Failed Low-Buy for 2022?

My next post will be a makeup review, but before this year is over, I wanted to do one final bit of reflecting.

When I took on the challenge of reviewing my monthly purchases, I did not anticipate buying so many products that it would take at least three months to properly test all the items and complete each post. I failed to finish my Low-Buy Series in time, but the review aspect was not my main goal. In today’s post, I’d like to revisit the points I made in my Beauty Resolutions to see which limitations I was successful at sticking to, which areas were my weaknesses, and what I learned during the course of a year. In this analysis, some products I still haven’t reviewed yet are bound to come up. I’d also like to iron out the details of my game plan for 2023 because I’m not going to stop buying beauty products, but I still need to cut back.

No Buy Items With Zero Exceptions: Mascaras, False Lashes, Face Primers, Brow Products, and Eye Primers.

These items were the easiest to stick to because they aren’t very exciting categories of makeup for me. To the best of my knowledge, I only bought one full-size mascara and two minis: the Colourpop x Hocus Pocus 2 mascara which I threw out because it was terribly formulated, a mini of the MAC Macstack Superstack with the Mega brush that I finished and a mini of the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes that I finished. I also used up a decent chunk of mascaras in my stash, but I still own enough to last me the next two years! So, as well as I stuck to my goal, those few purchases did prevent me from getting through even more of the mascaras in my drawer.
I don’t think I wore false lashes at all this year, and that fact continuously kept me from buying more.

I used up three brow pencils and three eye primers were used up or needed replacing, so I replenished those, plus bought the Makeup by Mario Master Eye Prep & Set (which technically is replacing the MAC Foundation Stick I used as primer) and the Coloured Raine Eye Base (plus a backup). It’s more eye primers than I planned to buy, but not too bad. As for face primers, I did alright. I purchased on sale the Rituel de Fille Thorn oil, a mini of the Nyx Marshmallow primer (allowed as an exception), and a Benefit primer set. I used up most of my deluxe sample primers, so I will start using my new ones more regularly soon.

Overall, I was pretty proud of how I did with this one. However, those few purchases have me set for all of 2023! I will be back on my no-buy for these types of items and will allow no exceptions.

Lips: “I will purchase no more than 5 additional lip products in 2022,” is what I said.

I bought 4 Kaleidos Lip Clays right at the beginning of the year, but those were the allowed exceptions. From January to April I only purchased the clear Fenty Gloss Bomb as a replacement for my old ones (which was also allowed) and a Pat Mcgrath Bridgerton lipstick. So, right there, I broke my rule of 5 because even though I had exceptions that were allowed, they were still counting towards my five. May to August I didn’t buy any lip products, and I was so happy with myself. I don’t consider myself a lipstick aficionado, but I do love lip glosses, so I figured I would struggle a little bit in this category. However, I went on a little retail therapy binge in September and bought two Nars Afterglow balms, two Too Faced Pillow Balms (and later in the future the mini holiday trio set of them), and a Laneige mini balm set (I only kept one and gifted the rest). If I gave myself leeway and didn’t count the exclusions in my 5 lip products tally, by this point I would have hit my maximum. I wish I could say I stopped there, but it only got worse! From October and onward I bought a Nars Afterglow lip gloss and Nars Satin Lip pencil in Rikugien since I was happy to see that shade return and thought it was discontinued. I also bought the Colourpop x Hocus Pocus 2 black gloss, Colourpop Velvet Luxe Lip, the Colourpop x Winnie the Pooh lip care set, 3 Coloured Raine lip liners plus a backup, 3 Pat Mcgrath lip glosses, 2 Makeup by Mario Moistureglow lip serums, a Lunar Beauty gloss and a lip oil, 3 mini Tarte Maracuja balms, a Lisa Eldridge lipstick and a lip gloss, a Juvia’s Place lipstick, Suqqu Sheer Matte Lipstick, and 5 more Kaleidos lip clays. That’s 39 in total between 4 minis and 35 full-size lip products!

These technically aren’t even all the new ones I got this year since a few other lip products made their way to my collection as free gifts. I did so well in the beginning, but it’s really the last quarter of the year that I dropped the ball. I was tempted by all the Black Friday deals, so I know to really be extra careful of that next year because I’m absolutely going on a lip product no-buy again! I will put two exclusions though, which I know is a dangerous game, but I have to be realistic. There are some Lisa Eldridge lipsticks I wanted but they were sold out. I also had a Dior lip product on my bucket list for a long time, so if the opportunity arises for it, I may get it. Otherwise, I’m set for a long time. And I will be decluttering nearly all of the lip products I owned prior to this year. This is probably the most overboard on lip products I’ve ever gone in a single year, and it might seem like the no-buy had the opposite effect, but when I look at the dates of my purchases, it’s really just these last few months that did me in. So, it can be successful as long as I am properly prepared and on guard for the sales next time and seeing such small numbers.

Foundations: “My goal is zero, but I will not buy more than 3 foundations for the entire year (despite having 5 listed exceptions…Charlotte Tilbury, Pat Mcgrath, Make Up For Ever, MAC, or Nars).”

I didn’t think I did too badly in terms of foundation purchases until I had to compile this list. I purchased two different shades of Rose Inc Luminous Foundation Serum, two shades of the Hourglass Ambient Soft Glow foundation, a replacement Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Foundation, one final attempt to buy my correct shade of the Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation (failed as the line is just too orange within the Bronze Venus category), MUFE Matte Velvet Powder Foundation, the Sephora Best Skin Ever Liquid Foundation, and MAC Studio Fix Fluid.

I would have preferred to have bought the best match from Rose Inc the first time or for Hourglass to have made the perfect shade for me, as that would have knocked my number down to seven this year. And once again, it wasn’t until the last quarter of the year that I got into trouble. I didn’t buy a single one until June, which was the initial shade from Rose Inc. I didn’t get the next foundation until September with the EL Futurist Hydra replacement. The third was the initial shade of foundation from Hourglass in October. It was once again Black Friday that I bought literally all the rest of the foundations, including the additional shades. The Uoma, MAC, and MUFE were impulse purchases trying to see if I finally had a decent shade match after various changes were made. I could and should have just left those a mystery. The Sephora foundation was at least something I had been curious about since it was released.

In the grand scheme of things, I didn’t do the worst, but I certainly could have done better. Next year, I don’t want to buy any foundations at all, with the exceptions of PML, MUFE, MAC, or Nars. I’m confident I will do better next year with this category and I will very much be on guard with foundations during Black Friday.

Contours: “NO-BUY with Charlotte Tilbury and Pat Mcgrath Labs as exceptions.”

Those two brands didn’t make contours and I did very well sticking to this one. It probably had a lot to do with me hardly contouring at all this year, or doing brontouring instead. I also am still very satisfied with using the Hindash Beautopsy palette for contouring. The only contour products I went out of my way to purchase were the Kaleidos Symphony Contour Trio and KVD ModCon Liquid-Gel Contour. I received a contour stack in my Melt Mystery bag, so technically that was partly paid to own. The two other contours I bought were duos that also came with bronzers that I bought mainly for the bronzers in them: the Wayne Goss Radiance Boosting Face Palette and Vieve Modern Bronzer Duo. So, the ones from Kaleidos and KVD are what I count (and the duos will count in the bronzer categories instead).

I did well! And I will continue with the no-buy with the same exceptions. I don’t need to own multiple contour products and I will be decluttering almost all my old ones not mentioned in this post. I can’t give myself too much credit though, as there were hardly any contour launches this year and I can’t be confident that I would have had as easy of a time sticking to my goal if more had been made. It’s still a relief to know I didn’t completely bomb my low-buy.

Face Powders: “NO-BUY except if Hourglass releases a single Ambient Lighting Powder to match me or if I get the Chantecaille Blur Finishing Powder in Med/Dark at a good enough deal.”

I did, in fact, get that darker Chantecaille powder and for $33. Hourglass did not produce any new powder singles, but I bought two of their Holiday palettes and am counting those in the Face Palette section. Other than sample minis, the only setting and finishing powders I bought were the Colourpop Pretty Fresh Face Powder and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. I’m quite satisfied with that outcome, and since I don’t always set my face, I have no need to buy additional ones next year either. I will still give myself an allowance next year of no more than 3, but aiming for 0. There actually were quite a lot of tempting powder releases and I’m pleased with being able to talk myself out of them.

Eyeliners: NO-BUY except Stila’s liquid liners if they are half price or Sephora’s if I run out of Stila liners, but I know I have enough backups that, “I should be set for the rest of this year.”

I bought two Oden’s Eye colorful liners, three Melt Cosmetics pot liners plus two that I got in mystery bundles, I got a Danessa Myricks multichrome eyeliner in a Trendmood box, and I bought a multichrome eyeliner from Kaleidos. However, when it comes to black eyeliners, which is what I had really focused on in the limits of my low-buy, I only purchased one. It was the One/Size x Disney Fantasia one on sale. This is a lot more than I anticipated, but I don’t have a ton of colorful liners and I still resisted buying a lot more of them that launched this year, so I think I did very well on this one. I used up two black liner pens and the fact that I only bought one new one is where I really feel I’ve been successful. Since I still have black eyeliner backups, I intend to continue being on an eyeliner no-buy in the new year with no exceptions.

Bronzers: “If I can end 2022 with under 3 new bronzers, I would still consider the No-Buy a partial success,” is what I wrote. Bronzers are a NO-BUY except PML, Hourglass, CT if the brand created a 4.5 shade between Tan and Deep. Other exceptions were MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Nars since they may be too difficult to resist if they produce bronzers that are part of a special collection.

Well, I certainly failed on keeping it under 3 bronzers when I bought two shades each of the Colourpop Super Shock Bronzers and the Jaclyn Cosmetics Sun Bathe Bronzers alone! I already mentioned the Wayne Goss and Vieve ones in the contour section, but those count here. I also bought the Melt Cosmetics Ultra-Matte Bronzer, a Huda Glowish Blurring Pressed Powder deep enough to use as bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury Cream Bronzer in Tan (which technically fills the role of being the inbetween shade I wanted), Nars Laguna Cream Bronzer, Rose Inc Cream Bronzer, Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer in Terracotta this time, Nars Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana, Sigma Matte Bronzer, Fenty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer Palette, Gucci Éclat Soleil Bronzer, Covergirl TruBlend So Flushed High Pigment Bronzer, and Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector for the bronzer strip.
If I remembered them all, that’s 18 new bronzers added to my collection.

Considering how many launched this year, I don’t view this as a fail, but I admittedly did pretty badly on this one. However, bronzing products have only been in my collection for a few years. It’s still a new category of makeup for me to play in, so I’ll cut myself some slack on having trouble sticking to a reasonable amount. I plan to do a declutter soon though and I feel confident in my ability to do better and keep it under 5 next year. I’m still going to aim for zero with Pat Mcgrath being an exception, plus bronzers falling under the Face Palette category.

Blushes: “I would be proud of myself if I could keep my blush purchases under 15 this year. My plan is to stick to powders unless the blush in question is available as a mini.” Blushes are a NO-BUY except MAC, Nabla, PML, Patrick Ta, Nars, Huda Beauty, Makeup by Mario, Rare Beauty liquid blushes in a mini form or if they introduce a powder version, Fenty, Clionadh, Oden’s Eye, Glossier, LYS Beauty, CT, Chanel, and Dior.

I’ll cut right to the chase…I bought 65 blushes this year.
I knew this category would be my biggest fail, but counting it out was quite the shock. The very tiniest defense I have for myself is that I bought 84 blushes last year, so at least I bought less this year.

It never seems like much at first because I only buy 1-3 at a time and don’t pay attention to how many more shades I have from a line by the end of the year. Even after I do my reviews, I sometimes buy more. For example, I ended 2022 with 6 new Suqqu blushes, 6 Benefit blushes, 5 MAC blushes, 5 Colourpop Blushes, etc. That’s how they all just caught up to me before I knew it from among 28 different brands!

This was the year of the blushes. It seemed like every brand was coming out with cream versions or I bought additional shades of powder blushes. In the last two years it became my favorite category of makeup, even surpassing eyeshadows. So, I admit, this will probably be my hardest category to have a low-buy for next year. I will of course try my best to buy as few as possible because I have so many that I love and want to have the time to actually get around to using. I’ll be doing a blush declutter in 2023, though I haven’t decided if I’ll make a dedicated post about it or not. It would be quite the daunting task!

Out of the 16 brand exceptions, I bought blushes from 9 of them. So, next year, I don’t even want to give myself a set number or set brands. I’m just going to try and resist them all as much as I can! At this point, with my solidified favorite brands and formulas, I think I’m the most in danger of trying blushes from brands I haven’t had blush from for the first time, as well as additional shades being released in my favorite formulas. Otherwise, I am still hopeful I’ll get way less in the future.

Highlighters: “I want to keep my highlighter number as close to zero as possible. That’s the goal, without putting an actual figure cap on it.” These are a NO-BUY excluding PML, Dior, and if there’s a limited edition collection of something that I’m absolutely salivating over to purchase from, but there’s nothing in the collection I would actually use except the highlighter.

I also did worse than I thought for the highlighter category. I bought 43.

Five are Colourpop Super Shocks plus two powder ones, Four are from MAC, three from Melt Cosmetics, etc. So it’s easy to see how it got out of hand among the 24 different brands. 15 highlighters were from collabs and/or limited edition collections, so that exclusion didn’t contribute to as many additional highlighters as I expected. I think regular brand packaging (if it was pretty) and pan embossing were some of the biggest temptations.

What will make things different next year is that I have quite a few holy grails now, including the ones I was crazy about last year but got swept up in all the new releases and didn’t have time to play with almost at all. The fact that I have so many now that are neglected is making me really not want to add anymore to my collection, and I plan to do quite the declutter.

Face Palettes: “This category is a LOW-BUY, but allowing for brands like CT, PML, Huda Beauty, Uoma Beauty, Hindash, and Hourglass. I’ve always wanted one of those CT Instant Look in a Palette or face quads but there hasn’t been one that would suit my skin tone. PML would be an immediate purchase. Uoma Beauty already had a face palette from 2021 but neither the light or dark palettes were really perfect for me. Hourglass makes the exceptions list because of their annual holiday palettes, provided they still make one this year and if it’s truly dark-skin friendly (but also not too deep for me).”

I got 12 face palettes. All things considered, that’s not too bad for me.

Charlotte Tilbury did not create one that met my needs, so that brand was not one of them. Uoma Beauty didn’t create a new face palette either. The two I bought from Pat Mcgrath were blush and highlighter palettes, so they weren’t exactly what I had in mind. In the instance of the PML x Bridgerton 2 Blushing Delights Palette and Divine Blush and Glow, I wasn’t the biggest fan of either highlighter and it was the blushes that I continue to reach for, so they technically belong in this category, but they are functionally just blush palettes for me. I got the Monochromance Palette from Hindash and put it in this category because I never use it for the eyeshadows, just as face products. Hourglass did not make the perfect holiday palette for me, yet I bought two of them to create a better mix. Out of the 12 face palettes I bought, the only one that truly suited my needs (as is) in shades and formulas I loved and had the blush, highlighter, and bronzer that I picture the perfect face palette should have, was the Sephora Collection Microsmooth Multi-Tasking Baked Face Palette in Captivate. I got that palette in April, yet I still continued to chase after more of them.

I really want to do some damage to the Sephora palette, so I’m planning to aim for zero face palettes next year, with the exceptions of CT, PML, Huda Beauty, and Hindash. When it comes to Hourglass, I still don’t want to buy another holiday palette unless it contains an actual deep bronzer with other shades that work for me, or it has the At Night blush plus everything else I think would be flattering on me.

Concealers: Concealers are a LOW-BUY, but realistically, I’m content with the ones I have, “and I will likely only buy two additional concealers this year: Tarte Shape Tape when it’s half price and Pat Mcgrath’s shade 23. The only concealer I already purchased in 2022 was the KVD Good Apple concealer.” Concealers are my least restrictive category because my needs are so particular that so few out there meet all criteria. So, I don’t mind buying several of them if I can actually find some to match all my personal requirements.

As I expected, I naturally did not gravitate to many concealers this year because so few full coverage ones were released. I finished my KVD Good Apple Concealer that I bought in February and only recently opened my backup tube that I bought in March. That made me feel pretty good about having a backup handy. I’m also currently using my last backup of the Tarte Shape Tape. I did purchase the PML Concealer in shade 23 and tossed out my other two that had changed in consistency but were mostly used up as well. 23 is still too olive toned for my liking, so I won’t get anymore in the future. I bought a mini of the Tarte Flex concealer and hated the formula. I also recently bought the Sephora Best Skin Ever Concealer, but I can’t remember my thoughts on it. The Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector technically falls under this category. I bought one near the end of last year and I recently bought a replacement for it.

In summation, I bought 7 concealers. I used up one of them this year and won’t reach for two others. So, I’ll be going into 2023 with 4 fresh concealers plus a few older ones I have left in my collection that will likely be tossed out soon. For that reason, I’m going to allow myself to purchase as many full coverage, non-drying, and low-creasing ones I can find in the future. Chances are low that anything new that’s out there will work for me, so I’m likely going to end up sticking with my favorites.

Eyeshadows: “I will likely only get one or two single eyeshadows from different indie brand collection launches because I’m pretty satisfied with my single eyeshadow collection. Clionadh is the only exception and I will just trust my self control and not get everything from them.”

I stuck to my guns even better than I expected regarding only getting a few single eyeshadows from different indie brands, but I absolutely went overboard on the Clionadh shadows. First, with the positives, I purchased 7 Lethal Cosmetic Singles, 3 Terra Moons singles, and 3 Sydney Grace singles. Even though they are called “refills,” I technically did buy 5 Lisa Eldridge singles. For the holidays, I also bought a Charlotte Tilbury Pop Shot.

As for Clionadh Stained Glass Expansion shadows, I bought 25 and still haven’t even reviewed the newest ones yet, nor posted them on Instagram. I also bought both Fruitlighter highlighters from the Dragonfruit Collection which I use exclusively as eyeshadows as well. I also bought the Birthday Trilogy and Holiday Trio, which makes 6 standard eyeshadows too.

I think the best course of action is to actually put a limit on what I buy from Clionadh next year for budgetary reasons and for allowing myself time to actually use what I just bought. I always buy the Charity bundles, so that will likely continue. If they finally bring back their matte shadows, I will also get those too. Everything else in the single shadow realm is off the table, excluding for an allowance of only 1 or 2 Stained Glass shadows the same as all the other brands. And when it comes to other brands’ single shadows, I’m going to have the same 1 or 2 limit.

Eyeshadow Palettes: “I will purchase no more than 2 each month (and yes they can roll over). In 2020, I bought a whopping 52 palettes which is basically one a week. In 2021, I bought somewhere between 38-40 palettes. This year, I’m hoping to make it no more than 24. I consider a palette to be anything with 4 or more eyeshadows.”

I failed. I did so well in the beginning. I was right on target from January to October, having bought just 22 new palettes. I really could have reached my goal if I’d kept that same pace for the rest of the year. It just got completely out of hand from all the sales. Black Friday came and went, and my total became 49.

Side note, only 4 of them would have sold out if I didn’t get them at launch. So, I made the right decision waiting for a sale in most cases, but I overdid it. I held off waiting for them instead of properly talking myself out of wanting them. That was a crucial mistake. At this point, I can’t even say whether they were worth it because I haven’t even touched 24 of them! Four of those still haven’t arrived though (from PML and Melt).

Of the palettes I did try, I liked a lot of them, but so few were truly special. This is something I really need to hone in on next year, the fact that plenty of brands are making fantastic eyeshadows nowadays, so I’m very likely to enjoy all of it, but I should only buy the ones that are really going to feel like worthy additions to my collection and that I would actively miss if I skipped them. I should only have palettes that are inspiring and make me want to do tons of looks with it, not just the ones that are appealing because of the colors but aren’t something I’d wear. This kind of thinking did get me through most of the year, so I know I can do way better next year if I truly stick to my guns and don’t lose my mind when the prices start to drop.

Skincare, Hair Care, and Fragrances: “I’m on a low-buy for those and intend to buy as little new products in those categories as possible.”

I bought a few fragrance samplers and travel size perfumes, so the total fragrances purchased this year is higher than last year, but the total of it all was perhaps around $100. I don’t believe that’s too unreasonable, especially when what I really wanted was a travel size of the Tom Ford Lost Cherry which costs $80. Instead, I got a travel size Kayali’s Lovefest on sale, which has a cherry note that’s similar enough. I purchased hardly any new hair care and I kept the skincare purchases to a very reasonable and minimal amount. I’m quite pleased with how I did. I don’t want any new perfumes next year, but I want to keep the hair and skin products to my same small amount as this year.

Stance on Buying Multiples

  • Don’t Buy Backups
  • Don’t Buy Multiple Shades/Versions of a Product I Like
  • *Let the Chikuhodo MK-KO Be My Most Expensive Maki-e Brush

I did a fairly decent job of not buying that many backups of makeup, but not so much with makeup brushes. Technically, the Chikuhodo MK-KO is still my most expensive single brush (which I had bought in part with a promo code and reward points not long after it arrived at CDJapan), but the difference wasn’t by much when I bought the Koyudo Makie Gray Squirrel Powder Brush with the Cherry Blossom design and red handle that’s normally 300,000 YEN but I got it for 180,000 YEN while the exchange rate was at its most favorable for USD all year.
And as for not buying multiples of shades, I absolutely failed with this specifically in the blush category and technically in buying all those Clionadh Stained Glass multichromes.

I really want to double-down on this philosophy next year and only buy the one perfect shade out of a bunch of options. If I stuck to that, I wouldn’t have overdone it on blush purchases. I did also overdo it with the brush purchases because I wasn’t used to CDJapan having so many outlet brush options. Unlike my spending pattern for all the other beauty categories, when it came to brushes, I went on a spending spree in the beginning half of the year, but started to get a handle on it in the latter half. Towards the end, I was a lot more particular and thoughtful about the final brushes I bought and skipped several Outlet buying opportunities and passed on the last four or so promo code offers. I’m confident I will have my Fude obsession much more under control next year. I also still have so many more brushes yet to be reviewed and posted on this blog!

Stance on Limited Edition/Limited Quantity Items

  • Skip Birth Specific Things Except Ones Pertaining to Me (Lunar Dragon Sign, November-born, Water Sign, Scorpio, etc)
  • Don’t Buy Items Now to Avoid Price Hikes Later, Fear of Discontinuation, and Long Restock Times

I didn’t want to risk Clionadh’s shadows being out of stock during Black Friday, so I very specifically chose not to wait for a better deal for fear of a long restock when I bought all the Stained Glass ones that I did. I also placed multiple orders and wasted a lot of money in shipping fees because I couldn’t stick to just my initial purchase after narrowing the list down to my top 15 favorites of the new shades. So, that wasn’t very smart on my part.

There weren’t many birth specific things released this year, other than Lunar New Year items, so I was mostly safe on this front. The collection that I absolutely did not stick to buying the ones pertaining to me was when I purchased the Air and Earth mini palettes from Melt’s Bad Side Zodiac Collection. On the other hand, I did well by not buying the Water palette just because it’s my sign’s attribute when I had no interest in the color story.

I like bunnies, so we will see how well I fare in the Year of the Rabbit. I’m not feeling very confident about this one.

Stance on Buying Things at Full Price

“I’ll only allow myself to buy things I think are worth full price, but I will still wait whenever possible to get those items when they’re on sale.”

I purchased a lot more items from luxury brands this year, and it’s difficult to feel anything in that category is worth the price to me at full retail when I know the most desirable thing is probably the packaging. When I made this rule for myself about only buying products worth full price, I had affordable to mid-range makeup brands in mind. I didn’t anticipate how buying luxury items at mid-range prices was going to feel like I was living up to this rule. Many times, because of the significant discount, those luxury items were suddenly worth those mid-tier prices in my mind, so I went forward with buying them without stopping to think about whether I truly wanted the makeup or if I was just trying to get it at those prices while I could. For instance, the Guerlain Quads released this year are $85-$90 depending on the retailer. I got mine for $65 from Selfridges. Natasha Denona palettes (which I admittedly consider high-end and not mid-tier) are $69, so I reasoned it was fine. I didn’t think about how one has only 4 shades and the other has 15. Or that my rule was to acknowledge the worth at the original price first before waiting for the discount.

As I mentioned in the eyeshadow palette section, I overdid the Black Friday shopping because I was waiting for items to go on sale instead of spending that time figuring out if it was something I should really be buying, wanting legitimately, and then properly talking myself out of most of them. That way, when a sale did come around, I wouldn’t just buy everything that had been pushed onto my wishlist for later. My rules for myself on item limits kept going out the window once discounts became a factor. So, I need to focus more on talking myself out of things by looking through what I already own and pulling out dupes if necessary. I also need to focus more on the item number limits I set as a reason to not buy something instead trying to determine if it’s worth buying at a specific price.

Stance on Stance on Buying Makeup from “New to Me” Brands

  • Purchase Only One Item for the Year from a Luxury Brand I Haven’t Tried Yet
  • Avoid Buying From All Other Brands That Are New to Me

I don’t know if I did well or terribly at avoiding buying from brands for the first time, considering how many new ones popped up this year, in addition to certain brands having items that finally interested me enough to want to try them. Some of the new and new to me brands I purchased from this year are One/Size, Victoria Beckham Beauty, Olivia Palermo Beauty, Vieve, Florasis, Alamar Cosmetics, MOB Beauty, rms beauty, Valentino Beauty, the Beauty Bay brand, Lisa Eldridge, and r.e.m. Beauty. I even tried the Eihodo (outlet), Surratt, and Mizuho brush brands for the first time. I do regret bothering to purchase from 3 out of those 12. I spent a lot of money creating a custom palette of MOB Beauty products for it to not be absolutely perfect for me. The Florasis palette is beautiful, but it’s too beautiful for me to want to use and mess up the pan designs, plus I wasn’t thrilled with the formulas. The rms beauty blush is just okay. I don’t get the hype. MAC Extra Dimension blushes are way better. Also, in trying out One/Size and Lisa Eldridge, they became brands I couldn’t stop making additional purchases with and will continue to keep my eye on in the coming year. I also have no regrets buying solely one product type from r.e.m, the Interstellar Highlighter Topper, but I do wish I stopped at Miss Mars because that is the perfect shade for me and is one of my holy grail products now. Miss Saturn was the other shade I bought, which is nice, but I don’t think I’ll reach for it again now that I’ve got Miss Mars. Funny enough, regarding r.e.m., it’s one of the rare times that loving one item from the brand didn’t make me go down the rabbit hole of wanting to try everything else they’ve got.

The rule about only buying one item from a luxury brand, I stuck to with Victoria Beckham Beauty and Olivia Palermo Beauty, but it wasn’t of my own accord. Had the brand created other items that interested me or put up a good enough sale, I’d have purchased additional things.

This rule stopped me from trying out a decent number of other brands for the first time, so I think it will still be necessary to keep this one for next year. I’m just not sure the one item per luxury brand thought process is sound anymore. It was intended for me to cherish that one product, but if that first one was a dud, that should be enough to make me more cautious naturally in the future without feeling like I have to punish myself by only getting to experience that one product for the rest of the year that I won’t be cherishing anyway.

Knowing/Hearing Something Has an Amazing Formula but Isn’t Available in a Shade I Like

  • Remember: “Just because something is good, does not mean I must own it.”
  • Wait For the Brand to Expand the Range for a Shade I Actually Love
  • Don’t Buy Things for Curiosity’s Sake or Reviewing Purposes

The first two rules did successfully help me in some cases, as I discussed in my Anti-Haul post, but hearing something was good and not buying it only worked until the product dropped in price. Then, I felt like I was missing out by skipping the deal and a good formula. Of course, very few things were actually revolutionary, so I really need to remember most things will be as good as what I already own and almost none will surpass it. That means I should just stick to what I already have and not keep buying more of the same.

As for waiting for a brand’s range to expand, I kept that in mind a lot and it did help me to stick to my low-buy. My bigger issue, ironically, is that brands were more inclusive this year and many times there were too many shades that I really wanted! That’s how I ended up buying so many blushes at a time. I only regret 10 out of 65, because 7 were me not needing those shades and I could have skipped them without actually missing out, whereas only 3 of the 65 didn’t work on me. Waiting for the perfect shade is a good rule because I’m having greater success with getting products I like, but I like too many things, so I have to really work on the whole “just because something is good doesn’t mean I need to own it,” mentality.

Self-Tips to Avoid Temptation

  • If I Decide Not to Buy Something, Stop Watching Videos About It
  • Don’t Buy Things That Don’t Suit Me Just to Support a Cause/Brand Owner With A Specific Background
  • Don’t Make Purchases as Retail Therapy
  • Don’t Make Purchases in the Early Morning Hours

Not watching videos about items I planned to anti-haul ended up being helpful in limiting my exposure to the product’s hype, but also a detriment when I was in a random shopping mood and didn’t have a list of negatives accrued from videos that would have aided me in talking myself out of making the purchase. Of course, I wasn’t supposed to be making retail therapy purchases at all, but there were three specific moments this year that my will-power wasn’t strong enough. One was post-surgery and another was after Hurricane Ian when power was finally restored but my boyfriend and I were sick. I at least did better at avoiding early morning shopping by convincing myself to make the purchases later in the morning when inhibitions weren’t so low.

When it came to deciding to buy something at full or near full price, that’s when supporting a cause or brand owner/collaborator with a specific background played a role. However, I was much better this year at not buying things that I knew weren’t my preference just to be supportive.

Final Thoughts

My low-buy efforts were abysmal in specific makeup categories, but I wouldn’t call this a complete fail because I was in the ballpark of my goals for the rest of the categories. In taking on this project, I learned even more about my consumer habits and personal impulses. I have to give myself some credit for doing well up until the remaining few months of the year, which was also the most difficult part of the year on a personal level emotionally and physically after my surgery.
I’ll need to be a lot stronger at saying no to the shiny new things next year, and I am certain I’ll do better. I still have so many products that haven’t been reviewed from my collection that I want to get posted to this blog in 2023. So, despite going on another low-buy, there will be plenty of beauty content to come! Thank you for reading and I wish you a very happy New Year!

-Lili

Anti-Haul: Hyped Up Makeup I Skipped Buying And Why

We had a plethora of new launches in 2022. I found myself caving and buying a ton of them despite my low-buy efforts detailed in my Beauty Resolutions post. In fact, I felt as though I was constantly having to mention in my reviews that I had broken my low-buy over and over again, whereas I never spoke about all the times I actually did hold strong.

So, for a change of pace, I’d like to talk about some of the most hyped up products that were released this year and how I was able to talk myself out of buying them. My goal with this discussion is to point out the ways I tried to rationalize making a purchase that I knew I shouldn’t make, so that myself and anyone reading who is on a no-buy/low-buy/or just wants to consume less makeup can see the ways to counteract that kind of thinking and recognize the signs when the next exciting product inevitably catches everyone’s attention.

Disclaimer: This is an anti-haul, so it’s safe to say I am not being sponsored to talk about the products in this post. I put the retailer logos on the images as a way of showing whose websites those images were taken from to give them ownership credit. I also chose the websites based on where I would most likely have purchased the items myself based on where I’d have gotten the best deals on them.
There is only one link in this post that is affiliated, and that’s the Bisyodo brush near the bottom of this post. Non-highlighted links in bold blue font (Example) are regular standard non-affiliate links. Links marked in bold black font with a light blue background (Example) are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to get a commission if purchases are made directly using my link.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette

I’ve been wanting a face palette from Charlotte Tilbury for ages! The ideal palette for me would be the ones with a blush, bronzer, and highlighter. I even added a CT face palette to my exceptions list for my low-buy. So, when the Pillow Talk Face Palette in Medium/Deep was sneak peeked, I was instantly swept up by the hype and caught up in the excitement of having one intended to suit me. However, when I saw the swatches and the way the palette looked on the cheeks of purchasers of my skin tone and darker, I didn’t think the top two shades would work for me.

I have learned in the last year or so that just, “showing up on the skin,” doesn’t equate with being flattering. There is a reason that the majority of pastel eyeshadows don’t flatter me, and that’s because so many have a strong opaque white base to them. This gives the eyeshadows a chalky look on dark skin, the deeper the chalkier. This is the reason Clionadh Cosmetics came out with their Deep Iridescent line of multichromes with a tan base, because of how their original line of multichromes looked on those with dark skin (I had to blend them in super well to get the white to not show).
This issue crops up again with blushes. If the color is too light for someone, it can look chalky or ashy, but if a brand’s blush has too strong of a white base, it will also look chalky (like those Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Blush Duos). So, even though I’ve worn blushes with the same depth as the lighter blush shade from Charlotte Tilbury, it wouldn’t be to my preference based on how it appeared on the cheeks of other ladies with deep skin. There are some people who like that effect because it gives a “soft appearance” the way pastels are soft muted colors, but it’s not how I want blush to appear on me. When I see that arm in the promo images, none look nice to me except that deep red/pink, though I think the deeper highlighter looked way prettier in the reviews on YouTube that I watched.

So, my brain wanted to rationalize the fact that I would at least enjoy the bottom half of the palette. I could get this for $60 from Selfridges versus $75 at US retailers. Charlotte’s single blushes and highlighters start at $40, so I would still be getting a savings on having two usable products, plus being able to mix them with the other two shades. However, I had to think about my preferences again. I have the hardest time reaching for face palettes that don’t have every product perfectly suited for me.
When I’m in a rush (which when I’m putting on makeup, I’m almost always in a rush), I think of a single favorite shade and then grab it. I don’t think about blush palettes or face palettes because they usually contain other products that didn’t work, which puts a mental note in the back of my mind that this product isn’t as great as I thought. So, when I’m going off instinct trying to quickly think of what I want to grab, I think of that single product that I have already made a mental note, “Yes, this one is perfect.” That’s what I grab instead. There are only two palettes in my entire collection that became a go-to: my custom palette of MAC blushes and the Hindash Beautopsy Palette. The custom palette works because I made sure every shade in there is a favorite. Beautopsy works because I can do nearly every makeup task with it.

The final point I had to remember was the motivating reason for wanting a Charlotte Tilbury Face Palette in the first place. I like a lot of Charlotte’s products and my dream palette from her would be something I could do most of my face with and not ever have to purchase additional palettes because I’d have my perfect one. Had I bought the Pillow Talk Face Palette with only blushes and highlighters, I would absolutely want to purchase another one if Charlotte came out with a version that had at least a highlighter, blush, and bronzer with all three suitable for me. So, then what would happen to the Pillow Talk Face Palette? I’d completely abandon it in favor of the better one. It makes no sense to buy something that is kind of what a want when I should just wait to get something that is everything I want. It’s a lesson that has a hard time sticking with me when I’m really drawn in to a pretty shade or I’m in a retail therapy type of mood or I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out on the biggest/hottest product of the year. But chances are high that the same palette I foresee as being perfect for me in the future will have plenty of other people hyping it up and buying that one too. So, I won’t be missing out if I just wait for a better one.

I don’t want another Hourglass situation where I keep buying the holiday palettes when only some of them work for me and the others don’t, so before I know it, I’ve ended up owning four of them. That’s why I depotted mine to create a version I’d finally get use out of by having it conveniently in one place!

I really agonized over getting this face palette, but eventually the hype died down. I saw it end up in several “2022 Beauty Favorites” videos, but I hardly saw it being used after the first few months of it launching. I have my doubts on how long it will continue to be talked about starting next year, and especially because the brand is bound to release another one of these in 2023 and the old will be forgotten.

Gucci Luminous Matte Beauty Blush (Blush de Beauté Cheeks and Eyes Powder)

Packaging tends to be my kryptonite, but I’m thrilled to say I don’t find the packaging of these appealing. I love stars, but I prefer dynamic intricate patterns like some examples I found via a Google Search.

What had me second, third, and quadruple guessing my decision to pass on this launch is the fact that the formula was said to be comparable to my favorite blushes! People were saying these were guaranteed to be on a lot of end of the year favorites lists because they were said to be incredibly soft, smooth to the touch, and “blend like a dream.” Plus, I could get it from Selfridges for $41 each instead of $49 at US retailers.

Initially, what stopped me from buying one was my uncertainty about the shade range. I wanted a medium pink or coral, but I doubted if any besides the deepest shade, Warm Berry, would work for me. Even when I saw the blushes applied to the cheeks of those around my skintone, sometimes Radiant Pink would look better or too cool toned for my preference, and on some people Bright Coral looked better or it didn’t show up enough on the skin. The safest bet would be Warm Berry, but I have so many shades of that similar color. It’s gorgeous, but when I have Rose Latte from Fenty, Paradise Venus from Pat Mcgrath, Yoiurushi from Suqqu, and a few others that I love and want to use up, it wouldn’t make sense to get Warm Berry when I still don’t have a holy grail formula for peach, coral, or medium pink blushes.

The next step in my thought process was to take a chance on buying Bright Coral anyway. What helped me to resist was the fact that I had already gone through the same anti-haul process with the holiday blushes from Dior. I saw enough reviews to feel confident that Cosmic Coral could work for me. However, I still preferred the tone of the Fall 2021 Blush that I missed out on called Coral Flight. So, I felt very silly buying a blush now that I knew still didn’t compare to a blush I wanted before and had talked myself out of. It would have felt like I was settling for something worse, and I didn’t think I would be able to appreciate Cosmic Coral if I was viewing it as the consolation prize. Then, Galactic Red was again too similar to blushes I own in abundance and looked as though it contained silver sparkles, which I really don’t like in a blush. The fact that Cosmic Coral and Galactic Red looked so similar to Bright Coral and Warm Berry, and I already had the strength to turn down that launch, helped me be able to turn down the Gucci one as well.

What makes me feel secure in my decision is thinking about how hyped up the Hermes blushes were last year, yet I’ve only seen them talked about less than a handful of times this year. I also really enjoyed the performance and the Hermes blush was a precious thing to me. I even wanted more shades, but ran into the same issue as many of these luxury blush collections where there’s only one clear shade that will work for those with dark skin and the rest are iffy. And despite me liking it in 2021, even more exciting blush formulas and shades have been released this year that I prefer to use over that one. It stands to reason that the Gucci blushes would have ended up the same way if I caved and bought them.

Natasha Denona Retro Glam Eyeshadow Palette

This particular photo isn’t the most flattering picture I’ve seen of this palette, but it helps to illustrate the point I try to remind myself about, which is to consider my personal tastes before buying something. I love greens, and that’s all I could initially think about when I first saw this palette. Evergreen, Oz, Jazzy, Sage, and Belle were the shades calling to me the most. But, as I mentioned before, I’m extremely selective when it comes to pastels, and this palette has a ton of them.

Unlike the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Face Palette, opinions from the dark skin ladies and gents were split on this one. Quite a few said too many shades looked ashy on them or that the deepest shades in the palette were just mid-tone on the lids and lacked the ability to create depth. One of the biggest issues for me was the redundancy. YouTubers across the skin tone spectrum said that quite a few of the shadows looked too similar to one another when applied to the eye and not just the way they look in the pan, especially Jazzy and Maxi plus Marlin and Oz. If those with light skin tones had trouble building depth and feeling the color story was repetitive, there was just no way I’d have better success.

Ultimately, when I really thought hard about it, there were so many other green palettes that I loved and bought. Did I really need another after purchasing the Anastasia Beverly Hills Nouveau Palette, Nars Climax Eyeshadow Palette, and Bobbi Brown Jadestone Eye Shadow Palette? Considering my struggle to make pink and green go together when I bought the Colourpop x Tinkerbell Sprinkle A Little Magic Eyeshadow Palette, I had no business even considering buying the Retro Glam. In the end, even my love of the Cream Powder shadows wasn’t strong enough to outweigh the serious reasons why buying a palette with so few shades I actually liked would have been a bad idea.

Isamaya Industrial Colour Pigment Eyeshadow Palette

I saw this palette sneak peeked before knowing the price. The aesthetic was so cool to me and my immense interest in the greens and browns made me want this palette badly. However, once I discovered the price, I just couldn’t justify it. I’ve never paid full price for a Natasha Denona $129 palette or Pat Mcgrath large mothership palette, and those brands have been around long enough to prove their worth. Even with the $95 Selfridge price instead of $115, I couldn’t bite the bullet on a brand new makeup company where I had zero clue how good their shadows were. Knowing Isamaya was professionally connected to Byredo didn’t help, considering the fact that I hadn’t tried their shadows myself either and reviews were mixed between people saying it was or wasn’t worth the price tag. So, the price alone deterred me. However, at one point I could have gotten it for $80.50 using a 30% off discount code I found via the Google Shopping tab. Suddenly, the excitement at the possibility of owning it returned once I knew it was a little more attainable. I tried to reason with myself about how it was only a few dollars more than the Hindash palettes or that Guerlain and Tom Ford charge more than that at full price for only 4 eyeshadows versus 14 from Isamaya. I had it added to my cart and ready to go, but just before I checked out, I vaguely remembered the Hannah Louise Poston video on the brand and how that had helped to stop me from feeling like I missed out the first time I initially thought I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on the palette. I watched it again as a refresher, but I was suddenly reminded of the deeply troubling formula and performance issues she mentions in her video. For anyone having issues resisting this palette, I recommend giving it a watch because it thoroughly cured me.

Byredo Purple Echo Eyeshadow Palette

Another video saved me from disaster, and that was by Lexi Jong. However, I still give myself credit for holding off on buying it for as long as I did prior to watching her video. What made it appealing in the first place is that absolutely stunning packaging! My goodness, how I yearned to buy it for the packaging alone! I’d have just assumed it was out of my price range until I saw the note in the pre-launch post on IG that it would be available for $58 from Selfridges when their palettes are normally $75 at US retailers. Interestingly enough, Purple Echo isn’t currently available online in the US, other than purchasing it from the Selfridge US website. It is listed as a Limited Edition palette, and when I saw the brand’s own swatches, there was a brief moment that I wondered if it was limited edition because the quality was bad. I quickly dismissed that musing.
Swatches don’t tell the whole story, just like the case with Viseart and their poor swatches but much better quality. There’s no way a big luxury brand would release a terribly formulated palette for that high a price tag, right? Well, from the few videos I’ve seen (and not just from Lexi), this palette is atrocious! They get hard-pan. Some shadows don’t want to stick to the eyes while others don’t even want to be picked up with a brush or fingers. To be honest, these tones of purples aren’t even the kinds of purples that I like. The power of the packaging was the most at play with this one, but I just could not bring myself to spend that much on what would end up being a glorified paper weight. In addition, I have a weird aversion to using palettes with long thin rectangular pans. I could hardly use my Urban Decay Naked Palettes for that reason, and this one would have been the same even if the eyeshadows were good. Anyone else have a quirk like that too?

NARS Rising Star Cheek Palette

Nars releases cheek palettes annually, sometimes even multiple times a year, and often times with repromoted shades. This makes them having a limited edition palette that much easier to resist when you know that even if you skip one, they’ll just come out with another one that could possibly be even more to your taste. When it comes to this color story, I was in love with the way it looked in the promo photos, but how it looks in person is completely different! The shades are much lighter, vibrant, and cool-tone. The two on the bottom left turned out to be far less likely to work for my skin tone, and the top right blush shade is literally a hot pinky purple shade I despise.
So, had I purchased this immediately when it released, I would have been disappointed. Especially because I saw several videos where one of the blushes popped out of the palette. One such example is in the video by Morgan Turner. It’s one of the things that drive me nuts about baked products on a plastic mesh because so many pop out on me after a few uses or during shipping. It’s so much rarer that I have a product pop out of a metal pan, unlike plastic mesh.

Also, the same way I wasn’t impressed by the simple star pattern of the Gucci blushes, I don’t find this packaging to be appealing either.

The ultimate reason to skip this palette came down to how seldom I reach for blush and face palettes, and more specifically, how infrequently I reach for my two other Nars cheek palettes. One is now on my “retirement shelf” because it’s so old and probably went four years untouched before I remembered I had it. The other, I lost after reviewing it and only recently found it again. I told myself that I need to prove to myself that I’ll actually use one of the Nars cheek palettes before I’ll be allowed to buy another one. However, that pact doesn’t pertain to this holiday launch. This one is fully being skipped, but I might potentially buy another in the future if all shades in it are the types of colors I wear.

Tom Ford Eye Color Crème Eyeshadow Quad in 38 Velours Kaki

I could have sworn I very briefly saw this available at Selfridges for $68 instead of $90, but it was taken off the website after a few days and has not returned to the Selfridges US site since. However, this wasn’t much of a factor in skipping this quad because the Tom Ford palettes that don’t sell well or are overstocked end up at the Cosmetics Company Store (aka CCO or CCS) for a significant discount, and I can expect at some point this will be more affordable.

The real reason I decided to talk myself out of getting this forever are the shade choices. I love greens, but the two deepest ones on the bottom half look so similar on the eyes. That gives even more limitation on the different types of looks one could do with these few of shades. In addition, I have to admit that something like the Dior Backstage Khaki Neutrals palette with their greener greens and extended shade variety makes me far happier than this one likely would. When a brand produces tons of palette that are uninteresting to me, I sometimes get swept up in the excitement when one finally catches my eye, and I tend to ignore the fact that it has colors I don’t want in there as well, which makes it less worth the price to buy. My curiosity with a formula I haven’t tried from the brand, in this case the creamier ones, is another enticing aspect. This is the first time I’ve been interested in a color combination in this finish from Tom Ford. However, it would be much more satisfying if I waited for my perfect quad. With so few shade options, every one should be something you like if you’re going to buy it, out of pure principle.

Urban Decay Wild Greens Eyeshadow Palette and Urban Decay Naked x Robin Eisenberg Eyeshadow Palette

Oh, how I really wanted that Wild Greens palette! It was released early enough in the year when we weren’t as bombarded with green palettes. Several things made me hesitate on buying it: knowing it will highly likely go on sale for half price if I wait long enough, the abundance of green palettes I already own, the lack of a deep matte greens in this palette, and the darkest shade not being as deep as it looks in the pan and therefore lacking the ability to create the depth on the eyes that I want. The Robin Eisenberg collab palette was so exciting and colorful for an Urban Decay Naked palette, so I was instantly drawn in and planned to buy it when it would be inevitably 50% off. However, the more I looked at it, the more I realized it was only exciting because it was part of the Naked series. Had this color story been put in a different palette form for Urban Decay, it wouldn’t have been as intriguing to me. Plus, I am still in a phase of not being interested in blue eyeshadows, and this palette has so many of them. I also still have that hangup of the long thin rectangular eyeshadow pans and my aversion to wanting to use them.

So, for the same reasons I’ve talked myself out of the other palettes, I was able to apply it to this situation. As of right now, both palettes are indeed on sale for 50% off at Ulta, Sephora, and other US retailers. In fact, I had the option to get the Wild Greens Palette for only $17 via Amazon! However, waiting so long for a sale gave me time to think it over and carefully consider my options. I realized I liked the color stories of other palettes more than this one. Also, the quality of Urban Decay eyeshadows isn’t what it used to be. The Foxy palette that I did end up getting this year is nice enough, but isn’t stellar. I would much rather use the money I’m not spending on these to go towards a different makeup item that will bring me much more excitement to own.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Lightwork Vol. IV: Transcendence Palette – Illuminating Eye & Face Pigments

This was perhaps the most difficult eyeshadow palette to anti-haul this year. My love of multichromes is endless and I like the Danessa Myricks brand. I know how expensive these types of eyeshadows can be, so the whopping $125 price tag isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds, especially considering the price of PML palettes where usually only 1 or 2 “special” shades from her 10 pan mothership palettes are a true multichrome and for the same palette price.

The issue is that I already own more multichromes than a normal person should, and several shades are near dupes to each other when compared to my multichromes from other brands. So, I’m really not missing out. I shades I own are close enough to these.

Image credit to LBD Beauty on YouTube in her video reviewing the palette.

All of the shades above are from Clionadh, with the exception of Paradise, which is an actual shade from the Lightwork IV palette. I got it as a sample in a Trendmood box and only used it once because I rarely enjoy the “scattered effect” type of look in any form of makeup. Surprisingly, I had an easier time getting the shadow on my eyes than getting it to apply smoothly on my arm (perhaps because my eyelids are oily, but my skin is dry elsewhere), but I hate the actual large flakes within this. So, I know I would enjoy the Velvet chromes, but the larger pans in the middle of the palette would go virtually unused in my collection.

I don’t just want to cut down on my purchases because of money. I want to feel like I’m getting enough usage out of the products I buy and if I buy something that I have one or several duplicates of, it will prevent me from making a dent in any of them. I like having my makeup in clean condition by wiping off the surface of the compact or palette, wiping around the rims of the pans, and picking up the product in different sections of the pans with my brush so it gets used up in a more even fashion. However, I don’t want them to actually look untouched. By purchasing less, the chances are much higher that I get to spend adequate time with at least my top favorite products.

When I want multichromes, that’s what having my Clionadh collection was for…and my Devinah shadows…and my Terra Moons. I also have them scattered among several mainstream palettes. When is enough going to be enough? I hope that time is now.

Bisyodo Grand Series G-P-01 Powder Brush

Bisyodo is one of my favorite Fude brands, but I only have their goat hair brushes. Then, for what I believe is the first time, Bisyodo released their line of Gray Squirrel brushes in the new Grand Series with their pretty gold ferrules and gorgeous ebony wood. Of course I wanted one of them, but this series is even more expensive the the Chikuhodo Z series, which I consider the crème de la crème of gray squirrel brushes where they give the best quality for the most reasonable prices, and anything more expensive is either due to the price of upgraded/pricier materials, more bristles, or paying for the brand name. In this case, the (possibly plated gold) ferrule and ebony wood differ from Chikuhodo, but isn’t worth the price difference in my eyes, especially with the comparable shapes or comparable functions of the brushes from Bisyodo having less hair than the Chikuhodo Z alternatives. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After looking through the whole series, the one brush I felt might be worth saving up for was the G-P-01 because it has a round ferrule and brush head (which is my preferred shape in a face brush) and isn’t quite as drastic of a price jump, unlike the smaller brushes in the line. In addition, I don’t have a brush in this shape from Bisyodo, but I have similar goat hair versions from Bisyodo to the highlight and blush brushes. That’s how I ended up with only this brush on my wishlist since it came out in July ’22.

These were the prices on December 25, 2022. They change day to day because of the exchange rate and are subject to overall price increases by the brand. Please view the website for the most accurate cost information.

I just couldn’t bring myself to blindly buy it, so I waited for a video and Alicia Archer came through. The collage below are images from her video.

The brush doesn’t match my preference with it being so easily splayed like that, so it’s not dense enough for my liking and I can’t help but feel like they skimped out on the amount of hairs. It doesn’t look uniformly bundled as it looks like it’s staggered up in parts to the section that tapers around. One section in particular looks choppy and not perfectly round, as if someone took a pair of scissors to the side of it. I’m sure the hair itself is ridiculously soft, since that other brush in the photo compared to it has hair that looks so fragile at the base and I can see that stray hair that’s coming out of the top.

If this was an inexpensive brush, the way the hair looks would be fine, but if I actually paid for one that looked like that, I’d be disappointed. Alicia was sent the brush set by Fude Beauty, and I would think that the absolute best would be sent in PR, so that makes me a little afraid that if I tried to buy it at any retailer it may look better or even worse than that one. That’s quite the gamble. These brushes are handmade, so not every one of them will be identical, but I decided that it would be best for me to anti-haul this particular line. I made this decision when the exchange rate between USD and YEN was much more favorable to dollars and the brush was as low as $139 or $142. Now that it’s back up to $158, It’s absolutely a skip. Part of me wonders if I missed my chance on getting it for as low as it was ever going to be, but I have plenty of beautifully crafted gray squirrel brushes from other brands in my collection, including outlet brushes that only have tiny cosmetic flaws but are otherwise perfect. I also considered just saving up my own points I earn through purchases, along with the points I get when others have so kindly used my links when purchasing from CDJapan, but I couldn’t bring myself to use those points on something I may not like. I’d rather spend it on something I know for certain I will cherish.

So, these are the reasons I ultimately decided to skip this one. And I can guarantee there will be other opportunities to buy different and equally beautiful brushes from Bisyodo in the future. I can be a fan of them (at least with their goat hair brushes) without needing to own everything they make.

In the event that someone would still like to purchase this brush or any other item that’s available at CDJapan using my affiliate link, it can be done by clicking HERE, and if so, thank you for monetarily supporting this blog!

Sonia G Niji Pro and The Hinoki Set

Sonia G is another one of my favorite brush brands (Chikuhodo, Sonia G, and Bisyodo are the top three). Every launch of hers is tempting, even if it’s for brushes that aren’t my usual style. When it comes to the Hinoki Set, I loved the detail of the cranes on the handles and I really wanted the uniquely shaped smaller brush. The larger brush head was not as unique, but was a shape I enjoyed. I just had to think about my preferences and remember that I tend to not like the undyed goat hair from Sonia G. Yes, the bristles are super soft, but the way they splay out after being washed and their tendency to be wispier than their dyed counterparts is what I don’t like about them. To me, it’s as if the dyed hairs are thicker, but I don’t know if it’s a coating or perhaps if the thicker hairs are selected intentionally to withstand the dye process. Or maybe she intentionally chooses undyed hair brushes to be the airier brushes. I don’t know for sure, but I remember how I ended up giving my Lotus Cheek to my friend because I preferred the denseness of the regular Cheek Pro (so much that I have a backup of the Cheek Pro too after the Lotus Cheek didn’t have the same performance benefits). Had the Hinoki brushes been available individually, I might have purchased the smaller one. However, it’s my rule that I shouldn’t buy full sets of brushes if I don’t like nearly all of them, unless I intend to sell the ones I won’t use. I did that once with the Lotus Set prior to them being available individually and I don’t want to have to do that again. These brushes are not just tools; they are like art to me.

The rationale for keeping sets bundled is that it’s a way to keep the cost lower (the way eyeshadow palettes are cheaper per shadow than a brand’s singles cost individually) or that these more intricate designs are intended for collectors, which implies people having the finances to afford more extravagant and luxurious brushes. Granted, there are plenty who fall into that category. However, there are some who are like me and consider themselves fans enough to be a Fude Collector that will skip out on buying other things (like jewelry, designer clothes and shoes and accessories, etc) in order to fund that collection. It would be nice to have the option to solely buy the ones we can love and use without being stuck with additional ones that aren’t going to get any love. I think it’s okay to own a collector piece and have it on display for its beauty and not for use, like art, but it’s another thing to own a collector item and not appreciate it enough to want to display it and not want to use it either, so it just sits in the back of a drawer or in a box serving no purpose. That feels wasteful considering all the time and effort by the artisans to create it and the ever growing limited resource of that animal hair. It would be a shame to have something I don’t want, when it could have been purchased by someone else who would have actually cherished it if only they had the option to buy it as a single too. After all, the Hinoki set is limited edition and for each person who buys the two without loving them both, that potentially takes away from someone else’s ability to own it.
No judgements to those who have. It’s just what keeps me from doing it too.

Regarding the Niji Pro, the salt and pepper look of the hair is beautiful! There is something so pleasing about it. I like this type of shape for bronzer and contour, but I thought it looked a bit too large. I had already sold my Lotus Base. I owned the Scott Barnes #65 Flawless Face Brush and the Patrick Ta Contour Brush. Just because this is a gorgeous mix of dyed and undyed Saikoho goat hair and would be a more luxurious addition to my collection, doesn’t mean I need to own it. I can admire it from afar is what I told myself. It was hard, but I’m glad I did, because eventually Sonia released the Jumbo Bronzer brush which, based on the descriptions, is even more suited to me than the Niji Pro! The Niji Pro is denser for a heavier application and stronger buffing power. The Jumbo Bronzer brush has a good amount of density while still giving an airy result due to the flexible and longer hair. When I want something more precise or to use with a more subtle product that requires packing, I have my Patrick Ta Contour Brush for that. However, with use of my powder bronzers that are a little deep and need a lighter application combined with good blending ability, the Jumbo Bronzer is everything I wanted. So, I was rewarded for waiting for my ideal brush rather than settling for one that sounded nice, but wasn’t filling any voids in my collection.

There are a few more items I considered adding to this list, but truth be told, I might cave on those if the price is right. There are also some new launches that I’m planning to anti-haul, like the Colourpop Sage the Day palette (which is too similar to The Child palette plus I swore off buying CP Palettes because I never use them), but it’s too soon after the launch to feel like I successfully got that one out of my system. I have held strong to what I wrote in that post though and haven’t purchased another one since. I also haven’t used a single one of my CP palettes since that post either, further reinforcing the point that I made the right decision to stop buying them.

That’s all I’ve got for this week’s post. I wish you a very happy holiday! Thank you for reading.

-Lili