Tuesday, May 7, 2019

No Buy 2019: Almost Halfway

Have we talked about how graceful I am? I'm practically a ballerina. And this past month, I danced right in to my ring flash and snapped the base.

I've also been horrifically busy with work. As much as I love my career, reading piles of student writing and creating 6-8 new lesson plans every week is starting to wear on me. I've spent a lot of my free time in bed, just trying to recover from the weird creative exhaustion.

But I'm back, armed with a new ring flash and my Sephora VIB sale purchases! Let's talk about how everything's been going.

What did I want?

Let's take a moment to appreciate this wants list. First of all, I've X-ed off half of the stuff on the list, meaning reading reviews or re-assessing the product has killed my desire for it. The Jillian Dempsey Lid Tints, for example, look absolutely STUNNING on the many bloggers who have been posting about them, but realistically, I don't need more eye makeup. I'm already beyond lazy with the eye products I have.

Second, I haven't added anything to this list since March. Seriously, for a month and a half, nothing has really tickled my fancy. I actually spent half an hour combing through the "New" sections at Sephora and Nordstrom, and there was nothing interesting enough to add to my wish list.

What did I buy?

I returned the very lovely, but very not my shade, Laura Mercier foundation I tested a few months ago and got the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo and a brush instead. I'm honestly loving this purchase. A brow powder takes a bit longer to apply than, say, a super-pigmented pencil, but it gives me a lot of control, and my brows look fuller without being blatantly drawn-on. Also, I have a problem with my brow products turning very red on my skin; the brow powder stays true to color.

I also made several purchases with store credit and gift cards. Glossier recently released Mango Balm Dot Com (it's okay) and an eye cream called Bubblewrap (haven't tested yet), so I grabbed those along with another bottle of the oil wash. For the Sephora VIB sale, I bought a whopping two things: the Verb Sea Spray and the YSL Touche Eclat High Cover Concealer. I had a rough time buying that concealer because I was sent so many conflicting reports about the shades. After being torn between 0.5 Vanilla and 0.75 Sugar, I went with the latter, since the peachy undertones will likely be better for my undereye circles.

Today, I repurchased the Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35, my staple day cream, from Nordstrom. I had a bit of a panic attack when I noticed the product was no longer on Sephora and contacted the company to see if it was being discontinued. They directed me to several other retailers, so apparently, Sephora is just not going to carry it anymore and everything is fine. If they ever discontinue this product, I'm going crazy and buying as much as I can without overwhelming our budget.

How am I feeling?

At the risk of sounding smug, it's crazy to me how easy this has been. Every time I find myself tempted to buy something new, I remind myself that I only have so much spending money, or that I really want to achieve a no buy year, or that I already own a ton of stuff that needs loved. And I feel fine. Again, looking through the "New Products" sections on several websites and feeling zero interest was a wake-up call. I still enjoy makeup, and in fact, I'd say I've gotten even more in to skincare over the past year. But I don't need to buy a ton of it to be happy.

I do think part of what's making this easy, though, is that I've been so busy at work. I'll be visiting my family for a few weeks this summer, then I'm working a very reduced schedule (roughly 8 hours/week) in July. That makes boredom shopping a very real possibility that needs to be curbed.

Anything else?

So I had to pay some of the taxes for that Sephora order out of pocket--$4.62, to be exact. I'm wondering if that counts as breaking my no buy. On the one hand, that seems needlessly strict, since it was just taxes, not another product, and it was under $5 of my own money. On the other hand, I'm worried that that's a bit of a cop-out, and/or that I'll use that excuse to buy things I don't need later in the year.

I'm keeping track of how much of my own money I spend on non-staples, and $4.62 isn't a bad amount, in my opinion. But I really don't want it to creep up to $50+. What do you think? Am I making excuses, or was this a reasonable expense?

PS: Recently, I've gotten a TON of questions about replacements for the discontinued D&G powder foundation. For a variety of reasons, namely this no buy and my personal pickiness about powders, I haven't found a replacement. If I do, I'll let you know. If you find one, please, for the love of all that's holy, hook a sister up.

PPS: When this no buy is over, I'd like to try a new series testing super-expensive products, our finances permitting. It'd be called "I Spent My Paycheck On This," or something of that ilk. Does that sound interesting at all? Is a review of a $200 foundation even on-brand for me?


  1. Thank God you didn't buy those lid tints. I have two and I'm struggling to think of what to do with them. People are all like "embrace the crease, no one is perfect yada yada" but this crease is no joke. Like, that's where ALL the product goes, only a few minutes after application. My eyeshadow primer wasn't even able to deal with that at all. They're unbelievably overhyped but just mix some lip balm with eyeshadow and you'll get the same effect.

    1. I hope you've published this in a standalone review, because it's pretty stellar.

    2. Ha! Thank you! I've probably already complained about them somewhere else on the internet

    3. Agreed. These products have ZERO advantage over putting any other glossy/creamy product or DIY product combo on your lid. I am more intrigued by the Surratt eye glosses as they at least have more dynamic colors/effect.

  2. I think $4.62 is a reasonable expense when you compare it to how much you didn't spend (either because of gift cards/store credit or because you didn't purchase a lot of the products on your list). If you were trying to justify an out-and-out purchase as still within your no-buy I might disagree, but a few dollars of tax on some well-chosen pricey items seems within the spirit of the parameters you set. I'm not sure if you're the same, but I find when I'm trying to stick to something rather strict and I falter my instinct is to think, "Well, I already failed, now I don't have to bother to do this anymore," so considering it a reasonable cost would help me continue to stick to it. Either way, I think you're doing great, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the Touche Éclat High Cover!

    1. That's a good point--I have to focus on the spirit, or goal, of the challenge. I'm not tempted to spend any more money; I'm just willing to accept that I paid some taxes.

  3. I don't want to be the devil on your shoulder, but the Rituel de Fille creme products are incredible. I have quite a few of the highlighters and one blush and I really adore them. The only thing about The Alchemist is that it's quite glittery - which I like, but you might not.

    1. I totally admit that I haven't X-ed them off yet!

  4. Glad you decided against the CT Hollywood Flawless Filter. I bought into the hype and hate it - does NOTHING for my skin, not to mention it stays wet/tacky and burns mildly...I've tried every possible application technique and nothing improves it. Total disappointment.