Ramble: Thoughts on Petubers/Pet YouTubers

I had been sick off and on for at least a week when I first starting writing this post, so Ispent a lot of time in bed falling down the Youtube rabbit hole of makeup videos and pet youtuber drama, and it got me thinking about the real life logistics of being a pet youtuber.

I want to differentiate that in this post I’m talking about pet youtube channels, so folks who live in a regular house and have a number of pets that they discuss online, not actual non-profit animal rescue or conservation groups/ranches like Kamp Kenan, etc. I started watching pet youtubers mid way through university, when I owned a betta fish, Scout Finch, and when I first got my Horsfield tortoise, Nugget. I originally came across Taylor Nicole Dean right before her channel really took off, while I was looking for betta fish care advice after receiving some really poor care instructions from my local Petland. From there, I started watching a number of other animal-based channels. At first I didn’t really bat an eyelash at pet youtubers and their exorbitant number of pets, but with the recent spew of videos criticizing popular petubers popping up, it’s made me think more about pet ownership and the logistics of owning as many pets as pet youtubers do. I don’t wish to chastise pet youtubers for their career or hobby choice, but just wanted to share my train of thought with others and see how others feel on this topic.

Time: I cannot fathom the amount of time that it would take on a daily basis to take care of 20-50+ pets. I understand that most Pet Youtubers do this as their full-time jobs, and may have assistants or family members who assist in their animal care. Let’s say that they spend a full 10 hours a day caring for their pets, and that they have 30 animals (based on the channels I’ve seen, 30 seems like a pretty average number, as I’ve seen folks who have anywhere from 15 to 50+ animals). Even if they are spending a full 10 hours a day solely on pet care, that only leaves 20 minutes per pet. Regardless of the type of animals, whether it be fish, reptiles, or mammals, I don’t think this is enough time per animal. Even if a decent portion of that animal count is fish, fish maintenance, especially for exotic saltwater fish, takes a fair amount of time. I presently only have two pets, my cat and my tortoise, but I spend anywhere from 1-3 dedicated hours with them on top of working full time to feed them, bathe them, brush them, play with them, cuddle with them, clean litterboxes and enclosures, etc. Keep in mind too, that this 10 hours just accounts for care, and not for filming or editing, which is very time consuming. The thought of having even 10-20 pets, even if they are mostly observational pets like reptiles and fish, terrifies me to be honest!

Days off: You…just don’t get any days off. Ever. That 10 hour day of animal care? That’s every single day, even weekends, even stat holidays, even when you want to go away on a trip. If you don’t have an assistant, or a very supportive family member or partner who doesn’t work while you’re away, who is going to put in that 8-10 hour work day of care for all of your animals? And does that assistant or family member or whoever properly understand how to care for multiple exotic pets all with varying dietary and environmental needs? Would they know what to do if the power goes off, or if an animal falls ill? You can’t just drop off a fleet of skinks and geckos at a pet hotel either if you don’t have a loved one or neighbour to take care of them when you’re away. If I had that number of pets I would feel as if I couldn’t go away, and I would be incredibly anxious about the wellbeing of my pets if I did go away. Being a pet youtuber in particular is one job you just can’t call in sick for. Even if you’re not filming, you still have to keep your animals alive and cared for.

Unstable work: Though there are a number of youtubers (Shane Dawson, Jenna Marbles, Tati Westbrook, the list goes on!) that have managed to turn Youtube into a lengthy career, as a viewer it seems that Youtube is a risky career field and that there is a certain element of financial instability with working full-time on Youtube. How can you pay for all of those expensive animals if your income is suddenly cut due to a change in an algorithm, fading popularity, and the like?

Emergency: If there is an emergency like a fire or other natural disaster in which you need to evacuate QUICKLY, there is no way you will be able to save or transport the majority of your animals. If you have 30+ animals it would take hours to even remove them from your home. If they are reptiles that have special heat and humidity set ups it would be impossible to recreate each of those environments while travelling or relocating. It would be difficult in general to fit 30+ animals into any vehicle, or even two or three average-sized vehicles.

What are your thoughts on petubers/ Pet Youtubers? I’ve veered away from watching them in recent months, as so many seemed focussed solely on Taylor Nicole Dean’s drama, and it’s very clear that she is going through some difficult things and just needs to figure that out on her own. There’s still the odd non-drama video that piques my interest, though. Who are your favourite petubers, and do you think it is ethical or in the best interests of animals to own that many pets?




Marie Kondo’ing my makeup stash

I know everyone is sick of hearing about Marie Kondo, but she is so popular for a reason. Instead of the usual tidying methods that involve aggressive change, clutter shaming, and intensive renovations and makeovers, the KonMarie method is so simple. Simply find what sparks joy, and thank what you no longer need. There isn’t a prescribed number of items that every person must have, as every person is different. One person may only find joy in a dozen books, while someone else may find joy in fifty. One person may be happy with a minimalist closet, while another may have a beautiful collection of shoes that brings happiness to their daily life. It’s different for everyone, and that’s okay.

I first read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up about a year and a bit ago, and at that time I wasn’t really able to entirely overhaul my home and belongings. I lived in a one bedroom apartment, had just finished up my degree, and was working multiple jobs. I often worked anywhere from 9 to 16 days in a row without a day off, and worked physically and emotionally demanding jobs, so that when I came home I just did not have the energy to dump out my makeup drawer or my closet and go through my items one by one.

However, at the start of 2019 I was stuck at home sick with the flu for a week, and began watching Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix, as I couldn’t leave my bed or my house as per doctor’s orders. With this spare time stuck at home alone, I started dumping drawers onto my bed and began sorting and tidying inbetween naps. I haven’t necessarily gone in Kondo’s recommended order of categories, but have been sorting as I’ve needed and have revisited a few categories a second time if I kept too many items the first time due to guilt or sentimental attachment. I have accumulated A LOT of stuff throughout the years, and I’m pretty sure I still have stuff at my parents’ house even.

Makeup was a hard category, as I’m very aware of how much each item costs and couldn’t help but feel as if I was throwing away money at first, even though so many items I never used, didn’t have the desire to use in the future, or had expired. Books were the second hardest, as there is this weird culture with English students and writers where you almost have this strange sense of pride over who and what is on your bookshelf, as well as the number of books you own. The fact that many of the books I owned were by local authors that I personally know or local authors that I look up to made it even harder to get rid of these books! I had to sit down, pause, and remind myself that I had already purchased the book, sang its praises, and supported the author to the best of my ability. By donating these books to others who might not otherwise have access to this book was only helping both that person, the author, and myself. I had to remind myself over and over again that there was virtually no downside to donating the books I knew I would not reread, and eventually I got over that hurdle. Considering that there are very few books I’ve actually wanted to reread in my lifetime, I donated a fair chunk of them.

Jumping back to the makeup, I want to touch on something that Hannah Louise Poston has mentioned in a number of her videos, the idea that having some empty space in her home is more valuable than certain items. I am discovering, as I continue to declutter, sort, and clean, that this is true for me as well. Prior to decluttering, I had zero space for anything new in my home. I moved to my new rental, much larger than my prior apartment, at the end of November, and unpacking literally came to a standstill because I didn’t have space for what remained in my boxes. That’s right. Even though I now had significantly more square footage at my disposal, I STILL didn’t have enough room for all of my belongings. If I were to find a new plant or a new book that I really liked, I wouldn’t have had anywhere to put it. Home wasn’t necessarily a space where I could ditch my stress and anxiety, because the number of items in my home was a cause of my anxiety and stress. This was contrasted so greatly by the yoga studio I attend, and the “after” shots of the homes in Marie Kondo’s show, where there was just enough blank space to put the mind at ease, but just enough items in the space to make it feel as if it had heart and character.

I’m not yet done decluttering, but I am getting to a point where there is a more comfortable amount of blank space in my home and that letting things go isn’t as difficult.

I wanted to share some of the decluttering I’ve done in my makeup collection, in case anyone else is working on downsizing their collection and making more space.

Eyeshadow palettes have been my weakness. Partially because they’re colourful, shiny, and divine, and partially I think because the trend and focus of new releases for the past year or two has been eyeshadow palettes. I thanked and decluttered my Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette because I never use it, my Tarte Swamp Queen palette because it’s very old and rarely used anymore, my Nyx Palette because I’m not a fan of the formulation, and my Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette because I have shade dupes for every single shade in that palette, but in better formulated shadows. I don’t think I will be buying anything from Tarte in the future as the ethics of their very whitewashed company rub me the wrong way, and I’m not overly drawn to their repetitive products at this point anyways. I have no beef with Urban Decay or Nyx, but just don’t use these palettes, and know they will be better used in the hands of a friend.

The gold and glass tray on the left has been with me for awhile. It used to be entirely filled with lip products, and I even had a smaller second tray for the overflow. The products on the right are all either very expired, freebies I never really sought out myself, or products that I’ve never been super into but came in a set of other lip products. Those on the right are all hitting the trash bin! It’s refreshing to see space in my tray, to have less decision fatigue when selecting a lipstick in the morning, and less guilt about leaving products unused. I’ve whittled it down to my favourites, and now stand a chance of actually using some of these products up before they expire.

I found that I wasn’t using a lot of my face products because they were all in separate, smaller palettes or compacts, and I had to open each and every one to see it. I depotted the majority of my blushes, contours, and highlighters, and put them in these magnetic palettes (that I got on sale!) so that I could chuck the shades I no longer liked and have the ones I do still love where I can easily view them. In doing so I downsized several palettes and compacts into two, and now have a rearrangeable palette I can curate for travel and other circumstances.

After purging the makeup, I took another gander at my skincare drawer and chucked a bunch of old crusty bottles, and rearranged my drawer. Everything feels more spacious, and less overwhelming, and I love it! I may still purge a bit more, but for now, this is a positive step.

Have you fallen into the Marie Kondo organizational trend? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your makeup or skincare collection? And would you rather have space, or have your space be filled to the brim? I’m curious to see what works for others!

NO BUY 2019: Why I’m doing a no buy year

Happy New Year, friends! I am now a month into my 13-month-baker’s-dozen-no-buy, and I figured it’s about time I come clean with why I decided to do a no-buy. Everyone’s reasons for doing a no buy are different: some just want to save money, some are running out of room in their homes and on their vanities, and others have an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I definitely fall into each of these categories.

I first got into makeup at the end of high school/beginning of university. My first year of university I had two friends/roommates from high school who had been watching Youtube tutorials since Youtube’s inception. They were our resident makeup gurus, and we could usually coax them into doing our makeup before parties or concerts. My first year of university was the first year that I had been single in my adult life, and my not-so-supportive prior partner had always said how they didn’t like me in heavy makeup, and so this was the first time that I felt I could really experiment with makeup and feel beautiful and not be chastised about it. Makeup was also a fun bonding experience with my troupe of gal pals. It was fun to pre-drink, take pictures, and chat while doing our hair and makeup together before going out for a fun night. Even though I was mostly just using cheap ELF makeup and my roommate’s UD Naked palette, it was probably the most fun and exciting period of makeup in my life. I wasn’t buying much makeup other than the odd lip product because I couldn’t afford to, but I loved doing my makeup each day before class.

My second year of university was a little more dicey, and I think this is where the bad spending first started to pop up. This year I bought my very first higher end makeup product, the Urban Decay Naked 3 (pink) palette. My high school and first year friends and I had ended up going separate ways, and I was hanging out more with people from my English classes and some students who worked at the same job I had started working at that previous summer. It was a harder time, as I found myself struggling more with my mental health, like many university students do, and my physical health, and trying to keep up with university, writing, and work, all while not really being well. I had one friend in particular who also experienced moderate to severe anxiety about school and life in general, and I found myself skipping class at least once a week with them to go to Chapters or the mall. At Chapters and Sephora we would usually end up getting expensive coffees and then making at least one stress-purchase. I don’t blame this friend at all, because we were both dealing with a lot and we definitely both enabled each other’s unhelpful spending. We always justified it, as English majors, as “You can never have too many books, right? It helps us with our degree, it helps us to be better writers, etc.”

From here my spending habits just kind of continued to slide. I continued to use shopping as a way to cheer myself up and cope with the depression and anxiety. I justified it because makeup had become a hobby for me. I had a few new friends who liked makeup too, we took makeup lessons together, and I spent most of my non-academic and non-work time watching makeup tutorials and recreating looks in my apartment. It was a hobby I could do from home in the cold winter months when school, my health, and the weather got me down.

However, because I had become such an avid watcher of the Youtube influencer community, I quickly became sucked into the “You need this!” race of getting the newest items, of feeling panicked when I couldn’t get my hands on limited edition items, and of feeling the need to get everything from each tutorial I watched. Again, I don’t blame anyone else for this. I applied critical thinking to essays and readings during my degree, but I didn’t apply this same criticism to my consumption of beauty products. I willingly chose to blindly dive into this unhealthy consumerism culture without questioning the reviews I was watching or the motives of those making the reviews, and without doing the math or creating a sustainable beauty budget for myself.

As I started first working at a spa and then later at a laser clinic, I discovered even more ways to enable and justify my addictive spending. I was seeing improvements with treating my acne and I didn’t want to revert back to my old breakouts. I claimed that it was for work, because I could make better product recommendations, more sales, and more commission if I used the products myself and could vouch for them. I was working in two different cities, and had a hoard of skincare at both my place and at my parents’ place.

It’s only in the past year or two that I’ve become more conscious of my purchases and have made an effort to get back on track. I attempted a no buy last year, but didn’t have a plan in place, or any sort of guidelines, and lacked specific goals, so I failed miserably. There have been set backs, such as being laid off and having limited income for awhile, and caving horribly during Sephora sales. I used each setback as an excuse to completely sabotage the rest of the progress I had made.

This time around though I know I have the tools to succeed with this no buy, to get back on track with my spending, and to pay off my debt and save up for my dreams. I want to be able to take a warm vacation in the future, to travel more overall, and to buy a house, and I’ve realized that with how I was previously spending, I would never achieve these goals in my lifetime.

Hannah Louise Poston (Youtube) said something along the lines of “I was spending like a rich lady, when I was in fact not a rich lady” in regards to how Youtube makes us feel like spending exorbitant amounts of money on skincare and makeup is “self care”, when it’s actually self-sabotaging. This hit home. I had been buying skincare beyond my means because I thought it was necessary to take care of my acne, and I was buying makeup out of my budget because I worked hard and was stressed and thought I deserved it. This sort of mentality, and many of the influencers I followed on Youtube at the time, have become a huge trigger for my harmful spending.

To sum up this lengthy ramble, I am doing this no buy year because I need it. I think it will be a positive step towards paying off my debt and meeting my financial goals. I think it will be a positive and planned out step towards breaking harmful habits and cutting out spending triggers. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for me to rediscover ways to cope with stress, poor mental health, and the usual mess life throws at us humans in a healthier, less expensive way. I’ve got my rules, I’ve got my community, and I’ve got the motive.

If you’re doing a no buy year, please get in touch with me! I’d love to have some blogging friends I can chat with about this experience. If you’re not doing a no buy, how do you manage your spending, whether it be for makeup, skincare, clothing, hobbies, pets, kids, etc.? What are your budgeting strategies and how have they worked for you?

Self Care Ramble: Swimsuit Edition

CW/TW: discussion of weight gain, body image, PCOS, etc.

Similar stories have been told before, and will be told in the future, but I think they need to keep being told in order to remind us of what our reality is.

Hating your body while swimsuit shopping is a tale as old as time. Folks of all genders struggle with this, but I find that myself and other friends who are female or non-binary ESPECIALLY struggle with this because of the way companies, the media, and society in general has groomed us since we popped out of our mother’s womb. I hated swimsuit shopping even when I was a thin little bebe in high school who was fairly close to the “ideal” body type. Prior to this week, the last time I had gone swimsuit shopping was over four years ago, and even then I only went because my friend worked at that store and had found a swimsuit in my size on sale that she thought would look really great on me. Even then, I put off going to visit my friend at her workplace to try on and buy this swimsuit for over a week because I really, really did not want to have to stare myself down in that mirror and see all my nooks and crannies revealed in horrific fluorescent lighting.

In present times, this seemed like an even more daunting task. Because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome I now have more body and facial hair than ever before (something that is greatly stigmatized as being “ugly” or “masculine” on a woman) and have gained a significant amount of weight. I was, and honestly still am, SO insecure about these changes in my body and what I think others will think of how I look. This insecurity is multiplied sevenfold by the industry I work in, where I have patients coming in, who are even thinner and more muscular than I am, to literally freeze the fat cells off their body, or to laser their hair off their body. Although I give my workplace enormous credit for not using body-shaming marketing or consultation tactics to make sales in an industry that is notorious for that sort of garbage, I still seem to absorb the insecurities of patients, friends, coworkers, and relatives like a sponge, and morph them into my own.

With all of these negative feelings bubbling beneath the surface, I still knew I needed to purchase a new swimsuit that actually fit my new size for the summer vacations I had coming up. I scheduled time on my day off, and the morning of I procrastinated on Instagram, watching a steady stream of Instagram stories. I follow @dothehotpants (Dana Suchow) and watched her lengthy Q & A Instagram story that talked a lot about eating disorders, body image, the media, and capitalism, and how all of these entities, ideas, and illnesses interact with each other. I had been aware of all of these things for quite awhile, but desperately needed to be reminded of them.

In case you’re in need of a reminder as well, let’s talk about it for a minute. Who stands to benefit from shaming women about their bodies? Immediately, I think “product companies” and “men”.

So many industries benefit from women feeling absolutely dismal and embarrassed by their bodies! There are entire companies built around body shaming women. Flat Tummy Co. (the name in itself is abhorrent) shills “appetite suppressant lollipops” while making women feel like crap about their weight. Razor companies push women towards a near impossible ideal of hairlessness. Fitness programs guilt women for “holiday weight gain” or “baby weight”. It is literally everywhere. Without this immense pressure and shame I’m sure many women would still buy these items because they themselves want these items or to look a certain way of their own free will, but this pressure makes women feel obligated to look a particular way and ridicules them if they don’t manage to achieve this unattainable ideal.

Men, similarly benefit from this shame. Women who are not confident are more easily manipulated. When the focus is on women’s appearance even in professional settings, it is more difficult for them to climb the ladder and make an impression on employers, clients, etc. that isn’t directly or indirectly tied to how they look.

Women are pitted against each other from childhood and made to feel as if they must compare to other women. Magazines publish “hottest” and “sexiest” lists, girls TV shows feature mean, pretty girls who judge others and characters who compare themselves to other girls, and there are pageants for females of each and every age demographic in which they face off in beauty-based competition. Because of this repeated message throughout our lives, even when we are aware of the factors that make us feel as if we must compete aesthetically, it takes years and years to unlearn this habitual behaviour.

With all of this in mind, I am so grateful for Dana’s reminder on Instagram. Sometimes, we just need that reminder that another woman’s beauty is not the absence of our own, that our beauty does not determine our worth, that there is no one-size-fits-all look that all women should want to look like, and that our shame and insecurities are implanted in us to benefit others. Keeping all of this in mind, I walked into that swimsuit store and quickly and happily found a swim suit that fit me and was heckin’ adorable, for the first time in years. I didn’t feel embarrassed for my belly, body hair, or stretch marks. I felt great and couldn’t wait to head to the pool on vacation! Who gives a damn what I look like, as long as I like what I look like?

I think for myself, a big part of my self-care going forward is to repeat these body positive mantras in one form or another over and over again until I’m able to mostly unlearn these self-destructive tendencies. It’s quite the task, considering how many times negative messages about our bodies have been repeated to us since we were young, but it is such an important task. I hope that you know that your body is absolutely fine the way it is, and you deserve to be happy with it. And if you don’t know, I hope that this is a reminder to take a little time to work on building that self-love, especially if it does not already exist within you.

FOMO, 2018 Makeup Ban, Content Creators…Not Creating Actual Content

Well friends, in 13 minutes it will be Blue Monday here in Saskatchewan. I hope you are well, and surviving all that January brings!

I have currently gone 19 days without buying makeup, which I am quite excited about. Looking at my Sephora order history in the past I’ve had a tendency to buy makeup at least every two weeks if not every week, so I think this is progress! I recently moved and with the hassle of moving, I realized how much of my collection I don’t actually want or need. When I move I tend to unpack things as I need them, and there’s a chunk of my makeup collection still buried in a moving container somewhere that I’ve had no desire to dig up. As I was unpacking my favourite items too I found myself throwing lipsticks and mascaras out left and right, as I didn’t want them in my new space at all. I’ve been tempted a few times to place an order or check out new products as friends tag me in them, but each time I see something new my mind instantly reminds me that I already have like three of nearly the exact same product and I quickly back away from that idea. Even just scrolling through Sephora, I haven’t really felt that same “I need that!” urge in awhile. I feel that I owe that partially to social media beauty gurus, as lately I’ve felt really overwhelmed by their unboxing videos and product reviews. Lately even local MUAs have been getting more and more into unboxing videos, particularly on Instagram, and I’ve wasted so much time watching them. The one morning I sat through about five different Instagram stories that were just MUAs or makeup enthusiasts unboxing PR packages they had been sent and saying vague statements like “This is from *such and such company* in collaboration with *so and so* and I’ve heard such great things about it!”, and I just got fed up. How are these videos helping me in anyway? They’re repeating the same useless comments over and over, and just showing products that I either don’t give a damn about or I’m already aware of. It’s less informative than a professional advertisement, and far less helpful than a genuine review. There are just so many other ways in which I could be better spending my time, whether it be practicing my own makeup skills, messaging a friend, sleeping, hanging out with my tortoise, reading, writing, etc. In a way I’m almost grateful, because this product overload and spammy unboxing content has kind of scared me away from enjoying the idea of makeup shopping right now.

In fact, this sort of sponsorship overload minus actual quality content has me really sick of social media in general. Instagram is filled with product ads on personal accounts and skin clinic sponsorships, and then Twitter is filled with really horrifying political news and misogynistic posts from people who I previously considered to be admirable authors. Facebook is a strange mix of politics and memes. I guess that with makeup purchases consuming less of my addictive little brain’s focus, I’m becoming more aware of my gross social media consumption habits are. I downloaded an app that tracks how many minutes a day you spend on your phone, and ended up deleting it because I was really embarrassed. Not even 3/4 of the way through the day and I had already spent 5+hours staring at my phone. Ridiculous, really. I’ve tried to deactivate and delete in the past, but the fear of missing out (FOMO) has always dragged me back kicking and screaming. If I delete twitter then I miss out on mental health advocacy chatter, #CanLit drama, daily news, and snippets from my hometown. If I delete Facebook I miss out on family updates from family members I never see (I have too many relatives to be able to realistically text/call/write/email them all and keep up with their lives that way), my tortoise keeping groups, meme tags, and pictures of local cats that have been rescued. If I delete Instagram I lose all of the makeup and pet accounts I follow, as well as updates from long distance friends. Do I come up with a system that will enable me to keep up with all these different people and communities but allows me to go offline? Do I limit my screen time, despite numerous failed attempts to do this in the past? Do I quit cold turkey and suck it up? I don’t yet know what the right answer is.

Have any of you cut back on social media? How did you do it and what tools did you use?

Makeup Buy Ban, Minimalism, and other 2018 Resolutions

If there is any one thing in the world that makes me want to downsize and quit shopping, it is moving. It’s one of the few activities this world has to offer in which you have to come to terms with every single belonging you own. As I unpack in my apartment I find myself chucking things and piling items up to donate because I just have an overwhelming amount of stuff.

The whole moving process was a bit of a gongshow. We’ve had -35C weather and colder here the past week or so, with temperatures only beginning to warm up yesterday. Moving in this frigid weather was an exhausting experience in and of itself, and I am so relieved that I had my family and partner to help me! After going through all of that, and STILL not having unpacked everything days later, I contemplate accumulating more stuff with a sense of dread. I thought that it would kill me to not be able to buy makeup, but I just feel disgusted by the thought of bringing even more items into this apartment right now. I’m sure this resolution will be harder to keep up as time goes on, but right now, it’s an easy one.

I have so many resolutions for 2018, and I feel like most of them are achievable. I want to be more financially responsible so that I can afford to go back to Montreal with my friend this summer, I want to decrease my belongings by 25%, I want to withhold from buying makeup until 2019, and I want to take better care of myself. I just started Yoga with Adriene’s TRUE 30 day challenge and I’m determined to make it all the way through this year. I’m a day behind because of my delayed wifi activation, but that’s not the end of the world.

I feel like 2018 will be the year I trim off the excess and focus in on what I actually need and actually want to do. I’m going to quit agreeing to things to please people, and say no without feeling guilty or obligated to give a reason. It’s going to be great, friends.

What are your resolutions for 2018? I hope all is well.

Project Pan April 2018: Check In #3

I’ve noticed that I plow through skin care products, but using up makeup products has been so much slower. I’m chalking this up to the fact that I have been working so much lately that I savour every second of sleep I can get, and makeup has just not been happening lately, no matter how happy it makes me. The cool thing though about starting two new jobs is that through my work I now have so much new skin care and makeup products to try out! I’ve still got a lot of skin care products from past purchases and my recent Planet Bee order to eventually try out, but I’ve put those on hold to try out a Biophora routine and see what it can do for my acne that has popped up as of late. I’ve taken “before” pictures so that I can check in and see how it’s working for me in a few weeks. Anywho, here’s what’s new in my empties box:

  • Deciem Hylamide Pore Flush toner: Definitely not my jam. I tried to push through it but it stung, didn’t make my face feel good, and didn’t make my face look good. I used three quarters of it and then eventually gave up and dumped the rest.
  • Deciem The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: I think this will always be my default moisturizer that I default to when I don’t know what to use or my skin is tired. It just gets the job done and is super cheap.
  • Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask: I bought this back when charcoal was the huge new trend, and it work pretty well to remove excess oil. I like to use it two to three times a week in the shower. It’s not a LOVE for me, but it’s been a good product. I’ve got one more travel size of this to use up, and then I probably won’t be repurchasing just because I have other masks that I do love.
  • Urban Decay Deslick Setting Spray: The best setting spray I have found so far for my oily skin. Not perfect, and I’ll still continue to search for something better, but pretty damn good.
  • Doctor D. Schwab Bamboo Cream Peel: I have tried quite a few Doctor D. Schwab products and they just don’t wow me. I think their brand is more aimed towards those with mature skin. Just not for me.
  • Deciem The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG: This is supposed to be used on the eye contour for pigmentation and puffiness. Because I am sleep deprived most of the time because of university and am also quite young, I can’t really say if I saw results. (I don’t have aged under eyes). However the caffeine does feel great on the skin and is nice in the mornings! It’s cheap enough too that it’s definitely worth it.
  • Touche Oxygen Serum: This is meant for acneic, exhausted skin, and it smells amaaaazzzinnngg. I really enjoy the feel of it on my skin, and have had great success with it and my acne previously. However, post PCOS diagnosis this hasn’t been working quite as well for me, and unfortunately because it is over a hundred dollars I likely won’t continue on with repurchasing it. I enjoyed every last drop while it lasted, though!
  • Doctor D. Schwab Flawless Skin Fluid: I don’t mind this, but I have resentful feelings toward this because the tube leaked while I was on vacation and ruined everything in my wallet and purse.
  • Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder: It’s kind of cool how this product gently foams, and it is a very nice albeit incredibly gentle exfoliation. However, I always wash my face in the shower and of course because this is a powder, the opening does get clogged when exposed to water. Just not a good fit for my routine and needs.
  • Last but not least we have two essential oils. A Doterra Juniper Berry 5mL and a Vitruvi Peppermint 10mL. I like the quality of Doterra oils, but can’t stand their pyramid scheme mentality. I also had a very bad experience with their Facebook Public Relations team in which my comments calling them out for their dangerous cleanse diet suggestions were deleted by the team, and my complaints to them were entirely ignored. Doterra and Young Living unfortunately do operate under a very aggressive, cult-like mentality and I don’t know any sane person who wants any part of that nonsense. I’ll be using up the oils I have from them because I paid for them, but all future essential oil purchases will be from Canadian, non-pyramid-scheme, environment-respecting companies such as Saje and Okanagan Lavender Farm. The Peppermint from Vitruvi wasn’t bad and their company has great customer service, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of their peppermint itself.

The farther I get into this project pan, the more I am convinced that I could probably go an entire year without needing to buy makeup. Other than possibly needing to restock once on foundation, concealer, and mascara (if even that), I think I could genuinely do it. If I can make it through the rest of November and December without purchasing anything, I may try to do a year long makeup no buy. Mainly to see if I’m even capable of doing it, but also to challenge myself to use what I have, and get creative with my collection. With my trip to Toronto coming up in March and the goal of moving out, saving that makeup money and putting it towards things that currently are more of a priority to me has become more important.