheaper. For color cosmetics this is key, I know there are at least a few MAC eyeshadows that have dupes in Wet n Wild, and the quality of these cheap little eyeshadows are often as good (if not better!) than their MAC counterparts.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for samples!!
You can read all the reviews you want, but nothing beats trying out a product for yourself. This applies more to foundation than anything else, so don’t be shy to take a sample home to test. This is the best way to get a great foundation match, as you can test it out more thoroughly in different lightings and situations at your own leisure. Also, the salespeople are often very good at what they do. But sometimes they haven’t the foggiest notion about what they are selling. They may match you up to the wrong product and/or color, and when you are spending $20+ on an item this becomes a bit of a problem. You can use their guidance (obviously, that is what they are there for), but do not trust them explicitly. You are fully within your rights to ask for a sample of a foundation in a department store, as those foundations are typically not cheap.
Now, for drugstore makeup. When people hear “drugstore makeup” often they think it will be cheap. What they have not considered is that some of that drugstore foundation? $10 a pop. Factor in that with the fluorescent lighting you cannot easily color-match yourself, you may end up buying 2 or 3 foundations. That’s $30 gone and you still may not have a foundation that you like. Unfortunately, drugstores don’t always allow you to sample their products. But just in case, I would recommend taking along some empty sample containers and filling them up with a couple of good sized pumps. I don’t actually know how happy this makes the shopkeepers, so you may want to do this a bit more sneakily. In any case, they put the tube out there, didn’t they?
All in all, really think about what you are buying and see if there are any ways you can make your beauty addiction a little more budget friendly. I hope this helped!