I have an ongoing shopping problem. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my obsession with beauty is not instigated by or a result of me wanting to put makeup on myself. Rather, I think I’m not so great at putting makeup on myself at all. (Need to work on that.) My obsession with beauty and subsequent beauty collection/shopping habit is entirely based on my excitement around new releases, hunting something down, and knowing that it is mine.
So, in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions to spend less, I’ve challenged myself to use more (see my #NewEveryday Challenge here and feel free to join in if you share my issues!) Inspired by my relative restraint in beauty spending these past few months, I thought I would share some tips & tricks that have helped me.
I’ve always been an avid list maker, and my beauty shopping lists are pretty extensive. I’ve even organized them by retailer. Crazy specifics aside, making lists not only keeps me organized, but helps me prioritize my purchases. Plus, it helps to know what products I want to check out at counters, and it feels great to check something off or even delete an item from the list!
Shop your stash.
This year, each time I’ve sorted through my stash, I’ve just been overwhelmed with how much stuff I have. Sure, I don’t have as extensive a stash as some bloggers out there, but I sure do have far more unused stuff than I would like. (Not to mention my problem with buying something and never using it!) Usually when I do this, not only do I find great products to add to the rotation, but my sense of practicality kicks in when I realize how much stuff is left unused. It definitely has helped me curb my buying urges - seriously, there were weeks/months where I didn’t buy anything!
Wait for a good promo.
This is where those lists come in. I never buy impulsively anymore (thank god), and would say that I buy things from my wish lists 99% of the time. Sephora has quite a lot of promo codes running all the time, and the bi-annual Barney’s and Space NK gift events are the perfect time to get more for your money. I always keep my eye out for sales too, and try to pick up the pricier items during those periods. Having those lists organized by retailer makes it super easy for me to make a purchasing decision - or even avoid a gift with purchase panic when I can easily see that there is little to nothing I want to buy!
I’m no good when it comes to no buys, so I’ve given up trying. However, it has helped me to set limits - yours could be monthly, weekly, quarterly, whatever - and stick to it. I set $100 monthly spending limits for the latter half of 2014, prioritized the products I wanted, and actually managed to come in under the limit quite a few months! Didn’t do so great in November and December, but I otherwise managed to stick to it (or just slightly over.)
Alternatively, you can also set limits based on products - for example, right now I really want to buy Aesop's Damascan Rose Treatment, but will not buy it until I've finished two oils I currently have open. Given my alarm with the size of my collection, this type of limit has really been helpful in resisting temptation. (Seriously, I've resisted the Tom Ford Lips & Boys release based on my overwhelmingly unloved lipstick collection!)
When all else fails, buy from a retailer with a great return policy.
My favorites are Nordstrom and Sephora - so when I realize that product I bought isn’t getting enough love, I can always take it back!
These strategies have really helped me buy rationally over the last few years, and it seems like I am only getting better. What tips or tricks do you have for spending less when it comes to your beauty addiction? I’d love to know! :)