Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Only Bought Two Things from the Sephora VIB Sale, and That's Okay

Last night, I came home from work and walked right past my unopened box from Sephora. This was partially because I was really sick--I have some kind of virus and I was in the beginning stages of a migraine to boot--but it was also because I didn't think it was critical to rip the box open right away. I knew what was in there. I knew it wasn't going anywhere. And I no longer get the same "OMG PACKAGE YAY" thrill that I felt a year or so ago.

That's not to say that I dislike receiving things in the mail, or that I'm unmoved by new products. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that receiving a box of Besame PR a couple of weeks ago gave me ALL THE FEELS. But I think staying on a budget, downsizing my collection, trying to finish up products, and carefully considering my spending habits has made me less dependent on buying things to be happy. I like getting new stuff, but I don't have to get new stuff to enjoy my day.

This is especially relevant as a blogger: we feel pressured to try the newest and shiniest stuff (or at least some of it) to keep up and stay relevant. But the weird thing is that, whether I'm evaluating a product that has been reviewed to death or posting about something that doesn't seem to get a ton of buzz, people still read the blog and I still enjoy writing it. I never got in to blogging to be popular; I got in to it because it's a fun hobby and I thought I could be of some help to people. Newest releases or no, BOGL is doing just fine.

All rambling aside, my point is this: I used my last $50 gift card and paid less than a dollar out of pocket during this sale, and I don't mind. Of course, there are other things I would've liked to try, and getting them at 20% off would be preferable. But they're not necessary. I have a ton of stuff to use and to test and to write about. I mean, just look at my overflowing sample/to-try box:

Yeah, I've got a lot of work to do.

Any time VIB rolls around, I see people flooding the forums asking for suggestions on what to buy, or YouTubers posting "my VIB recommendations" videos, or panicked "BUT I ONLY WANT TWO THINGS!" Reddit posts. I'm not saying these are inherently terrible things; one of the perks of being in a "beauty community" is receiving recommendations for products you might have missed otherwise. But what always gets to me is people saying they want to buy things just because there's a sale and they feel like they have to buy. "There's nothing I want from Sephora VIB; help!"

Is that such a bad thing? Yeah, 20% off is nice if you have a few things you want to get or you spotted something new but expensive you'd like to try. I held off on buying my two products (a moisturizer and a self tanner) because I would prefer to get them at 20% off. But if I hadn't bought them? That's fine. Missing a sale is not the end of the world. Skipping a couple of new products isn't scary when you have lots of great stuff already. And there will be another sale next year. Again, it's that terrible FOMO ("fear of missing out") that sales like this capitalize on, that beauty marketing depends on, that so easily suckers us in to spending money we don't have to spend.

To be very clear: I am not ragging on people who spent a lot at this sale. I know people personally who have spent nearly $1000. The difference, I think, is that the people I know didn't purchase things for the sake of purchasing them. They actually waited several months to stock up on their staples, replace favorites, and try new things. That's fine! And it's fine if you bought a ton of stuff you legitimately want. Rather, I think we should be wary of participating in a sale and spending a lot just because we feel like we should spend-like-woah during a sale.

The 2017 VIB sale ends tomorrow. I know this. And on impulse, I went through my favorites list and added a few things to my cart. I typed in the coupon code. I looked at the final price. And I realized that I just don't want to spend the money on those things right now. I don't need more cream eye shadows. I don't need an eye cream. I don't need another candle. I might buy them eventually, and it's likely I won't have a coupon for them at that time; my VERB Leave In Mist will cost me  the full $18 instead of a slightly reduced $14.40. That's okay.


  1. The sale really does create so much hype and expectation to spend extravagantly. But we all know it's going to happen again in April, and then in November, so it's not like this is our only chance at a lower price! I've stopped caring about big YouTubers buying and receiving so many products because it really is just a part of the job, but all the VIB sale hauls do promote a pretty extreme level of consumerism and I think a lot of average people feel the need to keep pace with BGs. You don't have to buy anything - it's an option, not an obligation.

  2. Wow, I'd be thrilled if I couldn't think of anything I wanted. Even if there's nothing I want, I like to at least get a staple item on sale, like moisturizers or serums. It may not be exciting, but that's okay with me. I bought 3 of my staple curly hair products, including a liter size of a curly hair refresher I've been using for years now, and one splurge item, a liquid highlighter. Not exciting, but I love getting everyday items on sale.

  3. I'm not using my 20% off. 20% is better than nothing if I were planning to buy something that rarely goes on sale anyway, but it's waaay too small a discount to buy something that I wouldn't otherwise get.

  4. I spent about $200 but $50 of that was a Christmas gift for my sister. I replaced two skincare items and bought some lipstick because I'm addicted to it. Also, since finding out I'm allergic to sesame, 50% of my lip stash is occasional use only :(

  5. I restocked 2 staple skincare products and splurged on one high end cream eyeshadow that I've been wanting for months. My grand total was $56. I needed to restock my CC cream but can get a better deal by buying directly from the brand website so I'll hold out for that.