What I Bought This Year – Low Buy 2019

Hello again! Last time, I shared my rules and an overview of my progress on my 2019 Low Buy. Today, I’d like to share the items that have been worth the purchase. I’m going to break down my purchases based on the category they fall into, so first – here’s a quick review of the rules:

  1. No purchases until October 31 (or the fall VIB sale) except…
  2. Replacements
  3. Skin health/protection products
  4. Things bought with gift cards (+ up to $10 to round it out)
  5. Gifts for others

I’ve included the prices that I paid in each listing, along with some notes about how I feel about the purchase. These prices take into account tax, shipping, and any coupons or discounts I received on the item(s).


Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil in Soft Brown – $7 I was down to just a L’Oreal BSD in Brunette, which I can only use on my tails since my hair is more highlighted now. I bought this pencil when I couldn’t find the BSD in Light Brunette.

Two Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencils and NYX Control Freak brow gel – $23.30 Spoiler alert: I really liked the Revlon Pencil. I decided to try out Blonde, but bought another in Soft Brown in case it was too light. As for the brow gel, I’d been using my last tube of Control Freak for at least 3 months, so it was time for a new one.

Living Proof Restore shampoo, conditioner, and mini mask – $64.73 I was finishing up my Briogeo Rosarco shampoo right as the Spring VIB sale was happening, so I took the opportunity to save 15% on some new things. Instead of buying the same products, I chose to try a new line out. Technically I shouldn’t have bought the mask until I finished the last of the Don’t Despair, Repair! treatment, but I didn’t want to miss the discount. I am keeping it closed until the other is finished.

Dove Kiwi & Aloe Body Polish, Aveeno Apricot Yogurt Body Wash – $11.89 This is probably my most questionable replacement purchase, but I am allowing it because…well…I make the rules here. I was working on using a salted caramel scented body scrub and body wash, but as the weather got warmer in May, I started craving a lighter scent. I plan to use these either until they’re done or the weather (or my mood) deems it appropriate to go back to the caramel scent.

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Dark Blonde – $3.72 I’m counting this as a replacement, even though it was technically a backup when I bought it. I was finishing the Revlon Blonde pencil and I still have Soft Brown ready to go. However, I was trying to meet a shipping minimum on the purchase of an online-only item, and it made sense to add this. I also used one of Ulta’s famous $3.50 off $15 coupons, which is why the listed price is so low.


Skin Health/Protection

This category is sort of redundant, since the sunscreens I’m listing below could also have fallen under the Replacement category, but it is nice to separate this out from the others when calculating price. Even if I decided to stop wearing makeup altogether one day (hahahahahahaha) then I would still wear sunscreen.

La Roche-Posay SPF 30 Cooling Water Lotion – $22 I honestly love this and only purchased the next item because I couldn’t find it at the store when I had a really good coupon to use. Thataylaa recommended this and I am really happy I tried it out. It’s entirely worth the price, but be on the look out for coupons through CVS or Target Cartwheel deals on the brand.

La Roche-Posay SPF 60 Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen Lotion – $21.96 I honestly don’t love this, and will finish it up as soon as I can by using it on my face and body. Then I can go back to the Cooling Water Lotion when I finish the minis in the Sephora set I’ll talk about below.


Gift Card Purchases

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sultry Palette – $4.57 I had resisted this palette all through the holidays, thinking it was just another neutral palette – that is, until I saw KitschSnitch’s video on the palette. Of course, this coincided with the palette being on sale at Ulta. I knew this was a limited edition palette, and a $25 gift card was burning a hole in my pocket as I watched her swatch Steampunk and Rose Quartz. I went to the store the next day. #noregrets

Sephora Lash Stash kit and Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit – $11.09 This is purely a “It was the Spring VIB sale and I wanted to buy the tiny things” purchase, so I offset it with my $50 gift card.

The Lash Stash kit is one of my go-to items to buy and recommend since not only do you get to try out 5 different mascaras, but you get to trade in a card (which doesn’t expire, by the way) for a full size of your favorite from the box. Did I need more mascaras? No. Did this purchase cause me to create a project pan called “You don’t need more mascaras”? Yes.

The Sun Safety kit is just a ton of tiny sunscreens, which I justified by telling myself I could use them when I went on vacation. Which proved itself true last week, but it was definitely an excuse to buy cute, tiny sunscreens. I am happy to try out new brands and formats (it contained a SPF setting spray and sunscreen drops), even if I know I’ve found my one true love in the LRP Cooling Water Lotion.

Lorac Neon Lights PRO Palette $11.10 My last gift card purchase was on the last thing I need – an eyeshadow palette. I really love Lorac eyeshadow, and I always try to wait until they are on sale since I have been burned so many times before with buying one of their palettes full price only for it to be 40% off two weeks later. But this palette was limited edition and online only. And it is neon, and I don’t really have that in my collection. I committed to decluttering my giant (never-reached-for) BH Cosmetics colorful palette when I decided to buy this with my $20 gift card.

Along with my basic rules, I have a list of items that are allowed.

  1. KathleenLights collabs
  2. Tati/Halo Beauty products
  3. KL Polish new releases
  4. Lorac PRO 4 on significant sale

Approved Purchases

I only have one purchase that falls into this category, my most recent purchase

KathleenLights x Colourpop: I bought the four new blushes, the single eyeshadow compact of The Sagittarius, and a Creme Gel Liner in Brew-Haha. Of course, the liner wasn’t one of her collabs, but I needed to add an item to meet the free shipping minimum. Luckily, I just ran out of my dark brown liner (Colourpop Stomper), so it sort of counts as a replacement.

Of course, there were a couple of items that I just didn’t see coming, and fall into the final category in this break-down: unapproved purchases.

Unapproved Purchases

I’ve made two unapproved purchases this year, both for different reasons.

Colourpop x Disney Villains ($78.31) – I should have known this collection would be coming out after the Disney Designer release last year. I kept it to a minimum with this purchase, only choosing products that I feel I will actually get use out of. (I stand by this, even though this is my highest-priced single purchase this year.)

  • Misunderstood Palette
  • 3 Lipsticks (Hades, Cruella, Dr. Facilier)
  • 2 Highlights (Mistress of All Evil, You Idiots! You Fools! You Imbeciles!)
  • 1 Gloss (Bad Apple)

Dr. Facilier and Bad Apple are two of my favorite lip products now, so I’m very happy for those purchases. The highlights are more glittery than most in my collection, so I feel like they added something (yes, something more than just cute packaging). I’ve since combined the two Colourpop x Disney palettes into one magnetic palette, and I’m really happy with how well they work together.

Milani Luminoso Gloss ($9.40) – I purchased this to meet the shipping minimum on the order for the Lorac Neon Lights palette. I probably would have just stocked up on more brow pencils, but I was sucked in after seeing this gloss on Kathleen’s insta-story that morning. Oh well. At least it’s really pretty!


Overall, I’m happy with all of my purchases. I’m also very happy with the total I’ve spent this year, considering how each category breaks down. Here’s a recap:

  • Total Replacement Purchases: $110.64
  • Total Skin Health/Protection Purchases: $43.96
  • Total Gift Card Purchases: $26.76
  • Total Approved Purchases: $31.88
  • Total Unapproved Purchases: $87.71

Grand Total in 2019: $300.95

Some people on a no or low buy may think this is still a lot to spend if I’m trying not to spend at all. What I see is that I’ve come an incredibly long way in curbing my spending from last year. Over half of this total is either replacements or sun protection ($154.60), and I expect that to continue to be the trend as I use up products in my collection, whether it be through ongoing project pans, or just general use.

Soon I will share with you more about my current project pans, as well as some items that I didn’t buy this year.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve bought this year? How are you doing if you’re on a low or no buy? Please comment here or on Instagram! (Follow me @natalieblends!)

– Natalie

P.S. Here’s some referral links to some of my favorite sites. Use if you’d like!

  • Ebates – This is a great way to earn cash back from online shopping (that you’re already doing) at many of your favorite stores! (Including Sephora & Ulta!) If you join through this link and make a purchase of $25 or more, you’ll get an extra $10 cash back and your own referral code, and I’ll get $15 as well.
  • thredUP – I love using thredUP to clean out my closet and shop for new pieces at a discounted price – sometimes they’re even brand new with tags! When you join thredUP through this link, you get $10 to spend and I get $10 to shop after you place your first order.
  • StitchFix – This is a great way to try out some new items for your closet, without the hassle of going to the stores and the bonus of a personal stylist. If you sign up with this link, you’ll get a FREE styling fee (usually $20) on your first Fix, and I’ll get $25 credit once it ships.

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