Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Skincare No Buy and Make-up Low Buy Update #1

Since my various shopping limitations have somewhat decreased the number of review posts that have been going up lately, I thought I'd compensate by sharing my experience with my 2016 Skincare & Bodycare No Buy (read the introduction post here), as well as my continuing Make-up Low Buy I implemented over two years ago now.

So far, both of these projects have been a success. Let's start with the make-up part, because it's the more challenging for me personally, and I think more interesting to hear about. My low buy consists of allowing myself to purchase no more than two make-up products a month, including nail polish but disregarding make-up gifts with purchase, gifts or PR samples. I haven't purchased any make-up products whatsoever in all of January and February, but I did have four drugstore products (two from Bourjois and two from Kiko) I purchased in Warsaw late last year. I wasn't sure how to count them in - I decided to transfer them into the new year count, which would max out my limit for two consecutive months (Jan and Feb). Since then, I sold one of those products in a blog sale (Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist), leaving me with one product below limit for the year.

In March, I purchased two products from a friend's blog sale, but out of the two, I decided to keep only one and pass the other to a friend as it wasn't a lipstick shade that suited my complexion very well. I have also placed an order at Ulta, prompted by a few things: a) expiring points - a $3 discount, b) 5X the points for my anniversary of being a reward member, c) husband requesting some new skincare items - would you like to see what he uses some time? d) an awesome bareMinerals gift with purchase - if you ever need to place an online order, wait until Wednesday, which is when Ulta usually sends out an email with a link to a deluxe GWP. It would all be well if I stuck to just purchasing products for my husband, but then I remembered that I also needed a travel-size dry shampoo for an upcoming trip, and Ulta had a special discounted price for Lorac glosses I've been hearing good things about, and then if I only purchased one or two more drugstore items, I could use the $3.50 off $10 coupon...

So in the end, I also ordered a new concealer from Catrice that Polish Youtubers have been raving about, and the Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Seductress. That puts me at three products for March and exactly within the limit for the year. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to keep Seductress - I may end up gifting it to someone instead. So yeah, I indulged a little bit; but I'm working on using up two concealers from my stash, and then the gloss just looked like such a pretty color; I didn't need it, but I wanted it.

I have been trying to appease my guilty consience by telling myself I probably won't shop for any beauty products in April, which means I may not take advantage of the annual Sephora's spring 15% off sale. There's nothing I particularly want or need from Sephora at the moment, and I feel like I can hold off until their 20% off in November. The one thing I'm curious about is the beautyblender Solid Cleanser - I may purchase that in-store during the sale, using the remaining balance on a gift card. We'll see.

As for my Skincare and Bodycare No Buy, I have been 100% successful, and I haven't been tempted to shop almost at all. I have however some mixed feelings about my progress: on one hand, I've used up a whole lot of products already (empties post coming soon!), but on the other... I received some very generous PR samples, which have increased my stash almost to the starting point.

I've used up a lot of skincare minis (top left corner of the drawer) and am now able to store my bar soaps in that space.
Please don't misunderstand me, I'm very grateful to receive products for review, and I think it's very helpful in posting reviews for you guys, and alerting you to some brands or products you may not have heard about previously. However, it does somewhat negate my efforts to downsize my skincare stash. I have come across the opinion that accepting PR samples while attempting to simplify via decluttering/ using things up is hypocritical and pointless, but I don't personally see it that way. To me, such train of thought would suggest that there is only one 'correct' way of reducing your possesions, and it's all or nothing - either you only keep one of each of everything (the right way to downsize), or it's a free for all and you can keep ALL TEH THINGZ. I guess my position is somewhere in the middle: I want a smaller stash I can manage, but as a beauty blogger, I'm not going to escape having a couple products in each category. It's okay - to be honest, I'm feeling a lot more laid back about my products, even when I realize something may not get finished before it expires.

All that being said, I have been able to transfer my back-up bar soaps to my main skincare and bodycare back-up drawer and I now keep my base oils in the bathroom cabinet, so I got rid of one extra storage box; I much prefer having everything in one space (you can compare what my back-up drawer looked like in November 2015 here). I have also selected just a few products to pass on to a friend - I simply realized there's no way I'm going to be able to use them up in time, and I'd much rather have her try them and see how she likes them. It's not exactly 'one in, one out' strategy, but it makes me feel like less of a hoarder.

And that's it - all in all, a rather satisfying quarter. If you're just embarking on a shopping ban/ limit for the first time, I promise it does get easier; in the past, I was constantly tempted by new product releases, and deciding not to shop a Sephora sale - any Sephora sale - was absolutely out of the question. So, how are you doing with your low buys and no buys? I'd love to hear about your thought process in the comments below!


  1. I just wanted to say how much I love these posts and your konmari ones! I've been on a makeup low buy since October and your updates on this are always help keep me motivated.

  2. I don't have much make-up or skincare and still feel the need to declutter. I think since the goal for most bloggers is to receive free products, the idea of turning them down is unappealing. I would feel obliged to receive them so as to maintain the relationship with the brand.

  3. Nice job! And also, I like the beautyblender solid cleanser. I've had mine foreverrrr and it is still going strong. (Seriously, i wash all my brushes with it and i feel like i've had it at least 2 years if not longer...) And i still haven't forgotten about sending you my blog sale preview! I just haven't sorted it all yet, it's all just piled in a bin haha!

  4. I decided to try a lowbuy on makeup for the year and you are right, it does get easier! Janruary was HARD! but now that March is here I am feeling a little less tempted!

  5. Congratulations, these projects seem to be very successful! Your skincare minis look good. I had the impression that there were plenty more last year.
    We share the same opinion about PR samples while decluttering. I love trying new stuff, but it also negated my efforts. I have decided to avoid PR samples and to reactivate my tester account, where I can decide on which tests I'd like to participate and on which not. I have rejected plenty of them and only accepted one til now. I am really contened with my decision.
    I have bought less stuff but I have totally avoided buying stuff which I don't use. I have bought 15 products this year and I am using 12 of them. There are only two deodorants and one mascara I have bought for using it later this year.

  6. I'm so glad I found this post! I have the same feelings about decluttering, and I'm on a no-buy right now. It's so encouraging to hear that it gets easier, because with media and email and ads there are always so many temptations. Thanks for such an awesome post! xo

  7. I love your posts on decluttering your stash, Monika because you make sense without being naggy about it the way I've seen some people get. As much as I enjoy seeing people cope with their stashes, I know that I can't be like that so I've gotten to a point that I'm comfortable with the amount of crap I have (haha!) but knowing that it's still manageable one way or another. I think ultimately, it's to do with what makes us all happy and I look forward to seeing your progress! :D

  8. Great post! I have really learned a lot here. Now I know what to do for these are one of the things that I am struggling with.

  9. There are so many different opinions on decluttering and what it should be, but I think it just has to be what we're comfortable with, like what you said. I've been pretty good with skincare myself. I've been selective in accepting skincare PR samples because I don't want to stress out my skin (it's in a happy place now!) so I've been able to use up things and have minimal backups.
    I didn't buy any makeup for the past 5 months or so, but OMG I went crazy last week. I will go back on minimal buy for the rest of the year. Hahaha!

  10. You know, I've been secretly doing a makeup use-up, too! Specifically foundation samples, I've got tons of those little pots and sachets yet to be used, that would be my goal, thanks to your inspiration! :-D

    Re, PR samples and things, I like your approach a lot and I thought it is quite sensible. Do whatever works for you, too regimented approach would suck the fun out of beauty blogging. I think what would happen, at some point, you will know instinctively which product will work and which won't just by looking at it because you've tried so much (much like what Lily shared above). I think I'm at that point now that I know what works on my skin and achieve equilibrium that way. At that point, too, I started to reject samples and select samples more carefully, but that is not without trial-error.

    Nice progress, keep us posted!!

  11. I am starting a shopping free month and I wonder if you could recommend any other beauty blogs who also is trying to downsize their stage or challenge themselves to use what they have? I need some extra inspiration during April.

    1. Hi Domi! I don't actually know of that many bloggers, but check out Claire's (landoflorp)posts on minimalism and downsizing her bathroom cabinet, and AuxiliaryBeauty has been doing updates on her low buy every month. There's also lots of content like this on YouTube: PrettyPistol86 does killer project pan videos, Amber F talks a lot about using up what she has, and MegsMakeup8 has a lot of videos on shopping less and decluttering. Hope that helps!