The 5 Stages of Buying Expensive Makeup

We’ve all been there.

In the makeup universe, there are a plethora of drugstore brands that sell their makeup for affordable prices. And don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome.

Sometimes, however, you’ll find that a drugstore brand simply can’t satisfy your craving, whether you’re coveting a limited-edition eyeshadow palette or a long-lasting foundation that perfectly matches your skin tone. 

This is when you bite the bullet and shell out for an expensive product.

Whenever I think a product might be worth its outrageous price tag, there’s always an epic internal struggle before I buy it. All makeup lovers can relate to pining over hyped-up products with earth-shattering price tags.

These are the 5 stages all beauty fanatics experience when making an expensive makeup purchase: 

1. Denial

“There’s no way this $ 75 makeup product is worth my hard-earned money!”

“The drugstore has products that are just as good!”

“I have complete control over myself and my wallet, and will NOT be buying this!”

Whenever I see an expensive piece of makeup, my first instinct is to immediately tell myself that I can live without it. Most of the time, I’m able to convince myself that’s true. (Hooray for drugstore dupes!)

Some products, however, really get caught in my mind. Which brings me to the second stage…

2. Anger

“Who gives the green-light for these outrageous prices??”

“This foundation better have life-altering abilities for THAT price!”

“Why is this $ 120 eyeshadow palette calling MY name, specifically?! Go bother someone else!”

If an expensive product intrigues me enough and I can’t talk myself out of it, I then start feeling anger towards:

  1. Whoever talked this product up online to make me want it.
  2. The company for charging an arm and a leg. 

Basically, I’m looking for someone to blame for my weakness, when in reality I know I have no one to blame but myself. Sigh.

I try to move past this stage as quickly as possible since I always come to the same next step….

3. Bargaining

“If I’m going to miss out on this amazing product, I really deserve some good karma.”

“Please, give me the strength to resist the temptation!”

“Maybe if I delete my Sephora app I won’t have any more urges to buy anything…”

We’ve all tried internally negotiating with ourselves to avoid spending a big sum of money on something that isn’t a “necessity”. 

For me, most of these unnecessary purchases consist of various makeup and beauty-related items, which is why I have more makeup than any one human should need in his or her lifetime (as my mom describes it). 

In a predictable turn of events, I then … drumroll please … usually move right past this phase and end up spending the money anyway.

Which leads me to…

4. Disappointment

“There is no hope for my wallet.”

“I can’t believe my whole paycheck is going straight into Ulta’s cash register.”

“Why am I so weak when it comes to fancy makeup??”

Whenever I decide to make an expensive purchase, I immediately feel disappointed in my lack of willpower. It’s not so much that I can’t control my makeup-related spending habits, it’s more that I don’t really want to

And thus, I’m disappointed in myself all over again.

Luckily, my mental gymnastics don’t end there, friends. There’s a fifth stage I ultimately reach:

5. Acceptance

“Just think of all the reward points I’m going to get from this one purchase!”

“I’m going to cherish this product for the rest of my life (or just the rest of the year!)”

“I can’t wait to go to a special event that calls for such a pricey product!”

When the money has officially fled your bank account, the pain is lessened by holding your new makeup and realizing that you actually own it now (after all that agony). 

If I have made it to the acceptance stage, that usually means the product I ended up buying was worth all the pain in the end. 

I really like to prolong this stage in the buying process, because I know that when the next month rolls around I’ll be going through all 5 stages again.

Does this all sound familiar?

Are you well acquainted with the five stages of makeup splurging? (Tell me I’m not alone.) What’s the most expensive makeup product you’ve purchased recently?


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