So, let’s see how I have done with the no spend project this month…
On the makeup front I have bought the L’Oreal BB creme in Indonesia, but used up a BB creme so we’ll call that neutral. I haven’t used up anything else although by Revlon lipsticks are looking a little lower. I came to the end of my Seche Vite Top Coat, and tried the bargain basement Essence Fast Dry Top Coat which was pretty terrible alas. I also came to the end of my (gold standard!!) Clinique Take the Day off makeup remover and decided to try some cheapie 25 for $1 makeup removing wipes from Coles. They aren’t great but this will at least last a while and is a lot cheaper than the $36 I spend at Myer for Clinique… it might be something I can cheaper duty free or online I guess? Any other good makeup removers?
I have two new costume corsets coming from luv secret and a pair of dance shoes for burlesque performances in April which isn’t great. Also, I dropped a very strong hint to certain members of our household (ahem) that I would be very happy with a custom made Game of Thrones skirt for Mothers day in May and I believe it’s on order.
So in terms of not spending not so good 😦 but I did also get rid of a skirt and two pairs of shoes so that has helped the neutralise the clutter aspect at a minimum. I think I’m largely neutral this month. I also have next to no money due to taking the kids to a family wedding but that was worth it for the kids, and for the extended family to see the kids. So in terms of conscious spending it’s a win.
I also bought a book in Indonesia, but also left one behind with someone so again it’s neutral.
In the next couple of days I’ll work out my next giveaway, I think I missed last month out of business. I’m happy with the rate of blogging and seem to be hitting my stride in terms of writing voice. I still need to expand the scope of my blog but with a busy month-o-burlesque that should be easy.
So I’m still going well with the no spend, though I think I may need to fudge a little in March as I have two burlesque performances in April although maybe I can come up with something creative for costuming. I’m thinking of seeing about a clothing swap in my burlesque group for those of us in ‘hard to find’ sizes … many of the vintage clothing options are made for different figure than mine.
The only thing that I have used up this month is my Revlon Colourstay Liquid Lipstick in Premium Pink. This is such a staple of my routine though that I had an unopened backup waiting. (Eyeroll at myself).
I’m definitely finding I’m wearing more of my wardrobe including stuff that had not been worn previously… and discovering all my old favorites! And, ahem, tacking the ironing and drycleaning piles more often….
I’m blogging regularly but my blog is definitely turning into a nail polish swatch blog out of laziness and I really want to kick up the content on other cosmetics and clothing as well as the idea of conscious spending and connection.
So as of the end of January I have not gotten any new makeup or clothing. I have ordered some new runners (ASICs Kayanos) as a replacement for my current ones, which are extremely close to death. I have paid for the sneakers but are still enroute *cough* via hopshopgo.com – even with the postage these are about half the price of any of the local sports stores in Australia ($123 vs $199) and I am calling those neutral on the no spend front. Do you think I’m cheating?
I haven’t used that much up yet – I have a lipstick and bb cream which are looking emptyish but will probably last another week or so? More worrying though is the low levels of my clinique makeup remover. I threw out a pair of workout pants that were a bit dire looking. That’s kind of a big thing for me, the storage at a house is at overflow point.
I am also blogging regularly and deciding a few things – I will never again buy a BYS nail polish haha, I need to try some other top coats for nail polishes that are quick drying. I’m reading more to try and replace my online shopping time. I am using the library and discovering new TV series (True Blood! where has it been all my life!). I am wearing more creative outfits now that buying new clothes is not an option and I’m feeling happier for it.
On the face of it there is a disconnect between writing a beauty blog and talking about not spending and donating time and money to the homeless shelter. However there is not as much distance as you might think initially.
A lot of the discrimination and isolation that the homeless face is around how they look. How many times have you heard some one complain about getting stuck next to a smelly homeless person on the bus? Now imagine how that odour comes about. How easy is it to shower and wash without a house, to control body if you can’t afford housing let alone toiletries, how you would smell if you slept in shop fronts, where drunks would urinate on their way home from bars? How easy is to transport toiletries if you need to carry all your possessions with you? How do you condition your hair and afford haircuts and shaving implements? How can you wash and maintain your clothing?
Then imagine that you want to connect with people but they avoid you before you can talk to them. You feel less than everyone, less than human. You are alone and vulnerable. Maybe you start to numb the pain with alcohol or other drugs.
How do you reconnect with people? How do you get a job? How do you make a first impression other than homeless? The rituals around beauty are culture-based of course, there were times when washing was not considered hygienic. But in this time and place pulling yourself out of homelessness often requires an ability to fake not being homeless to passersby. And I have to thank my stars that I have the abilility, the resources and the social capital to be able to pass that first impression test and to read as deserving of basic courtesies and respect. Not everyone can.
^ Exact quote from my husband in the post heading. It’s a valid question for him to ask, because up until 5 years ago I definitely tended to wear either no polish or only red/pinks. I think it was largely due to working in a conservative, male-dominated profession. I think the same is true for a lot of women as the zeitgiest has definitely turned back to polished nails.
I think there a few factors that trend together to make nail polish such a thing;
- The colours are very trend driven, and that encourages a lot more range of nail polish to be own
- It’s very democratising in a way a lot of fashion isn’t – you can have the latest nail polish if you are old or young, fat or thin, pale or dark skinned.
- It’s a relatively cheap way to add polish to an outfit (haha, a polish pun!) and make you look well groomed
- The price outlay is quite low, even at $20 for a ‘designer’ name like a deborah lipmann polish it’s at the lower end of what a new clothing item will buy you, and given you can get 20 or 30 manicures out of one bottle that’s often more wear than I get out of new tops… (where is that embarassed emoticon when I want it!)
- It’s an activity that can be performed after the work of the day is done, after the kids are in bed and the housework is done. It’s an excuse to sit still for 20 minutes, so popular for carers who are carving out some time for themselves.
- Equally you can buy nail polish online with out trying it on and check out one of the numerous excellent blogs to see what it looks like and how it performs. This is often trickier with clothing.
- There is a degree of signalling I think, where having nails coloured in the latest colours says “I’m pulled together. I have spare time and resources. I follow fashion. I’m a cool person”. I see in the interactions with other parents of young kids, also with bonding with other burlesque performers.
Who knows… maybe I’m overthinking! or maybe just procrastinating. What do you think?
So it’s time to consider what I want to get from this project;
- I want to use up my cosmetics and clothing so that I have space for my stuff.
- I want to spend mindfully, so that I can afford what I need/want and don’t end up wasting money on lots of small things.
- I want to give back to my community.
- I want to write more, take more photos and purchase a better camera.
- I want to log which products and clothing I like to wear and use, and what makes me feel good about myself so that I can repurchase.
- I want to understand my emotional baggage around spending money on my appearance better.
So the task is;
- No spending. I will divert my monthly (estimated average) cosmetics and clothing spend to a donation to the local homeless shelter.
- Mindful purchases. At the end of the tax year I’ll use the tax credits from the donations to buy a DSLR.
- Reviewing my products on my blog, writing about what I like and what I don’t and why.
- Meaningful donations and pay it forward, where I will give away some of my stuff to people who will enjoy it more.
That’s the task. Not so hard when it just looks like a list but no resolution seems that hard on the 4th of January!