Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beauty Blogger & her Budget

A beauty blogger / enthusiast & her money are soon parted.....

Generally by the 20th of every month.

It is one of those drawbacks of makeup being a hobby, whether you beauty blog or not. It is not a economical hobby, like let's say writing or cleaning or observing nature or walking et al.

You need makeup in beyond basic shades like black, you need the professional tools like brushes. Plus there is a quite a learning curve associated with the art. It is only with trial and error that you learn about your skin undertones, your eye shape, colors that look good on you. What you can carry, and what you can't. Not to mention the number of trials it takes to get your foundation & concealer right.

While your chances of buying dud products is quite less with reviews these days, they also serve as the devil's apple, tempting you.

I'm not going to sit in censure here and condemn those who buy a lot of makeup every month - be it high end or drugstore. It is really your hard-earned money, and I feel that we are all adults and the best judge of what is good for us.


This post is more about how I budget for my makeup expenditure. I thought I would share these tips:

1. I have a fixed budget every month for skincare & makeup purchases. I generally keep aside 5% of my salary, and stick to this budget no matter what. For those of you who are not working, I guess you could keep aside 3 to 5% of the monthly budget.

2. I try to find products and shades I like in drugstore makeup as far as possible.

Some drugstore brands I like are Jordana, Bourjois, Faces, Colorbar, Lakme & Maybelline.  I resort to high end brands only when I know I won't find a comparable dupe in terms of color & quality in drugstore.

3. Take advantage of online sales.

Not only will you save time & money travelling, you will also find some really nifty deals online. Online sites also give you the advantage of walking away from the counter, so to say, and come back the next day if you feel equally strongly about the products. I do this quite a bit, select products to add to my cart, but I never order them right away. I take a week off, go read reviews & come back & order only if I feel equally strongly a week later about those products.

4. I never buy products just for reviewing purposes.

I buy a product because it interests me & I want to use it. Not because it is the latest launch and every other blog has a review therefore I should carry one too. You know where this leads right, you buy it, use it for few days to review, and then it languishes until you dig it out for a blog sale.

5. Read between the lines of the review as well. 

Take into consideration the lifestyle of the blogger. I once read a review for a face mask by this blogger, who raved & raved about it. It sounded so good, I also went & got myself a pack. While it was good, I didn't get the same earth shaking results as the blogger. I then went back & read some other posts by her and realized that she was a young mother to a four month old kid. Obviously she had been sleep deprived and hadn't really had the time to take care of her self. When she used this particular face pack, it worked wonders on her. But on me, who has the time to do follow a routine everyday, not quite the same results.

6. If you are based in Mumbai, there are plenty of discount stores to shop from. While I'm partial to Alfa (Irla) & New Beauty Centre (Khar), you could also visit either the Kandvali store or the one at Crawford market.

7. Once in a while, go on a detox diet.

Take a stock of your makeup possessions, throw away what is spoiling or expired. Giveaway what you won't certainly use to others. Sometimes we have really wonderful shades with us, but it becomes a case of "out of sight - out of mind". Just reorganizing your makeup, may sometimes curb that itch you are having to get that new lipstick!!

8. Go for smaller quantities.


Most beauty bloggers have small attention spans. We constant want to try the latest launch or a new color. I find that brands like Inglot are very useful here, especially when it comes to eye-shadows or lipsticks in their freedom system. Even beauty boxes are a good way to curb your budget and yet try out new products, however the beauty box scene in India, is still going through teething troubles.

9. For neutrals, hit the drugstore
I read this tip in a beauty book I have (can't remember the name now). Basically the author suggested that we get our neutral fixes in eye-shadows & lipsticks from drugstore and vibrant colors from high - end. Why? Well, she says that drugstore makeup is less pigmented and has a lot more fillers compared to high-end, as a result it sinks into the skin faster. If you were to use a vibrant shade from the drugstore, not only would you need to pile on a lot more to get the same effect, it would fade and wear off faster. But neutral makeup doesn't show fading as much and you can easily reapply without too much trouble.

10. At the end of the day, do what feels right


At the end of day, it is your money. Do what feels right to you. I am not one of those who advocate strict abstinence as I have realized that one often regrets not doing something, rather than having done something.

But at the same time, makeup is not worth going bankrupt over. There is a way of moderation, and you can have your cake & eat it as well.

So what are your tips to stay in budget? Do share!! I could do with some more :-)


49 comments:

  1. LOL!! about the 4 month old mommy..Nice post!! Straight to the point..and i m def following budget tips...and yes after wasting a few bucks on purchasing from "rave" reviews i've learnt my lesson

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    1. I have been budgeting myself since the last few months. I try & defer purchases until next month. And certain products like hair serum, conditioners & all - I don't buy a new bottle unless the older one is over. That way I at least don't have a pile up in the bathroom.

      Ohh, and don't talk about rave reviews, I have quite a few duds myself :P

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  2. hey tanveer nice post :) and yup i am sometimes totally guilty of going overboard with makeup shopping ;) but seriously after a couple of years of blogging i have now found my fav products and of course fav brands... hence have decided to only stick to those :P those this helps me curb my "insatiable" appetite for beauty products ;)

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    1. When I started blogging initially even I wld go overboard, but now I try to have more fun with what I already have instead.. and of course like you, I too stick to certain brands now.. :D

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  3. I'm so bad with this budget thing, though. But lately, I have been swamped by PR samples - which has taken any pressure from me to go out and buy things. In fact, I have so much stuff I haven't reviewed that I bought in my last haul.
    I agree with you, go on detox, it is REALLY important! You don't need to realize you can do FOTD's, and non review articles . But the good news is after a while you get tired of make-up (I may have reached that point). You eventually realize that there is more to life than just hauling on makeup.

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    1. PR samples are always nice - helps a beauty blogger keep the reviews going. And, yes, one does reach that point where not every shimmery thing you pick up is a "must have" :D

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  4. I am feeling pretty smug right now you know. :P I pretty much follow these guidelines and it feels nice to not feel guilty about over spending and all that .In any case it may sound boring but I am too much a control freak to lose sight of my expenses. :P

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  5. Lovely post Tanveer and very very helpful..me not working and so have to stick to a budget and I agree with u tat what works for others may not work for you..I like the tip about neutral eyeshadows..really helps..Thanks dear

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  6. I will tell you one! Most of the shopping is done on weekends so I started watching movies on both Saturday and Sunday. I paid for the tickets but the cost was still less than the shoes I would have bought had I been visiting malls/stores...it worked for me!

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    1. Hey! That's an excellent idea! :D.. but I gotta go grocery shopping on sunday :P

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  7. wow nice post Tanveer...!! i need to really follow these...

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  8. You know what! After the 1st two months of insane shopping (I started blogging 4 months back) even i've my own set of rules since the last two months.I buy only and only when i want something for myself.Not for review purpose.Now i think before buying, if i'll be able to use it properly after the review is done!I don't have a fixed budget but i set goals for myself.I've tonnes of products lying to be used and reviewed,so unless i do justice to them i am not getting anything...unless its a limited edition thing that i can't get afterwards. And i know what you mean by the new launches and all....i've certainly developed great resisting power in these last two months and i feel so proud when i don't get tempted by them. :P I also go through my stuff every now and then so that i know how much i already have....I even do the add to cart and wait thing like u. ;)

    pheeww! that was a long comment but since i can relate to this post, had to write. :P BTW i love ur to the point,practical posts. :)

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    1. Thanks Jyoti!! :D

      You are quite strong building such resistance within a few mnths. Took me quite some time to reach this level, I was quite crazy initially :D

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  9. awesome tips.. i have been failing last 2 months going overboard with my shopping but before that, I never bought things on impulse.. i always saw my stash, checked what I wanted and then only bought a product... helped big time...

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    1. Thanks! Amazing that you remember what you have!! I have in the past bought a lakme lipstick I already had coz I forgot :P

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  10. Thanks for sharing sis.Very helpful fof beginners like me:)

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  11. Good one! its very easy to become a hoarder with makeup...i mean how much space will a lipstick take up in a cupboard ? i have been guilty of hoarding lipsticks because right uptill now i have always been lipstick and kajal girl.And now i probably have all the possible shades of lipstick. my only redeeming factor here is i have only drugstore lipsticks.Since i started reading blogs, i have collected 5 eyeliners, 2 blushes ,brushes.2 eyeshadow palettes, 2 single ones in over a year.I find i only use few colors and e/s i don't even use everyday. i have no time while rushing to work. And my search for a great foundation is still on. i am very strict with myself now and don't buy on impulse. I wait it out in different ways. This i follow even with other things in my life. Its better than cluttering up and then throwing out. Infact, nowadays, nobody even takes used stuff off you !

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    1. I know.. these tiny things build up out of no where!! Your collection is still quite okay tbh. Lots of ppl have way more stuff than you :D..

      and yes, no one wants to buy used stuff, everyone is very conscious of hygiene these days :D

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    2. Oh i am not even talking abt buying ...nobody is ready to take stuff which doesn't suit me even free of cost !

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  12. oops..i didn't know beauty bloggers bought stuff just so they review/ write about it ! ..I used to think they got most stuff free,or samples from companies/PR...beauty blogging is after all a way to advertise too !

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    1. Not all beauty bloggers get products, and not all products reviewed by beauty bloggers are sent by the brand :D

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  13. Nice post Tanveer & I am with you. I don't buy products for review but for my personal use & I stick to those ethics. Ya but once in a while I love to pamper my self & go overboard which I find okay :)

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    1. Yes, it is perfectly fine to pamper oneself :D

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  14. Nice post Tanveer, very useful , its too easy to get overboard with makeup ..

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  15. There are some basic things I do, keep a list of banned items, as in those that i have too many of and still keep wanting more. For me it is lipsticks, so now I cannot buy lipstick no matter how cheap it is.

    List of items I am allowed to buy, such as powder blush , cream blush since I can see the bottom of the pan of one of them. And a separate list of products I am lusting after. I dont combine what I am allowed to buy with what I am lusting after, often this is the toughest job. I might lust after a fuchsia lipstick, and not have any in the shade, but that doesnt really mean I am allowed to buy it.

    I fix a sum of money say between 3- 5% on a yearly basis. As in I keep the sum aside and use it as and when I go makeup shopping. This way even if you have a wedding coming up , you wont cheat thinking let me splurge now etc etc. (Make an exception if it is your own wedding ofcourse)

    Other than budgeting, every time I find myself craving something, I look for DIY recipes for the same or similar product. That ends up keeping me from buying things on an impulse. If there is no DIY, there is definitely a dupe, and you may want to use the dupe till you can make up your mind about the product. I turn to Jordana for most of the dupes.

    Buy products that multitask, might make sense to buy a 3 in 1 stick if at all you are craving a foundation.

    And incentivise saving, i mean treat yourself to something (not makeup related otherwise you will defeat the point) if you stay in budget, say nice shoes, earrings, dress or even a head massage at the spa. Btw fix the budget of your treat otherwise it is a sure fire way of repeating the story of 'the straw that broke the camel's back'

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    1. Wow! I loved these tips!!

      Thanks a lot for sharing them here! :D..

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  16. even I don't buy products for review purposes unless and until I am strongly tempted to them and even I keep a percentage of budget aside and since I don't dabble in makeup, its a little less expensive for me :D but, then, if I want TBS or Lush, it does dry up my pocket. and, one can always prioritize in the products they use whether a drug store brand would be good or whether a high-end one will only do and that way, it will balance the pocket too.

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    1. Yes, I guess if even I stopped dabbling in makeup, budgeting wld get easier for me too!! :D

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  17. Loved the post Tanzz, totally agree about the budgeting part,as much I love makeup I'd love to have a nice nest egg,rather than retire to a room full of lipstick & blushes!. My tip-spend the most of the product you wear most and as far as eyeshadows go- stick with palettes they are by far more economical

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    1. Yes! Good tip, even I don't use my products completely.. so I cld do that a lot more :D

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  18. lovely post Tanveer, i have had my days of shopping like insane, now i am back to sanity :)

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  19. Gr8 post Tans..last year I realized i was going overboard...in a really crazy manner so I started monitoring my expenditure in an excel sheet....within 3mts i realised y i wasnt able to shop for anythin!!! Now id like to think m on my way to getting wiser...Shopping is such a high for me...may it be for clothes, makeup, shoes....its so hard to curb the urge!!!took me quite a while to steady myself....its like an addiction...and not the gud kinds!

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  20. Enlightening post Tanveer..me commenting on ur blog for the first time..couldn't stop myself from doing so!!I had my rules set even before I started blogging and thats when I named the blog "Budget"Belleza..hehehheehe..I hope the name says it All!!!!!

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    1. hey great blog title indeed.......:)

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  21. Very useful tips! thanks! Am gonna dig up my stash today and make a note on my stocks :)

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  22. Thanks for this post....sensible indeed.....We really need to be mature and splurge on makeup by putting in thought

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  23. hi tanveer...first comment on your blog. love your very practical posts! and congratulations for the cosmopolitan feature!

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  24. hi tanveer - my first comment on your blog. love your very practical posts! and congratulations on the cosmopolitan feature! have become a regular at your blog now!

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  25. Hi tanveer...my first comment on ur blog. love your practical posts! and congratulations on the cosmopolitan feature!

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  26. this is one of your best posts tanveer...love it...
    i have just started my makeup journey and i feel that i have spent a lot already when all i bough is some basic stuff...i soo like this concept of 5% spending...will follow that...

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  27. I loved this article. We share the same thoughts of not buying a product for reviewing purposes and to keep all this to the least. I have to exert some self control though!

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  28. You are so right!! budget is so important. I manage to keep it most of the months but sometimes it goes haywire!
    I realised it works best when I have a list of what I need like if my kajal is getting over, then that's top of my list. I include even skin care like face wash, body wash into the budget. I feel it's important esp since makeup isn't the only thing I like shopping for. So I have a budget for clothes and accessories as well. If i splurge in one area, then I cut another one. It;s like a punishment!! and if I spend less than budget then I use the extra money to buy something special the next month.

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  29. Hi! landed on your site while looking for Eyeconic mascara reviews and stumbled on to this post. Has to be one of the most sensible posts I've read on make up. Till May last year I had exactly one lipstick and one kajal. Then I started reading blogs and I went berserk buying everything that was reviewed. I would spend days googling for the best discounts to build a 'collection' - thankfully now sanity has prevailed and but I still have to finish that that I got!
    Avina

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