Curvy Girl Style – Beauty Buying Basics

Hehehe – try saying that three times fast! I started thinking about this post over the weekend, after reading a comment from Caitlin (a wonderful beauty blogger) She had written a post about her Sephora wish list and we were discussing a fall blush when she mentioned being burned a few times by pricier brands and offered me options from another brand. It stuck with me over the last few days so Caitlin thank you very much for being my inspiration today!

I’ve been there, spending money on an item that seems pricy but I’ve been lured in by the sales person or the colors or the packaging – it’s usually the packaging, I’m a sucker for a pretty package – tie it up with a bow and I’ve got my credit card in hand.  Then I come home only to find out the color is way off than what I tested in the store, or after wearing for a few hours makes my skin, itch, burn, breakout and then what do you do?  You’ve opened it, and used it, you can’t really return it right? Wrong!  Well depending on the store and the brand wrong!

What I’ve learned over the last 10 years or so is if you’re a little savvy in how you shop, you can get a very nice collection of higher end products to augment your less expensive brands and be satisfied with what you’ve purchased, if you find you’re not, you can return it.  Here’s how:

– Read up on what you want to purchase –  Between talking to a lot of people about everything (yes I am one of those ladies that always finds a conversation with anyone) and following a number of different beauty blogs when I see a product that seems to making the rounds on the beauty circuit – not sponsored! I start to do my research, I check Amazon and Sephora reviews,

– Make sure you check the product in real life – I have been known to go to the beauty store – either Sephora or Ulta – a few times before I actually will make a purchase – I really want to give the product the once or twice over – and the more time it spends on a sensitive area (around the eyes, lips) or can produce a reaction (Retinol, Vitamin C) make sure I test throughly before I buy.

– Check the stores return policy – any good store or brand worth it’s weight should have a return policy, and really an almost no questions asked policy (trust me they like to know why it’s coming back but they should not judge or try to sway you when you’ve made your decision) If they do ask, be honest and check their reaction – if its a good sales person they will apologize say something to the effect of “that’s too bad” and either reimburse or give store credit, if they try to convince you you’re wrong about the product or refuse to return the item, ask for a manager and make sure not to visit that establishment again.

– Samples Samples Samples – Companies are brimming in samples, and if they don’t have a sample of what you want, many will make one up special for you.  Recently I became disenchanted with the primer I was using, so off to Sephora I went know what I wanted but not really what brand.  The very helpful sales associate not only provided me with 3 different samples of our top pics but gave me enough to really give the products a once over for about a week to decide which i wanted.

So now you’ve done all of these things and you’ve still bough yourself an item that just didn’t live up to the hype, now what do you do?  Well you take it back 🙂  – most beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta have a 30 day return policy – as long as it’s in the original packaging (not outer packaging) they will honor the return, I’ve even taking things back without a receipt and received store credit from them (mind you I do have preferred cards to most places, and they did look up the purchase through that).  Just a few weeks ago I had a shampoo that I didn’t like after a few uses and took it back to my look beauty supply place – told the lady I wasn’t pleased with the way it made my hair feel and it smelled funny and she took it back no problem – she even made a note to the manager about the smell!

And lastly remember Rome wasn’t built in a day – It’s taking me a long time to build up my collection and really decide what things I like and don’t like, and just because I like Benefits blush and their mascara is supposed to be one of the best on the market at the moment – doesn’t mean it works for me it makes my eyes itch and I feel it’s clumpy on me.  I learned the other day that the sales girl at Sephora is totally in love with most of Dior’s products right now, except their foundation – so mental note side step that foundation for a little while.  Sometimes a product that worked well for you for a long time, stops working as well – like my moisturizer, and you have to change things up.  And sometimes if you’re really lucky and you’ve done your homework – those higher end brands once in a very blue moon go on sale.  Just last weekend I managed to get two Butter London Nail polishes for the unheard of price of $15 total!  I almost danced for joy out of the store.

So whether you’re just starting out, or augmenting what you have, if you like high end products or stick with the Drug Store brands remember, do a little research, check on the return policy and always try to get a sample before you dive into a full size product.

Happy Tuesday!


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