Saturday, 9 July 2011

Q&A: Beauty blogs - bad for the wallet?

When I first began to read beauty blogs, and then eventually started my own, I'll admit I did so with the somewhat naive assumption that it would save me money. My thought process went something like this:

'Gone are the days of frittering money away on magazines to show me the latest products and wasting even more money on said products that never lived up to their hype.'

Along with that came the idea that I would end up with a beautiful streamlined makeup bag full of holy grail products, making me a far less cluttered and more organized person. I think the photo below shows you how that turned out!

One half of my unbelievably cluttered dressing table
It is plain to see that my streamlined makeup bag vision is a long way off!

Since finishing my exams, I don't have the revision excuse to put off tidying (well until August at least) so this last week I have been trying to create some kind of order out of the chaos of my living space. I feel so much happier when everything is neat and I can see the floor, but this rarely happens.

To cut a long story short, the process of tidying really brought home just how much makeup I have, and more surprisingly how much of it has been bought since I started blogging. I really love blogs and think they are a fantastic shopping tool, as well as the social element they contain, but they have been very bad news for my bank balance. It is like when I was trying to eat healthily whilst working at Pizza Express with staff food allowance, very difficult if you have a soft spot for dough balls!

I think my main problem is that however happy I am with a product, there is always a part of me that thinks there could be a better one out there. This is especially the case with foundation, concealer and skincare. Reading a variety of blogs exposes you to so many new brands that however happy I am with my current regime, I can't resist at least trying the latest next best thing.

Don't get me wrong, whether or not I read blogs and blogged myself, a large part of my disposable income would still go on makeup, but I wondered if anyone else had noticed a change in their spending habits since reading blogs or blogging themselves?

My beautiful dressing table being attacked by a combination of makeup and toiletries!
I have been slightly distracted this month with the upcoming British Open Golf Championship that is being held almost round the corner from me (I'm a bit of a golf geek), especially with the knowledge that my favourite player is staying next door! As a result, I've hardly read any posts or written any and my spending has quickly switched from makeup to clothes.

Is this just a coincidence? I'm not so sure. When I usually spend at least an hour a day reading, writing and tweeting about makeup, a Zuneta order or Chanel splurge seems almost par for the course, and bank statements get pushed unopened to the back of a drawer. A perilous approach to personal finance!

There is a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend beauty blogging and the amount of money I spend on beauty products, something I like to call beauty bloggitus, but am I alone in suffering from this condition? Have any of you managed to stick to a spending ban or specific budget whilst continuing to blog?

In the words of Oscar Wilde, 'I can resist everything except temptation'.


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  2. Oh yes. I usually spend at east an hour a day reading beauty blogs and it triggers a Zuneta, Douglas (German parfumerie) or Sephora order at least three or four times a week. That's been going on for about a year and it has to stop, If only because if it doesn't my husband will be staging an intervention very soon.

    In my defence though I don't shop for makeup in brick and mortar stores any more though because i'm now really into stuff like rouge bunny rouge and elemental herbology that are only readily available online.

    If I stop reading beauty blogs my interest in shopping for makeup more or less disappears within two or three days and I start buying clothes from places like Inis online, Zalando or Anusha with about the same frequency. Strangely though I don't need to see or read about clothes for this switch to happen..

  3. I was thinking about this just the other day! I think I have spent about £60 so far this year on nail varnishes since starting my Nail blog. Before, i would spend about £30 a year (Cheap Nail Art Pens etc.) I only buy the things that are reccomended on other blogs nowadays. It has given me a sense of whats good and bad.:D But also, I, personally, don't go out and shell lots of money on Make-Up things, as I have a very fair skin tone, and Most of the bloggers have a tan :(
    -Aimee- x

  4. I'm currently on a spending ban, I've got so much stuff already that I should review/blog about/use haha. Mind you instead I'm channeling my money towards clothes/shoes/accessories ;)

  5. I love your dressing table

  6. Ever since I started reading beauty blogs and blogging myself, my makeup spending has gone through the roof! I read about so many great products that I can't resist trying them out for myself! So I end up with a million lipsticks, bronzers, glosses, etc!

  7. I think if you see someone has just spent a lot of money on a huge haul, going out and buying two or three items seems very normal! It has definitely changed my opinion of what normal spending is!

  8. I always spent a lot on makeup before blogging but since blogging I spend even more, I'm aware of a lot more brands than I was before and more sites online to get things from and it only takes a good review from any of my favourite bloggers to make me buy it.
    I have wondered about taking a long time away from blogging just to see if my buying goes down.
    Interesting post x

  9. Impressive collection! I definitely spent more as I began blogging. Part of it was from coveting, and another was I wanted to be helpful with good reviews. Interestingly, after 3+ months since my first post, I m becoming more discerning and am loving what I already own more than I ever did before. I'm trying to think in terms of finish or color; for example, if I already have a cool shimmering taupe that looks great on me, I don't need another, no matter what brand or the packaging. I recently got rid of a huge amount of makeup, and I feel so much better. In fact, now that the fever to buy has passed, I feel less a need to blog every day--just when I have something I feel like saying.

    Great post, and you are definitely *definitely* not alone.

  10. I've found my spending has gone up, but so has the quality of my purchases and the thought that goes into them. I now try to edit my purchases to things I really want to review and things that are unique (or at least different from what I already have). In the past, most of my cosmetic and skin care purchases were very impulsive, whereas now I take into consideration whether or not anyone else is going to be interested in hearing about it, whether it is universal enough to appeal to a wide range of people, etc.

    I also pay more attention to the uniqueness of products than I used to. "What makes this so much better than what I already have? Is it a totally unique, beautiful color, or just another version of what every other line carries? Are there ingredients in this that make it truly cutting-edge?"

    Of course, I also fall victim to LE items and new collections more than I used to, but recently I've become very discerning about which items I choose from each release rather than rushing forth and buying the entire collection. I got through Chanel Fall 2011 with only Peridot and Khaki Platine because I didn't like the eyeshadows and didn't feel a need to purchase since everyone else was reviewing them already.

    So yes, in short, my purchasing has definitely gone up, but so has my satisfaction with those purchases.


  11. ive always been a makeup junkie myself, but blogging has made me want harder to find items as of late and even more luxury makeup stuff. at the same time reading other blogs has made me filter what works for me and what doesnt by seeing great swatches and descriptions.

    :) i love this post and i want to swim in your pretties :D