Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Low-Buy Guidelines

I've been on a low-buy for about 3 years... That's when my stash got to a "considerable" size mostly with the help of beauty boxes which I had SO MUCH FUN with. I tried most of the ones that were available in summer 2012 and was subbed to them for about 6 months... from Glym, Glossybox, Julep, Natural Beauty Box, Topbox, Ipsy... I had a relapse on Ipsy once or twice and I've purchased one or two Julep boxes since then too...! I definitely recommend trying a couple of these if you don't have very much makeup and want a variety of products you probably (as a person who doesn't have a lot of makeup) wouldn't buy yourself, for a very very decent price!


Anyway, I feel a bit makeup crazy these days... I need to make sure that I can control myself and make the best purchases possible so here are my Low-Buy Rules:

Rule 1:

No impulse buying! I will only buy a product that I know performs well (from reviews), that I really want (things that have been on my wishlist for a while) and that fits into my stash (do I "need" it?)

Rule 2: 

Must set a budget per "shopping period". I've had 90$ summer budget, a 120$ winter/holiday budget, that type of thing. Some seasons are not tempting, so there is no budget set on those and I simply don't buy!

Rule 3: 

These are guidelines for what I *should* buy with my allowed budget, but not strict. To follow the spirit of my low-buy which is to fill the holes in my stash, I am thinking of getting:

  • Finishing powder
  • Foundation
  • white drops (MUFE) or white foundation (Illamasqua) for making foundation lighter
  • a custom eye shadow palette
  • eyeliner colours I don't own

Paula's Choice Skincare

SKINCARE


Realizing I needed a completely different skincare regimen, I started searching for what a face like mine could need. Watching the "skincare" videos of my favourite youtubers, asking in some Facebook groups, asking friends.

My skin type  is acne-prone (hormonal breakouts around my jawline and mouth area), combination (dry patch on my chin, gets oily in the t-zone), uneven skintone (redness, some texture) and sensitive skin. It felt a bit overwhelming to try to properly address all of these concerns!!

I saw the ProActiv commercial with the free brush and was very tempted  but then from a bit of research I concluded that it was likely too harsh for my skin, and not a skincare routine to follow long term.

A helpful commentor to my question on Facebook gave me some good suggestions and info, and I decided from there to start using an acne spot treatment and an acne-fighting toner.

A Mary Kay lady contacted me and I decided to buy the acne spot treatment from her, something to use a couple times a day on actual breakouts. It's the Clearproof acne treatment gel 5% benzoyl peroxide and I like the texture and smell and I feel it made a difference in how fast the breakouts faded from using this product.

For toner I started alternating between a very soft and mild toner, not for acne (Simple Soothing Facial toner) and something in the acne-fighting category (Biore blemish fighting astringent) and I feel comfortable with this combination.

Now onto the PAULA'S CHOICE products


Since late September (full 2 months of use), I've been using the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA gel exfoliant and it has done wonders! I really do feel my skin being way less acne-prone, softer, and smoother. Pores seem slightly reduced, texture slightly improved.

The product has a gooey texture, goes on watery and a little goes a long way. It can be applied once or twice a day. I mostly apply it at night but the feel of the product is not unpleasant for using in the daytime as well.

The second product I purchased is a daytime moisturizer with SPF. I got the Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30. It is definitely light, sinking into the skin quickly and giving a smooth finish. It's ideal for oily skin and will not be enough for dry skin. The cream is tinted in a a way that evens out skintone even if it's not something I'd consider makeup. Since I started using both products, I've been feeling more confident with my skin's appearance and my makeupless face.

I plan on re-purchasing both of these when I'm out, and adding a nighttime moisturizer and serum by Paula's Choice to my routine. Seriously, my limited experience with their products has left me impressed.

And a note about the Customer service, it's incredible! They helped me pick what was best for me when I called in originally, and when there was a mistake with a product I  purchased being back-ordered, they refunded me, and compensated me for the problem in a super-quick delay.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sticky9 review

I ordered from Sticky9, a website formerly known as Stickgram that specializes in making digital images come to life on "real life stuff" with their main product being square magnets (3x3). These magnets are supposed to be your choice of Instragram photos, easily printed and shipped to you. You can chose any other non-Instagram pictures and cut them to square shape easily on their website.

 November 27th (Thursday) and I received it December 2nd (3 business days later). I am VERY PLEASED with this service! WOW.

They arrived safely and looked pretty good. They are not glossy pictures, they are a matte finish, which makes them look lower quality and this is the part I liked the least. I imagine that for instagram pictures that have been filtered with older-looking styles, it would look good this way, but for my pictures it was not the case.

I purchased 2 sets of 9 magnets on special from them so for the price I paid, I'm really happy. I might go elsewhere if I decide to want custom magnets in the future just because of being a bit disappointed with the matte aspect of these photos.

Overall:

pros:
GREAT and fast shipment
EASY to use website
FAIR price

cons:
matte pictures