What criteria do you currently use when deciding to buy (or not buy)?

I look at what readers engage with (views, comments, loves/leaves/wishlist, likes on social media, etc.) from type of product, what brands, and what specifics products performed well (or didn’t). I also look at what is “buzzy” in the community and brands that are new or formulas that seem new/more innovative. There’s a very small part where I will buy something that I find, personally, interesting for whatever reason and review, too – this is one way I keep myself engaged in beauty

— Christine
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I always check out Temptalia first and then reviews at Makeupalley (if any have been posted yet with something new) and Sephora (if it’s a product sold there). Then I check out dupes you provide, Christine, and try to consider if it really is something I have to have or if it’s a product for which I already have 1 or 2 (or even 5, sometimes) similar products. More and more, I try to give myself a bit of time as well to consider how much I “really” want/need it since even with most LE products (except UD’s Lannister Gold liner), things don’t sell out so quickly that I have to fall victim to “fomo”.

What was with those UDxGoT liners?!? I really wanted the Winterfell Snow liner but I never saw it in stores and it sold out so fast online — meanwhile, earlier this month I saw a whole stack of the GoT palette at a makeup outlet store!

I got mine in-store (Sephora) and they seemed to have only a few of each shade, but they were gone in a flash, both in-store and online, that’s for sure. I wish UD would re-release them – even with different names, if there’s an issue with using the GoT names. I’d gladly buy another Lannister Gold and the other one I got – The Night King, but Lannister Gold was the unique one.

90% of the time, I don’t buy anything until I’ve seen it favorably reviewed here 😉

Beyond that I consider whether it fills a hole in my current collection, how frequently I think I’ll use it, my opinion of the brand in general, price, how much I’ve spent on makeup lately, and if I have other colors in the same formula that I know work well for me.

-Does it fit in my beauty budget?

-Will it be on sale in the near future?

-Will I use it at least several times a month? I’m over buying “special occasion” makeup that only gets used a couple times a year at most

-Do I already own anything that is close in color/function?

Quite a few factors come into play when I choose to purchase something:
1.) It must fit my personal aesthetic and tastes.
2.) Also my coloring!
3.) The quality must be there. Preferably a B+ and above. I will be getting Nars Tanganyka because the C grade is primarily because it’s supposed to be sheer, but is actually quite pigmented and rich.
4.) It’s got to be different from what I already own. If not in shade, then it must have a very different finish. And yet, I still wind up with overlapping dupes of shades despite being very careful!

Question #1—Do I have dupes? If not, then I’ll probably buy it. If the answer is yes, then I’ll probably buy it anyway if I’m already obsessed with it. (Case in point: The many MLBB, fuchsia, red, and mauve lipstick shades in my collection.)

Question #2—Would these shades look good on me? If the answer is yes, then I’ll probably buy it. If not, then I’ll probably buy it anyway if I’m already obsessed with it. (Case in point: CP Uh Huh Honey, which is just so wrong for my skin tone, but I just had to have it anyway.)

Question #3—Does it cost more money than I should be spending right now? If not, then I’ll probably buy it. If the answer is yes, then I’ll wait for a sale. (Case in point: UD Born to Run Palette, which I bought at half price.)

1) Do I need it? Does it fit my lifestyle and aesthetics?
I only purchase new items to replace things I use up, so the first criteria is if I really need a back-up right now, or it can wait.

2) Are the ingredients good?
I check sites like beautypedia and cosdna to analyse the ingredients. I want to understand if the product is effective (not necessarily against the marketing claims, just for my needs), if it contains bad ingredients (generally, but also for safe ingredients that don’t work for me) and if it’s worth the price.
I won’t purchase

3) Reviews, lots of reviews
I try to get reviews from multiple perspectives and sources, to see how the product performs on different people, what’s the texture, the pigmentation, etc. I look for long and well documented reviews on retailer websites, skimming through the multitude of almost useless opinions (I could barely call most things `reviews`, as people don’t document their opinion properly, and brands usually `curate` reviews). I look at videos, check on popular reviewing websites, try to understand to good and the bad of the product.
I actually purchased products based on negative reviews, because the reviews were complex enough to understand that what didn’t worked for that person was exactly what works for me.

4) Price/sale
Although I prefer not to purchase replacement too far in advance (e.g. I usually buy it 1-3 weeks before my current product finished), a good sale might convince me. This criteria counts more for products with more shelf life, like powders or brow pencils. It counts less for liquid foundations or eye liners.

1. Does it fill a hole in my collection or is it a product I don’t mind owning infinite choices in (currently blush and lipstick)
2. Does it suit my coloring
3. Is it a limited edition release that is getting rave reviews
4. Do I feel as if the price is fair (if not, I’ll wait for a sale)
5. Am I so in love with it that it defies all logic*

*At the end of the day makeup is the fun part of my life and often how I reward myself. I work hard, and am doing fairly well financially, so if I cannot live without something it’s coming home with me, regardless of whether or not I “need” it 🙂

`5. Am I so in love with it that it defies all logic`
Totally makes sense even to me. 😆 But it’s more like `Products I want to love, that it defies all logic`; and for me it usually happens more with skincare/bodycare, than make-up. I purchased The Ordinary Peptides for Hair due to this logic… didn’t researched the studies on peptides for scalp, didn’t read the reviews… I just wanted to love this product so much… but it failed 100%.
But I purchased my Naked Smokey palette 4 or 5 years ago from Paris on the same criteria, and I had zero regrets. 😀

Recently I think of these questions and weigh the answers:

– What need does this fill in my collection?
– How will this fit into my everyday routine? Or, what occasions would I wear this?
– How fussy will the application be for this product?

– How will I store this; does it fit into the storage containers I own?
– Do I anticipate liking this better than something else in my collection (that I will now get rid of)

– How does the price point compare to similar products?

I’m currently on a no-buy until I use up everything I have unless:

– I’m head over heels can’t stop thinking about it have to have it


– Have nothing like it and it fills an immediate need


– can afford it.

Luckily, those first two criteria are very very rarely met so I should be good face product-wise.

Book-wise, I’m doomed.

I’m very comfortable in my skin and confident in my look so I don’t pay much attention to the actual reviews, media, buzz, etc. If I see a collection or individual product online that appeals to me, I’ll go check it out for myself. If it lives up to my expectations and is of good quality, I buy it. It’s not rocket science. I really like what Nancy T said in her response.

I normally only buy things on sale or with a promo code. Even my GoT x UD palette I got for %15 off. But I consider: Is it within my budget? Is it worth its retail price or is it inflated due to hype? Does it add to my collection? Can I get a variety of looks from it (if an eyeshadow palette)? Is it well reviewed? Will I use it often? How much space will it take up on my vanity and will it pack nicely for when I travel? Does it have a short shelf life? And finally, is it a brand I want to support?

Knowing myself, the first thing I ask myself is how badly do I want it? I know there are certain products, shades, that I just fall in love with immediately and I know when that feeling hits that I am going to get it one way or another and so I usually just go ahead and order it so that I know I am getting it at a reasonable price. Case in point: A few years ago the Guerlain Meteorites Holiday release was the very pretty pearls with the white stars and I loved it immediately. I have quite a few of the LE perles and should have jumped on it right away but I figured I would think about it for a couple of days. Well, it was sold out in a couple of days. I hunted for it daily for about 6 weeks and then ended up paying double the original price to get it on Ebay. Lesson learned. If I really, really want it, I buy it.
For other products I ask myself most of the same questions that everyone has mentioned here on the blog. Do I have dupes? Did it review well? Does it fit a hole in my collection? Will I actually use it? Example: I watched Lisa Eldridge’s most recent video where she used the loose pigments from Chaos Cosmetics. I immediately went and filled my cart with all of the pigments that she used and a few others. Then I waited a few days and realized that I would likely never wear them. They are such gorgeous duo-chromes and some have 4 shifts. Amazing looking. But at my age they are not likely to look that good on my crepey lids. So, I didn’t pick them up.

WHY am I drawn to this product? Can I see myself actually using it? How often?

Can I replicate the effect/result with what I already have? If I can, can I still justify this purchase? (Perhaps it’s a superior formula, or can simultaneously replace three different products).

Is accumulating this item worth it? Just bc it’s a reasonable price point is not a compelling reason to purchase: every dollar counts and every item accumulated goes towards your footprint. Also think of other things you want that you’re saving or budgeting for outside of beauty, is this item worth taking away dollars from those things?

Ingredients!! Am I sensitive to anything or is there anything sensitizing? (Alcohol is fine, fragrance and essential oils no).

Does it fill a hole in my collection? Is it good quality for the price? Seriously – do I need it? Because they’re more makeup than I could ever use in my collection.

When deciding to buy something new, I look to my stash to see what gaps I have and if I am ‘missing’ that particular shade(s) that I now currently love. For example, I am currently loving bronzey gold shimmers and whilst there are quite a few palettes that offer these shades, what also matters is the rest of the shades in the palette – would I use them?
Another factor is the accessibility and affordability of the product – can I see it for myself and swatch, is it reasonably price and above all, has Christine either swatched or reviewed it, so I can be sure of reasonably good quality.
For foundation and blushes – they absolutely have to work with my complexion, so swatching is essential.

If it’s a brand I buy from and I want it, I get it whether I ‘need’ it or not or have umpteen dupes. I am not sure I will ever use Pat McGrath Dark Star, Le Vie En Rose, Subversive or Subliminal palettes, but I still wanted to have them. I’d like to think I have a criteria but I don’t think it goes beyond OMG BRAND JUST RELEASED THE THING AND I HAVE TO HAVE IT.

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