Confession: I am a recovering makeup addict. I’ve talked a little bit about it before, but no, seriously, I used to have a problem.
Back when Erik and I first got married, we set up a monthly family budget, and one of the line items was “Personal Care.” You know, haircuts, body wash, that sort of thing. And there was another one called “Miscellaneous.” And every month, I would max out both. Eventually, Erik asked me what I was buying because neither one of us had gotten haircuts in awhile, and well, we had run out of body wash. The answer?
Because it wasn’t simply that I liked makeup, or even liked owning a lot of makeup, the truth was that I was COLLECTING makeup. And having watched more than my fair share of makeup videos on YouTube, I know that there’s a lot of people out there who are just like me.
So if you started reading this post, looking for how to save money the next time you do buy makeup, then this isn’t the article for you, but if you are looking for how to overcome your makeup addiction, or at least how to tame it, then read on.
The key to overcoming my makeup addiction was setting up rules for myself.
And no, I don’t simply mean the “no buy” rule I see people impose for a month or two. That doesn’t work, because once the allotted time is up, nine times out of ten, you are back to your old ways. What I mean, are rules that you operate under for forever. And the more rules you impose on yourself, the more restricted your makeup purchasing options will become.
So here you go, here are Mama Millason’s Makeup Rules:
Buy makeup that is only natural or organic.
Natural is an ambiguous term while organic, especially certified organic, is a lot more specific. Define what natural means to you and stick to it. Does it mean an Environmental Work Group (EWG) rating of 6 or less? 2 or less?
The EWG rates makeup and skincare in the following way:
1-2 Low Hazard
3-6 Moderate Hazard
7-10 High Hazard
The lower the number is that’s acceptable to you, the fewer cosmetics you will have to choose from. All of my makeup is scored 3 or less. This rule alone dramatically reduces the number of options I have when it comes to purchasing cosmetics. To read more about the EWG’s rating policy and to look up the ratings of various products, go here.
Wait 30 days.
To eliminate impulse purchases, I have created this rule. If I am in a store, reading a blog post, or flipping through a magazine, and I see something I want, I make a note of it. And then I wait. If I still want that item after 30 days, then I allow myself to get it. Sometimes, I am still really interested in whatever it was, but most of the time, I am indifferent.
Buy makeup that is on sale.
Sometimes I will choose to wait longer than 30 days, especially when I know that there is a sale coming up. For instance, I have a list of items that I have really wanted for quite some time now, but I have put them on a list to buy when Sephora has their VIB sale (which starts November 11th!). I have been saving up money for months now to get ready for this purchase, so I have exactly the right amount ready to spend. No more. No less.
Quick aside: To maximize my savings even more, I always log onto Ebates first, and then link to Sephora from there. That way I save an additional 4% on top of what I save through the VIB sale. If you haven’t signed up for Ebates yet, you really need to!
Only buy one of each shade.
This is where I really struggled in the past. If a company had 30 different taupe eyeshadows, I felt like they were telling me that I had to have all 30. I mean, they all had to be slightly different, right? Otherwise, they wouldn’t have made them. The same was true for nude lippies or peachy-pink blushes. But then I realized that even though I could tell the difference between that YLBB liner and another, 99% of the people I wore makeup around never could. And so now I only allow myself to only buy one of each thing: one champagne eyeshadow, one bronzer, etc.
Only buy from one company.
This rule comes and goes, but I sometimes find that if I only allow myself to purchase cosmetics from one company, it reduces my choices even more. Plus, how nice does it look to have all the items on your vanity coordinate?
So there you go! The five rules that, over time, helped me overcome my makeup addiction. The other day, my husband and I were walking down a street that had five (5!) different makeup stores on it. Erik said randomly, “You used to love going into those stores, but now you never do.” His words made me so proud! Because you see, believe it or not, I think I love makeup even more now than I used to. Now, I love what little I have because I was selective about those purchases, and they make me happy. Back then, I bought makeup compulsively because it controlled me. Most of it, I didn’t even like very much.
Now I want to hear from you! How do you control your makeup purchases? What has worked for you? What hasn’t?
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