Quarter 4 Beauty Product Consumption Accountability Checkin

Posted on December 31, 2017 under Lists

Here is my last checkin of 2017! This was year zero of tracking my spending, which meant that I didn’t know what to expect. I’ll crunch the final numbers and at the end of this post I’ll reflect a little on what I learned during this year of tracking.

And a few notes before we get started…

  • I’ve listed all prices in either CAD or the currency they were purchased in and a conversion into CAD that was accurate at the time of purchase.
  • I list products that were ordered online on the date that I received the package.
  • In order to consistently track my spending, I’m listing all totals in CAD. Since I have shopped in both Canada and the UK this year, conversion is necessary so that I can see how much I’ve spent in total. Prices in CAD make more intuitive sense to me than GBP (unsurprisingly), and I’ve purchased a lot more in Canada than in the UK this year anyway.
  • Not everything is pictured – I’m in Canada right now and some of this stuff is in the UK.

With those points out of the way, let’s get into it!

Products purchased between October 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017

Eye makeup
  1. 10/13: Barry M Glitter Rush Body Glitter – Aquamarine – £4.49 ($7.47 CAD). I bought this because I was going to a drag show and I just felt like I needed blue glitter in my life. A total frivolity, of course, but not one that I regret.
  2. 10/13: Ardell Wispies Lashes – £5.49 ($9.13 CAD). I have never been a false lash enthusiast, but in undergrad my outrageous going out looks (think black lipstick, purple blush up to my temples) were never complete without a set of big falsies. Now that I’m a student again, clearly it is necessary to have a set of lashes on hand.
  3. 10/13: MUA Kohl Liner – Black – £1 ($1.66 CAD). To use with black lipstick.
  4. 10/20: Barry M Glitter Fixer Gel – £4.99 ($8.35 CAD). I realized that I couldn’t use my teal glitter without some sort of fixative. This is the only one I could find in-store, but I like it!
  5. 11/03: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Tone Correcting Shampoo – £3.95 ($6.61 CAD). A gal can’t live without her purple shampoo! It’s rare that cosmetics are less expensive in the UK than in Canada, but full price on this stuff in Canada is $13.99. Definitely a bargain!
  6. 11/20: Collection Lasting Gel Nail Colour in Blackjack 2 – £3.19 ($5.45 CAD). I needed new black nail polish so I went with the cheapest one I could find, of course.
  7. 11/20: Vaseline Lip Therapy in Aloe Vera and Original – £1 each – £2 total ($3.42 CAD). I ran out of lip balm. These are normally £2.09 each but Superdrug had a 2 for £2 offer which I thought I might as well take advantage of.
  8. 11/20: Supderdrug Cleansing Facial Wipes – £1.29 ($2.20 CAD). Bought for my trip to Prague, since I knew it would be easier than properly washing my face.
  9. Face products
  10. 11/25: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo (mini) – £2 ($3.42 CAD). I was delighted to find a mini of my usual shampoo at the Edinburgh airport Superdrug, since I’ve never seen John Frieda minis in Canada. I’ll definitely use this up travelling.
  11. 12/05: PS… Pro Blending Brush – £2 ($3.42 CAD). PS… is Primark’s house makeup brand, and you will be seeing a review of some of these products in the future!
  12. 12/05: PS… CustomEyes Eyeshadow in Cranberry – £0.60 ($1.03 CAD).
  13. 12/05: PS… Lip Scrub – £3 ($5.14 CAD).
  14. 12/05: PS… My Perfect Colour Liquid Concealer in Nude Beige – £2 ($3.42 CAD). Replacement.
  15. 12/05: PS… Get Lippy Glitter Collection in Heaven Sent – £3 ($5.14 CAD).
  16. 12/05: Golden Rose Ice Chic Nail Colour in 44 – £2 ($3.42 CAD).
  17. 12/11: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid x2 – $6.80 each – $13.60 total. Replacement.
  18. 12/13: The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter x2 – $20. The Body Shop was doing buy 3 get 3 so my mom and I pooled our products. The total was $62, split 2 ways, making each Body Butter $10 and the next product $11.
  19. 12/13: The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Exfoliating Body Scrub – $11. See above for notes on price!
  20. 12/13: The Ordinary Squalane – $7.90. Replacement.
  21. 12/15: NYX White Liquid Liner – $9. Replacement for my Stila white eyeliner.
  22. 12/15: NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner Pen – $12. Backup – I want to see if this is good enough to replace my $29 Stila liner and bought it in Canada because I knew it would be cheaper and easier to access. I probably won’t be done with my current Stila liner for awhile, but once I go back to the UK I’ll be there until September so it makes sense to stock up now while I can.
  23. 12/28: ELF Crease Brush x3 – $3 USD/$3.77 CAD each – $9 USD/$11.32 CAD total. ELF was doing free shipping with no minimum, so I jumped on the chance to grab more of this amazing and inexpensive crease brush. It can be hard to hit ELF’s free shipping minimum without just buying a bunch of crap I don’t want, so I was really glad to flesh out my brush collection without having to pay for shipping.

Total value (CAD): $182.78
Total spent (CAD): $154.10

Year-to-date value (CAD): $1540.53
Year-to-date spent (CAD): $899.55

Products received at no cost between October 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017

As I mentioned previously, I recently took a lot of Aisling‘s makeup castoffs off her hands. I took some of these items knowing that a friend or my mom would enjoy them. I ended up passing a lot of stuff on, so this list only includes what ultimately made it into my collection on a full-time basis.

Skincare products
  1. 10/31: The Body Shop Sparkler All Over Shimmer – £14 ($23.42 CAD). Gift.
  2. 10/31: Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover (~50% full) – $39 full price, $19.50 value. Gift.
  3. 10/31: Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer – Deluxe Sample – $40 full size, $27.45 sample value. Gift. Also, can we note that the full size of this product is 10mL and the deluxe sample is 7.5?!
  4. 10/31: Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer – $8.99. Gift.
  5. 10/31: The Ordinary Coverage Foundation – 1.1N – $6.70. Gift.
  6. 10/31: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation – 0.5 – $49. Gift.
  7. 10/31: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops – $22. Gift.
  8. 10/31: Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter Lashes – £5.29 ($8.85 CAD). Gift. I had a pair of these which I wore into the ground, so I’ll definitely use them.
  9. 10/31: Fleur de Force by Eyelure Lashes in Fleur Loves – £5.45 ($9.12 CAD). Gift.
  10. 10/31: Sleek Highlighter Palette – Midas Touch – £9.99 ($16.71 CAD). Gift.
  11. 10/31: Kiko Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter – 100 – £10.90 ($18.23 CAD). Gift.
  12. 10/31: Topshop Glow Highlighter – Polished – £9 ($15.06 CAD). Gift. I have and love this highlighter, so a backup is always welcome.
  13. 10/31: Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter – Liquid Starlight – £6 ($10.04 CAD). Gift.
  14. 10/31: Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick – Pink Bronze – £4.99 ($8.35 CAD). Gift.
  15. 10/31: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara – Sample – $34.50 full size ($11.50 value). Gift.
  16. 10/31: Sleek Eyeshadow Palette – Original, Vintage Romance, Garden of Eden – £8.99 ($15.04 CAD) each = £26.97 ($45.11 CAD). Gift.
  17. Sleek palettes
  18. 10/31: Bella Pierre Shimmer Powder – Snowflake – $19. Gift.
  19. 10/31: Revlon Photoready Eye Art – Burnished Bling, Prism Peach, and Topaz Twinkle – $11.49 each = $34.47. Gift.
  20. 10/31: Lancôme Kohl In Love – Jade Crush – $26. Gift.
  21. 10/31: Maybelline Colorblur Lipstick – Partner in Crimson – $11.99. Gift.
  22. 10/31: Maybelline Color Drama Lipstick – Keep It Classy – £4.99 ($8.35 CAD). Gift.
  23. 10/31: Kiko Face Brush – 104 – £1.70 ($2.84 CAD). Gift. I feel like this kabuki brush has to be worth more, but this is the price I found when I looked it up online.
  24. 12/08: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder – Luminous Light – $55. My mom bought this for herself but found it a bit too shimmery for her liking and passed it on to me.
  25. 12/13: The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1% – $8.80. I was in the Deciem store with my mom and she kindly picked up the tab for this one.
  26. 12/21: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution – $6.95. I needed a mini Bioderma to bring with me to Quebec for Christmas, and my former boss let me have one of the GWPs she had floating around. Apparently the perks of working in cosmetics don’t end when you stop working in cosmetics…
  27. 12/25: Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics – $36. Christmas gift from my mom!

Total value: $526.14
Year-to-date value: $2274.53

Miscellaneous products

So, in order to visualize all this data I made some Excel graphs.

Money spent vs. total value:

This one shows how much of my own money I spent:

And this one shows the breakdown of all the products that made it into my collection:

(By the way, the “Etc” category is my MUFE magnetic palette that I bought back in the summer.)

I’ll have an inventory update post coming soon so I won’t go into that – I just want to talk about the actual spending. This was my first year tracking my spending, so it was a blank slate for me. I am happy that the total was under $1000, though I didn’t factor in taxes here so with taxes it’ll be just about $1000. Less than half of my total of $899.55 ($449.91) was spent on makeup, which surprises me – I thought my percentage of (relatively) frivolous purchases would be higher. As I suspected, I don’t overspend on haircare, skincare, or nails – I tend to buy the first two categories on a replacement-only, as-needed basis, and while I do occasionally impulse buy nail polish I have reduced that habit significantly.

What really surprises me is the total value of the products that came into my life in 2017. I spent only about $900 of my own money (“only” – that’s still too high, really), but the total value was $3815.06. Obviously, I saved a lot by using my employee discount and because I got a lot of gratis in the first 9 months of the year, when I was still working in cosmetics. And it’s safe to say that the only reason I acquired a lot of this stuff was because it was gratis. I will receive much less free stuff in 2018!

Now that I know how much I actually spend on beauty products, it’s easier for me to set a specific budget for myself. I’m not going to worry too much about most of the categories because, like I said, I don’t feel I’m overspending in most of them. However, I’d like to cut back on the makeup and brushes for sure. I would love to reduce my spending in those categories by 30%, which gives me a budget of $392.27 (combined), down from their combined total of $560.39. Let’s just call that $400…

In 2018 I don’t think I’ll do these posts anymore – it was nice to try them for a year, but ultimately I don’t think they’re that helpful. I will track my purchases throughout the year and post an update at the end of 2018, but I’m going to abandon the quarterly updates.

And that’s it for today! Happy 2018, everyone!

Makeup inventory 2015 + another round of decluttering

Posted on November 22, 2015 under Declutter

As many of you know, I’ve been on a decluttering kick over the past year and a half. It’s been kicked back into high gear again due to recent developments. I’m really trying to cut my possessions down into a manageable amount that can, in theory, be easily transported if I were to, say, move halfway across the world again. (NOTHING OFFICIAL!!!!! But it’s in the works…)

So, here’s my last round of decluttering for 2015, as well as a makeup inventory for the year.

Face products


Bourjois Little Pot Blush in Rose Amber is a beautiful colour and comes in adorable limited edition packaging from 2013, but it’s developed a hard layer that makes it impossible to get to the colour. I could scrape it off, but frankly that’s too much work for me when I have other blushes I can be using without hassle! It makes me sad to get rid of it because I specifically asked Aisling to send it to me for Christmas two years ago when she was first in the UK and I was excited at the prospect of trying some brands I can’t get here – but the fact is that it’s become too difficult to use.

Lip products


I just don’t like glosses, and although the L’Oreal Extraordinnaire glosses in Plum Adagio and Molto Mauve are lovely, I never use them. I do love and use my Lancôme Fever Gloss in 100 Degrees, it’s started to smell really off. :(

Getting rid of two liquid lipsticks here: Joe Fresh Long Wear Liquid Lipstick in Rouge because I cannot stand warm reds on myself, and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery because it bleeds out of my lip lines something fierce. I’m pretty bummed about that one since it was pricey and I like the three other colours I have in the Stay All Day range, but I suppose these things happen.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling (discontinued) is very pale and washes me out. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rigukien is a beautiful colour, but I have similar colours and the staying power is abysmal. Got CoverGirl Outlast lipstick in Red Rogue from work, but I’m not in the market for any new reds, so I’m setting it free. (It hasn’t been worn, so one of my friends can give it the love I cannot.) No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Fire is a bit dry and I like my Rimmel Red Diva lip liner better.

Eye products


Three single eyeshadows that are lovely but that I never reach for: L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow in Flashback Silver, Annabelle eyeshadow in Violish, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk. I’m kind of bummed about these because they’re all gorgeous colours and nice formulas, but I can’t have stuff I don’t use lying around! Getting rid of the Eyelure lash glue (not pictured – it escaped from me in the bottom of my declutter bag!) because I think it sucks. The Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black never worked out for me; it transferred like crazy!

In terms of pencil liners, I can’t remember the last time I used either Annabelle Metallic Kohl Eyliner in Curacao or Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Brown. Out they go.

Eyeshadow sticks: the Stila Smudge Crayons in Antique and Kitten are lovely colours and I used to get a lot of use out of them, but they’ve dried out quite a bit and I have a newer Lise Watier shadow stick in a similar colour. I’ve never used the Kiko Eyetech Look Eyeshadow in 114 and probably never will.

I never reach for the Too Faced Matte Eye palette, and I have too many other shadows to keep something that gets no use.



Up until now my discerning eye has not passed over my brushes when decluttering, but I’m getting rid of four. From Real Techniques, the Brow Brush (way too thick for brows or eyeliner; I never touch it) and the Foundation Brush (weird shape that doesn’t work with any product I use). From ELF, the Powder Brush (has literally been gathering dust for years), and the Mini Blending Brush (not a blending brush at all, WTF ELF; never use it).

Miscellaneous products

I received LUSH Comforter Hand and Body Lotion at a LUSH event, which was very nice! Sadly, I can’t stand the scent – and I have body moisturizers that I love and that smell nice to me. I’m sure one of my friends will love it, though.

Makeup inventory under the cut, for those interested.

Read all »

Makeup Declutter: Eye + Face Makeup

Posted on August 29, 2015 under Declutter

I never quite know where my makeup collection falls, in terms of size. Compared to the average human, it is quite large, especially in the categories of lipstick and eyeshadow. But compared to YouTubers or bigger beauty bloggers, it’s miniscule. There are categories that are downright minimal – for example, I currently have one liquid eyeliner, one mascara, one eye primer, one foundation, one concealer for blemishes, and one concealer for undereyes. But I know that there are products I don’t use, and it does make me guilty to have things sitting around that I never touch.

I’ve already purged twelve lipsticks this month, so here’s the end of this round of decluttering – mostly eye makeup, with a few face products thrown in for good measure.


Eye primers/bases: LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, ELF Eyelid Primer in Champagne, Lancôme La Base Paupières Pro Aquatique in Nude. The LORAC creases terribly on me, I’ve tried the ELF before and didn’t like it, bought the Lancôme last summer and have yet to open it. (I only took it out of the box about a month ago.) I love the NARS primer so much that I feel no need to test anything new. One of my friends is about to get very lucky, though – that Lancôme base is brand new and not cheap.


Liners: Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Precious Gold (don’t like the colour on myself), Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Silver (I’m more likely to reach for greys than silvers; silver tends to look very stark against my fair skin), Lise Watier 24 Hrs Glam Eyeliner in Noir (transferred on my eyelids like basically every eyeliner in the world besides Stila and Kat Von D), Smashbox Cream Eyeliner in Picasso (also transferred), Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl (smudges ridiculously – I understand wanting smudgy eyeliner, but I cannot imagine wanting your eyeliner to get all over your damn face).


Eyeshadow: Stila Stay All Day Wet-to-Set Eye Trio, Kiko Colour Sphere Eyeshadow in 03 Gold Beige, Wet N Wild Color Icon Glitter Single in Brass, J.cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette, Stila eyeshadow in Copper, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Sunwashed Sky. The glitter palette and single had to go because I never use straight up glitter; on the rare occasions that I want glittery gold on my eyelids, I just use a glitter liner over gold eyeshadow. The Stila eyeshadow and Color Tattoo simply didn’t suit me; every time I wore Stila Copper I looked undead, and Sunwashed Sky was too stark and frosty to flatter me. The Kiko shadow is actually really nice, but I have so many similar colours already that I use more regularly. Finally, I was always incredibly disappointed in pigmentation of the Wet-to-Set shadows when used dry. I know they’re really meant to be used wet, but I don’t have time for that. Plus, I rarely use those types of colours on my eyes.


I never quite figured out how to use this Physician’s Formula Happy Booster powder – is it a setting powder? Is it a highlight? It seemed to work as both, but it wasn’t outstanding at either. It just wasn’t a product that excited me, and I HATE that gaudy packaging.


The Revlon Photoready Cream Blushes in Pinched and Flushed are a decent formula, especially for the price. I decided to purge Flushed, a hot pink, awhile ago because it was too easy for it to become too much on my complexion. In the end, I realized that after giving Pinched a lot of love last summer, I barely use it anymore. I think cream blushes just aren’t for me. There are a few powder formulas that I love and that I will always reach for above any cream formula.


Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Plumrose escaped my last purge, but only just. I put it on the other day and was overwhemled by the artificial watermelon scent, which lingered all day. It’s a nice colour and the formula is pretty good too, but those things just do not make up for that smell.

Finally, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer seems to work for many a YouTuber, and I was excited to get my hands on it. But it just never blew me away. Sure, the coverage is good, but it’s nothing special. I also absolutely cannot get over concealers with doe-foot applicators because I find them completely, revoltingly unhygienic. The packaging is so cheap, too; the black letters rub off almost instaneously. Finally, the colour was never quite right for me, although that’s certainly not unique to this concealer – it’s rare that I find a foundation or concealer that isn’t at least a touch too dark for me. I don’t have a picture of it as I seem to have thrown it away already, apparently hating it too much to keep around for photography purposes!

That’s 19 products this round, 31 overall. Compared to the size of my collection, I’d say this is a good start – but I definitely want to get it even further under control. This round was the easy stuff, I suppose – the things that I absolutely never used and that had glaring problems. Next time I’ll have to be more ruthless, but that’s a problem for future Clem to deal with!