I’ve been working hard to reign in my spending this year and to stop my beauty collection from expanding beyond control. Although some months have been more successful than others, I’ve been struggling to reduce my hyper-consumerist tendencies. Despite these struggles, I want to keep trying to change my habits. Please keep reading for my latest recap of my first Yearlong Beauty Low-Buy.
Spoiler alert: this was my worst month of spending. This was in no way close to a beauty low buy. In fact, this past month was so bad, that I’ve broken up this post into two posts. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing what I purchased this month.
Beauty Low Buy 2019-20 Rules Recap
I cannot spend more than $75.00 on NEW cosmetics in a given month
Exclusions: haircare (I have a sensitive scalp), skincare, repurchases (if I have no suitable alternative ex. concealer)
Dollars not spent in a given month can roll forward, but cannot be pulled forward
Exclusions: Items received via influencer networks, as gifts, or purchased via gift cards do NOT count against the dollar value
Beauty Low Buy Update #5: What I Actually Bought
Before we even dig into what I purchased, I want to be bluntly honest: I started out this month intending to follow a strict budget or not buy anything at all. I wanted to keep my beauty low buy. Instead, I let sales and stress dictate my shopping habits.
I need to move away from buying makeup when I’m stressed and using what I have as a way to destress. I need to stop having the mindset to “treat myself” whether I’m treating myself for a big win or a big occasion. There will always be a reason to justify overspending.
I was so ashamed at how much I spent that I contemplated “hiding” some of my purchases (i.e. not including them in this post). However, that doesn’t do anyone any good. I hope that my honesty with my shopping struggles can help someone else. If that’s you – just know you’re not alone.
Alamar Cosmetics has been a brand that I’ve longed to buy since it exploded onto the beauty scene in 2018 with the launch of the beloved, Reina Del Caribe Eyeshadow Palette. Both big and small YouTubers, alike, praised the brand for its pigmented and easy to use formula. I jumped at the chance to buy this Palette Bundle when I realized I could snag this at 25% Off. (Sale Price: $28.13 USD)
The Alamar blush trios were another hyped up release from the Cuban indie brand, but I’ve been so drawn to these trios since I saw them make the rounds on YouTube. Once again, I was thrilled at the opportunity to try the Alamar formula at a discounted price. I picked up the Medium/Tan Trio. (Sale Price: $16.50 USD)
Alamar Cosmetics Reina Del Caribe Vol. 1 & 2 Palettes and Colorete Blush Trio; ColourPop Orange You Glad? Palette
I have no good justification for buying this Anastasia Beverly Hills Rosewood Bronzer other than the fact that it was 30% off as part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty. This was a last-minute add to my cart after I decided I was going to purchase a few of the below goodies on this list. (Sale Price: $19.60 USD)
Edit 11/3/19: All the shades are now at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx stores across the US. Had I followed by beauty low buy, I could have gotten this bronzer for even less.
Strangely enough, I’ve never tried a powder highlighter from Benefit. I’ve tried and loved Benefit’s liquid and cream highlighters so much that I’ve gone on to repurchase them multiple times.
Similarly to the aforementioned palette, I felt like everyone on YouTube was raving about Benefit’s Cookie highlighter. In reviews and demos, this highlighter looked wet and dewy on the cheeks. I needed to have it.
ColourPop x Kathleen Lights So Jaded Palette | $39.00 USD (CF)
As soon as I saw Kathleen Lights’ newest collaboration with ColourPop, I knew I’d be purchasing the So Jaded Palette. I purchased it immediately. I purchased this palette at a discount because the brand originally listed the price wrong. (Price I Paid: $35.00 USD)
ColourPop Orange You Glad Eyeshadow Palette? | $12.00
When the orange edition in ColourPop’s Monochromatic Palette series launched, I had mixed feelings. After watching so many amazing demos and reviews, I felt inspired to try the Orange You Glad? Palette. (Discount Price: $10.80 USD)
Y’all this palette GOT ME. The Celestial Storm Palette is one of the prettiest, most intriguing color stories I’ve seen in a while. It is an a-typical rainbow palette full of eye-catching purples, teals, and warm neutrals.
Since buying the KKW Creme Contour Stick, I’ve stopped reaching for my other contouring products. I use my creme contour stick daily. After an amazing experience with the Creme Contour, I had to try the Powder Contour Kit from KKW. (Sale Price: $ 30.80 USD)
Sephora Favorites Lashstash | $48.00 USD
Every holiday season Sephora releases several “favorites” style product bundles. When I saw this year’s Lashstash favorites my jaw legitimately dropped. This kit an insane value (originally $135.00 USD value.
Most of the mascaras included in the set are beloved, hyped-up mascaras. Two full-size mascaras are included in the kit, too! Also, how could I turn down a mini of my Milk Makeup KUSH Mascara AND lashes from Huda Beauty?
Laura Mercier – L’Amour Exotique Highlighter Palette | $58.00 USD
Here’s the tea: I didn’t want the L’Amour Exotique Highlighter Palette… sadly the trio I wanted had already sold out online. However, I’ve wanted to try Laura Mercier’s Face Illuminator formula and at 40% off, I couldn’t resist. (Sale Price: $34.80 USD)
Laura Mercier – Nights Out Eyeshadow Palette | $58.00 USD
Did I need the Laura Mercier Nights Out Eyeshadow Palette? No – but the 40% off sale price pushed me over the edge and I ended up adding this beautiful, jewel-toned palette to my shopping cart. (Sale Price: $34.80 USD)
Note: I’ve already decluttered this Laura Mercier Palette (unused) because looking at it made me feel sad.
Moira Beauty Like A Melody and Sandcastles in the Sky Palettes, and ColourPop x KathleenLights So Jaded Eyeshadow Palette
As soon as I saw the Venus Immortals Eyeshadow Palette promotional photos, I fell head over heels. This silver and gray smokey palette looks chic and dramatic and unlike the other cool-toned palettes in my collection.
Moira Beauty – Like A Melody & Sandcastles in the Sky Eyeshadow Palettes | $16.00 USD (CF)
Moira Beauty is a brand that I discovered through Julia Mazzucato’s YouTube channel. When I saw the mini palettes I fell in love with the curated color stories and affordable price tag. I jumped at the chance to snag Like A Melody and Sandcastles in the Sky when I found an online coupon (Sale Price: $12.80 USD)
Many makeup lovers in the online beauty community agree that the Ofra makes glitzy, blindingly glowy highlighters. However, these highlighters are quite pricey, at $29.00 USD for a full-size pan.
As part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, the Ofra Highlighters were 50% off. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to get the Blissful and Rodeo Drivehighlighters at such a steal! (Sale Price: $14.50 USD)
Physicians Formula – Rose All Day Petal Glow Highlighter | $15.99 USD (CF)
I jumped at the chance to purchase this highlighter during my Frenzied Ulta Shopping Session where I received bonus rewards points. Plus, I was able to apply the $3.50 USD coupon. (Sale Price: $12.49 USD)
Hey there highlighters: Benefit Cosmetics Cookie, Ofra Cosmetics Highlighters, Physicians Formula Rose All Day
Planned Low Buy Budget for September: $75.00 USD
Total Spent in September: $551.18 USD
Remaining Budget:$00.00 USD
I wish I held myself accountable for my beauty low buy. In years past, I was able to keep a strict budget for myself. Lately, late-night shopping has become my answer to stress.
Beauty Low Buy Update #5 Takeaways: Shopping is NOT an Effective Form of Self Care
Although I’ve yet to mention her in one of my YouTube roundup posts, Hannah Louise Poston has been a favorite beauty YouTuber this past year. If you are embarking on a beauty low buy, I highly suggest checking out Hannah’s channel.
Hannah started her YouTube channel in 2018 with project-focused posts recapping her No-Buy Year (a year where she went without shopping for accessories, beauty, clothing, home goods, etc.). Although she is no longer on a No Buy, her posts center on budgeting and smart consumerism.
In August, Hannah said something that really resonated with me: Shopping is often only surface level self-care. While shopping may ease stress or sadness at the moment, compulsive shopping can actually be to our detriment in the long-run. How so? If we’re spending all of our money on physical goods that we don’t need, then we (1) could incur debt and (2) may have to deprive ourselves of healthier forms of self-care to feed our shopping habits.
Hannah’s sentiment hit me hard because I often complain about not having enough money to attend barre classes since enrolling in my Grad Program. But here’s the thing… if I wasn’t spending so much money on makeup, I’d have plenty of money to spend on exercise classes. I complain about wanting to travel more. Imagine how much I’d have saved for a trip if I stopped my compulsive spending on makeup.
I need to go beyond a beauty low buy. It isn’t enough for me.