#EmptiesChallenge Update

I began my Empties Challenge on September 25th.  It is now November 24th.  Let’s discuss the progress I’ve made(?) within the past two months.

As you may recall, my challenge involved a cease and desist of all beauty purchases unless I emptied out and finished two products that I already had first.  Many details and stipulations were involved in this challenge, and you can read the full run-down here.

During October, I managed to finish off one Origins A Perfect World face wash,and one Caudalie Vinosource eye cream.  My choice for my first beauty purchase?  A much needed hair trim.  I was very happy with myself for making the decision to choose a necessary service of maintenance and self-care as opposed to, say, a new shade of blush from Sephora that in all likelihood I do not need.

Since then, I have managed to go through all of my Yes To Cucumbers cleansing face wipes, my Lancome Bi Facil eye makeup remover, and a travel-size Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet.  I’m also closing in on finishing my beloved Rahua shampoo, a couple of my favorite CoverGirl mascaras, and my Simple Micellar Water.

But here’s the problem that I’ve run into.  All of these things that I’m running out of are, well, things I already run out frequently because I use them frequently.  Makeup remover wipes?  Cleansing solution?  My favorite shampoo?  All things I use on a regular basis, at least three times a week.  I tend to use the micellar water to cleanse my face even when I haven’t worn makeup during the day.  So, when I run out of these things, I kind of need to repurchase these same items right away.  For example, I probably need to redeem two of those aforementioned almost-empties for a pack of face wipes this week because I use them so often.  And I know I won’t be able to last too long without a mascara that I trust.

IMG_1280

But this just keeps me locked into a pattern of buying the same items, and using the same items.  Which then keeps me from trying to use up my less-used products, like all my color makeup or nail polishes.  Which was one of the main objectives of this challenge in the first place- to use up my less-used products.  Which means I’ve kind of defeated the purpose of this challenge.

See my dilemma?  I mean, at least I’m not adding anything new to my collection of stuff and at least I’m not spending unnecessary cash, but I’m not exactly getting anywhere with all those unused lipsticks or that bottle of nice foundation.

So what’s the solution?  It’s actually pretty simple.  On top of using the things I normally use each day, I need to also make normal use of all my less-used stuff.  What does that look like?  It looks like not only washing my face each day, not only using my favorite moisturizer each day, but also wearing makeup each day!  The fact of the matter is that this challenge will only be an exercise in redundancy unless I begin to consistently use the products that I typically neglect.  I know I may just be restating my original objectives here, but that’s what you do with research data and experiments- you measure your progress against your original goals, determine what pitfalls you’re encountering, and regroup from there.

So the implications of all this are actually quite fun and something to look forward to- I need to wear more makeup on a daily basis.  I need to stop just using my Burt’s Bees and actually top it off with one of my glosses.  I need to add a little eyeshadow along with my common look of just mascara and liner.  Not the worst thing in the world, I suppose.

But this hasn’t been my only problem.  Here’s another speed bump I encountered- I completely forgot about my challenge one afternoon a couple weeks ago and got a blowout.  Yup.  It was after work, and I knew I was going to return to work just for a little bit that evening and I wanted something relaxing to do for an hour or two, and so I passed the time by getting a $25 blowout.  Can you believe it?  The stylist was literally massaging my scalp when I remembered, and I about cracked my skull against the ceramic tub.  Ugh.

See, those are the kinds of purchases that are just so unnecessary, and it wasn’t even fun or relaxing!  The stylist was stressed and annoyed because the salon had been having a champagne and Botox party (mind you, I had not been to this place before) and she’d hated interacting with the guests all day, so by the time she got to me she was at her wits end.  The poor girl couldn’t crack a single smile for the first twenty minutes of our time together, even when we were introduced.  Her irritated state was tangible, and I apologized to her a couple times because I knew I’d booked on short notice.

I ended up trying to talk and listen to her about life in general, what frustrates us as fellow introverts, and what kind of work environment and coworkers we enjoy most.  I even tipped her a full 20% because I felt bad and I encouraged her to ask her boss if she could be done for the day after finishing with me (a request that was granted).  In other words, I came in for a relaxing blowout and instead ended up trying to meet the emotional needs of the person who was supposed to be providing me with a paid service.  If you know me, you know that these are classic McKenna problems (read: extreme people pleaser, ISFJ, “I can’t be happy unless you’re happy”, assuming responsibility for others’ well-being, etc).  Not relaxing in the least.  Truth be told, I probably shouldn’t have tipped her at all.

So, yeah.  Due consequences for me being mindless and spending money on frivolities, I suppose.  And now I’m down another two empties!  Oh well.  I can start over and look forward to the fact that the only way for this challenge to yield some exciting results will be by getting creative with my makeup on a regular basis.  And that’s certainly nothing to complain about.  xo, MR

Advertisements

Weekday update! And how I have no sales resistance.

So, an update.

I’ve been using the same very cheap under-eye concealer for a couple years. I’m pretty sure the shade is wrong (a cool tone, which is not even a characteristic of my own skin), but for some reason I continue to use it. I thought I’d perhaps purchase the same concealer but in a neutral shade instead. So I stopped by Ulta (so that I also might purchase some new cologne for the husband … Givenchy Play smells like swag, but the nice, helpful, courteous, I-may-not-be-loaded-but-I-still-have-good-taste kind of swag) and found myself experiencing an acute lack of confidence as I checked for a better shade of my beloved L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable concealer. It’s not often that I feel the confidence drain out of me as I shop for makeup. I’m usually the one bossing someone else around in that situation. You need THIS blush! You’ll make your eyes pop more with this eyeshadow, dummy! Stop it- that shade makes you look like Snooki on an even worse day! So what did I do? I did the last thing … literally, THEE LAST THING … that I ever like to do in the beauty department: I asked for help from a sales associate.

It’s a strange combination of anxiety and exhilaration that I experience when I ask a beauty sales associate for help. On the one hand, I almost have this sort of avoidant disorder that makes me want to throw up when a sales associate approaches me and asks if I want to try anything or if I need any help. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m asked for money by a solicitor outside of Target. I’ll put my phone to my ear and pretend I’m talking to someone just to avoid contact with the person, or I’ll run past them as fast I can. I just hate having to say no. However, if I decide that I do want to try something on my own terms, I throw all caution to the wind and I want them to go absolutely crazy on me. The only problem is that, well, it’s really awkward if a sales associate tests a couple things on you and you don’t purchase something. In fact, if an associate ever does apply a full face of makeup on you at your own request, it is expected that you purchase at least two items. I’ve taken this policy to the extreme in that I feel obligated to purchase something shown to me by any associate if I’m helped at all.

So anyhow, I sort of on-purpose ran into a woman working at Ulta and explained my dilemma. She perked up, went and grabbed her favorite undereye concealer, and proceeded to perch me on a chair and blend the product neatly under my eyes. And it looked alright. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I experience this feeling of not liking something so much because I didn’t find it myself, even if it does exactly what I need it to do. But like a moron, I thanked the woman and walked away with the concealer- which was priced at thirty bucks. Ugh. Seriously? Not even $24.99? I don’t know, sometimes I can be pretty spineless when it comes to sales resistance. This stuff wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t even Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche’ Eclat (the legendary luxury undereye brightener and concealer that I own but am continuously underwhelmed by). The drugstore kind I’d been using never tops ten dollars, and I just felt like a sucker. And yet I did not want to say no and hurt the nice lady’s feelings! Her whole career in makeup might hinge on that thoughtful, enthusiastic sales pitch of hers!

So what did I do? I picked up one of the L’Oreal concealers in a better-matched shade, held on to the thirty dollar one too, stood in line, flashed the thirty dollar one unmistakably and reassuringly when my friendly helper walked by as she assisted another customer, made it to the register … and proceeded to sigh and whisper, “You know, I’m not going to take this today”, and handed in the thirty dollar concealer to be put back on the shelf, discreetly out of view from my helper. And then I bolted.

There’s something extra difficult about resisting a sale in the beauty department. Beauty sales feel more personal to me because usually the associate has taken the time to assess your personal features and desires, and has then used their technical skills by applying the makeup to your face. You feel as if they’ve pampered you a little bit, and you also may feel that they’ve played “artist” a little bit, and turning down a sale would be insulting to their artistic abilities. It’s something I really need to get over, though.

I don’t exactly have any pictures of my escape from Ulta, but here’s a picture of the current state of my medicine cabinet!

medicabinet

There isn’t a whole lot that’s new here. I found that Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Fluid for about a third of it’s original price (which always makes me worry that it’s old) and so I snagged it just to try. It leaves you looking very glowy, which I love, but it’ll never be worth the full price. I ran out of eye makeup remover (and I’d been using Caudalie’s) and so I picked up some of the famed Lancome Bi-Facil. It works really well, but I’m not used to the feeling of oil left on my eyes (as I’m pretty sure it’s not oil-free). I love having a pretty, sparkly, blue fluid in my cabinet though! Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a cult favorite for dry lips and skin, but it feels and smells as if it’s almost one hundred-percent petroleum or mineral oil, which freaks me out and makes me want to use the smallest amount possible. I got it for Christmas and luckily I know it wasn’t very expensive, but it definitely isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m about two-thirds through my Boscia B.B. cream, and half-way through my Acure night cream.  And nowhere through that Bio-Oil.  Anyone want that stuff?

And for a last little bit of excitement, I busted out my most saturated shade of pink yesterday in celebration of the spring-worthy weather we were experiencing.

CoverGirl

I’m wearing CoverGirl’s Lip Perfection lipstick in Spellbound, the most kick-butt shade of fuschia EVER.  It’s very much pink, but it’s got enough purply-plum in it to give it some edge and keep it from being too baby. The purple makes it more flattering for darker skin tones too.   I first applied a couple coats of it around ten in the morning and I think I reapplied a total of three times (one coat each time) during the whole day (and I think I finally scrubbed it off around nine at night).  I probably didn’t need to reapply any at all because the stain it leaves is very even, but over time the purple fades out of it and you’re left with the hot pink base.  I just like keeping it looking fresh.  Oh, and this photo is unfiltered!  No joke!

Let me know how your medicine cabinet’s looking these days, what spring makeup you’re trying, or your awkward stories from the makeup counter!  Believe me- I didn’t even get into my worst tale.  That’s yet to come.  xo, MR