Empties August 25/19: Biossance Squalane+Tea Tree Cleansing Gel, ELF Bounce Back Jelly Cleanser, and Essence Eyebrow Designer Pencil

20190825_120450

  1. Biossance Squalane+Tea Tree Cleansing Gel
    Rating: High-end Hero

    My skin right now is probably the worst it has been in my life, or at least the worst it’s been since the really awful breakouts of my teenage years. I can’t vouch for whether or not this will help with acne as literally nothing is helping with my acne at the moment due to a chronic hormonal condition I am working on getting sorted out, but it did give a nice cleanse and minimized a bit of oil. I really like Biossance’s squalane-strong products. The only potential beef I’ve got with the product is the tea tree oil, as tea tree can be an irritant to so many folks. However, it’s not like they tried to sneak it into the formulation, it’s right there front and centre in the name of the product and prominently featured in the product description online. Though it didn’t help with my breakouts, I did enjoy it’s gel consistency and gentle foam, so I am going to mark it as a high-end hero.
  2. ELF Cosmetics Bounce Back Jelly Cleanser
    Rating: Bargain Beaut
    This cleanser comes highly recommended from a number of skincare Youtubers I follow, including Gothamista. This is a non-foaming gel cleanser that I really enjoyed as a first cleanse to remove makeup. I found it to be fairly gentle, and enjoyed the strong coconut smell. For less than $10, I really can’t complain about it. The only red flag I noticed with my very limited knowledge in the ingredients list was the parfum. So, if you’ve got sensitivities to fragrance, just be mindful of that.
  3. Essence Eyebrow Designer Pencil in Dark Brown
    Rating: Bargain Beaut
    I love most products that I’ve tried from Essence, and I wasn’t disappointed by this one. It retails for less than $3 Canadian, so even if you don’t end up liking this purchase, you’re still only out less than the price of a cup of coffee. It’s a soft pencil, had decent staying power, and I enjoyed the way it looked. The dark brown shade wasn’t too warm-toned, which is often the case with brow products. I think it is slightly less environmentally damaging as it is a wooden pencil that you sharpen, so the only waste is the small plastic cap and the thin plastic wrap it comes packaged in. Though not perfect or zero-waste, I imagine it is slightly less damaging than the plastic twist-tubes many brow products come in. The brush on the cap was the right balance of firm and soft, and I did end up using it a fair bit to smooth out and blend the brows after pencilling them in.

NO BUY 2019: April empties and purchases, falling off the no buy bandwagon

Remember how I wanted to spend absolutely nothing on beauty for April? Yeah, me too. Embarrassingly, I accomplished the exact opposite of that goal.

I had heard that the Sephora VIB sale was going to be later in the spring, so I assumed it would be mid-May or later. I had some things I’d be planning to replace during the sale, but I hadn’t planned on going all out.

The start of April was a busy and tough time. There were lots of birthdays, lots of stress in my work and personal life, and I was sick for about a week and a half straight, missing four days of work and two weekends of plans. It’s fair to say that I was feeling sorry for myself and threw a huge pity party for myself. I decided, unwisely, to treat myself to a birthday order from Sephora.

Now this order in particular is not the hugest part of the problem. While I did purchase a very expensive item in this order, all of the items I purchased are things that I entirely love, have used non-stop since purchasing a few weeks ago, and see myself either using up entirely or using as much as possible. The order included the Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction palette, which I have been drooling over since it was first released. I have watched more reviews and tutorials online for this palette than probably any other palette ever, and I have used it nearly every day in different ways since it arrived. The other items were the Fenty Beauty Lil Bronze Duo that comes with a mini Matchstix cream bronzer/contour and a mini version of the new Sun Stalk’r powder bronzer. Both are really excellent products that can be used on the daily, and because they are minis that I can travel with and keep in my purse, I do foresee myself panning them in the future.

This is where things fly off the rails. This beautiful little treat-myself purchase, that in itself wasn’t entirely awful, though it does violate my rules, burst the no buy dam. This is exactly what happened to me last year when I attempted a no buy, and I should have known better! I got that little rush of buying something new, trying something new, talking about my new purchase on my Instagram and with my makeup-loving friends and coworkers, and I just kept buying. I purchased a lot of the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter line, and then made a huge purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale, that surprise, actually did start in April. Some of the items in my Sephora sale purchase were replacements, but I probably could have purchased for those replacement categories from the drugstore.

All-in-all, I did pretty horrible with my goal this month and I am really ashamed to throw these purchase totals up on the screen here. I cave horribly to these shopping cravings when I’m sick, depressed, or even just a little bit down, and it’s something that I need to be more active in addressing. I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest to block and delete anything Sephora-related from my devices and social media for the time being. However, unlike last year, I’m not going to completely give up on my no buy/low buy after this setback. I’m going to keep on going for the rest of the year with my no buy rules, and think about revising them to cut out any loopholes within the next week or so. In addition to deleting and blocking Sephora, I’m going to brainstorm other ways I can act to prevent this backslide from happening again.

The only good news in this otherwise bleak update, is that I managed to pay off some debt! I owed some money to some loved ones who had helped me out when I was laid off last August, and when my vehicle needed a number of expensive repairs this winter. I have entirely paid off both of those debts, and I am relieved to have them off my chest! I only have one outlet of debt left to tackle.

Anyways, after that long ramble, here are my totals for April:

Products purchased (some replacements, most, unfortunately, not replacements) for the month of April:

*Note: though a number of these products were purchased during the Sephora VIB Sale at 20% off, I’ve posted their regular prices. My calculations for the entire year won’t be entirely consistent, but I am fine with this, as this was my fault for not making clear protocol about my calculations when I started this no-buy year. I’d rather keep track of the total value of the products purchased for the year than the specific, miniscule sales savings. The 20% saved during the sales barely covers what the tax would have costed, anyways!

  1. Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction Palette ($170)
  2. Fenty Beauty Bronzer Duo ($30)
  3. Physicians Formula Lip Creams in Brazillian Nut and Brazilian Sunset ($22 altogether)
  4. Physicians Formula Butter Eyeshadow in Sultry Nights ($20)
  5. Physicians Formula Matcha Melting Cleansing Balm ($20, this is an actual replacement)
  6. Joe Fresh Brow and Lash Brush ($10, this is also an actual replacement)
  7. NuFace Gel Primer ($17)
  8. Amika Soulfood Nourishing Hair Mask ($36)
  9. Amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum for Hair ($33)
  10. Tatcha Violet C Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA ($110, replacement product for my Glo Skin Beauty Vitamin C Serum)
  11. Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil ($65)
  12. Drunk Elephant Protini Peptide Moisturizer ($84)
  13. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Detox Hydragel Eye Patches ($60)

Total retail value of products purchased in April 2019: $677**

**keeping in mind that a number of these items were on sale, so that actual dollar amount spent is a little bit lower than this, by about $81.00

Products I’ve finished in April:

  1. Essence Make Me Brow ($4)
  2. Essence Superlast Brow Pomade Pencil ($4)
  3. Covergirl Outlast All Day Primer ($13)

Total retail value of products I’ve used up in April 2019: $21

There’s not much left to say other than I made some huge mistakes, and May is going to be a month of figuring out how to stop myself from making those mistakes again year after year.