Sunday, January 16, 2011

Renewing My Resolutions

Good morning, beauties!  The sun is shining brightly in Toronto after a blustery snowy day and I feel doubly resolved in my efforts to reduce the amount of products that are stockpiled in my possession.  It's like early spring cleaning.  Recall the mess that was my train case (not including the stuff sitting on my vanity and in bathroom cabinets).

I've been considering different options to accomplish this and I may end up doing a combination of all of them.  I did toss out the really indisputably old stuff that I was hanging on to for some reason, like that ancient Vincent Longo foundation that had become totally separated in the bottle and an Urban Decay eyeliner pencil that was rock hard and crumbled whenever I touched it.  Eww, right?  If you are holding on to things like that, I urge you to find them right now and dispose of them right away.  I felt so much better afterwards.

The next step is getting rid of still good but unwanted things.  This is where things get tricky because (a) they're used, and (b) they're still usable, and (c) I did pay good money for these products.  If I get something, I am going to dip into it at least a handful of times.  I'm a slow learner, and my mind frequently talks itself into justifying purchases that I know aren't the best.  It takes a while for me to realize things like, 'Ohhh, maybe I should have tried a sample first.' or 'Ohhh, I thought it was fine at the store but now it looks weird on me.'  So I'd use the thing for about a week before realizing that it isn't right for me at all.  Or worst yet, that I already own something similar, so I don't really need the other item.

This is where a beauty swap comes in handy.  I'm sure most of you have heard of swaps, and they've been held long enough that I'm now aware of the complications that can arise with holding a swap.  Swaps are practical.  Ideally, everyone walks out a winner because they've traded in something they don't want for something of equal/similar value that they do want.  At worst, you've gotten rid of something you don't need and it doesn't hurt to have someone benefit from your willingness to donate extra products.  But I've heard of people just becoming downright nasty and catty at these things.  Mostly it seems to arise from an inability to determine the exact value of products.  Obviously, greed is at the centre of these disputes, where Person A doesn't want to give up her goods for anything less than what she thinks she deserves in return.  However, Person B thinks a full-size bottle of a drugstore lotion is just as good as a 2/3-full jar of Creme de la Mer.  Or something like that.  Friendships have been destroyed over crap like this, people!

So we take ourselves to the online swapping sites.  Some work and some don't, because it's with a bunch of strangers who don't owe anything to you.  It's an honour system.  Some of the same problems that plague in-peron-swaps also plague these places.

I've decided to take part in a swap with a very small community of fellow product junkies who have made a resolution like I have to reduce the amount of products they own.  We threw in a charitable incentive, which is to donate the remainder of our swaps to a women's shelter, so right away, the goal changes from what we get out of the swap to what we end up giving to one another and to others in need.  It gives a whole new perspective to the swap.  We set up some very strict rules, such as that the products we contribute in the swap must be either brand new or swatched only a few times (which must be cleaned with alcohol and sharpened or whatever).  We are also putting in deluxe samples and samples and have categorized them as such and listed dollar values of each full-size item.  You cannot take something of greater value than what you put in, but you can put in more than what you've taken.  And we want to do this because we know that in the end, someone in need is going to benefit.  I think that this is going to work out excellently.

Another option I was deliberating was a giveaway.  But that actually doesn't appeal to me very much.  I've gone through the trouble to set up a blog and of course I want more readers.  However, I want readers who identify with me and contribute to discussions because they're interested in the topics, not because they're hoping for a freebie.  (To those who read regularly, thank you so much!!!)  I know a lot of blogs do giveaways and I think that's great, but it's just not for me.  At least, not at the moment.  And anyway, giveaway products should be brand new and fun, not my stale old goods!

I've also given away products to family and friends in the past, but it seems most people in my life are fairly minimal in their beauty routines and I'm tired of being known as the crazy beauty addict with control issues.  Admit it, we've all been there.

Freshly resolved for 2011:

1.  I will use up the remainder of my primers, foundations, cleansers and lotions first before purchasing any other.

2.  I will promptly return products that are not right for me, instead of talking myself into believing that they will work.

3.  I will not get suckered into making purchases because the retailer is offering me massive discounts, free shipping, free samples, free products, "limited editions", consumer points, travel points, etc. etc. etc.

4.  I will only buy quality products which I have tested and researched thoroughly, not because the boxes in which they are packaged in is pretty.

Well, there you have it.  I feel so much better already for having set down the rules.  I guess that's just the kind of person I am.  I felt that during the 3-4 months of blogging about my attempts to reduce, I hadn't been making much headway.  Have you made any resolutions to reduce this year?  Or do you proudly luxuriate in the amount of products you own?  Sound off below!  Suggestions and feedback are always more than welcome.


  1. "4. I will only buy quality products which I have tested and researched thoroughly, not because the boxes in which they are packaged in is pretty."
    I understand that one way too much! There seems to be so many products in shiny packages now a days, so we must be more discerning!

    Also, thanks for the supportive comment :) :)

  2. It used to be an indulgence I reserved for really bad days at work, but then it turns into a really bad habit instead!

    Your blog is fun to read, and blogging should be for fun. I'd rather read fun entry instead of 10 stressed out ones. :)

  3. I feel the same about giveaways. I don't want people to follow me because I'm giving them stuff.

    I have a goal to dramatically reduce my stash this year. I have so much that I never use it's ridiculous, and I just hang on to it because it's pretty. I'm not into swaps or sales - too much drama. To begin, I have a friend who's a fiend for blue eyeshadows so I'm going to go through all my shadows on the weekend and pull out the blue ones for her - I never wear blue eyeshadow. WHY DO I KEEP BUYING THEM???

    Good luck with your goals. :-)

  4. Thanks, Dee! I think a lot of us are in the same boat and this is a great exercise in attempt to restrain myself even though it may not be successful in the end. We'll see. :)

  5. Haha my sister is fully equipped with my 'giveaways' ;D good luck with the swap, i think it's great how someone in need is going to benefit as well, great decision! #4 i hear ya! ;)

  6. These are such good resolutions! I should attempt to follow them too!!

  7. @Niki - #4 seems to strike a chord with many people, lol. Your sister is so lucky!

    @Maria - Thanks and let me know if you do! :D

  8. I stumbled upon this post..and wow!!! I have been going through a very similar process lately! And I totally agree-It really is hard to make that call on things that are perfectly good, but not especially useful for you. I've been slowly trying to let go, and work towards making wiser decisions in the future. Thanks for posting this really interesting topic. Good luck!

    1. Thank you for your comment! Almost two years later, I find that I`m still struggling with some of these same issues - though I have become much better at managing some other things. Work in progress. :)

  9. OMG your list is exactly what I need now. And this is how you were in 2012! I just got into Subscription box addiction but also the whole "Free with Purchase X-piece beauty bundle" as well as pretty packaging. I'm gonna write your rules out and tape them onto my monitor and my debit card.

    1. Lol! I'm glad that this inspires you. :) Sadly, I've taken a turn to the dark side and have decided to embrace my love of beauty products. It doesn't mean I'm going to buy every new release or anything remotely close to it, but I recently decided to not put a cap on the amount of blushes (my one true love!). I'm going eye shadow free for a year, however. And I'm going to change the blog name to something more suitable for my new goals, which isn't so much reducing anymore but experimental while trying to stay discerning. I still don't believe in paying for samples or getting sucked in by GWPs and bonus points, etc, but there are times when I cave but can forgive myself now instead of being really strict and then collapsing with the effort. :)

      Good luck to you, Brandy!


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