Save or splurge? Do you really need that new product that’s being advertised on TV? Is it really worth the hype? What products should you be saving your money on, and when should you be spending more?
I’m sure we’ve all made that one rash beauty purchase at some stage and bought a well-hyped up product, only to discover that it wasn’t as great as it was made out to be, and actually ended up being not only a huge disappointment, but also a big waste of money! (Read about mine here: Moisture Mist Beauty Cake.)
Obviously, everyone is different and we all have very different personal beauty budgets that will affect this decision, but while some people may not bat an eyelid at spending loads of money on the latest fad, most of us find it quite difficult to tell when we should be saving our hard earned cash or when a product is actually worth the cost.
To determine whether you should save or splurge, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions first: How often will you use it? Does it have a specialised function that none of the other products in your make up bag could do? How long is the products shelf life? If you’re not sure, check the packaging. There’ll either be an expiry date, or a little image of a jar with an open lid and a number followed by an M, indicating the number of months it’s good for after opening. Do you really, truly need it? And finally, is it really worth the cost?
Are you paying for a brand name or fancy packaging instead of a good quality product? It may be an expensive product only because of the brand name or packaging, and there may be an exact dupe out there that does exactly the same thing for a fraction of the price, and it really doesn’t hurt to do a little research first, especially since a lot of make-up brands are often owned by the same “umbrella company” and are the exact same product just being branded and marketed differently. Need a few extra pointers for when you go shopping? Make-up shopping tips.
There are certain products that you can’t save on, and these would be ones with specific functions, like primers and colour correctors. Other items that you can splurge on include powder products like eyeshadows, blush, and face powder, or things that you’ll use every day, like body wash, cleanser, moisturisers, night cream, and foundation. If you know roughly how long a tube of foundation or moisturiser lasts you, you could calculate the average daily cost to see what the cost is per use. For example, if you know your usual foundation lasts about four months, divide the total cost of the foundation you want to buy by 120 days, and you’ll be able to see if it works out to be. Sometime expensive products can end up being pretty reasonable when you look at the cost per use and how long they’ll actually last.
Items to save on are things that don’t have a very long shelf-life, for example, mascara. Your mascara tube does need to be replaced every three to six months, and there’s no way the average person will finish a full tube of mascara in that time frame. Most mascaras are pretty similar, and I’ve found that my favourite mascara is actually one of the more affordable ones on the market. If you find a mascara with a great formula and consistency, and really good value for money, then it’s definitely worth the save. Other items to save on are any cream or liquid products that don’t get used on a daily basis or won’t get used up before they hit their expiry date, or when they need to be replaced.
When asking yourself if you really need that new product, also try to think of existing products in your make-up bag that you could probably use to multi-task with. For example, you could easily use a light, shimmery eyeshadow shade that you wouldn’t usually use on your eyes as a highlighter, or a dark shade as a contouring product. If you have an eyeshadow that is a shade or two lighter than your natural brow colour, you can use this to fill in your eyebrows instead of purchasing a separate brow product.
Try not to fall for impulse buys when it comes to things like limited edition packaging (unless is refillable and reusable), kits and sets, or Gift with Purchase, no matter how tempting they may be. Often limited edition products can be really nice, but once they’re gone, they’re gone for good and you can’t replace them. The same goes for kits and sets, they are often put together around Christmas time or during a sale to sell slow moving items or unknown items that are new to market. Will you really use everything that’s in a kit or set? And how much value are you really getting out of the items that you will actually use? Gift with Purchase often looks like a great freebie, but do you really need the item that you have to buy in order to get the free gift? You may be better off just purchasing the items that you really want or need, instead of ending up with products that you don’t really like or won’t use all that often.
To sum it all up, you really need to decide for yourself which products are at the top of your save or splurge list. Some items to consider are:
Concealer or Colour Corrector
Perfume or Fragrance
Nail Polish Top Coat and Base Coat
Nail Polish (just make sure the formula contains no nasty ingredients like no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.)