Course Description: Makeup Stress Shopping 101

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Makeup Stress Shopping 101

Welcome to Makeup Stress Shopping 101, students.


Is everyone in the right class?

(Waits for a couple people to sneak out of the room…)

Excellent! Now then, in this course we’ll be discussing a tool in every harried pet assistant’s arsenal (among other busy professionals). It’s a technique in widespread use today and has grown increasingly effective as life has become more complicated and hectic.

I often employ it myself, as my other job — working as the assistant to one of the world’s top plus-size kitty supermodels — can be quite stressful.

How stressful? Well, remember Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wear’s Prada? Yeah, my employer is like that on a good day.


There’s a word for it — anyone? Yes, you there in the back with your hand raised.


Exactly! Yes, stress shopping can be a powerful tool, but with great power comes great responsibility…

Here are five tips to get the most from your stress shopping sessions. πŸ™‚

1. No baskets

Don’t grab a basket. Seriously, if you see a harried-looking lady covered in cat hair at Sephora awkwardly carrying hella products in her hands, FYI — that would be me.

I always try to remember this one. The logic goes like this: without a basket, I can only carry so much in my hands.

Because believe you me, with a basket, I will fill that thing until it runneth over! And that’s dangerous…

It’s a low-tech trick, but it usually keeps me from overspending (usually).

2. In person rather than online

Speaking of low-tech methods, I find that it’s always better for me to stress shop in person rather than online.

First, there’s the instant gratification (no need to wait for things to ship).

Second, I don’t know about you, but those virtual shopping baskets are DANGEROUS! — because I will fill them to their virtual brims, and then spend way too much time trying to justify the purchase.

I think it’s easier to control myself when I stress shop in person…maybe because I see what’s in front of me, instead of just chucking things into a virtual basket.

3. Leave the credit card at home, and shop with cash

Another simple, yet extremely effective method. If I don’t have the cash on hand to buy that umpteenth stick of brown eyeliner (ya know?!), then I can’t get it. That’s the rule.

4. Make an appointment for a specific time

When I can, I like to schedule a lunch, coffee date with a friend or an appointment for immediately after a stress shopping session. That way, I only have a set amount of time to shop (and less time to talk myself into buying more stuff).

5. Go by yourself

I know, I know. It’s more fun to go shopping with a friend, especially when you’re stress shopping, because then you can b*tch about your boss while you’re picking out lipsticks (Shh… Don’t tell Tabs I said that.).

Thing is, when I shop with someone else, especially a makeup junkie pal, we egg each other on (“You need this in your life!!”). Just like that, I’m over budget.

Going by myself may not be as fun, but it’s way better for my wallet.

New handmade accessories

Yesterday on my walk with El Hub we ran into some young entrepreneurial girls selling these handmade rubber bracelets in our neighborhood. They had a small table set up on a street corner like a lemonade stand.

I asked the girls how much they wanted for one of the bracelets, and one of them said, “They’re between 20 and 50…”

El Hub and I were both thinking (but didn’t say out loud), “20 and 50 dollars!? HOLY SH*T!”


But then the girl added the word, “cents.” LOL!

We ended up getting three for a buck, and the girls were over the moon. πŸ™‚

Did you ever have any corner stands like that when you were kid? I always wanted a lemonade stand but was way too shy to actually get the wheels in motion.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 22 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. hanna says:

    I wanted a lemonade stand too, but had the same problem. I love these tips by the way.
    hanna recently posted … Born Pretty Blue Watch

  2. Kalli says:

    Girl, I always use the “no basket” rule when I stress shop, but I found out I can carry quite a lot in my two hands haha!
    Kalli recently posted … New Year’s Eve Double Feature Smokey Eyes!

  3. Gowthami says:

    Loveeeing the class so much!! he he πŸ˜› Handmade bracelets look pretty πŸ™‚
    Gowthami recently posted … 120 Color Double Stack Eyeshadow Palette : KKCenterHK International Giveaway

  4. Daanielle says:

    My 5 year old cousin got one of those rubber bracelet making sets for Christmas and made sure I was properly accessorized for the holidays. It was the cutest thing!

    I am a huge fan of “no basket” shopping, but years of waiting tables and living in 3rd floor apartments with no elevator taught me to carry a lot of stuff. Shopping with cash only is pretty effective, for sure, though.
    Daanielle recently posted … NOTD: Glistening Snow Dream

  5. Bella says:

    Karen, you clearly have some experience in this arena ;). I can relate to every word. In addition, with internet shopping, often I am INTENSELY embarrassed 3 days later when the postman arrives staggering under a pile of boxes from all over the world, and I’ve forgotten what I’ve bought or even what the stressor was that precipitated the purchases…LOLOL!

  6. Sylirael says:

    Funnily enough, I use the no basket rule in the grocery store, but only because I’m forgetful. By the time I get to the checkout I’m balancing a legitimately ridiculous number of grocery items in my arms. πŸ˜›

    One of the advantages of living at the ends of the earth is that the brands are limited, as are the ranges…means it’s a bit harder to impulse buy, IMO!
    Sylirael recently posted … Glittering Loot at Your Fingertips! Revlon Nail Enamel in 260 Girly (with a little help from Sally Hansen)

  7. Alison M says:

    The online shopping cart always gets me. And it’s not so easy to return an “oops” as something purchased in store. I love the cash only tip. I use this for makeup trade shows πŸ™‚

  8. Kim says:

    All great tips! You know who could use some stress shopping? Someone who just backed into a PARKED car in the parking lot at work. Sadly, I’ll be spending my morning talking to the insurance company instead. And spending my stress shopping money on fixing my coworker’s bumper. Happy Friday. πŸ™

  9. sahana says:

    Those were some useful lessons madam. And Tabs looks like a might cute cat πŸ˜‰
    sahana recently posted … Maybelline Bold Matte MAT4 in India | Review, Swatches, FOTD a Mini Outfit Post | Happy New Year!

  10. Danielle says:

    I agree about not getting a basket. And that bag you can use at Ulta is deadly! I find I tend to do a lot of stress (or non-stress) shopping on Amazon (also very dangerous). I now have about 100 books sitting in my bedroom that are waiting to be read.
    Danielle recently posted … A Taste of Spring

  11. I lolled my way through this post, Karen πŸ™‚ But you actually gave great valuable tips! I totally agree with number 5. Bringing a fellow make-up junkie is a recipe for disaster (and a negative bank balance).
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … A new year, a new blog header!

  12. Katherine M says:

    My niece Katie makes those same bracelets! I have a couple from her :). Sometimes when I do makeup stress shopping, I just window shop. I have to be in the right kind of “buying mode” to throw down money. I usually do Sephora shopping binges a couple of times a year just because the products last me so long and are of great quality. I have an Ulta that is closer than Sephora, so not as many high-end products there to splurge on. I’m really trying to clean and organize stuff around the house since I have this unexpected time off for my injury, and I’m making a great effort to only keep or buy what I absolutely need.

  13. Lena says:

    i usually go to the mall, where i know everything is more expensive, so i end up just swatching. THEN i buy online.

    the bracelets are cool, though. those girls should sell on the internet, then i could shop for them. πŸ˜€
    Lena recently posted … An International Giveaway (and Moarrr from the Sariayu 25 Best Choices Eyeshadow Palette)

  14. Vanessa says:

    Those bracelets are very neat πŸ™‚

  15. fancie says:

    This is a really great list! I always end up online window shopping and filling up baskets when I’m stressed LOL. I definitely think I could curb my spending a lot just by going into the store. I notice I don’t spend that much when I do.
    fancie recently posted … Rihanna for MAC Viva Glam 2014

  16. Kiara says:

    Great tips! I can see them working for those that stress shop! I had already heard of just using cash and it works great!
    Kiara recently posted … Charcoal Eyes Tutorial

  17. Iris says:

    The bracelets are so cute!

    I agree with your tips for stress shopping. I’ve found setting a meeting time or a set place to be at helps prevent over shopping. I seem to have to go into every store if I have unlimited time.

  18. Robina says:

    Love the Bracelets, good tips and a no no to shopping with a Buddy πŸ™‚

  19. Cristy says:

    Thank you for that nice memory of my childhood!! And Yes! A friend and I use to make purses with pieces of fabric that sold on the store(leftovers) for a really low price! Then ha ha! I took my mom purses that she didn’t want and, revamped and add the Leather and rhinestones!! So funny, then sell them! I Can’t remember if anyone actually bought them, but since then I had that arty side! πŸ˜€

  20. Amanda Val says:

    Stress shopping is definitely one of my favorite pasttimes, but I usually just stare, and end up not buying anything. Using cold, hard cash though, that’s what keeps me from killing my wallet.

  21. musical says:

    Rules to live by! But i miss shopping with my BFF…separated by continents, as we are :(.

    Another thing that i do is head to the drugstore as opposed to Sephora, saves time (across the road from where i live) and money ;).

  22. Kacy says:

    I’ve decided that the cash rule is in need of implementation. I always use credit when stress shopping and before I know it, it’s too late.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge