How To Survive a Makeup Sale When You're On a No/Low-Buy


Sephora normally only has a sale twice a year, the VIB Sale in the spring and fall. But this year they decided to surprise us with an end of August/September appreciation sale. While this would normally elicit excitement from me, I am on a journey (I'm not even going to call it a no-buy anymore) to change my shopping habits. While I have been able to hold off temptation for about 5 weeks, knowing that I could be scoring 20% off at Sephora right now, is tough. Woe is me.

Everyone I follow on IG and YT is talking about this sale and there is so much excitement. Something about this sale just makes the beauty community lose their damned minds. I want to join in too!!! But while I am considering grabbing one or two items that I have been eyeing, I don't want to fall into the rabbit hole and come out $200 later wondering what the hell I was smoking. 

On that note, I want to share some tips for those of you who might find yourself in a precarious spot when it comes to beauty shopping. Maybe you too are on a no-buy, a low-buy or maybe it's just not in your budget at this time. 

How To Survive a Makeup Sale When You're On a No-Buy or Low-Buy

Get busy having a life: the worst place to be during a Sephora sale is on social media where all you see is sale, sale, sale! Even if you are pretty strong willed, it's hard not to breakdown when all you see is haul after haul.

This is a good time to pack your days with more important things: outings, reading, catching up on Netflix, sleeping or maybe work. A sale is a good time to save some money but it's not the be-all and end-all. There is such a big life out there waiting to be had - so many places to see and so many experiences to take part in. 

Forget the damned sale because at the end of the day your life is not about the makeup or skincare you own. There are more important things than saving a whole $5 (*insert sarcasm) on that foundation you've been coveting. 

Spend the money on something else: let's say you're not on this low or no-buy because you're low on funds. Let's say you're just trying not to spend money on things you don't need, like more beauty products. But you have money burning a hole in your pocket and want to spend it. 

Okay, how about an experience? If you have an extra $40 that you would normally spend on a palette that you'll  only use a handful of times, why not grab the best friend or your partner and head to a movie. I personally love seeing a movie in theater but rarely go because it's expensive. It's time to treat ourselves to that movie, yo!

You can do so many things with the money you would be spending on the sale: have a nice dinner, visit the museum, have a beach day! Beach days with my family cost about $120 because we eat and snack all day. In fact if I had $100 today for makeup: I would put $40 in my tank and head to Venice Beach for the day. With the $60 balance and careful spending we could have our day in Venice and include lunch, drinks, scooter and bike rentals and a stop at the expensive candy shop before heading home. 

We love the beach. For me sitting on the sand watching my little's play as the waves rock back on forth is priceless. Seeing them get a gulp-full of life, being out there on the boardwalk, smelling the scents and seeing so many different types of people is more rewarding than another new blush or bronzer. 

If your makeup collection is already bursting at the seams I implore you to take whatever budget you had for the sale, get in your car and go! Do something with it that will really enrich your life...do something fun and different from the everyday norm. Fuck the Sephora Sale! 

Play with your own makeup - including any new items already in your stash: if the sale makes you excited at the thought of makeup, well then head to your own collection. Being a reader of this blog I would imagine that you own more than a few items of makeup, and if you're like me then your collection probably includes new stuff too. You can also pull out some oldies but goodies. The point is that instead of wishing for new makeup - take time to enjoy what you already own. Let's learn to kick the habit of wanting to buy, buy, buy, when already we have more than we need. 

I bet that if you look through your current collection at this point, you will find tons of amazing items that you might not have touched in weeks or months. These are all products that you purchased for a reason, but we're usually so busy chasing the new, that we don't take time to enjoy what we already own. 

Dupe the item you want with something already in your collection: I've noticed that most of us tend to stick to the same kind of products. Look at your wish list and sift look through your collection for dupes. Most likely, you will have more than a few items that are either very similar or exact. 

For example: my collection is full of mauvey pink lipsticks, which is why I would love to buy the NARS Lip Glide in Roseland. Look - I love the Lip Glide formula SO much, it's one of my favorites. But I already own 2 full-sized tubes and 4 minis, and at least three of those are in very similar tones to Roseland - and none of them are even halfway used. In fact a few I have barely touched.

So while I will probably still get Roseland at some point in the future; maybe I will put it on my Christmas list or next Mother's Day, or maybe I will buy it for myself when I have a discount. But at this point I don't NEED Roseland, not when surely I have more than a few dupes. Remember a dupe doesn't have to be exact, I also own tons of mauvey pink lipsticks in a different formula but the same shade. And, I only have two lips.

Organize and clean your makeup/beauty area: the point of this exercise is to show you just how much stuff you already have, much of it probably similar to what you want to buy. Count how many eye shadow palettes, blushes, lipsticks, bronzers, face palettes you have, and ask yourself how many more you need.  

I own more than 100 eye shadow palettes, and that does not include singles. How many more do I need? After all, I only have two eyes and only wear makeup a few times a week. Yes...that new eye shadow palette is gorgeous, but do you really need it - will your life not be worth living without it?

Allow yourself to take part in the sale, but give yourself a strict limit. This is only for those of you that are not on a no-buy: Part of the fun of any sale is that window shopping phase where we play with our wish list. Usually I start putting my wish list together weeks before a sale and will change it up daily. So allow yourself the fun of playing with your wish list - put the products you want in there and then do your due diligence, as usual. Research swatches, reviews and move that list around as much as you want. But this time go into it knowing that what ends up on that list has to be very minimal. This time around you are more in control and don't need $300 worth of makeup and skincare.

Once your wish list is ready then it really is time to pare that down to what you absolutely want the most. It doesn't have to be one thing - my wish list has 3 products, but I am only buying one or two at the most. 

Depending on the journey you are currently on when it comes to makeup and beauty shopping, adjust that wish list. For me it's not about not buying anything, it's about not buying things I don't need and will never use. It's about not spending hundreds of dollars on things that will sit on a shelf gathering dust. I don't want to continue to put money towards stuff that will eventually be thrown out - that got very minimal, if any, use. I still want to buy makeup, but I want to be more selective about what makes it into my life. 

And those, my friends, are my tips for surviving not just the current Sephora sale, but any sale. I know that cutting down on shopping after you've become an expert at it is hard, but it can be done. Take it from the master of buying shit ya don't need...we will survive. 


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