beauty

EMBRACE ANTI-CONSUMERISM AND FEEL LIKE A MILLIONAIRE

Read on to learn about how to learn to shop more consciously and how to spend money on only the things you really want. This post originally appeared on SixtyandMe.com

“I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I’m not gonna buy it.” Say it three times and walk away. Say it and feel fabulous. You’re a part of a new anti-consumerism movement that will help you feel like a millionaire.

The anti-consumerism movement began as a reaction to the ‘haul’ videos prevalent on YouTube. If you’ve never seen one, here is the basic concept: A young woman (usually) sits in front of a camera with shopping bags filled with her ‘haul’ from a particular store.

She pulls out each item, describes it, says why she bought it, why it is so fabulous, and why you should have it, too. This huge trend has resulted in haul video channels and even videos on how to make haul videos.

Viral Consumerism

Haul videos are but one example of today’s viral consumerism. Viral as in virus, like a disease. Viral as in infection; consumerism has gotten to the viral point. A haul is not just one item but an overdose of purchase. A ‘spree,’ a ‘splurge.’

What’s the purpose of a haul video? To create envy, to demean the viewer and make them feel jealous, and to inspire purchasing. Brands love social media haul videos.

It’s free advertising by young people who have so many followers they are called ‘influencers.’ Often these influencers get their haul products free or are paid in some way so that they keep making more videos. It’s how they earn their living – by shopping for things they don’t need.

Meet Kimberly Clark, the Anti-Haul Queen

Say hello to Kimberly Clark. Not the paper company, but the drag queen. My millennial daughter turned me onto Kimberly Clark, an intelligent, eloquent individual with her own YouTube channel. She posts contemplative, insightful videos on a range of pertinent topics.

Kimberly says, “I want help to build a world in which we are not beholden to blind consumerism, unrealistic beauty standards and the patriarchy. Makeup can be radical as it represents the ability to progress and self-transform.”

The Anti-Haul: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Something

Kimberly began reviewing makeup products that she bought for her drag performances, and then gave it a second thought. She started an ‘anti-haul movement.’

In her anti-haul videos, she presents the marketing world’s top, ‘must have’ products and tells you why “I don’t want it. I don’t need it. I’m not gonna buy it.” She saves you lots of money and freedom from the clutter of products that will go unused and ultimately, tossed.

Anti-haul videos give you a good reason NOT to buy. And, they open your eyes to the power of marketing.

Desire Is Endless

Kimberly says, “Desire is endless, and marketing is made to create desire after desire. You want more, more, more.” Haul videos create envy. Wow, she has the money, she has every color, she must be better than me.

The Power of Marketing

“Consumerism is trying to part you with your money,” she says in her insightful Listen Up series on consumerism. “Haul videos urge you to buy; anti-haul videos give you good reasons not to buy.”

Three Gimmicks That Create Desire

‘Limited Editions’ are just bait. You think if you don’t buy a ‘special,’ limited edition that you’re missing out on something cool. Limited editions are created to jump start a fresh new desire and to create urgency. You’re missing out on nothing.

Beware of sales. Sales are where consumers make their biggest purchasing mistakes and why marketers are so keen on sales. Bottom line: don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. If it’s something you’ve been looking for, buy it. If it’s not something you’d pay full price for, don’t buy it on sale.

Do you really need that set? I wanted a tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Then I saw a set with the cream, a lipstick and a body oil for a few dollars more. “Wow, that’s a great value,” I thought.

When faced with sets, ask yourself, are you really going to use the whole set? Guess what, the answer is no. Don’t buy the eye shadow set with 30 colors. Are you really going to use it? No. Buy what you need and nothing more.

Shopping as Entertainment

In the old days, people shopped when they needed something. Today, shopping has become entertainment. You’re bored, you buy a lipstick. You’re depressed, you buy a dress.

Save your money and deal with your emotions in a healthier way: read a book, talk to a friend, cook a beautiful meal, write in your journal, make a phone call.

Bottom line: Buy what you need. Enjoy what you have. Feel good about not spending money needlessly and then having to KonMari your house. Save your money for something else, like a well-deserved vacation. Learn a language. Send your kids to college.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion of how to feel like a millionaire by not spending money needlessly! Do look at the video links I posted in the article. Check out some ‘haul’ videos and see what you think. I’d love to read your thoughts below.

Have you stopped spending money casually? What tricks of the trade have you learned to live more consciously when it comes to spending? Please join the conversation!

By Elizabeth Dunkel

Using Things Up

Here is my first post about products I’ve used up. Read on to see mini reviews as well as to see if I’d purchase again.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment

I first discovered this hair conditioner over a year ago when I decided to start the process of growing out my pixie cut. I was living in London and the time so I popped into my local Boots for some hair conditioner. Since then I’ve probably gone through five to six tubs of the stuff. Can I 100% confirm that it’s helped my hair grow – not really because my hair grows exceptionally slow BUT I will say it is one of the best hair conditioners I have ever used. I could feel a difference in the way my hair dried. It felt softer and my waves were more manageable. It also smells so good. Was very pleased to discover that they also sell this brand here in the US at Ulta. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a really good, heavy-duty conditioner (that could potentially help with hair growth). I would say I would repurchase (again) BUT since I am trying to lessen the amount of plastic I use in my life, I am currently trying out one of the conditioning bars from Lush. Will update when I find something comparable!

RMS “Un” Cover-Up

This product has been a favorite ever since I learned how to actually use it. I first bought it in the Summer of 2016 because I was on the hunt for a good hydrating concealer (when am I not) and this one sounded really nice. I also loved RMS’s ethics and use of glass packaging. I used to be really self conscious about my dark circles. They are hereditary so no amount of sleep or water will make them go away and I used to be so insecure about them. The “Un” Cover-Up concealer has very very minimal coverage. Absolutely not good enough to concealer the darkness under my eyes. It sat in my drawer until about February/March of last year. I read an article where Emma Watson mentioned that she used it as a foundation and so I decided to try it as that as well and WOW SO GOOD. I would use my Real Techniques makeup sponge to apply and it was like a dewy dream. Provided enough coverage to help tone down some of the everpresent redness in my face and take the edge off of my dark circles, which I started to embrace. Coconut oil is the base so my dry skin loved it. Am currently using Glossier’s Stretch Concealer. This is has even less coverage, but is still good for light makeup days (something I find myself going for on a regular basis). Can’t use it as foundation exactly but it is nice. It is also less than half the price of the RMS one. That is the one thing holding me back from saying I would definitely repurchase the “Un” Cover Up – it’s $40. I won’t need to think about repurchasing for a while as I have a few other concealers I want to use up so I have a while to weigh my options!

Weleda Skin Food

So so so good. This moisturizer is my dry skin dream. I first picked it up over the summer when I had a random reaction to a moisturizer I was using. I decided to go more natural with some of my skin products and have heard about this through the blogosphere grapevine. This stuff is THICK and lasts forever. I think one tube of this $19 cream lasted me six months, maybe more. It’s also a multi-use product because you can put it anywhere you have dry skin – arms, elbows, feet, etc. I’ve also used it as a makeup primer when my skin was feeling extra dry. Have just repurchased and plan to continue doing so because you can’t beat the price for such a good, effective, clean product. It also comes in a metal tube, which is helping me towards my goal of living with less plastic. The cap is plastic, but because of how long a single tube lasts me, I’m hoping it evens out waste wise compared to other plastic products that I would go through quite quickly.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Contour Powder

This is a cult classic for a reason. The powder is so finely milled and soft that it is a dream to blend in. I used the shade Light and it was such a beautiful contour shade. Had been going back and forth for a while on whether to purchase but when my friend Sabrina from Interestina mentioned how much she loved hers I went out ASAP and picked one up. While I had to go to literally THREE different Space NKs to find the Light shade – it was well worth the blisters I go from walking across London trying to find this thing. The shade is very subtle and has the perfect tone for contouring. I AM wondering if I would go for the Medium shade next time though because I do love a bit of contour and feel like I may be able to get more bang for my buck. I think I went through it in about nine months. Not too bad considering I was using it almost everyday as both my contour product and my eyeshadow, although the powder did break up a bunch, causing me to lose some of it. I think I will repurchase once I’ve gone through all of my other contours/bronzers!

#ProjectPan

When I came home from London for Christmas break last year, I realized just how many makeup and beauty products I had. When I moved to London, I could only take what I could fit into a suitcase or two, so I chose the cream of the crop and fit all of my makeup into a medium-sized toiletries bag. When I came home for the first time four months after living with just the products I had originally brought with me, I decided I  seriously needed to minimize my at-home stash.

Enter Project Pan.

Project Pan is a project created online by fellow beauty enthusiasts who found themselves with too much makeup. Traditionally with the project you choose ten (or however many you want to do) beauty items you own to use up in their entirety before you buy any other beauty products. I’ve tweaked this a bit to where I am not choosing a specific number of products (I essentially want to use up ALL of my makeup) and once I do finish something, I grab its replacement out of the drawer in my room instead of buying something new.

I have loved beauty and makeup products since I was little. Since discovering Youtube and beauty vloggers a few years ago, my collection had grown embarrassingly large. I don’t wear a lot of makeup – there was no way I could finish those products in this lifetime. After clearing out my collection, I decided to do something I think I had only done a handful of times since I started wearing makeup: I was going to finish a product before I bought a new one. In this consumer driven world (and thanks largely to the Youtube beauty community), we are encouraged to have way more products than we could ever need. The hype surrounding a new lipstick or mascara makes you want to try it yourself and add it to your own collection.

Now I challenge myself to completely use up a product before moving on to the next one. I have three backup bronzers patiently waiting their turn for when I finish up the one I’m currently using and I shouldn’t need to buy another lipstick for at least five years. I want to focus on minimizing most things in my life and this one I’ve been doing fairly well with. My goal to produce less waste will be helped through this challenge and my resolution to use less plastic will be helped as well as I will have time to thoroughly research the best glass-packaged products to replace the plastic housed ones I finish.

I still love makeup and watch beauty vloggers on the regular, but I can appreciate it differently now. I no longer feel the need to run to the nearest Sephora and buy that lipstick or eyeshadow just because someone’s using it in a tutorial that I like. It’s also strangely satisfying to use a product up in its entirety!

Some #ZeroWaste Switch-Ups

Since I’ve been home from London, I’ve had some free time on my hands (FYI it is NOT easy to find an office job during the holiday season!!). I’ve been reading a lot, books of course but also blogs. I love a good blog. Fashion and lifestyle are my favorite categories and soon I’ll do a post about the ones I’ve been following for a few years.

As you can probably tell – I consider myself to be a bit of an environmentalist and recently found two really great blogs that have inspired me to make some changes:

  • Model4GreenLiving.com – Model Renee Peters uses her platform as a model to reshape the way people think about the environment and their role in protecting it. She launched Model4GreenLiving to provide practical tips and everyday actions that encourage mindful, sustainable living.
  • TrashisforTossers.com – Lauren Singer blog documents her Zero Waste journey and shows that leading a Zero Waste lifestyle is simple, cost-effective, timely, fun, & entirely possible for everyone and anyone.

Both of these ladies show that there are so many ways to lessen your impact on the environment by making small changes that add up in a big way. Both blogs really focus on reducing the amount of plastic waste utilized in our everyday lives. Every single piece of plastic every produced is still around today and causing major problems. In fact, if you drink tap water (which most bottled water is made up of anyway), then you are drinking tiny plastic fibers every time you take a sip.

So I’ve decided to take some tips from both Renee and Lauren and focus on lessening the amount of plastic I use. Some of the biggest culprits of plastic waste are personal hygiene products – toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, razors, body wash etc. There is no need for any of these things to be made out of or stored in plastic, and we tend to go through these items the quickest.

Below is what I’m switching up in my bathroom in an effort to lessen my environmental impact!

  • Floss Dental floss creates a huge amount of waste. The packages are plastic and so is the actual floss itself. Dental Lace was born in Maine when a librarian named Jodi set out to create a stylish, eco-friendly refillable container. Ridding your bathroom cabinets of plastic and non-refillable dental floss, Dental Lace offers compostable packaging and a more sustainable container for your floss. It also happens to be some of the best floss I have ever used!
  • Toothbrush – Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes that will never biodegrade are dumped in landfills and oceans every year worldwide. Brush with Bamboo is the world’s first plant-based toothbrush. Every component of their awesome product is plant-based: bristles, handle, wrapper, and box.
  • Body soap Why use a body wash that comes in plastic bottles when name brand bar soap in paper packaging is available in every single drugstore? For example, I bought this bar soap at Target. Of course I could have grabbed a Dove bar, but Alaffia works to help empower Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty.
  • Deodorant – The switch to natural deodorant has been a long time coming. For years I knew the health risks of conventional deodorant but no matter how many I tried (and I tried a LOT), I could not get any natural deodorants to work for me. BUT THEN I DISCOVERED SCHMIDT’S. Hands down the best natural deodorant by far and you can find them at Whole Foods and Target! I am currently working my way through a conventional plasic packaging version of their Bergamot & Lime scent (my favorite, but I am also keen to try the Charcoal & Magnesium), but I’ve just purchased it in glass jar form. Cannot recommend enough.
  • Shampoo – This is new for me and I’ll admit I haven’t used this cool shampoo bar from Lush yet as I’m finishing up a bottle, but I’m really excited to give this a go! This is a true #zerowaste product as there is absolutely no packaging involved. I decided to buy an aluminum tin so I can bring it with me when I travel, but that’s a one-time purchase that I will be able to keep using forever. They have shampoo bars for every single hair need. I’m going to be trying New which  stimulates the scalp and gets the blood pumping to aid hair growth. According to Lush all you need to do to use is rub the bar between your hands to create a lather, or directly onto your hair hair. Massage into the hair and scalp then rinse clean. Easy!
  • Razor –  I had been wanting to make this switch for a while and last month I finally did it. I safely say that I am never going back to a conventional plastic razor ever again. Plastic razors are AWFUL. My skin hates to be shaved and the cheap plastic ones left little bumps all over my legs and underarms. The blades never last longer than a week and they are EXPENSIVE. Safety razors on the other hand are great! It’s a one-time investment for the actual stainless steel razor (I got this one on Amazon for $23) and a pack of double-edge razor blades can be purchased with each blade coming out to be less than $.10 cents each! The blades can last for 2-3 months with proper care so you are saving SO MUCH MONEY when you switch. The blades (and razor) come in cardboard, are wrapped individually in paper, and can be recycled when you need to switch it out.

 #ZeroWaste

Eco-friendly Beauty Brand – RMS Beauty

Since doing some research about the toxins and scary chemicals found in makeup and beauty products, I have been looking for some alternatives. I had heard of RMS Beauty before – anyone who is interested in the makeup community has certainly heard of the brand’s cult product the “Living Luminizer“. This past summer I was on the hunt for a moisturizing concealer and decided to try out the “Un Cover-Up” from RMS. I liked it but didn’t really know how to work with it until I read that Emma Watson used it as foundation. I used it all over my face and fell IN LOVE. I have a real issue finding foundations that sit nicely on my very dry skin, but this sat on it like a DREAM. Like most of their products, this RMS concealer is most made up of coconut oil, which my skin really seems to love. I also recently learned that coconut oil does not hold bacteria, which is great because I do not usually like products that come in tiny pots that you need to dip your fingers in.

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Think Dirty App Shows Just How Dangerous Your Favorite Lipstick Can Be

 

We often think about the chemicals and additives added to our foods. Most people actively seek out organic when they can afford it because we all want to know that what we are putting into our bodies is safe and non-toxic. But what about the toxins and chemicals that we put on our skin?

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Little Ondine Nail Polish – A Nontoxic Alternative!

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Painting your nails is a favorite past time for a lot of people. I find the whole process actually pretty relaxing if I have time to sit down and do it properly. If I had it my way, I would have my nails painted at all times – I just love the way they look with a bit of color on them. However, there are definitely some things I do NOT like about painting my nails:

  • the fact that I have to make sure I have proper ventilation so I am not breathing in the absolutely toxic-smelling fumes
  • waiting for the paint to dry – I have no patience for this
  • having to use acetone or another harsh chemical to effectively remove all of the polish once it has begun to chip
  • thinking about how many potential chemicals are being absorbed into my body through my nail beds (!!)

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Everyday Makeup

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Hello loves! So today I’ll be talking about what you can find in my everyday makeup bag. I don’t know about all of you, but I absolutely love peeking into other people’s makeup bags. I love seeing what they love and what works for them. Recently I’ve been really happy with the contents of my own makeup bag – I’ve finally found my HG foundation and I don’t think I’ll be changing my eyebrow products for a VERY long time!

I usually go for a pretty simple look and these products have become my staples. I’ll review them in order of how I apply them to my face – happy reading!

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