NO BUY 2019: April empties and purchases, falling off the no buy bandwagon

Remember how I wanted to spend absolutely nothing on beauty for April? Yeah, me too. Embarrassingly, I accomplished the exact opposite of that goal.

I had heard that the Sephora VIB sale was going to be later in the spring, so I assumed it would be mid-May or later. I had some things I’d be planning to replace during the sale, but I hadn’t planned on going all out.

The start of April was a busy and tough time. There were lots of birthdays, lots of stress in my work and personal life, and I was sick for about a week and a half straight, missing four days of work and two weekends of plans. It’s fair to say that I was feeling sorry for myself and threw a huge pity party for myself. I decided, unwisely, to treat myself to a birthday order from Sephora.

Now this order in particular is not the hugest part of the problem. While I did purchase a very expensive item in this order, all of the items I purchased are things that I entirely love, have used non-stop since purchasing a few weeks ago, and see myself either using up entirely or using as much as possible. The order included the Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction palette, which I have been drooling over since it was first released. I have watched more reviews and tutorials online for this palette than probably any other palette ever, and I have used it nearly every day in different ways since it arrived. The other items were the Fenty Beauty Lil Bronze Duo that comes with a mini Matchstix cream bronzer/contour and a mini version of the new Sun Stalk’r powder bronzer. Both are really excellent products that can be used on the daily, and because they are minis that I can travel with and keep in my purse, I do foresee myself panning them in the future.

This is where things fly off the rails. This beautiful little treat-myself purchase, that in itself wasn’t entirely awful, though it does violate my rules, burst the no buy dam. This is exactly what happened to me last year when I attempted a no buy, and I should have known better! I got that little rush of buying something new, trying something new, talking about my new purchase on my Instagram and with my makeup-loving friends and coworkers, and I just kept buying. I purchased a lot of the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter line, and then made a huge purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale, that surprise, actually did start in April. Some of the items in my Sephora sale purchase were replacements, but I probably could have purchased for those replacement categories from the drugstore.

All-in-all, I did pretty horrible with my goal this month and I am really ashamed to throw these purchase totals up on the screen here. I cave horribly to these shopping cravings when I’m sick, depressed, or even just a little bit down, and it’s something that I need to be more active in addressing. I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest to block and delete anything Sephora-related from my devices and social media for the time being. However, unlike last year, I’m not going to completely give up on my no buy/low buy after this setback. I’m going to keep on going for the rest of the year with my no buy rules, and think about revising them to cut out any loopholes within the next week or so. In addition to deleting and blocking Sephora, I’m going to brainstorm other ways I can act to prevent this backslide from happening again.

The only good news in this otherwise bleak update, is that I managed to pay off some debt! I owed some money to some loved ones who had helped me out when I was laid off last August, and when my vehicle needed a number of expensive repairs this winter. I have entirely paid off both of those debts, and I am relieved to have them off my chest! I only have one outlet of debt left to tackle.

Anyways, after that long ramble, here are my totals for April:

Products purchased (some replacements, most, unfortunately, not replacements) for the month of April:

*Note: though a number of these products were purchased during the Sephora VIB Sale at 20% off, I’ve posted their regular prices. My calculations for the entire year won’t be entirely consistent, but I am fine with this, as this was my fault for not making clear protocol about my calculations when I started this no-buy year. I’d rather keep track of the total value of the products purchased for the year than the specific, miniscule sales savings. The 20% saved during the sales barely covers what the tax would have costed, anyways!

  1. Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction Palette ($170)
  2. Fenty Beauty Bronzer Duo ($30)
  3. Physicians Formula Lip Creams in Brazillian Nut and Brazilian Sunset ($22 altogether)
  4. Physicians Formula Butter Eyeshadow in Sultry Nights ($20)
  5. Physicians Formula Matcha Melting Cleansing Balm ($20, this is an actual replacement)
  6. Joe Fresh Brow and Lash Brush ($10, this is also an actual replacement)
  7. NuFace Gel Primer ($17)
  8. Amika Soulfood Nourishing Hair Mask ($36)
  9. Amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum for Hair ($33)
  10. Tatcha Violet C Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA ($110, replacement product for my Glo Skin Beauty Vitamin C Serum)
  11. Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil ($65)
  12. Drunk Elephant Protini Peptide Moisturizer ($84)
  13. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Hydragel Eye Patches ($60)

Total retail value of products purchased in April 2019: $677**

**keeping in mind that a number of these items were on sale, so that actual dollar amount spent is a little bit lower than this, by about $81.00

Products I’ve finished in April:

  1. Essence Make Me Brow ($4)
  2. Essence Superlast Brow Pomade Pencil ($4)
  3. Covergirl Outlast All Day Primer ($13)

Total retail value of products I’ve used up in April 2019: $21

There’s not much left to say other than I made some huge mistakes, and May is going to be a month of figuring out how to stop myself from making those mistakes again year after year.

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Self Care for Retail Workers

Working retail has probably been one of the most physically and emotionally challenging and draining things I’ve ever done, even if I have really enjoyed most of my retail working experiences. Even when you’re working in a super healthy environment, it can be really easy to get run down and burnt out. Here are some self care ideas that have worked for me, and that you are welcome to try!

  1. Invest in your feet. Love your feet. Take care of your feet. You are on your feet all day and if your feet aren’t properly supported and taken care of, you’re going to end up with all sorts of other aches and pains too.

    I used to just wear cheap black flats to all of my retail sort of jobs, and found that my feet hurt too much and I was wearing out my shoes and having to replace them after only 3-5 months. I thought I was saving money by buying cheaper shoes, but it ended up hurting me and my wallet in the long run. With my most recent retail position I invested in a good pair of all black athletic shoes with good support, and I have not regretted it. Because my shoes were so comfy and fit the dress code perfectly, my manager and a few other coworkers went out and bought the exact same shoes! I also bought mine in half a size larger than what I normally wear, but can still comfortably wear, as my feet swell so much during the day. For me, this helped reduce the amount of blistering I got.

    Pedicures are super expensive, but it can be nice to give yourself an at home foot scrub and soak when you’re able to. You can get decent foot products for relatively cheap that will last a long time. I’m a huge fan of Gehwol products personally. I use their foot anti-perspirant in the morning before putting on my work socks, and I leave the Gehwol foot and shoe deodorant in our back stock room for myself and my coworkers to use.

  2. Detox from customer comments and general work chaos at the end of your day.  Anyone who has worked retail knows that customers can often be really rude and condescending, particularly during the holidays and/or if they don’t get their way. It can be really easy to internalize negative comments made by customers, or even management or your coworkers, but if you let that build up it’s going to wear you out so quickly. I find that their negative comments hit me the hardest, because I can’t simply retort “You can’t treat me like a dumbass! I’m more educated than you will ever be! You have no idea what you’re even talking about!” to a customer unless you really truly want to get fired on the spot, and not being able to respond just fuels my inner rage, resentment, and sometimes even depressive feelings if I’m not self-aware.  I like to take a moment at the end of each shift to just take a few deep breaths and let all those anxious feelings disperse. If I’m still a bit riled up and I have the time, I’ll go home and take 30 min to an hour to just lay in bed and zone out with a book or Youtube and reset for the rest of my day.
  3. Stay hydrated and always have snacks! I always underestimate how much staying hydrated and fuelled up helps me get through my day until I skip breakfast or forsake my water bottle for a few hours. I keep a water bottle at work and granola bars stashed in the staff room and my car so that I never have to worry about forgetting them.

Hope all my fellow retail workers are doing well this holiday season, take care!!