Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Temptalia Asks You


How do you budget for your beauty purchases? Do you track how much you spend or prefer to not know?

Temptalia's AnswerFor blog-related beauty purchases, I do track them.  For personal purchases, less so.  I only track everything every few months though, rather than every purchase.

Over the years, the way I budget has changed significantly, and for me, budgeting has become a process of figuring out what do readers want to see and how important is it that I have it right at this moment? Before, budgeting was about collecting/purchasing unique shades.  In college, I was fortunate and my parents paid for my education and living expenses, so all the money from my part time jobs went to makeup!

Thanks to Wendy for today’s question. Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

51 thoughts on “How do you budget for your beauty purchases?

  1. I don’t exactly budget for makeup. Though I buy so much, I probably should. Unfortunately, all of MAC usually goes on my Macy’s card and when I want something specific from Sephora I usually go without other stuff I need until my next check ;x

  2. Justice

    I research and watch/read reviews about the product. I compare it to other things I own. I seriously “research” the product for a while. I make a list of what I want and narrow it down to what I almost feel like I need! This way, every single product I own right now is something I couldn’t live without. NOTHING collects dust! :)

  3. Melanie

    I do research the product, but I don’t budget as much as I should, I guess ;) If I want something, I’ll go get it :) Thanks to my part-time job, that’s usually no big deal, and I don’T go overboard with the stuff I get ;)

  4. Tiffany

    Since I don’t have a lot of disposable income, I look at what I have already and consider whether or not I need it. When I want something, I research it a lot and makeupalley becomes the only thing I read for a bit :P

    I have a very minimal makeup collection consisting of only what I need and will use because I don’t want to waste anything! I literally have one blush, two mascaras (regular and wp), two MSFS, a paint pot, 6 eyeshadows and one bottle of foundation. I’m looking to expand my collection, but I’m definitely not going to go crazy!

  5. Kelsey

    I don’t buy makeup. I don’t normally wear any, and I figure that I already own whatever I might need for those occasions where I am expected to wear it.

    Nail polish, on the other hand, is my Achilles’s heel. I’ve set myself a budget of $30/month (I buy from etailers), and I check out as many swatches/reviews as I can online before purchasing, since I can’t see in in person first.

  6. Vickie

    since im currently on unemployment i definitely have to budget my money. my bills always come first. im lucky enough to still be living with my parents (im only 21) so i dont have huge bills but i have enough. if theres a MAC collection i know i’ll want a lot from (ahem Venoumous Villians) i take whatever is left of my check when i get paid again and give it to my dad to hold for me till i need it.

  7. Budgeting eh? I don’t have a budget as such but I certainly won’t spend a certain amount on one product. For example there is a face scrub I really want at Space NK which is £80. I can’t justify it so it’s sadly out of my reach!

  8. Mm, well I used to spend a certain amount every month or at least I tried – though I usually went over if there was a really big collection. These days I haven’t purchased too much makeup simply because I get a lot of it at my job. I would absolutely keep track of the numbers though.

  9. Jocey

    i constantly watch how much i spend on makeup. I can only afford to buy some once a month since i would rather buy something of good quality than just d/s, not that d/s is bad. I’m a broke college student & so jealous that your parents took care of your expenses, i hope i can do that for my children in the future :).

  10. Elizabeth

    Funny, I can’t think of a post that contained an item you purchased yourself. Everything is always sent for consideration by PR. Which is fine, my job has perks too (like free concert tickets), but I don’t make a point of talking about how I budget for those tickets. If I’m wrong please correct me!

    • daphne

      Check out most of the recent Burberry reviews, for one! Or the reviews of entire MAC collections – the vast majority of those are purchased by Christine herself :) Also, I think the point of this post is for readers to discuss the question, with Christine just answering as a starting point!

    • I do get many things from PR, but I can tell you my beauty purchases only increase on a year to year basis.

      For example, I buy the majority of MAC collections – I have been buying entire collections since Dame Edna in 2008. In fact, I just laid down $600 for Fabulous Felines last night! PR sends maybe 2-5 products – but the rest I purchase. Where do you think MAC prizes come from? I buy those, they’re not supplied by MAC. Getting the majority or the entire collection is the exception and certainly not the rule.

      I urge you to check for a disclosure – if there’s not one, that means I purchased it.

      I believe I also mentioned that “before blogging,” I explained how I budgeted, and I explained that when I do purchase things these days, I have different considerations.

  11. Hend

    I pre-determine the amount of money I will spend on beauty
    for example 500$, I stick to the limit ,
    unless I see something really NICE ! >> this happens all the time lol !

  12. CeeBee

    Yes, I definitely track what I spend, though I don’t have a budget as such, I do know when I need to put the credit card away for a bit. And I will spend less in advance if I know I’m going to Auckland so I can have a spurge at the MAC counter!
    You kinda have to when you have a mortgage, you have rates and bills and insurance to pay (especially when somebody crashes the car!) but I do spend most of my discretionary income on makeup.

  13. Budget?!? Doesn´t exist in my world…

  14. I have changed my budgeting slightly because before it was all about MAC. I have now branched out into Chanel, Dior, Burberry etc. because I realize that I like quality over quantity. I research extensively on the products I want and set aside that amount, that way I know I’ll have funds for it. However, I still have regrettable purchases sitting in my drawers =_= lol.

  15. I definitely have to budget. I pay for tuition and my apt by myself so makeup is for when I have money left over after bills & savings.

    So I would do my research before deciding on something, then I’ll think it over for a night (even if I’m ready to press the checkout button). Most of the time I would go in the store if I can, but 2 part time jobs will kind of prevent that =( And I pass by an Ulta, Sephora AND a Macy’s on my way to both of my jobs and school (stupid temptations) haha

  16. I don’t budget (fix an amount) as such, but I do know my limits (No TOM FORD Lippe). Earlier when I started, I wanted to collect tons from one or two brands.Now I buy what I knw would work best for me and will be used by me from all brands. I am happy, coz even though I am not with every collection, my vanity has good stuff! This sure has helped in Budgeting…:)

  17. Ru

    I budget on mint.com which tells me how much I spend on makeup per mohnth on average, and my budget used to $50 a month with rollover. I’m seriously thinking though on going on a makeup diet for the UD Book of Shadows III, because after purchasing that, I shouldn’t be allowed to buy anything for september or october!

    • Rachel

      I do basically the same thing. My mint makeup category is so sad. I try to keep it under $30, but last month to this month, I think I rolled over $10-$15. I may bump my makeup budget for September…

    • Jazz

      LOL after I get BOS 3 and a few things from Venomous Villains im done buying makeup for the rest of the year – other than eyeliner and mascara

    • Avatar of LU LU

      Thank you for mentioning that, I just signed up!

    • Vijaya

      I know another reader thanked you, but I’d like to thank you as well. I love nifty tools like that!

    • Ru

      Oh glad to be of help! It’s nice to have it automatically calculated!

  18. Avatar of LU LU

    I start by picking out something I generally need and will use often, research which is the best for me and in my price range. Then I buy it from sephora, and test it out for awhile. I can honestly say although I do feel bad about returning things, I have returned plenty of products to sephora that just did not work for me. Then, when I have whatever I need (not just makeup wise, school, life, whatever) and I have extra money, I’ll save up and buy a product I want but don’t need.

  19. daphne

    I really should start. I have gone way way overboard at times and have a tendency to go “LA LA LA LA I CAN’T SEE YOU” when I start to notice the MAC and Sephora and Saks charges adding up on my bank statements – I can be an emotional shopper which makes me avoid the reality of what I’m spending.

    I’ve never gotten into debt, so I at least am not THAT crazy! But I do think spending a couple hundred almost every month just on cosmetics is way, way overboard and I need to tamp it down. I’ll follow this post for suggestions!

  20. Nora

    I always, always budget, simply because money for makeup has been hard to come by for me lately. I haven’t been to MAC since January, but my budget there is more often than not around $30, which works out pretty well since most of the time there’s nothing I see that takes it over. Same with Sephora, where I usually have in my mind one thing I’m planning to buy and just stick with that if I choose to get it.

    I just try to buy stuff I know I’ll wear, so I never buy dupes and I never buy things like foundations. I always research the things I want to buy (your blog helps immensely with this!) before I get them, and stuff like that.

  21. Budgeting for beauty purchases is something I don’t really do but should! I don’t perceive myself as spend that much a month but I was real surprised when I earned 5 Ulta points as of recent! I usually get one or two points! Now that I have a full time job with more money I do find myself treating myself maybe a little too often, but I don’t go overboard. I just bought the UD Naked palette and one Orly Cosmic nail polish and feel a little guilty about that. I definitely keep a tally in my head of what I have purchased and keep myself in check that way. I think maybe I should try budgeting for real–maybe $50 a month? I’m gonna go make a budget now! lol.

  22. Rachel

    In addition to budgeting money in general on mint.com, I try to research what I’m buying. I want to buy something that works and I don’t want to shell out money for something that doesn’t last. I think I end up with less disappointment that way.

    Also, the research time means when I do buy something, it’s been long enough that the random “ooh, that’s pretty” has been either weeded out or transformed into “I can wear that with this, this, and this.”

    I think this process has helped me end up with makeup that I wear and love.

  23. Jazz

    I try to keep myself at 50 a month for beauty. What I am starting to do is make lists of things that I want , for example I want a few MUFE aqua creams. I try not to buy anything that is not on that list, other than its an absolute need – like black eyeliner or mascara. When I go to sephora , I limit myself to that 50 or 2 products – which ever comes first.

  24. Vijaya

    I don’t really need a budget since I have nothing but disposable income. That said I do have a weird sort of contract with myself:

    I will a) set aside at least one hundred dollars per paycheck for savings. b) never dip into savings for anything. If I’m going to spend, it needs to be from the cash I have now plus the cash I took from my last paycheck. c) not make mid-pay period trips to the ATM. If I didn’t decide to take the money out last time then sorry, me, but I’ll have to wait for my next paycheck. Savings are 100% off limits in all cases.

    I’m really good at honoring “deals” I make with myself, because the fiendish me living on the inside who wants to buy everything negotiates with the stingy me that doesn’t want to spend a dime, and we reach an agreement that makes everyone happy.

    I’m not schizophrenic, I promise.

  25. Corinne

    I have a list of what products are coming out that I want to get and when they are coming out. I don’t set aside money but I do watch how much I have so I can be sure I have money available for that particular purchase. There are times where I splurge and get something random but I’m very good about making sure bills and utilities and rent get paid prior to me spending a ton on make-up.

  26. Ashley D.

    Well I look for swatches and/or reviews first (some of the reasons why I love Temptalia and Christine), I have a neat list on Microsoft Word, maybe look for cheaper dupes and review over if I really want the product or not. My budget is probably $500 per month on beauty and skincare.

  27. izabela

    I do track them, just so that I know how much money I should be spending and how much is to much! It really does help. Especially if there is a collection comming out!

  28. Janet

    I work on saturdays and the money I make from that part time job pays for my beauty products. I also try not to buy more than two of the same items (ex. mascara, eyeliner, foundation). That way I can spend more money on lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadows and etc.

  29. Once everything is paid for the month, I research to see if I have been wanting anything that’s missing from my collection. Like right now I would love more lip sticks, so that’s my next purchase. If I am really wanting something that’s coming up i.e. the Villains collection from MAC I’ll hold off on buying anything because that’s going to set me back at least $300

  30. Linnea

    its super hard. Makeup & beauty stuff, or the stuff that i want, is usually very expensive. I’ve benefitted myself by reading reviews before I impulse buy something that I won’t like/use. But, with that, I want more stuff. So, I watch for stuff, get stuff on sale, as well as make a beauty list of what I think I “need”, and a couple of weeks later, maybe I don’t NEED it. Then I see if it’s any good with reviews and such.

  31. Madeleine

    I always make sure that i need it, and of course make lists of things I want, and then make another list of things that i think are my priority makeup buys. Since i am 13 and can only babysit to make money, i have to make sure it is something i need and not to look overdone at school, so i only wear a little makeup to school and the high end products i usually use just about every day.

  32. Anna

    When I first started using makeup (my first year of college, three years ago), I never had a budget because I never bought a lot. Then, I started getting into eyeshadows and all that good stuff. I just bought whatever I wanted that had good reviews. Now, money’s so tight and school’s really taking a lot of my money, I have to decide if I really need it. I think about, research it and will only buy it if I can’t, in any way, dupe it.

  33. Amanda

    Prefer not to know! If I take the time to calculate, I start to feel guilty : /

  34. Yumi

    I preface this by saying I’m terrible at budgeting and always spend more than I intend to. But I like to think that I do my fair share of research, reading reviews, etc., before I lay down my money (one of the reasons why I frequent this site, among others!). I only buy what I really really want, which unfortunately is most things. :( Then I justify my spending by saying I’m digging into my paycheck from my future better-paying job…yeah…>.< I'm bad!

  35. Leslie

    I rather not know, but now that I have really started collecting I try to stay within $150 budget for a collection and that’s after my discount. I also have an amazing boyfriend that contributes to my habit :) so I usually get some surprises.

  36. Sharon M

    I have a “need list” and a “want list”. The need list is for things I buy over and over again like mascara — my fave is Lancome Definicils, and the new Precious Cells version is $34 CDN. I don’t earn a lot, live on my own with no family for support so my beauty purchases are all planned for the most part. If there’s anything extra then I might get something off the want list. And I try to plan purchases for when Shoppers Drug Mart has 20X the optimum points, which can be used later to pay for treats from their beauty boutique. I’d rather spend a bit more on higher-end quality cosmetics than buy cheapie drugstore stuff that goes to waste because it’s too frustrating to use. While I wish there was a Sephora in my city, it’s probably a good thing for my wallet that there isn’t one!

  37. nunuiviet

    i dont’ budget, if i want something i just buy it, my desires overcome my reasons

  38. Svetlana

    I don’t budget my beauty purchases . I guess I am lucky enough to not have to budget . That doesn’t mean that I spend hundreds of $ every month , but when I need and/or like something I just buy it w/o thinking about the price.

  39. Avatar of Marianne Mar

    When I want something really bad and it’s expensive, I check the reviews here or on MakeupAlley and ask myself:
    Do I own something like this?
    When I don’t, I write it down, think about it for a couple days and when I still feel like I don’t own anything like it, I go out to buy it.

    I don’t really budget on cheaper items…
    I tried but I stopped when I realized it’s just my thing to love beauty and everything related and I don’t owe any responsability to anyone but myself ;-)