What is your process before making a purchase?

I ask myself these questions: 1) do I have time to review it, 2) is it worth reviewing, 3) are there more important things to review prior to this, and 4) can I delay the purchase until I’m closer to being able to review it.

— Christine
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I ask the following questions:

1. How many hours/minutes of salary will this item cost me?

2. How many dupes do I already own? If more than one, I do not buy the item unless I get rid of the excess dupe(s).

3. Is there something in my makeup collection I am willing to part with to make room for this item?

4. Is this an impulse buy? As a test, I place the item on my electronic shopping cart. If I still remember it a week later and still want it, then I buy it.

5. Did Temptalia review it? If a drugstore item, it must have received a least a B; if more expensive, it must have received at least A-minus from Temptalia.

6. Is this a color that truly flatters me or one that I wish did but really doesn’t (e.g., I love how coral looks on others, but it does nothing for me)

7. Did the product receive favorable reviews from women in my age group, or do only teens like it?

If a potential buy can survive this level of scrutiny, then it is a winner. I’d rather just buy it than obsess over it for weeks.

Your number 1 is inspiring to me. I need to cut back on my spending (I have a birthday trip and a wedding to save for) but I have not tried converting my dollars into how much time at work it would cost me to make that amount. Thanks!

Your no. 1 reminds me of the film “Human” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand that I watched a couple of years ago, a film on human condition as perceived by people all over the world. I wrote down some quotes from the film, among which is this one:

“Since we have invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow. If it fails to increase, it’s a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old, that’s a waste of our lives. When you buy something, you’re not paying money for it. You’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money. The difference is that life is one thing that money can’t buy.”

Here are my three regular processes in the order of smartest to dumbest:

(1) I see a product online and look up the reviews, including watching videos of the product in action. I look through my stash to see if I can duplicate it. I try to imagine how often I’d really use the product and spend a little energy trying to talk myself out of it. If I still want it, I swatch it in the store to see it in person, unless it’s an online product, in which case I just go ahead and buy it. My success rate of winding up with a product I really like is about 95%.

(2) I’m in a store and see a product that looks good. I look up the Temptalia review on my phone to help make my final decision. (But sometimes I can talk myself out of it so I can go home and do further research, which is the smarter way to go.) My success rate of winding up with a product I really like is about 90%.

(3) See-Swatch-Spend: In other words, I see a product in a store, swipe a little onto my hand, and buy it without doing proper research. I am more likely to do this with lipstick. My success rate of winding up with a product I really like is about 70%. I try not to do this.

– Is it on anywhere on my list (I keep a next / later / revisit later list).

– If not, why am I considering it and do I have it already in some form

– Has Temptalia reviewed

– Do I have room in this month’s budget to buy this.

Then occasionally, there’s a “I deserve some fun” factor that kicks this good thinking aside, like: right now, work is so stressful and frustrating that I need either a margarita, chocolate or a lovely new lipstick. I expect to choose the lipstick. And that’s ok.

“OOOOOHHHHH PRETTY NEW SPARKLY THINGY” pretty much sums it up. If it’s a brand I buy from, chances are I’ll be getting it. Or at least it used to be that way. Lately though I’ve not been buying much. The MAC Mirage Noir and last 2 Chanel quads, were normally things I would have bought first and looked at later, but I think I’m slowing down.

Even though it may be very easy to fall in love with something in its promo pics or at swatches, I then ask myself several key questions:
1.) Do I already own dupes for whatever it is, or is there something otherwise redundant about it? Or does it actually fill a void in my stash?
2.) Am I being swayed by initial hype for it or do I truly love it enough to make really good usage of it?
3.) Is it in my budget? Is it worth the price quality wise?
Recently, I’ve really had to take a long, hard look at new collections/ products/ brands. Because at this point, my stash is nearly unmanageable. Time to become a highly discriminating consumer! Won’t be easy, I know.

1. Can I dupe it with something already in my stash?
2. Are there other products in the same category (for example, foundation or a setting powder), that aren’t exactly a dupe but that I am wishing to spend more time with?
3. Am I willing to put it on my wishlist, preferably for a month but at least for a week? (This prevents many impulse purchases for me.)
4. Am I willing to wait for a review?
5. If it is LE, am I willing to risk the possibility of missing out on this particular product, knowing the brand will no doubt be releasing the next big thing a few months down the road? In other words, can I hold off purchasing now knowing something equally enticing will come along later?
6. One of my main priorities with my makeup collection is to have time to really enjoy the products I have already purchased. The question then becomes, will what I’m about to purchase compromise my ability to enjoy what I already have?
7. Do I really want it? If I have been hankering for a specific item for an extended period of time and it’s within my budget to purchase it, then I will usually purchase it.
8. I guess this should have been earlier in the list, but can I afford it?
9. Will buying this item prevent me from buying something else I wanted more? (I am, after all, on a budget, and I don’t want to throw my money at impulse purchases and miss out on the items I really want.)
10. Do I feel settled about this purchase or am I struggling to pull the trigger? I have learned to hold off on purchases that make me uncomfortable because I don’t enjoy feeling regretful. If I don’t feel okay about hitting the purchase button, I don’t purchase.
11. Do I need an impulse purchase? As you can tell by reading my list of questions, I give careful thought to my purchases. But sometimes I need to purchase something unplanned, just for the sheer joy of seeing something beautiful and taking it home on the spot, without looking at reviews or researching or whatever.
12. Do I trust the company?
13. Is it appropriate to my needs? (For example, will it work with my skin type, skin tone, etc.)
14. If I am reading reviews, I ask myself why do the people who love the product love it and why do the people who hate the product hate it? Am I more similar to those who love it or hate it?
15. Am I okay with the ingredients?
16. If it’s skincare, will it fit in with my priorities for my skin? It may be the most-hyped moisturizer on the market right now but if it doesn’t have any of the ingredients I want on my skin (antioxidants, peptides, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, Retin a, sunscreen) or it contains things I don’t want on my skin, it isn’t the right product for me. Another question related to skincare is, do I already have a better product? If I’m using a top rated vitamin c serum and it’s working great for me, I don’t need another vitamin c serum.
17. Am I willing to play with my stash to see if I can create something similar? This really works well with lipstick colors. I have well over 100 lipsticks, liners, and glosses, and if I’m honest, I may be beyond 200. Sure, I may not have the exact color that catches my eye, but I definitely can play with what I have to see how close I can get. I used to think this was disappointing (wouldn’t it be more fun to just buy a new lipstick?) but now I find I love the process of digging through mu goodies to create something new and many times what I create is better than what I wanted to buy in the first place.

1. Check ingredients: if not published: no. Cross reference Cosdna, EWG, Paula’s ingredients dictionary. (Primarily for chem sunscreen and its cousin benzyl salicylate, which is in many fragranced products, as the most common use is as a fragrance modifier rather than an spf). 2. Check here for dupes and apply 2 dupe rule: 2 over 90%, forget it. (But I still resent missing Hell Gate for that reason.). 3. Check T and/or Muse for reviews. Google for swatches, rarely video reviews. 4. Price per oz, packaging, LE vs perm. 5. See instore, if available. Since # 1 can be so time consuming, once a formula is ‘vetted,’ tend to get it over and over again. And that’s why an oversized train case is filled with Nars lip and cheek. Horrified myself.

1. Do I need it? Personally, I don’t need every colour /formula under the sun as I pretty much know which ones suit me and use on a regular basis. There’s no point in having products that I use once or twice a year. I love makeup but I see it more like a useful/enhancing tool, therefore I keep my collection limited.
2. Ingredients & where the product is made.
3. Does it cover a gap in my stash? (i.e. better formula, in which case I discard the old product that does not work so well for me).
4. Quality over quantity.
5. Do I plan to buy it as part of collector’s item? (i.e. UD x Basquiat collection).

1. Has Christine reviewed it and how did it score?
2. Is it a product that will work for me? Right shade, finish, etc.
3. Do I have close dupes that I actually like and use? I have dupes but they aren’t necessarily a good formula, close enough shade or the right texture.
4. How badly do I really want it? Want it, want it badly, can’t live without it, must have it, buys it.

It really depends upon the product and the price.
If it’s an eyeshadow palette, it will be about whether the shades are those I would love and use, has Christine given it a great rating, do I have dupes, can I purchase it here in Aus and is it expensive. Then I will think about it.
All my other beauty staples: blush, mascara, eye brow pencil and even foundation – I just use one or two at a time and repurchase when I really need to.

I ask:
1.) Do I like it?
2.) Can I afford it?
3.) How are the reviews?
4.) Will I still like it and have use for it in the next couple of years or do I just want it because it is being hyped and I have fomo?
5.) If I put this in my cart and wait for a week or two do I still want it?
If all the above line up then odds are I will purchase the item.

Right now I feel I have everything I need and more so I’m holding back on purchasing anything but I usually buy on impulse many times I will check swatches on YouTube for cool/fair skin. Swatches are important to me more than whatever anyone says since I find very few to be honest giving reviews if they are going to put cash in their pockets and who doesn’t need anyways. I have about every shade I like but tempted to try more always. I know by now what suits me or not clearly. An example, I wanted to buy the Milani strobe highliter which is supposed to be peach/gold it looks pretty! But I already have Precious Petals from my dearest WetnWild and it is gorgeous so there I was able to avoid another crazy impulsive purchase, I’m really out of space and don’t want to add a thing unless I really need to. Mostly at drugstores I act on impulse just to try a new thing ‘curiosity killed this cat’ oh look at that pretty box and if it shines the better! Lol! I have very few high end those I will research it more carefully and give more time to decide. Although drugstore is reaching very near Sephora prices no doubt! I need to keep those lists some of you have written here and apply them like a sticker on my forehead. I think I been stronger lately. and be able to walk away. Or put those list on a thick paper attached to a rubber band as a headband and pull that thing every time I get a naughty idea to yet buy one more lipstick, blush, eyeshadow palette…oh those highliters just secretly call my name! The Maybelline pink and peach shades God knows how many times I have adored those round cases in my hands but I’m afraid they are too blinding so I’ll wait for a sale and jump to it! Lol!

1. Is it Cle de Peau or Hourglass? No? Well, then why bother?
Honestly, I love looking at all these new releases and all “teh purty colors” but I’ve just been disappointed too many times.

I don’t have a system/process, but I should.

I’ll bite: generally, If it contains colours I love (I’m particularly lured by palettes and nude pink lippies of all sorts). I don’t like individual shadows, glitter shadows, or quads, myself.
I usually look for online reviews, generally you’ve reviewed it, or there are a couple of videos–some beauty gurus are more reliable than others for *upfront* honesty.
Even if a couple of the colours are dupes (and generally I have dupes for them), I consider the travelling I do for work, and will one palette be easier than three for my carry-on, I’ll purchase the new model.
I do use all of my palettes, a colour here and there, but it is getting to be a space issue now.

I don’t bite: when half the colours are not my cuppa.
Too dark, too warm, too glittery, for example–I never use them, so I don’t bite.
When it’s going to be a struggle to get the item to Canada, without buying additional items for minimum shipping and or/free shipping.

I see it, I want it, I buy it…if it’s an affordable brand. If it’s a higher end brand, I put it in my Ulta or Sephora faves list, then when I’m ready to make a buy, I give myself a budget, go through that list and pick out things I really want until I hit the pre-decided spending limit.

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