Saving money on beauty

I just looked over my huge makeup collection and realized what brought it all on – impulse shopping. But I talked to some of my other friends and they’re telling me that they have a ton of makeup (one girlfriend of mine has a HUGE trolley case filled with the stuff, 80% of it unused, and/or bought only because it was a special edition…

I found that I shopped for the following reasons:

It came with a FREE gift!!
A new vinyl bag, or a lipstick with any $50 purchase..
Sound familiar? The problem is when you see the cute new bag, and you were really there just to buy the lip gloss for $15, you have to spend $35 more just to get the free vinyl bag that probably cost only $10 to begin with. So you’re out by $25, spending $25 more than you had planned to, and that you didn’t have to begin with.

I bought it all on credit card
Cash is king in this case because it would’ve made it MUCH harder for me to spend the cash if I had it in my hands. In fact, I’m trying out that theory right now. Since I’ve started carrying cash on me, I can’t really bring myself to spend it and break a crisp $20..

But with beauty items, it made it so much easier to pay on credit, and then balk at the amount later on when I realized I didn’t have the cash for it, but couldn’t reallllly return it since it would take another trip back to Sephora.

I didn’t have a budget
Or at least I should’ve PLANNED for it. I never planned for buying $100 set of Sephora brushes.. I just bought them.. (and on credit card, no less) Now that I have a budget, I’ve made a category for “Toiletries”, and it makes me think twice about buying eyeshadows when I know that I don’t need it as much as I need shampoo that month.

When I was really tired, cranky, had a bad day, and was in NEED of something
This is kind of a no brainer. I used to do this with clothes too. And shoes. And jewellery. Enough said.

Buy only what you need and the time you need it
I have a real bad habit of this. I buy shampoo when I see a new one that came out even though the one at home is half full. Use it up! But I do admit, if there was a promotion for 20x the points if you spend $50 or more, I’d stock up on lotions, shampoos and other things like that. But now instead of buying perfume and jewellery with that $50, I’m buying my body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, contact lens cleaner, etc.

Know your shopping habits
Are you easily swayed? I’m not really persuaded easily, but my good friend is. If I see an eyeshadow and think it’s a fab colour, she will too, and she’ll buy it. What I’ve found works, is to appreciate the eyeshadow, then to put it back and put it on your mental list to pick up later if you remember and if you really want it at the end of the day. More often than not (like 95% of the time), she forgets about it and/or doesn’t want to go back THAT badly to buy it.

Stick to your guns and be clear about what you came to buy
If you came to buy shampoo, buy shampoo. Put blinders on, and ignore the sales on makeup, and other ‘useless’ things (for now) that you see. For example, buying conditioner would be considered useless if you already have a bottle that’s 3/4 full at home.

Any others I’ve forgotten?

Oh yea, hit up your friends for beauty products if you aren’t squeamish about them and if you know they’re safe to use (shampoos, beauty products, perfumes, whatever)…

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.