Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The "No Buy Low Buy" Phenomenon

So, it seems like about 1/3 of the beauty community is doing some version of a no buy/low buy this year.  It's an interesting phenomenon that I think is indicative of several issues: our consumer oriented culture, the rise of "influencers" on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, the susceptibility of humans towards addictive behavior, and a market that is only too ready to meet our consumer demands, 
Shopping is an activity that can become an addiction (Google shopping and dopamine) and apparently for many of us (myself included), shopping for makeup grew from a hobby into a habit.  Acquiring (the hunt) became more important than using the makeup itself, as evidence by continuing to buy variations of the same product over, and over, and over again.
I know variety is something I've always gravitated towards, as I tend to get easily bored using the same products over a short period of time.  Why else do I continue to look for the next best vitamin C serum when I've already discovered one that works well for me?  While some are content with one or two signature perfumes, I continue to bring multiple new scents into my "collection" every year, although I do revisit favorites on a semi-regular basis.
Declutters (throwing away or donating items you no longer want or use) have entered our vernacular and are a symptom of this excess.  I've done quite a few myself, and enjoy watching these kinds of videos on YouTube. Often, the declutters are done as precursors for acquiring more items, as overcrowding and lack of space have become an issue.  People can't "see what they have" or feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items to chose from.  Some, however, are recognizing the problematic nature of this purchase/purge behavior, and are opting for no buy/low buy boundaries as a way to change how they think and behave when it comes to acquiring items. 
"Shopping your stash" has become another way to deal with the overwhelming excess, as many of us have actual store houses of product in our own homes.  There really is no need to go shopping, as having multiples of an item is not unusual.  However, without the restriction of a no buy or replacement only low buy, many of us are going to indulge in that external shopping behavior as opposed to shopping our stash.
So have I jumped on this no buy/low buy bandwagon?  Absolutely.  I'm 2 months into my replacement only no-buy.  The criteria I have set for myself is that I can only purchase makeup/skincare/hair care/body care/beauty items is if I have run out of everything in a particularly category.  Realistically, that means the only item I envision having to purchase in the next year is eye primer, as I'm about 3/4 through my Too Face Shadow Insurance.  I may have some samples to go through after that, but that's not an item I have backups for.
My goal is to use up as much of the product that I already have on hand and that I no longer use shopping for makeup/skincare etc. as a way to entertain myself/self sooth/or otherwise indulge in mindless, excessive behaviors.  Honestly, at this point it hasn't been too difficult, although I did feel a twinge when I saw that the Anastasia Sultry palette is on sale for $27.  If I wasn't on a no buy, I would have definitely bought it.  Do I need it?  Absolutely not. Plus, I'm actually enjoying getting to better know the items I own.

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