Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Preemptive Strike: Makeup Bans!

A dangerous season approaches for us makeup maniacs. Come October, we will be wading through countless reviews and posts promoting the Holiday 2011 collections from the likes of Evil Chanel, Evil Dior and Evil Guerlain. My weak will not be able to withstand the onslaught. Therefore, a preemptive measure is crucial if I am to survive the holidays with extra dollars in my pocket!

I've been contemplating several different types of makeup bans but hesitant to post without committing fully to the endeavour. My original ideas (several times revised) didn't really work. I need to impose something realistic and doable without killing my makeup-loving soul. So here's what I've come up with.

No New Lippies...

...until I've completely finished at least five. Unless you see five lipsticks, glosses or stains pass through my empties posts, I am not allowed to purchase a new lippie. Lip balms don't count.

No New Eye Shadows...

...until I've hit pan on at least one shade. It's pathetic how spare I am on shadows yet I am unable to quell the urge to give in to pretty new colours. No shadows until I see pan! I have never ever hit pan on a shadow before! God help me!!!

No New Eyeliners...

...until I've either finished one completely or somehow gotten rid of at least half of my stash. No pencils, no felt tips, no liquids, no gels, no creams... no liners.

I've chosen the three categories of makeup that I tend to accrue quickly yet can't seem to use up or even rotate between properly. I always end up reaching for the same lippies over and over again, the same neutral shadows on the days when I actually bother with them, and I ignore liners almost completely. I've simply run out of excuses with these three things and need to experiment heavily with the products in my stash before getting any more new ones.

It's my hope that with an early start -- and the aid of a public proclamation -- I can keep myself in check better from now on. The three bans start as of today. There is no expiration date. I'm hopeful that the lippies ban will lift within a few months and the shadows ban in perhaps half a year. As for the liner ban, it may become a permanent thing. (I'll explain my issues with it in depth at some point in the future.)

Are you on a Project 10 Pan or some sort of self-imposed ban? If yes, let's band together and stay strong! If no, I will live vicariously through you in the next few months!


  1. Good luck!!! I'm on an ongoing eye shadow's good so far (since June?). I can't even imagine finishing one lipstick, let alone five... ._.

  2. I am on a ban with my shower gel! I own too many and never seem to get through any... Good luck!!!

  3. @Larie - When does your ban expire? What are the conditions to this ban and how will you reward yourself after?!? ;D

    @Nicky - I swear I take showers but you're right, they take FOREVER to finish. I'm seeing the end of a massive Ivory tub though! Good luck!

  4. I am! But I'm more a skin care product hoarder. Been starting to make entries on items I've emptied...

  5. Eep! Good luck with your makeup ban(s), Liz - I know I'd never be able to do it :P (I guess that's not exactly reassuring, is it? Eeh, oh well!)

  6. Oooh, I just took a peek. Congratulations! I've got a tonne of skin stuff as well, but it hasn't been as bad as the makeup.

  7. Oooh, two Raes posting at once! The above comment is for the first Rae comment!

    @Rae (theNotice) - Thanks! I look forward to the painful lemmings you'll provide me with! Please enjoy them extra on my behalf. ;D

  8. I am not on a ban currently because I honestly don't have that much (or so I say :p). However, I AM on a spending BUDGET. Once I get back from my vacation, I intend to not spend more than $100 a month on cosmetics and clothes. We'll see how that goes :p.

  9. @Dani - Another B-word I have trouble with! Yeesh, good luck with that. Hopefully you won't need shoes or coats or SK-II serums. $100 can go a long way, though.

  10. I tried on many bans last year and this. I didn't make it but I know you will be strong. May the force be with you..
    *weeps for you*

  11. Liz, Girl, I am right there with you. It's the promos that really get me. All those discounts they through at us makes my will really weak. In fact I buckled a bit this weekend. I think I am going to do the walk of shame and return some of the stuff I bought. I just don't need it, and I have to stop myself from going nuts, the walk of shame usually snaps me out of it, because I am not a fan of it and I realize that I was being ridiculous anyway.

  12. Good Luck to you!
    I don't think I would have the strength!


  13. Good luck! I'm slowly getting there with my project ten pan but I worry a couple of my chosen items will never die. I'm wondering if it would be breaking to rules too much to swap them out for other almost finished items x

  14. Good luck Liz...I'll be cheering you on! I finally hit pan on a few eyeshadows and I was so inappropriately proud it was ridiculous :)

  15. Ah! I tried 10-panning away a lot of my skincare samples, and that worked pretty well. I don't think I could do a ban like this. I've never finished a lipstick or panned an eyeshadow before. Good luck with your campaign!

  16. I really should go on a makeup ban (I bought 4 eyeshadow palettes just this month!) but can't bring myself to do it...I'll be cheering for you though! I've never finished an eyeshadow pan before...or a lipstick...but the best of luck Liz!

  17. Good luck! I am considering something similar, though I could never make it through a Project 10 Pan--finishing 10 products would take years! That said, I could much more easily use up a lipstick than an eyeshadow. If I chose one lipstick to use every day, I'd probably finish it in 3-6 months. One eyeshadow pan, however, even a small like like MAC, would take a couple years.

    I have hit pan several times over the years, but I used to think that meant my eyeshadow was old, and I'd replace it. The only eyeshadows I used up completely, such that my brush was scraping the edges, was shu uemura M Beige 800 and Prescriptives Mushroom.

    I look forward to reading your empties posts in the upcoming weeks.

  18. Liz, I'm so glad I found your blog. You're good for my budget and sanity!

    While I do lemming a lot of the items you've reviewed on your blog, I really enjoy your posts about using up products, going on a makeup ban, etc. It's so easy to get caught up in the hype and just buy buy buy but after reading your posts, I actually get a better feeling when I use up a product or "shop" my makeup drawer instead of buying a new item!

    I'd love to join you in this makeup ban but I have to think it over first. I tend to get a little too ambitious and inevitably drop out quickly.

  19. @Ashley - *weeps with you* Today I regret this foolishness!

    @D - Oh, the walk of shame. One time I was asked why upon a return and I said, "Buyer's remores." She TOTALLY understood. Be strong, girlfriend.

    @Lissa - Thank you so much! :)

    @Claire - Honest to God, you are one of my inspirations and heroes when it comes to self-restraint. Props to you! Swaps are not a bad idea. UH OH.

    @Tracy D - Thank you, my dear!!! You should be proud. That's seriously an amazing accomplishment, as many of the commenters here would agree!!!!

    @Dovey - Thank you for the encouragement! :D

    @Stacey - Thanks, girl! No one has to feel pressured to join but the mountain of products do grate on my conscience so I must try!

    @Zuzu - Thank you, my friend. I was wondering how you were doing with that massive clean-out you conducted a while back. Perhaps a follow-up post to let us know? :) I was inspired by you and wish I had been stronger in the past year.

    @Lindsay - Au contraire! I'm so happy I found YOUR blog! It's beautiful and has a bit of everything I love. Thanks for your comment and no pressure to join in on the ban! It's just me sharing what I'm doing and encouraging anyone else who might feel the same. This blog is a mess of broken resolutions but I gotta keep trying!!

  20. I want, I really, really want put some kind of ban of my own, but I just know that my heart wouldn't be in it and if my heart stays silent on the subject, then my will is non-existant as well! Kudos to you, though, my friend and may the force be with you, lol!!! Tell you what; I'll try my very best to not fall victim to every pretty bauble that I look at and just make a play for those really unique items (pray for me!!!)

  21. Well, you know what I'm gonna say - You go, girl!! I know you can totally do this, I believe you've got the strength of conviction to get 'er done! I think your rules are totally achievable and realistic. I'm behind you 100% as always, and if you need someone to tell you 'Don't do it!', don't hesitate to ask :)

    And also, good luck to you as well Eugenia!! You can do it!

  22. the dreaded b word! ban x_x heh i actually went on a no-buy/low-buy pretty much every month this year and i can pretty much say i failed about ten days in. utterly defeated. i'm so so i'm planning to splurge and blow through my budget for the next month and then go on a no-buy indefinitely and see how i fare xD i suppose thats counter-intuitive but i figure if i buy what i want most i could justify not buying anything else for a while >_<

    but good luck! ^^~ i will hopefully join u soon xD

  23. @Eugenia - Hey, don't put pressure on yourself if there's no need! I LOVE reading your reviews, so show no restraint if your budget can handle it! ;) But if you are serious about the task at hand, good luck and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! lol (Alec Guinness is not only rolling over in his grave but rolling his eyes!)

    @Toya - Thanks, my beauty sister! You always have my back! I was really encouraged by your recent empties post, so I think it helps that we're in this together! :D

    @Isabella - I did that too and think my mistake was trying to go at it all hard-core when I have to wean myself off slowly. Like Larie noted the other day, I didn't ban myself from blush or nail polish. While I'm also trying to be better in those areas, I've left a little room for play so that I don't feel TOO restricted by this new set of rules. Try it in smaller steps and see if that helps. Good luck, my dear! :DDD

  24. Good luck chick!! If anybody can do it, it's you!
    I think I'm gonna go on some sort of ban myself after my Europe haul here.

  25. Thanks, Tracy!! I can't wait to see your Europe haul! :DDD

  26. Using up five lippies? *faints* Good for you Liz, good luck with your project, we'll be keeping an eye on you ;)

  27. Uh oh... I feel like a hobbit with a ring all of a sudden, lol. Thanks, Klara! ;D

  28. omg I think my heart skipped a beat at the idea of no new shadows for 6 months. I could not survive! I'm not officially on a ban, but I'm definitely trying to cut back. Good luck, girl! Stay strong!

  29. I seriously don't use enough to justify the collection. You probably use yours very diligently! Thanks, Caitlin! So far so good. :)

  30. You can do it! I like how you're making your goals explicit and measurable AND you're announcing it to the world on your blog. Way to build in accountability and support. I have faith in your success!

    I started following your blog recently mostly because of your makeup bans. (Weird?) I'm new to makeup and, my goodness, it's been easy to amass non-"essential" stuff. It's a natural artifact of exploring new interests. After all, no matter how much research I do, ultimately I have to try things to see if I do/don't like them. Hearing about makeup bans has made me realise that my small/moderate-sized collection can still benefit from continual culling. It feels good to get rid of stuff. I've been really good about swapping things on Makeup Alley, and even selling a couple of things on ebay. (!) Ideally, my makeup collection will include only my HGs... but until I find them, it should only include products I value, of good quality (drugstore/high end -- it doesn't matter), are affordable, and would consider repurchasing. Shopping with these things in mind can help me avoid feeling guilty about splurging on makeup.

    I'm learning that I don't need to keep an unopened backup of something even if it's limited edition. >_< Considering my limited exposure to makeup, my rational mind can't confidently say the 'best thing ever!!' of today will remain my favourite in a month, much less a year. I'm on a student's budget and don't wear makeup all that often so I can't justify tying up assets in things I'm not using.

    Yeah.. that's what I'm telling myself. :)

    Keep up the good fight. You can do it!

    I should join you on a makeup ban...
    Or project 10 pan for skin care empties at least...

    (Sorry for the long comment...I'm sort of talking to myself more than I'm talking to you.)

  31. I love long comments! Helps me see more clearly what you're thinking. :)

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! I know that it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. One second we're delighted over our accumulated stash, then the next it can seem so wasteful. I started out with a very modest stash, but as soon as I decided that I was "going into" makeup, my extreme and impulsive side took over. It wasn't long before I began swimming in products of all types. I think we all need a season of experimentation to figure out what's good and what's not, and I definitely learned a lot from my experiences. Now I just need to get my compulsive habits under control and really enjoy the things I have before I go out looking for more stuff to bring home!

    Anyway, I'd love it if you do join me. It doesn't have to Project 10 Pan. Maybe you can start with 3 or 5... a reasonable amount that will help you get started and feel accomplished rather than tired and hopeless.

    Love your name, btw. So cute!

  32. I can do it too! Seeing that my penchant for skin/hair care products is my biggest problem, I declare to the world that I am on a Project 10 "Pan".
    I will not purchase another skin/hair care product until I have finished 10 products that I already own. I could go for more than 10, but I want to make this doable! :)

    I will think about how I can swing the makeup thing.

  33. Hi again! I'm glad to hear this and know that you'll succeed in your skincare P10P! The makeup is definitely more difficult and P3P would be a more realistic start. Good luck and let me know how it goes, BooBoo!

  34. Yeah... I have yet to figure out what to do about the makeup side of things. It isn't an issue (yet, but hopefully not ever!) as I think I've been conservative with my makeup choices and purchases, and when I haven't been conservative I've been good about getting rid of things (e.g., swapping, selling on ebay). I just need my last thing to sell on ebay and I'll be good to go. My craving for new stuff should remain satiated for quite some time as I am still waiting on a package to get to me (the other person's end of my makeup swap). My aunt is also going to Asia in a few days and she has a list of things that she is going to pick up for me from the drugstores there.

    Since I had all of this on the go before I decided on any Project X Pan, I don't feel right about saying that I'm on a makeup purchasing ban.

    I will, however, think on what I can do. Maybe make my skin/hair care thing more specific. I feel like a nerd being excited for using up my stuff.

    ps I walked by Sears last night with my fiance and discovered that Sears carries CARGO! I had no idea! Anyway, I don't want anything, but I had to share the excitement with someone. My guy didn't get what the big deal was. tee hee.

  35. Don't push yourself into it. Just be more conscious of your impulses. :)

    And yeah, Cargo's only available via Sears now. I wish The Bay had kept them around. I love their blushes and lightweight foundation. Fabulous quality!

  36. Thanks for the tip :)

    Why do you wish The Bay kept it? Is it because now Cargo has less of a presence in the makeup world? It's funny that it's a Canadian brand and I had to learn about it from an international blogger.

    Anyway, I gots to get back to my studies. Cheers!

  37. Cargo's a great Canadian brand and eco-conscious, too. I never shop at Sears so it's easy to forget about them! They're also less gimmicky and dependable than a lot of other silly overhyped brands out there.

    Good luck with your studies!


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