Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Consumerist addiction

If I'm going to quit the whole consumer hamster wheel, it makes sense to examine the insane ways my money disappears from my wallet.

Let's examine.

Not too bad. Two filled compacts, one of Mary Kay products, one of Arbonne products. Total at this point: 9 eye shadows, 3 blushes.

Skin care. All Mary Kay. Daytime, nighttime, and exfoliant. I'm not horrified or embarassed yet.

Oops. Here's where we see something a little scary. 14 eyeshadows, 4 blushes, 3 eyeliners, 7 lipsticks/glosses, one foundation, one eyebrow wax. Yikes.

One bronzer, one powder, another foundation, a couple of concealers/highlighters, and another ten or so lipsticks. And a homemade lip balm in a tea container. Hey, at least I'm recycling!

Under the bathroom sink. Lots of products. Hair, body, face, etc.

And more products. 90% of them are lotions. Two hair conditioners, and some fantastic ducks!

Here it is. My shame. 14, yes FOURTEEN hair products. 7 of them are curl enhancers. Are they truly different from each other? Not really.
If I added up the cost of these products, even if I only added up what they're worth now (that they're half gone, 25% gone, etc.), I think I could feed my family for a month or more.

Do these products make me look or feel better? Do I use them

Honestly? No, no, and mostly, no. My hair responds best to a weekly shampoo, every-other-day conditioning, and a little massage oil. My skin prefers the soap I make out of chamomile flowers, sage, rosemary, lavender, and unscented Dove soap. I wear makeup MAYBE once a week (but I wore it daily when I worked outside the home).

Which means I obviously have a bit of a problem when it comes to acquisition of products. Part of my year of non-acquisition will be dedicated to not only not purchasing, but also using what I already have. It's clear that I have no business buying any kind of hair or skincare product for myself for quite a long time

I know I'm not alone here. What's your poison? Where do you spend money that doesn't make any kind of sense? What would make you change that pattern?


Anonymous said...

coffee... I stop and buy coffee at school for $2 a cup almost everyday. not to mention that the guilt in me has me buy a cup when i forget one at home... thats another $10 at least once a month.

Hot Librarian said...

Kaleigh, I just love your new year's resolutions. I have been focusing very much lately on not buying new products until the ones I already have are TOTALLY EMPTY. It's hard. Product is so tempting, especially when you have frustrating hair that doesn't do what you want it to and maybe JUST MAYBE this other curl tamer will work ever so slightly better. We all know how that story ends.

Anyway, in 2010 I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing as far as shrinking down my carbon footprint and focusing my energy on some self-improvement issues that are long overdue. However, I hope you'll blog about your experiences and I look forward to reading!

Anonymous said...

If you have extra shampoo that you will not be using on your or any of your families heads, use it as toilet cleaner. My husband can't figure out how I make the toilet smell so nice.

I've been working on living simply for a while. The best thing I've found to keep myself in order is to file the under-sink in baskets so that I know what I have.

I stopped coloring my hair for the economy and it looks better natural. Now if I can only get my book collection under control.

Beth said...

I've always had a weakness for buying lipsticks! I have tons of them -- most of which I don't use. But, for some reason, I like the idea that I have them! I really need to stop buying them!