Archive | April, 2013

Break the Habit: Day #3

28 Apr

So far, the no-buy hasn’t been a challenge.  It’s only been three days, though, so it’s not as though I was expecting agony. However, I have encountered my first dilemma.

This weekend I’ve been doing a big spring clean-out of my closets. I live alone & have taken over all three closets in my apartment so this is a bigger task than it sounds. I realized that a trench coat that I bought, even though it was a great deal, isn’t as flattering as it looked in the dressing room & I’m going to return it to TJ Maxx.  That store is such a hit or miss place; sometimes they’ve got a lot of great items and other times nothing.  It’ll be Murphy’s Law in action when I go in on Tuesday & there will be lots of things that are my style.  That’s always the way it is with shopping.

I wanted to add in a picture of the two products I finished up today but I can’t find my camera charger.  Aaaaaahhh where did it go?!? I’ll try & find it & add those in for tomorrow.



Break the Habit: 21 Day No-buy Project

27 Apr

I need a break. From shopping.  For everything.  My P10P for makeup failed a couple months ago when I hit a wall after not finishing anything for weeks. Since then I’ve been finding so many new things to try that I’ve been buying in spades. Chic Week, coupons, and YT video suggestions & new product launches have added lots & lots of products to my makeup stash.

What spurred this was my last shopping trip to Walgreens. I had a Covergirl coupon for $3 off two Covergirl products and it was BOGO 50%.  I really wanted to try the gloss balms. I could get in & out for under $10.00.   Once I got into the store, I found so many products that I had been looking for.  They had the Revlon cream blush sticks, the new Colorburst glosses & lip butters all in stock.  Covergirl nail varnishes were 1.00 off plus there were 0.50 coupons plus balance points. I got away with only the 2 CG gloss balms, 2 CG nail varnishes and one of the Revlon Colorburst glosses.  Not bad, but twice many things as I went in there for. Yes, I’ll use them & probably would have got them eventually, but I didn’t need them right that moment.  The whole hour-long drive home I knew I had to change something. Enter the April 26-May 16 no-buy.

Choosing 21 days for my no-buy is not an arbitrary number; there are two reasons why this project will last less than a month. I remember reading somewhere that it takes 21 days to break a habit.  I’m not sure if that works for something that a person doesn’t do all the time…I shop a lot, but not every day. Either way, it will be a sizable break from my previous shopping patterns which can only be a good thing. The other reason is that I am going on holiday on May 18 and will do some shopping on holiday. Technically this project will end on May 16 -which is good because on May 17 I know I may have to get a couple of travel sized toiletries- but I hope I can actually make it to May 18 and find substitute items.

I used to go long expanses of time without shopping for anything: I could do two month no-buys on everything without batting an eye.  Other times, when I did feel like shopping it was for one category of things in particular which limited the amount of items purchased. For me, shopping is a stress reliever & helped me to take my mind off of all the pressure and overwhelming nerves I was feeling during the whole MCAT prep/applications/ interviews/waiting process that started last summer through to this spring.  My shopping slowly evolved from sporadic and categorically limited to more frequent and across all categories.  I love to try new things so with shopping+stress, everything became appealing.  Beauty, clothing, decor, activities, new foods, wines… you name it, I’ve most likely been trying it.

To be clear, I am not a hoarder! Reading over the last paragraphs I hope it doesn’t come across that way.  I also have never carried any debt or had to sacrifice other things for shopping. Even though I have been shopping more, I am still financially responsible.  Saving money will be a bonus, not the intent of the project.

So, for the next 21 days I am going to be going on a lifestyle purge.  There is no foreseeable reason that I should need to make any extraneous purchases.  Obviously there are going to be a couple of exceptions. I am, of course, allowed to buy food essentials. The only other exception that may arise is the need for a waterproof makeup remover. This is not an item that I stock up on and I currently only have less than half a bottle left.   I use waterproof mascara every day & it is necessary to use a waterproof makeup remover to get it all off.  Problem: I really like the Sephora bi-phase waterproof eye makeup remover- it’s the closest I’ve found to the Lancome Bi-facil at 1/3 the price- but I’ll have to go into a Sephora to get it.   I have watched a couple of tutorials on how to use olive oil as an eye makeup remover so I think I’ll be trying that out. I am also allowing myself one meal out; some friends and I are going to go out for a meal & drinks after our final exams.  Those three things are the only exception to the rule.

To keep myself on track, I will be posting here my thoughts & progress on each day. (This was meant to go up yesterday, so one day complete!) Some days will definitely be more challenging than others. Hopefully I’ll even be able to use up a few products during the course of this no-buy, trying new recipes to use up all of the things I found so interesting at the grocery store, and find new ways to style my clothing & apartment.  I’ll also be talking about some of the new product that I have purchased in the last couple of weeks (ugh, months even) that I’ll be getting around to trying for the first time.

Aaaah, so much text & no pictures. If anybody read this far, you’re a gem.  Day 2 complete.

Influenster Sweetheart Vox Box

7 Apr

I didn’t even know that I had been selected for this box until I found it in my mailbox! It was an awesome surprise to find after a microbiology exam.  Here’s what came in the Sweetheart VoxBox:


Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid Powered Cleanser System: This was the stand-out product in the box for me.  The cleanser is a fantastic gentle creamy cleanser that really cuts through oiliness.  I like creamy cleansers but have combination skin so this is a perfect happy medium.  It gets rid of oil without being drying. I’ve been using this in the morning & find that it keeps oil at bay & I don’t have to touch up or blot until late in the afternoon. For my skin, that’s amazing.  I only use the powered cleansing brush a couple of days a week to clean my pores & feel that it is just…meh.  The brush just has a powerful vibration & I don’t feel like the rubber bristles on their own really do a deep cleaning.  I either like to use this with a scrub or to use this and then a Biore Pore Strip to really get out the impurities. I am super glad I got this product because I really like the cleanser & have since repurchased it in the full size.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray: I don’t think I’m the target market for this product.  I have thin straight hair & instead of giving me beachy waves, it just gave me heavy hair with what felt like a week’s worth of product buildup near the roots.  I’ve been trying this out on days I’m not planning to leave the house & after trying in combinations with a few different products I still haven’t gotten it to work for me.  Given my hair type, I wasn’t expecting it to.  It could be great for someone else though so I can’t say anything disparaging about it.  I wish I had gotten the hairspray to try, it sounds great for my hair type.

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response  in Serene Citrus:  I have been using Secret Clinical strength for 3-4 years now & actually purchased this new product a couple of days before the surprise VoxBox.  I find that these clinical strength antiperspirants really work best when directions are followed to apply both morning and night.  This product truly does stop perspiration for an entire day & has a light fresh scent that quickly fades.  Occasionally I can smell it during the day, but I feel if that ever happens then I know that it really is working.

Skinnygirl Daily On The Go Bars: This was the disappointing product of the box.  I got the Greek Yogurt Blueberry Crisp Flavor & both the blueberry & yogurt bits tasted chalky and fake.  The “yogurt” wasn’t creamy & was basically just super sweet frosting.  I don’t appreciate the heavy-handed Skinnygirl brand gimmick & a box of 5 bars is 12.99. Ugh. No. For a similar amount of calories (180) I can get a box of bars with more fiber & protein that taste better for half the price.

I know this review is super late but after actually using all of these products for over a month, I can say that Influenster has introduced me to two new staple products.  If you haven’t heard of Influenster and want to learn more about their community and the free Vox Box program, visit Influenster to request an invitation.

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