Friday, March 1, 2013

Nearly No-Buy Month Review

At the beginning of last month, I declared February to be "nearly no-buy": a semi-rigid ban against any kind of spending, but especially spending of the beauty variety. I was planning to take pictures of everything, but...then I didn't. So this is photo-free!

I did a pretty good job of not buying things (though losing my cell phone meant I had to purchase a new one; fortunately, they gave me an early upgrade, so I only had to pay the activation fee + $0.99 for the phone [HTC One X, it's great!]) until my skin decided to freak the eff out. Eczema and dry patches and acne and itchiness and general horribleness on my face and arms led my apologizing to my bank account and stocking up on sulfate- and silicone-free body and haircare halfway through the month, as well as falling down the rabbit hole of natural (oils) skincare. I ended up spending nearly $100 on various hair and skincare products from the local health food store and a couple of websites (Lotioncrafter and Garden of Wisdom), and will be reviewing it all as I make my way through it! I am hopeful that they will improve my skin situation, which is a feeling I haven't had for awhile.

Not purchasing any makeup gave me the chance to really get reacquainted with my collection. There's still a couple things I have left to review, but I feel familiar and happy with my stash, for the most part. I decided I needed new eyeshadow, particularly as my Too Faced palette has decreased in quality somewhat (one of the shadows has become stiff and unpigmented, what the heck), so when Birchbox had a 20% off sale I used it and my $10 credit to purchase theBalm's Nude 'Tude palette (which, according to the photos online, is the "Nice" version, which I appreciate because I violently dislike the one with nude women) and Deborah Lippmann's Hard Rock base coat to improve the state of my nails! Which will hopefully make them behave so I can paint them more often (I've been giving them a break most of the month, in large part due to lack of time!).
To break up the wall of text: BABY HEDGEHOG!

So, I failed in my nearly no-buy. But I feel okay with the purchases I did make, and I actually really liked knowing that I couldn't buy anything and therefore ignoring any and all sales (though the 15% off Armani almost did me in, and I would totally have bought some Bare Minerals Ready shadows from Ulta had they not run out of stock while I was teaching). I feel like I have a really good idea of what I want now, and can work towards making those things happen, timing them to coincide with sales and such, but not caring about sales or deals that won't contribute there.

In terms of things I want to add, my mental list comprises:
–A sheerish plum lipstick/stain: The only such lippie I have is Revlon Sugar Plum, which doesn't have the greatest longevity (my other plums are either very bright [Armani Plum 600] or too shimmery [Clinique After Party]). I'm considering Rouge d'Armani Sheer 602, Rouge d'Armani Plum 605, and Becca Raspberry.
–Burberry Mallow Pink! I have nothing remotely like it, and I think it will be lovely for spring/summer. It's not one that I wantneednow, though.
–Finishing powder: I'm torn between Hourglass Ambient Lights Dim Light/Ethereal Light and the NARS Light Reflecting Loose powder, though I'm cautious as it's likely that one (or both!) will break me out, and I honestly don't desperately feel like I need either.
–Some kind of lip liner/primer, because I've noticed some issues with feathering into my lip lines recently (probably from pursing my lips when reading an article I don't fully understand, which is roughly 50% of my life), and I have a couple of darker lippies that could use some assistance. I'm debating between a clear lip liner (like the one from Dior, as inspired by Larie), lip liners in shades corresponding to my lippies (I have the Revlon red one and love it, so I could add a nude and plum one), or the new Becca lip primer––I've heard nothing about it, but it sounds intriguing!

more text breakage: ugly fat frog, CUTEST THING EVER (credit goes to the boy for showing this to me)

There are a number of staples I'll be needing to replace in March, which will take precedence over anything in the above list:
–Primer: My Cover FX is about to run out; I'm still undecided about whether I'll repurchase or try finding a different primer, since I suspect there are primers out there that would work better with my Becca foundation, but I know the Cover FX doesn't make my skin angry.
–Setting powder: My Kryolan powder is getting low, although realistically I still have a month+ left (talk about bang for your buck, Jesus)––I'll probably just end up replacing it with the same, since I can't imagine I'll find a better one than the Kryolan in terms of price, quantity, and quality.
–Mascara: My Full N Soft has been open more than 3 months, and it doesn't perform as well as it did, so I should discard it, and my mascara samples all have issues that keep me from loving them. I'm debating between sticking with the affordable Full N Soft, or indulging in my HG Eyes to Kill!
–Mineral foundation: I used up the last of my self-blended Meow foundation (I used samples to make my own custom blend, which was basically equivalent to Sleek Siamese) and I need to get more as it's nice to have on hand for when I don't want to have full coverage, need to get ready fast, or want a bit of extra coverage on top of liquid foundation. I'll probably just do samples again as they're cheaper, or I could venture out and try another brand...
–Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk: I ran out of my sample of this months ago, and I am tired of wishing I had some! I'll get a 3 or 5 ml bottle of Forest Walk as well as samples of others from the line that I haven't tried, and that should keep me happy perfume-wise. (Aedes has raised their shipping on samples from $15 to $20, sob. That $5 makes a big difference! Fortunately there's only another couple of orders' worth of perfumes that I want to try, and then I think I'll start actually getting larger decants/full bottles of some of my favorites. And yes, I know, it's been ages since I've done a Fragrance Friday––I haven't had any new samples for weeks, but it'll come back soon!)

I feel like I'm at a pretty good place in terms of soothing the ravenous consumerist beast; I've identified the gaps in my collection, and will be keeping an eye out for things to fill them, but I don't think I'll be buying things just to buy them, or just because they're a good deal. I probably will buy myself a post-finals present, but precisely what that will be is yet to be determined!

What's on your radar? Have your no-buys been more successful than mine?
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