Prioritizing Products: Take it off!

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Totally unrelated picture for this one, because I don’t want to show you the state of my cleansers. I was planning on doing a quick post on this, but apparently I have rather strong feelings on the subject and had to split it into several parts

. I think it was Carrie Bradshaw who said “I like my money where I can see it – Hanging in my closet.” Well, I suppose I could say pretty much the same thing, only I like to see it on my face. I don’t use many budget friendly products, which is why you don’t see that many here on Scribbled With Liner. There are several reasons for that, revolving around my main argument: Buying something that doesn’t do the job that you want it to is a waste of money. Allow me to elaborate.

First of all, I live in Norway, which means that there are less budget-friendly brands available and there are less offers going around. The offers that are going around will mostly set you back approximately as much as the reccomended retail price in Ireland or Britain. This means that the price difference between high-end luxury products and budget brands isn’t necessarily that much. Sure, if it costs £8 and gives you the result you’re after, it’s all grand, but if it doesn’t, well that’s £8 wasted. And when you do pick up the product that set you back £38 it’s 8£ that should have gone into funding that product instead, not to mention the other three budget products you picked up trying to find the one.

Second, my skin and I haven’t always been on good terms. There are still days we aren’t, but since I started using more high-end products on it, we have fewer disagreements and they’re short-lived to the point that I might get compliments for my skin when I’m having a bad skin day. Picking up a product that aggravates it, now that’s expensive, because that’s a product I can’t use. Picking up the products I need or think I need, that costs even more.

Third, it’s a lot more expensive looking for the perfect or at least satisfactory dupe for a luxury product, than just picking up the product you really want. Life is short. Buy the lipstick. I think a great example of this is my glasses. I decided it was time to get new frames, and truly wanted to go the budget route through Specsavers. I called up a friend and got her to come with me and we spent 45 minutes in there trying half the frames in the shop with only one pair almost fulfilling my requirements. Almost. So we went for lunch, my friend had to leave, but another friend joined me instead, and I went back in to look at the one that I kinda liked. after another fifteen minutes we left and decided to go to my other optician, just to have a look at frames. Within five minutes I was in love with a pair of cat-eye Marc Jacobs in spite of their pink details, and when they told me it could be ordered in black I told them I had to phone home and ask  for help. I am a student after all. In the end I pretty much stopped using contacts because I love my frames so much, and I can’t help but think that that is a lot better than picking up something that would leave me always wanting a different set.

Finally, picking up the luxury option might set you back a lot more than the budget one, but how much more would you have to use to get the results you want with the budget option? Let me tell you a secret. There is a difference between something being costly or and something being expensive. I’m not telling you to pop by that exclusive store and spend all your money on that high-end luxury cream  on the top shelf that comes with its own suitcase and a butler to carry it. It might not even be the product you need. But in a lot of cases, when opting for the budget alternative, you are getting less of the beneficial ingredients and more of the stuff that’s just in there to fill the jar.

“But Scribbles”, I hear you saying, “I don’t want to spend all of my salary on cosmetics!”

I’m not telling you to, I’m telling you to be smart about it.

Don’t set out, first chance you get, to do an overhaul of your routine. Introduce only a few new items at the time. If you start using all brand new stuff all at once, and then get a reaction, even one that’s not even related to the products, it’s a lot easier to figure out just what caused the reaction. When I went to Belfast I brought a travel kit from a luxury brand containing pretty much everything I needed. At first I was glowing, but as the weeks went by my skin started feeling sticky and I got more pimples. There were a number of factors that might have contributed to that, starting with stress, environment, the different water, the cleansing products or the hydrating products. There’s no knowing, because there could have been any number of things at play, but it all went back to normal once I got back home. Unfortunately, so did my hair, which thrived during my stay.

Back home I ran out of my regular cleanser, so picked up the travel-sized ones. After a few weeks, however I started having some issues again. Seeing as the cleansers were the only “newly” introduced items, rather than eliminating any of my other products – I can react to products after having used them for longer stretches of time as well – these were the first to go. Only a few days later the situation improved.

See my point here?

Moving on, if you are going to give your stash an overhaul or you’re new to this whole world of cosmetics, I’d say your main priority is skincare. After all, the purpose of skincare is in many ways to make makeup redundant. Meaning if you’ve got good or even great skin you’ll probably use less makeup. Furthermore, it’s going to be a lot easier doing your makeup if you’ve already got a good base.

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of the human body, but is one of the last ones to benefit from your nutrients intake?

I do recommend treating yourself to a proper facial once in a while. It’s a good way to relax and will give you an assesment of your skin’s condition, which in turn will help you choose the right products for your skin.

I like to think that whatever’s going to linger on my skin had best be beneficial to it. Your cleanser, on the other hand, is going to go down the drain anyways, meaning it’s your first stop for a save.

Make sure, however, that you use products that agree with your skin and aren’t drying. That bottle of hand soap standing on your counter probably doesn’t have “Appropriate for facial makeup removing” written on it, and there’s a reason for it.

If you use wet wipes, and I know a lot of folks do, I’d recommend using a bit of water after just to take off the product from the wipes. If you like micellar waters, go ahead. Only, do yourself a favour and give your face a good cleanse morning and evening. Yes, morning as well. You might not have worn makeup to bed, but there might still be a few traces from yesterday’s fab look lingering still, adding to sweat, oil and general stuff (totally legit term) that your skin has been working on getting rid during the night. Keep your preferred cleanser in the shower and it’ll take you three seconds to get rid of it all.

I prefer double cleansing in the evening, starting out with a a cleansing cream, oil or balm to dissolve makeup, oils and grime. Use that all over before washing it off with water. Now that I’ve disrupted my makeup I’ll use some drop of eye makeup remover so as to minimize the stress on the eye area, to get at the remaining eye makeup. Next is a foaming cleanser, followed by a toner or lotion.

Additional products are a face mask and a scrub. Great things come in all price ranges here. Just make sure the main ingredients in the mask are beneficial towards your needs and that the scrub is gentle. You might have a lovely body scrub from the Body Shop or Soap & Glory laying around? Yeah, body scrub. Not for your face.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding toners, so let me be clear; It is not a product that will close your pores after cleansing. Pores aren’t doors you can open and close at will, but a proper cleansing routine might help them appear smaller. Do you need it? I recommend using one, because what they can do is all sorts of good in order to prepare your skin for the next step. From exfoliating skin, which will give better product penetration, balancing it after the cleanse, or “fill” the outer layers with moisture so that your serum can go deeper into the skin and do the work that needs to be done from there. Basically, it will help you benefit more from the rest of your routine. Save, splurge or skip? I wouldn’t skip it entirely, but provided I found one that did what I needed it to (start scanning ingredients lists on bottles) at a budget, I’d consider saving.  Toners in general aren’t that expensive, though, but last quite a while unless you drench your cotton pads, and by doing so use a lot more product than you need. You only need a few drops, so repurchases are far between. Unless you’re using products such as Sensai’s lotions, head to the mid range section.

I myself own both a toner from Elizabeth Arden that I use for everyday, but sometimes my skin needs a bit extra, and I love that Guerlain’s Super Aqua lotion can be used as a mask. I’ll soak a sheetmask from Muji, or if my eyes need a bit of a refreshener, a pair of cottonpads and let them sit in the freezer for a bit. Apply, sit back and relax.

For now I’m trying to keep specific product recommendations at a minimum,but this trick was just too good not to share. Also, I picked up the Guerlain Super Aqua lotion specifically for that purpose as the Super Aqua masks feel too precious for my using them “all the time”, so really, it’s another way of setting aside a little. Now I’m reserving those for when I really need it, but du the lotion trick when I just need to freshen up.

Come to think of it, I’m going to soak up a few pads right now before I start the work on the next post in which I tackle serums and moisturizers.

 

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