• 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!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: August 2020

    August is just over and the weather is starting to signal Autumn here in Sweden. Chillier winds, a lower general temperature and more rain. In general I really prefer this weather to summer. When the sun is shining you can be outside in normal clothes and a light jacket. No sweat and sunburn, just crisp air and nature is so stunning right now.

    The August arsenal was significantly smaller than the previous month. In July I had the selection of 66 eyeshadows to choose from – this month I had 31. The cheek selection was more or less the same, a total of six shades. Brands included are Inglot, MAC, KvD, H&M, Urban Decay, Phee’s Makeup Tips and Nabla. Let’s start with the eye team first as usual.

    Top Row L-R: 343, 292, 390, 287, 360

    Bottom row L-R: 302, 348, 293, 326, 384

    I chose two Inglot palettes as my main palettes, just because I’ve not shown them as much love as they deserve over the years. I made one with only mattes and one with mainly shimmers. Most of these are from 2013 but a few mattes are newer and from 2016-2017.

    Top Row L-R: 461, 434, 26, 420, 44

    Bottom row L-R: 153, 430, 446, 470, 25

    Many of the shimmer shades smell quite a bit and even though I remember them doing that even when they were new, it does not feel too good seven years on. They are old and I’m sure some of them should be thrown out.

    Top Row L-R: Pitch Black, Artemisia

    Bottom row L-R: Capsize, White Truffle

    To fill in some gaps in the arsenal I chose four Nabla shadows to complete the matte eyeshadow team. These are fairly new (2018) and I highly doubt that these will be anything other than winners.

    The Alchemist palette adds some duochrome action to the arsenal. I remember loving this KvD palette when it launched, it was the greatest thing. But I do not reach for it any longer and it’s time to evaluate what it really means to me.

    Top: Artisan Copper

    Bottom L-R: Stargazer, Fireball

    Lastly we have three singles full of shimmering goodness. Stargazer by Urban Decay is in the Moondust formula. Fireball by the same brand is a regular shadow and both of these were purchased in 2016. Then we have a limited edition shadow by H&M Beauty (Artisan Copper) which I think is even newer.

    Moving on to swatches and a rundown of what my final opinions are of each eye product in the audit.

    One thing this audit project has told me that I seem to really enjoy Inglot mattes. Very few of the ones I have are being discarded and most of them perform beautifully. 343 and 287 are solid brights and very useful to me. 292 is that lovely brown mustard type of shade that I adore. 390 is a great soft crease diffuser on me and 360 is a good mid neutral brown. 302 and 293 are very unique shades in my collection and 326 is a generally versatile shade. 384 was the one hanging a bit loose but is given a pass until further notice because I enjoyed this specific shade of green on me. However it’s the kind of shade I use very rarely so it has to be pitted against anything remotely similar in Round 2. The sole loser in the matte bunch is 348, the grey. I have no feelings for it whatsoever.

    I really enjoy the Inglot shimmers as well. The fact that they smell is a big turn off though. 461 is a lovely sand matte with slight shimmer and it looks amazing on the eye. 434 was a surprise favourite for me. It’s a gorgeous dark purple grey and I have nothing else like it. Despite being a bit old this one stays until Round 2. 26 and 420 were lovely as well but less unique so they will have to go. 44 however is another surprise. It’s a forest green with an ethereal green shimmer running through it and it looks amazing on its own or on top of other shadows. I fell in love with this shade and cannot find anything similar in my collection. So it stays. The taupe silver 153 also gets to stay despite its age (and smell). I really enjoyed using this on the lid but also as an interesting inner corner highlight. 430 and 25 are pretty but nothing special so they can go. 446 is pretty enough but too dry for me to ever reach for it again. And the last one is 470, a lovely light coral shimmer that was a joy to use. So a total of five discards from this palette.

    All four Nabla shadows are great and are staying. No contest.

    The Alchemist palette (KvD) is in theory perfect for me. But during the month I’ve realized that most of the shades have a bit too much of a white base to really be what I want this type of shifting shadow to be. That base makes them less ideal to layer over other shadows because it dims the base shadow. They work ok as inner corner highlights but I still prefer to use other shadows for the job. I feel no need to keep this.

    Stargazer, Artisan Copper and Fireball are all unique in their own way and all three are solid keepers.

    Moving on to cheek products…

    Top Row L-R: A Little Lusty, Phee’s Glow

    Bottom row L-R: Gotham, Habana, Coralia, Obsexed

    For cheeks I assembled four of my Nabla single pans in a palette – one contour (Gotham), two blushes (Habana, Coralia) and one highlighter (Obsexed). To this I added a MAC blush (A Little Lusty) and a loose highlighter by Phee’s Makeup Tips (Glow Highlight Powder).

    I really enjoyed using this month’s blush selection. A nice late summer palette with a bit more muted shades. I have no reason to let any of the Nabla products go. I rarely wear contour nowadays but Gotham works well as that and as a blush. Coralia and Habana are nice blush shades and Obsexed is a fun duochrome pink gold shade that is quite wearable. Not quite as wearable was A Little Lusty (MAC) due to its deep pigmentation, but the colour is so gorgeous. Simply stunning. Tapping into the pan with a light hand and then swirling the brush in the palm of my hand prior to applying it to my cheeks made the application process less daunting. Finally we have the loose highlighter with no name, the original Glow Highlight Powder shade by Phee’s Makeup Tips, a pale white gold with quite a significant sheen. Initially I deemed this too glittery for my taste and that I would not continue to reach for a highlighter in loose form. But as the month progressed and I kept using it I learned that I really enjoy it. Applied lightly it gives a stunning glow and I would love to keep using it.

    That completes the rundown of the products I used in August. Let’s have a look at a few of the looks I wore during the month.

    August 1

    Eyes: 25, 470, 343

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 11

    Eyes: 44, 293, 26

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 14

    Eyes: Artisan Copper, 430, 292

    Cheeks: A Little Lusty, Gotham, Phee’s Glow

    August 24

    Eyes: 420, 434, 348, 343, 390, 360, Pitch Black

    Cheeks: Habana, Obsexed

    August 26

    Eyes: 434, 461, 26, 360, 302

    Cheeks: Gotham, Obsexed

    August 28

    Eyes: 470, 420, Emerald, Saphyre, Amethyst, Opal, Pitch Black

    Cheeks: Coralia

    This was a fun month. The arsenal felt reasonable in size and I managed to get quite a lot of use out of each shade. Out of a total of 31 eye shades and 6 cheek shades I am letting go of 10 of those shades in total. I’m glad some of the old Inglot shades are getting some love and that some of them are weeded out.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: July 2020

    July is the month were I usually take my summer vacation and this year it was no different. Four weeks off work and a chance to recuperate a bit after a very hectic Spring.

    This month’s arsenal consisted of a total of 13 items with four palettes, three single shadows and five cheek products. 66 individual eyeshadows. A wide variety of brands including MAC, Nabla, Benefit, NYX, IsaDora, Sleek Makeup, Illamasqua and Meow Cosmetics.

    For eyes I did not really have a main palette this month but instead opted for four pre-made palettes that included a multitude of neutrals and colours both in a matte and shimmer/metallic formula.

    The Dreamy palette by Nabla was released in late 2017. It gained some rave reviews in the online beauty community here in Sweden and I became intrigued. When getting it though I was not really enamored. It was merely ok. I’m generally a big fan of Nabla shadows but this is my one and only pre-made palette by them.

    The Del Mar palette by Sleek was purchased in 2014 and has been used sparingly. The mattes in this palette are very unique in their shades and deserve to be used more.

    The Showstoppers palette by Sleek came out in 2013 and I must have purchased it around that time. It’s a collection of popular shadows from other Sleek palettes. This one has also been used sparingly. This palette added some neutral shimmer and a matte black to this month’s arsenal.

    Last up we have the Celestial palette also released by Sleek in 2013 and I do not think I have used this more than once prior to this month.

    L-R: Telekenesis, Astral Projection, Telepathy

    Finally for eyes we have three duochrome loose shadows from the Supernaturals collection by Meow Cosmetics. I adore these and they are some of my favourite inner corner highlighters. I bought these in 2013.

    Let’s go through some swatches and a rundown of what the audit told me about these eye products.

    I must say the quality of the shadows in the Dreamy palette (Nabla) is great with the exception of Delirium, which is a really crappy shadow. Sadly it is also one of the first I want to reach for whenever I use this palette. Using this palette over the course of the month made me realize what a reliable basic palette it is. Nothing overly exciting but very useful and easy to use. I have no reason not to keep it at this point.

    The Del Mar palette (Sleek) is filled with so many cool mattes and a few satins and shimmers. Paradise is a fun shade that is unlike anything else I own. Feel Euphoric and On the Rocks have a slight sheen to them that added a lovely soft juicy feeling. Very summery. Opening Party had a gorgeous purple sheen and Ambiance and Sunset Strip were lovely muted brights. I wore all shades at least once and even though some of them might not get a lot of use moving forward I have decided to keep this palette. All Sleek palettes are most likely going to be depotted so that I can more easily see what I have.

    The Showstoppers palette (Sleek) is a mixed bag. I am very attracted to the shades Bad Girl, Sunset, Graphite and Bohemian. The others are meh. I considered if this would be a depotting candidate just for those four shades but have come to the conclusion that those shades are not unique enough for the hassle. I should just let it go. It took me a while to reach that point, but that is also the beauty of this audit. Having a whole month to evaluate every item’s worth to me.

    I have a similar feeling about the Galactic palette (Sleek) as with the Showstopper one. A few shades are really appealing (Stargaze, Saturn’s Ring, Meteoric, Terrestrial) but I can not bring myself to keep the entire thing and depotting it for those four shades. Even though I have nothing like those specific shades I am sure I have other things I could use instead. If I continue to crave a pale minty green, maybe I can purchase it as a single in the future.

    Behold the stunning magical sheen that is the Supernaturals from Meow Cosmetics! All three of these shades are beautiful and I love wearing them. I only used two of them this month and only once each but it does not matter. I have no plans of letting these go if I do not have to.

    That was all of the eyeshadows – moving on to cheek products..

    Top Row L-R: Dandelion, OMG, Taupe

    Bottom row L-R: Pinky Peach, Light Year, Oh My!

    Three blushes, two highlighters and one contour. Dandelion by Benefit is the most ancient specimen of the lot. I have no idea of how old it is but it’s more than ten years old. I even purchased a backup of this way back when Benefit was hard to get a hold of in Sweden and that has been sitting in my drawers for many many years. Then we have two more recent blush shades by IsaDora (Pinky Peach) and MAC (Oh My!). By recent I mean 2016. One of my favourite highlighters by Illamasqua (OMG) is in here together with a darker shimmering product by MAC (Light Year). A Mineralize Skinfinish with a marbled effect that on the skin turn out darker than my skin tone. And lastly we have Taupe by NYX, a blush that I have mainly used as a contour.

    Dandelion (Benefit) is almost not a blush, more of a breath of pink powder on the cheeks. And that is why I like it. I have some strong makeup memories connected to this blush and will keep the backup I have and start using it. The old treasured box will go to makeup heaven. Pinky Peach (IsaDora) and Oh My! (MAC) were both lovely to use and will stay for now. Light Year (MAC) is stunning in the pan and I tend to forget that I have no use what so ever for this product. It’s too dark to be a highlighter on me. It could work like a blush topper, a product category I do not use, but it’s way too shiny to work as a blush on me. OMG (Illamasqua) on the other hand is a stunning peachy gold highlighter and it suits my skin tone very well so it is a firm keeper. The finally cheek item this month was Taupe (NYX), a taupe blush with just enough of a cool tone that made it perfect to contour on my skin tone. This shade works equally well as a blush on me too. But it is old and I have other products I can use that are newer and that I prefer if I want to contour, so there is no point in keeping this. It has served a purpose in my collection, but it’s time to say goodbye. Dandelion (the old one), Light Year and Taupe are exiting my collection.

    That was all of the products in July’s audit. Let’s finish off with some of the looks I created over the course of the month.

    July 5

    Eyes: Au Natural, Talahanca, Feel Euphoric, Paradise

    Cheeks: Dandelion

    July 6

    Eyes: Sunset, Lounge Lovers, Sunset Strip

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 6:2

    Eyes: Sunset, Lounge Lovers, Sunset Strip, Paradise, Opening Party, On the Rocks

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 12

    Eyes: Bad Girl, Paraguaya, Bohemian, Storm, Terrestrial, Illusion, Sistina, Dogma

    Cheeks: Oh My!, Pinky Peach

    July 14

    Eyes: Astral Blue, Saturns Ring, Ambience, Opening Party, Paradise, Astral Projection

    Cheeks: Taupe, Light Year, OMG

    July 17

    Eyes: Stargaze, Meteoric, Solar, Sistina, Ultra Mattes V2

    Cheeks: Pinky Peach, OMG

    July 18

    Eyes: Poolside, Ambience, Paradise, On the Rocks, Ultra Mattes V2

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 20

    Eyes: Saturns Ring, Meteoric, Terrestrial, Telepathy

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 29

    Eyes: Paradise, Ambience, Talahanca, Lounge Lovers

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    To conclude July’s audit I am letting four items go, but a total of 26 individual shades. The Dandelion blush is replaced by my backup so it does not count really. I’m very pleased that I decided to let the two Sleek palettes go.

    Makeup-wise I’ve had an inspired month and worn a lot of colour. The looks I’ve created have been different to what I usually do, and that was definitely down to the product choices at hand.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: June 2020

    June was such an devastating and important month in the history of humanity. Not the first and not the last of its kind, but truly significant in its own right. Posting about makeup felt like such an indulgent luxury so I took a break from the online community of face art and external expression and turned inwards. I still did my makeup, but it was different. I could not have posted my audits then and in a way it is why my backlog is what it is. The world has not changed but it feels like a more widespread awareness has been achieved and hopefully it will be the seed of the vital changes that the world so desperately needs. The world continues on – with its flaws and its beauty. My wish is to become more aware, informed and more compassionate. A never ending quest.

    Now, taking it back to the more superficial aspects of June and my makeup audit. My arsenal consisted of one big palette of singles, two pre-made palettes, one blush trio, 2 single blushes and a sculpting/highlighting duo.

    A total of 38 eyeshadows, five blushes, one sculpting shade and one highlighter. A very varied mix of brand also this month – Viseart, MAC, Nabla, Linda Hallberg, Makeup Geek, Charlotte Tilbury, Sleek Makeup and KvD. Let’s start with the eyeshadows.

    Top Row L-R: Smut, Madreperla, Pegasus, Soot, Natural Wilderness, Peach Smoothie

    Second Row L-R: Deep Fixation, Heaven, Sabbath, Crucifix, Poppy

    Third Row L-R: Star Violet, Cherry Cola, Citron, Aphrodite, Satisfy

    Bottom Row L-R: Steamy, Glamorous, Ablaze, Woodwinked, Bandwagon, Malt

    In my main palette I gathered some neutral mattes and shimmers as well as a few pops of colour by MAC (Soot, Woodwinked, Steamy, Malt, Natural Wilderness, Ablaze, Star Violet, Satisfy, Smut, Deep Fixation), Makeup Geek (Glamorous, Cherry Cola, Bandwagon, Poppy, Peach Smoothie), Nabla (Citron, Pegasus, Madreperla, Aphrodite) and depotted shadows from the KvD Saint & Sinner palette (Heaven, Sabbath, Crucifix). Oldest of the bunch are the MAC ones from 2012-2014 with the exception of Satisfy that is much older. The Nabla and Makeup Geek shades are from 2016 and the KvD palette came out in the end of 2017.

    To add a bit more of summer fun brightness I chose the Viseart Editorial Brights (08) palette. I purchased this second hand from an Instagram acquaintance. I’ve heard so many great things about this palette over the years so when getting the chance to buy it used but a discounted price I took a chance. But the truth is I never reach for it. So it is the perfect audit candidate.

    Adding some duochrome goodness to a monthly arsenal is a must. I purchased the Enchanted Secrets palette by Linda Hallberg in 2017 and it has since been discontinued. It’s really a beautiful collection of magically shifting shadows.

    Let’s move on to swatches and a rundown of how each eyeshadow fared in the audit.

    Sabbath and Crucifix (KvD) worked their jobs ok, but the quality was nothing special and they will be let go. Soot (MAC) worked well as a liner and a deepening shade. I am a bit on the fence about this one but I think I will let it pass on to the next round. As I keep on mentioning, grey mattes are not my favourite shadows to use but keeping a few does serve a purpose for certain looks. Natural Wilderness (MAC) is a great murky mustard and I love this type of shade. Keeping. Cherry Cola (Makeup Geek) however was a disappointment. The pigmentation was not there and it was difficult to blend. Poppy (Makeup Geek) on the other hand is a lovely muted light red shade and a pleasure to use. So three out of six shades are leaving my collection.

    Ablaze (MAC), Bandwagon (Makeup Geek), Malt (MAC) and Peach Smoothie (Makeup Geek) were all lovely shades to use and blended well. Bandwagon and Malt are quite unique to my collection as well and the two are a great pairing. But Satisfy (MAC) is nothing special and it is really old, so its time has come. One out of five is bye bye.

    Moving on to some shimmers. Smut and Deep Fixation (both by MAC) were really dry, lackluster and difficult to use. The rest were nicely pigmented and pretty on the eyes. Despite that, Star Violet (MAC) is the only one I will keep. It has a very interesting shift and is an unique shade in my collection. Aphrodite (Nabla), Glamorous (Makeup Geek) and Woodwinked (MAC) are also nice but I’ve got similar shades that I like more so there is no need to keep these. Five out of six are out.

    Citron (Nabla) is just one of those green shades that I adore. Steamy (MAC) is really pretty and I loved wearing it together with Bandwagon and Malt as a sheer mermaid eye. Madreperla (Nabla) has a grey base with a pink shift. I find this shade does not work on the lid or as a topper over a darker shade sadly. But it is a great pink duochrome for an inner corner highlight. So I am keeping it for now for that specific purpose. Pegasus (Nabla) is a pale lilac with a gold shift. It is super pretty as a swatch but I have no use for it on the eye. On the eye the lilac is barely visible so it’s not a good lid shade and it is not popping enough to be a great inner corner highlight. I wore it four times over the course of the month and it only solidified my opinion. It’s a similar situation with Heaven (KvD). It looks amazing on the arm but I felt nothing for it on the eye. So two out of five are leaving.

    Wearing this Viseart palette over the month sadly made me develop a conflicted relationship to it. This palette consists of some bright shades unlike anything else in my collection. But I found it to be too much work and never felt felt pleased when using it. Hard to blend and the pigment, however great in payoff, did not last well on my eyes despite using a primer. Not even the shades that are the most useful to me, the yellow/orange and bright green and pink, were fun to use. So I will get rid of it and admit it was a poor purchase.

    Last but not least we have the stunning Enchanted Secrets palette by Linda Hallberg. There is no contest here, I’m keeping it.

    Top Row L-R: Peony Petal, What I Fancy

    Bottom row L-R: Pumpkin Trio, Filmstar Bronze & Glow in Fair-Medium

    Moving on tho cheek products we have got a nice little selection of bright colours. Two pastel blushes by MAC (Peony Petal and What I Fancy), a trio of popping shades by Sleek Makeup (Pumpkin Trio; Lantern, Squash, P Pie) and a compact with a nude sculpting shade and highlighter by Charlotte Tilbury. The newest of the bunch is the Bronze & Glow which I purchased in London in 2017.

    This month was a surprise for me when it comes to cheek products. I usually end up keeping most of my blushes and highlighters but this month was the complete opposite. I’m only going to keep one item.

    Peony Petal and What I Fancy (MAC) are quite unique to my collection and therefore I was a bit conflicted when I did not enjoy wearing them. Not that they do not appeal to me in theory, but the shades did nothing on my face. The were simply meh. So the sound thing to do is to get rid of them, but because of their uniqueness it feels a bit wrong. But I am doing it. The same goes for the Pumpkin trio by Sleek – but in this case the shades simply did not look good on me at all so there was no internal discussion to be had. The shades in the trio were too bright and quite hard to blend well. The sole winner this month is the lovely Filmstar Bronze & Glow compact (Charlotte Tilbury). I used the sculpt shade primarily as a blush and the highlighter is simply lovely on me. So to conclude the cheek products – out of four items, three will leave. Out of seven individual shades, two are kept. I’m a bit astounded and impressed by my resolve.

    So that was the rundown of all the products in June’s audit. Let’s finish off with some of the looks I created with this arsenal.

    June 1

    Eyes: Woodwinked, Heaven, Peach Smoothie

    Cheeks: What I Fancy

    June 2

    Eyes: Viseart yellow green and grass green, Citron, Sabbath

    Cheeks: P Pie, CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 5

    Eyes: Viseart pink and orange, Moonwake, Zephyr, Crucifix

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 15

    Eyes: Glamorous, Ablaze, Satisfy, Zephyr, Sabbath

    Cheeks: What I Fancy, CT highlight

    June 18

    Eyes: Star Violet, Citron, Ablaze, Poppy, Ethereal, Crucifix

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 20

    Eyes: Viseart blue purple, Orphic, Ethereal

    Cheeks: CT sculpt

    Rounding off June it feels good to say that I found some duds in my collection and some generic shades that can easily be let go and make space for the things I actually love. A total of 15 items and 28 individual shades are out. Not my most inspiring month for a multitude of reasons but a very successful audit.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: May 2020

    May was such a fun makeup month in general. I created looks of great variety and the shade selection for the audit kept me inspired all the way through. This month we had an arsenal with multi use items, so the usual eye and cheek split will not apply in this post.

    Note from me: Due to my vast blog backlog – this post is another one in retrospect. I look forward to catching up but it will happen eventually, all in due course.

    The arsenal consisted of three pre-made palettes, two personalized quads and ten singles. A total of 42 individual colour products and 41 unique shades. The base of the arsenal was the Infinity Palette and the Infinity Deep Palette by Linda Hallberg (the shade Fornax appears in both) offering shades for both eyes and cheeks.

    The Infinity Palette by Linda Hallberg is a well loved product that I’ve used mainly when traveling, because of its versatile shade range for me personally and its slim, light and mirror including packaging. I love that. Two shades double as blush and two as highlight, as well as working on the eyes of course.

    The Infinity Deep Palette by Linda Hallberg is another versatile product but for me despite not including any spot on cheek highlighters. It does compensate for that by including additional shades that can work as blushes in both the shimmer and matte section. And all shades are great on the eyes. This palette has not been used as much as the other Infinity palette but It’s also newer so I can see why. Also the first one is more adapted to my skin tone, but I do think they complement each other nicely and they are both very useful.

    With those two palettes as a base I wanted some more shimmer shades and some colourful mattes.

    Firstly we have another pre-made palette. My Comfort Zone palette by Wet N’ Wild is of the older incarnation and generally considered a makeup cult classic. It’s been worn over the years but I never reach for it anymore. A great contender for a proper audit.

    Top Row L-R: Scene, Coral

    Bottom Row L-R: Beautiful Iris, Sketch

    I pulled some more MAC shadows for May and created two quads. In the first one I gathered some mattes to complement the Infinity palettes as well as a lilac iridescent shimmer. All of these shades are from 2012-2014 I think.

    Top Row L-R: Chrome Yellow, Bio Green

    Bottom Row L-R: Bitter, Three Ring Yellow

    In the second quad we have four citrus shades two mattes and two shimmers. These four shades are also from 2012-2014.

    Top Row L-R: Blarney Stone, Twilight Glow, Paraskevidekatriaphobia

    Bottom Row L-R: Apparition, Prancer

    Top Row L-R: Cherry on Top, Orange Rainbow, Parrot’s Beak

    Bottom Row L-R: Tribal, Siren

    For a little brand variety I dipped into my Meow Cosmetics shades again and got out some shifting highlighter shades and other shimmers to achieve a better variety to the overall arsenal. The Meow shades are most likely from 2013-2014. Rounding everything off is a red matte by Sephora. Finding true red shades for the eyes have been an ongoing quest for me over the years, since it was a hard shade to find good versions of many moons ago. Not so much anymore, but a matte red is a great thing to have and that is why I picked up this Sephora single in the first place.

    Now we have gone through the complete arsenal of 42 shades. A bit of a mashup at first sight, but nothing that hindered my creativity when using them during the month. Let us move on to swatches and a verdict of each shade.

    The Infinity Palette – Linda Hallberg

    The Infinity palette was used almost daily and was my main source of blush and highlighter. Virgio ended up being my preferred highlighter but Milky Way is quite nice as well. Andromeda is a stunning blush shade on me and was used a lot. Pinwheel however, is not a favourite of mine. I think I would prefer this shade if it was a matte, something I would have loved for the eyes as well. I do get some use out of Pinwheel but I’m always a bit underwhelmed by the result. Maffei is a great diffusing crease shade and Cigar is very versatile as a crease shade, medium deepening and works as a cheek contour also. If I mix Fornax and Cigar I get a workable brow shade. Zwicky is a beautiful yellow brown, used mainly to give warmth to the crease or as a single coulour all over the lid and crease. I only used it once this month but I know I enjoy the shade and it fulfills a purpose in this palette. Fornax was used mainly as a liner or mixed with the other shades to add depth. This is a great palette and a solid keeper for me.

    The Infinity Deep Palette – Linda Hallberg

    The Infinity Deep palette is also a keeper. Solar is a great inner corner highlight for me and so is Polar Star. Polar Star also just passes as a cheek highlighter on me but I do not think I will continue reaching for it for that purpose. Quasar and Mars is are both very versatile shades for me since they work amazingly as both blush and eyeshadow. But Light Year is my favourite shade in this palette. It’s a peachy brown and on me it works beautifully as a complementing crease shade, all over lid/crease shade and blush. Umbra and Red Shift are great for depth and warmth and Fornax is your perfect pairing partner for mixing, liner and smoky duty.

    The Comfort Zone Palette – Wet N’ Wild

    On to a dud. Comfort Zone was very underwhelming to use. I used all but three shades but quite quickly decided that this palette is not worth keeping. The quality is just not there (anymore?). The blue brown shade, despite being stunning (worn May 7th), faded quickly on the eye.

    Scene is a blue leaning mid grey and it works just fine. I’ve decided to get rid of it since grey is not my favourite matte shade to use and I know I’ve kept other greys that can fill whatever use I might have for a matte grey. Coral however is one of those shades I just love to use. It works so well with my skin/hair/eye colouring and adds a fruity brightness to any look. Love it! Beautiful Iris is stunning on the lid but my favourite way to use it is as an inner corner highlight (see May 8, 16 and 30). Sketch was a surprise. I loved how it added a bit of a colour and depth paired with other shades. I was not prepared to like it but it will go on to the next round.

    On to the citrus shades. Chrome Yellow is another staple shade for me. I get so much use out of matte yellow shadows and this one works beautifully. Bio Green was a bit crumbly to touch but on the eyes it was such a popping bright green (May 2 and 29) and I think I have nothing else like it in my collection. So I am keeping it for now. Bitter is a great lime shade and despite not being a true matte is works as one for me. It is great for a pop of juicy green and blending out other shades. Lastly we have Three Ring Yellow. A green leaning yellow that adds a bright gilded sheen to the lid. i do not know how unique it is compared to other golds but the future will tell. I enjoyed using it and it can stay for now.

    Moving on to the lovely Meow Cosmetics loose shadows. Blarney Stone (St Patty’s Day collection) is a green tinged silver. This was a surprise like for me. and you can see it in action in the look from May 22. Twilight Glow (Harvest Moon collection) looks so good in the jar but on the eye it simply does not work. The issue is the black base. Any blending results in an ashy mess and the beautiful bronze shimmer totally disappears. I have no use for this shadow. Paraskavidekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th collection) is an interesting shade. A very sheer light Tiffany blue with a great sheen. A topper or inner corner shade for me. Prancer (Reindeer collection) is a similar shade but slightly greener. Apparition (Supernaturals collection) too, but a vanilla gold version. I love that type of shade and I love reaching for my Meow shadows for that purpose.

    shadows on bare skin

    Meow shadows with primer underneath

    For the next round of Meow shadows I wanted to showcase how much these loose shadows transform if used with a tacky base. Their true potential only comes out that way. Since I always use an eye shadow primer anyway due to having oily lids this is not any extra hassle for me. Orange Rainbow (Gloom & Bloom collection) is a very light coral orange with a silvery sheen and Parrot’s Beak (also Gloom & Bloom) is the same but more peachy orange. Tribal and Siren (both from the Lost Rainforest collection) are also quite similar to each other, soft purple mauves with a golden sheen. Similar but definitely not the same. I must say that I love all of these shades. It’s a joy to use them. And let’s not forget the matte red shade Cherry on Top (Sephora). It’s also great. Easy to work with (May 18 and 28) and just a great colorful staple.

    That concludes the rundown of the products in May’s audit. Let’s have a peek at some of the looks I created with said products.

    May 2

    Eyes: Bio Green, Three Ring Yellow, Bitter, Maffei, Cigar, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Pinwheel, Virgio

    May 7

    Eyes: Blue brown from Comfort Zone, Maffei, Cigar, Scene, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 8

    Eyes: Mars, Cherry on Top, Coral, Beautiful Iris, Sketch, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 11

    Eyes: Siren, Maffei, Cigar

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 12

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Coral, Chrome Yellow

    Cheeks: Pinwheel

    May 14

    Eyes: Twilight Glow, Solar, Light Year, Umbra, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars, Polar Star

    May 15

    Eyes: Three Ring Yellow, Parrot’s Beak, Chrome Yellow, Fornax

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 16

    Eyes: Tribal, Beautiful Iris, Coral, Umbra, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 18

    Eyes: Paraskevidekatriaphobia over Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil by MAC, Coral, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 19

    Eyes: Prancer, Maffei, Cigar, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 22

    Eyes: Blarney Stone, Apparition, Light Year, Maffei, Umbra, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 25

    Eyes: Polar Star, Light Year, Maffei, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars

    May 26

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Parrot’s Beak, Maffei

    Cheeks: Don’t know, missed noting it

    May 28

    Eyes: Siren, Parrot’s Beak, Mars, Cherry on Top, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Quasar, Virgio

    May 29

    Eyes: Bio Green, Three Ring Yellow, Bitter, Fornax

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 30

    Eyes: Beautiful Iris, Coral

    Cheeks: Coral, Virgio

    Time to wrap up May’s audit. Six shades were used as blush and three as highlight. Three shades from the Comfort Zone palette were not used at all but other than that I managed to use most shades multiple times.

    Exiting my collection this month are the Comfort Zone palette, Scene and Twilight Glow. A small cull but on the bright side I am glad that the shades I own are a joy to use. I’m getting to know them better by doing this audit and exploring the vast possibilities at my disposal. The deeper into to audit I get the less tempted I am by new makeup releases and that feels great. I obviously already own some great products and shades and using them is such a pleasure.

    Thank you for reading!