“Hi I’m Eve and I’m a makeup addict”. Welcome to M-AA folks (Makeup Addicts Anonymous). So this isn’t the most glamorous or visually appealing blog post I’ve ever done but it’s valuable info I have learnt to save me plunging into a pool of debt whilst still looking F-A-B. If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll have seen I had a fabulous week in Italy living my best life. I spent a whole week spending all the yo-yos (euros) and blissfully ignoring the “Check your balance” option at all the ATMs. After coming home, it was time to face the music. Oh baby. I considered booking a cheeky wee trip in July to keep my summer spirits up and my bank balance outright laughed in my face. Scary biscuits. It’s a tough life for a girl who has an expensive spending habit but simultaneously has zero dolla. As a result, I’ve compiled a list of tips that I (attempt to) live by so that I can enjoy my makeup spending whilst not having to sell my kidney on the black market.
Get to the finish line
Seems kinda obvious but try actually finishing a product before you buy another extremely similar one. I hands up and admit I struggle to do this, especially when it comes to foundation, if a new one has come out, I have to try it. I have tried to be smart about this though, I’m an oily skinned girl so have a lot of full coverage, matte foundations that I love. If another one appears on the market, I wait until I’ve finished at least one before buying it. It is agonising at times but it does save you dropping £40 on something you could have used on something more practical, you know, like food.
Do ye have any samples?
The dreaded question all counter girls hate hearing. I worked on counter for years and resented all the customers who only visited in order to loot the sample drawer. However, giving out samples was also a great way to get customers back and spending. For all the times I begrudgingly handed out sample pots I feel I’ve earned the right to hunt them out now. Don’t be afraid of getting samples if you’re genuinely interested in a product (don’t worry, we can tell if you’re legit). Your hard earned cash is precious so it’s only right that you try and test a product before you take the plunge and buy it. Have a conversation with the consultant, get their opinion on if the product will work for you and if you think it will, get a sample. They’ll appreciate it even more if you try it, love it, and come back to buy it. I know I did.
Do your research
If a new product has caught your eye then read up on it. Scan through various blogs, magazine articles and YouTube videos. I spend hours on YouTube before I purchase a product as I like to see people’s first impressions and reactions. You’ll quickly be able to assess if this product is for you or not. I find this particularly useful when considering purchasing from American brands online where you’re unable to go into a store and play with it yourself. When buying from US sites, the delivery + custom tax charges almost amount to the price you paid for the product itself so you need to be certain that it’s right for you.
I very rarely buy anything full price. I have enough patience to wait for a sale to begin before I purchase any beauty products. Sales in department stores are less frequent but look out for the Debenhams 15% off sale which usually occurs twice a year, right before Christmas and summer. Drugstores usually run 3 for 2 offers which are always worth it. Sign up for newsletters from beauty sites like BeautyBay and CultBeauty, they regularly run 15-25% off sales and email you ahead of time to tip you off on upcoming offers. They also provide free delivery on orders over £15 and throw in some free samples too! Better still, around your birthday they ping you a discount code. Get in.
I’m a sucker for a loyalty card and my purse is overflowing with cards I probably don’t need (Holland and Barret, bought a multivitamin once). Some of them are a bit redundant but my all-time favourite is the Boots Advantage Card. You get 4 points for every pound you spend and they regularly hold events where for every £50 you spend you receive £10 of points etc. They also give you booster vouchers for double points. I save all my points up then buy something really expensive that I need, at a time when I really don’t have the cash. Like a £70 serum (Advanced Night Repair – always and forever). There’s something extremely satisfying about walking out of a shop with an item you technically didn’t pay for and not in fear of being arrested.
Will I stop needlessly buying M.A.C. lipsticks when I really need to buy groceries? Probably not, but that’s what the end of day reduced shelf in M&S is for. Luxury Thai fishcakes for 95p? Yes please. My life is nothing if not glamorous.
Until next time my fellow junkies,
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For Instagram posts of my work and general makeup loveliness see @decidedlyeve