How to Indulge Your Beauty Addiction and Still Pay Your Bills

It’s possible, guys.

By: Sable Yong

Have you ever looked at your checking account and then resentfully glared at your medicine cabinet, mentally tallying up the monetary cost of its contents? As someone who’s a bit of a product-hoarding junkie, beauty shopping is a hobby that definitely requires its own column in my personal budget. But there’s no greater bliss in my day than tending to my elaborate skin-care routine and taking time to do my makeup while getting ready for the day—no regimen is too excessive, give me all the steps! Skin is and probably always will be in, so consider it investing in yourself. Just, you know, invest smartly.

 

Prioritize Your Beauty Needs vs. Wants

This goes for the blowout addicts, gel manicure regulars, and the facial enthusiasts. Those big-ticket items will do the biggest damage to your beauty budget in one fell swoop. Do you really need a weekly blowout? I don’t know your life, but chances are you can live without some indulgences or find a way around it. That said, if you MUST have your monthly facial (that would be my pick too, honestly), lots of spas now offer memberships or package deals that cut the prices drastically on each individual visit. Same goes for hair salonssome offer a rewards system to comp a service after a certain number of visits. Keep your eyes peeled for discounts and promotions, and treat yourself accordingly.

 

Inform Yourself

Like all important things to our lives, ignorance is ultimately not bliss in the end (I don’t even know how that became a popular saying). How are you ever going to figure out the best skin-care or beauty product for you if you don’t actually know what you’re putting on your face? Rather than blindly trusting the very seductive marketing speak on product packaging, get familiar with some active ingredients that have worked for you in the past. That way you can suss out something that will likely work.

 

Be Patient

This is probably the most difficult for anyone with a product-hoarding problem. If you live for skin care, know that it takes about 28 days for your skin cells to turn over—the amount of time it takes to give a new routine or product a fair shake in whether it’s doing something. That isn’t to say that you’ll never see effects before 28 days. Everyone’s skin is different, so sometimes it takes that full cycle to truly see a difference. But nothing really happens overnight (so don’t believe any product that tells you it delivers that fast, no matter how much it costs). Introduce one product at a time to really assess what’s needed and what’s just fluff.

 

Keep Your Receipts

How many beauty products do you have and never use because you assume you can’t return them? Such a waste! Keep all your beauty-related receipts someplace you can find them so you can return that liquid liner pen that shorted out after just three uses. You’d be surprised at how many places take returns or offer store credit on used beauty products (seriously, almost all of them, even drugstores). Bonus: If you shop at places that offer member rewards, like Sephora or Ulta, you get a lot of perks on items you’d normally purchase anyway.

 

Don’t Bother with Travel-Sized Products

I get it, they’re cute and they’re waiting for you right near the register so your fight-or-flight instincts kick in and you’re likely to toss it in your basket right before the cashier calls “next guest!” But honestly, theres nothing wrong with requesting samples of products at most beauty shops (even if you’re pretty sure you’re not going to buy it and just want to try it to see what the hype is all about). We all do this. Depending on where you go, sometimes they really give you a nicely sized sample too, which is perfect for travel.

 

Make Friends with the Beauty Industry

When your product passion runs deep, you may as well just join the club. Like, literally, a club. Network with your fellow beauty aficionados—this includes the friendly salesperson at the beauty boutique, your makeup artist and hairstylist friends, and even beauty PR friends. Fostering genuine connections with people who share your love of beauty gives you the perks of sharing good company with those in high places (meaning places full of beauty products).

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