Chatter: Why My No Buy

why my no buy

Call it what you will: a no buy is just another phrase to describe a spending restriction. This might be in a particular area, like mine is for beauty products, or it might be for everything. It might be out of financial necessity, to encourage savings, or merely to prevent the accumulation of more things/clutter. Since my April blunder, I’ve adhered.

Why my no buy?

My no buy why is a mixed bag.

SPACE. I have drunk deeply of the Marie Kondo kool-aid and although I have yet to Kondo my home, I’m trying to apply some of her school of thought to things I own. Even after paring down, I still own more makeup than I need. Because my tastes are what they are, my collection has a good bit of overlap. I don’t want to add to my collection (okay, I do want to add an Hourglass ALB. And some of those shockingly-good, <$5 WnW palettes); I have extremely finite storage space and am committed to not having that space expand. Period.

I also just need to use up what I have. Every time I buy, say, a new palette I end up giving it priority. Logically, this makes no sense. I don’t dislike my other palettes, damn it. I need to Project Pan something.

Pursuing Invisalign put a dent in our savings. Although I could have financed my treatment, I chose not to take on either interest or an inquiry into my credit (still a thing with interest-free options) since we are aiming to purchase a home in the near(er) future. Paying cash also got me a 7% discount on the cost of treatment, which was obviously quite attractive. We decided to aggressively save to rebuild what I spent on orthodontia. My no buy, combined with my (successful so far) spending edit has been a great way for me to contribute to our goals.

Priorities

For me, it’s about priorities. I love makeup and skincare! But we really want to own our own home sooner rather than later, and I really wanted to correct my teeth. On the finance front, those two things happened to rank way higher on the, “fucks given,” scale for the time being. My collection is big enough that choosing not to buy myself new things doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. It does require discipline, but it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out.

Aside from those longer-term or larger-scale goals, my no buy also frees up cash for more immediate quality-of-life improvements. Our small apartment is not furnished with in-unit or even on-site laundry. For our sanity, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying this little portable washer with a spin cycle. I feel far more strongly about that than about buying the equivalent amount of makeup at the moment. I’m stocked up on skincare (until I run out of Drunk Elephant C-Firma – but I’m hoping it lasts until the VIB sale so I can use the gift card I have!) too, so I don’t really need to buy much of anything, even hygiene stuff, for quite a while.

Finally, clutter makes me cranky. Having a small apartment means it is easy to end up in a state of clutter. Not buying stuff means I’m not increasing the risk of that. Fairly easy prioritization choice.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been struggling with cutting back – not just in beauty spending, but anything you wanted to spend less on – reexamine and rank your priorities. Is whatever you’re tempted to buy really a higher priority than whatever goal you’re trying to reach? Or, at the very least, is it worth forestalling the achievement of that goal? I don’t say or ask these things to shame you (obviously I’m guilty of failing my own no buys), but to help shape your perspective and decision-making. If, with that clarity, you decide you are comfortable with taking a delay (if that’s the risk, anyway) on achieving a goal to buy something you previously planned to avoid, so be it. Just be mindful about it.

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

This is a legacy post that has been given a slight facelift (don’t worry, content and opinions are the same). NARS Sheer Matte is a discontinued product I don’t miss. Continue reading to see why!

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Punjab
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Punjab

After a battery of swatches, samples, and wear tests I wound up using NARS Sheer Matte foundation for my bridal makeup. Prior to self-tanning (which I wasn’t going to do originally so I didn’t have to buy something new), I was already too dark for my, ‘pasty,’ foundation…so I decided to self-tan. I went to get color-matched once I established my desired color.

Getting Matched

It took a few trips to get it right. Unfortunately, the ColorIQ device was used improperly (I was flushed from the heat) and matched me to an EXTREMELY pink foundation. The foundation looked fine under the fluorescent lighting, but I stepped outside and was pink. (I have neutral-to-yellow undertones.) Pink wasn’t a good look for me. On the third trip, we finally nailed a color match – NARS Sheer Matte in Punjab. And it wasn’t just, “close enough,” Punjab was my skin color at the time. I was delighted – before, it had never taken three tries to pick a color; usually I do a ton of homework so I usually have a good idea what is going to work. This time, since my skin was not my usual color, I took a chance and threw myself on the mercy of the sales associates.

Excited for my first NARS product (eye pencil sharpener does not count) went home, tried it in the sunlight – still perfect! In weird lighting of my home – perfect. In front of my Jerdon lighted mirror – yep! And on camera – yes! Awesome. No SPF which meant no flash-back or washed out pictures.

I worked with it a few times before my wedding day so I wouldn’t be surprised about how it behaved not only during application but also during wear. Once it was on, it looked great – but in short? I would never, ever repurchase NARS Sheer Matte.

Read more…

What I Learned About My Hair

What I Learned About My Hair

Ever learn something and go, “How did it take me so long to figure this out?” Yeah – that’s was me, this past Saturday, in disbelief about what I learned about my hair.

What Isn’t New

My ambition simply does not extend to my hair. If I could just wash-and-wear every day, I would. I don’t have much love for the tedium of blow-drying, not to mention using heat less often makes for healthier hair.

In fact, I do it more often than I should. I’m sure my lazy approach to my hair is my most-common detractor from my professional appearance.

It’s a catch-22 – and that’s why I adopted my simpler haircut. It’s easier for me to coax into being presentable.

What I Learned About My Hair

My main objection to styling is that it is time consuming. And that’s true – it is, but only when you have to do it. I already knew I didn’t have to bother every day.

What I learned, however, was that I can easily go longer between washes when I do something with my hair than when I wash-and-wear. That something can be just blowing it out (nothing remotely fancy, mostly a rough-dry with some smoothing to finish) with mousse. When I do that, I get more mileage out of a wash – enhanced, of course, with dry shampoo. Using the same dry shampoo at the same interval on air-dried hair, however, doesn’t allow me to go as far.

The Bottom Line

Applying what I learned about my hair to my approach to this will make it feel like less of an imposition on my, “free,” time. Applying heat to my hair 2-3x per week should only result in about 2-2.5 combined hours, tops, of active time spent on my hair. In all, that seems like low-ish effort to appear put-together for work.

Wearing Invisalign for 20 Hours Per Day

wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day

There tons of blogs and forums out there with reports from people saying that wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day is, “impossible.” Invisalign recommends 22 hours of wear per day, which I strive for, but many orthodontists confess that between 20 and 22 should do it.

How I Manage Wearing Invisalign for 20 Hours per Day

I personally haven’t found it hard to wear them as directed. My average wear time is about 22 hours and 23 minutes per day; my maximum time with the trays out so far has been two full hours, and my minimum has been one hour and fifteen minutes.

For me, it’s simple – I really want straight teeth and I invested a lot of money to achieve a smile I am happier with. This takes short-term sacrifice and diligence on my part. The trade off is easy.

At Home

At home, I pop my trays out, eat and drink, then take care of oral hygiene. During dinner, I place my trays in my ultrasonic cleaning bath (okay, seriously, it’s just a little tub with a motor – but that’s what they called it) with some Retainer Brite. After dinner, I’ll take a quick shower (and whiten my teeth with Plus White at the same time) while my trays are still marinating in the solution. Then, I get out, do the whole oral hygiene thing, and I’m good to go!

When I’m Out

Even with eating meals away from home, I do the following to keep them out as little as possible:

  • Order water to drink. If I want something other than water, I’ll wait to drink it until my meal arrives.
  • Keep trays in until food is about to arrive.
  • Be mindful of eating pace; I’m naturally inclined to be a slow eater. Invisalign is forcing me not to linger over my meals.
  • As soon as I’m done eating, go take care of oral hygiene. Frequently, if I’m out to lunch with coworkers, we leave shortly after and I just take care of this at the office.

At least half of my meals are consumed away from home – it isn’t that hard!

Stop the Excuses

Anyone should be able to average at least 20 hours a day and most people, I’d argue, should be able to achieve 22 hours per day wear at least half of the time. The complaints I read cited excuses that sound an awful lot like non-commitment to me.

But snacks!

Get over it. You just spent, directly or indirectly if you’re lucky enough to have insurance that covers them, thousands of dollars on orthodontic treatment.

If you eat properly at mealtimes you will be less inclined to snack. I’m not perched atop some high horse; my diet isn’t the model by which anyone should be basing their life. I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, and I need help; I use MyFitnessPal to record what I eat and to make sure I’m getting enough of what I need.

I’ve been snack-free since July 23rd.

You can, too.

Well I’m a busy mom and, like, it’s just *hard*

No doubt; I bet being a busy mom is hard! But no one said orthodontic treatment is a cakewalk. Being negligent towards your own orthodontic treatment sets a poor example, too; if/when your kids end up in braces or Invisalign, how can you expect your kids to take proper care seriously if you can’t be bothered?

I don’t have time to bother with wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day! I have a life!

Here’s an unpopular truth: you have time. We all have the time. You just aren’t choosing to reserve some time for this, which you should have done before you committed to Invisalign in the first place. Part of the commitment is making the time to take it seriously; it isn’t like you’re just forking over a few grand to wake up the next day with a straight smile.

I need my coffee.

Join the club? Get up, eat something and drink a coffee. If you need to refresh your lifeblood coffee reserves throughout the day, the nice thing is that you shouldn’t have to floss. You can just brush (or even skate by with an aggressive rinse as long as your coffee of choice isn’t chock full of sugar).

The Bottom Line

Orthodontists don’t keep the requirements for wear a secret. Don’t choose treatment unless you can also choose discipline! I suggest going through the motions of what your life will be like with them before you commit. Can you eliminate snacks (or make the time to take care of oral hygiene after each snack)? Can you eat your meals quickly and remember to tend to your oral hygiene and reinsertion of trays with a sense of urgency? Will you be able to overcome the potential of a slight lisp? If you cannot commit to wearing Invisalign for 20 hours per day, consider other options.

If I, a 50+ hour-per-week working professional who eats more than half of my meals outside of my house, can manage to wear them for 22 hours a day, you should be able to wear them for twenty.

My Simpler Haircut

Over years and many haircuts that are nowhere near close to what I asked for, I’ve adopted a simpler haircut. Here’s how my stylist and I describe it.

All one length hitting about two inches below the vertical midpoint of my collarbone with low, face-framing layers that start below my chin. I considered a lob (long bob) but opted to eschew that for now.

Easy.

Simpler Haircut, Simpler Styling

Truth be told, I got tired of hunting for a stylist. It takes more time and money than I care to invest at this stage of my life, not to mention the disappointments (be it finished product or stylist ‘tude) that come along with that hunt.

My colorist actually does a nice job but because I’ve opted for this simpler haircut and because I’m only getting balayage highlights twice a year, why pay $40 + tip for what I can have done for $13 + tip?

Don’t get me wrong – if I wanted a more involved or challenging to produce-and-maintain style, I’d gladly fork over more to keep it well-maintained. But majestic dream hair takes monumental effort – ain’t nobody (who isn’t a hair model) got time for that. That’s just not where I am with life right now.

Sure, the experience with the colorist is nicer, but that’s mostly because of the shampoo and scalp massage. It isn’t 3x nicer and I get that when I get highlights anyway!

In fact, my balayage touch up is August 18 – so close, but so far away! I’m excited.

Speaking of Balayage

I’ve updated my inspiration board on Pinterest.

 

I want to go lighter this time, can you tell?

The Bottom Line

Do you have a haircut that must be closely maintained? How often do you go, and roughly (don’t share exacts if it makes you uncomfortable) how much do you spend when you go?