10 Tips for Makeup Shopping | 12 Days of Christmas


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I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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With last minute holiday purchases, shopping for makeup can be stressful, especially when you are obsessed with beauty and find yourself wanting to buy everything in the entire store! I have compiled a list of my top 10 tips to ensure that you are pleased with your pretty products!

  1. Read Reviews Regularly: Always, always, always read reviews on beauty blogs or the website where the product is being sold so you are fully informed about all of the options you have been considering. Reading other people’s honest opinions on a product before spending money on it is beyond helpful in determining if it is the perfect product for you!
  2. Love Lists: Keeping track of the beauty products you are interested in will ensure that you do not forget anything, that you will stay focused in the dozens of isles, and that you know what you want.
  3. Brainstorm a Budget: If you only have a general idea of what you are looking for, going into the store with a pre-set budget of what you are willing to spend for each type of product is also very helpful. The more you become enthralled in the world of makeup, the more you become desensitized to the high-end price tags, but walking in knowing that $50 is crazy for a lipstick even if it does have the most beautiful packaging can be a good strategy!
  4. Do Not Skip Swatches: Whether it is lipstick, eyeshadow, or foundation, swatching makeup is essential in order to choose the right color for your shade preferences and skin tone. Beware that store lighting is often very deceiving and swatches can look completely different in the store than they do when you get home, so try and look at your swatches in natural lighting when possible. If you are shopping at a drugstore and cannot swatch the products, look at photos of swatches on different skin tones.
  5. Seek Several Samples: Technically, Sephora is supposed to give you three free samples with your purchase, but they usually never do, so do not be afraid to ask at checkout for the little foils. Even better, you can ask an employee for a sample of a product you are interested in trying, including liquid products, loose powders, or perfumes. Samples are very helpful to see if you love a product before buying it, but can also be used when traveling.
  6. Stay on Top of Sales: Of course Sephora has their Sale page, and their annual VIB Sale in November, but not enough people know about their Weekly  Specials, which allow you to get free deluxe samples with online purchases. It is very easy to spend $25 on their website, so you just pick which deal you want (I love it when they have amazing sample bags) and enter the code at check out! Ulta has their 21 Days of Beauty in September, which features popular products for half off each day, and they also have great BOGO sales on drugstore makeup, too.
  7. Value Sets are Very Vital: If you are familiar with my blog, then you know how obsessed I am with Sephora’s value sets. I love travel-sized products and I also love saving money, so trying out an assortment from my favorite brands or in my go-to shades is just an amazing opportunity all around. So, if you see a box set and would use each of the products, then definitely consider purchasing it because I have never regretted one!
  8. When In Doubt, Don’t Do It: If you are unsure if a product is worth the money, right for you, or something you would reach for frequently, it is usually best to put it back on the shelf. This prevents impulsive purchases and buyer’s remorse, and ensures that when you do buy new makeup, you will absolutely love it!
  9. Consistency is Critical: My most important tip is if you are interested in the same product on more than one occasion, you should purchase it because are practically guaranteed to love it! Whenever I seriously consider buying new makeup and then still really want it the next time I go shopping, then I know I will truly love my purchase because I have taken the time to research it and know that it is something I will enjoy using for a long time instead of just a temporary trend. This is also when making wish lists comes in handy.
  10. Return As A Last Resort: With all of these tips, hopefully you can avoid having to take anything back, but just in case, always be aware of the return policy before making a purchase. Luckily, if worst comes worst, most stores, including Sephora, Ulta, CVS, and Target, are very understanding and allow you to return opened or used makeup products within 30 to 60 days of purchase with a receipt.


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Read the Comments +

  1. Rachel Oates says:

    Great advice, thanks for this!! 🙂

  2. Yes to all these tips! So informative. Ever since I started blogging, the first I do when in a store is look at reviews. It saves me so much money and I end up using everything!

    • Haha, thanks! I would not know what to do without makeup reviews, especially for high end products, which is why I always make my own reviews crazy long and detailed. Thanks for reading and please let me know any post requests for the new year! xoxo

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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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