If you have been following the blog for a while (or me on Instagram) then you probably know I’m a skincare/makeup addict and product junkie. I love learning about new products and there have been times I’ve had to talk myself down and rationalize why I don’t need a product in my life – which is sometimes difficult! There are temptations all over social media which makes it easy to buy things you really don’t need or isn’t already in the budget. The beauty world is not the only area where this happens (electronics, anyone?), so I know I’m not alone (whew!).
On Instagram a couple of months ago someone that I follow (we’ll call her Beth) posted concerns about blogging on IG and how much it can influence readers. She brought up some very good points. I think Beth was surprised by the way her post received so many positive comments from others and the conversation it created (the conversation actually inspired this blog post). Many of us realized we weren’t alone in how we were feeling about the influence of some posts on social media (FaceBook, Twitter, IG, etc.).
Most of the blogs and social media that I follow are beauty related and range from product brands to natural skincare, Korean Beauty, estheticians, and people who have educated themselves on skincare. They’re knowledgeable and informative which make them my favorites to follow. I love to read product reviews and posts of skincare and makeup routines. It’s easy to get excited about a product or brand and make an impulse purchase. There are sales, gifts with purchase, the feeling that if so many people have this product then I should have it, and a million other reasons to feel the pressure to buy. But ultimately this urge to buy something is on me – not social media. It’s called having control.
Here are a few tips I’ve either learned from that conversation or common sense steps I’ve used to reduce my purchases:
1. Keep a list. If I read a review on a product and think surely I need that product in my life then it goes on my list. I don’t have a specific waiting period before I make a final decision. It really depends on the product. Right now we’re going into warm weather a little early and my skin will become oily, so I’m not going to purchase hydrating products that I won’t use until winter.
2. I try to Sample Before I Buy. I know that’s not always easy to do (see #3 for one suggestion on how to get samples for free). There are times when I want to try something but the brand isn’t sold in my area. In this case I will look for travel/trial/sample kits that I can purchase for a low price. Sometimes these are on the brand’s website, sometimes on other websites. Stores that are really good about giving samples are Neiman Marcus, Sephora and Nordstrom (they are in my area, there may be other stores in your areas). If they don’t have a sample of what you’re looking for ask them if they will be kind to make one for you. Note: while this is a courtesy and does not require you to purchase that product if you decide you like it I strongly suggest that you do. When you go back to that person and tell them hey, I loved the sample and now I’m ready to purchase the product, if they don’t remember giving you the sample no big deal. Because they’ll remember the next time you ask for a sample.
3. Using a good Sales Associate (SA). While some SA’s are pushy there are others who know that’s not the way to make a sale. Good SA’s build a relationship with you, give you a heads up when a sale or event is around the corner, are happy to drop your order in the mail (even if you’re in the same city), give you samples, and are willing to suggest a product from more than one line/brand. There are other benefits but these are the most important to me. I’m the customer but I ask them questions as well. I have SA’s that I work with at Neiman Marcus, Saks and Barneys. Before you judge me…I can only afford the items in the Beauty department! *Note: If I sample something that the SA gives me, I will purchase it from them to show loyalty (loyalty has become soooo under-rated).
4. Gift With Purchase – remember the list? Wait to make a purchase when there’s a good GWP on a website or in a store (the SA relationship comes in handy here).
5. 1 in 1 out – I’m not good at practicing this one. I’m actually quite terrible. Some people follow this rule. They don’t buy something unless they run out of a product or are about to run out.
6. No Buy Month – take a month (or a set period of time) where you do not buy anything. Some people did this during February (including myself) and posted it on IG. One person started and several others jumped on board (if you know you will have to post what you’ve purchased then you’ll think twice about spending the money!). During this time use only what you have. The only reason to purchase something is if you run out and it needs to be replaced. I recommend avoiding anything that’s a trigger for you like a particular website. This is the perfect time to begin the rule of making a list and thinking about it before buying.
I recently read a post on a blog (The Maple Tree) about Korean Beauty and beauty hauls (read the post here) that is a good read. She talks about some of the same things I did, but she goes a little deeper so you might find it interesting.
I hope the tips were helpful, and for those who are impulse buyers or easily baited by product reviews (and the photos that accompany those reviews!) you’re not alone!
Do you have any ideas on how to have some self control? What is your weakness or trigger to buy something? I’d love to hear from you!
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* Note: photos are products I’ve purchased, many were impulse. I’m a work in progress. Ha ha