thredUP Online Thrifting Review

As part of my commitment to the planet (both the ecosystem and ethics), I’ve decided to start thrifting for all of my thrift-able clothing needs. There has been a lot of talk recently about how fast fashion is bad. The clothes are largely polyester (though, so are expensive brands these days). Those plastic fibers wash off of our clothes and into the ocean. They use a lot of water for production. And then there’s the bit where we have children working in the factories.

Thrifting doesn’t solve all of these problems. The clothes are still polyester a lot of the time. I’ve bought a Cora Ball to try to help mitigate that. And while I’m not personally doing a lot of damage to sweatshops by not buying their clothes directly, it does make me feel better.

And then there’s the bit where thrifting can be a lot cheaper. That certainly helps.

I visit a lot of thrift stores in person, but used a friend’s referral code for $10 off to try thredUP. Then I went down the thredUP rabbit hole for a bit. I’ve got a code that you can use here. I get $10 and you get $10 when you make your first order.

Buying From thredUP

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Pros:

– Huge selection of items. You can sort by brand, size, color, and price, which is a nice advantage over in person thrifting.
– Nearly always have an additional percent off deal, and you can start with $10 off from a referral.
– Discounts are good. They aren’t what you’d get from my local thrift stores, but this will depend on your area and how good your thrift stores are. Shoe prices have been the same as eBay for me.

Cons:
– Listings are often inaccurate. I sold items that all fit me correctly but were listed with bust sizes that I can’t fit into.
– Returns aren’t worth it. Most items are subject to a $0.99 restocking fee, and then return shipping is inexplicably $8.99. Shipping TO you is like $5.

Here’s my favorite find so far: a pair of pointy, dark burgundy work shoes. New with tags and packaging intact.
Dark burgundy (though they look black here) Rocket Dog shoes. The toes are pointed and they've got a bunch of straps. I love them.

Selling with thredUP

Guys, I was warned. I saw a lot of people talking about how low their payouts were. I thought that they must not be sending in the appropriate brands or were being picky. Of course the payout isn’t going to be the same as personally selling your items on eBay or Poshmark. I steeled myself. I was prepared.

I was not quite prepared.

I was in the midst of a hardcore spring clean while we were working on getting our house. I wasn’t about to move a bunch of clothes that I wasn’t going to wear. That’s a waste of my time. So I purged.

Image of two full trash bags of unwanted clothing.

Then I waited a week, because that was exhausting. Then I spent another hour of my life sorting through these clothes and pulling out the thredUP approved brands.

The same clothes, but now half of them are in a thredUP bag with green polka dots.

I had twenty items that all fit their guidelines. I figured that the lowest I would hope for is $20. A dollar an item is super low, but they were all in good condition. I had a $200 pair of jeans in there that I was hoping would go for something decent. Don’t worry, I got the jeans for $6 at Goodwill and they were just a little bit too stretchy for me. This was a pretty safe experiment for me. The second bag went off to Savers. I got zero dollars for my Savers donation, for context. Anything above that was a gain.

They accepted four items. The jeans weren’t one of them. I was given a flat $5.51 total for three of the items. The fourth item was sold as consignment. I got an additional $2.47 for that one.

$7.98 for the whole bag. So, that’s the con there.

In the future, I think that I would add an additional step if I were trying to get any sort of return in value on my clothes. I’d try eBay or Poshmark before I sent to thredUP. And in the future, I might not take the time to separate my clothes out based on their brands. The payout is so low that it wasn’t worth the effort that I put in.

The difficulty & charge on returns means that thredUP isn’t going to be my default thrift option. I’ll continue relying primarily on in person stores. I do think thredUP is good for buying items that I already know will fit me well at a discount.

I also don’t recommend trying to make any sort of money by selling your clothes through them. If you have the time to make your own listings, that’s the way to go. If you don’t, maybe you’ll get $5.

Birchbox September 2018

This one isn’t so late because I’ve been busy! This one is late because Birchbox is maybe the most boring subscription I’ve ever had. Actually, I’ve had two because I’m a reasonable person. Birchbox is definitely the most boring. Proof: I haven’t even opened my October box yet. It’s here. I have it. I just don’t care enough to open it.

I didn’t select anything special for this month. I think I looked. For October I didn’t even look at the email. November is my last box. I’m really glad that I’m not locked into a full year. I’ll probably take two or three months off from subscriptions to use up some products, then try Sephora play. I might be a masochist.

My birchbox products sitting on top of the September box. This box is dark blue and has some geometric shapes on it.

This month I took my pictures on my art table under my nice drawing lamp. I didn’t need to white balance anything. I think they came out better, considering I’m still using my cell phone for them. Unfortunately, Baker can’t get up on this table. I’ll find a way to sneak you guys some more pictures of him in another post.

What’s in my box?

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. It comes in a mint colored bottle. I love mint colored things.

Guys, we’re fancy. This came with it’s own cloth! Your washrags at home are too impure for your face, okay? You need this special 100% pure cotton cloth.

Oh, and the “Hot Cloth” part? It’s not a warming face wash. You use hot water to remove it. I’m glad it’s not warming, because that sounds awful for your face. I think some people were surprised about that, though.

A white cloth with mint trim. Fancy.

The border matches the bottle! It was more crisp when I first got it, but it bunched up after I washed it. You’re getting the reality pictures here.

I actually really like the product. It’s moisturizing and doesn’t feel like it strips my skin. I like the eucalyptus smell. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and removes my scary waterproof mascara very well. And it makes my skin feel so soft!

I don’t like how many times Birchbox used the word “pure” for them. That kind of skeeves me out. Usually excessive claims of purity have a tinge of “chemicals are scary!” or racism. I’m not here for either of those things. And they recommend throwing away each rag I mean, cloth after each bottle of cleanser. That’s wasteful. It’s a cloth. If you wash it, it’s fine.

Purchase or pass: I have to use up my current cleanser stash. Then I think I’ll try Pond’s cold cream. This is a fancy 5x the price version of that. If Pond’s isn’t as good, I would consider buying this.

Chella Eyebrow Pencil in Tantalizing Taupe

Chella eyebrow pencil. It's a little twist up pencil in a plastic tube. This picture is a little blurry, so if you're relying on captions please know that you REALLY aren't missing much.

TANTALIZING TAUPE. Taupe is never tantalizing, but okay. I’ve been using this pencil every day. I think at the beginning it was giving me more crisp lines, but I’ve worn the edge down. It’s hard to get it back because it’s such a small area. Oh well. My usual problem with brow pencils is that black is too dark for my hair, but the browns are orange. This one isn’t! I swatched for you, but don’t have a picture of it it in my brows. I need to shape them. Apparently that’s where my line for dignity is right now.

Chella eyebrow pencil swatched on my wrist. It doesn't quite draw smoothly. There are some darker, grittier parts. I don't have a problem with this because my eyebrows are so thick. If yours are thinner or lighter it may not look great.

Purchase or pass: It has microplastics in it. That’s a pass.

Number 4™ Jour d’automne Smoothing Balm

Number 4 Jour d'automne Smoothing Balm. It's just a white bottle. Minimalism means high quality, right? They've got a little cartoon bird with a snorkel on here. I'm not sure why.

Birchbox sent me a leave in conditioner type thing from Number 4 last month. This is technically a different product and works a little better for my hair. I’m still mad. I didn’t have my husband buy me a subscription (lol) to get repeats.

Purchase or pass: It’s so boring. I use it once a week and can only say that it doesn’t do anything detrimental. Pass.

M·A·C Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara

MAC Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash. They sent this in a little squeezy tube instead of a normal bottle. It's black (surprise) with white letters.

This is my first MAC product! I was so excited! It’s another mascara that barely shows up on my lashes. Oh well. Here’s a brush picture because I know some of you are Very Into that.

The brush for the MAC mascara. It has A TON of skinny bristles. Maybe the most dense I've used.

I’m assuming it’s the same as the real product even though the sample packaging is that terrible pouch form that I hate.

Purchase or pass: Nah.

[ comfort zone ] Hydramemory Cream Gel

[ comfort zone ] Hydramemory cream gel. Yes, they insist on those awful brackets. This tube boasts 24 hr "double hydration", whatever that is. The color of the tube is great, though. A light purple that isn't lavender. I've been really into the millennial pastels trending lately.

I’ve kept this empty tube around for three weeks so that I could take faux unboxing pictures for you. Please compliment my blogging dedication.

The moisturizer was fine. I needed to use it twice a day, so the 24 hour claim on the bottle is a lie. My favorite part of it was the smell. It’s HEAVILY scented, but I was into it. It reminded me of a lot of k-beauty things I’ve tried.

Purchase or pass: I was fine with this as a mediocre entry level moisturizer, but this is $64. That’s hilarious. I am absolutely never buying it.

I mean..at least Birchbox isn’t making me angry, right? It’s a little weird to have mediocre products sent to your door every month, though. Is anyone else having this experience with Birchbox?

Tomoson Review

We’re going a little meta today. Blogging about blogging.

Tomoson is a platform that many bloggers use to get free stuff. Uh, I mean, it’s a platform that bloggers use to receive items for “testing and review”. I understand why it exists on both sides. Bloggers spend a lot of time, effort and their own money to grow their blog. New businesses have trouble getting the word out about their products. I don’t have a problem with the idea of these kinds of platforms.

I’m on a few of them. I’ve been a member of Influenster since before I had a blog. I’ve received items from Brand Backer. I tried Tomoson.

I’m not above wanting free stuff. The problem with these platforms is that you’re often incentivized to leave positive reviews to keep receiving things. With Tomoson in particular, “influencers”/bloggers are rated by the company they work with, with the more legit companies seeking out people that have done more campaigns and have a higher rating.

What ends up happening is that people request a lot of the easy items to review (ebooks, weird supplements) in hopes that one day they can get nice products. A lot of these campaigns request Amazon reviews. Amazon has a HUGE problem with fake reviews at the moment. I wasn’t planning to be part of the problem.

I did one campaign for a menstrual cup, Cali Cup, which was great. It’s a genuinely good product that I was happy to put the word out about. I did a facebook and instagram post for them. And then nothing. I realized that I needed to play the game and do some ebook reviews.

Now, I like books. I just thought that the ebooks on Tomoson seemed like garbage. I bit the bullet and requested a kind of self-help/time management/personal success book. Right up my alley. I love planning stuff. I thought FOR SURE I could find something nice to say about this book.

Guys. Entire pages were missing from it. Short lists of tips had duplicates. There were weird condescending bits about kids these days. The author photo was a stock photo. This was a clear scam product.

I had no way to report the listing on Amazon for being a sham book. There was no option to contact Tomoson directly about my issues with the product. I emailed the company through the platform and told them about the missing pages and poor editing, asking if I had received a draft. They just emailed me the same book in a different format.

So my options were to give the book a nice Amazon review, or to not submit anything and let my account be shut down for not completing a campaign. I didn’t complete the campaign.

And now I’m SUPER suspicious of any disclaimer that says the item they received was from Tomoson. There’s absolutely no product oversight on that platform. I don’t want free stuff that badly. Neither should you.

(Edit: Side note, pretty sure that leaving Amazon reviews in exchange for products is against their ToS and people are having their accounts shut down for that. Fun and good ethics all around!)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush in Give Me a Cuddle Review

I’m still working my way through my lip color collection one week at a time. This week I tried to wear Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Colour Rush lip balm in Give Me A Cuddle for a solid week.

I mean, I succeeded. It just wasn’t the most fun.The tube of Rimmel's Lasting Finish Colour Rush in Give Me a Cuddle. The silver lettering is rubbing off.

This is where I confess to you that I bought this lip balm three years ago. That’s why the label looks so godawful. You can still purchase it, so I could have pretended that I bought it last week.

This blog isn’t about my dignity.

A shot of the opened gloss stick. It's sort of like a lipstick, but is supposed to be more hydrating. It looks like a balm and a lipstick had a baby. It doesn't act that way.

Three years ago I knew that I wanted to wear lipstick, but was having some trouble easing into it. This lip balm looked like a nice tame pink. At least on me. Some reviewers said it was too candy pink for them.

There is no flash in the image on the left. The image on the right has flash.

I can see the candy pink complaints. I do think this balm applies pretty thin, so you can adjust it to be less bright.

On my lips. A thin, baby pink.

It looks fine, right? Barely even there. That’s what I was going for three years ago. The problem is that this balm isn’t particularly hydrating. And while it’s not an in your face color, it does dry my lips out and the resulting flakes are BRIGHT PINK. I don’t have an at the end of the workday picture for you because I wiped this off at lunch every day. It didn’t matter that I used my lip mask the night before. It didn’t matter if I exfoliated and hydrated in the morning before the application.

In the trash it goes. It’s not a good track record for Rimmel’s lip products. I also trashed some of their glosses for drying me out.

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator Review

This lotion has a NAME. Surge! Intense! It’s making some claims. And it should for $40.

I didn’t pay $40 for a lotion, don’t worry. I got a sample using ipsy points back in May.

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You might remember that I wasn’t initially impressed with it. I didn’t think that it was moisturizing nearly as well as my CeraVe. A bunch of you yelled at me to really give it a chance because you love it.

And you were right. I just wasn’t using enough.

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I had to hurry to take pictures before I used it all.

A 7 mL sample lasted me for a month of once daily use. I still used my CeraVe at night. Why only once a day? This lotion doesn’t make my sunscreen pill up. I was rationing it. The pill life is real, but I refuse to try new sunscreen when I have so much left of what I’m using.

It hydrates well when you slather it on and dries pretty quickly. It doesn’t have any added fragrance, but does smell faintly of alcohol. Butylene glycol (an alcohol) is the fourth ingredient. My organic chemistry classes didn’t teach me to identify alcohols based on smell, but I think that might be it.

So, am I going to start budgeting for an annual fund of $80 on morning moisturizer alone? I was pretty tempted. It’s good. BUT it contains some of the micro-plastics that I’m trying to avoid in my skincare. Environmentalism has saved my wallet.

I think that the major ingredient my daily CeraVe doesn’t have is squalane. I’m going to try adding a squalane serum to my routine and continue to pray for a sunscreen that doesn’t pill with my current set up.

Any squalane recommendations for me?

Funkless Deodorant Tangerine & Lime Review

You know the no plastic kick is getting serious when I start buying deodorant that comes in a glass jar.

A small jar that says "FUNKLESS NATURAL DEODORANT Tangerine Lime"

I’m no stranger to ~natural~ deodorants. I jumped on the no aluminum train about ten years ago when I started using the crystal. Now I think that the aluminum fears have pretty shaky evidence. Which is great, because the crystal deodorant still contains aluminum. That’s a different post. Greenwashing is real. The important part here is that I’ll rub a solid rock on my armpits. A paste wasn’t anything strange for me.

I quit using the crystal because it was a colossal pain to remember to use it while my armpits were still wet from showering. I’ve bounced around between other ~natural~ deodorants that irritated my armpits, and then settled for men’s deodorant. I hate smelling like flowers and I hate the pink tax. I also kind of hate how quickly I go through a stick of deodorant. That’s a fair amount of plastic that I didn’t feel was necessary.

So I went down the internet rabbit hole of eco-friendly deodorant. It gets little weird. There are lots of burnt armpits from essential oils being misused. I’m very wary of ~natural~ deodorants because of things like this. Funkless had good Amazon reviews, though. I decided to give them a try.

Back of the jar. Made in Brooklyn. Ingredients list: Arrowroot starch, baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, magnesium oxide, citrus reiculatal, citrus auranfolia, and vitamin E.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward. A lot of homemade deodorants are basically baking soda and essential oils for scent. I think the arrowroot starch is just an added thickener, and then the magnesium oxide presumably acts the way that aluminum does in commercial deodorants. It keeps you from sweating by plugging up your sweat holes.

That’s scientific.

I’m not fussed about rubbing magnesium oxide in my armpits because I currently eat 200 mg of it a day in tablet form. If magnesium (a normal thing that we need in our diet) turns on us, this deodorant is going to be the least of my worries.

A look inside the jar. It's a plain white paste. The consistency depends on the temperature of the room. It's solid here, kind of like play-do.

So how does it work? At room temperature this deodorant is a pretty solid paste. I have to use some pressure to get it out. It smells lightly of tangerine and lime. The smell doesn’t linger. I kind of wish that it did. It smells like something I’d want to drink. I want to smell like a fancy drink.

"This amount" is a little pinch on my finger. A little bigger than a pea.

I usually get about this amount out, then rub it between my index fingers to warm it up so it spreads easily.

This picture is showing how the solid deodorant melts with body heat so that it can be easily spread. It looks kind of like a gritty lotion here.

One finger for each armpit. You don’t need a representation of me rubbing this on my armpits, right? Good.

It dries a little chalky, but I haven’t noticed any rubbing off onto my shirts. After a few wears it does leave a little white powder on my bra. That doesn’t bother me.

I haven’t had any weird armpit irritation. A+ safe use of essential oils here, at least for my body chemistry. I haven’t noticed that I get sweaty (but then again, I also don’t actively look for antiperspirants in my deodorant). I will say that when do get disgustingly all-body sweaty, my armpits still don’t smell. It’s pretty impressive.

Based on my current use rate, I’d guess that one jar of this would last approximately..forever. The pictures were taken when I had been using it daily for a month. A MONTH. A jar could easily last a year.

My only complaint is that it will melt during shipping. I received a pretty messy, but yummy smelling envelope. I gave the deodorant a good stir and let it return to room temperature. It’s been fine.

Ingredients are good. Performance is good. There’s not a giant plastic tube for me to buy, like, every week. We’ve got a winner here.

 

Stay Glossy Lipgloss by Rimmel

Disclaimer: I got this from Influenster for testing/review purposes uh..two years ago? Three? It’s been a while. This blog post was not required because I had no blog at the time. They didn’t ask me for a good review. Obviously.

I’ve been on a long kick of clearing out my belongings. I started with books, then clothing, and now makeup. The lip products are getting purged first.

My lip product collection. There are a lot of them. My lip product collection. There are a lot of them. You can see at least part of 25ish tubes.

Look at this. It’s fine to have a lot of products that you use and enjoy having. I’m not going to get on my internet high horse and say that everything you do must be minimalist. I just don’t wear or like all of these. I can’t justify buying new products that I want to try when I have lipstick mountain in my closet.

So I’ve been running a little test. I pick one thing that I haven’t worn in a while and make myself wear it every day of the week for a week. If I haven’t figured out to use it in a way that works, or still don’t like it, it goes in the trash.

First up was Rimmel’s Stay Glossy 3D in Candy Floss.
Image of Rimmel's Stay Glossy 3D lipgloss in Candy Floss.

And since Influenster sent me two colors, I’m swatching Popcorn for 2 here as well. I didn’t wear that one for a week because I hate it.

Image of Rimmel's Stay Glossy 3D lipgloss in Popcorn for 2.

I’m not sure if they’ve changed their formula since I got this one, or if the images on their website are horrifically misleading. This is what their official image for this color looks like.

Official Rimmel image of Popcorn for 2. This one is baby pink, whereas my tube is very beige.
Mine is old, but it was never baby pink.

I arm swatched them so you guys could get a good look at the sparkles. Candy Floss is on the top, Popcorn for 2 on the bottom. The right image has no flash and the left is with flash.

 

Candy Floss has less shimmer to it. What shimmer is there is closely matched to the gloss color. It looks purple under flash, which I’ve never noticed in person.

Bright pinks have been growing on me. This isn’t the worst lip gloss.

Picture of the shade Candy Floss on my lips. It's glittery and bright pink, but not excessively so.

You’ll notice that I don’t have my typical “end of the work day” image for these. Despite Rimmel’s claims of “cutting-edge Shine Extend technology”, this lip gloss completely dissipates within two hours. No glitter left. No tint. Nothing. I guess if you remain perfectly still and don’t drink any water for six hours, it might still be there?

I really want a PowerPoint on cutting edge lip gloss technology.

That’s not sarcasm.

I’d also like a detailed explanation of how cotton moisturizes your lips. I’m not making this up, their website says: “Its lip-loving formula pampers lips with a caring complex of cotton and silk for increased lips moisturisation.”

Anyway, it’s a perfectly nice color that doesn’t stay on my face long enough to warrant spending the time to put it on evenly in the morning and keep my hair out of it.

Full face shot of me wearing Candy Floss.

More negatives: It makes my lips feel dry once it wears down. And it’s full of micro-plastics. Not cool.

Popcorn for 2 is a terrible beige color that is packed with iridescent shimmer. It doesn’t look awful when I first apply it, but unlike Candy Floss, the gloss wears down long before the shimmer. It leaves me with milky, fish scale looking lips. I don’t have a picture of that because I have self respect, weirdly enough.

Picture of Popcorn for 2 on my lips. It's much lighter and packed with shimmer.

It might work better as a topper for lipstick. I don’t want to make it work that badly.

A full face shot of Popcorn for 2. I think this color washes me out a little.

They’re both going in the trash before this post is published. I’ll have this post to look back on if I ever feel bad about it. (Edit: I don’t.)

But really,  why did I keep the beige one for so long? It smells like sunscreen.

Tell me what lip gloss you really need to throw away in the comments.