Makeup Buying Mistakes That I Don't Make Anymore... Mostly!

by - February 21, 2020

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about my habits as a consumer, especially as someone with a too-big and overwhelming makeup collection that I want to massively declutter, and I've really started to hone in on the things that led me here. A little bit, as I sit here ready to write this, I realize that it could come off a bit condescending, but that really isn't my intention. In fact, this entire post is in hopes of maybe helping you to avoid mistakes that I've made and save yourself some spending that you might regret. All of the things I want to talk about in this post are mistakes that I've personally made in the past that I've seen the error in and I think there are probably lot of people who made the same mistakes that feel very similarly to me now, but there likely still a lot of people stuck in certain patterns.

So, without further ado, let's get into the errors of my ways...

On the surface, this always seemed like a solid idea to me, but ultimately it usually ended up backfiring in the end. Most times, I ultimately ended up purchase the product I wanted in the first place and it's the product that I still use while all of those cheaper alternatives sit unused in my collection because they rarely ended up being what I hoped. That quest to find the perfect alternative at a lower cost so often ended up costing me more money and leaving me disappointed at the end of the day. Very specifically, I did this with liquid lipsticks. While now some of my favorite long wearing lipstick formulas are available from the drugstore, this wasn't always the case and I definitely spent more money trying to find an inexpensive option than I would have spent if I had just invested in a shade that I really, really loved in the higher end collection to begin with.

Which brings me to....
Dupes definitely aren't as popular as they once were, but I remember when I was first getting into the beauty space and literally everyone seemed to be on the hunt for dupes of things like the original NAKED Palette. And soon they were EVERYWHERE. There definitely ARE still dupes out there of what's popular right now, in fact there are entire brands dedicated to duping popular makeup products, but there has definitely been a shift in the way that we think about them and the attention that they get. As a blogger, I know that there's value in actually doing the comparison because high end makeup isn't in everyone's budget and it's nice to be able to get the same look at a lower price point, but I don't think that outside of being someone who does those comparisons anyone needs to own multiple versions of the same thing - especially if they already have one that they really, really love. For example, I own the ABH Modern Renaissance Palette, which is one of my favorites ever, and I also own at least 3-4 dupes of it, which is completely unnecessary.

For a while there, I wanted every holiday or limited edition collection release because... everything is just so pretty and what if I don't pick it up and then I miss out forever? What I've learned, though, is that limited edition collections are more likely to be disappointing than permanent or core collection releases. Why? Because limited edition FOMO will ensure that the products sell, so to a lot of brands it really doesn't matter that the products be good or innovative or actually exciting. Now, again, this isn't true for all brands or even always the case for the brands that are the worst offenders - Too Faced knocked it out of the park with their first Gingerbread collection after years of the same recycled crap in new inconvenient and kitschy packaging every Christmas - but it's really rare for a limited edition collection to really stand up to the things that are going to stick around on shelves. For me, the only holiday or limited edition things that I buy anymore are value sets because so often they give me the opportunity to stock up on products I already love or try out a selection of products that I've been interested in with a small monetary investment.

In the same vein....
Now... When I feel myself starting to really, really want a product that everyone is getting whipped about, I really try to stop myself and think, "Do I want this because I want it, or am I just swept up in the excitement of it all?" And the reality is that in general, it's usually the latter - especially these days. Recently, I was very, very tempted to buy my first ever Jeffree Star product when the Shane Dawson Collection released. In fact, I really did have every intention of getting online and trying to get my hands on one of the palettes... but then I really thought about it and realized that I didn't actually want either of the palettes or any of the other products and I still have my Jeffree Star reservations in general. Hype is a huge thing with marketing, it can stop us from critically thinking about our buying decisions and knowing that, I understand now that I really do need to stop and really think about whether or not I want something before I click Checkout.

One thing that you'll notice here on the blog is that I'm pretty much never going to tell you that you need something. This is very intentional on my part because I know that you don't NEED it regardless of how great I think it is, so I try to be really constructive when it comes to recommending products. I 100% see the value in reviews and recommendations - obviously, I'm a blogger! - but I personally think there's a lot more value in a constructive review than in being told I need to buy things these days. I'd rather hear a rundown of how a product performed from someone whose opinion I trust, followed by whether or not they would recommend it than to just be screamed at a la Jaclyn Hill that YOU NEED THIS, THIS IS AMAZING. Nope. I don't. Even if it's going to be a product that I love, I don't need it and those assertions are unhelpful when deciding whether or not I want it.

More and more, I feel like so many of us are feeling makeup release fatigue. It used to be that new releases were exciting, something that you really waited for, but as the makeup industry really exploded the new releases just kept coming and coming. It got overwhelming, but I felt so much pressure to try out all of the new products, which meant that products that I really genuinely loved ended up getting forgotten in favour of things that were just new to me. Now, don't get me wrong, I do still get excited for new releases - I love trying new things and I do think that there are always some really great products coming out - I've just become much more thoughtful about which ones I actually invest in rather than getting swept up in the new of it all.

This is actually something that I think I've managed to actually really stop doing, though it's more recently than I'd like to admit. I went through a period, specifically with lip products, where I wanted to own entire collections of products that I loved - and even in one case, a product that I don't even think I really liked, but had been sucked into the hype of. Now, I try to be more thoughtful with what I purchase, choosing shades that I know will work for both my taste and complexion. The truth of the matter is that I'm literally never going to wear a neon coral lipstick because it looks pretty much hideous on my skin tone and doesn't suit what I like. Having a curated collection is so much better than having a big collection, this is 100% a thing I've learned.

Ugh. This is one that has gotten me A LOT, not just in makeup but in all kinds of things. I think a lot of us have been sucked into buying things that we don't need - or even want, sometimes - just because it feels like we're getting a deal. This is also one that I still find myself falling into, even though I'm trying really, really hard to break it. I'd rather be thoughtful and perhaps spend a little bit more on things that I really do want and need than to blow the budget on stuff just because it feels like it's too good a deal to pass up. No matter what the deal is, it's still a waste if it's not something you'll use or really enjoy once the IGOTADEAL endorphins have worn off.

And on the same token...
Unlike high end makeup that doesn't go on sale often, in probably a 6 week rotation you can find a lot of drugstore products on sale. In fact, there's a certain brand that I genuinely really love at the drugstore that seems to be on 30-40% off at least one week a month. To me, that means that the sale price... is the price. That's one thing that I think you really have to be aware of when it comes to makeup, particularly at the drugstore, for two distinct reasons. The first is that if you're buying it when it isn't on sale, you're overpaying. The second is that you're not really scoring a deal if you buy it on sale in these cases, because the regular price is actually inflated to allow for those constant sales that do convince people that they're getting a deal. There are other brands that are almost never on sale in the drugstore - that's because their regular price is the actual price, simple as that.

Honestly, I don't think that I'm saying anything here that a LOT of people aren't saying these days. I think that a lot of us have really stopped to think about our buying decisions. There are so many traps that it's really easy to fall into as consumers and when we're not actively considering our buying decisions, I think that's when things get out of hand. It's not my responsibility or right to judge anyone elses spending decisions and I try really hard not to do that, but I also know that I've made every single one of these mistakes as a consumer myself and I just wanted to get into the reasons why I actually categorize them as mistakes and don't wanna make them anymore.

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