No-Buy Beauty Fixed My Impulse Shopping, But It Made Me Step Back as a Blogger

Being a beauty blogger definitely has its perks. I mean, let’s be real, the perks are the things we want others to see most! I’ve been a beauty blogger since 2017, and over time I’ve been so very lucky to earn so much experience. I’ve received PR from my favorite brands, created content for companies I love, and became an affiliate for the “cool girl” brands. I’ve also been fortunate enough to connect with so many people with similar interests to me.

I became a beauty blogger during a big transition period in my life, and I quickly allowed the culture of this community to consume me. Now, I don’t want to make this into something it’s not. I’m not saying the beauty community is toxic because the beauty influencer culture has given me so many amazing opportunities. I do believe it has toxic tendencies, though. With so many brands constantly launching new products, it’s easy to feel trapped in an endless cycle of consumerism. Feeling so trapped in this cycle, I decided to go on a beauty no-buy, meaning I limited my purchases of unnecessary beauty products throughout the entire summer.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Why I needed a break

Any time a brand sent out a round of PR, and I wasn’t on the list, I was crushed. I instantly started thinking about all the things I was doing wrong. I didn’t know if I wasn’t posting enough, if my pictures weren’t good enough, all of those self-doubting thoughts. What’s worse, though, is if I saw similar beauty bloggers receiving the products, I was way more likely to purchase it, just to be part of the in-crowd. Brands don’t always tell you when they’re sending product, which led to me impulse buying a lot over the years. I would buy products just to say I did. Buying the products wasn’t enough, because then I had to create amazing, unique, out-of-the-box content. I’m honestly embarrassed to admit how many things I spent my money on just because I knew it would be good for content.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This summer, I started my first “official” freelance writing position. Having a steady income meant I had the ability to buy products guilt-free now, but I actually chose to do the exact opposite: I went on a beauty no-buy. My rules were:

  • I would only replace products in a category I am out of 
  • I wouldn’t duplicate any category unless it was reasonable (I didn’t need multiple AHAs, but multiple face masks were fine)
  • An occasional treat is fine, because I’m human (hi, gorgeous Caudalie Beauty Elixir!)

Being more conscious of my motives

As easy as it might sound, this no-buy was so hard. Shoutout to all the brands who released stellar products during my no-buy. (But really, thank you.) Each launch made me question my intention. Was I clicking “add to cart” because this was a product I genuinely wanted to try and use, or was I impulsively spending money based purely on hype? 

I had a little self-check with each exciting launch, and I realized I had valued myself based on the beauty products I was buying for the sake of content. It was really hard not giving in, but my mental health and bank account thanked me for it. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Today, this no-buy has seriously impacted my life. In some ways, it made my day-to-day habits way better and healthier. For starters, I buy way fewer beauty products now. Does this mean I spend more at Trader Joe’s? Maybe. But do I need good food more than every single new vitamin C serum? Definitely. My bathroom is still overcrowded from beauty products, so I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I hadn’t done a no-buy. I’m really proud of myself for sticking true to my goal because it taught me so much about what I had been conditioned to believe. 

In other ways, the beauty no-buy made things a little more difficult. The toxicity of being a beauty blogger made me take a major step back. I shoot less content, I post less, and I consume less. As a result, I receive PR less, talk to some people less, and definitely get way less likes when I do post. My page was a creative outlet for me, so I don’t want the fact I’m not buying things to stop me from creating, as that was the entire point of my no-buy! My next step is taking what I learned from this experience and giving it the chance to drive my creative sparks.

The best advice I can give anyone who’s considering doing a no-buy is: be flexible, be mindful, be thoughtful, and most importantly, be consistent. Personally, I think the reason so many no-buys, diets, and more fail is because people set strict time frames. I believe if you’re working so hard toward something, you shouldn’t just give it up once the clock runs out. I loved feeling proud of myself and being more intentional with my purchases, so my beauty no-buy has turned into a lifestyle. If anything, I just encourage everyone to be a conscious consumer and not only buy something because it’s cool in the moment!

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The beauty industry has taught me so much about how to take care of myself inside and out (are you wearing SPF today?), and for that, I’m so so grateful. For now, though, I think I’ll continue my habits of only replacing what’s missing, plus a little treat here and there of course.