Quarter 2 Beauty Product Consumption Accountability Checkin

Posted on July 07, 2017 under Lists

All the beauty products that came into my life in April, May, and June! I’m including not only makeup but hair, body, and nail stuff, as well as beauty tools. Anything that has a second price listed in brackets reflects what I paid with my 30% off employee discount. Anything I’ve converted to USD reflects how much I paid at the time of purchase.

Products purchased between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017

There are a few brushes missing from this picture because I am imperfect.
  1. 03/20: Essence Matt Matt Matt Vibrant Shock lipstick in 09 – $4.49 ($3.14). I forgot to add this to my list from last quarter, so I’m slipping it in here. I wanted a fun lip colour for the Green Day show I went to so I picked up this navy blue. I didn’t love the formula on this and I’m undecided if I should keep it or not, but for three bucks it served its purpose.
  2. 03/26: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Oil nail polish in Vert Époque – $3.00. Again, a product that I missed in my last roundup. This was on clearance for three bucks and I loved the creamy turquoise colour, so I bought it. No regrets!
  3. 04/04: Milani Color Statement Lip Liner – Nude – $4.29. I’m on a lipliner kick lately and the price on these is good, so I thought I’d try one. Really enjoying it, and for an unbeatable price!
  4. 04/04: Milani Eyeshadow Primer – $9.49. I ran out of my NARS and didn’t want to shell out $30 for a new one, so I thought I’d try a cheaper option. Again, I love this product, so this was a great purchase.
  5. 04/04: ELF Small Stipple Brush – $3.99. I’ve been looking for a good brush to apply cream products with, and emilynoel83 raves about this brush for this exact purpose. When I came face-to-face with one, I had to buy it. Although this brush goes for $3 on the ELF website, with the Canadian conversion this price is spot-on. (At the time I purchased it, $3 USD converted to $4.02 CAD.) I’ve actually been using it most often for contouring: it gives quite a soft, subtle look, which I like.
  6. 04/04: ELF Blending Brush – $3.99. I’d been meaning to buy a few more ELF Crease Brushes since I use mine every day, and I thought this was the same one. When I got it home I saw I was mistaken, but I still use it regularly.
  7. 04/04: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Topcoat – $12.99 ($9.09). Replacement.
  8. 04/25: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – $6.80. Replacement.
  9. 04/25: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane – $7.90. Replacement for my argan oil, which I used up. I read Lindsey’s post about squalane and was sold, and so far so good!
  10. 04/25: The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N – $6.70. I definitely didn’t need this, but I wanted it, and I bought it. It happens!
  11. 04/30: Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Mermaid’s Eyes – $4.80. This was on clearance for 80% off and I purchased it with Optimum points.
  12. 04/30: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna – $40 ($28). Purchased with Optimum points.
  13. 04/30: Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara – $28 ($19.60). Replacement, purchased with Optimum points.
  14. 04/30: L’Oreal Brow Plumper Brow Gel – $8.99. Replacement, purchased with Optimum points. On sale from $15.49.
  15. 04/30:NYX Wonder Pencil in Light – $6.99 ($4.89). I got this to use in my waterline because I don’t have any nude eyeliners for that purpose. Purchased with Optimum points.
  16. 04/30: Lise Watier Eyeliner in Marin – $23.00 ($16.10). Purchased with Optimum points.
  17. 04/30: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Indigo. $29.00 ($20.30). Purchased with Optimum points.
  18. 05/09: Witchcraft Be Strong – $10.99 ($7.69). Replacement. I can’t live without this stuff. My peely nails love it.
  19. 05/16: ELF Small Smudge Brush x 2 – $5.99 total. Canadian beauty retailer FTB Beauty is closing down and I bought a bunch of brushes when they were on clearout for 40% off. I’ve had one of these brushes for years and I use it daily, so I picked up two more.
  20. 05/16: bdellium tools 768 Round Dome Shadow Brush – $5.99. Also from FTB Beauty.
  21. 05/16: bdellium tools 787 Duet Fiber Large Tapered Blending Brush – $7.49. From FTB Beauty.
  22. 05/16: Real Techniques Bold Metals 201 Pointed Crease Brush – $13.79. From FTB Beauty.
  23. 05/20: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Duo – $6.49. These duo sets were marked down from $19.99 to $6.49 at my store. I actually don’t love the nail polish colour (in Aqua Chakra) and I’ll probably just give it away, but the topcoat alone is $12.99 full price and I go through it like water so it seemed like a prudent purchase.

  24. 05/20: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – All Chalked Up – $6.49. Another clearance polish! This one appealed to me because of its pale, grey lavender tones. I really like it and it’s well worth the price. The Miracle Gel formula is one of my favourites.
  25. 06/07: Light Blue Shade Shampoo – $9.99 ($6.99). Replacement – this is my favourite purple shampoo.
  26. 06/10: Quo Deluxe Powder Brush – $14.99. I’ve been eyeing this brush for over a year and it was on sale for 40% off, so I snapped it up. Full price is $25!
  27. 06/19: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Secret Salma – $39. Technically I bought this with birthday money that my grandma sent me, but I will include it in this category.

The lipsticks I bought this quarter. Looking at this, NARS Anna and Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma look almost identical, but I swear they’re different! Anna is a lot dustier and cooler than Secret Salma.

Jeez, looking at this list you’d think I was really into nail polish. Or clearance nail polish, at least…

Total value (CAD): $407.52 (almost the exact same as last quarter’s value…)
Total spent (CAD): $178.10

Year-to-date value (CAD): $812.70
Year-to-date spent (CAD): $512.94

Products received at no cost between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017

Makeup I got for free.

In the interests of full transparency, “gratis” indicates that I received the product through work, whereas “PR” means it was sent to me by the brand for review on my blog. I would receive gratis whether or not I had a blog, and the teams who handle gratis and PR are totally different.

  1. 04/01: Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit – Nice to Fuchsia – $4.99 USD ($6.68 CAD) – Gift. Okay, technically I picked this out myself and am fully responsible for it entering my collection. I also fully intended to pay for it, but I was in Walmart in Kentucky with my family and my dad said I should just add it to the groceries we were buying because he didn’t want me using my credit card to pay for it. (I always use credit in the US because my debit card generally doesn’t work.) So I’m including it here since I didn’t spend my own money on it. Thanks, Dad!
  2. 04/04: Biotherm Life Plankton Sensitive Emulsion – $55 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  3. 04/04: Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum-In-Oil – $78 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  4. 04/04: Biotherm Biosource Total Renew Cleansing Oil – $34 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  5. 04/04: Biotherm Homme Aquapower Eye Depuffer – $30 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  6. 04/04: Lancôme Absolue Night Precious Cells – $205 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. I haven’t used this yet because the fact that it is $205 intimidates me.
  7. 04/04: Lancôme Energie de Vie Liquid Care – $60 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  8. 04/04: Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Florale EDT – $93 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. I’ve since destashed it without opening it because I don’t like the scent enough to keep it. My coworker said her mom would like the scent, so she gave it to her for Mother’s Day.

    Some skincare I got for free.
  9. 04/04: Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick – 317 Pourquoi Pas? – $39 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  10. 04/04: ELF Illuminating Palette – $6 USD / $8.03 CAD – Gift. My mom made an ELF order and received a bunch of stuff, including this, as GWP. She passed this on to me as she already owned the same product.
  11. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra – $19.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  12. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – $16 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  13. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer – $34 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  14. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Cream – $11 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Passed this on without opening it.
  15. 04/11: Vichy Eau Thermale 150mL – $13 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Passed on unopened; I don’t use these thermal water sprays.
  16. 04/11: Vichy Idéalia Serum – $49.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Gave to my mom because I have too much skincare on backup to bother with something that I’m not interested in.

    More free skincare.
  17. 04/11: Vichy Idéalia Peeling – $39.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  18. 04/11: Vichy Mask Sachets – Double Glow Peel, Quenching Mineral, Pore Purifier – $6.99 each ($20.97 total value) – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  19. 04/11: Vichy Teint Idéal Pure Light Face Roll-On – $27 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  20. 05/21: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue – $4.99 – Gift. My friend Kristin found a vintage bottle of the old formula of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue lying around and generously donated it to my cause. Now I have four bottles of PB, which makes me feel slightly less anxious about the impending doom of using up the last of the world’s supply of the stuff.
  21. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 374 Kiss Me Cherie – $29 – PR.
  22. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 378 Pink Power – $29 – PR.
  23. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 379 Yummy Pink – $29 – PR. I’ve put this aside to give away to a friend; I can tell that I won’t like the colour on myself so there’s no use in using it and contaminating it.
  24. 06/16: Avène Couvrance Mascara – $19 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Passed this on to my mom ’cause I don’t need mascara right now. She has sensitive eyes so she’ll appreciate it more than I will!
  25. 06/16: Laboratoires Filorga Meso-Mask (travel size) – $70 full size – $42 value – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  26. 06/16: StriVectin Multi-Action Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel – $65 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  27. 06/16: Avène 3 in 1 Makeup Remover – $20 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  28. 06/16: Vichy Mineralizing Thermale Water (mini) – $7.95 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Yes, another thermal water spray that I do not want.
  29. 06/16: A-Derma Soothing Foaming Gel – $15 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.

    Body care and stuff.
  30. 06/16: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lotion – $29.50 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Very timely, since the day I got this I discovered that all my body sunscreen was expired.
  31. 06/16: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – $16 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Now I have two of these!
  32. 06/19: Stila Magnificent Metals Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro – $31 – Gift. I went shopping with my mom on my birthday and she offered to spend a few Optimum points on me. A super glittery eyeshadow seemed like the perfect ridiculous item to choose.
  33. 06/19: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice – $11.99. Another little birthday gift from my mom. I don’t normally wear colours like this, but I was feeling adventurous!
  34. 06/22: Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara* – $13.99 – PR. Got this from Influenster and did not care for it!

Total value (CAD): $1203.95

Year-to-date value (CAD): $1689.39

Uh, I wasn’t lying last time around when I told you that you’d see a lot more gratis in this post. The Lancôme training school is extraordinarily generous. I gave away quite a bit of this stuff to friends and family without trying it myself just because I don’t like to have too many skincare products going at once, and I already have a lot of backups. If products don’t interest me then I’m not going to try them just for the sake of it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty blogging lately. In any genre of blogging there are professionals and hobbyists; I think this divide is especially obvious when one is blogging about something so driven by consumerism. Professional beauty bloggers have huge makeup collections because they try everything. On the other hand, I’m a normal person, buying and using things that I’m actually interested in. I try not to buy products just for the sake of reviewing them and to instead buy what calls to me. My own beauty purchasing is pretty under control (though I still buy more than the average makeup consumer, probably), but working in cosmetics means I’m constantly acquiring new products faster than I can reasonably use them. But then, it is my job to keep up-to-date on products – I mean, my literal day job, regardless of my blog. However, I’ll be leaving my job next month (eep!), so my beauty stash is going to be a lot more under control and the second section of my quarter 3 accountability post will be considerably smaller. See you then!

Nail polish declutter + inventory

Posted on June 06, 2017 under Declutter, Inventory

I’m getting to the point where I’m close enough to moving across the ocean that the metaphorical weight of all of my possessions is becoming rather burdensome. I’m itching to divest myself of material goods. I have a bin I’ve been filling up with clothes as I realize I no longer want them; there’s a makeup bag sitting on my vanity that serves the same purpose. I’m becoming rather ruthless by my standards.

I’ve actually been thinning out my nail polish since September, because it takes some time to really put your polishes to the test. I usually change my manicure once a week, so when I counted up my stash and realized I had 41 bottles of the stuff, I knew I’d have to start early.

I have never considered myself a nail polish person. I tend to purchase it on whims and never hem and haw over a $10.99 bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure the way I do over a $10.99 Maybelline lipstick.

Now, I suppose I am a nail polish person in some ways. I vividly remember sitting in the back of a grade 11 biology presentation and painting my nails out of sheer boredom. (I had a brief fever dream of becoming a paleontologist, and it took about half a biology lesson to talk me out of that one.) Since then I’ve scarcely been without painted nails; I’d estimate that since late 2010 I’ve gone maybe 15 days with bare nails. I began religiously painting my nails months before mascara ever touched my eyelashes and two and a half years before I got into makeup in any real capacity.

But I’m not the type of person who tracks new nail polish launches, knows about indie brands, can justify luxury nail polish purchases, or can name ten dupes for any given nail polish colour. I just think having colours on my nails is fun. Yet for a fairly casual nail polish wearer I think I have a lot of nail polish.

When it comes to moving, I view nail polish as one of the most frivolous things I could bring with me, a staple though it may be in my life, and so I’ve committed to decreasing my collection significantly. My goal was for everything to fit into my two acrylic nail polish holders (each of which holds 15 polishes) with no overflow. I think ideally I’d like fewer than 30 polishes, but that’s a good, practical place to start.

The mighty stash, before.

My first step was to cull everything I knew I didn’t like enough to even try on, which did not yield the most fruitful results. The second step was to test every polish I owned. This process took me a good 7 months. I used coloured dot stickers to designate each polish I tried as a for sure keeper (green), a for sure purge (red), or undecided (yellow). Once I finished this first round of testing I removed all the red dot items from my acrylic holders and found that everything fit much better, with minimal overflow.

Then I tested out all of my yellow dot items. I designated most of these polishes this way because I didn’t love them but still didn’t want to get rid of them for whatever reason. A few were given yellow stickers because I thought I had dupes for them within my collection, in which case I tried one on each hand and kept the best one.

In the end I got rid of 21 polishes. I did buy three more during this time period (with one gifted to me on top of that), but I tried to curb my nail polish buying significantly. I now have a total of 25 polishes, one base coat, and one top coat.

Here’s what I got rid of:

Stuff I just plain didn’t like: two polishes from the long-discontinued Wet N Wild Fergie collection, in Dutchess and Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night.

Things that are getting old: YSL Bleu Majorelle, Essie Cocktail Bling, Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters, Orly Go Deeper, Joe Fresh Mist, Joe Fresh Oyster.

Colours I don’t like: Misslyn Rose Sublime (thought it was going to be more of a dusty mauve), Essie Bahama Mama (looks more wine than purply-berry on my nails), Sally Hansen Pucker Up (I never wear red nail polish), Essie Tart Deco (I tend to stick to cooler colours), Revlon Chroma Chameleon in Topaz, Nicole by OPI A Million Sparkles, Sally Hansen Grape Shifter, Sally Hansen Carnival.

Colours that are close to things I like better: Sally Hansen Coin Flip (I prefer a more white gold), Sally Hansen Wined Up (I only wear wine nails around the holidays), China Glaze Merry Berry (ditto). I’m also tossing my bottles of Seche Vite and Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat because I like the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat better than either.

Here’s a quick look at what I’m keeping – you’ll see that I really meant it when I said I like cool colours on my nails.

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Bordeaux (does kind of smell like wine); Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Colour in Lady Luck; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Rosy Outlook.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Kiwi; L’Oreal Color Riche Le Vernis A L’Huile in Vert Époque; Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Sugar Apple; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Let’s Get Digital; Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Eyes; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Sugar Fix.

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue (x4, because I’m a freak); Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Damson; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Byte Blue. YES I HAVE A PROBLEM.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Midnight Mod; Orly Nail Lacquer in After Party; Essie Play Date; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in All Chalked Up.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gilty Party; Lancôme Nail Polish in 003; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Blush Over Hue; Beauty UK Nails in Black Out; Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On.

And my standard base and topcoat duo: Witchcraft Be Strong, which helps prevent my nails from peeling, and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

And here’s how I’m going to keep my collection under control:

  1. No more buying nail polish on a whim. The same care and research should go into buying it as I put into buying makeup.
  2. No more buying near-dupes of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue which I know will never live up to the original. You know what, I will spend $30 on a bottle from Ebay because I know it’s the only thing I will ever love!!!!
  3. No more buying Essie polishes. They have some beautiful colours and always have stunning seasonal collections, but I just never get on with them. I’ll use the ones I do have because I like the colours, but I have to stop myself from buying more no matter how alluring the colours!
  4. In that vein, buy only from lines that I know and trust. My favourite nail polish formulas are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, and Barry M Nail Gelees. Those lines have enough colours to keep me covered and I know I love the formulas.
  5. NO MORE GLITTER POLISH! It’s always disappointing and more trouble than it’s worth in both application and removal.

Anyway, I reduced my nail polish collection by 40%, which I think is a pretty good amount. I really can’t see any clutter in what I’ve kept, aside from the fact that I own four bottles of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, all of which are necessary.