• Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: December 2020

    This December I participated in the tag #redlipsdecember created by @luvanloud on Instagram as I have done for a few years now. The main goal is to wear a red lip on every day of December and I tweaked my ambition slightly so that I at least wore red lips on every day that I wore makeup, which was not everyday by any means. Last year I chose neutral eyeshadows to audit in December to make my job easier when creating looks to go with a red lip. This year I unintentionally chose a different approach. Since I have been going through my seasonally appropriate loose shadow collections by Meow Cosmetics for a few months I had in advance picked what to use for December as well, not even thinking about #redlipsdecember. But I did feel up for the challenge and it turned out to be a fun month creativity-wise.

    Besides shadows from several Meow Cosmetics collections (Santa Baby, Ghosts of Xmas Past, 4 Horsemen, End of Days, Xmas Trees, Holiday Wishes, Reindeer), I chose loose pigments by MAC and Bare Minerals, single shadows by Illamasqua, Urban Decay and & Other Stories. In addition I picked one fixed palette by Linda Hallberg and one magnetic palette with singles from brands such as Lethal Cosmetics, Nabla, KvD, Makeup Geek and Neve Cosmetics. A whopping 50 shades for the eyes. Cheeks was not a big category this month since I am currently down to my last two highlighters to audit, both by Phee’s Makeup Tips. This means I can start with round 2 for blush, contour and highlighters in 2021. Not sure exactly how to proceed with that yet, but it should be fun.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Quadrifoglio, Hipster, Radikal, Chiaroscuro

    Middle Row L-R: Brownie Points, Lotus, Devil, Petra

    Bottom Row L-R: Frantic, Cascade, Imago, Delirium, Martyr

    Every month need some core shades such as mattes and neutral shades. Some of them were assembled in this magnetic palette. One depotted Neve shadow (Quadrifoglio), two by Makeup Geek (Hipster, Brownie Points), four by Nabla (Radikal, Chiaroscuro, Lotus, Petra), two depotted by KvD (Martyr, Devil) and four from Lethal Cosmetics (Frantic, Cascade, Imago and Delirium). Some colour and some basic neutrals – a good mix.

    Top Row L-R: Heroine, Cubica mauve

    Bottom Row L-R: Velvet Nude, Smokeout

    To complete the core lineup I added some single shadows to cover the holes left by the other palette. Two crease shades, one by Illamasqua (Heroine) and one by & Other Stories (Cubica Mauve), one beige shade by Bare Minerals (Velvet Nude) to use as a diffuser and a satin black by Urban Decay (Smokeout) to use as liner and to darken any eye look.

    Metallic Mysteries II by Linda Hallberg

    This Linda Hallberg palette is full of typical Christmas shades so I thought it would be appropriate to use it this month. I got this as a gift when it was released two years ago. I’ve worn it a few times but not enough to feel like I’ve had a proper relationship with it, if you know what I mean. A good audit contestant.

    Top Row L-R: Basic Red, Kitchmas, Pink Pearl

    Bottom Row L-R: Delicate Drift, Stylishly Merry

    Some MAC items of varying age were also included due to being very seasonally appropriate. Kitchmas is one of my oldest pigments and it might even have been from when I lived in Brighton in 2000-2001. I’m a little unsure of the exact year but lets just say it is extremely old. Basic Red and Pink Pearl are from between 2012-2014 I think. The two shadows in compacts are newer from the Snow Ball collection from 2017. The are both shifting pink bronzes, a type of shade I am extra drawn to.

    Top Row L-R: Duplex, Winter Coat, Grinch

    Bottom Row L-R: Ornament, Fa-la-la

    Moving on to the Meow Cosmetics collections. Here we have the Santa Baby (Duplex) and Ghosts of Xmas Past (Winter Coat, Grinch, Ornament, Fa-la-la) collections.

    Top Row L-R: , Cedar, Spruce, Noble

    Bottom Row L-R: Love, Serenity, Peace On Earth

    Then we have the collections Xmas Trees (Cedar, Spruce, Noble) and Holiday Wishes (Love, Serenity, Peace On Earth) also from Meow Cosmetics.

    Top Row L-R: Death, Famine, Violence, Pestilence

    Bottom Row L-R: Dancer, Comet, Donner

    Then we have the 4 Horsemen (Death, Famine, Violence, Pestilence) and Reindeer (Dancer, Comet, Donner) collections by Meow Cosmetics.

    Top Row L-R: Doomsday, Hysteria, End Game

    Bottom Row L-R: Oblivion, Hopeless, Prophecy

    And finally we have the End of Days collection from Meow Cosmetics (all of the shadows above). Dark and murky yet colourful goodness.

    That was all of the eye products in Decembers arsenal, a hefty number of products. Let’s move on to swatches and a walkthrough of how I felt about each shadow during the course of the month, starting with the magnetic palette with matte singles.

    All shades side by side, se names in the next two pictures

    Quadrifoglio (Neve Cosmetics) is a shade I depotted from their Scurissimi palette but this shade can be purchased as a single as well. This shadow was fairly easy to use and kept its colour when blended. Even though it might be a shade I wear seldom I want to keep it to se if I can use it more often. Hipster (MUG) has turned a bit dusty over the years and that is one of the reasons I will not be keeping it. The colour was nice to wear but it simply does not have enough impact to be kept when I know I have other similar shades from other brands. Radikal and Lotus (both by Nabla) are beautiful colourful mattes that I want to wear more often in the future. I enjoyed wearing both and they were lovely to work with. Chiaroscuro (Nabla) was mainly used as a liner so I can not say too much on its merits as a smoky shade. The cool tone makes it very versatile for me and I would like to keep using it. The same goes for Brownie Points (MUG). It’s an interesting dusty purple brown that pairs well with other shades.

    All of the above shades will be kept. The ruddy pinks from Lethal Cosmetics are amazing to work with – Frantic, Cascade and the lovely Imago. The blend so well and keep their colour. Delirium (Lethal) is a nice shade as well, even though it is not as fun as the other Lethal shades included this month. But it is oh so useful! The Lethal shades are some of my newest eyeshadows (purchased in the Spring 2019) and I did not expect to get rid of any in this audit, but it was lovely to play with them some more. Petra is another Nabla shade and I do enjoy this one a lot. A ruddy brown that I think is rather unique in my total arsenal. Lastly we have two depotted KvD shades from the Sinner & Saint palette, Devil and Martyr. I used them mainly in the crease to add a bit of colour and warmth. They are both pretty and worked well. Both are the type of shade that I probably have ten times over but I will keep them for now.

    Heroine (Illamasqua) is a very useful crease shade for me and I really love the brand’s packaging. It is very impractical for me to have such a basic shade in a single compact but I will think about that later. For now I will keep it. Cubica Mauve (& Other Stories) is a shade that my love for has lessened. I have similar shades that I enjoy more so this is a single I’m ready to let go of. Velvet Nude (Bare Minerals) is a beige shade that is a smidge darker than my skin colour when applied to the face. I did use it as a diffuser around the edges of an eye look during this month, but i have no need to keep it in my arsenal. I have similar shades in pans that I prefer using for that specific purpose. Smokeout by Urban Decay is a lovely satin black that I reached for quite a lot. I used it as liner and to darken up the outer corner of my eye. I might depot this in the future but UD singles packaging is so pretty that I am a bit reluctant to disturb it. Out of these four I’m keeping Heroine and Smokeout and letting the other two go.

    Metallic Mysteries II by Linda Hallberg

    Since this was a gift that I had wished for I feel a bit sentimental towards the Metallic Mysteries II palette but one thing this month has taught me is that I have little feelings towards it other than that. The shades are fine but they are simply not special enough for me to keep this separate little quad. If I could have depotted them I might have considered it but as it is now I am letting the whole thing go.

    The image above is just so delicious to me. The shades go so well together. Let’s start with Basic Red (MAC). I used to fantasise about owning this PRO pigment back in the day when that assortment was hard to get a hold of in Sweden. I lusted after it and when I finally bought it many years later, did I ever use it? NO. The swatch above is beautiful but when I used it on the eyes it quickly became such a mess that I had to remove the whole thing. I love red eyeshadow passionately but a matte loose pigment is clearly not for me. The fallout was spreading pigmented stains of red/pink on my cheeks, making the pigment a nightmare to work with. I am glad to let it go. Kitchmas (MAC) on the other hand is a sparkly light silvery pink pigment that I still love. I have very sentimental feelings towards this pigment, since it was purchased at a significant time in my makeup loving life, and the fact that it still is lovely on the eyes make me want to keep it a little longer. Maybe not my most level-headed choice in this audit but I’m clearly not ready to just let it go. Pink Pearl is a beautiful pink shade with a blue shift and i enjoyed wearing it a lot. Keeper. Delicate Drift and Stylishly Merry are stunning shadows. I really enjoy the In Extra Dimension formula from MAC and these are no exception. I need to wear these a lot more often.

    Santa Baby and Ghosts of Xmas Past collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Duplex is a pretty colour on the eyes but it’s not special enough to keep. If it was a pressed shadow I might reach for it, but in loose form I’m sure it will never be used. Winter Coat is also out due to being a flat and boring shade on the eye. Grinch on the other hand is a magnificent green that I’m very excited to wear again. Ornament and Fa-la-la are both very happy and bright shades. They will go on to round 2 as well. So two out of five are out.

    Xmas Trees and Holiday Wishes collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Next we have three green shades. Cedar is a very pretty inner corner shade and Spruce and Noble are beautiful on the lid. I am very fond of green eyeshadow in general so all three can stay for now. Love, Serenity and Peace On Earth were all used as inner corner highlights and there is just something about them that I love. They are all staying as well.

    4 Horsemen and Reindeer collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Violence and Pestilence are beautiful dark but still colourful lid shades. Famine has a lovely delicate blue sheen not visible in the swatch above. I enjoy all three a lot. Death was the least exciting shade of the bunch, but still nice enough to keep in order to keep the 4 Horsemen collection intact. Moving on to the three reindeer shades, Comet was the only letdown. Somehow it had a weird blue base that came through when blending, a fact I had not noticed before (and I’m quite sure I have used it before this month). That feature made the decision easy since I know that it will keep me from using it in the future. Donner and Dancer are stunning though. Donner is a beautiful inner corner shade and Dancer is stunning all over the lid.

    End of Days collection by Meow Cosmetics

    I’m very fond of the End of Days collection primarily because of the shades Hysteria and Prophecy that I have use quite a lot over the years. Prophecy is a stunning white gold that is lovely in the inner corner and also as a cheek highlight. Hysteria is a potent molten gold that makes my heart sing. Then we have End Game, a very interesting muted green yellow. A very fun shade. Doomsday is also a hit, a strong popping purple. Oblivion is nice as well. A more muted dark red that I enjoyed pairing with darker pinks with great effect (see look from December 26). The dud of the lot was Hopeless. It has a blue base that makes it difficult to blend and the end result was not a shade that looked very appealing on me.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    L-R: Cryptic, Lasaia

    My last two highlighters are two cool shades by Phee’s Makeup Tips (Cryptic, Lasaia). Since I had no blushes left to audit I picked a selection of previously audited items to complete the cheek arsenal, see my choices below. This is also the last month I will be doing a cheek arsenal since I will have audited all of my blushes, highlighters and contour shades when December is over. In January I will start using all of my cheek products again and evaluate the entirety of my cheek collection simultaneously. Maybe I will let some go, or I will be content with keeping them all. We shall see.

    Top Row L-R: Legendary (MAC), Pink Cult (MAC)

    Bottom Row L-R: Baby Don’t Go (MAC), Flushed (Sleek Makeup), Rapture (Urban Decay)

    I wore each shade only once this month and that was enough to determine that these are not for me. These were too stark for me, I just know I will not reach for them. So both are out.

    That was it, the complete rundown of all the products I audited during December. Let’s move on to some of the looks I wore during the month, created with this arsenal. And all of my red lip products! Let’s not forget them.

    December 4

    Eyes: Pink Pearl, Cascade, Delicate Drift, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Brick (MAC)

    December 5

    Eyes: Arcturus, Frantic, Imago, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Lotus, Rapture, Prophecy

    Lips: Rouge Vie (Chanel)

    December 8

    Eyes: Ornament, Delirium, Love

    Cheeks: Flushed

    Lips: Rouge Vie (Chanel) and lip pencil in Redd (MAC)

    December 9

    Eyes: Stylishly Merry, Peace On Earth, Draco, Quadrifoglio

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Cherry (MAC)

    December 11

    Eyes: Famine, Donner, Brownie Points, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Rapture, Cryptic

    Lips: Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    December 13

    Eyes: Pestilence, Cedar, Imago, Delicate Drift, Chiaroscuro, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Velvet Jazz (Lisa Eldridge)

    December 19

    Eyes: Draco, Lotus, Collision, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Legendary, Prophecy

    Lips: Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    December 20

    Eyes: Hysteria, Donner, Martyr

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Cherry (MAC)

    December 21

    Eyes: Collision, Epsilon, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Legendary

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge)

    December 22

    Eyes: Fa-la-la, Doomsday, Prophecy, Hipster, Brownie Points

    Cheeks: Pink Cult, Prophecy

    Lips: Rouge Feu (Chanel)

    December 25

    Eyes: Kitchmas, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Striking (Revlon)

    December 26

    Eyes: Violence, Oblivion, Lotus, Frantic, Cascade, Chiaroscuro,

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Fiery (Revlon)

    December 29

    Eyes: Noble, Devil, Petra, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Flushed

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Brick (MAC)

    All in all I let 11 items go, a total of 14 individual shades. I also felt like I had a very inspired makeup month and it was a fun challenge to do colourful eye looks to go with the red lipsticks. I had 9 lipsticks/crayons and three lip liners to play with and I used them all 2-3 times during the course of the month. It was very satisfying to utilise my red lip products to a maximum and get to know each shade’s potential a little bit more.

    Moving on to January I’m not going to continue with choosing Meow Cosmetics collections as such a big part of my monthly arsenal. It was fun to do it for the three months that I did, so that I could use the Halloween and Christmas collections at the “appropriate time”, but now I want to choose differently. I might include one whole Meow collection in future monthly arsenal, but I look forward to choosing a bit more freely from other brands as well in the coming months.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:8

    During the autumn months I’ve been really inconsistent with wearing nail polish. This lot of polishes were worn from September and all the way through November. Three whole months!

    Again we have a mixed bag when it comes to brands, three shades from Pahlish, two from Barry M and one each from A England, China Glaze, OPI, Powder Perfect, H&M, Mentality and Crows Toes.

    Hell yes!

    OPI – Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok fine!

    Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok fine! is a solid grey cream polish by OPI from the Germany collection dating from 2012. It’s a dark grey with a slight green tinge and I always enjoy wearing this shade and it is superb to layer glitter and shimmer polishes over.

    Mentality – Teacher

    I cannot get over how much I enjoy the colour of Teacher from Mentality. When I look at the bottle I feel nothing (could be due to the downfall of the brand) but on the nail the shade speaks for itself. The polish dries down matte, and I do not enjoy that look, but it can easily be fixed with a glossy top coat.

    Powder Perfect – Borders of The Forest

    This picture does not in any way shape or form show off how stunning Borders of The Forest is. The shimmer flakes look amazing in this muted green base.

    H&M – Cream Saffron

    Cream Saffron is a stunning yellow cream. It is difficult to find flattering yellow shades for my skin tone and this is lovely. I also enjoy the H&M brush a lot.

    CrowsToes – Indian Summer

    CrowsToes – Indian Summer

    Indian Summer is such a beautiful shifter that I had to include more than one picture of it. It shifts from purple to pink to red to orange. This a shade I usually bring out at least once each autumn and I’m always mesmerised by its beauty.

    Barry M – Block Orange

    Block Orange is a great orange shade on me. As well as with yellows, oranges can be difficult to find for me and this is a good one.

    Barry M – Rasberry

    Rasberry is a very unique shade and I have nothing else like it. A very juicy berry colour. I tend not to gravitate towards this pinker alternative to a bright red, but when I wore it now I really liked how it looked.

    A England – Sleeping Palace

    A England makes such elegant polishes. The bottles, themes, formulations and shades always feel so luxurious. Sleeping Palace is no different, a very elegant shade.

    China Glaze – Trendsetter

    Trendsetter is such a stunning and popping colour, I really love wearing it.

    Maybe

    Pahlish – Shallow Lands

    Shallow Lands is more interesting in the bottle than on the nail. All the fine pink, purple and gold glitter particles are just not that visible once applied. It looks nice but I’m not sure if it is special enough to keep.

    Hell no!

    Pahlish – Mad Man With A Box

    In theory I should love this Doctor Who themed Pahlish polish, but shiny metallic blue is just not for me. I would have loved Mad Man With a Box when I was 15, I remember loving this type of blue then.

    Pahlish – The Ghost Shift

    The Ghost Shift is ok but I have other silver shades that intrigue me more. I am not to glad to let any Pahlish polishes go but I have to be realistic. If I did not enjoy wearing it now, I will not reach for it later.

    So this round of the Twelve ended up in mostly keepers. But I am a bit surprised that the no’s and maybes ended up being from Pahlish, one of my favourite indie brands.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: November 2020

    For November I continued with my plan to use seasonally themed collections from my vast Meow Cosmetics arsenal. This month I chose shadows from the collections Something Wicked, X and Asylum. All four had been released as part of Meow’s Halloween lineup.

    Two palettes with singles from MAC, Neve, Nabla, MUG and Inglot were picked to accompany the loose pigments from Meow, a total of 33 shades for eyes. For cheeks I only had two products to audit this month, one blush from MAC and one loose highlighter from Phee’s Makeup Tips.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Cinnamon, Kids, Poetry, Coconut Milk

    Middle Row L-R: Verve, Leon, Chérie Shape, Circle

    Bottom row L-R: Paprika, Camelot, Caramel, Fossil

    This months core palette was this compilation of mattes by Nabla. I’m a big fan of their single shadows and their mattes are generally amazing.

    Top Row L-R: Red Carpet, Cheer Me On, 45

    Bottom Row L-R: Blacklight, Shimma Shimma, I’m Peachless

    To accompany the Nabla mattes I added two more shades by Neve Cosmetics (Red Carpet) and MAC (Cheer Me On) in a smaller palette and also four inner corner highlights by Inglot (45) and Makeup Geek (Blacklight, Shimma Shimma, I’m Peachless). These two palettes would have to do the work the Meow Cosmetics pigments could not.

    Top Row L-R: Valley of the Dead, Tormented, Folie A Deux

    Bottom row L-R: Wicked, Nightmare, Wretched Soul

    The Something Wicked collection by Meow Cosmetics is compiled of murky golds and greens. Very appealing. I know I have hardly ever worn these shades.

    Top Row L-R: Mothman, Wampus Cat

    Bottom row L-R: Snipe, Boogie Man

    The X collection by Meow is so beautiful and I have worn this quite a lot in previous years. Especially the shades Mothman and Wampus Cat.

    Top Row L-R: Sedative, Padded Cell, Electric Shock

    Bottom Row L-R: Lobotomy, Basket Case

    And finally we have some brighter shades from the Asylum Collection, also by Meow Cosmetics. These have hardly ever been worn.

    Let’s go through each shade and see how they fared in the audit.

    The Nabla shades were generally lovely to use and fulfilled their purpose during the month. Most worn were Camelot (liner, deepening shade), Coconut Milk (diffuser for edges) and Circle (crease). Leon was a fun crease and slight deepening shade that worked well in many looks. Cinnamon, Kids, Paprika and Caramel are lovely shades too but I guess I looked for cooler matte shades more often to accompany the loose Meow shades. Verve and Poetry were used only once each but they perform very well and the colours are quite rare in my overall collection. All of these are keepers for me. Chérie Shape was not worn at all but I see no point in letting it go. The quality is good, the shadow is fairly new and the colour is unique in my arsenal so it can stay for now. The one let down of the bunch was Fossil, the one shade I should have used a lot due to its versatile colour. But I found that it did not look good on me, weirdly enough, and this type of shade usually does. I wore it twice and came to the same conclusion both times. So Fossil is out.

    Red Carpet (Neve) was worn only once but looked great and kept its colour nicely on the lid. I’m always glad to have an array of reds and this deep blood shade is a standout. Cheer Me On (MAC) looks terrible in the swatch but buffed out in the crease it did its job well and added a touch of bright orange. I know I have many oranges but this shade might be special enough and I would like to compare it to others before even thinking about letting it go, so it can stay until round 2. The four shimmers in this palette were used primarily as inner corner highlights and two are standouts. I’m Peachless and Blacklight (both old MUG) are such amazing duochrome shadows. I’m not suprised, I’m Peachless has been one of my favourite and most used shadows for many years now but I’m glad I have rediscovered Blacklight a bit. It’s perfect for layering over darker shadows for that stunning pinky-blue shift. Shimma Shimma (MUG) was pretty but it’s too basic and I have no need for it. 45 (Inglot) is an intense yellow gold highlighter shade and it’s very old. Had it been a more unique shade I would have considered keeping it, but it’s simply not special enough.

    Something Wicked collection by Meow Cosmetics

    Tormented and Folie a Deux are lovely dark and murky shimmers. They are similar but Tormented is lighter. I loved using them together as well as separate. Valley of the Dead, Wretched Soul and Wicked were very pretty as well. The only shade I do not feel keen to keep is Nightmare. I just know it is a shade I would never reach for.

    X collection by Meow Cosmetics

    After a bit of debating, I’m keeping all four of these. Mothman is a beautiful duochrome that I adore using, Wampus Cat is a rich green gold and Boogie Man a luscious pale green. Snipe was the one I was on the fence about initially but after using it a second time it won me over. It has a lovely pink shift that I enjoyed wearing.

    Asylum collection by Meow Cosmetics

    The final shadows this month were some bright and colourful shades from the Asylum collection. Out of these Lobotomy is a clear favourite. A stunning shimmering bright strawberry shade. Electric Shock is a lot of fun and Basket Case, albeit being a tad finicky to use, is such a unique shade of purple. Padded Cell is a bit too pale to be functional for me and Sedative is pretty but not special enough. So those two will be let go.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    L-R: Magenta, Brimstone

    I am down to some of my final cheek products. Magenta by MAC is the last blush to be audited. Brimstone by Phee’s Makeup Tips is one of only three highlighters left.

    Top Row L-R: Taupe, Sur, Play It Proper

    Bottom Row L-R: At Dusk, Stereo Rose

    To have some variety on the cheek front I decided to add in a selection of shades by MAC that I had previously gone through the audit victorious. Three blushes (Stereo Rose, At Dusk and Sur), one highlight (Play It Proper) and one contour (Taupe).

    Magenta (MAC) was worn only a total of four times throughout the month. Such a deep pink is not an everyday shade for me. Even though I enjoy wearing it I have already kept similar blush shades that I know I do not need to keep another one. Brimstone (Phee’s) was only used twice and that was enough for me to know that I have no use for it. It’s just not the effect I’m after in a highlighter, this visible green silver sheen. So both cheek products are out.

    Let’s move on to some of the looks I wore during the month…

    November 5

    Eyes: Wampus Cat, Leon, Padded Cell, Camelot

    Cheeks: Sur, Play It Proper

    Lips: Velvet Muse lipstick and lip pencil (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 7

    Eyes: Sedative, I’m Peachless, Red Carpet

    Cheeks: At Dusk

    Lips: Don’t remember

    November 9

    Eyes: Cheer Me On, I’m Peachless, Lobotomy,

    Cheeks: Sur, Brimstone

    Lips: Velvet Muse mixed with Velvet Blush (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 10

    Eyes: Boogie Man, Folie a Deux, 45, Leon, Camelot

    Cheeks: Magenta, Brimstone

    Lips: Muse gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 17

    Eyes: Kids, Padded Cell, Coconut Milk

    Cheeks: Sur, Play It Proper

    Lips: Rouge Feu (Chanel)

    November 18

    Eyes: Shimma Shimma, Padded Cell, Kids, Coconut Milk, Leon

    Cheeks: Magenta

    Lips: Velvet Muse (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 21

    Eyes: Electric Shock, 45, Verve

    Cheeks: no notes

    Lips: Velvet Decade (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 25

    Eyes: Wicked, I’m Peachless, Circle,

    Cheeks: Taupe

    Lips: Velvet Muse mixed with Velvet Blush (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 27

    Eyes: Blacklight, Tormented, Folie a Deux, Cinnamon

    Cheeks: Velvet Dragon lipstick by Lisa Eldridge

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge)

    As you probably can tell November was the month when my order from Lisa Eldridge arrived. I purchased quite a few shades both from her new and old lineup. Other than being excited for the new lip shades at my disposal I had a pretty uninspired makeup month. The audit itself went just fine but I spent so much energy at work that I had little time to be creative and play around with shades. Autumn has been like that I notice, I said the same thing in last months roundup. Being able to work from home during this pandemic has been a privilege but I’m beginning to notice that it takes its toll as well. Meeting after meeting, with little time for natural breaks and room to “breathe”.

    To conclude this audit I started with 33 shades for eyes and out of those I will let go of six. Both cheek items will go as well so that is a total of eight items.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: October 2020

    During 2013 I was infatuated with the indie brand Meow Cosmetics. They did and still do loose mineral eyeshadows in beautiful and fun collections. No new collections have been created for quite some time as far as I can see, but most of the older (and stunning) collections are still available.

    For a while I was collecting their shadows and I have oh so many. Meow used to open up their Halloween shop in the Autumn and made some special collections available for a limited time only. The same collections would appear every year and sometimes new shades were added. The same approach was applied for Christmas, Summer and Friday the 13th. I bought the Halloween shades for a few years before I had snagged what I wanted. Very satisfying.

    To honor my vast Meow stash I have decided, starting in October, to base my monthly eye arsenal heavily on season appropriate Meow collections. I will keep this approach for a few months at least, until I get bored I presume. For October I’ve picked all the shadows I own, and have yet to audit, from the Zombie Apocalypse, Dance of Death, Scary Ghost Stories and Halloween Zombies collections. A total of 21 shades.

    The October arsenal

    To accompany these loose shimmer/metallic shadows I picked some mattes in the form of mixed singles and a fixed palette by Sleek Makeup, ending up with a total tally of 45 shades. Other brands included are Nabla, MAC, Makeup Geek, Illamasqua and Inglot. To accompany the eye team we have five cheek products – four blushes and one highlighter. But more on cheeks later, lets start with the eyes.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Uninterrupted, Confection, Tuscan Sun, Blackberry, Brun

    Middle Row L-R: Feint, Black Tied, Early Bird, Morocco, Wild Side

    Bottom Row L-R: 304, 370

    This palette includes mainly matte shades of varying age from MAC (Uninterrupted, Blackberry, Brun, Black Tied), Makeup Geek (Confection, Tuscan Sun, Early Bird, Morocco), Nabla (Wild Side), Illamasqua (Feint) and Inglot (304, 370).

    Force of Nature palette

    This Sleek palette was released 2015-2016 and is an all matte palette. Just looking at it I am drawn to the colour scheme but I have used it very infrequently over the years.

    Top Row L-R: Brains Over Beauty, Living Dead, Post Mortem

    Bottom Row L-R: Tetrodotoxin, Datura, Sepulchre, Infection

    For loose shadows we can start off with seven shades from the Zombie Apocalypse collection by Meow Cosmetics. Muted shimmer shades with lovely names like Infection and Post Mortem.

    Top Row L-R: Present, Past

    Bottom Row L-R: Eerie, Necromancer, Cadaver, Spellbinding

    Next up we have four shades from the Dance of Death collection by Meow Cosmetics and two from the Scary Ghost Stories collection (Past, Present). Past, Present and Eerie are the ones I’ve used the most previously.

    Top Row L-R: Full Moon, Skelecat, Witch’s Brew, Spider Web

    Bottom Row L-R: Jack O Lantern, Ghoul, Omen, Banshee

    Finally we have eight shades from the Halloween Zombies collection by Meow Cosmetics. A bit more bright and colourful shades compared to the other collections.

    Let’s move on to swatches of each shade and a rundown of how they fared in the audit starting with the matte singles palette.

    These mattes were workhorse shades in varying degrees over the course of the month. Black Tied (MAC) and Wild Side (Nabla) were used the most followed by Uninterrupted (MAC) and Confection (MUG). All four performed well and will be kept. Blackberry and Brun (both by MAC) also work well and are useful albeit maybe not very exciting. Tuscan Sun, Morocco and Early Bird (all by MUG) were fun matte additions due to their more colourful nature. Another beautiful and rather unique shade for me is Feint, a depotted shade from a face palette by Illamasqua that I had to get rid of due to cream products that had gone off. 304 by Inglot was only used once but worked nicely and will be kept for now. The one shade that did not strike my fancy was surprisingly enough the bright yellow shade 370 (Inglot). This specific shade of yellow did not look good on me. I would describe is as a garish light banana shade. I love using yellow and enjoy most yellow shades that I come across but this was simply not for me. So it will leave my collection.

    Force of Nature palette – Sleek Makeup

    The Force of Nature palette (Sleek Makeup) was a bit of a surprise for me. I really thought I would enjoy using the purple shades but they just did not entice me when wearing them. The more neutral shades were ok but they are not worth keeping on their own. So this palette will be let go in its entirety.

    Zombie Apocalypse collection – Meow Cosmetics

    One thing to note is that these shadows are generally hard to get nice swatches of. If swatched without a wet base of some kind they look lackluster and if used with a primer they tend to come out patchy. But used on the eyes with a primer they usually work well and fulfill their potential. Out of the seven shades from the Zombie Apocalypse collection by Meow Cosmetics I have decided to keep Brains Over Beauty, Tetrodotoxin, Post Mortem, Sepulchre and Infection. Not all of them might not survive a round 2 of this audit, but they tickle my fancy enough to be kept for now. Living Dead is a pretty gunmetal shade but not special enough to warrant med to keep it as a single shadow. Silver shades is something I wear quite infrequently and I see no point in having too many options on hand. Datura was used on the lid and as an inner corner highlight. It is very pale green but it is so light in its effect that I see no point in keeping it.

    Scary Ghost Stories and Dance of Death collections – Meow Cosmetics

    Present and Past from the Scary Ghost Stories collection are very pretty in different ways. Present is a delicate shade with a soft shift that I like to wear as a topper or an inner corner shade. Past is a potent lid shade. Moving on to the Dance of Death collection, Eerie is a stunning purple with a blue sparkle throughout. Very unique. Cadaver is a beautiful green gold and Spellbinding is an intense white with a slight pink shift and pink sparkle. I used this one as a cheek highlighter as well. Those three are keepers. The only let down of the bunch was Necromancer. It has a black base that unfortunately made it difficult to blend and not fun to work with.

    Halloween Zombies collection – Meow Cosmetics

    Last of the eye products are from the Halloween Zombies collection by Meow Cosmetics. Full Moon is a very intense white gold and very pretty. Skelecat however is a bit too slight in its effect. In the jar it has a lovely green tinge but on the eye that was sadly not visible. I used it primarily as an inner corner highlight and it was just not potent enough for me for that purpose. Witch’s Brew, Spider Web and Jack O Lantern are all fun pops of brighter colour and Ghoul is a dirty neutral that was anything but boring to wear. Omen and Banshee are maybe less wearable for me, but unique and beautiful enough to keep. So out of this lot the only one I’m not keeping is Skelecat.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    Top Row L-R: Autoerotique, Melba, Fever

    Bottom Row L-R: Here Comes Joy, Regal Mauve

    When it comes to cheek products I have managed to near the end of my collection. I only own three more blushes and two of those are quite deeply pigmented so I saved one shade for November. To have a little more variety I chose to add two more shades, shades that have already been through round 1 of the audit in previous months (Autoerotique and Melba by MAC). I know I own some loose highlighters that I could have included this month but forgot about them, so instead I did a repeat of a pressed one from MAC (Here Comes Joy). In total four blushes and one highlight were picked for this arsenal but Regal Mauve by Nabla and Fever by MAC are the only ones being audited.

    Top Row L-R: Autoerotique, Melba, Fever

    Bottom row L-R: Here Comes Joy, Regal Mauve

    Fever (MAC) is one of those deeply pigmented and bright shades that I rarely reach for on a daily basis, and that is a shame. It’s a bit tricky to use but I find that if I only pat off the blush in the palm of my hand before applying I can control the intensity a lot more easily. Fever is a very pretty shade and it deserves to be kept for round 2. Regal Mauve (Nabla) is another cool toned shade and I enjoy it a lot. It’s very versatile and easy to use. So both cheek shades are being kept for the time being.

    Moving on to some of the looks I wore during the month…

    October 2

    Eyes: Spider Web, Skelecat, Uninterrupted on top of Primer Potion in Caffeine (Urban Decay)

    Cheeks: Fever

    Lips: Noir Moderne (Chanel)

    October 5

    Eyes: Dawn, Moonbeam, Twilight, Lightning, Sandstorm, Skelecat, Brains over Beauty

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve

    Lips: A mix of Noir Moderne (Chanel) and Dolce Vita (Nars)

    October 12

    Eyes: Tetrodotoxin, Skelecat, Wild Side

    Cheeks: Fever, Here Comes Joy

    Lips: A mix of Mull it Over (MAC) and Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    October 13

    Eyes: Banshee, Ghoul, Datura over Cream Fusion Eye Colour in The New Noir (H&M)

    Cheeks: I have no notes on this

    Lips: nothing

    October 14

    Eyes: Wild Side

    Cheeks: Fever, Spellbinding

    Lips: Burning Love (MAC)

    October 15

    Eyes: Spider Web, Tuscan Sun, Full Moon

    Cheeks: Autoerotique

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge)

    October 17

    Eyes: Cadaver, Uninterrupted, Black Tied

    Cheeks: Autoerotique, Here Comes Joy

    Lips: Burning Love (MAC) and Nougatine (H&M)

    October 20

    Eyes: Omen, Necromancer, Morocco, Spellbinding

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve, Spellbindning

    Lips: Rouge Audace (Chanel)

    October 21

    Eyes: Witch’s Brew, Datura, Early Bird, Black Tied

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve

    Lips: Love of My Life (Lisa Eldridge)

    To conclude this month a total of seven items were let go consisting of 16 unique eye shadow shades. This month was not a very creative makeup month for me and I was quite uninspired most days. I think it was due to having a very hectic month at work. I went without makeup a lot and when I did do my makeup I often had little time to play. But doing this project is still a lot of fun and I always look forward to the next monthly arsenal.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    A Makeup Audit Tale: lip products part 2

    In the first part of my lipstick audit I let go of a total of 27 products. Most of them had expired but a some were let go because they did not tickle my fancy anymore. Part 2 took place only a few weeks later in the end of October 2019, a lot sooner than I had initially anticipated. Somehow the audit mentality took over and I started evaluating the products I wore and owned with new eyes.

    None of these shades had gone off at the time but they were older, many of them as much as 5-6 years old. I bit too much age for a lipstick. Let’s have a look at the discards…

    Revlon – Candy Apple

    Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple (035) was nice but I did not gravitate towards the glossy finish anymore. It always felt like I had too much texture on my lips.

    Revlon – Romantic

    Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic (045) is a similar situation as with Candy Apple. I’ve worn it a lot over the years but I was simply not attracted to the formula anymore.

    Revlon – Crush

    Another Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, this time in Crush (005). Another one I never reached for anymore.

    Revlon – Rasberry Pie

    Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Rasberry Pie (010) is a shade I would have preferred to be matte.

    MAC – Red Balloon

    This Amplified lipstick in Red Balloon was from the 2014 Playland Collection by MAC. Pretty shade but I rarely reached for it. Not sure why.

    MAC – Heavenly Hybrid

    MAC Lustre lipstick in Heavenly Hybrid was part of the Fantasy of Flowers collection in 2014. Pretty shade but I never reached for it.

    MAC – Après Chic

    MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Après Chic is one of those shades I wish I could replace. Not sure I have the right to complain though, because I never did use it as much as it deserved to be used. I simply had too many lipsticks and it got lost in the masses. But this was an amazing shade on me and I wish I still had it. But it was from 2012, so…

    MAC – Eden Rouge

    Eden Rouge is in the Mattene formula (MAC) and this specific shade has been worn a LOT. Bought in 2012 and served as my go-to red for many years. Looking at it now I feel it is a bit too shiny for my liking but the shade is lovely.

    MAC – Charmed I’m Sure

    Charmed I’m Sure is in the Matte formula by MAC, from the 2012 Marilyn Monroe collection. A stunning pink red that should have been used more than I did.

    MAC – Love Goddess

    From the same Marilyn Monroe collection we have Love Goddess, a satin lipstick. This hot pink is very flattering but a tad too glossy for my current liking.

    MAC – All Out Gorgeous

    Sorry for the blurry photo, but it will have to do. All Out Gorgeous is in the Mineralize Rich formula and it’s also too shiny for me. Another shade I would much prefer as a matte.

    MAC – Absolute Power

    Absolute Power is a matte shade from the 2013 Strength Collection by MAC. A beautiful muted red.

    MAC – Pure Heroine

    Pure Heroine was a collaboration between the singer Lorde and MAC in 2014. It’s a dramatic dark purple in the amplified formula. It was not a wise purchase for sure. It is one of those shades where I have very limited use of it and it tends to be forgotten altogether.

    After settling on these older lipsticks I decided to go through some of the less old lip items I never or hardly wear for one reason or another. Since I have no feelings for them whatsoever I went for simple arm swatches.

    The chosen ones were three lip liners by MAC (Embrace, Ablaze and Heroine) and six of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains I had inherited by a friend (21, 23, 24, 26, 25 and 18). So to conclude the second and final part of my lipstick audit a total of 13 lipsticks, three lip liners and six liquid lipsticks exited my life.

    I started the audit with 84 lip colour products in October 2019 and ended up with with a total collection of 34 items a month later. 13 lipsticks, five lip crayons, seven liquid lipsticks and nine lip pencils.

    Below you can see a note I made including paper swatches of what I ended up with after the audit. It gave me a nice overview of the shades compared to each other and how the total shade range looks.

    One of the largest categories remaining were what I called neutral shades including fleshy pinks and browns. This type of lipstick gets a lot of wear time so I do not mind having this many options.

    The reds were suddenly a small part of my collection and lacking I might add. I love red lipsticks and going into December (partaking in #redlipsdecember on Instagram) with only three red lipsticks and three red lip liners was interesting. But it was a fun experiment to only use this lot for a while to see how I fared. I knew I wanted to add some new red shades to my collection but I was not about to purchase anything new this early on in my auditing project.

    Rusty shades was a lovely little bunch that I looked forward to using a lot. They sort of compensated for the fact that I suddenly had so few true reds.

    Bright pinks, berries and plums were put in the same category even though they vary so vastly in shade and potential. I use berry and plum shades more often than bright pinks but I’m making an effort to choose those bright shades more often.

    Finally we have the category that I want to keep this small moving forward. The fun and a bit weird shades that I enjoy but only wear on certain occasions or with very specific looks. These three liquid lip shades are just that, fun. I enjoy them and see no point in discarding them until they go off, but I will refrain from buying any additions to this category until they do.

    So the products in the paper swatches are the shades I’ve worn since November 2019 up until May 2020 when I finally added some new shades. But that is a story for another day…

    Thank you for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve: 7

    This lot was worn during July and early August, a time during which I had my summer vacation. In large it did not affect my nail polish wearing much but I did purposefully chose a team of more summery shades, an approach I will continue in the months to come. The mindful choosing that is, not the summery shades. Of course I want to weed out the duds from my collection but I also want to wear pretty colours and choose what shades appeal to me in the specific moment. So a mixed bag should be the most effective approach and this round of the Twelve is a good example of that mix. There was also extra brand variety in this lot, and quite a few indie brands, with shades from Indigo Bananas, LilypadLaquer, Il était un vernis, Polish Revolution, Pahlish, Nostalgic Nail Laquer, Zoya, OPI, IsaDora and Deborah Lippmann.

    Hell yes!

    Indigo Bananas – You Get Nothing! (good day, sir!)

    Dark grey holographic polish with magenta and blue glitter. So beautiful and wearable.

    Pahlish – Who Loves Orange Soda?!

    Who Loves Orange Soda?! is a lovely squishy and juicy shade that I love to wear during the summertime. It has these colour shifting flakes running through it and it is a very bright and “happy” shade.

    Indigo Bananas – Electric Unicorns

    Electric Unicorns is another “happy” shade and it has a light blue shimmer running through it that I do wish was more visible on the nail. The polish is not transparent enough to let the shimmer shine to its full potential but I still think it is a pretty polish all in all.

    Polish Revolution – What Alice Found (worn over Rowan)

    I enjoy this glitter and that’s enough for now. I suspect that many of my glitter shades are drying out, but this one was in perfect condition. It has a clear base and can be worn over a variety of colours.

    LilypadLaquer – Gemerald

    I initially thought I would not enjoy Gemerald but I really did. It has this depth and richness to it that was a joy to wear

    OPI – Y’all Come Back Ya Hear?

    I really love this shade. It’s my perfect orange. This OPI polish is a jelly formula and quite a few coats are necessary for a higher opacity. I’m wearing 3-4 coats in this picture. But I do not mind the work, since the final result is amazing.

    Deborah Lippmann – Glitter in the Air

    This is a pure nostalgia polish for me. There is something in the name and the shade that still pulls at my heart strings. It’s delicate and a bit odd. The pale blue and slightly transparent finish makes my nails look a bit off. And I enjoy it immensely.

    Maybe

    Il était un vernis – #hellosunshine

    #hellosunshine is one of those shades that makes me very indecisive. Do I find it ugly cool or just plain ugly ugly? I remember disliking it when I first wore it back when I purchased it, but wearing it now makes me question how I feel. It will stay in the maybe pile and I might have to wear it more to get a clear opinion. I have a soft spot for yellow polishes but find it difficult to find flattering shades.

    Il était un vernis – Chardonnay

    Chardonnay is a pretty flakie polish but somehow I’m not overly drawn to it. I did enjoy wearing it but there is something that makes me hesitant to keep it. We shall see….

    Hell no!

    Nostalgic Nail Laquer – Possibly Maybe

    This glitter polish has served its purpose and can now safely leave my collection. I have other weird glitter shades that are more flattering. This base colour make my nails look badly stained and it is not an appealing look.

    Zoya – Rowan (Satin)

    Rowan is not special enough of a shade to be kept and I do not enjoy a satin finish. I have similar shades that are more unique and that I prefer.

    IsaDora – Metal Crush

    The shade is beautiful but I’m just generally over this type of textured polish.

    That was all of them! I ended up with seven keepers, two maybes and three noes. A solid run.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: September 2020

    I remember sitting on the floor close to my makeup storage and choosing what to wear for September. I had difficult time narrowing it down and I was quite inspired both to wear a ton of more murky shades for Autumn, but also to dig deep into my stash and audit some old treasures. I ended up with products from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inglot, Neve Cosmetics, KvD, Makeup Geek, MAC, Meow Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Nabla and Sleek Makeup.

    The chosen eye arsenal consisted of five fixed palettes and six singles. I must admit a total of 74 eyeshadows was a bit much to take on in month. But I ran with the feeling when I had it. For cheeks I settled on a total of five products – one contour, two highlighters and two blushes. A bit more sensible but not due to my choosing. I have almost gone through all of my cheek products and I have not got much too choose from when kitting my next arsenal.

    Let’s start with going through the eye products as usual.

    I picked up the KvD Metal Mattes palette in store at Sephora in Gothenburg in 2016. I was so excited because the mattes shades were unlike anything I had at the time. But when I started using the palette the metallics were so boring that I soon stopped experimenting with it and therefore ended up using the mattes a lot less than I expected.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek Makeup has not been used much since being purchased in 2014 and feel that half of this palette does not even appeal to me. I am mainly attracted to the yellows and greens.

    Modern Renaissance – Anastasia Beverly Hills

    Another purchase from 2016. Viola aka Killer Colours made such a beautiful review of this palette that I was sold. Modern Renaissance was also my first ever purchase from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I still adore the general aesthetics of the design and colours included.

    The Electric palette by Urban Decay was one of my first bright palettes and I have fond memories in relation to some of these shades. I bought it in Edinburgh 2014 on a very special trip and I remember being so excited to own it. It has gotten some love over the years, and especially the shade Slowburn.

    Top row L-R: Pioggia Acida, Utopia, Fenice, Chimera, Twilight Bottom row L-R: Mela Stregata, Abracadabra, Polline, Veleno, Mezza Estate

    This Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics was also purchased in 2016 and was a natural progression in my love and search for duochrome shadows. It contains some solid favourites but I think depotting it would garner some more use of these shades.

    Top row L-R: Rapture, Relic, Faux Fur, 433

    Bottom row L-R: Creative Copper, 419

    On top of all those palettes I added a selection of singles from KvD (Rapture, Relic), Makeup Geek (Faux Fur), MAC (Creative Copper) and Inglot (433 and 419). Both the MAC and KvD shadows were depotted from fixed palettes.

    That was an introduction to all of the shades. Let’s see how they fared in the audit starting with the KvD palette.

    As mentioned I never held these metallics from the Metal Mattes palette in high regard. Using them this month just solidified that standpoint. I used Synergy, Volt, Twinkle and Tinsel and then I was so bored and stopped even considering these metallics as an option when doing my makeup.

    I quickly decided that I was never going to keep this palette intact so I started evaluating the shadows more on an individual basis and I did manage to use all of the matte shades except Linen and Velour. I learned that I have no warm and fuzzy feelings for any of these shades. The mattes are good, but not unique enough for me to depot the thing. My final verdict – I will let the entire palette go.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek however is going to get the honors of being depotted. The shades P-Funk, Al Green and Delfonic were amazing and are quite unique for me. I might keep Grand Master Flash or Commodores Cream as well. The rest will be let go since I could not even be bothered to use most them during the audit.

    Oh Modern Renaissance, how you entice me. I still love using this palette and enjoy most of the shades. Vermeer and Primavera are stunning inner corner highlighters and Golden Ochre, Buon Fresco, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange and Warm Taupe are such versatile lid and crease shades. Love Letter, Red Ochre, Venetian Red and Realgar are lovely for a deeper pop of colour and Cyprus Umber is ok as a deepening shade. The bummer of the bunch is Antique Bronze. It simply does not perform well anymore and I dislike using it. Time has not treated it well because I do remember loving that shade when I first got the palette. I am definitely keeping this palette and used it extensively during the month.

    I’ve been so conflicted over the Electric palette. I still love using Slowburn and Thrash. Savage is ok but stained my lids badly and the formula was quite dusty. And I know I have another similar bright pink shade that is new and that I would prefer using. Revolt and Freak are not special enough and I have no intention of using Gonzo, Fringe or Chaos. Urban is pretty but not unique enough and Jilted was lovely but I’m sure I can live without it. My initial plan was to depot this palette and keep 3-4 shades. But would I wear them often enough to warrant the effort? UD palettes are a lot of work to depot and I learned that the hard way whilst depotting my Naked palettes. I’m sure I have something else to do the same job as Thrash and Slowburn, the two shades that makes this a tough decision. Let it go Sofia!

    The Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics on the other hand was super easy to dismantle. The foam tray around the shades was easy to lift and under that all of the shades were labelled singles on a magnetic mat. So easy to take out. If I had known that I would have tossed the packaging way sooner. This palette contains some real gems and my favourites are Fenice, Mela Stregata, Polline, Veleno and Mezza Estate. Pioggia Acida is nice enough to stay but the others are either lackluster or not my jam colour-wise.

    Rapture and Relic are from the Saint & Sinner palette by KvD that I decided to depot a while back. It had some interesting shades that I wanted to give a fair chance before letting them go. These two are lovely. Relic is an intense melted gold and Rapture is a reddy pink topper shade. Fun to use since I have them. Faux Fur (MUG) on the other hand was an epic fail. Dusty and very hard to work with. Not keeping that one. 433 and 419 are old, a bit smelly and not unique enough to keep. Creative Copper (MAC) was part of a larger fixed palette that I depotted and this was my first and last time using it. A poor performer for sure.

    That was all of the eyeshadows. Let’s move on to the much smaller assortment of cheek products in this month’s arsenal.

    Top row L-R: Next to Skin, Apple Red

    Bottom row L-R: Kendra, Chameleon, Superb

    As mentioned I have audited most of my cheek products already and therefore I have less to choose from. This month we have three MAC products , a contour (Next to Skin), a popping blush (Apple Red) and a highlighter (Superb). A Nabla blush (Kendra) and highlighter from Meow Cosmetics (Chameleon) rounded everything off. Having only two blushes was a bit restricting, if I can say so myself, but it made it a bit of a challenge too.

    As you can see in the swatch, Next to Skin (MAC) is very close to my skin tone. But it did its job as a cheek contour beautifully. Very lightly pigmented and easy to use on an everyday basis. Apple Red (MAC) looks scary in the pan but was a lot easier to use than one might expect. It was not as pigmented as many of its counterparts in my collection and that made it easier to apply. Kendra (Nabla) is a shade that makes me a bit confused. Sometimes it looks amazing but sometimes is emulates the natural redness of my skin a bit too much. It sort of picks up the redness in places where I have tried to neutralize it with my base products such as foundation and concealer. I love adding blush but I want the flush to be placed exactly where I want it. Anyway, I have no reason to get rid of Kendra right now but I will keep an eye out and see how our relationship evolves.

    Chameleon (Meow Cosmetics) is a loose pale white gold shade and it works well as a cheek highlighter as well as an inner corner eye shade. Superb (MAC) on the other hand does not really work as a cheek highlighter for me, it is simply too dark. I enjoy the formula but I have no reason to keep it.

    That completes the rundown of the products worn in September. Let’s have a look at a few of the looks I wore during the month. It was a really boring makeup month for me and I felt very uninspired. I did however manage to make notes on what I wore on my lip on most days.

    September 1

    Eyes: Volt, Silk, Fringe, Twinkle

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Superb

    Lips: Sultry by Revlon

    September 3

    Eyes: Golden Ochre, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Cyprus Umber

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin, Chameleon

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 7

    Eyes: P-Funk, Delfonic, Commodores Cream

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 9

    Eyes: Creative Copper, Rapture, Mezza Estate, Suede, Oak

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Rouge Audace by Chanel

    September 10

    Eyes: Antique Bronze, Buon Fresco, Burnt Orange, Chameleon

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Mull it Over mixed with Devoted to Chili by MAC

    September 11

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Twilight, Pioggia Acida, Feather, Moss, Stone

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 14

    Eyes: Utopia, Buon Fresco, Vermeer, Jet

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 16

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Raw Sienna, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 19

    Eyes: Slowburn, Savage, Rapture, Relic

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 21

    Eyes: Jilted, Fringe, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 22

    Eyes: Polline, Buon Fresco, Thrash, Bronx Black

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Next to Skin

    September 25

    Eyes: Fenice, Raw Sienna, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin

    September 29

    Eyes: Pioggia Acida on top of Caffeine primer by Urban Decay, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Next to Skin

    Looking at these pictures make me feel like I had a better makeup month than it felt whilst it was happening. During it felt like most makeup looks ended up on the uninspired spectrum and I had quite a few days when I felt it looked crap. I thought I would end up with just a handful of pictures to post but here I am with quite a few.

    To conclude this month I decided to let two fixed palettes go and two will be depotted. All in all 45 eye shades will leave my collection and 26 will be kept. All cheek shades will go into round two except the one (Superb). Quite an effective month I must say.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:6

    Twelve new shades were worn and audited during June. Brands included OPI, Zoya, Barry M, Kiko, Indigo Bananas, Formula X, Pahlish, China Glaze, Bourjois and H&M.

    Hell yes!

    Barry M – Bright Purple

    This is such a stunning purple shade. Really bright and fun. The formula is great too.

    Indigo Bananas – Countdown To Extinction

    I adore Indigo Bananas as a brand and the Summer Rains collection from 2014 was such a stunning jelly flakie lineup. This is one of the shades, Countdown To Extinction, and it is beautiful. Complex shimmering layers and a luscious green shade.

    OPI – Care To Danse?

    This pale lilac jelly shade is a great shade on me when I prefer a more light look.

    Kiko – 296

    Not the green I initially wanted (391 Grass Green was the sought after shade I think) but since that was sold out/discontinued at the time of purchase, the friend who got the Kiko items for me picked this instead. 296 is a beautiful shade as well, albeit not the same, but I do enjoy wearing it.

    OPI – Mermaid’s Tears and Zoya – Dove

    Mermaid’s Tears is a stunning muted turquoise and a very flattering shade on me. Dove is a little less original cool sand but it is a very useful shade and the Zoya formula is great.

    Zoya – Opal (on top of Mermaid’s Tears and Dove)

    Opal is a peach to orange shimmering flakie in a transparent base. Love this!

    Maybe

    H&M – Intergalactic

    Intergalactic is a stunning shade but it did require quite a few layers to look good. This really needs to be compared to any similar options before it can stay permanently.

    Hell no!

    Bourjois – Pamplerousse

    I want to love this shade on me but it is not the effect that I want. It’s a bit too delicate a look.

    China Glaze – Hanging in the Balance

    I love this colour. I do wish I could keep it. But there has been some leaking from the bottle that has let too much air in and it is not possible to save it.

    Pahlish – Lullaby Without End

    Another Doctor Who polish by Pahlish. This intriguing blue and red concoction has sadly become goopy beyond salvage.

    To round this post up we have a golden glitter polish by Formula X that I did not get to wear at all, so no pictures. It was completely dried up so into the bin it went.

    A total of four shades are leaving my collection, one is a maybe and we have seven keepers. Not the best round in terms of letting things go but I enjoyed wearing all the pretty ones.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2020:1

    Time to go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2020, January-June. A whopping total of 30 items, whereas half of them are makeup items. I’ve been making a conscious effort to use up basic makeup items before buying a replacement and I must say it is very satisfying to see them actually empty.

    For reference I am 38 years old with a combination skin that is dehydrated. I get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Cleansers

    I managed to use up a total of six cleansing products during this period. The Rose Cream Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) has been a favourite for a while as my first cleanse in the morning and second cleanse in the evening. It has been a continuous repeat repurchase for me and even though I still love it I have not bought another one since finishing my last tube. I’m trying to find a cheaper option since I go through them a bit too quickly for my liking.

    I’ve always been interested to try the Renaissance Cleanser by Oskia (100 ml, 410 SEK) since it’s been held in high regard by many content creators in the beauty realm. So I finally bit the bullet. It’s a more pricey item but I did enjoy using it a lot. It had a lovely formula and my skin felt nice after using it. But the product did not last as long as I wanted it to do to justify the price. I might repurchase in the future but it will probably not be a recurring product in my cabinet.

    Then we have my usual micellar water – Sensibio H20 by Bioderma (500 ml, 179 SEK) – in a larger bottle this time. I still use this very infrequently but I like to always have a bottle at hand.

    The Squalane Cleanser by the Ordinary (50 ml, 99 SEK) was an attempt to replace the Pixi cleanser. I enjoyed this product well enough but it ran out really quickly. It’s cheaper by the ml but I felt I needed more product to cleanse the whole face than with the Rose Cream Cleanser.

    The purchase of the Gentle Cleansing Melt by Evolve (120 ml, 299 SEK) was an attempt to find an option for my favourite cleansing balm, the Green Clean Cleansing Balm by Farmacy (you can read my thoughts on it here). I’m trying to find an option that lasts longer and has a lower cost per use. No luck with the Evolve one sadly. It had a honey-like texture and was not as easy to spread over the face as the balms I’ve tried before. Also it was not as efficient in removing my eye makeup as I would like and the jar was used up rather quickly. It is not a bad cleanser by any means, but is not what I want or need. I would not repurchase.

    Toner & mists

    I’ve written about how I’ve been using the Glow Tonic by Pixi (250 ml, 299 SEK) as staple almost on automatic due to it being marketed so well. I have nothing bad to say about the product but I felt it was time to try something new. So after finishing this bottle I did purchase a glycolic acid toner from The Ordinary instead.

    The Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook (60 ml, 289 SEK) has also been fronted as an amazing product in the beauty community for a while. So naturally I was intrigued. I put the product on my wish list for Christmas and my wish was heard by my husband. I do like the product, it smells nice and felt hydrating. The mister was lovely as well. But I did feel like I went trough the bottle way too quickly compared to the cost. The bottle is quite small so naturally it is used up more quickly, but the price for that small bottle is the deal breaker. However, when looking at the Alice & White website (where I purchase Josh Rosebrook products) whilst writing this post I notice that they do not carry the 60 ml bottle anymore. There is a 120 ml bottle though and it is priced at 399 SEK. That is better value for money and since this is a more luxury brand with an focus on ethically sourced ingredients and sustainable packaging I think the price is warranted. But what I’m not sure of is if I need it in my routine. Right now I’m using a mist from Lumene that I like and I’m unsure if I will buy the Hydrating Accelerator again. We shall see..

    Essence & serums

    I am not surprised to see two Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi (45 ml, 399 SEK) in this post but since I use this product twice daily as a hydrating layer. But this is specifically one of those products I’m keeping my eye on to see how many I use in a year. At least four I suspect but it could be more. We shall see when the year is over and THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED!. Since I replace this so frequently I try to buy at at discount but I’m unsure if it is worth it all in all. Maybe.

    Another staple is the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 289 SEK). The situation is the same with this one, I go through these quite quickly and try to buy and even stock up when there is a discount. I still enjoy it immensely and use it every morning under the Rose Caviar Essence.

    The Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary (30 ml, 129 SEK) was my first attempt at adding a vitamin A product to my skincare routine. This specific formula did not wow me in any way and I was a very inconsistent user due to not enjoying the consistency too much. So I can’t speak on its actual function due to that. I will most likely try other vitamin A products moving forward and who knows, I might try this again in the future.

    Moisturizers

    The 24K Eye Elixir by Pixi (9,3 ml, 349 SEK) was an attempt to replace my favourite (and pricey) eye cream from Grown Alchemist. It was fun to try something new but it is in no way a replacement. The formula is completely different, the Pixi one being a serum in a roller dispenser and the GA one is a light cream in a pump bottle. 24K Eye Elexir feels cooling as I roll it under my eyes and leaves the area feeling hydrated. But the product does not give me the moisturized and comforted feeling that I enjoy. It might be more suited to someone who gets puffy under-eyes and can get more benefits from this formulation and applicator.

    Vital Balm Cream by Josh Rosebrook (45 ml, 889 SEK) made its first appearance in my life in the winter of 2018 when my skin acutely needed something heavier to survive the harsh weather. The cream saved me and was a joy to use. So the following year, last winter, I made the decision to repurchase again but I did so a bit prematurely. The weather never got to the same harsh point and I think my skin could have managed with something less “powerful”. I do enjoy this cream and it can last quite a while if one is mindful when using it, but it is so very expensive. Again, I think the Josh Rosebrook products warrants the price set but I do not think my skin needed all that expensive goodness this time around. The coming winter months might require a heaver cream again, but this year I think I will try another brand and see how I fare.

    Another recurring product, one that I took a break from and then went back to, is the Hydration Rescue 24H Replenishing Balm by Lumene (50 ml, varying between 149-199 SEK). I stopped enjoying it suddenly and suspected they had reformulated it. After using other products for a while I purchased it yet again and somehow went on to enjoy using this cream once more. I use it as my nighttime last layer and I love the consistency, the smell and how it makes my skin feel. A good basic light yet moisturizing cream that is just enough for me. The price is great and a jar lasts quite a while.

    Base makeup

    Two face primers were used up and I have not repurchased any substitutes. Not due to me not liking them, but rather me wanting to use up all the primers that I own and evaluate what functions I actually want to have in my stash at all. This tube of Makeup Forever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer (30 ml, 420 SEK) is not the first I’ve used up but rather my second or even third. I love this hydrating and colour correcting primer. I have quite a lot of redness in my face that I like to subdue so a green corrector definitely fills a purpose in my daily routine and it feels good to know that this one works well for me. I might purchase again in the future but I wish to explore some cheaper options first.

    The Hydra Veil by Illamasqua (mini sample, gift with purchase) is a lovely primer. I have bought this in a full size previously and it’s a nice hydrating product. Adding something hydrating right before applying my foundation really improves the end result for me. But I must admit I prefer a tube to a jar.

    The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in “Y215” by Make Up Forever (30 ml, 475 SEK) used to be my favourite “skin like” foundation until I repurchased it and the colour was reformulated. It was suddenly a lot more pink than yellow and did not suit me anymore. I need a neutral shade or one that leans yellow to combat my redness and this sadly does not do the job anymore. I do like the formula still, it really looks amazing on the skin.

    Loose Mineral Foundation in “Suede” by Cailyn (425 SEK) is another old staple. This is my second jar and the colour is lovely on me. However I do not really use loose mineral foundation on a regular basis anymore so I will not repurchase anytime soon.

    The Viva La Diva conclealer in “1 Pure Light” (3 ml, 89 SEK) was an attempt to find a replacement for the other empty concealer in this post, the Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in “Fair 1” by Collection (price and amount unknown) that I used to buy in bulk when in London. Both are very cheap concealers and sadly I prefer the one I can not get a hold of anymore. The Viva La Diva is not my favourite. It has a smell that puts me off and the colour is not a good match for me, too dark and pink. The one from Collection is a great shade that really does the job of brightening my under eyes and adds extra coverage wherever needed. A creamy product where a little goes a long way.

    Mascara & brows

    Yet another empty staple product is my go-to mascara – Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx (6 ml, 235 SEK) by Clinique. It’s the one I’ve found that smudges the least and it has a lovely small brush. This past year I feel that is has started to smudge more but I do not know if it is an illusion or if they have done something to the formula. I’ve also tried the Flutter-to-Full version of Lash Power (9 ml, 280 SEK) and it does nothing for me. I have very straight and long lashes. There is no point in any fancy mascara effects. Nothing lasts on my lashes anyway.

    The Brow Perfector in “Espresso” by H&M (4 ml, approximately 80 SEK) is a quite new favourite that I have repurchased and use daily. However, just last week I learned that it has been discontinued. It really makes me sad because it was a lovely affordable option with an ok hold, a nice cool dark brown colour and a small brush. A great product all in all. I’m a bit bummed that I will not be able to buy another one when I run out of the one in use.

    The Sigma Tint + Tame Brow Gel in “Dark” (about 150 SEK) was another attempt at finding the perfect tinted brow gel and sadly not a product for me. Bulky packaging and the product itself was too watery. It smeared everywhere way too easily.

    Finally we have the Blueberry Eyebrow Fixing Gel in “Transparent” by Lumene (5 ml, price unknown) that I purchased at a sale and that has since been discontinued. The brand has a similar product but I do not know if it’s the same formula in new packaging or a new formula altogether. It was an ok product, nothing amazing. I am keen to try another brow gel from Lumene if they have a coloured option that would suit me.

    Miscellaneous makeup

    Kiko makes some great eye shadow sticks. This is my second shade that I have used up, the Long Lasting Stick 8 Hour No-Transfer Eyeshadow in “05 Rosy Brown” (1,6 g, 69 SEK). My favourite shade of the two was not this one but “38 Golden Taupe”, a similar but slightly different shade. That gem was used up two years ago. But both shades were great all over the lid and up in the crease, no primer needed, and serving as a base that was perfect to tap a shimmering shadow on top of. Creamy enough to be easy to blend but set down well enough to not crease extensively. And that is a great feat since I have very, very oily eyelids. I really want to repurchase “38” in the future, I miss having this type of product at hand.

    Eyeshadow Primer Potion “Anti-Aging” by Urban Decay (10 ml, 270 SEK) is ok but I do not think it’s my perfect one. As mentioned, I have seriously oily eyelids and most things crease on me at some point. This is my second tube I’ve used up and I have since tried another brand (Spoiler – it sucks!). I might purchase the UD one again in the future because I did enjoy how easy it it was to blend shadows over it, before it was completely set and therefore really popping the pigment.

    Most of my lip liners are by MAC and they really benefit from being used together with this lip primer, the Prep + Prime Lip by MAC (14 g, 185 SEK). It gives a smooth and hydrated base that I’ve also found beneficial when using a matte lipstick for a lighter application. The primer has a more balmy finish and I do prefer that over using a more glossy product. I have actually repurchased this since running out, but I did wait a while to be sure that I really missed having a lip primer at all. And I did.

    The last item of this post is actually a lipstick – the Fantastick lipstick by Linda Hallberg (26 g, 199 SEK) in “Goldstone”. Not every day one finishes a lipstick! This is an easy to throw on shade of warm pink that doubles as a cream blush. The formula is glossy in finish, a bit balmy in texture with lots of pigment. I did repurchase this specific shade and use it almost every week, but I do wish the shade was a bit more rosy, a bit more brown. A bit more like my lips but intensified. Not sure I will repurchase again.

    Wow, that was a lot of products. I’m really enjoying summarizing my consumption in this way. Highlighting what items I really use, what I actually like and why. Skincare items are naturally what I go trough most often and I love keeping track. For me, skincare is more a means to an end, unlike makeup that is a life-long passion. My skin is my canvas, the base for my makeup, so naturally I want to take good care of it. And I cant deny that I enjoy using nice skincare and trying new products, but it is not one of my interests so to speak. So spending just enough on skincare is a goal. Just enough luxury, with a little newness and pretty packaging from time to time, combined with a focus on establishing a core of values adapted to my skincare needs and preferences.

    I look forward to summarize the yearly stats after the New Year, but until then..

    Thank you for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:5

    Catching up with the nail polish part of my audit will also be a bit of a hurdle to overcome. These shades were worn during May and one can probably tell from the selection of shades. Quite a few bright shades including brands such as Zoya, China Glaze, Deborah Lippmann, Polish Revolution, Nails Inc., Pahlish and Smitten Polish.

    Hell yes!

    Nails Inc. – lilac polish for InStyle

    This is a lovely lilac shade and it feels like the epitome of Spring. Very crisp but never boring. The formula was lovely and despite being a no-name shade I want to keep using it.

    China Glaze – Igniting Love

    Igniting Love is a stunning tomato red. A classic shade in a good formula.

    Zoya – Charli

    Charli is such a lovely shade. A murky cool green that compliments my skin tone nicely.

    Zoya – Opal (layered over Charli)

    Opal is a green flakie top coat in a completely clear base. Stunning and very useful.

    Zoya – Tilda

    Tilda is slightly less bright than the picture alludes but a great popping green. Very flattering.

    Maybe

    Zoya – Ziv

    Ziv is a pale gold with tiny silver flecks mixed with the gold. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m not a 100% enjoying wearing it on its own but somehow I still appreciate the aesthetic function it provides and I might enjoy having it for effect. But if I have other remotely similar shades that I enjoy more I might get rid of this further on.

    Pahlish – This Song is Ending

    This is a Doctor Who themed polish (!) and the shade itself is beautiful. The reason I am unsure of This Song is Ending is because it has these copper glitters throughout but those are not very evident on the nail because the base colour is so dense. Great potential but not overly exciting on the nail.

    Pahlish – Drink the Sea

    Pretty colour but I’m a bit unsure of how much wear I will get out of it. Getting this glitter polish off my nails was a bit of a bother (as with all glitter polishes) and if I have another shade similar to Drink the Sea I might let this one go later on.

    Polish Revolution – Zombie Gardens

    Zombie Gardens is undeniably pretty, but I wear this type of shade so seldom that I should only keep the absolute best ones.

    Hell no!

    Pahlish – Electrique

    Satin finish and barely visible glitter. I’ve enjoyed using Electrique in the past but I’m not loving it anymore. The fact that it is goopy in the formula makes the decision to part with it easier.

    Smitten Polish – Audrey’s Rainbow

    Pale Tiffany blue I presume, a pretty holo polish that just does not do it for me. Pale and the wrong shade to be interesting on me. The formula is very thick with this one as well. Sad to let Audrey’s Rainbow go, I initially had high hopes for her.

    Deborah Lippmann – Pop Life

    Pop Life is a shade I am not sad to part with. This was a gift with purchase many many years ago and I’ve kept it mainly because I have nothing like it and thought it might be useful for nail art or whatever. Truth is I do not need it and I do not enjoy wearing it at all.

    So a total of five shades are being kept, four are hanging loose and three are definite noes.

    Thank you for reading!