Sunday, March 17, 2019

Empties! Products I Used Up in February

February was another good month for using up products and moving them out of my over stocked collection of skin and body care items.  Let's take a closer look at what I managed to finish up!
I finished two full sized scrubs - one for the body and one for the face.  The Ulta Beauty Brightening Vitamin C Body Scrub was nice but nothing something I feel inclined to repurchase.  The sugar in the scrub is small granule but still managed to give a nice exfoliation.  It suds up so works as a cleanser as well.  The citrus scent was pleasant and while I have no complaints about the product, it just was not a standout for me.  
The Farmhouse Fresh One Fine Day Shea Sugar Flawless Face Polish (see full review here), OTOH, is a favorite.  Love this stuff, and I believe this is the 3rd jar I've finished off.  I will repurchase once I finish up all of my facial scrubs, as it is my favorite to date.  
The Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Tinted Luminizer in Shade 2 was another favorite, and this is the second full sized bottle that I've used up.  It's quite pricey at $125, which is more than I would ever pay.  I received mine as part of the the now discontinued VIP monthly subscription program, which allowed me access to LMdB products as a greatly reduced price.  Plus, I'm not quite sure of the status of LMdB these days, as I believe they are in bankruptcy proceedings.  
Another company that is experiencing lots of problems is Julep, which was acquired by another company about two years ago.  That company consequently went bankrupt and has sold off Julep AS Beauty (you can read more about that here).  Not quite sure what the future holds for Julep now, but it seems the Julep items as Ulta are currently 50% off, which indicates to me they are clearing out their inventory.  Maven subscription members also had a rude awakening on February 15th in the form of an email informing us that the monthly Maven subscription service was ending immediately.  Furthermore, all Jules points (points earned each month from the subscription that could be used towards adding products to your box at no cost) would not be honored going forward.  

I think that pissed people off more than the subscription cancellation, as no advanced notice was given so that people could spend their points.  Fortunately, I was never one to save up my points for months on end, and I had a feeling the end of the subscription was coming given the problems the company was facing.  I also had the foresight to get some of my favorite items prior to the beginning of my no buy - the Boost Your Radiance Reparative  Rosehip Seed Facial Oil and the Mattifying Face Primer.  So, I have another Rosehip Seed Oil ($36 for 1 oz.) waiting in the wings.  
I also finished another Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, which I continue to adore.  I'm going through a jar a month at this rate, although these are smaller than the usual sized lip sleeping masks as they were part of a gift set with different flavors.  
The Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask in the trial size gave me about 3-4 uses, and I enjoyed the slightly warming sensation, creamy texture, and overall experience.  I have a plethora of face masks to go through so no plans to repurchase, but I did enjoy this.
I finally finished the Tokyo Milk Bon Bon Shea Butter in Kabuki 09 ($22 for 2.3 oz), which I've had for several years.  I enjoyed the fragrance (Sugared Grapefruit, Lychee & Sweet Jasmine), although I don't find this to be moisturizing enough for my taste, so consequently would not repurchase.  I do think the packaging/presentation is lovely though.

I used up two No. 4 hair products: a foil packet of conditioner and the Super Comb Prep & Protect spray.  I love the scent of the No. 4 products and have generally enjoyed all of the products I've tried.  I believe I received these when I subscribed to Birchbox, which was quite a while ago.  So, I'm glad to move them on out to make way for the overflowing supply of foils/travel sized hair products that I've received as GWP's and in subscription boxes over the years.

I finished another travel sized dry shampoo from Klorane, as well as a K-beauty mud mask pod and fresh Soy Face Cleanser.  All were nice but not standouts for me, although if the Klorane dry shampoo was on sale I would consider it when it's time to repurchase dry shampoo.  
 Something I may very well repurchase in the future is the Benton Fermentation Eye Cream ($27), which I enjoyed enough to cut open the container in order to scrap out what wouldn't squeeze out of the tube.  Which was quite a lot - perhaps another month's worth of product, which I depotted into a jar..

The Nubian body wash in Patchouli & Buriti ($13)was something I picked up when Ulta carried it a few years back, and I just managed to finish it up right as it was hitting it's expiration date.  I enjoyed the rather spicy/woodsy fragrance, which I found unique for a body wash.  I had also bought the body lotion, but it went off rather quickly and got tossed a while ago.

I also finished the Origins' Ginger Body Gloss ($26 for 3.4 oz), which is a fragrance I really enjoy.  Unfortunately, I do not find most of the Ginger products to be long lasting scent wise, so no plans to repurchase in the future.

Overall I'm pleased with the rate of products I've used up this far in 2019, as it is slowly making a dent in the excess of products I've managed to accrue.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The "No Buy Low Buy" Phenomenon

So, it seems like about 1/3 of the beauty community is doing some version of a no buy/low buy this year.  It's an interesting phenomenon that I think is indicative of several issues: our consumer oriented culture, the rise of "influencers" on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, the susceptibility of humans towards addictive behavior, and a market that is only too ready to meet our consumer demands, 
Shopping is an activity that can become an addiction (Google shopping and dopamine) and apparently for many of us (myself included), shopping for makeup grew from a hobby into a habit.  Acquiring (the hunt) became more important than using the makeup itself, as evidence by continuing to buy variations of the same product over, and over, and over again.
I know variety is something I've always gravitated towards, as I tend to get easily bored using the same products over a short period of time.  Why else do I continue to look for the next best vitamin C serum when I've already discovered one that works well for me?  While some are content with one or two signature perfumes, I continue to bring multiple new scents into my "collection" every year, although I do revisit favorites on a semi-regular basis.
Declutters (throwing away or donating items you no longer want or use) have entered our vernacular and are a symptom of this excess.  I've done quite a few myself, and enjoy watching these kinds of videos on YouTube. Often, the declutters are done as precursors for acquiring more items, as overcrowding and lack of space have become an issue.  People can't "see what they have" or feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items to chose from.  Some, however, are recognizing the problematic nature of this purchase/purge behavior, and are opting for no buy/low buy boundaries as a way to change how they think and behave when it comes to acquiring items. 
"Shopping your stash" has become another way to deal with the overwhelming excess, as many of us have actual store houses of product in our own homes.  There really is no need to go shopping, as having multiples of an item is not unusual.  However, without the restriction of a no buy or replacement only low buy, many of us are going to indulge in that external shopping behavior as opposed to shopping our stash.
So have I jumped on this no buy/low buy bandwagon?  Absolutely.  I'm 2 months into my replacement only no-buy.  The criteria I have set for myself is that I can only purchase makeup/skincare/hair care/body care/beauty items is if I have run out of everything in a particularly category.  Realistically, that means the only item I envision having to purchase in the next year is eye primer, as I'm about 3/4 through my Too Face Shadow Insurance.  I may have some samples to go through after that, but that's not an item I have backups for.
My goal is to use up as much of the product that I already have on hand and that I no longer use shopping for makeup/skincare etc. as a way to entertain myself/self sooth/or otherwise indulge in mindless, excessive behaviors.  Honestly, at this point it hasn't been too difficult, although I did feel a twinge when I saw that the Anastasia Sultry palette is on sale for $27.  If I wasn't on a no buy, I would have definitely bought it.  Do I need it?  Absolutely not. Plus, I'm actually enjoying getting to better know the items I own.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

2019 Project Pan Update #1

It's been almost 2 months since I started panning the 13 items in my 2019 project pan, so wanted to post an update.  First off though, I forgot to talk about an item in my original post, so let's start with that one.  It's a basic cream matte eye shadow from stila that I use to either set my eyes or highlight my brow bone.  Here's a picture of it when I started officially panning it:
I had a significant dip in the pan when the project began on January 1,, and I'm happy to report that I've now hit pan on it!
I also finished the Le Metier de Beaute (LMdB) Peau Vierge Tinted Luminizer in Shade 2 ($125 for 1 oz.), which completely surprised me.  Apparently it was not as full as I had thought, so I must have used it prior to receiving the 2 oz. version that I used up in 2018.  I used this as a face primer and really do like it, although I will not repurchase.  Let's look at another LMdB product I'm panning, the Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder.  You can see some slight progress in the pan, but it's slow going.
Start of panning project
As of Feb. 23
I have no idea what is going on with LMdB these days, but I have read some online reports of them being bankrupt and/or having gone out of business. I know they are no longer available at some of the larger retailers that use to sell their products. However, you can still find them at the LMdB online site and QVC, which is quite the drop from their hey day when they were at Neiman Marcus, Dermstore, and other higher end retailers.  Might as well continue with all the  LMdB products in this project pan, including my beloved cream blush in Tenne.  I truly love this product and will be sad when it is gone, but as I have yet to hit pan, there is plenty of life left here. 
Start of panning project
February 23
Last of the LMdB items is this lip gloss, which has not seen much use.  I tend to forget about it, but I do like it a lot and just need to remember to use it more.
Start of panning project
February 23
Next is another higher end product that will take me forever to use, despite it's 6 month shelf life. I'm talking about Tatcha's The Pearl, which I use as an under eye primer.  You need less than a pea sized amount for both eyes, and there is a lot in this container.  I typically dip a finger on the product in the cap, which hopefully helps with keeping the product clean and cutting down on the potential for contamination.  Here is what was on the top at the beginning of the project, which I used up.
Start of panning project
This is the amount that is on the cap now, which will take me quite a while to work through.
I forgot to include a picture of this Marvelous Moxie gloss from bare Minerals in the original 2019 Project Panning Goals post, but I've marked where I am so that I can track my progress going forward.  I'm not quite at the half way mark for this deluxe sized gloss.
No progress to speak of with the last gloss in this project, the Tarina Tarantino Sparlicity.  So, I'll forego a picture until I see some progress.  I'd love to say I can see progress in the Estee Lauder blush Sensuous Nude, because I have been using it.  Let's see if the pictures tell that tale.  I think the Feburary 23rd picture at least gives an indication of the dip level in the pan.
Start of panning project
Another face powder in this project is the Houglass Ambient Lighting powder in Dim Light.  I think I've made a tiny bit of progress.
Start of panning project
The last of the makeup items in this project is the Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer in Light.  I've used it but not exclusively, so I'm interested in seeing what story the pictures tell.
Start of panning project
February 23
The last two products are body lotions.  I ended up throwing the deodorant away, as it just did not smell right.  The lotions I've used maybe twice, so I don't expect much progress.  I have marked the containers now to track progress.
Start of panning project
February 23
So to summarize, I finished one product, threw one product away, and made some slight progress on the majority of the rest.  That leaves me with 11 products in this project to work on, as I haven't identified anything else I want to pull in right now. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Empties! Products I Used Up in January

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
A whopping 55 items left my collection in January, which is quite the accomplishment.  I'm also doing a replacement only no-buy (low buy?) for makeup/skincare/beauty items, so that I can focus on using up what I own.  Which is a lot.  So let's take a look at some of the standouts (both good and bad) from January.
The Bubble & Bee organic body butters are some of my favorites, and unfortunates these went bad before I could completely finish them.  I got two-thirds through the Orange & Vanilla and three-fourths through the Unscented, but one was smelling off and the other was starting to grow mold.  I finished a Farmhouse Fresh body balm in A La Mode and the Sunflower Honey-Butter, both of which are lovely.  I would repurchase all 4, but considering I have 41 other sample and full size body lotions to get through, it will be a while.
I finished 2 sample sized dry shampoos, with the Detox by drybar being my favorite of the two.  I also finished 4 hand lotions: the limited edition Pure Hemp Herbal Hand and Foot Glaze (okay, not as moisturizing as I'd like), Tokyo Milk Dark Lotion in Excess (again, not moisturizing enough but did enjoy the fragrance), and a full and sample sized Caudalie Hand and Nail cream (nice, would consider purchasing in the future).  I've got 11 more hand creams to get through before I can purchase anything, however.
I finished five sample sized face moisturizers and 4 foil serums/moisturizers.  All were nice and did the job, but none stood out enough for me to want to purchase once I get through the other 36 mainly deluxe sized samples and foils I need to finish up.  I also finished a deluxe sized Ole Henriksen serum.  I prefer other vitamin C serums, although this one is not bad.
I finished one full sized and two deluxe sample sized face primers.  I enjoyed the Coola dawn patrol, but my favorite of the three is Julep's Blank Canvas.  I purchased another prior to my no-buy, but I also have 22 other primers to work my way through.
I also finished full sizes of a Leader's Labotica Bamboo Water Cleansing tissues (nice, would repurchase), a Vitabath shower gel in Vanilla Bourbon (nice, but I got tired of it and was happy to finish it off), a full sized shampoo in Blonde Sexy Hair (a blue shampoo, pretty good), and a full sized TreSemme hair spray (average at best).
I finished off 2 Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oil samples (Kurukulla: lotus blooms and roses, Lilium Inter Spinas, Hibiscus syriacus, white sandalwood, lily of the valley, apple blossom, and green fig) and another sample called Bollywood or Bust (rose, woody, warm spicy) by Smell Bent, plus am tossing 3 other perfume samples that I do not care for: Narciso Rodriguex for her and Dolce.  I have an obscene number of perfume samples and a more than healthy collection of full sized bottles as well, so I really have no business purchasing any fragrances for a long, long, long time.
I finished two mascaras, Monsieur Big by Lancome and Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill.  My favorite of those was Eyes to Kill, but no way am I paying $32 for a mascara.  The Guerlain Maxi Lash sample was dried out, and I did not like the benefit They're Real! mascara so tossed it after a week of use.  I have 31 more mascaras to work through, mostly deluxe sample sizes.
I finished a full sized lipstick, the Surratt Lipslique in Ladybug (full review here).  It was 3.5 years old and I did enjoy it, but at $34 it's overpriced for what it is.  The Laniege Lip Mask is a new favorite, they are as good as everyone says they are and have become a staple item for me.
I also finished a foundation, the Lauren Brooke Creme Foundation in Cool No. 30.  This is the second jar I've finished and I bought another prior to my no-buy, as I knew I did not want to be without it for as long as it will take me to go through my current roster of foundations (which is a whooping 34, BTW).  The finish on this foundation is the smoothest, most natural looking I've experienced, although it's best suited for the colder weather months with my oilier complexion.  Just so nice.
I tried the Milk Makeup Sunshine foundation and hated it.  The coverage is minimal and it never really dried down.  I tried using powder to help with that, and that just resulted in a cakey mess.  Just so bad.
I doubt I'll go through as many items every month, but I do think that not bring in new items is helping out and it feels great to have worked through these.