Things I Bought on my Three Month No Buy

Things I Bought on my Three Month No Buy

At the start of November, I spoke about entering a 3 month no buy on the run up to my 30th Birthday (which was Saturday!). As a result I thought I’d share with you the items that I had to buy during this time and also some areas where I also failed.

Replenish = Products I needed to replenish as I had nothing left
Repurchase = Exact replacement of a product I couldn’t be without
New = Not replacement

Pat McGrath Mothership Sublime Palette – New (but free?!)
If you’re going to screw up your no buy, why not do it with a bang?
I had lusted over this palette all though 2019 thanks to the shiny emerald green in it which I’ve spent all year trying to dupe. PMG is not stocked in many places in the UK and to see it in person you can find it at Selfridges only which only have a couple of department stores across the country. I went whilst we were in Manchester at the end of November, saw it in person for the first time and dragged Ben back several times so I could swatch it and make sure it was the green of my dreams (it was!). I really wanted to have that green for the festive season as I knew it was the time of year I was going to get the most use out of it, however I ended up buying direct from Pat McGrath as it was down from £115 to £90ish including delivery.
However I had sold a lot of makeup on eBay that I wasn’t using any more (over £260 worth to be exact!) a lot of which went on decorating bits – however I had a pocket of £100 left in my paypal, so I used the money from selling to fund this extravagant purchase I would have had a hard time doing otherwise, so I’m not sure that I technically bought this, or I am I trying to wiggle out of this too much?!

Dolce and Gabanna The Only One Perfume Set – New/Replenish (Loyalty Points Purchase)
This is a perfume I’ve had my eye on all year. I was hoping to get a Paco Rabanne Olympea set in the Boots Sale that I save my points for all year, but unfortunately they were sold out online. I decided to get this instead, I had a sample of this in My Secret Scent Box and loved it and it’s been on my mind to get it at some point. It’s a very similar vibe to Olympea with a sweet gourmand base. I was saving my last few uses of Olympea as I had nothing similar, but I felt comfortable being able to use it up knowing I had this as a replacement. I will rebuy Olympea at some point this year it was my wedding perfume so holds a special place in my heart, but I’m glad to finally have a full size and travel rollerball of this! I did use points for this purchase so I’m not counting it as a spend.

RCMA No Colour Powder – Replenish
I’ve eyed this powder for some time and saw it on sale on Black Friday, that evening I noticed that the powder I was using only had a couple of uses left, so I went to double check all the other places I store makeup – and it was official, I was out of makeup – so I snagged this whilst it was about 30% off. I was also happy knowing it was a was a huge powder that would last me all the way through.

Jouer High Coverage Foundation – Repurchase
Similarly to the powder above, I spotted that my favourite foundation was on sale for £10 off (normally £35 and was down to £25 on Black Friday), I had one use of my favourite foundation and I was beginning to run low of my Fenty Foundation, which was the only other that was a good colour match for me, so I decided it was a good time to replenish as it was unlikely I would see it this cheap in a while.

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Face Wash – New
This was a really frustrating one, we went away for the weekend and nipped into a supermarket that was near our hotel, whilst I was picking up some paracetamol, I turned around to see cleansers and it suddenly dawned on me I had packed nothing to remove my makeup over the weekend! I looked through the wipes, but I couldn’t see anything that was biodegradable for less than the cost of this cleanser that was on offer for £3. It’s currently my shower face wash!

Spectrum Brush Set – Replenish
I had a couple of brushes I had to retire at the end of last year, and I spotted this Spectrum Set which contains 10 brushes in the sale for £15 reduced from £70 (a whopping discount!)  – I’m always in need of more eye brushes and I worked out that if I bought the couple of face brushes from Real Techniques I needed to replace then I would have ended up spending more than this set would have cost. I had a set of Spectrum brushes that I purchased in the sale in 2018 Christmas sale and they’ve lasted well all year so I think this was a wise purchase. I haven’t used these yet as I wanted to make sure they were all nice for these photos, but I will be taking these away this weekend.

Rimmel Magnifieyes Eye Primer – Replenish
I had ran out of my trusty NYX Proof It Eye primer and was in need of restocking for the festive season – despite visiting a massive Boots, none of the high street brands seemed to have any eye primers either in stock or carried them at all, I was really surprised after looking at about 20 brands this was all I could find! I really wanted to try the Fenty eye primer, but as I was doing the main bulk of my Christmas shopping that day I decided to go for the cheaper option and save that one until after my no buy had finished. I can’t remember seeing any reviews of this prior to buying, so crossed my fingers that it was okay – it’s a bit mediocre but I’ll use it up and try the Fenty one next time!

Whilst I don’t think I can fully count this as a successful no buy, I found this actually quite a good experience – and definitely the most successful one that I’ve attempted. In January, I purchased nothing at all – and felt like I had broken a habit, I actually don’t think I was as bad in 2019 as I was in previous to that, but I’ve not found myself looking at “new in” or “sale” emails from my favourite places and removing the temptation to shop has worked.

In my yearly empties round up, I talked about my overall thoughts on last year and how I had started an inventory between Christmas and New Year. That tedious task actually really spurred me on to continue on this train of thought (although, I am allowing myself this weekend off, should I need to down my birthday sorrows!).

My plan for this year is to give myself a small budget for the entire year to purchase items that have been well thought out and considered – but I want to avoid purchasing anything that are in my well stocked categories mainly on the skincare front. I’ve decided on £250 for the whole year (I won’t count purchasing essentials in that such as shampoo, conditioner and shower gel – particularly as I shop pretty budget in this area anyway, but if I want a luxurious treat from this category I will count it), but that includes new makeup, skincare and beauty box purchases otherwise. I am also transitioning to being cruelty free this year, I’ve avoided certain brands such as L’Oreal for a long time, but I want to use up my stash and as I repurchase ensure absolutely everything is cruelty free from now on.

You’ll have to let me know in the comments below whether you think my Pat McGrath purchase should count as a break of the no-buy or whether you think I’ve found a loophole!


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. January 31, 2020 / 12:00 pm

    Those Spectrum brushes look fun! I picked up a little Real Techniques set that contains two of my favourite brushes + a new third brush that looks similar to another of my favourite brushes from them 🙂 I don’t think you broke the no buy, it pays to treat yourself sometimes!

    • rachael
      February 3, 2020 / 10:37 am

      I used the spectrum brushes for the first time at the weekend and I think they were a fab purchase! That’s sounds like a good set from RT for you. I do think I might need to pick up the blush brush again at some point

      • February 3, 2020 / 12:33 pm

        I’ve heard good things about Spectrum brushes but I don’t need more at the moment, I’m actually wanting to go through my brushes and pass on the once’s I don’t find myself reaching for. The RT blush brush is great!

  2. February 3, 2020 / 4:29 am

    If the goal of your no-buy is to not spend any of your usual income as opposed to not acquiring more stuff, then I would say your PMG purchase would not count against your no-buy! You essentially replaced some other makeup!

    • rachael
      February 3, 2020 / 10:32 am

      This is great news haha – I think if I’d gone and replaced the 7/8 palettes I’d got rid of it would have been different, but it was one very considered purchase!

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