Conscious Research: 3 things I do before buying anything

Where my Eyes Go Blog | Shopping Conscious ResearchWhenever I want to buy a new product, I do research on it. A lot of research. It’s easy to be fooled into buying things that promise beautiful skin or hassle-free, shiny….(insert whatever you want)  because that’s exactly what you’re looking for, so you fall prey to advertising. I won’t pretend I’m an expert shopper in any sense of the word because everyone who knows me knows that sometimes I buy things that I really don’t need (like black shirts with odd, New-Wave quotes on them). But i’ve gotten smarter! Every stumble is a chance at change (groaaaaaan!)

Here are a few things I do (and use) before making a purchase on basically anything:

I Google, Pinterest, & Instagram search for the thing I’m thinking of buying. I like to see it in other peoples hands, to see it outside of the store to get a feel of it in everyday life. For me, if I can see the product in motion it tends to change my mind quite a bit about it both for better and worse.

For beauty, I use sites like Makeupalley, Beautypedia and EWG every time (but not always in this order). These three sites have awesome systems for rating, discussing, and informing you on the quality and health of your beauty products.

  • Makeupalley is essentially a discussion board devoted to products and while I wouldn’t totally use comments on there as gospel, they tend to be 95% accurate, all.the.time.
  • Beautypedia is another great site for honest reviews on products. What I like about it is that they have an expert rating and a community rating alongside a critique so you get two perspectives on the same product, and i’m always surprised to see the difference between the expert and community rating!
  • Environmental Working Group Skin Deep (EWG) is a site my friend C told me about, and if the product is logged into their data base, it gives multiple ratings on different levels about the ingredients in your product, kind of like an internet litmus paper if you will.

I try stuff on. This may seem obvious but have you ever looked at something on a hanger, loved it, didn’t have time to try it on so you bought it, tried it on a home, hated it, and forgot to return it? Yeah, we’ve all done it. Goodbye $25! I find that if I actually take the time to try something on in store, I don’t impulse buy or return very often. That old saying ‘if you put it on the first time and it doesn’t feel right, don’t get it’ is totally true; bringing it home isn’t going to change how you feel in that itchy sweater!

Of course, these are just the things I do. They may work for you, they may not. I’d love to know what you do before buying stuff! Do you have a ritual research pattern too?

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