Thursday, January 1, 2015

Empties #7, or End of 2014 Empties

What better way to kick off 2015 than to get rid of old crap? Am I right? So, here's what was lurking in my empties bag. Nothing too exciting, especially since you've seen six of these things in my Finish Six by Christmas posts. It is what it is.

Starting clockwise from the upper right corner:

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Yeyo - I got this in a swap a looong time ago and just wanted it gone. As I've stated, I'm not a huge fan of pencil liners that need to be sharpened. Plus, this particular didn't really do much for me. I wouldn't repurchase.

Stila Smudge Stick in Lionfish - Love, love, love this shimmery bronzey-brown color. I'll definitely repurchase once I get through the rest of my brown eyeliners.

Stila Smudge Stick in Stingray - Love this one, too. It's just a basic black but it's pigmented, smudgeable, and it lasts all day for me. I'll more than likely repurchase this once I'm through the rest of my black eyeliners.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sellout - This was a nice color (pinky/peachy shimmery champagne), but I have others like it, so I doubt I would buy it again. 

Savannah Bee Earl Grey Lip Balm - This stuff smelled amazing, but it wasn't the most moisturizing for me. It also wore down rather quickly because of the all-natural ingredients. I guess it was more of a novelty, but I'll stick with Jack Black from now on. They have one that smells like Mint Julep, too, if you're curious. 

Jack Black Shea Butter Lip Balm - I think this one is venturing into HG territory. I have one more backup tube in my stash, plus a couple other non-Jack Blacks to get through before I can repurchase more. I love this particular "flavor," as well, because it has no real flavor or scent, which I prefer.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter in In Love - This was a nice, hydrating soft red, but I probably won't repurchase it on its own. If it came in a value set (like it did originally) then I wouldn't be disappointed, but I'm not a huge red-lips fan.

Maybelline Color Sensation Lipstick in Nearly There - I loved this color when I first started using it, but grew pretty indifferent by the time it was done. It's a nice beige-y neutral/nude with some shimmer, but I want to try other formulas, like Hourglass.

Cargo Texas Lash Mascara - Definitely won't repurchase. This did nothing for my lashes.

Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire - This was just ok for me. It didn't have the highest level of coverage, nor was it a perfect color match. If you're a darker skin tone than me, then you may be ok, but this is not for the uber-pale. I wouldn't repurchase.

L'Oreal EverCreme Nourishing Conditioner - This was just ok. It smelled nice, but I didn't see any amazing results, nor was my hair any softer than usual. Don't think I'd buy full-size.

Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner - This was ok, too, but wouldn't repurchase. 

Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray - This smelled like plastic, flowery poo. I would NOT buy this again. I'm much happier with my Tresemme Tres Two hairspray and it does a much better job of keeping my flyaways in place.

Matrix Sleek.Look Sealing Serum - This was too heavy for my hair; it made it look greasy if I used too much. I wouldn't repurchase, although I like the rest of the Sleek.Look line.

Clear Frizz Control Conditioner - I like this and may consider repurchasing in the future, but I have at least 5 other sets of shampoo/conditioner to get through first. I know... the shame.

Absolute Makeup Cleansing Tissues with Tea Tree Extract - These were ok. I got them at TJ Maxx for pretty cheap. I have a package of Neutrogena ones to use now. I'm just not a huge makeup-wipe person. As they started to dry out toward the end, I didn't even use them on my face. I just used them to wipe off swatches or when I wanted to change lip colors. So, I'm on the fence with these.

Burberry My Burberry Perfume - First off, I love this little box. It's so cute! It's made of the same heavy, linen-inspired cardboard as the rest of Burberry's packaging. Ok, so the perfume is floral. Way floral. Not a clean floral or a floriental, just straight up floral. It may even be considered a fruity floral because of the bergamot and quince notes, but we're not talking Clinique Happy fruity floral. Either way, it still smells nice. According to the designer, it was inspired  by a London garden after it rained. Having only been inside Heathrow Airport once and not actually in the city of London itself (it wasn't even raining that day, either), I can't attest to that. All I can say is that my husband complimented me every time I was wearing it and he liked it so much that, unprompted, he bought me a bottle for Christmas. The man hasn't bought me a perfume since 2005. So, I think that means he likes it. And if he likes it, then I like it, because after an hour, I typically can't smell perfumes on myself anymore. 

Ralph Lauren Romance Body Mist - I wouldn't specifically repurchase this again only because I prefer the actual perfume, but if it came in a set, I would use it.

The Body Shop Shea Butter Body Whip - I wouldn't buy this again. It smelled like a nondescript shea butter, but it wasn't the most moisturizing. I'm hoping the body butter will be better.

L'Occitane Amande Shower Oil - I didn't really know what to expect with this little bottle. I've heard rave reviews, especially from people that use it to shave their legs. If you don't like almonds, then I suggest you steer clear. It's not a complete, sickly-sweet almond extract smell, though. To me it's more of a warm almond milk kind of smell. I'm bad at describing scents. Anyway, moving on. It doesn't lather at all, so if that's a deal breaker, you might want to skip it. It turns from a light yellow-green oil to a milk consistency when it gets wet that you then shmear all over yourself. Sometimes I used an exfoliating mitt, sometimes I didn't. My skin felt great either way. It does work really well as a shave oil. I didn't find I needed to moisturize when I got out of the shower, which is nice, especially in winter.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray - Love this stuff, already have more on my vanity and one extra bottle in the bathroom. 

Olay Professional Pro X Spot Fading Treatment - My mother in law gave me a whole bunch of skin care samples and this was one of them. I used it on a mosquito bite on my leg to try and get the red  bump/mark to go away faster and I didn't see any sort of a different. Maybe it works differently on sun or age spots. I don't know, but I wouldn't buy this.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Beauty Plan

I'm pretty much following my beauty resolutions from last year (original post), meaning...
  1. Use the beauty stuff that I already own. 
  2. Don't buy new stuff unless it's to replace a necessity, or it's totally unique and I haz to have it, precious!!! 
  3. Purge the bad stuff.
This is what I did throughout 2014 and I think it worked well for me. It's allowed me to use up some stuff and also to see what actually works for me and suits my current tastes/needs. I'm past the point of hanging on to things in the hopes that they will one day work. Life's too short, people!

I've also decided I'm going to rotate my collection slightly differently than before (original post). Instead of picking a card/new item every week, I'm going to pick a palette for the month and I'm going to commit to using it at least five times a week. On the "off" days, I'm going to use my singles/trios/quads (I'm just going to pick these at random). I was thinking about doing a "pan that palette" challenge with some of the YouTubers who are focusing on the Lorac Pro palette, but I know myself and I know I would get bored or discouraged. Plus, I would feel bad that 99% of my eyeshadows were just sitting there, not getting used. I know powder doesn't "expire" like cream products, but I bought everything for a reason and I want to see that it gets used. 

So, here are the palettes I'll be working from:
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes 
  • Cargo Vintage Escape
  • IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette
  • Lancome and MAC customized palette
  • Lorac Pro 
  • Lorac Pro 2
  • Lorac Unzipped 
  • Urban Decay Naked 1
  • Urban Decay Naked 2
  • Urban Decay Naked 3
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics
  • Urban Decay Naked2 Basics
Some modifications: Whenever I'm using one of the original Naked palettes, I'm probably going to pair it with a Basics so I get more matte variety (the same goes for my Bobbi Brown palette, too). Some people say that's how they were intended anyway - as companion palettes - so I'm going to give it a whirl. In the months that I'm using Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics as the staple, I'm probably going to pull in some of my singles/trios to use, just for variety sake. As long as I'm using at least two colors out of the palette, I think I'm good. 

As far as the rest of my makeup goes, I'm steadily working through other categories, such as concealer, powder, lipstick/lip gloss and eyeliner. As soon as I use something up, I just move on to the next one until I get down to the stuff that I love and will end up repurchasing. My mascara stash pretty much consists of Cover Girl Lash Blast and whatever random sample/gift with purchase I've gotten, so there's really no concern there.

Skincare, bath stuff, and hair care is pretty much the same as the rest of my makeup - I'm working through what I have and will only repurchase what I actually love. Thankfully, I think my skincare routine is pretty much nailed down and I have a feeling I'm going to be spending most of 2015 working through a back stock of bath and hair care products. 

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Finale

I'm late, I know. I suck. But better late than never.

So, I'm sure you've noticed something a bit off about my mini Mario Badescu Facial Spray. Obviously, it has more liquid than in the November update. That's because I re-filled it when I traveled over Thanksgiving. In reality this bottle was full, used completely, refilled, and almost polished off a second time. As I said, I loved having it for traveling and am definitely keeping it for that. I have noticed, however, that the last few sprays don't produce as fine of a mist as they do initially. I don't know if it's something in the smaller bottle's design, but I didn't have that issue with the big bottle. However, once this little guy is finished (again), I'm bringing the big bottle back to my vanity and stowing this one away with the rest of my travel-sized stuff.

My Urban Decay Sellout eyeshadow is DONE! Finito! And I can safely say that I am so flippin' happy. By the time it was finished, I was seriously growing to dislike its frosty pinkness. I don't even want to look at Sin at the moment... But, it does feel good to get an eyeshadow out of my collection. Confession: I'm already looking at replacing it with another Burberry eyeshadow. ::hangs head in shame:: I know. I said I was done. But all of a sudden I felt Pale Rose calling my name. And maybe Mulberry. You know. To have a complete look.

Anyways... I'm calling the Lancome Maquicomplet concealer finished as well. I can still get some of the product out, but I think it's drying out my undereye area. It's been flaking pretty bad the past few days and this concealer isn't doing it any favors. Plus, it was never a fantastic color match for me. It was OK, but not something I would recommend for the uber-pale like myself. 

I think I'm going to participate in the Finish Five by Cinco de Mayo next, only because I'm working with fuller products now, having used up all of the "easy" stuff this past year. I might be able to scrap up one or two smaller-sized items and throw them in as a bonus. Who knows. I'll do an introductory post whenever I decide what I'm including. Right now, all I know for certain, is Stila Smudge Stick in Stingray and L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, because those are what I'm currently working on. I have yet to decide on a lip product or an eyeshadow. Still too many choices...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tips for project panning and reducing your overall collection.

I am by no means an expert on project panning, since this is my first year officially doing it, but I thought I would add my two cents into the mix, in case people were wondering how I've been getting through my collection. It seems to be a trend lately on You Tube and some of the makeup boards, where people are getting more and more overwhelmed by their collections and want to pare down to the staples. My quest these days is to have only Holy Grail items, or at the very least, items that I really, really, really like and will get through in a reasonable amount of time. I grew really tired of buying things, loving them for a week, and then shoving them into a drawer for six months. Makeup should be fun, not a burden or a guilt trip or a panic attack every time you get ready.

1. Be consistent. Sure, it's boring sometimes, but there's no guaranteed way to get through a product quicker. Mix up the item you're working on with new colors or trends. Watch YouTube, read blogs, scroll through Pinterest, even go to the Sephora/Ulta websites and see how the makeup companies pair different colors together, i.e. NARS duos (Amber F is great to watch for color pairing/inspiration and "Pan that palette" challenges.) You can rotate a weekly makeup basket, or pick a few items to use completely until they're gone. You can also pick a palette to use five times a week or however many days works for you. I find that it helps to use product you actually like, so that way it's not viewed as a punishment of sorts. PrettyPistol86 made a great point when she finally decided to get rid of an NYC blush she'd been panning. Why waste time panning a $3 blush when she has other blushes she loves more/spent more money on/look better? Do whatever works best for you. And if you want to change up your method of how you select makeup, go for it! It's your collection. Do what you want with it. 

2. Apply often. Lipstick, perfume, lotion, etc. If you only swipe your lipstick on twice a day (once in the morning, and once after lunch) try re-applying more frequently, like after you've finished your coffee, or if you think your lips are getting dry. Same thing with lotion. If you wash your hands, apply a hand cream afterward. And who says you can only spray perfume on in the morning? Sometimes I spritz again just before my husband comes home to make sure it's fresh. Obviously, if you're wearing a heavy duty floriental, like Dune or Allure, then maybe skip this step. But lighter scents and body sprays can definitely handle multiple applications in a day.

3. Apply liberally. Lip gloss, lotion, cuticle oil, body wash, shampoo/conditioner, etc. Don't be stingy. You're trying to use things up, remember? Granted, some things can only be applied in certain quantities, like face and eye makeup, but other categories are fair game for being a little heavier handed. 

4. Multitask and/or re-purpose. Make your products pull double-duty, especially when it's something you only typically apply once during the day. Shimmery champagne eyeshadows can easily double as cheek highlights. Eyeliner works well as a shadow base. Top off your eyeliner with a powdered shadow. You can even go old-school and use your lipstick on your lips and as a blush. Some people use hair spray on a spoolie to tame their eyebrows. You can even swap conditioner for shaving cream.

5. Inventory your collection. Nothing smacks down the urge to buy a new eyeliner like the black-and-white fact that you already have a hundred at home (and probably in a similar color). Do it yearly, bi-annually, or even quarterly. Some girls type up a list in Word or Excel. I just write down every category and tally up the numbers in a notepad I keep on my vanity. For example, at the moment I have 0 foundations and 2 CC creams. Unless I have a need for heavier coverage in the future, there's no need to buy a foundation.

6. Keep track of your empties. There's a couple ways to do this, so just find whatever helps you the most. Some people track the money they "get" out of a product, or the money "saved" by using it up and not buying something new. I like it because it's a sense of accomplishment and it shows how long it really takes to use something, even dinky sample sizes. Keep a list, take a picture (that's my preferred method, a la empties posts), draw sharpie lines on the side once  month - it doesn't have to be elaborate. Just something to mark your progress.

7. Purge. The money is already gone. I repeat, the money has already been spent. It's already been "wasted." Keeping old and/or unsanitary things or stuff you know you just don't use does not bring the money back. Why waste any more time or energy on something you don't love? Find it a new home or just chuck it if it's too old to pass on because the money is already gone. Admittedly, this was one of the hardest things for me to accept and still is, to an extent. Watching Pinksofoxy and Tati's decluttering videos have actually been really motivating. They taught me that if I've had something for several years and haven't made a dent in it, then that should tell me something... I'm not using it for a reason. Don't hang on to something that doesn't make you happy. Kristin Gehm is famous for saying "Life is too short to suffer through a bad mascara" and she's right!

Happy downsizing, everyone!

P.S. If you're happy with how your collection is currently but are worried about potentially going overboard again, you can always follow the One In, One Out Rule. If you buy an eyeshadow, another eyeshadow has to leave your collection. If you buy a lip gloss (or four...) then four lip products have to leave your collection. At the very least you won't start accumulating more stuff without thinking about what you already have at home. So far this simple strategy has already saved me from impulse-buying a couple eyeshadow palettes. I only have two eyes. I do NOT need any more palettes. But there's something so alluring about them when you see them under the terrible, yet magical store lighting... until you start thinking about which palette you would have to sacrifice to the makeup gods so you can have your new precious. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

LOTD: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink

I got a little mini of this lipstick in the Sephora birthday gift this year, and I actually really like it! It's a medium rose-brown, so I think "Copper Pink" is actually a great name. I find the wear time is average and it feels nice on the lips - not drying, but it doesn't necessarily add moisture, either. I like that you can wear it sheerly or build it up, depending on what the rest of your makeup looks like.

Nekkid lips.
MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink
Swatched once; swatched three times