Empties

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”
― Yves Saint Laurent

Ducklings, you have been neglected of late. My apologies. This has been a rather hectic and not-at-all-restful summer with far too many big projects taking up all the space in my brain and most of my free time. However now that we’re a bit more settled, the blog shenanigans will recommence.

A fun one to get us back in the groove! In honor of the bathroom cupboards I cleaned out in anticipation of the move and my frantic attempts to devise a new means of storage in a new home, here’s another dive into the beauty products and items I’ve used to the last drop since my last update in April.

As mentioned, I love similar peeks into people’s cupboards and bags to see what they love and why. It’s also interesting to see how individual tastes or large trends change, and what we think is worth our money. As always, share your thoughts, questions, and eyerolls in the comments as you deem fit!

There is nothing like tracking how long it takes you to use makeup products to completion to help you curb your beauty spending. I went on a mostly-successful “no buy” challenge for the first half of the year because 1) I know beauty products are my vice and 2) in spite of this vice, I legitimately want to move towards a future where I simply own fewer items overall. It was humbling. Like many people I continue to simply own way too much, but more on this in future posts.

I finished off some seriously longwearing items since my last update, and ones in every single category. I finished a Lancôme stick foundation, the first of that type of product I’ve tried and one I ended up liking a lot more than I thought I would. It was really useful for work travel especially. Another bottle of Glossier You perfume was polished off–it’s a steady favorite but one I’m not repurchasing until I reduce my other perfumes down by at least two. Not just one but two lipsticks made their final bows one from MAC and one from Charlotte Tilbury, as well as two lip balms by Glossier and Bite Beauty. Finally, the eyes have it! I polished off a felt eyeliner by Tom Ford (easily one of the most expensive products I’ve got, especially for what it is. I regret to inform you that I liked it very much), another tube of Glossier Boy Brow, and a cream stick eyeshadow by ByTerry.

Long time minions will not be surprised by almost anything in the skincare pile, where tried and true favorites continue to reign supreme. From the drugstore the trust No 7 line cleaners remain an excellent option for balm and gel cleansers, and the Botanics brand produces a nearly 100% organic eye cream that I’ve enjoyed enough to finish twice and buy a third still sitting pretty in my cabinets. I also used a bottle of rosewater spray from Botanics which was perfect for summer, but I won’t be purchasing again until the weather heats up once more. Another micellar water, this time the French cult favorite Bioderma which I happened to pick up a bottle of whilst in France earlier this year and the Pixi Retinol toner which I tried. The Ordinary continues to make a great hyaluronic acid which is grand value for money and a lactic acid serum which is not a true dupe for the industry-leading Good Genes by Sunday Riley, but produces a similar effect over time based on similar ingredients. Finally, long-time favorites Glossier moisturizer and Thank You Farmer SPF retain their crowns.

And over in body and hair, once again no surprises. I still have never yet met a fancier body wash that I was willing to pay a “pink tax” or justify luxury prices for. Jeff and I share this and deodorant, as well as the St Ives scrub for body care (I would never use this on my face but Jeff does because he’s a heathen). Shampoo and conditioner over the past little while has been simply using up what I already had in the shower prior to a move, along with a fistful of travel sized products picked up from various hotels on work trips over the last few months. Utilitarian, but interesting to me to track both from a consumer and sustainability point of view. It’s a category of products that I’d like to find alternatives for that don’t break the bank.

And that’s our latest semi-annual dive into beauty usage. I’m sincerely considering another “no-buy” challenge to help me continue to use up more makeup products especially. It’s certainly a goal overall to continue to focus on the “reduce” part of “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

As always, I’m curious as to how your consumer habits have changed–and why–or how they have stayed constant–and why. Share in the comments, kittens!

9 thoughts on “Empties”

  1. Your post reminded me that I really want to try Glossier You. It just seems like a bit of a risk spending ££ on a perfume without trying it first (it would be great if they did free samples). But it does sound amazing, so I’m very tempted to order a bottle!

    1. I wonder if they would send you a sample if requested? They put a lot of stock in their customer service and engagement, it may be worth a cheeky email to just ask. You never know! I know they do samples in their usual orders, but I’m not sure as a standalone.

      I’m a snob so I think that c. £50 isn’t too much for a perfume, but I recognise that’s a highly privileged POV. However for sheer ease of wear, I find it a very flattering fragrance that sits comfortably in the middle of the warm/fresh/spicy/sweet/masculine/feminine terms that are usually used to describe scents. It’s got solid broad appeal, if that’s what you’re going for.

      1. That’s a good idea – I’ll email them and see.

        Oh yes, it’s definitely a reasonable price. I usually get my perfume from L’Occitane (I’ve been wearing their gorgeous Terre de Lumiere all summer) and they tend to be about that price point. I’m just trying to save whatever I can at the moment as I’m planning a few trips away. Madrid coming up soon! 🙂

      1. I didn’t see that! This will be their second pop up, I wonder if it will be their first international storefront someday, or if it’s on the cards. It’s definitely good chance to test products in person if it suits one’s travel availability.

  2. Oddly, the mascara I bought at In Other Stories is very good and a lot less than fancy brands. I also like their eyeshadows. Clinique liquid foundation — light but very good coverage. Lipsticks, a wide range: MAC, Lancome, Sephora (a gorgeous new matte shade and pretty new packaging), Nordstrom brand. Eyeliner is Revlon (I think), liquid, in dark brown (daily wear) and dark blue. NARS cream stick blush.

    REALLY bad at skin care…I just finished a week without a speck of moisturizer (left it in the car when Jose went back to NY and was too cheap and lazy to buy more) and I never use any products but soap and water and some sunscreen and that’s it. Lots of naps and deep sleep and not smoking and good genes seem to help.

    My weakness is always fragrance — and my $$$$$ bottle of Byredo Bal D’Afrique (bought June 2018) is almost done. Back to Prada Iris which is both clean and fresh and interesting. Always on the hunt for a new and lovely scent — open to suggestions. I will blow $200 if needed. UGH.

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