Beauty Low-Buy Update: Month Two

Well…I’m pretty much sucking at this whole low-buy thing.  You’d think, a gal who could give up buying cosmetics altogether during Lent last year could do a silly low-buy that consequently enables her to ALSO buy up to 5 nail polish a month and 3 LE items per season?  Er, no.  Seems I can’t.  I am simply struggling to finish enough products in order to justify the amount I’ve purchased!!  I tell you, it’s becoming impossible.  There are just too many awesome products out there, it’s *sooo* not my fault!~Boo Hoo~ Enough with the whining I guess…you want to see the damage, I take it?  Check out what I bought/swapped for in the last month (reviews for products will be eventually forthcoming):

1) Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin (bought)

2) Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Sensitive Skin (bought)

3) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow in Corinthian (bought)

4) Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua (bought)

5) Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Warm Beige (bought)

6) Laura Mercier Full-Blown Volume Mascara (bought)

6) MAC Refined Golden bronzer (swapped for*)

7) MAC Pigment in Melon (swapped for*)

8) Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Nectar (swapped for*)

9) Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee in Shimmering Sands (LE) (bought)

10) Zoya Cho (bought)

11) Nfu-Oh #51 (bought)

12) Nfu-Oh Aqua Base (bought)

*For the swapped items, I exchanged for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, MAC Electra and Strike a Pose eyeshadows, Urban Decay Zero 24/7 eyeliner, the Fyrinnae Shinkirou eyeshadow, and a Marc Jacobs perfume and a handful of perfume samples.  So that totals to 5 makeup items.

OK.  So I am at a surplus with my polish allowance – all good.  I’m already down one for my Summer LE quota (which I can already forsee is going to be a HUGE problem with all the amazing items coming out!!!).  Otherwise I picked up 2 skincare products and 7 makeup items.  Hmmm…let’s see how I did in the *purge* category.Last month I was kickin’ butt at using up my makeup, but this month hasn’t been so successful.  I did get rid of a couple of straggler products overall, but still…I’m disappointed.  Take a look:

Skintimate Signature Scents Moisturizing Shave Gel

Suddenly, this was finished this weekend – I had no idea I was on my last pump, but I am SO happy about it!  Shave gel = useless product.

Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash

I used this to soak my feet in after realizing I wasn’t a fan of the generic soap-scent.  Worked well in that area, at least!  It foamed up really nicely.

Redken Real Control Crema Care (50mL)

This is a great styling lotion if you’re looking for a travel product – it holds and softens hair at the same time, but it’s a bit sticky feeling.  I wouldn’t buy the full size version.

butter London Nail Foundation ($20CAD)

I enjoyed this for the first couple months, loving how *flawless* it made my bare nails look, and how it helped eliminate VNL, but it didn’t adhere my polish any better than any other base coat, and it got thick fast.  I added thinner to no avail.  For that price tag – bye bye!

Clinique Clarifying Lotion #3 (200mL) ($15CAD)

I know a lot of people have issues with the Clarifying Lotion.  I don’t dislike it, but I’m not necessarily a fan, and if you have sensitive skin it can be a pretty harsh exfoliant.  I’d recommend the mild version for most skins, which I may try some day.  For now, I’m glad this is gone.  I got it for free, so you know I *had* to use it.

Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes ($10CAD)

I have yet to have luck with any wipes which don’t seem to harm my skin in some way.  The first time I used these, I loved how soft they made my face feel (and still with that lovely orange-y scent, yum!).  But then the next day my face seemed to be extra-reactive, and I think these may have been the culprit.  There were only 10 wipes, so I just used them on the nights when I was just TOO lazy to wash my face.  All done now :)

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (50mL) ($17.50CAD)

Travel size of this cleanser.  I bought it to check it out, and when I realized it wasn’t much of anything, I used it to travel with.  However, I’ve been slowly running out of cleansers and I am trying to use them all up before buying more, so I started using this in the shower daily.  It’s pretty fragrant so I worry about the effect it has on my skin – seems OK but I’m always suspicious.  I wouldn’t buy this again.

Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL) ($18CAD)

I sadly can’t get behind the hype of this product; it didn’t do anything amazing for my skin, and I was SO prepared for it to!  I might be great in the warmer months for a nighttime product, but during the Winter days and nights, it was both greasy and yet not quite moisturizing enough some how.  Fail.

NARS Sheer Glow in Syracuse ($55CAD)

I finished a foundation!!  I can’t remember the last time I did that :)  I’ve spoken of this one before – I really liked it; the color match was superb, the coverage just right (sheer to medium) and it didn’t irritate my skin in the least.  I could use this on the sensitive skin around my mouth and it never caused any problems, and actually hydrated it a bit.  I can’t use this in the Summer because it’s a bit too much for my oily skin, but in the cold Winter month it was just what the doctor ordered.  I’d even potentially buy this again next year!

Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Medium Honey ($20CAD)

- This used to seem like the perfect shade for me…but lately I found it to be a bit grey, for whatever reason.  So it was a good thing that it was nearing it’s end.  It’s pretty old too, probably 4 years+, and the sides are cracking so that I’d get concealer on my fingers when I squeezed too hard.  How annoying.  Time to go!

Maybelline One by One Volum’ Express Mascara in Blackest Black

- I know some people really enjoy this mascara, and the first time I used it I LOVED how long it made my lashes look – but it quickly got dry and super-clumpy, and I never felt like I had enough product on the brush since it comes in the package with the brush separate from the mascara tube to begin with.  I dunno.  It got old quick, literally :P

Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black (sample)

- I received this back during the Sephora opening, and only started using it about two months ago.  Could be because it was older, but it just never gave enough *oomph* for me.  It was absolutely AMAZING for getting every lash and for not clumping, ever, but it almost somehow faded throughout the day and my lashes seemed to get more and more puny as the hours wore on.  I’m not into the au naturale look with lashes so this is not for me.  And NOT Buxom by any means!

Clinique Surge of Color Lipstick Palette

- I got this in a gratis or through a school or something…and it’s SO not for me!  Not only am I not a huge lipstick wearer, I don’t wear ANY of these shades, and I get irritated having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply it.  No thanks man!  I had this in a drawer at work just collecting dust – it’s time it kicked the bucket.

Annabelle Lipliner in Spice and Smashbox Sheer Lip Pencil in Smashing Content

- I think I picked up the Annabelle liner looking for a recreation of MAC’s Spice liner, which I heard a lot about.  Whether or not they’re dupes, I dunno…I barely used this because a) I just don’t use liner, and b) it was a muddy color on my lips.  Boo.  I’ve had this for like, 10 years – why am I keeping this kind of crap!  BEGONE.

The Smashbox lip pencil, well…it’s sheer, and its a lip pencil.  Not. For. Me.  TOSS.

MAC Gleam Lipstick ($17.50CAD)

- I went through this kick a few years back where I wanted that pale nude-lavender lip look (see my post with Keri Hilson’s look) and this was the shade I picked up thinking it could help create it.  Uh, no.  This is like a pale silvery-beige-purple sheer lippie that makes me look dead.  I tried mixing it with other shades to make it work, and I could, but good gosh – I don’t want to have to work so darn hard!  It’s going, I can’t deal with it any longer.  And it looks ugly in the tube.  I hate when my makeup gets ugly-looking. GET OUT OF MY LIFE.

MAC Venetian Lustreglass ($17.50CAD)

- A couple years ago I had my makeup done at MAC for a Christmas party, and this was part of the look.  It looks fantastic then, and then…never again.  It’s too much of a blue-based red, and because it’s more on the sheer side, it looked weak as well.  I am the most proud of this getting tossed – I mixed this with every friggin’ lippie I could to get rid of it, and hallelujah – success!!  I could probably get a couple more uses out of it, but NO.  NO, I REFUSE.  I AM DONE WITH YOU.

So….yea.  Getting a bit angry there, sorry!  It’s just that those items that were long overdue to get the boot and it was driving me insane that they were hanging around forever.  I hardly have any of those kinds of items left now though, sa-weet!  …Except that means that I have very few products that are going to get used up any time soon, which means…very little allowable purchases for awhile (supposedly – hopefully I get some willpower this coming month).  DANG.

Anyway, lets do the tally:

Limited Edition (Summer) – 1 of 3

Acquired – 9 (2 skincare, 7 makeup)

Got Rid Of – 22 (7 skincare, 1 hair, 14 makeup)

Skin- and haircare don’t even really warrant discussing – I think I’m always going to have more going out than coming in (although…how is that even possible?  Hmm…eventually it’ll be one to one I guess) – but on the makeup side, I managed to achieve my use 2, buy 1 guideline by the skin of my teeth.  I’m going to be up-front – I pretty much ransacked my stash to see if there were any items I didn’t want or even like and got rid of them just so I could ring in on the level.  I know I need to strap down and really take this more seriously; the whole point of engaging in this challenge was to use and appreciate what I have…and lately I feel like I’m just chasing after the next thing and the next, and barely even registering what I’ve gotten.  Which is a terrible habit to get into, and more than anything else I want to stop that cycle.

Next month, I PROMISE to do better!  And hold me to it – there’s no point in engaging in another 9 months of this if I’m just going to continue on the same way I always have.  My arse needs a good kick sometimes!

How do you keep your purchases in check?  What are your suggestions on how to truly slow down and appreciate what you already have, and resist the siren call of new products?

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  1. #1 by Larie on March 20, 2012 - 10:08 pm

    Aw, don’t be too hard on yourself! I think you did great! You finished a foundation! And some things just need to go, finished or not – especially the smooshed up stuff, or the dusty stuff, hahaha. I think it gets easier as you cull down your stash to the essentials :)

    • #2 by Latoya on March 22, 2012 - 8:03 pm

      I know, I really want to streamline and have only things I love…I just still feel the pull to buy buy buy and I can’t seem to resist it!! Argh! And after seeing how well you did, it makes me feel even worse LOL. But, thank you for cheering me on nonetheless, I’m not going to give up, no matter if I screw up every month haha.

  2. #3 by BeautyReflections (@BeautyReflectTS) on March 21, 2012 - 2:34 am

    Hahaha I agree! Don’t be so hard on yourself. You actually finished a foundation! I can’t remember the last time I did that…

    • #4 by Latoya on March 22, 2012 - 8:08 pm

      Well, that’s not really an achievement when you consider that I only own two LOL! But, thank you for backing me up anyway Tracy :) I am being hard on myself, true…I just really want to have better willpower!

  3. #5 by Eugenia on March 21, 2012 - 3:17 pm

    I’m with my buds….YOU FINISHED A FOUNDATION!!! You deserve a medal just for that alone, lol! Ok Toya…remind me again WHY you’re doing this? Personally, I don’t get this whole “ban/low-buy/no-buy” jazz; it’s one thing when we do something out of a financial purpose – THAT I get. There have been times in my life when I’ve wanted something, but couldn’t afford it – so, no buy. Simple. There have even been times in my life where I wasn’t all that impressed with the product – so again, no buy. But if those reasons aren’t factors, then why are you torturing yourself with this program and not out there enjoying life, like you know you really want to? It’s like when we say we’re going on a diet or fast, and suddenly we become eating machines — and yet, if you ALLOW yourself to eat what you want when you want, you find that you wind up eating less. My point: perhaps if you didn’t PUNISH yourself with this low-buy deal, you’ll find that it’s easier to stick to actually buying less. Just a thought, my friend….just a thought. PS: I think your line about ugly makeup getting out of your life, is totally hysterical!! Love that!!!

    • #6 by Latoya on March 22, 2012 - 8:42 pm

      I thought about my response to this all day Eugenia…part of it does feel like unnecessary torture, making rules in an area where I should be having fun. But part of this IS for monetary reasons – I’m pretty good with money and right now I have to pay off my trip to Jamaica, and save for New Zealand, and in doing so my realistic budget is pretty small. SO, I’d hoped to kill two birds with one stone – save some money, while trying to stop and enjoy the products I have without rushing out to buy more and more. I find lately I’m just on the hunt for the *next* thing and in life that habit isn’t a good one. So, it’s a little bit of everything I suppose. I struggle with it because I love beauty SO much, and I want to be able to just go and buy that new lippie without feeling guilty that I should have saved that money, but I can’t justify buying it when I have a handful of other lippies that I am not even near finishing. If I had unlimited funds, then this wouldn’t be that much of a problem, but I don’t so the purchasing loses its appeal – once it’s done, if it’s not justified then I experience negative feelings, and THAT’S where it stops making sense to me. So, do you understand more now? Or did I just talk you in circles? LOL. I totally know what you mean about punishment, but it’s not really that…just me trying to instill some willpower at a time when it’s truly needed, and you get to see me struggle LOL. How fun, right? :P

      • #7 by Eugenia on March 22, 2012 - 9:22 pm

        Thanks for such a heart-felt response AND for not telling me to mind my own beeswax, like I probably deserve, lol! It’s the mom/nurturer in me: I hate seeing those I care about in distress. Perhaps I should rephrase what I meant to say; you see, I know all about budgeting and not having the means to indulge in everything you like (remind me one day, when we finally get together, to tell you a few stories of a younger Eugenia and certain difficult crap she had to endure…) and while I’m in a position now where I can not limit myself as strictly as I once did, that doesn’t mean I should go crazy with my resources either, so yeah….I totally understand what you mean. I think perhaps it’s this whole emphasis on “no buy/low buy” that rubs me the wrong way; to me, those terms seem counter-productive and completely non-motivational. I think you’d probably feel better about this path you’re on if you’d think of it in terms of a “goal” – THAT word makes the whole experience a positive one, and something tells me that you’ll actually find you’re feeling better about the whole journey towards streamlining! And no matter what, never forget that it’s your decision and your choices, and for that alone, I support you wholeheartedly! I don’t want to be the one to push you off the cart; just giving you the benefit of my experience — after all, I didn’t hit this age (almost 49) without many bumps along the way!
        PS: I am so stoked about your upcoming trips, especially New Zealand…someplace I’ve always wanted to go visit, especially since they also filmed my favourite movies there (The Lord of the Rings)!! Hope you’re not upset with me for being so blunt, Toya and if I’ve overstepped my bounds, feel free to kick me soundly in the arse!

      • #8 by Latoya on March 22, 2012 - 9:35 pm

        I don’t feel that way at all Eugenia, I know you were just expressing concern. I know how it comes across sometimes so I wanted to be clear so that you needn’t worry :) It’s a tricky beast, the way we spend and how we justify, and I just want to make sure that when I spend, I do it with a clear conscience and not with residual guilt, because THAT to me takes the fun out of it! I expect that soon enough I’ll be able to full relish beauty (I mean, to a reasonable extent of course!) and you’re right, it’s a GOAL to work toward, rather than something that’s holding me back :) You just wait till that day arrives – the beauty world won’t know what hit it! :P

  4. #9 by Liz (@Reductionista) on March 24, 2012 - 5:36 pm

    Geez, woman. Look at the amount of stuff you finished! AND you stuck to your rules! I think you can pat yourself on the back. ;)

    Me, I was supposed to stick to 3 products per month. I went over 20 this month. Yeah, yeah, birthday month, blah blah blah, but talk about overcompensating. LOL Whatever. We learn and keep going, right?

    Finishing more than double of the amount you buy in a month is a ratio that deserves an applause from beauty addicts everywhere!

    • #10 by Latoya on March 27, 2012 - 9:34 pm

      LOL well thank you Liz!! I’m glad you think so. I’m feeling like I might need to revise my strategy, but I haven’t come up with a viable alternative yet, so we’ll see.

      I won’t give you birthday excuses for your buying, but at the same time – we’re doing something that’s pretty hardcore considering shopping and beauty are kind of our *thing*. So, you messed up a bit – I say it’s bound to happen, and mostly what we’re trying to do here is be aware of our behavior and change it if we can, right? So don’t be too hard on YOURSELF; let this one slide and be a lesson I guess. Sometimes I wonder (as I’ve noted before) if imposing bans aren’t just a trap which sets us up to lose it and buy everything in sight. Again why I feel like I need to revisit my guidelines….

  5. #11 by Jos on March 27, 2012 - 6:33 am

    22 items tossed/used up is an amazing achievement :)

    • #12 by Latoya on March 27, 2012 - 9:34 pm

      Aw, thanks Jos! I guess when you put it that way it sounds better than what I imagine :)

  1. Best Bang for Your Buck Series: Mascaras « Beauty Obsessed

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