Why You Really Don't Need A 'Backup' Of Your Favorite Makeup Products

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You're out running errands and notice your favorite lipstick is on sale. You already have one at home that you recently purchased, but it's so good that you need to buy an extra one in case you run out! Before you know it, you have a small collection of holy grail makeup items that you keep on hand so that you never have to be without them. That is called having "backup" products.

Collecting backup products is super common in the makeup and beauty community. According to this Sephora group page, nearly 80 people replied to a thread about backup products, with several commenters saying they have at least two backups at a time. In fact, one commenter said she currently had 10 of the same product just in case!

This leaves a question begging to be answered: Are backup products necessary? While many people would cut you off with a "yes!" before you could even finish asking such a question, there are instances in which you really don't need them at all.

By the time you finish the product, you may want to try a different one

While certain makeup products last longer than others — though this heavily dependent on how heavy-handed the application is and how often you use them — the bottom line is that most makeup products last a while. Why buy a backup of something that will take you a year to use up? YouTube beauty creator Angelica Nyqvist discussed backup products in a YouTube video, saying: "We forget sometimes it takes a really, really long time to go through makeup. And even though your product might be in a backup drawer absolutely untouched, it's still going bad."

And she's right. According to Bustle, makeup is highly unregulated when it comes to disclosing expiration dates on products, as the FDA doesn't require expiration information to be revealed. This means your unopened products could be sitting in your backup drawer going bad, and you may not even know it.

Even though it takes a reasonable amount of time for makeup to expire, it also takes a while to use up certain products like eyeshadow and blush. And for those specific products, you may want to branch out and try something new and better once you hit pan on them. Or worse, maybe by the time you actually do finish the product, you're sick of it entirely. The point is, before purchasing a backup product, you should ask yourself, "Do I really see myself loving this product so much in the future that I can't be without it and need to spend my money on it right now?"

When should you purchase backup products?

Just because it takes you a few years to go through an eyeshadow pallet doesn't mean the same is true for other items like mascara, concealer, or moisturizer. (PSA: if you are using the same mascara tube you had a year ago, please throw it out immediately and buy a new one.) So yes, there are instances where you know you will need a replacement in a few months anyway, and having a backup on hand wouldn't hurt. This is especially true for hygiene products!

For other beauty items that you enjoy but may take a while to use up, here's a great tip shared by My Women Stuff: Purchase a different color of that item so you can trade off every other day or so. For example, if you love the formula of a specific lipstick, purchase different shades so you can use them all up instead of leaving an unopened and wasted product in a drawer. Regardless of your shopping and makeup habits, buying backup products is very situational. When it comes to stocking up on tampons, though, that's an entirely different conversation.