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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Empties! Products I Used Up in January

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
A whopping 55 items left my collection in January, which is quite the accomplishment.  I'm also doing a replacement only no-buy (low buy?) for makeup/skincare/beauty items, so that I can focus on using up what I own.  Which is a lot.  So let's take a look at some of the standouts (both good and bad) from January.
The Bubble & Bee organic body butters are some of my favorites, and unfortunates these went bad before I could completely finish them.  I got two-thirds through the Orange & Vanilla and three-fourths through the Unscented, but one was smelling off and the other was starting to grow mold.  I finished a Farmhouse Fresh body balm in A La Mode and the Sunflower Honey-Butter, both of which are lovely.  I would repurchase all 4, but considering I have 41 other sample and full size body lotions to get through, it will be a while.
I finished 2 sample sized dry shampoos, with the Detox by drybar being my favorite of the two.  I also finished 4 hand lotions: the limited edition Pure Hemp Herbal Hand and Foot Glaze (okay, not as moisturizing as I'd like), Tokyo Milk Dark Lotion in Excess (again, not moisturizing enough but did enjoy the fragrance), and a full and sample sized Caudalie Hand and Nail cream (nice, would consider purchasing in the future).  I've got 11 more hand creams to get through before I can purchase anything, however.
I finished five sample sized face moisturizers and 4 foil serums/moisturizers.  All were nice and did the job, but none stood out enough for me to want to purchase once I get through the other 36 mainly deluxe sized samples and foils I need to finish up.  I also finished a deluxe sized Ole Henriksen serum.  I prefer other vitamin C serums, although this one is not bad.
I finished one full sized and two deluxe sample sized face primers.  I enjoyed the Coola dawn patrol, but my favorite of the three is Julep's Blank Canvas.  I purchased another prior to my no-buy, but I also have 22 other primers to work my way through.
I also finished full sizes of a Leader's Labotica Bamboo Water Cleansing tissues (nice, would repurchase), a Vitabath shower gel in Vanilla Bourbon (nice, but I got tired of it and was happy to finish it off), a full sized shampoo in Blonde Sexy Hair (a blue shampoo, pretty good), and a full sized TreSemme hair spray (average at best).
I finished off 2 Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oil samples (Kurukulla: lotus blooms and roses, Lilium Inter Spinas, Hibiscus syriacus, white sandalwood, lily of the valley, apple blossom, and green fig) and another sample called Bollywood or Bust (rose, woody, warm spicy) by Smell Bent, plus am tossing 3 other perfume samples that I do not care for: Narciso Rodriguex for her and Dolce.  I have an obscene number of perfume samples and a more than healthy collection of full sized bottles as well, so I really have no business purchasing any fragrances for a long, long, long time.
I finished two mascaras, Monsieur Big by Lancome and Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill.  My favorite of those was Eyes to Kill, but no way am I paying $32 for a mascara.  The Guerlain Maxi Lash sample was dried out, and I did not like the benefit They're Real! mascara so tossed it after a week of use.  I have 31 more mascaras to work through, mostly deluxe sample sizes.
I finished a full sized lipstick, the Surratt Lipslique in Ladybug (full review here).  It was 3.5 years old and I did enjoy it, but at $34 it's overpriced for what it is.  The Laniege Lip Mask is a new favorite, they are as good as everyone says they are and have become a staple item for me.
I also finished a foundation, the Lauren Brooke Creme Foundation in Cool No. 30.  This is the second jar I've finished and I bought another prior to my no-buy, as I knew I did not want to be without it for as long as it will take me to go through my current roster of foundations (which is a whooping 34, BTW).  The finish on this foundation is the smoothest, most natural looking I've experienced, although it's best suited for the colder weather months with my oilier complexion.  Just so nice.
I tried the Milk Makeup Sunshine foundation and hated it.  The coverage is minimal and it never really dried down.  I tried using powder to help with that, and that just resulted in a cakey mess.  Just so bad.
I doubt I'll go through as many items every month, but I do think that not bring in new items is helping out and it feels great to have worked through these.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Project Pan Goals

Disclaimer: I purchased these products.
Happy New Year to everyone!  It's been a good 6 months since I posted anything, and the break has allowed me to appreciate my makeup and beauty items without feeling a pressing need to accumulate more just for the sake of the blog.  If anything, my focus now is on using up what I have and only bringing in items that serve a specific purpose or fills a particular gap.  But to be honest, I really don't need anything, as I am swimming in items. 
To that end, here are some specific products that I want to focus on using as much as possible in 2019.  All links are to previous reviews.  Some will get used up, and some will probably take more than  year to finish.  Others are well past their expiration date, although they still smell and function fine.  A few are on the verge of going off, but I want to use up as much as I can before they get tossed, such as the Eau Des Minimes lotion and deodorant and the Juara Tiare Jasmine Tea Body Milk pictured above.
I've got 3 glosses in this project, with the oldest (at least 5 years?) being Sparklicity by Tarina Tarantino.  It's full and I've probably only used it a handful of times, but it's pretty and makes a nice lipstick topper.  The next oldest is a gloss called Criterion from the Le Metier de Beaute Bauhaus lip kaleidoscope, which was a GWP back in June of 2013. The third is the Marvelous Moxie gloss in Trail Blazer from the 2016 bareMinerals Advent Calendar, and should be an easy one to finish as there is not much product in the sample size.
I chose one powder and one cream blush to focus on, and both are favorites of mine.  I'll be lucky to even hit pan on the Estee Lauder blush in Sensuous Rose, as the pan size is about the size of a smartphone and contains 7 grams of product.  This is one of my used used blushes and while there is a slight dip in the pan, you can barely tell even after 5 years of use.
Tenne from Le Métier de Beauté (LMdB)  is such a gorgeous natural looking blush, and I will be sorry when it's gone.  I hear that LMdB is having problems and I'm not sure if the company is even solvent any more, so once this one is gone, that's it, but it's pushing 5+ years of age. I use my Beauty Blender to apply, which contributes to its janky appearance below.
I'm including the Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer in Light because I've already hit significant pan on it, and am hoping to finish it off.  It's such a light bronzer and I mainly use it in the winter, even thought I self tan my face all year round. 
Another LMdB product I'd like to use up is the Peau Vierge Skin Tint Luminizer in Shade 2.  As you can see, it has a 12 month shelf life, and I just started using this one a few months back as I was working on it's predecessor.  It's impossible to tell my progress, but considering I only use one pump mixed with my foundation, this could last me into 2020.
The last LMdB product is the Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder, which I started trying to use up in my very first Project Pan from July of 2016.  I had about a pea size of pan then, and this is where I'm at now.  Some hard pan is happening, but it is still quite usable and a lovely finishing powder.
Another favorite powder that I would like to finish off is the Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim Light.  I've got sizeable pan, but there is still quite a lot of powder left to use. I used up the Dim Light in a 3 pan palette already, so it's definitely doable.
Ignore the blue eye pencil in the top photo, as I've had second thoughts about using that up in 2019.  The last item is Tatcha's The Pearl, which has a measly 6 month shelf life.  I need less than a pea size for both eyes and probably have 2/3 of the jar left to use, but hopefully I can make steady progress.
That gives me with 13 products to work on, and if I finish an item this will be a rolling project pan and I will pull something else in.  Is anyone else doing a project pan this year?  I'd love to hear about it if you are.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Flock Party by Wet n Wild

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Flock Party is the second of the eyeshadow quads from the Flights of Fancy summer collection by Wet n Wild (overview post here) that I have to show you. Very pretty colors, but probably the most disappointing of the 3 quads in terms of performance.  There is some good in here, however, and I still managed to get some pretty eye looks out of it.
The strong point for all of the quads for me are the transition shades, as I found them easy to work with, smooth, and nice colors for my fair complexion.  The transition color in Flock Party is a nice peachy beige and is just dark enough to darken my crease for a natural looking bit of definition.  The weakest link in this palette is the large eyelid plummy shade, as it just did not want to build up color for me. Even using my finger did not yield opaque coverage with several passes, and even using a liquid with it (Mac's Fix Plus), I still had to work harder than should be necessary.  The brass colored crease and brow bone shades are much easier to work with.
All that being said, I can't say I was disappointed in the eye looks I got from this quad, although it took a bit of work.  The lovely gold glimmer on the center of the lid below is from J.Cat Beauty's Pris Metal Eye Mousse in Electra.  Those things are phenomenal.
Here I'm wearing the quad without any other shadows, although I did use Mac's Fix Plus with the plummy shadow to build up the color.  It's a bit patchy, but it works.
 For $2.99, I've really got minimal complaints here.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Flights of Fancy Summer Limited Edition Collection Box by Wet n Wild

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I've got to say that Wet n Wilds' limited edition Flights of Fancy summer collection box is the release I've been most excited about thus far this season. The price is uber reasonable as your are getting almost $55 worth of products for $34.99, there are a variety of different products, and the colors are working for me.  I also like that Wet n Wild is giving back, as
"By purchasing this collection, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Los Angeles Audubon Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect birds and their habitats. These funds will benefit a habitat restoration project for the Allen’s Hummingbird, an endangered California native." 

The design details are so nice, from the bird of paradise on the side of the box itself to the hummingbirds stamped on the baked blushes, to the print on the gloss caps. Just really nice touches.


I've been wearing these items for the past week, and initial impressions are positive. The three eyeshadow quads have their high and low points, but for the most part have delivered some really pretty looks.  Today I'll showcase Stop Ruffling My Feathers ($2.99).
I know that Wet n Wild recently released all new shadows, and these are the first ones I've tried with the new formula. The colors in Stop Ruffling My Feathers appeal to me the most out of the three quads, and I thought they all worked well together.  You get one matte and 3 shimmery shadows, and I thought the matte and two smaller shimmer shadows were stronger than the larger pink with gold shift shimmer. That one was more stiff/dry, and even using it wet did not amp up the color enough to redeem itself. I wouldn't call that color a complete loss, but it is the weakest link.
The shimmery copper color has the most pigment and was easy to work with, and I found all of the matte shades in the quads worked really well for me as transition colors. Swatches below are over primer, and I think you can see that the pink is the weakest of the four out of this palette. 
I had no issues with creasing or fading, and I found that incorporating a cream base shadow amped up the look I was able to achieve.  I wore bareMineral's 5-in-1 BB Cream Eyeshadow in Taupe as a base in the look below.  The eyeliner is Urban Decay's Lucky, which I hear they have brought back from the vault where products go to die.  It's a great copper penny color.
In this look I'm not wearing a base, just the shadows over primer, and I thought it turned out pretty as well.
I've got lots more to say about these items, but will save it for future posts. I hope those in the US have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. A tropical system is threatening lots of rain here in Mobile, but I'll still enjoy my time off :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Aeris Holiday Palette by Natasha Denona

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I've been curious about Natasha Denona eyeshadows for quite a while, but the exorbitant prices for her palettes has kept me from trying them.  Until now, when the 2017 holiday 5-shadow palettes went on sale at Sephora ($34) last week.
I picked up the warm-toned with a pop of turquoise Aeris, and fortunately it arrived to me intact and pristine.  I say that, as there were lots of comments on Sephora's site that indicated many people received shattered shadows, so apparently these are a bit on the fragile side.  It no doubt does not help that Sepora's idea of packing is to put crumpled paper on top of the box contents....
So many people have raved about the quality of Natasha Denonna shadows, and I've got to say that the matte Burnt Terracotta may be the most pigmented yet easy to work with matte shadow I've tried to date.  Ice Blue is another standout with it's shimmery yet color packed goodness, and Nude gives a high-impact shine that is quite lovely.  Both Red Bronze and Peach Bronze feel more dry and crumbly to the touch, and are what I would consider to be lid toppers over other colors.  They are more sheer and take multiple passes with a finger to build up, but do yield very nice eye looks.
The shelf life of this palette is 12 months, and I have seen reviews that indicate Natasha Denona's shadow formula does go bad and not perform as well once they hit a certain age, which again makes me not want to invest in the larger palettes.  However, the colors and finishes in Aeris, combined with the sale price, makes me happy to have this in my collection.  Surprisingly, I was unable to dupe any of the colors, with the closest contender being Tajin from the limited edition Urban Decay Kaleidoscope palette.  Tajin is a great shadow as well, but Burnt Terracotta is definitely smoother and more pigmented in comparison.
Below I'm wearing Nude and Ice Blue, with Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in Flipside (discontinued) in the water line.  I wore bareMineral's 5-in-1 cream shadow in Candlelit Peach as the base.
In this look I'm wearing Red Bronze, Burnt Terracotta, and Peach Bronze with the yellow shadow Mischief from Colourpop's Yes Please palette (review here).  The eyeliner is Urban Decay's Anatomy from the limited edition Jean-Michel Basquiat collection.  Yes Please is supposed to be a dupe for Natasha Denona's Sunset palette, so there is that...and in another post I'll be showing a compilation of Colourpop shadows from multiple palettes.