Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 In Review: Evaluating, Editing and Reducing the Stash

In January, as part of my New Year's resolutions, I decided to challenge myself and try to reduce the embarrasing size of my beauty stash. The specific stipulations of my 'No Back Ups Challenge' can be found here, and as we're just a day away from the end of 2013, I wanted to sum up my collection reducing efforts, show you the last empties of the year, as well as briefly touch on my success, or lack of thereof, in the other areas of blogging and beauty resolutions. 'Tis the time to reflect!
Generally speaking, I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for sticking to my rule of allowing myself to buy no more than 2 products a month; sure, there have been some temptations I couldn't resist, like the Into The Gloss sample sale, or some Friends & Family sales in November, but overall I didn't do too terribly. I also mostly resisted buying products from the 'no back-ups' categories I listed in the original post, like specific types of skincare, bodycare, and primers, mascaras, liners and foundations for make-up products - again, I slipped here and there with a cheeky purchase of a new cleanser or a body butter, but I definitely did limit myself in purchasing those things. One aspect I didn't factor in my resolutions was various gifts (from friends as well as PR samples), so the while the overall size of my stash is smaller, I still have quite a few back-ups left in most of my skincare categories. Can't complain about this!

My resolutions also challenged me to adopt a much more critical approach to the products I already owned as well as new acquisitions. I evaluated a lot of the products I owned, decided to toss a good amount, gave the lightly used and unloved ones away to various friends (and also organized my first blog sale!), and separated some I wanted to make a more concentrated effort in using up. The result is that I'm now much more satisfied with what I own and I appreciate all the great products I have in my collection a lot more than previously. I'm proud to say that not only is the size of my stash smaller and more manageable, but also in the process I discovered a lot of amazing products, which you can read all about in my last post on Best Beauty Buys of 2013.
And now, for the last empties of the year 2013; not that many products this time around because I have a good number of things that just refuse to die. In terms of bodycare, I have quite a lot of samples we used while in the process of moving to NYC: some shower gels from Bath & Body Works, a Fortune Cookie Soap body scrub, a sample of Loma's Repairative Creme Shampoo and Reconstructor (conditioner) that I enjoyed very much, and a small size of L'Occitane Almond hand cream; I actually prefer the original shea to this one.
Just three meager skincare products: the cheekily purchased Dermalogica's Ultracalming Cleanser, reviewed here, a dried-up bottle of Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion (it was all right but didn't work miracles on my breakouts, so I wouldn't repurchase), and a sample of Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex - good eye cream with lots of vitamins and retinol but not moisturizing enough for the winter time.
My big success would be the completely empty bottle of Cacharel Amor Amor EDT; I purchased this a long time ago after remembering I had enjoyed a sample even a longer time ago, and shortly after purchasing, decided that I actually wasn't that fond of the scent, so I pretty much had to force myself to use this up. For full sizes of make-up, I tossed a couple products: a dried-out Prestige Total Intensity liner that was causing major flakes, ditto for Kjaer Weis mascara, and a shattered pot of lime green Inglot eyeshadow I wasn't even using. I also used up samples of Buxom Buxom Lash (big thumbs up), Tocca Stella perfume (very nice!) and Prada Candy (purchased a full size last year).

Lastly, as for my other blogging resolutions: I'm quite happy with what I managed to achieve on the blog this year. While this wasn't the most prolific year in my blogging history, it was also quite consistent and most of the time, I did manage to bring you about 2 posts per week, often by preplanning and scheduling posts in advance (like now, for example). I'm also glad that I experimented a bit more with product photography and hopefully, you enjoyed the final shots as much as I did. If you wanted to look at Rocaille Writes in numbers, it now boasts over 600,000 page views, more than 1,100 subscribers and we have also passed the big 500 posts mark - not bad, huh? Here's to the New Year bringing even more surprises and opportunities!

I also wanted to take time (or, uhm, cyber space) to thank all of you for your readership, continuing support, amazing, funny and touching comments, and fabulous interactions via email, Twitter and Instagram. I'm blessed that I have so many of you as real friends: some from my past that have unexpectedly become readers, some fabulous beauty bloggers I met through Rocaille Writes and then had a pleasure of meeting 'in real life' for coffee and cakes, some that I still only know through the aether but are close to my heart nonetheless. Big hugz to all of you, guys... and have fun at those New Year's Eve parties! I'll toast to you for sure! And yeah... thanks for putting up with the cheesy soppiness of this post - it just had to be done :)

12 comments:

  1. Congrats on trimming down your stash, even if it's just by a bit! Thank YOU for all the hard work on your blog. It really shows from the detailed photographs to the expertly edited reviews :) It's a pleasure to read! Here's to a happy and healthy 2014!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love a good reflective post around this time of year :* Many congratulations on the year past and best wishes for the year to come! And a sneaky smooch :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *smooching back* Have a fantastic 2014 too, Kate!

      Delete
  3. Congratulations to you and my best wishes for the New Year! No-back ups, I like that. Often times we buy things "just in case."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy New Year dear!

    I must admit, I don't leave that many comments on here, but I do read you religiously! Definitely keep it up - the work you put into your blog is showing (I know I'm loving all the recent photos on top of the already great content)! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tina, I really appreciate you noticing the changes and commenting!

      Delete
  5. Oh Candy is such a pretty fragrance, I'm still undecided and I must try other Tocca, so far I've tried Florence and love it. It'll be nice for spring. Your blog is a recent find for me and I looove it! Hope this new year is full of good things! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't sniffed Florence but I will now! I like Cleopatra as well, but dislike Giulietta due to the apple notes. Thank you for reading Icaria, I love stalking your blog too!

      Delete
  6. Aw, so proud of you, Monika! I knew you were doing well and it's gratifying to hear confirmation. Love you and Rocaille very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Liz! <3 I really hope you'll visit NYC soon and I'll be able to meet you at last!

      Delete