Wednesday, February 6, 2019

No Buy 2019: One Month Update

I don't think the first month or two of a year-long challenge is all that interesting, since so little time has passed and you've likely faced few challenges. However, I've gotten a lot of questions about how my No Buy 2019 challenge is going. And since this seems to be the Year of the No Buy for many beauty bloggers and YouTubers, it's as good a time as any to update you all.

What did I want?

I jotted down three wants in my bullet journal: the new Fenty concealer, the new Laura Mercier foundation, and the Rituel de Fille range. Helpful comments from Instagram followers and fellow Redditors knocked the purportedly drying Fenty concealer off of my list. I'm still very interested in the Laura Mercier foundation, especially with all of the positive reviews coming out, so I might use a gift card to purchase it. This being me, though, I might wait until there's a sale on it to sweeten the deal. I always prefer to buy things on sale! And while most of Ritual de Fille's cream products purportedly dry out and become unusable quickly, I've been sent tons of comments that state the highlighters are an exception, especially the Alchemist Highlighter Intensifier. I'm still waffling on this highlighter, so I'll wait a while longer and see if it's worth a gift card.

By not purchasing these products I wanted, I saved $106 this month. I'm hoping that "total saved" number will grow as the year goes on!

What did I buy?

The Milk Makeup Face Gloss has been on my Sephora "loves" list for quite a while, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $20 for such a tiny tube. When they put it on sale for $10, however, I snatched it up. After taxes, it was $10.80; I used a $25 gift card I received for Christmas to cover the charges. (I pay for a yearly Flash Shipping subscription, so there were no shipping fees.) I plan on using the rest of the gift card to buy a mini size of the Benefit Gimme Brow, but I'm holding off until Sephora puts up some point perks and samples that interest me.

As for staples, I repurchased my day cream, the Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35. There's still a bit left in my current bottle, but it's only a few uses and it goes out of stock too frequently for me to risk it in the dead of winter.

How am I feeling?

Honestly, thus far, this hasn't been a struggle. I have a lot of willpower (aka, I'm stubborn as a mule), and when I tell myself I'm not going to do something, there's a good chance I'm going to stick to that. Life has also played its part: I'm often too busy with work to pay attention to product launches, and the water in our building randomly shuts off at least once a month, which makes me hesitant to wear makeup sometimes. Furthermore, I've been putting the money toward my other goals. I'm one payment away from killing a student loan, and holy shit, the YES YES YES! feeling I'm getting is more powerful than the need for lipstick.

That said, I'm not getting cocky. I know it's only the first month in what is shaping up to be a stressful quarter. The desire to stress shop could hit me like a truck. Also, I'm turning 31 in April, and my birthday has traditionally given me an excuse to buy a lot of stuff I don't need. I'm trying to focus on experiences for my birthday this year, especially since, by some strange stroke of luck, I'll be off work on the Friday before and Monday after my birthday.

Anything else?

Something that keeps popping up on Reddit and Instagram is that many people have already caved and broken their year-long no buy. There's a lot of guilt and shame on both sides, with the people who messed up self-flagellating themselves for making a mistake and their readers/viewers questioning how they could be so weak as to fail in less than a month. Instead of doing that, I want to stress that, while year-long no buys are very popular this year, not everybody is ready for a no buy this long.

Trust me, I know; there was a time when I spent entire paychecks on makeup I barely used. Willpower or no, telling myself I couldn't buy anything for a year wouldn't have worked back then. Instead, I started with easier challenges, like a beauty budget. Change doesn't happen overnight, my friends, and most of us need to break bad habits carefully and mindfully.

If you're struggling with a year-long no buy, I have a few less intense options that might work better for you:
  • Try a monthly or seasonal no buy. See Auxiliary Beauty for an example of this strategy.
  • Instead of challenging yourself to stop spending money, challenge yourself to recreate certain looks or make a dent in a few of the products you already own. I've written more about suggestions like this here.
  • Create a budget. Budgeting videos are huge on YouTube right now if you need some inspiration! The best thing about budgeting, honestly, is that it helps you figure out your priorities, e.g., "Wow, I spend 10% of my income on makeup and only 1% on travel, but I always say I want to travel more."
  • If you struggle with wanting to spend your disposable income the moment it hits your account, set up an automatic transfer: every paycheck, X amount goes in to your savings, a retirement fund, etc. instead of sitting in your checking. (This works best if you have consistent paychecks.)

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