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Beating The No-Buy Blues

21 June, 2017 - 10:54pm by - Head Pixie | 26 Comments

By BR Kellie

T'was around the middle of last year whilst I was rearranging my beauty space when I realised something... The thought hit me like a wrecking ball in the gut, leaving me discombobulated and really rather ill feeling. This grand revelation?

I had too much makeup.

I know, I know. Who knew that was even possible? I'm still not sure it is. But yet, there I was staring at enough eyeshadow, blusher, highlighter and lipstick to last ten years. And that stuff has expiry dates. I had enough mascaras unopened that I wouldn't have to buy another for two years. 

I knew what I had to do. The two words I swore would never pass my lips.


I promised myself that day that come this year I would not buy a single piece of makeup unless I'd gone through my stash and needed to replace something because there was nothing else available.

Full disclosure - a no-buy is made a little easier when every now and then a little somethin'-somethin' is handed my way thanks to my wonderful job as a Beauty Review Beauty Editor, BUT I haven't spent a single cent on makeup (apart from a green colour corrector, but in all fairness my existing one was five years old and well past its use-by date and I just couldn't go there anymore.).

Six months in I can say this no-buy gig has been hard. Like, really hard. I've seen Maybelline Color Jolts come on the market, and I REALLY want them. L'Oreal has a new mascara out overseas that apparently is amazing and I REALLLLLLLY want to get my hands on that if and when it hits our shores. My beloved Tati was playing with a MAC highlighter and the need to purchase it was real. So how does one stop herself from handing over her credit card when beautifuly beauty products are tempting me? 

1.  The virtual cart. This is dangerous territory. I mean how easy is it to load it up, hit the buy button, input your credit card details and go about your day? SO easy. Yet, it's a way to ease the temptation. I load up the cart, look at it, remind myself I have everything I need, and then click out. Which brings me to...

2.  Window shopping. I swear I'm that person the security guards at Farmers and Countdown zero in on, because I go there at least once a week and peruse the beauty aisles. I tell myself it's part of my job to see what new goodies are on the market, but really I'm just bathing in the glow of all the pretties.

3.  Shop the stash. Even after gifting a bunch of makeup to family and friends I still had a tonne of used makeup left over, and it's been fun rummaging through and rediscovering old favourites like Za's gorgeous Cheeks Groovy Blush in Glowing Pink and my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. 

4. Housework. I'm not going to lie, there have been times I've nearly cracked. When Nicole Guerriero's Glow Kit came out I virtual carted that baby up about six times. My credit card numbers ran through my head begging to be used. So I shut my laptop, picked up the lux and got vacuuming, all the while reminding myself I have seven highlighters all of similar shade sitting in a basket in my beauty room.

5. The guilt trip. Never has being raised Catholic been so handy. At my 'need to buy' worst I remind myself how lucky I am to have what I do (not just in makeup, but in general). How there are people out there who would love to have my stash. What an ungrateful toad I am for wanting more. It's a pretty harsh way to go, and I don't advocate beating up on oneself, but sometimes tough measures must be employed - and for me this works. 

So what has six months of a no-buy taught me? That I really didn't need to buy all the makeup in the world. That I could get by happily with just my ABH Mario palette, my Becca Jacqueline Hill blush/highlighter palette, one mascara, MAC Twig lippy and my new favourite Max Factor Miracle Match foundation (thanks BR!). So I'm doing alright, in fact I'm going good - I just hope L'Oreal don't release the new Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara until next year... because the raves are real and that may be the one thing I can't resist. Time will tell!

So do tell... have you done a no-buy? Cut yourself off. Gone cold turkey. Unhooked from the impulse to spend? What are your tips? How'd you get through? Did it change your buying habits for good? Get chatting!


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I did a no buy for a month and it went really well - mostly because nothing new was released that caught my eye... following into the next month i brought a new makeup/beauty item almost every day for 3 weeks! I'm now 5 days Makeup Shopping Sober and hoping to keep it up (and give my wallet a break) for a while!

No buy for a whole year??? Good on you and good luck! I couldn't even last a month so I decided why bother torture myself.

It's been tough! And the last two days I've had two sale emails pop up in my inbox ... carts were loaded, then deleted. Sigh. Six. More. Months. Haha :)

22nd June, 2017 at 10:17 am

Sales emails are the worst during no buy, you feel like you're missing out if you don't go make a purchase even though deep down you know it'll be on sale again!

22nd June, 2017 at 11:16 am

Ah yes, that's a good point - the tendency to feel like you're missing out. Then I end up kicking myself when I realise that I would have been better off missing out!

22nd June, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Exactly! Or when you go back after a few months and it's even cheaper than when you bought it 'on sale'.

22nd June, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Well done! I'm having a buy less, I too have too much stash, and am trying to work through it. Not sure how one ever uses up a pallet, having a hard time using up one eye shadow, but then I don't wear the same one every day.

yes I couldn't cope with a pallet of eye shadow either

22nd June, 2017 at 8:09 am

No I haven't done a no buy and for a year would be impossible but I have now made myself use what I have before I buy new -It works most of the time but I still have week moments

That's tough and I feel for you in every way. I'm like that with skincare (damn you The Ordinary) and try hard to stay away from the make up tutorials by telling myself that it would like like a shiny disco ball on me within a couple of hours.

It's a good idea, especially if you have all you need and your probably saving loads of money. I have been a spendy holic in the last couple of months but the budget just won't allow for it so I had to cut myself off. Cold turkey. I myself, have atleast enough product to get through to the end of the year (still waiting on a shipment from overseas not included) so I shouldn't need to get anything. I just have to find other things to fill my day and watch and read reviews without investigating further in to how i can get it.

Wow that would be super hard! Good job! I have so much stuff so havn't purchased anything lately. But if I put myself on a no buy it would make me want to buy lol.

Hahaha this article is gold! So much to relate to, and I lost it at the brought up Catholic thing. A year does seem like an awfully long time! I've never done a no-buy, but I can be pretty good at penny-pinching when I need to so haven't given into the need to continuously buy. Also, I have a wedding to save for, so that helps tighten the purse strings.

You are so brave!!!! I'm terrible I convince myself it wont hurt.....I neeeeeeeed it. It's ok I'll just rearrange the bills. Nope I need to do the same!!! Well done you! x

Well done for staying on a no buy for that long. I'm also wanting all the new make up that has come out. I try to do as many empties as possible and then I think I can buy more of the things. I had 10 make up pallette and I've trimmed down to four.?

That's a huge reduction Macs, great job!!

22nd June, 2017 at 8:25 pm

I'd rather keep palettes I love then just have pallettes I don't use.

22nd June, 2017 at 10:22 pm

APPARENTLEY I have a soap addiction. Gorgeous soaps and shower gels are my kryptonite and i probably hqve enough to last me about two years. I did challenge myself one year and betted with my kids that i wouldn't buy any that year and i did it. Now however, I also have quite a healthy stash of body lotions lol.

I've been on a no-buy for 1.5 years now, as I have a whole lot of make-up I want to pan. I last bought an eyeshadow quad about 1.5 years ago, I'm determined to use what I have before buying anything new. The only make-up I have bought are essentials that I have run out of, like mascara, powder and foundation, but then I only replace those when they expire or run out. I'll admit, it's hard. I often see something pretty or new that I'd like to try, and then have to remind myself that I'm decluttering and panning first. I'd love to get one of the new Max Factor matte lipsticks, but I've told myself that that will be a reward for finishing one of my old ones (or tossing it out when it reaches its expiry). I'm determined to replace an old with a new and not just buy new stuff. BR Trial teams don't count - if I happen to make it onto a trial team, it's not a purchase out of my pocket, so it's a bonus product. It is getting easier as the months go by, but the temptation is always there.

Wow congratulations on the 1.5 years Silvene! What about nail polish? Do you have to use up all your existing polish before purchasing a new one?

22nd June, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Koni, I haven't really put myself on a no-buy for nail polish, although did clean those out last year and tossed any that had expired or gone gloopy, replacing colours I didn't have with ones I needed, making sure there were no similar colours.

23rd June, 2017 at 8:58 am

I only buy a new nail polish if its a colour I really need and I can't achieve it by mixing two colours I already have (on a palette).

23rd June, 2017 at 8:59 am

Yes! I've done no buys and may I say that posting this article along with the top ten eyeshadows is perfect timing since eyeshadow is probably the most fun makeup item to buy and it takes the longest to pan. I've been on a reduced spend this year. I have been going through my stash and shopping it. Countless times I'd to get up from my laptop with my dream carts loaded and go to my drawer to view my plentiful makeup stash and talk myself out of it. It has gotten easier. But overall I've bought more of the things I've honestly needed this year like socks and underwear, rather than all the makeup I had heart eyes for. I did buy the odd preloved makeup item when there was a really good deal online occasionally. Like yesterday I scored the Naked Basics 2 I really was debating purchasing earlier this year because there was a really good deal. I think I have focused more on purchasing things I knew I was reaching for regularly, this year and of course replacing the clothes that had holes in it and should have been replaced eons ago.

Hmmm so that must be why I'm getting no housework done lately! Too much time online browsing! Time to shut my laptop too I think!

Well done you. No I haven't, but my rule is that it has to offer something different from other products I own.


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