LIFE | On spending money

Something strange has been happening to me during recent late-night, online cart-filling events: I haven’t felt like buying anything. Maybe it would be more accurate if I said I haven’t felt like spending money on makeup. This happened concurrently with my realisation that a large portion of my makeup goes unused and would, in all honestly, not be missed if it were to disappear.

This is after the box had been raided.

Two things have come out of this. The first is that I filled a box with makeup, took it to work and have distributed the majority of it to friends and colleagues. The second is that I am going to change my spending habits – not a ‘no-buy’, because that is unpleasantly self-inflicted, but a natural adjustment to where my money goes.

Here’s how it happened. The top of my makeup desk is very, very messy, but everything on the surface is there because it gets used. My Sheer Glow, Brow Wiz, Painterly paint pot… all that stuff you know I love and use on the daily.

The rest of my makeup chills in my MUJI drawers at the end of my desk, out of direct sunlight (they got moved after I discovered a couple of lipsticks pooling in their tubes. Woops.) It occurred to me that if the entire contents of those drawers were to go missing, they wouldn’t be particularly missed. Things like bright blushes and far, far too many lip glosses and lipsticks.

I ruthlessly threw that shit into a box. It filled a fairly large box. I hefted it to work on Friday and by lunchtime had sold half of it to a girl in my team – mostly the NARS and Laura Mercier products that I had bought because I love NARS and Laura Mercier, not because I actually had a use for them. Here’s her happy IG photo of her haul, which I am also happy about, because it means all this will actually get used rather than languishing in my overstocked stash.

The thing with being a beauty blogger is that there’s a kind of baseless compulsion to acquire everything, regardless of need. Chanel puts out a new foundation and suddenly I’m at Farmers after work getting colour-matched, even though I have a new bottle of NARS Sheer Glow, and plenty of other alternatives if I want to switch it up. I find myself buying drugstore dupes of MAC lipsticks I don’t have or want, just to own them.

For a long time I’d feel uneasy about wearing the same blush every day, because I own so many and I felt like the others were going to waste. Instead of getting rid of some of the others, I’d chuck them on my face and wear them, even though I wasn’t 100% content with how they looked. I guess I feel like I’m not fulfilling my duty as a beauty blogger if I’m wearing the same makeup every day… as if that’s how it works? I’ve been wearing MAC Lured to Love every day for the past couple of weeks and I’ll happily keep that as my primary cheek-wear for the near future.

Some of the things in that box I was hoarding so I could write about them here, but I realised that the reason I hadn’t written about them, or even got them out of a drawer and put them on my face, was because I was completely indifferent to them. There is absolutely no point setting up, shooting for a post and writing if all I am going to say is “yep, that sure is a cream blush.” I literally do not care either way. That’s why I don’t miss them and won’t miss them. You can look at Siobhan’s picture up there and safely assume that my position on all of the products pictured is indifferent. I am pretty stoked that the LM tinted moisturiser matches her skin perfectly, though!

So where will my money be going? One big spend is on a pretty big blog revamp, so keep an eye out for that. I’m also looking to replace my Macbook before it gives up completely and I lose everything (I have probably jinxed it by typing this and it will be dead in the morning).

I think the realisation came, however, when I needed to buy new underwear and was cringing at it being out of my budget. Out of my budget my ass, I’ve just bought too much nail polish this pay! I did pop into Farmers to discover my favourite underwear brand was 50% off, so let me take a second to go on a tangent and tell you about the most comfortable undies in the world. These ones, let me tell you. Soft, comfy as fuck, none of this slinky nylon non-breathable bullshit. No pantylines chopping your butt in half because they’re “full brief”. Full brief, full comfort (not particularly sexy though).

Does this mean I’m going to stop writing about makeup? No way. Does this mean I’ll be more thoughtful about what I buy? For sure. I’m excited.

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  • I’m totally there with you, it’s like an addiction, I keep seeing and reading about things thinking omg I need that, when I’ve barely touched a lot if the stuff I already have! Still, I would have loved to get my hands on some of the beauties in that box! X

    • Sometimes I buy things and then as soon as I own them I’m not interested anymore – addiction is definitely the word for it.

      The stuff in the top photo is still in the box so if it sticks around for much longer I’ll do a wee blog sale post! I know some readers will be keen on those tarte blushes in particular x

  • Yes yes yes. I’ve got to have a ruthless cull soon. The Topshop undies are pretty good for comfort too but they don’t do them at the Department Store which is annoying.

    • Aw no Topshop at all in Wellington! Well, a little bit is stocked in the KW store but definitely no underwear. At least Auckland is getting that big Topshop on Queen Street next year! I wonder what their pricing will be like…

  • Great post! With so much make up being released all the time I can see how it would be easy to buy buy buy! I think I’ll have to try out those undies – I need some super comfy ones esp for working out!

    • Thanks Nicola! These undies are SUPER good for working out, although they come up really high so if you’ve got leggings/shorts with a low-ish rise they might peek out the top of the waistband!

  • spooky

    Honestly, I’d rather see people’s underpants sticking out the top of their waistbands than their butt cracks. And can I just high five you for the full brief love?! I ADORE a full brief. Sorry not sorry, those babies are my JAM.

    Re the beauty blogger conundrum: one of my favourite things is when beauty bloggers review their empties. That is a win/win in that it encourages bloggers to actually use up their goods and then the weirdos like me who apparently enjoy looking at other people’s rubbish gets to ogle the stuff you’ve finished. (WHY is that so satisfying? I wish I knew!)
    Another thing you might consider is that you can use different makeup products in different ways. Like, a foundation that was always a little too dark for you might help contour your face under something more appropriate. Or you could use a different combination of eyeshadows to create work/weekend/wow looks. I have a blush that I hate using as a blush (too pink – makes me look like I’ve just run a marathon), but it makes the sweetest looking eyeshadow.

    I don’t know if it’s something in the air or what, but I have been decluttering like crazy. My sister calls it “nesting” even though I’m not pregnant. I just can’t help it, but I’m using up, giving away, or tossing up so much stuff lately. I just don’t want to be drowning in “stuff”. I’ve made huge inroads in my beauty products too. I’m choosing to cycle through products rather than double down on just 5 or 10 or so. I figure that way if anything starts to go bad, I’ll know sooner rather than later, and plus it’s more interesting from a “variety is the spice of life” point of view.

    Yikes. Long comment is long! Sorry about that; I obviously had a lot to say! 😛

    • I have a drawer slowly filling with empties in preparation for my next empties post! I’m waiting until I get a good balance of makeup and skincare, because I use up skincare much faster, obviously, and to me that’s just not as interesting? I don’t know, there probably is enough in there to do a whole post on, I should get working on that.

      There’s another post I’m mulling over at the moment that will be up soon about fresh starts. Isn’t it the way where as soon as you start decluttering in one area of your life, you want to change everything up? I say this as I am typing from my new Macbook which is MUCH faster, smoother and decluttered than my old 😉

  • I often think about this with clothes, but not makeup. Like, apart from lipstick colour I really don’t change up my look that much, so why did I buy that purple eyeshadow? Gonna make myself wear more of my stuff 🙂

    • I have had to wear all black to work for the past almost two years, so I’ve settled into a pretty comfortable situation with clothes. Black things go with other black things, easy!

      I tried a thing ages ago where I posted with products I wanted to use because I never use them, but then I realised that I don’t use them for a reason…

  • I’m not a beauty blogger by I hear you on the spending money for the sake of spending it sometimes! What a great way to pass on some on the in used products to someone who will use them though!

  • Georgia

    For high end products I definitely hold off a bit to make sure it’s something I’m certain about and look up trillions of reviews before I buy, so I generally love the product when I finally get my hands on it. Otherwise I’ll try to sell it off quick, before I can halfheartedly convince myself it “doesn’t make my eyebrows tooooooo too dark” or “my face kind of suits really muddy looking bronzer, right??”. However over the past month I’ve brought three mascaras simply because I’m lookin’ for ‘da one’, even though I’ve already got a couple I already really like, gotta blame it on that darn HG mentality I guess (do HGs truly exist or did a really wise marketing exec just earn their early retirement with that one?). But I definitely don’t have the cash to go out and purchase random bits and pieces every time Mac releases a new collection..however if I did, I might.. #muoprobshuh

    • MAC’s ploy of releasing limited edition collections is a really effective one when it comes to generating desire – that feeling that you need to buy something before it sells out, so you don’t get the chance to mull it over, save up and eventually come to the conclusion you don’t need it.