Chatter: Trying to be Edgy

Nobody likes a tryhard, yet so many brands are trying to be edgy lately. I’m not offput by crude humor in the slightest, but I can’t help but feel like brands are desperately grasping more and more for attention via punchy names and claims.

Isn’t it a little tired? Isn’t it enough to have a great product and solid marketing?

Brands

NARS Orgasm has been out for ages and the name makes sense for the color they are suggesting it is inspired by. It doesn’t strike me as tawdry even if the average shopper would feel unnerved asking for it by name in Sephora.

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara isn’t a particularly nice formula – but oh man, such an edgy name! There are plenty of other products out there that are trying a bit too hard. Some are good, some are clearly banking on their shady name to make sales.

Trying to be Edgy

Oh, marketing. Urban Decay has a history of products with shady names. Okay, it’s one thing to name a color something off-beat. They’ve teased their new Troublemaker mascara which is, allegedly, “sex proof.”

Okay Urban Decay; I know that Wende founded the brand with the aim of going against the grain. With an effortless edginess in mind. But in their tagline, “Beauty with an Edge.” But isn’t marketing, “sex-proof,” mascara trying to be edgy a little (a lot) harder than is necessary?

Urban Decay themselves state on the product site:

Troublemaker holds up in hot and heavy situations and still looks good in the morning. We tested it ourselves, and it lasted through saunas, snowboarding and sex!

One – all of your consumers would expect you to test products in-house before releasing them. Two, gee UD, bet all of those were very stringent tests.

Why would you leave makeup on in a sauna? Just sayin’.

Reviews

Urban Decay’s site suggests there are five reviews to the product so far. When you click the link, however, it takes you to a blank review section.

Trying to be edgy? Urban Decay's latest mascara sure is.

Other accounts on the internet from people who got them early are besides themselves (with glee) with how scandalous the claims are, proudly proclaiming that, “it’s totally true!”

Oh good, now we can all sleep at night,

The Bottom Line

I’m not sure when Troublemaker releases but I don’t plan to buy. My criticism for their (and many other brands’) marketing strategy isn’t the main reason why, however. In general, I’m not keen on splashing out on prestige mascaras but that isn’t helped by trying too hard to be edgy. I will not be trying this unless I come across a sample tube.

Seriously, how much of their clientele was reaching out to them and going, “Hey Urban Decay, your products are really great but there’s just this void in my life and in the market. I really need a mascara that can withstand–“

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.

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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.

Discontinued Products I Miss vol. 2

I’ve written about the list of products that have been sent to the metaphorical glue factory, and since then, the list has only grown.

DIY Hair Gloss Supplies

RIP My Preferred DIY Hair Glaze Products

The Clairol Radiance line carried at Sally’s has been discontinued, and I only found out days ago thanks to a comment from a reader. I have to find a new method to execute my DIY hair glossing treatment! I aim to have a new regimen established by December. I’d tackle this sooner, but I’m getting my balayage touched up in a few weeks and its fairly pointless to mess with it when my hair is in tip-top shape.

Discontinued Products I Miss - St Ives Whipped Silk Lotion

The Best Drugstore Lotion, Ever

This isn’t a new or recent discontinuation, I just found myself wishing it was still made. St Ives Whipped Silk body lotion was cheap, moisturizing, lightweight, lightly scented, and all-around awesome. Unfortunately, they discontinued it in the US in favor of what is, as far as I can tell, a bunch of heavily fragranced, sticky trash.

Also, RIP the Aroma Steam body washes. Those things were amazing too, dang it!

More Discontinued Products I Miss after the jump.

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