How to Be an Intentional Consumer

How to Be an Intentional Consumer

There’s a lot going on in the world. You open up Instagram, turn on your favorite podcast, and are constantly reminded of the idea of more. You need more of this. You need to be more like that. And a lot of, ‘you need to buy more of this to be more like that’. It’s overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in. It’s exhausting.

Before you know it, you’ve already designated half of your next paycheck to your list of more - and for what? Your genuine happiness? Because you actually need it? Then, please, by all means, go right ahead. But if you can’t answer that question in 10 seconds, it might be time to #PressReset on your consumption habits. It’s time to be an intentional consumer - and there are so many ways you can start!

The Fact of the Matter

A lot of us feel pressure to always be “in” on everything and anything that’s going on around us. But in reality, is anything actually going to happen if you miss out on that cool, new athleisure collab? Or miss out on the first week of a new cream blush? Probably not. 

For example, have you ever raced to get that limited edition eyeshadow palette that you swore was going to give you the push to be more experimental with your makeup, but it actually just sat in your drawer collecting dust? Been there, done that - and it happens to the best of us. Truly, it happens all the time. But the issue that’s greater than us or our impacted bank accounts is the toll this cycle has on the environment and our planet. The United States alone generates about 230 million tons of trash per year. That's about 4.6 pounds per person per day. It seems crazy, right? And what's even worse -- only a quarter of that trash is recycled. 

Trust us, we understand how hard it is to get out of this cycle, and we’re working on it, too. So we've compiled some tips and tricks that might help you be more intentional, mindful and aware the next time you're dying to buy that new serum or something.

Finish Your Stuff!

This may seem super simple or obvious, but as you may have experienced, this is not always the case. Sometimes we become blasted with so many new releases that we actually forget about the awesome stuff we already own! For beauty and beyond, try challenging yourself with a ‘one in, one out’ mindset. Only buy a new eye cream once you've finished your old one. And if something truly doesn’t bring you any joy to use it and finish it, try donating it or giving it to a friend or family member. That way there's no waste, and it'll end up in a better home! P.S. If you are a beauty junkie, try searching on Instagram #projectpan and you’ll be amazed. It's oh-so-satisfying to see people actually use their products up!

Other than doing good for the environment, committing to your skincare can also be beneficial for your skin. What do we mean by that? Treat your skincare like a good relationship - you’re in it for the long haul, not a fling. The fact that skincare products shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all to your skincare routine aside (a conversation for another blog post); many skincare products actually take a few weeks to really show improvements in your skin. We’ve become so trained to seek out immediate results that when we don’t, we think it’s not working for us and move on to the ‘next best thing’. #PressReset on the concept of instant gratification in your skincare and instead think #SkincareCommitment. You don’t need a stronger active or more products to get your skin to a better place. Listen to it, give it what it needs, give it time and let it learn to function how healthy skin should. For you, that may mean less unnecessary spend, fewer breakouts, and a whole lot less of a stressful skincare routine. 

Patience is Key 

Yes, patience (and trust!) in the process, but also in how fast we can type out our credit card number. Sometimes when a new product comes out, we feel this sense of urgency to get it right away in fear that it might sell out. But the reality is, most of the time, that's not going to happen. It will still be there next week and, honestly, probably next year, too. You don't have to get it right now. Finish what you’ve got and if it’s still in your heart when you run out, it’ll be waiting for you. If you're buying online -- try leaving it in your cart for 48 hours and then come back to it. If you still feel that joy you did in the beginning, then go ahead and treat yourself. If not, take it out and save it for next time.  


Quality Over Quantity 

Sometimes when we’re not being super intentional in our purchases, we say YOLO and what we end up purchasing may not always be of the best quality. Whether that’s quality in terms of higher grade material or quality in terms of it being better suited for you, if it is not, the item often ends up tossed after a short, semi-to-un-fulfilling life.

When we start buying more intentionally and doing research on the items we are really interested in, we set ourselves up to buy more quality items that will last longer and/or provide a richer satisfaction to our cravings. Yeah - sometimes it may be a bit of a larger investment upfront but the idea is that you’ll end up spending a lot less in the long run. And remember, we’re in this for the long run.

Another tip could be to repair your items instead of throwing them away! If you got a tear at the hem of your jacket, ask a friend if they can sew it back together. Did your bronzer fall on the bathroom floor? Watch a tutorial on how to repress it. Of course, not everything can be fixed, but try it before you dump it.

Ask Yourself Some Qs

Before taking the plunge and buying a new item, ask yourself these key questions: 

  1. Do I have something similar? 
  2. Do I really need this? Right now?
  3. Will this bring value to my life?
  4. Will this make me happy?

It might sound silly, but it truly helps to do before going ahead and making a new purchase. Because how many times have you browsed Instagram, found the cutest new lip shade and hit “Add to cart” only to remember a lippie in a too-similar-to-argue shade sitting on your vanity? We speak from experience 😬. So learn from our mistakes and try to answer each question honestly and thoughtfully. Next time before you hit ‘order’, take a hot second to think about your next buy. We promise it'll save you time, money, and waste!

Take Up a New Hobby

Listen, we've all been there. Laying in bed on a Sunday night with nothing to do but mindlessly scroll through endless amounts of online stores, and before you know it you have so many tabs open that you can’t even see their names. That likely happens cause we're simply bored. Try reading instead. Or going on a run. Or maybe bake some yummy chocolate chip cookies. Mmm~ sounds delish.

Thrive With Less

Once we differentiate what we need to buy vs. what we just want to buy, it'll be a lot easier to live happily without continually thinking about the next thing to own. And listen, we're not talking about minimalism here. If you are into the minimalist life, awesome! If not, that’s great too!  As long as what you bring into your life is intentional and adds value or happiness, then go ahead and get it! It'll be different for everyone, but if it doesn't make you happy, why bother?

We're all about doing things with intention and purpose here at KraveBeauty. We're not going to tell you to cleanse twice a day if you don't need to. And we're not going to tell you to use Great Barrier Relief, if your skin isn’t irritated. Think about how stressful it is for your skin and your mind when you do things, use things and buy things that you don't actually need or maybe even don’t actually want. Start to declutter the things in your life that don't have any purpose; it'll likely lead to decluttering your mind, too, which will let you focus on the more important things in life. Just like when you clean your room and feel instantly less stressed and overwhelmed? Try that with the other aspects of your life and see what happens!

How do you consume intentionally? Drop your methods in the comments below!