How good are you at sticking to your beauty budget?

How good are you at sticking to your beauty budget? Tips for others trying to stay within their budget?

I keep track of my purchases, but I don’t have a super hard, can’t-be-broke line for each month – though I do have a rough estimate for each quarter and try to be 20% under that. For me, I try to buy only as much as I think I can reasonably handle reviewing and try not to get TOO ahead of myself, because I am inevitably behind. For others, I recommend adding big sale dates to your calendar (e.g. F&F sales) and would try to spend less before those sales so I could take advantage of them and get more for my money. The other thing to do is check your stash, shop it, and don’t be afraid to mix shades and products you own – if you don’t use tinted moisturizer all the time and just need something once or twice a month, why not add a little foundation to your moisturizer?

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Julie P. Avatar

I am probably one of the best out of anyone I personally know… when it comes to budgeting and saving. I dont hoard ever! Try not to buy unless I really really love it and need it. Never impulse shop with beauty items because they won’t last forever. I’d rather invest in skincare since it benefits you in the long run. 🙂

Maggie Avatar

You’re just who I want to be! Minimalists are awesome!

I’m prone to allergies & skin irritations so that automatically helps me save by:

1) Planning Purchases: I always have to check ingredients lists anyway.

2) Not hauling too much at once: I can only test one product at a time for irritation–otherwise, it’s harder for me to narrow down on the allergen if I get a reaction. Also, beauty products have a shelf life which I strictly keep track of bc “expired” products can also cause skin irritations. I almost NEVER “stock up” during sales bc for all I know, my skin will decide it doesn’t like what I’m using.

3) Returning: I only shop from retailers with good return policies bc it can take a couple weeks to develop a new allergy (yes…I’m THAT allergy-prone and my skin is fickle). Returning what doesn’t work helps me save money in the long run so I can focus on maintaining a beauty wardrobe that works for me.

It can be so frustrating to stay my hand when I REALLY want something but in the long run, I think it has paid off—skin irritations are a form of inflammation after all–and constant inflammation would cause premature aging.

Kristen Avatar

Usually I’m really good. But being unemployed (bad timing, I know) I am SO bored and so I tend to go shopping when I don’t need to :-s. I know, how stupid am I? LOL But, all my bills are paid and I have a car and roof so it’s actually not horrible. But because of this I have blown my beauty budget and have decided on a no-buy until IMATS LA.

Rebecca Avatar

I put money into a savings account I’m not allowed to touch at the start of every month. That helps a lot! I have no troubles spending what’s left on beauty products though, so I have to be careful!

Rylee Avatar

I have experienced going beyond my beauty budget but I make sure it’s all worth it. But after finding what my skin really loves, I just stick into it. Now I saved a lot! 🙂

Jax Avatar

Not at all god 🙁

I tend to go on splurges and then I stop for a while, I pretty much only bough replacement foundations as I needed them for about 5 years, then I had a clear out and re bought things, and now I am bad at resisting the pretty 🙂

My excuse is that I don’t drink or smoke or go out much and this is my hobby, so I get to spend some money on it.

I do however feel like I have a pretty good kit now (minus a couple of lipsticks, I need to test some NARS Lippies for a good red and a good fuschia, I’m thinking Mascate and Carthage, but I want to look at La Paz too. Dragon Girl was an option but I don’t like pencils I have to sharpen, too much waste) so I’m on a slight hiatus.

Natalie Avatar

Budget…. What is one of them then?
I have had a bit of an expensive time lately due to trying to find skincare that works for me, but I’m pretty much there and its a mix of high and middle budget stuff.
I don’t buy make up that much, and we have some fan brands like Catrice and Essence that mean those impulse buys aren’t too costly, and some of their staple stuff means I can cut down on the high end stuff.

Kitsch Vixen Avatar

I’m actually pretty great at sticking to my budget. I think the main reason is that I only have one credit card and I share it with my husband and I know I couldn’t rationally explain too many overages to him. Haha.

tzwiggy Avatar

I don’t have a beauty budget. Some months I buy nothing at all, then next month I can spend more than $1 000 on makeup. It depends on new collections, if there are products that I feel I “need”. Also, if I spend less on clothes and shoes I can spend more on makeup. If I get less takeout food, then I can also buy more makeup, lol. It basically all depends on what I feel like spending my spare money on. I rarely impulse buy, though, most purchases are (at least somewhat) planned and I mostly get something from my wishlist (unless it’s a LE item).

Liz Avatar

Is there a calendar for when planned sales come up?

I just started out with make up, so I have spent a lot of money recently. But now that I have enough for a few looks, I will probably buy much less. Hopefully. 🙂

Rachel P Avatar

I’m pretty bad at budgeting my beauty buys… I have a budget specifically for beauty/personal care in my Mint app on my phone, but I almost always exceed it :\ I really don’t buy spontaneously, and I only get things that I have been wishing for for some time (especially if I can get them on sale, or at a 2-for-1, or with a free gift or something), but when I know I “NEED” something, sometimes that means a new UD eyeliner, a LQ lipstick, and an Alterna Bamboo hair silkener… all at once, and maybe even a few other little things, like a new brush or a NYX product. For some people, that’s not a lot and you could say I’m not going overboard, but I recently graduated college and I could probably be managing my money a bit better as I save up for a new life. What can I say? Beauty is my favorite hobby! I love spending on it.

Danielle Avatar

I don’t really keep myself on a beauty budget, but I can say that I have definitely gotten better. And the more makeup I have, the less I really need. Lately I’ve been enjoying my Birchbox and Ipsy bag, so I find that I’m not buying that much makeup during the rest of the month because I like to wait and see what comes for me in the mail.

Wwendalynne Avatar

My ability to stick to a self imposed budget is sporadic at best. I behave for awhile and then it all goes to hell in a handbasket. While I’ve kept my head about me throughout some of my favourite brand fall campaigns, I’m off on other tangents which are pulling me over to the bad side. My two chief weaknesses: blush and trying different foundation products. 3 blush products added this week.. somehow I have justified as I NEED to try Marc Jacobs and need to try Edward Bess and then I added another NARS and you can just never go wrong with NARS so…. blah blah blah.. this is the way it goes.

Nicoco Chanel Avatar

Beauty budget? You mean I’m not supposed to spend all my money on cosmetics? I am so confused.

Seriously though. I think I’m getting better. I’ve been lusting after slightly less make up in general and realising that I don’t need to buy everything I like.

But, unfortunately, I have recently been obsessed with skincare instead. oops.

Audrey Avatar

I don’t have a strict beauty budget, but I do have specific times of the year when I plan on adding some of the things I’ve been pining over throughout the year.

My birthday: I will usually make a wishlist that is highly specific so my family doesn’t have to guess. I will generally get 3-4 beauty products that will satisfy my urge to try new things for several months.

Summer Vacation: Every summer I visit my family in ND and I’ll take a side trip with my mother over to the Mall of America and do my back to school shopping. I will pick out 3-4 things that are each ~$35.

Christmas: I love getting makeup for Christmas. I don’t really ask for anything else and all the fun sets that come out are just fantastic. I can try a little bit of everything for a fraction of the cost.

Miscellaneous: I work at my college as a research assistant and when I got my first paycheck, I totally splurged…I got a Chanel blush. I think there’s always some wiggle room for some celebratory purchases. Sometimes my parents will let me pick out one thing from Sephora whenever I am ranked 1st at the end of a course at my university.

Generally I try to plan my new additions to my collection to be during my birthday or Christmas, and then I’ll pick up, myself, 3 or 4 things during my summer vacation. I think this ends up working well because each time is spaced out pretty evenly so I’m not going 6 months without buying anything new and then going overboard the next time I’d go shopping.

Heidi Avatar

I think I am pretty good at sticking to my budget. Every paycheck I always allocate a portion to my bills and savings. What is leftover I decide what I want to spend it on. Some weeks I am more in the mood for clothes and things like that and then the next paycheck I am all over the beauty counters (lol) but I do stick to a certain amount and generally do stick to it.

xamyx Avatar

I don’t have an actual “budget”, but I do have a certain amount of money I can spend in an allotted period. I did spend more than I intended this month, but I got such *amazing* deals on ebay, and they were all items I’ve been wanting for a significant amount of time. I keep lists of items I want, with the prices & where to buy them. I also keep them grouped on basis of priority, and items I specifically want to use together, and also based on how much time I have left to pick it up. Right now there are some NARS “vintage” shadows I want, along with a few things I can only find on, so I’m just going to go ahead and order everything at once since I hate online shopping. Although there are items I want more, theye are items I can pick up any time. I also have things grouped into months when I plan to buy them.

Veronica Avatar

I don’t particularly have a “budget,” so much as I keep a running list of products on hand that I’ve interested in, and if I’m in a good financial position that month, I’ll run through and see which ones I want to get. I certainly am not the type to overspend on cosmetics – I make sure what needs cared for is done first. 🙂

Susan Nevling Avatar

I am ashamed to say that I don’t have a conscious budget but spendcabout the same each month barring monthscwith other obligations.

Susan Nevling Avatar

I am ashamed to say that I don’t have a conscious budget but spendcabout the same each month barring monthscwith other obligations.
I do pay cash and never use credit so that is also a control. Like many others, I have a list of favorites now. That also controls expenses.

Tasia Avatar

I’m a college student with a part time hostessing job so I don’t have the money to spend on a lot of makeup. I buy most of my makeup in stores so I will make a list of things that I want to buy before I go shopping. I try to make sure that I spend within my limits. Sometimes I fail because I will give in to impulse purchases every now and then. Since I like to buy makeup in stores, a good way to stick to my budget is to just not go shopping in the first place.

I feel ashamed to admit this, but I put myself on a three month no buy at the beginning of July, but I recently failed at my goal. I think instead of putting myself on a no buy I should put myself on a strict budget. Not buying any makeup for an entire month and a half just made me want to buy makeup even more.

Denise S. Avatar

Thanks for the great tips Christine! I really need to shop my extensive makeup collection and experiment with mixing things up. I have way too much makeup and try not to buy new stuff too often but if I feel it’s a extra special product I’ll buy it. Trying to get better at using what I already own though. Don’t have a beauty budget at this stage in my life.

Erika Avatar

I am the WORST. I find myself buying more than I planned, more often than not!

Each time I build my cosmetic to-buy list, I arrange it in categories depending on which part of the face they are for and in order of priority (I have a bit of an OCD lol), but I never really end up following it. That usually happens when a lot of the shades I want are available (it’s pretty difficult to get hold of some MAC lipstick shades here in the Philippines so I grab what I want when I still can), or worse, when I get enticed by pretty colors and/or sales talking associates. I also have this horrible trait wherein I would not feel contented if only one item on my to-buy list is available, so I end up looking at things I didn’t even think of purchasing just to satiate my inner shopaholic., something is terribly wrong with me.

doroffee Avatar

I don’t have a strict beauty budget, but I have a general one. I’m usually pretty good at keeping with it, and say no to an enticing offer if I don’t need it. But I have to be honest, sometimes I just can’t resist, especially if there is a super sale or something I REALLY fall in love with, But that’s kind of rare.

Kristy Avatar

When I was younger I had way more disposable income, and I would just go crazy with products. Like when new MAC collections came out, I would buy almost the whole line. Now that I have a family my beauty budget is much smaller. But I no longer feel the urge to buy entire collections, thank god! I try really hard to pick and choose based on what I know I would actually use.

VickyM Avatar

I´m very good, I only shop after thinking if I truly want and need the item, swatching on counter and weighing in cost and how much I would use it. I tend to only buy high end makeup, so I research through, I tend to be happy with what I buy and if I only have budget for one or two items I only buy them and nothing else.

Catherine @bcrueltyfree Avatar

Really good at it, though you wouldn’t know it from my stash. It’s the result of years and years of being a makeup junkie though. And also – makeup is the one area I have allotted more money to buying unnecessary “stuff”… so my makeup budget tends to have a little more leeway to begin with. I don’t enjoy purchasing things for the sake of having something new and I actually really dislike shopping, so that helps.

Montréalise Avatar

Better than I used to be! I consider myself a makeup junkie and for years, I bought far too many products. Seasonal collections were typically my downfall – seeing the new makeup collections for fall, spring, or the holidays made all my good intentions to stop buying makeup on impulse fall by the wayside. Now I actually set a budget for myself, plan what I am going to buy, and I am almost always able to stick to my plan (with an occasional slip-up). Actually, having blogs like yours to consult has helped me tremendously – I can find out what’s new, who is coming out with new collections and new products, and I can plan what to buy (and what not to buy) ahead of time.

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