Failed Low-Buy for 2022?

My next post will be a makeup review, but before this year is over, I wanted to do one final bit of reflecting.

When I took on the challenge of reviewing my monthly purchases, I did not anticipate buying so many products that it would take at least three months to properly test all the items and complete each post. I failed to finish my Low-Buy Series in time, but the review aspect was not my main goal. In today’s post, I’d like to revisit the points I made in my Beauty Resolutions to see which limitations I was successful at sticking to, which areas were my weaknesses, and what I learned during the course of a year. In this analysis, some products I still haven’t reviewed yet are bound to come up. I’d also like to iron out the details of my game plan for 2023 because I’m not going to stop buying beauty products, but I still need to cut back.

No Buy Items With Zero Exceptions: Mascaras, False Lashes, Face Primers, Brow Products, and Eye Primers.

These items were the easiest to stick to because they aren’t very exciting categories of makeup for me. To the best of my knowledge, I only bought one full-size mascara and two minis: the Colourpop x Hocus Pocus 2 mascara which I threw out because it was terribly formulated, a mini of the MAC Macstack Superstack with the Mega brush that I finished and a mini of the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes that I finished. I also used up a decent chunk of mascaras in my stash, but I still own enough to last me the next two years! So, as well as I stuck to my goal, those few purchases did prevent me from getting through even more of the mascaras in my drawer.
I don’t think I wore false lashes at all this year, and that fact continuously kept me from buying more.

I used up three brow pencils and three eye primers were used up or needed replacing, so I replenished those, plus bought the Makeup by Mario Master Eye Prep & Set (which technically is replacing the MAC Foundation Stick I used as primer) and the Coloured Raine Eye Base (plus a backup). It’s more eye primers than I planned to buy, but not too bad. As for face primers, I did alright. I purchased on sale the Rituel de Fille Thorn oil, a mini of the Nyx Marshmallow primer (allowed as an exception), and a Benefit primer set. I used up most of my deluxe sample primers, so I will start using my new ones more regularly soon.

Overall, I was pretty proud of how I did with this one. However, those few purchases have me set for all of 2023! I will be back on my no-buy for these types of items and will allow no exceptions.

Lips: “I will purchase no more than 5 additional lip products in 2022,” is what I said.

I bought 4 Kaleidos Lip Clays right at the beginning of the year, but those were the allowed exceptions. From January to April I only purchased the clear Fenty Gloss Bomb as a replacement for my old ones (which was also allowed) and a Pat Mcgrath Bridgerton lipstick. So, right there, I broke my rule of 5 because even though I had exceptions that were allowed, they were still counting towards my five. May to August I didn’t buy any lip products, and I was so happy with myself. I don’t consider myself a lipstick aficionado, but I do love lip glosses, so I figured I would struggle a little bit in this category. However, I went on a little retail therapy binge in September and bought two Nars Afterglow balms, two Too Faced Pillow Balms (and later in the future the mini holiday trio set of them), and a Laneige mini balm set (I only kept one and gifted the rest). If I gave myself leeway and didn’t count the exclusions in my 5 lip products tally, by this point I would have hit my maximum. I wish I could say I stopped there, but it only got worse! From October and onward I bought a Nars Afterglow lip gloss and Nars Satin Lip pencil in Rikugien since I was happy to see that shade return and thought it was discontinued. I also bought the Colourpop x Hocus Pocus 2 black gloss, Colourpop Velvet Luxe Lip, the Colourpop x Winnie the Pooh lip care set, 3 Coloured Raine lip liners plus a backup, 3 Pat Mcgrath lip glosses, 2 Makeup by Mario Moistureglow lip serums, a Lunar Beauty gloss and a lip oil, 3 mini Tarte Maracuja balms, a Lisa Eldridge lipstick and a lip gloss, a Juvia’s Place lipstick, Suqqu Sheer Matte Lipstick, and 5 more Kaleidos lip clays. That’s 39 in total between 4 minis and 35 full-size lip products!

These technically aren’t even all the new ones I got this year since a few other lip products made their way to my collection as free gifts. I did so well in the beginning, but it’s really the last quarter of the year that I dropped the ball. I was tempted by all the Black Friday deals, so I know to really be extra careful of that next year because I’m absolutely going on a lip product no-buy again! I will put two exclusions though, which I know is a dangerous game, but I have to be realistic. There are some Lisa Eldridge lipsticks I wanted but they were sold out. I also had a Dior lip product on my bucket list for a long time, so if the opportunity arises for it, I may get it. Otherwise, I’m set for a long time. And I will be decluttering nearly all of the lip products I owned prior to this year. This is probably the most overboard on lip products I’ve ever gone in a single year, and it might seem like the no-buy had the opposite effect, but when I look at the dates of my purchases, it’s really just these last few months that did me in. So, it can be successful as long as I am properly prepared and on guard for the sales next time and seeing such small numbers.

Foundations: “My goal is zero, but I will not buy more than 3 foundations for the entire year (despite having 5 listed exceptions…Charlotte Tilbury, Pat Mcgrath, Make Up For Ever, MAC, or Nars).”

I didn’t think I did too badly in terms of foundation purchases until I had to compile this list. I purchased two different shades of Rose Inc Luminous Foundation Serum, two shades of the Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow foundation, a replacement Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Foundation, one final attempt to buy my correct shade of the Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation (failed as the line is just too orange within the Bronze Venus category), MUFE Matte Velvet Powder Foundation, the Sephora Best Skin Ever Liquid Foundation, and MAC Studio Fix Fluid.

I would have preferred to have bought the best match from Rose Inc the first time or for Hourglass to have made the perfect shade for me, as that would have knocked my number down to seven this year. And once again, it wasn’t until the last quarter of the year that I got into trouble. I didn’t buy a single one until June, which was the initial shade from Rose Inc. I didn’t get the next foundation until September with the EL Futurist Hydra replacement. The third was the initial shade of foundation from Hourglass in October. It was once again Black Friday that I bought literally all the rest of the foundations, including the additional shades. The Uoma, MAC, and MUFE were impulse purchases trying to see if I finally had a decent shade match after various changes were made. I could and should have just left those a mystery. The Sephora foundation was at least something I had been curious about since it was released.

In the grand scheme of things, I didn’t do the worst, but I certainly could have done better. Next year, I don’t want to buy any foundations at all, with the exceptions of PML, MUFE, MAC, or Nars. I’m confident I will do better next year with this category and I will very much be on guard with foundations during Black Friday.

Contours: “NO-BUY with Charlotte Tilbury and Pat Mcgrath Labs as exceptions.”

Those two brands didn’t make contours and I did very well sticking to this one. It probably had a lot to do with me hardly contouring at all this year, or doing brontouring instead. I also am still very satisfied with using the Hindash Beautopsy palette for contouring. The only contour products I went out of my way to purchase were the Kaleidos Symphony Contour Trio and KVD ModCon Liquid-Gel Contour. I received a contour stack in my Melt Mystery bag, so technically that was partly paid to own. The two other contours I bought were duos that also came with bronzers that I bought mainly for the bronzers in them: the Wayne Goss Radiance Boosting Face Palette and Vieve Modern Bronzer Duo. So, the ones from Kaleidos and KVD are what I count (and the duos will count in the bronzer categories instead).

I did well! And I will continue with the no-buy with the same exceptions. I don’t need to own multiple contour products and I will be decluttering almost all my old ones not mentioned in this post. I can’t give myself too much credit though, as there were hardly any contour launches this year and I can’t be confident that I would have had as easy of a time sticking to my goal if more had been made. It’s still a relief to know I didn’t completely bomb my low-buy.

Face Powders: “NO-BUY except if Hourglass releases a single Ambient Lighting Powder to match me or if I get the Chantecaille Blur Finishing Powder in Med/Dark at a good enough deal.”

I did, in fact, get that darker Chantecaille powder and for $33. Hourglass did not produce any new powder singles, but I bought two of their Holiday palettes and am counting those in the Face Palette section. Other than sample minis, the only setting and finishing powders I bought were the Colourpop Pretty Fresh Face Powder and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. I’m quite satisfied with that outcome, and since I don’t always set my face, I have no need to buy additional ones next year either. I will still give myself an allowance next year of no more than 3, but aiming for 0. There actually were quite a lot of tempting powder releases and I’m pleased with being able to talk myself out of them.

Eyeliners: NO-BUY except Stila’s liquid liners if they are half price or Sephora’s if I run out of Stila liners, but I know I have enough backups that, “I should be set for the rest of this year.”

I bought two Oden’s Eye colorful liners, three Melt Cosmetics pot liners plus two that I got in mystery bundles, I got a Danessa Myricks multichrome eyeliner in a Trendmood box, and I bought a multichrome eyeliner from Kaleidos. However, when it comes to black eyeliners, which is what I had really focused on in the limits of my low-buy, I only purchased one. It was the One/Size x Disney Fantasia one on sale. This is a lot more than I anticipated, but I don’t have a ton of colorful liners and I still resisted buying a lot more of them that launched this year, so I think I did very well on this one. I used up two black liner pens and the fact that I only bought one new one is where I really feel I’ve been successful. Since I still have black eyeliner backups, I intend to continue being on an eyeliner no-buy in the new year with no exceptions.

Bronzers: “If I can end 2022 with under 3 new bronzers, I would still consider the No-Buy a partial success,” is what I wrote. Bronzers are a NO-BUY except PML, Hourglass, CT if the brand created a 4.5 shade between Tan and Deep. Other exceptions were MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Nars since they may be too difficult to resist if they produce bronzers that are part of a special collection.

Well, I certainly failed on keeping it under 3 bronzers when I bought two shades each of the Colourpop Super Shock Bronzers and the Jaclyn Cosmetics Sun Bathe Bronzers alone! I already mentioned the Wayne Goss and Vieve ones in the contour section, but those count here. I also bought the Melt Cosmetics Ultra-Matte Bronzer, a Huda Glowish Blurring Pressed Powder deep enough to use as bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury Cream Bronzer in Tan (which technically fills the role of being the inbetween shade I wanted), Nars Laguna Cream Bronzer, Rose Inc Cream Bronzer, Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer in Terracotta this time, Nars Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana, Sigma Matte Bronzer, Fenty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer Palette, Gucci Éclat Soleil Bronzer, Covergirl TruBlend So Flushed High Pigment Bronzer, and Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector for the bronzer strip.
If I remembered them all, that’s 18 new bronzers added to my collection.

Considering how many launched this year, I don’t view this as a fail, but I admittedly did pretty badly on this one. However, bronzing products have only been in my collection for a few years. It’s still a new category of makeup for me to play in, so I’ll cut myself some slack on having trouble sticking to a reasonable amount. I plan to do a declutter soon though and I feel confident in my ability to do better and keep it under 5 next year. I’m still going to aim for zero with Pat Mcgrath being an exception, plus bronzers falling under the Face Palette category.

Blushes: “I would be proud of myself if I could keep my blush purchases under 15 this year. My plan is to stick to powders unless the blush in question is available as a mini.” Blushes are a NO-BUY except MAC, Nabla, PML, Patrick Ta, Nars, Huda Beauty, Makeup by Mario, Rare Beauty liquid blushes in a mini form or if they introduce a powder version, Fenty, Clionadh, Oden’s Eye, Glossier, LYS Beauty, CT, Chanel, and Dior.

I’ll cut right to the chase…I bought 65 blushes this year.
I knew this category would be my biggest fail, but counting it out was quite the shock. The very tiniest defense I have for myself is that I bought 84 blushes last year, so at least I bought less this year.

It never seems like much at first because I only buy 1-3 at a time and don’t pay attention to how many more shades I have from a line by the end of the year. Even after I do my reviews, I sometimes buy more. For example, I ended 2022 with 6 new Suqqu blushes, 6 Benefit blushes, 5 MAC blushes, 5 Colourpop Blushes, etc. That’s how they all just caught up to me before I knew it from among 28 different brands!

This was the year of the blushes. It seemed like every brand was coming out with cream versions or I bought additional shades of powder blushes. In the last two years it became my favorite category of makeup, even surpassing eyeshadows. So, I admit, this will probably be my hardest category to have a low-buy for next year. I will of course try my best to buy as few as possible because I have so many that I love and want to have the time to actually get around to using. I’ll be doing a blush declutter in 2023, though I haven’t decided if I’ll make a dedicated post about it or not. It would be quite the daunting task!

Out of the 16 brand exceptions, I bought blushes from 9 of them. So, next year, I don’t even want to give myself a set number or set brands. I’m just going to try and resist them all as much as I can! At this point, with my solidified favorite brands and formulas, I think I’m the most in danger of trying blushes from brands I haven’t had blush from for the first time, as well as additional shades being released in my favorite formulas. Otherwise, I am still hopeful I’ll get way less in the future.

Highlighters: “I want to keep my highlighter number as close to zero as possible. That’s the goal, without putting an actual figure cap on it.” These are a NO-BUY excluding PML, Dior, and if there’s a limited edition collection of something that I’m absolutely salivating over to purchase from, but there’s nothing in the collection I would actually use except the highlighter.

I also did worse than I thought for the highlighter category. I bought 43.

Five are Colourpop Super Shocks plus two powder ones, Four are from MAC, three from Melt Cosmetics, etc. So it’s easy to see how it got out of hand among the 24 different brands. 15 highlighters were from collabs and/or limited edition collections, so that exclusion didn’t contribute to as many additional highlighters as I expected. I think regular brand packaging (if it was pretty) and pan embossing were some of the biggest temptations.

What will make things different next year is that I have quite a few holy grails now, including the ones I was crazy about last year but got swept up in all the new releases and didn’t have time to play with almost at all. The fact that I have so many now that are neglected is making me really not want to add anymore to my collection, and I plan to do quite the declutter.

Face Palettes: “This category is a LOW-BUY, but allowing for brands like CT, PML, Huda Beauty, Uoma Beauty, Hindash, and Hourglass. I’ve always wanted one of those CT Instant Look in a Palette or face quads but there hasn’t been one that would suit my skin tone. PML would be an immediate purchase. Uoma Beauty already had a face palette from 2021 but neither the light or dark palettes were really perfect for me. Hourglass makes the exceptions list because of their annual holiday palettes, provided they still make one this year and if it’s truly dark-skin friendly (but also not too deep for me).”

I got 12 face palettes. All things considered, that’s not too bad for me.

Charlotte Tilbury did not create one that met my needs, so that brand was not one of them. Uoma Beauty didn’t create a new face palette either. The two I bought from Pat Mcgrath were blush and highlighter palettes, so they weren’t exactly what I had in mind. In the instance of the PML x Bridgerton 2 Blushing Delights Palette and Divine Blush and Glow, I wasn’t the biggest fan of either highlighter and it was the blushes that I continue to reach for, so they technically belong in this category, but they are functionally just blush palettes for me. I got the Monochromance Palette from Hindash and put it in this category because I never use it for the eyeshadows, just as face products. Hourglass did not make the perfect holiday palette for me, yet I bought two of them to create a better mix. Out of the 12 face palettes I bought, the only one that truly suited my needs (as is) in shades and formulas I loved and had the blush, highlighter, and bronzer that I picture the perfect face palette should have, was the Sephora Collection Microsmooth Multi-Tasking Baked Face Palette in Captivate. I got that palette in April, yet I still continued to chase after more of them.

I really want to do some damage to the Sephora palette, so I’m planning to aim for zero face palettes next year, with the exceptions of CT, PML, Huda Beauty, and Hindash. When it comes to Hourglass, I still don’t want to buy another holiday palette unless it contains an actual deep bronzer with other shades that work for me, or it has the At Night blush plus everything else I think would be flattering on me.

Concealers: Concealers are a LOW-BUY, but realistically, I’m content with the ones I have, “and I will likely only buy two additional concealers this year: Tarte Shape Tape when it’s half price and Pat Mcgrath’s shade 23. The only concealer I already purchased in 2022 was the KVD Good Apple concealer.” Concealers are my least restrictive category because my needs are so particular that so few out there meet all criteria. So, I don’t mind buying several of them if I can actually find some to match all my personal requirements.

As I expected, I naturally did not gravitate to many concealers this year because so few full coverage ones were released. I finished my KVD Good Apple Concealer that I bought in February and only recently opened my backup tube that I bought in March. That made me feel pretty good about having a backup handy. I’m also currently using my last backup of the Tarte Shape Tape. I did purchase the PML Concealer in shade 23 and tossed out my other two that had changed in consistency but were mostly used up as well. 23 is still too olive toned for my liking, so I won’t get anymore in the future. I bought a mini of the Tarte Flex concealer and hated the formula. I also recently bought the Sephora Best Skin Ever Concealer, but I can’t remember my thoughts on it. The Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector technically falls under this category. I bought one near the end of last year and I recently bought a replacement for it.

In summation, I bought 7 concealers. I used up one of them this year and won’t reach for two others. So, I’ll be going into 2023 with 4 fresh concealers plus a few older ones I have left in my collection that will likely be tossed out soon. For that reason, I’m going to allow myself to purchase as many full coverage, non-drying, and low-creasing ones I can find in the future. Chances are low that anything new that’s out there will work for me, so I’m likely going to end up sticking with my favorites.

Eyeshadows: “I will likely only get one or two single eyeshadows from different indie brand collection launches because I’m pretty satisfied with my single eyeshadow collection. Clionadh is the only exception and I will just trust my self control and not get everything from them.”

I stuck to my guns even better than I expected regarding only getting a few single eyeshadows from different indie brands, but I absolutely went overboard on the Clionadh shadows. First, with the positives, I purchased 7 Lethal Cosmetic Singles, 3 Terra Moons singles, and 3 Sydney Grace singles. Even though they are called “refills,” I technically did buy 5 Lisa Eldridge singles. For the holidays, I also bought a Charlotte Tilbury Pop Shot.

As for Clionadh Stained Glass Expansion shadows, I bought 25 and still haven’t even reviewed the newest ones yet, nor posted them on Instagram. I also bought both Fruitlighter highlighters from the Dragonfruit Collection which I use exclusively as eyeshadows as well. I also bought the Birthday Trilogy and Holiday Trio, which makes 6 standard eyeshadows too.

I think the best course of action is to actually put a limit on what I buy from Clionadh next year for budgetary reasons and for allowing myself time to actually use what I just bought. I always buy the Charity bundles, so that will likely continue. If they finally bring back their matte shadows, I will also get those too. Everything else in the single shadow realm is off the table, excluding for an allowance of only 1 or 2 Stained Glass shadows the same as all the other brands. And when it comes to other brands’ single shadows, I’m going to have the same 1 or 2 limit.

Eyeshadow Palettes: “I will purchase no more than 2 each month (and yes they can roll over). In 2020, I bought a whopping 52 palettes which is basically one a week. In 2021, I bought somewhere between 38-40 palettes. This year, I’m hoping to make it no more than 24. I consider a palette to be anything with 4 or more eyeshadows.”

I failed. I did so well in the beginning. I was right on target from January to October, having bought just 22 new palettes. I really could have reached my goal if I’d kept that same pace for the rest of the year. It just got completely out of hand from all the sales. Black Friday came and went, and my total became 49.

Side note, only 4 of them would have sold out if I didn’t get them at launch. So, I made the right decision waiting for a sale in most cases, but I overdid it. I held off waiting for them instead of properly talking myself out of wanting them. That was a crucial mistake. At this point, I can’t even say whether they were worth it because I haven’t even touched 24 of them! Four of those still haven’t arrived though (from PML and Melt).

Of the palettes I did try, I liked a lot of them, but so few were truly special. This is something I really need to hone in on next year, the fact that plenty of brands are making fantastic eyeshadows nowadays, so I’m very likely to enjoy all of it, but I should only buy the ones that are really going to feel like worthy additions to my collection and that I would actively miss if I skipped them. I should only have palettes that are inspiring and make me want to do tons of looks with it, not just the ones that are appealing because of the colors but aren’t something I’d wear. This kind of thinking did get me through most of the year, so I know I can do way better next year if I truly stick to my guns and don’t lose my mind when the prices start to drop.

Skincare, Hair Care, and Fragrances: “I’m on a low-buy for those and intend to buy as little new products in those categories as possible.”

I bought a few fragrance samplers and travel size perfumes, so the total fragrances purchased this year is higher than last year, but the total of it all was perhaps around $100. I don’t believe that’s too unreasonable, especially when what I really wanted was a travel size of the Tom Ford Lost Cherry which costs $80. Instead, I got a travel size Kayali’s Lovefest on sale, which has a cherry note that’s similar enough. I purchased hardly any new hair care and I kept the skincare purchases to a very reasonable and minimal amount. I’m quite pleased with how I did. I don’t want any new perfumes next year, but I want to keep the hair and skin products to my same small amount as this year.

Stance on Buying Multiples

  • Don’t Buy Backups
  • Don’t Buy Multiple Shades/Versions of a Product I Like
  • *Let the Chikuhodo MK-KO Be My Most Expensive Maki-e Brush

I did a fairly decent job of not buying that many backups of makeup, but not so much with makeup brushes. Technically, the Chikuhodo MK-KO is still my most expensive single brush (which I had bought in part with a promo code and reward points not long after it arrived at CDJapan), but the difference wasn’t by much when I bought the Koyudo Makie Gray Squirrel Powder Brush with the Cherry Blossom design and red handle that’s normally 300,000 YEN but I got it for 180,000 YEN while the exchange rate was at its most favorable for USD all year.
And as for not buying multiples of shades, I absolutely failed with this specifically in the blush category and technically in buying all those Clionadh Stained Glass multichromes.

I really want to double-down on this philosophy next year and only buy the one perfect shade out of a bunch of options. If I stuck to that, I wouldn’t have overdone it on blush purchases. I did also overdo it with the brush purchases because I wasn’t used to CDJapan having so many outlet brush options. Unlike my spending pattern for all the other beauty categories, when it came to brushes, I went on a spending spree in the beginning half of the year, but started to get a handle on it in the latter half. Towards the end, I was a lot more particular and thoughtful about the final brushes I bought and skipped several Outlet buying opportunities and passed on the last four or so promo code offers. I’m confident I will have my Fude obsession much more under control next year. I also still have so many more brushes yet to be reviewed and posted on this blog!

Stance on Limited Edition/Limited Quantity Items

  • Skip Birth Specific Things Except Ones Pertaining to Me (Lunar Dragon Sign, November-born, Water Sign, Scorpio, etc)
  • Don’t Buy Items Now to Avoid Price Hikes Later, Fear of Discontinuation, and Long Restock Times

I didn’t want to risk Clionadh’s shadows being out of stock during Black Friday, so I very specifically chose not to wait for a better deal for fear of a long restock when I bought all the Stained Glass ones that I did. I also placed multiple orders and wasted a lot of money in shipping fees because I couldn’t stick to just my initial purchase after narrowing the list down to my top 15 favorites of the new shades. So, that wasn’t very smart on my part.

There weren’t many birth specific things released this year, other than Lunar New Year items, so I was mostly safe on this front. The collection that I absolutely did not stick to buying the ones pertaining to me was when I purchased the Air and Earth mini palettes from Melt’s Bad Side Zodiac Collection. On the other hand, I did well by not buying the Water palette just because it’s my sign’s attribute when I had no interest in the color story.

I like bunnies, so we will see how well I fare in the Year of the Rabbit. I’m not feeling very confident about this one.

Stance on Buying Things at Full Price

“I’ll only allow myself to buy things I think are worth full price, but I will still wait whenever possible to get those items when they’re on sale.”

I purchased a lot more items from luxury brands this year, and it’s difficult to feel anything in that category is worth the price to me at full retail when I know the most desirable thing is probably the packaging. When I made this rule for myself about only buying products worth full price, I had affordable to mid-range makeup brands in mind. I didn’t anticipate how buying luxury items at mid-range prices was going to feel like I was living up to this rule. Many times, because of the significant discount, those luxury items were suddenly worth those mid-tier prices in my mind, so I went forward with buying them without stopping to think about whether I truly wanted the makeup or if I was just trying to get it at those prices while I could. For instance, the Guerlain Quads released this year are $85-$90 depending on the retailer. I got mine for $65 from Selfridges. Natasha Denona palettes (which I admittedly consider high-end and not mid-tier) are $69, so I reasoned it was fine. I didn’t think about how one has only 4 shades and the other has 15. Or that my rule was to acknowledge the worth at the original price first before waiting for the discount.

As I mentioned in the eyeshadow palette section, I overdid the Black Friday shopping because I was waiting for items to go on sale instead of spending that time figuring out if it was something I should really be buying, wanting legitimately, and then properly talking myself out of most of them. That way, when a sale did come around, I wouldn’t just buy everything that had been pushed onto my wishlist for later. My rules for myself on item limits kept going out the window once discounts became a factor. So, I need to focus more on talking myself out of things by looking through what I already own and pulling out dupes if necessary. I also need to focus more on the item number limits I set as a reason to not buy something instead trying to determine if it’s worth buying at a specific price.

Stance on Stance on Buying Makeup from “New to Me” Brands

  • Purchase Only One Item for the Year from a Luxury Brand I Haven’t Tried Yet
  • Avoid Buying From All Other Brands That Are New to Me

I don’t know if I did well or terribly at avoiding buying from brands for the first time, considering how many new ones popped up this year, in addition to certain brands having items that finally interested me enough to want to try them. Some of the new and new to me brands I purchased from this year are One/Size, Victoria Beckham Beauty, Olivia Palermo Beauty, Vieve, Florasis, Alamar Cosmetics, MOB Beauty, rms beauty, Valentino Beauty, the Beauty Bay brand, Lisa Eldridge, and r.e.m. Beauty. I even tried the Eihodo (outlet), Surratt, and Mizuho brush brands for the first time. I do regret bothering to purchase from 3 out of those 12. I spent a lot of money creating a custom palette of MOB Beauty products for it to not be absolutely perfect for me. The Florasis palette is beautiful, but it’s too beautiful for me to want to use and mess up the pan designs, plus I wasn’t thrilled with the formulas. The rms beauty blush is just okay. I don’t get the hype. MAC Extra Dimension blushes are way better. Also, in trying out One/Size and Lisa Eldridge, they became brands I couldn’t stop making additional purchases with and will continue to keep my eye on in the coming year. I also have no regrets buying solely one product type from r.e.m, the Interstellar Highlighter Topper, but I do wish I stopped at Miss Mars because that is the perfect shade for me and is one of my holy grail products now. Miss Saturn was the other shade I bought, which is nice, but I don’t think I’ll reach for it again now that I’ve got Miss Mars. Funny enough, regarding r.e.m., it’s one of the rare times that loving one item from the brand didn’t make me go down the rabbit hole of wanting to try everything else they’ve got.

The rule about only buying one item from a luxury brand, I stuck to with Victoria Beckham Beauty and Olivia Palermo Beauty, but it wasn’t of my own accord. Had the brand created other items that interested me or put up a good enough sale, I’d have purchased additional things.

This rule stopped me from trying out a decent number of other brands for the first time, so I think it will still be necessary to keep this one for next year. I’m just not sure the one item per luxury brand thought process is sound anymore. It was intended for me to cherish that one product, but if that first one was a dud, that should be enough to make me more cautious naturally in the future without feeling like I have to punish myself by only getting to experience that one product for the rest of the year that I won’t be cherishing anyway.

Knowing/Hearing Something Has an Amazing Formula but Isn’t Available in a Shade I Like

  • Remember: “Just because something is good, does not mean I must own it.”
  • Wait For the Brand to Expand the Range for a Shade I Actually Love
  • Don’t Buy Things for Curiosity’s Sake or Reviewing Purposes

The first two rules did successfully help me in some cases, as I discussed in my Anti-Haul post, but hearing something was good and not buying it only worked until the product dropped in price. Then, I felt like I was missing out by skipping the deal and a good formula. Of course, very few things were actually revolutionary, so I really need to remember most things will be as good as what I already own and almost none will surpass it. That means I should just stick to what I already have and not keep buying more of the same.

As for waiting for a brand’s range to expand, I kept that in mind a lot and it did help me to stick to my low-buy. My bigger issue, ironically, is that brands were more inclusive this year and many times there were too many shades that I really wanted! That’s how I ended up buying so many blushes at a time. I only regret 10 out of 65, because 7 were me not needing those shades and I could have skipped them without actually missing out, whereas only 3 of the 65 didn’t work on me. Waiting for the perfect shade is a good rule because I’m having greater success with getting products I like, but I like too many things, so I have to really work on the whole “just because something is good doesn’t mean I need to own it,” mentality.

Self-Tips to Avoid Temptation

  • If I Decide Not to Buy Something, Stop Watching Videos About It
  • Don’t Buy Things That Don’t Suit Me Just to Support a Cause/Brand Owner With A Specific Background
  • Don’t Make Purchases as Retail Therapy
  • Don’t Make Purchases in the Early Morning Hours

Not watching videos about items I planned to anti-haul ended up being helpful in limiting my exposure to the product’s hype, but also a detriment when I was in a random shopping mood and didn’t have a list of negatives accrued from videos that would have aided me in talking myself out of making the purchase. Of course, I wasn’t supposed to be making retail therapy purchases at all, but there were three specific moments this year that my will-power wasn’t strong enough. One was post-surgery and another was after Hurricane Ian when power was finally restored but my boyfriend and I were sick. I at least did better at avoiding early morning shopping by convincing myself to make the purchases later in the morning when inhibitions weren’t so low.

When it came to deciding to buy something at full or near full price, that’s when supporting a cause or brand owner/collaborator with a specific background played a role. However, I was much better this year at not buying things that I knew weren’t my preference just to be supportive.

Final Thoughts

My low-buy efforts were abysmal in specific makeup categories, but I wouldn’t call this a complete fail because I was in the ballpark of my goals for the rest of the categories. In taking on this project, I learned even more about my consumer habits and personal impulses. I have to give myself some credit for doing well up until the remaining few months of the year, which was also the most difficult part of the year on a personal level emotionally and physically after my surgery.
I’ll need to be a lot stronger at saying no to the shiny new things next year, and I am certain I’ll do better. I still have so many products that haven’t been reviewed from my collection that I want to get posted to this blog in 2023. So, despite going on another low-buy, there will be plenty of beauty content to come! Thank you for reading and I wish you a very happy New Year!

-Lili

Lili’s 2022 Beauty Resolutions and Low-Buy

Today, I am sharing the details of my personal pledge regarding beauty purchases. I love the process of buying and testing new things, so this isn’t a complete no-buy. It’s just my attempt at a more realistic low-buy that may still seem like too much to most people, but will be quite the change for me. It’s all about having a more balanced approach, and I’ve come up with some things to remember to keep myself in that mindset when a shiny new thing is threatening to make me lose all reason and unleash the inner makeup goblin.

These were all the blushes, highlighters, bronzers, and contour products I owned as of September 2020. Many were decluttered since then but many more have been added to my collection. Photos like this are a motivation to stick to my goals this year.

Stance on Buying Multiples

When I love something, I tend to buy multiples, especially makeup brushes. If an item is special in some way, I want another version of it. This year, I want to restrict myself from buying a backup or getting other things from the line that I initially didn’t plan to buy the first time. Reason being, that one item I get will be even more special if it’s the only one I have. I will also get more use out of that one special item since I wouldn’t be splitting usage evenly between two or more other things from the line.
For instance, letting the Hermes Blush be my one makeup item from Hermes. Another example would be letting the Chikuhodo MK-KO be my one Makie series brush and the most expensive brush in my collection (even at the discounted price I paid for it).

Stance on Limited Edition and Limited Quantity Items

I want to save for things that are truly special, but sometimes I buy limited edition items for the sake of them being limited edition and fearing that I will miss out. For instance, every year brands release Lunar New Year items. Rather than purchasing the prettiest items each year from every sign, I should wait for 2024 when it has the most significance for me, as the Year of the Dragon. That being said, I did purchase my first Beautylish Presents brush this year (Tiger), but I successfully skipped the Koyudo Lunar New Year Brush. This rule of only buying Dragon Lunar New Year items is a resolution I want to keep forever, but Tiger, Rabbit, and Dog will be the most difficult to ignore. On the bright side, Dec-Feb is the peak time of Lunar New Year launches, so I just need to hold out for a little longer and then the temptation will be less when those releases stop being discussed.

Also, going hand in hand with limited edition makeup is the scarcity of raw materials like natural hair for makeup brushes and special pigments for eyeshadows. Some palettes made by indie brands have been discontinued because certain pigments are no longer sourced. And the supply of high quality natural hair has become harder to obtain, which is one of the biggest reasons brushmakers (even brands historically known for only making natural hair makeup brushes) are moving towards synthetic. These are some reasons I feel an internal pressure to buy special limited quantity items in case they are discontinued, have a long restock time, and/or prices get raised such as Koyudo and Wayne Goss’ brushes last year. Hakuhodo is raising theirs again on June 1st and Chikuhodo already raised theirs at the beginning of February. Most of the major Japanese OEMs are raising their prices this year. I’m not too concerned about the increases since the brushes in my price range are going up by a maximum of $5, but Hakuhodo is planning to increase theirs by 30%. If that was a brand I purchased from more, I’d be rushing to make last minute orders, but they’ve been out of my price range since their previous price increase a few years ago.

In the case of the makeup, there’s no point in hoarding things with an expiration date anyway. Regarding the brushes, they can potentially hold their value and be seen as an investment of sorts, but how long they last depends on how well I care for them. The hair can still snap and split or shed. If I wish to part with some brushes, they may not be in a condition someone would want to buy. So, it’s not a safe bet either. I have plenty of brushes as is, along with makeup, so my plan is to not let scarcity and the limited edition title to be a factor in the decision to make a purchase.

Stance on Buying Things at Full Price / The “I’ll only get it on sale” Mentality

I use sales as a justification for buying something. If I’m saying to myself, “I want this, but only if it’s on sale,” then that should be an indication that I know there are aspects about it that aren’t perfect for me. Perhaps it has too many colors that don’t interest me or it’s not intended for my skin type. Maybe it’s similar to plenty of things I already own and would be redundant in my collection. If I’m not willing to buy it at full price, then I shouldn’t get it. At the same time, it is smart to wait for a sale for financial reasons as well as giving myself time to ensure it’s something I still want and that I haven’t been sucked in by the hype. So the key is to implement both conditions. I’ll only allow myself to buy things I think are worth full price, but I will still wait whenever possible to get those items when they’re on sale.

Gift Cards, Cashback, and Reward Program Spending

In my past post about all the ways I save money when buying products online, I mentioned that I sometimes acquire products “for free” because it was paid for by credit I earned via cashback, gift cards, etc. I just want to make my stance clear that my Beauty Resolutions still apply in those cases that I didn’t pay money out of pocket. For instance, when I’ve accumulated enough points via Ulta’s Reward Program to be able to purchase all the items in my cart in full, I’m still not supposed to use it on products that are part of my No-Buy. The No-Buy is ultimately about adding less products overall to my collection. Saving money is the by-product of that. This ties in with the “waiting for a sale” issue, that even if the item I want is only a few dollars from the drugstore or is “free” via my points, it’s not about the money. It’s about getting fewer new things so I can get more use out of my current collection.

Stance on Buying Makeup from “New to Me” Brands

When it comes to designer brands with luxury makeup lines that I haven’t purchased from yet, I have the overall rule that I’m allowed to have my “first” of something, such as a first Gucci Beauty product, a first Christian Louboutin Beauty, etc. The formulas of their makeup seldom match what I like, so it has always been a little easier to pass on them, especially at those prices. Allowing myself to have just one will ensure that I’m ultra selective about which one it ends up being. So, I’m allowing this exception, while also cutting myself off from future purchases from those brands for the rest of the year or longer.

As for all other brands that would be new to me, I’m actually trying to avoid them this year. If I like something new from, for example, Sigil Inspired by Tammy Tanuka, then I would be too tempted to try their other products. I want to satisfy my curiosity, especially about different indie brands, but the overall allure is lower if I don’t know what I’m missing. That’s why I want to keep purchases from new (to me) brands to a minimum.

Knowing/Hearing Something Has an Amazing Formula but Isn’t Available in a Shade I Like

This category of a resolution is two-fold. I recognize my issue with wanting to buy everything that has a raved about formula. Just because something is good, does not mean I must own it. I already have nice things, so I need to remember that I’m not missing out by sticking with what I already deem to be great. Second, if the product with a raved about formula is from one of my favorite brands, I’m even more likely to buy it even if the colors aren’t what I’m looking for. For example, Nude Venus blush from Pat Mcgrath is quite light for me, but I wanted it anyway because between the two shimmer formulas of blush, Desert Orchid and Nude Venus, the latter was the only one with any hope of showing up on my skin tone. What I should have done, and will try to do in the future, is be patient and wait for the brand to expand the line and create something that will work for me rather than settling for something just because it’s a good product. If it doesn’t look stunning on me, I likely won’t reach for it anyway which defeats the purpose of buying it in the first place. Wanting to get it for review purposes isn’t a good enough justification for me anymore.
If the brand never ends up expanding the line, so be it. Someone else will create something just like it. Many brands share labs and formulas within the same parent company. Very few things in the cosmetics world are unique anymore.

Self-Tips to Avoid Temptation

Once I’ve decided I will not purchase an item, I need to skip watching videos (which I believe will likely be positive) about that item. For instance, I almost caved so many times on the Patrick Ta Blush palette that was released last holiday. Everyone says it’s great. I have no doubt it would be great and it even has a shade that is likely even more my style than the single cream and powder blush duo I have. However, I think in my head the fact that I have to apply two different products to achieve the look I want makes me think it will take longer to apply, so I’d rather grab a single blush. There’s also the fact that I hardly ever reach for whole blush palettes, so I doubt I would use it enough to justify the purchase, but seeing hundreds of reviews and photos in my various social media feeds kept the temptation alive. The same goes for the Charlotte Tilbury foundation that I decided will not surpass anything I currently have, so I should skip it, but the flood of reviews are tempting. Also, no one can get me to want a makeup brush like Alicia Archer (formerly KinkySweat on YouTube). So, as much as I would enjoy watching Influencer videos, if the pull of the product is too strong, I have to abstain from those videos.

I also noticed that I had a tendency to purchase products in 2021 that were made for deeper skin tones or from a black owned brand regardless of whether the product was actually the best fit for me. As much as I want to show support, I can’t be wasteful and buy things that won’t suit me. I have dark skin, but it’s still medium-dark, so not everything in the dark category will look flattering on me. My undertone also effects what shades look nice on me and which ones stand out too much. If I know it’s too deep for me then I need to skip getting it, just as I would if a product was too light.

Some of my other purchasing weaknesses are buying things as retail therapy (usually when I’m going through health issues) and impulse purchases in the early morning hours when inhibitions are low and I’m not thinking of consequences. Both are psychological and the toughest for me to fight, but knowing is half the battle.

The No-Buy and Low-Buy Categories

Essentially every makeup category has an exception because I’m trying to be realistic and allow myself some fun purchases as well, so I have a good shot at making overall better decisions. Allowing exceptions doesn’t automatically mean I will make a purchase. For instance, Charlotte Tilbury foundation releases are allowed, but after watching a few reviews, I decided I will not buy the newest one.

The categories with zero budging or exceptions* as a NO-BUY are: Mascaras, False Lashes, Face Primers, Brow Products, and Eye Primers. I have more than a year’s worth of products left in all of those categories, so I want to use up what I currently have.

*I do have an overall exceptions rule that products I intended to get in 2021, but could not due to it being out of stock at the time or unavailable in the US at the time are excluded from the No-Buy. For instance, the Essence Coffee collection was previously only available in Europe and the special holiday set of the Nyx Marshmallow primer I wanted did not get restocked, so I’m going to get the mini travel size of it.

When it comes to Lip Products, as mentioned in a previous post, the only exceptions are that I intended to buy additional Lip Clays from Kaleidos last year. I didn’t end up doing that purely because it wasn’t going to arrive in time before my six week trip. I decided to wait on buying those Lip Clays until the next Kaleidos launch caught my attention (the Smokey Nostalgia Collection). I’m also allowing myself to replace lippies with ones that may have gone bad, but I will purchase no more than 5 additional lip products in 2022.

Foundations are a NO-BUY unless it’s by Charlotte Tilbury, Pat Mcgrath, Make Up For Ever, MAC, or Nars. All of those brands (except PML) are ones who have made foundations I’ve loved in the past, and while I certainly have enough foundations to carry me into 2023, I don’t want to deny myself potentially trying a new or even old product from those trusted brands if they seem like they would be perfect for me. My overall goal is to buy zero foundations, but if those exceptions occur, I will not buy more than three for the entire year. I already have five listed exceptions, so I have to really think about which one gets to potentially be part of the three at the end.

Contours are a NO-BUY with Charlotte Tilbury and Pat Mcgrath Labs as exceptions. The raved about CT Contour Wands are something I’d like to try if she makes one that is dark enough to work for me and PML is just going to be an exception to every rule because I’m fascinated by the brand.

Powders are a NO-BUY except if Hourglass releases a single Ambient Lighting Powder to match me, but I doubt that one will happen. I’ve discovered I like finishing powders, but not setting powders, and I have enough of both so I will not get anymore this year. One other thing to mention is the Chantecaille Blur Finishing powder that I said last year I would repurchase in the Med/Dark shade if it became available for a significant discount and was not in the Flower Power packaging. I may still do that in the future, but that’s a low possibility.

Eyeliners are a NO-BUY except Stila’s liquid liners if they are half price or Sephora’s if I run out of Stila liners and just need an affordable but nice liner. However, I just bought a replacement Nyx liner during Black Friday, so with all that I currently possess, I should be set for the rest of this year.

Now, we’re getting to the toughest no-buys with the largest exceptions lists.

Bronzers are a NO-BUY except PML whose brand is due to introduce bronzers, Hourglass who is due for some deep bronzers, and CT if the brand creates a 4.5 shade between Tan and Deep. I have several powder and cream bronzers I really like and would love to make some dents in them. MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Nars may be too difficult to resist if they produce bronzers that are part of a special collection. As much as I want to try a lot more, I have to be realistic about the fact that bronzer just needs to add a warmth to my face, and there is an extremely limited amount of colors that can do that and still look natural on me. I have those shades already. Since Kosas, Huda/Glowish, and Benefit already make some of my favorite bronzers, I would have a hard time avoiding more from them, but those last three do not make my exceptions list. If I can end 2022 with under 3 new bronzers, I would still consider the No-Buy a partial success.

Blushes are a NO-BUY except MAC, Nabla, PML, Patrick Ta, Nars, Huda Beauty, Makeup by Mario, Rare Beauty liquid blushes in a mini form or if they introduce a powder version, Fenty, Clionadh, Oden’s Eye, Glossier, LYS Beauty, and CT. Technically, I made the caveat last year that I would allow myself to get a blush from Chanel and Dior, but I’m waiting for the perfect ones. I’m still very much on a blush kick. I want them all, but I don’t need a single additional one. The only way I can realistically curb my impulses to buy them all is if I have exceptions for my tip top favorite blush brands and/or the brands I haven’t tried many blushes from and am curious about trying more. The blush exceptions are mainly allowing for powder blushes. I have too many creams and liquids and will likely have to dispose of some this year, so that is my motivation to stick to powders unless the blush in question is in a mini size. Then I don’t feel quite as bad. I would be proud of myself if I could keep my blush purchases under 15 this year. That would be 82% less blushes than I bought last year when I lost all sense of reason and went blush crazy.

Highlighters are a NO-BUY excluding PML, Dior (a stipulation from last year), and if there’s a Limited Edition collection of something that I’m absolutely salivating over to purchase from, but there’s nothing in the collection I would actually use except the highlighter. This caveat I definitely need to be careful about because it ties in with my self-warning about limited edition products. But I’m trusting myself to be firm on this because I am most dissatisfied at how many highlighters I buy that are the same shades so many times over. I want to keep my highlighter number as close to zero as possible. That’s the goal, without putting an actual figure cap on it.

Finally, we’ve reached the LOW-BUYS! I must be careful not to overdo these, but I’m so picky about the products in this category that I don’t think I will have too much trouble being selective:

Face Palettes are a LOW-BUY allowing for brands like CT, PML, Huda Beauty, Uoma Beauty, Hindash, and Hourglass. I’ve always wanted one of those CT Instant Look in a Palette or face quads but there hasn’t been one that would suit my skin tone. PML would be an immediate purchase. Huda Beauty always interests me with face products, but I kept holding out for the perfect one. I wouldn’t want to deny myself if I finally saw one I thought was worth buying just because of this project. Uoma Beauty already had a face palette from 2021 I was interested in, but I was waiting to get it at a lower price since neither the light or dark palettes were really perfect for me. Now, Uoma is only on the exception list if they release a third better fitting face palette. Hourglass made the exceptions list because of their annual holiday palettes, provided they still make one this year and if it’s truly dark-skin friendly (but also not too deep for me).

Concealers are a LOW-BUY, but realistically, I’m content with the ones I have and I will likely only buy two additional concealers this year: Tarte Shape Tape when it’s half price and Pat Mcgrath’s shade 23. I have 22 and 24, but since I’m running low on both it makes more sense to just try 23 and get it while on sale. That shade has been sold out the last two times I tried to get it though, so we’ll see how long it takes. The only concealer I already purchased in 2022 was the KVD Good Apple concealer. Concealers are my least restrictive category because my needs are so particular that so few out there meet all criteria. So, I don’t mind buying several of them if I can actually find some to match all my personal requirements. Concealers are also the number one makeup items I use up regularly (out of the ones that suit me).

Lastly, when it comes to eyeshadows, I will likely only get one or two single eyeshadows from different indie brand collection launches because I’m pretty satisfied with my single eyeshadow collection. Clionadh is the only exception and I will just trust my self control and not get everything from them. However, I do have a rule on Eyeshadow Palettes, which is that I will purchase no more than 2 each month (and yes they can roll over). In 2020, I bought a whopping 52 palettes which is basically one a week. In 2021, I bought somewhere between 38-40 palettes. This year, I’m hoping to make it no more than 24. I consider a palette to be anything with 4 or more eyeshadows.

Regarding skincare, hair care, fragrances, etc. I’m on a low-buy for those and intend to buy as little new products in those categories as possible. I purchased very few new skincare items last year anyway. Also, I’ve technically been on a fragrance low-buy for years and I try to make use of all the free samples I get and the ability to buy travel sizes of perfumes.

So, this is my plan for the year! I intend to do some decluttering too. I also have some ideas of picking 4 blushes, 2 highlighters, 2 bronzers, and 2 eyeshadow palettes to use every month in order to get more use out of my collection! Or I will pick entire brands for the month. It’s like a “Project Pan” but without expecting to actually hit pan on any of the products. I’d be satisfied with some dips though! Please, wish me luck!

-Lili