Yes, I am still trying to keep this up!
However, you could probably drop the “empties” term from the whole thing and just call it an “empties update” from now on. Because there really was no particular end goal in mind for this, my so-called Empties Challenge has developed into more of a general tracking and analyzing of spending habits. So, this may be a little boring for you as a reader, but I’m basically going to lay out what my beauty spending has looked like for roughly the past three months and discuss what can be improved and what expenses lie ahead. I’ll also match it against what I’ve used up and finished at home.
My last update was on January 29th, so I’m just going to focus on purchases and empties for February through April.
I’ve only had five complete empties for this entire time period, and they don’t amount to much: a mini Kerastase Masquintense, Davines Momo conditioner, Burt’s Bees Sensitive facial towelettes, another CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara, and finally the Sally Hershberger keratin spray. I am still almost out of a lot of things, like my Acure night cream, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, UNITE 7 Seconds conditioner spray, my first Glossier Boy Brow, and my Shiseido Ultimune serum that I use at night. My NARS concealer is still holding on for dear life, too.
It’s frustrating how slowly I manage to go through things (except the Shiseido- I manage to go through serums like water). Part of what’s happened though is I’ve been trying to use other, lesser-used items in my possession, so that’s put some of the almost-finished ones on hold (especially in the hair department). I’ve also been going through lots of samples like Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime conditioning mask, but I couldn’t abide the scent of it so I discarded it after one use. Nevertheless, going through samples has slowed things down too.
This right is here is what a full, daytime skincare routine consists of for me if I’m firing on all cylinders. Three of these items were gifted to me, two were purchases of the past few months, and one has been with me for a while and is nearly finished. It’s just a mix of stuff I have going on, so getting through some of the bigger products without being wasteful is a challenge.
Now, let’s look at what I’ve purchased. And I’ve kind of blown it. Or at least, it feels that way.
February was the worst. I bought a BeautyBlender, cleanser for the BeautyBlender, a Becca Mineral blush, and a new Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick. That may not sound like much, but it adds up. I also bought my husband a fancy new beard oil to replace the nice IPA one that my mom got him for Christmas (Go Mom, and yes, IPA beard oils exist!).
March was a little better. I got a bang trim and a blowout (booked an assistant stylist for a much cheaper price!), but I walked out of the salon with a new Denman brush. Now, that brush has been exactly what I’ve needed for my bangs, but it was still something like eighteen bucks. I also purchased the Phase 2 Glossier kit on the day it debuted. Curse you, Glossier!!!
This month in April I’ve purchased an Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster, and that’s it. Whew. My mom and I went out for birthday mani-pedis while she and my dad came out to visit, but I don’t really count that toward this challenge. Beyond this, I’m declaring a full moratorium on all unnecessary expenses for three weeks (beginning with this past Monday). The moratorium will end on Monday, May 9th, just in time for … my dental appointment.
I’m kidding; a dental appointment isn’t exactly a frivolity. What I’m really saving for is my birthday in the middle of May; specifically, the hair appointment I’ve been thinking of gifting myself with once I’ve saved a little. And because it’s now about that time, I’ll be needing to book for color, and that has got me a wee bit terrified. Justin Kamm is the only stylist that has ever colored my hair and since he’s back in CA, I’ve been researching all kinds of options in Chicagoland for weeks. We’ll see what actually happens within the next couple months, but it’s worth it to nail down a salon out here that I can trust either way.
There aren’t a ton of Davines salons out in this area, so I’ve been looking into a couple Aveda ones since I really love and trust the brand. Then there’s the question of Do I go big and book a high-end salon in the city? Or is it more a thing of Trust the junior stylist that did a great job with your bangs/blowout and just say a few prayers? The junior stylist’s prices will obviously be much more reasonable, but there’s also the fact that if it doesn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, the loss wouldn’t feel so detrimental. It’s one thing to have a junior stylist in the next town over make some boo-boos with your hair that you can easily have corrected, and that you paid a discount price for; it’s another thing to book an expensive salon an hour away, have crazy high expectations, pay a ton of money, and then, if the worst happens, have to awkwardly try and tell these highly-reputed folks that you don’t like what they’ve done. And then if I had to make a second trip back into the city for corrections? Quelle horreur! But like I said before, we’ll see what happens.
All that to say, I’m still attempting to plug away at my current stash of goods and put off appointments when I can afford to. Even though it’s hard and purchases have cropped up here and there, it’s going to feel good to get through these next three weeks without buying anything. Along with the hair appointment, I’m hoping to save for Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream, Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder, and perhaps a lighter fragrance for summer. You feel the sunshine coming out from hiding in such a powerful way out here; you can’t help but want to celebrate with all five of your senses! xo, MR