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BENGALURU: A few weeks ago, I opened my email to see a harmless attacker from my mother. He would read something like “Trade in your complete wardrobe for a busy life.” It seemed like a harmless thread, which I walked through and deleted. The email gave me flashbacks of myself at 2 a.m. on a Friday. With a full cart, blurry vision, a faint ringing in my ears, and a laptop is starting to age from the countless open tabs. The timing of this email couldn’t have been more specific.

We have entered the most difficult time of the year for shopaholics, the holidays. These days induce a combination of worry and excitement, which should make us avoid Black Friday like Black Plague. There is extreme publicity, carefully woven triggers in words and images. Sales designed to give us a ‘now or never’ attitude to shopping, resulting in reckless additions to carts, non-stop deliveries and less real estate to store them.

My dear readers, it is time to be clear. All my life I have been good at rationalizing ridiculous expenses. I can convince myself to buy almost anything at exorbitant prices. I’m getting technical too, with spreadsheets and cash backs, sales, long term wardrobe goals, and convinced myself that buying this thing now will save me a lot down the road.

A lot has changed for me over the past year, and as someone who works in the beauty industry, I have to say: beauty brands don’t have sales because they love you. Of course, sales are always good. You get a little adrenaline rush when this limited edition palette that was on your wishlist goes on sale. If you realize how oversaturated the beauty industry is and how they are essentially competing for a place in your stretched beauty budgets, you will realize that adrenaline is exactly the reaction they are looking for. . Brands don’t have sales because they’re kind or generous. They are doing sales to crowd out the last segment of their target market that they have failed to capture. To break the hold of someone who says, “I already have 40 lipsticks and I don’t need another one.”

The formula is the same: create a new product that catches the eye. Get a stampede of early users who pay full price to rave about it, comfort skeptics with a 10% discount later, and continue to aggressively market those who wait for it afterwards. What you think is such a great deal now will likely be reproduced again until you get tempted to make the purchase. Sales take place every 2 months, so keep that in mind if you’re going to buy something because of FOMO.

A sure way to navigate a sale would be to ask yourself: would you buy this if it was at full price? Having said that, I’m happy to report that all of the purchases I made over the past week were not misguided. In fact, most of the beauty purchases I made were on my list anyway. I’m not sure if I’ll ever put compulsive shopping behind me, but little revelations along the way have helped. What did you buy this sales season?

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