I can only speak for myself, but I’m pretty much obsessed with makeup. It all started in the ninth grade when I first discovered eyeliner. Once I saw how defined my eyes had the potential of being, there was no way I was going back. Naturally, when I aimlessly wandered into higher-end makeup stores like Sephora or Mac, I fell in mad love, probably something equivalent to how much Noah loved Allie in The Notebook.
Now mind you, I’m still in school. I got student loans and rent to pay. My bank account can’t afford to take the hit for a $70 foundation if I want to keep my lights on. Yet when I promise myself “this is the last Sephora item you’re buying this year” I always manage to relapse like some scary uncontrollable addiction. In desperate need to control my inner shopaholic from such money sucking enterprises, I have developed the following list to prevent both you and myself from falling victim to their glittering marvelous schemes.
1. Do not, and I repeat DO NOT, buy anything that you don’t need.
Oh wow, you already have five eyeshadow palettes, you don’t need another one!. Chances are you only gravitate towards 1-5 colors anyways, so why clutter your vanity with 20 eyeshadows or lipsticks or blushes that look exactly the same. Calm yourself woman (or man, I don’t judge) and save your money for gas on your car.
2. Only buy the high-end items that you can’t find lower cost alternatives to.
Drugstore items can be amazing dupes for the high-end items you love. Sure, they may not be the exact same, but if it is a similar quality why not save the extra cash? Drugstore makeup is evolving; don’t let the low prices fool you because sometimes they’re very high quality.
3. Look out for sales!
Sephora has VIB sales twice a year where you save 20%, which can add up if you’re looking to buy $250 worth of makeup. If you’re not a VIB member, ask a friend; chances are they will be more than willing to help you order off their account so they are closer to accumulating enough dollars to renew their elite membership.
4. If you like something, see if it comes in a value set.
Oftentimes popular products will come in value sets where you get to pay less for more product. These sets are especially popular around the holidays when every brand has exciting new releases.
5. Ask for samples.
Have you ever bought the biggest bottle of a perfume you loved so much and only used about 4 mL before you found something better and moved on? Yeah me too, and that was the most expensive fragrant water ever. So, whenever you’re about to make a big purchase, try asking for a sample! Test it out for a week and then go for it if you’re really feeling it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know expanding your makeup collection is a basic human right. All I’m suggesting is the next time you convince yourself a makeup item is worth the splurge, try to put it in retrospect. At the end of the day, you’re dropping a mortgage payment on powder. Sure, it can come in all different colors and pressed in a circular pan in extravagant packaging, but it’s just powder. Keep in mind makeup companies have extremely high gross up margins, meaning they pay a lot less to get the product made than it retails for. Before you pull the trigger, seriously think to yourself, is this $50 highlighter worth it? You can buy 5 Chipotle meals with that money. Would you rather have some powder or have a taste of the Mexican culture? It’s your choice.