I have a lot of people who comment on my reviews stating they love my choice of colours, how is it that I pick winners always, etc, etc. Firstly, I do not always come home with winners, I have my days of duds too. It’s just that the duds don’t get reviewed as quickly or as often as the winners because when you have a winner, you want to shout and share it with all others. Having said that, I do feel that there are ways and means to do makeup shopping which could help you identify winners and ease the whole process for you and make you get more bang for your buck. After all, coming home with a 2K dud lipstick would definitely take the fun out of makeup shopping! I am enumerating some points for you, these aren’t really a be all and end all, you are free to add your thoughts to it through comments.
Identify your requirement in terms of product:
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Be clear what your requirement is. The clearer you are in your head, the easier the process is and you know where to begin.
Examples of requirements could be:
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- What product do I want to buy – blush, lipstick, foundation, gel liner, etc.
- What finish/texture do I want? Say in blush, do I want powder or cream, satin or matte or shimmer; say in lipstick – matte or semi matte or glossy.
- I just want a YSL lipstick or I just want to try a NARS/Clinique fat pencil lipstick, etc/
- My occasion for wear – office, Sunday brunches or parties, etc.
One or open to more?
This is a question you ask yourself whether you want only product or more. Why? Because brands can sometimes have schemes running on purchase of more than one product like GWP (Gift with Purchase). High-end brands provide gift with purchase to their customers, not all reach the customers, but with customers becoming more aware and demanding, a lot of brands are fair in dispensing them. This also means that both products have to be from same brand. You aren’t a favored customer if you buy 2 or 3 products split across various brands. Get my point?
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You might even have certain discount in duty free shops if total purchase is over an X amount. To take advantage of such a scenario, you should have a shortlist of other products you are willing to splurge on rather than ending up splurging on a dud because it was pushed to you by the SA or because it looked pretty.
Know your budget:
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Be clear in your mind on how much you are ok in spending and keep 10-15% buffer for price variations or for change of heart to another range once tried. Like you might go to buy a Guerlain Rouge Automatique and end up liking Rouge G more. The goodies will look so tempting with their unique packaging and lovely colours that you might lose control. So be clear on how much you are willing to spend.
Once you know your budget, identify choices within the budget. Meaning, what all brands offer their product in that range and which one you like best. Say your range is Rs. 1500 to 1800 – you have the option of picking a Bobbi Brown lipstick or an Estee Lauder or Lancome lisptick. Which would you like to look at first. If the texture of Lancome does not work for you, you know you have options.
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Save and Go:
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Put yourself on a shopping ban for 1-2 months or avoid picking those 2-3 mid-priced lipsticks and buy yourself a high-end product, pamper yourself with your own savings. Instead of buying a Bourjois and a Lakme lipstick, buy a YSL one instead, make yourself feel special each time you use it!
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Now, comes the Herculean task, check for reviews of the product online. Don’t get hyped in by a product, please do check reviews. If you check reviews across the board, say Indian and international, over a period of time, you will create your own sense of which blogs you trust more, which blogger’s skin tone matches yours more, which blogger’s pictures are closer to the actual product shades, it’s all a learning and evolving process! So I would suggest, first and foremost, check IMBB for the reviews and swatches, not only will you get accurate reviews because the writers are from amongst us who have nothing to win or lose, so the reviews are heartfelt. The other advantage is that the writers, more often than not, have Indian hue – with our skin tone, colouring and weather conditions. So, if the product works for them, chances are, it will work for you too! For makeup, I love Rati’s picks, I generally see my makeup taste matching with hers. Invariably, a product I pick, I see it already reviewed by her earlier.
Identify colours from swatches:
Check colours online, check IMBB for swatches and FOTDs – since these are on Indian skin tone, you are more likely to get a accurate picture of how the product will appear on you. Be wary of the fact that how a shade looks on a Caucasian female is not how it will look on our Indian skin tones. YSL Volupte lipsticks are perfect example of this, most colours look gorgeous on Caucasian skin tone and hideous on us.
Numbers not names:
Note down the shade name and number, yes number! This is because unfortunately, most SAs do not know their shade range by shade name, but by shade number. The reason for this is that the testers only have the shade numbers written on them and not the shade name and that’s what the SAs are used to (except Estee Lauder – shade names are mentioned on the testers).
Now that we have done the fun part on reading up on what we want and identified the winners (as per us) – it’s time to go shopping!
Wait! Wait! Wait for part 2 of my article before you actually go shopping!
Till then, be good and be patient!