I’m going on a Low/No Buy in 2020

Hello everyone! This post is to supplement my IGTV video explaining my plan for my 2020 Low/No Buy. I will go further in-depth with the reasoning behind doing this project, the rules, my treatment of PR in particular, and the projects I will be working on throughout the year.

A quick disclaimer: I’m not a perfect person. I consider myself to be a minimalist, and my version of minimalism focuses on only having things that bring value to my life. That said, makeup is something that really helps my anxiety and mental health in general, and for me, it’s also an avenue for creativity, so I don’t see myself having a ten-product makeup collection. However, keeping things that I know I don’t use is also not my style, so I want to undertake this project to learn more about my makeup use and, by extension, my habits and myself.

As I mentioned in my IGTV video, I am at a point with my collection where I really don’t feel like I have any gaps. Throughout this year, I gave myself a budget of $50 a month with some exceptions such as my birthday and Black Friday (some people would consider this to be a low-buy as well). Next year, I would rather put those $50 a month towards building a wardrobe I really love and feel comfortable in. Since I don’t want to bring in a ton of new stuff – mostly second-hand pieces or a few things from ethical and sustainable indie brands, or clothes I make myself, those $50 a month can also go towards savings.

I discovered a lot about my makeup preferences this year, and I used Black Friday as an opportunity to try out a lot of new brands that I’ve been eyeing for a long time. As such, I’ve got products that I’ve truly been loving, so I really want to use next year to just use what I have and push the bounds of what I can do with my collection. Furthermore, I really wish to curate my collection and refine my tastes. At the end of 2020, I want to have a really good idea of the items I could cull from my collection and which products I really want to explore more. Should I find new brands whose products I want to test out, I will use my wishlist. More about that later, though.

The Rules:

  • I will be, for the most part, on a replacement-only no buy. Essentially, this means I will only be able to repurchase products from categories of which I have used everything. For example, I will only be able to buy new brow gel once I have gone through all the brow gels I own. The exceptions to this will be explained in the next few rules.
  • The first exception: I am allowed to repurchase products that I finish that are part of what I consider to be my “core” makeup collection, which is composed of my absolute favorite products. For example, should I finish my Fat and the Moon Beam highlight, I would be allowed to repurchase it. My core makeup collection comprises less than a fifth (!!) of my entire makeup collection. Realizing this has made me truly want to cull my collection so I get closer to a collection made up of items that I use consistently rather than one with a million options (okay not really but still) that I rarely reach for. The other reason behind this exception is to help me let go of the products I don’t use. I find that I really have to prove to myself that I won’t reach or like something, so by showing myself how much I reach for certain products over others, I am hoping to make it easier for me to donate what I don’t reach for nearly as often.
  • The second exception: Lip products will be on a three out, one in rotation. In other words, for every three lip products I use up, whether they are in my core collection or not, I will be allowed to repurchase a core lip product or purchase a new one to try. Declutters are not counted in this number. I have found that I really am enjoying certain types of lip products (read: tinted balms and stains) over others (read: liquid lipsticks), but I don’t want to just throw out the old and replace them all at once. I can use liquid lipsticks as stains so I want to focus on being creative in using what I have and replacing as I go.
  • Gifts will be allowed, but I am going to try to keep the makeup I ask for at a minimum. Really, I don’t want to bring many things into my life, across all categories, anymore, so I am going to be pretty restrictive here. It’s not an absolute “no,” but it’s not going to be an all-out fest of makeup presents for sure. Furthermore, I will limit the gifts I ask for to items off of my wishlist that have been on there for over three months. This will help to prevent impulsive additions to my collection.
  • I will be accepting PR on an extremely selective basis. As I mentioned, I really don’t want to be bringing much into my collection. The point of this low/no buy is not only to save money, but it’s also to have a more curated collection. I tracked where my products came in from this year, and about 40% of what was added to my collection came from PR. That realization was staggering, particularly when one considers that we rarely get to choose what we receive in PR, so some products I wasn’t even able to use because they contained ingredients that didn’t work for my skin, or they just didn’t fit my particular style. In 2020, we both plan on being a lot more selective regarding what PR we accept, and, on top of that, Liv will be taking the vast majority of the PR that is offered to us (say, 95%). I do not want PR to replace my purchasing habits, and I doubt that I will even get one PR package a month next year. That being said, there are certain brands that truly inspire me and whose products I really, really, love. These are brands whose products I would be asking for as gifts throughout the year. Roen Beauty is one of those, and should they reach out to send PR, I would accept. I’m not made of money, so this both saves me money and allows me to access products that would most likely have been placed on my wishlist regardless of whether or not they were sent to me in PR. The same goes for any sponsorships that might come our way in 2020. This is the main reason why I am not calling this a full no-buy. Even though I don’t buy PR products, it is still a way for things to be added to my collection, so low/no buy it is.

If you have any questions about my rules, feel free to leave them down below.


I will likely only post a midway-point update on the no-buy. I have tons of other content planned that revolves around using what I have, so I don’t feel like rehashing what I am doing here will do any good. I will be updating on any products I might have received in PR or as gifts, as well as what I have been using the most and what I am planning on decluttering.


I am going to be running one main project: a pan in every palette project. Essentially, I will be randomly selecting an eyeshadow from a randomly selected palette in my collection to focus on until I hit pan. I won’t be posting regularly about this; instead, I will probably just mention it here in there in lives and tutorials on Instagram.

I also plan on joining in on a few seasonal project pans over on r/makeuprehab. I did a year-long project pan this year and I have found that shorter projects definitely work better for me and my attention span, lol! All my empties throughout the year will be saved (I’ve actually been saving them since October!) and I will do a huge video (or series of videos) at the end of the year talking about them all! I’m very curious to see how much I will end up using up.

I will also be doing a lot of 3 looks 1 palette videos with corresponding blog posts and the no-brand tutorial series on our Instagram.

If you want to see anything else regarding my low/no buy, please let me know! I am happy to oblige.

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