In my last few posts I’ve been threatening to write an ode to pump bottles, so it was only a matter of time.
Beauty products, skincare in particular, come in all sorts of stupid delivery methods. The worst is bottles with droppers, but jars suck (exposing product to air and grubby fingers) and I can even find things to complain about with screw-lid squeeze tubes (let me pop the cap open with one hand, damnit!)
After I’ve paid my rent, bills, taken the cat to the vet (he’s fine, thanks for asking!) and whatever other expenses come up, I spend a lot of my spare income on beauty products. I love expensive perfumes and am prepared to drop cash on skincare, whether I’m testing something that’s trending or want to treat myself.
Most of the time, though, beauty products don’t need to cost much, and when things are expensive, you’re paying for the brand, the concept and the feeling of expensiveness rather than something that’s of a truly higher quality.
We’re all being taken for a ride. There’s no other way about it—brands don’t care about helping you get a bargain, or “empowering women” or whatever marketing fluff they’re selling you this week. They exist to make money. They cannot exist without you purchasing their products and making a profit off the products they’re selling you.
I learned this more than anything while I worked at Clinique. The ‘cost’ of a product to the store, or to the brand, is less than half what you pay retail. We should all know this anyway, but when you see the numbers written down it really brings it home. And the cost is even more inflated when the product itself doesn’t contain expensive ingredients or benefit from extensive innovative research.
So with all that said, what beauty products are you wasting your money on?
Kmart opened in Petone (my neighbourhood) two weeks ago and I’ve already been twice! I haven’t bought anything special—someone asked what I’d bought and I struggled to remember, because it was mostly impulse buys of cheap shit (more on that in a moment) but there are a few useful things I picked up.
I hate gift guides.
The closest I’ve come this year is writing about the Body Shop’s Christmas releases, which I guess is a gift-guide of sorts as it suggests giving them as Christmas presents, but that’s all you’re getting.
This time of year they’re the only things any blogger is publishing. (This isn’t directed at anyone specific, by the way, and if you don’t find humour in exaggeration, you can leave). Gift guides for you, for your mother, for your boyfriend, luxury gift guides, affordable gift guides, who fucking cares.
The contents of these gift guides tend to fall into a couple of categories.
I had my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday. All four of the fuckers, all impacted. It’s the first time I’ve ever had to go to hospital for anything, and the first time I had general anaesthetic. To say I was nervous is an understatement of stupid proportions. It went fine, of course, because modern medicine is incredible (seriously, anaesthetic is fascinating! They can literally turn your body off for half an hour and then you wake up FINE how does it work)
2015 was a weird year of change and discovery for me. I left a job to study makeup artistry at Weltec in the first half of the year, and after gaining my qualification I became Assistant Counter Manager for Clinique at Farmers Lambton Quay. In December I handed in my resignation after working for Clinique for six months.
I haven’t written a lot here over the past few months, for a bunch of reasons. One of them, I’ll be honest, is because if I’m deciding between whether to write something for my own blog or for xoVain (where I get paid), I’ll pick the latter. At the moment my income is pretty inadequate and my partner is looking for work, so every little bit helps.
Related to that, I guess, is that I haven’t had as much money to spend on products for myself, and I don’t want to fall back on writing exclusively about PR samples. With that in mind, the next few posts on Hyacinth Girl will be good old-fashioned product reviews, of things I’ve bought and am into and want to rave about. While you wait for those, however, I’d suggest having a read of xoVain 💖
I’ve started going to the gym regularly again, but don’t worry – there’s no chance of Hyacinth Girl becoming a fitness blog. It’s still a slog getting my shit together and actually making it to the gym, and my endorphins aren’t winning out over my preference for sitting down or getting an extra hour’s sleep. That being said, there are a few things that have definitely helped make going to the gym slightly less miserable.
What do you do when you ask a brand for a press sample of an upcoming release but before it arrives the associated celebrity does something that confirms that they are, in fact, The Worst and you don’t really want to support them? Write a conflicted blog post about it, obviously.
The Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes was something I coveted highly approaching Christmas last year. I audibly gasped when I first saw it on Temptalia. I think it’s because individually the Benefit blushes are quite expensive, and don’t have anything else particularly desirable about them (apart from the scent of Georgia, which was sadly discontinued like most things that have my heart). The tin was affordable, and novel, but it too is discontinued.
As soon as it arrived I was like, okay wow, they really committed to this novelty tin vibe. It’s big and cumbersome. It doesn’t really make me want to use these blushes. It’s also kind of ostentatious and Benefit’s cutesy packaging isn’t the most professional thing to pull out on a makeup job. Until I remembered that depotting was a thing. So join me on my journey of depotting Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot.