Monday, January 23, 2012

When you really love a product... you get it in every shape and size available.

Compulsive purchases is one thing, but when combined with the heart of an archivist or a collector, it can lead to a conundrum I face regularly: collecting the same product in every size and form available with the all-encompassing reason "Just in case."

Just in case what? Well, a lot of things. Just in case I travel. Just in case I need it at work. Just in case I need a backup. Just in case the item/brand discontinues. JUST IN CASE I'M NUTS.

First, it starts with practical things, like a travel version of your favourite cleanser. Before leaving for Southeast Asia in December, I tried my damnest not to give into the urge to buy the smallest size of my beloved Purity cleanser. Smallest size being CDN$12, it was actually easy to do. Luckily, Sephora had a mini size up for a 100 points redemption so I snagged it without having to pay.


Some might wonder why I don't just buy the empty bottle travel kit and decant the products into them?

I try. But every time I use a travel-friendly bottle, the bottle never makes it back home or never gets emptied, and I dislike having to buy empty bottles all over again. The anal side of me likes having a nicely labelled bottle that looks just like the original product, so that I don't have to think twice about whether I'm holding a shampoo or lotion in my hand. And let's face it: I like the brand names and labels. It's a major part of why I splurge when I had no intention of doing so.

I got into the habit of buying travel size of my favourite products mostly because of perfumes. There sits a gorgeous bottle on your dresser or vanity, and you spray it in the morning and leave the house, trailing the most evocative and delicious scent everywhere you go... until at about 1pm when it hits you that the scent of eau de hamburger lunch is clinging to you more than the loveliness that was so carefully misted in the morning.

I own about five or six atomizers to decant and tote my "favourite" perfumes in a trave-friendly method, but there are those days when I feel lazy and simply must have the travel-size option of my other dozen favourite perfumes.

Tocca Stella in solid form and original bottle

Philosophy Pure Grace in mini and regular sizes

Nanette Lepore Shanghai Butterfly in original bottle and rollerball

And I don't know about you, but I've never finished a perfume bottle before. The extra bottles mean that it will take me forever to finish a perfume. (By forever, I mean never.) Decanting may be a hassle, but at least I could see the content of the perfume bottle diminishing, visually confirming my love and reliance on it.

I knew the "every size option" problem was serious when I encountered this in my makeup stash:


The mini size of the Urban Decay Primer Potion came from the Naked Palette I ended up getting rid of, so I didn't exactly buy it (though, technically, I did -- sigh). The original size in the original bottle was the original purchase. It's now with my sister in the Philippines and I hope she doesn't bring it back with her. The professional size... well, that was going to be a gift to a friend who loves UDPP but I ended up giving her something else. Instead of returning this giant tube, I kept it by telling myself -- you guessed it -- "Just in case."

Now, I think it's definitely okay for some people to have travel size options and backups of dearly loved products. But for me, a proven philanderer of all beauty products, just in case must stop being a reason to pick up something and add more to my bursting stash of makeup. As of today, I will stop listening to that greedy little voice and focus on dealing with the mountains of things that are already in my possession.

Do you like to collect products in all the different sizes, too? Tell me I'm not the only nut out there. What has been your experience with the just in case rationale?

37 comments:

  1. What a cute post! I don't collect makeup items in different sizes but I have this problem of buying the same clothing item in every color.

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    1. I do that with some basics, like Gap cotton tees and tanks. I get all of them in white, black and grey. I've also done it with cardigans, come to think of it. :<

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  2. Oh no, guilty as charged. I do the same thing sometimes --- I should take a picture of my purity bottles too. I've managed to accumulate it in 24, 12, 8, and 3 oz size bottles. I usually refill the 8 oz size with the big bottle. And I HAD to get the mini size for travel (thankfully like you it was free). There is something so infinitely better about a correctly labeled bottle. I also had a mini clinique all about eyes and a regular size at the same time (until I ran out of the big bottle). I don't toss the minis unless they're not refillable!

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    1. You really should take that picture! I'm sure you'll find a way to make it look really pretty and artistic, as well as reasonable. lol I don't like keeping empty bottles around but that's actually a really good idea. I'll do the same going forward. :)

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  3. Haha! I don't know if I do this, but I can tell you what problem I do have, especially with foundation and perfume: I never finish a sample before buying the full thing. If I try a sample a few times (maybe like a week or two), decide I like it, I just go ahead and buy the full size ASAP. Impatience is a bad thing. I don't know why I do it, either. It's not like the full sizes are going anywhere!!!

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    1. That's a bit different. You don't always have to finish a sample to know whether you like something or not. You can have the bottle and the sample can be a travel vial, right?

      I hear you on the impatience thing, though. I think we all read so much about discontinued products and the latest xxx and yyy that we're just rushing out to buy things at the drop of a hat.

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  4. I'm with Kristie, I do this mostly with clothing :p. I have a bunch of multiples in my closet right now!

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    1. I've done it a few times. And come to think of it, I just did it with a pair of flats. Liked the nude pink ones so much that I got the silver/graphite as well.

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  5. LOL, I never buy the travel size stuff. I'm always like, GO BIG OR GO HOME. So I'll buy the regular size of something and if they ever make a JUMBO VERSION of it, I'll buy that. IN CASE I RUN OUT. IN CASE I LOSE OUT ON A GOOD DEAL. VALUE, VALUE, VALUE!

    If they ever made a jumbo sized version of my favourite cleanser (Lancome's Creme Radiance), I would buy like, eight. Maybe more, pending on how much I can afford...

    The only perfume that I go through with consistency is Fresh's Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum. I go through three to four bottles a year. :) It just smells light and fresh and clean and citrusy with a slight sweetness... and it smells good all year round. This is one instance where I have bought the travel size for my purse. And then I realized that I go through that tiny bottle in about a month, and I am not paying $40 a month for perfume. So I just lug around the regular-sized 100ml bottle with me, lol.

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    1. You are such a good Asian, Denise, LOL! The repetition of value is a total echo of my mom. There's no point in buying for value with me since I don't go through things fast enough. I should just buy mini size everything if possible.

      And damn, that is impressive with the Sugar Lychee. I carry so much crap with me that it is impossible to squeeze in a regular perfume bottle. I'm also dreadfully afraid it'll break and make a mess in the purse.

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    2. Like Denise said, GO BIG OR GO HOME! A lot of the gift/pre-packaged sets I buy come with travel sized items but if I like it, I'll end up hauling the biggest size available. Thought, it's definitely not the greatest idea if you're the type to get bored easily.

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    3. I'd totally get the jumbo sizes if there was a sale or a giftcard in the mix... but probably not without. I do bore easily with 90% of my things, which is the problem I come up against over and over again. :/

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  6. The UDPP picture made me smile! I don't think I have different sizes of anything, and I'm mostly pretty good about not buying backups. However, I do have a couple tubes of clinique black honey - I love it so much that it's nice to have one tube at home and one in my bag, and I have many, many jack black lip balms.

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    1. Um, how many? lol

      I can understand having two of the same lipstick for home/work, if you wear it like ALL THE TIME. I don't do enough of that to warrant duplicates of anything!

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    2. I think I have about 6 jack blacks - I bought one at first, then I bought two sets of two (such a good deal!), then I bought one to get free shipping. . . . i definitely use them all though - and it's so nice have them in all my bags, nightstand, etc.

      I really don't need multiple black honeys but I was trying to get a gwp and I DO wear it all the time. really i should have gone for something else. oh well!

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    3. That's not too bad. I was thinking double that. :)

      GWPs are another thing. New post for a new day, LOL. Short version: I don't purchase things for points, rewards or gifts anymore. They just make us spend twice as much as intended. Always.

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  7. Heehee...you and your 'quirks' Liz :) Actually, I bet this is common practice for a lot of people - especially with how restrictive travel can be now with carry-on luggage and baggage costs, having travel sizes just makes sense! I don't tend to accumulate multiple sizes of products because to me that just feels like even more products in my stash and stresses me out a bit - but I do keep a large makeup tote filled with samples and travel sizes of random products which I dive into when needed!

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    1. I thought it might strike a cord with a lot of people but you guys seem to be on top of things. :) It's gotten to the point of stressing me out and now I just want to finish them all. I donated a lot of samples with the batch of things that went to the women's shelter, so that has improved a bit. But perhaps it's time to do a second round of clearing out.

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  8. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself because my only "just in case" is a hand cream on my desk at home and a smaller tube of the same cream in my purse. I only do it during the winter, too. I was going through my things to see if maybe I had 23875203984032985 "just in case's" hanging around but phew!

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    1. That's amazing, I envy you! I have a two hand creams on my desk at home, one jumbo size on my desk at work, a body butter being used as hand cream by my dresser next to the bed, one in the bathroom, and a hand cream + hand sanitizer in three different purses that I use the most because I'm too lazy to transfer them from bag to bag. @_@ This could become another post, actually. Sheesh.

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  9. I've never actually thought of this before, but what I do have, are a few smaller versions of some products, but that's because they came with the original product ie: perfume. As to the UDPP minis, I must have had about 4 at one point - and I actually used them up, but didn't re-buy as I'm not partial to that primer. As to finishing perfume, it's rare that I finish a bottle also, but it has happened twice, and each time, it was a brand that was refillable - which I took advantage of - but now, I like to change my scent more often than I did 5 years ago, so I basically have my daytime scent, my weekend scent, and my evening/going out/knock his socks off scent ... in other words, I've changed some of my habits but have also incurred new ones: I can't resist some of the latest beauty offerings!!!

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    1. Eugenia, you always compliment me profusely on the empties but I swear, you're an empties monster yourself! And I mean that in the highest regard. ;) I could only dream of finishing 4x UDPPs and two bottles of perfumes. I have one that's quite close to being done but it's a rather puny bottle. I like your categories of daytime/weekend/evening/going out/knock his socks off. :D Would love to see your perfume inventory, as a matter of fact!

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  10. Hahaha you are too funny!!
    I don't do this, but I'm thinking maybe I should. When I travel I do the decanting thing and honestly it's a pain in the butt. Never mind trying to remember what's in each bottle I decanted because the sharpie usually rubs off.

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    1. The last set of bottles I bought came with labels but they don't have labels for stuff like primers, ya know??? The thing is, I use these mini bottles for daily commute but not as much for real travel. They end up getting left out because packing is such a big ordeal now and airlines have the most ridiculous weight restrictions. The less bottles we take the better -- until we need them. :S

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  11. You crack me up Liz, yes I'm a just in case girl too. I don't know what I'm so worried about, I have a few just in case products that I often discover shoved to the back of some drawer rather than at the ready for me to use. Typically I haven't finished the thing I bought the 'just in case' item for either.

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    1. I'm starting to think we should focus our efforts on the smaller bottles of stuff lying around, as they will be quicker to finish... don't you agree? Yet they end up being the most difficult for reasons I can't fathom! Glad to know I'm not the only one out there with this situation. ;)

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  12. i just wanna say i love reading your posts :DD you're suchaaa funny writer loll and i actually do not grab products in diff sizes but just end up buying backups of the same size if i love it >_< i'm one of those ppl that need mini everything tho because i will def lose interest before i finish the product and therefore will never buy a jumbo size (not even of shampoo) because i get sick of things easily xD

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    1. Those sample box thingies are totally up your alley then! Though, I recall you had your criticisms about them, too.

      Aww, thanks for that nice comment. I just bare my strange soul to the world here and hope that we kindred spirits will find one another! :)

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  13. Ah attack of the minis!!!!! I think I like mini products just because they're tiny. There isn't any other logic or thinking that I attribute to it. I just like tiny things. Like I like broccoli because I feel like a giant eating trees, OK, maybe that's not the real reason. But there's an aspect of it being sort of like a tiny tree in comparison to me. It's so infrequently that I get to be the big one.

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    1. That's something else, too. They're just so darn cute. Oh, D, you glorious Amazon. I can just see you showing that broccoli who's boss! :D

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    2. Teehee it is quite a humorous site. Sometimes people say that they can read my mind just by looking at my face. I think that broccoli tree interaction moment is one of them.

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  14. Hahah, I can understand this so well, I love minis and deluxe sizes of all kinds! I try to use mine up though, and with quite frequent travels, I don't feel like they accumulate that fast. I also love to have my perfume on me during the day!

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    1. See, if you travel, you at least have a good reason for the accumulation. Me? Not so much, though I try!!

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  15. I've done this a couple of times with my vitamins and allergy meds LOL. And also with B&BW Wild Honeysuckle when I was in junior high because it was the one scent I really liked from them (and of course it's the one they discontinue. urgh). I'm tempted to buy backups a lot though, and somehow buying them in different sizes makes it seem less paranoid back-up-y. So far I've been able to refrain (for the most part), but I never even noticed it until I read this post hahaha. At least you're resolving to do something about it!

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    1. Ahhhh, B&BW Wild Honeysuckle! It was the only one I liked other than Warm Vanilla Sugar and now it's GONE. I have a travel size shower gel but my sister stole the matching lotion when she moved. :(

      The worst thing I backed up was contact lens solution because I had to switch to daily disposals shortly after! I'm not backing up anything ever again.

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  16. "Just in case"

    I couldn't agree more.

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