The Anti-Haul: What I Didn't Buy

For a very brief period I ran a tumblr blog called Things I Did Not Buy. The idea came from a frugal, beat-your-consumerist-tendencies tip I read somewhere: you see something you want but really don't need, put it on a 30-day wishlist, and if you're still thinking about it after that then you let yourself purchase it. The tumblr was pretty short-lived because I realised that Pinterest was a much cleaner way of presenting something like that visually, and the rest of it could just go on a list on my phone or notebook, which would make it easier to forget about whatever it was that I wanted to buy in the first place.

I've been thinking a lot about minimalism over the past few years, and have tried to not give in to the BUY BUY BUY urges I get every now and then. There seems to be a lot of this going around, spurred on I'm sure in no small part by Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, which many of the bloggers I follow have been talking about (read Liz's heartfelt review at the Beauty Reductionista). I haven't read the book, but I went through a phase of reading a bunch of minimalism blogs, and a lot of that thinking has stuck around in my brain. 

All of this to say: I have stopped myself from buying a lot of stuff over the past wee while, with the major rate-limiting factor being that I just haven't had the spare cash for it. Most of it has gone towards a personal trainer for the past couple of months, which has been amazing -- more on that another time, maybe. Anyway, I wanted to get my low-spend progress down on the blog to help spur myself along! So, here are some beauty-related items that I stopped myself from buying over the past few months -- an anti-haul*, if you will.

L'Oreal now have a Pink series to their Collection Exclusive range. I swatched them all in-store, and was almost tempted to walk away with the Blake and Liya (the latter is exclusive to Superdrug) by the 3 for 2 offer. I came to my senses though, and realised that I already have a ridiculous number of lipsticks. Time to give them more love instead of buying more!

My favourite MAC formula is the Mattene (previous mentioned here and in a swatch panel here), so I was super tempted by the recent Macnificent Me collection. Personal Pick, a mid-toned cool pink, turned out to be not that special when I swatched in person, and while I like the idea of wearing a deep purple like Own the Look, I'm not sure that I wanted to pay £17.50 for the privilege. 

H&M have recently launched a 700-odd piece beauty range. I have high hopes, especially considering they're the same people behind the & Other Stories brand, whose beauty range I love (previously mentioned here, here, and here). The Velvet Lip Cream in Le Beau Monde caught my eye because it reminded me of the Sephora Color Lip Last in West End Swirl, which, as previously mentioned, is completely awful to wear. I don't think I own any shades like the Gossamer Lip Stain in Centre of Attention, a bright fuschia. 

Other things that I put in the H&M cart (twice! I walked away from this stuff twice!) include the powder and angled blusher brushes -- I've realised that I much prefer angled brushes for blush to the normal rounded shape; the Revelation Shower Oil -- I thought this would be good for winter; the True Matte Finishing Powder, because I'm running low on my MAC MSFN and Bourjois Healthy Balance powders; two of the blushes -- the Pure Velvet Cream Blusher in Sunny Peach and the Pure Radiance Powder Blusher in Sunrise Pink; two of the Eye Colour-To-Go pencils in Plummy Tones (again, I don't own anything like this) and Chantilly (I've been wanting a white eyeshadow base). Problem is I currently have a 20% off voucher for H&M calling my name from my wallet...

I had a hard time choosing between the Nars Steve Klein One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit for my one splurge in the leadup to the Holiday season. In the end I went for the Hourglass, but I may still yet change my mind and exchange it...

As for the Real Techniques Collector's Edition Eyelining Set -- I nearly purchased this from a TK Maxx for £15 (it retails for £20), but decided I had enough liner brushes at my disposal. FYI for UK purchasers, it's cheaper from the Real Techniques website, even after accounting for import taxes.

What about you? What have you put back on the shelf lately, literally or figuratively?

N.B. I used to spend a stupid amount of time on tumblr. It was a great little community, but a couple of years ago I started to spend less time scrolling through the dashboard, until half-way through last year when I just stopped visiting altogether. Here is my original tumblr blog, if you feel like a stalk through the archives!

*I know that this isn't an original phrase, but after it came to me I had a quick Google, and there doesn't seem to be consistent usage of it in beauty blogging or elsewhere. We're going with it.

Keep Calm, Carry On: What I Packed for Greece (Skincare, Makeup, Packing List)

Bangkok, around seven years ago: Will and I were about to head to the airport to go home. We struck up conversation with another Kiwi (who knew someone I knew, funnily enough - two degrees, etc) and went on to share a taxi.

I was impressed by how lightly she packed -- an everyday sized backpack and a tote bag, from memory, whereas I had been lugging around one of those big 60L backpacking monstrosities for three weeks around Tokyo and Thailand. Those packs have their place (tramping, festivals, or transporting your favourite possessions when moving across the world, like I did last year), but I couldn't help thinking how I would have been a much happier traveller had I not had to constantly schlep around a good fifteen kilos on my back.

Ever since then I've tried to pack light, with varying levels of success. For this trip, a week-long Greek sailing holiday, I went as minimal as I could. It helps that it was hot, and that we pretty much only fly with the budget airlines where you have to pay extra for checked luggage. This is SO NERDY, but here's what I packed, for anyone out there who obsesses over this stuff like I do:

Sunset in Aegina: the black & Other Stories maxi is a little boobilicious at times. Wearing the Soap and Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude over Marc Jacobs Nude(ist) Lip Pencil.

Sunset in Aegina: the black & Other Stories maxi is a little boobilicious at times. Wearing the Soap and Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude over Marc Jacobs Nude(ist) Lip Pencil.

  • Three dresses -- a long black maxi (similar to this one, but in stretch cotton) and a short racerback tank dress (similar to this one, but with a twisted back), both from & Other Stories, plus a white linen sundress with crochet panels from Country Road several years ago (second from left in this pin).
  • Soft white button up shirt from Miss Selfridges, similar to this, and denim shorts from H&M - I probably could have done without both of these.
  • Two pairs of shoes -- jandals from Muji and plain black chunky sandals (£10 from a local department store).
Same day I threw up my breakfast Greek yoghurt and figs over the bow of the boat.

Same day I threw up my breakfast Greek yoghurt and figs over the bow of the boat.

  • Two pairs of togs -- a one-piece and a bikini. Next time: two bikinis, which would double as bras.
  • Undies! And two bras.
  • Blue cotton towel from Sicily -- chartering the boat included towels but I used this as a sarong as well.
  • Two plain black singlets (H&M) and a pair of soft black shorts (Trenery) for sleeping.
Calzedonia bikini top and a blue cotton towel from Sicily.

Calzedonia bikini top and a blue cotton towel from Sicily.

  • My beloved Saben Tilly's Big Sister handbag for going onshore, and a backpack from H&M (similar to this) as my carry on "personal item" for stuff like my diary, camera, notebook, phone, and travel documents. The challenge for next time is a smaller personal item. 
  • Sunglasses, an aviator style. I dropped them in a dirty toilet just before we left for the airport BAHAHAHAHAH. Luckily they were $5 from Cotton On.
Evening in Hydra. Wearing the makeup in the next shot, applied on-deck! Mostly piled on the Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange.

Evening in Hydra. Wearing the makeup in the next shot, applied on-deck! Mostly piled on the Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange.

Cosmetics-wise, I tried to fit everything into this Muji case and the regulation-sized ziplock bag (although I cheated and put some stuff in Will's). It's a mixture of favourites and a few new things I've been playing with:

Muji travel case with everything shoved in it. Applying makeup on-deck while moored up in Hydra: Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush, EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Estee Lauder Doublewear Eyeliner, Korres Wild Rose and Vitamin C Treatment, Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher.

Muji travel case with everything shoved in it. Applying makeup on-deck while moored up in Hydra: Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush, EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Estee Lauder Doublewear Eyeliner, Korres Wild Rose and Vitamin C Treatment, Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher.

Maybelline Powder, Coppertone Facial sunscreen, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher in Queen of the Jungle.

Maybelline Powder, Coppertone Facial sunscreen, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher in Queen of the Jungle.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

  • Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder SPF25PA++ (£1 at the local pound store! I think this is an Asia-only release), applied using the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush (from the duo fiber collection). I know from past experience that liquids and BB creams would simply melt off my face in the 30+ degree heat, so I just used the powder over the top of sunscreen if I felt like a bit of coverage.
  • ArtDeco Queen of the Jungle Bronzing Glow Blusher (limited edition from a couple of years ago, but still available here and they seem to do a variation on the theme every now and then), applied with the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush
  • Estee Lauder Doublewear dual ended eyeliner in Onyx and Coffee (I think this was a limited edition release; the full sized version has a smudger on the other end), smudged out with the Real Techniques Shading Brush, and the Makeup Revolution Awesome Double Flick Liquid Eyeliner. I probably could have done with leaving one of the liner options behind.
EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Makeup Revolution liquid eyeliner, Marc Jacobs Lip Pencil in Nude(ist), Real Techniques Shading Brush, L'oreal False Lash Telescopic mascara, Estee Lauder Doublewear eyeliner, Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush

EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Makeup Revolution liquid eyeliner, Marc Jacobs Lip Pencil in Nude(ist), Real Techniques Shading Brush, L'oreal False Lash Telescopic mascara, Estee Lauder Doublewear eyeliner, Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, Lush Solid Perfume in Karma, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, Lush Solid Perfume in Karma, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

  • Coppertone facial and body sunscreens (these were three for £1 at the local pound shop; another Asia-only release I think), contact lens solution (FYI: no one seemed to sell solutions for RGPs in Greece, and mine got confiscated at customs because it was 120 mLs... woe), and mini shampoo and conditioner (I got the Charles Worthington Sunshine Protector range from Boots).
  • Collistar Glycolic Acid, previously reviewed here.
  • A freebie pack of Simple Face Wipes (although I've bought them in the past) to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then I would do a second cleanse with the (shock horror) freebie soap on board.
  • Lush solid perfume in Karma, in the old push up packaging -- such a gorgeous scent! It's an orange and patchouli blend, and almost smells fizzy, if that makes sense.
  • Skinny cotton buds from Muji, a few cotton pads, tweezers, and hair ties.

Looking back, I could definitely have gone lighter, but hey... [insert something about minimalism being a journey, not a destination]. What about you -- what can't you travel without? How many lip options would you be happy with? And would you mind if I write more travel posts? I've got a lot more to say about Greece!

Ahhhhhhhhh take me back.

Ahhhhhhhhh take me back.

Extras for experts: How to Pack Like Joan Didion (Into The Gloss).

Take it or leave it

Take it or leave it

Take it:

  • Base products! Make up is mostly about the skin for me, and as a result I have a slightly excessive foundation and tinted moisturiser situation. I like light to medium coverage and the whole "my skin but better" thing.
  • On that note, a brush (at the moment I'm using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush*) or Beauty Blender for putting on that base. 
  • Eyelash curler. Short stubby lashes, rejoice.
  • Nail polish! They just make me happy, even if I often don't make the time to paint my nails.
  • Blush has really grown on me.

Leave it:

  • Body moisturisers, because I'm lazy and the body is just a lot of real estate to cover, ok? (Although I am trying, and getting better at using it.)
  • On a similar note, I use hand cream maybe once a month. 
  • Tanning products.
  • Lip scrubs. Use your toothbrush or flannel, save your money, and spend it on lipstick.
  • Excessively pricey cleansers with active ingredients. Just, no.

And you?

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Ace of Base: What's On My Face (Winter edition)

Ace of Base: What's On My Face (Winter edition)

Mornings are hard, and I've still yet to get into a good routine that gets me into work without rushing around. Adjusting to office life is hard, guys! Thank the makeup gods for flexi-hours.

One thing that's been getting me going is turning on some music, thanks to the free Music-Streaming-Service-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. This week I've been on a 90s kick, hence the post title. As I write, Killing Me Softly just came on. Before that, Bittersweet Symphony, and my inner 90s child rejoiced at TLC's Waterfalls while I was in the shower this morning. 

I've also been adjusting to the dry weather here. I'm normally pretty oily, but now I need to layer on a moisturising toner (L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Refreshing Toner) and a slightly thicker moisturiser (Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizer CC Cream). The upside of this is that I don't start looking shiny until maybe six hours into wearing makeup -- this is an unfamiliar experience for me.

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