Low-Buy Progress Report #2: February

Welcome to my second low-buy progress report for 2016! I used up a few things this month and needed to buy replacements, but I did a much better job of staying under my $40 limit for brand-new items. Oh, and I’ve added two new categories to this series of posts. In addition to chronicling my new purchases every month, I’m going to record the makeup I destash and the items I’m thinking of buying in the near-ish future. Without further ado:

New makeup/polish:

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows in Shop (top) and Eye Candy: $5 each
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Trap: $6
ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Rain: $8
Zoya Kristen: $9
Total: $33

I’m pretty happy with everything I bought this month! At the beginning of the month, I made a ColourPop order. CP has come under fire for their deceptively bulky packaging, but I’d rather pay $5 for a deluxe-sample size of a crazy eyeshadow color than $20 for a large size. My surprise favorites from my haul are Shop, an almost-matte coral eyeshadow, and Trap, a liquid lipstick that doesn’t rip my poor lips to shreds. Rain and Eye Candy, the two products I expected to favor, are decent but not mindblowing.

Kristen, a faded gray-blue, was an impulse buy at Whole Foods. I love my blue polishes, and this is a perfect winter-to-spring transitional color. Unfortunately, the polish starts chipping within 48 hours, but that’s not unusual for me. Here’s Kristen with a layer of Floss Gloss Dimepiece on top:


Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat: $7.50
CeraVe PM: $14
Revlon Super Length Mascara in Black: $9
Milani Brow Shaping Gel: free with CVS coupons, bitches!
Total: $30.50

The only new-to-me product here is Revlon Super Length, a replacement for CoverGirl LashBlast Length, my discontinued standby. (If you’re curious, Tynan at xoJane has reviewed all five mascaras in Revlon’s newly reformulated range.) I like subtle mascaras that provide a bit of extra length and color without clumping, and Super Length fulfills all those criteria. I rarely get excited about mascara, but I’m very impressed with this one. And how cute is that bottle?

Here’s an awkward photo that may or may not capture the effect of the mascara:

Total beauty spending for February: $63.50

Overview: My original resolution was to buy two new products per month. As you may have noticed by now, that’s not a realistic goal for me. I don’t have trouble staying within a monthly budget, but a strict limit on the number of items I can buy per month is less effective because it makes less obvious sense. This month I actually destashed more eyeshadows than I bought (more on that later), and I’m not going to run out of space on my makeup shelf anytime soon. But I don’t want to do away with the limit altogetherit’s helpful to have a benchmark in mind. For now, I’ll raise the new-product limit from 2 to 3; however, I’ll also institute a “one in, one out” rule, at least for the next few months. (No, this does not give me carte blanche to buy half a dozen new lipsticks if I happen to destash six. That’s “one in, one out,” not “one out, one in.”)


(Links to earlier reviews where available.)

NYX Jumbo Pencils in Knight and Yogurt: Okay, guys, I need you to slap me if I ever so much as entertain the thought of buying another NYX eye product. Both of these are too, well, jumbo to use as eyeliners, but they’re not great as cream shadows, either. Knight is stiff and hard to blend, while Yogurt is too sheer and slippery to have much lasting power, and I have better versions of both colors in different formulas.

Maybelline Line Stiletto in Blackest Black: I’ve accepted that I can’t wear liquid liner. It doesn’t look good on me and I can’t get it to work with my eye shape and eyelid folds. Plus, this tube of Line Stiletto is 1-2 years old and it starts flaking off within minutes. Gross.

Maybelline Line Precision Eyeliner in Enoby Ebony Black: I have no memory of either buying or wearing this eyeliner, yet it’s in my collection and shows signs of frequent use. Truly a mystery. I can only assume that I bought and wore this in my very early days of making up. Come to think of it, this is the kind of pencil my mom wears every day, and she may well have given it to me. In any case, it has to be at least three years old by now, and I rarely wear eyeliner anyway.

NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Dolly Pink: Remember that brief period of time last year when I decided I needed multiple lip liners for some reason? Yeah. I’ve worn this maybe twice since buying it, and it’s thick and gummy and catches on all my dry spots. I bought Dolly Pink specifically to wear under Maybelline Lilac Flush, but I actually prefer Lilac Flush as a sheer color, and my other cool pinks aren’t sheer enough to need a liner.

Perfume Samples: I think I got these with Ulta orders. One of them is Tocca Stella, which smells like my grandmother in 1992, and the other is an anonymous patchouli nightmare.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows in Krinkle and Bae: Word to the wise: ColourPop eyeshadows last one measly year before drying out. And frankly, I never liked Krinkle or Bae much anyway: Krinkle’s glitter is too large and too densely packed, and Bae isn’t the duochrome promised on the website. Womp.

Milani Bella Eyes in Bella Taupe: This failed miserably as an eyeshadow, but I thought I might use it as a contour powder one day. That day has not arrived. And if I do wake up one morning wanting to contour (very unlikely), I have a similar matte gray in my custom theBalm palette.

Getting rid of these eye products was easy, but a far more daunting task awaits me. Over spring break, I plan to swatch all my lipsticks and glosses and do an epic round of LIPSTICK SURVIVOR (Liz’s awesome coinage). I have way too many lip colors for one mouth. It’s not even a large mouth.

And, finally…


I know I’m not going to buy more than one of these next month. But which one, if any? No idea. Suspense!

1. Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pickled Ginger ($26)

Coral is a tricky shade for me to wear. Some coral lipsticks light up my face while others drain the life out of it, and it’s impossible to predict which effect a coral will have. I’ve been hunting for a flattering coral-pink lipstick for a while now, and Pickled Ginger looks promising, but I’m certainly not going to buy it without seeing it in person. I hope I’ll have a chance to visit Sephora during my trip to New York next month. I’m curious about Bite’s new Amuse Bouche formula! (For what it’s worth, Temptalia gave Pickled Ginger an A.)

2. NARS Sheer Lipstick in Roman Holiday ($28)

By contrast, I can be fairly confident that a sheer cool pink like Roman Holiday will suit me, and I know I love the NARS sheer lipstick formula. But I already have a couple of cool pinks, so I’m not sure I can justify buying this one.

3. NARS Blush in Gaiety ($30)

This is a beautiful pastel pink (much lighter and cooler than it looks in this product shot) and I’ve wanted it for a few months, but it’s also thirty dollars and I already have ten blushes, three or four of which I probably wouldn’t miss if they vanished from my shelf. TMO, as they say on Reddit.

And that’s it! Two holdovers from last month’s wishlist, plus one new item, and I might not even buy any of them. What’s happening to me? Maturity? Surely not.

5 thoughts on “Low-Buy Progress Report #2: February

  1. Hi!I've been following your blog for a few months (and I also spent a couple of late nights going through your entire archive of posts, even though I probably should have been studying instead, haha! :)I truly enjoy your way of writing about beauty and makeup; especially when you make references to art and literature, which is always so fun and interesting to read!Oh, and funnily enough we seen to have quite a few makeup items in common, like NYX Alabama, NARS Mysterious Red, NARS Dolce Vita, Topshop Get Me Bodied, NYX Jewel and more! As it happens, I think I found your blog when I was searching for reviews/swatches for… I want to say Revlon Sultry, maybe? I didn't end up buying it though, but still!I actually also own NYX Yogurt, which happens to be one of my favourite \”eye makeup thingies\”, haha. I (obviously) don't normally like any kind of eye makeup (I'm all about the L I P S !), but Yogurt looks absolutely amazing as a liner under/on my lower lash lines, going all the way into the corners of the eyes. The colour really \”lights up\” my eyes beautifully, and it doesn't really crease that way, but I'm sorry it didn't work out for you! Although, I absolutely agree that it's incredibly difficult to use as an eyeSHADOW, since it just. doesn't. stay. put! ;)Wow, that turned into quite a long comment considering that all I was trying to do was to say that I'm a big fan of your blog, but whatever. 🙂


  2. I had a similar resolution about Nyx. I was always drawn by the low prices, especially when you buy 3 or 4 together on eBay. To be honest, I can live without most of them. I have the Jumbo eyeshadows as well and I rarely use them. They just look too glossy on the eye and don't last long either. So I'm stopped thinking about Nyx, except I ended up buying Milk two months ago because white eyeshadow is a staple, right?I can understand the amount/price ratio for Colourpop might be unappealing but really, a bright sparkly purple eyeshadow like Lace isn't going to get that much use. I'd rather pay $5 and just use it when I need it. I'm not going to lose sleep over it.I picked up Nars Dolce Vita a few months back and I love the formula! I was always in two minds about spending so much on a sheer nude lipstick which also seems to be on the lower end of what constitutes 'value'. I don't care anymore, I enjoy wearing them and they are by far my most used lipsticks, I'd rather spend more on a sheer nude than a bright opaque fuchsia. I'm interested in the new Bite Beauty formula as well, the shade Pepper really caught my eye!Also, to conclude, I'm very much happy to see the low buy plan going well. Personally, I don't see myself doing a no-buy but something like these could defintiely be worked out the future.


  3. Whoa, that's crazy that we have so many products in common, and not even well-known cult products! Do we have similar coloring? Hmm, maybe I should give Yogurt another try on my lower lashlines. I tend not to put anything there, so I may have been overlooking a good use for my neglected liners.You could not have given me a better compliment than that you stayed up late reading my archive. That makes me so happy! Thanks for commenting. ❤


  4. Nyx is so tempting, especially when you're just starting out with makeup, but I've been disappointed way too many times. That said, I do like the jumbo pencil in Iced Mocha, though I don't use it often. And the butter glosses and intense butter glosses are some of my favorite glosses on the market…except that I almost never wear gloss.I wish ColourPop shadows lasted longer, but if you don't buy dozens of them at once it's not hard to at least hit pan on your favorites within a year. And if I happen to use up a color like Shop and find that I can't live without it, I can always find it in a larger quantity with a more long-lasting formula, but I do like the freedom of trying out multiple weird colors for a low overall cost.Dolce Vita is my favorite lipstick to pair with intense eye looks! It's so close to my natural lip color that it basically functions as a tinted balm. And I agree, far better to spend extra on a nude lipstick you'll wear multiple times per week than a special-occasion red you'll wear a couple of times a year. I'm glad I learned that lesson early on (though not without a few slip-ups).I've actually been enjoying my low-buy! Staying under budget is almost like a game, and there's a self-care aspect to monitoring your expenses, playing with your older makeup, and being picky about what you let into your collection.


  5. I'm totally binge reading your blog right now and I just wanted to comment and say that your inclusion of \”Enoby\” made me laugh hysterically. My Immortal will always make me crack up.


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