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June 2018 No Buy, Low Buy, Project Pan

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I'm excited for No Buy June!

My Products:

  1. Nature Queen Shampoo and Conditioner deluxe samples
  2. Erno Laszlo Firmarine mini facial bar
  3. Mary Kay "Boss Moss" eye shadow sample duo card
  4. Borghese mascara
  5. Kenet MD mini massage bar soap
  6. Tata Harper Resurfacing Masque mini
  7. Sisley eye contour masque foil pack; Sisleya Essential Skin Care Lotion mini; and Eau de Campagne Body Lotion mini. These are from the June 2017 "The Long Weekend" beauty subscription box, so I hope to have fun using these on the weekends this month, and I hope they will inspire me to relax more. 


The next debt in my snowball is: $529.45. Goal is to start paying it off this month, as I would like to have it paid off by the end of July. 

I would really like to succeed this month and be able to celebrate one whole half year on No Buy! 

Edited by EdithS2
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One week of June finished, and still doing well. My cousin went to a wonderful B&B for her wedding anniversary. I had sent her a gift card to use for an extra treat on her trip, and she sent me an adorable little pink gift bag with some little souvenirs and the bath soap provided by the B&B! It's not a mini soap either, but a full size, transparent lilac soap. That was a huge treat. I also finally allowed myself to order the little Yves Rocher haul I've been dying to get for months. I was running out of deodorant, so I ordered one of their roll ons, plus a shampoo. I am almost finished with my last shampoo sample (a large deluxe sample of Nature Queen herbal shampoo, from Glossybox), and then I'll just have one full size shampoo left. Therefore, I decided to go ahead and get another shampoo too, and as a gift I got a free full size toner and three foil samples. The little necessities replacement haul cost less then $20.00. 

I paid my minimum payment early, plus $50 extra, on the bill I'm working on paying off right now.

I've begun using my Sisley eye masque and perfumed body lotion samples while relaxing on weekends, watching films. It does seem that the eye masque is magic and gets rid of lines under my eyes, at least temporarily. 

So I have many little things to be happy about, which I appreciate more because of my No Buy. 

Edited by EdithS2

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I thought I would write a bit about what drives me to be on a this No Buy, and my beauty biography. Perhaps it will be a kind of therapy for me. 

Part one: Beauty - early memories 

Beauty has always been a preoccupation with me. My childhood took place in the fun, colorful 1970's. It was a wonderful time to grow up, and I adored Barbie dolls, Barbie doll clothes, and television. I had dolls of Cher and Charlie's Angels. I was crazy for the Miss Universe Pageant. The stars on TV were so beautiful. I wanted to be beautiful, but felt I wasn't. I had serious eye problems, which had required early surgery, and felt ashamed of my glasses. I was called "four eyes" at school. It seems silly now, but glasses weren't cool then. Now, I think glasses are very attractive and I would not be bothered with contacts. I also did not like my hair, which was very fine. My mom always made me have it cut, as it was scraggly. I wanted long hair like the stars on TV, with beautiful curls. I would spend hours with my blue plastic rollers, but wasn't handy with them and always ended up with roller marks, cowlicks, etc. It was frustrating. My mom was pretty with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was fussy about her hair, and it was perfectly done at all times, and she would never go out without lipstick. She did not purchase a lot of cosmetics, however. She always used the same Peach foundation and Maybelline Watermelon lipstick, and rollers with brushes in them. She bought me Avon - perfume bottles shaped like animals, a lip gloss in an Oreo cookie compact, and sunblock in a bottle that looked like an orange. Mom had a Mary Kay party and invited me, and I was fascinated by her pink compact with watercolor eye shadows. I loved the Donny and Marie show. When Marie turned 18, there was a special where had a big makeover with an adorable short haircut. It was a big deal, and I was so jealous of her I cried watching the show. Hair really was a big deal in the 70's! I had a lot of cute clothes and shoes. In short, growing up in the magical 70's, I fell in love with everything feminine. I had a lot of fun, but felt inferior, which is sad, because I was cute, but I thought I was ugly. 


Edited by EdithS2

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I'm feeling bored, so I think I'll continue my beauty biography. 

Part two: High school years

In high school, I continued to love television: Luke and Laura on General Hospital, Knots Landing, Dynasty, mini series. I wanted to be beautiful and to have top grades in school. I was quiet, and a loner, and I don't regret it! I liked a pale pink powder blush, a concealer, and a pale pink lip gloss. I adored beauty books and magazines. My favorite treats were watching television and going to the library. I made my parents take me to every branch library in town. I made a beeline for the beauty book shelf (646 in the Dewey Decimal System). I adored beauty books and I collected all I could get. I also haunted used book stores for them. Some of my favorites were:

  • A Year of Beauty and Health by Beverly and Vidal Sassoon. This was an extraordinary book. The legendary English hairdresser and his glamorous wife created a guide with a special chapter for every month. They also provided a beauty regimen with a long list of daily and weekly tasks. The regimen was involved, but I worked hard at following it. I believe the Sassoons helped me to learn to be organized in my life, and the self discipline I gained following their fun but demanding regimen carried over into my school work. They were a big influence on me. 
  • The Natural Way to Super Beauty by Mary Ann Crenshaw. Ms. Crenshaw was the beauty editor at The New York Times, and wrote a detailed book with interesting and fun personal anecdotes about being a patient of Dr. Atkins and Erno Laszlo, and some of her beauty problems and mishaps. I absolutely love her writing style, and still have her autobiography, End of the Rainbow. 
  • The Beautiful People's Beauty Book by Princess Luciana Pignatelli. This was a book I found in the library, from the early 1970's. In it, a beautiful Italian princess wrote of how she felt plain as a child, but made herself over to become a famous beauty, then shared the secrets of her glamorous friends, like Sophia Loren. I adored the book, and the Princess was like a reassuring friend to me. 

I loved Thursday night, which was grocery shopping night. On grocery shopping night, I would be allowed to get a new shampoo, or a beauty magazine. I loved beauty magazines also. A favorite was Sophisticate's Hairstyle Guide, which always covered the beauty secrets of the stars. I mainly used Maybelline, Cover Girl, and Revlon makeup. For Christmas, I would get lots of cosmetics of course, and always a new curling iron. I would style my hair every day before school. 

Part three: College

During my college years, I made friends with a girl who loved beauty as much as I did. We went to the mall and out to eat all the time. I did not have any credit cards yet, thank goodness, so I did not buy a lot, but I was in love with the glamorous beauty counters at the department stores. If only I could afford to buy Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Lancome, I thought, then I would be beautiful. I thought the department store cosmetics surely must be magic, as they were expensive and locked up under glass like fine jewelry. I longed for them. I was doing so well academically, I was successful, but felt unhappy with my appearance. I had cystic acne for years. Sometimes I would aggravate the condition by scrubbing too much with products like Aapri Apricot Facial Scrub, or Buf-Puf. A dermatologist had me on antibiotics. I discovered that the best thing for my skin was Neutrogena acne soap bar, and that many beauty products aggravated my condition. I wanted to be older and able to use glamorous wrinkle creams from Europe, luxury skin care, and not acne soap. 

Part four: Graduate school 

I loved academic work, and headed to a large university for several years of graduate school. In the university library, I could read every issue of Vogue, Bazaar, Seventeen, Mademoiselle and French magazines from the 1940's to the present. I spent hours lost in this magical world. My favorite was 60's Vogue, a gorgeous fantasy I went on study abroad to England, and had a ball shopping in Boots for all of the French and British products not available in the US. 

Part five: The real world, and the bad times begin

This is where the sadness and buying too much begins.

I've never been as successful and happy in the "real world" as I was in my academic days. Like many, I found myself with a large education loan, and a not so great career. I undertook stressful jobs that made me unhappy, and I began to use credit cards because my large school loans ate much of my small paychecks. I would escape to the mall and go on shopping sprees, and I would get all of the cosmetics I longed for. I would also go out to eat. But sadly I did not enjoy all of the nice things I bought. I did not use them all, and often decluttered excessively to alleviate feelings of anxiety and guilt over buying too much. The decluttering never helped, and I just hurt myself by getting rid of my nice things. I would feel disappointed in my products, and did not give the creams time to work, or give myself time to learn to use the makeup. I would try them, declutter them, and then buy more. I truly feel I am a "shopaholic" or "compulsive shopper". I also was never satisfied, no matter how much I bought. I would buy something with a fabulous bonus at a beauty counter, and then I would see another bonus on the way out at another counter, and stop to get it too. 

I remember discovering Birchbox in 2010. When subscription boxes began, I thought I had found the answer! I could get new cosmetics all the time, while not spending much. The problem was, then there were a million sub boxes, and I had to try them all. I would compulsively sign up for boxes and then cancel, over and over. Instead of serving as a simpler alternative to my shopping, as I had hoped, the sub boxes turned out to be just as overwhelming as the regular marketplace. 

Part six: The answer

I am so grateful for the Internet, and for everyone who has contributed to the no buy and panning community online. For me, this appears to be the answer. After several attempts, I have been on no buy for almost half a year. This has helped me on many levels:

  • It has helped me to enjoy products more. I never enjoyed all the lovely cosmetics I was lucky enough to have in my younger years. I was overly perfectionist and had a negative body image, so I'd feel disappointed in the products and cosmetics, though they were lovely. In the no buy mindset, my goal is to use every bit of a product. This takes the pressure off of the result having to be perfect. I stick with a product until it's done, and I give it the maximum chance. I don't keep checking in the mirror to see the result, but instead focus on emptying the container. When I empty a product I feel satisfied, then happen to catch a glimpse in my mirror and realize that my skin does look a little nicer. 
  • We did not have the no buy, project pan community when I was younger. How this might have helped my younger self. I wish I could go back and pan all those lovely things I had and wasted, and did not enjoy. How much money I would have saved. I would not have as many debts now, and I may have done better in school and my career. 

Part seven: Future plans

I plan to continue on my no buy/project pan forever. I will buy things only when I need to replace them. This gives me built in boundaries, which I need. I hope to become debt free one day. In future I would like to incorporate a more holistic regimen of self care into my no buy. For years, I substituted buying for taking care of myself. I have a plan, for example, to motivate myself to undertake needed dental work by panning lip products. When I start dental treatment, I'll be able to use the lovely lip balms I have been hoarding, and then when the work is complete, I can pan all my nice lipsticks. I also hope to one day incorporate healthy eating into my plan. In short, I feel happy on my plan and if I could turn back time, I would have done this a long time ago! It has helped me on so many levels: improved finances, greater peace of mind, increased enjoyment of cosmetics. I do sometimes miss the activity of going out shopping, but even if I could, shopping retail is not the same as it used to be. Retail is in decline in my area. It is for me a bygone era. 

Edited by EdithS2
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Things are a bit slow now. My work and earnings have slowed a bit due to summer. I'm feeling rather bored and tired. My debt snowball is progressing, and I've paid all my debts under $500. That means I'm beginning to face larger debts now. I thought I would change up my plan and set seasonal instead of monthly objectives now. My goal now is to pay off one debt each season, instead of one each month as I have been doing. 

Thursday is the Summer Solstice. During the next three days I will clean (hopefully) and organize, I will post my empties. I will gather the products I want to use this summer (mainly a lot of minis I got in sub boxes last summer) and reorganize them all in one place. Then, I'll start a new thread for summer no buy. That will hopefully give me some new excitement and energy with my plan! 



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Hello, this is the end of my monthly no buys. I cannot express what they have meant to me. I began in December, with the goal of paying off one debt each month, and using up samples and minis. I stuck with the plan for six months, and I paid off six debts - four credit cards and 2016 and 2017 tax debts. I used a lot of little things. It was so rewarding. Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, so I'm going to organize my goals by season now. I've finished all the easier goals and it's time to tackle bigger challenges! I'll be back tonight or tomorrow to start the new thread. I'll have a new goal and a collection of summer products to use. Hope I see you there. 

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