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What I learned from a beauty no-buy: confession of a beauty junkie

April 21, 2020

I didn’t buy any cosmetics for 2 months, here’s what happened:

My 2020 goals are to be more intentional and conscious with my money.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants” -Epictetus

The above quote is especially true for today’s hyper consumerism in the world of  cosmetics. Being an aspiring marketer, I understand the buzz around the newest and shiniest beauty product very well. However, I am also aware of environmental issues and an abundance of waste that is created.

But here’s the truth about beauty product: You don’t NEED them, you want them. 

And depending on the financial situation you’re in, you can give into these wants. However, I approached this no-buy for 2 months (January and February) with the intention of gaining a better awareness of the difference between a want and a need. 

Setting a clear objective of not purchasing any new products during this experiment helped me hold off purchases. It also enabled me to reflect at the end of these 2 months whether I still really wanted to buy a product or not. For the most part, I didn’t.

To my own surprise, this experiment helped me use old products and find an appreciation for a more minimalist approach. 

I understood that “what once was money, are now cosmetic products that fill up my drawers and are waiting to expire”.

What I learned from these 2 months:

  1. To be intentional is a beautiful thing.
  2. It makes you more grateful for what you already have.
  3. It doesn’t make makeup and beauty products  less exciting, it actually helps to be more creative. 
  4. I don’t want any new eyeshadow palettes (I have an excessive amount for the times I actually use them).
  5. I can’t use my summer bronzers on my pale winter skin (learned this the hard way).
  6. I have an innate need to reward myself, especially during my January exam period

The goal was to buy no makeup, cosmetics, skincare or body care throughout January, except if it was a refill and I didn’t have anything to replace it with.

Through doing this challenge I can conclude that I actually use a lot of the same products (and repurchase those) whiles end up going bad in the process. This made me realise that although I enjoy trying new things, I will only buy the type of products I would really use for my makeup style preference e.g. I like a natural light-coverage foundation, so I won’t go out to purchase a full-coverage foundation just because it is highly recommended by influencers.

This short experiment made me notice how easily I am influenced by the people I follow on social media and whose opinions I trust. It is not only about owning the product to feel a certain way but this is also related to a feeling of missing out, which I am working hard on to not give into. 

Furthermore, the challenge made me realise how passionate I am about cosmetics, and how I can use them in different ways and try new looks instead of buying more products. Sometimes simplifying your life and your purchase will result in an increase of creativity and appreciation for the things you already have in your life

Setting myself clear guidelines made this short challenge fairly easy. The only products I purchased during those 2 months were refills: The Inkey List’s Hyaluronic Acid, a hair conditioner, brow pencil and body wash. 

Will I continue this challenge in the next few months? Absolutely! 

Through this challenge I have also made sure to be more serious about tracking my spending habits (which has been a shocking revelation to say the least).

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