Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Budget: May, June, and July

Part of life is failing to meet all of your goals, then learning to accept it. In this case, I'd hoped that I'd still have at least $100 left in my beauty budget by the time we hit the halfway point. That's not what happened here: I only have $61.81 remaining.

What happened in May, June, and July?

May was not a spend-free month for me for several reasons. One, Besame released a new lipstick, Portrait Peach. They also restocked Portrait Pink. I've wanted the pink shade forever, the peach made me think of Audrey Hepburn, and Besame makes my current favorite traditional lipstick formula. So I decided to purchase them, then declutter my collection and begin a lipstick no buy for the rest of 2017. Two, I managed to hit some great sales--but more on that in a moment.

My partner flew over to visit me at the beginning of June and stayed for two months. Obviously, him being here took up most of my attention, and the amount of money I spent on new products dropped. What I did buy was often purchased with PayPal credit from my most recent blogsale, store credit, or a gift card. I've become kind of stingy about spending cash on things, especially if I'm not liking the "freebies" that will be included with my order, and because of that, I'm more likely than ever to wait to purchase something.

Also, I obtained a second job. I don't plan on using the extra money I make to pay for beauty products; I'm more concerned with things like paying for a passport.

What did I buy?

Over this three month period, I purchased five staple replacements with cash: my Buxom Show Some Skin foundation, another pack of Shiseido Facial Cottons, a full size of the Kat Von D Lock It Concealer, and liquid eyeliner and mascara from the drugstore. I used Glossier store credit twice, once to replace a staple: my niece gacked on my sweater, so I decided to purchase another one, and I'll just keep the stained one for sleeping.

The biggest deal I managed to snag was a Sephora Chic It Easy set for $25. I'd wanted the set for a while, but it was originally $49, and I just couldn't justify it on my budget. When they dropped the price to $25, people went nuts--I mean, the YSL Touche Eclat alone is worth more than that! So it kept going in and out of stock. When it came back one afternoon and I happened to notice it, I used a gift card to snag one as fast as I could.

As for new products I spent my money on, I purchased a few things besides the aforementioned Besame lipsticks. I've been on a quest to find the perfect face sunscreen for my dry, dehydrated, reactive skin, so I snagged four on eBay. Unfortunately, I didn't pay as much attention to the sunscreen filters as I should have, so one of them is a sunscreen without UVA1 protection (Mommy UV Mild Gel). Had I checked that before purchasing, I definitely would've selected another sunscreen or just stuck with three. Colourpop released a new $6 concealer as well, and since I had a $5 coupon that would basically pay for shipping, I decided to buy the lightest warm shade for me and the darkest shade for swatches.

While these are mostly things I really wanted, and some of them are products I've wanted for years (ie, Besame Portrait Pink), I'm still a little panicked about how little I have left in my beauty budget. There are several products on my Sephora favorites list that are just calling to me, and I only barely managed to avoid the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this past month. $61.81 is nothing in the face of upcoming Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and winter holiday sales.

With that in mind, I've decided to commit to another month of "just don't buy shit" this August. There are two exceptions I'll be making. One is for Glossier's Wowder; I had enough store credit to purchase each shade they released, and I'd like to complete that review and those swatches so they can be a useful resource for anybody interested in the product. (The shades that are too dark for me will be given to friends after I've swatched them.) I also forgot to buy my friend a birthday gift when I was in Sephora with him last week, so I'll be ordering him one of the Stila glitter shadows he's wanted and grabbing a relatively affordable hair care product to replace some stuff I've finished. But other things I've been lusting after? They can wait until autumn. To keep better track of this, I've updated my budget spreadsheet so that "August" now stands on its own, and "September and October" share a slot.

In the meantime, I hope the start of the fall semester and training for this new job will keep me too busy to fuss over new releases.

How are my other goals going?

My casual Project Pan is going slower than I'd like. I certainly haven't finished a mini lipstick, which I knew was going to be the toughest goal for me. My Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint barely has a dent in it, mostly because in summer, I occasionally go full glam and mostly just skip foundation. There's slow but steady progress on the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen, which should be empty (or close to it) by the end of the year. The biggest progress is definitely on my Glossier Mint Balm Dot Com, which was roughly 2/3 full and is now maybe 1/3 full; I used more of it than I expected this summer because my partner hates the taste of coconut and wouldn't kiss me if I was wearing my personal favorite Balm Dot Com flavor. I also finished the two skincare deluxe samples from the original post; unfortunately, neither was worth a repurchase for me.

Speaking of samples: my quest to finish as many foil packets and deluxe samples as possible is going well! At the time of this post, I've finished 36 foils and 24 deluxe samples. I'm actually a bit surprised by how much makeup I'm finishing this summer, including several liquid eyeliners and the usual slew of mascaras.

My "free swag" hasn't been wowing me as much as I'd hoped lately, though. Recently, two companies offered to send me free products to test, went through obtaining my address and working out a deal with me, and then ghosted me when I reminded them that I only write honest reviews. Frankly, it's shocking to me how unprofessional some of these smaller brands are. If you've changed your mind about working with me because you're frightened I'll say something bad about your stuff, send me an email expressing that. Don't just disappear. I've also gotten a few new things from Influenster, and while I usually like the products' formulas, they have an awful habit of sending me the wrong shades.

"Be less wasteful" is the one goal where I feel like I'm still making strides. My mother in law recently offered to make me a carrying case for my reusable straws, for example, so that will make it easier to take them to restaurants. I'm trying to make even more food from scratch to cut down on waste from wrappers and boxes. For example, I always buy regular bags of things like nuts and portion them out in small tupperware instead of buying individual 100 calorie packs, and I've learned how to make popcorn on the stove so I won't buy bags of microwave popcorn anymore. And since the weather has been so temperate, I'm hanging some of my clothing outside instead of running the dryer whenever it's feasible.

Regardless, it's been a great summer overall, but a tough period for sticking to my beauty goals. I'm hoping for a smoother go of it in the coming months!

How are your goals for 2017 going?


  1. I still think you're doing really well with your budget! I've never kept track of my beauty spending before, so this is sort of a year zero for me, which means that I'm not beating myself up over it one way or another. But you're definitely doing a lot better than me, haha.

    Good luck with your goals in the remainder of 2017! There is a lot of time to keep working towards them. Excited to see how your project pan turns out.

    1. I'm trying to remind myself that it's okay if I go a little over $250, because I still managed to drastically reduce my spending and keep track of it for so long. But it's tough, man.

  2. You're doing much better than I am - I need to get it together and write about where I am but there's so many things I want to get off my plate! Anyway, overall I don't feel too bad, because I did manage to get it together in other, related ways. And my spending is definitely down.

    Stovetop popcorn is the best. I don't really like popcorn overall (I made myself sixk of it in high school) but some stovetop popcorn with a bit of butter it still a great treat.