Makeup Sales; Are they Costing You More?

*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 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”.

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 really carried in the UK at Boots so if I want anything I have to order online on account of my local Boots is not sophisticated enough to be allowed a Nyx counter and 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). I have been guilty of throwing things into my cart that I did not necessarily need just to bump the price up (this is the reason I have so many Nyx eyeliner pencils and lipsticks). I have also been lured into ‘well its only an extra $5 and I get free samples’ only to find the free samples are not really that good. At these times I start to question my rationale behind my decision and come to realise I have fallen into the trap that was 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; I have been in that place many a time and probably will in the future. I am just trying to break down the thought process behind buying those items and questioning “is the saving really worth 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 wish list on the Superdrug 3 for 2 offers; I had been wanting 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 to shopping completely changed when I became a mother; the focus switched from myself to my children, they came before I did and whereas previous I would not have hesitated to buy stuff in the sales even if it I wouldn’t really 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 and picked up a top that wasn’t in the style I usually feel comfortable in but it was a bright blue which I loved and 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, not been 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 or the car insurance that it due this month’ and the guilt sets in. 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 but it was 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.

So I decided to start 2017 with a different mind-set 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:

Did I want it before the sale? (was it on my wish list)

Can I justify spending this much? (or little, whatever your budget is)

Will I get regular use from it?

Have I got anything like this already?

Have you got space for it?

The last question might seem a little silly; but I am currently having to buy more storage solutions for my ever-increasing makeup collection (as I said, I have been victim of many tempting offers in the past).

I have used this system with quite a few purchases; I find it easier to pass on the higher end makeup on sale, maybe due to its price and the fact that dupes of fashionable/higher end makeup are now so readily 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 eyeshadows that where similar I didn’t want to be pulled into the hype of it being on offer. I do struggle with the drugstore offers or buying things because “they are cheap so lets 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 (cake, chocolate, wine) they are best enjoyed in moderation. Ciao for now makeup fans xx

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Makeup in general is costing me too much! Haha. But yes, I think those “bargains” adding up is a bad thing; I’ve definitely been victim to trying to snatch stuff up while it’s on sale even though I didn’t actually need it at the time.


    1. MrsT says:

      We have all been there. I think sales play on our impulsive side and we make rash decisions because of it. I have just done the exact same thing while shopping for clothes for my daughter. I need to take my own advice


  2. I loved a good bargain on makeup in my student days in London and Selfridges was my hangout Nicki and I admit buying products including perfumes for the free gift. 🙂 But the gifts in those days were unique like my Fendi umbrella that I still have 30 years later.

    I’m more circumspect now and ask similar questions that you mentioned in the post and focus on the brands that I normally use and pick up the bargain provided I need the product.

    My Sales Lady loves me and I often get a gift even if I don’t make the value required because I buy during non-promos. So I’ve added a coffee mug, a manicure set and a beautiful fancy watch to my horde. LOL


    1. MrsT says:

      I need to start shopping where you do. I have only ever got festival gems and a keyring I will not use. I was a bit annoyed that I spent fifty pence under the price for two free samples at Urban Decay and they did not give me one. I felt cheated, if only the palette was fifty pence more.


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