My Makeup Audit: April 2021

April’s arsenal consisted of two pre-made palettes, two singles in individual packaging and a larger palette containing single pans. Brands included are Urban Decay, Illamasqua, Nabla, Makeup Geek, Emme Cosmetics, MAC and Lethal Cosmetics. A total of 42 individual colours to utilise with a nice balance of mattes and shimmers, neutrals and colours, brights and muted shades.

Kaleidoscope Dream palette – Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne

The Kaleidoscope Dream palette by Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne was purchased in 2018 and has been used quite a bit since then. I was a bit infatuated with it at the time and I’m still attracted to many of the colours. I have no relation to Kristen Leanne, so it was solely the colours that made me buy it in the first place.

1st Row L-R: Embrace Me – Helios – Remission – Habitat – Relapse – Unearthed – Calcination

2nd Row L-R: Dark Brew – Spirit – Defiance – Gingersnap – Fortune Teller – Mesmerized – Glasswork

3rd Row L-R: Tiki Hut – Absinthe – Tribeca – Chemical Bond – Karma

4th Row L-R: Vanilla Bean – Drama Queen – Apricot – Mai Tai – Lemon Tart – Aurum

The singles palette was a mixture of older and newer shadows. The Lethal shades (all of the square pans) are from 2019 and they are the most recent of the lot. Makeup Geek is heavily represented (Fortune Teller, Mesmerized, Tiki Hut, Karma, Vanilla Bean, Drama Queen, Mai Tai) as well as a sprinkle of Nabla (Glasswork, Absinthe, Tribeca, Chemical Bond, Aurum). Then we have some MAC (Embrace Me, Dark Brew, Gingersnap, Lemon Tart) and one by Emme Cosmetics (Apricot).

The Fundamental Palette – Illamasqua

The Fundamental palette by Illamasqua was picked up back in 2013 and I have almost never used it. A few times at the most. It consists of two matte shades (Hype and Inception) and two creams (Surge and Bedaub).

Apex and Fledgling – Illamasqua

And lastly we have to single powder shadows by Illamasqua (Apex and Fledgling) that I think are from around 2013 as well. These have been use a bit but I rarely pick them up anymore.

Let’s move on to swatches and my feelings on these products after a month of use.

Kaleidoscope Dream palette – Urban Decay x Kristen Leanne

The Kaleidoscope Dream palette by Urban Decay in collaboration with Kristen Leanne was interesting to audit. I decided quite early on in the month that I have no need to keep this palette intact and that I would prefer to depot the shades I still love. Let’s start with the keepers. Spitfire is a duochrome pink with a blue shift. Very pretty and useful. Stay Gold is a green leaning gold that is very flattering and easy to use. Tajin is another type of shade that I get a lot of use out of and it looks amazing combined with Spitfire. Leo is so stunning, a light sea foam green duochrome. Brixton is not very special but since the shade shares a pan with Leo it stays as well. Lime Time looks a bit dull in the pan but on the eyes it is a very bright and fun shade. Dye was a bit of a surprise as well. I thought to formula would be dry and hard to work with but it was the opposite on the eyes. A very rich and beautiful shade. And then finally Corona, oh Corona. Such an unpleasant name and such a lovely shade. It’s a rosy gold but the cool plum base makes it unlike anything else I have.

Then there are the rest of them, the ones that did not make the cut. 13th Floor seemed to be a great deep black, but it after a little wear time it fell under my eyes and left black smudges no matter how careful I was with my application. TRM is a very pretty blue in theory but very difficult to work with. The blending was a mess, as blues usually are, and it just looked like shit. I have a difficult relationship with blue eye shadow and this was not an exception. I did not even bother to wear LCW to be honest. Not a shade I’m attracted to at all and since I had already made up my mind to depot I sort of just skipped over it.

Let’s move on to the large palette of single pans. And starting with the mattes, all ten of them will be kept for now. Embrace Me (MAC) is a stunning matte hot pink, pigmented and easy to blend. Helios (Lethal) is such a lovely muted light yellow and it works well as an inner corner shade as well. Remission (Lethal) is a firm favourite and a I love using this as a way to lean a crease in the pink direction but the end look is still very muted. It blends well with so many colours. Habitat and Relapse (Lethal) are interesting shades and I do not think I have anything else like them. That is true for many of my Lethal purchases, they create such unique shades of eye shadow.

Unearthed and Calcination (Lethal) are two shades that I should love in theory, but on the eye I just feel that they are ok, nothing more. Not my favourite neutral matte formula these two. But since they are newer I want to keep on using them. Due to being the only mid neutral crease shades this month, I got some good use out of them.

Dark Brew (MAC) was cooler in tone on the eye than it looks in the pan and I found it to very versatile and easy to blend. It was used quite a lot of the course of the month since it was the second darkest matte shadow in the arsenal, and since 13th Floor had a lot of fall out, I opted for Dark Brew whenever I wanted some depth. Tiki Hut (MUG) is a great dark mustard and the formula works very well. And finally we have Vanilla Bean (MUG) a beige that is so close to my skin tone that you can barely see the swatch. I used this to soften or clean up edges and to add something powder yet invisible to my brow bone. A good tool to have.

Spirit (Lethal) is a great bright purple metallic and a keeper. Since it is a newer shadow I only had to wear it once to verify its status. The same for Defiance (Lethal), a vibrant and fiery pinky copper. Gingersnap (MAC) however was a disappointment. It’s a pretty pinky copper, that looks great swatched, but the formula was just not working on the eye. It mainly looked flat and nothing, there was no way to build up the intensity. So Gingersnap will go.

Fortune Teller (MUG) is simply an amazing intense yellow gold. The formula is still creamy and the pigment adheres to the eye in a satisfying way. Mesmerized is also in the Foiled eyeshadow formula by MUG, the same as Fortune Teller, and it’s a very useful mauve. This shadow is also still creamy and looks great on the eye. The shade is not as unique as Fortune Teller but I’m keeping it for now. I love the foiled formula and it is a shame that many of the great shades, including this one, is not around anymore.

Then we have the two Nabla shadows. Glasswork sadly does not work for me. The silver particles does not form the wet shine look on my lids, as the swatch might promise, just a silver glitter mess. If I apply the shadow with a finger on top of a wet primer on my hand it looks good, but the same approach on my eyelid, not so much. A shadow that does not perform well on the eye is worthless, so Glasswork is going. Finally we have Absinthe, a rosy base that shifts from dark pink, to blue to teal. It’s a subtle shift but I enjoy it. Absinthe may stay for now.

Tribeca (Nabla) is a bit dusty and I had no high hopes for it but on the eye it performs very well. It is a cool leaning bronzy brown and it looks amazing with most other colours. Chemical Bond (Nabla) is nice enough and this is a prime example of a shade I have multitudes of and will have to edit more ruthlessly later on in the audit. Right now, this shadow works well and can stay. Karma and Mai Tai (MUG) are old favourites. I love Makeup Geek pressed duochromes and sadly they are not around anymore.

Drama Queen (MUG) is simply difficult to work with. I have more use of a dark shade like this if it is a matte. As a shimmer it is not potent or special enough to have an effect on the lid and it is hard to blend towards the crease. I have no use for this. Apricot (Emme) is a peachy gold that flips rosy. The base is transparent. I wore this mainly as an inner corner highlight but is stunning on the lid as well. It does not look like much in the pan but packed over a tacky primer it really shines.

Lemon Tart (MAC) is a very pale yellow beige and one I’m a bit surprised that I’m keeping. It was very pretty as a neutral yet not boring inner corner highlight. That subtle yellow tone made it look great on the eye. Aurum (Nabla) is one I had to think about for a whole. It’s a very pale green but the cool tone makes it look ethereal on my lid and I loved using it. It’s a type of green that pairs well with many other shades both tapped on the lid or as an inner corner shade.

And the last lot are the Illamasqua shadows. The Fundamental palette consists of two powder shades, Hype (yellow) and Inception (purple), and two creams – Surge (quicksilver) and Bedaub (mint). I love the colour composition of this palette but I must admit that I have only used it a couple of times. I own a full size of Surge and that has limited the use of this palette further. Hype is a stunning yellow but I searched for a dupe in my total arsenal and found it in Chrome Yellow by MAC, a shade that has already come through my audit process. Hype is slightly less intense in colour even and that makes Chrome Yellow a better candidate to keep all in all. So the Fundamental palette will be leaving my collection in its entirety. In retrospect it was a pointless purchase since I have used it so little.

Apex and Fledgling are both great bright shades and I enjoy using both. I’m trying to move away from singles in pots but I love the Illamasqua packaging so I might keep them as they are if they survive round 2 We shall see.

April has not been a great makeup month for me. I’ve been a bit worn out by work and have felt less inclined to spend time having fun with makeup in the mornings and often skipping makeup altogether. A lot of looks have felt bland and uninspiring. I’ve also been in more meetings with external organisations and then I tend to be a bit more subdued and neutral with my makeup than I would have been otherwise. All of these pictures are taken in my day to day life with my iPhone, the same applies every month. I have a ring light and besides that I use whatever daylight that is available. Better settings and photo quality might be something for the future but right now this is what I can manage.

April 1

Eyes: Hype – Surge – Inception – Bedaub – 13th Floor

Cheeks: Rapture (blush, UD) – Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua) – Phee’s original highlighter

Lips: A mix of Velvet Muse and Velvet Fawn lined with Muse lip liner (Lisa Eldridge)

April 16

Eyes: Fortune Teller – Helios – Karma

Cheeks: Stereo Rose (blush, MAC) – Gotham (contour, Nabla)

Lips: A mix of Striking (Revlon) and Noir Moderne (Chanel)

April 18

Eyes: Dye – Spitfire – Apex – Remission – Drama Queen – Vanilla Bean

Cheeks: Breath of Plum (blush, MAC) – Taupe (contour, MAC)

Lips: Rouge Audace (Chanel)

April 21

Eyes: Chemical Bond – Unearthed – Lemon Tart

Cheeks: Legendary (blush, MAC)

Lips: Cream Lip Stain in “16” (Sephora)

April 23

Eyes: Stay Gold Caffeine primer (UD) – Lemon Tart

Cheeks: Sur (blush, MAC)

Lips: A mix of Cream Lips Stains in “17” and “103” (Sephora)

A total of ten shades are leaving my collection at the end of this month’s audit. Small but steady number. At the end of each month I feel like I have gotten to know each shade a little better and I’m so glad when I can weed out another one that is not up to par. I always feel like I want to move on tho the next monthly arsenal about half way into the audit, but the win in using a limited arsenal is that I am forced to be creative when I get bored. New combinations appear out of that boredom. I get more creative with using the other tools I have, like lip products and blush.

Besides evaluating the eye shadows I’m still focusing on wearing as many different cheek and lip product as possible. In April I managed to wear different 20 blushes, 4 contour shades, 9 highlighters, 23 lipsticks, 1 gloss and 3 lip pencils. I’m starting to form some opinions on some highlighters that can possibly go and that feels like true progress.

Thanks for reading!

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