Makeup, Uncategorized

[Reflection] Post-Lipstick-Ban: What Has Changed?

Hi Everyone!


It’s now 2019, and I have successfully managed a whole YEAR without buying a single lipstick for myself. So I want to talk about what has changed over the past year.

To start with, I had 50-something lipsticks before I started this lipstick ban, not including lip liners. I was gifted around 8 lip products this year by my friends throughout the year, too. Towards the end, I did a bit of a clear out and I am now at around 32.

I was pretty harsh with what I threw out. Even if I love particular products there’s no use if I don’t wear them AT ALL all year. I might be sharing what I kept in my stash another time, so keep an eye out for that.

Buying Habits

I got to have a long, hard look at my current collection – What I love, what I don’t love, what I bought only for the sake of buying or for the sake of trying a new trend and never wore after first impressions. As much as I love matte liquid lipsticks, I am also growing out of them in favour of options with more shine, which are more forgiving and youthful. I guess there’s a reason that glosses have stood the test of time although I am less into them.

My preferences have leaned towards mini versions of lipsticks where possible as they are easier to use up and more satisfying to buy, but as they are often presented in sets it means I end up with a shade or two that are not that great in the end. However now I also lean towards buying full lipsticks if I am not 100% sure I will like a shade in a range, so I don’t end up with a shade I don’t like.

Buying no lipstick actually had a knock-on effect on my other beauty purchases, too. I bought no new palettes this year and ended up experimenting with mascaras and other eye products. I think I’ve improved with eyeliner and found a style that works for me and complements my eye shape, and I can wear lashes from time to time if I use half-lashes. So I’ve been better at exploring other makeup as a result of the ban.


I have been leaning towards more cruelty-free options and recently have realised just how many cruelty-free companies are owned by other companies that sell in China or test on animals. Even in my current, re-sorted lipstick collection, only about 3 (!!!) of my lipsticks are truly cruelty-free – although more than half are not tested on animals and instead are owned by a testing parent company or selling in China. All of my palettes are cruelty-free, though.

(I feel the need to mention that I’m not vegetarian or vegan but at the moment I’m slowly reducing my meat consumption and exploring non-meat options when I’m out and about.)

I am currently self-debating on whether to exclude companies that sell in China when I look for my next purchase, especially in regards to Korean and Japanese products which I actively use and enjoy.

Some of the lipsticks I have loved this year.

I think that for Western brands that are aware of the issue, I can understand why they may sell in China as there’s a lot of money to be made in comparison to the customers they lose by not being truly cruelty-free. However, by not selling in China it may help force the hand of the government to reconsider their testing laws.

In short, I will be doing my best over the next year to omit Western brands that are not completely cruelty-free, the exception being a single lipstick that was on my wishlist for the longest during the past year and before I even considered going cruelty-free. Of course, I won’t reject any gifted items either.

It’s a bit different for Korean and Japanese companies due to cultural expectations, geographical location, and lower western popularity – Korea is actively pushing a cruelty-free law now which I think reflects their desire to help push K-Beauty globally, but most companies will most likely continue to sell in China as they have done for years.

I’ll probably keep watching as K-Beauty is pushed even further out into the western market and make a decision then but I think it’s very unlikely a K/J-beauty company will stop selling there even if their sales abroad outmatched their sales in China.
For now, I will continue to keep K and J-Beauty in my search for new stuff.


Colour-wise, this has been the year of the nude lip for me – but it’s a specific kind of nude. The medium or slightly deep nude is super nice, in some kind of warmer tone. I was previously not a fan of cooler mauve nudes but I’ve found some cases where they do work on me.

However, towards the end of the year I found myself wearing reds and brighter shades almost daily, and am falling back in love with that colour category. I also tended to keep more of the reds and berries during the clearout, and less of the nudes as many of the nude shades were experimental ‘nopes’.

I have definitely moved away from vampier colours. I’m sure a year or so ago I would have gladly bought the new Fenty Lip Paint in Uninvited (black!!) without a second thought. But I wear lipstick to university, gym or work most days and usually want to keep it fairly low key – YES, red is low-key!! However, I’m also a sucker for berry tones as long as they’re not too dark, and a shinier berry tone can be great provided there is no bleeding.

Some of the newly opened lipsticks this year.

Moving Forward…

This year, I think I’ll actually continue in the mindset of a ban. Initially, I was going to treat myself to a haul but I think that definitely defeats the point of this year’s challenge!!

Going forward, I want to try to limit my lipstick purchases to about 3-4 a year, roughly one every 3-4 months. I think that’s a reasonable aim considering my previous 50+ lipsticks were the result of only three years of buying – despite clearing out every year of at least 10. Yes… it was a problem, and I am glad to have tackled it this year!!!

I try to research all the items I am buying to make sure I really like them, but this means that I’m not particularly trying anything new. That, in turn, makes things pretty boring and predictable after a while, which isn’t great for blog material. Therefore, I want to be trying more from Korean and Japanese brands as well as cruelty-free brands and brands in the UK that aren’t often reviewed. I hope this will keep future reviews fresh and new for both myself and you readers!

Lastly, I have another no-buy challenge lined up for this new year that involves tackling that reading pile on my desk, so keep an eye out for that.

Until Next Time,


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