Shop Smarter (Be Sneaky)

Unless you have an unlimited budget for beauty products (and if you do, I’d like to go shopping with you!) you probably have to pick and choose when it comes to your beauty products.  Some products are worth splurging on, some aren’t.  Here are some tips to help you stick to your budget when shopping…

First:  “Do I NEED this?” should be foremost in your mind.  We’ve all been guilty of buying things we didn’t end up using (for various reasons).  Try to minimize the amount of times you waste money on products you’re not going to work into your beauty regimen.

Step Away from the Counter:  Avoid the “free makeover” at the department store beauty counter.  Some of them are very low-pressure.  Some will bend over backwards and guilt-trip you into buying over-priced products.  Some are done as “events” where you pay a fee and get that amount in credit towards your purchase.  This commits you in a way I find annoying, especially considering it’s unlikely you’ll find something that only costs $10 or $15, let alone exactly that much.  Don’t go in there “sans makeup” and expect them not to try to sell you a dozen different products.  Only go to beauty counters if you can go with a “I just want to see this one product I heard about” mentality.

“I’d Love to Buy It, But…”:  There are lots of excuses (reasons!) not to buy right then.  Here are some you can use:

1.  “I went a little crazy and already spent my beauty budget this month.”  It’s believable.  Lots of people have a strict budget.  Almost nobody spends whatever they want.

2.  “My birthday is coming up and my husband/boyfriend/kids want ideas of stuff to get me, so I’m making a wishlist.”  This is also a great way of providing an excuse to write down product names and prices for comparison shopping later.

3.  “I was about to order this online, but I wanted to make sure of the color/fragrance first.”  I can’t think of anything you can’t buy online.  It’s believable that you might have a promo code or e-gift certificate you could only use with an online order.  Just try be prepared by knowing where online you could buy it.  Someone might ask out of curiosity.  (Amazon and are good fallbacks, they sell almost everything and store credit there would only be good online.)

4.  “I’m all stocked up right now.” This is usually true when I go into Bath & Body Works. I stock up when they have sales. So, when I go in to use that “free item of your choice” coupon, it’s my standby excuse for not wanting to get anything but the free item.

5.  “I don’t like the fragrance.”  I use this excuse a lot.  What it really means is “This is way too expensive.” but I really AM picky about fragrances.  Since I get migraines, I try to avoid strongly-fragranced beauty products that I’ll be using every day, because one of those days I’ll have a migraine.

6. “I’m shopping for my daughter/grand-daughter/sister/niece.”  By saying you’re shopping for someone else (who might be very picky and isn’t there), you’re providing yourself an excuse to take a picture of the item, write down notes, or get a “to-go” sample to allegedly see if they’re interested in it.  You can say she has sensitive skin or you want to make sure she doesn’t have an allergies before you buy it.

7.  “I only buy organic/paraben-free/Leaping Bunny approved.” Any one of those reasons will greatly reduce the odds that the salesperson will be able to keep trying to sell it to you. Lots of products contain parabens. Not many are organic. Hardly any brands are Leaping Bunny approved. Many products will say “cruelty-free”, but that doesn’t really mean much. (If this is important to you, go to and download their shopping guide.) This may be the trickiest excuse to use because you have to make sure the product you’re looking at doesn’t qualify. Before using the excuse/reason, read the label to find out if it has any ingredient ending in “paraben” or the word “organic” (not the same as “all-natural”).

In Summary:  It’s great to try new beauty products.  It’s not so great to get home and realize you spent more than you wanted to and/or bought stuff you didn’t want/need.  Make sure you’re shopping smart, and not buying based on store associate pressure.

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