• Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: September 2020

    I remember sitting on the floor close to my makeup storage and choosing what to wear for September. I had difficult time narrowing it down and I was quite inspired both to wear a ton of more murky shades for Autumn, but also to dig deep into my stash and audit some old treasures. I ended up with products from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inglot, Neve Cosmetics, KvD, Makeup Geek, MAC, Meow Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Nabla and Sleek Makeup.

    The chosen eye arsenal consisted of five fixed palettes and six singles. I must admit a total of 74 eyeshadows was a bit much to take on in month. But I ran with the feeling when I had it. For cheeks I settled on a total of five products – one contour, two highlighters and two blushes. A bit more sensible but not due to my choosing. I have almost gone through all of my cheek products and I have not got much too choose from when kitting my next arsenal.

    Let’s start with going through the eye products as usual.

    I picked up the KvD Metal Mattes palette in store at Sephora in Gothenburg in 2016. I was so excited because the mattes shades were unlike anything I had at the time. But when I started using the palette the metallics were so boring that I soon stopped experimenting with it and therefore ended up using the mattes a lot less than I expected.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek Makeup has not been used much since being purchased in 2014 and feel that half of this palette does not even appeal to me. I am mainly attracted to the yellows and greens.

    Modern Renaissance – Anastasia Beverly Hills

    Another purchase from 2016. Viola aka Killer Colours made such a beautiful review of this palette that I was sold. Modern Renaissance was also my first ever purchase from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I still adore the general aesthetics of the design and colours included.

    The Electric palette by Urban Decay was one of my first bright palettes and I have fond memories in relation to some of these shades. I bought it in Edinburgh 2014 on a very special trip and I remember being so excited to own it. It has gotten some love over the years, and especially the shade Slowburn.

    Top row L-R: Pioggia Acida, Utopia, Fenice, Chimera, Twilight Bottom row L-R: Mela Stregata, Abracadabra, Polline, Veleno, Mezza Estate

    This Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics was also purchased in 2016 and was a natural progression in my love and search for duochrome shadows. It contains some solid favourites but I think depotting it would garner some more use of these shades.

    Top row L-R: Rapture, Relic, Faux Fur, 433

    Bottom row L-R: Creative Copper, 419

    On top of all those palettes I added a selection of singles from KvD (Rapture, Relic), Makeup Geek (Faux Fur), MAC (Creative Copper) and Inglot (433 and 419). Both the MAC and KvD shadows were depotted from fixed palettes.

    That was an introduction to all of the shades. Let’s see how they fared in the audit starting with the KvD palette.

    As mentioned I never held these metallics from the Metal Mattes palette in high regard. Using them this month just solidified that standpoint. I used Synergy, Volt, Twinkle and Tinsel and then I was so bored and stopped even considering these metallics as an option when doing my makeup.

    I quickly decided that I was never going to keep this palette intact so I started evaluating the shadows more on an individual basis and I did manage to use all of the matte shades except Linen and Velour. I learned that I have no warm and fuzzy feelings for any of these shades. The mattes are good, but not unique enough for me to depot the thing. My final verdict – I will let the entire palette go.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek however is going to get the honors of being depotted. The shades P-Funk, Al Green and Delfonic were amazing and are quite unique for me. I might keep Grand Master Flash or Commodores Cream as well. The rest will be let go since I could not even be bothered to use most them during the audit.

    Oh Modern Renaissance, how you entice me. I still love using this palette and enjoy most of the shades. Vermeer and Primavera are stunning inner corner highlighters and Golden Ochre, Buon Fresco, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange and Warm Taupe are such versatile lid and crease shades. Love Letter, Red Ochre, Venetian Red and Realgar are lovely for a deeper pop of colour and Cyprus Umber is ok as a deepening shade. The bummer of the bunch is Antique Bronze. It simply does not perform well anymore and I dislike using it. Time has not treated it well because I do remember loving that shade when I first got the palette. I am definitely keeping this palette and used it extensively during the month.

    I’ve been so conflicted over the Electric palette. I still love using Slowburn and Thrash. Savage is ok but stained my lids badly and the formula was quite dusty. And I know I have another similar bright pink shade that is new and that I would prefer using. Revolt and Freak are not special enough and I have no intention of using Gonzo, Fringe or Chaos. Urban is pretty but not unique enough and Jilted was lovely but I’m sure I can live without it. My initial plan was to depot this palette and keep 3-4 shades. But would I wear them often enough to warrant the effort? UD palettes are a lot of work to depot and I learned that the hard way whilst depotting my Naked palettes. I’m sure I have something else to do the same job as Thrash and Slowburn, the two shades that makes this a tough decision. Let it go Sofia!

    The Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics on the other hand was super easy to dismantle. The foam tray around the shades was easy to lift and under that all of the shades were labelled singles on a magnetic mat. So easy to take out. If I had known that I would have tossed the packaging way sooner. This palette contains some real gems and my favourites are Fenice, Mela Stregata, Polline, Veleno and Mezza Estate. Pioggia Acida is nice enough to stay but the others are either lackluster or not my jam colour-wise.

    Rapture and Relic are from the Saint & Sinner palette by KvD that I decided to depot a while back. It had some interesting shades that I wanted to give a fair chance before letting them go. These two are lovely. Relic is an intense melted gold and Rapture is a reddy pink topper shade. Fun to use since I have them. Faux Fur (MUG) on the other hand was an epic fail. Dusty and very hard to work with. Not keeping that one. 433 and 419 are old, a bit smelly and not unique enough to keep. Creative Copper (MAC) was part of a larger fixed palette that I depotted and this was my first and last time using it. A poor performer for sure.

    That was all of the eyeshadows. Let’s move on to the much smaller assortment of cheek products in this month’s arsenal.

    Top row L-R: Next to Skin, Apple Red

    Bottom row L-R: Kendra, Chameleon, Superb

    As mentioned I have audited most of my cheek products already and therefore I have less to choose from. This month we have three MAC products , a contour (Next to Skin), a popping blush (Apple Red) and a highlighter (Superb). A Nabla blush (Kendra) and highlighter from Meow Cosmetics (Chameleon) rounded everything off. Having only two blushes was a bit restricting, if I can say so myself, but it made it a bit of a challenge too.

    As you can see in the swatch, Next to Skin (MAC) is very close to my skin tone. But it did its job as a cheek contour beautifully. Very lightly pigmented and easy to use on an everyday basis. Apple Red (MAC) looks scary in the pan but was a lot easier to use than one might expect. It was not as pigmented as many of its counterparts in my collection and that made it easier to apply. Kendra (Nabla) is a shade that makes me a bit confused. Sometimes it looks amazing but sometimes is emulates the natural redness of my skin a bit too much. It sort of picks up the redness in places where I have tried to neutralize it with my base products such as foundation and concealer. I love adding blush but I want the flush to be placed exactly where I want it. Anyway, I have no reason to get rid of Kendra right now but I will keep an eye out and see how our relationship evolves.

    Chameleon (Meow Cosmetics) is a loose pale white gold shade and it works well as a cheek highlighter as well as an inner corner eye shade. Superb (MAC) on the other hand does not really work as a cheek highlighter for me, it is simply too dark. I enjoy the formula but I have no reason to keep it.

    That completes the rundown of the products worn in September. Let’s have a look at a few of the looks I wore during the month. It was a really boring makeup month for me and I felt very uninspired. I did however manage to make notes on what I wore on my lip on most days.

    September 1

    Eyes: Volt, Silk, Fringe, Twinkle

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Superb

    Lips: Sultry by Revlon

    September 3

    Eyes: Golden Ochre, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Cyprus Umber

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin, Chameleon

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 7

    Eyes: P-Funk, Delfonic, Commodores Cream

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 9

    Eyes: Creative Copper, Rapture, Mezza Estate, Suede, Oak

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Rouge Audace by Chanel

    September 10

    Eyes: Antique Bronze, Buon Fresco, Burnt Orange, Chameleon

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Mull it Over mixed with Devoted to Chili by MAC

    September 11

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Twilight, Pioggia Acida, Feather, Moss, Stone

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 14

    Eyes: Utopia, Buon Fresco, Vermeer, Jet

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 16

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Raw Sienna, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 19

    Eyes: Slowburn, Savage, Rapture, Relic

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 21

    Eyes: Jilted, Fringe, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 22

    Eyes: Polline, Buon Fresco, Thrash, Bronx Black

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Next to Skin

    September 25

    Eyes: Fenice, Raw Sienna, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin

    September 29

    Eyes: Pioggia Acida on top of Caffeine primer by Urban Decay, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Next to Skin

    Looking at these pictures make me feel like I had a better makeup month than it felt whilst it was happening. During it felt like most makeup looks ended up on the uninspired spectrum and I had quite a few days when I felt it looked crap. I thought I would end up with just a handful of pictures to post but here I am with quite a few.

    To conclude this month I decided to let two fixed palettes go and two will be depotted. All in all 45 eye shades will leave my collection and 26 will be kept. All cheek shades will go into round two except the one (Superb). Quite an effective month I must say.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2020:1

    Time to go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2020, January-June. A whopping total of 30 items, whereas half of them are makeup items. I’ve been making a conscious effort to use up basic makeup items before buying a replacement and I must say it is very satisfying to see them actually empty.

    For reference I am 38 years old with a combination skin that is dehydrated. I get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Cleansers

    I managed to use up a total of six cleansing products during this period. The Rose Cream Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) has been a favourite for a while as my first cleanse in the morning and second cleanse in the evening. It has been a continuous repeat repurchase for me and even though I still love it I have not bought another one since finishing my last tube. I’m trying to find a cheaper option since I go through them a bit too quickly for my liking.

    I’ve always been interested to try the Renaissance Cleanser by Oskia (100 ml, 410 SEK) since it’s been held in high regard by many content creators in the beauty realm. So I finally bit the bullet. It’s a more pricey item but I did enjoy using it a lot. It had a lovely formula and my skin felt nice after using it. But the product did not last as long as I wanted it to do to justify the price. I might repurchase in the future but it will probably not be a recurring product in my cabinet.

    Then we have my usual micellar water – Sensibio H20 by Bioderma (500 ml, 179 SEK) – in a larger bottle this time. I still use this very infrequently but I like to always have a bottle at hand.

    The Squalane Cleanser by the Ordinary (50 ml, 99 SEK) was an attempt to replace the Pixi cleanser. I enjoyed this product well enough but it ran out really quickly. It’s cheaper by the ml but I felt I needed more product to cleanse the whole face than with the Rose Cream Cleanser.

    The purchase of the Gentle Cleansing Melt by Evolve (120 ml, 299 SEK) was an attempt to find an option for my favourite cleansing balm, the Green Clean Cleansing Balm by Farmacy (you can read my thoughts on it here). I’m trying to find an option that lasts longer and has a lower cost per use. No luck with the Evolve one sadly. It had a honey-like texture and was not as easy to spread over the face as the balms I’ve tried before. Also it was not as efficient in removing my eye makeup as I would like and the jar was used up rather quickly. It is not a bad cleanser by any means, but is not what I want or need. I would not repurchase.

    Toner & mists

    I’ve written about how I’ve been using the Glow Tonic by Pixi (250 ml, 299 SEK) as staple almost on automatic due to it being marketed so well. I have nothing bad to say about the product but I felt it was time to try something new. So after finishing this bottle I did purchase a glycolic acid toner from The Ordinary instead.

    The Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook (60 ml, 289 SEK) has also been fronted as an amazing product in the beauty community for a while. So naturally I was intrigued. I put the product on my wish list for Christmas and my wish was heard by my husband. I do like the product, it smells nice and felt hydrating. The mister was lovely as well. But I did feel like I went trough the bottle way too quickly compared to the cost. The bottle is quite small so naturally it is used up more quickly, but the price for that small bottle is the deal breaker. However, when looking at the Alice & White website (where I purchase Josh Rosebrook products) whilst writing this post I notice that they do not carry the 60 ml bottle anymore. There is a 120 ml bottle though and it is priced at 399 SEK. That is better value for money and since this is a more luxury brand with an focus on ethically sourced ingredients and sustainable packaging I think the price is warranted. But what I’m not sure of is if I need it in my routine. Right now I’m using a mist from Lumene that I like and I’m unsure if I will buy the Hydrating Accelerator again. We shall see..

    Essence & serums

    I am not surprised to see two Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi (45 ml, 399 SEK) in this post but since I use this product twice daily as a hydrating layer. But this is specifically one of those products I’m keeping my eye on to see how many I use in a year. At least four I suspect but it could be more. We shall see when the year is over and THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED!. Since I replace this so frequently I try to buy at at discount but I’m unsure if it is worth it all in all. Maybe.

    Another staple is the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 289 SEK). The situation is the same with this one, I go through these quite quickly and try to buy and even stock up when there is a discount. I still enjoy it immensely and use it every morning under the Rose Caviar Essence.

    The Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary (30 ml, 129 SEK) was my first attempt at adding a vitamin A product to my skincare routine. This specific formula did not wow me in any way and I was a very inconsistent user due to not enjoying the consistency too much. So I can’t speak on its actual function due to that. I will most likely try other vitamin A products moving forward and who knows, I might try this again in the future.

    Moisturizers

    The 24K Eye Elixir by Pixi (9,3 ml, 349 SEK) was an attempt to replace my favourite (and pricey) eye cream from Grown Alchemist. It was fun to try something new but it is in no way a replacement. The formula is completely different, the Pixi one being a serum in a roller dispenser and the GA one is a light cream in a pump bottle. 24K Eye Elexir feels cooling as I roll it under my eyes and leaves the area feeling hydrated. But the product does not give me the moisturized and comforted feeling that I enjoy. It might be more suited to someone who gets puffy under-eyes and can get more benefits from this formulation and applicator.

    Vital Balm Cream by Josh Rosebrook (45 ml, 889 SEK) made its first appearance in my life in the winter of 2018 when my skin acutely needed something heavier to survive the harsh weather. The cream saved me and was a joy to use. So the following year, last winter, I made the decision to repurchase again but I did so a bit prematurely. The weather never got to the same harsh point and I think my skin could have managed with something less “powerful”. I do enjoy this cream and it can last quite a while if one is mindful when using it, but it is so very expensive. Again, I think the Josh Rosebrook products warrants the price set but I do not think my skin needed all that expensive goodness this time around. The coming winter months might require a heaver cream again, but this year I think I will try another brand and see how I fare.

    Another recurring product, one that I took a break from and then went back to, is the Hydration Rescue 24H Replenishing Balm by Lumene (50 ml, varying between 149-199 SEK). I stopped enjoying it suddenly and suspected they had reformulated it. After using other products for a while I purchased it yet again and somehow went on to enjoy using this cream once more. I use it as my nighttime last layer and I love the consistency, the smell and how it makes my skin feel. A good basic light yet moisturizing cream that is just enough for me. The price is great and a jar lasts quite a while.

    Base makeup

    Two face primers were used up and I have not repurchased any substitutes. Not due to me not liking them, but rather me wanting to use up all the primers that I own and evaluate what functions I actually want to have in my stash at all. This tube of Makeup Forever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer (30 ml, 420 SEK) is not the first I’ve used up but rather my second or even third. I love this hydrating and colour correcting primer. I have quite a lot of redness in my face that I like to subdue so a green corrector definitely fills a purpose in my daily routine and it feels good to know that this one works well for me. I might purchase again in the future but I wish to explore some cheaper options first.

    The Hydra Veil by Illamasqua (mini sample, gift with purchase) is a lovely primer. I have bought this in a full size previously and it’s a nice hydrating product. Adding something hydrating right before applying my foundation really improves the end result for me. But I must admit I prefer a tube to a jar.

    The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in “Y215” by Make Up Forever (30 ml, 475 SEK) used to be my favourite “skin like” foundation until I repurchased it and the colour was reformulated. It was suddenly a lot more pink than yellow and did not suit me anymore. I need a neutral shade or one that leans yellow to combat my redness and this sadly does not do the job anymore. I do like the formula still, it really looks amazing on the skin.

    Loose Mineral Foundation in “Suede” by Cailyn (425 SEK) is another old staple. This is my second jar and the colour is lovely on me. However I do not really use loose mineral foundation on a regular basis anymore so I will not repurchase anytime soon.

    The Viva La Diva conclealer in “1 Pure Light” (3 ml, 89 SEK) was an attempt to find a replacement for the other empty concealer in this post, the Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in “Fair 1” by Collection (price and amount unknown) that I used to buy in bulk when in London. Both are very cheap concealers and sadly I prefer the one I can not get a hold of anymore. The Viva La Diva is not my favourite. It has a smell that puts me off and the colour is not a good match for me, too dark and pink. The one from Collection is a great shade that really does the job of brightening my under eyes and adds extra coverage wherever needed. A creamy product where a little goes a long way.

    Mascara & brows

    Yet another empty staple product is my go-to mascara – Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx (6 ml, 235 SEK) by Clinique. It’s the one I’ve found that smudges the least and it has a lovely small brush. This past year I feel that is has started to smudge more but I do not know if it is an illusion or if they have done something to the formula. I’ve also tried the Flutter-to-Full version of Lash Power (9 ml, 280 SEK) and it does nothing for me. I have very straight and long lashes. There is no point in any fancy mascara effects. Nothing lasts on my lashes anyway.

    The Brow Perfector in “Espresso” by H&M (4 ml, approximately 80 SEK) is a quite new favourite that I have repurchased and use daily. However, just last week I learned that it has been discontinued. It really makes me sad because it was a lovely affordable option with an ok hold, a nice cool dark brown colour and a small brush. A great product all in all. I’m a bit bummed that I will not be able to buy another one when I run out of the one in use.

    The Sigma Tint + Tame Brow Gel in “Dark” (about 150 SEK) was another attempt at finding the perfect tinted brow gel and sadly not a product for me. Bulky packaging and the product itself was too watery. It smeared everywhere way too easily.

    Finally we have the Blueberry Eyebrow Fixing Gel in “Transparent” by Lumene (5 ml, price unknown) that I purchased at a sale and that has since been discontinued. The brand has a similar product but I do not know if it’s the same formula in new packaging or a new formula altogether. It was an ok product, nothing amazing. I am keen to try another brow gel from Lumene if they have a coloured option that would suit me.

    Miscellaneous makeup

    Kiko makes some great eye shadow sticks. This is my second shade that I have used up, the Long Lasting Stick 8 Hour No-Transfer Eyeshadow in “05 Rosy Brown” (1,6 g, 69 SEK). My favourite shade of the two was not this one but “38 Golden Taupe”, a similar but slightly different shade. That gem was used up two years ago. But both shades were great all over the lid and up in the crease, no primer needed, and serving as a base that was perfect to tap a shimmering shadow on top of. Creamy enough to be easy to blend but set down well enough to not crease extensively. And that is a great feat since I have very, very oily eyelids. I really want to repurchase “38” in the future, I miss having this type of product at hand.

    Eyeshadow Primer Potion “Anti-Aging” by Urban Decay (10 ml, 270 SEK) is ok but I do not think it’s my perfect one. As mentioned, I have seriously oily eyelids and most things crease on me at some point. This is my second tube I’ve used up and I have since tried another brand (Spoiler – it sucks!). I might purchase the UD one again in the future because I did enjoy how easy it it was to blend shadows over it, before it was completely set and therefore really popping the pigment.

    Most of my lip liners are by MAC and they really benefit from being used together with this lip primer, the Prep + Prime Lip by MAC (14 g, 185 SEK). It gives a smooth and hydrated base that I’ve also found beneficial when using a matte lipstick for a lighter application. The primer has a more balmy finish and I do prefer that over using a more glossy product. I have actually repurchased this since running out, but I did wait a while to be sure that I really missed having a lip primer at all. And I did.

    The last item of this post is actually a lipstick – the Fantastick lipstick by Linda Hallberg (26 g, 199 SEK) in “Goldstone”. Not every day one finishes a lipstick! This is an easy to throw on shade of warm pink that doubles as a cream blush. The formula is glossy in finish, a bit balmy in texture with lots of pigment. I did repurchase this specific shade and use it almost every week, but I do wish the shade was a bit more rosy, a bit more brown. A bit more like my lips but intensified. Not sure I will repurchase again.

    Wow, that was a lot of products. I’m really enjoying summarizing my consumption in this way. Highlighting what items I really use, what I actually like and why. Skincare items are naturally what I go trough most often and I love keeping track. For me, skincare is more a means to an end, unlike makeup that is a life-long passion. My skin is my canvas, the base for my makeup, so naturally I want to take good care of it. And I cant deny that I enjoy using nice skincare and trying new products, but it is not one of my interests so to speak. So spending just enough on skincare is a goal. Just enough luxury, with a little newness and pretty packaging from time to time, combined with a focus on establishing a core of values adapted to my skincare needs and preferences.

    I look forward to summarize the yearly stats after the New Year, but until then..

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: August 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Top Row L-R: Pitch Black, Artemisia

    Bottom row L-R: Capsize, White Truffle

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

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

    Top: Artisan Copper

    Bottom L-R: Stargazer, Fireball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Moving on to cheek products…

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

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

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

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

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

    August 1

    Eyes: 25, 470, 343

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 11

    Eyes: 44, 293, 26

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 14

    Eyes: Artisan Copper, 430, 292

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

    August 24

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

    Cheeks: Habana, Obsexed

    August 26

    Eyes: 434, 461, 26, 360, 302

    Cheeks: Gotham, Obsexed

    August 28

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

    Cheeks: Coralia

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: July 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    L-R: Telekenesis, Astral Projection, Telepathy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Top Row L-R: Dandelion, OMG, Taupe

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

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

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

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

    July 5

    Eyes: Au Natural, Talahanca, Feel Euphoric, Paradise

    Cheeks: Dandelion

    July 6

    Eyes: Sunset, Lounge Lovers, Sunset Strip

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 6:2

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

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 12

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

    Cheeks: Oh My!, Pinky Peach

    July 14

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

    Cheeks: Taupe, Light Year, OMG

    July 17

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

    Cheeks: Pinky Peach, OMG

    July 18

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

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 20

    Eyes: Saturns Ring, Meteoric, Terrestrial, Telepathy

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 29

    Eyes: Paradise, Ambience, Talahanca, Lounge Lovers

    Cheeks: Oh My!

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

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June 1

    Eyes: Woodwinked, Heaven, Peach Smoothie

    Cheeks: What I Fancy

    June 2

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

    Cheeks: P Pie, CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 5

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

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 15

    Eyes: Glamorous, Ablaze, Satisfy, Zephyr, Sabbath

    Cheeks: What I Fancy, CT highlight

    June 18

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

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 20

    Eyes: Viseart blue purple, Orphic, Ethereal

    Cheeks: CT sculpt

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: May 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Top Row L-R: Scene, Coral

    Bottom Row L-R: Beautiful Iris, Sketch

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

    Top Row L-R: Chrome Yellow, Bio Green

    Bottom Row L-R: Bitter, Three Ring Yellow

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

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

    Bottom Row L-R: Apparition, Prancer

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

    Bottom Row L-R: Tribal, Siren

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

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

    The Infinity Palette – Linda Hallberg

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

    The Infinity Deep Palette – Linda Hallberg

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

    The Comfort Zone Palette – Wet N’ Wild

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

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

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

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

    shadows on bare skin

    Meow shadows with primer underneath

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

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

    May 2

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

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Pinwheel, Virgio

    May 7

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

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 8

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

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 11

    Eyes: Siren, Maffei, Cigar

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 12

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Coral, Chrome Yellow

    Cheeks: Pinwheel

    May 14

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

    Cheeks: Mars, Polar Star

    May 15

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

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 16

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

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 18

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

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 19

    Eyes: Prancer, Maffei, Cigar, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 22

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

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 25

    Eyes: Polar Star, Light Year, Maffei, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars

    May 26

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Parrot’s Beak, Maffei

    Cheeks: Don’t know, missed noting it

    May 28

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

    Cheeks: Quasar, Virgio

    May 29

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

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 30

    Eyes: Beautiful Iris, Coral

    Cheeks: Coral, Virgio

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

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: April 2020

    I have been keeping up with my monthly arsenals and my makeup audit even though I’ve not had time to post anything about them until now. Work, family and home renovations have been filling my energized hours. But I’ve had fun doing my makeup as usual, most mornings before work. A little time to myself to focus inward and play outward with colour and shape. Let’s meet the team..

    The eye arsenal – Inglot, MAC, H&M, Bare Minerals, Neve Cosmetics, & Other Stories

    For April I picked an Inglot palette of rosy/peach tones as my big cohesive palette and since it was almost all matte I added some singles to give dimension with shimmers and metallics. A complement of purple and citrusy pops of colour as well as some more earthy tones.

    The cheek arsenal – MAC, IsaDora, Sleek Makeup and Urban Decay

    This month I had quite a wide variety of cheek colours – six blush shades in total and a lone highlighter.

    Let’s start with a rundown of the eyeshadows.

    The star of this month was definitely my Inglot palette. I get a lot of pleasure out of this colour story and I had a lovely time playing with it. Some of the shadows are older (bought in New York in 2013) and some are newer, just a couple of years old. The thing with my Inglot shades is that they tend to be neglected overall so neither of these shades had been worn much before April. Despite being mouthwatering.

    Top Row L-R: 487, 16, 46

    Bottom row L-R: Sumptuous Olive, Ricepaper, 441

    The mini Nabla palette above contained four Inglot shadows (the square pans) and two from MAC (the round pans). All but one are metallics and all of them are older (2012-2014). Three lighter shimmer shades (16, 46, Ricepaper) that I could use for inner corner highlighting and three nice pops of colour to complement the matte shades in the main Inglot palette.

    Top Row L-R: Twinks, Crème Brulee, Magma

    Bottom row L-R: 439, Mystery, Black Magique

    In another mini Nabla palette I collected three MAC shades (Mystery, Black Magique and Twinks), one each from Inglot (439), Neve Cosmetics (Magma) and Makeup Geek (Crème Brulee). The MAC and Inglot shades are from 2013-2014 and the rest I think are ca 2016. Four versatile earthy shades and two bright colours.

    Top Row L-R: Dear Teddy, Silver Birch

    Bottom row L-R: Golden Pear, Velvet Mauve

    Continuing on with some single pots we have four of varying age that usually do not get any wear time at all. Two by MAC (Dear Teddy and Silver Birch) and two from Bare Minerals (Golden Pear and Velvet Mauve). Dear Teddy from the 2019 Monochrome collection is the newest of the bunch. Silver Birch is another limited edition item – a mineralize shadow from the 2012 Après Chic collection. The Bare Minerals pots are from a limited edition stack from 2013 that my sister bought for me as a Christmas gift when she was in New York. I remember being so excited after seeing swatches of this by Kelly aka Vampy Varnish (find the post here) in 2013. Many shades from that stack are super stunning but I doubt all of them will survive this audit.

    Top Row L-R: Act your Beige, Tumeric

    Bottom row L-R: Ginger Snap, Russet Rose

    Then we have four single compacts from H&M Beauty. I generally enjoy their formula but I do not use these shadows often enough. I cannot remember when I bought these, but my guesstimate would be between 2016-1018. My most worn shade is Tumeric, the stunning muted yellow.

    Top Row L-R: Lockram Cactus, Mocakdo Carbon

    Bottom Row: Nutty

    The final three eye shadows this month were from & Other Stories (Mocakdo Carbon and Lockram Cactus) and Wet N’ Wild (Nutty). One matte and two shimmer/metallics. That ends up being a total of 32 eye shadows. Phew! Now, let’s see how these shades fared in the audit, including some swatches.

    I loved using all of the matte Inglot shades with the exception for 356. It was way to dusty and nothing on the eyes. The three lovely ice cream/sherbet shades, 359, 368 and 361, really came alive after I used them a few times and were brilliant as all over lid shades or as a popping inner corner. You can see examples of how they looked on the eye in looks from April 11-12th, found further down in the post. So I am gladly keeping all of these except 356. I will neglect them no longer.

    Sumptuous Olive (MAC) is an old favourite of mine and I do not think this picture does it any justice. It’s a gorgeous dirty olive with a slightly ruddy base. Very dimensional on the eye (see look from April 15th). 487 (Inglot) is a quite a unique colour in my arsenal and the quality held up. 16 (Inglot) was only used once but I liked the effect and this one is quite unique as well, a very bright light yellow with a golden shift. 46 (Inglot) is actually a pink duochrome and its beauty is not visible in the picture above. Both 16 and 46 are mainly used as inner corner highlights by me. 441 (Inglot) is a surprise shadow for me, I did not expect it to perform well at all. It’s a quite bright mid purple metallic and it really lights up the eyes when worn all over the lid. And Ricepaper (MAC) was a beautiful inner corner highlight (see look on April 15). I had no hopes of liking this one either, but I really did enjoy it. So I’m keeping all of these six shades for now.

    Black Magique (MAC) was used as a liner and deepening colour in general. It performed very well and will go to the next round. Twinks (MAC) was quite dry and nothing special so it will go. Crème Brulee (Makeup Geek) will go too. It was very dusty and I did not enjoy wearing it. Magma (Neve Cosmetics) and 439 (Inglot) are beautiful on the eyes. Mystery (MAC) is a great cool dark brown and useful for liner or brow duties. It’s not the most unique but it performed well enough to stay. So two out of six are leaving my collection.

    Velvet Mauve (Bare Minerals) is a matte shade in loose form and that is not really something I’m used to or prefer. But with that said, this colour is really beautiful on my skin tone and so easy to work with. Golden Pear (Bare Minerals) is a shimmer in loose form, something I am used to, but this specific shade did not wow me at all. I remember this being a really pale green, almost duochrome shimmer and for some reason it looks totally different now than I thought and remembered. A very flat and uninteresting shade. It will have to go. Dear Teddy (MAC) is a very interesting shade. A rosy milk chocolate bronze. Very wearable and easy to slap all over the lid for a quick eye. I should probably depot this and keep it with the other pans. Silver Birch (MAC) initially did not feel like a me shade, but after wearing it again I really fell for its fine glittery but grungy sheen. So all shades except Golden Pear can stay for now.

    Then we have the gilded tones of the H&M shadows. Tumeric is one of my favourite yellows and I have used this quite a lot over the years. So it’s no surprise that it comes out of the audit as a winner. I love to wear it all over the lid, in the crease as an accent or as an inner corner colour fest. Very wearable. Russet Rose is a keeper as well (worn April 23rd), but more of a surprise one. It’s a ruddy copper with an almost pinky sheen. Not an intense metallic or a strong colour shift, just a lighter cool sheen that makes this warm shade extra interesting on the eye. Ginger Snap is a beautiful shade and really makes my eyes pop (worn April 27th), but it is a dupe for Amber Lights from MAC that I already have a depotted version of. Act your Beige is pretty shade as well, but not special enough to keep. So those two are bye bye.

    Lockram Cactus is a pretty duochrome but I’m sure I have similar shades in depotted pans that look more or less the same on the eye. I never reach for this one, and I can see that behavior continuing, so it has to go. Mocakdo Carbon is a nice matte and I’ve decided to keep it for now. I want to gather all of my well performing mattes and compare them against each other later on in the audit. I might depot this shade if I decide to keep it in the future, but for the moment it goes untouched into the “keep” box. Nutty was another shade I was surprised by. I really really like it. It will stay on the same premises as Mocakdo Carbon, but this will have to be depotted if kept permanently.

    Top Row L-R: Legendary, Dusty Rose, Life’s a Picnic

    Bottom Row L-R: Chantilly, Guipure, Crochet, Fireball

    Moving on to the cheek products of the audit and we find seven shades in total. A trio from Sleek Makeup (Blush by 3 in “Lace”), two shades by MAC (Legendary and Life’s a Picnic) and one from IsaDora (Dusty Rose). The single highlighter is by Urban Decay (Fireball).

    The three shades from the Sleek palette were lovely enough to use and especially Crochet and Chantilly are quite unique to my collection (Guipure was a bit generic however). But none of that mattered since the product managed to expire shortly after the audit was done. So into the bin they go. Legendary (MAC) and Dusty Rose (IsaDora) are firm favourites and very useful shades. Keeping. Then we have Life’s a Picnic. Using it makes me realize it just not the perfect bright pink for me. Since I have already kept a similar shade that suits me better (Supernova from my audit in October 2019) I feel confident in letting this one go. Fireball (Urban Decay) is a keeper as well. It’s not an everyday shade for me but I do have a soft spot for it.

    So that was the rundown of the products in April’s audit. Let’s have a look at some of the looks I created with said products.

    April 2

    Eyes: 356 – 295 – 319 – Dear Teddy – Golden Pear

    Cheeks: Crochet

    April 3

    Eyes: Mystery – Black Magique – 46 – Mocakdo Carbon – Lockram Cactus

    Cheeks: Dusty Rose – Fireball

    April 4

    Eyes: 361 – 301 – 366 – Turmeric – 46

    Cheeks: Life’s a Picnic – Fireball

    April 9

    Eyes: Magma – 439 – 46 – 368 – Black Magique

    Cheeks: Legendary

    April 11

    Eyes: 368 – 361 – Black Magique

    Cheeks: Dusty Rose

    April 12

    Eyes: 359 – Mystery – 46

    Cheeks: Chantilly

    April 14

    Eyes: Twinks – Mystery – Crème Brulee – Golden Pear

    Cheeks: Legenedary

    April 15

    Eyes: Sumptuous Olive – Velvet Mauve – Ricepaper – Mystery

    Cheeks: Life’s a Picnic

    April 17

    Eyes: 303 – 319 – 359 – Mystery

    Cheeks: Life’s a Picnic

    April 23

    Eyes: Russet Rose – 368 – Ricepaper – Mystery

    Cheeks: Chantilly – Fireball

    April 24

    Eyes: 495 – 359 – 368 – 301

    Cheeks: Legendary

    April 27

    Eyes: Ginger Snap – 356 –

    Cheeks: Guipure

    April 28

    Eyes: Silver Birch – 295 – 319 – 301 – 303

    Cheeks: Life’s a Picnic

    So to conclude things nine products (eleven shades) are out after this audit. An ok month I think. The number is not really important but since I’m sure there are many products in my total collection that are not up to par anymore it’s very fun to finally weed them out.

    Thank’s for reading!

  • 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!

  • 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