Share: do you have a monthly beauty budget?

Many years ago, my bestie and I had a discussion regarding the bare minimum amount of money we need each month. She told me she can survive on a couple of hundreds while I said I need at least 1k. So we broke down the figures and she literally rolled her eyes at me when she realized that most of the money I needed was for beauty. Ha! That’s the good old me, when beauty was a priority. In our local speak, “die die also must beautify!” I was also working full-time then and so had no qualms about splurging money on my hair, face and body. However, now that my priorities have changed, so has my budget for beauty.

Setting a budget
At one point in my past, I was spending four digit figures on beauty for hair treatments, facials, spas and luxury beauty products. Over time, I scaled down and limited myself to a budget of $500 a month. It was funny I was always motivated to buy something new every month then! The products were always calling out to me! LOL.

Scaling down
Today, it’s really hard for me to put a figure but it’s much smaller. I’ve wised up and am more prudent in my spending habits. So I’ll stock up my products during sales and also learnt how to optimize my products to stretch them for longer usage. In addition, being a beauty blogger means I do receive products for reviews and hence, do not have to purchase so many products. But I still purchase products regularly, either to replenish my stocks or to test out new products and I’m probably spending around S$100 to $150 per month on average now. The one area I’ve really scaled down is on my hair. I used to go for expensive hair treatments in the hope of growing more hair but all those spending really came to naught. I’ve also stopped going for facials and thank goodness I don’t have any urge to seek cosmetic treatments. And oh, I hardly purchase makeup items too.

Tips for saving
I think I was rather foolish with my money in the past and I hardly did much research before making purchases. Well, I had no access to Internet then. Many of my purchases were right brain motivated actually but I’ve since learnt that spending more does not equate to better results. I’ve learnt to control my impulsive buys. The first question I’ll ask myself is, do I need this? Next, I’ll look at the product and check up the ingredient list. Because there are a couple of ingredients I avoid, so by elimination, I am left with little choices! I also read up reviews at the forums and blogs prior to making a purchase. And, I’ll wait for a sale or an offer.

Share your budget & tips
So how about you ladies? Do you have a monthly or yearly beauty budget and how much is it? What do you spend on mostly? And do you have any tips for us in terms of saving our pockets in this area?


  1. xin says:

    i don’t have a budget for anything. usually purchases are impromptu when they just call out to me. LOL but i do stock up body washes during sales since they are the must-use items. i can’t say i spend a lot on products now, mostly services ?
    my tip for overcoming impromptu purchase is: hold the temptation and go back home, if i still miss it after 2 days, im going back for it.

  2. Emily Chia says:

    I can’t seems to stop buying. There are really a lot of great product. I have stop buying from Singapore. I got enough beauty and cosmetic for 2 years without buying.

  3. Joyce September says:

    Most of my budget goes into beauty products too, books being secondary followed by food. I hardly buy clothes unless an occasion calls for it.

  4. sesame says:

    I like the idea of keeping to a budget in order not to overspend…er…will then have more discipline to hold off impromptu purchases. Heheh.

  5. sesame says:

    Two years? Gotta check the expiry date to make sure they’re good. Better to buy fresh than keep old stocks.

  6. sesame says:

    I think I now spend more on clothes and shoes than beauty stuff. But then again, I’ve always spent on them and my buying pattern is more consistent for these. For beauty stuff, I can go for months without buying too many.

  7. MereMakeupManiac says:

    i must say i want to have but my hubby won’t let me set aside a fixed amount of money just for spending on beauty items. still though, i believe i should have a set amount that i cannot surpass spending on beauty items. but finances are really not my thing, it’s my hubby’s. so there you go. LOL

  8. Brownies says:

    Like what xin says: “hold the temptation and go back home, if i still miss it after 2 days, im going back for it.” For me, I wait for around 5-7 days. Before deciding again if I really need the item. Normally I buy my products one shot and there will be a “cool down ” period when I don’t buy any more skincare/hair/body products. Averaging out, I spend around 100 per month in one year.

  9. EcoBeauty says:

    Haha, previously I always spent close to or over 1k every month and probably, half of that was spent at Watson’s and Guardian. ‘Cause whenever I traveled back home on my own from the office, I felt lonely and usually went for “stop overs”. Recently, I’ve learned to control myself. I think my max is now 300. Unfortunately, I now spend more on cab fares ’cause instead of taking the MRT like I used to (and getting tempted by nearby malls), I’m usually too lazy/tired so I now take cabs everyday, straight from home to the office and vice versa.

  10. sesame says:

    How do you spend so much at Watson’s and Guardian??? You must have been buying tons of stuff! I was spending more at Sasa but now, I hardly step into the store. About taking cabs, that’s understandable cos it’s quite a hassle to get onto the crowded train after a long day at work.

  11. sesame says:

    Yeah, it’s a good strategy cos after a few days, the temptations would wear off.

  12. sesame says:

    I see. A budget is good to curb overspending in a way but well, don’t force it if your hubby is not comfortable about the idea.

  13. Pei Qing says:

    what a cute “ATM” machine you have there? where did u find it? ?

  14. Hiddy says:

    Lately I’ve been addicted to buying indie bath and body products. My bank account is definitely going to suffer when Lush reopens in Singapore this month!
    I don’t really have a set budget. And I know what you mean about wanting to buy something new each month. What I do is that I will put myself on a “product rehab” mode and then aim to use up my stash before buying more. I have a “use it up” list to motivate me to use up my products instead of buying new ones! Oh and one thing which also really helped is that I make a list of items I buy every month, and if I happen to buy too many things it just shows with a super long list and it is usually enough to bring me back to reality to curb my spending on beauty products. Haha.

    Well this method helped me for a year already! Not much luck lately with the holidays looming closer! =)

  15. Ct says:

    Haha what budget? I have tried not going shopping but ended up online shopping instead. My skincare can last me a long time that I have to use my face care on my body just to finish them up quickly.

    But then it’s a joy buying skincare.

  16. Chris says:

    When I was working, it didn’t really have a beauty budget, but I would try to buy makeup and skin care when it went on sale or I would use coupons. That was how I cut back on my beauty spending. Now that I am not working, I limit what I can buy. I don’t set a money limit, but I will tell myself, “You already bought MAC makeup, so you can’t buy NARS for a while”. It seems to work fine. ?

  17. Catherine says:

    I’m a student so I have a budget for everything. I have a set amount of money for the year and I have a spreadsheet where I have carefully worked out all my finances so that my bank balance never goes into red. Doesn’t keep me from going over budget though, my poor spreadsheet is filled with red numbers already. I’ve really cut back on beauty purchasing though compared to last year- when I was new to it all and I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. D: Last month I slipped up like crazy, and it made me realize once again just how expensive beauty products are. Three nail polishes can be as much as £15, and there’s your groceries gone for the week! I now only buy to replace something, or if something is seriously breaking me out otherwise I am making do with what I have. At the moment I’m even going out barefaced as all my makeup isn’t working (my skin is being odd) and I can’t afford anymore. ? I do find it helps not to tempt oneself- no looking on ebay when bored, or going into a drugstore when I have a few free moments etc.

  18. Miggs says:

    Never had the luxury of a beauty budget. If I need a haircut at my favorite salon (and that costs more than a pretty penny) I save up for it, and that’s only if I really need that haircut. I do have the occasional impulse buy whenever I’m at an ULTA or Sephora shop, or whenever I can’t resist floating over to the MAC counter at a department store, but usually I leave empty-handed. The only salon treatment I’ve kept up with regularly is a bikini wax, and that isn’t all that expensive. Other than that, the only budget that figures into my life is for living expenses and food.

  19. Susan says:

    I need to make a beauty budget… or maybe just a budget in general. But I think I’ll wait until after the holiday season sales ?

  20. Sam Gallyn says:

    If I did not have my monthly beauty budget ($100/mo) I am 100% certain I would skyrocket that number. It has helped me a lot and making sure I do not overspend and feed my kids… Ha ?


  21. Gni says:

    i go by elimination via ingredient list. THAT really saves me a lot of money becuz there are so many products containing ingredients that I don’t like. That leaves me only a handful of brands to look at.

  22. sesame says:

    I got it for my son at Metro. Think it was going for $20+. Very cute…comes with an ATM card too.

  23. lynne says:

    I don’t necessarily have a set budget for only beauty each month, because like you, I stock up on skincare and whatnot when places like Metro have their 20% or 25% sales, then I can go at least several months without spending on skincare / makeup. My system is usually to ‘predict’ the things I would ‘need’ to spend on for each month and then work out a budget from there. Some months I need to get new shoes, other months a new bag or save up for an upcoming holiday etc. But once I work that out I do TRY to stick to it.

  24. fabulouslyfrugirl says:

    I like having an annual budget.

    I’m not much of an experimenter, so I like to stick with things that work for my skin. I usually buy cleansers and shampoo once or twice a year, stock up on moisterizers/serums once a year (and replenish as needed), but make up is another story. I’m trying to introduce more colour into it, and also trying to look more professional. I think I spend about $500 a year on beauty products.

  25. sesame says:

    Rehab? Haha…what a word! We’re really addicts! The “use it up”list sounds like a good thing to motivate oneself. I definitely never put up any list. I used to like buying hand creams and I have a few lying around, new and hardly used. Maybe I should create such a list. ?

  26. sesame says:

    You’re another skincare obsessed one! I think online shopping is worse than retail shopping. I just bought some soaps and I’m not even so fond of using soaps in the first place! But like you mentioned, it’s a joy just to buy them! Hee…

  27. sesame says:

    That’s some self-control you have there! I am glad that I’m not into makeup or the budget would explode!

  28. sesame says:

    Wow, you have a spreadsheet! That’s good! I have one but it only tracks my income, not my expenses cos I gave up on tracking expenses! I just mentally set a budget and try to keep to it.

    Internet is definitely bad for the pockets…all the online shopping and sale, and there are so many webstores!

  29. sesame says:

    A budget will help to curtail spending, rather than exceed. But everyone has their priorities so take care of what is important first. ?

  30. sesame says:

    Haha…yes after the black Friday sales at least!

  31. sesame says:

    Yes, exactly! The budget helps to curtail spending and if you hit the mark but still want something badly, then wait for next month.

  32. sesame says:

    Same here! That helps. In the past, I was buying indiscriminately and overspending on junk products.

  33. sesame says:

    Yeah, some months no purchases and some months more buys so the amount sort of average out since skincare do last a couple of months. But I’ll keep an amount in mind for whims and fancy. ?

  34. sesame says:

    Hmm….maybe keeping track using an annual spreadsheet is a good idea. At least I can know where exactly I’m spending more cos there are always those impulsive purchases on and off.

  35. Amanda says:

    Same here. I’ve cut back on my beauty splurge lately. I also don’t go to beauty salons anymore, because I don’t think my skin needs them and most of these salons don’t use products with natural ingredients. This single thing has helped me save TONS of money, and the best of it is, my skin is better off.

    I don’t have a monthly budget and only spend as I see the need. Most of the time I only purchase once per several months when my stock is running short.

  36. Swati says:

    sometime back I did a small post on this topic but its true one needs to control the expenses and prioritize on what their skin needs the most!!! even I was a bit foolish sometimes but I do try to control my spending and spend only on things which would work ?

  37. sesame says:

    I guess with blogging, we’ve also become more discerning about products that’ll work for us.

  38. sesame says:

    Facials are good to an extent but daily routine is actually more important. I’m afraid to go for facials because of the sales tactics…otherwise, I like the occasional pampering.

  39. Isadelia Vienna says:

    Seasame!!!!!!!!! Mother of Singapore’s online beauty blogging go to person!!!! I’m pulling my hair out here!!! PLEASE HELP because I am SO SAD and SO MAD to tears…. WHY IS EVERYTHING SO MUCH BLOODIER MORE EXPENSIVE HERE IN SINGAPORE!?!?!?! Okay, that was extreme, but I just wanted to express how incredibly insanely ridiculously colossally *skrhgskjdsgsuied* I am feeling RIGHT NOW. Don’t even talk about Sephora because you might as well take my wallet and burn it. I can’t think of anywhere to shop for REAL prices except for duty free places such as the airport and I hardly fly! Can you think of some great places to shop for great American/European brands?? If you let me know I’d be sooooooo happy and so thankful because Christmas is coming and I really wanna shop!!! :'((( Love, IsaVie

  40. sesame says:

    Yeah, it’s true many imported brands are more expensive. Online shopping is sometimes better but you might want to wait a bit till Bliack Friday in US – starting 25 November – most brands will give substantial discounts about that time. Subscribe to my Facebook account and I’ll post up sales, etc from time to time. ?

  41. Swati says:

    you are absolutely right and frankly getting to blogging has increase the exposure and temptation to try various products which is again a huge expense!!! curbing the temptation is a task ?

  42. pf1123 says:

    Hello there, its been sometime since I posted any comments here. Hahaha…been so busy that I neglected my daily blog reading time.

    Well, I don’t have a budget for beauty. That’s not good because I am sure I would benefit from it. My biggest spendings per year would be on rebonding my hair and facial. Visiting the hair salon twice a year, sets me back about $500 each trip. Darn curly tough hair! I don’t go for facials monthly but each time I go would cost about $150.

    I do spend quite a lot on skincare. However, I would choose to buy them overseas e.g. Hong Kong where the items are significantly cheaper than in Singapore. Or I would give my colleague a shopping list and ask them to help me get them when they come to Singapore. However, these days, I am trying to cut back on skincare by understanding my skincare needs and buying items which I truly need and not just for trying sake, reading the ingredients list, developing a skincare regime which works for my skin and looking for cheaper alternatives. For example, I am now switching my skincare to Naruko brand which is available locally now and not expensive at all.

    I now have tons of skincare which I stocked up previously. I tell myself, no more buying of masks/items of the same function unless I have finished using them!

    Btw, a quick question! I am currently trying out 2 physical sunblock. One is the Invisible Zinc and another is from the Neutrogena’s Pure range. Omg…I really don’t like them! They make my eyes water whenever I apply them. After application is fine. But I really don’t like it when they sting my eyes. And I wasn’t even applying them on my eyes. I was always careful to keep them away. Is there anything wrong with the products or my eyes are just too sensitive?

  43. Amanda says:

    Yes, the sales tactics are also putting me off. I don’t like being talked to that way.

  44. sesame says:

    Hihi! Glad to see your comments again! I suppose work is taking up too much time but at least, you’re not neglecting on your skin care. ?

    Oh the sunblocks stings your eyes? Probably the ingredients don’t agree with your eyes so it’s best not to use them around your eye area. Don’t think there are anything wrong with the products…more likely some ingredients in there are not suitable to be used around the eye area.

  45. Xi Xi says:

    I wish I knew where to get cheap makeup. I’m supposed to start working soon and omg, makeup in SG is so expensive at times. I’m too scared to get organic or natural ‘cos the prices are so sky high. Even ELF is a rip-off and the local pricing is way high, considering it’s only 1USD .

    If anyone knows where to get decent quality makeup for value pricing, let me know? Like no more than $15 to $20 per piece of makeup.

  46. Xi Xi says:

    Btw, PeiFang, is Naruko really good for oily and sensitive skin? I was thinking of trying either UNT Nettoyant or NARUKO ROSE & BOTANIC AQUA CUBIC FOAMING WASH.

  47. pf1123 says:

    I’m quite careful not to apply close to my eyes. But whenever I apply, I just felt that the “fumes” from the sunblock just smoke my eyes. Real pain.

  48. pf1123 says:

    Yeee….how do you know my name is pei fang?

    I am not sure if naruko is for sensitive skin or not. I’m also just trying it out.
    I don’t have sensitive skin and my skin is not too oily. I have a bunch of products which I mix and match according to the concerns of my skin at hand. i.e. if too oily, I will increase hydration. Clogged pores I will use more mud mask and exfoliation.

  49. sesame says:

    I have no idea the price range of makeup but for foundation, it’ll definitely cost more.

  50. sesame says:

    Oh? That’s really strange. I wonder what is it…then it’s definitely not suitable for you.

  51. Xi Xi says:

    Oops ‘cos I was reading some of the articles on this site and Sesame referred to you as Pei Fang. ?

    Oily skin = more hydration?! Serious?

    And thanks for the tips. ?

  52. Miss Vinny says:

    Wow, that sucks. I’d the same problem like you, with La Roche Posay, the one for sensitive skin, and a few other physical and chemical sunscreens. I was using Fancl sunguard until I decided to look for something with a higher PPD and which is more value for money. I’m currently trying out Sunplay Water Kids SPF 60+ PA+++ which doesn’t give me much issues except for drying my skin out a bit.

    I think there may be some ingredient in your sunscreens, which is irritating your eyes. I would suggest applying another type of sunscreen around your eyes.

  53. mssjackson says:

    I love good products, but I am not willing to spend a lot! So for some months now I have made my own facecream, cleanser, toner, mask, peeling, body cream, eyecream, lip balm and some eyeshadows as well. Its not that difficut to make your own (Well, YOU know Sesame;)) and its fun to!!
    And the best thing is that I know for sure what my products are made of.

  54. Miss Vinny says:

    Btw, could someone take a look at this sunscreen and tell me their thoughts? I know it was highly rated in Cozycot but a second opinion couldn’t hurt. ?

    Sunplay Water Kids Low Sensitivity SPF60+ PA+++

    Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate/ Zinc Oxide / Polyhydroxystearic Acid/ Triethoxycaprylylsilane, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Alcohol/ Coco-Glucoside, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate / Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Silica, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Phenoxyethanol / Ethylhexylglycerin , Diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Water /Glycerophosphoinositol Choline / Phenoxyethanol / Ethylhexylglycerin, Bisabolol, Xanthan Gum / Hectorite / Cellulose , bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, Water / Propylene Glycol / Sorbitol / chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract / Phenoxyethanol / Methylparaben / Butylparaben / Ethylparaben / Propylparaben / Isobutylparaben , Disodium EDTA, Caprylic / capric Triglyceride / laminaria ochroleuca extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ectoin.

  55. Miss Vinny says:

    I try not to spend too much on skincare these days but one thing I cannot give up is my Ego QV Gentle Wash.

  56. pf1123 says:

    Oh, I see!

    Yeah…if the skin is generating more oil, its because it is lacking in hydration inside. So, hydrating more would keep the skin balanced and the skin doesn’t have a need to go into over production of oil.

    I tried this on myself and it works. So, see if you want to try adding a hydrating serum into your routine and test if that works.

  57. sesame says:

    Yes, very fun but I haven’t tried making any types of face, eyes or body creams yet. Maybe it’ll be a project next year when I can find more time and get my hands on more supplies. We have a shortage of raw ingredients here and have to ship in from States.

  58. sesame says:

    This sunscreen should provide broad spectrum protection cos I see 7 sunscreen ingredients, including zinc oxide. There are a couple of ingredients that might be pore clogging – Zinc Oxide, Butylene Glycol, and Cetearyl Alcohol (this one is quite high in pore clogging and for some, potentially an irritant). But otherwise, it looks like a highly protective sun product.

  59. sesame says:

    My hubby uses that one and swears by it too!

  60. pf1123 says:

    I was trying to move towards the physical sunblock route. However, I guess those that I’ve chosen are not really working for me. I think I shall go back to those which I’ve tried and tested for a while before venturing out again.

  61. Miss Vinny says:

    Thanks a lot! ? Hmmm… I can see only 6 filters but then again, I’m not very good at spotting them. ><;;

    Hah, the sunscreen I'm using for my body is far more pore-clogging since my skin itches after a few hours of wearing it. Solait SPF50+ sensitive moisturising lotion. Maybe I'm not removing it properly though since my Ego QV wash is kinda gentle. I already wash my skin with Bifesta Cleansing Gel twice, followed by a few times of the Ego Wash. Though perhaps I should use Cleansing oil too. How do you properly remove waterproof chemical sunscreens at all?

  62. sesame says:

    My husband uses the Ego cleansing oil to remove his sunscreen and he told me it works very well. Personally, I hardly apply on my body except for my hands and I just use normal body wash and it works fine.

  63. Miss Vinny says:

    Well does the eucerin oil dissolve into water? Cos I forgot to mention my house has elderly people and the bathroom floor can get slippery even if I scrub it.

  64. Miss Vinny says:

    It is very good because it’s gentle and actually cleanses my skin.

  65. sesame says:

    You mean the QV one? Yes, it is quite light and doesn’t leave a greasy stain on the floor…as far as I can tell from the other toilet. It’s quite close to a cleansing oil but it does not emulsify much.

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