Putting Myself on a Beauty No-Buy and Evaluating My Spending Habits

Since I last posted back in November, so much has changed. I can't even attribute my lack of posting to all the things going on in the world because my motivation to blog was waning long before 2020 took a turn for the worse. But when my domain came up for renewal earlier this summer, I just couldn't let this site fade away. 

I still post regularly on Instagram and engage with other beauty enthusiasts there but the likes-for-validation environment stresses me out. With a blog, there's less of that pressure to perform and my posts are more searchable if people want to read a review or compare swatches before buying something. If you're reading this now, I hope you're doing OK and thanks for stopping by. 

Getting to the heart of today's topic, I wanted to talk about my decision to put myself on a beauty no-buy for the month of August. I might extend this to include September as well because I think I have enough back-ups of my essentials to last me well into the fall. 

I'm really lucky that my income hasn't taken a hit this year (so far) but the past few months were a wake up call in terms of how important a robust emergency fund is. A few months ago we had an flooding issue in our basement which cost nearly $10,000 to fix and one of our cats had to go to the vet for an x-ray and stay overnight for IV fluids (dramatic, I know) which cost $800 (our pet insurance plan was able to cover about half). Thankfully we had the money to pay for these unexpected expenses and now we're rebuilding our joint emergency and miscellaneous expenses fund. It hurts to spend so much to fix problems ($10,000 could have gone towards renovating our backyard or an epic vacation) but it would have hurt even more had we not had the money and had to go into debt. At the end of the day, these were expenses that were justified - our basement floor and walls were ruined and our cat was feeling poorly.

On the other hand, my beauty spending is certainly not a necessity. In the name of self care and loving ourselves (I did a post on what real self care means to me back in January 2018), it can be really easy to go overboard. I'll be the first to tell you I have way too much makeup that I can't possibly use up before it expires. And yet I'm still drawn to new eyeshadow palettes and blushes and have purchased quite a few new ones during quarantine.

I don't do well with keeping a budget for "fun" expenses and if I allow myself to purchase a few things, I easily get sucked into placing orders because of good deals. So that's why I've gone cold turkey and cut myself off entirely for at least this month. Instead of buying new products, I'm shopping my stash and rediscovering products I already own. There are many products I haven't even used because half the thrill was acquiring said product, swatching it and then putting it away. A week into my no-buy, I've been having fun playing with makeup I've been neglecting and trying out new combinations so I have confidence I'll be able to reach my goal.

I'll end this post by saying there are other ways I consider myself quite frugal when it comes to beauty. I realize after reading this Reddit thread about beauty care spending that I do not spend much on beauty services. Before quarantine I was getting monthly facials which were about $150 per session which was a splurge but something I wanted to do because I could see a difference in the health of my skin. Other than that, I really have no other recurring beauty service expenses. I've gotten my nails done about 3-4 times in my life (always gel) and I haven't had a haircut since July 2019 (which I actually blogged about here). The place I usually get my hair cut charges $15 for a cut. I've done balayage twice but I'm generally super low maintenance with my hair. I've noticed a ton of influencers on YouTube and Instagram who are in their 20s and early 30s getting botox and fillers. Those treatments are not something I see myself getting simply because they don't address the things I feel self conscious about (and they're also ridiculously expensive procedures). 

I say all this not to throw shade at people who do choose to get their nails done every two weeks or spend money on injectables. My beauty spending is largely on makeup and skincare products and I save in other areas whereas I know people who regularly drop $400 at the hair salon but can fit all their makeup into one small pouch. I'll probably never get to a point where I spend $30 on my skincare routine and call it a day but at the same time I shouldn't collect every shade of a blush or lipgloss because I like the formula. I'm hoping that through this no-buy I'll break away from the mentality that I need that new, limited edition product and put that money aside for something else.


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