Tagged: minimalism

Product overload and avoiding / fighting being a product junkie

i shop therefore i am
There’s a great post, over on Science-y Hair Blog: about half of it follows here below. Screenshots, click on them, they’ll link you straight to the original blog. Everything that the wise “WS” says can be applied to any consumerist excess / addictive behaviour, of anything… yes, even chocolate…

Continue reading

product minimalism

Victory: removed another item from the bathroom.


I now have something in common with Brad Pitt.

Currently using shampoo (Earth Science fragrance-free) as face wash, body wash, shampoo. Could also be used for side-of-sink hand-wash, menstrual cup cleaner, hand-washing detergent, etc. On the other hand, I’ve got a lot of the current stuff to use up (Everyday Shea unscented moisturising body wash + Curelle Hydra shampoo mix), and it’s cheaper. So I might still be a two-soap person, but using one on my whole entire person.

No deodorant, though? Nope. Sorry. Have to deal with other human beings in work. This means not being smelly: no bodily odour, including no additions like perfume. I’m not sure if my compromise, the deodowich, counts as environmentally-friendly enough to meet the Pitt approval. I am sure, though, that there are better compromises than the concoction it’s claimed Mr Pitt is using. So: dear Mr Pitt, if you’re interested, drop me a line: I’m happy to share the knowledge. Or indeed my own deodorant. Or anything else…


the lovely Brad, back in the day: a portent of the future soap-free pits

reviews: new mascara

vintage mascara ad, 1939

Back to regular programming; my apologies for our recent digressions into less interesting matters. They matter too, they matter a lot, they matter the most of anything and everything on here; but they’re nowhere near as interesting and exciting as…


So. I’ve been testing out two new mascaras. One is a tubing mascara, the other is a “greener” one.

A reminder of what mascaras I’ve used, and some mascara criteria:

  • mascara list (May 2012, last updated August 2013)
  • must work
  • stay on until removed
  • no irritation on sensitive skin and eyes
  • no globbing, clumping, flaking, smudging, smearing
  • no animal testing, and a preference for avoiding certain animal-derived ingredients (carmine, glycerin) though I’m cool with beeswax
  • no scent / fragrance / perfume: that includes essential oils and their derivatives, and some fruit juices and fruit/pulp extracts used to change the scent of a product. Yes, these ingredients are natural and green; no, not even if they’re organic and every other sort of “pure and clean” imaginable. Sorry: that’s chemistry, biochemistry, and reactions for you. In other words, the facts of life.
  • no alcohol, bismuth oxychloride, triethanolamine, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • YES preservatives, of a good solid sturdy sort to which my skin doesn’t react: my skin and eyes are fine with phenoxyethanol, The Evil Parabens, and the sorta-parabens-alike honeysuckle extract (if in low concentration, which the current versions are)

What I was using before this experiment:

  • Blinc Mascara Amplified:
    this is a tubing mascara, a newer version than the original Blinc / Kiss Me one. Compared to it, it dries slower and is more layerable. Fuller thicker more voluminuous stuff going on. On me, goes beyond the minimum required MLBB appearance.

The current two experiments:

  • Lise Watier 24 Hrs Glam Mascara
  • and the big pleasant surprise: Earthlabs Raw Mascara Continue reading

on a positive note

Cocoa Metro drinking chocolate: more on this later

I finally got around to updating my MUA notepad. Somehow, I’d not managed to for months: the last update was back in January, and that was when I just managed to update “date of last update” before other updates I tried crashed into error messages.

The MUA set-up just wouldn’t play along with my usual computer and my usual browsers (tried: FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera; not tried IE because, well, it’s IE). Oddly enough, updating worked on my computer at home: elderly MacBook that’s nearing the end of its days, so it’s been retired to a rest-home where it gets to sit on a comfy chair and interact very gently with people who treat is with care and due deference. It’s been in this state for a good year or so now: I thought the poor thing was going to die on me, partly as it’s been a real workhorse computer, had acquired a good few cracks and batterings in the course of everday life and much opening and closing of the lid, and was now identifiable in any line-up from the unique patchwork of sticky tape covering it.

Last actual update would have been about six months ago. A lot changes in six months. A-Derma no longer being cruelty-free meant major moves in all my skincare, not least the two basics of soap and moisturiser. Discovering meadowfoam seed oil has simplified everything: there’s now just one oil for all purposes, head to toe. I’ve circled around and poked around at other things, but ended up back with older stuff that works. I’ve been dabbling in buying things from Etsy.

Here’s the current list of things: more on some of them next week, most of the others have been covered on here previously. Continue reading

product minimalism

Going away for a long weekend, wheeeee!!!

The usual question: what to pack?

One bag, as ever. Heck, if people can go around the world with one bag, I can jollywell go away for a long weekend with one. Review now updated now I’ve packed the bag…

Outer shell of self: layers of clothes, many of them worn on person inc waterproof outermost layer; one pair of shoes, solid waterproof suitable for walking but also vaguely chic; small foldable woolly hat and gloves; sunglasses and sunhat; e-reading device; a small mobile phone-web-camera device plus charger; antihistamines, first aid basics, mini sewing kit, handkerchief, toothbrush, face-cloth, some reusable cotton pads.

Face & body & hair products, head to toe, all decanted into smaller containers:

  1. shampoo = shampoo + face cleanser + body wash
  2. conditioner
  3. antioxidant layer
  4. multi-purpose oil
    = face moisturiser + body moisturiser + hair oil (+ pre-cleaser, if need be, for sunscreen removal)
  5. multi-purpose balm
    = lip balm + eye cream + hand cream
  6. sunscreen: BurnOut Ocean Tested SPF 30 (ZnO)
    = face + eye-area + body sunscreen
  7. 2nd, stick, sunscreen: BurnOut SPF 30 coconut-flavour lip balm (ZnO)
    = lip + eye area sunscreen
  8. deodorant (1): Naturally Fresh crystal rock spray (potassium alum aqu. soln.)
  9. deodorant (2): Desert Essence baby diaper cream / (later) Chagrin Valley solid deodorant cream


  1. mascara
  2. Silk Naturals foundation, , decanted into sample jar (or, later, their Sleep In A Jar concealer) = eye concealer
  3. lippie
  4. hairbrush, comb, lash-comb, mirror, nail-file, nail-scissors

All inside here:

Two reasons to love this bag:

1. the phrase “Portable Culture” on the name-brand-logo business on the front of a bag, and inside it,


It says “Made in USA”, “Made in USA” in Chinese, and “Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.” (translation below)


Translation: If it doesn’t fit in your knapsack, leave it behind.

For more, see the Tom Bihn FAQ

2. (label alas not in my own actual bag):

tom bihn label

UPDATE: for more on that label, see some ridiculousness (2012-08-17)

skincare updates