Saturday, 30 September 2017

Low Buy Report: Catching Up and Reevaluating

Oh hey, remember when I set some low buy goals for 2017? I struggled a lot during the beginning third of the year, and then a combo of time, stress, and shame that I ended up going over my budget (by kind of a lot for what the budget was, though admittedly I'm still spending less than a third of what I did last year on beauty, so yay) led me to abandoning the series of posts. But now it's fall and the fact that fall usually means new beginnings, I decided to revisit the low buy report, think about the original goals, and create a more sustainable plan that I can commit to without much effort on my part.

I've been very quiet this month, somewhat unexpectedly. My work situation has changed somewhat: while I continue to be a solo hospital librarian with a somewhat tyrannical way of managing, I will also be spending the next year managing the day-to-day operations of another library in my health authority. I don't know what that's going to look like quite yet, but I will be travelling a lot more for work, and I'm definitely going to be crazy busy. It's a great opportunity for me career-wise, but I'm a little nervous since I've gotten used to managing only me this last year. As hard as that has been, it's been an incredible amount of freedom and I'm going to miss it in a strange way.

Thus, my head is pretty crammed full of stuff to worry about right now and I'm not interested in adding any more.

When I changed my blog name, I wanted it to better reflect the direction I was going in: a broader beauty blog, with a variety of interesting posts. This is aligned with the original intentions I had when I decided on my low buy and beauty budget: write more interesting posts, get through my backlog of products that I had to review (there's still a backlog, but it's much reduced), and be more conscious about what I was buying. With a few exceptions this year, I think I've achieved that. I have made very few impulse purchases this year, and those that were impulse were still researched and sat on for at least a few days. I've vastly reduced any stress shopping - or have directed it into purchasing things that I actually need, like new sheets and rainboots.

Overall, I'm satisfied that I've:

  • reduced my spending considerably
  • have truly become more thoughtful in my consumption
  • have produced a good variety of blog posts this year
  • stopped buying random lipsticks when I'm bored/tired/hungry/stressed
  • continued to work toward a makeup collection that is used and reflects my current interests
  • avoiding hype
Things I still need to work on:
  • having more makeup than I can reasonably use (I'll probably always have a lot, but I can definitely stand to have less)
  • ensuring I'm not buying multiple versions of the same colour (hoping to do some dupe weeding this weekend!)
  • making plans that work with me over the year
I've been writing a lot of syntheses on human resources literature lately, and one of the themes that is currently being bandied around in performance review trends is that you need to be able to revise your goals, and that a yearly assessment structure should be bolstered by more frequent, informal check-ins and less rigid goals to allow for the dynamic kind of work environment that we're usually in. This exercise is a kind of performance review, of me and my buying patterns, and so while I had the vague idea right (set goals, frequent check-ins), I was still thinking too narrowly. At least for me and the kind of person I am. 

Going forward then, I will:
  • have a quarterly check-in post. I think that's more reasonable. Monthly can feel daunting when I think about all of the other things that I want to write about.
  • not be keeping a strict budget with a million rules that feel too hard to keep track of.
  • have a much easier rule: try to aim for spending no more than $100 a month on average, on beauty, including replacements. I think this allows for wiggle room of buying more extravagant things, plus allowing for stocking up on essential items when I need to.
  • work on panning some of my much reduced perfume collection and continue to revisit some older scents here and there.
  • continue to track my daily lip colours and perfumes. I've been keeping a running note of this in my planner, and it helps me see what I'm using regularly.
  • stop buying so many liquid lipsticks. Seriously, who am I???
Of all the iterations of low buying that I've tried, this is probably the most natural for me and the simplest. We'll find out at the end of December how it's going! Especially with the Sephora sale coming up...I'm building a wishlist, the most ridiculous item on it being the Dyson hairdryer. I don't even blowdry my hair. That will probably be dropped. One hopes.


  1. I lowkey want the Dyson hairdryer too even though I can't use any heat on my super damaged hair. Luckily $500 for a hairdryer is ridiculously out of my budget, so it's not a real temptation. I'm also very glad I no longer live in the land of Sephora because the sale is not on my radar this year!

    I think we're on a similar page goals- and success-wise. My year in the land of makeup consumption has not been perfect, but it's gone decently well. I think my collection is at the maximum size I can manage reasonably, so maintaining it or paring it down continues to be my main goal.

    Congrats on the big career move! Changes are always stressful, but it seems like a good thing overall.

    1. With sales tax, the Dyson hairdryer is more than my rent. I do have very low rent but I'm pretty sure I can't bring myself to buy a hairdryer that's more than my rent. And yet. I want it. I recently realized my hair would probably look better if I didn't sleep on it while it was wet, but I also know my hair doesn't respond well to heat. So this want is absurd. Everyone I know low-key wants it too!

      Thanks. It's a huge vote of confidence in my skills, but I am definitely anxious about juggling everything this year. I do have excellent coworkers who will support me a ton, though!

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