Using More, Spending less Challenge – April 2021 Results

I am back with the results for April of my Using more, Spending less beauty challenge. I realise this post is a day late, however I just had to share the Tatler offer, especially after postponing it twice due to other more time sensitive offers such as the Harrods or the SpaceNK beauty gifts with purchase.

Okay, I had another reason, not that ti worked out, but still… you will see below what I mean. In the meantime, here are my purchases and empties.


Sinsay Clear Makeup Bag – £3.45

Sinsay Cleansing Cloths (set of 3)  – £2.82 each, but got three sets 

Wet Brush Tea Tree Oil Infused Hairbursh – £9.17

Pull&Bear Musk Coconut Hand Sanitiser Spray- £4.57

Pull&Bear Vanilla Pineapple Hand Sanitiser Spray – £4.57

Miniso Cotton Makeup Remover Pads (set of 1000) – £1.32 each, but got three boxes 

Miniso Thick Pure Cotton Makeup Remover Pads (set fo 180) – £1.72 each, but got two pouches

Miniso Thin&Thick Pure Cotton Makeup Remover Pads (set of 800) – £1.72

Miniso Nail Stickers – £1.32

Truly Strakisser Jelly Lip Plump Mask – £10.55

Bershka Don’t Text You Ex Eau de Toilette 10ml – £3.52

Sephora Collection Watermelon Mask 125ml – £7.03

Merci Hnady Hand Cleansing Gel Self -Love Edition – £2.11

Merci Hnady Hand Cleansing Gel Unicorn – £1.69

Sephora Collection Almond Face Mask set of 14 – £7.03

Sephora Collection Vitamin B3 Tonic Lotion with Dragon Fruit  – £4.94

Sephora Collection Vitamin C Tonic Lotion with Passion Fruit – £4.94

Sephora Collection Vitamin E Tonic Lotion with Cucumber – £4.94

Stradivarius Hand Cleaner Spray in Vanilla Plum – £4.59

Stradivarius Hand Cleaner Spray in Green Apple – £4.59

Stradivarius Hand Cleaner Spray Cherry Jam – £4.59

Bershka Cutie as Hell Eau de Toilette 10ml – £3.53

Bershka Real Queens Club Eau de Toilette 10ml – £3.53

Prreti Everyday Pretty Toner Peach 150ml – £7.07

Cult Beauty Sunshine Edit  – £40

Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask – £26

Olaplex No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo – £26

Kopari Coconut Latte Body Wash – £17

NCLA Beauty Hey Sugar Body Scrub – Peach – £28

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface – £19.99

Total spending: £272.3


Yadah Cactus Toner Pads – worth £9.35

Huxley Hydration Essence: Grab Water 30m – worth £38

Dr Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich 20ml – worth £58

Yadah Cactus Toner 210ml – worth £7.17

Oh My Cream Revitalizing Night Balm 5ml – worth £3.39

Ouai Thick Hair Shampoo 300ml – worth £22

Caudalie Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner – worth £4.5

Youth to the People Kombucha+11?% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner 15ml – worth £4.19

Beauty Pie Uber Youth Realistic Face & Neck Serum  – worth £8.98

This Works Stress Check Clean Hands Gel 60ml – worth £3.18

U Beauty Super Smart Hydrator 15 ml – worth £65

L’Oreal Revitalft Filler with Hyaluronic Acid – worth £13

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion 236ml – worth £9.5

In April, I ended up using £246.26 worth of beauty products and as such, my allowance from empties is half, aka £123.13.

Allowance from posts

Instagram – 1 photo post x £1 and one reel x £3 so £4

TikTok – 1 video – £3

Allowance from social media: £7


TooFaced Extreme Lip Injection – you can read it here.

SVR Laboratories Intense Moisturising Cream – you can read the review here.

Hair by Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist – you can read the review here.

Crabtree & Evelyn Buff+Smooth Lip Exfoliator – the review is available here.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Sweet Candy – review here.

Sisley Floral Toning Lotion – the review of this product can be read here.

Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream – read the review here.

Allowance from posts: £42

It is safe to say that I went off the rails this month. Not only did I get three new stores to explore – Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear, but also made a trip to Sephora and placed a couple of online orders.

By now you are probably used to me shopping at Sinsay. Luckily, I did not really find many products there this month, not even of the stationary or home decor variety. However, that freed up some space in my shopping bags and as such, I ended up going to the three stores I mentioned above. I have lived in areas where the three stores were easily available (London yo name just one), but never felt tempted to go inside. One day I was bored and started browsing online to see what kind of accessories and such the stores carry and the rest let’s just say is history. I don’t particularly bother with Inditex stores, except for Zara Home, due to their lack of inclusivity, but you all know that I have been looking for something different for a while now. I guess we all know that what I truly need is to go back to London, at least temporarily (on holiday), but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon so…yeah.

For now, I am having a piece of “London” come to me which is why I ended up getting the Cult Beauty gift with purchase. The gift with purchase was so not on my list for April. I really hoped it would get released, but maybe in May as I had spent quite a bit by the time it came out. I was planning to get it though, in the days prior to its release I was already trying to decide what I wanted to purchase from Cult Beauty. I was super tempted by the Sunshine edit and I know that some of you got it and loved it which made me want it even more. I ended up getting it through the Goody Bag offer which is even better. The reason why I wanted the gift though, despite it not being the best one out there, is because the most excited and most like myself I felt in recent months was when I got an order from Liberty. They kinda forced my hand with that one as I had a £30 voucher, but it ended up being a really good thing.

[section deleted] (this was just a story about identity and life, I guess. I will post it as some point, but not quite ready to do so)

Okay, coming back to beauty purchases. I also discovered that a store I feel in love with 1.5 years ago is finally delivering. The store is a Japanese inspired low cost lifestyle product retailer. It has become my version of Tiger or Hema (none of which are available in my home country) since returning home. While I mostly got home stuff and stationary from them, before the first lockdown I got some cotton makeup remover pads from them as well. They did not convince me at first, however in recent months I started using more and more K-Beauty toners and also some cotton pads that I got from Harvey Nichols that were similar (sort of) but had not opened either until recently. Doing so made me reconsider my initial stance on the matter. I wanted to test that theory and so far I am happy with what I found. Will talk about this whole topic at a different time as there is quite a bit talk about. However, there is definitely something about pure cotton makeup remover pads that is worth looking into. Since I decided to place an order, I got everything I wanted to avoid having to order again any time soon, plus I got free delivery this way.

Some of you might be familiar with Miniso though. They have a store in Ealing Broadway, but they also have an online store which can be accessed here. At first glance, it might seem like a kid’s store, but it is really not. They do have lots of collaborations with Marvel and Disney though, however they do have non collab. items as well. Just check it out and you will understand better what I mean 🙂 It seems that the UK online store does not carry all the products either though, just like my “local” online store, but still worth a look.

There is also the Sephora haul, but you probably know all about that one so I won’t go into details here. You can read more about my Sephora findings here.

This is basically it, I guess. Now, the calculations…Argh. I really don’t want to do this. See? This is exactly why I looked for reasons to postpone sharing this. It is not like the results would have changed or anything, but waited till the last minute to consider the month closed had there been one more empty or something…

£123.13 (allowance from empties) + £42 (allowance from posts) – £272.3 (April’s spending) – £2,144.17 (PREVIOUS CLOSING BALANCE) = -£2251.34

The results for this month are not THAT bad, but they are worse than any other month’s results so far this year. To think that I had no plans on making any purchases this month….yeah, “to think”. My allowance did not cover the gift with purchase and the rest of the purchases so my balance went down further. Okay, it would have not matter if it had as I would have gotten 0 towards my overall balance anyway (based on the rules I set), but at least the total would have stayed the same. Since it dropped, it means that I need to be extra careful with what comes next. The advent calendar season is approaching (with the first calendars dropping as soon as early August) and I want to at least have the chance to choose more than one calendar. Since I refuse to go below -£2500 that makes things a bit tricky. And then there is also my birthday month in between…

Better focus on using more of the products rather than buying more.

How did you do last month?

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2 thoughts on “Using More, Spending less Challenge – April 2021 Results

  1. Hi Nana!
    It was already some time ago when I wanted to respond to your comment under another post, but to find it would require some archeology, so I’ll write here. I read your blog everyday! So I’m super enjoying that each day is a new post. I realized these past few months have been super intense for me and apart from coffee breaks during the day when I checked stuff and didn’t have the time to engage in commenting and such I didn’t have that much time for online activities. And there’s the aspect of writing on the phone, I don’t like to type longer messages on the phone because it takes me ages, while I don’t use my work laptop for anything that’s not work related. And apart from work I don’t write that many emails or anything. But now I have more time and a cool tablet with an accessory keyboard so typing is a thing again. Although it’s tough for me to switch with everything to Android because the tablet despite being relatively big and with a keyboard is still an Android tool and I’m used to working on Windows. I don’t have a laptop, we’ve got a PC at home but we rarely use it, so unless I reaaaally need something, I can’t be bothered to run the PC.

    It’s funny that you explore Polish brands, I never even entered the stores, except for Ziaja. I saw Sinsay but I thought it was a clothing store for teenagers. Pull&Bear, Berschka and Stradivarius give me a similar vibe (they’re Polish? there’s plenty of them here). I could use some stickers though. My inner little mermaid has a glitter phase. I even bought hair colouring spray from Joico because I can’t really afford to dye my hair pink so I thought an easily removable dye would be ok for the weekends. Alas the Joico sprays show almost nothing on my hair, and I’m blond, so I really didn’t expect that to happen.

    On a separate note, congrats on the vaccine! I was happy to get mine and gladly didn’t have any reaction except for a bit of pain in the arm for 3 days.

    What’s suprising to me, I started to wear a lot of makeup (well, a lot for me, cause I don’t wear foundation for instance, so it’s not like all of a sudden I put a super full face) during the pandemic, and I even got my signature bold lip look over the weeks. At first people at work (remote work) were a tad surprised but I got a lot of compliments and at some point it became a staple in my look. Which helped me use some lipsticks I have.

    So yeah, the stash is overflowing. Lipsticks alone I have over 40 now, or more. And I couldn’t resist, just couldn’t, getting something from Pat McGrath (despite her somewhat questionable cruelty free status). One of my best friends is a very heavy makeup user and as she says herself she’s addicted to lipstick (doesn’t wear lipgloss ever, but lipstick always) and she finishes a bullet in a month. I try to mimic that, the key is a really frequent reapplication, my friend looks compulsive with that, once I started to pay attention, but yeah, at least she’s got a frequent product rotation. Meanwhile my Hourglass lipsticks are no longer usable, which made me think that:
    1) keeping stuff “for later” makes no sense, later becomes “too late” and I never get to enjoy the product when it’s new and fresh
    2) this stuff just goes to waste, I really really need to stop buying stuff
    3) a bullet a month is a feat

    In April I managed to reduce my stash a little, but this month I will fail, I will have more items in the stash at the end of the month than at the beginning.
    Can you imagine I haven’t unpacked Harvey Nichols GWP from last autumn? I got out a Fenty lipstick I wanted to try (in Candy Venom, not the most flattering on me ;)).
    For me stash is in quantity not in value, because it’s about storage and the speed I can use stuff. Doesn’t matter of it’s expensive or not, so I try to keep a cap on how many things I have (I would like it to be below 250, now it’s slightly above 300, but it’s because I cheat I don’t write down the stuff I haven’t unpacked so I feel better about it, silly)

    Whew, that was long

    1. No worries. I am glad you are still around though and did not manage to drive you away with all the beauty offers :). I always find our conversations insightful and love talking to a fellow beauty lover.

      No actually. Bershka, Stradivarius and PULL&BEAR are Inditex owned, like Zara. They are Spanish Companies. They indeed seem to cater more to Gen Z. Stradivarius caters to a more mature group compared to the other two. However, all have some accessories and such worth checking out.

      As for Sinsay, yes, it is super colourful. Very much like UK’s Primark. However, they do carry clothing for adults as well. They might not be suitable for everyone depending on taste and personal circumstances aka some might not be appropriate for work regardless of age if you work in a very business professional environment, but for casual situations… it comes down to taste. I don’t buy clothing from them though. However, I do love their stationary and some of their home deco pieces which are almost as affordable as the ones from Pepco, but all are less cheap feeling and looking. On top of that, they are getting more into beauty. So far I found mostly accessories and makeup bags or face clothing worth purchasing. Oh, their beauty sponges, well some of them as they all have different textures based on collection, are pretty great. Some of them can easily replace my more expensive sponges. From makeup and so called skincare, I found only an eyeshadow palette. I doubt I will ever get skincare from them (not that they have much). You need to dig a bit basically, but I do believe you can find some interesting stuff especially if you like colorful/happy looking things.

      Glad you are trying new things and that you are enjoying them. Sometimes change is welcome and sometimes we need a push to try new things. A lipstick a month seems pretty impossible IMO. I would never be able to pull that off haha. My mother used around a tube every couple of months which I still found to be a lot.

      I am kinda jealous you still have the HN gift to open 😂 I wanted to get the spring one so badly, but was worried about paying VAT on it even if using forwarding services.

      I know that I am considering the value in my challenged, but my purpose is actually to decrease my number of products as well. On top of spending less. I have hundreds of small items either deluxe or sample sized which need to go. My full sized products are under 200 which is great. However, I definitely need to do better. Not only do I need the space, but like you said, you cannot keep them for “later”. Getting 30 advent calendars in 3 years resulted in lots of products as you can imagine and I still have quite a lot of them. I do gift them and used up some, but there is only so much I can use. I do appreciate your commitment and find it impressive actually. I do my think I will ever each that point. I should create another database will all products though. It does seem like a great idea. I have a database will all the products that went in and out for the past 1.5 year since I started the challenge, but that is about it.

      You are giving me ideas now haha. I should do some stats with everything and record what I throw out because it is no longer usable, whether I actually used it at some point or not. I am spiraling now 😆

      Thank you again for stopping by and for your support. Glad you are doing well after the vaccine. Hope to hear form you soon, but no pressure 😉

      *apologies for grammar/spelling mistakes. I am replying from my phone

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