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A fine head of hair*

*shallow post warning. This post is on hair and appearances. If you want something deep, click away. If you are offended by judgey comments, click away.

I spend quite a bit on my hair. Every four to seven weeks, I visit the hairdresser. Streaks, root colour touch up and trim.

In between visits, I don’t do much. I can’t use a hair dryer or straightener or curling wand to style my hair. I am “challenged” in the hair styling department. I end up looking like a mess. But to be fair to my lack of skills, even hairdressers are challenged by my fringe which, when directed which way to go by a blast of hot air and a styling brush, rebels and sticks straight out. Also, my hair looks like it has been straightened when all I have done is combed it. Of course that means when curled, the curls last a few hours, then it is straight. Except if frizzed. Crimping after plaits can last all day. Why isn’t that in anymore? Oh yes. Because it is unattractive.

I’ve attempted all manner of styles and colours. Spiral perm. Fringe. No fringe. Bob. Long. Blonde. Brown. Pink. Purple. Strawberry blonde. Burgundy.

When I grow my hair out, the repeated bleaching is more evident. The hair becomes brittle and frizzy.

Some people are blessed with hair that doesn’t need much help. Thick, flowing locks. Or thick, wavy locks. Or thick head of curls.

The key is thick.

I have always had thin hair. If I didn’t get it cut and coloured frequently, I’d look very unkempt. Tired and worn out. Ugly even.

The other key is uniformity. People who have embraced the silver, usually have a uniform spread of salt and pepper. I have patches of white, as if my hair has gone albino in spots. Then I have a grey sprinkled among black-brown. But not sprinkled nicely.

All those beautiful women who have embraced the silver, also have a natural beauty.

I have a round face. It made me look fat in photos even when I was very skinny.

As I age, I expect my hair to get thinner. My Oma, posthumously nicknamed Oma Kardashian, wore wigs. She said it was to keep her head warm. But come on, in Sydney! She was vain and I’m sure she wore the wigs to hide her thin hair and exposed scalp.

I was at the theatre recently with a friend, who is in her 60s and blessed with thick hair of a uniform silver grey. She can tie it back and look glamorous. We were examining the heads of those in front and below us. (Going to a matinee performance means that the audience is mainly women over 57 so I can see my immediate future.) Dying hair dark makes the scalp more noticeable. I will be like these two women if I don’t do my hair differently.

I think I will embrace the wearing of wigs. It will help in so many ways – my inability to style my hair, my thinning hair, my love of changing my hair style.

In the meantime I will stay with white blonde for the foreseeable future – foils and root touchups.

But I have a secret desire to do this.

Gross? Stingy? Frugal?

Which one is this?

I used to use a fresh piece of dental floss every day. Until it hit me. 

I don’t get a fresh toothbrush out every day. Why was I getting new floss every morning?

So now I use one bit of floss for several days. Unless my gums bleed. In which case I toss immediately. Normally I use two pieces a week and just wipe with my fingers. And then I lay the floss over the floss container. 

So my stack is going to last me years. 

  
Frugal? Gross? Unnecessarily stingy?

But wait, there’s more

In the interests of honesty, and perhaps to make you feel better, I present for you photos of some more of the cosmetic products I have in my stash. 

I say some because I cannot guarantee that I have unearthed every thing. So sit back and gape into the dark recesses of my cupboards and soul, remembering this is in addition to the photos of stuff already shown. 

   

Recognise the shape of the container in the front? It’s part of the set of products I bought for the shape. I am using the shower gel up. Behind in a 1 litre container of body oil. It’s taking forever to empty. 

 
  

A container of stuff. 

  

My makeup bag of stuff in current use – shadows, eye liners, mascara, primer etc

 
  

Current cleanser and ocassional use body lotion. 

  

Bag of rarely used or not yet used makeup.

 
  

One litre of macadamia oil. This stuff is meant to be a miracle product. Have had it for ages. Not yet used. 

  

Polishes which are occasionally used. 

 
 

Most of my lipsticks, balms and lip glosses. A friend thinks this isn’t excessive. 

Let’s see how long it takes to get my products down to a minimal, organisable amount that fits in the bathroom cabinet. 

Use it up slip up

Opps. Bought a magazine. It came with a mascara. Not any mascara. THE mascara I use. It costs $52. But the magazine cost $10. They claim the mascara is full size.

  

So is this a slip up? Or a frugal decision?
Should I buy more copies of the magazine?
I could argue that I didn’t slip up and only bought a magazine but …

I don’t buy magazines. Hardly ever. Maybe one a year. If that. I only bought it for the mascara. I know there are woman who buy plenty. Not my thing. Clothes and cosmetics are, as we know. I have a friend who buys heaps of magazines and passes them to me to skim through.

I ONLY bought the magazine because of the mascara.

Susan, on the simple living forum said, “OK, well, it was a slip technically …. BUT….. how could you pass up a $50 mascara for $10!!! However, in saying that it does make you wonder what mark-ups they make if they can attach it free to a magazine.”

What do you think? 

Use it up Update 4 – Death to sachets

  

  • For degree of difficulty in opening 

I used to think I’d keep the little sachets, you know the ones in magazines or that Avon sales people give you, for travelling but I keep a couple of little bottles that I refill. So as part of this challenge I decided to use sachets up early in the challenge. 

If they go then it might make a larger dent in the appearance of clutter. Possibly?

So off I went to use  sachets of shampoo and conditioner. 

Well, I remembered why I hate those little sachets. They can be impossible to open. Got the shampoo open easily. No hassles. The conditioner decided to not play. Couldn’t open it. (Had to cut it and use a later time.)

Then I got out of the shower and the sachet of face cream opened easily!

No rhyme nor reason.

  • For product serving size

And really, all that packaging for so little product. Sometimes too much for one use and not enough for two. 

  • For unknown scent

It is always a risk opening and using a sachet as scent is very important to me. I can get headaches and nausea from some, others I just hate and others I love. I am especially fussy with hair product cause it is so close to my nose and mouth. But I can’t bear to throw them out without using. Must stop them coming into my house. 

  • For unknown colour

I used a sample of Avon foundation, thinking it was OK in the dull morning light, only to find I looked like an ommpa lumpa in the toilet at work. Such fun!

And here’s some more of my stash:

 

Bought the iconic No 7 from Boots in London, March 2015. Not touched yet.

  

GWP of magazine. Years ago. Not used.

 

Use it up Update 3 – Throw stuff away

Products, products, products. 

Some more from my store in my cupboard. 

   
 Here’s some apparently contrary advice in a use it up challenge. Throw stuff away. 

  • If it’s seriously expired. 

I was checking through some of my stash, dreaming of how nice it will be to have a clear shelf in my bathroom cabinet, and picked up some lice shampoo. Now we haven’t had lice in this household for years but I held onto the shampoo just in case.

Well, it expired in 2008. Tells you how long ago we had an infestation. When youngest darling son was in primary.

Time to toss. And with a chemist 5 min walk up the road, I don’t need to be a chemist warehouse myself, especially not for expired products with serious chemical ingredients. 

  • If your skin reacts to it

Threw out a sample cream that made my face flushed. I’m not so obsessive that I will use up samples I react badly to.

  • If it is annoying 

I threw out, and didn’t use up, a lip gloss. One of those apparently plumping glosses. I think all they have is the ingredient from capsicum so your lips tingle and you think they are plumping. I don’t need my lips to be irritated and I have enough lip glosses to not need to hang on to this one.

  • If it’s smelly

Threw away another lipgloss that was a bit wiffy. Sign all is not well with the ingredients. 

Goodbye smelly lip gloss

Use it up Update 1

[* imagine I wrote the first post on Use it Up a month and a half ago and this post came a fortnight after that. I actually started this challenge while on my blogging hiatus.]

I’ve been successful in not buying any products for the last fortnight, with encouragement from other Use-it-uppers on a simple living forum I belong to. 

Here’s some thoughts from my first fortnight of not buying cosmetic products. 

1. Avoiding special deals – find your previous “special deals” buys that you haven’t used

I nearly weakened when the new Priceline bag came out. A bag of full size products FREE if you buy $60 worth of products. I could stock up on my usual stuff and get a useable bag FULL, literally bursting, with goodies. And if I spend $100 I get free delivery which means I don’t have to go into the shop which I don’t have time for anyway. 

Luckily the Internet froze before I could press buy. And then I remembered my previous Priceline bag purchases.

Mm ah! You guessed it. I haven’t used them up yet. 

So I unearthed the two previous Pricelone bags – the hair one and the one before which was cosmetics. Maybe I should use these up first?

 

The two Priceline bags with SOME of the products

 
2. Use up the samples when travelling and don’t collect more. 

Remember to take your stash of samples! On a recent trip I took day cream and night cream samples. About a week’s worth in both. And for body lotion, another free gift with product I received – this time a full size product. Soap was a bar I bought as a decorative item to go with the containers seen in the previous post. Shampoo and conditioners were the products I bought to get the Priceline hair bag. All these were unopened before our trip.

Cleanser and toner were decanted into travel size containers from products I bought a while ago. One set of these small containers is enough. I can refill as needed. 

I didn’t collect the guest products at the BnB we stayed in. Who needs more products? It’s not frugal, if you don’t use the stuff. And most of the stuff is from China. I won’t buy cosmetics from China. They test on animals and don’t have the product control and environmental laws we have. 

 

Two hotel minis with containers that I refill

 
3. When friends encourage you to buy: remember the bigger goals 

Anyone have to combat the efforts of friends?

I have fiends/friends who try to get me to buy cosmetics.

“Hey,Strawberrynet have 10% off.”

“I’m selling Avon now.”

“You’ll be able to get some good stuff at Sephora when it opens.”

“You should try this product.”

Some are OK when I tell them I’m not buying anything until I use my stashup, others think I should just chuck things away and continue to try to encourage me to spend. The “just a few dollars” argument and the “you deserve it” one. 

Funnily enough, one friend who tried to get me to buy, bemoans not being able to afford to buy a house and how much she hates renting and wishes she could replace broken whitegoods. OK, a lipstick won’t buy a house, but something has to give. My bigger goals are mortgage, travel, house and garden. 

Use it upĀ 

I’m on a new challenge. This one is around cosmetics. 

 

Some of my stuff in regular use

 
I seem to accumulate hand creams (which I hardly use so where do they from?); body lotions and oils; facial products to cleanse and tone and moisturise; lip sticks and glosses (which enter the house faster than anyone can possibly use them); eye shadows; eye liners; concealers; samples of shampoos and conditioners.  

Everyone seems to be doing the Kon Marie decluttering bug. Apparently you bring all the things of the same together. If I was doing this with my cosmetic challenge I’d dig everything out from the bathroom cabinet, from the shelves in my cupboards, behind my jumpers, in my chest of drawers, my bedside table and the boxes and bags I have around the place. Oh and the lippies hiding in various hand bags. 

And then what?

A lady at work said to toss them. 

No way! How unfrugal and environmentally unsound! Maybe I’m a tight-arse. OK, I am a tight-arse. But I can’t bear the thought of the money spent and the resources used in transporting and manufacturing all the lotions and potions. 

So I’m on a mission. 

Not to buy any products until I have used up my exisiting products. 

I’m also including samples and “free gift with purchase”. Of which I have too many. The teeny tiny perfume. The lip gloss samples. The sachets of creams. 

 

Hey! At least they are kinda containerised.

 
Since I started tracking June 30th I haven’t bought anything, though I have been tempted!  

The goals: 

  • to declutter, 
  • to minimise waste, 
  • to have my beauty products fit in the bathroom 

Let’s see how I go. 

My name is Lucinda and I love, I am addicted to buying beauty products and sweet smelling things and things in lovely packaging. 

 

Bought with matching soaps and another container of body wash. Bought only for the Art Deco look of the containers. Not the products!

 

Lid-care

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Back in April I bought a heap of beauty products. One I was asked about was Lid-Care.

Mercester had never heard of it. And until a friend gave me a handful of sachets to try, neither had I.

In January I had a horrible skin reaction around my eyes. I looked horrid – puffy, inflamed, red, flakey eye-lids. My eyes stung. They were itchy. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t put make-up on because it hurt. Besides the pain and suffering, I was embarrassed.

What does everyone look at? Your face, your eyes. I was a mess. I looked like a disease-ridden, scabby, scaly, tenement-dwelling, ugly beast.

Nothing seemed to help, though a lotion for eczema did sooth the sting. Slowly the red and flakey skin largely healed. But not totally.

Enter my friend. Lid-care comes in a box with individual sachets. Each sachet contains a little wipe. The manufacturer recommends one sachet for each eye – every day. That would soon add up; though, if it worked, I’d be happy to pay. My friend recommend one sachet for both eyes, using one side of the wipe for one eye and the other side for the other eye.

They worked. Soothing, cleansing, no reoccurrence.

Dr Google diagnosed blepharitis. [OK, I diagnosed that. I had gone to a pharmacy in NZ and the pharmacist just diagnosed, “Oh, looks bad.”]

Now I use them several times a week. [OK, when I remember and give myself time of an evening.] I remove my make-up first and then wipe my lids with Lid-care, getting right along the eye lash line. Sometimes the frugal me rips a wipe in half and makes one last two nights. But that’s when I don’t have much make-up. Finally, I rinse my eye-lids with water and pat dry.

I strongly recommend this product; it’s a keeper for me. Keeps the eyes clean and free of grime.

Cost? I paid about $8 for a packet of 20. Given I am only using them occasionally, I’m fine with that.

Gorgeous feet

“Look! I’ve stopped biting my nails. I think I might get a manicure.”

“They look lovely. You should go to the place I go to. And get your feet done.”

“No way, I have ugly feet. I only wear shoes that cover my toes.”

“Don’t be silly. That’s why you should get some colour on your toe nails. Then you can wear sandals this summer.”

“No, they really are really, really ugly.”

“Show me!”

I slip my shoes off and expose my feet in all their glorious ugly neglect.

“Mmmm. You win. Bloody ugly feet.”

Thanks, Penny. I feel confident in revealing my feet again. Not!

My journey to gorgeousness needs to address my feet. Can’t be gorgeous when I have god ugly feet and can never wear sandals. So I pledge to look after my feet.

So why are my feet ugly, you ask? Pompholyx eczema (thankfully I very mild case), dry skin, corns, calluses, thickening skin on the balls of the feet, cracked heals, I have it all, except bunions. I have been too ashamed to reveal my feet even to a podiatrist.

The best treatment for the eczema and thickening and cracked skin is to rub moisturiser in daily, preferably twice a day. And for the thickening skin, to use a scrub and foot file.

I have tried all manner of products. Last year I bought I full range of foot care products from Avon. Should have saved my money. Useless! Except the Foot Buddy, a Pedegg copy, which works well.

But the real issue is that I need to take the plunge and look after my long neglected feet as a matter of routine – knowing I need to moisturiser is not the same as doing it. I rub moisturiser on my legs and arms every day, why neglect my feet?

There will be no before and after shots. Yuck, who wants that!!!

I do love an action plan, though!

Step 1: go to Penny’s nail salon. After the first treatment my feet looked amazing. I have always felt funny seeing all the little Asian girls sitting at the feet of predominantly Anglo women. There seems to be all sort of exploitative power relations at play. I also hate feet and don’t like people touching my feet. And then the shame of exposing my feet! But I bit the bullet. And…
Step 2: I went again two weeks later. One pedicure and I was ready to show off my feet. Why didn’t I go earlier? So now I plan to go every two weeks during summer. My eczema is even retreating.
Step 3: Rub moisturiser in twice a day and use a scrub every couple of days.

As I am the queen of trying different products, let me share with you my all time favs. These are the only ones I will bother with in the future. No more experimenting for me.

This is the hands down best ever product, Du’it. It works so well it’s like a miracle. But it isn’t always easy to get. Hence I experiment or get talked into other products by pharmacy assistants. Well, never again. I hate thick and greasy products. And I especially hate products that don’t work.

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I also love Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardeners Hand Recovery and Therapy set. OK, it says for hands but I use it on my feet. The Recovery is the scrub and it leaves my feet so smooth and soft. My secret was I used this before going for a massage as it gives an instant softness and hides the worst of my feet issues, so I was not too embarrassed when I had to show my bare feet to my osteopath or masseuse. Of course, now that I am taking care of my feet, I will not have to look for a cover-up. The Therapy is the moisturising cream and it is nearly as good as the Du’it. But not quite. If you only get one product, get the Du’it. But the scrub is really a must have too.

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All I need to do is remember to use them regularly. But if I use the steps in my previous posts on making things a habit I know it is about putting in a routine. Add foot care to my before bed routine along with removing make-up and brushing my teeth. I can’t go to bed without doing either, so look out feet.

Today’s decluttered item = an unopened packet of Scoobies. Remember these? I bought this years and years ago for my emergency present stash. There ended up being no girl of the right age to give it to and then the craze passed. 8 or 9 or 10 years later, I really don’t need to hang onto this. So off to the charity shop with this.

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