Embarking on a Makeup No-Buy: Why, What, and How

At the end of August, I decided to stop buying makeup and started what many know as a makeup no-buy. It's exactly as spartan as it sounds: You banish yourself from makeup counters or the makeup aisles of drugstores. Or you learn to window shop really well.

The timeframe I decided on: Six months. Yes, half a year. Why that long? I did an honest assessment of my makeup collection and estimated that's how long it will take to make a real dent in it. I don't own a lot of makeup by many people's standards, but I have enough to last me that long. I have eyeshadows in every shade imaginable; I have six (yes, six) foundations; I have lipsticks and lipstick palettes to carry me through the next two seasons. If I'm being really honest with myself, I don't need more for a long time.

My mindset had also hit a place where more just felt excessive: A lot of people are motivated to enter a no-buy as a last-ditch effort to curb their urge to spend. But I think it's important that your mind be in a place where you don't want more. I can watch collection videos, new releases, and cruise Sephora without feeling any twinge of deprivation.

Will I succeed or fail? I don't know for sure, and I'm not preoccupied with it. For me, the reality check is the coming-down feeling I usually have after I bought a product I didn't really need. When I feel the urge to spend on a hyped product, I'll channel that emotion and let the feeling pass. My mother is an example of the other extreme: She uses makeup long after the shelf life has expired. I'm still scarred by memories of a Mary Kay skincare collection that lasted through the whole Reagan era and a few years into the Clinton term. I'll take a little bit of her makeup modus operandi and use that to help me get through.

As for reviews, I have tons of items I can review that I've been meaning to get to. This no-buy is also motivated in part by forcing myself to focus on what I have and write the product reviews I've been long meaning to write.

This is not my normal mindset, so that's how I know I'm saturated. Makeup love isn't always expressed by continuing to buy and collect: It has a lot to do with appreciating what you have and really getting use out of it.


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