Have you ever gone on a low- or no-buy?

Not so much in beauty, since the nature of what I do is largely about buying new releases, but I’ve definitely done it in other areas of my life. For beauty, I have soft limits, like I have enough lip products to review so I will be more careful about buying any more until I’ve made some progress through what I already have.

— Christine


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Celesta Avatar

I did the first few months of 2020 and am currently on a no buy. I find that after the holidays, it helps me really appreciate what I received as a gift or purchased throughout the past year and get creative with how to use what I have. I also find that at the end of the year I’m very purchased out, so it’s nice to do a bit of a buying cleanse at the beginning of the year.

Mariella Avatar

I’ve tried in past and failed because when all is said and done, I really like and enjoy makeup and I think (compared to some others) that I’m fairly restrained in my purchases (not compared to the “normal population” but compared to a lot of people here, for example – and I don’t mean that as a criticism in the least). So while I’ve attempted/contemplated it in past, when I’ve felt overwhelmed by the amount of makeup I have, I haven’t succeeded before. But this year and the Pandemic have really put the brakes on my makeup purchases (hence not making the threshold for VIB Rouge for the first time in probably a decade) and have made me realize just how much I have and how little I actually “need”. Like others, I think the overwhelming suffering people have endured this year and some of the ugliness that has spun out from it have both forced me to rethink some of my values.

Ana Maria Avatar

2020 was also the year I didn’t make it beyond Insider, I actually made only one Sephora order. 😅 But for me it was because I choose to buy nowadays from brands I can truly recycle the packaging (with Terracycle) and to purchase directly from the brands.

Somewhere mid-year the thought I wouldn’t reach the threshold was odd… I just can’t understand how these levels create competition with ourselves to spend more money. 😅 When Sephora sales aren’t really that great (most brands have regular 20% sales if you subscribe to their newsletter).

Frozendiva Avatar

Marcella, check your Sephora status. I hit Rouge last year. When I looked at my account (based on other folks informing me that their status was carried over), mine was also carried over til Dec. 31, 2021.

thirteenthirteen Avatar

Yes, I’ve been on a low-buy for several years, and in 2020 I didn’t buy any makeup at all. It wasn’t planned or intentional (I had intended to be on my usual low buy) but I couldn’t justify any makeup purchases when I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything. I still enjoy looking at new releases, but my makeup is literally collecting dust right now.

Ana Maria Avatar

Not specifically as a no-buy or low-buy, since for me it’s not a financial matter, but a lifestyle choice.

I try to be as minimalist with my purchases, to own just what I need, and this inherently leads me to be on a low-buy constantly. For cosmetics I keep with only one item of each opened at a time and a limited set of colors (eyeshadows, blushes, formerly lipsticks), I buy back-ups for products close to finishing, and this yields a somewhat unintended… if I stagger sales well, I can have months I don’t buy anything.
I take a similar approach with clothes and household items.
Money wise, this doesn’t yield so many changes, since my purchases are more on the expensive side (especially for skincare, shoes and activewear). But life is so easy for me with less items that I truly like and love.

Ashley Avatar

2020 in a nutshell. It just didn’t make sense, to buy eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks when I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything, and especially without a mask on. Toward the end of the year, I picked up a few colourpop palettes, thinking I can hold onto these until the coming spring/summer, and maybe then I can start wearing makeup again. This was a sharp decline to how much I used to invest myself into makeup and skincare. I refocused into loungewear and savings.

Ori Avatar

I’ve been on a no-buy for beauty since last November (broke it once to order a new foundation because I realized all my old ones were the completely wrong undertone) and it feels great! I’m going through stuff I own and enjoying it, and I know that when I do see a new release that REALLY calls to me, I’ll be able to buy it without feeling guilty about having bought a bunch of other crap.

Genevieve Avatar

I don’t decide to have a ‘low or no buy’ simply because a lot of beauty products released don’t suit me and so I am limited, in a way, by what’s available and what works on me.
Last year I only purchased three eyeshadow palettes because most of the others weren’t my colours or were too expensive (PMG’s Interstellar Icon) or unavailable for me to check out.
Now that I have quite a healthy stash, I regularly rotate through those and remain devoted to using as many up as possible – I just need to be an octopus with eight eyes!

Sarah Avatar

Yes, it started as a replacement-only no-buy a few years ago, but now it’s more of a low buy. Though honestly I don’t have the urge to buy as much as before, and I end up buying only replacements for the most part. I guess there’s just been a mentality shift in using and enjoying what I already have. And this extends to most non-essential categories like fragrance, home goods, extra clothes, etc.

It’s been good for me. I like focusing on a few things rather than having a large variety.

Z Avatar

Yep. A few years ago I looked around and realized I’d been buying makeup left and right, fast fashion clothes, etc… As it stood I barely used all that makeup – so much was spur of the moment poor quality or crappy color stories (for my skintone) or repeats of items I already owned and worked better. The clothes weren’t made out of nice fabric and even my shoes were bumming me out.

Since then I’ve decided to purchase cosmetics that only fill a void, or are amazing in some way, while using up things I already own and love. My clothes are going to be more neutral and “timeless” – even if more expensive initially, quality holds up over time. And lastly any new shoes (boots, mostly, I’m a sucker for a good boot) will be made out of quality materials like leather, not plastic. All of the choices to go quality naturally mean I have to buy less. But it also means everything I buy will last for a long time. Last year I was really successful and this year I hope to be moreso.

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