Reviewing My 2017 Beauty Expenses

Hi Everyone!

Today, I’m going to be taking a look at my expenses from last year. So, it’s going to get a little analytical and I have pie charts!! Earlier THIS year, I went through my receipts and I started an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my beauty purchases.

As you may have read before, I have an allowance of $25/month to spend on products to review for my blog. This allowance started this year. I didn’t really have an allowance last year. I think it’s a reasonable amount since I can buy 2-3, maybe even 4 products from the drugstore. I prefer doing drugstore products because it’s more accessible (financially) for everyone. The higher end products that I have reviewed are mostly products that I wanted to try myself, i.e. Lancome Skin Feels Good Foundation, Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation stick, etc.

With my receipts and some guessing, I logged all of my makeup, skincare and hair purchases from last year and this year. For some products, I just rounded up to the nearest 0 or 5. So, my total 2017 expense could be lower than what I actually recorded.

In the excel sheet, I am only including makeup, makeup tools (brushes, sponges), skincare for my face and extra hair products (like masks and styling sprays).

I did NOT include things like soap, body wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, body cream, cost for hair cuts, eyebrow waxing, manicures, etc. I didn’t include essentials like bathroom essentials because those are necessary for good hygiene. I didn’t include things like hair cuts, waxing or manicures because I don’t do them often enough to need to track them. For hair cuts, I get one once a year (if that) and I haven’t gotten a manicure since last year for my sister’s wedding reception in Toronto because I mostly get my nails done for special occasions only.

In 2017, I spent a little over $1900 on makeup items and skincare. I am going to round it up to $2000 because there could be products I missed in my tracker or maybe I underestimated a price of something.

I’m pretty proud that I haven’t spent that much on a single item. My most expensive individual items are about $50. My 6 most expensive purchases were:

  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation Kit – around $80
    • You receive the foundation, primer and a foundation brush
    • Foundation retails for $52
  • Tory Burch Eau de Parfum kit (had a full-sized perfume, a mini perfume and a bottle of hand cream) – $80 (at MAC Warehouse Sale)
  • Sephora Brush Kit (3 brushes) – $60
  • Laneige Water Bank Serum – $46
    • I later gave it to my sister, because my skin reacted to it
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Equalizer Primer (Redness Correcting) – $45
  • Tarte Bronze & Glow Double-Ended Contour Brush – $41
    • I have no idea why I paid full price for this when I could’ve waited for a sale!! I do love the brush though, so it’s not too painful…but still a little bit

I was going to do my top 5 most expensive items, but I wanted to add the Tarte brush to mention how dumb it was to pay full price for a brush.

I split up the costs to see how much was spent on makeup and how much spent on skincare.


I spent about $450 on skincare, $250 on makeup tools (brushes, sponges, makeup wipes), which means I spent about $1300 on makeup. If you’ve read my MAC Warehouse Sale haul, you’ll know I spent almost $400 in September and then I went again in December and spent about $200, I think. So, almost half of my makeup expenses were from the MAC Warehouse Sale. I’ve decluttered quite a few of the products I bought at the sale because I just went so crazy buying lipsticks and I came home and realized the shades weren’t the same as when I swatched them. I’ve learned my lesson since then…the swatches will look very different from the actual shade because it’s hot in the warehouse and tons of people are touching them. Most of the shades looked more sheer when I swatched them. I bought a lot of shades that were too coral for me. Luckily, I could Back to MAC the lipstick tubes to get a full sized one (after returning 6 empties).


I bought 135 items in 2017. Only 29 of those purchases were (21%) planned purchases. After seeing this, I was shocked. When I say ‘planned purchases,’ I mean it was something I had wanted for a while and actually read reviews on it. That means the other 79% of my purchases were impulse buys where I was at the drugstore/Winners/MAC Warehouse Sale and decided, “I’m going to get this.”

Here’s a breakdown of where I bought the products:

2017 - where purchase breakdown.PNG

It’s really interesting and eye-opening to track your beauty purchases. I know I can definitely cut down on the impulse buys and I’m happy to say that I unintentionally cut down on impulse buys this year. The makeup goals I set for myself have helped me a lot. Having them in the back of my mind has helped my shopping  (online and in-store). When I was adding things to my cart for the Sephora sales, I went through and reviewed the products asking myself, “Do I really need this?” and “Let’s check out the reviews for this.”

Next month, I will review this year’s beauty expenses and then write another post on starting a beauty budget for the new year.

Do you track your beauty purchases too?