Empties are posts that I do where I tally the amount of beauty products that I empty. It also is something that I do that makes me feel like a total hoarder (empty bottles accumulate until the end of a month for a “photo shoot”), but hey, bloggers are weird people. There’s a few reasons why I’m so consistent with my Empties post. Firstly, it helps me keep up with what I’m actually using. I can quickly reference and see if something was a hit/miss for me. Secondly, readers engage with these posts. I think because there are mini-reviews and/or these posts remind us to use what we have. Empties are enjoyable posts; I read them on other blogs. I can’t explain why I’m attracted to the feature, but I am. There is something oddly satisfying about seeing someone talk about a collection of beat up, empty, ugly bottles. It’s refreshing to see what people actual use vs. shiny new releases.
I quickly added these up and I’m may be off by a small margin. Here’s my grand totals of 2017:
Travel/Deluxe Samples: 105
WHAT?! Is it even possible to empty this many things? That is 146 more empties in 2017 than 2016. I think there is a few reasons for this.
I was aggressive about Operation Sample Empty. I tried to empty perfume samples, hair and skincare samples monthly. This inflated the final total. Oh, and I am doing the Sephora Play subscription box thing. This means that I get stupid, random little things delivered to my house monthly. I have more samples to empty.
Another thing – I started a Low-Buy in 2017 and failed at it miserably. I’ll talk about that in more detail later. I failed; yet, I still bought less. This means that I was using more of my stash even if it felt like I wasn’t.
When I look at categories, I mostly empty skincare items. This doesn’t surprise me as my skincare routine is unnecessarily “complicated”. These empties included a lot of fancy sample items that I’ll never buy, reliable full-size cleansers/toners and treatments. When I empty fragrances, it’s mostly samples. When I empty bath/body products, those are usually full-size. My least amount of empties are hair (32) and makeup (34). Both of those categories contain high amounts of travel/deluxe sample items.
Looking at my pattern of empties, I think it’s OK if I buy skincare. I seem to use it up. I also use up soaps/body washes (my weakness). This is great but I’m stocked! My input is still more than my output. This is a problem. What’s my biggest problem? Makeup. It is what I buy the most of; yet, it’s not what I’m emptying. I REALLY need to stop buying color cosmetics. I also need to get in the habit of when I do, something has to go.
The good news is that I only bought myself 4 fragrances in 2017. This is so much lower than previous years. I bought myself Mugler Angel Muse (small bottle on a 30% off sale), a small bottle of LUSH Lust, Ormonde Jayne Travel Set Lab 3 and 4711 Acqua Colonia White Peach & Coriander while I was in Budapest and it was 107º. I also bought some perfume samples, but it was less than 10 and were for various blog-related features (like Rose Week).
My Beauty Goals for 2018:
Yes, I failed in 2017. I knew this would be difficult. I “allowed” myself 2 units a month. I did OK for the first few months. Then things went poorly. I didn’t even fudge a little. I would binge. I would buy so much and then feel guilty. It was a stupid cycle.
Real talk – I realize that I deal with stress by buying stuff. I’m not making an excuse, I’m just saying that I’m aware of this faulty coping mechanism. I’m in grad school, life is stressful, etc. Here’s the deal, I could have worse habits. I have consumed less alcohol in 2017. I’ve been exercising regularly. (FYI – I have lost 25 pounds and kept it off since moving to NYC area!) I’ve been making healthy choices. HOWEVER, my vice is lipstick. I need to find a way to balance this. Because I do want to have something to indulge in but I also need to enjoy the things I have. I also don’t want to feel shame/guilt when I enjoy something. That’s messed up. I am re-instating a Low-Buy but allow 4 units a month. This gives me wiggle room for necessities/repurchases (like sunscreen) and then have room for a frivolous item.
Use up by backstock.
I have some wonderful things. Like my backstock of candles, shower gels and soaps are dreamy. But, I need to use them and stop bringing these things into my life. My goal, and you can laugh at me – I’m admitting my flaws in this post, is that I want to get myself to a candle wardrobe of 5 and only 3 shower gels/soaps in my house at a time.
Keep using up samples.
This is one goal I did accomplish in 2017. I will continue doing this. The stuff I don’t want/can’t use is being donated to a LGBT youth shelter and a woman’s shelter.
Buy more services/treatments and less products.
This sounds overly indulgent but whatever, this is a beauty/fragrance blog. I’m feeling the needs for some basic maintenance like a good hair cut and maybe some sort of cosmetic treatment. I’m also considering getting braces to fix my fed-by-food-stamps, no-health-insurance-growing-up, poor people teeth. While I’m on this topic, anyone have advice on their “adult braces” experiences?
Do you have any beauty-related resolutions/goals for 2018?