Nail polishes – part I

yes, That’s part I. I have a general stash of polishes that I let my teenage girl loose in and then I have my personal stash. The top is top coats/base coats, then going clockwise we have blues/greens, yellows and neutrals, pinks and reds, blacks and silvers then glitters. I have 8 bottles of OPI (these retail at $20 but I’ve bought for $10ish each), 4 bottles of revlons (these retail at $15 but I’ve bought for $5ish each), 3 china glaze (these retail at $15 but I’ve bought for $8ish each), 2 butter Londons which are $20 each, 4 nubars which where about $9 each, 1 orly which I think was $7 so that’s $207 in nail polish there. the basecoats are CND and Seche Vite so that’s about $20. and then we have some essence/ulta3/BYS nail polishes filling in the rest. These are about $2 each so I think I can safely round up and say that I have $25o in my general stash of nail polishes.

(In case anyone is wondering, the cost of nail polishes is ridiculously high in Australia. I get these from overseas, in particularly I found a run out of OPI at a department store in Singapore on holidays).

Nail polish, uno

That brings my running total into 4 figures – $1030. I think I need to take a rest and consider this for a while as I still have to deal with a fair bit more cosmetica before we branch into the full on space which is shoes, handbags and dresses.


Concealers and preparations and potions

This is my concealers pile. I don’t use these regularly but I had a very stressful year which in combination with horrible allergies looking for some potion that would make me look healthy and well rested. And then, because these tend to settle into small lines and wrinkles, I went off in search of illuminators… which sounds like something out of Harry Potter!

Potions and creams

And yes, that’s two each of the realness of concealness and porefessional tubes because I left it at home one work day and rebought it halfway through as I needed to get a mug shot aka ID photo at work . Somewhat random thing to happen after six month but there you go.

The porefessional sinks into my acne scarred large pores and makes me look a bit less shiny in photos. It’s actually a good product in that it’s easy peasy to use and doesn’t need blending/colour matching, but it doesn’t colour correct it just works on texture. Anyway, that runs to $35 a tube, ditto the realness of concealness kits. I also have a pocket concealer/illuminator ($10?) from Maybelline for putting into clutches, and a skin primer from the David Jones homebrand for if I’m getting made up at night. The designer brands illuminator is actually a great buy, I picked it up at the chemist for one time in it’s previous incarnation and after my kids *bit the tube in two* (note kids NOT puppies although they do act like it). It’s $10 for a monster tube and is a pretty decent dupe for Benefit’s Highbeam. I will do a comparison post later to show the two, I seem to get a lot of comments that I look good when I wear these around my eyes and alternatively questions about whether I’m tired or sick when I don’t… Oh the joys of getting older.

So this is up to $170 in concealers, with $780 as my running total.


A reflective pause on the topic of back seam stockings

Last night I was performing with my burlesque class (burlesque is possibly the world most fun form of exercise) and managed to rip my last pair of backseam tights. My first thought was “I’ll have to get a new pair of back seam tights tomorrow. Gahhh.”

But my second thought, given my challenge of not spending, isĀ  do I need to buy these tight? And, lets call it thought 2a, is why the urgency? I have other tights, other sexy tights, other retro tights, too many damn pairs of tights to work out exactly which other tights I do own at any time. And it’s summer in Australia. It’s been over 40 degrees (+105F) so not exactly tights weather. More lying semi-comatose under cool breeze weather. I won’t start wearing tights regularly for another 4 months.

So there are other emotional issues at play. I don’t think I have a shopping addiction and I can afford all the things I buy. But they aren’t making me feel good, it just make me worried when I don’t have my stash of ‘stuff’ around. I’m like a squirrel stressing over her stockpile of nuts. But when the squirrel stresses it’s because she knows winter is coming and she’ll be using up the nuts. For me I have no such worried. There will be back seam tights this winter!

So I think at least in part this ‘hoarding’ is a bit of a crappy urge that comes growing up poor. I feel like we are living paycheck-to-paycheck when we aren’t and I buy up the little things I like as though this is a glitch, this ability to afford small luxuries. I need to remember that it’s not, and the money I am spending this I can spend on other things. I know that I need to get a healthier relationship with my ‘stuff’ for my own piece of mind.

Lip colours – balms, glosses and lipsticks oh my

And now we start to move onto to the slightly more excessive areas *ahem*. My regular lipsticks are the colourstay revlon liquid lipsticks. I’ll do a review at some point, but I freaking love them. They do stay and stay and stay. My base makeup look is the Revlon Colourstay Liquid Lipstick (in premium pink shade), benetint and great lash mascara. I bought the colourburst because I’ve heard great thing about them…. and never used. I also bought a pack of stila lip glazes with the intention of giving as Christmas gifts and never actually did. Maybe a blog giveaway if I get some followers?

I can also see some lipglosses I layer over the quite drying long last lipsticks, one clear sparkly one by nutrimetics that is the bomb. You can wear it over any lipstick and it looks lux. Of course, I don’t think they make it anymore. Also a napolean perdis pink one which looks very vivid but is not so bad on… I think this one was actually a freebie on the front of a magazine at some point?

Then I have the more ‘out there’ colours that I do wear some times – red. It’s not a loyal relationship as I have Revlon Colourstay Liquid Lipstick Top Tomato, a Maybelline Red that I love because how retro is that case… you feel like your nanna applying it, another 2 Revlon reds and a Dior one in rouge. I get a boost of confidence from a strong red lip so I like to wear to work and I have a mental picture of myself as a retro diva wearing it, Katherine Hepburn via Working Girl.

I also have some bright BRIGHT pinks like the Rimmel lipstick in pink flame. I was a little inspired by RiRi and Lady Gaga wearing the MAC Snob colour. It looks nothing like it on me but is quite fun if I’m doing a mod makeup look. This is more of a going out look to be honest, which is rare-ish these days.

So the bottom line = this is $110 in revlon lippies, a $30 stila pack, $40 dior lipstick and I’ll say $20ish for the maybelline/rimmel/boots lipsticks and the assorted lip glosses. I suspect this is a an underestimation. This is running total of $610 in cosmetics. I’m starting to see why I can’t afford that camera I really want!


Not pictured – a MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo (which I’m searching for like mad… WHERE ARE YOU RUBY WOO), a Revlon neutral that was a gift with purchase and a clinique one I quite like in a neutral pink as well. I think the colour is called kissyfit. I’m not assigning these any value.

This is easily a years worth of lipsticks, although again usually changes depending on mood.

Foundations and their friends

These are my skin tones creams, foundations and bb creams and so on. I’m on the endless search for something that has a high spf, evens out blotchiness and doesn’t feel like sunscreen. The most commonly used are the garnier bb cream and the revlon. When I worked in an office 5 days a week foundation was a bigger thing. This will probably last me a year… depends how much I use it which is something that comes and goes these days. I always use an SPF at least, so when I’m breaking out I stay away from these and use the lightest facial sunscreen I have.


This is another $50 worth of cosmetics… so call it $410.

Blushers and such – the initial stash

This picture isn’t as bad I guess, this is about where I’d like to get to with other makeup. The benetint I wear most days, it gives that slight rosy glow that I have honestly had mistaken for my skin more than once. My skin is not naturally that pink, I run to sallow so it’s a nice glow. The L’Oreal HIP is a great stage blush, and the revlon blusher/bronzer is good for adding some colour to my skin in winter.

The benetint lasts me about 4 months and I have a new one on the way as part of my Christmas gift…. hence I have about 8 months of benetint alone. Along with the other blushers this should be a years worth of blush. The benetint runs to $55 at myers (although I get a friend in the US to buy and send so I spend $30) and the others are $10 each purchases. We’ll call this $50 in blusher. That’s a running total of $360 in cosmetics.


Eyeshadows as far as I can see

I do seem to have embraced a certain theme with my eyemakeup. I haven’t even used the pinkish tone clinique set – I keep wanting to break out of the brown rut but I think I was told at an impressionable age that girls with blue eyes should wear brown eyeshadow. This was probably circa Princess Diana’s marriage when I was about six, a bad time to introduce girls to princess like beauty tips.

My main eyeshadows are the benefit neutral tone and the becca tint which blends up nicely. The revlon quad is mainly used for stage makeup. I think I’ve had all of these for at least two years and the powder shadows are utter disasters on me, it seems to end up clinging to my cheek within minutes. This is about $140 in eyeshadows I think – the becca one is $40 but the rest are between $10-$15 each. This is probably enough eyeshadow to last me the rest of my life, definitely beyond the year. I may end up throwing out or giving away.

Running total is $310 invested in cosmetics for those playing at home with 3 of these unopened and unused.




And onto mascaras

My mascara stash is much smaller and yet slightly puzzling as I only really use the great lash mascara. I have an uncanny ability to make any other mascara smudge no matter what claims they have to waterproofing.

I can’t recall what I paid for these – google is suggesting about $20 each for the revlons, $15 for the maybelline, the clinique mascara might be a sample so I’ll say $5 and the somewhere around $35 for the *unopened* benefit one. So that’s $95 in mascara for a running total of $170 in cosmetics sitting in the cupboard. I’ll have to experiment a bit with these to see how I can use them up, but there must be a way!!

Mascara stash

And so we begin…

So I think that the start must be to audit my current holdings so to speak. So I will start with cosmetics. This is my eyeliner stash, the revlon and illamasqua pens are definitely used most often followed by the cheapier designer brands brown one. As you can tell I am a bigger fan of liquid eyeliner than kohl which I use mainly for stage makeup.

The retail value on these would be around $26 each for the pens, $8 each for the rimmel eyeliners, $2 for the essence pencil and $5 for the DB eyeliner. So let’s say that I’ve got $75 in eyeliner invested, which I think we could say will last me at least a year. I can use the pens for 3 months each, and the other eyeliners have 2 times as much (rimmel brands) and 4 times as much respectively. So in theory it’s more like 2.5 years eyeliner but no doubt it will dry out and become usable before that stage…

Eyeliner Stash

Now I’ve ripped the bandaid off it’s time to tackle the other categories. Wish me strength!

The New Year

At the end of last year I decided I needed to do some voluntary work. 2012 was dragging me down and I felt myself starting to become a person I didn’t like. Closed in, my life revolving around my kids and myself.

I decided to volunteer for my local mens homeless shelter because I see the building whenever I catch the train into the city. Deep, I know. My job was to wrap up the toothbrushes and combs that the men would be getting for Christmas in their hamper. I felt stressed and under prepared for our Christmas at home but looking in the hampers and seeing the Christmas morning that the homeless men were getting I felt an urge to relax. They were each getting some food they could prepare on the run, some tea and coffee, a can of soft drink, some athletic socks, some new underwear and a bar of soap. Finally they got a small chocolate and a mini candy cane.

My kids were getting less than many people we know. I got laid off in January. We had a hard year financially with some large unexpected (unavoidable) costs. We are remarkably lucky though that we never have to think twice about buying underwear, or socks, or soap. These aren’t luxuries for us. We have a nice house in a nice neighbourhood with great public schools. We have two newish cars without loans and a small mortgage on our house.

So why don’t we feel lucky? I think we often compare ourselves to the people we know. So the fact that my kids are in school in a more affluent area means that their circle of friends tends to have a lot of material possessions and that becomes the reference point. We have less that 18 of our 20 closest friends, hence we are badly off.

Of course it’s not true. To bastardize the quote, we have won the lottery of life already. We live in a well off country (Australia) with a solid public health system. None of us are disabled in any way. We speak our native language well and can communicate with any officials we deal with. The adults are tertiary educated and the children are receiving very good quality primary/secondary educations. I have a great community around us, with lots of access to free and very low cost culture options.

So my task for this year is to appreciate this more. To dwell on what I have, not what I could have. And to that end I will be setting some regular goals and holding myself accountable on this blog. My first challenge is that I will not spend any money on clothes or cosmetics this month. I will use what I have, and stay away from! And I will let you know how I go.