Update Time! Beauty Low-Buy Update: Month One

Well, we’ve successfully finished month one of the low/no-buys to which myself and several other fantabulous beauty bloggers have chained dedicated ourselves!  I have to admit, when it started, I thought it would be a piece of cake – my guidelines felt tough but reasonable, and left me a fair bit of leeway so that I wouldn’t go out of my mind from the challenge.  However, once I was well into week two, I found myself becoming maniacal with respect to listing all the products I was *going* to buy as well as figuring out what products I could get rid of so I could make said purchases.  I spent hours daily planning what I would do in order to be able to buy a new lippie or blush, in a way that would allow me to stick to the plan but get my ~fix~  Crazy, right?  Thankfully, the feeling passed near the end of week three, and now as I move into the second month, I feel stabilized and am spending more time enjoying what I have rather than obsessively plotting my next purchase.  Just like any craving, it passes if you don’t give into it I guess!

I’m going to combine my usual ‘downsizing’ post with my new ‘monthly purchases’ posts, since one directly affects the other.  No shady business here!  I promise to be truthful about what I pick up each month – if I slip, I’ll let you know about that too.  Keeps me on the straight and narrow 🙂

So, here are the products that I managed to finish/part with since my low-buy began:

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
Good hydrator for dry to combination-oily skin, but honestly I wasn’t wowed by this.  I find the Turnaround Concentrate, a serum, far out-performs this moisturizer, and I would recommend going for that plus your favorite basic moisturizer, rather than using this alone.  Just didn’t exfoliate as well as I wanted it to!

Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF25 (Combination Oily to Oily)
I really loved this moisturizer with SPF, until I started learning about how any beneficial ingredients in products get lost when exposed to open air.  Jars have got to be the worst packaging anyway, majorly unhygenic!  So, while the idea of this product is AWESOME (helps to repair the moisture barrier so skin stays hydrated; helps treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles via antioxidants and sun protection), I suspect a lot of the good-for-you ingredients are gone within days.  Boo.  But, if you’re looking for a nice moisturizer with sunscreen, this is a pretty good choice!  It keeps skin feeling supple – though unless your very oily/do not need extra hydration, I’d probably opt for the dry to combination version as I found I could have used it this Winter.Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Facial Cleanser (travel size)
I liked this cleanser – it smelled lovely and rinsed away nicely without stripping the skin – but I always wondered if it was causing a bit of sensitivity in my skin.  I think the fragrance, while enjoyable, made me nervous.  It certainly didn’t soothe my skin at all.  For ladies with less sensitive skin, I think you’ll enjoy this – though it requires a second wash (or a makeup remover) to get rid of all traces of heavier makeup.  I’m not a fan of self-foaming cleansers as I find they run out more quickly, so that’s something to consider as the full size of this product is $38CAD.

B.Kamins Bio-Maple Suncar Sunscreen SPF30 (sample)
I used this while I was camping last year in Gros Morne, and didn’t experience any problems, it absorbed easily and a little went a long way – as I still had some left after 10 days!  I used it up the past few days just to get rid of it.  Nothing special, just seems like a basic physical SPF (it’s tinted pink and opaque and reminds me of Pepto Bismol…hmm), and shielded my skin from the sun.  Would be a good product for ladies with oily skin as it imparts no hydration or greasiness whatsover. Complex 15 Face Lotion/Complex 15 Body Lotion
Super basic face and body lotions that would be ideal for someone with sensitive, oily skin, or for really hot, humid days.  They both contain humectants such as glycerin to bind water to the skin, without being greasy AT ALL, but for me I need to also have products which act as a barrier so that I can retain that moisture.  Neither of these were enough for my eczema-prone skin, but I could see them working in a pinch for those who don’t have those issues.L’Oreal Nutri-Shimmer Shine Detangling Spray
I liked this leave-in spray – it detangled my hair and left it very soft without being weighed down – but I noticed that my scalp itched a whole lot less once I ran out of it.  Odd, because perfume was the last ingredient listed, but I have read studies that say that linalool (which is sort of in the middle of the ingredient list) can cause allergic reactions and inflame eczema, so I’m thinking that’s the culprit.  Soo…I won’t be buying this again.  But it was a good, light-weight leave-in all the same – and did make my hair quite shiny!Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen in 04 Beige Moyen
So. Glad. This. Is. Gone.  Remember how I said last week that I don’t believe in undereye illluminators?  Yeah.  I paid upwards of $40CAD to learn that lesson!  I tried to use this every which way – under concealer, over concealer, without concealer…the only real use I found for it was a subtle brightening of the inner eye area.  Other than that, it was a total bust and just didn’t do it for me at all.  If you have hardly any undereye darkness, by all means, give this a shot – I’m sure it’ll brighten the area just enough and its sheer enough that it looks quite natural.  But if dark circles are an issue for you, don’t waste your money.  Also – shade range is kinda crappy, this is the darkest they had and it’s still a touch light for my skin, and would be entirely useless once I’m getting sunshine on the regular.MUFE Smoky Lash mascara
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this mascara.  There were times when I really liked it, and then times when I REALLY didn’t.  I think the issue was that it was kind of dry to begin with, which makes avoiding clumps and flakes much more difficult.  I think the brush itself was pretty decent, so really it was the formula they need to tinker with.  All in all, I was glad to put it in the ‘finished’ pile.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Eye & Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
I got this from Walmart for like, $1.99, and it was a great pencil – just the right shade and was quite a large size to begin with, so it lasted ages.  I can’t comment on the lasting power because I never really pay attention to whether my brows are still looking good at the end of the day – I guess because my brows don’t *need* to be filled in, just polished up a bit.  I’d buy it again if I came across it, but it wasn’t so good that I’m going to seek it out, either.MAC Lustre Lipstick in Freckletone
Ugh.  Worst nude lippie (on my skintone) ever.  It was much too peach and looked far from nude on me.  I’ve had this for several years now, and I’m sooo happy it’s finished (though I just realized you can’t tell from the photo – oops!).  I had to mix this with a ton of other shades in order for it to work.  I like the lustre formulation, just not this color. 

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in In the Buff
This product isn’t ‘finished’, because I’ve only used it a handful of times, but it seems like it is bone-dry – to get any color from this (which is supposed to be a muted berry) is damn-near impossible.  It barely gives off anything at all.  So today I decided I’m done with this.  What’s the point of keeping something that doesn’t do anything?

Helena Rubenstein Stellars Gloss in Star Camellia
When I did my ‘Beauty Stash’ list, it was a process for me to find the actual name of this gloss, let me tell you.  The name on the end of the product is impossible to read, and I bought this about 8 years ago in Portugal, so I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was.  I found a picture and a swatch online that seemed to match, but I could be wrong.  In any case, I don’t think they even make this anymore so no worries!  In the package you can see that there is still product left, but the wand simply won’t get at any of it!  The brush on the end of the wand is itty-bitty, first of all, and the way the tube is shaped you just can’t get at what’s left.  Oh well, after 8 years I’m totally over this bright sparkly coral shade!  It was fun while it lasted 😛

Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment SPF15
I’m embarrassed, yet sort of proud, to say that even though this was essentially done in December (as Liz can attest to – she took photos!), I scraped and scooped out every last bit before officially calling it quits.  It wasn’t just that I liked the product – which I very much do, as well as loving the deep berry color this time of year – but for $22.50CAD, I just felt like I should make sure I get every bit of my money out of the product.  Which I did 😛  I still have the Sugar Honey and the original Sugar Lip Treatments to enjoy – but don’t expect to see them finished any time soon!Clinique Glow Crazy Powder Highlighter in 03 Gold Dust (sample size)
GAH.  I don’t know how old this sample is – Glow Crazy powder has been gone for some time now – but finally! I finished it!  It’s too bad it was a sample size (of which I kind of have issue with as a general rule), because this was actually a beautiful highlighter (or eyeshadow!), but it had to go.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (sample size)
I got this in one of my free GWP’s from Clinique.  Black Honey is our 2nd most sold product on the counter; the subtle reddish-berry looks good on everyone! ….Everyone except me.  On me, this shade is god-awful.  That sounds dramatic for a sheer lipstick, I know, but honestly, I can’t get down with this tone on my lips in any way, shape or form.  I’ve had this for so long just because there was nothing wrong with it.  Then, a couple weeks ago, I pulled it out to try it out again after the resurgence of the Almost Lipsticks, and it broke right at the base.  Woohoo, out it goes!  Bye BYE!!

So – yay!  Managed to get some makeup items in there, woohoo!  And I wasn’t just trying to get rid of stuff in order to buy more (I know you were thinking it! :P); either they finished or they were products I really didn’t care for in the least and was hanging on to them for no good reason.  Out you go!

Now, lets look at the purchases I made in the past month, and see if I stuck to my guns:

1) Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel $74
I bought this the very next day after the low-buy began.  See how I started out strong?  I’m still very much in love with it, and I’ve never had a moment of doubt about the cost.  I am nervous to see if it’ll still show up once I’m tanned, but here’s hoping it’ll make a great highlighter if nothing else!  If not, then – till next Winter, my dear 🙂

2) Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Exfoliating Facial Wipes (25 wipes) $8.59
Since I tend to run on most of my lunch breaks, I was starting to feel like I really should be removing and reapplying my makeup on those days.  Though I leave my run till later in the afternoon, I still feel uncomfortable at the thought of my makeup mingling with sweat and possibly causing clogged pores and irritation, even in the two hours before I get home and can properly cleanse.  So, I picked up these wipes on a whim, as they contain aloe, vitamins, and no perfumes or dyes – while also being safe for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.  Bonus!  The ingredient list is shorter than most as well, which always gives me comfort.  I’ve used them a handful of times to no negative effects – I’m not sure how effective they are at cleansing, but I still feel better at putting in an effort.

3) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #12 First Kiss $29
Newly minted blush fiend that I am, I saw a photoshoot in the recent issue of Glow which showcased a delicate redhead with a gorgeous peachy flush.  The look I was hoping for with Torrid just doesn’t cut it, as it’s more pink-based than orange.  This bright apricot shade seems to do the trick, and I’m often partial to cream/liquid formulas because I find they give a more believable glow. 

4) Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm $24
I picked this up in anticipation of our Jamaica trip.  It’s supposed to help soothe and hydrate sun exposed skin and help prevent any damage that the UV rays cause.  I have wanted to try this product for AGES as I’ve heard so, so many good things about it – but amazingly, I’ve never had the opportunity!  I find it difficult to actually *purchase* Clinique when I get so many for free, but the time was right so I finally gave in.  I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve given it a go!

5) OPI ‘A Roll in the Hague’, and ‘Dutch’Ya Just Love OPI?‘ $9.99 ea.
I had long planned to grab ‘Hague’ once OPI’s Holland collection came to town, but I was pleasantly surprized to find that I ended up enjoying ‘Dutch’Ya’ as well! 

6) Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF15 $58
This will replace my Superdefense as my daily moisturizer with SPF.  I bought it because my skin’s been tempermental with the Winter weather lately, though after the past week or so with unseasonably warm temperatures, I’m hoping this isn’t too heavy.  The cool thing I’m excited about is the inclusion of Magnolia Bark extract, which apparently has cortizone-like effects.  I’m hoping this will help with any eczema issues I have on my face and help keep any irritation under control.  Fingers crossed!

7) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black $22.50
I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages but just haven’t taken the plunge for one reason or another.  It has great reviews on MUA and sounds like the perfect formula for my sensitive eyes.  I hope its as volumizing as it claims!

8) MAC Tendertone Lip Balm in Purring $18
I fell for all the hype about these Tendertones returning, and not wanting to miss out, I scooped up this sheer orange one this past weekend.  So far, I’m not terribly impressed, but I’m going to give it a fair shake before making my final judgement.  It’s not the sheerness I’m disappointed with (though it is very sheer), but the moisturization.  We’ll see how it fares in the end.

Not too shabby, eh??  If you recall, my guidelines were use one-buy one for skincare/haircare/essentials like foundation and concealer, and use two-buy one for everything else (ie. makeup).  Note that sample sizes are considered a half-one, so two = one in the ‘use one’ category.  Also, remember that I’m allowed 5 nail polish purchases a month.  Here are my totals for this month:

USED – 4 full-size skincare, 2 travel-size skincare, 1 full-size haircare, 1 concealer, 6 full-size makeup items, and 2 sample-size makeup items.

ALLOWANCE – 4 skincare items, 1 haircare, 1 concealer, 3.5 makeup items; 5 nail polish + 2 brought over from January.

BOUGHT – 3 skincare items, 4 makeup items; 2 nail polish.

So…let’s count the MAC balm as a .5 product, eh?? LOL.  I came pretty close!  All in all, not too bad.  It’s certainly gotten easier as time has passed – most of those purchases were made in the first two weeks LOL.  I will admit, there is a lot of things to remember, but thankfully I have lists upon lists just about everywhere I go reminding me, so it’s been doable for the most part.  Gotta keep on keepin’ on!

Have you put any restrictions on your own shopping habits?  If you have, how are you making out?  If you haven’t, what’s your secret to keeping yourself in check??

  1. #1 by Liz on February 21, 2012 - 10:25 am


    Look at all this makeup you finished! I finally emptied ONE lip gloss last night and it wasn’t even a full size. And here you have FOUR. Glad to see that Fresh Sugar Plum finally take the bow. Now you can get a shiny new one! 😉

    I think the group low/no buy is going terrifically. We should have done it a long time ago!

    • #2 by Latoya on February 21, 2012 - 8:10 pm

      Honestly, it’s almost not even admirable that I finished these, because I tortured myself to do so, which kind of misses the point of enjoying makeup, yeah? So, not the best thing I’ve done 😦 I agree, it seems that everyone is doing splendidly on the low/no buy – it always helps to have others to power through it with you! Super idea!

  2. #3 by Larie on February 21, 2012 - 4:29 pm

    The group thing is going well, I agree with Liz. 🙂 We should have done this a long time ago, yes! Silly us.

    You finished so many things! I have to confess that I can’t keep up with your rules, but as long as you can, it’s all good 🙂 I’m just cheering you on!!!

    • #4 by Latoya on February 21, 2012 - 8:11 pm

      Hahaha, I know, it must be confusing – my bad! I am an avid list-maker, so I’ve got them down and straight, don’t worry 😛 Thanks for the support Larie, right back at ya!!

  3. #5 by Emi at Project Swatch on February 21, 2012 - 11:10 pm

    Sounds like you’re doing awesome! I am not an on official low buy or anything, but I’m trying to be carefully about my purchases, and only buy things I love that I don’t have dupes for. January went really well; February – not so much. I’ll have a purchases post up at the end of the most and you all can see how much I overspent! 🙂

    • #6 by Latoya on February 26, 2012 - 9:27 pm

      LOL It happens to the best of us, Emi!! We can only do what we can do – we love beauty and that’s really all there is to it! I think that as long as your aware of what you’re buying and picking up things you love, then no harm done really! 🙂

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

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