In At Work, Capsule Wardrobe, Discussions, In my closet, Life, Minimalism, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, What I bought, What I read, Women

April 2013: What I bought, watched and read




While I don’t totally believe everything in this book because I believe that trace amounts of lead in lipstick is fine, as debunked by The Beauty Brains, I’ve always had a nagging feeling about products and things I’ve done in the name of beauty in the past.

Women in Asia, like a really white face, even though their necks and body are a brown. I saw plenty of Asian ghosts in Asia and they FREAKED ME OUT.

I thought: You call that pretty? Is that beautiful?

When you can see an actual bleached LINE of your jaw separating your brown neck from your super white face, that is not really attractive. I just think they look sickly.

It is even worse than what I can imagine, because their skin whitening products have mercury in it. We are literally dying for beauty.

  • Read: Asia face whitening (CNN) shared by the interesting, kind & engaging @matthewchat

Hair dye for instance was a big one that concerned me in reading the book.

I started dying my hair when I was 19 up until about the age of 24 when I stopped because I was getting out of debt, and I was too lazy/cheap to go get it done professionally.

Then I thought about it: everyone knows pregnant women aren’t supposed to dye their hair when they’re pregnant because it could affect the fetus….. but what about women or men who aren’t pregnant?

Does it not affect us non-pregnant folk well?

I know a fetus is far more delicate and sensitive, but if something like hair dye can hurt them, why can’t it hurt us in smaller doses?

There are conflicting links that say yes hair dye can cause cancer and others that say no, but I think it’s better to err on the side of caution, which is why I had stopped dying my hair years ago.

Anyway, this book goes into a lot of detail.

Take it with a grain of salt, I loved reading it, but there are some things she wrote that I accept and others that I don’t.

I’ve basically replaced my everyday makeup with more natural options, but I will not be adverse to using some of my highly chemical items ONCE IN A WHILE for major events like going to a wedding or something equally as photo-rich.

(And how often does that even happen, having my picture taken? 🙂 )



The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement was an excellent read.

Very quick, easy, engaging, and it highlighted a lot of major things for me that I noticed but couldn’t quite put the words to, or properly form thoughts about.

What was the best thing about the book was letting myself examine my own thoughts and actions. There were a few spots where I thought: WOW. Yes. I was a narcissist there to some extent. Let’s not let that happen again.

Other times I thought: That’s exactly the word “narcissist” to describe the way that person acted or behaved. I wish I had read this book before.

It also had some lovely personal finance undertones which were fantastic because I was nodding along with their facts and their observations (which are the same as mine by the way).

Really, a good read. Highly recommended.




Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire was produced by Oprah and Tyler Perry, this was a painful movie to watch. It was so realistic and then unrealistic (near the end, when everything seems to “work out”).

I felt my heart in pain in many spots during the movie, and it made me feel physically ill in some areas, due to the realism of the plot line.

It is a hard film to watch, I won’t lie, but it means that it affected me so strongly that it was a good film in the end. There are scenes I can’t get out of my head.



Forks Over Knives is probably the single most compelling video on health I have watched so far. Recommended by @ClubThrifty and @RedDebted as a great video to watch, I already eat pretty “clean”, or healthily, but this is making me re-think a few things in my diet.

For one major thing, I’m switching to whole wheat and brown rice for daily meals.

Once in a while, I’ll eat white bread and white rice (e.g. if I go to France, I am NOT going to miss out on croissants and baguettes), but it won’t be a normal thing for me.

I’m also switching to a more vegan diet which is not that far of a leap from vegetarian, but not going 100%.

I ate about 70% vegetarian before, and now I’m aiming for 95% vegan. Should be a challenge for me, but not an impossible one.

I still maintain that there is NOTHING wrong with eating a bit of meat and animal-based foods (as long as you know what you’re eating), but I want it to be 5% – 10% of my diet now.

I recently tried a one-day fruit cleanse with just mangoes and it was horrible for the whole day. I napped pretty much through most of it.

I had light headaches and dizziness. I am not sure or sold I’ll do this again, but it did hit me hard enough to make me take notice that I felt bad just from eating something raw and simple. 😐

You really learn a lot more about your body and what you put it through. Apparently my dizziness is nothing compared to what some people experience, and it is supposed to show you just how far off you are from a natural diet.



I realized that my breakouts could be related to some specific ingredients in my makeup, namely dimethicone and silicones.

I always seem to get little bumps where I apply the products, and I’m pretty sure my skin is feeling suffocated from those items, so I bought the following to replace my entire makeup collection.

This is all I own now:


I found it really hard even in these “natural” brands pictured above, to find items without Talc, Dimethicone or other things I have a feeling break my skin out.

They use a lot of cheap fillers and especially after reading THERE’S LEAD IN YOUR LIPSTICK, I’ve felt rather uncomfortable about what I was putting on my face, even though I KNOW that in trace amounts it isn’t bad.

I just would rather err on the side of super-safe caution than be sorry.


I went through each of the ingredients listed below for every item I bought and cross-checked them with the EWG database, and they mostly range from a 0-2, which is the best I can hope for.

The colours range up to 5, but they’re a small concentration in the eyeshadows for instance, and not a huge concern for me.

For the items that are sunscreen (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), if you inhale a lot of the powder, it is bad for your health (as in mining underground toxic-bad), but we only inhale a little and I suspect it is the same danger as breathing in dusty air near construction sites.


This is the top.



There is a puff underneath when you lift it



The problem is when you left it, the pan comes out.


The packaging is recyclable and refillable, but pretty awful as a design.

The pan for the makeup falls out at a drop of a hat, so you have to be careful.

You can also use the black hairband to keep it shut, but you have to be really careful.



I find it to not be as effective as my other old makeup (such as my formerly beloved Kate Kanebo BB cream).

I have to use a pad to really get any coverage because it’s so light, but it does provide SOME coverage, and I’ll have to work on getting my skin to be clear so that I don’t have to use much of this powder.

I think it dries out my skin slightly, so you better make sure you really moisturize your skin before applying this powder. They say you can create a cream foundation by mixing it with your moisturizer, which is something I might experiment with.


You will not believe how long it took me to find an eyeshadow that did not have dimethicone or talc in it. This is the only one on the market other than the Jane Iredale 24-karat loose eyeshadow powders that I am not keen on using (I hate loose powders, truth be told).

The colours in these are ranging in EWG from 1-4, and I think it depends on how they’re used.

Since I’m using so little of these colours anyway (if any, depending on if I wear makeup or not), I am not too concerned with toxicity.





They do not go on as nicely or as pigmented as the Urban Decay eyeshadows (which have Teflon in them by the way), but they do the trick.

They’re also all the colours I tend to wear anyway — gold, browns, nudes. I don’t really wear colour in general so these are fine for everyday. I don’t need to buy any more colours to be honest.

They’re not matte, they’re shimmery which makes them slightly tougher to wear to work, but not impossible (I just won’t do anything crazy or fancy).

They do have a bit of fallout (they crumble slightly), but nothing awful.


It was the closest colour I could get to my beloved Tarte Amazonian Clay in Exposed. I find it a tad too pink, but it’s the most natural on me.



May Contain:


It is not pigmented, and it very light and quite natural. It is a cream blush so it’s a bit harder to spread (I prefer powders to be honest), but it spreads on well and I can use it on my lips too. Double-duty!

I also like how tiny it is because a little goes a long way and it travels well.

So far, I like it and it works well.


It’s pricey but I use this every day when I don’t wear foundation, as a physical, powder sunscreen.

I don’t like cream sunscreens, they tend to go on too heavy for my skin.



May Contain:

  • Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) (EWG: 2)


I hate the way it’s applied.

This has to be the dumbest application, EVER.

You are pounding your face silly with this stupid puff that makes a mess and goes everywhere. I unscrew the puff and I use a brush to do a quick dusting over my face instead.

Still messy, but it’s better than knocking my head silly.

I will say that this DEFINITELY dries out my skin, and it really shows any bumps or textures in my skin seeing as it’s a dry, DRY powder. You need to have super-moisturized skin for this.



May Contain:


It is really, really light. It has very light coverage to medium. There is no heavy concealing involved here, and it could even be used as an all-over cream foundation to be honest.

I find it a bit oily as well, but I don’t use much of it.

It doesn’t cover dark spots or red spots either. Not much of a “concealer” but it works somewhat.


I really only use one mascara and one colour, and this is it.

It’s a bit pricey though.


May Contain:


It smudges on my eyes. It doesn’t dry as quickly and if I don’t keep my eyelashes up until it does, I end up with raccoon eyes and smudges.

I can’t say I love it, I can’t say I hate it. I don’t like it AS MUCH as the Annabelle Big Lash mascara, and it doesn’t go on as smoothly or as nicely.

I don’t feel like it really coats every lash evenly, it kind of clumps along slightly, which annoys me.

It could be just that I am not applying it gently or properly (or it’s old)… but it’s not as smooth as commercial mascaras for me.


I really only use one colour as an eyeliner, and this is it.


May Contain:


It is not as smooth or as slick as the Urban Decay eyeliners that I love, but it is better than most eyeliner pencils.

The Urban Decay ones are like super smooth smudge sticks. This eyepencil slides easily, and doesn’t smudge at all, it has a great sharp line to it.

I like it. It does the job and I rarely wear any other eyeliners anyway.



I am not sure if we are going to keep it but they’re discontinuing the Classic Mixer which seems to be the best-made out of all the other mixers (Artisan, Professional.. all look and feel cheap).

Let’s see!

Update: Nope. It’s going back, and $400 is going back into my pocket. I AM SO ANGRY at this company. It sucks. The beater wasn’t sprayed properly, the metal bowl hits the attachments and scrapes them all the time, and it’s just shoddily made. They should be ashamed of themselves.


Reach Financial Independence chose my post on how I lived in a mobile home for 6 months as part of the Carnival of Financial Independence Ninth Edition

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Janine

    Love Jane Iredale! I’ve been using it for years and I love how light it is but I’ve only used a powder, a blush, lip stick and different concealer than the one you have listed!

    I love reading all the things you bought and read!

  2. Maya Symone

    I watched Precious once and once only. That movie is really depressing and I know some people actually live that way. The scene where she found out she had gotten HIV from her father just made me sick.

    I never heard about the Narcissim Epidemic but it is something I definitely want to read. I have to see if I can find it in a bookstore.

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      It was depressing and a bit sick for me. I gagged in my mouth through each of those scenes..

  3. The Asian Pear

    Weird. I love my Kitchen Aid. That being said ours is industrial grade made 15 years ago. I guess quality might have gone down since then. =/

  4. AdinaJ

    These are possibly my favourite posts! That is all.

  5. anna

    I absolutely loved Precious – Mo’nique was so amazing in it considering she’s usually hilarious, you just hated her so much! I don’t really like understand the whitening stuff, either – Shiseido has a line called White Lucent, and though I think it’s for age spots, the lady at the store mentioned that it was also for skin lightening?

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Mo’nique was definitely the most hated in the film for me, which is what made her so good. Hydroquinone which is a lightener is also bad for your skin.

  6. Sara

    I am makeup-free except for special occasions like weddings and sometimes job interviews, but I do think that if I wore it more often I would look for products that were all-natural.

    Liam loved the Narcissism Epidemic, but i haven’t read it yet.

    No clothing this month?

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I wear the following as a basic makeup face: eyeliner, mascara, concealer or foundation, and blush (sometimes I don’t). That’s it. Oh and lip balm, which is why I’m really trying to find things that are natural for everyday.

      The more chemical-laden ones should be for special events for me, so I’m keeping them just in case.

      You definitely have to read that book!!! It was so good.

      No clothing this month. I’m tired and annoyed with stores. It’s giving me a headache to check not only the materials but the country of origin, etc.

  7. Leslie Beslie

    Have you read Push?

  8. Bridget

    I love these posts, I might have to start stealing this idea.

    I watched Precious a few years ago. So sad.

    I put The Narcissism Epidemic on hold at the library now =) Excited to read!

    Bummer the KitchenAid mixer didn’t work out for you. I really love mine. I think I have the Artisan one… almost a year and a half now and no troubles! Got it for free with airmiles =)

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’ll be expecting BIG FAT CREDITS for this post steal. Just kidding 😉

      The KitchenAid mixer was.. just.. a nightmare. I am not buying that brand any more. We’re going pro now.


    Over $200 spent on makeup?! Wow. That seems like so much money to me. I think I would rather just go without makeup than spend that much. So I guess my question is, do you think the products were worth the cost?

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I think some were worth the cost, some were not.

      The eyeliner, mascara, and foundation yes. The concealer no.

      I will note that for the makeup, about $50 of it was for a sunscreen, not really “makeup” but I threw it under there because I was too lazy to parse it out.

      $150 is really the cost for makeup, and for me, it was worth the cost seeing as I only bought a few items as I tend to not wear much anyway.

      Most people would rather go without, but I know the difference it makes when I wear makeup and when I don’t. I can feel a noticeable change in attitude and niceness towards me when I have makeup on. I guess I could go makeup free to make a stand on this (which is most of the time other than if I go to work or have interviews), but I have enough on my plate to deal with.

      If a little eyeliner and concealer make people more pleasant towards me, so be it.

  10. Debt and the Girl

    I read the Narcissism Epidemic as well a while ago. It was really interesting. Its scary to think how much of society is heading towards a “me, me, me” mentality. I thought it was crazy you could hire fake paparazzi for your event. Thats nuts!

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Can you imagine having fake paparazzi following you around? That sounds like my ultimate NIGHTMARE. Not my dream.

  11. matthewchat

    Aww, thank you!

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      No, thank YOU! 🙂 I love your tweets. Very informative, funny and helpful.

  12. Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    I just stocked up on hair colour because Costco was having a big sale and I have a lot of grey hair for such a young looking person.

    What will you do if you go grey early the way I did?

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Maybe I’ll just take a stand and not dye my hair. I just don’t know if it’s worth it.

      That said, my mom didn’t go grey until her late 40s. I have a few hairs now, but nothing unmanageable.

    2. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      So I actually did some research on this and you can use henna, sage and/or walnut shell powder to dye your hair. It might take some work and experimentation, but at least I can try it out soon to see if it works, or try it when my hair gets whiter 🙂

  13. Savvy Scot

    Forks over knives sounds like a great watch – We bought a vitamix about a year ago and it is fantastic for making raw soups and drinks!

    Sad to hear your bad feedback on the Kitchenaid mixer.. I was so close to buying one until now. Time to re-research I think.. 🙂

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’ve also been hearing from other people that the quality has just tanked recently. It’s sad, but I’ll have to find a more professional version.

  14. Sense

    I just learned of another thing to be worried about: nanotechnology. A recent, very smart acquaintance of mine researches them and she won’t use any products that contain them. They are in nearly everything, and nothing has to be labeled or tested at all.

    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Oh goodness. I read that too! It just goes right in between your pores, apparently.

      Technology is great, but not when it harms you in the long run.


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