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I have a confession to make. I'm a shopper. A big one. Interestingly enough, I am also a minimalist and I hate clutter and excess things that I don't use taking up space in my house. This has meant that over the past twelve months I have probably done three or four big clean outs and gotten rid of things that I don't need/use, I even had myself on a shopping ban for a while there...

I now feel like I am making much better decisions on how I spend my money. Particularly when it comes to beauty products (which used to be my downfall), I am shopping smarter, and really love everything I have bought lately.

Here are some of my shopping tips for buying beauty products:

1. Know Your Skin:
This probably seems fairly obvious but if you are really familiar with your skin, choosing products that suit you will be so much easier. The most obvious example would be buying skincare, but it also helps if you know what kind of formulas that will work with your skin when buying makeup. Whether or not you need oil based or water based, if your skin prefers liquid, cream or powder products, how essential a primer or setting powder is for you, the list goes on... If you are unsure here is a quick quiz that will help you work it out. 

2. Keep an eye on ingredients:
Knowing which ingredients your skin likes/dislikes makes shopping so much easier. If you are unfamiliar with what all the ingredients mean, just start making a list, or easier still, taking photos of the ingredient list of products that your skin doesn't like so you can see if there is some common things in them that might be irritating you. I have managed to narrow mine down to a few key ingredients, and there are some products I will just now avoid, Eve Lom and MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation, I'm looking at you...

3. Do Your Research:
For me, this is the exciting part! Read blogs, Google swatches of makeup products you like, watch YouTube videos, ask the lady who gives you your facials, and do all this well before you hit the stores.  Having an idea of things that you think you would like to try makes navigating the sometimes overwhelming beauty departments a whole lot more enjoyable. I also find it makes me slightly (and I mean very slightly) more resistant to the friendly sales staff...

4. Talk to the people selling:
This may seem to contradict my last point a little, but once you are in whatever store you're headed to, if you find yourself unsure, ask for advice. I don't mean to say that once the sales lady tells you that you will look amazing in blue mascara and fuchsia lipstick that you should throw all good sense out the window, but having a conversation about products and colours can make you a little more open to trying new things, some of the best products I have ever tried have been at the recommendation of sales staff and I am very glad I listened. At a recent Hourglass event I ended up getting a lipstick colour unlike anything I own. It's a bright coral/orange (see my face chart from the event above) and without the advice of an experienced make up artist, it would have been a colour I never would have dreamed of putting on. And I love it!

5. Know where to spend vs. splurge:
This will be different for everyone as each person's priorities tend to differ a little, but deciding the things that you are willing to spend a little more money on and the products you want to save on can be really useful. I plan on doing a more in-depth post on this but, for me, the splurging generally happens with skincare and foundation, and the savings is generally with eye makeup, lip products and hair/body products, with the exception of my new lipstick which was a little treat to myself... And I definitely support treating yourself sometimes on something totally gorgeous that will make you feel amazing!

6. Ask for samples:
This is something I have only started doing lately and now I am wondering why it took me so long to do. If there is a product that you think you would like to try but are not quite willing to commit to, ask for a sample pot. If it is a liquid product, it can go in a sample pot, and I mean everything; cleaners, masks, moisturisers, foundations, eye creams, primers, the options are endless! This is also a nice way of getting out of committing to something expensive if you're not sure, a smile with an "oh that looks great, could I get a sample pot to try over the next few days?" is a great way of avoiding committing big $$ as we all know some beauty products are... And usually the sample pot is enough for you to decide whether or not it is something worth you going back for.

8. Return/Exchange:
Sometimes, even the best researched products can not work out the way we plan. If your skin has a reaction to a product and you can't use it, take it back. This was not something I had ever dreamed of doing but during a facial at a Mecca Cosmetica store one day I was mentioning to the girl that I had recently tried the Eve Lom cleanser and reacted badly. She was amazingly helpful, she gave me two full sample pots of another one she thought I might like and told me that if it worked I should bring the other one back and swap it over. Outstanding customer service! Obviously this is not the ideal situation and I do try to avoid it but sometimes the skin wants what it wants and it's nice to know that this option is there.

I feel so much better about my spending habits recently. I really like having less things taking up space and knowing that I use and appreciate the things that I do have.

What are your beauty/fashion/accessory shopping tips? I'm always trying to make better decisions with my money, I think I might be growing up...

Zoe xx


5 Responses so far.

  1. Megan says:

    Great tips! I think I need to be more confident and ask for help from sales assistants or ask for samples - definitely something I am going to try harder at.

  2. Rachi says:

    Agree with Megan, great post! I hate shopping for beauty products and hate asking for help so I always tend to stick to just restocking when I run out of a product rather than being interested in trying something new. You've inspired me to change my ways! xx

  3. Adele says:

    I love the idea of asking for samples - I am definitely going to start doing that more often!

  4. Those are some of the best tips! I've always been a little bit shy about asking for samples, but I had just a great experience at Lush once, I've now created a giant list that I want to buy the next chance I get!

  5. Great tips! Most I follow exactly! Have you ever come across any skin tightening treatments like a mineral soaking bath that is supposed to help reduce sagging and loose skin?

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