02 03 Maple Tree: Hauling Responsibly - To Haul or Not to Haul 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Hauling Responsibly - To Haul or Not to Haul

To Haul or Not to Haul, That is the Question

I’m currently in Japan, my first trip there since I majorly tumbled down the AB rabbit hole, and of course one suitcase is half filled with beauty products. I’ve yet to even pack half of it, but a Japan haul post is on it’s way!
One of the questions my friends have asked me is how I can afford being a beauty blogger, with all the different products I try out.
With these two points in mind I thought it was prudent to write a post on hauling and how to ensure AB doesn’t financially take over your life. Sheetmasks are important, but a roof over your head and the ability to eat are slightly more so :P
So with that in mind onward to the haul discussion!
Japanese Skincare Haul
Just some of my purchases while in Japan

Under Pressure
I think it’s important to address the pressures which can lead you into hauling first.
For me there’s three key pressures:

1.   All Aboard the Hype Train! You’ve just read about a new release, a Snail Horse Moisturising Mist Cream from CosRX. Or it’s all over your Instagram Key ingredient buzzword, check. Well known brand, check. New and you don’t have it, check.
It’s ticked all the boxes for things which pressure people into instant gratification and purchasing things on a whim. It’s so easy to do, everyone is talking about it and you want to join in on the conversation. We’re only human after all. Acknowledge and embrace that fact, then square up to it. Take a week to think about it properly. Sleep on it. Sleep is wondrous and can help control those urges.

2.   Everyone Else Hauls, Why Can’t I? It’s human to see what everyone else is doing and want to be able to do the same. Children are the most honest about it, but even us adults have feelings of jealousy and envy. When you see people posting haul pics it’s easy to think that’s what you should be doing to. And it’s okay to because everyone else is. STOP. You don’t know their story. Maybe they’ve been saving for 6 months, perhaps they just got their bonus. We are all wonderfully different. For my own Japan haul I’d been saving for a few months and restricted some other luxuries to put money in my Beauty Budget. Also we are a large size community, yes a few visible people post their hauls, but most of us don’t. Because we haven’t got a haul! But our pics of nothing are non-existent compared to their glorious haul pics which skew the perception of how many people haul.

3.   There’s a Sale On!! This is one of the hardest to resist in any industry, be that clothes, food or beauty. Just remember; there will always be another sale! There’s no point buying ten moisturisers at half the price if you only end up using two of them.
Now that we’ve addressed the three main pressures remember you’re not alone! We are all in the same boat on this beautiful AB journey and if your question begins with “Does anyone else…” the answer is almost certainly yes.

Check out Reddit Forum https://www.reddit.com/r/AsianBeautyRehab/ for a supportive community for people on no-buy, low-buys or want to discuss AB without haul pics/adverts.

What Does Skincare Mean to You?
Innisfree Volcanic Clay Mask
You can see that despite looking like a ghost I'm pretty happy
The first question you should ask yourself is what does skincare mean for you? For me it’s a hobby. I spend hours every week reading reviews and browsing blog posts. When I get a new product I’m excited to take pictures and write first impressions on my Instagram. And of course there’s this blog itself! So for me skincare is something which intrinsically makes me happy and I’m willing to invest in. Between a Starbucks and an extra £3 into my beauty budget, I’d rather put it in my beauty budget!
For others skincare could be simply that, products to care for the skin. Found a good moisturiser which their skin loves, good, that’s that.
So figure out where it lays in your list of priorities. Pause and actually think about it. Would a Starbucks bring you more joy than a couple more sheetmasks? Are you the type who prefers to read rather than hold a new product? Are you fully immersed into the technicolour, all singing, all dancing Asian Beauty world?

Okay now that you know how important Skincare is to you it’s time for the reality check! Not the most fun part, but probably the most important part of this post.
There are two major ways to control your budget here.

1)    Replace not Hoard – If you’re on a tight budget this could be the way to go for you. Only buying once a key step in your routine is running low.

2)    Monthly Budget – Set yourself a budget relative to your own personal income and goals.
Saving for a house in London? Put less in the Beauty Budget and more in the House Budget. Currently married, no kids and both working at great jobs with benefits, you can probably afford to put more into your Beauty Budget. Everyone has a different set of circumstances. And that’s fine, I aspire to be a multi-millionaire, but I don’t spend like one. Reality is different from dreams. Harsh truth but important to acknowledge, otherwise you can end up trying to “keep up with the Joneses” and spending yourself into debt.
Asian Skincare Routine
Buying this much every month would bankrupt me...

Skincare Routine and Wishlist Building
Okay great now you have your budget! What next? How to stop the urge to haul and follow the latest trend? You’ve just read the most amazing review of this Snail Horse Moisturising Mist Cream and must have it. First take a deep breath. Now this is the more fun part of organising your beauty budget and hauling responsibly!
Write out your routine and what current products you have in that routine. I like to use an Excel to track mine. With pretty colours and everything. But that’s also because it helps me keep organised for blog reviews, a simple pen and piece of paper also works!

Some examples of great excels for inspiration, these are extensive, but your’s doesn’t have to be! Everyone starts somewhere:
Recent Reddit Discussion Thread - https://www.reddit.com/r/AsianBeauty/comments/4cd06n/whats_your_spreadsheet/
Snow - Spreadsheet Here
The Acid Queen - Spreadsheet Here

Great you have your list, or colour co-ordinated excel in my case. Now are there any steps missing? Is there any particular goal you still want to address? (My Skincare Guide Here). Get another piece of paper and write those out.
Now you have your wishlist! These might be a cliché but wishlists are great for helping to control the urge to splurge. No instant gratification purchases, but a list of products/goals which will really help you. These wishlists are also great birthday lists for family and friends who know about your AB love but don’t know about AB.
What’s more once you have your wishlist of products/goals the research can begin! I’ve found one of the ways to satisfy my cravings for Asian Beauty in my life is to read reviews and flick through blogs. So read up on the product, ask questions at the Reddit Forum in the Daily Help Thread on your specific issue, find beauty bloggers with a similar skin type and see what they use. Narrow things down to the product which will target your needs. Remember you only have one face! So it’s better to have one moisturiser which will help you towards your skincare goal, than 10 moisturisers bought on a whim because they were pretty or one beauty blogger recommended it.

My personal method is to use a cost benefit analysis on a product.

1.    What does it purport to do? Is that something I need done to my face?
2.    What do other reviewers think? Does it do what it says?
3.    How pretty and practical to store is it? (Yes shallow, but I’m only human :P, also I live in a small London flat so storage is important)
4.    Do I have it? I.e. Does something else in my stash do the same thing?

1.    Value per use. That’s important because some of the more expensive products can last seemingly forever, think AIO which are huge. While cheaper products like Sheetmasks are essentially one shot, so can be more expensive in the long run.

Seneka Perfect Whip Foam Cleanser
A product I rebuy as it's affordable and my HG shaving foam

Treat Yourself
Occasionally you will be tempted by a mystery box or a brand new release which has limited reviews yet. Don’t feel guilty about giving into that temptation! As long as it falls within your budget and is something you’ll ultimately use, it’s completely normal and fine to buy yourself treats. The danger is when the buying itself is the thrill, not the product.
I personally set aside a set amount from my beauty budget to subscribe to beauty boxes! I love surprises and discovering new products, plus they’re great blogging material. So for me the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s all also within my budget. Leading up to Christmas last year I stopped all my subscriptions so that I could afford more presents. Remember a budget should be fluid to adapt to different circumstances.
Bits and Bobs of Beauty Mask Bag
One of my One Off Treats

Final Thoughts
Skincare is my hobby and being an active part of the community means that I’m going to see haul posts and new shiny products I’ll be tempted to buy.
My excel of my stash and wishlist help to keep me aware of what I actually do already own! And what I want to own in the future. I have a monthly budget, which I do save up for big purchases. So there can be 2/3 months where I buy nothing, in order to make a larger purchase in the future.

My personal budget is always going to have a portion of it dedicated to skincare, and that’s perfectly fine and something I’m happy with. As long as I control the urge to buy and not the other way round hauling can be fun!

Further reading on my blog:
Regift, Repurpose and Reuse – How to use up products which don’t suit your skin, or just weren’t as good as you hoped they’d be

Further reading on the topic from two of my favourite bloggers:
Adoredee – How to Beauty Haul Responsibly
Snow White and the Pear - 'Jolse Is My Bae' Haul, Thoughts on Hauling Responsibly, & Skincare as a Hobby 

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