• Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2022:2

    Another year has passed and it is time to do the second and last instalment of the Used Up. In this post I will go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the second half of 2022, July through December. In those six months I managed to finish a total of 12 items and out of those only 4 were makeup products. As per usual I’m not including all beauty consumables in this bi-annual post. Categories not included are body care, nail care, haircare or any type of SPF (unless it is a skincare/makeup item that just happens to have SPF in it). I still prefer not to track those categories in any way.

    I want to highlight some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my opinions on these products. I have dehydrated combination skin and I am noticing my skin changing a lot because of ageing (I’m 41) so I am slowly adjusting my routine to its evolving needs. I still get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Let’s dive in!

    Cleansers

    My current routine: I use a cream cleanser or something similar in the morning before skincare/makeup and then I use two cleansers in the evening. One oil/balm as a first step in removing makeup and/or sunscreen and then I go in with a second round with the same cleanser that I used in the morning. I usually have 2-3 cleansers in action at any given moment.

    Let’s start with a recurring favourite. I purchased the Golden Amber Probiotic Cleansing Balm (125 ml, 399 SEK) by M Picaut shortly after it was released and this was my second tube. I love everything about this product I will for sure keep on repurchasing it.

    This tube of the Glow Mud Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) is the first time I tried it but I do have another one in use now. I enjoy using this specific cleanser in the shower. I massage it in on damp skin and wait 30 seconds, as instructed, and then use a cloth to wipe it away. I find it effective yet never drying. I am really bad at exfoliating my skin as frequent as I could/should (i.e would benefit from) and this cleanser somewhat picks up some slack in that department. The tube lasts me a good while and I see this as a staple product at this point.

    Then we have one bottle of Bioderma Sensibio Make-up removing micelle solution (250 ml, around 100 SEK). This was a staple product for a while, last mentioned in The Used Up 2020:2, and it took me two years to use the last bottle up. I practically stopped using it on my face on a regular basis and only used it to remove the odd pigmented lipstick or arm swatches of the more stubborn kind. I might repurchase someday for that purpose but I am not sure at this point.

    Toner & mists

    My current routine: I always have a hydrating spray that I use after cleansing but before serums. Sometimes I use a toner as a complement, either a hydrating one or an exfoliator. In the evenings I also like to use a more nourishing spray (with oils) as a last comforting step.

    The Hydrating Water (100 ml, 349 SEK) by M Picaut was what I chose to pick up when I realised I could not get my favourite hydrating mist by Josh Rosebrook anymore. The Swedish reseller at the time never did restock it. I do like this M Picaut product, it does its job well, but not as much as the Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook. The glass bottle does make me a bit nervous as well. It is quite heavy and I’m always a bit wary about dropping it in the bathroom and ruining the sink or the tiled floor. The bottle can be repurposed as a vase though and will save this bottle for that purpose. I have bought another bottle of the Hydrating Water and it is currently in use but when I run out I will pick up the Hydrating Accelerator again since I just found it at a new (to me anyway) Swedish webshop – Caeleste.

    The Collagen Tonic by Pixi (100 ml, 179 SEK) was a spontaneous purchase in 2021. But I did enjoy using it a lot more than anticipated and swiftly purchased a new bottle when I ran out. The tonic smells lovely and make my skin feel nicely hydrated. I use it as an essence, applied and patted in with my hands and then I layer serums on top. A hydration sandwich! I have another bottle in use currently. I have continued buying the smaller bottles but the product is available in a 250 ml bottle as well.

    Essence & serums

    My current routine: I like to use a hydrating serum 1-2 times a day and it is a core item. I also dabble with more treatment focused serums but I’m more irregular with those.

    This is no surprise. Another bottle of the Hyaluronic Super Serum (30 ml, 359-495 SEK) by Acasia. This is my third empty bottle this year, see my initial post The Used Up 2022:1, and I nearly finished a fourth one before 2022 was over. I still use it morning and night and I have nothing bad to say about it. I will buy a new one soon.

    Moisturisers & oils

    My current routine: I use a variety of creams depending on what my skin needs. In the morning after serums I like to put on a basic moisturiser before adding SPF and/or a primer. I have lighter and heavier creams (I’m using the term heavy lightly here – I have combination skin after all) and adjust the combination according to seasonal variations like the climate outdoors/indoors. For daytime the goal is to have a face base that does not pill or look patchy when I apply makeup on top. In the evening I like to use a more robust and comforting cream since I do not need to worry about the makeup bit. I use an eye cream both morning and evening and the main goal is to hydrate the skin without stinging my eyes or melting my mascara. I use oils sparingly but I like to have one on hand for facial massages or as an extra comforting layer when my skin needs it.

    Let’s start with a rather new favourite. I initially purchased the Rose Quartz Supreme Rich Cream by M Picaut (50 ml, 749 SEK) to use as a night cream but I also use it in the daytime during the autumn/winter months. You can read a bit more about my thoughts after finishing my first bottle here. I have another one in use right now and I will repurchase when I run out. I really really like it.

    The Lait-Crème Concentré (75 ml, 269 SEK) by Embryolisse is a newer acquaintance as well. I say newer since this is my first tube but I did buy it as far back as December 2020. It lasted me two years and during those years I used it in two different ways. Initially I picked it up to be used as a moisturiser during the colder months. So that first winter I did use it for that purpose. Then I started wearing the Rose Quartz cream by M Picaut during the day the following winter and have continued on with that ever since. So I tried using the Embryolisse cream more like a hydrating primer and my skin loved it. I apply it over whatever skincare I am wearing as an extra priming step before makeup. It does contain perfume and it has a distinct scent, but oh how I adore that scent. For anyone interested the product can be found in a perfume-free version as well but in a 100 ml tube.

    Base makeup

    I wrote at length about these in my last The Used Up post, including swatches. It’s the HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (3 g, 109 SEK) by NYX in the shades Alabaster (CW 00) and Green (CW12). I like working with this formula and use them every time I do my makeup. Alabaster under the eye and Green as a targeted colour corrector or as a mixer for other base products to make them a shade closer to my skin tone. I have repurchased both shades and consider them as staples. But I must say I am a bit keen on trying similar products from other brands during 2023, just for fun. It is always fun to try new things and compare them to old favourites.

    Mascara & brows

    No one is surprised to see the Relevée Mascara (6 g, 320 SEK) by Surratt Beauty in this post. I switched to this in mid 2020 and have used it ever since. As mentioned in previous posts I do not think it’s the perfect tubing mascara since it does smudge a bit on me. A bit more than I enjoy. But I’m still not overly keen on searching for a new one just yet. I have another tube of Relevée in use at the moment and after that, who knows?

    Moving on to another product by Surratt, the Expressioniste Brow Pomade (5 g, 350 SEK) in Clear. I love this brow product. It does exactly what I want it to do, keep my brows in place without leaving them feeling stiff and looking crusty. The pomade is undetectable once it is dry and this is the only brow product that has managed to put my brows in their place so to speak. The packaging was previously the same colour and design, albeit a slight difference in size, as the Relevée mascara. But when I repurchased the brow pomade last time I noticed that Surratt had made the wise decision to differentiate them. The brow pomade is now in an oil spill coloured tube and it is so much easier to tell them apart.

    2022 empties wrap-up

    As I now wrap up the year of 2022 in numbers I also want to take the opportunity to look even further back and compare those numbers with the previous three years. I did the same thing at the end of 2021. Below you can see the numbers from 2021, 2020 and 2019 in brackets where applicable.

    To summarise this year I managed to use up:

    • 5 cleansers (9, 11, 8)
    • 1 toner (1, 1, 0)
    • 1 face mist (3, 3, 5)
    • 3 essences/serums (8, 8, 11)
    • 0 eye creams (1, 2, 1)
    • 4 face creams (2, 5, 4)
    • 1 oil (1, 1, 0)
    • 0 masks (2, 1, 2)
    • 0 spot treatments (1, 0, 0)
    • 4 concealers (1, 4, 1)
    • 2 colour correctors (1, 0, 0)
    • 1 foundation (2, 2, 3)
    • 2 powders (1, 2, 3)
    • 2 mascaras (3, 4, 2)
    • 2 brow tamers (1, 4, 1)
    • 2 eye primers (1, 1, 1)
    • 1 lipstick (2, 1, 0)
    • 1 eye liner (0)

    That is a total of 32 skincare and makeup products compared to 40 in 2021, 55 in 2020 and 49 in 2019. The value of these products (if they were to be purchased at full price) is around 10 000 SEK (the same as 2021 and compared to 13 500 SEK in 2020 and 2019). So 2022 consisted of fewer yet more expensive items on a whole. All of these specific items were not purchased in one year and some were gifts from friends/family and many were bought with a discount. Obviously I have loads of items, mainly makeup, that I will never use up and that will never end up in a post like this. I’m not doing these round-ups to track how much I spend but rather to highlight to myself the “worth” of the products I actually use up in one year. It shows how I spend my money on certain consumables and it gives food for thought. The average cost per item is 250 SEK and spread out over 12 months it lands at approximately 835 SEK per month compared to 1100 SEK per month in 2020.

    I’m glad that I’ve found so many core favourites over the years. Products from varying price points that do their job so well that I buy them again and again. It is also very satisfying to know that I use up most of the skincare items that I buy before they go bad. The only area where I could improve my usage is masks. I own some lovely masks but I am not in the habit of using them very often. In 2023 we will see an accumulated heap of empty masks I think, several years in the making.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:18

    These are the latest twelve shades to be evaluated in my ongoing nail polish audit project. These twelve polishes were worn from the middle of October until the end of 2022. Three by Zoya and OPI respectively and one each from A England, Darling Diva Polish, Powder Perfect, China Glaze, Indigo Bananas and Enchanted Polish.

    Hell yes!

    OPI – German-icure by OPI
    Powder Perfect -Ensorcel
    Indigo Bananas – Anansi
    Zoya – Kelly
    Zoya – Evvie
    Zoya – Natty
    Enchanted Polish – Groovy Ghoul
    China Glaze – Mind the Gap

    Maybe

    Darling Diva Polish – Cast a Spell

    Cast a Spell is pretty but I’m just unsure of how much I would wear it moving forward. There is somehing that is attractive about it but when i get it on my nails it just feels so so.

    OPI – Call Me Gwen-ever

    Another pretty shade but I’m torn. It’s an interesting muted shade but it is not my favourite to wear. So into the abyss of “Maybe” it goes for now.

    A England – The Blessed Damozel

    I’m not sure about this one. A metellic dark purple just does not float my boat anymore, but I’m hesitant to get rid of A England shades in general. My younger self would have loved this one (the late 90’s version of Sofia). It can stay in the Maybe pile until further notice.

    Hell no!

    OPI – A Womans Prague-ative

    I just do not like the way this his gilded orange polish look on me.

    So to conclude this round I ended up with eight keepers, three maybes and one single hell no.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:17

    Today I’m going to present to you the 17th post in my nail polish audit project. The concept of the project is as follows; I’m choosing twelve shades at the time to wear and evaluate. No time limit. Shades are either a clear keeper (Hell yes!), need-to-think-more-about-it-when-I’m-done-with-the-audit (Maybe) or obvious discards for various reasons (Hell no!). When those twelve have been worn and judged I pick twelve new. Easy concept.

    These twelve polishes were worn from the beginning of August until the beginning of October. Two from OPI, China Glaze, Darling Diva Polish, Mentality and one each from Barry M, Zoya, H&M Beauty and Essie.

    Hell yes!

    Darling Diva Polish – BEWBS!!
    OPI – I Just Can’t Cope-acabana
    China Glaze – Tart-y For the Party
    Zoya – Dream
    Barry M – Mint Green

    Maybe

    China Glaze – Fancy Pants

    This is an ok polish and the colour is unlike anything I have. But I’m just not sure it is a shade that I love wearing enough to warrant keeping it.

    OPI – I Don’t Give A Rotterdam!

    Another ok polish. I am not nuts about it but I do not dislike it either. However I suspect that I have several similar shades that I like more so I want to compare it to them before deciding.

    Essie – Shake your $$ maker

    I’m very torn about this Essie polish. This is a great colour, an amazing green, but the formula is just not up to par. I generally love a good jelly but this needs an unreasonable amount of coats to look good. It dries matte which is not a problem in itself since it can easily be fixed with a shiny top coat. But I’m bothered that it takes forever to put on and frankly I do not think it looks very even in the end anyway. My initial thought was to let it go, but when I saw this picture it felt wrong not to keep it. I am so drawn to the “dream” version of this shade of a jelly that I am not able to let it go just yet.

    Hell no!

    Mentality – Duality

    I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking when I bought this polish. I think I wanted to try something new but I have not worn it much over the years.

    Mentality – Doublet

    The same with this other polish from Mentality. I would never choose to wear it nowadays.

    H&M Beauty – Sunny Snowdrop

    I feel that Sunny Snowdrop looks too cutesy on me. The shade is very close in depth and colour to my skin tone and the gold shimmer is too prominent for my liking. This polish will look great on someone else.

    Darling Diva Polish – GTO

    This one is a stunning polish but it has sadly dried out. Otherwise I would have kept it.

    So to conclude this round I ended up with five keepers, three maybe and four hell noes. It feels great to get rid of the ones that do not excite me anymore. And hopefully the ones in good shape can find a new life with friends and family.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2022:1

    In this post I will go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2022, January through June. This post have been in the making for several months but somehow time always slips away from me. But better late than never as they say. In those six months I managed to finish a total of 20 items and out of those 13 were makeup products. I’m not including all beauty consumables in this bi-annual post. Categories not included are body care, nail care, haircare or any type of SPF (unless it is a skincare/makeup item that just happens to have SPF in it). I still prefer not to track those categories in any way.

    As per usual I want to highlight some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my opinions on these products. I have dehydrated combination skin and I am noticing my skin changing a lot because of ageing (I’m 41) so I am slowly adjusting my routine to its evolving needs. I still get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies. Let’s begin!

    All of the empty items

    Cleansers

    My current routine: I use a cream cleanser or something similar in the morning before skincare/makeup and then I use two cleansers in the evening. One oil/balm as a first step in removing makeup and/or sunscreen and then I go in with a second round with the same cleanser that I used in the morning. I usually have 2-3 cleansers in action at any given moment.

    Let’s start with a new favourite. I purchased the Golden Amber Probiotic Cleansing Balm (125 ml, 399 SEK) by M Picaut shortly after it was released. Since I am always on the lookout for a good cleansing balm and I generally like products by M Picaut it was an easy purchase. Hello new favourite cleanser! I love the smooth honey texture, the soft smell and the beautiful tube that makes it easy to squeeze out the right amount. There is nothing I do not love about this balm. I’m even ok with the price since I think it is a very luxurious product that lasted me a good while. I have already repurchased this one.

    Moving on to the Clean Cleanser by Acasia (100 ml, 199 SEK), another brand that I have repurchased from recently. This was my third tube of this specific product and possibly my last. It is a good cleanser but my critique is as mentioned in my last post “This milky cream cleanser has a mild scent and does the job very well but the consistency was a little too runny for my taste and I felt like I needed quite a bit of product to cleanse my face. So one tube did not last as long as I would like it to. I do not think I will repurchase this any time soon but I might try it again in the future since it does have a preferable price point.”

    Essence & serums

    My current routine: I like to use a hydrating serum 1-2 times a day and it is a core item. I also dabble with more treatment focused serums but I’m more irregular with those.

    Let me present to you another new favourite – two whole empty bottles of the Hyaluronic Super Serum (30 ml, 359-495 SEK) by Acasia. The serum contains hyaluronic acid (duh!), niacinamide, Vitamin C and E. Three drops is enough for the whole face and it is a dream to apply. One bottle lasted me longer than I had anticipated and these two bottles lasted longer than six months. I use the serum both morning and night and my skin loves it. One thing to note about this product is that the price varies quite a bit depending on which reseller you pick it up from. Something I will definitely focus on since this is a product I have and will continue to repurchase.

    Moisturisers & oils

    My current routine: I use a variety of creams depending on what my skin needs. In the morning after serums I like to put on a basic moisturiser before adding SPF and/or a primer. I have lighter and heavier creams (I’m using the term heavy lightly here – I have combination skin after all) and adjust the combination according to seasonal variations like the climate outdoors/indoors. For daytime the goal is to have a face base that does not pill or look patchy when I apply makeup on top. In the evening I like to use a more robust and comforting cream since I do not need to worry about the makeup bit. I use an eye cream both morning and evening and the main goal is to hydrate the skin without stinging my eyes or melting my mascara. I use oils sparingly but I like to have one on hand for facial massages or as an extra comforting layer when my skin needs it.

    Another recurring product is the Natural Moisturizing  Factors + HA by The Ordinary (30 ml, 79 SEK). I use this as a basic surface hydrator and usually layer it under my sunscreen. I have repurchased this and will most likely continue to do so. It is reliable, nicely priced and works well under other products without pilling.

    Here we have yet another new favourite. I purchased the Rose Quartz Supreme Rich Cream by M Picaut (50 ml, 749 SEK) to use as a night cream but I have also worn it in the daytime during the autumn/winter months. It is a creamy dream with a comforting scent that reminds me of vanilla pods. The pump distributes product with great control and it “pops” in the end when all of the product is distributed. The bottle is easy to close, you simply twist the top to secure it and it has a little lid on top of that. A little goes a long way and I felt like this 50 ml bottle lasted me long enough to warrant repurchasing it at this more hefty price point. My skin feels soft and nourished but never greasy after applying this cream. I have no issues with applying makeup on top in the winter-time, but I have not yet tried using it that way during the warmer months.

    The Overnight Retinol Oil by Pixi (30 ml, 399 SEK) is a repurchase. I gave it a favourable opinion when I used up my first bottle in 2020 (read The Used Up 2020:2 here). However I did not enjoy using the oil as much the second time around. It was merely ok and I often omitted using it in the evenings. I was simply not drawn to it and it was forgettable. Since the product has a shelf-life of 6 months it started to smell rancid before I had finished the bottle. I persevered and used it up but it was not the best experience. I will most likely not buy this product again.

    Base makeup

    The Blur 16 H Longwear Foundation (30 ml, 209 SEK), here in the shade 00 Ultra Light, used to be a favourite until Lumene changed the formulation and no shades matched me anymore. They did this more than once. From a trusty staple product to an inconsistent mess and ultimately failed purchase. Not a good arc. As previously stated I would use the tubes I had already purchased and then stop trying. You can see in the swatch picture that the lightest shade is not a good match for me.

    Next we have one concealer in two different shades that have quickly become new staples for me. It’s the HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (3 g, 109 SEK) by NYX in the shades Alabaster (CW 00) and Green (CW12). The formula is easy to work with, pigmented yet light and blendable, and the price point is great. I use Alabaster as my under eye corrector. The shade might be a smidge too dark but I get away with it most days. If I need a little brightness I just tap another concealer on top where needed. The shade works very well to neutralise the colour under my eyes and make me look more awake. The Green version is used as a neutraliser for the redness on my face but also to bring any other base product in a direction that better matches my undertone. My perfect shade is a fair neutral with a hint of green in it. Most base products are too pink och peach for me so the NYX concealer is a great mix-in. I repurchased both of these as soon as I ran out.

    Moving on to the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer (5,9 ml, 349 SEK) in Porcelain. First of all, I did buy a shade that is way too light for me. So it does not work on its own as a concealer, the job I intended it for when I bought it. But I have been using it in combination with other base products that are also not quite right on their own. I used it primarily to lighten foundations that were too dark. But I did notice that the concealer was not as easy to work with as I had anticipated by the name Flex. It was thick and not as blendable as I would like. So after trying this one I do not feel the need to try another shade of the same product.

    The Pat Away Concealing Base by Pixi (3,8 g, 249 SEK) had a good shade match for me from the start. I picked up the shade Cream and the undertone works very well. It could be a little lighter but it is one of the best shades I have found in a long time. I used this concealer all over the face where needed and it was pigmented and blendable. However it felt like I used it up very quickly and always in conjunction with other products I was trying to use up so I did not focus too much on what it was capable of. I am considering buying it again in the near future to give it a proper run.

    The MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (15 g, 395 SEK) is an old hero product for me. I’ve used this product for nearly half of my life. I used to buy NC20 for years and later picked up this specific one in NC10 when that lighter shade became available. I would for sure be interested to pick up another one of these but I think I would like to try them in store before choosing what shade to get. On the MAC Scandinavia website they list an NC15 as well, but I want to see them next to each other before deciding. Last time I was in store these products were out of stock, otherwise I would have bought a new one already. The Studio Fix powder for me is the best product to add on more coverage during the day. I have combination skin that gets shiny easily and melts my makeup. Since I have a lot of redness I want a product that adds suitable coverage as well when touching up my makeup. Only blotting away the oils does not do it for me. I can apply Studio Fix straight on top of my makeup and it saves the look. If I am very oily I blot first, but it is not always necessary with this powder.

    This is my second compact of the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (10 g, 55€) by Charlotte Tilbury in 1 Fair. I got this one for my birthday last year and my first purchase was in London in 2017. I must say this is so far my favourite powder and any attempt to find another one I like as much has failed. The product has since been updated to a refillable version and I got one of those compacts for my birthday this December. I also wished for, and received, the new Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish Powder by CT. It will be fun to use them side by side and see how they compare. Both are refillable which is great.

    Mascara & brows

    Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel in Grind

    Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel (4,5 g, 259 SEK) had a great colour for me in Grind – a lovely cool dark brown. That, and the size of the brush, was my favourite aspect about this product. The formula was very wet and got everywhere where I did not want it. I could not notice any build up by the fibers and the overall appearance was messy. Another thing is that it started to smell “off” quite quickly. The white packaging did not do it for me either, but that is a smaller complaint. On the whole, this was not a good product for me.

    Relevée Mascara (6 g, 320 SEK) by Surratt is a staple at this point (you can find my previous thoughts on this product in The Used Up 2021:1 and 2021:2) and I still enjoy the formula and I very much like the brand as a whole. BUT. As I have mentioned before the mascara does tend to create some fall-out smudge, especially from my bottom lashes. It did not bother me too much in the beginning of our relationship but it’s starting to get on my nerves a bit. I do not want to check my face regularly to see if my under-eyes are smudgy. Of course I wish it did not have any fall-out of any sort but until I hear about another great tubing mascara that I would like to try I am stickning with this one.

    Miscellaneous makeup

    The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Caffeine is my secret weapon when I want to do a quick yet impactful eye look. This mustard brown primer works as a cream eyeshadow and primer in one on my skin tone. I apply it all over the lid and a bit up in the crease and then blend and shape with a stiff synthetic brush. It is very easy to blend and when I’m happy with the shape I just pat a shiny metallic shadow on the lid, all over or just in the center depending on what I’m going for, with a flat brush or my finger and it is more or less done. I already have a new tube of this in rotation.

    The 24 H Photo Finish Shadow Primer (12 ml, 215 SEK) by Smashbox was a fail for me. It was quite thick in formula and it dried very quickly. I like to start working with shadows when the primer is still somewhat tacky in order for it to intensify the shadows and the longevity on my lids. I found it hard to blend shadows on top of this primer and it did not boost the look of the shadows as I’m used to. It might be down to pure preference but I will not buy this shadow primer again.

    Rouge Coco Shine in “128 Noir Moderne” by Chanel Beauty

    How I wish this product was not limited edition. The Rouge Coco Shine in Noir Moderne by Chanel has been a firm favourite for many years now. I do not remember when I bought it but the internet suggests it was released around 2016 and it sounds about right. The Rouge Coco Shine formula is not even around anymore. It was replaced, I presume, by Rouge Coco Flash. This dark yet transparent lipstick was a good moody yet wearable lip for me. I’m trying to find a dupe for Noir Moderne but no such luck yet.

    To finalise this post we have got another Chanel product. It is the Stylo Yeux Waterproof (310 SEK) in Agapé (929). This shade was also limited edition and part of the Le Rouge Collection No.1 for fall in 2016. It was creamy and easy to work with. Lasted well as an eyeliner but not in the waterline. I do not own that many liners nowadays so it was fun to use this one up. I’m not immediately drawn to picking up new shades of this liner (I had two from the same collection) but you never know.

    That was all of the products from the first half of 2022. Since I was a bit late with this post I think the next instalment of The Used Up might come in the near future, since 2023 is nearly here. These post takes some time to write, but they are always way easier to conjure up when not too much time has passed since I used the mentioned products. I wish you all a great New Year and I hope you wear some fabulous makeup!

    Thank you for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:16

    I started writing this blog post at the end of July and now I’m finishing it at the end of September. The conclusion is the same however, that blogging is not something I’ve spent much time on lately. I’ve been wearing very little makeup (and nail polish) and when I do sit down to put some colour on the process is very quick. So I have some catching up to do with my planned blog posts which I look forward to.

    Today I’m going to present to you the sixteenth post in my nail polish audit project. I started wearing this lot in late April and finished them by the end of June. Four by OPI, two by H&M Beauty and one each from Depend, Revlon, China Glaze, Zoya, Illamasqua and Cirque. Let’s dive in!

    Hell yes!

    OPI – Amazon_Amazoff
    OPI – A Grape Fit!
    H&M Beauty – Spring To Life
    Zoya – Jules
    Cirque – Harlow
    Illamasqua – Speckle
    OPI – A Good Man-darin Is Hard To Find

    Maybe

    No maybes this time around.

    Hell no!

    China Glaze – Sunday Funday

    This is a pretty blue that I’ve worn quite a lot over the years and it is starting to thicken due to repeated use. But I know that it is not my favourite type of blue shade to wear so I can safely let it go.

    H&M Beauty – Cinnamon Spark

    I know exactly why I bough this. It reminded my of the type of eye shadow I love to wear – a ruddy brown base with a reflective blue or green on top. As a nail polish however it does not suit my tastes at all. I think it clashes a bit with my skin tone as well.

    Depend – 361

    This is a fun shade but I do not enjoy wearing this shade of green. Not my jam at all. At some point I must have been drawn to it because I did buy it, but my speculation is that I was attracted to the fact that it was an unusual shade (for the time anyway).

    Revlon – Topaz

    Another one I would like more if it was an eyeshadow. I do not have any feelings for it on the nails.

    OPI – Do You Think I’m Tex-y?

    I love (really love!) this jelly formula but the hot pink hue is definitely not for me.

    So to conclude this round I ended up with seven keepers and five hell noes. It feels great to get rid of the ones that do not excite me anymore. And hopefully the ones in good shape can find a new life with friends and family.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:15

    I’m deep into my summer vacation and I finally have some breathing room and energy to catch up on some more posts. Today I’m going to present to you the fifteenth post in my nail polish audit project. I’m choosing twelve shades at the time to wear and evaluate. No time limit. Shades are either a clear keeper (Hell yes!), need-to-think-more-about-it-when-I’m-done-with-the-audit (Maybe) or obvious discards for various reasons (Hell no!). When those twelve have been worn and judged I pick twelve new. Easy concept.

    These twelve polishes were worn from mid March until late April. Two from OPI, Zoya, Indigo Bananas and one each from Barry M, IsaDora, H&M Beauty, Glam Polish, China Glaze and Pahlish.

    Hell yes!

    Kristen – Zoya
    Hole In The Sky – Indigo Bananas
    Bad Wolf – Pahlish
    Stranger Tides – OPI
    Mango – Barry M
    Klein Trink Wasser – Indigo Bananas
    My Pointe Exactly – OPI
    Luxe and Lush – China Glaze (on top of My Pointe Exactly)

    Maybe

    Granité D’Orange – H&M Beauty

    Hell no!

    Vespa – Zoya
    Mad Magician – Glam Polish
    Loden Green – IsaDora

    In this round I ended up with eight keepers, one maybe and three hell noes.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2021:2

    Time flies and the years come and go. I started writing this post in January and now, several months later it is finally completed. Not much has changed except for the weather. I’m still working from home, with limited movements outside my home, and every month takes on a similar hue in my memory. For that reason I highly enjoy any type of post where I get to reminisce about the past a bit, to linger on what I did or felt.

    In this post I will do just that by going through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the second half of 2021, July to December. We will also take a look at the full year and end with some statistics. In this second part of last year, a total of 18 items were finished and out of those seven were makeup products. Categories not included in this post are body care, nail care, haircare or any type of SPF (unless it is a skincare/makeup item that just happens to have SPF in it). I just do not care to track those categories in any way at the moment.

    Some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my opinions on these products – I have dehydrated combination skin. I am noticing my skin changing a lot because of ageing (I’m 40) so I am slowly adjusting my routine to its evolving needs. I still 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

    My current routine: I use a cream cleanser or something similar in the morning before skincare/makeup and then I use two cleansers in the evening. One oil/balm as a first step in removing makeup and/or sunscreen and then I go in with a second round with the same cleanser that I used in the morning. I usually have 2-3 cleansers in action at any given moment.

    During this six-month period I have used up four cleansers and all of them were new to me. I wanted to try a new oil cleanser as my first cleanse in the evening and chose Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil by Whamisa (150 ml, 359 SEK). I had no previous experience with the brand and just chose it at random. It worked just fine but the scent was not my favourite. The oil was on the thinner side and it did sting my eyes slightly. I will not repurchase.

    Moving on to cream cleansers (second cleanser at night or only cleanser in the morning) and we have three bottles/tubes. First I used up the Nourishing Cleanser by M Picaut (100 ml, 329 SEK). I enjoyed the formulation of this pale yellow cleanser and it worked well in cleansing my skin. But a few pointers will keep me from buying again soon. It did not last very long and I’m weary of the glass bottle. Let me explain. The bottle is very heavy and I was always a bit scared that I would drop it and damage my sink, the glass shelves in my cabinet or my tiled floor. I also like to cleanse my face in the shower and this is not a bottle I would take with me in there for the fear of dropping it. Another fact worth noting is that one pump distributes very little product. That is not a definitive negative because I would rather pump more than once and get a good amount for a cleanse rather than to have a single pump distribute too much product in one go. But I needed 8-10 pumps to get enough cleanser to distribute and cleanse my face each time. It felt a bit odd to use that many pumps and then go through the bottle quite quickly. I prefer the opposite.

    Moving on to the Clean Cleanser by Acasia (100 ml, 199 SEK), another brand that I have recently tried for the first time. I did repurchase this cleanser once as you can see by the double empty tube action. This milky cream cleanser has a mild scent and does the job very well but the consistency was a little too runny for my taste and I felt like I needed quite a bit of product to cleanse my face. So one tube did not last as long as I would like it to. I do not think I will repurchase this any time soon but I might try it again in the future since it does have a preferable price point.

    Toner & mists

    My current routine: I always have a hydrating spray that I use after cleansing but before serums. Sometimes I use a toner as a complement, either a hydrating one or an exfoliator. In the evenings I also like to use a more nourishing spray (with oils) as a last comforting step.

    This was my second bottle of the the Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook (120 ml, 399 SEK) but the first time I’ve bought it in the larger bottle. The 120 ml bottle was much better value than the 60 ml (289 SEK) and I would love to buy it again but it has been out of stock at the Swedish reseller for ages. At the moment I’m writing this they do not have any Josh Rosebrook products in stock at all. The mister is lovely and I enjoy the scent and the hydrated feeling it leaves on my face after using it. If it does come back in stock I will repurchase for sure.

    The Collagen Tonic by Pixi (100 ml, 179 SEK) was a spontaneous purchase. I wanted to try something other than serums and I used this tonic as an essence, applied and patted in with my hands. It smells lovely and left my skin feeling hydrated and nice. A little skin treat. When I first bought it I had no feelings for it and regarded it almost like a completely unnecessary step. But after frequent use and finishing the bottle I started to miss it. So I have since repurchased and still enjoy applying it every other day before serums.

    Essence & serums

    My current routine: I like to use a hydrating serum 1-2 times a day and that is my core item. I also tinker with more treatment focused serums but I’m more irregular with those.

    A previously recurring product is the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 299 SEK). This was my go-to serum for many years and this was my final bottle. I have not repurchased since and I’m currently loving the Hyaluronic Super Serum serum by Acasia that is very hydrating and also contains some vitamin C.

    Buffet” Multi-Technology Peptide Serum by The Ordinary (30 ml, 200 SEK) is not a new product for me. I’ve used and liked it in the past. Right now I have another serum that I like (the above mentioned from Acasia) but I can see myself picking up Buffet again in the future.

    Moisturisers & oils

    My current routine: I use a variety of creams depending on what my skin needs. In the morning after serums I like to put on a basic moisturiser before adding SPF and/or a primer. I have lighter and heavier creams (I’m using the term heavy lightly here – I have combination skin after all) and adjust the combination according to seasonal variations like the climate outdoors/indoors. For daytime the goal is to have a face base that does not pill or look patchy when I apply makeup on top. In the evening I like to use a more robust and comforting cream since I do not need to worry about the makeup bit. I use an eye cream both morning and evening and the main goal is to hydrate the skin without stinging my eyes or melting my mascara. I use oils sparingly but I like to have one on hand for facial massages or as an extra comforting layer when my skin needs it.

    Another recurring product is the Natural Moisturizing  Factors + HA by The Ordinary (30 ml, 79 SEK). I use this as a basic surface hydrator and usually layer it under my sunscreen. I have repurchased this and will most likely continue to do so. It is reliable, nicely priced and works well under other products without pilling.

    The Age Repair Eye Cream by Grown Alchemist (15 ml, 620 SEK) is another recurring product and I would have repurchased this if I had not been impossible to get a hold of. My usual retailer stopped carrying the brand and I cannot find this specific product anywhere else. And at that point they lost me. I cannot be bothered to spend a lot of time searching to find a product, it is not that special. If it was readily available I would have bought another one but instead I tried something new from another brand.

    Base makeup

    Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick in “Birch 1,5” (10 g, 455 SEK) had a lovely creamy formula that I preferred to blend out with a medium stiff brush – my preferred one is the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques. The coverage was very nice and I liked the finish. It did not feel too slippery after application nor did it set or dry down on my skin. It felt somewhat tacky to touch and I needed to set it with powder. BUT the shade was sadly leaning too pink on me and there is no other great shade match in the range. The only way I managed to wear and use up this product was to apply a green colour corrector underneath. The green sort of balanced out the worst of the pink in the foundation and it looked acceptable (but not great). I would be interested to buy this foundation again if Bare Minerals did a shade extension that included something closer to my undertone.

    I am not sure I used the Sephora Green Colour Corrector (3,4 ml, 169 SEK) in the best way. I applied it over my bare skin like a primer. And it did not work very well on me. The formula was a bit hard to spread evenly and I never managed to tone down the red without looking too green. The tube was used up a bit too quickly in this manner. However I do not think it is the fault of the product but rather user error. My current colour corrector, from Nyx, works best when I blend it into my liquid foundation. I mix them before applying to get a slightly more green-leaning shade. One reason for this discovery was that I realised that my undertone has some green in it. All thanks to Fatima @anotherbeautyjunky over at Instagram. I was complaining that I had a hard time finding base shades that work for me and she mentioned that she noticed that I had a little green in my undertone. BAM!!! I had never thought about that before. I’ve just assumed that the lightness of my skin, my more neutral undertone and the redness in my face made it hard to shade match me. But know that I think about the green it all makes sense. It is a very slight green tinge but now that I think about it I cannot understand how I had never identified it before. So blending in a green corrector in my foundation fills both the role of correcting the redness in my face but also adjusting the shade of the base product to better match my neck. Genius!

    Macara & brows

    Relevée Mascara (6 g, 320 SEK) by Surratt is a repurchase. I still enjoy the formula, brush and the sleek packaging and have already repurchased yet again. The mascara is a bit more wet in the beginning when first opened, as with most mascaras, but after a few uses it dries down a bit and becomes even easier to work with. I do like how it make my lashes look, albeit very basic, and Relevée is buildable if I wait a little bit before applying more. Since I cannot wear anything other than tubing mascaras I am used to the lack of “wow” lashes. The mascara does tend to create a little fall-out smudge, especially from my bottom lashes, but nothing that bothers me too much. If I know I will be wearing a very emollient face product, like sunscreen, I just skip putting mascara on my lower lashes to avoid the “smudge”.

    This was my first time trying Control Freak Eyebrow Gel in Clear (9 g, 99 SEK) by Nyx and I can sadly report that I will not be buying it again. The large brush made a mess since the product ended up beside my browns as well when I applied it. I found it to have a very watery formula that did little to control my brows.

    Miscellaneous makeup

    Then we have three other makeup products, one eye shadow primer and two lipsticks. The primer is the Eyeshadow Primer Potion in the Anti-aging version by Urban Decay (10 ml, 280 SEK). I have used this a lot over the years and it is my go-to eye primer at this point. I’m still trying other brands from time to time but this is the one a keep going back to. I like that I can easily blend eyeshadow on top of this before before it has completely dried down but it never comes out patchy. It it very user friendly and a tube last me a long time. I also enjoy that is comes with an applicator which makes it very easy to apply the desired amount to the lid or wherever you would like the primer to go.

    The Fantastick lipstick in Pink Opal (2 g, 199 SEK) by LH Cosmetics was used both as a lip and cheek shade, mainly in the summer. I’m not much for cream cheek but when it is warmer outside I sometimes prefer it. The shade is a bit too light for my taste but the formula worked well and felt nice on the lips. I will not be repurchasing this one but is was nice to use while it lasted.

    Dolce Vita lipstick (3,4 g, price unknown) from Nars is in the old formulation that has been long discontinued. This was my second bullet of this colour that I have used up. I would love to find a colour dupe for this shade from another brand though. Its is a perfect MLBB shade with just enough pink and enough brown to look very neutral yet add a little something something. If you look at the below swatches Pink Opal look darker than Dolce Vita, but the formula of the Nars lipstick was more sheer and intensified my natural lip colour rather than covering it. Pink Opal did more of the latter and I think that was shy I did not enjoy the shade as much.

    Nars ‘Dolce Vita’ and LH Cosmetics ‘Pink Opal’

    2021 empties wrap-up

    As I now wrap up the year of 2021 in numbers I also want to take the opportunity to look even further back and compare those numbers with the previous two years. Below you can see the numbers from 2020 and 2019 in brackets where applicable.

    To summarise this year I managed to use up:

    • 9 cleansers where one was a mini (11, 8)
    • 1 toner (1, 0)
    • 3 face mists (3, 5)
    • 8 essences/serums (8, 11)
    • 1 eye cream (2, 1)
    • 2 face creams (5, 4)
    • 1 oil (1, 0)
    • 2 masks (1, 2)
    • 1 eye primer (1, 1)
    • 1 powder (2, 3)
    • 1 concealer (4, 1)
    • 2 foundations (2, 3)
    • 3 mascaras (4, 2)
    • 1 brow gel (4, 1)
    • 2 lipsticks (1, 0)
    • 1 colour corrector
    • 1 spot treatment.

    That is a total of 40 skincare and makeup products compared to 55 in 2020 and 49 in 2019. The value of these products (if they were to be purchased at full price) is around 10 000 SEK (compared to 13 500 SEK the two previous years). All of these specific items were not purchased in one year and some were gifts from friends/family and many were bought with a discount. I’m not doing these round-ups to track how much I spend but rather to highlight to myself the “worth” of the products I actually use up in one year. It shows how I spend my money on certain consumables and it gives food for thought. The average cost per item is now at around 250 SEK and spread out over 12 months it lands at approximately 835 SEK per month compared to 1100 SEK per month in 2020.

    I will continue to do these bi-annual instalments of the Used Up. It is a nice way for me to gather my thoughts on products I try but also a fantastic way to chronicle what I use and spend my money on.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:14

    These were worn from early November to mid March. Two Zoya shades and one each by Butter London, OPI, IsaDora, Formula X, China Glaze, Pipe Dream Polish, Darling Diva Polish, Mentality, Illyrian and Gina Tricot. I think I wore many of the shades twice over this time period since I forgot to take pictures of them over and over again. That is why it took me almost five months to go through them.

    Hell yes!

    You’re Such A Budapest – OPI
    Blue Moon – Illyrian
    Combat Khaki – IsaDora
    Yuna – Zoya
    Ringer – Darling Diva Polish (over a black polish)
    Zinfandel – Gina Tricot
    Empyrean – Pipe Dream Polish (over Galactic Grey by China Glaze)

    Maybe

    Wallis – Butter London

    I have loved this polish and I still do but the formula has become very thick due to age and use and I probably should let this one go, but I’m sentimental and the easy way is to stick it in the Maybe pile for now. I’ve worn this one so much and there is not all that much left in the bottle.

    Hell no!

    Legend – Formula X

    Legend is pretty enough but it took quite a few layers to make it look nice and I know I will never reach for this one over other shades.

    Remy – Zoya

    Remy is just not my type of blue. The colour and the shimmer just does not do it for me. Hopefully it can find a new home since it is in good shape and Zoya polishes are a great formula.

    Galactic Grey – China Glaze

    Galactic Grey has dried out but I have enjoyed wearing it a lot over the years.

    Diverse – Mentality

    There is something about this green that I’m not attracted to. I know I will not reach for it any longer.

    Those were all twelve! I ended up with seven keepers, one maybe and four hell noes. I sincerely hope it does not take me five months to go through the next lot.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: February 2022

    This is it. The last monthly arsenal to be audited in this first phase of my project. This phase was the biggest and most time consuming part of the project and I will make the next one (and last one) easy on myself. But more on than in another post, here and now I am going to go through what I was auditing in February.

    I had 22 items in this monthly arsenal and brands included were Urban Decay, Meow Cosmetics, MAC, MakeupGeek, Sleek Makeup and Inglot. This month was very hectic work wise and I did not have much energy for playing with makeup so most looks ended up looking quite nondescript.

    The usual addition for one final time: As in previous months I’m supplementing the monthly arsenal, that consists of only shimmers/metallics, by using three palettes by Anastasia Beverly Hills as complements in the matte and inner corner highlight area. Those are the Modern Renaissance, Subculture and Prism palettes and swatches of those will be shown further down in the post for reference. Since this is the last month it is their last time used in their original form. I had thought that I would depot these when the audit was over but as of right now I am not so sure. I might let them go, but that is a matter for the next phase of my audit.

    Top Row L-R: Platinum – Circa Plum – Lily-White

    Bottom Row L-R: Museum Bronze – Old Gold

    First we have five MAC pigments and I suspect these are from around 2012-2014. They have been use a little bit over the years but I have not tapped into their potential at all.

    Clockwise from the top: Vintage – Thunderbird – Silver Dawn

    Then we have an Extra Dimension shadow by MAC (Silver Dawn), a single in a jar by Urban Decay (Thunderbird) and a loose pigment by Sleek Makeup (Vintage). I think these are from between 2014-2017.

    Top Row L-R: 86 – 120

    Bottom Row L-R: Liquid Gold – Insomnia

    Moving on to two pigments each from Inglot (86, 120) and MakeupGeek (Liquid Gold, Insomnia). I know that the MUG pigments are from 2014 but I’m not sure about the Inglot ones, they might be from 2017.

    Clockwise from the top: Miw – Hieroglyph – Scarab – Atlantis – Leafless – Balderdash – Song of Old – Villainy – Celtic – Dark Energy

    And finishing off with a large selection of Meow Cosmetics. These are from the collections Egyptian Treasures (Miw, Scarab, Hieroglyph), Harvest Moon (Dark Energy), Caribbean Escape (Atlantis), Stripped (Leafless), St Patty’s Day (Celtic), Midnight Clear (Song of Old), Shattered Equinox (Balderdash) and Pandoras Box (Villainy). All from 2013.

    That was the entire monthly arsenal, the last one. Let’s move on to swatches and my opinions on these products after using them for a month.

    These MAC pigments surprised me overall. All but Lily-White were very gorgeous and I loved wearing them. Lily-White is a very basic light shimmer and I have no real use for it. I wore it as an inner corner highlight during the month but it is not my favourite kind of light shimmer and I know I have many other shadows I would prefer using over this. So I am keeping all but one.

    I had a similar issue with Vintage (Sleek) as I had with Dirty by the same brand last month. The colour is nice but the chunky texture was off-putting and I cannot see myself reaching for it in the future. So it can go. Silver Dawn (MAC) however was a positive surprise. The murky muddy greenish brown was lovely as an all over the lid shade. Keeper. Then we have Thunderbird (Urban Decay) with its black base and copper shimmer. I liked wearing it a lot – a medium dark sooty eye with some dimension. Fun to wear and definitely I’m keeping it.

    As I mentioned last month, I’m a bit mad that I have not used my Inglot pigments more than I have. They are simply gorgeous. It’s the same this month with 86 and 120. Oh so lovely! I’m looking forward to wearing them many many more times in the future and I am for sure keeping them. The same goes for Liquid Gold and Insomnia (MakeupGeek). STUNNING! They should be worn a lot more and hopefully I will now when the audit project is nearing its end.

    And we are rounding off this post with my thoughts on the last lot of my Meow shadows. I will be keeping all of them except Dark Energy and Villainy. Those two were a bit too dark and flat on the eye to do it for me. But both Balderdash and Song of Old surprised me as gorgeous on the eye despite being very dark. Miw is a firm favourite and as usual I tend to love all of the gold shades by Meow.

    That was it! Many keepers and some old favourites rediscovered. Let’s have a look at a few looks from February before I conclude this month’s audit with some stats.

    February 17

    Eyes: Thunderbird – Vermeer – Eden – Unity – Lure – Agapé (liner, Chanel)

    Cheeks: Spring Flock (blush, MAC) – Lightscapades (highlight, MAC)

    Lips: Garden Party (H&M Beauty)

    February 24

    Eyes: Miw – Mercury

    Cheeks: Dusty Rose (blush, IsaDora) – Glow from the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette (highlight, Charlotte Tilbury)

    Lips: Muse gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    February 26

    Eyes: 120 – Scarab – Dark Energy – Atlantis – Warm Taupe

    Cheeks: Sur (blush, MAC)

    Lips: Take a Bow (H&M Beauty)

    A meagre four shadows are leaving my stash this month. But I sort of like the fact that the last month was not full off duds but instead full of really stunning products that I look forward to using more. Nice closure.

    Besides the eye shadow audit I managed to wear 17 blushes (two lipsticks used as blush), one contour shade, four highlighters, 22 lipsticks, two lip glosses and four lip liners. My blush collection is currently down to 15 blushes and if I count the bronze side of my Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette as a blush I have 16. My highlighters are down to four and I have only two contours in use, one gel and one powder. But the continuation of the cheek audit will be handled in a separate post.

    The next phase in this project will be a bit more unstructured but the goal is to go through what I have kept, category by category, and cull further if I feel like I have changed my mind on an item or if I have kept too many similar items that are redundant (that is the process that I have already started with my cheek products). I’m not exactly sure how I will document it yet but there will definitely be some more posts before the audit is over. I am also planning for a post concluding what I have learned from this project and how I have evolved my mindset with regards to the makeup that I own and future makeup I might buy. Until then..

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: January 2022

    January was a month when I relished playing with some new lipsticks that I had purchased recently, from H&M Beauty, Surratt and Illamasqua. I was also very keen to wear other colours than red on my lips (after wearing only red lips for the entirety of December).

    My January arsenal was mainly made out of MAC pigments but also a selection of shadows/pigments by Meow Cosmetics, MakeupGeek, KvD, Bare Minerals, Sleek Makeup, Inglot and Benefit. In total I had 27 items to choose from and most of them were in a loose format.

    This arsenal was a really interesting one since many of the items have not been worn in ages and are of a considerable age.

    The usual addition: As in previous months I’m supplementing the monthly arsenal, that consists of only shimmers/metallics, by using three palettes by Anastasia Beverly Hills as complements in the matte and inner corner highlight area. Those are the Modern Renaissance, Subculture and Prism palettes and swatches of those will be shown further down in the post for reference. I’ve decided to do this for the remainder of my first audit phase (the last month is February 2022).

    Top Row L-R: Blue Brown – Rose – Teal – Naked

    Bottom Row L-R: Silver Fog – Softwash Grey – Mauvement – Cheers My Dear!

    Let’s start with these mini pigments by MAC. Oh the memories! I’m sure these are all from holiday collections and were sold as sets of four or five. After a bit of googling I found that four are from the 2010 holiday collection- A Tartan Tale – and were sold together in a kit called Cool Thrillseekers Pigment Collection (Silver Fog, Softwashed Grey, Mauvement, Cheers My Dear) together with a glitter that I must have gotten rid of many years ago because I cannot remember ever owning it. I tried to find when the other four (Blue Brown, Rose, Teal, Naked) were available but could not find it sadly. I suspect that they could be older than 2010 but who knows?

    Top Row L-R: Blonde’s Gold – It’s Not Easy Having A Good Time – Naval Blue

    Bottom Row L-R: Chartreuse – Vanilla – Golden Lemon

    Then we have got some full-size MAC pigments, five in the current (I think) packaging and one of the older and larger jars. The size changed in 2010 so five of these are newer than that. The old and very much loved jar (Vanilla) was my go to iridescent shimmer for a very long time. I used to buy empty jars and give out portions of this as gifts to my family and friends back in the day when I had very little money. So this jar has brought a lot of people joy. I know beforehand that I will use this product for the last time during this month and then it will go into retirement. The newer (less old) pigments have not been used very much sadly and they are roughly from 2012-2014.

    Left: Cathedral

    Right column from the top: Sacred Heart – Chalice – Lucky Penny

    Three rectangular pans from KvD (Cathedral, Sacred Heart, Chalice) are from 2016 and were depotted from the Saint and Sinner palette. The round pan by MakeupGeek (Lucky Penny) is from 2016.

    Top Row L-R: 35 – 68 – 84

    Bottom Row L-R: Dirty – unknown pink from Benefit

    Moving on to some more pigments. Two pigments (84, 35) and a body sparkle (68) by Inglot that are of unknkown age. Then we have a Sleek Makeup pigment (Dirty) and the pink one from Benefit. It has lost its label so I do not know its name. But I do remember that this one was purchased when I lived in Brighton in 2000-2001. Yup, it’s that old. This one is also doing its final round this month.

    Top Row L-R: Ancient Splendor – Green Beer

    Bottom Row L-R: Pharoah – Stay Golden

    And then finally we have three shadows from Meow Cosmetics and a single one from Bare Minerals (Stay Golden). They Meow ones are from the collections Midnight Clear (Ancient Splendor), St Patty’s Day (Green Beer) and Egyptian Treasures (Pharoah). All of these are from 2013.

    Moving on to the audit part including swatches of each shade and a summary of my opinions on them after using them for a month.

    As I am sitting down to write this, I am changing my mind. This entire audit project is coming to a close and I am trying to be more and more realistic with how much makeup I want to have at my disposal and how I should go about using what I have until it is too old to use. Since some items, like pigments, rarely go off in a noticeable way (in my experience) I have kept some really old ones in previous months. But since I still own a vast collection I think it is not reasonable to keep the really antique things. I might keep some treasured gems as memories but I will refrain from wearing them.

    When January was over I had decided to keep Blue Brown, Rose and Cheers My Dear! out of these eight MAC pigments. I loved wearing those three and saw not reason to let them go. All of the others were not as nice on the eye and was an easy pass. But today I am deciding to let go of all eight of these, including the three I like, simply because of age. I would rather keep using my (also old but not quite as old) Meow pigments.

    These MAC pigments are not as old as the minis except for Vanilla. But I’m only going to keep two of them anyway and that is It’s Not Easy Having A Good Time and Naval Blue. Those two are special enough to keep for know, but I do not know how special they are compared to everything else I have already kept in this audit project. The next phase will be the judge of that. Vanilla is going into retirement as I mentioned earlier, and the other three (Blonde’s Gold, Chartreuse and Golden Lemon) will be let go. They were just not exciting on the eye and I only want to keep the exciting or very useful bits.

    Out of the four pans I am going to keep two. Both Cathedral and Chalice (KvD) are nice colours but they have glitter particles in them and I just do not like the look of that. It will stop me from using them. Sacred Heart (KvD) however was free of glitter and the colour was very interesting so it can stay for now. Lucky Penny (MakeupGeek) was just very beautiful and easy to wear. A very flattering all over the lid shade that I will be keeping.

    35, 64 and 68 (all by Inglot) are very unique and I loved wearing them. I am a bit mad that I own such gorgeous makeup as these but never reach for them. I have not worn them more than once or twice before this month and that is such a waste of potential. Dirty (Sleek Makeup) is a very pretty shade but it was very messy to use and it turned me off quite a bit so it can go. And the glorious pink shade by Benefit will go into a drawer as relic of my early makeup loving days, not to be used any more. But it sure was pretty on the eye and thankfully I do have one or two similar shades that can do it’s job perfectly.

    Last but not least we have my beloved Meow shadows. Out of these three I am only going to keep the stunning molten gold, Pharoah. Ancient Splendor is such a mess with it’s black base and barely there shimmer that I am glad to get rid of it and Green Beer was just a bit too nondescript to be useful. Stay Golden (Bare Minerals) was equally bland on the eye.

    And that was all of them! Let’s have a look at some pics of me wearing this month’s arsenal before we conclude this part of the audit.

    January 7

    Eyes: Blonde’s Gold – Chartreuse – Cheers My Dear! – Sphere – Lure

    Cheeks: Pink Cult (blush, MAC) – Lightscapades (highlight, MAC)

    Lips: Take a Bow (H&M Beauty)

    January 8

    Eyes: 84 – Golden Lemon – Buon Fresco – All Star – Alkaline (liner, Urban Decay)

    Cheeks: Mocha (blush, MAC) – Next to Skin (contour, MAC) – OMG (highlight, Illamasqua)

    Lips: A Matter of Taste (H&M Beauty)

    January 11

    Eyes: Cathedral – Mercury – Rowdy

    Cheeks: Stereo Rose (blush, MAC) – Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua)

    Lips: Carnelian (H&M Beauty)

    January 12

    Eyes: Lucky Penny – Cheers My Dear – Buon Fresco

    Cheeks: Breath of Plum (blush, MAC) – Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua)

    Lips: Cinders (Illamasqua)

    January 13

    Eyes: Sacred Heart – 68 – Vanilla – Roxy – Golden Bronze (liner, NYX)

    Cheeks: Rapture (blush, Urban Decay) – Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua) – Glow from the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette (highlight, Charlotte Tilbury)

    Lips: Peccadille (Surratt)

    January 14

    Eyes: Pharoah – Dawn – Rowdy

    Cheeks: A Little Lusty (blush, MAC) – Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua)

    Lips: Velvet Myth (Lisa Eldridge) – Beet (liner, MAC)

    I must admit that I am very pleased to conclude that 19 shadows be let go and I am keeping only eight. Might be one of the most ruthless month’s of the entire audit (I have not double-checked that claim). It feels great!

    Besides the eye shadow audit I managed to wear 18 blushes, four contour shades, four highlighters, 22 lipsticks, one lip gloss and three lip liners. I’m still downsizing my cheek products and the arsenal is getting slimmer. Most of my cheek products are older as well and I want to be a bit more focused in my lineup and only keep the really good ones. Give them some love before they are too old to use. Many of my more warmer options are being put away since they do not suit me as well as more neutral and cool tones ones.

    Thank you for reading!