• Makeup,  Skincare

    The used up 2019:3

    This post has been a long time coming but I’m glad to complete it. It’s a great way for me to keep track of what I use over time, how long frequent use items last and my opinions on them. I’m trying to build a staple skincare wardrobe with some core functions and therefore I’ve been actively using up what I have and evaluating what functions I would like to replace.

    I’m going to go through skincare and makeup products that were used up by me between October and December 2019. Naturally this means I started using most of these before October, they just reached their final destination during this period. Twenty products in total.

    For reference I am 38 years old with a dehydrated combination skin. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Skincare

    Cleansers

    Two cleansing products were finished during this period. I use the Rose Cream Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) as a first cleanse in the mornings and as a second cleanse in the evenings. It has become a bit of a staple and I keep on repurchasing. I had two tubes in my last empties post and I’ve probably used up a few during 2020. However, I’m evaluating how quickly I go through a tube compared to the price. I have a feeling it is used up fairly quickly.

    Then we have a micellar water – Sensibio H20 by Bioderma (250 ml, 100 SEK), another staple. I’ve been using it less frequently lately but still for the same purpose – a quick removal of eye makeup when I’m tired or when I have a lot to remove that my other cleansers did not completely take care of. It works well for me and does not feel drying or irritating to the eyes or immediate eye area, but worth noting is that I do not use it every day. I keep repurchasing since it is a safe bet for me. I have not felt a need to try and replace it.

    Mists

    The Hydrating Milky Mist by Pixi (80 ml, 279 SEK) is another recurring favourite and I still like the product itself but sadly not the packaging. I’ve had consecutive mister issues with this one. They usually start out fine and then after a while instead of a fine mist it just start squirting. So I’m a bit fed up with this product now. This specific bottle took some time to use up due to me disliking spraying it on my face. I will most likely never repurchase this product again.

    Nordic-C Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist by Lumene (50 ml, 129 SEK) is another fave. I use it in the mornings after cleansing, before I apply the Glow Boost Essence you will se further down in this post. Since finishing this bottle I have repurchased and I’m in the midst of finishing that new bottle.

    Serums and creams

    Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% by the Ordinary (30 ml, 69 SEK) is what I prefer to use to make my larger pores look nicer and make them less prone to congestion. If it works that is. I used too feel like it did make a visible difference but I’ve been such a irregular user that it is hard to tell to be honest. I have repurchased this serum and will continue to evaluate its role in my skincare routine.

    This was my first try using the Marine Hyaluronics by the Ordinary (30 ml, 129 SEK) and it felt a bit meh as a hydrator. Also it’s a bit too watery for my preference, which makes it way to easy to use more product than needed. I enjoyed trying this product out but I doubt I’ll buy it again.

    A firm favourite hydrator however is still the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 289 SEK). As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I wish the price point was lower since I go through these quite quickly but I have yet to find another hydrating essence/serum that I like as much. So I keep on buying it when there is a discount. I use it in the mornings and often layer another hydrating serum on top before finishing off with a cream. This kind of hydration sandwich have done wonders for my skin, hence why I’m so fond of this product.

    Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi (45 ml, 399 SEK) is on par with the Lumene essence. A favourite that I wish was less expensive per use. I am working through another tube as we speak and try to use as small an amount as I possibly can to make it last longer. I use this over more watery serums/essences both in the mornings and evenings.

    Age-Repair Eye Cream “Tetra-peptide & Centella” by Grown Alchemist (15 ml, 620 SEK) is another repurchase. It’s quite expensive but the tiny bottle lasts at least 6 months for me so I am justifying it for now. I also make sure to repurchase when I have a 20% or more discount code or something similar. I hydrates the eye area in a lovely way and it does not disrupt my eye makeup, which is the issue I have with so many other eye creams. I use it twice a day.

    Masks

    Nutri-Recharging Purifying Peat Mask by Lumene (75 ml, 299 SEK) is a mud mask that I used so infrequently that I can not say much about how well it works. What I can say is that enjoyed using it and I have nothing negative to say about it. The mask does not dry down completely and when removed the skin felt nice and happy. This mask does not seem to be on the market anymore so a repurchase is not in the cards.

    The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask (75 ml, 195 SEK) was a gift and part of a kit I received a few Christmases back. I must say I really enjoy masks by Body Shop and would like to try more. Not sure a plumping mask is the highest on my priority list when buying replacement masks but I would consider repurchasing it sometime in the future. Right now I am trying to use up all the masks I own and evaluating what specific functions I wish to have at hand as part of my skincare arsenal. I think a purifying mask and an hydrating mask is top priority to begin with.

    Makeup

    Face and base

    The Blendercleanser Solid from Beautyblender (28 g, 169 SEK) is a soap bar in a plastic container that I use for cleaning my makeup sponges. It is very practical to use on an everyday basis, but I would prefer to be able to buy the soap as a refill. I do repurchase this whenever it runs out.

    Veil Mineral Primer (30 ml, 700 SEK) by Hourglass was a splurge I made in Liberty London when the brand was not easily available in Sweden. I did love using this primer and it made a lovely canvas to apply foundation on. It has one major flaw and that is the very very steep price. The smoothing effect it gives does not really warrant the high price tag.

    This mini Strobe Cream by Mac Cosmetics (30 ml, around 100-150 SEK I think) was a spontaneous purchase when I visited the MAC Pro store in Stockholm a few years back. I was in there to check out their new synthetic brush line and saw this mini and was catapulted back down memory lane. Back to a time when this was a cult product and I loved using it mixed with my foundation or as a shiny primer. After having finished this tube I must say I enjoyed it well enough and I wish to have something similar in my collection to mix and add sheen with, but I’m probably going to try another brand.

    I’m very pleased that I have managed to finish off three foundations. I love the feeling of using up products like these. I’ve had several foundations on the go parallel to each other because I have enjoyed trying out new products. But moving forward I will stick to a more streamlined team. They run the risk of expiring or drying out and I even though I managed to use these three up before that point, other base products were not so lucky. A waste of money to be honest.

    Lumene have been a favourite for foundation for some time now and the first thing I did when the brand was new to me was buying one of each foundation type they had just to try. The Glow Foundation by Lumene (30 ml, 169 SEK) was very hard for me to love due to it being a really poor shade on me. I chose the lightest shade at the time (0, Light Ivory) and it was a tad too dark on its own and almost made me look a bit muddy and gray in the face. I did manage to use it mixed, usually with a paler shade of a heavier foundation to get a lighter formula. This specific product seems to have been discontinued and replaced with other glowing base products.

    The Lumene Blur Foundation (30 ml, 189 SEK) in 0 Light Ivory was my baby however. I loved the finish and the shade. It could be used sparingly for a light base or more heavily for a perfect canvas. It was my favourite foundation and when I ran out I bought another one. But somehow they had changed the shade from a light yellow tint to a more pink leaning shade. So I do not love it anymore since it looks slightly off on my face. Lumene has since then reformulated their foundations yet again so I do not think these specific shades and formulations exists anymore. But I’m hesitant to purchase another one before I am able to go to a store and swatch the shades IRL, but we shall see. I’m using up the tube right now so I’m good for now.

    Last up we have the Matte Foundation from Lumene (30 ml, 169 SEK), also in 0 Light Ivory. This was a very nice matte formula and it did not feel too dry or cakey in any way (mind you, I do have combination skin). The scenario is the same with this, I might repurchase if I can sample the shade range beforehand.

    And a powder by Soap and Glory bit the dust as well, One Heck of a Blot mattifying powder (9 g, £ 12). I stocked up on this lovely product when I was in London a few years back and after this one I have but the one left. I can highly recommend it if you like a translucent pressed setting powder and can get your hands on it.

    Eyes

    The Heavy Metal glitter eyeliner in Spandex by Urban Decay (7,5 ml, 230 SEK) was a well loved product. It finally dried up but there was not much product left when it did. Its final performance was at a dear friend’s wedding in October. It’s a very wearable product and I would consider repurchasing this specific product and shade again. But I have a couple of H&M glitter eye liners that I need to use up first.

    The final product of this empties post is no surprise, it’s the Clinique Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx (6 ml, 235 SEK). My go-to mascara. It’s the only one I’ve found that does not smudge on me and has a small enough brush to easily use on both my top and bottom lashes.

    To summarize I managed to finish up 8 cleansers, 5 face mists, 11 serums, 1 eye cream, 4 face creams, 3 primers with SPF, 2 masks, 2 face primers, one eye primer, 3 powders, 1 concealer, 3 foundations, 2 mascaras, 1 soap cleanser, one glitter eye liner and a brow gel. 49 products in total for skincare and makeup in 2019. If my calculations are correct, then that is around 13 000 SEK worth of products for my face that I used up. Some items were presents and some were bought at a discount, but that number is definitely worth noting. That’s an average of 265 SEK per product I use. An average of around 1100 SEK per month on consumables. Products that in many instances are replaced continuously.

    I’m planning on doing these posts bi-annually so that I can keep track on how much I spend, mainly for skincare or other frequently replaced makeup items but also to keep track of my long-term thoughts on items used. It’s been very interesting going through the numbers and thinking about how to spend my money in the future.

    Thanks for reading!

  • 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

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: March

    This past month I’ve had a selection of 30 eyeshadows, four blushes and one highlighter to work with. As with the previous month, March was filled with a multitude of sick days and I’ve not had as many opportunities to do my makeup as I normally would. But I did manage to use all products in the arsenal at least once and form an opinion on them. I’m ready to complete the audit.

    As per usual, lets start with eyeshadow. March’s shadow team was compiled of one large and one small palette with single pan shadows and some additional single pots/compacts.

    The large palette included shadows from Makeup Geek aka MUG (High Tea, Secret Garden, Homecoming, Pretentious, Goddess, Desert Sands, Bitten, Steampunk, Jester), MAC (Green Room, Girlie, Amber Lights, Dance in the Dark, Lucky Green, Blooming Mad, Satin Taupe and Jest), Nabla (Millennium), Neve (Unicorno) and Inglot (30). I think the colour scheme turned out amazing, if I may say so myself. A nice balance of neutral and colourful shimmers, interesting mattes and a few lighter shimmers.

    To balance this lot off I picked some additional staple matte shades from Inglot that I kept in a separate palette. Five really functional shades, the beiges, greys, mauves and a soft yellow.

    To round off the team, and for a nice brand variety, we have a few loose pigments from Meow Cosmetics and a bright orange matte from Illamasqua.

    Now, let’s go through each shade and see how they fared in the audit. Let’s start off with some of the brights.

    Secret Garden (MUG) was only worn once but this is such an unique and fun shade that I definitely want to keep it. Jester (MUG) and Blooming Mad (MAC) are stunning pops of colour and were both fun to wear. These are exactly the type of shadow that are so easily forgotten in the vast depth of my makeup drawers. I’m so glad that this audit is bringing them forth! Goddess (MUG) on the other hand is not a pretty shade on the eyes sadly. It looks very flat and was hard to work with. Goddess be gone!

    As with Secret Garden, Steampunk (MUG) is so unique that I cannot bear to part with it right now. Amber Lights (MAC) might not be too unique but is very lush and a joy to wear. It brightens my face and it will go to round 2. Pretentious and Homecoming however (both by MUG), pretty as they are, are not special enough to keep. Pretentious was a bit crumbly as well so that sealed the deal for me.

    The sweet oldie and goldie Satin Taupe (MAC) was one I expected to be underwhelmed by, but it is still a very nice and wearable shade. I’m sure I have a vast amount of taupe shades, since I find them very flattering, so it will be fun to see if this classic shade can stand up to the competition in the end. Unicorno (Neve) on the other hand is unique and I suspect I have few shades like it. It has a slight purple base with a lovely green gold shift. I wore it mainly as a inner corner highlight this month, but as with most colour shifting shades, it is perfect for layering. A real stunner! 30 (Inglot) is also a very serviceable champagne highlighting shade. Will keep for now. Millennium (Nabla) on the other hand really stood out. I cannot believe I have not used this more than I have since I bought it. It’s a very fiery peach duochrome and I absolutely LOVED wearing it in the inner corner.

    Next up are some greens and pinks. Green Room (MAC) is a fail for me. It worked ok but was a fuss to blend well and I have zero use of a semi matte green in this shade. Not a good look on me. Lucky Green (MAC) is a light acid green with a golden shimmer and I find it very useful. Girlie (MAC) was a surprise. I enjoyed wearing this all over the lid and up in the crease. A soft pink eye that will work wonders with a multitude of lip colours (on me). Jest (MAC) was not up for the part though. Not special enough to be kept.

    Now on to the mattes. High Tea (MUG) is another shade that I now have newfound love for. A stunning green-tinged grey that’s easy to work with and added something interesting to the every look when used. Desert Sands (MUG) was a bit powdery but it did not affect its performance. I’m a huge fan of mustards and interesting yellows and this is a very useful shade for me. Bitten (MUG) also performs well and since I’m a sucker for a good red I will keep it for now. But it looks way darker on the eye than in the pan/swatch so in round 2 I will have to compare similar shades on their performance on the eye. I definitely do not need to own more than a few since this type of dark red is not something I wear regularly. Finally we have Dance in the Dark (MAC), winner of the most worn shade of the month. It did liner duty and a bit of outer corner shading service and was used on most days. It performed its job well and I will definitely keep it for now.

    All five Inglot shades are keepers for now. 330 is a close match of my skin tone and useful to have. 358 is a very lovely grey. It worked well for me since it us leaning purple and it makes it easier for me to wear. 344 is a beautiful mauve and I used it a lot in the crease. 291 is perfect to diffuse a hard crease and 378 worked well to softly smoke out any look.

    On to the final eye shades. I adore Vapour (Illamasqua) and Chandelier (Meow). There is no contest there. Future and Lazy Love (both by Meow) are very interesting shades and I am not ready to part with them without using them more. Whip (Meow) on the other hand is pretty with its silver and bronze mix. But not special enough on the eye, so it will go.

    Four MAC blushes were included this month and the most used one is also the one I will let go. There is something off about Pinch O’ Peach on my skin tone. It looks fine in pictures, as you can see in several of the looks at the end of this post, but there is something about it IRL that I do not enjoy. I’ve actually used it a lot over the years, this month was no exception, trying my best to make it work. But I just don’t like wearing it. I have many lovely blushes I should use instead. So its time has come. Melba, Immortal Flower and Baby Don’t Go on the other hand are fun shades to wear. Immortal Flower for example really brightens my face and I feel joy when I look all three.

    Diety from Illamasqua was the single face highlighter in this month’s arsenal and it was used only three times in total. I tend to forget to wear highlighter or skip it on purpose most work days. But this product is a definite keeper for me. I love the formula, the shade and the packaging. It is a lovely pale cool champagne with a subtle green shift.

    So that was the rundown of all the products in the March audit. Let’s end with some of my favourite looks from this month! They were fun to do, fun to wear or both.

    March 10 – Eyes: Amber Lights, Desert Sands, Millennium – Cheeks: Pinch O’ Peach

    March 14 – Eyes: Secret Garden, Steampunk, Lucky Green, Green Room , 344 mainly

    March 24 – Eyes: Jester, Lucky Green, Vapour, Desert Sands, Dance in the Dark – Cheeks: Immortal Flower

    March 26 – Eyes: Blooming Mad, High Tea, Lazy Lava, Dance in the Dark – Cheeks: Melba

    March 27 – Eyes: Chandelier, Future, Vapour, 344, 358, 378, Dance in the Dark – Cheeks: Pinch O’ Peach

    March 30 – Eyes: Girlie, Dance in the Dark – Cheeks: Pinch O’ Peach

    March 31 – Eyes: Pretentious, Desert Sands, 30, Dance in the Dark – Cheeks: Pinch O’ Peach

    So to conclude this month’s audit, seven items are leaving my collection. A neat little pile.

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: February

    When I finished my eyeshadow palette for February I was particularly pleased with the colour scheme. Muted shades of plum, some purples and a hint of acid green. It made me feel inspired everyday when using it. However, this month was full of sick days, a week away skiing and therefore not many makeup wearing days in total, sadly. But I did manage to use all the shades and succeeded in finding a way of keeping notes on what product/shade was worn on a specific day. This method came to me quite late in the month so we will not be able to reap the benefits until next month. Let’s meet the team…

    All large square pans are by Inglot and the smaller round ones are all Makeup Geek. I also added a small depotted black Urban Decay shadow to compelete the kit. Besides this palette I chose to add three Extra Dimension shadows by MAC to the audit. Two light duochromes for effect and highlight and one steel grey metallic.

    Let’s enjoy some swatches of the eyeshadows and go through what I think of each shade.

    I really love mattes. For me, having a wide variety of mattes can really transform a look and I enjoy murky and dusty shades a lot. Grey is a colour I generally struggle with but Bedrock is a grey that I actually enjoy wearing. It’s more or less clay coloured and if it were any cooler in tone I think I would not like it as much. Unexpected and Bake Sale are great shades and were the most worn ones this month. I use them both mainly as crease shades or for finishing off a darker crease blend, to add a bit of diffusion. Barcelona Beach is a great everyday crease shade for me and Petal Pusher is a fun and unusual muted mid pink. All of these made it through the audit as solid keepers. They perform well and serve a function at the same time as being fun to wear.

    Preppy is a mustard brown and I’m a sucker for this type of shade. Very useful. Sidekick is a quite unique murky hot paprika shade and I do not think I have anything else like it. Vintage and Americano look very similar swatched here (with a finger) but Americano is a lot darker when applied with a brush on the eyes. All four shades perform well and are to be kept.

    On to the shimmers. Limelight is such an epic shade and the first one I wore this month, teamed with Vintage. Havoc is stunning on the eyes, love me a good duochrome, as is Prom Night. I actually anticipated getting rid of Prom Night until I wore it. It was very pretty and not at all boring. Shimmermint is a bit drier texture-wise compared to the others but the shade is very interesting on the eyes and worked so well teamed with dusky plums that I fell for it. All four are keepers.

    Some of the Inglot shades were the ones I decided to get rid of in the end. 08 and 11 are not unique enough to keep and both only serve as an inner corner highlight for me. 402 was a bit meh on the eyes and 423 looked flat applied on the eye, not a very good colour payoff. So these four will be let go. 49 had a drier texture than say the Makeup Geek shadows but applied beautifully on the eyes and that’s what counts. So 49 stays on the the next round.

    The more colourful Inglot shades are all keepers. I did only wear them once each but they looked great on the eye. I was especially fond of 414.

    The final three eyeshadow are from MAC. Evening Grey is super pretty on the eyes and a dream to work with. Opalesse and Ready to Party were worn primarily as inner corner highlights this month but I know they can easily be layered on top of other shades to create dimension and effect. I love all three.

    For cheeks the arsenal consisted of a total of seven blush shades and one highlighter. Four MAC products, one Urban Decay and one Sleek-trio.

    MAC (Barbie Collection) – Pearl Blossom

    Spring Flock is an amazing blush shade. It just brightens my face and I love wearing it. Furnace/Bon Fire/Molten are a bit more difficult to wear due to being very pigmented but I enjoyed wearing them and they are quite unique in my collection when it comes to colour. So they are worth keeping at this point.

    Pearl Blossom is from the Barbie Collection that came out in 2007. I’ve kept it for nostalgic reasons but wearing it now makes me ready to let it go. This shade does nothing on my skin and there is no point in keeping it. Rapture and Mocha are very wearable shades and I enjoy using them. Keepers. Finally we have the hot pink Prom Princess. It’s from the Archies Girls collection from 2013. It’s ok on the cheeks but I know I have similar shades, like Supernova that made it through October’s audit, and I don’t need this specific blush.

    So that was the rundown of this month’s arsenal. I’m not overly impressed with the small number of products I’m letting go of but I highly enjoy the thought process. Every month my reasoning changes and I anticipate that I will get more ruthless as the months go by. Now, lets have a look at the some of the makeup looks I created this month. All looks with white tiles in the background are taken at work.

    So above we have the six items that are leaving my collection after February’s audit. Not many, but it is still progress. I had a lot of fun with this month’s arsenal and I look forward to continuing with this project.

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:2

    These twelve shades were worn between mid December and early February, a period of time including my birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve. When I picked them I knew what season it was obviously, but I still tried to pick interesting shades and not only easy-to-wear ones. l posted this lot to Instagram in the middle of January and my prediction then was that I would use all twelve in quite a short period of time. That ended up not being true, maybe because one shade was worn three times in a row (and despite that I did not get one single shot of me wearing it) and quite a few days I simply wore nothing at all. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered.

    This round included quite a few indie brands and mainly shimmers and glitters. Let’s see how this lot fared in the audit.

    Hell yes!

    Only five shades made it out of the audit as definite keepers. The five that made it are polishes that intrigue me in some way.

    MAC – Submerged

    Zoya – Katherine

    Pipe Dream Polish – Feed the Monster

    A nice jelly sandwich with Katherine and Feed the Monster

    Colors by Llarowe – Pine Boughs

    Pahlish – The Virgin Queen

    Maybe

    Polish Revolution – Zombie Christmas

    Zombie Christmas on top of Stylenomics

    This grey jelly polish with red/green/white glitter is so unique that I have a hard time letting it go. I wear it from time to time but I’m unsure if that is enough.

    Hell no!

    H&M – Have a Nice Clay

    In theory this polish was a great idea and I understand why I was drawn to and consequently bought it. An interesting muddy jelly shade, my favourite finish. In real life though..it just did not suit my colouring and I disliked wearing it.

    Essie – Stylenomics

    I love this murky dark green shade a lot. But it stains, badly. Staining is common with green shades but in this case it was severe and will keep me from using it.

    LilypadLaquer – Waterworld

    Not the best picture of me wearing it but Waterworld is just not the right shade of blue. There is something garish about it that I do not enjoy.

    Mentality Nail Polish – Cloudy

    Cloudy fell a little flat with me. It’s a matte shade but even with a glossy top coat it felt boring.

    Shimmer Polish – Mary

    Mary worn over Waterworld

    Mary is a glitter polish that is so beautiful, but sadly it has dried out beyond the point where I can save it. So this was its last hurrah.

    Deborah Lippmann – Ray of Light

    And finally we have Ray of Light – a beautiful polish and the one I wore three times without getting a single picture with it on my nails. It takes many layers to build up any opacity with this polish and then it flakes quite easily. It’s such an old shade and I never wear it anymore despite it being so pretty. So it’s out!

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: January

    I revisited some dear old shadows for January’s arsenal – some of the oldest shades I own and it was a real trip down memory lane.

    MAC was the first brand my heart fell for when makeup started to become a more serious part of my life, in my late teens. I have so many memories hovering at the MAC counter when I was visiting the big city, in a time when online stores were non-existent and my deepest fantasy was to do makeup for a living. Over the years I’ve accumulated oh so many MAC eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, lip and eye pencils and other bits and bobs. This have inevitably lead to me having not only a vast amount of products but also a vast amount of senior products that I fear will have to be let go. Some have most likely succumbed to old age and have become poor performers and surely some might no longer be my jam.

    Above we have the full arsenal – 17 shimmer and 12 matte shades for the eyes, one contour, two highlighters and five blushes. All shadows are MAC and most of the cheek products as well. A blush from Idun Minerals and a loose highlighter from Meow Cosmetics snuck in as well.

    I built one main palette from single pans and as you can see, some are quite well loved. The two shades that are showing the pan are some of my oldest, Trax and Idol Eyes. Another ancient shade is Humid and it might even be from the late 90’s (!). Crème de Violet was given to me by my (now) husband for our fifth anniversary – in 2002! It was a lovely gesture on his part especially since MAC was so difficult for me to get a hold of at the time.

    To balance the eye arsenal I chose to add eight more matte shades for basic shading and depth. As you can see some of these some are old favourites. Like Brun, the dark brown shade, that have been my brows companion for many many years. It’s not amazing as a shading eye shadow, but as a liner and brow shade it is amazing.

    For blush I chose a quite basic and easy to wear team. We have Stereo Rose, a Minerlize Skinfinish shade that I believe was limited edition when I bought it. A highly coveted shade at the time and I was thrilled to own it. But I must admit I have not worn it all that much over the years. On its left we have one of my favourite shades, another limited edition one, the Extra Dimension blush shade Autoerotique. I’ve made a big dent in that over the years and I will miss it when it’s gone. The Perfect Cheek is a lovely dusty pink from the Marilyn Monroe collection (gasp!). Another one that I’ve used a lot but in this case the pan hardly looks used. Then we have a more recent purchase, Sur, that was part of the Monochrome collection that launched in the beginning of 2019. I bought it because I thought it resembled another shade that I had broken to the point of no return but wish I still had. And the final shade is a mini sample I received as a gift with purchase from Idun Minerals, Havtorn.

    Over the course of the month I enjoyed wearing all five blushes and will keep them all for now.

    For highlighter I picked Perfect Topping from MAC and Phantoma from Meow Cosmetics. After wearing it a couple of times I established that Perfect Topping is not a great shade for my colouring so I will let it go. Phantoma on the other hand is an amazing shade and I wore it mostly on the eyes to be honest but it’s pretty on the cheeks as well, albeit a bit too much for every day work stuff. Keeper.

    Now let’s have a look at a few of the looks that I created this month along with my verdict of the eyeshadows used. Most looks are adapted for work, but I must say I highly enjoy working from a pre-set arsenal in the mornings.

    A soft eye using Sable by MAC. This is a lovely shade that looks great with most lipsticks. A keeper.

    I can not for the life of me remember what I wore in the above picture. I must get better at taking notes.

    The shade Give Me Fire is another “recent” purchase. My collector brain bought it when the the MAC collection Red, Red, Red launched in 2014. Red eyeshadow was something I was always on the hunt for at the time. They are more common these days but I still remember how excited I was when this collection was launched. Give Me Fire is not a very special shade but I got swept away by its limited edition status. It’s pretty on the eyes but nothing spectacular. I don’t need it.

    Cranberry on the lid and Outre in the crease. A fun combination I want to wear more. Both shades are going to Round 2.

    Trax was a pleasure to wear but a bit hard to work with. It’s so old and I definitely feel it has played its part in my life. So long dear one…

    The lovely Crème de Violet, the 5th anniversary shade I mentioned, is beautiful in theory but the quality is not there. It was hard to work with and faded and creased quickly. However nostalgic the memories surrounding this one are, I will let it go. In the above look I have added a bit of Rule for effect. Rule is a great orange matte shade and will be kept for now.

    Expensive Pink is a golden pink shade that I have not worn many times in my life. And it is not by any means new. Wearing it now, I enjoy it but in order to stay after Round 2 it will have to be damn special.

    Gorgeous Gold layered over Outre. Gorgeous Gold is simply – gorgeous. A green shifting gold that can be layered over different shades or worn on its own for a stunning effect. This is the type of shade I would wear all the time if I could remember that I have it. Finding these gems is one purpose of this audit and I am glad I have now highlighted its existence.

    I do not have more pictures of looks to give light to the shades worn. Nylon was more useful than expected and Vex had an odd sheen that I enjoyed. Barefoot and Greensmoke are really unique shades and all the mattes did a good job. To sum up this month I’m keeping more shades than I am getting rid of. The shades I will not keep are;

    Idol Eyes

    Humid

    Seedy Pearl

    Parfait Amour

    Mystical Mist

    Idol Eyes is very beautiful but a bit gritty and interesting to work with. Since it’s so old and well used I will let it go. Humid is such a beautiful shade but it’s ancient and it fades really easily on the lid. I hope I have something similar in my collection because I really enjoyed wearing this specific colour. Seedy Pearl and Parfait Amour looks ok in the finger swatch but lacks punch on the eyes. Not worth keeping. And finally we have Mystical Mist, another ancient shade that actually performed terribly…

    Perfect Topping

    So eight eyeshadows and one highlighter will be let go. Not too bad. For future audits I will try to make better notes on what was worn when and all my feelings. It’s a process…

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: December

    For #RedLipsDecember I choose to wear a variation of a red lip on the days I wear makeup at all. Therefore this month’s arsenal would have to be easily paired with red, hence I needed basic neutral shades for the eyes. My recently depotted Urban Decay palettes fitted the bill perfectly.

    The Naked, Naked 2, Naked 3 and Naked Ultimate Basics palettes were not exciting to me anymore in their fixed versions, but I knew there were some useful shades in them I might want to keep. So I shed their shell and depotted them. A year ago I would never have done that, but now it felt just right.

    The depot was successful and all shades survived more or less intact. A few shades were tossed straight away but those were the ones I knew I would never use. The rest were put in a Z palette. Basic mattes and basic shimmers, nothing too exciting but very useful shadows. To add a bit more “fun” variety to the arsenal I picked a couple of loose pigments from Meow Cosmetics as well.

    Again, nothing to colourful since I did not want to think too much when choosing my makeup for work in the morning. As a final addition to the shadow world I added a H&M duochrome highlighting palette with the aim to use it for both cheeks and eyeshadow effect. It contained a green, a peach and a purple duochrome shade.

    Firstly we can go through how the pigments fared in the audit.

    Sable from the Santa Baby collection is a shade I was a bit unsure of at first. It felt a tad boring and unlike what I usually enjoy using, but when wearing it I appreciated its beautiful shine and unique colour. I’ve decided to keep it for now and see how it fares in Round 2.

    Undead is a really fun shade and I loved wearing it. It’s from a collection named Zombie Apocalypse. Just the name makes me smile. It’s a greyed out purple with a pink shift – and this is exactly how complex I wish most shadows were. A joy to wear. It’s staying!

    Howl is from the (less excitingly named) collection Glacial Grove. But the shade is anything but boring. A murky clay shade with a silver sheen that brings depth and that extra something something to a rather classic look. Another keeper.

    Yet another keeper is Debauchery from the Pandoras Box collection – a stunning swampy gold that I think works wonders with my colouring.

    The last loose pigment is Trepidation from the Friday the 13th collection. The look I created above was not my favourite this month, but the shade itself is beautiful. Keeping this as well.

    The H&M palette was not my fave to use on the cheeks. The product is chunky and adds too much of a colour shift for my liking. As a duochrome shadow however they performed much better and I used them primarily as an inner corner highlight. I even enjoyed using them more than I had anticipated. I am going to let them move on to Round 2 but I doubt they will stand up to the competition. But I have been wrong before….

    Regarding the Urban Decay shadows I tried to give them a proper run this month and I think I did a good job. I’ve not been able to keep track of what shades I’ve used each day, due to time constraints, but I’ve made sure to use all of the shades at least once in some capacity. Some were worn a lot more. The result – I’ve decided to get rid of eleven of them.

    Of those eleven shadows, many were full of large glitters and I’ve noticed I really dislike that finish. Others were either lacklustre or hard to work with. The pale gold was beautiful but I had two so I felt no need to keep them both.

    Here are some looks I managed to create using mainly the UD shadows.

    Moving on to the cheek products of this months arsenal were we have five blushes and two highlighters. A lot of MAC, a little Sleek Makeup and a pop of IsaDora.

    Surprise, surprise, I enjoyed using all of them. The Sleek blushes, Flushed and Pomegranate, are obviously quite vibrant and I did not use them as much as the others but when I did they were lovely. I even managed to use them on the eyes, as shown in the picture below.

    Breath of Plum by MAC is a real oldie favourite for me. This compact is my second one (!), the first one was used up back in the day when I had less makeup. I used to dye my hair black and loved how this looked together with the contrast between my hair and my skin. I do not use it nearly as often anymore but it’s still a lovely colour. It’s staying. At Dusk as well, the other MAC blush shade. At Dusk is an Extra Dimension blush and I have worn this a lot since I got it in 2013-2014. Lovely shade and lovely finish. Finally we have Nude Blossom by IsaDora, another great shade and a more recent addition than the others. Very wearable and great to work with.

    Finally we have two MAC highlighters, Lightscapades and Here Comes Joy. I remembered not enjoying wearing Lightscapades too much but I was pleasantly surprised. It was not as frosty as I anticipated and it gave a lovely sheen to my cheeks. Here Comes Joy was also a surprise. More wearable on the cheeks than I remembered. Beautiful to use on the eyes as well.

    So for cheeks this month we had only winners.

    I must admit I was glad when this month was over and I could pick a new arsenal. I love wearing a red lip and more neutral eyes, but not every day. I love variety and this month felt quite repetitive, especially with regards to the eye looks. However, letting go of eleven shadows felt good and I hope for a similar result next month.

    Until then, thanks for reading!

    Sofia

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:1

    The first twelve from my nail polish audit have now been used and are ready for evaluation. Meet the team…

    Hell yes!

    First we have the ones that made it through the audit as winners. I loved wearing these colours for various reasons and they definitely deserve to be in this category.

    Zoya – Aggie

    Pahlish – Raggedy Man, Good Night

    A England – Fotheringhay Castle

    Zoya – Caitlin

    Zoya – Shawn

    Smitten Polish – Tornado Skies

    Maybe

    Now on to the ones I’m unsure of. I was a bit on the fence about the shade Aquamarine from Nail Pattern Boldness that I quite enjoyed wearing but I feel it has to stay in the maybe category until farther into the audit.

    Nail Pattern Boldness – Aquamarine

    Il était un vernis – #imanatural

    Hell no!

    An now on to the juicy category – the rejects. This is the part of the nail polish audit that I’m the most excited about. The more polishes that end up in this category, the more brain space is left for the ones I truly enjoy.

    IsaDora – Orient Express

    A bright metallic red is so not my jam. Pretty in theory but I do not feel like myself wearing this.

    L’oréal – Indigo Classique

    Lovely shade but I detest the finish. I tried using a top coat to take away the (intended) grit but to no avail.

    IsaDora – Mother of Pearl

    I sort of loved the ethereal glow this shade gave in a certain light, but unfortunately when not in said light it looked less attractive.

    China Glaze – Rendez Vous With You

    I was dead set on disliking this shade but was surprised that I enjoyed wearing as much as I did. But I think that was down to me combining it with tops in shades that really flattered this particular shade of purple. So I probably enjoyed the colour combination more than the polish shade itself. I will never actively choose to wear this shade again and it will have to go.

    Phew – twelve down! It took me a while to get through them but here we are. Six keepers, two maybes and four discarded.

    Thanks for reading!

    Sofia