New Year, Same Beauty Challenge

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed yourself and had lots of (safe) fun. Since this is a beginning of a new chapter in all of our lives (anyway can be really, but people are more enthusiastic about this particular day), I decided to share a refresher of the rules of the Using More, Spending Less Challenge. Yes, I know. The name is cringe AF, but I already changed it twice so I am going to stick with it. Feel free to recommend a new name for the challenge or just change it if you intend to take part, well if you are too embarrassed by it that is.


The point is to maintain a positive “balance” which means to use more items than you purchase. To deplete your stash slowly, but surely. You can do this by using the number of products, but I prefer to do this in terms of money spent. To make things more interesting, I only get half the value of the products I use. 

I will not include essentials such as cotton pads or you know, mouthwash, toilet paper, toothpaste. Okay, as long as these are not some super expensive, extra items. 

For example. Let’s say that I used up a serum that was worth £20. This means that I get £10 that goes towards my sending allowance. 

This spending allowance is basically what I am entitled to spend on new products. However, as you will see below, I am adding some exceptions and extra rules because things do not usually go according to plan. 


Something that really works for me last year was adding this extra limit to my spending. I was already on a negative balance at the beginning of 2021 and still am if you had a look at December’s results so I will continue using this rule.

I found that adding a maximum spend limit is essential. Without such a rule, there is no one to stop me from going crazy and buying more stuff than I will ever use. Given 2021’s results, the plan is to spend no more than £2000 (down from £3500) in 2021 on beauty, regardless of the allowance I managed to obtain. So even if for some unknown reasons I can manage to get an allowance of £5000, I cannot spend it. 


Having a negative balance happens. It happened to me every single month last year, particularly because I started with one… As such, I will maintain my rule of not going below -£2,500 at any point with the exception of the month of January. The number I choose is based on last year’s spending and closing balance. I want to have some wiggle room in case I really want something such as a GWP. Only for January though! If you have not gone through such an experiment before, you can set your own limit and remove the exception. 


If the overall balance is positive, the purchase of a GWP offer will turn it into ‘0’, unless the allowance for that month would have covered the cost of the gift with purchase. 

For example. Let’s say that my balance is £300 (this would most likely cover the cost of the gift, but it does not matter). The cost of the gift is let’s say £200.

  • If my allowance from empties (only empties) is £90 and does not cover the cost of the gift, then I remove the cost of the gift from my allowance from empties and then add that to the overall balance. In this case, I would have -£110 which I would have to add to the £300 of my overall balance. This would results in a positive result which means that now my overall balance is set to ‘0’. Had it resulted in a negative result, I would have continued with that and carried it forward to the following month.
  • If my allowance from empties for that month is £250 which would cover the cost then the overall balance becomes £350. I would remove the cost of the gift from the allowance and then add it up to what I carried forward from the previous month.

If the overall balance is negative, I cannot make the purchase if the purchase of the offer + any allowance and everything from that month would lead to an overall negative balance larger than -£2,500. I just have to skip it. No exceptions. Applicable from February onward. 


For bloggers or micro-bloggers and everyone in between, I decided to add this extra bit which increases allowance, but also motivates content creation. The number of reviews and content posted on social media definitely saw an increase due to having such a rule in place. 

  • IG post, photos only – £1
  • IG post, photos + video or just video – £3
  • IG reel – £3
  • IG IGTV – £5
  • YouTube Video, single product review – £10
  • YouTube Video, multiple product reviews – £5
  • TikTok video – £3
  • Blog Post (reviews only) – £5

I will not count IG stories or anything that is not more permanent in nature. I will also not include Tweets or Pinterest. 


If at the end of the year my allowance is positive, then I only get to keep 25% of the allowance going into the new year, up to a maximum of £500. I know this is super early, but I wanted to have something in place in case I find myself in this situation. There is nothing to stop you from spending the remaining allowance in December though *wink. Think of it as a Christmas present and an even bigger present if you manage not to overdo it.

I know that the system is way more complicated than other such challenges out there, but like I previously mentioned it helped me way more than any other such challenge. It keeps me busy and having to make sure that I follow the rules. It leaves me less opportunities to shop. However, it does become easier the more you do it. Having a spreadsheet helps a lot with this. It feels and sound slick work, I do know that, but as long as it keeps me from going crazy with my shopping, I am ok with it. I even started enjoying doing these exercises.


*This article is not sponsored. This article contains affiliate links which means that Blush Suede might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make any purchases by clicking the links included in this article. Thank you for your support. It is you that keep us going.

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