For some people, beauty products like lipstick and foundation are just as essential as expenses like groceries and medication — so much so that they’re willing to cut back on other purchases to buy the items they need to look their best.
Data from Advanced Dermatology finds that the average American spends $722 a year on their appearance. Of that, 71% goes toward hair products, 69% goes toward skin care products, and 41% goes toward makeup.
But while you may feel compelled to own some beauty products, that doesn’t mean you have to rack up a giant credit card tab every few months when buying them. A big reason some people might overspend on beauty products is that the folks who market these items are very good at their jobs. And so it’s important to cut through some of those lies and shop more judiciously.
Here are some of the biggest lies you shouldn’t believe.
1. You need the most expensive products
You’ll often hear that it’s worth paying extra for expensive beauty products because these are items you’re putting on your face and body, and you can’t afford to compromise. But the reality is that there are plenty of lower or moderately priced products that do just as good a job as their far more expensive counterparts. And if you buy into the myth that you need to purchase the highest-end version of each item you use, you might end up spending a fortune.
Before you load up on expensive products, do some research. Talk to your dermatologist, if you have one, about lower-cost skin and beauty products that get the job done. Also, talk to friends and read online reviews so you don’t end up wasting your money.
2. You need every single product out there
Heading out for a night on the town? Beauty product marketers might lead you to believe that you need eye shadow, mascara, primer, and eyeliner to pull off a dazzling look. In reality, just one or two of those products might suffice.
This is just one example, but the point is that there are dozens of different beauty products you could fill your bathroom with. That doesn’t mean you need every single one.
3. You need to replace your products often
Some beauty products do indeed have a limited shelf life. Mascara, for example, is something you should generally expect to replace about every three months since the product will clump and degrade beyond that point.
But other items in your collection have the potential to last a lot longer. So don’t assume you need to toss out your lipstick just because you’ve been using it for almost a year. If it goes on smoothly and smells alright, it’s probably OK.
This isn’t to say that your beauty products will last years. But they might have a longer life than you’ve been led to believe. Buying those products less frequently could be a source of savings for you.
It’s perfectly OK to spend some of your money on products that help you feel good about the way you look. But don’t let aggressive marketing tactics drive you to go overboard and spend money you don’t need to part with. Instead, prioritize your purchases and research different brands to strike a good balance.
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