Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties

Spring is finally here, that means it’s time for a check-in to see how well I’m progressing with my Low Buy 2022 Challenge after 3 months – and skincare empties, of course!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my blog post Let’s Low Buy 2022 – here I write about why I am doing this challenge, what I hope to achieve, my rules, and how I am going to hold myself accountable. As a random person on the internet who is sharing this Low Buy challenge, the main way I am publicly holding myself accountable is by doing seasonal (3-month) check-ins; I talk about my successes and challenges with the challenge, as well as sharing all my skincare empties!


3 Months of Low Buying – How It’s Going So Far

2022 is flying by – I can’t believe it’s already April as I sit down and write this post! Although it’s been a speedy 3 months, I feel that the Low Buy challenge for the most part has been rather successful.

No More Freebies

I have been contacted by various PR companies and brands for campaigns, to which I respectfully declined. I was interested in a few of them, but right now I really want to focus on the goal at hand!

Remove Temptations

This rule has been the most successful thus far. For example, I did not even know the Sephora VIB Sale was taking place until a few youtubers I watch talked about it! I unsubscribed from Sephora’s newsletter a while ago, as well as unfollowed various brand social media accounts and uninstalled shopping apps. The only purchases I have made this year (stay tuned) have been skincare products that are directly replacing an empty in my skincare routine and/or a skincare product I keep on rotation for emergency breakout/impaired skin barrier days.

Let it Marinate

I have not impulse shopped since Deciem’s Black Friday sale of 2021 *pat on back*. Instead, I have created a wishlist of skincare products I am very interested in! If I ever feel the urge to buy something, I first take a look at my skincare routine as well as collection to make sure the item I want to purchase is unique and not similar to something I already have.

Empty Before Newbie

This has been the more challenging rule out of the 5 I have created for this Low Buy! I am a lover of skincare, and as someone who does reviews every so often, I like drawing comparisons. I like saving the skincare item I like when opening a new product because in the off-chance I don’t like the newer one, I have the original to fall back on if I decide to use up the new one or give it away. There are also items I have opened up that are quite similar, but to me their primary function is different. Further tangent on this in the video!

No Makeup

The easiest rule so far! I have not felt the need to purchase any makeup because I have been happy and content with my current collection. I think I’ll be downsizing it further soon!


Skincare Empties

The visual of how my Low Buy challenge is progressing – skincare empties! Below is a list of the empties names and links. Please note that products marked with an “*” indicates a PR item or gift. Links marked with “*” indicate an affiliate link – by clicking on this link and making a purchase, I earn a small commission. MICHXMASH Disclosure

Bioderma H2O Hydrabio Micellar Water
* https://rstyle.me/+ATLVDyAd1DbDVm7hWAduAw

Geek & Gorgeous Jelly Joker Low pH Gentle Cleanser
* https://iaff.geekandgorgeous.com/118-11-3-15.html

Bonajour Eggplant Daily BHA Toner
* https://rstyle.me/+x2WxopcSUxsVoPHwttcfEg

Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray
* https://rstyle.me/+71SiyGmURtLOQC29SmRI1A

* Rovectin Biome Ampoule
* https://rstyle.me/+k6oUegjchUeTt4TGsIRosw

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%
* https://rstyle.me/+-qLkCsCdOXyoB3OHzKw1Fw

* Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+N8q_MV80aDrGFVVOKsFThg

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+7u2rLKkhbVyoXyLn-4vsNw

* Charcoal & Rose Petals Body Butter
https://charcoalandrosepetals.ca/collections/cream-lotion-body-butter/products/essential-oil-body-butter?variant=36442599063713

Shyne Body Butter Island Vanilla
* https://rstyle.me/+xgllPISnxv4UiISjqnHbIQ

Eucerin Rich Replenishing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+BvnY7QLpGvS3PIAJdgryxA

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+HEwhGhvxihj981FmuRl8BA

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
* https://rstyle.me/+53FftnxpnGicuzKJTUhk8Q

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Ultra Fluid Invisible Finish Lotion
* https://rstyle.me/+e6I8cgrNI5PIHKNfONPCiQ

SVR Sun Secure Mousse Cream SPF 50
https://www.caretobeauty.com/us/svr-sun-protection/svr-sun-secure-blur-optical-mousse-cream-spf50-50ml/

And that’s all for my first Low Buy update! How has yours been going so far? Any rules working for you, or what do you find challenging? Let me know in the comments down below!

xo, M

My Low Buy Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

I mentioned that I’ve veen inspired by minimalism content in my first declutter video. It peaked my interest because in 2021 I felt very overwhelmed and frustrated with skincare. At the time, I coudn’t really figure out why.

I’ve come to realize that it was due to a few things:

  • I felt discontent about my skin,
  • I had an accumulation of unused skincare products I no longer cared for,
  • I lacked motivation to write/film anything,
  • I just felt “meh.”

Like all lows, there’s only going up! I eventually got over my rut and got my groove back. This is where the point of this post begins!

My 2021 end-of-year faves video featured 15 products, all new products I purchased this year. What you don’t know is that in the background I have 50-80+ other skincare items – opened, unopened, expired, forgotten.

That doesn’t factor in my hair and body products, gadgets, makeup, nail polish. At first I thought it was just PR items. Stuff sent to me that I didn’t give away and wanted to keep. When I sat down and looked through the items, 90% or more were purchased by me.

For those of you new to my corner of the internet, my name is Michelle. I started my blog and YouTube channel to not only review skincare products, but to share my clear skin journey. I want to share with the world that you’re not alone in the struggle to clear skin. My content was (and still is) supposed to be my creative outlet, something fun.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries%3Flist%3DPL2dhtpy30fcZvMVN0zyfrDkRR3F9rPpsH

I got excited when brands started reaching out for PR opportunities. I also participated in review giveaways for online retailers. But then this all started to feel like a job. So I started hauling skincare more frequently and taking on PR opportunities. I felt like I needed to be consistent with my “work”. And this feeling of it being a second job is what began my discontent. I couldn’t keep track of my collection and everything started to feel the same. All the while, I had this underlying feeling that I was becoming a place for free labour and advertisement.

Now these companies are not to blame, I was the one who agreed to these terms. I agreed to accept the product in exchange for review, to meet a deadline. I’ve also never felt negative about affiliates like Wishtrend. I’ve always been able to take my time with reviews and I’ve given a fare share of negative ones. I also found some great products through PR in general.

But I did have to put other skincare on the backburner for these reviews (my purchases) because I do want to thoroughly test products before sharing my thoughts with you all. However this has now lead to me having what I think is an absurd amount of skincare for one person. Most I purchased, have been opened and I don’t know if I can use them all up in a timely manner while trying to test out products to review.

So I have decided that for 2022 I am going to do a low buy. Here are my low buy rules to help reduce my skincare spending.


Why I’m doing a Low Buy for 2022

Empties from 2019

Declutter Backburner Beauty Products

Simply put, I want to reduce the products I have. I have come to know my likes and dislikes. It’s obvious what I like reaching for and what I forgot existed. It’s not good to buy new products and put older ones on the backburner… Let them be unused, expire, and ultimate become unnecessary waste.

Have Mental Clarity

I was surrounded by stuff that I felt pressured to create content about but wasn’t quite ready to share my thoughts on. I’ve come to understand what my testing/reviewing habits and methods are. Having a bulk of opened, unused skincare confused my direction. I wasn’t enjoying blogging and filming anymore. I felt like I was surrounded by stuff and I didn’t know where to begin. I’m hoping by decluttering, reducing my spending, I will have better direction and organization with my content in the future. I want to bring back more joy I had in skincare.

Have More with Less

I am also hoping to use minimalism to lower my reliance and need for products. Don’t get me wrong, my skincare is my self-care and applying makeup feels therapeutic. But I don’t want to feel a heavy reliance and be surrounded things in general to feel whole. It’s funny… I used to love seeing all my products on the bathroom counter and my vanity. Now, I just want clear surfaces and a bin of my trusty go-tos.


My Low Buy Rules for 2022

Press Samples from Wishtrend.

No More Freebies

I will not be accepting any more PR, gifts, participating in review giveaways, until I reduce my current collection. Freebies will be at a halt unless:

  • I get offered an item I planned on purchasing/repurchasing, or
  • if it was gifted by a family member/friend.

Remove Temptations

Avoid what caused me to buy a lot in the first place! This all falls under “Online Window Shopping” because it’s so easy nowadays to access online retailers and make a purchase.

  • Unsubscribe to emails – Always contains FOMO content like limited time deals, free shipping, limited stock.
  • Unfollow social media accounts – I was moreso effected by brand accounts themselves for they created the prettiest content of their products, and would have giveaways.
  • Uninstall shopping apps – I’ve already removed a couple from my phone, but the biggest one was Amazon. Us North Americans will know, that Prime delivery is dangerous for impulse shopping!
  • Remove myself from my device when I’m “bored” shopping – If I have spare time at work or am feeling bored in general, I take a breather and literally look outside, take a walk, do a chore, something other than mindlessly shop.

Let it Marinate

Prevent impulse buying, give yourself time to think about this upcoming purchase. It can be 24 hours minimum up to a week to evaluate this. During that time, check your current collection to make sure you’re not doubling up on something already.

Empty Before Newbie

Be close to finishing what I own before considering purchasing something, or using up what’s in my skincare stash first!

No Makeup

I have been on a foundation free kick since 2019. It’s helped me come to like my face and skin more for what it is. I hauled makeup in 2021 and they cater to my current aesthetic. Having said that, I don’t find a need to want more and am very content shopping my stash. The only items I would consider replacing are brow gel and mascara. But even then I haven’t worn mascara in a long time!


How I Will Hold Myself Accountable to my Low Buy Rules

Is me

As a content creator, how will my audience know I am holding myself accountable? I want those of you reading/watching to be in the know, especially if you feel like you’re in the same boat as I am.

Seasonal Empties + Check In

No better way to show I decluttered and used up my existing stash than to do empties videos! Instead of making it a monthly thing, seasonal seems appropriate. With the seasonal empties I’ll also touch upon my progress in general and how I’m feeling about the Low Buy year.

Empties and Newbies

This type of content will showcase what’s replacing what in my skincare routine. I find it will be a good way for to keep track as to what I’m using. It’ll also point out whether the newbies are from my stash or purchases.

Speak to Someone Before a Purchase

I always speak to my husband before I pull the trigger and make a purchase. I have noticed in recent times however that I’m quite silent about my skincare hauls. He always seemed surprised by the packages we had to pick up at our local post office 😀 He’s typically pretty supportive of my purchases, so I know I can count on him to tell me when I’m going out of line.


So friends, will you be doing a low buy year with me? Do you also cave to the skincare/makeup/beauty craze? If so, I hope my personal low buy rules for 2022 help you out as well.

Also – Happy New Year! Stay positive, be healthy, say “I love you” to your family and friends.

xo, M

May 2018 Roundup: Favourites, Empties, Accomplishments!

I’m exciting to share a personal accomplishment this month alongside my product faves and empties. It may seem silly, but I’m sure proud of myself! Also, a few of the products I’m going to mention are actually my purchases from the Sephora Spring VIB Haul. Usually I return more than half the stuff cause they end up sucking, but I’ve actually been consistently using all of them since I got it in the mail!

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January 2018 Roundup

Below are 5 products I’ve been using a lot and liking in January, as well as products I managed to finish during the month! I decided to start a post series called “Roundup” so I not only talk about recent favourites, but to encourage myself (and hopefully you) to use up your current products! As a beauty junkie, it’s easy to collect and not use. I’m trying to change this habit and stop holding onto products that I know I can just buy again.

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The Best of Beauty 2016

I am sure you have heard it time and time again, but damn this year flew by fast! The time has come to reflect on the year 2016 of the best beauty products I have come across and coveted. Everything I list is in consideration to my skin type: Acne-prone, dry and dehydrated.

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Collective Luxury Haul with Some First Impressions: Sephora VIB 20% Off, Shoppers Drugmart 20x the Points

Hello hello hello (from the outsiiiiiiiiiiiiide)! I’m so excited to write this post. Today I will be featuring all the (expensive) goodies I bought from the Sephora at regular price and during their VIB 20% off, and the Shoppers Drugmart 20x the Points. Don’t be fooled by the little amount of items I bought – they may be small in number, but together, they put a dent in my bank account.

Sephora sales are exciting on their own; they offer so many great brands, and 20% makes you want to try more than you thought you wanted to. And you can still get a full refund on the items! While the 20x the Points at Shoppers never seemed all that exciting to me, a few friends convinced me  it is the best time to grab some products. Much to my surprise, I find it even better than the Sephora points and little perks. Although you are buying items for full price, the points convert into money, so you may get a product for free in the future. I went from $30 to $85 worth of free items at Shoppers during the 20x the Points event. That means I can get that Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment ($50 CAD) fo’ free!

Now, on with the products!

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Skincare Series 1.1: My Daily Skincare Routine

Hello, It’s Me…..

Here’s my updated skincare routine on products that I have used exclusively and consistently from July 2015 to almost a year. I needed to find products that would tackle the superficial breakouts I was experiencing on my chin, as well as the utter dehydration and tightness I constantly felt. I could not bare the thought of having cystic acne again, so this routine also had to be something that was preventative as well. My original go to routine (One Routine to Rule Them All) for intense breakouts was not hydrating enough for my skin, so I had to revamp my approach to a new skincare routine. The key to this was to find gentle, yet highly effective products, with a good ingredient list. I didn’t want to just turn to my local Shoppers Drug Mart and get over-the-counter products filled with benzoyl peroxide. I find products like those clear my face, but also make my skin thinner and weaker. Plus, my skin would become “addicted”  to the medical ingredient, meaning if I wanted to keep up a clear face, I could never sway from it. I wanted to rebuild the strength of my skin, and slowly ween my way off of any intense treatments that I’d have to rely on.

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