my low buy 2020

I’m doing a low buy in 2020.

If you’re unfamiliar with a low buy (or no buy), it’s when you do put a restriction on how much you’re buying or simply not buy anything. For me, my low buy will focus on makeup, beauty and skincare.

Low and no buys have become popular in the beauty community, and I find them intriguing. The reason for doing them varies by person, but generally it’s to help curb shopping habits, making sure you’re using what you already own, and not buying into the consumer culture of the beauty community.


In 2019, I started getting back in makeup more so than previous years (you can tell this buy the amount of favorites I had in 2019). Part of this was because I planned doing my own makeup for my wedding and wanted everything to look perfect. I also found myself pulling away from the fitness community that I once was so ingrained in. With this change last year, I went back to the makeup industry.

After decluttering my collection at the end of 2019, I realized how much makeup I own that I’m not getting my money’s worth of. I want to change that. I want to use what’s in my collection and truly appreciate everything, and also use the products before they go bad.

There’s also a big incentive for my budget. In 2020, we are planning to move and we will need to furnish our new home, along with paying the mortgage and our regular ongoing monthly expenses. Cutting down on spending in other areas will be key in helping us live within our means.

what I’m doing to prepare?
  1. unsubscribe/unfollow | Similar to last year, when I was moving away from the fitness influencers I’m cleaning my social media and YouTube subscriptions. If the influencer tends to buy or review a lot of new makeup products, I’m considering unsubscribing from them. It’s not going to help me if I keep seeing new products. Remember, you can always subscribe again in the future.
  2. declutter my makeup | This may sound a little backwards, getting rid of makeup when I’m going to be buying nothing. My idea behind this is that I’m getting rid of products I don’t love and that do not bring me joy, so that when I open my drawers I want to always be using a product I love.
  3. taking inventory & purchasing staples | Going through my current collection, taking inventory of what I have, and purchasing any staples. This isn’t buying back ups, but purchasing what may already need to be replaced.
  1. buying only products I “need” | With a no buy, things are more clear – you don’t buy anything. With a low buy it’s more gray because I’m the one defining what I “need.” To me, this could be a skincare item based on breakouts or changes due to the seasons or a new foundation due to not having a matching color or skin changes.
  2. exceptions | In addition to the low buy rules, there are exceptions which include purchasing products that are “staples.” For example, mascara that tends to run out every 3 – 6 months, skincare (SPF), hair gel, lip balm.
  3. stay within budget |When I do need purchase something, it must fit within my monthly budget. I’m still determining what that budget will be and if it will be a monthly or quarterly allocation. My initial thought is to have a quarterly budget of $150 ($50/month) which would allow me to purchase more replacements in a month, if needed.
  4. time frame | To set myself up for success, I want to set a time frame for myself of a six month low buy and then re-evaluate. I understand that means this is not technology a “2020” low buy, but this will allow flexibility for myself. I’ll plan to reassess in June and see if I want to continue with my no buy or switch to a monthly budget.

For now, I’ll plan to do a quarterly check in, share my thoughts and experience, and if I’ve been successful. More to come!

Have you heard of a no or low buy before? Do you follow a budget each month on your beauty and skincare?

You everyday gal finding balance in life. - gym goer - thrifter - makeup enthusiast

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