My monthly arsenal in March was full of neutrals with pops of pinks, oranges and a variety of green. Two pre-made palettes by Sleek Makeup, two smaller compilations of singles (by Nabla, Lethal Cosmetics, Makeup Geek and KvD) and four loose shadows (Bare Minerals and Meow Cosmetics). Not the biggest lineup but a nice variety of options. A total of 45 individual shades.
Top Row L-R: Narciso, Desire, Unrestricted
Bottom Row L-R: Cleo, Mellow, Sugar
In a smaller palette I kept six neutral shadows by Nabla, a brand that I have purchased a lot of singles from and most of these are from 2016. I enjoy them but I tend to reach for the mattes more than the shimmers.
The Garden of Eden palette by Sleek Makeup
I purchased this palette by Sleek Makeup when it was released in 2014. I love the shade selection and the rosy mauve shades have been worn a bit, but it was many many years since I last wore this.
The Respect palette by Sleek Makeup
Another Sleek palette is Respect and it appears to be from around 2013-2014 as well. This palette has been used very little but it looks promising.
Top Row L-R: Release, Recluse, Enigma, Cycle
Middle Row L-R: Spawn, Fahrenheit, Vertex, Echo
Bottom Row L-R: Void, Ritzy, Vestment
A few more mattes and a bit more colour in general was added with another selection of singles. The shades from Lethal Cosmetics are newer (2019) but Ritzy (Makeup Geek) and Vestment (depotted KvD) are older.
Top Row L-R: Hallucination, Levitation
Bottom Row L-R: Velvet Lavender, Skeptic
Three loose shadows by Meow Cosmetics (Hallucination, Levitation, Skeptic) and one by Bare Minerals were included to add some lightness and brightness to the mix. All these are from around 2013 I think.
Those were all the shades audited this month. Let’s move on to swatches and my thoughts on each shade after a month of use.
Starting with the Nabla shadows, Narciso is a rosy milk chocolate brown and I used this primarily in the crease. A good work horse this month. Unrestricted is a ruddy plummy brown with gold sparkles. A very pretty all over the lid shade – easy to work with and I have nothing bad to say about it. I’m glad I rediscovered this shade. Desire is also a pretty all over the lid shade. Cleo is a basic antique gold and Sugar is a pretty soft light champagne pink. Neither is very special, but I enjoy wearing them and I generally like Nabla so they can come along to round 2. Mellow is a vey interesting dirty sand and I think it is quite special used all over the lid. So I’m keeping all six of the Nabla shadows.
The Garden of Eden palette by Sleek Makeup
I am so attracted to the shade composition in the Garden of Eden palette (Sleek) – the mauves, lilacs and greens. But after wearing it quite a lot this month I was conflicted. The mattes with glitter, Forbidden and Entwined, are not working very well. Adam’s Apple (pale green) is poorly pigmented and does not turn up on the eye as I would like. The darker mattes, Flora (brown)and Tree of Life (green) work well enough. The standout shade for me is Paradise on Earth, a gorgeous rosy lilac that I really enjoy on the eye. I tried to find another similar shade in my collection but lucked out with the pressed shadows. Initially I was going to depot and keep some shades but after some (a lot) consideration I just decided to let it go.
The Respect palette by Sleek Makeup
I used the Respect palette (Sleek) on two days this month and decided pretty quickly that I have no love for it. There mattes are underwhelming and the shimmers are not special enough to warrant keeping this. The black was used a lot but only because it was my only available dark shade so it did liner duty.
Looking at the last singles palette I feel wow, this array of swatches are really inspiring. Going in to this monthly arsenal I knew that I would keep most of these. I love the matte formula by Lethal Cosmetics and they are all quite new compared to most of my other shadows. Release is a muted purple and Recluse a murky medium green, both unique shades in my arsenal. Cycle is great as a bright crease or as a standalone all over the lid shade. I used Spawn and Fahrenheit as deepening shades for crease and outer corner. Subtle colours that can lean a look in a more brick or pink direction. Void is more of a pastel green and maybe not as useful for me as the other mattes. But I have noticed that I really appreciate having these lighter and brighter colours as accents, usually in the inner eye area, inner corner and above that area up to the brow. There are three shimmers by Lethal here and I really like all three. Enigma and Echo are my favourites but I really appreciate the bright pop of green that Vertex gives. So I am absolutely not giving up any of the Lethal shades. Ritzy by Makeup Geek is gorgeous and it is still lovely despite its age. The only one I’m letting go is Vestment by KvD. It is a very pretty shade but I found it to last poorly on the eye. It creased more than other shades and felt faded after half a day. Other shades do not behave in the same way on my eyes so I do not feel inclined to keep this shadow.
And finally we have the four loose singles. My main issue with Velvet Lavender (Bare Minerals) is the loose format. The shade itself is very nice and used as an inner corner matte highlight it adds brightness and a little something something to for example a more neutral lid look. However I think I will overlook it due to it being a loose shadow so I will let this one go.
Hallucination and Levitation (Meow Cosmetics) are both pretty inner corner highlights but out of the two Hallucination is my favourite. Levitation is not special enough to keep in a loose format.
Sceptic (Meow Cosmetics) is an interesting shade. A pastel purple with pink shimmer. But unfortunately it is not an easy shade to use and the pastel base easily gets a bit patchy when applied. Since it is part of the well loved (by me) Friday the 13th collection by Meow I wanted to keep it despite it being a bit finicky, but after some afterthought I will let this one go as well. That was all of the shades in this month’s arsenal.
So that was the rundown of the products in March’s audit. Below are some of the looks I created with said products.
Eyes: Gates of Eden, Eve’s Kiss, Paradise on Earth, Python, Forbidden, Entwined, Count Basi Beige, Roberta Black, Hallucination
Cheeks: Molten (Sleek)
Lips: Striking (Revlon)
Eyes: Unrestricted, Narciso, Velvet Lavender
Cheeks: Dandelion (Benefit, blush), Taupe (MAC, contour), Perfect Topping (MAC, highlight)
Lips: Cream Lip Stain in “01” (Sephora) and lip pencil in Redd (MAC)
Eyes: Gates of Eden, FLora, Narciso, Desire
Cheeks: Havtorn (Idun Minerals)
Lips: A mix of Goldstone and Pink Opal (Linda Hallberg)
Eyes: Eve’s Kiss, Desire, Cleo
Cheeks: The Perfect Cheek (MAC, blush), Next to Skin (MAC, contour), Glow from Filmstar Bronze and Glow (Charlotte Tilbury, highlight)
Lips: Sultry (Revlon)
Eyes: Fahrenheit, Vestment, Echo, Velvet Lavender
Cheeks: Demerera (Sleek, blush), Sculpt (MAC, countour), Obsexed (Nabla, highlight)
Lips: Mix of Burning Love and Mull it Over (MAC)
Eyes: Cycle, Spawn, Cleo, Sugar
Cheeks: At Dusk (MAC, blush), Silhouette (Illamasqua, contour), Deity (Illamasqua, highlight)
Lips: Dolce Vita (Nars)
Eyes: Cycle, Spawn, Fahrenheit, Ritzy, Roberta Black
Cheeks: Pinky Peach (Isadora, blush), Sculpt (MAC, contour), Phantoma (Meow Cosmetics, highlight)
Lips: A mix of Luxurist (H&M), Rouge Feu (Chanel) and L’éxuberante (Chanel) lined with Pillow Talk lip liner (Charlotte Tilbury)
Eyes: Enigma, Fahrenheit, Echo, Sugar
Cheeks: Sur (MAC, blush), Next to Skin (MAC, contour), Lightscapades (MAC, highlighter)
Lips: Goldstone (Linda Hallberg)
So two fixed palettes and four single shadows are leaving my collection. A total of 28 individual shadows. I’m very glad that I came to the conclusion to let the Sleek palettes go. In this part of my audit process, after a year and a half, I’m realising that most of the Sleek palettes are probably not worth keeping. I know I’ve kept some in the previous months of this audit but the further in I get, the more I feel that I will let most of them go. They had a place in my life many years ago but that time is over. I feel nothing for them at this point.
Beside auditing my eyeshadows, my quest to maximise my usage of my cheek and lip arsenal continues. This month I managed to wear 23 blushes, 5 contour shades, 12 highlighters, 22 lipsticks, 1 gloss and 5 lip liners. I’m starting to form some thoughts on some items that might be let go in the coming months.
I mentioned in last month’s roundup that I’m getting a bit fed up with the first part of the audit and that I’m keen to move on to round 2. But I also firmly believe that a completion of round 1 of this project will make an impact on my decision-making in the audit, and help me let things go, and in the long run as well. It will aid me in deciding on how I want my makeup arsenal to look in the future and to make smart purchases on the occasions that I find something I like. So in order to get a better picture of the remainder of the audit project, a few weeks back I went through all of the remaining items and divided them into future monthly arsenals. Mattes will only last for a few more months and then I can move on with Round 2 of mattes. But in total I have material to continue this audit until February 2022. That is how much stuff I have accumulated over the years. Something to think about.
Thank you for reading!