Bargain beauty blues: Five things to ask yourself before hoarding

“It’s on sale! Mura siya! Sayang naman if you don’t take advantage of the sale!” How many times have you heard these words before, whether from friends or that little voice in your head? How often has it happened that you walk into a store with a plan to purchase an item or two, and come out with a bagful of marked-down finds?

Don't get us wrong - we sure love getting a great bargain, especially when it comes to our favorite products! But at what point does it become too much? Where you should you draw the line between being smart about having back-ups, and simply hoarding for the sake of hoarding? Here are five things you should consider before splurging on that beauty bargain!

Do you have enough storage space?

So your favorite brand holds a Buy One, Get One promo on that product you've been wanting to try. Neat! Before grabbing several containers of that stuff though, do you actually have the space to accommodate that many? This is especially important to consider when purchasing items that are large and bulky. Even if you use the product regularly, it can take you awhile to empty one out. Meanwhile, the rest of your stock should be stored properly, and we're not just saying that to keep your place from turning into a mess.

Cosmetics are best kept in cool areas out of direct sunlight so that the formula doesn't break down from heat or sun exposure. If you don't want your stash to go bad (and we're assuming you don't!) better make sure you have a proper storage area to keep them away from the elements. And speaking of product expiry...

When does your hoard expire?

Make sure to monitor makeup expiry dates. Check that the beauty bargain that you have your eye on isn't due to expire before you've even had the chance to use it! And if you already have similar product back-ups, you may want to rethink that hoard. Products with liquids like cream eye makeup or mascaras tend to have shorter shelf life because the damp formulas are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. If you do decide to hoard, we recommend labeling the items with post-its or washi tape to help you remember important dates such as date of purchase, date of first use, and listed product expiry date.

Will your purchase add value to your current beauty collection?

Let's be honest: we’re attracted to new makeup releases like a moth is drawn to light. I mean, have you seen all the awesome stuff that will be dropping in stores soon? But it's going to be tough to justify buying that hot new thing if you still have several back-ups in your stash! If you’re the type that gets pulled into the allure of all things new, skip the bargain bin and use the cash to splurge on new releases instead. You'll have less but at least you've successfully curated your collection with better, updated products.

When will the brand release a new version of your HG (current or otherwise)?

Have you ever binge-bought your favorite product on sale, only to find out a week later that the brand has released a newer and better formulation? Yup, it can happen! Now you're stuck with multiples of the old formula, and your budget is blown from the purchase. Avoid this dilemma by following your fave brands on social media and keeping an ear out for beauty news. This way, you can find out if and when they're planning to release new products or reformulate old favorites.

Are you settling for less?

“But it was cheap kasi!” We’ve probably all been guilty of thinking this way at some point. In our efforts to finding cheap alternatives to the good stuff, we're bound to end up with duds that were a total waste of money. I recently experienced this while searching for a budget brow pen. While in my mind I was buying cheaper makeup, the amount I had spent on what turned out to be crappy formulas could have gone to purchasing the HG-worthy K-Palette brow pens, which have been recently reformulated and are now cheaper than before! 

Bargain prices don't always mean you'll be getting an actual bargain. Don't let those red tags and marked down prices fool you into buying stuff you don't actually need, or ending up with products that don't even work all that well. Make investments on worthwhile tried-and-tested faves instead!

Do you have stories about regretting a beauty hoard? What are your tips to prevent getting into this situation?

Photography by Sam Gonzales