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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Burberry Eyeshadows Review + Swatches + F/EOTD

For my birthday last month, my husband indulged one of my all-time vices... BROWN EYESHADOW! Or, rather, neutral eyeshadow, since not all of these are brown. I know they all look pretty similar, but I still love them, and if I was going to get luxury makeup then I wanted to make sure it would be in classic colors that go with everything.

When people talk about eyeshadows they can just slap on with minimal effort/blending, these are them! I don't think it's possible to look overdone with these shadows. Even the darkest color blends out in two seconds into a beautiful smokey haze. Some people have said that the purpose of these eyeshadows (and other Burberry makeup, for that matter) is to make it look like it's blending in with your skin, like you are that gorgeous, versus "Wow, look at that chalky, unnatural color on her eyelid!" I don't know anyone with natural sparkly brown eyelids, but I get their point. Compared to say... Urban Decay... the Burberry eyeshadows do seem to melt (for lack of a better word) in with your skin a little easier. You don't have to build and blend and build and blend and build and blend, etc. You just swipe or pat them on (depending on how intense you want it), blend a little, and away you go. They're great no-fuss eyeshadows. Oh, and I didn't have any issue with fall out on my face or the brush kicking up extra powder in the pan.

Are they for everyone? Probably not. If you're into color, you'll probably be disappointed. If you like glittery shades, again, look elsewhere. Also, they're not the cheapest ($29 for 2.5 grams, compared to MAC's 1.5 g at $16 or Urban Decay's 1.5 g for $18). You know you're paying for the name and the gorgeous packaging, but also, I think, a really good product that's going to last you twice as long as the others. Burberry definitely seems like it's catering to the neutral-loving, classically-styled makeup wearer, so if you're that type of person, then give 'em a swatch! I would say I can't wait to try more colors, but I'm actually really happy with the four I have and don't feel a compelling need to get any more in the near future. Maybe once I start using up my other shadows...

Anyway... here they are!!

Burberry Trench, Almond, Midnight Brown, and Pale Barley (plus a Real Technique's Base Shadow Brush)
Burberry Trench, Almond, Midnight Brown, Pale Barley + Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush at an angle. Does this do anything for you guys? I tried to be more artsy, but I don't know if it's working. 
A note on the swatches: I swatched each eyeshadow twice, once with the sponge-tip applicator that comes in the eyeshadow and one more time with the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. I swiped the surface of the shadow three times and applied it to my arm with three swipes from each tool, so you get a good idea of what it looks like depending on your application method. I've decided that finger swatching isn't all it's cracked up to be. I don't apply powder eyeshadow with my finger, so why would I use it to swatch? I'm going to include brush swatches from now on because I feel it'll give a more accurate representation for what it's most likely going to look like on your eye (unless you build it up).
Burberry Trench 02 Eyeshadow - I swear it's there!
Trench 02 looks like a matte ivory in the pan, but on me it swatches to a pale khaki color. I really like this shade for blending the others out or as a really subtle brow bone color. People as pale as I am can't really call this a "highlight" shade like darker skintones can, but it's still really pretty. And please don't let the barely-visible swatch fool you. It IS pigmented, it just blends in with my skin too much to really be able to see that.

Burberry Almond 06 Eyeshadow
Almond 06 is a satiny neutral brown. I would say it's not totally matte, but there isn't any obvious glitter or shimmer, just a subtle sheen at times. In the store, it actually looked really warm. I almost didn't get it because of that, but since I read soooo many positive reviews, I took a chance and got it anyway. I'm very happy that I did. I like wearing this all over the lid with some eyeliner for a really basic look, or blended in the crease. On me, it's the perfect transition color. 

Burberry Midnight Brown 21 Eyeshadow
Midnight Brown 21 is another gorgeous neutral brown with golden shimmer. People have compared it to MAC Satin Taupe, but Midnight Brown blows it out of the water, in my opinion. I like it as a crease color, smudged along the lashes, or as a lid color in its own right. Even during the daytime, I don't think it's took dark or dramatic. Just a really effortless, shimmery brown.

Burberry Pale Barley 22 Eyeshadow
Pale Barley 22 is a glowy golden beige that's really kind of hard to describe. It's shimmery, but not obnoxiously so. It's pale, but can be darkened. It pretty much goes with everything. I was initially trying to decide between this and Rosewood and I'm so happy I went the Pale Barley route. (FYI, Rosewood looked like a pinky muddy mess on me. The SA even tried it on my eye and it still wasn't very pretty. So, if you've got my coloring, you've been forewarned.) Like the other colors I got, this one pretty much goes with anything, since it plays well with others but looks fantastic on its own, too.

And since I had to get a new passport picture taken, I figured I'd show my Burberry babies in action!

 I included both pictures to show how subtle the shimmer is in Pale Barley until suddenly WHAM! Golden glow. It's not an obnoxious glitter at all, just a really, really pretty sheen. I can totally see why people went gaga over Pale Barley when it first launched a couple years ago.

  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair
  • IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Corrector in Light
  • IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Concealer in Light
  • Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under eyes only
  • Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory
  • Lancome Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone to highlight cheekbones
  • IT Cosmetics Brow Power in Universal
  • Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze as an eyeshadow base
  • Burberry Pale Barley on the lid, Almond in the crease, Trench to blend it out and as a brow bone highlight, and Midnight Brown smudged over the eyeliner and under the lower lashes
  • Stila Smudge Stick in Lionfish smudged along top lashline, under the outer 1/3 of the lower lashes, and to tightline
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Yeyo as a base for Trench on the brow bone, an inner corner highlight, and on the waterline
  • Cover Girl  Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Black-Brown
  • Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Pink Lust 21

I am going to swatch these next to some other colors from my collection, so stay tuned for a comparison post! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One In, One Out

 Since the whole point of this year and the upcoming year is to whittle my stash down to my absolute favorite things, I'm going to try really hard to stick with the "One in, one out," rule. Meaning, if I buy something new (not as a staple replacement, like mascara), then something of like-category has to go out. Sooo... since I just bought the Lancome Juicy Tube set, it's time for something to get the boot.


Since I just finished the IT Cosmetics gloss and the Maybelline Nearly There lipstick, I figured adding the C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve and the NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue equaled out to my four lip products. I can't even tell you when I bought the Rose Salve. It's been years, I know that. And while I obviously made a dent in it, I'm generally not a fan of potted products anymore, plus this one never really did much for my lips and the smell gets overwhelming after a while. Also, I wasn't liking the way NYX's Merengue looked with my skin. I LOVE the other two that came in the set last Christmas (Creme Brulee and Apple Strudel) because they're warmer and seem to go better with my coloring. I can tell you exactly how many times I've worn Merengue out of the house in the past year - three. Three TIMES since last Christmas. I've tried it on a dozen more times than that, but usually end up wiping it off and going with something else. So, needless to say, it's time to find a new home for Merengue and just trash the Rose Salve and all it's hidden germiness.