One Month Down!

I made it over what I suspect will be the biggest hurdle for this year.  I didn’t buy makeup this month.  In truth, I’m kind of amazed that I made it.  I shop when I am stressed out, and this January has been nothing short of hell for me.  It started with me quitting my job because my boss stopped paying the staff, breezed through threatening legal action to get back pay, and ended with the political shitstorm that is going on in the United States right now.  All the while, I’ve been job hunting, so, yeah, I’m amazed that I didn’t drop some serious cash on a few new eyeshadow palettes (specifically, the new Cover Shot ones from Smashbox…all of them).

You have to understand.  Last year, I reached VIB Rouge status some time in March.  That involves spending one thousand dollars in that store, and I’ve grown to realize it’s so easy for me to do when I just pop in after work on a bad day, look at something, and justify it because, “Oh, this lipstick is only thirty dollars.”  Honestly, how many variations on red lipstick do I need?  And I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spent on makeup that didn’t come from Sephora.  Sephora just allows you to track it in your online account.

Now, to be sure, I’ve gone and looked at makeup from time to time over this month.  I’ve even picked up items and decided I would buy them.  There are two items in my online cart at this very moment.  However, I’m beginning to get control of the impulse to shell out my hard-earned dollars for something else I don’t need so I can be elated for an hour or two.

“Do I need this?  Do I honestly need this, or do I just want it because it’s new and I feel like I HAVE to have it?  Is it humanly possible to use (whatever product I want) before it goes bad when I consider all the things I have at home already?”  If the answer is no to all of the above, put it back and walk away.  Just walk away.  I’m learning to do it.

Earlier today, as if karma was trying to say that she’s got my back, my boss sent me the last amount of money that he owed me, so I don’t have to deal with that anymore, and I don’t have to go to court over it.  I’m done with that guy.  The amount of relief I feel from knowing that leaves me at a void for words.  One less thing to worry about as I head into February and the rest of the year.

Here’s to making it through February.  If I can make it through the last few weeks of my life without a shopping spree, next month is going to be a cake walk.


Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer. Like. Don’t Love.


I’m going to be honest.  There’s not much that would make me switch from the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.  In the last eight years, it’s the only primer I’ve paid money for aside from one I got from Hourglass, which I will talk about when I run out of it.  That day is swiftly approaching.

This comes close to the one from Smashbox.  If Smashbox stopped making theirs, I would cheerfully buy this and not complain.  In fact, I may just start buying this one when the time comes to get a new tube of primer.  For me and my skin, at least, they’re practically interchangeable.  It’s really good at smoothing out your complexion before you apply foundation.  Don’t believe me?  Put in on half of your face.  Wait a few minutes, and look in a mirror.  It’s quite good at blurring any tiny little lines you have on your face.

This makes my makeup last all day.  It doesn’t get blotchy or start looking weird.  It doesn’t have a really tacky feel going on your face.  This basically does everything you could ask from a primer, and it feels really nice when you rub it on.  It’s probably one of the best I’ve used.  It’s just really good and does what it says.

I do like that Make Up For Ever has ten different kinds for all types of skin concerns, so if you’re oily, they’ve got you covered.  If you get random red patches, they can handle that one, too.

What I don’t understand is the simple math of purchasing this.  You can buy it in either half ounce or one ounce containers.  A full ounce will set you back $37.00, and, honestly, I think it’s worth it.  It costs a buck more than the same amount from Smashbox.  However, two half ounces are $17.00 each, which is $34.00 for an ounce when you buy them.  How are they coming up with this pricing scheme?  Shouldn’t it be less cost effective to buy smaller, travel sizes?  At any rate, buy two smaller sizes if you want the full ounce.  Or buy one now and one later, but don’t buy a single one ounce tube.

I’m not buying this because I still have a primer around here from Hourglass, another deluxe sample size of this one, and one from trusty, old Smashbox.  The Smashbox will be the last to go because I can’t imagine ever being completely without it, but when I do run out I’ll give serious thought to buying this guy.


Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. As Good Today as it was when I was Twelve.


There’s a reason why this face wash has been around forever–it’s good.  I think this is the first face wash I ever bought.  Rather, I had my mom buy it for me because I was twelve and had no money of my own.  It reminds me of Noxzema but in a tube.  Creamy, no lather, cooling to put on your face, and gets pretty much everything off.  It’s cheap and effective.  What more could you ask for?

I usually have a tube of this in the shower.  I use it to clean my face in the morning.  I like that it feels cool on my face while the rest of the shower is steamy and warm.

I’m not married to it, though.  Sometimes, I like to play around with my shower face wash to see what’s new and amazing.  The time has come for me to do that again.  I have so many deluxe size face washes that Sephora has sent me that I need to start using them.  So, this one won’t be getting purchased for a spell, but I always come back to it.  It’s like an old friend.


Verb Sea Spray. I don’t need this


Hey, there wave sprays.  I can’t underscore how much you’ve changed my life.

You see, I hate brushing my hair.  I hate drying my hair.  I hate fixing my hair.  Anything I can do to avoid the entire process is a win for me.

I have wavy hair that will get pretty frizzy if left unchecked, so when I discovered wave sprays I was sold.  I put a little serum in my hair to keep the frizz down, spray wave spray in it, and just let it dry on its own.  If I’m in a hurry, I’ll put my ceramic space heater by my bed, hang my head over the side, and let it do the work for me.  I’m that level of lazy when it comes to drying my hair.  If I can avoid picking up a hair dryer, I will.

I’ve used tons of wave sprays from high end to drug store.  I go all the way to back to the Bumble and Bumble and John Frieda days of old.  For what it’s worth, for $27.00 you to can buy a 4 ounce bottle of glorified salt water from Bumble and Bumble that will give you beachy waves and dry your hair to a crisp.  Pass.  I’d say this one comes in at a solid number two behind the wave spray from Ouai.  You get a little bit of the crispy factor that you get with most wave sprays, but it’s not too bad, and I feel like you don’t need to use a ton of product.  I got this one to try out because I feel like I’ve tried them all, and the reviews for it were pretty solid on Sephora’s website.  At $14.00 for 6.3 ounces, it’s a pretty good deal.  Better than the $26.00 I usually pay for 5 ounces of Ouai Wave Spray.

I have shoulder length hair, and it’s seriously thick, so when I used this, I would work in upper sections and lower sections about four inches wide.  I used two sprays for the upper ones and two for the bottom ones.  Once I get everything sprayed, I scrunch up the bottom of my hair and go about my business.  This one keeps the frizz under control, but not entirely without help from other products.  It still makes your hair a little crispy and crunchy, but it’s not terrible.  Shampooing this out is a bit of pain.  I always had to lather, rinse, repeat.  I could never get by without the “repeat.”  A single shampoo yielded absolutely no lather when this was in my hair.

Overall, though, this is good if you’re not willing to pony up for the wave spray from Ouai.  That one is still the best, and there’s virtually no crispy factor involved when using it.  This one was a good try, but I’m not buying it because it’s just not my favorite.

I’ll also throw this in:  Sephora sells Verb and Ouai sprays as travel sizes.  The one from Verb retails for $7.00 for 2.4 ounces.  The spray from Ouai is $12.00 for 1.7 ounces if anyone is curious to try them out.  I’m not joking when I say these are a god-send for folks like me who usually can’t be bothered with their hair, and you don’t have to break the bank if you’re curious about what I mean when I talk about your hair getting crispy from something like this.

As far as this this one, though, I’m not going to buy it again unless Sephora is sold out of Ouai Wave Spray.  I’ll buy it if I’m hard up.

Verb Sea Spray.  I like it, but I don’t need it.


Tory Burch Love Relentlessly. Oh, God, No.


I get so many perfume samples it’s virtually impossible for me to use them all and use the bottles I actually buy for myself (basically, most of the collection from Etat Libre d’Orange, Fracas from Robert Piguet, and Black Orchid).  I’ve learned it’s okay to get rid of things.  If you’re my friend and within an hour’s driving distance to me, I have probably pawned perfume samples off on you.  If you are my friend, and I haven’t, and you want some, let me know.

I’m trying to be diplomatic about this perfume, but I’m finding it difficult.  I’m getting rid of it because it’s impossible for me to use.  Let me be very clear.  I HATE PATCHOULI.  I don’t get how I can like Black Orchid because it’s in there.  Probably because there is so much other stuff going on that I can kind of lose that smell.  With a few notable exceptions, I HATE the smell of roses in perfume and beauty products.  I can’t stand this for those two reasons, but also because it smells boring and cheap.  This is something I can see young college girls wearing when they are trying to be fancy and before they learn better.  I don’t judge.  I was there, too, once.

This is a generic floral perfume with the name Tory Burch slapped on it, so people will throw their money away and tell their friends, “Ohhhh, do you like this scent?  It’s the new one from Tory Burch!”  Want to smell inoffensive and boring.  Buy this.  Well, you’ll smell offensive to me.  For some reason my nose can pick up on patchouli from a mile away, and it makes me gag.

I mean, I really don’t like any of the perfumes from Tory Burch, so this one is just a new one to put on that list.  I get it.  They sell because they don’t challenge you to wait on them.  You can spray them on when you’re walking out the door, and no one will move away from you on the train.  Try that with something like Jasmin et Cigarette and you could probably clear out the car.  They go on okay, they smell like flowers, and then they disappear.  This isn’t to say that they smell bad.  They just don’t smell unique, so what’s the point?  It’s $86.00 for 1.7 ounces, so it’s getting into the range of a quality perfume.  I can’t speak for the staying power, as my nose really can’t tolerate it long enough to find out.

I guess I wasn’t particularly diplomatic about this one.  Bottom line is if you want to smell like roses and PATCHOULI, pick this one up.  It has now found its new home at the bottom of my waste bin.

Tory Burch Love Relentessly:  I utterly hate this, and will never buy it.  Not even as a gift.


YSL Vinyl Couture Mascara. I think I may love you. Why are you gone?


I never buy full-size mascaras.  Well, hardly ever.  They have to be pretty spectacular to get me to buy a full-size, and here’s why.  Mascara has about a six month shelf life, and I will not keep it around any longer than that.  I got one eye infection when I was in high school, and I do not play that game.  If you can use a full-size mascara in six months, I tip my hat to you (and I’m very curious to see your day-to-day mascara look).  As for me, I usually stick to travel sizes.  For whatever reason, I think the formula in smaller packaging is better, it doesn’t dry out as quickly, and I’m never tempted to try and keep something past six months because I coughed up thirty bucks or more for mascara.

With that being said, I do, on occasion, pick up a full-size Diorshow or Smashbox Full Exposure because I love them and they’re kind of hard to find in smaller sizes.  I don’t know how I came by this YSL guy, but I wasn’t impressed at first.  The wand was a little smaller than I prefer, and it got gunky quickly, so I had to clean it after every other use.  I threw it in a drawer and forgot about it for a couple of months, until one day I was in a hurry and it was the first mascara I grabbed.

Why did I hate this at first?  This has to be the blackest black mascara I’ve ever used, and the tiny little wand catches every lash.  Sure, I still have to clean the wand, but what was I thinking tossing this little gem aside?  I started using this every day.  I wished I hadn’t left this sitting around to become a ticking time bomb.  If I had known how much I would love it, I may have been able to finish the tube.   Alas, the time has come to toss it out.

I have tons of mascara around here, but, well, I love this one, and, gosh darn it, I wanted it.  In full-size.  It’s that good!  I went to Sephora to put this into my shopping cart and break Rule #1 for this year:  Don’t buy makeup I don’t need.  Well, it turns out the gods were on my side on this one.  Sephora didn’t stock it.  Undeterred, I took to Google.  Neiman Marcus?  No.  Saks?  No.  Bergdorf?  No.  Nordstrom?  No.  It’s like it has vanished.  How can that be?  This is one of the best mascaras ever.  I mean, it all worked out for the best.  It saved me having to crack in January.  The fever to own this has passed.  Even though I dearly love it, I won’t buy it should I somehow come across this somewhere.

But YOU should.  This stuff is like magic in a tube.

YSL Vinyl Couture Mascara:  I love it, but I’m not going to buy it.


Sephora Play Box January 2017


Yes!!! It’s finally here!  I found the January Play Box from Sephora waiting for me in my mailbox last night.  My one real gripe with this is that I feel like it takes FOREVER to arrive.  I mean, really, I didn’t get this until almost the end of January.  That’s not exactly a January box if you ask me.  It’s an almost February box.  Anyway, it’s finally here, and it’s the first makeup I have gotten this year, so I was, needless to say, quite excited to rip it open.

Sephora Play, if you don’t know is kind of their answer to Birchbox or Ipsy.  For ten bucks a month, you get a half dozen samples from products available at Sephora.  There is an inserted packet on how to use everything.  There’s a video demo on, and they throw in a card for 50 bonus beauty insider points for an in-store purchase.

I debated keeping this subscription when I decided to become more conscious of where my money was going.  In the end I decided it was a pretty good deal to continue getting the box.  Most of the items they send me actually get used, and, overall, I think it’s a decent value for your money.  The trick for this year, for me, is to NOT convince myself that I absolutely love and need something in a current box and then run off and buy it when I have something at home that will substitute perfectly.

So onto the goodies.

The item I am most excited about in here and the one I’ve come close to purchasing on numerous occasions is the Tarte Frixxxion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser.  I’m all about the lazy cleansing products, and if this one will work quickly and not cause a breakout, I may have to go out and get it.

Next up is Clinique Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey.  This is another product I’ve picked up a time or two to purchase but never took the plunge.  It’s reviewed so highly on the website that it has to be good.  I just could never quite bring myself to buy it, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Then there’s Farmacy’s Honey Potion Renewing Antioxident Hydration Mask with Echinacea Green Envy.  I’ll admit to liking most of the things I’ve tried from this brand, but that’s a mouthful.  It’s supposed to warm up when you rub it into your skin, and winter, for whatever reason (probably the stress of quitting my job because my boss decided it was a good move to cease paying the staff and having to STILL deal with getting payment out of him over a month after I left.  But, hey, another story for another time.), has been terrible on my face, so if it actually moisturizes like it claims, I’m excited to try this one out.

Next in the box is Ouai Treatment Mask.  My hair isn’t really all that damaged, so I’m a bit indifferent about this one, but I will say this.  I absolutely can’t live without Ouai’s Wave Spray.  I hate brushing my hair, and that stuff makes it look presentable.  It’s like magic, so I’m curious to see how well this stuff works.

Amore Pacific’s Color Control CC Cream is also in there.  I’m not so sure about this one.  Both of the colors look entirely too dark for pale little ol’ me.  I am curious about the application process, though.  This one will likely get a try on a day when I know I don’t have to leave the house.  I have a feeling I’m going to end up with the skin tone a bit too orange for my liking.

Lastly, is a perfume sample of Tory Burch’s Love Relentlessly.  I am not so excited about this for one reason: patchouli.  I HATE patchouli.  I am hyper-sensitive to certain smells.  That is one of them, and I can’t stand it.  I haven’t sprayed this yet, and I am a little scared to.

That’s the first box of 2017.  I’ll report back as I get to using products and deciding if I like them or not, and whether I may actually buy something (like the Frixxxion stick!).

The total amount of money spent on product so far this year (and January is almost over!!!) is $10.89 with tax.