Thursday, January 02, 2020

Worth-its and less-sos

Inspired by Miss Self-Important's post on game-changers, but with guiltily-confessed prices in CAD:

Obviously:

Acca Kappa lip balm: I bought a cheap but gorgeous chapstick in a Naples pharmacy, only to discover, using it back home, that it's the only effective one in Toronto winter. Sold here? Of course not. But online, yes. Not super expensive *but* you need to reach $100 for free shipping and even stocking up on lip balm, this is difficult to arrive at, and took me about a year to decide was worth the splurge. Which led me to...

Acca Kappa hair brush: My first time owning a non-garbage hair brush and it doesn't pull out my hair when I use it, so I guess this is why people own such things.

Blundstone boots: Yes, everyone has them. There's a reason. Not having to think about which shoes to wear from October to May is... I mean a past version of myself would find this intolerably bleak, but the one that's taking a baby and a poodle out for afternoon walks and needs something slip-on and all-weather that looks good enough is a fan. And $200 seems reasonable for shoes that eliminate the need for any others.

La Roche Posay Toleraine face moisturizer: The only reliably skin-improving product I've found.

Durumi jeans: Exactly one pair fit nicely Before and continues to fit well enough After. If you're in Toronto you want to go to Queen and Spadina and buy a bunch of Korean clothing at that store.

Maybe?

Here, the commonalities appear to be that I never quite came around to cost:

Want Les Essentiels bag: I wear it every day, it's gorgeous, and it was something like 50% off. It was still too expensive, and I feel bad just throwing it under the stroller, which I vowed I wouldn't do but where else exactly do I think I'm putting it? The $40 USD camouflage zip tote bag from LL Bean was (is) more suited to my lifestyle and nearly as chic.

Gel manicure: I went and got one a couple months after giving birth. It looked amazing! What a miracle beauty treatment, where you can do absolutely whatever and your nail polish doesn't chip! But I can't imagine doing it again because it cost more than my haircuts. If I were a proverbial rich man, though, I might do this on a regular basis.

Moose Knuckles coat: Yes, you need something along these lines here, as I learned five (!) years ago, when I got this. But it still strikes me as having been (again, despite a discount, and despite the years of use at this point) unfathomably expensive ($700 or so), and I'm not thrilled to have a fur-trimmed coat, although I guess ask me again when it's negative-degrees Fahrenheit and I have the hood up. 

Balayage: While my hair now looks (to my own subjective tastes) fabulous, it took two salons and three bleachings to get there. It's almost less the time and money than the months going around with hair that just looked off. My natural color is vastly better than the orange that results from nearly any attempt at changing it.

Christophe Robin superfancy hair cream: I think it was something like $40 USD? Purchased because I'd been to a Christophe Robin pop-up in Tribeca once, where I got a free blow-out and got swept up in the moment and inadvertently learned that highest-end hair products are great. But are they that great? Or, rather, that necessary in Toronto's non-frizz-inducing climate?

Frank Costanza blazer: So stylish! But even if it could be worn even under the huge winter coat, do I do this? No I do not.

Nah:

The "nah" category for me is pretty much stuff I like the idea of but do not actually use, but failed to Know Myself and bought all the same, such as....

Eye shadow. Feels like a thing to own, looks nice, but it gets like four uses a year. See also: mascara, blush stick, brightly-colored lipstick.

Serum: A fleeting experiment with skincare in the form of one $24 bottle of something meant to de-age may have led to a weird skin reaction initially and has probably not done anything, but for cost-per-use reasons I'm still using it, I don't know.

Skirts, non-summer dresses. I like the idea but it's not really chasing-near-toddler-compatible.

Blouses; any shirt that isn't a t-shirt or tank top. I always look awkward in these. I wish I didn't but I've made peace with not being Alexa Chung.

...as well as items that are lovely in theory but useless in Toronto's all-or-nothing, scorching-or-freezing climate:

Suede knee-high boots. (If it's cold enough for these, it's too snowy/slushy/salty for them.)

All mid-weight coats (as in the ones that would be winter coats in not-Canada, but are not parkas). One I already owned, but another I bought, naive, soon after moving here.

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