Keeping up with the bloggers

Friday, May 29th 2015 Uncategorised

Beauty blogging can be a very competitive industry – everyone wants to get the latest and greatest products, and have a post about it up – fast. Whilst I am now fortunate to be receiving products from PR companies and brands, I still find myself wanting to buy makeup ‘for the blog’. I’ve always had champagne tastes, and a beer (or Lindauer!) budget. I love to shop, I love to try new products, and sadly my income and other expenses don’t allow me to do as much of it as I would like. I never really compare myself to celebrities because they’re so far from my reality, I can’t compare myself to people whose incomes have many more zeroes than mine. However, I do compare myself to fellow bloggers, friends, and people on Instagram, and I know from talking to other bloggers that they do so too.

I’m going to be totally honest and say that last year/early this year I ended up getting myself into a bit of credit card debt. I was living beyond my means, and wanting to shop, to keep up with the Joneses/the Kardashians/other bloggers. It all came to a head and I realised that I couldn’t continue to keep doing that – I realised I had to live within my means before my finances got really out of control! Being newly single, and with the increased expenses I have as a result, plus having to pay off this debt means I have had to RADICALLY cut back – I haven’t bought ANY makeup or beauty products in months!!!


I’ve had to readjust my priorities – my financial responsibility/security before having new makeup for the blog. I know I’ll never ‘beat’ others, especially considering products release approximately 6 weeks to a year later in NZ than overseas. I guess I am just guessing about the other bloggers – they could be late on their bills, in credit card debt, or just be earning a lot more than me, living with their parents, partners etc. As such, I hope my blog doesn’t seem boring, or just an endless parade of PR samples. I don’t want to just be a magazine or a boring blog I wouldn’t want to read that’s basically just ‘here are some products, they’re good’.

On a side note, this all seems kind of disturbing to me in a way. There is a massive income inequality in our country, and in the world, and yet many of us are hoarding and collecting beauty products, in huge quantities. Then we/they are making money from showing it off to others, while there are other people out there without food or drinking water!! There is a philosophical essay I could write on this topic but I’ll stay away from that today.

no shopping allowed

I should make this my laptop background, or tape it to my eftpos card.

Overall, the point of this is to talk about how I’m taking control of my finances, which is why, for now, you won’t be seeing amazing haul posts on here like in days gone by or on other blogs. I do still have a ridiculous amount of makeup, some of which have never been touched! I’m also trying to be inventive with how I use things and what I post. I found a blog post by Dungarees and Donuts about blogging on a budget so if you’re a blogger in a similar situation to me have a look at that. I’m certainly taking some inspiration from it!

Thinking also from a readers perspective, I don’t want to read multiple posts all about the same product. There are only so many posts I can read about Garnier Micellar Water, or a new Urban Decay palette, or whatever hot product is out at the moment. From discussing this on twitter, I know that other people feel the same way. So keep this in mind, if you’re a fellow blogger feeling that urge to buy stuff just to keep up with everyone else! Make your frugality into a point of difference – teach people how to use products, find dupes for hot products from your existing collection. It is hard, feeling like I’m the only blogger on earth who hasn’t tried Colourpop products, but it feels worth it when I look at my finances and seeing them get under control.

Can you relate to this? How do you control those urges to shop? I’d love some advice for dealing with the temptation!




  • You aren’t the only blogger on earth who hasn’t tried ColourPop, I haven’t been able to afford it either. I have also used the excuse of “it’s for the blog” as a reason to spend a bit more money (and subscription boxes are far too addictive). I have been trying to put a major hold on spending recently too, mine prompted by the ginormous student loan bill I got from the IRD a few months ago. I have a budget for which subscription boxes I can get, and a limit of how many I can have at a time. My empties are my main focus, as I try to work through the stash I have without adding to it.

    I don’t have any PR samples coming through, so everything on my blog is paid for myself, but I don’t think it’s a big issue for you to have posts mainly about PR samples. You create reliable and in-depth content, and give honest opinions about products, which I always find more useful than the “I bought this, this, this, and this” with no reviews posts.

    This feels a bit like a ramble comment, but I hope it helped.

    • I had to cancel both my subscription boxes and I was so sad about it. I was like it’s only $20! to try and justify it to myself, but I had to do it. The ‘it’s for the blog’ excuse is too easy, but the blog isn’t making money to compensate for it – I earn a tiny bit from it but that barely pays for the hosting. Thank you for the lovely things you said about my blog, I’m glad to know that people perceive my content in the way that I try to make it. I do my best to always be honest and detailed in my reviews, even for things I’m sent! Thanks Louisa 🙂

  • Krystle Field

    I can totally relate to this! I have majorly cut back on beauty purchases as I needed to deal with my credit card debt. Honestly for me, it doesn’t impress me when I just see endless hauls from bloggers. I love seeing individual product reviews, all time favourites, shopping my stash and hints and tips more. I am with you on the Colourpop thing too- still haven’t tried any of their products either.

    • Credit card debt is so easy to get into and so hard to get out of – kind of like how it’s much easier to gain weight that lose it (at least for me). I reaalllly want to try colourpop though, I might slowly save up and order a couple of things. When I see endless hauls I’m just like ‘how can you afford that?!’ Especially in NZ, where things are crazy expensive, not like in the states where things are 1/3 of the price. I like seeing long term favourites and empties – I LOVE empties which is why I always try to do them.

  • I definitely relate. Wanting to review the latest products definitely takes a toll on the old bank account!

    • I have products that i felt like I should buy, even though I didn’t really care about them – I need to stop doing that!

  • Maggie

    Definitely feel you on this as well (even though not quite a beauty blogger yet but have been following beauty blogs and oh dear…).

    BF has put a ban/limit on my buying and… at first I didn’t agree with him and was sad about losing out but I think it has actually been beneficial (haven’t figured out if financially so yet) since I think about what I want to get and not just spontaneously buy it when I first see it and so it’s things I really want to try and not just the product of the moment.

    That is also one of the reasons I wanted to start up blogging – to document all of the products I have because I think they’re just all over the place atm and I might be continually purchasing similar items! D:

    • Even following beauty blogs or groups was bad for me, I started shopping a lot then. Thinking through purchases is always good, rather than getting stuff just on a whim. I have so many similar products, it’s shocking really! You don’t realise when buying, but it seems to just happen.

  • Christel Hansen

    I’ve made it a challenge for myself to start using up all the makeup I actually have. Being a makeup artist/beauty blogger was terrible for my wallet – I remember spending $5k in a year JUST on makeup.
    Now that I’m older (and wiser? Who really knows?!), I’ve started realising that it’s not all about how many of the latest and greatest beauty products you have – it’s the content you produce!
    I love hauls, I’m not gonna lie – but I also love seeing how people make different products work for them 😀

    • Oh man being a makeup artist would be even harder – ‘it’s for the kit’. Especially with things like MAC pro discount, I wouldn’t be able to resist!!! Content is important, I would rather read a great tutorial with an eyeshadow that came out 5 years ago than a whole bunch of ‘here’s some shit i bought’ posts!

      • Christel Hansen

        Yes, ugh. Now that you can order online and use your pro discount it’s even worse… I’ll admit it, I’m waiting for a MAC order to arrive. Damnit Christel! I definitely do think it’s ok to buy things when you want them – but only if you’re not getting yourself into debt AND only if you really do want it, and not just because you’re seeing it everywhere!
        For ages I wanted the Anastasia DipBrow – but I can’t justify getting it just because everyone else has it, so I’ve been sticking to my usual brow products and using them up before purchasing anything else!
        This is making me wanna do another shopping the stash post read bad. Hahahaha

        • Do another shopping the stash post! I like seeing those. I also really love empties posts – doing them as well as reading them, it feels good to use products up, and evaluated whether they are worth buying them again. Purchases should be if you can afford it, and really want it. It sickens me a bit to think how many hundreds or even thousands of dollars of makeup I have that I don’t even really wear. I do love and wear my dipbrow allll the time though.

          • Christel Hansen

            I think I definitely will! It really does feel amazing when you discover old gems. Yes I love empties posts too – I will probably have one of those up in a couple of weeks!
            Yes! Yeah I’m sure dipbrow really is amazing! Most of the products I rave about are ones that I really have had for ages – it’s not often that new makeup or skincare products really impress me (but those Colourpop lippie stix are freakin’ fabulous!!)

          • We should do some kind of shop your stash challenge!

          • @christelhansen:disqus we should do that!

  • Melissa Peaks

    I like that you aren’t going to try and keep up with the other beauty bloggers. I agree that it’s boring seeing posts about the same thing everywhere. I’m excited to see what niche you can carve out for yourself not keeping up with everyone else in terms of new releases. I recently realized I have all the makeup I ‘need’ and have stopped buying it unless there’s something unique that I don’t have anything comparable instead. I like learning new techniques and skills from blogs so I’d love to see what you could teach me with what you’ve already got!

    • Thanks Melissa! I’m going to try and do some more tutorial style posts, which is a bit scary but also an exciting option.

  • I feel like this is an issue most bloggers face at some point. Some people think (esp at work) that I go on huge shopping sprees. I am a shopaholic but I am quite frugal hence my love for opshopping. As for beauty products, I get how bloggers would feel the need to get all the latest makeup. I haven’t tried colourpop cosmetics either because I don’t feel the need to. I do want to try some higher end products like Charlotte Tilbury and Hourglass but I can’t justify the purchase. I’ve only bought Topshop makeup recently and it’s because I love them.

    I think it’s great to have posts on items you already have and therefore you’ve tried them a lot more too. I’m not fussed with getting the newest things but I do get sucked in once in a while (like the Garnier Micellar Water).

    P.S. This is why I’m scared to get a credit card. I’ve watched too many Oprah shows about credit card debt that it has put me off. I already have a student loan to deal with and I don’t want any more debt. It’s a scary thought to me so I only every buy things when I can afford them. I think it’s so easy to get carried away too.

    • I’d love to try those high end brands like Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford too but even in my most frivolous days I resisted the urge! I want to try Top Shop makeup but as of yet I haven’t. One day though, since I believe it’s reasonably affordable? Posting about products I’ve used for months and years definitely means I can give a thorough review which I think people enjoy.

      I’ve watched so many Oprah shows with Suze Orman too but I still was irresponsible – she would be so disappointed!

      • Those Tom Ford lipsticks look great but they are ridiculous! I only have 1 YSL lipstick and I only got it because my bf’s parents went to the US and it was cheaper. I recommend Topshop makeup. I have a planned post coming up about them since I’ve tried quite a few. I really think they are great value and I have more of their lipsticks than any other brand.
        Yes, I’d like reading about products that have been tried and tested for a longer period.
        I understand how easy it is to fall into the trap too. When I started uni, I got so many offers/mails signing up to get one but I resisted. It helps that my bf is very anti of them too. I feel like if I have one, I wouldn’t be able to control myself so it’s I just stayed away.

  • Good on you Lena! xx

  • Lizzy

    This is such a true post, I constantly feel like i should be buying the latest nail polish collections, the latest lipstick launch etc to try and be relevant and yet financially it’s just not viable. I don’t know how some people do it, but I’m glad i’m not the only one who feels limited by my budget 🙂
    Great post xxxx

    • I’m also glad that others feel the same way – reading these comments has been so great! Thanks Lizzy xxx

  • so happy you shared this, I totally agree and congratulations on being on the road to being debt free x

  • I’m glad you wrote this post! I feel very similarly sometimes – now that I’ve shifted the focus of my blog from beauty to lifestyle-y there’s a lot less pressure to stock up on the latest thing that everyone’s buying.

    I can empathise with Christel – that MAC Pro discount killed me (especially because I worked in the EY building above the Britomart store). I used to spend quite a lot on the MAC US website too stocking up on “things for the kit.” I sold a lot before I came here but there’s still quite a collection!

    I get really frustrated when everyone’s posting about the same thing – sometimes it makes me not want to buy the thing because the saturation makes it less exciting. Does that make sense? Idek but I’m glad you posted this. I admire your attitude Lena <3

    • Oh man that would kill me with the MAC pro store temptation plus discount! I bet you have an amazing collection. I love seeing other peoples’ collections.

      Sometimes I yell at my screen ‘enough with the micellar water’ ‘i hate [insert popular product] haha. I feel that way with massive sponsored post campaigns too – it does the opposite to what they’re trying to achieve. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  • Sophie ♥

    This is a great post Lena :). Awesome job. I was on a bit of a spending ban earlier in the year before I went to Australia and even then I don’t feel like I spent that much on makeup compared to previous holidays. Like Elese I feel like because I’ve expanded my blog to not just be solely centred on makeup now I am spending less on makeup. I’m not sure-limited edition collections just don’t seem to tempt me all that much as they used to. I guess one good thing I like to do is have a ‘one in, one out’ policy so if I do buy something I don’t really need then I try to find something to sell on/rehome (in the case of PR samples). Hope that helps! x

    • Even before I went on a shopping ban, I was starting to feel like my makeup collection was at maximum capacity actually. Like if I thought about it now, I can only think of a couple of things I’d like to buy. Expanding your blog from just beauty is a good idea. I think the other only thing I’d be passionate enough to blog about would be current events/politics so I’m not sure that’d work haha. Selling things is a good idea, I’ve sold one or two things but there are plenty of other things I could happily sell. Thanks Sophie x

  • Bingo! Hi5 Lena. I’m a fellow blogger with no colorpop to boast. I’m blessed with frugal genes and its rarely (once a year kinda thing) that I let go of die hard habits. I just can’t justify spending on latest products. I’ll never be a chanel girl and I’m ok with that. I’ve never bought MAC from NZ as prices are ridiculously high. No fancy dine outs for me either. My mortgage takes priority over lipsticks anyway.
    Good luck to you on this journey. It’s very rewarding*

    • I wish I was more frugal! My brother is so good with money and I just blow it all. We’ve been like this since we were kids too. I’m getting better though. I just like dining out a lot and buying nice things – I need to get the sort of income that supports that. Although even then, I’d need to be saving more!

  • I agree with everything you have said. Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the “I need this” circle and when I see other bloggers with it I feel like I must have it. Going down to one income as a stay at home mum has been extremely tough and the first thing I had to sacrafice was spending money on make up. I very rarely do now. It’s considered a treat.
    Great post. It’s very honest which is why I love your blog x

    • Thanks Analesha! Having one income to support 3 people can’t be easy, and sacrificing makeup purchases would be so hard for me.

  • What a great post! I love that you’re being so honest about this. I love clothes, handbags, shoes, make up and I have a taste for designer stuff which is hard because I realised that at some stage I had to be an adult and actually pay for a car, mortgage etc. So over time I’ve learned to be more restrained about things…no spending all my money on something and living off my credit card until I get paid again.

    • Realising you have to be an adult is so hard! It has been a series of realisations for me and I’ve never been thrilled about it, but they’re for the best. I can’t see myself affording a mortgage any time soon, especially not in Auckland, but I do need to start thinking about my future. Thanks for commenting!

      • That’s so true, I know the Mortgage thing is so daunting it’s baby steps though and you’re making some really positive changes,

  • This was a great post Lena, I feel you on a lot of the things you pointed out. Although some things I think ‘oh that would be great to blog about’ I try not to have that mindset. My problem lies in the fact that I love buying and trying new products anyway (hence why I started blogging in the first place), so I spend a bit too much money on it all – seriously thinking about it is scary! I should really be budgeting, but I’ve always struggled with spending within my means, from now on I have really gotta rein it in!

    • It is scary to think about the money I’ve spent, and how much it all adds up, the amount is quite terrifying. Reining it in has sucked, and I’ve had such temptation, but I’m glad that I’ve been doing it. Blogging, and reading blogs where people have such great things can be really hard when trying to restrain yourself from spending!

  • I love shopping but always keep an eye out for sales. I avoid impulse buying, if I think I want something, I’ll make a note of it and come back a few days later to purchase it. Sometimes I don’t want it anymore, but if I do, that’s fine too.

    I absolutely hate debt so keep my credit card debt at $0. If I buy something on it, I transfer the money over to my credit card right away. I don’t look at my credit card as a loan, but as a way to purchase stuff online payment.

    If I make a big purchase, I’ll make a deal with myself about it. One time I paid almost $200 for a pair of earrings. This might not be a lot for some people, but it was for me. I vowed not to buy any earrings for a whole year and I stuck to it! That was over 2 years ago and even now, I feel guilty for having paid so much for a pair of earrings, my last few pairs of earrings have been less than $30 a pair.

    • That’s a good strategy – if I leave something I usually lose interest in it fairly quickly, I just easily get caught up in the whirlwind of exciting items. You seem to have a good approach to debt, and I’m trying to be like that!! Thanks for commenting.

  • Emily White

    OMG. Lena. This is the best post ever! I am terrible with spending and once you take the time to look at all the unnecessary items you’ve spent your money on you can see that it’s not as important as you thought it was. It’s definitely made me take a step back and have a think about my spending! PS – Colourpop is worth it. 😉

    • Thank you <3 When I look around my room and think of what I could have spent all of that money on, it pains me! I have more makeup than I ever could possibly need, and yet I had to borrow money from my parents when I crashed my car. That was a big lesson for me!


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