A new shop in San Jose

Friday, July 23, 2010

The image says it all! If you’re in the area, I’d definitely recommend checking it out ;) As I’m sure you all know by now, I just adore what I’ve tried from the line so far. If you do go, don’t forget to check out their gift sets, which are oh-so-cute!

(Not in the area? No biggie! This week’s online special is a seven-piece Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize kit for just $55 including shipping, and the sets are always available on the site. Seeing as the kit’s name is basically my mantra, and that the pieces are worth $122 in total sold separately, I’d say it’s a pretty good buy! Yah, it’s on the pricey side, but you get a ton of product for the cost.)

Congrats on the new shop, 100% Pure!

The Low-Buy

I’d just like to start off by saying that I’m by no means trying to insult those who aren’t on low-buys! Heck, if you can afford it, go for it. I know tons of wonderful women who consider themselves makeup “collectors,” and I  haven’t the slightest problem with it… but we’re not all that lucky ;)

Oh, also -- none of these stash photos are mine, and are watermarked with the screen names of the lovely ladies who they do belong to! Thanks so much for lending us your photos, girls :)

There comes a point in our lives when some of us realize that we have… way too much makeup. Or haircare. Or fragrance.

Like, way too freakin’ much. And it’s hurting our wallets!

So we start thinking about low-buys, or even no-buys. Read on for more details about them, and some tips! They can definitely be hard to get into, but you have to remember: they’re like diets. You have to ease yourself into them, and try not to set your goals too high!

Why you might start one
For a lot of us, it’s a money thing. Makeup is not a cheap hobby! (Well, I mean, I guess it could be… if you were only into Wet ‘n Wild?) But sometimes, it also has to do with quantity — I know that, personally, I’m on a low-buy for both reasons. I have way too much makeup, and it doesn’t fiscally make sense for me to buy even more!

I chose to go on a low-buy because I know a no-buy isn’t an option for me. No-buys are like quitting smoking cold turkey… sometimes effective, but more often than not, they don’t take. It’s not uncommon for ladies to break their no-buy after just a few weeks and go on a buying “binge” totaling hundreds of dollars! For a lot of us, that sounds ridiculous, but if that’s your lifestyle to begin with, it’s a hard habit to break. I mean, think of how hard it would be to suddenly stop eating your favourite food group. You’d go nuts!

What you might choose to do

Start a “beauty bank”
If you’re going on a low-buy because you’re short on funds, a lot of ladies will choose to start with this! Basically, you’re ONLY allowed to buy products with cold, hard cash, and it has to come from your “beauty bank” (be it a cute little piggie or a plain ‘ol envelope.)

As I’m sure you all know by now, we tend to spend more when it feels less “real” — when you’re using plastic, when you’re able to spend more than you really have, or even when you’re making purchases online. So, the first thing you can do is to only let yourself buy makeup/fragrance/whatever with cash!

(I think I’m just going to say “makeup” for the rest of this post. But it applies to anything!)

Here’s where the “bank” part comes into play. Choose a schedule to “deposit” money, and a deposit limit. A combination I hear pretty often is $5 every Friday, but of course you can adapt this to fit your lifestyle and budget! Then, just start saving. Want to pick up a $10 eyeliner at the drugstore? That’s totally fine, but you’ll have to wait two weeks to do it! Want to splurge on a new palette? Go for it — but it means you can’t buy anything for the next few months.

It’s hard to get used to it, but it’s damn effective! Being able to see and hold your “bank” should help a ton.

Make a list and plan your purchases
Come on — I know I can’t be the only one around here who’s a little OCD! I love making lists, and they work incredibly well when you’re trying to cut back. Personally, I find this to be more helpful if it’s the size of your collection (and not the rate at which your wallet’s bleeding money) that’s out of control, but it does help with both.

This one is really, really flexible, but here’s what I’d do:

  1. Sort through your whole stash. Tally up how many you have of each item, and note down what you’re still “missing.”
  2. Look at the totals for what you already have. If you have more than ten of any one product (ie eyeliners,) it’s time to examine what you own! Sort them into groups and swatch them all, then put any of the items which you could live without (ie you’ve never used them or you have another item that’s a pretty good dupe for the product) into a separate box. What you do with that box is your decision, but I’d recommend swapping the items, giving them away to friends, or donating them to a local women’s shelter!
  3. Now, look at the list of what you’re “missing.” (My example? Violet eyeliner. I still don’t have a good one!) Put them in order of what you want or need the most to what you want or need the least.
  4. Here’s the hard part: you can ONLY buy items on your “missing” list! I like to figure out what I want the most, then pick out exactly what I want, test it or try it on if possible, then pick out exactly when you’re going to buy it (I find the end of the month or a significant date, like a birthday or graduation, is a good bet.) When you go to pick it up, bring just enough cash and leave your plastic at home!

Shop your stash
This one’s pretty much quitting cold-turkey. And by “pretty much,” I mean “is.” It’s hard to force yourself to use what you already have, but there are a few tricks to it!

For starters, find a small shoebox and put all of your go-to items in the box. (Exceptions: if you haven’t another comparable item! If your go-to primer is your only primer, putting it in the box would just be nonsensical.) Then simply prohibit yourself from using them. If you can’t help yourself, give it to a straight male family member or friend for safekeeping.

(Why a straight male? Think about it: those are your favourites. You don’t want anyone using them!)

Setting away all of your go-to items forces you to expand your horizons… into the rest of your stash. I don’t know a single person who’s tried shopping their stash and didn’t come out with at least one new favourite they didn’t even realize they had!

For those of you who plan on shopping your stash, it’s always a good idea to figure out when you’ll re-introduce those favourites. Whether it’s after three months or after you’ve hit pan three times is up to you!

Project x-pan
This one’s the most basic, and is practically the reverse of shopping your stash. Pick a number of items (usually 5 or 10,) then prohibit the buying of everything other than the essentials until you’ve completely finished them!

Personally, I’d never be able to do this. To be honest… I’ve never hit pan on anything!

What you can do to make it easier
Combine ideas — you’re likely to have less makeup lemmings (things that you really really want) if you’re shopping your stash while you’re on a makeup budget!

Sample, sample, sample — I’m quite non-committal when it comes to products, so I’m a huge fan of sampling items whenever possible. Not only can sampling help you figure out what works for you, a bit of a sample fix can take the edge off your lemmings ;) Usually (especially with fragrances,) if I finish up an entire sample, I’ll buy the full-sized product once it’s done.

(This does not happen often, because I’m easily distracted by other things that I already have, or that I’m about to sample. Attention spans are overrated!)

(Seriously, though: for me, at least, this works really well. It means that when I do buy the full-sized items, the search is over for the “perfect” product.)

Do it with a friend – just like exercising, diets, and studying, it’s easier when you have some moral support. Enlist someone to keep you in check!

Think of a reward — this isn’t always applicable, and works best for no-buys or for people who are going on a low-buy because they have too much already. But it’s nice to have an end point in mind, and it’s easier to stop yourself from buying something small if you know you’re working towards something big!

Some of the ladies I know who are on no-buys will go three months without buying makeup, then allow themselves to pick up one item they’re lusting over, be it a Dior quint or an Urban Decay palette… or a bottle of vintage Mitsouko…

 not only does gobraves47 have an awesome stash… she has the cutest pets ever!!

Treat your no-buy like a diet! It’ll take a ton of self-discipline, but you can’t be too hard on yourself. So you slip up now and again — no biggie. Just figure out why it happened and how you could prevent it in the future, instead of beating yourself up over it!

Are you on a “buy budget,” or do you want to be? Share your stories, opinions, or tips in the comments! 

Nordstrom Exclusives: what I’d be totally into if I wasn’t… totally on a no-buy…

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Available for pre-order now! (But they won’t make it in until the twelfth.) Clicking on the image -> takes you to the product page. Now have at ‘er!

I’ve confessed my love for L’Eau Ambrée before, and I’ll do it again!
No, seriously, I will. I love this scent!
 Ugh, gross applicators. But still, you *have* to love this Shu palette. It’s Shu, and it’s very cute and sleek.

Also this Dior one, just because it’s Dior, and even though the packaging is butt ugly.
(Take note, Dior. I’m talking to you.)
It’s just so darn cute!

You had me at “Lancôme.” Even though, again, we’re suffering from outside ugliness.
(In case you can’t tell, L, I’m talking about that awful pink thing.)  

Still haven’t tried Orgasm. But now that I’m getting over my insane love for exclusively matte, dusty, rose or plum blushers, I’d like to try it.

What’s new in the beautysphere; part two

Saturday, February 6, 2010

See part one here.

Like part one, this is photo and link heavy, so it’s behind the cut! Hide the children (and your wallets,) then feel free to click. I have to admit, I feel a little guilty knowing how many lemmings I’m probably starting. But not *that* guilty ;)

Note: I noticed the language barrier was causing some difficulties in Part One, so remember that you’re always free to give me a poke! If you’re curious as to what a product is or does, just ask.

Samples: starting out with fragrances & where to order them!

Friday, February 5, 2010

There’s one way to start with fragrances that you simply cannot get around: you have to smell things. I have spent countless hours sniffing around the fragrance department, or in some cases, the fragrance wall, but sometimes you just can’t win — certain fragrances will be unavailable to you, but you’ll read about them and lust after them, and contemplate buying “fbs unsniffed,” aka full bottles without smelling the fragrance first.

There is a page on a makeup site that I cannot mention (the first rule is that you do not talk about it, hint hint — if you know what I’m talking about, you know. If not, you don’t.) about sample sites; I’ve gone through the list and sorted out the ones that are still valid and not obscenely priced. So though I take credit for some of the effort put into this list, I can’t take it all! I am not affiliated with any of these sites, for the record, nor have I ordered from any of them… yet.

So: here are some sites that sell samples of perfumes. Happy shopping! Just another snippet about that site that cannot be mentioned before we get on with the list; the two most popular place to buy decants for the ladies there are definitely LuckyScent and The Perfumed Court, so take that with a grain of salt!
Not my image, obviously.
  • Aedes de Venustas — seven 0.1oz glass fragrance samples for $15 shipped, or free with any purchase. Choose the samples yourself from the niche lines that they stock, or they’ll choose them for you.
  • LuckyScent — samples only come in one size, 1/32oz glass vials, and not all fragrances are sampled, but LuckyScent carries many hard to find niche lines. Prices range from about $2-8 per sample, but most are $3-4 not including shipping.
  • Sarah Horowitz Parfums — 1/32oz samples from $1.75 for single-note perfumes (parfum formula) to $3.00 for 1/2oz samples of the Sarah Horowitz crème perfume products. Prices do not include shipping, and I don’t see a limit for the number of samples you can order.
  • Four Seasons — 1/6fl dram fragrance samples; $10 shipped for four samples or free with any order. (They also sample skincare, loose powders, and liquid foundations in 5 gram jars.)
  • Parfums Raffy — glass vials of niche fragrances starting at $1 each, not including shipping. Vials are 1-3ml.
  • The Perfumed Court — various sizes, types of vials, etc, of a ton of fragrances. This is definitely the place to be if you’re looking to buy a large variety of samples! They have everything from tiny glass vials to large rollerball decants.
  • Sage Jewlery — 0.025oz glass sample vials available for $3.25 per scent, shipping additional.
  • BPAL – easily the most popular “natural” fragrance line on the internet, the Black Pheonix Alchemy Lab offers a slew of scents, almost all of which are available in “imps ears,” or simply “imps.” Please see their site for more information!
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