Guest blogger week, day 2: Stashie’s lesson, No-Buy 101

I’m a self-proclaimed beauty junkie who has embarked on a year-long No-Buy on makeup and skincare.  My blog, stashmatters, focuses on showcasing my current makeup stash with reviews and swatches of my collection.  My favourite makeup items are eye shadow, nail polish and blush.  I live in Toronto, Canada.
So you want to embark on a No-Buy?  Don’t know where to start?  I’m currently on a makeup / skincare No-Buy for the entire year of 2015, approaching the last 4 months of my goal.  Here’s a handy guide for all the makeup addicts who may realize that they may have a problem.
First, are sure you really need to go on a No-Buy?  Take this short quiz:
1) Do you own more than 5 foundations?
2) Do you keep buying the same lipstick shade over and over again and now you own 14 MLBB shades?
3) Did you achieve Sephora VIB Rouge in ONE shopping trip?
4) Is your eye shadow collection various shades of taupe that look the same to the naked eye?
5) Have family members considered contacting either Hoarders or Intervention about your makeup collection?
6) Have you subsisted on ramen for weeks so you can afford the newest makeup launches?
7) Are you contemplating moving into a larger place in order to house your collection?

I have over 600 eye shadows, most of them are taupes.

If you answered Yes to any of the above, you need to go on a No-Buy, pronto. ;)
Goal setting
What do you hope to achieve?
For me, it was a combination of trying to use up some of my existing products (especially skincare) and also rationalize my current stash (ie keep or purge?)
I need to purge probably 50% of my foundations.

I need to purge probably 50% of my foundations.

Other goals could be: to save money, declutter, sell some makeup etc.
• Set a time frame. Will this be a month? 6 months? A year?  Be realistic with what you think you can achieve – I tried to go on a No-Buy last year and I only lasted 2 months.
• What are the parameters? Is there absolutely NO buying of anything at all for the duration of the No-Buy? Maybe you want to do a No-Buy Lite (aka Low Buy) and only allow yourself a set dollar amount per month on cosmetics. Or you allow yourself the leeway to replenish on “necessities” like skincare and mascara (I put that in quotations because we makeup addicts tend to claim things are necessities that are not! :P ). You may want to allow yourself a birthday haul.
My birthday gifts and haulin'

My birthday gifts and haulin’

How to stay on track
• Unsubscribe from promotional emails: it’s their goal to get you spend your money! There are always new collections launching, there are constant sales – it’s all very tempting so it’s better not to see the emails at all (you can always resubscribe after your No-Buy is over)
• Take an inventory: use whatever tool you want: a pen and paper, an Excel spreadsheet – note down all of the makeup items you own! It’s a daunting task but very satisfying to do, and it will help you with the next activity…
• Shop your stash: when your collection is so large that you need keep an Excel spreadsheet, it’s highly likely that there are lots of forgotten gems hidden away. It’s helpful – and fun – to create little “makeup menus” of full looks from makeup items from your collection and switch them up on a weekly basis.
Here's a look I wore the other day - I hadn't worn these items in months.

Here’s a look I wore the other day – I hadn’t worn these items in months.

• Create a wish list: noting down items you want to buy after the No-Buy is over will be helpful for you to keep track so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Also, sometimes when I write down all the things I want, I realize a lot of the items are repetitive (like do I really need 4 new highlighters?) and I can narrow down to the ones I REALLY, truly want.
• Acknowledge milestones: “Empties” or “Project Pan” are two fantastic ways to mark progress of a No-Buy. As well, I like to specifically post significant milestone badges on my blog:
I reached 200 days of No-Buy last month!​

I reached 200 days of No-Buy last month!​

• Surround yourself with a support network: it could be your family, your real life friends, online community – tell everyone who cares that you’re on a No-Buy so that they can keep you honest
Reward yourself
At the conclusion of your No-Buy, it’s time to celebrate! Of course, for me, the point isn’t to go out and buy two years’ worth of makeup as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2016, but I will allow myself to buy some of the items that have been lingering on my wish list. Also, I may reward myself with a makeover at MAC or a fancy spa day. :)  If you’re on a No-Buy or thinking about going on one – good luck to you!

#NoSpendJuly and why I’m on a spending ban

I’ll be totally honest here — I was going to do this in June originally but I caved before I could even make it official. The good thing about that is that I spent all of June mentally preparing myself to not spend any money throughout July and with the month one third of the way through, I’m doing alright so far!

Okay, so I definitely should’ve blogged about this earlier in the month, but time just got away from me. Oops.

So why #NoSpendJuly? And how does it work?

Well, ever since I made this blog, I’ve been spending way more money than I should on beauty and skincare products. I’ve always been very easily tempted, but following other beauty bloggers and seeing the products they recommended ended with me spending way too much money in a short amount of time. I saw a few other people were doing this no spend thing (shoutout to Stashy for doing it for a whole year!) and I thought, well, I might as well do that.

So now here I am.

The way this works is for a whole month, from beginning to start, I won’t spend any money on beauty or skincare products. I know other people have made exceptions for essentials or repurchasing things they’ve run out of, but I don’t wear enough makeup on a daily basis (plus I have enough of everything I do use on a daily basis) that I won’t need to.

This spending ban also works in conjunction with my mission to try out all the samples I’ve collected through my time with ipsy and birchbox. I have quite a few of those that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now, and when I have a few more empties, I’ll be writing about that!

Depending on how I do, I’m tentatively thinking of continuing this through August so that I can also keep saving up for my trip to Canada in September! Which, while I’m thinking about that — I’m looking for two more people to write a guest post on my blog while I’m on vacation! If anyone is interested, let me know and we’ll chat!

Have you ever tried a spending ban? How’d you do? Let me know in the comments! And as always, don’t forget to follow me on twitter, instagram and tumblr!