It’s been 6 months since I started my No Buy Year, and what a 6 months it’s been. Lots of changes, lots of travel, lots of fun little adventures… but most importantly, no beauty purchases whatsoever. I know. I have no idea how I’ve managed to do this, but suffice it to say, my bank account is looking a lot healthier, my cupboards are no longer groaning at the weight of my stash, I feel all Marie-Kondo-smug at my newly minimal (for me) collection, and my skin has never looked better. Let’s take a dive into the junk I’ve been putting on my face and body this month – with a halfway data update and a prediction about what the next six months will bring.
Total number of products used up: 19
Estimated retail value of products used up: £175.68
Total value of products used up this year already: £909.66
Reviews below as per usual…
(L-R: Boss ‘Ma Vie’ Body Lotion, Body Shop ‘Vanilla Chai’ Shower Gel, Jo Malone ‘Lime Basil & Mandarin’ Bath Oil, Soap & Glory ‘Sugar Crush’ Body Scrub)
Boss ‘Ma Vie’ Body Lotion – 6/10 – Ah man, I’m really not sure I should give this a 6/10, but I will because I love the scent. The lotion was insanely runny, almost milk-like, so its moisturising qualities were fairly minimal, but it did make me smell fabulous. Even better paired with the perfume, which of course I also own.
Body Shop ‘Vanilla Chai’ Shower Gel – 6/10 – The Body Shop does fantastic shower gels, in a range of good fragrances, but this one really didn’t do it for me. Very spicy, overwhelmingly so, which made me feel slightly ill whenever I stepped into my bathroom afterwards. Meh. I’ve had better.
Jo Malone ‘Lime Basil & Mandarin’ Bath Oil – 3/10 – How this has an RRP of £45, I’ll never know. Maybe it’s because I don’t like oils (lol) but this left my skin greasy with an overbearing fragrance. It only gets points because it looked bougie in my bathroom, but in my humble opinion that ain’t worth £45.
Soap & Glory ‘Sugar Crush’ Body Scrub – 8/10 – I’d used this before a few years ago, but using it again over the past month reminded me why I loved it so much. Thick and substantially gritty, this left my skin smooth and moisturised, and it smelt great to boot, like a citrusy milkshake. Would definitely repurchase. Knocked points off because it got all over my shower and it’s hard to scrub off.
(L-R: Tresemme 24 Hour Body Hairspray, L’Oreal Elvive Phytoclear Shampoo)
Tresemme 24 Hour Body Hairspray – 7/10 – This was a decent enough hairspray, but, uh, controversy alert… I actually use hairspray to fix my makeup, beauty pageant style. Worked pretty well for that, so I’ma stick with 7/10.
L’Oreal Elvive Phytoclear Shampoo – 6/10 – I’m not sure if this did anything for my psoriasis, but it smelt nice and felt luxurious on my hair. My hair was also incredibly shiny and smooth afterwards, so worth the £3 or however much it was, even if it didn’t stick to its scalp health claims.
(L-R: Benefit ‘Big Easy’ Foundation, Rimmel ‘Fix & Perfect’ Primer, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold)
Benefit ‘Big Easy’ Foundation – 1/10 – Confession time, I never actually used this up, there’s still a little bit in there, but I hated it so much I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Greasy, patchy, made my skin dry in areas and oily in others. Coverage was ok, but nothing remarkable, and you could probably get better with a Rimmel high street number. Do not purchase.
Rimmel ‘Fix & Perfect’ Primer – 9/10. Bored of talking about this now, it’s great, go and buy it.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold – 7/10 – This was a lovely little highlighter, but sadly for me it broke and shattered all over my makeup bag when I was travelling earlier in the month. Upsetting on a number of levels – it was expensive and was also limited edition. Try it out if you’re in the market for a new highlighter though, it was lovely and very flattering/natural.
(L-R: St Ives Apricot Scrub, Simple Facial Wipes, Thayer’s Facial Toner, Soap & Glory ‘The Fab Pore’ Purifying Foam, L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask, Enlite Super Face Facial Microdermabrasion)
St Ives Apricot Scrub – 7/10 – A classic scrub beloved by many who grew up in the 90s in the UK, it’s maintained its classic status, but may be a touch too abrasive now for my skin. I can’t believe how aggressive I was with this stuff when I was a teen, I’m shocked I had any skin left. Still does the job though, and smells nice to boot.
Simple Facial Wipes – 5/10 – These were pretty generic wipes, but they did the job just fine and were pretty cheap. Grab these if you’re in a pinch. Points knocked off because they’re fragrance free and I like my synthetic skincare scents.
Thayer’s Facial Toner – 2/10 – I picked this up in the States in April for a ‘treat yo’self’ session in my hotel room, but truth be told, I hated it. Greasy and stunk of old roses. Couldn’t wait to use it up. Avoid.
Soap & Glory ‘The Fab Pore’ Purifying Foam – 7/10 – This was a nice enough facial cleanser, but did leave my skin feeling kinda tight, so knocked off a few points.
L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask – 8/10 – Really enjoyed this face mask, it was cheap as chips and left my skin feeling amazing. Absolutely destroyed most of my flannels and towels though. Would probably opt for a lighter coloured mask in future.
Enlite Super Face Facial Microdermabrasion – 5/10 – I bought this last year in the States and it’s since been discontinued. Which is a good thing for all of you, as it was pretty average and didn’t, uh, microdermabrase (?) as well as I thought it was going to. It was also a surprisingly small pot.
(L-R: Mylee Pure Acetone, Bath & Body Works Spiced Mandarin Foaming Hand Soap, Sure ‘Bright Bouquet’ Deodorant, Zoella ‘Winter Wonderland’ Hand Cream)
Mylee Pure Acetone – 9/10 – Most of you know from previous posts that I do my own gel nails, and the removal process involves soaking cotton in pure acetone and wrapping it round your nails. This did the job in that it removed my polish and left my nails in fairly good nick. Thanks chemicals!
Bath & Body Works Spiced Mandarin Foaming Hand Soap – 9/10 – Loved this. Gorgeous scent and made my hands feel soft and well scented afterwards. Love love love.
Sure ‘Bright Bouquet’ Deodorant – 9/10 – Made me smell good. What else is there to say about deodorant?
Zoella ‘Winter Wonderland’ Hand Cream – 8/10 – As much as I hate Youtubers and the whole thing, I have to confess that this was a really nice hand cream. Non-greasy and smelt great. Probably would look for an alternative once I’m done with all of my current hand creams.
Thoughts and Predictions
We’re at the halfway point of this experiment, and so I thought it would be interesting to summarise my thoughts so far (in classic ‘me’ fashion, I have quite a few), and predict, based on the patterns exhibited over the past six months, what the results will look like at the end of the year. Let’s go!
- It takes far longer to use up a makeup product than you might think. Double the time you think, and triple the time if it’s a pressed product like an eyeshadow or a blusher.
- Because of this, it’s almost insulting the amount of shit we get pushed on us as ‘must-have products’. I blame Instagrammers, Youtubers, generic influencers for this, as well as the wider media. Let’s look at the stats here – I have 18 eyeshadow palettes. 18. My mother bought me a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette when I was 16 – and I still haven’t used up even one of the six colours (it’s now turned into a sentimental piece for me). Most women will never use up a single eyeshadow palette, so why are we constantly being pushed to buy palettes? Find one good quality palette in shades you know you’ll wear, and stick to it. Don’t be an idiot like me.
- Women – you do not need most of the products you think you do. Let me tell you something – I’ve been blessed with pretty good skin, and when I was in my twenties I treated it terribly. Slept in my makeup, used facial wipes frequently, never moisturised, never wore SPF. When I turned thirty, I thought I better do something about this or I’d turn into a leather handbag by the time I was forty, so I went out and I bought an entire skincare regime. Serums, weird oils, cleansers, soaps, all featuring weird peptides, vitamins, emulsions – you name it, it was in there. The second I started using the full range, my skin broke out, got inflamed, milia appeared around my eyes, and my cheeks burned up… because I was overloading my skin with chemicals and unnecessary steps. Don’t do this. Buy a good quality cleanser with minimal chemicals, a good facial SPF, drink water and get some sleep. You’ll be alright.
- I’m using up some types of products far quicker than others. I obviously take showers/baths every day, so it’s pretty understandable that my shower gel collection has decreased quicker than my, say, nail polish collection – but I’ve been quite surprised how long it’s taking to use up makeup in comparison, especially as I also use the stuff daily. This has resulted in me still having a HUGE stash of things like fake tan, but barely any products like deodorant, toothpaste or shower gels left. Therefore, I’ve had to shift to what some bloggers/subreddits are calling a Replacement Or No Buy (RONB), which is still working well and means that at the end of this crazy experiment, I should hopefully end up with just one of everything. You know, like a normal person.
- I will reach over £2000-worth of empties by the end of this year (I’m currently at £909.66)
- I will use up over 200 products this year (I’m currently at 113).
- I will use up at least another five tubes of the Rimmel Fix & Protect Primer.
Ready for the next six months? I am! Let’s do this!