On average women spend £2,000 a year on cosmetics and the UK beauty industry is worth around £15 billion. That’s a lot of money on lipgloss. I know for a fact when it comes to makeup, I loose all self-control; I can’t stop myself going into Boots or Superdrug and seeing the makeup displayed all neatly together in colour order. However, every time I surrender and have a shopping outburst I feel guilty, as I know I have drawers of unloved or forgotten makeup I don’t use. I think almost every girl gets the exhilarating feeling after shopping and going home with something new; that feeling can become addictive, making us always go back for more even if we don’t need it. I’ve tried spending bans (my record was one week,) and I’ve actually purchased a product and later realized I’d already bought it and forgotten about it. I even thought that maybe I should freeze my debit card in a block of ice like in Confessions of a Shopaholic. It’s fair to say that money burns a hole in my pocket… But no more! It’s time to put my foot down – and I think some of you girls that have the same issue should join me. I’ve decided to hide my debit card and find my lost makeup.
I rummaged, delved and dug into old bags, drawers and boxes in my room, knowing that somewhere I’d come across a treasure trove of unloved makeup… And sure enough I did! In an old bag I found a cosmetics case filled with a whole bundle of goodies, including blusher, foundation, and mascara – the whole works, and almost all of it brand spanking new. I suddenly didn’t need to go buy more makeup; I knew I had everything I needed already! If you did the same and had a rummage around in your makeup collection deeper than the five products you use every day, think of what you could save and what treasures you could rediscover. Although today’s economy is getting a little better, ever since the ‘Credit Crunch’ some things have been that little bit more expensive, so it’s worthwhile spending a little time being thifty. What’s not to love…? You could find brand new products that you’d forgotten about, or rediscover old favourites that mean you don’t need to spend!
Obviously this advice comes with an air of caution: if you find makeup that you’ve not used in years, it’s probably past it’s PAO number (the little jar on the side that tells you how long cosmetics are ‘good’ for after they’ve been opened) and just won’t be too good for your skin. But you never know what you could find: nothing ventured nothing gained! If you really want to stop the spending, then it can take a lot of willpower to do so overnight… Here are my top tips for introducing that spending ban.
1. Have something to save up for. I know it sounds silly, but I found it made me more determined and gave me a little bit more self-control if I had a clear target in mind. Maybe it’s a new dress, a designer handbag or a weekend away with your mates…. Every little helps.
2. Decide on a time span. Know how long you’re initially planning on saving for; it helps to have a date in mind as it just makes it that little bit easier to work towards if there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I found I was a lot less likely to give in when I had a specific time frame, as cutting out something indefinitely is near enough impossible.
3. Stay away from shopping sites. This I found was my downfall; looking at online beauty destinations is never helpful and one click is enough to make you lose self-control. I found myself trying to justify it by saying “Oh it was only £4.00” but I now know I was only cheating myself… Those little £4.00 purchases soon build up.
Hopefully this advice will help you as much as it helped me. The key is just to try to be as disciplined as possible, and by the end of it you’ll feel the benefits and get something in your clutches that was worth saving for.
Written by Mia Riley