6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Another Beauty Product


6 Questions To Ask Before Makeup Shopping

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.6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Another Beauty Product

Originally published on January 3, 2022. Updated on November 23, 2023. 

In this post, I’ll explore six crucial questions to consider before purchasing another beauty product. Before we dive in, a quick reminder: this blog and podcast are unsponsored and free from advertisements. Your support through sharing and contributions on Patreon is invaluable in keeping this content independent and informative.


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2020 and 2021 made beauty purchases more accessible ((learn more about that here), thanks to the enhanced online shopping experiences offered by major retailers. Here are key questions to ponder before making your next beauty buy.

Here are a few questions I’d encourage you to ask yourself before you click ‘buy now’ or impulsively grab something at the store.

Question 1: Is this product formulated for your skin type?

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, new products and formulations are constantly introduced, each claiming to be the “latest secret ingredient.” Before succumbing to the allure of a new skincare brand or product, ensure it aligns with your skin type.

Determining your skin type is not only crucial for makeup but also for selecting appropriate skincare products. In the world of beauty, it’s one of the most important questions you can ask. Over the years, 90% of the issues my clients and students have faced stem from using formulations that don’t align with their skin type.

If you’re unsure about your skin type, grab my free yet comprehensive skin type guide and/or delve into my skincare for beginners post. Understanding your skin type is a fundamental step in caring for your skin properly. And of course, allowing your makeup to wear comfortably and shine through. When you use makeup that isn’t formulated to your skin type, or you neglecting to prepare your skin for makeup (aka skin prep), you can render your beauty investments futile.

Natalie Setareh Skin Type Guide

This question isn’t just about buying makeup; it’s about laying the foundation for a skincare routine that complements your unique skin needs. As the beauty industry continues to unveil the “latest secret ingredient,” being armed with knowledge about your skin type becomes even more crucial.


Question 2: Do you already have a similar product in your makeup bag?


Evaluating your current collection is not just a good idea; it’s the best place to start before adding new cosmetic products to your beauty arsenal. We all have our weaknesses, whether it’s for the latest eyeshadow palette or that tempting lipstick shade. However, before succumbing to the allure of new beauty products, consider this: the best place to find what you need might just be in your makeup bag.

Take a moment to assess your existing collection.

Makeup bag Stuff

I, for one, have a soft spot for loose pigments and glitters, but I’ve learned that these products take time to use up and aren’t always the most convenient. While they might swatch beautifully, I’ve often discovered that I already have a similar product in my makeup bag or something that serves the exact same purpose.

Before you embark on a new beauty shopping spree, ask yourself if you truly need another eyeshadow or if the one tucked away in your makeup bag can work its magic. More often than not, you’ll find that you have what you need, making it a good idea to use up what you have before adding more to your collection.

Remember, the best place to discover what you need might just be right in front of you, in the form of the beauty products you already own.

Question 3: Is it {really} the right color for you?

Choosing the right color for your makeup is not just about aesthetics; it’s about understanding the nuances of color theory and how they interact with your unique skin tone. Don’t be swayed solely by how a shade looks on a salesperson or someone with a similar skin tone – the real test is whether it complements you.

Color theory, while not overly complex, is a valuable tool in making informed beauty choices. I once fell for the allure of a MAC Heroine lipstick, inspired by how stunning it looked on the salesperson. However, wearing it at home revealed it didn’t quite work for me. Understanding color theory then could have saved me from that impulse purchase.

If you’re unsure about color theory basics, check out my interview with Terri Tomlinson for a practical rundown. It’s essential to grasp the basics because, as evidenced by my lipstick mishap, even a product from a reputable brand may not be the right fit if the color doesn’t align with your undertones.

Remember, just because a particular shade suits someone else doesn’t guarantee it will have the same effect on you. So, before you add that new lip color to your cart, take a moment to consider if it truly complements your unique skin tone.


Color Theory and Makeup - Be Your Own Makeup Artist Podcast with Natalie Setareh

Don’t Miss This Amazing Interview on Color Theory and Makeup with Terri Tomlinson


Understanding the interplay of colors and how they enhance your features can save you from impulse buys and contribute to a more curated and personalized makeup collection.


Question 4: Do you honestly think you’ll use it up before it expires?

When considering a beauty product, especially those with an extensive color palette like eyeshadow palettes, it’s not just about whether the colors suit you – it’s also about practicality. Consider the longevity of your potential purchase and whether you’ll realistically use every shade before its expiration date.

This question becomes even more critical when we delve into the broader context of beauty brands and their marketing strategies. Beauty companies, whether established or introducing a new brand, often launch products with a diverse color range to attract a wide audience. However, as a potential customer, it’s essential to evaluate whether the entire product line aligns with your needs.

New brands, eager to establish themselves in the beauty business, may introduce extensive product lines to appeal to a broader target audience. As consumers, it’s prudent to scrutinize the offerings and question whether each product serves a purpose in your routine. The marketing plan of beauty brands may showcase the allure of a comprehensive range, but your decision should be based on practicality and ensuring that you genuinely need and can use each product.

To guide your choices, especially when faced with expansive product lines, it’s beneficial to refer to Sonia Roselli’s video on makeup expiration dates. This can help you understand the shelf life of different products and make informed decisions about whether you can realistically use them up.



In the ever-evolving landscape of the beauty industry, where new brands and product lines are introduced regularly, being a discerning customer is key. Evaluate not just the allure of a new product but its practicality in your beauty routine, ensuring that you’re not swayed solely by the extensive offerings of beauty companies.


Question 5: What need does this product fill?

While it might seem like I’m inundating you with questions, this one opens the door to the main reasons behind your beauty purchases. Before you click ‘buy now,’ pause and consider the purpose behind adding a new product to your collection.

In a world dominated by social media posts and influencers showcasing the latest must-haves, it’s easy to get swept up in the allure of a single product. However, taking a moment to reflect on the need it fulfills can be a game-changer.

The global beauty market is flooded with an array of products, each vying for attention. Before succumbing to the next trend, ask yourself if the product genuinely serves a purpose in your routine. Customer reviews can offer valuable insights, providing a real-world perspective beyond the glossy allure of marketing campaigns.

Consider whether you’re buying a product to try something new, to experiment with a new technique, or simply because it looks stunning on your vanity. If it’s the latter, that’s perfectly fine! Beauty is about enjoyment and self-expression.

However, for those curious about a specific product, opting for a budget-friendly version or a single product to test the waters can be a prudent approach.

Drug Store Dupes Pinterest Image

Check out this blog post called “To Dupe or Not to Dupe? 5 Tips to Help You Decide What to Buy.”

Taking the time to assess your reasons for a purchase can lead to a more intentional and satisfying shopping experience. The next time you’re enticed by a new launch, ask yourself what need it fulfills in your beauty routine, and whether it aligns with your preferences and values.


Question 6: Do you actually know how to use this product?

Let’s face it; the world of makeup can be overwhelming, with countless products promising to transform your look. However, the best way to navigate this sea of options and achieve the best results lies not just in the products you choose, but in understanding the fundamentals of makeup and its application.

The best part? You don’t need to be a makeup artist or follow trends religiously to enhance your natural beauty. It all starts with mastering the basics, and that’s why investing in learning the foundations of makeup is crucial.

Before you click ‘add to cart,’ consider whether you truly know how to use the product you’re eyeing. Do you understand the nuances of application, color theory, and how to enhance your unique features? The best results in makeup come from a solid understanding of the basics.

Makeup Brushes image via Unsplash

Enter “Be Your Own Makeup Artist,” my brand-agnostic book that serves as your go-to resource for understanding and mastering the art of makeup. Whether you’re a complete beginner or someone looking to refine their skills, this book is designed to demystify the world of makeup and empower you to create looks that enhance your natural beauty.

Learn Makeup with Natalie Setareh

And for those who prefer a more interactive learning experience, “Learn Makeup in 5 Days,” my online course, takes you on a journey from the fundamentals to more advanced techniques. It’s the best way to kickstart your makeup education in a brand-agnostic and inclusive environment, ensuring that you’re equipped with the knowledge to make informed choices in the beauty aisle.

Investing in learning the fundamentals not only saves you from potential makeup mishaps but also allows you to approach product purchases with confidence. Knowing what works for you becomes second nature, and you can fully embrace the transformative power of makeup while staying true to your unique style.

Natalie Setareh Makeup For Beginners Online Course

So, the next time you’re tempted by a new beauty product, consider whether you’ve laid the groundwork for your makeup journey. The best way to achieve confident results is by first understanding the basics of makeup. Either through “Be Your Own Makeup Artist” and/or “Learn Makeup in 5 Days“. Both of these are educational resources to guide you on your skincare and makeup journey.

TL;DR: Mastering Makeup Basics – The Ultimate Guide to Confident Beauty Choices

In the hustle of the beauty aisle, it’s easy to overlook the importance of mastering the basics.

The bottom line (especially if you feel like you’re drowning in your makeup collection but struggling with confident makeup application).

Investing a little time in learning makeup fundamentals is the only thing standing between you and confident beauty choices.

In a world inundated with products and trends, this blog post highlighted the important things to consider before your next beauty purchase. From understanding your skin type to embracing the nuances of color theory, these insights can save you a lot of time, money, and beauty mishaps. So, the next time you’re tempted by the latest launch, remember that the great way to enhance your beauty journey starts with knowing the essentials.

Happy beauty exploring!

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin