November 6, 2015

Can You Go Nearly a Year Without Making a Makeup or Beauty Purchase?

beauty purchases

I read an article on Yahoo called ‘I Went 200 Days Without Buying Anything New. Here’s How You Can Do It, Too’ and I was definitely not inspired.

I’m sorry.

I’m sadly part of the rat race consumer driven society. Hell, I’m not only a member but one of the founding fathers.

No but seriously, I’m a consumer and a good one at that. I like pretty things. Makeup, clothes, beauty, plus let’s not even discuss my collectibles.

So imagine going nearly a year without making a new makeup and beauty purchase? Or as the author of this article did, go without buying anything new in that period. Mind you, there are essentials you can’t do without like food, medicine, or maybe parts for your car if it broke down. But this woman went without buying new anything for 200 days so no new clothes, no new books, no new makeup, or beauty, nada….!

Would you succeed?

I know a lot of people that put themselves on a no buy. I’ve never tried it myself but most times that no buy for many people will last a month at the very most. But 200 days? Nearly a year? Could I even begin to just stop all my purchasing habits for that amount of time?

I’m a chronic reader so I think I’d be at a loss and go slightly nuts if I couldn’t buy the latest comics, manga, or bestseller!

And makeup? Beauty? Skincare even? How could I just completely cut that out of my purchasing habits?

I can honestly say I wouldn’t succeed at this task.

Could you?

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Ash

    I’ve tired telling myself that I’ll make a promise to myself by not purchasing any beauty products for a whole year, especially after trying to manage my money better, or after a expensive purchase like a couch from Ethan Allen. NEVER WORKS, especially this time of year, where temptation is everywhere and they have great samples and goodies with $25 purchase at and exclusive limited edition sets. I bought a jar of used LA MER moisturizing cream at a second hand store 3/4 full. I didn’t need it because I already had a jar at home, but for $10 I couldn’t pass it up, oddly enough the jar says, moisturizing gel cream, and its the original cream de la mer. Smell and consistency is exactly the same. I’ll just admit it, I’m makeup and beauty obsessed! If anyone knows of any Makeup and Beauty Addicts anonymous groups let me know because I so need to go and get my addiction/ passion under control.

    • Isabella Muse

      HAHA I’d join you in that makeup addiction group happily. I’ll bring donuts!

  • Laura

    Nope. I don’t think I could. If I ran out of product to deal with my pimple prone fore-head, I would be done for. I could probably last without makeup, but nothing that I need to deal with my blemish prone face.

  • Inês

    Is it bad that I immediately thought “those 200 days must’ve been pretty boring”?

  • Felicia

    At this time of the year, I think it is impossible for anyone who is a beauty junkie! but for 2016 I’m going to try to only purchase things when I run out like foundation and mascara, or when Sephora has the vib sales. Wish me luck !

  • Kimmwc03

    Nope, no way. I wouldn’t even want to try going that long without shopping.

  • Heidi

    I have tried to go on no-buys before. I may have made it a couple weeks or so but that’s my little form of therapy, to just blow off a bit of steam after a bad day of work and find a lipstick or bottle of nail polish.

  • Carolyn2

    Nope. No. No. I have enough makeup where I don’t need to buy any for a year, of course, LOL! But even when I had a very small make up bag and bought when I ran out, I still enjoyed receiving GWP’s and purchasing a new mascara or lipstick (my two favorite things).

  • blee

    Back in 2008 & 2009 I felt I did go through that. Now I have more that enough and lots to share. I’m looking for a new car. I guess its a no. 🙂

  • Vany2ah

    I read the whole article. Just to get a grasp of what exactly the purpose of the whole experiment was. I must say 200 days is impressive, however I miss a conclusion or some sort of realization. This could have been more elaborate. Personally I have limited my spending (makeup spending) to afford nice furniture for my place but I must say I caved for the Lorac Mega Pro 2. I could not bear the idea of this selling out like last year and since it is Limited Edition. Any LE gets me…but for anyone willing to give this a try, start with 30 days of no beauty or make up purchases. Please let me know the agony 😛 We can at least vent together.

  • Kate

    I’ve done no-buys before, the longest of which was probably 60 days, when I needed to stick to a tight budget. But my definition of essentials was definitely broader than the author of the article’s. My no-buy didn’t extend to things like skin care and hair styling products. And I could buy something new if I used something up. I can absolutely scale down my commercial consumption, but I’d rather not go to that extreme.

  • Laina

    Nodda. Nope. No. I wouldn’t last two days. I’m even being optimistic with two.

  • Victoria

    That would be a Herculean task for me. I am a compulsive shopper with very mild hoarding tendencies (I squirrel things away, but I manage to keep it out of sight, while my closets and drawers nearly burst to overflowing). I’m forever buying things “just in case” or “because it’s such a good deal.” I might actually try it next year as a New Year’s challenge, though (mostly because I’m moving next summer and I need to save the money). No way am I doing it before the VIB sale or Black Friday, though. LOL.

  • Amanda

    I’ve been on an unofficial low-buy for several months because I’m getting ready to have a baby, but I still have to replenish mascara and skin care every couple of months!! I could go a year without buying any other makeup, though.

  • N

    She let herself buy second hand items and pair of new, so it wasn’t a strict no buy, but still hard to do. I have gone four or five months without buying any makeup, skincare, clothes, shoes, or stuff. It is good to do when you want to use up your stash of makeup or other unnecessary stuff. I was thinking of doing another no buy for makeup and beauty products in January as long as I can until my foundation, concealer, skincare stash holds out. As for books you could borrow e-books from the library if your local branch has that to cut down on buying new books all the time.

  • Bree

    I have read the same article and thought while she probably had a point, it was absolutely crazy! Yes, I could no doubt go probably a whole year without purchasing any make up, shampoo, or body wash. And also never have to wash any underwear either! Ya…my drawer is full lol. But what can I say I love to buy those things. I’ve been better about it this year. I’ve made less trips in Ulta, the drugstore, target, & the mall and my savings account has thanked me. I have quite a collection, so I try not to give into ever new cool beauty product that comes out. Eyeshadow palettes are the worst! I have more than enough eyeshadow to last me probably 10 years! Lol the only one I’ve hit pan on is my $0.80 wet and wild creme brûlée single. Yet, I am considering buying 2 more (self made and Gwen steffani) I need to stop! I did manage to not use my 20% Ulta coupon a couple times this year, but no way am I passing on the Sephora VIB!!! Maybe it’s a bad habit but it makes me happy!

  • AnniLau

    Sephora is a line item in my monthly budget. I don’t feel bad about it.

    So, no. I’m not even a little interested in trying.

  • Kelly

    The article is not saying you can’t buy anything for 200 days. She is saying you can’t buy anything BRAND NEW; only buy used/second-hand items i.e. clothes from thrift stores, used makeup from eBay, books from the library or online free sites, etc. You can also borrow things from friends and family. She even has exceptions for medicine, hard to find things like car parts or medical equipment, and a lot of stuff is categorized as groceries like food and toiletries (she even includes “nice to have beauty items.”) Plus her rules do allow ONE brand-new item during the 200 days as a bonus to get you through.

    She is a green living blogger and it sounds like she has a minimalist lifestyle so her message is to simplify and re-use. All of that being said, I couldn’t go 200 days without buying anything new because of all the wonderful LE releases.

    • Lyn

      You got me on the last line – LE releases, lol. That would be a hard one to do. I’m no snob by any means, but I don’t think I could buy used makeup. I guess I’m too much of a germaphobe. 🙂

  • Rachel R.

    I’ve gone years without buying anything other than mascara and inexpensive skincare. It’s not fun, but it didn’t kill me.

  • Ruby

    I love makeup and beauty items as much as the next girl, but everyday I try to remember how incredibly lucky I am to have even a small amount of discretionary money to use for these true luxuries. The reality is that the vast majority of women in the world — and also many in the U.S. — have to focus most (if not all) of their spending on feeding and housing their families. I’ve traveled in places where a single new lipstick or dress every year would seem an amazing gift to women.

    So of course I could go 200 or even 500 days without a beauty purchase – and of course I believe so could all of you … and easily, too … especially if your family’s well-being depended on it! Shopping is incredibly fun and joyous but there is so much more to life than that. That of course doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy indulging in talking about makeup or purchasing makeup if we have that good fortune. But … I don’t ever want to lose my sense of gratitude that I can afford to spend a few minutes thinking about my next makeup purchase… and not merely my sheer survival.

    • Lyn

      Ruby, I like what you said – so very true, really. Funny, as I was just thinking today that I need to really limit myself moving forward. Have been going through some items to sell and donate, and that alone reminds me I already have enough. Thanks for sharing your wise thoughts.

  • Jane

    Could I? yeah sure.
    Would I? hella no.

    I’m not in the statement making business. I don’t wanna prove a point. If I want something, Ima gonna get it…not 200 days later, but in 2 days with Amazon Prime or Sephora Flash. word.

  • VailValleyGirl

    I did that last year, as you know, Muse. My New Year’s resolution was not buy any makeup. However, I did purchase gift of make up. I think that I also sneaked in Benefit Erase Past because I needed it. Trust me, I did.
    I did pretty damn well. However, once 2015 came, that all hit the fan and I went crazy. Yah, we won’t say how much I brought. Let’s just say, I made up for old time.
    I plan to do same thing next year and not buy any make up. I have enough make up to last 5 years and then some. Yes, FIVE. Then, again, that is probably nothing compared to readers here.
    Wish me luck on 2016!
    Don’t surprised if a Sephora or Ulta shut down in 2016, it will be my fault.

  • Susan K

    I hardly bought anything for about 6 months recently cause money was tight, and it made me feel depressed. Makeup and books are my hobbies, its how I enjoy my leisure time. And adding to the collection is a part of it. A person has to have a good balance of work, play, family, friends, etc., in their life to be happy. And having a hobby is an important part of that.

  • Brooke Jones

    Oh yep. I could. Definitely. That is me right there. I am the picture of restraint.

    (Side Eye)

    Ha ha ha he he he oh my gosh! My nose just grew out the door and down the hall!

    Who am I kidding? I bought six lipsticks this morning. And a bunch of wax…because I had insomnia.

    I mean, I deserved a treat right? Honestly…I can’t make it one week without buying something.

    • Isabella Muse

      OH NO! don’t get me started on wax, whatcha get brooke, spill it!

  • CL

    I have done it. Not that hard when there’s no decent shopping centers nearby.

  • Codename Duchess

    I’d have to confine myself to my house to go on a no-buy. I’ve never been a huge internet shopper when it comes to beauty (I prefer to research online and buy in person, though there are a few internet-only brands I’ve made exceptions for), so being house-bound would definitely curb my purchasing. But as soon as I left my house to go buy necessities, my no-buy would come to an end.

  • Ryou

    If there’s anything I learned by managing my mental illness, it’s that perseverance is severely overrated. Having a (hopefully responsible) outlet is crucial to your well-being, and if buying shiny make-up every now and then, then hey, go for it. There are plenty of great budget options nowadays, so other than proving a point, I see no reason why an extreme no-buy scenario is necessary.

  • Amber K

    I’m sure I could, given my current collection. But why would I want to? I enjoy looking pretty, trying new things, and shopping at Sephora.

  • Amber K

    Also, people who go on self-imposed “no buys” seem miserable. Making these arbitrary rules so they can still say they are following the rules. Acting superior to those who do buy stuff. It’s all so odd to me. Life is short.

  • Penny

    Nope…just reading about it makes me want to buy something right now…LOL 🙂

  • Lorraine e.r

    I’m pretty sure I’ve gone this long without buying anything I didn’t strictly need. It’s easy to when you don’t have any money ;P

  • Renu

    Sorry, no, I won’t. I have gone on shopping bans for a month three times successfully (AFTER becoming a makeup addict. Longer before that) but that is the longest I’m willing to go non-consumer now. The effects may be temporary, but if a new lipstick can cheer me up when life gets tough, and a palette can take my mind off (at least for a while) the increasingly desolate news in the papers, then yes, I don’t mind bringing some shiny new things into my life.

  • Lyn

    This is a really good question though! Makes you think. I have more than enough makeup period. I also sell and donate extras/items I don’t need and still have enough. Yikes… If I were to attempt such a challenge though, it definitely would be after the holiday season. Way too hard to pass up some of the GWP’s and great deals.

    Funny, as I’m all for simplifying, and have no problem doing so in most areas of my life. But makeup is a tough one. So I want to simplify, and buy less. But maybe less than 200 days? 😉

  • genevieve

    I think to do this you would have had to stock up on skincare items. Cleansers, moisturizers and a scrub is pretty essential – even if you don’t wear makeup. And of course we could all do it, if necessity dictates.
    However – I could not last that long without buying some little (or big) makeup treat.
    Many years ago I decided that I wouldn’t buy any more clothes so that I would wear what I had. By the end of the year, I had to replace many garments because they had worn out. That was expensive. So my motto now is to buy a few items each season so that everything doesn’t wear out at once. And I take advantage of sales.

  • SusanT

    NO. WAY. IN. HELL!!!!! OMG, like Dee said, I couldn’t go one week without buying a beauty product. Shopaholic that I am, I would die without buying my beauty products. Daisy is used to seeing Mama Susie coming through the door with beauty purchases.

  • Trinh

    I honestly can go maybe 2 years without buying new makeup BUT In reality it won’t happen, hehe. Yeah I would totally fail.

    However I do try to control and low buy by focusing on a specific category. For example if I pick up 3 lipsticks from a new range then I tell myself I can’t buy new lipstick for another 3 months but I am free to buy whatever else. This way I do go crazy.

  • Iris

    I may have been able to do this when I was younger and had less money (and there were less stores open nearby). Nowadays, nope. Makeup I’d be able to but wouldn’t want to. I’d still need skincare products, my precious sunscreen, etc. I wouldn’t be able to do it. Nor would I want to.

  • Sue

    If I was locked up in jail, couldn’t watch tv or read magazines and had no money – I would be so successful!!!

  • mirandagrosvenor

    What a timely question – I just finished a 100 day official no buy (with no slip ups except getting roped into Mary Kay and once that happened, in for a buck in for a quarter and got 2 Lorac lipglosses) and I’ve been on an unofficial no-buy or low-buy for longer than that. Not makeup, fragrance, nail polish, body care, skin care or candles. For a few months this year I couldn’t drive and I detest online shopping, so that made it easier. But every time I do one of these it’s like – we’ve all seen the bride who dieted like a fiend to fit into her dress and then ate everything in sight on her honeymoon. I have a wish list and that makes it easier – rather than OH HAI BIG LOTS SALE YES (never mind that when the stuff was originally out I wanted nothing to do with it). My weakness is sales and discontinued stuff, and thankfully the sales in the stores seem to be getting crappier. The BOGOfree days at Rite Aid and the dollar pit at CVS are a thing of the past!

    Everyone’s different and you have to do you. I do like just collecting, but I also know it’s because my life at present is a little emptier than I would like it to be. When that changes, I know makeup won’t be as much of a focus.

  • vina

    nearly a year? no hope. I can go as far as a month, but more than that.. hmm, i don’t think so ;D

  • Elaine

    I did, while unemployed for 18 months. I had a mortgage to pay. Now I did buy food, fix my car and buy toothpaste, deodorant, true essentials, but no fancy shampoo, no cosmetics and no clothes except an interview suit and shoes. I kept my hair cut and colored but I didn’t get takeout, delivery, go out to dinner, buy new books or music, nothing. I kept my internet connection, but unsubscribed to retailer emails and stopped reading cosmetic, hobby, book blogs and the like. I had to, or I never would have made it. The austerity budget is terrible, but when it’s that or financial disaster, you do what you must.