May 2019 Finish Line: Low-Buy Report

Another month and another “Finish Line” report for my Low-Buy Year. Since I over-purchased in 2017 I have been working on using up any products that I had in my makeup “stash,” learning more about skincare, and researching the companies who provide the products.
This month has flown by, but I did manage to use up one category of skincare–day cream. So after a year-and-a-half I finally have a chance to make a decision and purchase a replacement product. (I had too many!)
As I’ve stated before, I’m not a minimalist, but I’m striving to consume less. I went through the KonMarie method for decluttering clothing, household items, and so forth. Eliminating (using up) excess makeup and skincare products and focusing only the items that “spark joy” has made for a less complicated beauty routine (and more room on my vanity.)
Note: While trying these moisturizers, I’m using the same serums, oils, and night cream. By trying one new item at a time I will know how that product reacts with my skin and skincare routine.

What I Tried This Month


Pictured among the day cream samples is a sample of Lancome’s Absolue Night Cream. I didn’t catch it when I took the photo. Ooops! I will review it in the future when I review Night Creams.

In my post “The Great Moisturizer Debate” I discussed my tried-and-true favorite day cream product–Dior’s Hydra Life Creme–and a variety of others, including IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce. Both creams by Dior and IT Cosmetics work well to moisturize my very dry skin. Since I had so many samples of the Secret Sauce, I was able to test it out for more than a month.

This month I started with a sample of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Drink of H20. It worked well, but the sample was too small for me to make a total determination. I would love to try it again in the future and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a travel size when I go on a trip. It has a light scent that fades quickly.
I really enjoy Tatcha’s products, especially their cleansing oil, but the sample of The Water Cream did not work for me. It’s designed for people with oily to normal skin. My skin is very dry–especially in the cold weather–and I started to notice dry skin flakes. I stopped using it after a few days and passed it on to my sister-in-law who has oily/normal skin. (It’s a good-sized sample jar.) She enjoyed it very much and said if I get any more samples to send them her way.
The Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme is a product I have used for years. It is an excellent moisturizer and my skin looks fantastic when I use it. But I use the same product with SPF (they make 2 versions) when I plan to spend time outside, and I like a little bit of variety. So for this purchase it’s out of the running–although I would highly recommend this product to anyone who has normal/dry skin.
(A note on SPF: I layer products when I’m outside. I use a day cream with SPF and apply a sunblock with 40 or 50 SPF to my face. I am extremely fair. I don’t want to burn.)
Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer is also a wonderful product. The scent is clean and, well, fresh. You feel like you are visiting a spa when you put it on your face. The company claims that the cream will work for 24 hours and I believe it.

What I Purchased.

Out of all of the products that worked well on my skin, I decided to order Dior’s Hydra Life Cream. First–it was on sale. But the fact that Dior uses recycled packaging for their products and reusable glass jars also swayed me. Of course, my purchase came with more free samples, so I will have new products to report on. Dior is my choice for now, but that could change in the future.

What I Learned

Over the course of this experiment I learned so many things! But for the sake of brevity I will focus on the three main lessons.
Primarily I found that there are many high quality products available on the market (at a variety of price-points) that do the exact same job. I have a list now of products that I could order when the Hydra Life Cream runs out. I can look for items on sale and not worry that my skin will suffer or that I will waste my money.
Second I learned that I don’t have to snap up multiples of a product when a sale hits. It’s okay to have just one product going at a time. I don’t need a stash.  I purchased one jar of the Hydra Life Cream and will not purchase another day cream until it’s close to being finished.
Finally I learned that I like using samples. I kept them, unused, for so long waiting for “just the right time” to try them. No wonder I had such a large collection. Now instead of waiting, I plan to “make time” in my skincare routine to try them. I might find another jewel.

Do you have any “tried and true” products that you use? Have you wondered if there is something “better” out there just waiting to be discovered? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all of the products discussed.






8 thoughts on “May 2019 Finish Line: Low-Buy Report

  1. Chris, you are so brave and ambitious to use the KonMarie Method! I shrink just thinking about it! Lol! The thought of dumping whole heaps on my bed to then go through scares the beje*** out of me! The energy to go through that mountain before I can go to sleep again, makes me tired already, besides the brain exhaustion trying to parse what sparks joy and what doesn’t, but will I need it tomorrow even if it doesn’t spark immediate joy! Lol! You see? … I love samples too! I’m also trying to go through some of mine. And you’re so right, with the burgeoning skincare market there truly is great products now at every price point that you really can’t go wrong. I’m so glad you’re so successful and deliberate with your low buy. It inspires me! Oh, yes, and one of my tried and true night time moisturizers that I absolutely love is Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Lift and Firm Night Cream. I can’t live without it. 😄


    1. Thank you! I will have to get a sample and try it.
      If I have clothing items that I am not sure about, I set them aside in a “purgatory” box. (Borrowing the term from Hannah Louise Poston.) If I don’t pull it out and use it within three months (focusing on items within the proper season) I donate or offer it to other family members.
      The exceptions to this are formal wear or super specific seasonal wear–my Disney Christmas themed sweater for example.
      I will say that when I started, I didn’t know that I had so much. It is eye opening to say the least.


      1. All great tips Chris! I’ll keep them in mind. I love Hannah Louise Poston! She’s so inspiring and it helps me by osmosis to be more thoughtful and mindful. And yes, one must keep that Disney Christmas sweater for sure! I’m also purging some things ~ it just takes time for me to sort through what I really need & what’s joy and if I’ll need it later. I don’t have much room for Purgatory boxes because of apartment living but I love the concept!


  2. Fascinating! I love the idea of working samples into your skincare routine. I will do that next time I receive some I want to try.

    I love that your day cream comes in a recycled, reusable jar!

    I have a favorite day cream I’ve been using since August, so closing in on a year. I found it at Target, though they do not carry it locally now. It was recommended by an employee in the store.

    You see, I was having a psoriasis outbreak on my face and looking for a solution. Moving to Texas where everything grows and blooms was a shock to my immune system. Palmer’s Skin Perfecting Moisturizing Day Cream helped with the itchy inflammation almost immediately. I’ve been using it since and it, in addition to diet changes, has cleared my skin.


    1. I have terribly dry skin–especially in the cold weather. I will add that to the list to try. I love the fact that it is from a drugstore rather than a high-end product.
      If you are looking for a body lotion from the drugstore, I really recommend Soap & Glory body butter. The scent can be strong at the start but it really soothes my skin.
      I’d love to hear about the diet changes you recommend specifically for skin care!


      1. Recently when I was in Target I noticed Soap & Glory and it meant more to me because I’ve read your reviews about it. I’m currently enthralled with Charity Pot by Lush.

        The diet changes I made started with an elimination diet, which usually starts with what you eat the most of or the most likely culprits. There were only two suspects on my plate, wheat and animal protein. I eliminated wheat in all forms for two weeks and then had a pasta carbonara dinner made by Aqua_Artisan (from IG). I had a big patch on my arm the next day. In addition, I limit eggs and meat to every other day to keep my pH as high as possible. And bonus, I tried organic wheat a couple of times and didn’t have a reaction.

        No flare-ups since August, so I’m doing it right.


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