Makeup Shopping Made Easy

Picture this: You are getting ready for a big meeting with a client. You want to feel like you look your best and really wow this client with your polished style and professionalism. You get out of the shower, pick out an outfit that looks dynamite on you, and make your way to your bathroom mirror to start doing your makeup. You look in your makeup bag and, GASP! Your makeup bag looks terrible! You pull out a compact of powder that only has a sliver of powder left in it. Your eyeliner pencil is down to the nub and below the tip. Your eyeshadow compact lid is broken and the shadow has cracked and fallen all over the inside of your bag. And your lipstick has been around since college, and it wasn’t even a good color for you back then. Does this sound like you? Or maybe your makeup bag isn’t in this bad of shape, but it could definitely use an upgrade.

What do you do? You know you need to go makeup shopping, but the thought of it exhausts you. Every time you go to the makeup counter you’re talked into buying way too much and you have no idea how to use it when you get home. Or you walk into Sephora and you don’t know where to start. All those different brands, colors, products…. It’s all too much! How do you know where to start? What if you make the wrong choice?

I often hear from women that they either avoid the whole thing, or they’ll just buy the first thing that looks good and call it a day.

Makeup shopping can be so overwhelming. I get it. Even as a professional, I get overwhelmed myself. I want to add the best products to my kit that are going to make my clients look fabulous and will be helpful in any situation. But I also want to spend my money wisely and not end up with 10 different lipsticks that are essentially the same color, or palettes of eye shadows that sit in my kit untouched for months.

But makeup shopping can also be really fun! You can end up with some really cool colors or products that help you look amazing and be the envy of every woman.

I’d love for you to have the best makeup shopping experience every time you go. I want you to feel like it’s Christmas morning when you get home to unwrap your goodies. So I’m sharing with you today my top 7 tips on how to shop for makeup that you love.

1. Make a plan before you go. Go through your makeup bag and throw out anything that’s old, empty, or you never wear. Then write a list of what you need to replace. Once you have written down what you need to replace, think about the basics that need to be added. Do you have foundation but need concealer? Do you have a blush that you love? Are your brows out of control and need to be tamed with eyebrow gel? Write it down. Now think about what you want to add in for fun. Have you been dying to try a red lipstick? Do you want to try the dewy skin trend and wear a highlighter? Did your BFF just tell you about a new cream eye shadow that changed her life, and you want it to change yours too? Write it down.

2. Figure out your budget. Nothing is worse than picking out everything you need on your list and getting up to the register and feeling your jaw drop when they give you your total. Decide how much you want to spend, and then decide which items are the most important to buy. When you get to the store or counter, look at the price and keep track of your shopping on a calculator or your phone. Then when you get to your budget, either decide to go a little over or stop.

3. Decide where you want to shop. Do you want to have lots of options with brands and colors? Then a store like Sephora or a large department store would be a great place for you. Are you on a budget? Then you’re probably going to want to go to a drugstore like Target, or Walmart. Do you know what brand you love and you only want to buy from them? If they have their own store, then you should just go there. Or visit their counter at the department store. Do you want to stay at home and be cozy in your pjs? Then find your favorite online retailer and order online. I recommend, they have sooo much to choose from.

4. Choose 1-2 brands. It’s more efficient to stick to one place rather than going all over the store to find everything you need. And it will also prevent you from buying a bunch of lipsticks that all look the same. If you’re stuck with what brand to choose, look at their marketing pieces. Do you like the way their models look? Does their makeup look like something you might want to wear? If you love really natural looking makeup, then you might not want to choose a brand that does over the top makeup looks. Although it is possible to find great colors from them, it may take a little more testing things out.

Does the brand promise to use good ingredients, or mix skincare with their makeup? Or are they cruelty free? If these types of things are important to you, then choosing a brand that believes in them is important too. You can also do some research ahead of time to know which brand is right for you.

5. Wear a cute outfit and do your hair. It’s so hard to find makeup that you think looks good on you when you feel like you look terrible. Trust me! Anytime you’re shopping for new clothes or makeup, if you don’t think you look good, then you won’t like anything you try on. Just do the bare minimum for makeup, or don’t wear anything at all. It will make testing out colors easier if you don’t to remove makeup. It also might not be the true color of the product if you’re putting it on top of something else.

6. Test, test, test. Don’t just swipe a lipstick on the back of your hand. Try it on (after it’s been sanitized, of course!). The skin on the back of your hand can be a different color or texture than the skin on your face or lips. Try out a foundation on at least half of your face to make sure the color is a match, and you like the texture and finish of it. Testing will also give you a good idea if the pigment in an eye shadow is good (does it fall over the place? Is it too sheer?). And many times the colors will look completely different in the palette than they do on the skin.

7. Ask for help. If you’re feeling lost, or you need a second opinion, ask for help. Find the salesperson or artist that is wearing makeup you admire. If she is wearing makeup that you can see yourself wearing, then she’ll understand what you’re looking for when it comes to choosing products. If it’s a male artist, and you can’t tell what his makeup style is, ask him a few questions to get a feel for it. If you feel like he understands your needs, then he’s a great person to guide you in the right direction. Look for someone who understands the product line and can give you great recommendations on products or colors. And most of all, don’t feel intimidated or pressured by the artist or salesperson. They want to help you have a great experience (and if they don’t, then find someone else!). And I find if you’re firm with what you’re looking for, they don’t pressure you to buy unnecessary items.

With my simple tips to help shopping for makeup become easier, you no longer have to fear the makeup counter! You can feel good knowing you are spending less money, and that you’ll actually use the products you buy. The days of your embarrassing makeup bag and shameful stash of unused products in the closet are gone.

I’d love to hear from you now! Were these tips helpful? What tips do you have for successful makeup shopping? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!