Can’t believe it’s March already … but the silver lining is a new Allure Beauty Box
It’s March and Spring is just around the corner.
2022 is flying by already. Feels like just yesterday, it was March 2020. And, oh, how the world has changed. Looking back at who I was 2 years ago, I can’t help but cringe. Sure, I’m world-worn and languishing — who isn’t? But I consider my new self more thoughtful, more intentional, and more financially savvy.
My thoughtfulness was wrought by the pandemic’s emphasis on putting community needs above my own — wearing a mask, staying inside, getting vaccinated. My intentionality was born in those stagnant hours of the pandemic when cabin fever set in and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Rather than distracting myself with a night out or an expensive dinner like I did all the time in the before-times, I savored the still moments and filled them with self-reflection and self-care. My financial savviness is part and parcel of my resolutions to be more thoughtful and to be more intentional. Instead of buying-buying-buying to fill the void and quell my insatiable whims, I took a deep dive into the world of personal finance. And got serious about saving and investing, and I vowed to only fill my home with objects that I value.
I started by focusing on my steadily increasing credit card debt. Like a shark lurking in deep waters, credit card debt can suddenly strike and you’re in over your head and floundering. I like to think that I’m smarter than that, but it turns out that many young Americans just like me have found themselves trapped in a cycle of making minimum payments and the debt spiraling up.
According to CNBC: “for millennials specifically, who range in age from 25 to 40, that number is almost as high: Millennials owe an average of $87,448.” When I read that the average millennial has about $4,322 in credit card debt — I thought that my $2,700 debt wasn’t too bad. But then I saw that with interest, that number only climbs with time. Add to that student loans, personal loans, car loans, and medical bills not covered by insurance, it’s no wonder people simply cave figuring that they’ll always be in debt.
But we don’t have to accept this reality. With tragedies like the pandemic, responsibilities we can’t avoid, and societal structures that inhibit our behavior, many people are driven to lean on credit to just get by. This is not their fault. However, if you — like me — can be more intentional about your spending and take solid steps towards being financially savvy.
This starts with a mindset shift. Audit your life — take a serious inventory. Ask yourself: what do you truly need? What would you give up for a freer, less stressful, more secure life?
During my first foray into financial literacy, I conducted my first declutter. I sat myself down and finally did what I’d been meaning to do since I first heard Marie Kondo’s mantra: "Imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn't this the lifestyle you dream of?"
Along with my own questions, I asked myself Marie Kondo’s trademark question. I zealously tossed out clothes that tno longer made a statement, expired makeup, half-used skincare products, and useless trinkets I’d been hoarding in random drawers.
But this was only the surface. I also digitally decluttered my inbox and social media to keep myself from impulse purchases of products I barely wanted — let alone needed.
But decluttering won’t get you out of debt. And it won’t stop you from falling into that trap. My purge of personal items was the first step to activating my new mindset around the things I have and the things I want. Although I liked most of the things I had, I didn’t need them. Learning to distinguish between things I’m merely interested in and what actually adds value to my life was monumental.
Once I’d integrated this lesson, I decided to change my buying habits. Rather than craving something cool on Instagram then checking my bank balance to see if I could afford it — yes. For far too long, I thought this passed for financial responsibility. Now, I stop and wait before making purchases to see if my consumer-lust passes.
During the waiting period, not only do I ask myself if I like this new piece, but what it would add to my life, if I would use it often, if I’d take care of it, and make a place for it in my curated home. If the answer to any of these questions is no, I don’t buy it.
But for a while, I was too stringent with myself. Just like you can justify any purchase, you can talk yourself out of buying it too. Driven by guilt and shame and fear of debt, I didn’t buy anything for months. Literally nothing but necessities — and even then, I was cheap on groceries. And while finance gurus may applaud this mindset, it wasn’t sustainable. I found myself itching to revert to my old habits.
Sensing that I was vulnerable to hitting a reckless spending spiral, I vowed that I’d make room for those objects that make me happy while staying true to my budget and keeping my space clutter-free.
It was easy to identify what I wanted: I wanted my spring beauty products back — sleek, gorgeous that make me feel beautiful just looking at the packaging! I’d convinced myself that they were frivolous — especially during an era of reduced social contact. However, my passion for beauty goes beyond the desire to be seen. I adore experimenting with makeup and skincare products. I grew up watching beauty gurus on YouTube, so trying new products is a deep-set vice.
Enter . . . The Allure Beauty Box.
Packed chock-full with sample sizes and full-sized goodies, the Allure Beauty Box is a monthly subscription that shares everything that’s buzzing in the beauty world for low stakes.
Instead of spending my whole paycheck at Sephora, I get to indulge in my favorite hobby at an affordable price every month. The products I like, I get at a major discount. The ones I don’t love — which TBH rarely happens — I’ve gifted to my friends to their delight. This way I keep my clutter in check.
The March Beauty Box is here and I can’t wait to try the latest selection of beauty finds.
Hey, all you beauty lovers out there, use code SPRINGSALE for $10 off your first box (new members only) - worth $190!
Though I’ve been loyal to my drugstore mascara for years, I’m ready to switch to Blinc Ultravolume Tubing Mascara for even better results. Although mascara is one of my favorite products, I’m constantly checking on it over course of a night to see that it hasn’t smudged or streaked my eyelids. This mascara has all the volumizing power I need, the staying power I’ve never had, and the easy-to-wash formula’s a total game changer. Goodbye panda-eyes!
I'm finally doing it: I’m starting retinol. Using retinol can be a risky game. If you go overboard, you risk damaging your skin barrier. However, just enough can transform your skin. This retinol serum offers all the transformational power of your favorite active, but soothes potential irritation. Start using a couple of days a week, then build up for incredible results.
If you’re still wary of retinol, I get it. An intelligent alternative is a plant-based version: Bakuchiol. In natural beauty circles, Bakuchiol is all the rage — and for good reason. It doesn’t have the drying or irritating properties of retinol, and it uses natural ingredients to encourage cell turnover.
The core tenet of skincare is hydration. Those influencers who tell you to “just drink water” are onto something. However, topical hydration is just as crucial. Spray this face mist between stages of your skincare routine. And then throughout the day to keep you cool and dewy.
Anyone who has ever used an Augustinis Bader product has likely not shut up about it since. But once you try this cream, you’ll be out there shilling for it too. For ultra-hydration, this rich cream is not to be ignored. Packed with luscious ingredients like amino acids, vitamins, squalane, and hyaluronic acid, it will make your skin feel hydrated, smooth, bright, and calm.
Discover the rest of the swoon-worthy swag that awaits you in Allure’s March Beauty Box here!
P.S. There are special surprises for new subscribers and if you code SPRINGSALE for $10 off your first box (new members only), worth $190!