Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Mindful Beauty Project | Toners




The thing that can be tricky to remember when you are a beauty blogger (even if you are a green one), is that it is quality over quantity. Every time a favourite brand brings out a new product, or I read a review about some new exciting line that I have never heard of before, the little want monster wakes up from his slumber and won't leave me alone. I have been slowly watching every available surface in my bedroom and bathroom disappear under the onslaught of beauty goodies. Some of my sample boxes and jars had to migrate to the living room shelves, and I even managed to put a couple of things on Mr RF's night stand (he was surprisingly accommodating).

You are probably familiar with the power of "Yes", I have come to a conclusion that it is time to embrace the power of "No". Most natural/organic brands tend to have a shorter lifespan even if left unopened, the most you can expect is 12m after opening (but you are likely to find 6m and even 3m). Having loads of products and normal to oily skin means that without close supervision, a good percentage of those products is waisted. I can easily skip moisturising my body half of the time, and use only a few drops of face oil, so even a tiny 5ml sample bottle can last me a month. I really don't like waist, not only is it very much against my eco mindset, it is also akin to pouring your money down the toilet. It could be spent on a day out, instead it is getting dusty on my shelf and then what? Migrates to the bin because it has expired? That is not an outcome that I want to see. If I was like other ladies that seem to use up 10-15 product every month, it would not be so much of an issue. I tend to use up about 2-3 products if I'm lucky, there have been months when nothing was used up, and then replacing those few with 5 new ones, yet hoping to get my stash under control. Well that is the definition of madness! So the new mantra is "use more, buy when needed". To help me with this project I am devising a system of how many items in each category I want to get down to, and having a detailed expiration dates files for each product so nothing gets left behind.

I decided to start with toners. My thinking was that it is my most favourite item of skincare, I tend to use them more consistently and I thought I did not have that many. An easy first step right? Then I went through my boxes and shelves, just to discover how mistaken I was!

The current situation.



I counted, and I have 10 bottles of toners and floral waters all together. Well I can mix all the flower waters and pretend that it is one toner, but that wouldn't be very honest, since I tend to use them as a stand alone product. I do find it comforting however that 3 out of 10 are only travel sizes, 4 are unopened and 3 more are on the brink of emptiness.

One Love Organics vitamin D mist. My current love, and almost empty. I don't want to say too much as I am writing a full review of it, but the only thing I don't like about it is how quickly it is running out.

Pure and Light Organic essential floral toner*. I really like this combination of flower waters, and the fine mist that the bottle provides. I only stopped using it before it finished to test some other toners, and yes you guessed it, it was left behind some taller bottles on the shelf, was convinced that I finished it! You can check out my previous review here.

R.L. Linden thousand petal mist. Completely unopened, travel sized bottle from the petit vour ltd edition winter collection. I did have a little tester of this toner, but it was not quiet enough for me to make up my mind.

Akamuti floral waters (or hydrosols would be more accurate). I have orange blossom and chamomile. Chamomile in the old packaging is almost gone, and while it has been wonderful for my skin, the scent is a bit too strong for my liking. Mr RF refers to it as my stinky stuff, so not likely to be a repurchase. Orange blossom I really like, I keep using it here and there in the mornings. Really lovely and works well with all the oils that I layered it with so far.

Pukka rose water. Unopened for the time being, it is my most favourite rose water ever! I am sure I mention it a lot on instagram and twitter, and every chance I get really. It has been repurchased so many times, a true staple for me.

George's Aloe spray mister. Very nice and refreshing, it is a great budget buy. Simple, works well with my skin and comes in a huge bottle of 236ml. It lasts forever, I am almost at the end of it, but it was purchased last spring and I have been using it as a body mist from time to time too.

Pacific mist. Only used a few times so far, it seems pleasant but I keep being distracted by other toners. It is a travel size from the NMDL box.

Mel Millis Neroli toner. This was part of a souk souk box, yet to open it. Again this is travel size. I love that their boxes have seeds in the cardboard, seems like a lovely brand, will be trying it shortly.

May Lindstrom Jasmine Gardens. Brand new and unopened. I know that I like it as I had a 30ml bottle of it already (or was it 15ml?). I am crazy about Jasmine, was sort of saving it for a rainy day, but it is a silly thing to do as it does not last forever.

The plan.

I though about it for some time, and came to the conclusion that I can realistically cut it down to 4 toners. One simple toner in a form of single hydrosol (akamuti, pukka, or George's), one wipe of toner (S.W. basics), two complex spray toners (yuli and OLO are my current choices for these positions). That way I can have some choice as I like to have options, and my skin is not the same every day, sometimes it needs something more gentle and other times a bit more active. But then I sort of know myself, my love for discovering new skincare is just too strong, so I need a wild card, a place for something that might take my fancy in the spur of the moment. At the moment I am aiming to cut it down to 4 toners, once I am there, I will replace the ones that finish for the toners that will be a permanent part of the routine. Keeping the 5th space open for new discoveries. That way I will have my faves with me at all times, still experience new toners, but have a manageable amount of products.

The filing system.



I decided to use notes on my Ipad instead of normal paper, this way I can easily correct the dates once the product is opened and also delete anything I no longer have. Every time I get a new toner I can easily add it to the list and it is much quicker having a look at the notes, rather than going through all my boxes each time I run out of something!


*PR sample

19 comments:

  1. I love this, i have actually made two excel sheets. documenting my spending and stash, for both skincare and makeup!. Loved this post Tamara! x

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  2. I love the Pukka rosewater too! It was one of the first green beauty items I bought and still one of the best. Good luck with your toner challenge, I use a lot of my floral waters in masks Xx

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  3. Ha ha I love my toners! I think I will be leaving makeup till last as I'm a litt.e apprehensive about it lol. Yeah I was going use JG next but I really want to give thousand petals ago too, so will start using both! One in the mornings one in the evenings :) xx

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  4. I have 6 open atm but that was by accident as I thought one was all used up! I normally try not to open more than for at a time, maybe five if one of the others is running low! I'm always paranoid that I will run out of toners etc but I do think it will be an issue for some time lol xx

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  5. Thanks! Excel sheets, very organised of you! I'm not sure I'm ready to document my spending just yet, one step at a time ;) xx

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  6. I love using floral waters in masks too! That is how I have been using up chamomile mostly since I don't love the scent. Thanks, I think I will need all the luck when I try to cut down on face oils! Dreading it xx

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  7. Like Nic said, you're the toner guru, it's an amazing collection! Looks like you'll have to start using the Jasmine Garden soon too :) xx

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  8. Quite a stash! Toners are probably the skincare item I get least excited about, but I've somehow accumulated quite a few recently as well. Mainly travel size, but still! I'm interested in more mindful purchasing this year too and I love the idea of organising by date opened/expiry - very clever :)

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  9. Such a clever idea! I tend to have multiple toners open at a time too, since I use them for different purposes. But I know I don't have as many as you do; I probably have like 5 open now? xoxo

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  10. Ahem yes I was convinced I had only 7 though :D hope you find inspiration in the system! I used to guesstimate the dates etc but I think having it written down electronically is the best thing to keep track of everything xx

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  11. Fab post, and whilst I have my own skincare line I am still a bit of a hoarder. I am too working to paring things down :-)
    www.sopureskincare.co.uk

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  12. Loved this post, you're so funny - little want monster and the power of yes haha :D You have amazing collection and now also a filling system, it would be great if I'd be so organized :) xx

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  13. Wow!! I love Akamuti and their Rose/Orange blossom toners are regularly repurchased. The only other one I have is a Pai Lotus that I got in the skincare bundle they had for Black Friday. I'm bad and use my toner instead of water to cleanse my face, so it tends to get used up quite quickly. I'm all for organising - I started using a marker on the bottom of products to note when I opened them, but forgot about it until now. Thanks for the reminder :) Really enjoyed this post - hope to see a few more xx

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  14. Well done! I have way to many toners too! I keep them in the fridge! Love this post! Love your blog period!

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  15. Thanks, I try lol! It took me until now to get this organised with just the toners! I am not looking forward to cataloging my make up ;)

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  16. Glad to help out ;) well if you don't have a filter tap water is not that great for your skin, so it's not a bad habit to have! But not with something like Yuli or OLO they are far more beneficial on the skin ;)

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  17. Oh thank! That put a smile on my face :) I keep a lot of beauty stuff in the fridge too! A really nice trick isn't it! Xx

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  18. I love your idea of keeping an organized track on products dates, and it only explains your serious approach to green beauty! Love it! I am having my eyes on One Love Organics products for a while, especially the Elizabeth Dehn series, sounds so wonderful!

    Oly | TLV Birdie Blog

    http://tlvbirdie.com

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  19. Awesome idea! I need to do this...I literally have so much its just ridiculous and I'm like you & can't get through more than 2 or 3 products in a month. I'm hoping it'll be easier when I live with Paul as he can use some stuff up too hehe! Open the Mel Millis one, I think you'll really like that one!

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