Saturday, 20 July 2019

5 Ways to Save Money and Love Your Makeup Collection

I have been trying to save money frugally for the Summer months to help me in fund my college life and every time I get a paycheck into my account the first thing I want to do is buy a few makeup bits that I've been wanting for a while but don't really need. So far, I've done pretty well curving this impulse to buy new makeup and I thought I would share with you how I save money but still have fun with makeup. I am not trying to villainize buying new makeup, like if you want a new lipstick then get a new lipstick but more be aware that you might already have something similar to what you want already in your collection.

Shop My Stash

It's interesting how just rotating your beauty products may stop you from buying that new item that you really want, it's a shopping experience without spending any money. I really want to get Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipstick in Wifey but I recently realised through doing a Shop My Stash that this JS lipstick is similar to Fenty Beauty Lip Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored so I will get it when I use the Fenty one up. Apart from lipsticks, I also pick out a blush, bronzer and highlighter out of my collection and then something that I haven't been using a lot if this is an eyeshadow or an eyeliner I try to incorporate them into it too. I usually do a Shop My Stash every 4-6 weeks depending on how much I'm loving the product etc. I have my most recent Shop My Stash on Insta highlights if you wanna check that out. The best part is you may find a new favourite or rekindle your love for a product you completely forgot about.

Drugstore Alternatives

There are so many dupes for things now and the best part is that you don't even have to do the work, the internet has already done it for you. There are a few things that I would probably not get from the drugstore like eyeshadow unless the reviews are amazing as I've bought some eyeshadow palettes from the drugstore before and they were lacklustre, to say the least. Something that I've swapped out for a cheaper alternative is Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray (€12.00 for 30ml) for Catrice Prime and Fine Anti-Shine Fixing Spray (€4.95 for 50ml) which I had heard rave reviews for the dewy version by Laura's Views and decided to give the matte one a shot. I would be paying €30.00 for 100ml compared to now where I'll pay €9.90 for 100ml. The spritzer isn't as nice in the Catrice setting spray but it still does the same job and my makeup lasts as long with it.

Saying that not all drugstore products are made equally and sometimes cheaper option isn't always the best, this doesn't happen all the time but it can happen. Let's compare Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream (€6.99 for 6ml) and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (€8.00 for 8ml). If you compare them both at 100ml, Sleek is €116.5 for 100ml while NYX is €100 for 100ml. Obviously, this doesn't really matter if you are buying something on a whim but if you go through something regularly, it's better to buy something that is a good product that is cheaper per ml. It may seem more upfront but you'll get more bang for your buck. There's another example with Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer and Catrice's Liquid Camouflage Concealer, Catrice is cheaper to buy and cheaper per 100ml compared to Revolution so it is different depending on each individual case.

Do a Project Pan

It is a great way to use up products that might be near their expiration date or to encourage you to use a product that has been left in the back of the drawer. I have done a few project pans in the past and one I did recently that I would describe as a proper one. I started it in January/February of this year and I am still working on 2 products out of the list as the rest I've hit my goal on. Your goal can be to complete a product or just to hit pan on it. I found from my experience of project panning that I've that a powder product and a lipstick take forever to use up. I have been using a Revlon lipstick consistently the past 2 months and there's only a small difference since I last marked my progress in April. I am now more conscious about the time it takes to use up a product so there is no need to buy 3 highlighters in a month.

Use up One, Buy One

I am happy with the size of my collection and I really don't want it to get much bigger as I don't have space and I know that if I get more things, others will be shoved aside. I am and trying to implement using up an item before buying a new one. Obviously, if it is something like concealer or powder I will buy a new one shortly before I finish the old one. It means that I don't have a stockpile and products won't go bad. I find it easy in some ways but harder with some items especially with foundation. I have about 4 foundations at the moment, 2 of them I bought in the past 6 months, one I am nearly finished and the other is very old and I will probably throw out.  I am the same with lip products as it is so easy to pick up a new shade but using it up is a completely different reality. I don't mean that you should try to use your products up quickly to try something else but to use a product to get the value out of it before going onto something new.

Watch 'Use What You Have'/ Anti-Consumerism Content

I used to watch a lot of beauty gurus on YouTube and normally took product recommendations and bought quite a few things because of someone on YouTube talking about how great it is. Some beauty gurus favourite products change by the video and who is sponsoring them or giving them PR. Some channels have even become similar to those As Seen On TV ads trying to sell you so many things. And you really do feel a little FOMO when you see all these fab new products and that makes you wanna buy them more. I've been watching a lot of anti-consumerism content where beauty YouTubers do more than just show off new products they got for free. My favourite channel is definitely Whitney Hedrick at the moment. She does anti-hauls, products I regretted buying and other beauty related things that aren't related to buying and reviewing more products. She even calculated how much her makeup collection is worth ($13,000) and she would use regularly ($850). I decided to find out the value of my makeup collection, I know it wouldn't be anything close to $13,000 but it would be interesting. I calculated my collection to be around €600 and I am very shocked, I didn' realise it would be so high then again I have 6 high-end items and that probably pushes up the price so much. The makeup I use a lot comes to €370, again the reason this is so high is due to the high-end makeup products I own but I'm sure that I don't even use half my makeup collection at the moment. Also, €600 could get you flights, accommodation and entry to Disneyland Paris 2 parks for 3 days/4 nights for one person.

Altogether this may seem overwhelming and sometimes it is. Sometimes, it doesn't go to plan either but we are only human after all. Obviously, it depends on your financial circumstances or your financial goals. I think the main thing to take away from this is to use what you have and that will help you save money in the long term.

How do you save money and keep happy with your makeup products?

Thanks for being awesome,

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Goodbye Plastic Straws, Now What?

So, the plastic straw has been villainized as the be-all and end-all of plastic harbouring our oceans and destroying our planet, unfortunately, this is not the case. Plastic straws are just the starting point of types of plastic that end up in random places. I thought I would share with you things that you can say goodbye to along with plastic straws and their alternatives. Also, these swaps will help the environment they may also help your pocket.

Wet Wipes

I didn't realise this until very recently but there is plastic in wet wipes and that's why they aren't recommended to be flushed down the toilet. Since they have plastic they take thousands of years in landfill or in the oceans and rivers. Also, they aren't the best for removing makeup, it has been proven that it doesn't remove all makeup and leaves your skin dehydrated and just not feeling the best.

A simple solution, a Cleanse Off Mitt. These are around €6 and I find are amazing for removing makeup and leave my skin not feeling stripped like wet wipes do sometimes. Another option is The Makeup Eraser if you aren't a fan of the Cleanse Off Mitt. They both have the same concept, you wet the cloth and gently wipe off all the makeup off your face and then wash it and it's good to go again. Of course, when it comes to the end of its use, it can be repurposed as a washcloth for the rest of your body or you can become more creative.

Plastic Bottles

I hate the idea of buying bottled water even if I'm thirsty as I hate that the bottles go to waste so easily. They are so easy to buy without thinking about it and throwing it away the same way you got it, mindlessly. 

I nearly always have a reusable water bottle with me and I always fill it up when I'm out and about. Reusable bottles can be expensive but if you put it into perspective it costs the most what around 20 bottles of water costs and it lasts for years.

Pads and Tampons

The average women use 11,000 pads and tampons during their lifetime, that's a lot! The majority of pads and tampons have plastic in them and they can't be recycled as they are contaminated and this includes tampon applicators.

You can get plastic free pads and tampons brands, like Natracare have a complete plastic free range. If you wanna one up that you can get reusable pads and tampons, cloth pads and sea sponge tampons. If you are feeling adventurous, you could try a menstrual cup. I've written a post in the past, like 2 years ago, about my experience with the Mooncup and to this day I am still loving it and wouldn't go back to pads and tampons even if you paid me. Not only does this help the environment but it also saves you quite a bit of money too which is a bonus. I've been using a menstrual cup for nearly 3 years and I have saved over €400.

Bottled Products

If you look at your bedside locker, your vanity or in the shower you will notice the sheer amount of bottles for different products. Obviously, you can't eliminate them all but even if you change out one for a less packaged option is always a good idea. Instead of using liquid soap use a bar of soap. For other beauty related products, Lush have good options for packaging free shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, serums and cleansers. Also, any black tubs can be recycled in store and you receive a free fresh face mask when you bring in 5. An Irish company called Suds Johnson also offer package free shampoo, face washes and shaving cream, I have not tried any of these products out yet but I would love to support an Irish zero waste company.

To Go Coffee Cups

The takeaway coffee cups have become somewhat of an icon with the thousands of photos on Instagram with someone holding their most recent Starbucks purchase. The problem with the majority of these cups is that there is plastic in them, to keep the cups from going soggy and this can't be recycled due to it being contaminated with drinks. There are now compostable cups but unfortunately, most of these can't be thrown into a normal compost bin in your garden, they have to be sent to a special centre where they are heated to a higher temperature to decompose.

There are so many types of reusable coffee cups made from glass, ceramic, metal and bamboo! I have 2 reusable coffee cups that I use all the time, one small and one large, both I got for free and I love using them as I save a few cents every time I use them and know that I am helping the environment.

What plastic products have you replaced?

Thanks for being awesome,

Saturday, 22 June 2019

The Implant - 4 Months On

Is this thing on? I have hit a wall when it comes to blogging and though this post was supposed to go out a month ago, I wasn't inspired to finish it and didn't want to force myself to do so. I feel more inspired know so I might as well pick up where I left off.

So you are probably looking at the title of this post and being a little confused. I have never discussed here or on any of my social media about contraception or even thinking about going on it. I wanted to keep it private for a while as I didn't want anything or anyone to try and change my decision but today I thought I would share with you how I am getting on 3 months in. So far it has been good, I am still adjusting to it but hopefully, it will balance out soon.

Why go on contraception?
There were 2 reasons I wanted to go to on some sort of birth control, I didn't want to get pregnant and I've been having my period every month for nearly 7 years and it would be nice to have a break for a bit.

So, why did you pick the implant?
I know this is a question that you might be thinking as the pill is an easier thing to go on as its less invasive and painful than getting the bar in. The Pill wasn't really an option for me, I have been quite sick the past few months taking many courses of antibiotics and some antibiotics affect the pill. I couldn't be bothered taking something at the same time every day too and to me, the pill seemed like a huge hassle. I didn't like the sound of the IUD as the procedure is supposed to be quite painful and the injection as I hate injections. I came around to the idea of the implant as two of my friends got it a year before I did and swear by it as it's slow maintenance and gives you a lower dose of hormones than the pill. I hate needles so I knew it was going to be a grin and bare sorta procedure.

Price and longevity also came into my decision. For me, including having a consultation, buying the implant and getting it inserted it cost around €150 as I got it done in the college doctors and they do it for a reduced price. With it lasting 3 years that's less than a €1 a week while the pill costs between €6-€10 a month and there are checkups too.

The Procedure
I knew it was going to be sore but it ended up not being as bad as I thought it would be. The doctor decided to use a spray local anaesthetic instead of using an injection as it wears off much faster. I was kinda worried and had brought a fidget cube with me to keep me distracted. Pain wise it was sore, the top layer of skin was fine due to the anaesthetic but it was quite painful underneath and I screamed at one point but it lasted 30 seconds so I didn't end up crying. The pain for me was similar to getting a blood test done but not as bad.

The First Week
Apart from my arm being sore and bruised from the injection site I didn't have many side effects yet. I noticed I was a bit more emotional, I cried like 5 times that week for no real reason and I was craving chocolate a good bit too. So basically it was like me on my period. I had no cramps or irregular bleeding that week. The only part that wasn't fun was taking for the compression bandage after 24 hours and the plaster after 4 days. Each time left my arm feeling a little tender but the plaster made it feel very sensitive as I found out there was a large bruise underneath.

The Next 10 Weeks
The fun didn't begin until 2 1/2 weeks in where I started spotting for 12 days. At first, I didn't really mind as it wasn't that much of an annoyance but as the 2-week mark was coming near I was sick of it and wanted it to stop. I was even considering going to a doctor over it but thankfully it stopped on its own accord.

Then 2 weeks passed and it went back to this spotting, I knew there was no point of getting annoyed by it as it can take 3 months for your body to adjust. It lasted 7 days this time so at least it wasn't 12 days like the last time. Around this time, I realised that my boobs were definitely getting bigger which I have no complaints about at all as I always thought they were a little on the smaller side.

At the end of April, I got my period again 3 1/2 weeks after the last one. This one wasn't fun at all but I don't think it was due to the implant alone. It was coming up to exam season so I was stressed and since I was stressed I got tonsilitis and had to go on antibiotics. I find for me that antibiotics always mess with my period and this time it gave me bad cramps that lasted 4 days which is very unusual for me as cramps last 1 day. It was very heavy compared to the previous 2 cycles and my normal pre-implant cycles. The only saving grace was that it lasted 4 days.

So May was a grand auld month, I think my cycle has started to settle as I only had one period and it lasted for 4 days which was good. I didn't get any cramps which was great as the cramps in April were horrific.

So far, I've had a good experience with the implant but my body still hasn't gotten used to it and I don't think my period will be going away. I haven't had any of the more severe effects which is fantastic. I hope to do an update maybe in a year to let you guys know how it is going. If you want any information about the implant NHS and Planned Parenthood are great sources but it is always best to talk to your GP.

Thanks for being awesome,