Beauty Trends, a Sephora Gift Certificate, and $200

After three years of avoiding makeup-superstore Sephora to spend my $40 gift certificate, I finally gave in and decided to splurge. The show I directed opened on Friday night and I had failed to find a blue sweater to match the dress I bought, so in desperation I headed over to Sephora for my final touches.

I meant to just spend about $40 on a new foundation. Not that I really needed a new foundation, but the colors I had for summer were looking silly on my now-pale skin (it’s ghostly, really) and I needed something a bit lighter.

Here’s the rub – the day before I go to Sephora I wrote some content for my job about spring and summer beauty trends. I’ve been avoiding following the trends for a while, given that I have a bunch of makeup and I usually just buy what I think looks good on ME and not what the trends are. But I got really, really into the beauty trends for this spring/summer. Neon pink lipstick? Why, I don’t own any neon pink lipstick, I thought. I also did some research on the best mascaras and despite knowing that the drug store brands are just fine I found myself longing for some Christian Dior Diorshow Blackout. All 20 some-odd dollars of it.

Well, I spent about 2 hours of “oohs” and “ahhs” in Sephora, browsing through the aisles, trying on makeup, and trying my darndest to avoid the sales people who kept asking “are you doing ok?” (Funny, when I finally needed help, a salesperson was nowhere to be found!)

Going to Sephora to buy “just a few” pieces of makeup is really a bad idea for anyone attempting to be somewhat frugal. After all was said and done I spent $200 – only $40 of that was covered by the gift certificate I went into spend. (Yea, yea, I know that’s the point of gift certificates.)

But, on a positive note, I love my new makeup. I’m still not going to be a trend whore, so I’ll wear it for years – until it gets really gross.

Then again, does that justify spending $25 on Dior lipstick? And then spending $10 on nearly-the-same-shade neon pink Sephora-brand lipstick that I now use to blend with the $25 Dior lipstick?

You all probably think I’m absolutely crazy, spending this much on makeup.

But I can’t be the only one – otherwise Sephora would go out of business. But that place sure is always busy. Maybe everyone else goes in and has some self-restraint. But I go in once a year or every two years and splurge. It makes me feel good. I like looking pretty, and the older I get, the less pretty I feel. It’s really sad that makeup – ie, face paint – helps me feel like I’m decent looking, but I’d rather spend a lot of money on makeup than my hair cuts. I mean, as I said in my last entry, I spend $60 on a cut, but I only do it twice a year. Some people are spending $60 every 6 weeks for their HAIR. So I end up spending that money on makeup. And I just love painting my face!

I worry about getting even older. Now, at 24, at least I don’t have massive amounts of wrinkles. But what about when I turn 30… or 40? Old women buy a lot of expensive, often misleading beauty products in a quest to look younger. Eeks.

For now, though, I’m happy with my purchases. My Lorac Cheek Stamp (it’s blush that’s like a stamp, which kind of works and kind of doesn’t, but it’s never been so fun to use blush), my Diorshow mascara, my $4 Sephora lipliner (if you want cheap good-quality lipliner, go into Sephora and buy their brand, it’s really nice, just don’t look at anything else), my $25 Dior lipstick, my $10 Sephora lipstick, my $40 Laura Mercier foundation stick (which may or may not be in the right color for me, foundations always look weird on my pale-ass skin), my $30 Laura Mercier foundation primer (oil free, of course), and the $20 eyebrow pencil in a color that’s actually right for my eyebrows (as opposed to the 10 $6 eyebrow pencils I’ve bought at drugstores over the years that are the wrong color for my brows!). I think that’s all I got. Does that add up to $200?

I guess it does, with taxes and all.

Geez, makeup is expensive. But I must admit, I feel happiest after buying new face paint.

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7 thoughts on “Beauty Trends, a Sephora Gift Certificate, and $200”

  1. It most certainly doesSephora is a death trap for people like you and me…Now I just avoid it completely ever since I put the kibosh on wearing makeup to work LOL

  2. When I was your age (I'm 33 now), I too had a Sephora addiction. I incurred a fair amount of debt because of it. Over time, I found certain brands for certain things that I love. My advice is to spend more on the basics like foundation and concealer and head to the drug store for the latest trendy colors.

  3. I know how you feel! I use MAC make-up, and I needed a new foundation compact. I went in for that and spent $73 on the compact, primer (I have oily skin) and a new blush! Make-up is fun 🙂

  4. Call me a little too sensitive, but I take offense at you alluding to the fact that 30, or even 40 year old women are OLD. I'm 35 and I don't feel old at all.

  5. Anonymous — I don't mean that people who are 35 are "old," persay — I have a lot of friends in their 30s and I think of them as being young. I'm just saying that when one gets into their 30s certain things happen… some people get some wrinkles, gray hair, etc. In any case my point was that I can look young now because I'm 24 — without spending money on makeup and such, whereas some people when they get into their 30s and especially 40s feel like they have to spend money on certain things (hair dye, face products, etc) to look young. Not that everyone has to… but my 30+ year old friends seem to spend more on looking as young as they feel.

  6. HECC,I'm the 35 y/o original poster 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to clarify your comment. It's weird how we can turn older in age, but still feel so young on the inside. *sigh*P.S. I love your blog!

  7. My sister let me borrow her Benetint a few years back and I loved the glow. It's pretty expensive for a little bottle ($28) but there's nothing like bright skin to make you feel young. It might be cheaper than the Lorac one.

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