Tips & Tricks | To Buy VS Not To Buy Back-Up Items

Tips & Tricks | To Buy VS Not To Buy Back-Up Items

Let's face it, we have all done it.  Whether it was those 3-Wick Bath & Body Works Candles, Body Lotions, Primers, Foundations, Blush - you name it.  We have all bought back ups of things we love and never used all the stash we collected so they ended up in the trash.  The photo above is the extent of my skincare and beauty products back-up items.

I used to be one of those "let's buy five of whatever lotion from Bath & Body Works during the 75% Semi-Annual Sale person" and honestly, some of those lotions went bad before I could even use them.  Now does this mean I no longer buy back-ups? Hell to the no!  I have a system (which I am sure some of you may already know) that I follow when I am deciding whether I should or not buy back-up products for a specific item.  

Here are the factors I consider:

1.  Type of Product - Are they liquids (i.e. foundations, cleansers, serums, etc), powders (i.e. blush, eyeshadows, etc), creams (i.e. facial moisturizers, blushes, contour sticks, etc) and  non-perishable items (i.e. items that are not subject to spoilage or expiration such as makeup brushes, beauty sponges, etc)?

2.  Product Life - How long do they last before they expire?  Most cosmetics has the open container logo on the back or bottom of the product and tells you how long the product life is.

3.  Frequency of Use - How often do you use a specific product (i.e. one to three times daily, weekly, monthly, etc)?

4.  Size of the Product - How large or small is the product (i.e. some shampoos and conditioners comes in liter sizes which tends to last a while depending on the length of your hair)?

5.  Quantity - What is an appropriate number of back-ups should you buy for a particular item (i.e. for larger items such as liter shampoos and conditioners - you do not need more than two).

6. Price - How much is a product worth and would be able to purchase them in multiples by paying regular price without breaking the bank?

Once I have considered all the aspects mentioned above, I pick and choose which products are the "priority" ones.  Those are the ones that I buy regardless of whether a sale is going on or not.  The other products that did not make the "priority list" will be bought when there is a sale going on.  

Here's a list of a few beauty products that I have back-ups of and why:

1.  Beauty Sponges - These products do not have an expiration date so their shelf life is long.  Also, I use and wash my beauty sponges daily, there will definitely be some wear and tear sooner rather than later (between 1 to 3 months).  I buy the Beauty Blender during VIB Sales to stock up or I hit up Ulta and Walgreens for my favorite drugstore alternatives, L'Oreal Infallible and Ecotools Blending Sponge.  This is a product that I have more than five back-ups of.

2.  Cotton Pads - Another items that has no expiration date and something I use more than twice daily.  I use the Shiseido Cotton Pads which can be purchased at Ulta and Sephora.  They contain 145 pads per one large pack.  I usually buy no more than two back-ups of this one. 

3.  Setting Sprays - I specifically use Skindinavia Setting Sprays and they have a shelf life of 24 months.  This is a product that I use daily and you all know that it takes more than just a couple of spritz to slay all day so I run out of it between 1.5 to 2.5 months, depending on which bottle size I buy.  I purchase no more than two back-ups for this product.

4.  Micellar Cleansing Water - This is product that I use twice daily (am and pm) so I run out of it pretty quick.  I use Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water which contains 13 fl oz and change of product which is larger than most Micellar Water out there.  I usually buy one back-up.

5.  Body Cream/Lotion - I moisturize my body twice daily (am and pm) using my Sol De Janiero Bum Bum Cream and/or Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Lotion and/or Body Cream.  I have no more than one back-up for each product.

6.  Makeup Brushes and Color Switch Brush Cleaners (i.e. Vera Mona Color Switch or something similar which you can get for a lower price such as BH Cosmetics brand or J.Cat Beauty) - These are definitely items that do not expire.  These are items that I buy back-ups for whenever there is a sale going on or if the regular price is actually a good deal.  I have three sets of brushes that I use: my daily staples (both face and eye brushes) that's on my vanity table, my travel brushes (face and eye and I like to keep those separate in a case because I could not be bothered switching brushes back and forth) and my brush stash (there are face and eye brushes that are clean and/or unused stored away).

7.  Makeup Wipes - I do not use these to take my makeup off.  I use them to wipe off swatches for my Instagram and blog photos; and to clean my vanity area.  Instead of buying two-three packs from Target, I purchase the Kirkland brand which one box contains 6 packs of wipes including two travel sizes.  I think one box of the Kirkland brand is plenty for back-ups since it contains 6 packs.  No extra boxes necessary.

8.  Gel Nails Set - I specifically use the Kiss Gel Nails set because I cannot be bothered with salon nails and the possibility of a nail infection, so I use press-on nails.  I buy a variety of styles and usually get the short and medium nail length.  They come in 24-28 nails, which you can use a set twice with a few extra nails in case they come off or break (it has not happened to me).  I usually buy a back-up of my favorite styles (no more than two back-ups per style).

9.  Brow Pencil - Loyal to my Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil so I get this whenever it is featured on Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty for 50% off.  I do very little filling-in with my brows and do not change their shape so even though I use it every day, it lasts me a while.  I buy no more than two back-ups of this brow pencil.

10.  Mascaras - There are a few mascara brands that I consider Holy Grails - Smashbox and Too Faced.  Twice a year Beauty Brands will host a $10.99 mascara sale on all of the mascaras they have in stock.  This is when I restock mine.  I am pretty good with tossing out my mascaras after its 6 month expiration date.  I buy no more than two back-ups during this sale for each specific brand.

Here's a list of things I do not buy back-ups of and why:

1.  Foundations - It takes me so long to finish an entire bottle.  I have other foundations that I use so it is impossible for me to finish one bottle within a month or two unless it is the only item I am using.  Plus, most foundations expire between 6-12 months.  Nars and MAC are one of the few that have a shelf life of 24 months.

2.  Powder Products (these include blushes, highlighters, bronzers, etc) - Powder products are probably the ones with the longest shelf life of all beauty items out there.  There is no way I could possibly go through an entire blush, highlighter, bronzer, eyeshadows, translucent powders that I need a back up of these items.  Of course I have multiples in terms of different blush shades, different bronzer finishes, etc - but never a back-up.  

3.  Masks (i.e. charcoal, clay or peels) - The ones that I buy have a six-month expiration date and I cannot finish an entire jar of mask within six months, especially that I use 2-3 different kinds/brands.  This is also a type of product that I use once a week maybe twice depending on how busy or stressful my work week has been.  Plus, most of these masks require only a thin layer so no need for large quantities on stand by.

4.  Concealers - Just as foundations, it takes me a while to finish a concealer tube or jar because I use a very little amount, mainly to highlight underneath the eye area.  I hardly use it to spot-conceal.  I finally used up my Too Faced Born This Way Concealer from a year ago and barely finishing up my Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer from 9 months ago. I also use a couple of other concealer brands so this makes me use a variety instead of just one product.

5.  Eyeshadows - I don't think I will ever hit pan on any eyeshadow palette that I have.  I do not use eyeshadows everyday (if I have time, I use them every Wednesday since I do school tours for prospective families), mostly on the weekends but most of the time only when I play with them for my Instagram photos or blog review photos.  I tend to go for palettes and individual eyeshadow pans that are warm toned so I do have similar types of palettes and singles but no need for a back-up.

I hope this helped some of you in narrowing down what type of products you should buy back-ups for or not.  I am well-aware that my back-up buying or not buying system is a personal preference, so please do only what works for you.  As of late, I have been down-sizing my beauty products and this process has helped me decrease my purchase of excess items.