And so it ends. The last month and wrap up of this year long project, and what a year it’s been! I’ll do more of a general annual wrap up shortly (including some snazzy data and charts, aren’t you lucky?), but for now, let’s recap the empties used up in December. Ho ho ho, etc.
Total number of products used up: 19
Estimated retail value of products used up: £122.99
Total value of products used up this year already: £1768.54
Nearly reached £2k of products, eesh! Let’s take a deeper dive into these, shall we?
(L-R: Formula 10.0.6 ‘Wipe Your Face Off’ Face Wipes, Garnier Micellar Water x 2)
Formula 10.0.6 ‘Wipe Your Face Off’ Face Wipes – 8/10 – I picked up these last time I was in the States in September, when I realised I literally had nothing to take my makeup with. Doh. These worked a treat – smelt good and did the job at a pretty low cost. Plus the packaging is cute.
Garnier Micellar Water x 2 – 10/10 – I’ve waxed lyrical about this product for the past year, so I won’t go over it again. Suffice it to say, this is the best budget makeup remover out there. Cheap, cheerful and gets rid of your makeup in one fell swoop. Great stuff. I’m not sure what the difference truly is between the formulas in these two bottles, mind – they seemed pretty identical to me.
(L-R from top to bottom: Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick, Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick, No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick, CND Shellac Nail Polish in ‘Rose Brocade’, Essie Nail Polish in ‘Big Spender’, BlueSky Hard Gel Builder, and Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in ‘Timeless Black’ and ‘Permanent Taupe’)
Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick – 7/10 – So I found this in my stash with the below lipsticks, after not having used them for a while, and not only was it mostly used up, it also had some weird white blobs on it (which I later discovered was wax bloom). Given these were way past the 12 month expiration mark, I thought it best to chuck them to the empties pile. From memory though, this was a nice enough lipstick, very mattifying and lasted a fairly long time on my lips. I’m not a huge fan of traditional lipstick anyway (total convert to liquid lipstick), but this was nice enough.
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick – 6/10 – As above, this joined the empties pile after I found wax bloom on the lipstick (as well as this particular lippie suffering from what I like to call ‘hot car syndrome’ – the inside lid looked like a massacre). This range claimed to be mattifying – I disagree with this description – but it was nice enough for a budget range, and came in a variety of colours. No idea if they’re even still doing this range, so this review might be completely worthless… sorry?
No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick – 4/10 – Ah, No7. Beloved of mums and nans up and down the country, but sadly this lipstick also bit the wax bloom dust, and didn’t make much of an impact even when I used it. I think I got it for free with the purchase of some skincare – I certainly didn’t buy it – thankfully, because it was pretty rubbish. I gave it some points because the packaging was quite sleek, if that kind of thing matters to you?
CND Shellac Nail Polish in ‘Rose Brocade’ – 3/10 – I love CND gel polishes for the most part. Smooth, pleasingly thick, and last for ages on the nails with correct preparation and application. Sadly though, this was a bust. A limited edition colour from what I can tell, it became very lumpy very quickly, didn’t apply well at all, and ran out weirdly quickly. The colour was also slightly misleading in my opinion. A real disappointment.
Essie Nail Polish in ‘Big Spender’ – 8/10 – Similar to CND, I bloody love Essie polishes for their ease of application and their lasting ability – but unlike the above CND polish, this hit the polish spot. A lovely unique colour with a great thick brush to apply, and lasted for quite a long time without chipping (subject to preparation, obv). Would recommend.
BlueSky Hard Gel Builder – 7/10 – I occasionally use hard gel builder on my natural nails when I want to strengthen them before using a Shellac colour, and I occasionally dabble in the world of pot-and-brush builders (you can also get hard gel builders in a polish bottle, which is a LOT easier) to apply these. This was fine – slightly too thick and fiddly for full marks, and required a fair amount of filing after curing to get a nice smooth base – but came off well and did the job of strengthening at quite a low price. Fair play, BlueSky.
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in ‘Timeless Black’ – 8/10 – This is a bit of a budget version of the MAC pro longwear paintpots , and in my eyes is almost indistinguishable. Very pigmented, smooth and lasts a long time on the eyelids without creasing, this is a great base for a dramatic smokey eye. Plus, if you ensure the lid is tightly on the pot, it lasts ages. Not bad for a fiver, huh?
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in ‘Permanent Taupe’ – 6/10 – Same formula as the above, but I’m knocking off a few points because quite frankly this colour is weird. Beige with a purple undertone, it made me look like I’d been socked in each eye by Anthony Joshua, and no amount of eyeshadow over the top would improve it. If you’re looking for a neutral base, check out ‘Creme de Nude’ or ‘Creme de Rose’ in the same range.
(L-R: Schwartzkopf Essence Ultime Hair BB Beauty Balm, Batiste Dry Shampoo Dark, Nizoral Shampoo)
Schwartzkopf Essence Ultime Hair BB Beauty Balm – 8/10 – Ah, another discontinued product, this time featuring the beautiful Claudia Schiffer. Unfortunately I didn’t look like her after I used this, but it was still a lovely serum/hair cream – very moisturising and felt very ‘luxe’, despite it being a budget buy. I’m not sure why it was marketed as a BB beauty balm, as it was very much a thick hair cream, meant to be used like a serum, but it was still lovely, so I’ll ignore the marketing spiel for now.
Batiste Dry Shampoo Dark – 4/10 – Ah, I had SUCH high hopes for this product, but alas, it let me down. As someone with long, thick and very dark hair that gets oily fairly quickly, I was really excited when I saw this on the shelves – FINALLY I wouldn’t get that weird dusty talcum powder sheen when I spritzed my mane with dry shampoo! – but sadly it still somehow went a weird dark grey on my roots. It also didn’t do a great job at the ‘shampoo’ part, leaving my hair looking somehow greasier than ever? I’m sure there’s still a gap in the market for a dark dry shampoo, so if someone could come up with a better formula, I’d appreciate it.
Nizoral Shampoo – 7/10 – I’ve covered this before, but if you struggle with scalp psoriasis, you’d do well to give Nizoral a go. Make sure you leave it on for a few minutes before washing off. Knocking off some points because it’s a bloody tiny bottle and barely lasts me a fortnight.
(L-R: Zoella Pretty Polished Body Scrub, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter, Zoella Scooper Dooper Foaming Bath Soak)
Zoella Pretty Polished Body Scrub – 8/10 – I think I’ve mentioned this scrub before somewhere in the archives, but this was my second tub, bought when it went on clearance a while back. Lovely scrubby tendencies – tough but moisturising at the same time, and a gorgeous scent that miraculously stayed on the skin throughout the day. It’s a real shame this got discontinued, because I really enjoyed it.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter – 7/10 – This was sent to me by a friend in America after I failed to pick some up during my trip in September, and wow did it blast me into an autumnal mood. VERY cinnamony and spicy – not much actual pumpkin scent in my opinion (what does pumpkin even smell like, in all honesty?), but a lovely warm smell that stayed on the skin for a while. Taking a few points off as it was a little too greasy for me, but then I guess it is a body butter, so what am I expecting, really?
Zoella Scooper Dooper Foaming Bath Soak – 7/10 – Another one from this discontinued Zoella range, this was a nice enough bath soak with that gorgeous scent again. A few points knocked off because it wasn’t as foamy as it claimed, and I like to be surrounded in piles of bubbles when I bathe.
(L-R: Zara Ginza Tokyo Perfume, Sensodyne Toothpaste)
Zara Ginza Tokyo Perfume – 8/10 – I’m a big fan of Zara for cheap and cheerful perfumes, and this is no exception. In fact, I bought a sample size of this in 2018 and enjoyed it so much I bought the full size version from eBay a few weeks later. Really light, floral and ‘pretty’ – I’m rubbish at fragrance descriptions so this’ll just have to do, ok? The only downside was that it didn’t last too long on the skin in my opinion, but given how cheap it was, I don’t really mind.
Sensodyne Toothpaste – 7/10 – Eh, this was ok. I enjoyed the fact that it was conveniently travel sized so went around with me for the holidays, but it had a weird, slightly gritty texture that I wasn’t really into. Cleaned my teeth fine, mind.
And there you go folks – the No Buy Year is over! I’ll upload a deeper data dive into the year shortly, as well as my plans next, but I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did – it certainly made me re-evaluate a lot of my buying tendencies.
Travel-wise, I’m off to Florida at the end of the month for work (so won’t be documenting on here), but I’ve got some rather exciting plans for later on this year, so stay tuned!