This was originally posted on my old blog (Sensitive Beauty Blog) on May 5, 2018. Since it was still getting some good traffic before I took it down, I wanted to give it a home here on this website in case it may be helpful to more people. I mention the age of the post specifically because if you follow Beauty YouTube you will know that decluttering and low buys are not a new trend. I doubt it was a new trend in 2018 either, but it was new to me at the time.
Also try to keep in mind that I am a beauty blogger and have been since 2013, so the amount I own isn’t typical. The way that I purchase products also isn’t always typical. I am however feeling that my beauty blogging days are numbered, so my purchasing habits should continue to decrease as my posts start to decrease. Enough disclaimer talk, let’s get into it.
One of the new trends in the beauty community seems to be not only decluttering, but also using decluttering as a tool to kick-start a low buy. As I was sorting through my thoughts and thinking about what I learned about both decluttering and being on a “low buy,” I decided to write them down and share it with you. I put low buy in quotes because I don’t really consider myself on one anymore and I didn’t start the low buy because I needed to control spending. I originally decided to slow down on purchases because I was buying things solely for blogging purposes and got very overwhelmed. I finally realized at some point that if I just purchased and used what I wanted for myself that I would still have something to blog about. I also was just getting into makeup when I started blogging (2013) and so a lot of what I was buying was me figuring out what worked and didn’t work for me. Now that I’m out of the experimental phase and know what I like, it has been naturally easy to buy less because I already have the things that I like.
It is impossible to write this kind of topic without it sounding like you’re expressing rules, but keep in mind that you should keep the advice that works for you personally and disregard what doesn’t.
Makeup decluttering and Inventories
I wanted to briefly talk about this because they seem to be the first steps people are steered toward when they want to go on a low buy. But before you declutter, ask yourself if you really need to or are you only compelled to because it seems to be trendy right now.
Do not let anyone, especially someone who doesn’t know you personally, convince you that something is wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you just because you do things differently. You likely don’t have enough product that you need to be concerned with these processes. Also, it seems to encourage people to replace what they’ve decluttered with other items. That seems to be the opposite of the ultimate goal to downsize how much you own. So I’d recommend taking a deep breath and realizing that eventually, you’ll decide you don’t like something and naturally get rid of it.
Do not make an inventory. Unless you are a super organized person who enjoys having a catalog, this will not end well (in my opinion of course). From what I’ve seen, it only causes guilt and dwelling on things you can’t change. Instead try to make a weekly, biweekly, or monthly makeup bag for yourself to rotate through products. Cycle through what you have in order to form more concrete opinions on your items. Over time, you will discover the products that you truly enjoy. At that point, it will become obvious if there are items you should part with and also what types of items you’d rather not purchase again. You’ll be able to resist buying more products that don’t work for you and will be able to enjoy the ones that do. All without shaming yourself with inventoried proof of how far you went with your purchases.
If you do feel like you have an enormous amount (by your personal standards, not someone else’s standards), then decluttering or creating an inventory may be some steps to consider. If you think that will work for you, give it a try.
Makeup Low Buy Tips
- Do not compare yourself, your budget, your wants, nor your needs to anyone else, especially not bloggers or YouTube vloggers. Coincidentally, also good general life advice.
- Everything is pretty/nice/exciting. What you buy and how much you buy will do nothing to change this fact. The newness always goes away, but beautiful products that look and feel beautiful applied to the skin don’t go away. Enjoy those.
- Ask yourself why you are making that purchase. Do you already have a favorite product in the category you are about to purchase? If so, why are you on the verge of replacing it? Why are you even looking at products in that category? Why isn’t good enough, enough?
- As tastes change you may find you no longer like an item. That’s a good time to go ahead and let it go and get the new item that you would now enjoy more. Allowing yourself the space to change and make new purchases occasionally will keep you from overbuying as a stress response to being overly restrictive.
- Set a limit that works for you. After you’ve reached the point of knowing how you feel about what you own, it is time to set limits. The limit can be a certain number of products or a storage system you can’t outgrow. It can even be a feeling, you know when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Trust your instincts about what is comfortable for you. Keep in mind that if it doesn’t work, you can try something different tomorrow.
- Act as if returns are not an option. It is amazing how more thoughtful a purchase that can’t be returned can be. So, restrict yourself or simply ask yourself if you couldn’t return it would you still purchase it. Also, it is important to consider that if you are already considering the return policy you may already be thinking that item won’t work for you. Ask yourself why that is and again, trust your instincts.
- If you’re shopping because there is a sale, try calculating the price you still have to spend on that item, rather than the price savings. Example: A $54.00 Urban Decay Naked Palette is 20% off. So, say to yourself I still have to spend $43.20+tax on this, rather than I’ll save $10.80 on this. I also did a write about about sales on the old blog that I plan to republish on this website. It is called, “Beauty Sales: Let’s talk about where you can save money, and why there is no rush.”
- Consider only shopping in the store. Shopping online can remove the perceived value paid for the item you receive in the mail at a later date. When you buy an item in person and have to immediately part with the money, you experience a more direct connection between that product and its cost. This works even better if you shop with cash rather than your credit or debit card. On the other hand, when you buy online you don’t get your products for 2 – 5 days, so you don’t correlate that money spent with that item in the same way. Another online shopping problem people have is buying multiple items to get free shipping, whereas in the store you can just get the one thing you actually wanted.
- In the spirit of a one in, one out type of system (this system has worked well for me in the past); resist the urge to keep items that you know are purely there to be your next one out item. Only owning items that you aren’t willing to part with means that you won’t want to replace them. This keeps purchases to a minimum because you don’t have anything you want to replace.
- If you don’t like an item, LET IT GO. Be glad that you learned something about your preferences and move on. Don’t torture yourself, there are bigger issues in life that need your energy and attention.
I’m not claiming that my thoughts and tips will work for everyone or that this is the “right way” to approach your makeup shopping. This is just my take on the topic and what I’ve found to be helpful for me and hopefully, it can help someone else.
I hope this post was informative and helpful to you in some way. Again, it is so important to trust your own instincts. Decide for yourself what matters the most and will work the best for you and do that.
**Disclaimer: I purchased all products in the above images with my own money with the exception of the MAC Love Me Liquid Lip Colors. This site participates in the WordAds program, receiving a minimal commission from displayed ads. For my full disclosure policy, click here.