Friday, December 22, 2017

The Last Budget Post and 2018 Goals

It's been an interesting year, full of plenty of saving and downsizing ups and downs. I now work two-and-a-half jobs, I'm almost 30, and I'm hoping to get married in the next couple years. All of this has shifted my views on beauty, budgets, and goals.

Let's start by talking about my year long project pan. I should have a picture of the products for you, but, um...I kind of threw a lot of them away after my last empties post. I'm really sorry; I wasn't thinking.

  • finish at least 2 mini face creams -- I actually ended up finishing a lot of skincare deluxe samples, including a handful of moisturizers.
  • finish the Glossier Balm dot Com in Mint -- I kept this in my work bag. Personally, I like this balm and the strong minty flavor, but I prefer the Jack Black mint balm because it has SPF.
  • finish the Glossier Boy Brow in Clear -- Again, this is a perfectly fine product, but I greatly prefer the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel.
  • finish the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Ivory -- To be honest, I have the tiniest bit of product left inside of this tube, but it's such a small amount that I don't mind calling it done. I prefer the Radiant shade, which is a peach corrector.
  • use up half of my 1 ounce MAC Strobe Cream -- Is using up MAC Strobe Cream ever a trial? I've gotten in to layering the Glossier Haloscope in Quartz over this for an extra glowy effect, so I went through this cream faster than I thought I would.
Not Achieved:
  • finish the mini Milk Makeup Blur Stick -- I tried to use this every time I went sans foundation, but honestly, a little goes a long way with this stick...and I don't like it that much. I'm not going to force myself to finish something I'm not liking, so in to the trash it goes.
  • hit pan on the YSL Creme de Blush in Babydoll -- The scent of this discontinued blush began to change at the end of this year, so I decided to toss it. While I didn't actually see the bottom of this cream blush, I did make a massive dip in it--check the most recent empties video for that.
  • finish the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light -- I developed a weird allergy to this product, but it took me a while to admit it. It's since been purged. I'm pretty bummed, because I really loved this product.
  • finish a mini lipstick -- On the one hand, I didn't finish a mini lipstick. On the other hand, I got rid of almost all of my mini lipsticks; I'm down to three now. So...progress?

Overall, I'd give myself a B- for this project. I didn't hit all of my goals, but some of those weren't my fault (Glossier PST allergy), and others aren't really bothering me (Milk Makeup Blur Stick). I can definitely do better, though.

Let's go over my other goals! I'm using + for goals I achieved and x for goals I didn't manage.

[ x ] Unsubscribe from Sephora Play -- This one is really 50/50. I unsubscribed in summer, resubscribed in fall, and just unsubscribed again this week. As you can see from the photo of my sample box above, I have a ton of new stuff to test and don't really need any more deluxe samples coming in. Also, I miss watching Drunk History and a Hulu subscription was around the same price. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[ + ] Complete another Project Pan -- See above!

[ + ] Complete another Lipstick Diary -- I'm still loving this series, but I'm wondering if I should try a new version. Maybe one in which I wear the same lipstick with two at-least-a-little-different FOTDs? That'd be a pain in the ass to keep track of, but it'd definitely be interesting.

[ + ] Put more money in to savings and charitable donations -- This ended up being pretty easy at the end of the year, as a slew of natural disasters prompted even more donations than usual. (I'm actually considering setting up a digital "tip jar" for this blog, and the money would be given to charity every $20 or so--does that sound like an okay idea?)

[ + ] Finish as many foils as I can -- At the time of this post, I've finished 52 foil sample packets!

[ + ] Be less wasteful -- Thanks to tupperware and the Makeup Eraser, I rarely use plastic bags or makeup/baby wipes anymore. I also switched over to glass straws, which are much better for the environment and can go in the dishwasher. I've bought very few new clothing items as well, thanks to the local thrift stores.

[ + ] Finish up at least $1000 worth of products -- I actually finished up over $1000!

[ x ] Maintain a $250 budget for cash spending on new products -- I went over my budget by $72.27, spending a total of $322.27 in cash this year (excluding staple replacements). Halfway through the year, I realized I probably should've made my budget $300, since taxes and shipping add on more than I thought they would...but still, I'm a little sad that I didn't stay under that number. But let's look at the bright side! Is it massively over what I wanted? No. Is it definitely under what I spent in previous years? Yes. And keeping track of my spending definitely made me more aware of my habits and weaknesses. Note, for example, that I tend to buy the most in the middle (April, May June) and end (November, December) of the year.

[ x ] Be more adventurous -- I want to blame my failure on working two and a half jobs, but really, I just became even more of a shy, sheltered homebody. I have plans to travel more this coming year, maybe that will help.

[ x ] Save up for a trip with my partner -- I'm not upset about this one because I encouraged my fiance to spend his money on something else, and we're very happy with the results. Again, traveling will hopefully be a priority of ours in 2018.

[ + ] Read 50 books -- As of this post, I've finished 68, and I'll likely finish another one before the year is out. I think I'll strive for 50 again in 2018.

Finally, let's talk about my goals going forward. As you can see from the photo above, I've decided to start doing a bullet journal/planner...type...thingy. (I dunno, it's not as pretty as most planners I see or as minimalist as a bullet journal should be, but whatever, it's meant to work for me.) I'll be creating a page for each month and two pages for each week. The monthly pages will allow me to keep track of important deadlines, bill payments, purchases (excluding necessities like food), and my wish list. The weekly pages will include a mini habit tracker, my work schedule, what I've read and watched, and a skincare log, plus whatever other notes I want to jot down.

I technically haven't started using this journal yet, since I've only recently finished the January pages. But I have to say that just creating this little book has been very relaxing. I've actually been wanting to try this for a while now, but my limited artistic abilities and the cost of the supplies prevented it. A huge thank you to my parents for giving me a slew of planning supplies for Christmas, including a sizable batch of washi tape. My God, that stuff is like crack.

As you can see, I'll also be using this journal to keep track of my 2018 Project Pan and my empties. And that empties section is so tiny because I'm going to make some changes for 2018 to see how they go. Namely:
  • I will no longer being doing seasonal empties videos with every beauty-adjacent product. I'll just hold on to empty makeup. Empty skincare, finished candles, depleted lotions, and so on will likely still be posted to my Instagram.
  • I'd like to skip the annual favorites for 2018 and do seasonal posts instead. These would include a couple of beauty products I'm really liking, but also any movies or books that impressed me, what music I'm loving, etc. (There will still be a "Best Products of 2017" video some time in January.)
  • I will not come up with a specific budget for 2018, but I will continue to keep track of my purchases, albeit in a more basic way. Honestly, keeping a budget this past year has made me hyper aware of my spending, and I'm more hesitant than ever to bring new products in to my bathroom.
What do we think of these changes? Yay or nay?

Moving along, here's a typed version of my Project Pan 2018 items, since my handwritten version is likely too tiny or too sloppy for most people to read:

  1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl -- I love this stuff, but I've had this bottle since graduate school. I'd like to finish as much as I can, then get a new bottle.
  2. Deciem Heel Chemistry -- I am the WORST at using this up, mostly because it smells kind of like Bengay and I don't want my hands to smell like that right before bed.
  3. Glossier Generation G in Jam -- A solid sheer plum lipstick, but it's showing its age and I'd like to use it up.
  4. Glossier Haloscope in Quartz -- This is a lofty goal, considering I have another highlighter on this list and a little of this cream product goes a long way. But it is a cream stick product, and they do age. Again, I'd like to see how far I can get.
  5. Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium -- This powder is...just fine. Let's see if I can get it out of my collection this year.
  6. Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner -- I like this pencil, but the very soft, slightly waxy formula is not my personal preference for brow products. I'd say the pencil is about halfway gone right now.
  7. Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose -- This is a deluxe sample lipstick that I received in a luxury Sephora Play box a friend got for me. It's an okay color, but it's nothing to write home about, and the Tom Ford formula is infamous for going rancid quickly.
  8. YSL Touche Eclat in #2 -- A perfectly nice product, but probably too expensive for what it is. I want to finish it and repurchase the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Radiant.

Last, but most certainly not least, here's a list of my beauty-related goals for 2018. Definitely let me know what yours are in the comments, and/or if you have any suggestions or tips for me!

  • Complete a year-long project pan.
  • Finish at least 15 fragrance samples.
  • Do not buy mascara for a year. (Free samples and PR are acceptable.)
  • Focus more on skin health.
  • Finish at least $200 worth of makeup.
  • Start a new inspiration series.
  • Maintain my current lipstick drawer: everything should be able to lay flat in it.
  • Do not purchase base products (foundations, concealers, powders) if there is clearly zero attempt to include darker skintones. If your product comes in three shades of beige, I'm sorry, I'm done with you.

I'll be away for the rest of 2017. The blog will be back in January. Happy New Year!


  1. You did well! I'm really impressed by your budget - even though you went over I think that's a very modest number. I haven't added all my spending up yet, but I think it's around $1200, which I definitely want to decrease in 2018! Your project pans are always inspiring!

    Happy holidays and enjoy the rest of your year! :)

  2. Deciem Heel Chemistry -- I am the WORST at using this up, mostly because it smells kind of like Bengay and I don't want my hands to smell like that right before bed.

    - I have this! I find it to be a very effective product but DAMN am i just rubbish at remembering to look after my feet. Hands? No problem, I can do that at my desk. Feet? Ehhhhh when I should be thinking about moisturising those I'm probably face planting into bed and asleep in 2 minutes flat.

    I love your foundation plan to not buy anything that isn't inclusive! I have a fair/golden complexion so every foundation match that suits me has been from Korea or Japan, and they've always been very restrictive with their range. Strangely the only Japanese brand with anything more than 3ish shades that I can think of is Koh Gen Do, which is still extremely bad by Western standards. Perhaps I can try to offset this by buying colour products only from businesses owned by women of colour?