Economic (Beauty) Stress

Just about every one I know has been affected by our down-turning economy. With gas prices rising, unemployment and homeless rates skyrocketing it becomes a little harder to justify spending half a paycheck on a pair of shoes.

One unique caveat of the beauty and cosmetics industry is that they are able to anchor in customers who would normally never be able to afford the brand. A taste of luxury is offered in relatively affordable perfumes and fragrances. For example, items of Christian Dior clothing/accessories that I own: 0; number of Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara that I’ve gone through: countless.

Diorshow Blackout Mascara Historically, when the rest of the economy was hit, the beauty and cosmetics industries stayed fiscally strong for that reason, but it seems like this time around, we are not immune to the turn of events.

Molly Prior of WWD writes, “In gloomy periods gone by, shoppers continued to seek out little luxuries: a lipstick instead of a designer handbag, or a fragrance in lieu of a gown. This time around, practicality has set in, as consumers begrudgingly absorb the ballooning costs of energy and food prices.”

Personally, I have cut back on a lot to save money. I will rarely treat myself to a manicure of pedicure, and am trying to make my hair cut and highlights stretch. I am also becoming more skeptical about buying the next hottest thing that I read about in Allure magazine, waiting until there is an actual buzz “in the streets” rather than by people who may be profiting off of it.

Have you recently changed your beauty spending habits? In what ways, if not, why not?

11 thoughts on “Economic (Beauty) Stress”

  1. Sadly, my spending has gotten worse. I have not cut back at all, I’ve been spending more! I am a big impulse buyer and then I don’t use the products… I have them sitting in the boxes unopened. Sephora & Nordstrom are going to not like me when I come back with a bag full of returns.

  2. I have had to cut back alot. This was the year I had planned to really amp up my fabulousness…and then the economy started to suck. And my favorite makeup brand MAC has turned up the heat and I can’t participate. I’m even considering a second job just so I can spend on something fun and pretty, lol

  3. I had to return 300.00 worth of makeup to Nordstrom’s today. It was tough. I never return anything. When the Sephora catalog comes in the mail, I don’t even look at it. I just throw it away. I’m thinking about buying cheaper mascara. I usually buy Too Faced lash injection at 19.50, which lasts me 5 months if I don’t pump the tube, but I don’t think I can keep this up.

  4. I allow myself only one “luxury” item per category these days. Like, if I splurge on Kiehls conditioner, I use White Rain shampoo and Tresemme mousse. And I use Laura Mercier foundation with everything else Rimmel or JANE. It actually turns out great–I don’t feel deprived, but my wallet doesn’t complain too much, either.

    I also swap a lot more with my friends than I used to, especially when it comes to fragrances.

  5. Loni, it sounds like you have a great balance of spending on the important things while cutting back at the same time.

    Another way you can swap is on, its a pretty honest community of product-loving women who would rather get rid of the old and swap without spending much.

  6. I have been swapping a lot more on Make-up Alley to satisfy my beauty cravings. And it has helped a lot. Instead of running out to buy the new thing I see in Allure, I just run to MUA and see if I can find it. And normally I do. Plus I get rid of things I am not using. I feel much better all around.

  7. It’s hard not to spend with so many great products coming out! Sometimes I have to step back and think “do I REALLY need this?” If I know I probably won’t really use it – I try to walk away.

  8. We’re not suffering yet (miraculously, I got a raise this year), but I am a little nervous about how my company’s going to handle the downturn, so I’ve been cutting corners to save up just in case. Mostly, this means no more manicures. Instead of $20 or so for a nice buff’n’paint every two weeks I just spent $6.50 on a bottle of brush-on wrap from Nail-Aid ( Fortunately, it looks great.

  9. I’ve put myself and my husband on a $150/month allowance each for stuff like eating out and make up. It’s hard to buy much MU and still have anything left over for the rest of the month’s expenses. I hate being deprived of shopping for MU.

  10. I’m glad that you’ve touched on the down turn of the economy. I’ve stopped spending my money on what can be considered superfluous items like makeup. Instead, when I see a company like MAC put out a collection, (really love the color story of Cult of Cherry…but held back and didn’t buy a thing!) I start shopping my own makeup collection or drugstores for dupes. I make a note of it in my ‘beauty notebook’ for when I want to recreate a look. It’s like another post says, if you’re counting your pennies, like many of us are…you have to step back and really ask yourself “do I need this?” More often than not, my answer is no these days. Instead of shopping, I get my fix with playing with my already established makeup collection…I usually find one or two long forgotten gems:)

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