Low Buy Year: April 2021 Haul

Low Buy Year: April 2021 Haul

Through this year I decided to set myself a beauty budget of £500 for the whole year for non-essential items. Through January and February, I went a little OTT, March I was exceptionally good not buying anything and I don’t know exactly what has got to me in the past few weeks of April, but insanity hit me and I went shopping.

So a quick recap – I’m tracking both essential and non-essential spending through the whole year as I’m intrigued, how much do I spend on beauty.
Non Essential Items – are items such as eyeshadow palettes, items where I have multiple backups within a category etc
Essential Items – None left in my collection, a foundation to colour match, a specific repurchase that I might feel is unique as a product and things I have in the same category are not comparable, then things like shampoo and conditioner which I need to stay like a decent human – providing I don’t have loads in the cupboard!
I’ve also left myself a little caveat that if I finish a non-essential item up purchased and completed within the year, I can move it to my essential items budget as I clearly loved it enough to finish it up.

I’m going to jump in now, as this is a chunky haul.

Essential Purchases / AKA Not Counted in Budget

It took me by surprise when I went to use my hairspray and discovered it was empty – I loved a few Schwarzkopf Got 2 B hairsprays in the past (I even wrote a whole love letter to one which has now been discontinued – RIP, I miss you) but decided to give the Happy Hour Hairspray a try and see if it reminded me of the old one I loved! I haven’t used it enough yet to comment if I love it as much as that one – but so far it is a pretty decent one!

“Hello, my name is Rachael, and my lockdown hobby became dying, and subsequently nearly killing my hair” – so I’m trying to rescue it from the brink of bleach overload before I go into a hairdresser and hopefully have managed to mask some of the damage. I spotted the Maui Moisture Bamboo Fibres Hair Mask which said it was a bond repairing mask, found in Home Bargains for a mere £1.99 I thought it was worth a try, I have used this once and I don’t know if I did a bad job or rinsing it out or it sticks in the hair like glue, but it wasn’t a good first use.

I then wanted to try out the Olaplex No 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment & No 3 Hair Perfector, I am going to have to bleach my hair again at some point and I’m very scared at what breakage is going to occur, so I will gear up for this with testing out the Bond Building Treatments. You use these two paired together – and I’ve always had impressive results in the salon from Olaplex treatments, but I’ve never tried Olaplex at home.

I have very nearly finished my Augustinus Bader The Cleansing Balm and have no other balms in my cupboard, whilst I love that balm and will 100% repurchase (review coming soon) I had heard good things about the newly released Beauty Pie Hot Oil Cleansing Balm and thought I would give this a whirl next particularly as the formula sounded similar.

The only item from TK Maxx I felt like I could justifiably call essential was another The Wet Brush (£3.99), I have around 6/7 of these in my house scattered everywhere from desk drawers to handbags, a few of mine are starting to look a little battered and I decided to get another one whilst I could for cheap in TK Maxx. I also loved the gold pattern on this one!

Not really “essential” but both are repurchases for me – the Calvin Klein Eternity Moment Perfume which I’ve been without for a few months and saw it on offer and decided to take the opportunity to repurchase then – this is a perfume that I’ve been using for well over 15 years and I still adore it! Tom Ford Black Orchid is my second fragrance repurchase, I’ve had a 50ml bottle that’s lasted me 5-6 years, and the 100ml bottle was on a good deal when I purchased, and I got an extra boost of Boots points which I tend to save up for fragrance purchases – it’s my favourite fragrance and one I can’t be without. I haven’t had a body mist in my collection for a while but after doing my perfume collection I felt like one might be missing – I tend to use these for freshening up during the day if I feel like I need it and saw this in Boots and they really reminded me of a limited edition collection me and my sister adored from VS about 5-6 years ago and still talk about to this day so I decided to grab the Aurora Midnight Body Mist. This is a very gourmand vanilla-based spray and I love it so far – I’m going to go back for a whiff of the others!

Non-Essential Purchases / AKA Counted in Budget

Stumbling into TK Maxx for the first time saw me find a few good gems – I picked up a Becca Backlight Filter Value Kit featuring a full and travel size of their backlight Priming Filter – this had an RRP of £35 and was a mere £9.99. I then picked up a different kind of primer and I thought about putting this on my Essentials list as I don’t really have anything comparable at the moment – but I’ve sampled the Poreblem primer when Touch in Sol first came to the UK and have had it on my wishlist to try since – this was £9.99 as well, not the biggest saving as it’s only a few pounds more normally but it felt like a good time to finally grab it. And finally, the Boscia White Charcoal Mattifying Mist was a complete steal of a find RRPing for £37.99 this was completely sealed up and was a mere £2 in the clearance section. I’m starting to run low on setting spray, I have one in my project pan and that’s it, so I could maybe have got away with calling this essential but at only £2 it wasn’t making the biggest dent in my budget!

Natasha Denona Bronze Palette this has been my only palette purchase of the year and I’m hoping it might be the only one unless something blows me out the water. I’ve wanted this since its release and this was kind of a little treat to myself for finishing relaunching the website at work a nine-month project that was a really difficult and long slog, but also a reward for completing my goal on my Colourpop California Love palette which is in my project pan and is a similar colour story to this but with a lot more mattes and I’m a metallic girl at heart. This has more of the formulas I love from Natasha Denona. At £60 this ate a good chunk of my budget for the whole year, however the few ND shadows I have I do adore and this is right up my street at the moment. I can not wait to photograph this properly and start putting it to the test, I’m loving bronzey gold neutrals at the moment!

I’ve seen good reviews of the new pot masks from Pixi, and I’ve been a sucker for their rose line and had the Rose Remedy Mask on my list. This is a chunky pot and I’m hoping I love it otherwise it will be difficult to work through – at £20. And my final top-up for my Cult Beauty Spree to get a bonus freebie (more on that in a moment) was the Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips (£25) – I hate buying CT products, I hate the darlingness around the advertising, however, I have the Pillowtalk colour from this line and I absolutely love it, it sits on the lips with a shine of a balm but the longer wearing qualities of a lipstick and nice pigmentation. They wear away gracefully and I decided I wanted another to add to my collection, I was tossing up between the other shade (there’s only 3 now in this line), Walk of No Shame however as that’s redder which is more of a winter colour for me I decided to go for Everlasting Kiss colour which looked very pinky online but is a very similar colour in person to Pillow Talk.

I picked up a few items from Beauty Pie which I’m classing as non-essential, I don’t like the shipping costs on there for one item so I normally pick up a few things at a time. I decided to get the Pure Ceramides Elastic Boost Eye Moisture Serum, This is more like a roll-on eye product which I enjoy these cool rollers during summer and I thought it would be a nice and easy thing to apply at £6.45. And then spying for another item I decided to go for the Beauty Pie JapanFusion Genius Lift Elixir – this had nice reviews and I really got along with the cleanser from this line (review here) so I decided to grab this to make the cost of postage a little more balanced.

The Bonus Freebie


As I decided to pick up a few bits on Cult Beauty they were running one of their spend over £150 offers and get a tried and tested kit within it. After having already £120 of stuff in my basket, there were a few things within here and brands I’d wanted to try that were specifically on my list to try out so I decided to top it up in the hope all of this additional newness might take my mind off shopping. I might keep all these things separate and when I have the urge to shop, I can come back to shop for something new from this box. I’m not going to list everything but a few key brands I was interested in were Biossance, Honest Beauty, Pai – with a few nice full sizes like a Charlotte Tilbury Lip Gloss.

So at the end of month 4 I have a mere £155 to last me through the rest of the year for non-essentials. Eek. I better get to using up and finishing up some of my purchases from my non-essentials list, but I’m determined to stick to the rules I set for myself!


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Helpless Whilst Drying

Email: helplesswhilstdrying@gmail.com



  1. May 8, 2021 / 4:12 am

    Black Orchid is one perfume I don’t think I’ve looked up the notes of before. I’m hoping to purchase a bottle of Eternity Moment soon, I finished up a perfume I had in my project pan last week but have also only recently purchased a bottle of Idole by Lancôme so maybe not just yet haha. The ND Bronze palette is super pretty, enjoy using it!

    • rachael
      May 10, 2021 / 11:42 pm

      I think even if you looked up the notes for Black Orchid, how it would smell in person would be entirely different to how you imagined. It’s a fragrance that’s in a league of it’s own!
      Ooh I’ve had a sample of Idole before, it’s not one that gelled with me but I love Lancome for staying power. You’d like La Nuit Tresor too based on knowing what fragrances you like I think!

      • May 11, 2021 / 1:08 am

        If I see Black Orchid and La Nuit Tresor in person I’ll ask to test them. I made the mistake of smelling La Vie Est Belle from Lancôme last year as that’s meant to be a classic and it was foul!

  2. May 8, 2021 / 9:39 am

    I did the same thing on Cult Beauty, was already spending over £100 so might as well top up and get the free gift. I have a box of samples and mini sizes to try so I’m hoping I’ll start dipping into that instead of shopping 🙈

    • rachael
      May 10, 2021 / 11:41 pm

      I’ve had a massive reorganise of my stash this week, makeup, haircare and skincare and it’s reminded me of what I’ve got lingering unusued. I haven’t sorted this stuff into it yet but I’m already bursting at the brim! Such a good goodie bag though!

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