Why do we impulse buy? The art of: NEED, NEED, AND MORE NEED!

The Gospel According to: The people’s who’s credit cards are attached to their wrists.



“Do not answer this call, it’s Derek Smeath!”

A recent post from Temptalia asked its readers:

How do you avoid impulse purchasing in beauty?

They picked this response:

“I think what’s important is to try and practice getting into the habit of just NO impulse purchases allowed (if it’s concerning for your financial goals or they often turn out to be regrets) and have a mental checklist of when/how a product can be purchased, e.g. read five reviews, wait a week, etc. I always recommend looking at what you’re purchasing and figuring out what is compelling about it; what is driving the impulse to buy and think more critically about whether that’s rational. Also, double-checking your stash for dupes or similar products, thinking about whether it’s something you’d actually use often (how often), and whether it will hurt your life/financial goals by buying it can help!” -Christine

Makeup and beauty products in general are sold to woman (and males as well, but due to a society falling behind at times and with highly sexist/stereotyped advertising, we do not see enough it) but as most commercials do they don’t just sell a product, they sell a lifestyle. Sure, when a person sees an ad for mascara including famous Victoria Secret supermodel, Adriana Lima, at the most surface level it was made to sell to their makeup product. But at more realistic and sub-textual level, it is made to sell to women a vision of beauty or what they could look like.

“You should want to look this…”

“Buy this mascara and you could look like this…You can (want) to be supermodel.”

“If you do not buy this product, you’ll miss out and it be one forever!”

OK, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic or is it?

…Well idk about you, but it sounds like a load of bull-crap. Makeup should be about having fun and doing what you want to your body and, again, idk about you buuuuutttt, I am not a supermodel.

Image result for confessions of a shopaholic gif

So why do most have a sick obsession with buy and hording beauty products? Well, in article for Racked, “Inside the Minds (and Vanities) of Self-Proclaimed Makeup Addicts” by Gray Chapman she wrote about this sick addition. She wrote that although many may find buying makeup in bulk a laughable matter it is indeed not. In fact, she calls it a “physiological fixation” on buying makeup and that often people use makeup purchases serving as a coping mechanism for other problems, like anxiety, stress, or depression.

A 2014 study, “Towards an understanding of Internet-based problem shopping behaviour: The concept of online shopping addiction and its proposed predictors” published by Journal of Behavioral Addictions wrote that “…low self-esteem, poor self-control, emotional distress, hedonistic enjoyment, and cognitive overload” (I.e., internet-induced over-stimulation courtesy of the beauty bloggers in your Instagram feed) as some of the most common predictors to online shopping addiction.

Also, this type of fast, non-over-thinking type of buying gives a shot of dopamine to the brain and some could call it “a rush of cosmetics straight to the blood stream” and I have fallen victim to this as well…many, many, many, many, many times.

In a post from the Hannah the Mad Dog blog by Hannah Padilla, she wrote about some ways to help with this addiction and how to help those from overspending. She said that organizing your collection frequently, keeping track of your expenses, and repeating this mantra: “It’s not going to go away” are some small ways to help the situation.

Also, doing a “no-buy” on one particular item.

“Instead of swearing off not buying makeup at all for a whole month, have you considered swearing off buying a particular makeup item instead?” Adding “I could do a “no buy” on just lipsticks and lip glosses, but be free to buy other things like highlighters. Now that doesn’t mean I go crazy splurging on highlighters. In fact, the less I buy, the more I feel empowered. ” -Hannah P.

It can be hard at times to navigate this hectic world of marketing and consumerism. But learning that you control the products you buy and that products don’t control you is how we can take back our right to purchase.

Related image


Chapman, G. (2017, April 25). When buying makeup stops being fun and becomes an addiction. Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.racked.com/2017/4/25/15344904/makeup-addiction-hoarding

Padilla, H. (2018, January 13). How to stop impulse buying on makeup (or other things), today. Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://hannahthemaddog.com/stop-impulse-buying-makeup-things-today/

TEMPTALIA. (2018, November 16). How do you avoid impulse purchasing in beauty? Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.temptalia.com/how-do-you-avoid-impulse-purchasing-in-beauty/

Rose, S., & Dhandayudham, A. (2014). Towards an understanding of Internet-based problem shopping behaviour: The concept of online shopping addiction and its proposed predictors. Journal of behavioral addictions, 3(2), 83-9.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s