*This post was originally written in 2017. I have updated this post to include how I feel now; in September 2018. Having also assessed the changes I planned to make to my spending habits. Have I kept to my promise to be a ‘smart shopper’?
Everyone loves a bargain
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like getting a little extra once in a while. Whether it’s a 3 for 2 or 20% off. Everyone loves a good sale or three, don’t they? I don’t think there is a person who isn’t into makeup that hasn’t succumbed to a palette on offer or a free highlighter if you spend over a certain threshold. We have all been there; whether it is on the aisles or on the net. We have all seen something and thought “that’s a bargain”, “if I buy this I will get that for free”, “if I just spend £10 more I get free shipping and a free sample”.
*Warning: the following blog post contains the ramblings of a 36-year-old who is still trying to work things out. I am not making any judgements. I am just raising questions that I have had recently in my own mind. Life is all about choice, you can choose to agree or disagree, that’s the great thing with us all being different.
I have been victim to these ploys many a time, especially on sites that do not have free shipping until you reach the £50 mark. At present Nyx, my favourite makeup brand, is only carried in the UK at Boots. If I want anything I have to order online on account of my local Boots is not sophisticated enough to have an Nyx counter. My own inner sloth, being too lazy to order it and pick it up from the Boots store. That would mean effort on my part and I’m a hot mess 80% of the time.
We have all been guilty
I have been guilty of throwing things into my cart that I did not need just to bump the price up. This is the reason I have so many Nyx eyeliner pencils and lipsticks. The promise of free samples also lure me in; ‘its only an extra £5 and I get free samples’. Only to find the free samples are not that good.
At these times I start to question my rationale behind my decision. I come to realise I have fallen into the trap intended to snare me in its tempting web. I had been impulsive and not thought it through properly.
I believe sales and offers appeal to our inner child. They look exciting and tempted like a house made of candy, you know you shouldn’t eat it but the pull is too much. They work on a subconscious level that makes us think that we need the product just because there is a saving attached to it. I am in no way criticising people who buy sale or offer items; Having been in that place many a time and probably will in the future. I am just trying to break down the thought process of buying those items and questioning “is the saving really worth it?”.
Do you need it?
If you really needed the item wouldn’t you have bought it at full price already? Now I know people might say ‘It was on my wish list’; well then that is fair enough. I have bought Sleek palettes that I have had on my wishlist on the Superdrug 3 for 2 offers. Having wanted them for a while and when the offer came about I jumped at it. I remember doing two orders with Beauty Bay over the course of one weekend when Makeup Geek products where on a BOGOF offer.
The sale was so popular it crashed the Beauty Bay site and used up all their stock within hours. I remember people on the makeup groups spending a fortune to buy them because the deal was too good to be true, having never even tried them before. I already had quite a few MUG shadows and knew that the quality was outstanding and only bought from my wish list. I was being very reasonable with that whole offer and looking back, I was proud that I did not go mad as I know I would suffer from my own sense of guilt after it.
Are splurging on sales and offers really worth the guilt; either from yourself or those around you? My attitude toward shopping completely changed when I became a mother. The focus switched from myself to my children, they came before I did. Whereas previously, I would not have hesitated to buy stuff in the sales. Even if it I wouldn’t use it or already have too much of them already, now I am different.
I let my impulses get the better of me one day clothes shopping. Picking up a top that wasn’t in the style I usually feel comfortable in. However, it was a bright blue which I loved. In the back of my mind I kind of knew it would not suit me, but I was dragged in by the money off sticker and I bought the top. Two months later it is still in my wardrobe, never worn other than to try it on, it just doesn’t feel. Every time I go in my wardrobe and see this top. I hear in my mind ‘this could have gone towards the kitchen we are saving for’; and the guilt sets in.
At the start of my journey This has happened with quite a few of my makeup purchases; especially when I first started my makeup journey. I used to stalk sites like Fragrance Direct and the aisles of Poundland and other bargain shops for as many bargains as I could. Only to get them home and leave them unloved and untouched because I wasn’t thinking rationally.In terms of cost, I had not lost much money. It is more the sense of waste that would eat me up inside. Many of these items went to my niece and so wasn’t entirely wasted so to speak. But again, it could have been one step closer to getting that kitchen, or going on holiday etc
Changes for 2017
So I decided to start 2017 with a different mindset on my spending. I would still buy from sales and offers, but I would be a bit more savvy to the reasons why I am making the purchase. I would ask myself some questions before I clicked the add to cart sign:
1) Did I want it before the sale? (was it on my wishlist)
2) Can I justify spending this much? (or little, whatever your budget is)
3) Will I get regular use from it?
4) Have I got anything like this already?
5) Have you got space for it?
The last question might seem a little silly. Yet, I am currently having to buy more storage solutions for my ever-increasing makeup collection. As I said, I have been a victim of many tempting offers in the past.
I have used this system with quite a few purchases. It is easier to pass on the higher end makeup on sale. This maybe due to its price and the fact that dupes of fashionable/higher end makeup are available on the high street.I remember being so proud of myself for passing on the Jeffree Starr ‘Beauty Killer’ palette when it was on offer. I had heard mixed reviews and had lots of eye shadows that where similar. I didn’t want the hype of the offer to pull me in.
Cheap and cheerful
I do struggle with the drugstore offers or buying things because “they are cheap so let’s buy more than I need” and I do need to tackle this. It has not stopped me shopping when a sale is on. I bought a Beauty Bakerie lip whip that I had been wanting for ages and had lots of good reviews from my friends who had used them. So, I took the plunge and I was glad I did. What I am possibly realising through experience and hindsight is that sales are like every indulgent thing. Best enjoyed in moderation.
Sales shopping update 2018
Having revisited this post over a year since it was written. I thought it would be good to update all of you beauties. Do I still feel the same way about sales and have I been able to ‘shop smarter’? The answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’ on both questions. I still believe what I said above about sales. They are good if you need the product or have it on your wish-list. Also I still feel that the ‘buy X amount and get free shipping’ is a hard marketing ploy to resist, encouraging over indulgence.
Have I been shopping smarter? I believe I have made good progress with this one; although I can still improve. I have reduced drastically the amount of makeup sales I look at. I now spend less time looking at buying makeup. The main reason for this is my makeup collection has run out of storage space and so I am endeavouring to ‘project pan’ my current collection. I am happy that I am able to save my money up and spend it on the makeup that I truly want rather than items I will not use much but were in the sale.
What are your opinion on makeup ‘offers’ and sales. Do they hook you in or are you a smart shopper. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Ciao for now beauties xx