Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

I mentioned in my first declutter video that I’ve been inspired by minimalism content. 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, had an accumulation of unused skincare products I no longer cared for, lacked motivation to write/film anything, and overall 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. These were 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 sent to me that I didn’t give away and wanted to keep. But 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 and put out to the world that you’re not alone in the struggle to clear skin. This blog, my YT channel, was supposed to be my creative outlet, something fun.

I got excited when brands started reaching out for PR opportunities and 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 because 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, everything started to feel the same, all the while having 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, 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 of which 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. Although my content is mostly fixated around skincare – makeup, bodycare and such can definitely fall into this as well! So it’ll mostly be rules for the beauty realm in general, but for me it’s mostly about reducing 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 and it’s obvious what I like reaching for and what I forgot existed. It’s not good to buy new products, put older ones on the backburner and 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, and having a bulk of opened, unused skincare confused my direction. I wasn’t enjoying blogging and filming anymore because 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, and bring back more joy I had in skincare.

Have More with Less

Part of this interest in minimalism relating to my beauty product accumulation was lowering my reliance on the need to feel the best through 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 by skincare, makeup, 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 and it’s helped me come to like my face and skin more for what it is. I hauled quite a bit of makeup in 2021, all products that cater to my current aesthetic and I’m very happy with what I have. 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? It’s easy to just monitor myself but I do 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 those of you interested 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, and 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

REVIEW: Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask & Hydrogel Sheet Mask

A couple of weeks ago I got sent an Influenster VoxBox with complimentary Neutrogena products to try out!

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Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

I’ve been testing the Deep Clean for a few weeks now and just used the sheet mask, and I’m ready to share my thoughts with y’all. Just keep in mind the basic information I’m providing about the products are based on the Canadian websites and packaging.


Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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$13.49, 119g
Use: Post-workout, in-shower; Leave on for 5 mins

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Glycerin, Kaolin, Bentonite, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Titanium Dioxide, Trideceth-9, PEG-5 Ethylhexanoate, Xanthan Gum, Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Menthyl Lactate, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Green 3.

The Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask contains Salicylic Acid, a BHA that exfoliates the skin in the pore lining to help prevent clogged pores turn into blackheads, whiteheads, or a cyst, as well as smoothen skin texture. Glycolic Acid is on the list as well, but the focus for this product seems more about SA; On the US website only lists SA as an active ingredient (0.5%), but the percentage is unknown on the Canadian site and packaging. I typically use chemical exfoliants after a workout in-shower, since that’s when I will be the most oily and more prone to breakouts. For the past few weeks, I have been using the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask on my face as well as my back and chest to prevent congestion and body acne. I need a treatment for my back because I still tend to develop painful cysts, and I have some marks leftover to prove it! I like that the cleanser can last for a few minutes on my body without worrying about it washing away.

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In the few weeks I have been using this cleanser, my back has not broken out and my chest area looks and feels congestion free! As for my face, the Menthyl Lactate in the Deep Clean Cleanser/Mask sensitizes my skin a bit; I can feel the cooling sensation a lot. While it doesn’t heavily irritate my skin, it is a bothering feeling, especially since it lasts a while after I use the mask. Because of this, it is the reason why I prefer using it on my body or solely after a workout session. I don’t like the unknown percentage of BHA, because I don’t know if it will effectively “Deep Clean” my pores. I opt for Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne wash for my face (and sometimes back) which clearly lists 2% Salicylic Acid.


Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

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$4.89, 30g
Use: Once; Post-shower, after using Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser/Mask

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Ingredients: Water (eau), Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Chlorphenesin, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Chloride, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopherol, Blue 1.

This is probably the most unimpressive sheet mask I have ever tried. As you can see, Hyaluronic Acid is low on the list, and the bottom piece of the mask kept slipping down from my face. I left it on for the recommended 15 minutes and didn’t find anything noticeable with my skin other than it looked somewhat hydrated. That look disappeared quickly and there was no nourishing feeling or look on my skin that I would normally get from other sheet masks in my collection. For $5, my $2 sheet masks do way more with better ingredients and more serum in the pack.


Final Thoughts

The Neutrogena masks are overall decent drugstore skincare products that provide some skin benefits. I personally will pass on the Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser/Mask because the Menthyl Lactate bothers me too much. The Hydrogel Mask was nice but I’d rather pay $2 for a Korean sheet mask that do the same thing. Also, if you have sensitive skin, both do contain Fragrance.

On the Neutrogena Official website, they stated that the ingredients list does not get updated in a timely matter or if the formulation changes, so you must refer to the package for the actual ingredient list of your product. So if you plan on purchasing Neutrogena, it’s best to go to your local drugstore rather than an online shop to make sure you’re getting the exact ingredients you know is in the product.

Hope you found this review helpful!

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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REVIEW: Paula’s Choice Moisturizers for Dry Skin

We all know Paula Begoun, right? Cosmetic Cop? Beautypedia? The ultimate brand review website, along with an ingredient dictionary with cited studies with each ingredient? Yes, that Paula Begoun.

I was in search of a skincare line that had effective products without potential sensitizing ingredients, and Paula’s Choice fit the bill. I really admire the transparency they have with the ingredients in their products (and listing their primary functions), and cater to all skin types.

I purchased Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturizer and Skin Recovery Daily Lotion SPF 30 in hopes that my dry skin days will come to an end. These moisturizers have been put to use for the past month and I am ready to share with you all!

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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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