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 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.
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
Low Buy Update #4: What I Actually Bought
Before we even dig into what I purchased, I want to be bluntly honest: I started out this month with every intention of following a strict budget or not buying anything at all. But once again, 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. Also, 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.
Moreover, I was so ashamed at how much I spent and how much I purchased 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 – even if the only takeaway is that you’re not alone.
Alamar Cosmetics – Reina Del Caribe Eyeshadow Palette Bundle | $37.50 (CF)
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)
Alamar Cosmetics – Colorete Blush Trio | $22.00 USD (CF)
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)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer – Rosewood | $28.00 USD (CF)
I won’t lie to you: 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)
Benefit Cosmetics – Cheekleaders Pink Squad Mini Cheek Palette | $30.00 USD
Believe it or not, I’ve never tried a blush from Benefit Cosmetics, but suddenly felt entranced by this mini blush and highlighter trio after seeing glowing reviews on line. Needless to say, this made it into my cart this month.
Benefit Cosmetics – Cookie Highlighter | $30.00 USD
Again, strangely enough, I’ve never tried a powder highlighter from Benefit. I’ve tried liquid and cream highlighters from the brand, which I’ve gone on to repurchase multiple times…. but never a powder highlighter. Similarly to the aforementioned palette, I felt like everyone on YouTube was raving about how dewy and wet-looking the Cookie highlighter from Benefit looked on the cheeks, so I had 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. Also, as an avid ColourPop fan, I was instantly intrigued by the newest palette format in the ColourPop series. I purchased it immediately upon launch. Funnily enough, 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 while I was buying the So Jaded Palette. (Discount Price: $10.80 USD)
Thinking of ordering from ColourPop for the first time? Please consider using my referral link for $5.00 off your first order. If you make a purchase, I’ll also receive $5.00 off my next purchase. Please note, I’ve purchased all of the aforementioned items.
Dose of Colors x iLuvSarahii Eyeshadow Palette | $35.00 USD (CF)
I bought this palette during a frenzied Ulta shopping spree during the Points-Event taking place during the 21 Days of Beauty. Iluvsarahii is one of my favorite YouTubers, so I felt a strong pull to purchase this stunning neutral palette.
Dose of Colors x iLuvSarahii Highlighter – Bathe | $28.00 USD (CF)
Again, I purchased the Bathe highlighter during a frenzied, late night shopping spree on Ulta’s site during the 21 Days of Beauty Points event while I was experiencing major anxiousness. In general, when I’m up late and feeling anxious, my credit card seems to fly out of my wallet.
Dominique Cosmetics – Celestial Storm | $44.00 USD (CF)
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 because it is an a-typical rainbow palette full of eye-catching purples, teals, and warm neutrals.
KKW Beauty – Classic Blossom Eyeshadow Palette | $45.00 USD (CF)
As basic as it is, the KKW Beauty Classic Blossom Eyeshadow Palette has been in the back of my mind for months. However, I kept myself from buying this beautiful, cherry-colored palette. When I saw this was 30% off during the KKW Labor Day Sale, I jumped at the chance to finally buy this. (Sale Price: $31.50 USD)
KKW – Powder Counter & Highlighter Palette (Light 1) | $44.00 USD (CF)
Fun fact: since buying the KKW Creme Contour Stick, I’ve stopped reaching for my other contouring products. I use my creme contour stick on a daily basis. After having an amazing experience with the Creme Contour, I knew 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, with the Lip and Mascara collections being two of the most popular sets. When I saw this year’s Lashstash favorites my jaw legitimately dropped. Not only is this an insane value (originally $135.00 USD value), but most of these mascaras are beloved, hyped up mascaras that I’ve never tried. Moreover, this bundle includes two full-size mascaras, a mini of my beloved 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)
Lime Crime – Venus Immortals Eyeshadow Palette | $38.00 USD (CF)
As soon as I saw the Venus Immortals Eyeshadow Palette promotional photos, I fell head over heals. 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. At first I didn’t want to try any of the brand’s rainbow palettes or mega palettes, but 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)
Ofra Highlighters – Blissful & Rodeo Drive | $29.00 USD (CF)
Many makeup lovers in the online beauty community agree that the Ofra makes glitzy, blindingly glow-y 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 Drive highlighters at such a steal! (Sale Price: $14.50 USD)
Physicians Formula – Rose All Day Petal Glow Highlighter | $15.99 USD (CF)
The Physicians Formula Rose All Day Highlighters have been on my mind since I saw them advertised a few months ago. Sadly, I’d never seen them in-store, so I jumped at the chance to purchase this during my Frenzied Ulta Shopping Session where I received bonus rewards points and was able to apply the $3.50 USD coupon. (Sale Price: $12.49 USD)
Planned Low Buy Budget for September: $75.00 USD
Total Spent in September: $551.18 USD
Remaining Budget: $00.00 USD
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. For background, she started her YouTube channel last year 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 in 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 in order 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 (and clothing), I’d have plenty of budget to spend on exercise classes. I complain about wanting to travel more…. but imagine how much I’d have saved for a trip if I stopped my compulsive spending on makeup.
For these reasons, I’ve decided to try my own version of a No-Buy Year specific to color cosmetics. More to come on this in next month’s mid-year recap.
Have you ever partook in a Low Buy or a No Buy? What advice would you share to anyone embarking on this type of challenge?