March 2023

Using More, Spending Less Challenge Results – March 2023 (Spoiler: This one is Huge)

So I did something bad, I did something really, but really bad.

Are you sure you want to know what?

If so, do keep on reading, but this is not going to be pretty. This is the worst I have done in years, actually, this is the worst I have done since I started this challenge.

Are you ready?

March’s Purchases

  • 7even Chakra Foot Pads – 28 pieces – £7.99
  • ARKIVE The New Form Blow Dry Spray 200ml – £8.67
  • Aussie Koality Moisture Vegan Solid Shampoo Bar 70g – £6.66
  • Aussie Koality Volume Mate! Vegan Solid Shampoo Bar, 70g – £6.66
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Brilliant Blue Sky Fresh as a Daisy – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Cherry Frost Love You Cherry Much – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Cherry Frost Love You Cherry Much – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Crisp Morning Air – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Lemon Lime Fizz Once Upon a Lime – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Wild Lavender Mint – £7.04
  • Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer Spray in Ivy Rose x 4 – £0
  • Boots Skin Edit Massage Stick 30g – £5
  • Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Clear & Calming Booster 15ml – £7.5
  • Bubble Skincare Day Dream Vitamin C + Niacinamide Tone and Texture Serum 30ml – £18
  • Bubble Skincare Deep Dive AHA + PHA Exfoliating Mask 45ml – £18
  • Bubble Skincare Fresh Start Gel Cleanser Mini 50ml – £10
  • Bubble Skincare Over Night Hydrating Sleep Mask 45ml – £19
  • Bubble Skincare Slam Dunk Hydrating Moisturizer Créme Mini 30ml – £10
  • By Beauty Bay 5% Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid + Polyglutamic Acid Overnight Balm 30ml – £9.50
  • By Beauty Bay SkinHit Soothing Serum with Niacinamide and Copper 50ml – £8
  • Contour Cube® Violet – £20.50
  • Elizavecca Milky Piggy Shrink Lifting R Pro – £9.38
  • Frudia AIR Snowy, 10 Sheet Masks Set – £11.73
  • Frudia AIR Watery, 10 Sheet Masks Set – £11.73
  • Frudia My Orchard Cactus, 10 Sheet Masks Set – £7.94
  • Function of Beauty Shine Hair Goal Add In Booster Treatment 11.8ml – £4
  • Function of Beauty Soothe Scalp Hair Goal Add In Booster Treatment 11.8ml – £4
  • Function of Beauty Strengthen Hair Goal Add In Booster Treatment 11.8ml – £4
  • Function of Beauty Volumize Hair Goal Add In Booster Treatment 11.8ml – £4
  • Glamfox Ultra Glowing Vitamin Solution Mask – £7.99
  • Glamfox Ultra Wrinkleless Peptide Solution 10 Mask Pack – £7.99
  • Glossier Balm Dotcom Trio – £28
  • Glossier Hand Cream  – £16
  • Glossier Perfect Couple 2.0 – Glossier You Rollerball + Ultralip – £33
  • Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Moisturizer 20ml – £19
  • Glow Recipe Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops 30ml – £29
  • John Frieda Volume Shampoo Bar 75g – £4.49
  • Jolly Filly Lip Plumping Microneedle Patch (2 Patches) x 2 – £6.90 each
  • L’Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Leave-In Serum 150ml – £7.49
  • Lador Perfect Hair Fill Up Ampoule Treatment (150ml) – £22
  • LION Kyusoku Jikan Foot Relief Accupressure Point Stimulating Gel Sheet, 12 Sheets – £11.99
  • Lion Kyusoku Jikan Moisturizing Heel Gel Sheets 8 Sheets – £13.24
  • Lush Seanic Shampoo Bar – £9
  • MINON Amino Moist Purupuru Moisturizing Skin Mas Set – £18.99
  • Nakamura Foot Relaxation Sheet Wormwood 30 sheets – £19.99
  • Nature Republic Aqua Max Essentials Set – £30.4
  • Nature Republic Aqua Max Watery Toner – £18.50
  • Nature Republic Blackhead Clear Nose Pack – £6.30
  • Nature Republic Collagen Dream 70 Essence – £27.90
  • Nature Republic Good Skin Mineral Ampoule – £13.60
  • Nature Republic Good Skin Noni Ampoule – £13.60
  • Nature Republic Hand & Nature White Musk Hand Cream  – £7
  • Nature Republic Herb Blending Toner – £20.30
  • Nature Republic Jeju Sparking Cleansing Water – £9.90
  • Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Facial Cleansing Tissues (50 Sheets) x 2 – £6.90 each
  • Nature Republic Natural Made Blue Chamomile Calming Deep Sleeping Pack – £15
  • Nature Republic Natural Made Blue Chamomile Cleansing Balm – £16.50
  • Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Fresh Watery Cream – £18.80
  • Nine Less Magic Nine Rich Hair Volume Balm (150ml) – £22
  • No7 Advanced Ingredients CERAMIDE & PEPTIDES Facial Capsules 30s – £14.98
  • No7 Advanced Ingredients HYALURONIC ACID & CAMELLIA OIL Facial Capsules 30s – £14.98
  • Nord + Bare Foot Pads 28 sheets – £7.99
  • Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm And Lift 2In1 Day Cream And Firming Serum 50ml – £9.33
  • Olay Hyaluronic Acid 24 + Vitamin B5 Ultra Hydrating Day Serum with Niacinamide For Smoother and Healthier Looking Skin, 40ml – £22
  • Olay Total Effects Anti-Ageing 7in1 Instant Smoothing Serum 50 ml, Fights the 7 Signs of Ageing – £11
  • Primark Ceramide Serum – £5
  • Primark Lactic Acid Booster Serum – £3.5
  • Primark Moments in Holiday Time Travel Fragrane 6 set – £6
  • Primark Peptide Collagen Booster Serum – £5
  • Primark Pink Claw Hair Accessories Set – £3.5
  • Primark Polyglutamic Acid Facial Serum – £4.5
  • Primark Shower and Shave Bar – £3
  • Primark Snow Mushroom Facial Serum – £4.5
  • Primark Tinted Balm in Cherry x 2 – £2.5 each
  • Primark Tropical Fragrance Perfume Balm – £2.5
  • Primark Watermelon Fragranced Lip Balm – £2.5
  • Primark Hyaluronic Acid Heel Balm – £3
  • Purenskin Pink Guava 10 Sheet Mask Pack – £6.99
  • Skin79 Hair Repair Superfood Banana & Black Bean 230ml – £6.67
  • Soap & Glory Daily Dew Instant Hydration Serum – £11.95
  • Starface Hydro Star + Salyciclic Acid – £10.99
  • Starface Hydro-Stars Spot Stickers Kit – £9.13
  • Starface Lift Off Pore Strips – £2.49
  • Starface XL Pimple Spot Stickers – £8.35
  • Tatcha Replenishing Duo for Dewy Skin – £75
  • The Detoskin Cherry Blossom Floris 10 Sheet Mask Pack – £6.99
  • The Detoskin Green Tea Time 10 Sheet Mask Pack – £6.99
  • Tocobo Vita Berry Pore Toner (150ml) – £21.90
  • Truly Beauty Hemp Oil Facial Serum – £25
  • Tula Skincare Hydrating Day & Night Treatment Eye Balm – £33
  • Wild Purple Case and Coconut Dreams Deodorant Refill – Starter Pack – £12.99
  • Yadah Pore Care 10 Mask Pack – £7.99

In March I ended up spending a n embarrassingly huge total of £1124.79 on beauty products.

March’s’ Empties

  • All Natural Houttuynia Cordata Moisture Care Cream 15ml – worth £8.38
  • Aromatica Vitalizing Rosemary Concentrate Hydrating Essence 30ml – worth £8.7
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Peach Bellini – worth £4.39
  • Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Winter Candy Apple – worth £3.06
  • Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer Spray in Ivy Rose – worth £3.46
  • Bath and Body Works Pocket Hand Sanitezer in Fresh Cut Lilies – worth £1.01
  • Batiste Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo – worth £4
  • BeautyPie Qi Energy Ginseng Root & Ginger Super Moisture Cream – worth £14.57
  • Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme 40ml – worth £11.57
  • Bioderma Hydrabio Moisturising Serum Dehydrated Skin 40ml – worth £13.17
  • BioEffect EGF Serum 5ml – worth £49
  • Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Peel Daily Peel x 2 – worth £4.2 each
  • Dr Sebagh Serum Repair 20ml – worth £72
  • Frudia AIR Wateryx 3 – worth £1.173 each
  • Gisou Propolis Infused Polishing Hair Primer – worth £27
  • Nakamura Foot Relaxation Sheet Wormwood Sheets x 4 – worth £0.66 each
  • Nature Republic Blackhead Clear Nose Patch x 2 – worth £0.9 each
  • Neogen Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser 10g – worth £2.05

In March I ended up emptying £236.73 worth of products. This resulted in an allowance of £119.35.

(again, the value assigned above is based on the price paid if the product has been purchased ever since I started this challenge or based on the current market price if the product has not been accounted for before or was part of a set/gift/advent calendar).

Allowance from posts

Allowance from Reviews – £40

Allowance from Social Media – £10

  • Instgaram Post – £1
  • Instgaram Reel – £3
  • TikTok Videos x 2 – £6

Total allowance from posts: £50

£119.35 (allowance from empties) + £50 (allowance from posts) – £1124.79 (March’s Spending) – £3179.95(previous closing balance) = -£4135.39

Back to square one? Okay not quite. Maybe square one since I started keeping track properly (in terms of totals) (which sadly while it may not seem like, it is a lot better than before keeping track), but yeah, I feel like I am right at the start. There is no chance of ever catching up now is there? I refuse to give up though. Regardless of what it may seem like to most outsiders, I am significantly more in control of my spending. This month was an exception. There have been a few exceptions every single year, but this one felt a bit more special…

The results from March are probably unlike anything you have seen on this blog before. This is not the current me, this is the old me – the one before I started doing this monthly beauty spending challenge. This is the reason why I started doing the challenge in the first place – even without me spelling it out – you can see it, right? Imagine this result and multiply it by 12. It was bad.

The difference between now and then is that this time my purchases were intentional this time and they were not fueled by emotions, well almost all of them were intentional. There were a few emotions but also different this time around.

Before we go into the whole emotional territory, the main reason why I spent so much is that I was finally able to do so – I was finally able to go and pick up myself the products I wanted from various London-based stores I wanted to visit for a long time, plus a few I had no idea even existed.

I did focus only on products that I could not order at a later date without intermediaries and such. Everything else that I can purchase, later on, I left for another time. Okay, almost everything but more about that in a sec.

So not only was I able to travel to London, but this is the first actual holiday I have taken in 3+ years. Most of my time off consisted of doing blog work and/or work without interruptions. Yes, even holiday leave from work was spent working. I worked for nearly 3 years for a well-deserved promotion (not one to brag, but this is one thing no one can take away from me – I did the work and I absolutely, undoubtedly deserved it). In addition, I set aside as much from my not-so-significant wage as possible every single month. I was not sponsored by anyone, not even bank of mum. I spent the money I worked late into the night 5 days a week (and some weekdays) for plus £155 I am incredibly grateful that I received from commissions made via this blog from the purchases YOU graciously made through my affiliate links last year.

Spending this much is not ideal ever, but even more so now. Things are tough on everyone so I did consider skipping this post as it may come across the wrong way. However, it is what it is – it was a rare opportunity to shop like this but also I do not want to hide in fear of being judged. I always strived for transparency on here and I hope you will recognize and appreciate that.

Also, for anyone wondering. I am fully aware that I cannot use all the products by myself, but do not fret – I am not using them all on myself and by myself. I do plan on giving some as gifts and also use them together with the women in my household.

Okay, as for the purchases….

I do not regret them and many were planned well in advance to avoid temptations. My BeautyBay, Boots and Superdrug products were all click-and-collect orders so that I could take advantage of the best online offers but also so that I would not get tempted in-store by anything. I luckily have managed to stick to the plan. I did get a few more things from Boots in-store, but from the pharmacy department and paid for with my Advantage Card points so I have not included them on the list since they are not beauty related.

My Sephora visit was planned and the items I wanted to pick up as well. However, here I did stray from the plan and not for the reasons you might think of. I wanted to get the Glow Recipe Drops as I have not seen them on Cult Beauty and wanted something from Sam McKnight which I was unable to find. The store experience was different – will share in a separate post – but while queuing to pay I did pick up two more items I had no intention to purchase – I got something from Truly which I really should not have as I ignored the product for so long, is available in my local Sephora (online only) but also is cheaper so this was stupid of me but also a mini moisturiser from Glow Recipe which is available on Cult Beauty and could get with a gift with purchase or even without one at any time. The money I spent on the two items would have been better spent on something from SkinFx which is a brand I truly cannot shop but deemed a bit too pricey before going into the store. The irony.

From SpaceNK I wanted the dewy moisturiser from Tatcha and ended up leaving with their Mother’s Day special box which was a bit more pricey but the value is there. I do not regret that (I did not when I started drafting this post but now I am a bit miffed as the cream is part of the incredible Red Magazine box), but I did have the “brilliant” idea to peek at Hello! Fashion Magazine and saw the Tula Skincare balm advertised. I had completely forgotten that Tula was available at SpaceNK and probably would have not noticed in-store either due to the large crowd plus the fact that I went straight from Tatcha without having a look at anything else. I was trying to be productive and not waste time nor get distracted as my trip was not a shopping trip per se, I wanted to meet up with people and catch up mostly.

I ended up purchasing a different Tula eye balm without even realising it. The one I planned to get was advertised in-store but was sold out. This is on me but since I had not tried any of the products before I do not mind as much. I will use the one I purchased and report back.

After being surprised by Nature Republic after ordering one of their products from iHerb I just had to try more from them and since it seems that the products won’t come back on (my “local”) iHerb anytime soon, I gave in and purchased their products from their store despite them being a tad more expensive. I do not recall the last time I liked a brand this much so it was truly worth it. The products won’t expire any time soon so as long as I do not open them I am good to go.

I also picked up a few items from a store called Reiwatakiya in Chinatown. This is not a store I knew existed and not the one I wanted to visit in the first place but perhaps things did turn out for the better as I feel like their prices for the same items were a bit better than those of their competitors. Here I did leave with one item that I felt a bit pressured in a way to add to my basket. Pressured is a bit much but it is an item that I do not regret I probably would have put it back on the shelf had it not been for the shop assistant. Also while the total amount spent at this store is correctly reflected above, the price for three out of the four items I got here may not be. I did not get a receipt… I am not usually like this but did felt a bit off. I did like the store though just I was not on top of things in the way I usually am.

Anyways, I will share my experiences with all the new shops I visited in future posts :).

As for Primark, I may now have a Primark in my country which is located in the one place I have tried my best to avoid visiting for the past three years and have no plans on making any changes in this regard. I may visit the local store one day (not a priority) but the reviews are disappointing and if I were to fall for the conspiracy that items made for Eastern Europe are worse than those for the west then I am better off with the purchases I made in London anyways. I picked up a few fun items in terms of beauty as well as what I could find from their new skincare collection. I do not have high expectations here but I do love trying out their stuff and sometimes I do find real gems.

Overall, I do not have any real regrets so to speak. I spent a fortune clearly and have no intention of doing this again any time soon at least. I usually let go in June for my birthday and this time around probably would have made bigger damage than usual as it is a round number for me, but we shall see what happens and speak about it in July :). For now, I am really happy with my haul and doing my best not to touch any of the items I picked up so that they remain safe to use in a few months once I use up more from my (pre)existing collection. The K-Beauty products which do have an expiration date have some good years on them before going “bad” with expiration dates towards the end of 2024 and some with dates in 2025-2026. No plans to keep them that long obviously, but should be fine for a while.

I am on the other hand super excited to try out all of these new goodies, but when the right time comes.

How did you do in March?

*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.


  1. o

    Looks like the trip to London was a pleasure 🙂 great to see that you’ve enjoyed a well-deserved holiday. I always enjoy to see your selection of types of products you buy, I’d love to see a review of the feet products.
    And as for the Tatcha cream, you’d pay either a ridiculous shipping fee from SpaceNK or a ton of fees for parcel forwarding of the Red Magazine box (which of course would still be less than the value of the box, but i imagine it could be something like additional 50 gbp including the VAT?) so no regrets, you even benefitted from a special offer 🙂

    1. Nana

      True that. And yes, it would be around another £50 but a bit less if I were to have more parcels as the subscription and service fee would get distributed to all my parcels, but of course the overall cost would be way higher. Plus, I should and will try to spend less for the next couple of months not just on beauty but in general so that I can recover the amount from my savings I dipped into on this trip.

      Thank you. It was nice being back in London and meeting people but I do have to say that I did not have enough time to do more things… next time I guess. Too bad that I only managed to visit two Paperchase stores and they all closed down yesterday for good and also the Tonic15 pop up… I don’t have any regrets though. I am okay with it, but you know 🙂 would have been nice to cover more.

      As for the foot pads, will definitely report back. I tried some of the Japanese pads while in London and I did fell like they helped a bit with feet soreness especially in the area were the patch was actually stuck on but will have to do more tests. Will report back for sure.

      Anything else you found interesting in the list? Will keep in mind to review ASAP 😌😉

  2. o

    I’m curious of your opinion on the solid shampoos. I haven’t tried many and I’m a bit on the fence, because on one hand they’re ecological and economical, but the ones I’ve tried left my hair rather brittle and were not that easy to foam and I don’t want to rub anything against my hair in fear of damaging the hair.
    Solid conditioners were super hard for me to use so I’ve stopped trying. Now I have two solid shampoos from a French brand WeDo, to try at some point.

    And totally the feet products, so curious! I never use feet products. I should, at least sometimes, especially in summer.

    1. Nana

      Ooo need to look into the French brand you mentioned 🙂 solid shampoos are a bit tricky to use until you get used to them, but overall I do tend to like them. They can be a bit more drying for sure, but I always use a styling balm, primer or some sort of leave in treatment afterwards which helps. One that did not leave my hair as dry and also gave me quite a bit of volume is the k beauty one from juice to cleanse (reviewed on this blog: ) but anyways will keep in mind the above and will try my best to share my thoughts ASAP 😊

  3. o

    Oh, I missed this review! I have a powder to foam face cleanser from Juice to Cleanse, perfect for travel and really nice, so I feel positive about the brand. I should start the solid shampoo around the end of May, so I’ll share my opinion. My hair is really dry, from around mid-length, so I pay extra attention to my hair cosmetics. One thing that seemed to really work and help against the dryness was Morrocan Oil Hair Treatment.

  4. o

    Oh, thanks for the recommendation, I’ll totally check it out. If I remember correctly there’s a stationary MiiN in Paris so I don’t feel pressured to add stuff to the basket to make it to free shipping threshold

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