What I Am Starting With – Make-Up – My 2019 “No Buy”

Related: Introducing my 2019 “No Buy”, Skincare Inventory, Bodycare + Haircare Inventory

My name is Anna Jo B. and I am a make-up addict.

Well, that’s not exactly what it is. In the wise words of Hannah Louise Poston: “I am a beauty addict”.

As has been immortalised in the photo above of some of my make-up items, I undoubtedly have a weak spot for beautiful packaging. Now, don’t get me wrong – not every item of make-up I own is high end and a display piece in its own right. But it’s definitely what I gravitate towards and as a result I collect beautiful things to surround myself with.

Anyway, welcome back. Today, we tackle The Beast of my “No Buy”. Today, I confess to the internet my hoarding habits. Today, I expose myself.

As usual I have broken this down into categories and today’s number is 10: primer, foundation, concealer, powder, setting spray, face colour (bronzer, blusher, highlighter), brows, eyes (eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow), lips (liner, bullet, liquid, gloss) and miscellaneous.

What I Am Starting With

Below is a breakdown of the numbers of what I currently own. I will not type out here each exact product by name, but it is something I have written by hand in my bullet journal, which I am using to help me track my progress. If you are doing an inventory of your own, or are planning any type of No or Low Buy, I strongly encourage you to do this as it hammers in the magnitude of what you have. Numbers alone don’t have the same effect.

PRIMER – 13 products (5 of them are samples)

FOUNDATION – 12 products (2 of them are samples)

CONCEALER – 10 products (3 of them are samples)

POWDER – 2 products

SETTING SPRAY – 2 products

FACE COLOUR – 5 bronzers, 8 blushes (1 of them is a sample), 8 highlighters

BROWS – 6 products

EYES – 12 eyeliners, 5 mascaras, 24 eyeshadow palettes

LIPS – 5 liners, 9 bullet lipsticks, 18 liquid lipsticks, 7 glosses

MISCELLANEOUS – 4 products

150 products across 10 categories. 41 eye products. Across 24 eyeshadow palettes, 254 pans. 39 lip products. I have some serious work to do.

Reflecting On What I Have – Confessions Of An Addict

This is obviously quite a lot more than necessary for an average makeup wearer. Now, I am braced for criticism on the outlook I’m about to confess to, but hear me out – I don’t think it’s too bad.

Let me explain. I think it’s the eyeshadow category that’s the most concerning because of the sheer amount of pans and how long they take to work through – and I don’t even wear eyeshadow every day. But something that I’ve come to realise over the course of 2018 is that I am a simple collector. My collection of 24 palettes is perfectly curated and I love every single item in it. It brings me joy just to know that they are all in my possession. The fact that I don’t use any of them to their fullest potential doesn’t bother me, because I am just glad to have them.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t care about using them. That’s not the case at all. I want to use them. I want to pan them. I want to show them that love and dedication, that one-on-one experience that I can’t give them because I have other palettes to think about. But this doesn’t get me down. To me, a self-proclaimed Shadow Collector, it’s enough to open a palette, look at the shadows and admire them for their textures, colours and arrangements, and put it back without touching any of the shadows. I am at peace with this.

In fact, I’ll add to that fire – I want MORE. If I were in the financial position and had the storage for it, my collection would be double or even triple its current size.

The same outlook applies to the lip category, although I do wish I used those products more and I think I can do better. That category leaves a trace of guilt every now and then, but it’s not overbearing.

As for the rest of my make-up, it’s excessive and I need to work my way through it to find the crème de la crème for each category. And I am excited for this search.

Exceptions From The Rules

In my introduction I have outlined the initial rules to my “No Buy” and I would like to refer to two of them here:

  • I am NOT allowed to buy a product until I am down to the last one in its category, with some exceptions.
  • I AM allowed to shop sales for backups of my Holy Grail products if it’s in a category I work through quickly.

Upon reflection I see that the first rule really applies to the second – the exceptions are the Holy Grails.

I have two Holy Grails:

theBalm Cheater Mascara – I’ve struggled to find it in the UK recently, so this problem may have fixed itself. I currently have one backup so the situation is not dire and I have other mascaras to use up and new ones I’d like to try. If I find Cheater anywhere to buy I will assess how I feel about it there and then.

Pixi Rose Glow Mist – at this present moment I have no interest in trying any new mists. Currently I have one backup and I won’t repurchase until I work half my way through it, unless a bargain presents itself to me.

There is one more exception to consider:

  • I AM allowed to shop for limited edition make-up if after careful consideration I conclude that it would add value and joy to my life.

Truthfully, this only really applies to eyeshadow palettes, but who knows, I might get drawn in by a lipstick or highlighter too. Whatever it will be, should a limited edition release attract my attention, I am permitted to buy it only once I’ve searched the depths of my soul for the last bit of confirmation that it would be a purchase that would make me truly happy. Otherwise it will be a pass.

Plan Of Action

Make-up is a core category of my “No Buy” that is a little different from the other three, because there is so much variety in it and because its main purpose in my life is pleasure. Therefore, I am able to devise a more structured plan to work through my collection as opposed to using things up in order, as I would in my other categories whose purposes are purely functional.

What I am talking about is of course shopping my stash. Many readers might already be familiar with the concept – for a given amount of time selecting an item from my collection for each category to focus on. I have been shopping my stash for a few months now and I’m finding it very effective in understanding my collection better. By forcing myself to focus on one product for a month – for that is the amount of time I spend on each shop – I get to know my products through and through and I learn what I like and what doesn’t work. By implementing this strategy I have already decluttered a primer, two foundations, a concealer, two eyeshadow palettes and a few lip products before I even decided to commit to a “No Buy”. So we may see me declutter my collection through the year as I shop my stash each month and as I learn more about what I own. This is the most exciting aspect of this project to me.

And that is all.

Now you know all my dirty little secrets. I am truly exposed and I feel good about it. I’m glad to have revealed so much of my thought processes regarding these material objects and I’m looking forward to seeing how they will transform as my “No Buy” progresses.

And for now I am happy to keep my head down and focus on what I have in front of me.

Anna Jo B.