Are You an Impulse Beauty Buyer, or Do You Carefully Plan Out Your Purchases?

Published in: Just For Fun

Are you a beauty planner or impulse shopper

Hey, girl (I can hear my mom saying, “Hay is for horses”). Long time no talk.


Well, since yesterday.

I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday morning (I think I’m fighting a cold), so I took most of the day off. Tabs, of course, was THE BEST kitty nurse. He set aside time in his busy supermodel schedule to nap on my chest and keep me company.

Sometimes your nephew can be so sweet. 🙂

I’m feeling a little better today, so I’m back at it, babe. Hope you’re having a fruitful and fabulous Wednesday so far. How are things out there? Are you working hard or hardly working?

About today’s question, are you an impulse beauty buyer or a pernicious planner? I think I’m a bit of both.

I like to head to a counter or Sephora with a list on my phone of things I’m running low on or want to try, but whether I stick to my list depends on my stress level at any given moment. If I feel even mildly anxious at all, there’s a good chance that something unplanned will find its way into my basket (usually an extra lipstick or gloss).

That’s if I’m feeling only slightly out of sorts…

Now, if I feel worse than that for any reason, well, then IT’S ON. Something skincare related will almost certainly fall into my cart, because, I dunno — new skincare always seems like getting a fresh, new start. And makeup, of course — usually something from a permanent line that I’ve had my eye on for a while. I tend to impulse buy permanent products over limited edition stuff, I’ve noticed. No idea why.

How about you, babe? Are you an impulse beauty buyer, or do you carefully plan out your purchases?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy hump day. 🙂


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  1. Lisou says:

    Yeah I’m an impulse beauty buyer!!!!! Love

  2. I’m both.

    There are times when I will just buy something without really thinking about it and times that I will do my research and think about it before purchasing.
    Rikki Poynter recently posted … Sephora Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush: Possible Dupe For Clarisonic?

  3. Alison M says:

    I’m mostly a planner so I can thoughtfully choose pieces I will actually wear. And of course to avoid buying dupes. Who likes to waste money? But there are times…like after Christmas or a birthday…when I have money burning a hole in my pocket and I let loose. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta shop!
    Alison M recently posted … NARS High Seize: Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil and Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss

  4. Trisha says:

    I guess I’m in between. Most of the time, I usually go in with something in mind. Then again, if there’s a big storewide sale or I have a coupon, well…watch out!
    Trisha recently posted … Beauty Box 5 Review and Unboxing: January 2014

  5. Danielle says:

    I tend to impulse buy when it comes to drugstore items more, but I have also impulsively bought high end stuff before. But sometimes I do go browsing to just see what products look interesting.
    Danielle recently posted … Origins Peace of Mind

  6. Julie says:

    I make impulse purchases on occasion (usually at the drugstore), but I usually do a lot of research before buying a product and I almost always have a list with me of not only what I want to buy during a given shopping trip, but also of what things I want to look at and swatch!
    Julie recently posted … L’Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinaire in Rouge Allegro

  7. gio says:

    I like to do my research before purchasing something so that I’ll have a good idea whether the product will work for me and suit my needs. That way, I won’t waste my money. But sometimes, if the price is really low, I will impulse buy.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Braologie Bracie

  8. Erin says:

    Most of the time, I will read reviews and carefully plan my purchases so that I know I will be getting the best product for my skin type, tone, color, etc. But other times, I will go hog wild and just buy buy buy anything and everything I have ever wanted! Especially when there is a good sale on, or when I get my VIB code to save 20% off at sephora. Today, I have a loose plan. I need an eye pencil sharpener, but I will allow myself to spend up to an additional $30 on something that catches my eye. Hopefully I can stick to this!

  9. Impulse for makeup and researcher for skincare.
    Leah @ Mile High Beauty Blog recently posted … SinfulColors Holiday 2013 – Holiday Tinsel and Sheer Lustre Glitter Topcoats

  10. Lauren says:

    Going to Sephora with friends is dangerous for me! We hype each other up over certain colors and products, making me want much more than what I came in for. When i’m alone, however, i’m very good with only buying what i’ve researched.
    Lauren recently posted … Quick EOTD Using NAKED 3

  11. Ruchita says:

    I’m a bit of both. Usually my impulse buys are drugstore items, especially lip glosses.

    For something like foundation, I like to research and look at swatches on blogs to make sure I’m getting the right color, formulation, etc.

    Luckily, Sephora has a good return policy, so if I buy something on impulse and it doesn’t work, it’s easy to return.

    Hope you feel better! Kitty snuggles are the best. Once I was curled up on the couch with the worst headache and Ella crawled up and somehow managed to position herself on my shoulder. That girl always finds a way to cuddle with her humans. 🙂

  12. Natalye says:

    I like to plan out my purchases that way I know I’m getting a really good product.
    I hope you feel better! I have a cold too 🙁

  13. Erika says:

    A little of both. When there’s a new makeup product I will research it but when I go buy it I walk it with more than I should.

  14. Ashhay says:

    I like to research through blogs with swatches and reviews from makeup alley before I buy. I sometimes impulse but mostly with drugstore items.

  15. Kristina Vieweg says:

    I usually impulse buy lower priced beauty items but anything over $20 is a planned or on my wish list purchase 😉

  16. fancie says:

    Both! Lol it really depends on my mood and funds though. I always plan out what I want to purchase but if I’m feeling good and have the cash then I’m all over the place lol. Sometimes I have self control but I usually deviate from my list a little. Can’t help it!
    fancie recently posted … Influenster Freebies!

  17. Rads says:

    Ughhhhh..impulse buyer…online one at that…is the worst kind!!! 😛 😛 😛

    Cold has been sneaking around of late, hasn’t it? My husband wasn’t well the past week, and I was paranoid I will catch it – I would have donned some kind of an astronaut suit if I could lay my hands one to protect myself 😀
    Rads recently posted … Today’s Makeup: Easy Neutral Wear-to-Work Makeup with Warm Browns

  18. hanna says:

    I tend to plan things out.
    hanna recently posted … School Drive, and Bathroom

  19. Shreya says:

    I mostly plan out my purchases . O read lots of reviews before buying makeup and beauty stuff !
    Shreya recently posted … Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches : 101 Celestial

  20. Katherine says:

    I usually plan my purchases carefully (although I often end up adding at least one item when it comes to MAC LE stuff). However, today I was in a weird, restless kind of mood, and none of the sensible neutrals (NARS’s Lola Lola, MAC’s Cork) which I’d planned on looking at appealed to me. In the end, I came away with MAC’s Red Brick, which I really hadn’t planned to get. I’m really looking forward to wearing it, though.

  21. Tatiana says:

    I’m a little bit of both. I make lists and try to stick to them. Then I read a blog and I have to have the latest color! When it comes to limited editions I really try to think them over to make sure they are something that will work for me and I will use, and not something I’m buying just because it’s a limited edition. Occasionally, I think about it so long the item is sold out by the time I get around to purchasing it. My resolution for this year is to spend less by being more thoughtful in my purchases.

  22. Jen says:

    I plan carefully when I purchase online…. but send me into Sephora and have the makeup artists put things on me and sell me stuff…. I become a total impulse buyer!

  23. Vanessa says:

    I’m a planner to the extreme. Every time I buy anything beauty related, I make a mental commitment that it will be used *until it’s gone*. That’s a pretty big commitment, so I don’t buy anything unless it fills a real “need” and I’m very certain (through blog research, in store examination) that I’ll love it.

    I really go to far, though, I take a very long time to decide to purchase anything…

  24. camille says:

    funny you post this today 🙂 i’ve been making a list of things to buy for my birthday month (yay, coupons!!!!). MAC, sephora, and ulta are on the list…it keeps growing as i research items!

    i’m in between those options. although i do like to make a list and research via blogs/reviews, i do end up adding a few cool looking items i might come across while browsing.

    which is always a bonus. ulta and sephora have awesome return policies, so i’m not “stuck” with something that i’ve tried and didn’t work out. i feel bad for my favourite ulta, though. i hope they don’t think i’m taking advantage of the policy. sometimes i need to try a few things before i find the right item. (eyeliner!)

  25. Adriana RP says:

    My God… after a hard working day (that is far from an end) it is a arduous question to answer… LOL… it is because always when I’m having a hard working time (weeks) I start planning but something to me, a gift for all that work done! I was just thinking what I would buy next… it’s obvious that it is always makeup no? If not, be sure… 95% of the time it is makeup! LOL
    Obvious that it doesn’t work all the time, and I can change between “buy something by total impulse” and “plan too much at a point that I decide that I won’t buy that anymore”! Weird person! LOL

  26. PianoGirl1985 says:

    I’d have to say I am an impulse buyer when it comes to drug store producs, but definitely plan out my high end spending. Wish I was rich…

  27. Melissa says:

    I am a bit of both. I’ll research a bunch of items I’m interested in and then add them to my cart on my Sephora app and then head over. Sometimes when I walk in and they ask if I need help, I’ll show them my list and they’ll find absolutely everything for me so I’ll head straight to the checkout. If I have to find the items myself, I end up buying way more than what I went there for haha!

  28. Madeline Richmond says:

    Most of the time, I carefully research products that I want to try before I buy them. If I’m shopping online, I stay with my list. However . . . if I go to Sephora, I become an impulse shopper and throw random colorful things into my basket.

  29. Tara says:

    I’m absolutely both.

    Also my dad used to say hay is for horses, followed by take tea and see. My dad was a very weird man!

  30. Iris says:

    A bit of both but I usually plan my purchases. Once in a while, during seasonal sales or extra points at Sephora, I will impulse purchase items.

  31. Pam says:

    Planned. I love online shopping at Sephora. They have great a fun rewards program. I create my shopping basket from my list of what’s running low to new things I want to try. Once I reach my $ limit, I start next week’s basket!!!

  32. Majick says:

    Hah, Hay is for horses! When we were kids and someone would say that to us we would respond,”Yeah? and, you’re old enough to eat oats!” Now that I’m (ahem) older, I don’t say that anymore. LMAO

    Glad Tabs isn’t a totally boy when it comes to the nurturing thing. I hope you feel better soon.

    I am BOTH = I’ll research and plan the pricier items but if I’m having a bad day and I go to browse? I can get into trouble. I love my local Ulta (there are a few women there that I can trust to help me pick out just the right products, I’ve been going there a while so we now have a great repore [spelling?])

    I have also been known to STAY AWAY from Ulta if I’m having a particularly stressful time in my life because if I go in, I almost always come out with something.

  33. Sylirael says:

    Makeup is way too expensive here for me to impulse buy, but I definitely ‘impulse pick up an item and walk around with it before admitting that I’ll need to save up for it and putting it back’ 😀
    Sylirael recently posted … Leave the Scales to the Fishmonsters – Freeman ‘Bare Foot’ Foot Lotion and Scrub

  34. Annette says:

    If I do my research on collections and what not, then I am pretty good at walking in and out and getting what I wanted. However, if I’m just casually looking I tend to go wild!

  35. Chic Lapin says:

    I don’t plan that much but I do a lot of research before so I would say I’m definitely out of the “impulse buyer” definition! 😀
    Also, the fiancé would dfinitely be upset if I crowded the toilet with even more stuff so I try to take it easy. 😛

  36. breyerchic04 says:

    Definitely both. I decided last week after your posts that I need MAC accentuate and sculpt (though I’m waiting until I can try other highlighters in store first).

    But then I’ve also systematically been increasing my brush collection. I think next in store for me is a duo fibre brush.

    If I see a pretty color when I’m stressed out, IMPULSE!

  37. Nicole says:

    Sometimes no list sometimes both! I do read reviews, blogs, etc. prior to an “intentional purchase”. However, I rarely make it through the checkout line at Sephora without snatching up some small goodie. I’m only 100 points away from my Rouge card! 🙂

  38. Nicole says:

    Re: stress purchases. I fully believe in the healing powers of cosmetic retail therapy!

  39. Martha Nelson says:

    I think I’m both. I do my research first, but I live a little bit away from the big city so sometimes I pay for the shipping (when it’s worth it) but when I’m at the mall in the city, well…

  40. Niki T. says:

    I’m more of a planner but occasionally impulse buy. Sometimes I end up liking those impulse buys even more than the items I planned. =)

  41. Sarah Liz says:

    I think I lean towards the impulse buy. I’m totally new to the world of makeup, so while I’m starting to pay attention to what’s out there, I don’t know enough to make a proper list. That being said, six months ago at a Con I went to there was a Benefit stand where they were doing makeovers; I was so impressed that I asked the artist to circle the products she used and then I went to the department store later that day and bought all of them.

    I also found out that a Chemists Warehouse was having 50% of Rimmel, Maybelline and Revlon products so I went with the intention of looking for gold eye shadow palettes — I found a couple that I wanted, but then I saw a couple of other products and kind of went a little nuts. But it was half price, so, basically, a steal!

  42. Laura says:


    But I’m getting better at being a planner! My only trouble is when I go into a Target and then I fall apart. At Sephora there’s a good chance I’m there for a reason and with a list. If the the line is long then I’ll begin to start sticking things in from that little section with all the minis and knickknacks.

  43. Chelsea says:

    Both! I have wishlists on certain sites of things I plan to buy (Silk Naturals, Sephora), but sometimes I go to Ulta or the drugstore and I just see stuff I HAVE TO HAVE. Or when stuff’s on HauteLook, that’s dangerous. Or Amazon!

    I just got the first paycheck from the new job (half of it went toward the Visa bill, the grad school life and getting married rack that debt up!) so I might have to buy myself a little something something to celebrate. I’m dying over the Laura Mercier Renaissance Spring 2014 Palette.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea!

      How is the new job? Do you like it? 🙂

      • Chelsea says:

        It’s going very well! I’m in my third week – Still have a lot more training (it’s a 2-3 month process), but I like it a lot! My boss is really great, and my mentor in the mentoring program is awesome too.

        We’re also allowed to wear jeans and boots, so that’s a plus, LOL.

        • Karen says:

          That’s great. Training will go by so fast, and soon you’ll be a pro, woo hoo!

          Oh gosh, never underestimate the value of a casual dress code. I seriously could not deal with dressing up all the time. It would get really old really fast! Although, I do think that there is a line that you can’t cross with casual wear. No flip flops or velour track suits!

          • Chelsea says:

            I am definitely appreciative of the dress code!

            I actually almost never wear flip flops, I find them uncomfortable. They only get worn when I get a pedi.

  44. Colleen says:

    Total impulse shopper. It’s usually because I’m stressed or bored.

  45. Carina says:

    I’m the same! I’ll go through a period where I’m OK and don’t need to shop… and then boredom, stress or anxiety strikes and then I’m gone!
    Carina recently posted … Le Métier de Beauté Beauty Vault VIP December Box: Kaleidoscope Face Kit in Cheeky Chic

  46. Katherine M says:

    I can be both…though as I’ve gotten older I don’t impulse buy as much. I typically set a budget for myself and plan out purchases based on what I would need, though I am guilty of going to Walmart or Ulta and getting more than what I may need. I usually will buy more of “wants” with a gift card because it’s not my own money. I’ve gotten better about going to Sephora and not coming out with ALL eye makeup (my favorite feature to accentuate). I usually think about a big purchase, like the NARS Multiples (I bought NARS Multiple in Orgasm after a couple of months of deliberation on spending $38 on it) for a little while before dropping the money even if I don’t have to worry about spending that money on it at the time. Usually for big purchases like that they are well worth the money – that NARS Multiple will last me a good year and can be used for everything.

  47. Karen,
    Hi! I do both, planned and impulsed. Most of the time, if I’m going in Sephora, I have plan and a bit impulse. Online, planned orders. Local drugstore— a bit impulse!
    Barb S. @ FL Mom’s Blog recently posted … Sun Detergent (Review and Giveaway) (ends 1/24/14, USA only)

  48. Kalli says:

    I’m definitely an impulse buyer, especially with budget/drugstore brands. Rarely do I walk out of Ulta, Target or Walgreens without a new lipgloss or something! I try to plan my high-end purchases, but there’s been many times where I’ll swap something in the store and not buy it, but then I can’t stop thinking about it (for like a week) and then I’ll go back and get it. Or if I just got paid, I’ll “treat” myself to some high-end stuff. I managed to hit VIB status at Sephora for the first time ever this last year, so I guess I treated myself a lot!
    Kalli recently posted … New Year’s Eve Double Feature Smokey Eyes!

  49. Cassy says:

    I feel you, it totally depends what kind of day I am having before I shop. I can certainly go to a store (or online) with a list of what is needed and that is that. I am a stress shopper, though, so if I’m shopping to cheer myself up there are no limits. That’s how I wound up with a foundation airbrush kit! haha
    Cassy recently posted … Ipsy (December 2013)

  50. Leticia says:

    Lately I’ve been planning my purchases more because I’m determined to use the things I have and well, as a makeup addict, I do have a few items that I haven’t even touched. However, I do find myself making impulse buys, especially when I’m feeling down or when I’m on a trip and find something not available back home.
    Like you, I tend to impulse buy permanent stuff more – I guess it´s because I’ve already read about it or swatched it before and am sure I´m going to like it. If I stumble into a LE collection (which happens frequently in MAC, because I never know precisely when a collection is coming out!) I usually think a lot before buying anything, unless I fall in love at first sight :D!

  51. Nerissa says:

    Definitely both. I have a list on my phone of each store/brand of the products I would like to try out. But once I get into the store, I almost always end up buying more than I plan to buy.

  52. Ningning says:

    I’m naughty. I’m an super carefully planned buyer (googling it forever) but when I get to the shops I see other (and sometimes, better) things and the plan goes awry! And when it doesn’t, I simply just lose my time considering the exciting stuff (mostly makeup) that Is in front me but buy the thing I came in for in the end! It is quite an annoying habit.

  53. Kaelyn says:

    I would also say I am a little bit of both. I always go in with my wish list or a game plan for shopping, but sometimes I will find myself perusing the makeup sets or limited edition items, because they will be gone soon so if I want them I need to grab them lol.

  54. Erin says:

    Careful with HE and impulse with drug store!

  55. Kacy says:

    I try to plan. But when it comes to drugstore it’s almost always an impulse buy. *You never know what’s going to be on sale!!!* For higher end things I like to do my research, but I realize when I’m having bad days I tend to splurge on high end things I don’t need. It’s worse when I buy online, and realize 24hrs later that I really didn’t need ______(insert product here)_____ as much as I thought I did… does that happen to anyone else?!

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