• Makeup

    Thoughts on my makeup audit project: 2019-2023

    I started my makeup audit project in October 2019 and by the end of February 2022 I completed using my last monthly arsenal. I was very glad to reach that milestone in the project and ever since then I’ve slowly completed the last phase of the project (except for nail polish) in a very unstructured way. In this post I want to summarise and conclude the project as a whole.

    The premise for the project was to whittle down my vast collection a bit and to aid that quest I wanted to wear each item once, potentially one last time. You can find the proper run down of the project in my initial post from October 2019 here.

    The audit was divided in categories and each category was handled a bit differently as you will see in my rundown of each below. In the beginning of the project I also did a little inventory of the major categories and just for fun I wanted to compare it to what I’m left with today. So I’m including some numbers and pictures so we can get a feeling of the massiveness of my undertaking. And for fun.

    Powder eye products

    Eyeshadows were the main part to audit in my monthly arsenals and lasted the full time period. A huge amount of palettes and singles were put away, but an even larger amount were saved. Below you can see the rejected powder eye products from Round 1.

    After my first round of the audit was done in February 2022 I took another hard look at what I had kept. In Round 2 I compared similar items to each other and tried to be realistic on which items I would like to use moving forward and minimizing duplicates. A lot of old stuff was discarded, like all of my gorgeous Extra Dimension Eye Shadows by MAC, and I also decided not to depot my Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes and just let them go.

    Work in progress

    After Round 2 I sorted all of the remaining items, during the last half of 2022, and arranged all of my single pan shadows by colour and gave each palette a matching name. You can see them all below including the unnamed palette with highlighting shades.

    I found them very visually pleasing and thought I would keep them like that for a longer time than I ended up doing. However, after using them a while I noticed I still felt overwhelmed by choice. I was always torn between using my oldest shades and my newer ones and all of those in between. So in January of 2023 I did a Round 3 (thinking it was my last) and I took a hard look at the age of the shadows (and blushes) that I had kept previously and put away anything older than 2016 with the exception of my Meow shadows from 2013. Nostalgia made me keep those Meow shades. Below you can see the shades from Round 3 including most of my MAC, Inglot and MakeupGeek shadows and MAC pigments.

    Discards from Round 3

    The new plan was to keep those remaining shades for the duration of 2023 and then let go of more old shades. But I still had this nagging feeling that I had too much to choose from. And I was not using my newer items nearly as much as they deserved. So in May of 2023 I went through everything again and decided that 2019 (when I moved to a new city) would be a breaking point for eyeshadows at least. Anything older than that would only be kept if I had a very good reason to spend some more time with it. So I do still use a smaller amount of shadows that are older than 2019 and they can stay for the rest of 2023. Then they are out as well.

    My beloved Meow shadows have now been put in bags and I will not use them on the eye any more (I will however see if I can repurpose loose shadows and pigments as art supplies). Most of my Nabla and Urban Decay shadows are gone. I also let go of a few newish bits like the Swear By It palette by Nyx. I bought that palette in 2019 and have used it a lot since then. But the sheer size of it overwhelms me and I recently started feeling like the shadows were not performing as well as they did when I bought it.

    I must admit that putting away most of the items bought before my move from Gothenburg was hard emotionally. I felt like I lost a part of myself when I moved and that was I part I was not keen on letting go of. Putting away these items just solidified this shift in my life. I know they are just things, but I attach memory to things and this was a tough one.

    I started the project with 748 single eye shadows/pigments and 64 palettes of various sizes (three were highlighters in palettes that I mainly used on the eye). Right now, in August 2023, I own four fixed palettes and 133 singles for eyes. That includes all of my new additions since the audit started and to be honest those make out the majority of my arsenal now. So what I am left with is not all of my favourite or most worn shades, something one might think would be the case after a big declutter. What I have left is what was last bought when I already had all of those other older shades. So in some shade categories I feel like I’m lacking a bit. But I am in no hurry to replace anything just yet. I have plenty of options to play with until I feel like the time is right to invest in something new.

    Lip products

    These were audited in two big declutter sessions in 2020. During 2021-mid 2023 I did cull even more items that were older and the final post chronicling that can be found here. None of my current lip products were in my arsenal when the project started. Everything has been replaced. A natural replacement period since all the stuff I started with was older.

    Cheek products

    I started the audit with 67 shades of blush, 9 contour shades and 22 highlighters. After Round 1 of cheek items was completed in March 2021 I did a blog post displaying and swatching my then current cheek arsenal, which you can find here. I had by then not discarded that many cheek products and you can see the rejects below.

    The rejects from Round 1 (a few are not pictured since they were re-homed)

    After that I wore all of those remaining shades for a while and then did a Round 2 in increments during the last half of 2022. A larger number of items, pictured below, were given the boot during that time period. A lot of lovely items that were simply past their prime or otherwise deemed unnecessary.

    Discards from Round 2

    In January 2023 I had 14 cheek items left. One duo with a highlight and a sculpt shade. 11 powder blushes and a pale lipstick that had been demoted/promoted (?) to cheek shade. I then completed my last round, Round 3, in the end of January and was left with 6 items (7 shades).

    Round 3 – the final blush declutter

    Those seven shades consists of 4 powder blushes, one cream blush (the aforementioned lipstick), 2 shade/contour colours that doubles as neutral blushes and one highlighter. From 22 to one highlighter! Mad.

    To complement those older bits I have some newer bits as well. Several of the shades in my Hindash palettes (Beautopsy and Monochromance) can be used as blush and my other Lisa Eldridge velvet lipsticks are being applied to my cheeks regularly. In addition to that I’ve also acquired three pots of lip/cheek colours by Trinny London and Manasi7. So my options are not limited yet not as abundant as before. I have got my eye on some shades that I feel like I’m lacking but I’m hesitant pull the trigger as of right now.

    Nail polish

    My nail polish arsenal have been and are being audited twelve items at the time in my still ongoing series The Twelve. I will continue to do that series until I have worn all of my shades. I rarely buy nail polish anymore and I highly enjoy the ones that I have.

    Miscellaneous items

    These were cream and liquid products like foundation, concealer, primers, brow products, mascara, cream eye shadows and liners. These items have been audited continuously and documented on my Instagram stories (saved as highlights).

    The timeline

    I purchased quite a lot of new makeup items during the audit period (since the project lasted three and a half years) but not anywhere close to what I was buying in previous years. I’ve bought replacements of foundation, concealer, powder, makeup sponges, colour corrector, eye primer, mascara, eyeliner and brow gel. I have also bought some extra foundations, concealers and powders to try out. I am on a bit of a journey with trying to find base products that really matches my colouring and skin type. I’ve also picked up or been gifted (by family) eyeshadows from Lethal Cosmetics, Terra Moons, Glossgods, H&M Beauty, Glam Shop and Hindash. And I have experimented a bit with cream colours for lips and cheeks (Trinny London and Manasi7). As mentioned these new items make up the majority of my current collection.

    The project was fun most of the time and and I did enjoy choosing a new arsenal each month. My makeup creations also became more creative thanks to the monthly arsenals. They helped me become very aware of how much makeup I owned and how long it would take me to do that first round of wearing everything. But I stuck to my original plan, to use all the items before (potentially) discarding them. This approach made the audit a very very long project, but I always felt and still feel that it was the right thing to do for the reasons below;

    1. I find it difficult to let items go in general. Using each product gave me the opportunity to form a proper opinion based in reality rather than a sentimental memory.
    2. My monthly posts including swatches was a great way to chronicle what I I used and what I let go of. The pictures and swatches remains.

    Addition in hindsight: All of these rounds really helped me in making my final decisions on letting all of the older stuff go. I could never had made that decision from the get-go. The longevity of the project also solidified my feelings of overwhelm with that much abundance. The products were just sitting unused there and going to waste. The long auditing process created this result and I am now grateful for the lessons learned.

    What I have learned

    It’s been an ongoing conversation with myself about my habits and how I use makeup and what part of the process that makes me happy. A few truths have been revealed;

    • I do like variety but there is a limit. Owning too many items is overwhelming for me. At the same time I am no makeup minimalist nor do I aspire to be one.
    • Due to excess, many of my items had expired or become ancient without being worn much at all. It just feels so wasteful.
    • I’m not a makeup artist anymore and do not need every colour or product category under the sun.
    • I hate not being able to repurchase a favourite item. Of course products can be discontinued or brands can go out of business but limited edition releases are exactly that, limited. I also want to be able to recommend product I like to others without a time-limit.

    These truths inform something about my purchasing behaviour moving forward;

    • I was never a full-on makeup collector to begin with but I did have a bit of a collectors mentality when it came to certain brands. However, I do no longer desire to acquire makeup like that. I do not want to own things for the sake of owning them, I want to have products that I use or can see myself using regularly. I do not need the same shade from five different brands and I do not need shades for other people other than myself. So no more collecting!
    • Products have a limited shelf-life. Of course I knew that before but the audit really highlighted the fact in a blunt way. I’ve always seen my powder items as long lasting and that is in a sense true since they last vastly longer compared to their cream or liquid counterparts. But now when I went through eyeshadow after eyeshadow I noticed how old they actually were. Many were more than 10 years old! And I’ve barely used some of them since I had too much stuff to choose from. I have also discarded many shadows during the audit due to smelling off and performing differently than when I first got them. A category where I really have to consider this aspect is lipsticks. I love a variety of shades and finishes but I only have one mouth and seven days a week (and I do not wear makeup every day anyway).
    • I miss the days when I had an intense relationship with a specific product or shade, like I did back in the day when I owned fewer items and also had less money that could be used for buying makeup. I do not long for a sparse arsenal but I do long for a used arsenal. I want to get back to the feeling of knowing the names of shadows by heart. Less can be more in that sense.
    • I care more about the quality of the packaging than I used to. Aesthetics and function are key points of value along with having favourable feelings about a brand and how it acts in the world. I do not have any set parameters for how I judge that but go on gut instinct.
    • I currently prefer owning eyeshadows as single pans in compacts/palettes that I can modify myself. I would like to avoid buying fixed palettes except when there is a specific brand/creator I want to support or if a palette is so damn unique and/or exciting that I just cannot help myself. But I will definitely be mindful of why I want it and have a look at what I own before buying new shades, that is goes for palettes and singles alike.
    • I want to avoid limited edition items. I used to chase every limited edition release. Nowadays I am a bit turned off when something is limited. I want to find firm favourites that I can replace when I run out. I want my swatches and opinions on a product to be of use for others and not be irrelevant in six months time.
    • Some types of products are simply not for me. I do not need any bronzers or false lashes. A very limited arsenal of liquid liners, eye pencils and highlighters is enough. I do not need to cater to anyone else’s taste and face but my own.

    Purchasing behaviour moving forward

    I never had the intention to stop buying makeup or have a minimal arsenal. That was not the purpose with the project and I feel the same now that it is over. But I want to be mindful of what newness I bring into my life. I only have one face. Knowing that I still own an abundance of items, even after this audit, I will consider the following points before purchasing something new;

    • Do I already own this from another brand? Back in the day, I often bought duplicates of shades from different brands just because I was in a collector mindset. Nothing wrong with that, but I want to avoid it moving forward.
    • What is the shelf-life? Will I get much use out of it before it expires?
    • Is it a permanent item?
    • Can it be substituted with something else that I already own? Two different products do not have to be colour-dupes to be able to perform a similar function.
    • And the one one that can trump all of the above – Does the thought of trying and using this product make me really really excited? If the answer is yes, that is something to take note of since it is unusual these days. It might be a launch from Lisa Eldridge or a collab with a creator I want to support. Or maybe it is an intriguing new brand that I want to check out and form an opinion on. I used to get excited for specific brands, collections and makeup looks more often back in the day, but now I rarely get excited for new things. But when this does happen I do not see a problem to act on the urge as long as I choose somewhat wisely when I do.

    Makeup for me is a bringer of joy. I love feeling enamoured with an item or a colour but that love only comes into fruition when I actually use the items regularly. I do not want the beautiful shadows to collect dust and go bad. I want to wear them! I want them to be tools to create beauty on my face. I want to be inspired by shapes, shades and the emotion they create together with a great outfit. I want to yet again create inspired by films, art, nature, people I admire and fashion (present and past).

    This project was vast but meaningful. I am glad the projects is concluded and the result is a reward that will last for a very long time.

    If you made it this far, I applaud you!

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    Lip liners – a shade comparison of MAC and Lisa Eldridge

    When decluttering my old MAC liners I did a swatch comparison between them and the similar shades from my more recently purchased liners by Lisa Eldridge (LE). I started purchasing LE liners to replace my old MAC ones but discovered that most of them were not colour dupes as I had initially anticipated. But some are functional dupes i.e close enough in colour to provide the same function. In this post I want to share swatch comparisons of the similar shades from the two brands but also share swatches of all of my Lisa Eldridge liners. All with the hope of providing some picture guidance if anyone else is considering purchasing any of these liners and could be helped by seeing them swatched side by side on my skin tone.

    Liner comparison – MAC and Lisa Eldridge (LE)

    Morning did not replace Redd as anticipated. Morning is brighter and more vividly warm. Redd is more subtle overall and I could see myself purchasing it again in the future if I notice a need for it. I’m a sporadic liner wearer but usually use liners specifically with reds and darker shades when I want a more precise or impactful look. They are therefore useful but not a necessary part of my everyday makeup usage. The purpose filled by Cherry and Beet is now occupied by Ribbon, Duchess and even Myth. Burgundy is a shade that nothing really compares to but I included swatches of Decade and Midnight for reference. I do like Burgundy a lot and will consider picking it up again in the near future. It is stunning on its own but it also plays well with many of my more muted lip shades. Brick is also in a league of its own but I’m not sure I currently need a shade like it. I was sure that Midnight would replace Nightmoth but the are more cousins, Nightmoth being more muted and grungy. I have recently repurchased Nightmoth though. It is great for deep and dramatic looks and I wanted it in my life again.

    The formula differ between the two as well. The MAC liner in its classic wooden pencil format is drier and harder formula. But not hard to use mind you. It does not glide on the way the LE liners do but I have never found them difficult to apply. Both liners have great longevity on me and if I had to choose I do prefer the sturdier MAC liners. I feel like I have even more control and find it easier to be precise with them on my thinner lips. But since I do not have to choose and gladly enjoy both brands and the shades they offer.

    Swatches of the Enhance and Define Lip Pencils by Lisa Eldridge
    Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Pencils

    My most used liner by Lisa Eldridge is Muse and it is because it is my oldest. You can even see that the packaging is shinier than the rest of the pencils. I purchased it as part of a Muse-set and thought it would be a great neutral lip liner for me. In truth it is just ok. Muse as a shade of liner is a tad too light and peachy for my taste. When I compare swatches of the Velvet Muse lipstick side by side with the liner, the liner is visibly warmer in tone and the lipstick is more rosy. I prefer to wear Velvet Muse without a liner anyway so I will not repurchase the Muse liner when it goes off. I hope Lisa creates a neutral to cool mid brown liner in the future that I can use as my base line for ‘my lips but better’ looks but until then I manage just fine without. Affair and Sorcery are also too warm for me. The Velvet Affair lipstick was a poor purchase on my part but I love the Velvet Sorcery lipstick, but the Sorcery liner is not a winner. The same is true for Sorcery as with Muse, the liner is warmer than the lipstick. And for me that is not great. All of the other liner shades works great for me with their respective lipstick and I use them in conjunction with those shades mainly. Blush is a shade that I also enjoy using to push shades that feel too warm in a cooler direction. But alas, I am a sparse liner wearer and I am sure these liners are capable of more than I currently use them for. But they are fairly new and I look forward to flexing their abilities in the coming years.

    I hope this post was helpful and that it aided someone in their decision to buy or not to buy any of these liners.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit: The Twelve:20

    When spring arrived it had some effect on my choices of candidates for my ongoing nail polish audit project. These twelve polishes were worn from early March until the end of May. Two by OPI and one each by Chanel, Crows Toes, Formula X, Illamasqua, Barry M, Depend, Mentality, MAC, Pahlish and Zoya.

    Hell yes!

    MAC – Breezy Blue
    Illamasqua – Milf
    Pahlish – Forest of the Dead
    Chanel – Rouge Radical (530)
    OPI – Don’t Touch My Tutu
    Barry M – Spring Green


    Formula X – Catalyst

    Hell no!

    Depend – 352

    Pretty shade but there is not much left in the tiny bottle. It has served its purpose.

    OPI – Houston We Have a Purple

    This is simply not a shade for me. I bought it because it was a jelly polish and those were not easy to come by at that point. But I do not like it on me and therefore will never use it.

    Zoya – Dhara

    This orange is not a great shade for me and the PixieDust finish feels dated and has done so for years.

    Mentality – Jody

    I have other similar shades that suit me better and that I have more feelings for.

    Crows Toes – Sweet as Sugar, Cold as Ice…

    Beautiful but the formula is getting very thick. I do not use glitter toppers often enough to warrant keeping this, however beautiful it is.

    So to conclude this round of The Twelve I ended up with six keepers, one maybe, and five hell noes.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    A Makeup Audit Tale: lip products part 3

    I did a massive two part clear out of my lip products right when I started my audit project in 2019 (you can find part 1 here and part 2 here). Mainly old items that had expired but also shades I knew I did not love. The collectors mentality that I was affected by before is now replaced with the desire to have a lipstick wardrobe of a size that gives me options to chose from but is small enough so that I can wear them all regularly.

    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. Those 13 lipsticks, five lip crayons, seven liquid lipsticks and nine lip pencils were then worn from November 2019 up until May 2020, a month when I started adding some new shades. Since then I have splurged on oh so many Lisa Eldridge lip products. I’ve bought a large selection of her lipsticks/liners divided on several different launches. I’ve also bought or otherwise acquired some fun lip shades from H&M Beauty, La Bouche Rouge, Illamasqua, Surratt, Byredo, MAC and Chanel. Right now I’m at 13 liners, three lipglosses, two crayons and 54 lipsticks. Those shades, that I have and use today, are mainly made up of the new acquirements. It is an baffling amount and think I am at the limit of what I prefer to own.

    This post will be my last instalment of the lip part of my makeup audit project. It includes shades that I stopped using for one reason or another between my latest declutter in 2019 up until the end of 2022. It will also include some lip products bought after I started my audit project since I am not immune to making bad purchases despite being a bit wiser.

    I must confess that I normally use a lip product until it goes off. But this time I went mainly on age. Most of these items were very old but still in use since they smelled and looked just fine despite their age. The Revlon matte crayons were from 2014 and the Chanel lipsticks were from 2016 and none of those have shown signs of going off (still to this day) but I was becoming uncomfortable using them any longer. A few of the oldest lip products – some of the liners from MAC – started to smell a bit off and that was my cue to take a hard look on the older items.

    In todays post I will go through each item that I’m letting go of accompanied by a little note on our time together.

    Pillow Talk, Goldstone, Garden Party, Sultry, L’Exubérante
    Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury

    The Pillow Talk liner was purchased in the Charlotte Tilbury shop in Covent Garden in early 2017. The shade was very hyped at that moment and I was interested partly because of that. I wore it for a while and liked it just fine but as the years passed I felt it was too light for me. I simply did not enjoy wearing it. But I kept it anyway and then it went off last year. This is not a shade I would consider buying again but I have nothing against the formula of the Lip Cheat so another shade might be in my future. Who knows?

    Fantastick in Goldstone by LH Cosmetics

    This product and shade was a favourite for a few years and I used it up. I did repurchase another one in 2020 but that turned out to be a mistake. I did not enjoy the shade as much as I did before and stopped reaching for it over time. A tad too glossy for my taste nowadays.

    Lip Colour-to-go in Garden Party by H&M Beauty

    This pink shade is another well loved item that I have just stopped enjoying wearing. I have nearly used it up but now I find this fruity pink to be a bit too glossy for my liking. I do have a brown shade in this formula that I still adore using called When In Rome.

    Colourburst Matte Balm in Sultry by Revlon

    The matte crayons were picked up abroad in 2014. Sultry was a great shade and I have used it a lot over the years. These are not available anymore or else I might consider repurchasing some shades.

    Rouge Allure Velvet in L’Exubérante (37) by Chanel

    This one is possibly from 2016-2017 but I do not remember. It could be older. I have worn this sparingly and if I want to wear a pink this popping I tend to prefer Skyscraper Rose by Lisa Eldridge. I checked the Chanel website and this specific shade is no longer available.

    Redd, Striking, Cherry, Rouge Feu, Besos, 01
    Lip pencil in Redd by MAC Cosmetics

    Redd is my oldest and therefore most worn lip pencil. It predates 2014 that is for sure. A great pencil in a great shade. I would consider repurchasing in the future. I tried replacing Redd with the Morning liner from Lisa Eldridge, but they are not dupes.

    Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking by Revlon

    This picture does not do this magnificent colour justice. It is a stunning soft and light red shade and the pigmentation was perfection. I believed the product to be discontinued but a quick google showed this shade as available on a few sites. However Revlon does not show the Colorburst Matte Balms on their official website at all anymore so I’m a bit sceptic that it might be older stock still in circulation. If it was a permanent item I would repurchase.

    Lip liner in Cherry by MAC Cosmetics

    Cherry is Redd’s cooler counterpart. It’s old but not as old as Redd. I’ve worn it quite a lot and I have nothing bad to say about this pencil. I do have a few cooler red pencils by Lisa Eldridge now that fills the purpose that Cherry did before, despite not being colour dupes.

    Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Feu (57) by Chanel

    This lipstick is from 2016 and I have worn it so much the past few years. I retired it due to old age but it still smelled and looked just fine when I put it away as well as when I put it on for this photo. Ever since I’ve retired it, maybe a year ago, I’ve been thinking about repurchasing this specific shade again. And in the end of June I picked it up when I visited Gothenburg. Ever since I misplaced my Velvet Morning lipstick (Lisa Eldridge) I felt like I was missing a bright warmer red and now I am reunited with Rouge Feu.

    Cream lipstick in Besos by H&M Beauty

    This lipstick was purchased alongside several others from the same brand in November 2021. After wearing it a few times I knew I had made a bad choice. I do not love a red in this creamy pigmented formula. The colour is nice but it is too glossy.

    Cream Lip Stain in 01 by Sephora

    This liquid lipstick is from 2017 and I have gotten a lot of wear out of it over the years. It is a stunning red shade and a good formula that is quite easy to apply. I’m content being without a liquid lipstick at the moment so I do not see myself repurchasing anytime soon. But Lisa Eldridge just released her version called Velveteens and that might be a more fun option to try if I get the urge for a liquid lip in the future.

    Rouge Vie, 17, Brick, Curtain Call, Rouge Audace, 27
    Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Vie (58) by Chanel

    I adore Rouge Vie and this is one, like Rouge Feu, that I recently opted to repurchase because I missed it and it was still available. This soft muted red is very versatile either blotted down or worn full on and I have used it a lot over the years, especially since I started my audit project and had a smaller lip arsenal for a while.

    Cream Lip Stain in 17 by Sephora

    I’ve loved wearing this shade of the lip stain and especially as a blotted stain with blurred edges rather than full on as applied in this picture. Great shade over all and I would have loved it as a normal lipstick. However since I repurchased Rouge Vie I think the slot has been filled even though they are not exactly the same.

    Lip liner in Brick by MAC Cosmetics

    Brick is a great colour and I have nothing like it at the moment. But I am unsure if I need a liner in this colour. Only time will tell. If I feel like I am missing a shade like this in the future I would definitely consider repurchasing Brick.

    Lip Colour-to-go in Curtain Call by H&M Beauty

    This one was a really bad performer and I only wore it two times after buying it in November 2021. It was so dry and applied so patchy. Not all of the matte crayons are bad though. I own a orange red one from the same brand called Hot-Blooded that is creamy and applies nicely. But Curtain Call was a dud and formula inconsistencies does make me wary to try more shades in this formula from H&M Beauty.

    Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Audace (59) by Chanel

    Rouge Audace, sweet Rouge Audace. How I wish I could replace you! This is the third and final Chanel lipstick from 2016 and this one is sadly not part of the permanent collection. Chanel recently (?) did a shade extension of the Rouge Allure Velvet formula but unfortunately Rouge Audace was not a part of it. This darker brown red was oh so beautiful to create looks with and it will be missed.

    Cream Lip Stain in 27 by Sephora

    27 is another liquid lipstick that I would love to own in a regular matte lipstick formula. I remember trying to replace it when I bought Worship Her by Byredo in November 2021 but the effect is not the same. But now I feel like I have enough dark lipsticks that I have no need to continue searching for a replacement for this specific shade.

    Beet, Fiery, Burgundy, Nightmoth, 103, 104, 29
    Lip liner in Beet by MAC Cosmetics

    This liner is of unknown age but old for sure. The colour is pretty but I feel like I have enough cool red lip liners (Ribbon and Duchess) from Lisa Eldridge and feel well equipped in that department.

    Colorburst Matte Balm in Fiery by Revlon

    Another lip shade I sort of wish I could replace. Gorgeous and so comfortable on the lips. But I have other berry shades I can wear instead so the urge is not super prominent. As with Striking, this was from 2016 and I am letting it go due to age only.

    Lip liner in Burgundy by MAC Cosmetics

    Burgundy is a liner that I picked up in 2014. Looking at this picture makes me realise what a great colour this is for me. I will most likely repurchase this one in the near future since I have nothing like it at the moment I I think I will get great use out if it if I have it.

    Lip liner in Nightmoth by MAC Cosmetics

    Nightmoth is a liner that I recently have repurchased. I just found it very useful for darker and more dramatic lip looks and missed it when this first one was deemed too old.

    Cream Lip Stain in 103 by Sephora
    Cream Lip Stain in 104 by Sephora
    Cream Lip Stain in 29 by Sephora

    These pictures does not do the shades justice since they were the last ones to be worn after removing all of the other lip swatches. My makeup in the mouth area was pretty beat up at this point and the rest of the face was barely hanging in there as well. With dramatic colours such as these I would also had preferred to wear a base that evened out my skin tone even more, to make the colours stand out in a better way. But alas, here were are. I am going to talk about these together since I bought them at the same time in mid 2018 and they occupy the same place in my mind. These were my ‘fun shades’ and I wore them on and off when I wanted something a bit off key. But these past few years they have been mainly untouched and the last time I wore one of them I just felt like they had played their part but it was time to let them go. I will not miss them but who knows what the future holds?

    So these 24 lip products are out and three of them have been repurchased. My oldest lip products still in use at this point are two pink lipsticks from Lisa Eldridge and three Powder Kiss lipsticks by MAC that I picked up in the first half of 2019. I feel very happy that this part of the audit is complete. Removing really old stuff and duds is very satisfying. I’m now going to continue to use the beautiful lip products of varying age that I still own until they too are too old to continue using. I might add a shade here or there but I have a very vast and solid arsenal at this point and I love it.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:19

    Twelve more shades have been evaluated in my ongoing nail polish audit project. These twelve polishes were worn from the start of January until early March. Two by A England, Crows Toes and China Glaze respectively and one each by IsaDora, Nail Pattern Boldness, OPI, F.U.N Laquer, Pahlish and Zoya.

    Hell yes!

    China Glaze – Prey Tell
    Crows Toes – Me & This Army
    F.U.N Laquer- Lavender (H)
    Pahlish – Valley of Ashes
    Nail Pattern Boldness – Hello, Sweetie
    A England – Dragon
    A England – Jane Morris
    Zoya – Sansa


    No maybes this time around.

    Hell no!

    China Glaze- Smoke and Ashes

    It’s not really anything wrong with the shade but I find it a bit pointless to keep. I prefer wearing other black shades compared to this one so I might as well let it go.

    OPI – Get Cherried Away (mini)

    Nothing wrong with the shade on me in theory, it’s just not to my taste.

    Crows Toes – Niflheim

    Niflheim is a stunning polish but it has sadly dried up too much and I cannot save it. I managed to paint my nails on one hand for these pictures but that is about it.

    IsaDora – Forest

    An ok polish but I have no feelings for it whatsoever so it can go.

    So to conclude this round of The Twelve I ended up with eight keepers and four hell noes.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2022:2

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

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

    Let’s dive in!


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

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

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

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

    Toner & mists

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

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

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

    Essence & serums

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

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

    Moisturisers & oils

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

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

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

    Base makeup

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

    Mascara & brows

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

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

    2022 empties wrap-up

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

    To summarise this year I managed to use up:

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

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

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

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:18

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

    Hell yes!

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


    Darling Diva Polish – Cast a Spell

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

    OPI – Call Me Gwen-ever

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

    A England – The Blessed Damozel

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

    Hell no!

    OPI – A Womans Prague-ative

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

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

    Thanks for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:17

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

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

    Hell yes!

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


    China Glaze – Fancy Pants

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

    OPI – I Don’t Give A Rotterdam!

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

    Essie – Shake your $$ maker

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

    Hell no!

    Mentality – Duality

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

    Mentality – Doublet

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

    H&M Beauty – Sunny Snowdrop

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

    Darling Diva Polish – GTO

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

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

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2022:1

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

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

    All of the empty items


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

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

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

    Essence & serums

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

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

    Moisturisers & oils

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

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

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

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

    Base makeup

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mascara & brows

    Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel in Grind

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

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

    Miscellaneous makeup

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:16

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

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

    Hell yes!

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


    No maybes this time around.

    Hell no!

    China Glaze – Sunday Funday

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

    H&M Beauty – Cinnamon Spark

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

    Depend – 361

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

    Revlon – Topaz

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

    OPI – Do You Think I’m Tex-y?

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

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

    Thanks for reading!