Sunday, December 31, 2017

Beauty Resolutions for 2018

Happy New Year, friends! It's 0°F outside (that's -18°C), so we are STAYING PUT. But I'm still wearing glitter and sequins, because 2017 only dies once. And we made prosecco-raspberry jello shots and put them in French 75s.


I'm still planning a post about my lipstick inventory, but before 2017 ends, let me write up my beauty-related resolutions!

1. Low-buy throughout 2018, with a maximum of two new products (excluding replacements) per month.

This was my main resolution for 2017, and as I mentioned in my last post, it seemed to make me more obsessive about researching and planning for my next purchases. But I do think it's wise to have a rough limit in mind, even if I don't adhere to it every single month. So I'm going to do my best to observe that limit, and to avoid following new releases closely or looking up dozens of swatches online. This will be much easier once the new semester starts!

2. Lipstick no-buy for at least the first quarter of 2018 (through March 31)

Now, this one I will observe strictly, with one exception. I'm hunting for a taupe lipstick, similar to NYX Minx but with packaging that actually works, and if I find my perfect taupe I will allow myself to buy it. Otherwise, no new lipsticks until the end of March. After my last destash, I have 47 lipsticks, and that's far more than I need to enjoy three months of healthy variety. The less I contribute to our society's insane overconsumption, the better! I might decide to extend this no-buy longer than three months, or take a break after March and do another one later in the year.

3. No liquid lipsticks.

Even after my no-buy ends, I won't buy any more liquid lipsticks. They go off more quickly than bullet lipsticks do, and they're less convenient to apply and touch up throughout the day. When I buy a new lipstick, I do so with the expectation that I'll use it for at least a few years. But I can't buy a liquid lipstick with that expectation, and that's a problem for someone with a lipstick collection as large as mine.

4. No cheap thrills, and especially no NYX.

I've gone off drugstore makeup in the past year. The low price point enables impulse purchases, and the products are almost never as good as I think they'll be. Maybe it's that I'm getting older, but I'm increasingly unwilling to pull a cheap-looking, shittily constructed lipstick out of my purse. There are quite a few drugstore products I love (Milani and Maybelline matte lipsticks, for instance), but I need to start exercising as much discrimination about drugstore makeup as I do about Sephora purchases.

This is especially true of NYX products. I haven't yet written a post about my least favorite products of 2017, but I've made a list, and NYX has a significant presence on that list. I've been buying NYX for at least five years, and have found just three reliably good formulas from the brand: the Butter Glosses, Slim Lip Pencils, and Slide-On Eye Pencils. Significantly, those are older formulas, developed before L'Oreal bought NYX and began churning out an endless wave of new products. Even formulas that were previously great (the matte lipsticks, for instance) have gone downhill. I'd rather avoid NYX altogether than try to guess which two of the 50 products released this week will be winners.

5. Try to publish my beauty writing.

It's no secret that the academic job market is a hot garbage fire, especially for people who specialize in 17th-century poetry and prose. I need to start thinking seriously about career options outside the academy, and though I'm under no illusion that this blog can ever become a job, I'm curious whether I can leverage my beauty writing into something semi-lucrative. Or not! We'll see.

6. Revamp my blog layout.

This is at the bottom of my list because I'm not sure how much of a pain it will be, but I'd like to drag my blog design out of 2007 if possible. Maybe even buy my own domain?

I have some more general life resolutions, too: I want to get a short story published, reduce my sugar intake significantly, and read at least two books for pleasure per month. (You'd be shocked at how little pleasure reading I do. When your job is reading and analyzing books, your hobbies tend to become more lowbrow.) No matter what, 2018 will be a year of big changes for me, and though I'm an inveterate pessimist, I'll try to keep a positive outlook about the future. I wish you all a wonderful year to come!

17 comments:

  1. Happy new year! It's a balmy 1F here. My partner and I are babysitting our nephew because nahhhh.

    Whenever people say "Oh, you're a librarian! You must read a lot!" I laugh and laugh and laugh. It's a struggle to want to read anything outside of work. I feel you so much on this.

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    1. WHY DON'T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS. If you spend your entire workday interacting with books, books = work. I think that's why I got so passionate about science fiction in grad school: it was the furthest possible thing from what I was studying (well, with some exceptions). Then again, last year I had a conversation with a fellow advanced grad student in which I was like "haha my reading choices have become so lowbrow since undergrad" and she was like "oh really? that hasn't happened to me." Kill my buzz, why don't you.

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  2. Happy new year! It's currently 30°C here (86°F) and I'm rapidly turning into a puddle of sweat. I hate summer. And the New Zealand sun is particularly fierce so I had to apply sunblock just to hang some towels on the washing line in the shade. Ugh!

    For 2018, I think I'll follow your lead and make a rule to only buy two new products per month excluding replacements. I think that's a good rule because it's not so restrictive that it will make me feel trapped, but it's a good reminder for when I get consumed with the desire to *buy buy buy* that I should try to rein in my spending. I'll also have to do the same for indie perfumes, enamel pins, and clothes as well. My spending got a bit out of control in 2016 and I've spent most of 2017 trying to fix that, but it's still a problem for me.

    I'd love to see you publish some stories! If you do, please let us know so we can seek them out to read!

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    1. Enamel pins are a huge weakness for me too! In fact, I've put myself on a pin no-buy for January and might extend it into February or March. I ordered several during post-Christmas sales and my friend gave me several more, so I'm set for a while.

      I'll have to actually *finish* a story first, but if any of them get published, I'll definitely mention it!

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  3. Happy New Year! Luckily it's not quite 0° here. We're at a balmy 28°F (while I'm being sarcastic about it being balmy, I'm actually super grateful that it's not as cold as it was this time last year!).

    Your NYX resolution is fantastic. I was at Ulta today and I honestly felt so overwhelmed by their display. They have so many products, but you're right that it's incredibly difficult to know what's good and what's not. It's a total shot in the dark, and I'm really dedicated to the idea that every product I own should be something I enjoy using, not something I have to force to work for me.

    Reading for fun is also on my resolution list! I work in education (but on the administrative side of things), and after processing information all day (crunching numbers, mostly) I hardly have the focus necessary to read a book and actually retain what I'm reading, which is so sad. I'll probably skew toward nonfiction books, but hey, reading is reading!


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    1. I guess NYX's strategy must be working, because the flood of new products doesn't seem to be slowing, but it makes the brand look so bad. If the new formulas were any good, they wouldn't have to constantly discontinue and revamp them! It makes me feel disrespected as a consumer.

      I should read more nonfiction too! My pleasure-reading tastes lean heavily toward speculative/science fiction (also the kind of fiction I like to write), but I haven't read a good biography in a while.

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  4. Happy new year! Your lipstick no-buy sounds great, I think I'll do this as well. I recently bought new glasses, and I don't like my "old" makeup style as much any more, and looks that aren't as dark and heavy suddenly look nicer on me. So a declutter and discovery phase for my current lipsticks is necessary.

    You are so right about NYX...I love their wooden lip liner pencils and the prismatic shadows, but the rest of the products I've tried were very hit or miss. They do make great lip stuff colorwise, but the packaging and often the formulas aren't for me any more (one of their matte lipsticks smelled like a mushroom filled pasta dish I used to make, and I honestly don't know how this can happen. I still own Whipped Caviar and it looks great, but again, I don't enjoy the formula and the flimsy packaging at all).

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    1. I wish there were another cruelty-free drugstore brand as experimental with color as NYX is. Maybelline is my favorite drugstore brand for lip products, but they're not cruelty-free, so I can't justify buying from them more than occasionally. Though when it comes down to it, I'd rather buy a Maybelline lipstick that ACTUALLY WORKS than a NYX one with packaging so cheap it's unusable.

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  5. Happy new year to you!

    Re: reading - I read an embarrassingly small number of books for fun during grad school. I mostly sat, slack-jawed, in front of Netflix. In the past few years, I've started reading for fun again and it is an enormous pleasure.

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    1. Oh man, "slack-jawed in front of Netflix" is such a great description of the grad student's usual state. The decline of pleasure reading is one of grad school's dirtiest secrets.

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  6. Happy New Year! I don't really make resolutions but I'm going on a low-buy this year and I want to try to be more creative with the makeup I already have.

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    1. Yes! I'd like to perfect my techniques and maybe start layering lip colors to find shades I don't already own.

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  7. I had dinner with my friends yesterday and by the time we got back to their place out of the -30 weather we decided to just stay in too, haha. Most things are not worth freezing for!

    I'm on board with the no liquid lipstick resolution! I have a lot of pretty old ones that I need to get rid of, too. I think 2018 could be the year that I potentially have only bullet lipsticks in my collection... we'll see.

    Making time for reading is always difficult. I managed 51 in 2017 (I was a bit annoyed I didn't quite make it to one a week, but oh well), but I know I'll read less this year. Obviously I'm not in literature, but I read a lot of film theory and that makes it hard to work up enthusiasm for novels sometimes. So good luck to both of us!

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    1. 51 books is great! I'm about 3/4 of the way through my first book of the year, William Gibson's Virtual Light (to be fair, I started it a couple of days before the new year), and I'm remembering how good it feels to stare at a page instead of a screen.

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  8. Happy new year! I too desperately want to cut down on sugar consumption but my first meal (literally) of 2018 was pancakes, so.... :(

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  9. I love your resolution list! I am also trying to figure out how to get out of the neoliberal promises of the academic job market - alt-ac all the way, homie. I'll be here to support your work, whatever form it takes.

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