Balancing Your Beauty Budget Part I: Spending Categories and Priorities

Beauty should not be a big part of your budget.

This might sound strange coming from a beauty blogger, but it's true. There is just so much more that you can put your money to, like experiences. Or learning. Or charity. 

That said, most of the time we don't actually know how much we are spending on our skin, hair and makeup. Or if we know, the spending is often not in line with our actual needs.

To make a beauty budget that serves you, it helps to have broad guidelines as to how you actually want to spend your money. I don't want to discuss how much exactly is "fine" to spend and what is "too much" since this is a very individual thing. But let's assume that a) you choose to set a limit to the outflow of money that goes towards beauty, and b) you want to spend that outflow in a way that serves you best.

Splurge categories:

The first step I suggest is defining your top priorities, or what I call splurge categories. These are the things you'll be spending most of your money on.

Sun protection

Because prevention is better than cure, and there is no other prevention like sun protection. And good sunscreen doesn't come cheap. Don't skimp here.

Beauty problems and goals

What is the biggest issue of your skin and hair? If you could define one or two beauty goals, what would they be? Be specific, like increasing hair volume or dealing with under-eye circles. Long-term issues like psoriasis also come under this category.
This part of the budget will help you buy a couple (not more) of well-chosen products for your needs. Maybe you need a very specific mascara or concealer. Or a serum that deals with hyperpigmentation. Or maybe you want to put away this part of the budget to save up for eyebrow blading. Whatever it is, it should address the bigger issues.


Because man does not live by bread alone, you need hyacinths for the soul. For this category pick something that you love. Artisanal soap. Lipsticks. A face mist that doesn't do much but smells heavenly. I believe that consciously choosing a couple of luxuries that really make your heart sing will prevent overspending and impulse buying in other categories.

How much exactly you want to assign to these categories is something to decide for yourself. If you're in doubt I'd say that you can start with assigning half of your beauty budget to the Splurge categories. You can adjust this later on. At this point it would be interesting for you to know how much you roughly spend on your beauty needs each month. Try to note down last month's expenses, and see if they are in line with your general spending values.

What would go into your splurge categories? For me this would be mineral foundation and serums (goals) and highlighters (joy).

Photo credit: Fabian Blank via Unsplash

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