My 6 Month Beauty Spending Ban Finale

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Over the past year I've gone through quite a journey in my relationship with my makeup collection. Not to sound too cliche but I've spent a lot of time examining and questioning the way I think about and relate to makeup. I think I've come upon a pleasant place so far and I wanted to share that experience with you in a quick post.
In February I was made aware that I would be losing my job with no new job looming on the horizon. I decided to challenge myself to a 100-day beauty spending ban in order to curb my spending while I was looking for a new job. During those 100 days, I also became obsessed with the Project Panning community on Youtube and I really enjoyed watching women doing similar spending bans to me and working their way steadily through their collections.

After 100 days, I still hadn't found a new job and I decided to extend my ban to 6-months which would take me into the middle of August. I also combined this ban extension with a project pan to keep myself motivated and interested in makeup and beauty while I wasn't able to buy new things. Before I finally reached the 6-month date, I stumbled into a regular income and decided to celebrate by not sticking to the arbitrary 6-month date. To me, the ban was a way for me to use up more of my makeup and keep my spending in check during a tough financial time and I feel like I did achieve that whether or not I kept to the ban until the very end.

Perhaps the most startling thing I discovered during this 6-month period was that my relationship with makeup and beauty is crowded by a horrible sense of guilt. I was not raised to put a high value on appearance and, like most young girls, was taught the paradox of appealing to patriarchal standards of female beauty while also not liking it too much in case you become shallow or vain. So, since I decided to pursue and interest in this industry back in 2012, I've been carrying around that paradox of being intelligent, bookish, and one who partakes in 'high-culture' while also loving and entertaining an intense interest in makeup and beauty. I often feel guilty buying new makeup because I know I don't 'need it' and I could be spending that money on 'more worthwhile things'. I try not to talk about makeup too often with friends or work colleagues for fear of appearing insubstantial and trivial. I'm sure there is so much more here to explore but I'm going to skip to the part now where I feel like I can actually move past those feelings.

By putting myself on a spending ban and doing project pans, I came to realise that I really love makeup more than I love the thrill of buying a new thing. I love being able to blog about and share in the experience of a new product, but I'm also happy loving a product until completion. At the same time, when I procured a new income, I was reminded that in reality, the vast majority of my income is disposable so I could really spend it on anything that I deem worthwhile and that'll make me happy. Suddenly, bans, projects, and inventories seemed incredibly arbitrary; restrictions we place on things we love because of a sense of guilt or discomfort in expressing an interest in something we've been told not to invest value in. While I certainly don't want to have an overwhelming amount of makeup and beauty items, I don't want to be wasteful or indulge my consumerism, I feel silly trying to deny myself a purchase because I 'shouldn't' without any reason of my own making. I'm not even sure if that makes sense!

Essentially what I'm saying is: makeup and beauty make me really happy and I enjoy having them as a hobby. Because of this, I don't want to feel guilty investing time, effort, and money into them because the return is ultimately worth it for me. It mayn't sound like much, but this is rather a large step forward in terms of coming to a comfortable and realistic personal relationship with my makeup collection.

I said this would be a quick post but I had a lot more to say than I expected! If you've had a similar experience or are still undergoing it, please let me know in a comment. I'd love to discuss this further with other beauty lovers to see if there are some differing perspectives!

If you want to trace my progress over the last 6 months, here are the links to the relevant blog posts:


xx Julia

1 comment

  1. Its your gratefulness for affixing and giving out your blog with all of us its really intersting and informative .



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