How do you feel about purchasing backups?

Aside from regularly used skincare, I avoid it since it’s rare for me to finish a product, so getting to a backup is infrequent. I try to only purchase backups if I feel confident I’ll get to it, but I won’t buy tons of backups if it isn’t something I go through quickly (lip balm might be one thing I usually have a few on hand at any given moment!).

— Christine


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Sarah Avatar

I buy back ups when I know it’s going to be a few months before my product runs out and I don’t know if I’ll have the funds to replace it. If I have the funds now, I’ll buy what I need.

I’ve tried so many products that once I find my tried and true favorites, I’ll get a back up. I just never want to be out of it! But usually my back ups only consist of cleansers, foundation, and brow pencils. Sometimes primers. I never buy back ups of shadows because I’ll never use mine up.

Sarah Avatar

I am also not a fan, any backups I have of a product I thought I couldn’t live without if it were to run out simply collects dust in a drawer, unopened and unused. Another pet peeve is when a product is advertised as LE and actually isn’t. The initial frenzy is often a joke

Anne Avatar

There was a time back when that I never bought backups, because I was always buying the next, newest thing. Now, I buy backups. I know what I like and know what I’ll use. Backups aren’t a bad thing to me at all, especially when I can get them on sale.

Susan Avatar

Only if it’s something I absolutely love that I think or know is being discontinued. Otherwise, no, because things expire, my tastes change, and even my skin is changing.

Chloe Avatar

For makeup only if it is limited edition and I really love it. Like I have two backups of my Maybelline x Shayla mascara because I really like how black it is. The only other product I buy backups of is my benefit brow pencil. I can never tell when it is getting low so I like to have a backup just in case.

Ginny Avatar

Ugh I’m struggling with this right now because one of my favorite lip colors (Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipstick in Air Kiss) is being discontinued and I really want to purchase a backup. It’s perfect on me, it’s an everyday shade, and the color would be hard to dupe because of the little blue sparkles in it. I’m very picky about my lip colors and formulas–I don’t like to try new formulas, I within the lines I know. But, I’m afraid I’ll never actually finish the tube I have, or once I do I’ll be tired of it. The only backup of a color cosmetic I ever bought was Rihanna’s 1st Viva Glam lipglass. I really did love it but never opened the second tube. Now I like her new gloss better. Lesson learned? Maybe not yet.

Ginny Avatar

This makes sense, thanks. I donated the sealed Rihanna lipglass so I guess a year or two from now someone else might get a really nice Guerlain lipstick and I won’t feel bad about it haha.

Aj Avatar

Besides purchasing backups for skincare and bodycare I really use, the only makeup backups I purchase is for eyeliner, lip balm, concealer, and mascara.
I will rarely buy a backup for a LE item, unless it’s something I can really see myself using quite a bit and will end up finishing the first item.

Marie Avatar

I buy backups if it’s limited edition and I love it. If I see it marked down to 50%, then it will be discontinued and I will buy a backup. Also, I buy backups of small things that I misplace easily like pencils— black eyeliners disappear all the time.

Mo Merrell Avatar

I don’t see a need in purchasing cosmetic backups. My fav lipstick is Smashbox in Cognac, I’ve purchased a backup midway through the current one cause I’m afraid they will discontinue the color LOL. I also love ABH lip gloss in Tara so I’ll rebuy that midway through my current again afraid it will be discontinued because you never know with these beauty companies.

Wait, there is one thing I do buy backup of and that’s Sigma brow powder in dark because it’s always sold out. I buy two when they have a sale.

Kat Avatar

Skincare that I’m afraid of losing access to I’ll definitely buy backups (as long as I can store them and use them up without them spoiling). When it looked like Ole Henriksen would discontinue their On the Go cleanser, I bought a ton at half price off their website! Turns out they were just renaming, repackaging, and hiking up the price per ounce, but I was really nervous then! I would probably also do this with foundations and primers because those are products I know I would go through in a timely manner.

I don’t really buy makeup backups because there’s almost always dupes and nowadays lots of stuff isn’t truly “limited edition,” but I’m considering buying a backup or two of the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Sheer Liar because it’s just the perfect MLBB for me and I can get it for like $7.50 right now. The new Vice version looks a bit different in shade and texture and it’s bumming me out.

Eileen Avatar

I only purchase backups (and only when on sale) for skin and hair care and only if they are products I use regularly. Even then, I don’t go overboard. If you buy a backup and you don’t get around to using it up for whatever reason, then you haven’t really saved any money. As for makeup, I purchase as I go because makeup trends come and go relatively quickly. Nothing dates/ages a woman more than when she’s become trapped in a time warp and is wearing products that are from another time. Not that I slavishly follow trends, but I do pay attention to trends and adopt what suits me to create a more fashionable and modern look.

AB Avatar

After a period when several favorites were discontinued, I went through a phase of buying back ups for several items I just liked, but now for only a couple of HG/desert island items.

Nichole Avatar

I definitely buy multiples of staple items during Sephora sales (primer mascara, eye cream, under eye concealer, etc.) I had been really bad at buying limited edition makeup products I really like. It will be a miracle if I went through the items in my fridge. I’ve cut back a lot on not buying backups.

I still understand buying backups of holy grail items even if they’re permanent. It seems you can’t really depend on permanent products anymore because make up companies are constantly trying to outdo one another and revamping their line often.

Mariella Avatar

I have multiples (as opposed to “backups”) of things I use often and in several places – MAC Craving, Plumful and Brick-o-la and Smashbox Red Rage and Legendary lipsticks, as well as a few lipglosses – one in my bathroom, one in my kitchen drawer, one in my desk in my classroom, one in my purse – because these are “go to” shades that I use all the time. I’ve been tempted to buy actual “backups” of LE products many times but have been able to look realistically at just how much that temptation is manufactured. I can think of just one or two products I sort of regret not getting backups for (MAC Red Necessity and Red Dwarf lipsticks come to mind) but I’ve still not finished up the ones I have so did I really need backups? Probably not. But I still will feel sad when I eventually do finish them.

Lesley Avatar

I have never purchased backups for makeup. I always believed there would be something newer and or better if I ever finished a product. The only time I have found that not to be true is LE nail polish. I still pine for Chanel Vendetta. I used to stock up on skincare and hair care but I no longer do that either. My skin and hair are changing with age now and much of my inventory no longer consists of the best products for me.

Pearl Avatar

I stock up/buy back ups of skin care since I go through it regularly, I buy 6 – 9 months worth at a time – I have it figured out how much of what to get and when.

As for make up, I buy back ups of permanent powder products that are daily staples for me and usually when there is a sale (setting or finishing powders, bronzers, some blushes, shadows). I also buy a back up of something LE if I really like it and can see myself using it regularly (recents are MAC Fruity Juicy Oh My Passion! Pearlmatte Powder or Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Modern Mercury Highlighter). I used to buy backups of lipstick but am stopping (for a while?)– it’s kind of a wake up call when you open up your fridge and you see a full lipstick organizer.

Marie-Estelle Avatar

It can be useful especially for skincare and hygiene products. I usually restock on skincare during black friday or a 30% off sale period (1+1).

I do not buy makeup backup anymore with a few exceptions, and on sale (drugstore mascara/eyebase/brow product). The only exception was a dupe to my favourite LE highlighter this year.
As several persons mentioned, taste / trend may change. I have 1/3 left of two lipsticks I bought a year ago. I will wait to fully finish them to decide if I want them again (I do think so) and wait a discount if I do!

kjh Avatar

Skincare when running low. Backed up haircare at Ulta when I found some I liked. Pureology is easier to swallow on sale! Prob will continue to do so. Color: never. I would if a major fave were being d/c’d though.

Genevieve Avatar

I feel quite fine about purchasing backups of skincare products (I have quite little stash going…) and essential makeup items like mascara, eye brow pencil, foundation, inexpensive lipsticks, primer, bb creme, my favourite Natio blush and setting powder.
The only backup I don’t get is eyeshadow palettes. I have enough.

gina Avatar

Hi Christine —
I don’t mind buying backups of things that (like you Christine) are Holy Grails — like Mac Gigablack Mascara or the two primers that I alternate with from Mac if I am already purchasing things. Unless it’s something that is a limited edition — now that is another story — but I don’t often even do that. Sometimes I will by – if it’s a shade that is sometimes hard to get my hands on of foundation, I’ll purchase two if I really like it, but otherwise I don’t.

Shannon Avatar

I used to buy makeup backups before I realised just how much money businesses make on faking scarcity – now the only kind of backups I buy are my favourite black eye pencil that I wear every day, that I can only buy in Japan.

I do buy skincare essentials that I use daily that are HG status – my fav cheapo micellar water, my fav sunscreen that is expensive but that I have to go out of my way to buy.

I wouldn’t buy a backup of anything that I hadn’t already repurchased at least once.

It’s devastating when companies discontinue products that I love – my favourite MLBB shade is a Guerlain Kiss Kiss that has been discontinued. But, when something that takes me a year to use up becomes discontinued, I don’t want to risk having old products laying about. I’d rather make a project of finding my next HG.

Dua Avatar

It’s extremely rare to finish an eyeshadow, blush, highlights…

Aside from an item being finished soon and I can’t live without it (mainly concealer / eyebrows gel / Mascara), I don’t buy backups.

Logan Avatar

I always have one backup of the Essence Make Me Brow Gel!

Right now I have three backups of the elf Flawless Finish Foundation. I wanted the one GWP they were doing, so I ordered a bunch because it’s the only foundation I ever want to use.

Obviously I always have a stash of lip balms.

Sometimes I have backups of mascaras. I bought two of the holiday edition Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes during the Cyber Monday sale. Usually I’m trying something new.

Tangymoose Avatar

I rarely purchase backups but I do have a few items that I absolutely can’t live without & will buy just in case I run out or they get D/C. Items are:

– Batiste Hint of Color ‑ Dark & Deep Brown Dry
– UD setting spray
– Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Honey
– Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner
– Sunday Riley LUNA oil
– Cerave AM face cream

Anne Avatar

I like doing so for my usual skincare as I don’t like a lull in that. Recently, since the money’s gotten tight, that also is handy as it means I will run out later thus having time to look for cheaper replacements, and can introduce them at different times to make sure I know what works and what doesn’t.

Val Martin Avatar

I have acquired back ups in make up on two occasions (both items bought for me). 1) Benefit Dallas blush. Thought it was being discontinued so my husband bought me another. Only now finishing one box. 2) UD Gwen Stefani blush palette. Was panning this and managed to drop it smashing most of the powders. My daughter found a replacement on sale and bought it for me. I won’t do this again as the products take so long to use up. I recently repurchased my foundation before my current one is finished as again I broke the outer packaging which contained the shade name (Kat Von D Lock it Foundation). I live in the U.K. and we have only one instore stockist. Due to our return policy being different to the US I couldn’t afford to get the shade wrong so repurchased early as I was instore (in our local City Centre that I don’t visit often).

I do buy backups of skincare and bodycare taking advantage of special offers.

Shawne Avatar

I have backups of things I go through or that need to be replaced more frequently like mascara, eyeliner, concealer and brow pencils. I had a backup of a HG foundation that I was glad I had on hand when it ran out, but haven’t replaced it because I may when to try something new when this one is empty. Also the last time Bath & Body Works had their semi-annual 75% off sale I stocked up, which made it nice not to always have to go to the store when you run out of lotion or body wash.

Elizabeth Avatar

I do buy backups of certain things that I really like. I have always had a few backups of Urban Decay Gash. I have every formula they have made it in as well. It’s been my go to red for years. I do have an awful lot of other backups that I should just purge. If I think something I love is going to be discontinued, I usually have to have a backup. I usually find something that is close to replace it in my collection.

Melody Avatar

I always have backups of a few things- foundation, powder and lip balm. I love lip products and probably have about 8 of them in my work bag right now. Variety, right? Other than that, I only buy extras if there’s a sale or something on my favorite products.

Erica Avatar

I don’t usually buy back ups of anything. It gets to a point where you forget you have things and you find stashes of products. Nice but also a waste of money. However, I have bought a few back ups in a moment of panic thinking I’ll be sad once this is gone

MAC Real Redhead and Amor Prohibido Lipstick. Why? Not like I cannot find dupes w/in their own line!

MAC Mystery and Folie eyeshadows

MAC Tenderling Blush

ABH Modern Renaissance. With 20% off and a 20% coupon on top of the sale price. I couldn’t resist!

Rachel R. Avatar

I buy backups of everyday items I use a lot such as face powder, mascara, eye and face primer, foundation, etc. when they are on sale. The only two non-daily items I own backups for are: 1) UD Sheer Rapture, because I keep one in my purse at all times. 2) UD Electric Palette. When I found out UD was discontinuing it, and they went on sale for $25, I bought a backup. It’s one of my favorite palettes of all time, and a really unique item. I use it all the time, and was scared I’d lose or break mine.

Overall, I think for me buying backups is a waste of money. I rarely use up an item, and most things can be duped pretty easily these days.

Alex Avatar

I have back ups of my Hurraw lipbalms because they’re hard to find in my town.

I also have backups of my BYS brow pencil because it’s the only perfect ash blonde brow pencil I’ve ever found. It’s the EXACT colour of my natural brow hairs with zero warmth. I probably have 6 of them because I’m terrified they’ll stop making them! Luckily they’re only a couple of bucks each and come from one of those dodgy chain stores that sell really cheap makeup.

I have finished exactly one lipstick and no eyeshadows in my entire life and my MAC blush takes about 7 years to finish so I don’t bother ever getting backups of makeup.

Bonnie Avatar

I only buy them for my absolute, tried and true favorites that I know I would be upset if I lost or broke – things nothing else compares to. My bronzer (Lottie London Tan Time) is one of these – I did break it and was lost without it until I got a new one. My Tarte Shape Tape. My L’Oreal Voluminous Primer, because even though I switch up mascaras, this primer makes them all look better.

Silvia Avatar

If is something I really loved and tried and liked a lot yes I have in the past bought a few things but dint think I will again. Chapsticks I have everyewhere that is one thing I cannot run out of. Saves my lips!

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