NO BUY 2019: Thoughts on inevitably losing VIB Rouge Status

This is something I’ve been thinking about since I decided to do a “no buy” year back in December 2018, and then thinking about why losing VIB Rouge status is even important to me. Serein Wu recently posted a video touching on this and I share many of the same feelings.

Presently as I write this on April 8, 2019, a little more than 4 months into my 13-month no buy year, I would need to spend $940 at Sephora before taxes by the end of 2019 to reach VIB Rouge Status for 2020. I’ve only spent $60 at Sephora since December 2018, averaging out to about $15 per month. If I continue along similarly with this spending average, there is no way I will reach VIB Rouge Status again by 2020. Even if I were to quit buying replacement products from the clinic I work at or the drugstore, I would still have to spend a little over $100 a month at Sephora to reach status again.

I think I first entered a Sephora about 4 years ago or so, back when I was but an infant mystified by the world of makeup and skincare. My friends were super into Sephora, but we didn’t have one in my university city yet. However, one opened up not too much later, and I gradually began shopping there more and more. At first I had zero disposable income during my first year of university, but gradually I picked up part-time work while in school, which fuelled the shopping.

At one such part-time job at a spa in my hometown, I worked with a number of reception staff who were trained as makeup artists and collected makeup, and this rubbed off on me. At this point in time I thought it was wild and unfathomable that I somehow made VIB status, and couldn’t believe that these ladies regularly made VIB Rouge status. I was a little envious not only of their makeup skills, but their luxury makeup collections as well.

As I found myself working more, school getting more difficult, and my mental health declining, I spent more and more. I became a little obsessed with the cycle of new releases, and was the person who would stay up late just to get a new palette as soon as it launched on Sephora. At this point, I had definitely more than made VIB Rouge status, and maintained this status for 3 years.

Sephora has done this really great job of marketing their rewards program and making it seem far more luxurious and important than it actually is. Even the language they choose to use amplifies the want to reach each tier of the program. Rather than using “VIB level” or “VIB tier”, they use “VIB status”, alluding to high social standing. They stagger their “perks”, saving benefits like free standard shipping and VIB Rouge event access for Rouges only.

All of these perks make a person feel special and privileged at first, but when it comes down to it these perks are not really a worthy award for the amount of money you are spending, and their only use is to aid in the shopping process. The tiny sample sizes are often too small to even be considered a proper travel-size, and only wet your lips to encourage you to buy other high-end products. The savings you receive are minimal, and the events are entirely shopping and sale based. Why did it make sense to spend $1000 on makeup, before taxes, in a year just to receive free shipping and tiny samples? I very rarely place a makeup order under $50, so by default I’m getting free shipping regardless of my Rouge status. While I love samples and travel sizes as much as the next person and find them to be quite handy at times, they often just end up sitting in my bathroom drawer unused until they expire.

After mulling over these points and Serein’s video, I realized that being sad about losing a fake status was something I didn’t need to waste my time with. In fact, losing VIB Rouge status or VIB status would actually be an accomplishment; it would mean that I’m making wiser financial choices and refining and minimizing my beauty collection.

Sephora restock conspiracy theory

Is it just me, or does this seem to happen every single VIB sale?

There will be a hot ticket item or items, usually something that has just launched or has been popular on YouTube. They sell out of it pretty much as soon as the sale starts, and then as soon as the sale ends, it is magically restocked.

That’s what happened for me with the Becca Hydramist powder. Not even two and a half hours after the sale ended here, the item was suddenly restocked after having been out of stock since about the second day of the first VIB Rouge sale. Like you can’t tell me that they suddenly got the shipment of it in at 2am Monday morning and decided to update the website then. Even if they did, could they not have put it up as “restocked” on the website knowing that it would arrive in time to be shipped if people ordered it from the sale, especially considering they have posted the warning about delayed shipping?

I honestly believe that they time restocks of hot ticket items until just after the sale to prompt consumers to make another purchase after they’ve already made one or multiple purchases at the sale. I’m sure within the next few days I’ll see restocks of other popular items from Herbivore and Tatcha that were gushed about on YouTube prior to the sale.

Anyone else super frustrated by this always happening, regardless of whether or not it’s on purpose?

FOMO, 2018 Makeup Ban, Content Creators…Not Creating Actual Content

Well friends, in 13 minutes it will be Blue Monday here in Saskatchewan. I hope you are well, and surviving all that January brings!

I have currently gone 19 days without buying makeup, which I am quite excited about. Looking at my Sephora order history in the past I’ve had a tendency to buy makeup at least every two weeks if not every week, so I think this is progress! I recently moved and with the hassle of moving, I realized how much of my collection I don’t actually want or need. When I move I tend to unpack things as I need them, and there’s a chunk of my makeup collection still buried in a moving container somewhere that I’ve had no desire to dig up. As I was unpacking my favourite items too I found myself throwing lipsticks and mascaras out left and right, as I didn’t want them in my new space at all. I’ve been tempted a few times to place an order or check out new products as friends tag me in them, but each time I see something new my mind instantly reminds me that I already have like three of nearly the exact same product and I quickly back away from that idea. Even just scrolling through Sephora, I haven’t really felt that same “I need that!” urge in awhile. I feel that I owe that partially to social media beauty gurus, as lately I’ve felt really overwhelmed by their unboxing videos and product reviews. Lately even local MUAs have been getting more and more into unboxing videos, particularly on Instagram, and I’ve wasted so much time watching them. The one morning I sat through about five different Instagram stories that were just MUAs or makeup enthusiasts unboxing PR packages they had been sent and saying vague statements like “This is from *such and such company* in collaboration with *so and so* and I’ve heard such great things about it!”, and I just got fed up. How are these videos helping me in anyway? They’re repeating the same useless comments over and over, and just showing products that I either don’t give a damn about or I’m already aware of. It’s less informative than a professional advertisement, and far less helpful than a genuine review. There are just so many other ways in which I could be better spending my time, whether it be practicing my own makeup skills, messaging a friend, sleeping, hanging out with my tortoise, reading, writing, etc. In a way I’m almost grateful, because this product overload and spammy unboxing content has kind of scared me away from enjoying the idea of makeup shopping right now.

In fact, this sort of sponsorship overload minus actual quality content has me really sick of social media in general. Instagram is filled with product ads on personal accounts and skin clinic sponsorships, and then Twitter is filled with really horrifying political news and misogynistic posts from people who I previously considered to be admirable authors. Facebook is a strange mix of politics and memes. I guess that with makeup purchases consuming less of my addictive little brain’s focus, I’m becoming more aware of my gross social media consumption habits are. I downloaded an app that tracks how many minutes a day you spend on your phone, and ended up deleting it because I was really embarrassed. Not even 3/4 of the way through the day and I had already spent 5+hours staring at my phone. Ridiculous, really. I’ve tried to deactivate and delete in the past, but the fear of missing out (FOMO) has always dragged me back kicking and screaming. If I delete twitter then I miss out on mental health advocacy chatter, #CanLit drama, daily news, and snippets from my hometown. If I delete Facebook I miss out on family updates from family members I never see (I have too many relatives to be able to realistically text/call/write/email them all and keep up with their lives that way), my tortoise keeping groups, meme tags, and pictures of local cats that have been rescued. If I delete Instagram I lose all of the makeup and pet accounts I follow, as well as updates from long distance friends. Do I come up with a system that will enable me to keep up with all these different people and communities but allows me to go offline? Do I limit my screen time, despite numerous failed attempts to do this in the past? Do I quit cold turkey and suck it up? I don’t yet know what the right answer is.

Have any of you cut back on social media? How did you do it and what tools did you use?

Project Pan April 2018: Check In #6

What I’ve managed to cross off my list:

  1. Maybelline Master Prime 300 Redness + Blur Control
  2. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
  3. Tarteist Contour Palette (mostly used, then expired)
  4. Laura Mercier Eye Primer Mini
  5. UD Naked 3 Palette (half used, then expired)
  6. Bare Minerals Mascara Mini
  7. ABH Brow Pencil
  8. L’Oreal Infallible Setting Spray

What remains:

  1. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Concealer
  2. Sephora Brand Bronzer
  3. Becca Luminous Blush in Brushed Copper
  4. Rituel de Fille Ghost Light Luminizer
  5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Mood Light
  6. Essence Make Me Brow

All in all, I’m making progress. I’ve had a couple of duds, but a couple of products have grown on me. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the Rainforest of the Sea concealer for awhile, but I’m beginning to like it again.

Outside of my goal project pan products, I’ve always used up these in the past week or so:

IMG_3488

I don’t mind the Infallible setting spray, but the spray on it is a bit aggressive and can leave your face quite wet if you’re not careful. Young Living, as we all know, is trash, and I’m getting close to using up all of my old products of theirs. I think I’ve got about four bottles of essential oils left from them, and then I should be good. I recently learned a lot of terrifying information about the founder of YL that includes everything from false medical practices to drowned babies, and if even half of it is true, then I am even more embarrassed for having supported this company in any way. I adore how fluffy and smooth the OleHenriksen Transform Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer is! I nearly bought it to use as a night moisturizer today, but I opted for a product from my workplace instead (gotta love work discounts!). The Clinique pep-start sample moisturizer was pretty good, but Clinique does unfortunately test on animals so I avoid buying from them. The Biophora Light Hydration Serum was pretty decent, and I had no complaints! It didn’t really stand out to me, but it definitely got the job done.

Today I caved did a bit of Boxing Day shopping, but after today I think that’s it for makeup shopping until 2019. I’m excited and terrified to see how long I can last in a year-long no buy and how it will change my perspective on what I currently own, my social media consumption, my bank balance, and even my conversations with makeup-loving friends.