Low-Buy 2017 Progress Report: January

Well, we somehow got through January, even if we spent the last third of the month refreshing various news sites in growing horror. And now it’s time for my first low-buy progress report of 2017! A reminder of the low-buy goals I’ve set myself this year:

  • No more than two makeup products per month, excluding replacements
  • No new nail polish in the first half of the year

And that’s it for the consumption part of my beauty resolutionsthe more I make, the more I’ll forget, right? So let’s see how well I did in January:

New Makeup:

L-R: The Ultimatte, Nudist Peach, Missy and Fierce.

Milani Amore Matte Metallic Lip Creme in 15 The Ultimatte: $8
Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit Lipsticks in Nudist Peach and Missy and Fierce: $5 each
Total: $18

New Skincare:

Skinfood Super Nut mask, My Beauty Diary Damask Rose mask, and Tosowoong Propolis mask (already used): $7ish total
Etude House My Beauty Tool blotting papers: $4
Samples: COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Mask and Snail Mucin Essence; Cure Natural Aqua Gel
Total: $11


Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Essence x2: $30
Revlon Volume + Length mascara: $7
Total: $37

Total for January: $66

Reflections: Okay, so I bought three new pieces of makeup. Three liquid lipsticks, yet: who am I? Someone who increasingly values long wear in her lip colors, I guess. The Milani Amore Matte liquid lipstick was a pre-interview impulse buy. Unfortunately, it has the same drying formula and awkwardly large applicator as the non-metallic Amore Matte I reviewed back in 2015, but the pigmentation is much more even and that metallic purple is gorgeous. Then I tried Wet n Wild Nudist Peach and liked the formula so much that I had to go back for Missy and Fierce, which turns out to be the best liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. Seriously. I wish the Liquid Catsuit lineup had more interesting colors, but I suppose that’s a good thing for my budget. I’m not too bothered about having gone over my two-piece limit (it’s not a hard limit, more of a number to keep in mind), but I’ll try harder to stick to it in February.

When I visited San Francisco in December, my Bioré sunscreen was out of stock at the store where I’d last bought it, and I couldn’t find it anywhere else before I left. By the end of January, I was down to the bottom of my current tube and dreading having to order more from Japan. So when I visited a friend in New York last week, I made a trip to oo35mm in Chinatown, and they had it! And I bought two tubes because I’m too much of an agoraphobe to brave the chaos of Canal St. more than twice a year.

By the way, I’ve created a running document to keep track of the lipsticks I wear in 2017. Some people use spreadsheets, but I’m too lazy and low-tech for that shit. I just copied and pasted my lipstick inventory into a Word document, and whenever I wear a lipstick I put an asterisk next to it, like so:

This document is immensely helpful for visualizing my collection at a glance and pinpointing shades that I’ve been neglecting. (Left to my own devices, I naturally wear my newer lipsticks over and over.) It’s also interesting to see patterns emerging: as you can see, I wore red lipstick ten out of 31 days in January, which is very unusual for me. I attribute my newfound love of red to feeling angry on both micro (academia) and macro (Trump) levels pretty much constantly.

Current Wishlist:

MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl ($17)


A year and a half after its release (my usual delay when it comes to trends), I’ve become fascinated with the plum-pink-gray-brown that is Whirl. It’s the kind of shade that could easily go wrong on me, though, so I’d like to try it on before buying. This is no guarantee that I won’t order it late one night after submitting a postdoc application, but I hope I do the responsible thing.

2. NARS Blush in Threesome ($30)


This pale lavender-pink blush (cooler-toned and lighter than it looks above) is part of the limited-edition Pop Goes the Easel collection, which features three blushes, three Sheer Pop Multiples, and four Velvet Lip Glides. The collection is already available in Asia and the UK, but for some reason won’t be released in the US until March 1. However, I have the inside hookup: my boyfriend, who lives in England and loves me enough that he’s willing to visit his local Selfridges and ask the NARS vendors if they have Threesome blush in stock.

16 thoughts on “Low-Buy 2017 Progress Report: January

  1. I've been to two protests in the last couple weeks and both times I came close to wearing red lipstick, the better to shout with. Then I remembered that it would be cold out and I would have to wipe my nose a lot, and I have not found that situation to go well with lipstick, or really any makeup at all. I'm sure I'll have other opportunities in warmer weather…


  2. You need a long-lasting liquid matte lipstick! That Wet n Wild one would be a great protest lipstick. I do feel you on the constantly running nose, though. Personally, I find that the pleasure of wearing lipstick outweighs the inconvenience of occasionally smearing it with a tissue.


  3. Ugh, I was hoping that 2017 would be way better than the shitshow that was 2016, but how can it be now? Every day since January 20 has seemed worse than the one before it. Though I'm an American citizen I feel so helpless up here in Canada, even more so since our PM doesn't seem to want to take any actionable steps to mitigate the bullshit that's happening down there. Our Parliament had an emergency debate last night, called by our left-wing opposition party, about taking in more refugees and repealing an agreement that means that anyone turned away from the US can't then seek refuge in Canada. Unfortunately the government doesn't want to do anything about that. I've written to my MP and I wish there was more I could do! I'm horrified by what's happening in the US and pretty ashamed of my own country right now too.On a less depressing note, I like your lipstick document! I might have to start doing that. I have somewhere around 50 lipsticks and yet I seem to wear the same 10 all the time. I gravitate towards my newer purchases, too, which I guess is only natural, but there's lots of older stuff in my collection that deserves some love.


  4. At least 2017 is the devil we know (sort of), whereas 2016 was the devil we didn't know. My hope is that Trump can't keep up this frenetic pace for long, but of course I'm not taking that for granted. It's gotten so bad that I'm seriously considering leaving academia and going into politics–not running for office, but doing something behind the scenes.The lipstick document has been immensely helpful, though I've caught myself feeling guilty when I choose a newer lipstick over an older one, which isn't quite the outcome I wanted. But I do like the challenge of choosing a lipstick I haven't worn in a while and figuring out an eye look to go with it.


  5. I stole it myself from a reader named Lulu, who commented on my inventory post that she's been keeping a Google document to track her lipstick usage. There's something very soothing about keeping tabs on which lipsticks I'm using; it gives me the sense that I have control over at least one aspect of my life, haha.


  6. Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how I did! I hope to review the Wet n Wild lipsticks soon. My understanding (both from my experience and from the reviews I've seen) is that the reds and pinks are fabulous, but the darker and lighter colors are a bit patchy.


  7. Ohh I've been eyeing those Wet n Wild catsuit lipsticks, the CVSes near me don't have them in yet. What did you think of Nudist Peach? I like the look of it but I'm worried it might be too pale and/or too pink. I'm also trying to slow down my purchasing (good job on that btw!) but these are so cheap it's easy to make an exception. 🙂


  8. Whoops, sorry I didn't answer this sooner! Nudist Peach applies a little streaky, and adding a second layer can make the formula turn sticky. I've found that the best method is to quickly fill in the patchier places before it dries down. So not a perfect formula, but it's very comfortable, and I like that it's not as bright and pastel as some peaches. Of the two I've tried, though, I'd definitely recommend Missy and Fierce.


  9. Thanks for the info! (and don't worry about the time, I know everyone's busy) I'll keep that in mind when deciding which one(s) to get. I'm glad to hear that it's comfortable though, especially from you!


  10. I've never made the leap into a database either. I do have a swatch book of lipsticks, and I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually am pretty good at using most of the shades from my criminally large collection. And when I don't, it helps remind me of the ones I'm neglecting. (The swatch book idea doesn't work as well for shadows and blushes, since they fade quickly when applied to paper and I can't find a notebook made out of human skin.)


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