A total of 35 shadows, all singles, made May’s monthly arsenal on the smaller side. Brands included were MAC, Meow Cosmetics, Urban Decay, H&M Beauty, Inglot, Makeup Geek, Nabla, Neve, Emme Cosmetics, and KvD. A bonus with this smaller arsenal was that i completed the audit fairly early in the month and it left me some space to wear some of my newly aquired shadows.
Top Row L-R: 288 – 363 – Saddle – Wedge – Petalescent – Free To Be
Second Row L-R: Epic – Exodus – Revelation -Orange- Passionate
Third Row L-R: Take Two – Aztec Gold – Rosary
Bottom Row L-R: Muffin – Cosmopolitan – 28 – Clementine
I filled an empty palette with singles and this is where all the mattes or near-mattes were kept. Most of the core mattes were older MAC shadows (Saddle, Wedge, Petalescent, Free to Be, Passionate, Orange) but I also had some by Inglot (288, 363) and some near-mattes by Neve (Muffin) and KvD (Revelation, Exodus) to make it an acceptable matte lineup. I did not have a dark shade to use as eyeliner so I used my Eye Brow Cake in “Gaze” from Illamasqua for that purpose. It is a nice firm cool dark brown.
For shimmers we have Makeup Geek (Epic, Take Two, Cosmopolitan), depotted KvD (Rosary), Nabla (Clementine), Emme (Aztec Gold) and a lone highlighter shade from Inglot (28). I cannot be bothered to speculate as to how old these items are but I know that Petalescent is ancient.
Clockwise from the bottom: Divine Blue – Lorelei – Smoky Mauve – A Natural Flirt – Round Midnight
Then we have five of the In Extra Dimension shadows by MAC. I used to love the formula and the light A Natural Flirt was my daily eye for a long time (when I apparently loved a less elaborate look). The large one, Smoky Mauve, is the oldest since they later stopped making that size and reverted to the smaller pan. Lorelei is from the 2015 collection Alluring Aquatic and the others are 2012 or older. I rarely reach for these but I have very warm feeling towards them and know I need this audit to be able to let any of them go.
Clockwise from the bottom: Holly Folly – Solstice – Diamond Dust – Deeply Mauved – In the Red
This lot are “newer”, maybe 2016-2018. I know that Holly Folly was part of the In Monochrome collection by MAC that was released in early 2019. I have a few shadows and blushes from that collection and these are the few MAC shadows that have not been depotted (yet). Solstice by Urban Decay is a favourite but it get lost in the masses. The three H&M shadows are random purchases that do not get the love they deserve since they are in compacts. The baked shadow, Deeply Mauved, cannot be depotted but the others two could. I would get more use out of them if they were part of my single pans.
Clockwise from the bottom: Xenophobe – Sorrow – Tome Foretold – Skee-Ball – Claddagh – Kiss Me I’m… – Rules
Seven loose shadows by Meow Cosmetics finalised the arsenal. As with most of my Meow shades, these are from around 2013.
Let’s move on to swatches and my opinions on each shade after a month of wearing them.
Let’s start off with the mattes from the large palette. Two green shades, 288 (Inglot) and Exodus (KvD), were interesting players that added a bit of much needed colour and brightness too many looks. Both perform very well and 288 is unlike any other green I have. It is such a luscious colour. Both are staying.
Orange and Passionate (both by MAC) added some more bright colour and I got along very well with these for a popping crease. I think I have quite a few bright matte pinks and possibly oranges as well but both of these can stay based solely on performance. For a more subdued pop of pink we have Free to Be and Petalescent (also both by MAC). I love a pink matte for a an all pink crease or as a pink diffuser of another crease shade. However great I think Petalescent is, it is time to let it go. It still performs nicely but it is so very old. The shadow has been used so much over the years and this month I noticed that it is starting to smell slightly off. A pale pink like this is a lovely thing to have but I have a similar Inglot shade that I can use in its stead. Free to Be is in better shape and can happily stay.
Then we have the more earthy mattes. 363 (Inglot) worked very well as a more cool toned crease and I think it did a great job. It can stay for now. Saddle (MAC) is the more warm counterpart and it performs nicely as well. I even used it on the lips one day, mixed with a creamy lipstick to create a nice fudge shade. I will keep this one too. Wedge (MAC) is one of my most used matte shades. It is the perfect transition crease shade for me and it has been worn oh so much over the years. This shadow has perfect pigmentation, not too much, for this type of shade and it blends effortlessly and is easy to build if needed. My instinct is to keep it, but after this month I think it has served its purpose in my life. The shadow forms hard-pan over and over again when using it and I know I have many other matte neutral shades that can take its place. And finally we have Revelation (KvD), a shade that did not live up to its name. The shadow has small glitter particles running through it and it did not look good on the eyes. The shadow was not very pigmented and it was hard to blend, so it is an easy pass for me.
On to the more shimmery shadows in the palette. Starting with Epic (MUG), a rather unique shade that performed beautifully. I cannot believe I have not used this one more over the years, a real shame. Epic is in the Foiled formula, the same as Take Two (MUG) which is a little more subdued shade of green. But this shadow still performs great and this olive shimmer is a shade of green I find very wearable.
Aztec Gold (Emme) is a pretty intense molten gold that looks very vibrant on top of a creamy base. A real stunner that I am keeping should wear a lot more often. 28 (Inglot) is definitely on the older side but the blue shift is so stunning. I ended up wearing this shade as an inner corner highlight over and over again this month. It can stay for now, I want to see if I have anything else that fills a similar purpose.
Rosary (KvD) is a darker raspberry pink and this was a great surprise for me, it looked so good on the eye. I had anticipated this to be a dud, but it ended up a solid keeper. Clementine (Nabla) was used quite a bit, both as a lid shade and an inner corner. I do really enjoy the shade but I was unsure for a while if it was special enough to keep. It has a certain brightness that i enjoy and the final verdict is that it can stay for now.
Cosmopolitan (MUG) is one of those not so unique rosy gold shades that I feel like I have a plethora of from different brands. I do not know if that feeling is correct anymore, because of the audit, but I have decided to keep it until round 2 at least. The shadow performs beautifully still and I enjoy to wear a shade like this. And then we have the dud of the lot. Muffin (Neve) is a very useful shade in theory but it was difficult to work with somehow (I tried my best on four occasions) so it can safely go.
Moving on to the Extra Dimension shadows by MAC. Smoky Mauve is a rosy mauve with a silvery sheen. I really liked wearing it and I do not have many shades like this. It is such an old shadow but it smells fine and performs nicely so I’m going to hang on to it.
A Natural Flirt was as mentioned a firm favourite back in the day and I even had a back up of it at one time, since I had used so much up and it used to be limited edition. I gave the back up to my sister eventually when the shade became permanent. Having a back up of this shade was a somewhat logical thing then since I used to wear this type of shade all over the lid on the daily. During May I wore it mainly as an inner corner highlight (it’s just ok as that) and then extended its use to cheek highlighter as well. On the cheeks it looks great, but I have no need to keep this as a cheek product. It had its last hurrah this month and it has served me well all in all, but it can go.
Round Midnight and Devine Blue on the other hand had not aged as well as the other Extra Dimension shades. They performed very poorly with almost no pigmentation or impact on the eye. Lorelei however is a stunning neutral shadow and came through as a winner. A quite basic beige shimmer that is just dark enough to add a slight dimension to my lid. I enjoyed wearing this more than anticipated.
Diamond Dust (H&M) is a tricky shade. The formula is gritty and I found it not very suitable as an inner corner highlight. It is more of a lid topper and preferably on top of a darker shade or a really creamy base. I am not sure how useful it is but it is a very special shade and I am not ready to let it go just now. It will have to be depotted if it shall stay in my arsenal after round 2, I really want to minimize single pots like this.
I was quite surprised that I did not enjoy Deeply Mauved (H&M). It is a lovely taupe, and I love a good taupe, but it does not show up on the eye. When swatched on the hand it looks creamy and pigmented but that does not translate to the eye application sadly. So it must go.
In the Red (H&M) is a bright warm red “almost matte”. It has very fine golden sheen that runs trough it but it is not visible on the lid. It blended well I since I love a red shadow, it can definitely stay and will be depotted.
Holly Folly (MAC) is a very gritty metallic shadow, in the Frost formula which is a famously difficult formula to use. It’s a fiery warm red metallic, very intense in pigmentation, and it performed nicely over a creamy base. There is some fallout to be expected when applying this shadow, but it’s fairly easy to eliminate. This one will be depotted as well.
Oh Solstice (UD), you are so pretty! This Moondust shadow is just too pretty not to keep. The rosy base colour is quite transparent so I prefer to tap this on top of a medium to darker creamy base for full effect. I only wore it once but as I am very fond of I know I still want it in my life.
Then finally we have the loose shadows by Meow Cosmetics. Skee-Ball (Joys of Summer collection) is a stunning cool green that shifts in a light gold. Very pretty on the eye. Claddagh (St Patty’s Day collection) is a nice punchy chartreuse shimmer. I really liked wearing both colours and they can stay for now.
Kiss Me I’m… (St Patty’s Day collection) is a stunning swampy green matte. However stunning the colour is I know I would much rather use this if it was a pressed shadow. Matte loose shadows can work for me, but I do not enjoy using such a bright colourful shade in a loose format. So I will get rid of this.
Rules (Fifty Shades of Meow collection) is a dirty gold and I enjoy it. Maybe not the most unique shade but it can stay for round 2. Xenophobe (Alien Abduction collection) on the other hand is unique, it has a clear base with silver and pink reflects. I wore this as an inner corner shade a lot and I’m gladly keeping it.
Sorrow (Pandora’s Box collection) is dark teal that looks amazing on the eye. It has a grey base with a very strong teal shift and it’s very reflective. Stunning colour that is another keeper for sure. Time Foretold (Midnight Clear collection) is a very light blue with a shimmer shift that goes from gold to pink. A very delicate shade and I was surprised that I liked it on the eyes as much as I did. It suited my colouring and it was easy to use. Another keeper.
And that was all of the shades in my May audit. Let’s round this month off with some of the looks I wore and the products used to create them. It was a fun month makeup-wise and looking back at my looks I’m very pleased with the variety I created on my face.
Eyes: 288 – Exodus – Revelation – 28 – Gaze (Illamasqua)
Cheeks: Flushed (blush, Sleek Makeup), Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua), Perfect Topping (highlight, MAC)
Lips: Cream lip stain in “27” (Sephora) and Burgundy lip liner (MAC)
Eyes: Smoky Mauve – Wedge – Muffin – A Natural Flirt
Cheeks: Mocha (blush, MAC), Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua), A Natural Flirt (highlight, MAC)
Lips: Devoted to Chili (MAC)
Eyes: Aztec Gold – Take Two – Petalescent – Orange – Xenophobe – Gaze (Illamasqua)
Cheeks: Pink Cult (blush, MAC), Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua), OMG (highlight, Illamasqua)
Lips: Nougatine (H&M)
Eyes: Rosary – Exodus – Clementine – Passionate – Gaze (Illamasqua), Fireball (liquid liner, UD)
Cheeks: Bon Fire (blush, Sleek Makeup), Lightscapades (highlight, MAC)
Lips: Velvet Decade and Muse lip liner (both by Lisa Eldridge)
Eyes: Time Foretold – 363 – 28
Cheeks: Rapture (blush, Urban Decay)
Lips: Muse gloss (Lisa Eldridge)
Eyes: Clementine – Free to Be – Orange – Gaze (Illamasqua)
Cheeks: Furnace (blush, Sleek Makeup), Taupe (contour, MAC), Here Comes Joy (highlight, MAC)
Lips: Saddle (shadow, MAC) tapped over and Dolce Vita (Nars)
Eyes: Epic – Wedge – 28 – Diamond Dust – Gaze (Illamasqua)
Cheeks: Sur (blush, MAC), Silhouette (contour, Illamasqua), OMG (highlight, Illamasqua)
Lips: Velvet Muse (Lisa Eldridge)
Eyes: Claddagh – Exodus – A Natural Flirt
Cheeks: Stereo Rose (blush, MAC), Sculpt (contour, MAC)
Lips: Cream lip stain in “17” (Sephora)
To summarize a total of nine shadows are out after this month’s audit. Nothing revolutionary. I somehow wish I could find more duds, but I think the more major culling will come in Round 2. I already know some shadows I have kept earlier that I doubt I will keep with the mindset I have now this far in into the audit.
And as with the previous months I’m still focusing on wearing as many different cheek and lip product as possible, besides the eye shadow audit. In May I managed to wear 25 blushes, 5 contour shades, 9 highlighters, 28 lipsticks, 2 glosses and 3 lip pencils. I think it is some kind of record. I know I have bits that I can let go of in those categories in the near future. The feeling of truly using all the items I own over and over again is very satisfying. Keeping track of what I wear is very helpful and recently I have started to put a way lipsticks and blushes worn to make it even easier to choose something new and not repeat wear the “easy shades”.
Thanks for reading!