Did you buy less last year because you couldn't shop in store?

Nope! I avoid going in-store in general, so I probably only headed over a dozen times or less in a year… usually if the release was urgent and released in-store the same day as online.

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Mariella Avatar

Much less than previous years, largely because of a lack of in person shopping and sampling. It’s the first time in many years that I’ve not made VIBRouge at Sephora, though they did send me an email recently saying that they were extending my Rouge status for 2021 (though they kind of spoiled it by inserting a slightly Scrooge-like “for this time ONLY” qualifier!) Something else that cut a bit into my spending was finding a whole king’s ransom of high end products from NARS, UD, Kevyn Aucoin, etc. for very cheap at Winners. I bought several things I’d have happily paid full price for at Sephora but getting them for half or less – well, it’s a no brainer!

Jenny B Avatar

No, I love makeup, especially lipstick, and it is one of the things that makes me happy – buying, wearing, having and reviewing it on my blog. The blogging has helped to keep me sane in these trying times. Also, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never use up all the lipsticks that I have but that I will still want t try new shades and textures. I don’t think I’ve bought neither more nor less than other years, I would estimate it’s the same amount.

Ginny Avatar

Ironically shopping in store helps me buy less. Seeing the products shows me that it’s nothing different than the stuff I already own. Or I can easily swatch three bronzers and choose one instead of ordering three because I can’t tell which one is the right color.

Nancy T Avatar

Yes, I most certainly did! Didn’t make Rouge, but was issued an honorary Rouge status by Sephora. I believe that I only bought roughly half of what I have bought in the previous 7-8 years. There is just something more interesting and special about the shopping in person experience.
Getting to swatch shades or look for a proper foundation or concealer match is very important to me.

Denise S. Avatar

Nope I brought about the same that I usually buy. Having chronic pain and being stuck in the house added to my desire/need for a shopping high.Brought way too many perfumes. Went on Ebay to buy perfume samples since you can’t sniff in store. Plus the large of amount of sales suckered me in, lol. But thanks to Temptalia and You Tube I brought better quality products that I really enjoy!

Jen Avatar

I was going to say no because I’ve done the bulk of my shopping online for years but I did go in to Ulta for more basic items like shampoo, etc regularly and impulse buys would inevitably sneak in. Now that those purchases are more planned since I order for curbside or to ship there are much fewer impulse buys.

Ana Maria Avatar

My cosmetics and beauty purchases remained the same in 2020, I was rarely purchasing in store anyways. The only thing I cut down was lip products. I think the only lipstick I got in 2020 was a Back-to-MAC one (which means I didn’t even payed for it 😅).

Genevieve Avatar

Not really – our Chemist (or Drugstores as you would say in the US) were still open during the pandemic, so I was able to pick up skincare items and the general beauty products I buy from these stores. For all of my eyeshadow palettes and some lipsticks, I order online anyway (after reviews here, of course!)
I didn’t purchase as much last year because I am fussy about what I buy and only purchased 4 eye palettes: ND Glam, Naked 3, CT’s The Rebel 2020 and PMG’s Sublime Mini. Only one of these I purchased in store – Naked 3.

Fashn Avatar

Actually I ended up buying more. Maybe because the pandemic led me to stress shop more but I do most of my shopping online anyway even with cosmetics. I try to really research the products, check out videos/tutorials and of course read your reviews Christine before I buy.

ShariP Avatar

Quite a bit less actually. I enjoy the in person browsing and last year just pretty much eliminated that. Our governor was one of the first to shut us down and we’ve pretty much remained that way. She’d start to lift the bans and the lock us down again. And yet our infection rates have remained high.

Andi Lhart Avatar

I think I bought less because of masks. Lipstick and lipgloss are irrelevant outside of the home. Maskne is a new struggle, as is hopping in the shower the moment I get home and scrubbing my face. There’s so less going on in life, the need for cosmetics is also much less.

Quality skin care – delivered- is my current vice.

Helena Avatar

Yes. Not working was a big part of reduced spending last year—each shift is essentially a shopping session when you work in a store. Discount codes were sent out (which calls into question why it’s not always possible to use one’s employee discount online), but because I wasn’t wearing makeup to sell it, there was little incentive to get the new things that I couldn’t even swatch beforehand.

Pearl Avatar

I’ve shopped online for awhile now and prefer it. I bought less last year because there weren’t as many releases. I’d rather take my chances online than to have to deal with crowds or sales people or the item being out of stock.

brendacr1 Avatar

Absolutely bought way less, if I can’t go into a store and browse they’re not going to get their hooks in me and suck me in with their beautiful displays and shiny baubles. If I can’t test a perfume in store I’m definitely not buying it, which makes me sad. I love new perfumes and this has been a very dry perfume year. I have bought a few samples and I have found a few perfumes I like but I don’t like buying this way, I like instant gratification. I like buying the perfume, bringing it home to put away with it’s other extensive family members, otherwise the sample gets lost in the pile of samples and sometimes I forget about it.

AJ Avatar

Between not making impulse buys in the stores, and not feeling inspired to do my makeup at home for most of the year, I really did not buy much at all. Sephora also extended my Rouge for another year even though I was nowhere near qualifying for it — not that I think I would have qualified even if not for the pandemic, since I had already been feeling like I didn’t want to buy a lot at the start of 2020 before things went to heck.

Lucie Avatar

If anything, I think I actually bought more. I think shopping was a coping mechanism for me. I normally make rouge at Sephora (have for at least a decade now), but this was the first year I made platinum at Ulta, which I usually only shop in person for specific items not at Sephora. I also got into skincare in a BIG way that I hadn’t before and also expanded into more indie perfumes (I previously only had one I shopped at primarily). I also shopped directly with brands rather than just through Sephora or Ulta like I normally do, depending on who had a sale. So, yeah – lot of shopping happened.

That said, I am making a special effort to curb that this year and my goal is to not make rouge at Sephora this year. It may not be as hard as I think as I find .myself less enchanted with Sephora as time goes on.

BrandiD Avatar

Ironically, I bought more since I couldn’t swatch/try in store. I did have to do a lot more returns too (allergies) because I wasn’t able to sample. Being forced into a slower pace of life has also given me more time to experiment with different makeup looks, and I found it relaxing to focus on something mundane during quarantine. Currently trying to put together looks — in both makeup and clothing — so that I can focus only on purchasing things to fill holes in my collection, rather than being intrigued by every new item.

Jill Avatar

I got into a pattern of doing most of my shopping online, primarily because where I lived was the middle of nowhere and it was convenient. We moved recently and have pretty much everything within a few minutes drive so I’m looking forward to getting back to actual shopping again.

That said, I did spend less last year but it was intentional. I have too much stuff and I’m trying to downsize. I have pretty much the same plans for this year, spend less and save more. But my plans for this year is to spend in actual stores instead of online.

z Avatar

No. Like everyone else I bought less because everyone lost their jobs and our financial future here on the bottom 99% is incredibly uncertain. The last thing I needed to do after losing my job was to purchase an eyeshadow palette.

Even before the pandemic I rarely purchased an item in store simply because I saw it. For years I’ve been checking out what the new things are and reviews well in advance of them rolling out in stores here (makeup comes slow to my local stores). Though the few items I did purchase this last year I might have picked up in store if, you know, I wasn’t risking a highly infectious disease. Instead everything I bought was an online order.

Seraphine Avatar

I bought next to nothing in 2020 because I rarely use any makeup during the pandemic. I wear makeup just once a week when I have a weekly happy hour with a couple of my friends. The only makeup I wear if I have to go out is eyebrow pencil and mascara, since most of my face is covered by a mask. Also, I developed a cataract in one of my eyes, so I can’t see to apply eyeshadow or eyeliner. It’s been one hell of a year! Lol

Gilad Avatar

Despite some great sales I’ve indulged in online, I’d guess it’s still less than half my typical spending. Hope to continue this reality-based program post-COVID.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!