• Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:4

    I paint my nails more often now when I’m working from home and several of these were such duds that I removed them straight away. This lot were worn during the month of April.

    Hell yes!

    Gina Tricot – Concrete

    Concrete was a bit of a surprise favorite for me. I had no warm feelings for it before this audit but now it has shown its true colours. It is not a simple grey but a ghostly purple tinged grey and it was very flattering on my skin tone.

    OPI – Never A Dulles Moment

    Yellow is a hard colour for me to find flattering shades of. This is not perfect but Never a Dulles Moment is very pretty and a slightly faded bright yellow. I loved wearing it and I’m glad to keep it.

    OPI – Can’t Find My Czechbook

    Another fun and interesting shade. I would describe Can’t Find My Czechbook as a slightly faded bright as well and it is a keeper.

    China Glaze – Def Defying

    Def Defying is another happy bright but there is nothing faded or dusty about it. It’s very perky but not a neon (I don’t like neons) and I love this type of green. Definite keeper!

    All four keepers layered with a semi-transparent beige shade

    Maybe

    Barry M – Satsuma

    Satsuma is very pretty but it’s so bright it is bordering on neon. I suspect I have similar shades that are a bit more up my alley, but I will keep it as a maybe until I have audited more shades. I really want to keep something close to this shade.

    Two of the many faces of Revlon – Pink Quartz

    Pink Quartz is such a chameleon that it divides my opinion. Up front I felt that the effect on my nails felt very not me. But when I’d worn it for a few days I started to appreciate all of its shifts. So I can’t make up my mind right now.

    Hell no!

    H&M – Amaranthine

    Such a poor purchase, Amaranthine. I do not know what I was thinking. I have no use what so ever for a shade like this.

    H&M – Beloved

    Beloved is another poor purchase, but one I could have liked. It’s a milky pink cream with a pink and purple colour shift. However I think the opacity is what bothers me, if it had been more of a translucent shade it might have worked better on me. But that’s just a theory that will never be tested.

    Zoya – Aurora

    Aurora is stunning and I’ve used it on many occasions. BUT, I do not enjoy it anymore. It’s too much of a red leaning purple to look good on me. The shade is pretty in isolation but not as pretty on my hands, you know?.

    Polish TBH – Floo Powder

    Floo Powder has gone goopy and I needed many many layers to make it opaque and it did just not look good. If I look in the bottle the polish looks amazing, the colour, the shimmer, everything. But on the nail, not so much.

    IsaDora – Papagayo Blue

    Another bad decision. This metallic bright purple is just not my jam and I should never have purchased it.

    Zoya – Nyx

    Last up we have another Zoya polish. I might have enjoyed the Nyx shade more if it was a cream finish, or just a regular shimmer polish, but this PixieDust formula is not exciting me in this light blue. It just looks flat.

    Wow, another great cull! Four keepers (all creams), two maybe and six discards. I feel that I have really found my stride with auditing my polishes and look forward to the next team.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:3

    There are quite a lot of discards from this round of The Twelve and it feels very satisfying indeed. Since a lot of my makeup audit rounds often end up with me keeping more than I let go, it feels extra gratifying to have a category where I am more clear on what I love and want to keep.

    This lot were worn between early February and all the way through March. During this period we had two birthdays in my family, including parties, and went skiing for a week up in the north of Sweden. Then followed a period when I was ill a lot (stomach bug and then a bad throat infection) before Covid-19 entered everyones life. I started working from home and keeping a distance from loved ones. A surreal period filled with so much and so little at the same time.

    Painting my nails and doing my makeup as usual is very grounding and soothing to me. If it feels a bit therapeutic normally it is extra much so now. I have not changed my pace with makeup related things and my audit feels as meaningful as ever. On to the result from this round of The Twelve.

    Hell yes!

    Zoya – Misty and L’Oréal – Confetti

    Misty by Zoya is a stunning cool almost green tinged beige and I love it. It flatters my skin tone and it’s lovely to wear on it’s own or topped with something else. This time I wore it with a black and white “glitter” and I highly enjoyed the result. The topper polish, Confetti, on the other hand was quite dried out and will leave my collection.

    China Glaze – Fade into Hue

    Fade into Hue is not an overly exciting shade, but as a pale blue leaning purple it was fun to wear and it’s rather unique to my collection. A surprise keeper from this audit round.

    Maybe

    Mentality – Gertrude

    Gertrude is a very pretty shade but somehow I feel like I have other greeny golds I would choose over this. But since I’m unsure I’m keeping it safely in the Maybe pile for now.

    Gina Tricot – Power Green over Mentality – Gertrude

    Power Green is a lovely dusty green and I can see myself wearing it. But the Gina Tricot polishes are not dear to my heart and I want to see if I have any similar shades from brands I love more before I decide on this specific shade.

    China Glaze – Elephant Walk

    Elephant Walk is a weird green tinged grey and I kind of like it. But I’m a bit unsure of how much wear I will get out of it.

    Hell no!

    Depend – 353

    Nice shade, old bottle with a goopy consistency I can not be bothered to dilute.

    Formula X for Sephora – Atom + Eve

    Ruby red slippers on my nails is a pretty idea in theory but this lit from within red shade is just not my favorite to wear. It looks amazing in pictures but if I want a sparkly red nail someday this is not how I would get it.

    Zoya – Logan

    It’s rare that I want to get rid of a Zoya polish and a green one at that. Wearing Logan makes it clear that a Christmas green polish with gold shimmer just isn’t for me.

    China Glaze – Tongue & Chic

    I contemplated putting this blackened teal in my Maybe pile because it made me nostalgic of the shades I used to wear when I was a teenager (not this specific polish though). But I would hardly reach for a shade like this now and keeping it would be a step in the wrong direction.

    IsaDora – Wine Crush

    I’ve worn Wine Crush quite a bit over the years. It’s perfect for traveling because when it gets chipped or worn you just add another layer, it dries quickly and no need to for a top coat. But I’m done with this shade.

    Pahlish – Sitting in a Tin Can

    I can’t believe I’m getting rid of a Pahlish polish. I love this brand a lot and I have so many unique shades from them. But this specific shade is not exciting to wear anymore and the formula is getting thick. It’s time.

    So a total of two shades will be kept for sure, three are maybe staying and seven are leaving (counting Confetti). As I mentioned, quite exciting results!

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    A Makeup Audit Tale: lip products part 1

    This is not my first major clear-out of lip products. A few years back I got rid of quite a lot of lip products, mainly items that were poor purchases and a few expired ones. So when I started my audit I felt I had a reasonable amount. If you call 84 lip items reasonable. But the majority were of old age (hey there MAC lipsticks) and many had gone off so it was definitely time to do a serious clear-out. I went on and completed an initial cull of my lip products at the same time as I started my audit process in October 2019. This post, albeit being quite tardy, will be a retelling of what my thoughts were then and they are accompanied by some more recent pictures.

    The lineup at the start of this lip audit consisted of 50 lipsticks and crayons, 17 liquid lipsticks, 12 lip pencils and three lip glosses. If I just look at the number itself it feels like a staggering amount. But I will refrain from having a specific number in mind for my future lipstick collection, after the audit is over. I want to own a variety of colours and finishes that are fun to wear. Using them is key.

    I must confess – over the years I’ve been a moderate lipstick wearer. In my mind anyway. Eyeshadow is my main beauty passion and even though I love a nice lip, most days I forget to put anything on. A more edited shade range will most likely suit me better.

    The audit consisted of two steps. Firstly, I picked out products that had gone off and secondly I took out additional items that I do not currently enjoy wearing for one reason or another. This first round cleared out a total of 27 products. Four liquid lipsticks, 21 lipsticks/crayons, all of my three lip glosses and two lip liners. Let’s have a closer look at the items that are exiting my collection (all but the lip liners). Lets start with the items that have expired.

    MAC – Glamourdaze

    Glamourdaze is an amazing shade that I wish I could replace but can’t because it was limited edition (damn you MAC and your LE shades!). Truth be told I did not wear it too often because I had other shades doing the same job and the lipstick got lost in the masses. Something to have in mind for the future.

    Illamasqua – Magnestism

    Magnetism is a nice shade but the formula is too dry for me. I’ve almost never worn it and have no feelings for it at all. So letting it go was easy.

    Illamasqua – Vampette

    Vampette was part of a bundle of products I purchased on a whim a while back. I have no relation to this product either and it has gone off without being used at all really. Glad to see it go.

    MAC – Mystical

    Mystical is a product I’m really sad to let go. It has been used a lot, the packaging was stunning (google Alluring Aquatics if you’re interested) and my sister even wore it to her wedding. I love this shade on me and enjoyed this specific formula (Cremesheen by MAC) and would definitely buy it again if I could. But this is yet another limited edition shade and I’m not happy about it. I’m starting to have an aversion against limited edition products in general and one thing I’ve realized during this process is that I want to stay clear from purchasing limited edition cream products in the future. The longevity is limited and If I enjoy (love) a shade, like Mystical, I would want to have the ability to repurchase when the product runs out or goes off.

    MAC – Lush Life

    I would have loved to keep on using Lush Life since I really like the shade but I’m no overly keen on the glossy formula (Mineralize Rich by MAC). If I will replace this shade’s function in my lipstick wardrobe I will look for a similar shade in another finish.

    MAC – Firm Form

    I remember being really excited to own Firm Form – a very rare shade at the time. As one might guess, I’ve not worn it much. A few times here and there. Moving forward, special shades like this are not banned in any way but I will keep them to a minimum.

    MAC – Runaway Red

    MAC – Russian Red

    MAC – Ruby Woo

    I’ve really enjoyed wearing Runaway Red, Russian Red and Ruby Woo, they have served me well. Losing them has made a big dent in my red lipstick arsenal.

    MAC – Dramatic Encounter

    Dramatic Encounter is another stunning shade and I enjoy having something like it in my collection. Yet another limited edition shade I wish I could replace.

    MAC – Diva

    Same with Diva as with Dramatic Encounter, but this shade is a permanent shade so I could replace this. I will consider it or a similar shade from another brand in the future.

    So that was all the lip products that had expired, eleven in total, and many of them I regret having to let go of. Moving on to the products that I feel ready to part with for one reason or another…

    Charlotte Tilbury – Blondie

    First up we have a lip gloss by Charlotte Tilbury, Blondie. I was swept away at the CT store and purchased it against my better judgement, partly because the MUA insisted it was perfect for me. It would look great on my thinner lips, she said. In my soul I was not convinced but I bought it anyway. Swept away, remember? But to be honest, I do not care for this pale shimmering gloss. It’s not a look I enjoy and I could not care less if it makes my lips look less thin. Besides the shade the gloss has a nice and balmy texture, a discrete smell and the packaging is lovely.

    Fenty Beauty – Fenty Glow

    The gloss bomb in Fenty Glow is a really lovely colour but there are several factors that keeps me from using it. For one, I do not enjoy the scent. The applicator is too large for me and it always distributes too much product on my lips. I’ve worn it on enough occasions to be very clear in my opinion that I do not want to keep it.

    H&M Beauty – Pink Sugar

    This holo lip loss by H&M was a poorly executed purchase on my part. I thought it looked fun in the tube and since it was a limited edition item I bought it. I do not even like lip gloss all that much, so my reasoning is very questionable. I’ve worn it once as an effect topper but disliked the strong pink effect and the prominent shimmer particles.

    Revlon – Peach Parfait

    The Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters were a firm favourite for a few years and I used to stock up on varying shades when visiting the US. Peach Parfait was one of my most used shades and I believe that this is my second one. But I do not enjoy wearing it anymore. The gold shimmer looks weird and of course the lipstick itself is old.

    H&M Beauty – Saudade

    Saudade is a lip crayon dubbed Lip Colour-to-go by H&M and is a more recent purchase. I bought three shades maybe a year ago (but who really knows when?) and this specific shade has been worn the least. It looks fine in this picture but I do not enjoy this cool mauve on me. It’s a quite glossy crayon and the result is too shiny on the lips for me feel comfortable in it.

    Revlon – Lollipop

    Lollipop is another Revlon lip butter and I think it’s too bright and too glossy for my liking.

    MAC – Peach Blossom

    Peach Blossom is in the Cremesheen formula by MAC and at some point I enjoyed having this. But I must confess that light beige pinks are not my jam, if it ever was, so this has to go.

    MAC – Dish It Up

    I quite enjoy Dish It Up but it is too similar to another lipstick I have from MAC, Heavenly Hybrid , and that shade suits me even better.

    Revlon – Enticing

    Enticing is a Colorburst Laquer Balm and I have worn this quite a lot over the years. But I feel that I am a bit over the laquer look and its tiny glitter particles. I love the colour but the finish is not exciting enough to keep anymore.

    MAC – Everyday Diva

    Everyday Diva is a Mineralize Rich lipstick by MAC. A nice shade but I do not enjoy this perky red in this specific formula. It’s too shiny and slippy.

    Chanel – La Raffinée

    La Raffinée is in the Rouge Allure Velvet formula and in this picture it looks great. But whenever I wear it it’s just a bit too pink in a way I do not enjoy. It has a whiter base than I prefer.

    KvD – Outlaw

    Outlaw by KvD is a pretty bright red liquid lipstick but I already have another shade from another brand (Sephora) that I use more often, and their function occupy the same space.

    Sephora – 01

    Sephora Cream Lip Stain is a product I own quite a few shades from. I inherited a bunch of unused shades from a friend and some I’ve bought. This shade is 01 and it’s a lovely bright red. This particular product is a mini and I do not need it since I own the full size product in the same shade.

    Sephora – 35

    This purple shade is another Sephora Creme Lip Stain. It’s fun but not a wearable shade for me and I think it’s time to let it go. I cannot even remember wearing it.

    MAC – Dance With Me

    Dance With Me is another liquid lipstick, a retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor by MAC. I received this as a gift with purchase once and I’ve worn it once or twice. The colour is nice but the coverage is patchy and I just never reach for it.

    Some final thoughts after completing this first lipstick audit. I’m glad to be getting rid of this many products, even if some were by force. I think it’s the end result on the horizon that excites me. A future, more edited, collection curated by me. A fresh start. But I shall not forget that I also enjoy variety. A staple lipstick wardrobe is a nice thought but it does not have to be small. My aim is to use each shade regularly and for them to be cherished. Special occasion and weird shades are ok to have but not too many (like a dark blue lipstick and the like).

    The next part of my lip audit is already completed as I write this post, a further culling after wearing my remaining lip products for a while and evaluating them in action. I’ve also decided to refrain from purchasing any new shades until I’m further into my audit. But that will be a post for another day!

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia