• Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: February

    When I finished my eyeshadow palette for February I was particularly pleased with the colour scheme. Muted shades of plum, some purples and a hint of acid green. It made me feel inspired everyday when using it. However, this month was full of sick days, a week away skiing and therefore not many makeup wearing days in total, sadly. But I did manage to use all the shades and succeeded in finding a way of keeping notes on what product/shade was worn on a specific day. This method came to me quite late in the month so we will not be able to reap the benefits until next month. Let’s meet the team…

    All large square pans are by Inglot and the smaller round ones are all Makeup Geek. I also added a small depotted black Urban Decay shadow to compelete the kit. Besides this palette I chose to add three Extra Dimension shadows by MAC to the audit. Two light duochromes for effect and highlight and one steel grey metallic.

    Let’s enjoy some swatches of the eyeshadows and go through what I think of each shade.

    I really love mattes. For me, having a wide variety of mattes can really transform a look and I enjoy murky and dusty shades a lot. Grey is a colour I generally struggle with but Bedrock is a grey that I actually enjoy wearing. It’s more or less clay coloured and if it were any cooler in tone I think I would not like it as much. Unexpected and Bake Sale are great shades and were the most worn ones this month. I use them both mainly as crease shades or for finishing off a darker crease blend, to add a bit of diffusion. Barcelona Beach is a great everyday crease shade for me and Petal Pusher is a fun and unusual muted mid pink. All of these made it through the audit as solid keepers. They perform well and serve a function at the same time as being fun to wear.

    Preppy is a mustard brown and I’m a sucker for this type of shade. Very useful. Sidekick is a quite unique murky hot paprika shade and I do not think I have anything else like it. Vintage and Americano look very similar swatched here (with a finger) but Americano is a lot darker when applied with a brush on the eyes. All four shades perform well and are to be kept.

    On to the shimmers. Limelight is such an epic shade and the first one I wore this month, teamed with Vintage. Havoc is stunning on the eyes, love me a good duochrome, as is Prom Night. I actually anticipated getting rid of Prom Night until I wore it. It was very pretty and not at all boring. Shimmermint is a bit drier texture-wise compared to the others but the shade is very interesting on the eyes and worked so well teamed with dusky plums that I fell for it. All four are keepers.

    Some of the Inglot shades were the ones I decided to get rid of in the end. 08 and 11 are not unique enough to keep and both only serve as an inner corner highlight for me. 402 was a bit meh on the eyes and 423 looked flat applied on the eye, not a very good colour payoff. So these four will be let go. 49 had a drier texture than say the Makeup Geek shadows but applied beautifully on the eyes and that’s what counts. So 49 stays on the the next round.

    The more colourful Inglot shades are all keepers. I did only wear them once each but they looked great on the eye. I was especially fond of 414.

    The final three eyeshadow are from MAC. Evening Grey is super pretty on the eyes and a dream to work with. Opalesse and Ready to Party were worn primarily as inner corner highlights this month but I know they can easily be layered on top of other shades to create dimension and effect. I love all three.

    For cheeks the arsenal consisted of a total of seven blush shades and one highlighter. Four MAC products, one Urban Decay and one Sleek-trio.

    MAC (Barbie Collection) – Pearl Blossom

    Spring Flock is an amazing blush shade. It just brightens my face and I love wearing it. Furnace/Bon Fire/Molten are a bit more difficult to wear due to being very pigmented but I enjoyed wearing them and they are quite unique in my collection when it comes to colour. So they are worth keeping at this point.

    Pearl Blossom is from the Barbie Collection that came out in 2007. I’ve kept it for nostalgic reasons but wearing it now makes me ready to let it go. This shade does nothing on my skin and there is no point in keeping it. Rapture and Mocha are very wearable shades and I enjoy using them. Keepers. Finally we have the hot pink Prom Princess. It’s from the Archies Girls collection from 2013. It’s ok on the cheeks but I know I have similar shades, like Supernova that made it through October’s audit, and I don’t need this specific blush.

    So that was the rundown of this month’s arsenal. I’m not overly impressed with the small number of products I’m letting go of but I highly enjoy the thought process. Every month my reasoning changes and I anticipate that I will get more ruthless as the months go by. Now, lets have a look at the some of the makeup looks I created this month. All looks with white tiles in the background are taken at work.

    So above we have the six items that are leaving my collection after February’s audit. Not many, but it is still progress. I had a lot of fun with this month’s arsenal and I look forward to continuing with this project.

    Thanks for reading!


  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:2

    These twelve shades were worn between mid December and early February, a period of time including my birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve. When I picked them I knew what season it was obviously, but I still tried to pick interesting shades and not only easy-to-wear ones. l posted this lot to Instagram in the middle of January and my prediction then was that I would use all twelve in quite a short period of time. That ended up not being true, maybe because one shade was worn three times in a row (and despite that I did not get one single shot of me wearing it) and quite a few days I simply wore nothing at all. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered.

    This round included quite a few indie brands and mainly shimmers and glitters. Let’s see how this lot fared in the audit.

    Hell yes!

    Only five shades made it out of the audit as definite keepers. The five that made it are polishes that intrigue me in some way.

    MAC – Submerged

    Zoya – Katherine

    Pipe Dream Polish – Feed the Monster

    A nice jelly sandwich with Katherine and Feed the Monster

    Colors by Llarowe – Pine Boughs

    Pahlish – The Virgin Queen


    Polish Revolution – Zombie Christmas

    Zombie Christmas on top of Stylenomics

    This grey jelly polish with red/green/white glitter is so unique that I have a hard time letting it go. I wear it from time to time but I’m unsure if that is enough.

    Hell no!

    H&M – Have a Nice Clay

    In theory this polish was a great idea and I understand why I was drawn to and consequently bought it. An interesting muddy jelly shade, my favourite finish. In real life though..it just did not suit my colouring and I disliked wearing it.

    Essie – Stylenomics

    I love this murky dark green shade a lot. But it stains, badly. Staining is common with green shades but in this case it was severe and will keep me from using it.

    LilypadLaquer – Waterworld

    Not the best picture of me wearing it but Waterworld is just not the right shade of blue. There is something garish about it that I do not enjoy.

    Mentality Nail Polish – Cloudy

    Cloudy fell a little flat with me. It’s a matte shade but even with a glossy top coat it felt boring.

    Shimmer Polish – Mary

    Mary worn over Waterworld

    Mary is a glitter polish that is so beautiful, but sadly it has dried out beyond the point where I can save it. So this was its last hurrah.

    Deborah Lippmann – Ray of Light

    And finally we have Ray of Light – a beautiful polish and the one I wore three times without getting a single picture with it on my nails. It takes many layers to build up any opacity with this polish and then it flakes quite easily. It’s such an old shade and I never wear it anymore despite it being so pretty. So it’s out!

    Thanks for reading!


  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: January

    I revisited some dear old shadows for January’s arsenal – some of the oldest shades I own and it was a real trip down memory lane.

    MAC was the first brand my heart fell for when makeup started to become a more serious part of my life, in my late teens. I have so many memories hovering at the MAC counter when I was visiting the big city, in a time when online stores were non-existent and my deepest fantasy was to do makeup for a living. Over the years I’ve accumulated oh so many MAC eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, lip and eye pencils and other bits and bobs. This have inevitably lead to me having not only a vast amount of products but also a vast amount of senior products that I fear will have to be let go. Some have most likely succumbed to old age and have become poor performers and surely some might no longer be my jam.

    Above we have the full arsenal – 17 shimmer and 12 matte shades for the eyes, one contour, two highlighters and five blushes. All shadows are MAC and most of the cheek products as well. A blush from Idun Minerals and a loose highlighter from Meow Cosmetics snuck in as well.

    I built one main palette from single pans and as you can see, some are quite well loved. The two shades that are showing the pan are some of my oldest, Trax and Idol Eyes. Another ancient shade is Humid and it might even be from the late 90’s (!). Crème de Violet was given to me by my (now) husband for our fifth anniversary – in 2002! It was a lovely gesture on his part especially since MAC was so difficult for me to get a hold of at the time.

    To balance the eye arsenal I chose to add eight more matte shades for basic shading and depth. As you can see some of these some are old favourites. Like Brun, the dark brown shade, that have been my brows companion for many many years. It’s not amazing as a shading eye shadow, but as a liner and brow shade it is amazing.

    For blush I chose a quite basic and easy to wear team. We have Stereo Rose, a Minerlize Skinfinish shade that I believe was limited edition when I bought it. A highly coveted shade at the time and I was thrilled to own it. But I must admit I have not worn it all that much over the years. On its left we have one of my favourite shades, another limited edition one, the Extra Dimension blush shade Autoerotique. I’ve made a big dent in that over the years and I will miss it when it’s gone. The Perfect Cheek is a lovely dusty pink from the Marilyn Monroe collection (gasp!). Another one that I’ve used a lot but in this case the pan hardly looks used. Then we have a more recent purchase, Sur, that was part of the Monochrome collection that launched in the beginning of 2019. I bought it because I thought it resembled another shade that I had broken to the point of no return but wish I still had. And the final shade is a mini sample I received as a gift with purchase from Idun Minerals, Havtorn.

    Over the course of the month I enjoyed wearing all five blushes and will keep them all for now.

    For highlighter I picked Perfect Topping from MAC and Phantoma from Meow Cosmetics. After wearing it a couple of times I established that Perfect Topping is not a great shade for my colouring so I will let it go. Phantoma on the other hand is an amazing shade and I wore it mostly on the eyes to be honest but it’s pretty on the cheeks as well, albeit a bit too much for every day work stuff. Keeper.

    Now let’s have a look at a few of the looks that I created this month along with my verdict of the eyeshadows used. Most looks are adapted for work, but I must say I highly enjoy working from a pre-set arsenal in the mornings.

    A soft eye using Sable by MAC. This is a lovely shade that looks great with most lipsticks. A keeper.

    I can not for the life of me remember what I wore in the above picture. I must get better at taking notes.

    The shade Give Me Fire is another “recent” purchase. My collector brain bought it when the the MAC collection Red, Red, Red launched in 2014. Red eyeshadow was something I was always on the hunt for at the time. They are more common these days but I still remember how excited I was when this collection was launched. Give Me Fire is not a very special shade but I got swept away by its limited edition status. It’s pretty on the eyes but nothing spectacular. I don’t need it.

    Cranberry on the lid and Outre in the crease. A fun combination I want to wear more. Both shades are going to Round 2.

    Trax was a pleasure to wear but a bit hard to work with. It’s so old and I definitely feel it has played its part in my life. So long dear one…

    The lovely Crème de Violet, the 5th anniversary shade I mentioned, is beautiful in theory but the quality is not there. It was hard to work with and faded and creased quickly. However nostalgic the memories surrounding this one are, I will let it go. In the above look I have added a bit of Rule for effect. Rule is a great orange matte shade and will be kept for now.

    Expensive Pink is a golden pink shade that I have not worn many times in my life. And it is not by any means new. Wearing it now, I enjoy it but in order to stay after Round 2 it will have to be damn special.

    Gorgeous Gold layered over Outre. Gorgeous Gold is simply – gorgeous. A green shifting gold that can be layered over different shades or worn on its own for a stunning effect. This is the type of shade I would wear all the time if I could remember that I have it. Finding these gems is one purpose of this audit and I am glad I have now highlighted its existence.

    I do not have more pictures of looks to give light to the shades worn. Nylon was more useful than expected and Vex had an odd sheen that I enjoyed. Barefoot and Greensmoke are really unique shades and all the mattes did a good job. To sum up this month I’m keeping more shades than I am getting rid of. The shades I will not keep are;

    Idol Eyes


    Seedy Pearl

    Parfait Amour

    Mystical Mist

    Idol Eyes is very beautiful but a bit gritty and interesting to work with. Since it’s so old and well used I will let it go. Humid is such a beautiful shade but it’s ancient and it fades really easily on the lid. I hope I have something similar in my collection because I really enjoyed wearing this specific colour. Seedy Pearl and Parfait Amour looks ok in the finger swatch but lacks punch on the eyes. Not worth keeping. And finally we have Mystical Mist, another ancient shade that actually performed terribly…

    Perfect Topping

    So eight eyeshadows and one highlighter will be let go. Not too bad. For future audits I will try to make better notes on what was worn when and all my feelings. It’s a process…

    Thanks for reading!


  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: December

    For #RedLipsDecember I choose to wear a variation of a red lip on the days I wear makeup at all. Therefore this month’s arsenal would have to be easily paired with red, hence I needed basic neutral shades for the eyes. My recently depotted Urban Decay palettes fitted the bill perfectly.

    The Naked, Naked 2, Naked 3 and Naked Ultimate Basics palettes were not exciting to me anymore in their fixed versions, but I knew there were some useful shades in them I might want to keep. So I shed their shell and depotted them. A year ago I would never have done that, but now it felt just right.

    The depot was successful and all shades survived more or less intact. A few shades were tossed straight away but those were the ones I knew I would never use. The rest were put in a Z palette. Basic mattes and basic shimmers, nothing too exciting but very useful shadows. To add a bit more “fun” variety to the arsenal I picked a couple of loose pigments from Meow Cosmetics as well.

    Again, nothing to colourful since I did not want to think too much when choosing my makeup for work in the morning. As a final addition to the shadow world I added a H&M duochrome highlighting palette with the aim to use it for both cheeks and eyeshadow effect. It contained a green, a peach and a purple duochrome shade.

    Firstly we can go through how the pigments fared in the audit.

    Sable from the Santa Baby collection is a shade I was a bit unsure of at first. It felt a tad boring and unlike what I usually enjoy using, but when wearing it I appreciated its beautiful shine and unique colour. I’ve decided to keep it for now and see how it fares in Round 2.

    Undead is a really fun shade and I loved wearing it. It’s from a collection named Zombie Apocalypse. Just the name makes me smile. It’s a greyed out purple with a pink shift – and this is exactly how complex I wish most shadows were. A joy to wear. It’s staying!

    Howl is from the (less excitingly named) collection Glacial Grove. But the shade is anything but boring. A murky clay shade with a silver sheen that brings depth and that extra something something to a rather classic look. Another keeper.

    Yet another keeper is Debauchery from the Pandoras Box collection – a stunning swampy gold that I think works wonders with my colouring.

    The last loose pigment is Trepidation from the Friday the 13th collection. The look I created above was not my favourite this month, but the shade itself is beautiful. Keeping this as well.

    The H&M palette was not my fave to use on the cheeks. The product is chunky and adds too much of a colour shift for my liking. As a duochrome shadow however they performed much better and I used them primarily as an inner corner highlight. I even enjoyed using them more than I had anticipated. I am going to let them move on to Round 2 but I doubt they will stand up to the competition. But I have been wrong before….

    Regarding the Urban Decay shadows I tried to give them a proper run this month and I think I did a good job. I’ve not been able to keep track of what shades I’ve used each day, due to time constraints, but I’ve made sure to use all of the shades at least once in some capacity. Some were worn a lot more. The result – I’ve decided to get rid of eleven of them.

    Of those eleven shadows, many were full of large glitters and I’ve noticed I really dislike that finish. Others were either lacklustre or hard to work with. The pale gold was beautiful but I had two so I felt no need to keep them both.

    Here are some looks I managed to create using mainly the UD shadows.

    Moving on to the cheek products of this months arsenal were we have five blushes and two highlighters. A lot of MAC, a little Sleek Makeup and a pop of IsaDora.

    Surprise, surprise, I enjoyed using all of them. The Sleek blushes, Flushed and Pomegranate, are obviously quite vibrant and I did not use them as much as the others but when I did they were lovely. I even managed to use them on the eyes, as shown in the picture below.

    Breath of Plum by MAC is a real oldie favourite for me. This compact is my second one (!), the first one was used up back in the day when I had less makeup. I used to dye my hair black and loved how this looked together with the contrast between my hair and my skin. I do not use it nearly as often anymore but it’s still a lovely colour. It’s staying. At Dusk as well, the other MAC blush shade. At Dusk is an Extra Dimension blush and I have worn this a lot since I got it in 2013-2014. Lovely shade and lovely finish. Finally we have Nude Blossom by IsaDora, another great shade and a more recent addition than the others. Very wearable and great to work with.

    Finally we have two MAC highlighters, Lightscapades and Here Comes Joy. I remembered not enjoying wearing Lightscapades too much but I was pleasantly surprised. It was not as frosty as I anticipated and it gave a lovely sheen to my cheeks. Here Comes Joy was also a surprise. More wearable on the cheeks than I remembered. Beautiful to use on the eyes as well.

    So for cheeks this month we had only winners.

    I must admit I was glad when this month was over and I could pick a new arsenal. I love wearing a red lip and more neutral eyes, but not every day. I love variety and this month felt quite repetitive, especially with regards to the eye looks. However, letting go of eleven shadows felt good and I hope for a similar result next month.

    Until then, thanks for reading!


  • Nail polish

    Nail polish audit – The Twelve:1

    The first twelve from my nail polish audit have now been used and are ready for evaluation. Meet the team…

    Hell yes!

    First we have the ones that made it through the audit as winners. I loved wearing these colours for various reasons and they definitely deserve to be in this category.

    Zoya – Aggie

    Pahlish – Raggedy Man, Good Night

    A England – Fotheringhay Castle

    Zoya – Caitlin

    Zoya – Shawn

    Smitten Polish – Tornado Skies


    Now on to the ones I’m unsure of. I was a bit on the fence about the shade Aquamarine from Nail Pattern Boldness that I quite enjoyed wearing but I feel it has to stay in the maybe category until farther into the audit.

    Nail Pattern Boldness – Aquamarine

    Il était un vernis – #imanatural

    Hell no!

    An now on to the juicy category – the rejects. This is the part of the nail polish audit that I’m the most excited about. The more polishes that end up in this category, the more brain space is left for the ones I truly enjoy.

    IsaDora – Orient Express

    A bright metallic red is so not my jam. Pretty in theory but I do not feel like myself wearing this.

    L’oréal – Indigo Classique

    Lovely shade but I detest the finish. I tried using a top coat to take away the (intended) grit but to no avail.

    IsaDora – Mother of Pearl

    I sort of loved the ethereal glow this shade gave in a certain light, but unfortunately when not in said light it looked less attractive.

    China Glaze – Rendez Vous With You

    I was dead set on disliking this shade but was surprised that I enjoyed wearing as much as I did. But I think that was down to me combining it with tops in shades that really flattered this particular shade of purple. So I probably enjoyed the colour combination more than the polish shade itself. I will never actively choose to wear this shade again and it will have to go.

    Phew – twelve down! It took me a while to get through them but here we are. Six keepers, two maybes and four discarded.

    Thanks for reading!


  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: November

    This month has flown by at high speed. I’ve been pressed for both time and energy. Most makeup looks have been conjured up early in the morning before work so they have been quite simple and not very colourful. Almost all makeup looks were snapped in an office bathroom including me sticking my shin up to get some light under my hooded lids to show off the shade that adorn them. As always, this will have to do.

    To summarize this month I must say it has been fun despite my lack of energy. The fact that I have only had a select number of products to choose from breaks the old habits I forces me to create looks I would not have done otherwise. The whole audit process is rewarding and I think I have already become slightly better at letting things go.

    This months arsenal consisted of quite a lot of eyeshadows (again). I picked out a selection of single shadows and only two pre-made palettes. Mainstream brands (MAC, Bare Minerals, ABH) mixed with indie brands (Meow Cosmetics, Phee’s). Let’s go through everything and see what I liked.

    A mixed palette of goodies

    I had a palette full of random singles that I felt were perfect to audit because I rarely use them. I also popped two Sephora shadows in there to complete the range of choice, teaming up with eight Phee’s Makeup Shop mineral shadows, two matte shadows by Neve Cosmetics and three Inglot shimmer shadows.

    Phee’s Makeup Shop – I did not manage to use all of them, only four or five. I have Polilla (blue-brown duochrome), Moreish (molted gold), Pyrite (dirty bronze), Coda (ruddy pink), Peppered (silvery beige), Sphinx (ruddy brown), Tell It To The Frogs (bright green) and Dead Weight (dark purple with pink shimmer) to my disposal.


    I enjoyed using them and I especially liked Sphinx. But however stunning they were sadly they will have to go. They have started to smell weird and a very strong metallic smell comes from the pans. They will be thrown away.


    Inglot – The three square pans in the palette are from Inglot (30, 31 and 45) and are actually duplicates, i.e I have another set of these specific shades. I bought a ton of Inglot shadows in New York years ago, before they were readily available to purchase in Sweden, and somehow I managed to buy duplicates. These are useful shades but since I have extra and they are old I will throw these away as well. They smell a bit off too but honestly they have had that smell all along so….

    Neve Cosmetics – One grey satin matte (Smoking) and one hot orange (Lava). To be clear, I never wear these. This month I wore Smoking once and disliked the colour, it’s too cool toned for my liking and I will let it go. Lava however, even though I did not use it, will go on to Round 2. This specific bright orange shade is very useful and I’m sure I will use it more if I place it with other singles.

    Sephora – I bought a few of these shadows in 2018 when they were newly released. This month I used Unicorn Dust and Twinkle Twinkle. They come in single compacts but are made to be easily popped out of that compact and into a separate palette if one would want. I wore each once and they will go on to Round 2. Unicorn Dust is a pretty muted purple with blue shimmer. It’s a bit sheer but I would like to give it a few more wears before I decide. Twinkle Twinkle is a high shimmer beige with an almost glimmering finish. It’s quite unique for me and I would like to use it more.

    MAC– I pulled some oldies and goodies from MAC – a few of my Extra Dimension Eyeshadows. I love this formula and have some of the original larger pans. Zestful and Triple Impact are lovely duochromes and Silver Sun is a stunning greenish gunmetal. I loved wearing them and will not let them go anytime soon. Soft Teddy is a matte from the Monochrome Collection that was released in early 2019. It’s a soft rosy brown and I enjoy it a lot both as a crease colour and all over the lid. Until Dawn is pretty but a tad to glittery for me. It’s also not unique enough to hang on to.

    Silver Sun

    Illamasqua – I especially enjoy the shade Wicked. It’s a pastel pink matte shade that gives an extra something something when used on the eye. Justify is an more common neutral brown and it will have some competition in Round 2.

    Wicked as a soft candy crease

    Meow Cosmetics – I love this indie brand and I own a ton of their shadows. They are all in a loose format and this month I picked two purples, Hangover and Rising, and Joy – a duochrome peach. Joy and Rising are lovely and unique but Hangover will be let go of. I wore it, see the below picture, and thought it to be just ok. In order for me to reach for a loose shadow it will have to be something extra, not just fine.


    & Other Stories – I wore this dirty old gold, Percaline Khaki, and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It’s a bit drier and more muted than I expected but the look was interesting on the eye.

    Percaline Khaki

    Bare Minerals – The last single shadows in the monthly arsenal were loose metallics that had previously been given very little love and were perfect candidates for the audit. Both Pewter and Iridiscent Iris were worn only once during November but I enjoyed wearing them. Iridiscent Iris is the most unique of the two but Pewter has a lovely sheen. Both will go on to Round 2.

    Prism palette

    Next up are two pre-made palettes by Anastasia Beverly Hills, Prism and Subculture. These provided some basic mattes, some fun mattes and metallic goodness of course. Prism was used most, especially the shades Parallel, Lure, Obsidian and Unity. I whipped out Throne one evening as well, se below.

    Subculture palette

    Subculture did not get as much love as Prism but Rowdy was used as eyeliner a lot and Mercury and fudge acted as deepening shades. However I know that I like this palette without using every single shade. The colour scheme inspire me and the shades are unique enough to go straight to Round 2.

    For cheek colour had picked a wide variety of well used older products combined with unused items. I managed to use most shades and form an opinion. Some i will keep and some I am ready to let go of.

    Fantasy Flower, Pink Tea, Sugar (trio) and Pink Spirit (trio)
    Porcelain Pink and Taupe

    Sleek Makeup – I used two blush trios, Sugar and Pink Spirit. Sugar was given the most love and I enjoyed all three shades. Pink Spirit was only used once due to it’s intense colour scheme but that was a lesson in itself. It made me have a look of what other similar shades I own. I found I have several similar intense berry pink blushes from MAC and I know I will most likely choose one of those over the Sleek trio. So Pink Spirit will be let go now and Sugar will go on to round 2.

    MAC – Two blushes, one highlight and one contour shade. I wore all of them quite a lot and formed some interesting opinions. Let’s start with the highlighter, Porcelain Pink. It was the only highlighter this month but I quickly realized that I did not enjoy the effect it gave on the cheekbone. It just did not look to my taste. A bit too glittery and too much. It will leave my collection. An oldie and a goodie is Flower Fantasy, a stunning muted ruddy pink face powder from the 2012 Vera collection. It’s a great everyday shade and it looks good with most looks. A keeper. Pink Tea however, a pink shade that looks more brown on the cheeks, did not wow me. It should be one of those safe everyday shades but it’s simply not a great colour on me. I will let it go. The last item is Taupe, a shade bought as a contour shade and chosen as a contour for this months arsenal. However, I ended up using it primarily as a blush. A very neural and muted blush. I’m a bit surprised that it worked in that way but glad that discovered its potential. Round 2 material.

    All in all 17 items will leave my collection, 19 individual shades. A good round I think. I have some more looks to round up this months audit but unfortunately I have no details on the shades used.

    Thanks for reading,


  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up – 2019:2

    Part one was posted in June but consisted of empties accumulated before we moved from Gothenburg to Kalmar in January. They were not really empties from 2019 but I wanted to record them for my own benefit. This post consists of products I have used up between January – October, a new pile of empty products to reminisce about. I as a consumer will share my thoughts on the products and our time together. Why did I buy it? Will I repurchase? If not, why?

    For reference I am almost 38 years old and I have dehydrated combination skin. I have no sensitivities or allergies.

    In the background of some of the photos you will notice my dirty towels. Apologies. The purple one is a wonderful hair turban that a dear friend gifted me for my birthday a few years back (she made it herself!). It is a true treasure. The grubby white one is a small face towel that was used to remove a clay face mask. Not the best backdrop but it will have to do.

    First up we have a bunch of cleansers. I use one cleanser in the morning and two in the evening including a balm or oil to remove my makeup.

    Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil

    Stats: It’s an oil cleanse in a 195 ml plastic pump bottle, priced at 470 SEK.

    Thoughts: I needed a makeup remover (first cleanse) and had heard great things about this oil. I enjoyed using it but it was not L O V E, if you know what I mean.

    Repuchase? I prefer using a balm cleanser to remove my makeup and will most likely stick to that. I might consider buying it again in the future if I crave trying an oil again.

    Emma S. Melting Cleansing Balm

    Stats: A semi transparent cleansing balm in a 100 ml tube. 230 SEK.

    Thoughts: This product was quite newly released when I was on a hunt for a new makeup remover and I was excited to try it. The usage was enjoyable enough but it had one big flaw. When applied on the eyes it made my mascara a full on mess and extremely difficult to remove. I use a tubing mascara and the balm somehow made the mascara very sticky and everything I was suppose to dissolve and remove instead stuck to my eye area and I had to use a micellar water to remove it.

    Repuchase? Nope. It did not do the job.

    Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

    Stats: A solid cleansing balm in a plastic jar. 90 ml sold for approximately 400 SEK.

    Thoughts: The smell is divine. The texture is perfect. If you can’t tell already  – I loved using this balm. It smells like fizzy (sour) candy and it removed my makeup beautifully. No stinging of the eyes did or making a gluey mess of my mascara. It became an instant favourite.

    Repurchase? I want to badly. I just wish it were a tad cheaper and sold through a Swedish retailer. It’s not a deal breaker but it did push me to try another brand when I finished this jar. Spoiler – I don’t like the new cleanser and I will repurchase Green Clean next time for sure. But next time I will use it a bit more sparingly to see how long it lasts for. I do not want to repurchase this too often.

    Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser

    Stats: Described as a comfort cleanser with Rose and Chamomile Flower. It’s a pale peachy pink mud cleanser in a tube. 135 ml priced at 279 SEK.

    Thoughts: I have enjoyed another mud cleanser by Pixi previously and was keen to try the rose one. It became an instant favourite. I love to use this as a second cleanser in the evening or as a single in the morning. I enjoy the smell, the texture and it does its job.

    Repurchase? Notice the two empty tubes in this post? I can confirm that two more tubes are already in use as we speak (a bit excessive but practical, one lives permanently in the shower) and I think I will buy another one when those are empty.

    Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel

    Stats: Described as an exfoliating cleanser with Moisclean (?) and Glycolic Acid. It’s a gel cleanser in a tube. 135 ml priced at 279 SEK.

    Thoughts: This was another newly released product when I was on the hunt for a new cleanser. You apply it to damp skin and massage for 30 seconds. I used it primarily in the mornings and it was fine, it cleansed my skin but I felt no additional benefits. My feelings ended up lukewarm. I think I prefer cleansers that are applied to dry skin and the gel texture is not a fave.

    Repurchase? No. This cleanser works fine but it’s not for me.

    Moving on to essences and serums. I use 1-2 in the morning and the evening. Hydrating serums are my jam.

    “Buffet” Multi-Technology Peptide Serum by The Ordinary

    Stats: 30 ml in a glass dropper bottle for 179 SEK.

    Thoughts: I purchased this mainly because I wanted hydration and it sounded like a nice concoction of goodies for the skin. I enjoyed using it a lot and my skin did too. After I used up my first bottle I immediately picked up another one, that is why there are two empty bottles in this round up.

    Repurchase? I have not done it yet. I stopped buying it when I read somewhere that peptides should not be used with acids including vitamin C. I use vitamin C most mornings and other acids in the evening, so if I buy it again I will have to see where I can squeeze it in. I think I will give it a go soon.

    Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate by Eucerin

    Stats: These 5 ml bottles were part of a larger kit containing 6 bottles. It is described as a concentrated anti-wrinkle serum and is priced at approximately 300 SEK (for a total of 30 ml).

    Thoughts: A bottle was in my last empties post, you can find it here, and there is no need to repeat myself too much. I did not like it but I did not want to waste the product so I used them all up.

    Repurchase? Never.

    Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene

    Stats: A vitamin C and hyaluronic acid essence in a glass dropper bottle. I used up two full size 30 ml bottles during this time period and another one is soon empty. This product is often sold with a discount but currently the standard price point seems to be 289 SEK.

    Thoughts: It was in my last empties post and it is sill a staple of mine. It is my main vitamin c product and a great layering hydration boost. I use it in the morning and often layer another serum on top before a cream.

    Repuchase? Hell yes, I will keep this in my routine. As before, I try to buy one when there is a discount since I use it so frequently.

    Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD

    Stats: 15 ml glass dropper bottle with a watery serum. 345 SEK. It is also sold in a 30 ml bottle.

    Thoughts: Since I did not enjoy my previous HA serum by The Ordinary I wanted to try something new. So I put this on my wish list last Christmas and I got it as a gift. A small amount went a long way but the watery consistency always made me use too much product despite my best efforts. The product was ok but I did not enjoy the smell at all, it was a bit funky.

    Repurchase? Most likely no. At this price point I would have to like it way more in order to repurchase.

    Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi

    Stats: 45 ml plastic tube containing a serum-like essence with rose and grape seed oil. It’s sold for 399 SEK.

    Thoughts: I had been eyeing this for a while and not being to sure of it’s place in my routine. But after trying it, a friend had a tube, I realised it was a lovely hydrator and a pleasure to use. I love the smell, the look and the feel of the product. I layer this on top of more watery serums both morning and evening.

    Repurchase? I already have another tube in use and I still love using it.

    Next up we have three mists. I use hydrating mists after cleansing and before serums both in the morning and evening. I also use priming/finishing mists on occasion when doing my makeup.

    Hyaluronic Plumping Mist by Balance Me

    Stats: 179 SEK for a 30 ml glass spray bottle.

    Thoughts: I received this as a gift with purchase and I enjoyed its fine mister. The product itself did not wow me in any way. The smell was not too inviting either.

    Repurchase? I do not think so.

    Nordic-C Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist by Lumene

    Stats: 50 ml plastic spray bottle sold for 129 SEK. It also comes in a 100 ml bottle. It’s hydrating and contains vitamin c.

    Thoughts: I got this from a friend whose sensitive skin reacted to it. I love it. The mist is super fine and it feels lovely on the skin. I use it after cleansing in the morning, before my Glow Boost Essence, also by Lumene.

    Repurchase? I already have another bottle in use. I think I will buy another one after that but we will see. I have got another hydrating mist (Pixi Milky Mist) that I want to use up before I buy another one. The Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook also intrigues me and I might try that before repurchasing the Glow Refresh one.

    Fix+ by Mac Cosmetics

    Stats: 100 ml plastic spray bottle priced at approximately 200 SEK. It’s a finishing mist aimed to be used over makeup as a last step.

    Thoughts: This is an old bottle. Fix+ was a cult product way back and I used it to set my makeup, make my newly powdered face feel a little bit more worn in. This past year I’ve used it primarily to wet my brushes when applying loose pigments.

    Repurchase? Maybe. I enjoy it. It’s a practical product to have when doing makeup. I have some similar finishing sprays I will use up before but I might go back to Fix+ someday.

    I use cream moisturizers every day and I vary the type depending on what my skin needs (it’s very seasonal). I usually have one for daytime, to be used under makeup, and a heavier one for night.

    Natural Moisturizing  Factors + HA by The Ordinary

    Stats: A cream aimed solely at surface hydration in a plastic tube. 30 ml for 69 SEK. I’ve used up two tubes.

    Thoughts: I heard good things about this cream online and got it for Christmas last year (I accidently got two tubes). Luckily I really like it! It’s a great basic last step (or before sunscreen). I have used it all year except during the harshest winter months when my skin needs something more heavy duty.

    Repurchase? I already have. I only need a tiny amount each morning and it’s great value for money. I think this product will be in my routine for quite sometime.

    Renewed Hope In A Jar Dry by Philosophy

    Stats: 60 ml plastic jar for approximately 500 SEK. A lightweight cream moisturizer marketed as refreshing and refining.

    Thoughts: I was sold this cream by a shop assistant a while back when I was on the hunt for a slightly heavier cream for night time. Philosphy is not I brand I normally choose but I decided to give it a go. And I really like this cream. This jar is my second so I obviously liked it enough to buy it again.

    Repurchase? Maybe. It’s lovely but for that price my love will have to be deeper for me to stick to it for the long haul. I will try some other brands for a while and see where I land.

    Vital Balm Cream by Josh Rosebrook

    Stats: A ceramic jar containing 45 ml. A pale blue solid balm sold for 859 SEK. It contains aloe vera, plant butters, oils and herbs.

    Thoughts: I bought this last winter when I panicked. My skin freaked out for the first time when the cold hit and nothing I put on it retained its moisture. So I ended up buying this extremely expensive cream on a whim. But it saved me and my skin loved it. It worked well under makeup and the jar lasted all through the winter months. After that I still had some left and I used it on nights when my skin felt a bit extra needy. The balm turns a bit oily on application and a small amount spreads easily all over the face.

    Repurchase? It hurt my soul to pay this price but I recently bought a new jar in preparation for winter. I’ve used it on a few harsh days but only time will tell if I enjoy it as much this time around. We shall see.

    Sunscreen is a must for me and I am quite picky. Most sunscreens disturb my makeup and since I have combination skin that is an issue even before I put spf on. A priming product with spf is an appealing concept for me.

    Urban Defence Complexion Primer SPF 30 by Urban Decay

    Stats: A smoothing silicone primer in a 30 ml plastic pump bottle. I do not know the price since it has been discontinued.

    Thoughts: This was not my first bottle but sadly it will be my last. If it was still being made I would happily buy it again and again. A smoothing primer that does not pill and has a high spf, what is not to love? I’m so sad it’s discontinued.

    Repurchase? I wish I could.

    Instant Glow UV Primer SPF 30 by Lumene

    Stats: A glass dropper bottle containing a serum-like primer that leaves an oily glow on the face. Sold for 299 SEK.

    Thoughts: My aim was to replace my UD primer, to find another one with spf that worked well on my combinations skin and under makeup. I enjoyed using this product but it was not a perfect match for my skin type. It made my makeup slide around a bit too much.

    Repurchse? Most likely not unless my skin becomes drier.

    Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50 PA++++  by Kiehl’s

    Stats: 60 ml plastic tube for 445 SEK. High protection sunscreen including UVA. It’s marketed as a lightweight formula.

    Thoughts: This is not the first time I’ve used this product. I repurchased it again after I heard someone talk about how well it worked under makeup, so I gave it another go. I should have known better. It just does not work under makeup for me. I have to remember this over time so that I do not buy it again to fill that role.

    Repurchase? I say nay.

    I’m aways glad when I manage to use up makeup items. It’s so satisfying because it’s so rare.

    Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light by Mac Cosmetics

    Stats: Plastic powder compact with a small mirror in the lid. The powder is pressed and the compact contains 10 g. It is prized at 315 SEK.

    Thoughts: Firm favourite. I’ve used this for many years. Previously I’ve used it as a setting powder, but nowadays I mainly use it as a finishing powder or it’s main purpose in my life – as a touch up. It provides a slight coverage, which is perfect for retouching my makeup after a day at work. It takes care of shine and tones town any redness. 

    Repurchase? I have another compact in use right now. It fills a purpose and I have not found another product to take its place.

    Infinity Filter in Light by Linda Hallberg

    Stats: A loose setting powder in a plastic jar with a sifter. 9 g for 279 SEK. It is not completely matte, it gives some luminosity, and adds some coverage.

    Thoughts: I really like it. I used it as a setting powder in the mornings and enjoyed the finish it gave.  

    Repurchase? I have a few other powders I will use up first but it’s on my shopping list. I think it will be my only loose powder moving forward.

    Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in Fair 1 by Collection

    Stats: British brand that I stocked up on last time I was in London. Standard plastic packaging with a wand. Price and amount of product unknown. I remember that it was cheap and that I bought at least four.

    Thoughts: This is great. Perfect colour for me and it provides great coverage and wear. Easy to blend. If I’m ever in the UK I will buy some more.

    Repurchase? Most likely but not in a while. I have another one (my last) in use right now and I notice that it’s drying up quite quickly. Stocking up on makeup items has its downfall.

    Eyeshadow Primer Potion “Anti-Aging” by Urban Decay

    Stats: A plastic tube with a wand containing 10 ml of product. A beige but quite transparent primer. 235 SEK.

    Thoughts: Before I bought this I used the “Original” version from UD for some years. When it stopped being what I needed it to be fellow beauty lovers recommended I try the anti-aging one. The first thing that happened when I opened the product was that the wand broke. I used it up anyway and I liked it well enough.

    Repurchase? I have another tube in use so I did repurchase one, but I think I will not do it again. I have quite oily lids but my eyeshadow does not hold all that well using this primer. I will most likely try another brand next time.

    Lash Power mascara in “Black Onyx” by Clinique

    Stats: 6 ml mascara for 235 SEK. It is a tubing formula that is to be removed with warmer water.

    Thoughts: This is my love. Clinique is not usually a brand I buy from but this mascara is the best one I have found for me. I need a tubing mascara because everything else smudges on me. The brush is slim and small and makes the application effortless. It does not add much volume or anything but I enjoy the look.

    Repurchase? Oh yes, I already have. Until I find an option that will rival it’s qualities I’m not in the market for another mascara. This is the one for me.

    Perfect Eyebrows tinted brow gel in “Dark” by IDUN Minerals

    Stats: 5 ml fiber-infused tinted brow gel for 179 SEK.

    Thoughts: I colour my eyebrows on occasion to darken them. But usually I forget, so for everyday makeup looks I like to use a tinted brow gel to darken them. I was on the hunt for a cool darker brow and I had heard good things about the IDUN one. I liked it ok. The colour was good and it worked fine but the hold was no match for my stubborn brows.

    Repurchase? Most likely not. I’m currently using a version from H&M that I prefer.

    That’s all folks! Since this post sums up such a long time period my thoughts and comments are in some cases written down many months after a product was used up. My aim is to do these more frequently but life got in the way this time around.

    To sum up this edition of The Used Up there are twelve products that I would repurchase and out of those eight already have been. Three maybes, nine no’s and the one sad “I wish I could”. I enjoy trying new skincare and staple makeup items (foundation, mascara etc) but I love sticking to what I love even more.

    Thanks for reading!


  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: October

    In the beginning of the month I selected my Monthly Arsenal and posted it to Instagram. I had picked a selection of eyeshadows, blushes and other face products to evaluate in the first month of my makeup audit. When choosing I picked items that I rarely use and I felt that these would be perfect to evaluate first, since surely I would have few warm fuzzy feelings for them, dislike them even, and have a great run of discarding these unloved items. Alas, I was wrong. So wrong.

    The Monthly Arsenal – October

    For eyes I had singled out a wide variety of shades and finishes in order to have a lot of options to play with. The arsenal included five of my numerous Sleek Makeup palettes complemented with a set of six duochrome toppers in the shape of the Aurora Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I love using duochrome shades both as effect toppers and as inner corner highlights. A good duochrome makes my heart beat faster. The eye palettes I chose contained shades I was drawn to this time of year including some brights for more punchy looks. For the cheeks I chose one contour, two highlighters and eight blushes of varying finishes. This is how the month went down..

    Aurora Glow Kit
    Perfect as an effect on the eye

    Let’s start with the Glow Kit. I am very drawn to this palette but I did not use it as much as I thought I would. I mainly used Eclipse, Helia and Lyra as inner corner highlights and Spectra was used as a topper on one occasion. I like these shades well enough to let them get another shot in Round 2 (where similar items will be compared) but I suspect I have some similar shades from other brands. Both Eclipe and Lyra have glitter in them and that is not my favourite thing. Also, these shadows smell a bit weird, but I think they have been doing that all along. Something to think about….

    Ultra Matts V.2 by Sleek Makeup

    Another palette I’m drawn to, the Ultra Matts V.2. The dark, moody and mainly muted colours are alluring. This specific palette was an important source of matte shadows this month and I used it a lot. I was expecting to dislike many of the shades but no, the mattes performed very well and were a pleasure to use. If the palette had included a taupe as well it would have been even more useful. The shades are quite unique and since they performed well I have to give it a Round 2. Most used shades were Flesh, Paper Bag, Villan, Dune and Maple.

    A New Day by Sleek Makeup

    A New Day was another frequently used palette and the shade Carpe Diem was a solid favourite used for many looks as a crease colour. Happy, Let It Go and Don’t Worry were also staples. The other shades were a little lacklustre and this palette is a contender to depot. But before engaging in that hassle I need to compare the nice shades to what I have that is similar.  So a Round 2 is in order to seal its fate.

    Del Mar Vol. II by Sleek Makeup

    Del Mar is such a pretty palette with its muted, dusty pastels and that bright yellow. I find the colour scheme very appealing and inspiring. I especially loved using Ushuaia, Puro and Siesta. Zoola and Ibiza Rocks were fun to use as well. I regret not using the greens but I never felt like it for work. The shades I did not enjoy was Loco, Pearl and San Antonio.  Another palette that will make it to Round 2.

    Supernova by Sleek Makeup

    Another one I had low hopes for but enjoyed more than I thought I would, Supernova. I have not used the blue shades and most likely never will. The green (Aurora) is an interesting shade and the day I wore it I was very pleased with the combination. Umbra, Corona and Meteor are stunning shades and they will surely be depotted unless they have too many competitors in Round 2. This is a palette that I am sure I will depot if I decide to keep any of the shades.

    Rio Rio by Sleek Makeup

    I’m conflicted about Rio Rio. This palette as a whole does not entice me. I enjoyed some of the shades, like Ipanema, Tropics and Legron. But some shades I dislike and the composition of the palette does not work for me. I use the shades as singles and combined them with other palettes. As with the other palettes I suspect I already have multiple similar shades. But this palette will not be kept in it’s entirety, that’s for sure.  

    Face products are a lot of fun to use, especially blush. In this category we have the first item to be discarded in the audit. The Blush by 3 palette in Lemonade by Sleek Makeup. The cream shade (Macaroon) had gone off and when I wore the other two shades (Icing sugar & Pink mint) I disliked them on me. They looked off, and I think heavy shimmery blushes might not be my jam.

    The Face Form palette (also by Sleek) did get quite a lot of wear time this month despite the fact that it contained a shimmer blush. I loved the highlighter and the contour shade, not being my optimal shade for the cheeks, worked as a lovely crease shadow. The shimmery blush was not a favourite but it did it’s job.

    My other highlighter, the soft pink Play It Proper (MAC) was also a big surprise. I thought it would be an easy cull, but no. It provided an unique sheen and I loved using it for work. This product is old, from the Chen Man Love & Water collection from 2012. I bought it when my collection was smaller and that specific MAC collection was alluring. I have not used it much but after this month I think it deserves a new life, a life where it is appreciated and used. But since it has been used so little over time I have to put it through Round 2 in order to keep it.   

    Most used on the blush front this month are the muted matte shades from MAC, Buff and Pink Cult. They are nice staple shades that look good with most looks. I also used the more vibrant shades East (matte by Make Up Store) and Supernova (shimmer by MAC) a few times. I enjoyed them all, surprise surprise, and another lot for Round 2. And that was it, those were all the items from my Makeup Arsenal October.

    In the beginning of the month I had a main plan to post my daily makeup looks to Instagram. That plan evaporated since I almost always deemed the pics of poor quality. There is not much light in Sweden right now and I have been trying to sneak in some quick photos mainly in bathrooms (during the week) and in natural light whenever possible, but it’s been hard. For November I will try to be less judgmental of the quality of the photos and post more frequently.

    Despite that I’ve had a lot of fun this month playing with makeup…and here are a few more looks in varying light.

    To sum up this month of my makeup audit; It is no secret that I have a hard time letting things go. I attach to things emotionally and on top of this I fear that if I let an item go I will regret it later. When I sat down to evaluate this month’s audit candidates I realized I basically could not let anything go, not straight away anyway. I’m sure I do not adore all of these items but I think I need more “evidence” in order to let them go.

    So please bear with me in this process, a process I think will evolve over time. As you have noticed all items in this audit will be sent to Round 2 except one. One! Round 2 is clearly vital in this process, for me, and when items with similar purpose will be pitted against each other it will hopefully become clear to me how much I have and what needs to go. Let’s see….

    Thank you for reading! (If anyone made it this far, I applaud you!)


  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit

    Time flies. You grow. You change and your preferences evolve with you in a steady but also stealthy way. One day you realize you want other things than you used to. Before.

    That gradual shift over time adds up to a sudden need for drastic change. Personally, a lot have changed this past year and I with it. I moved to a new home on a new coast, started a new job and in many ways, starting anew all together. A natural progression of all this change is to evaluate how I want to live my life and what I want in it moving forward, including physical possessions. Once in a while a little audit is in order…

    I own quite a bit of makeup. For a few years I was in full collectors mode, especially when it came to eyeshadows and nail polish. Even though those years were a lot of fun, and I have no regrets, the times have indeed changed. Nowadays I find more joy in using makeup than in buying it (even though I do find exciting new items from time to time) and doing my makeup in the morning is a holy moment. My makeup arsenal is lovely but a bit too vast, and with that a bit too hard to overview for my liking. Therefore I want to do an audit of my makeup and nail polish related items with the following goals;

    • throw away items that have gone off or are way too old
    • get rid of poor performers
    • remind myself of what I have. It’s so easy to forget to use items due to overabundance, missing the point of owning them in the first place.
    • basically evaluate all products with the intent to only keep items I love and want to use.

    Since I enjoy to do things thoroughly I have envisioned this little project that will be fun to execute and give my arsenal a proper run down. An homage to what once was, the items once chosen, and a fresh new start with items I still love.

    The audit will be divided into the following main categories;

    • lip products
    • eye products
    • light and shade cheek products
    • colour cheek products
    • nail polish
    • miscellaneous items

    Each month, starting October, I will choose a number of items from each category and create a kit that will be used and evaluated during that month, the monthly arsenal. Some categories will be treated a bit differently as you will notice after I’ve given you a quick run down of my method and reasoning;

    My lipstick drawer in all its glory
    My second drawer for lip products

    Lip products is the easiest category for me because many of my lipsticks are old. Since cream products have a shorter life span a quick whiff and ocular inspection will tell all the tales needed on a product’s future. I will start by discarding the nasties and then evaluate the rest over time. I will not limit myself to a specific number of shades to use during a certain month, it will defeat the purpose of how I choose and wear lipstick, but I will keep score of which ones I use and make sure they all get wear time as the months progress.

    The vast majority of my eyeshadow palettes
    Single shadows in drawers
    Glittery shadows
    Some of my many loose shadows from Meow Cosmetics

    Eye products is by far my biggest category and consists of powder shadows (single and palettes), pencils/liners, loose pigments and cream/liquid formulas. Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup item to purchase and use, but I’m so OVER collecting them which means I can evaluate each one on performance and try not to keep too many similar shades that do the same job. The audit of specifically shadows will be done in two rounds. Round 1 is wearing each shade and evaluating it on it’s own. Round 2 will be comparing similar items and will be executed when and where needed. Palettes will also be judged on its composition and overall function. I will pick a selection of shadows (palettes, singles, loose pigments) for the monthly arsenal, but all of my pencils/liners and liquid products will be available to use every month.

    Light and shade cheek products are cream and powder contour shades, highlighters and and warming shaders. Not a big category for me but it still needs to be audited, especially my cream products. I will pick a few items to evaluate for my monthly arsenal.

    Colour cheek products consists of powder blushes, cream blushes and cream pigments. I love a good blush and enjoy using a variety of shades. The cream products need to be audited badly but I also have a few very vibrant powder shades that are basically untouched. If I do not use them I should not keep them, but they might have a life as an eyeshadow, who knows? A nice variety will be picked for the monthly arsenal. I will probably do Round 1 and 2 for blushes as well.

    Three of my six drawers of nail polish

    Nail polish is another big category for me. We are talking hundreds. I have some solid favorites that are worn frequently and those will not be included in the audit at first. They will skip the first round so to speak and go straight to the finale. The “others” will be audited in batches of twelve, two bottles from each drawer (who are divided by colour) at the time and each shade must be worn and evaluated. When all twelve have been used I will pick the next team. Worn shades will be divided into “hell yes”, “maybe” and “hell no”. Round 2 is definitely needed. Shades that are a no-go on the nail will be considered for nail art before being removed from my life.

    Miscellaneous items are foundation, concealer, primers, brow products, mascara, brushes and other tools. They are not big enough categories to audit but I will wear what I have and discard any products not up to par.

    The main mission with the audit is not necessarily to make my arsenal smaller, even though it might be a nice side effect. It’s to enjoy what I have and only keep the really good bits. Makeup is fun and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed when I look at my products. I want to keep things with intent.

    The monthly arsenal and daily looks resulting from those products will be posted on Instagram @herroyalnerdness. Audit reports for each category and for each monthly arsenal will be posted here on the blog. This project will go on until my mission is accomplished. It might take a while….

    Let the games begin!


  • Makeup

    Lethal Cosmetics – eye shadow swatches

    Recently I watched a first impressions video by Heather Moorhouse, aka Makeup Mouse, on YouTube and she introduced me to Lethal Cosmetics, a German brand that I had NEVER heard about before. She was very impressed with the quality of the shades including the mattes and that intrigued me. I felt they had some unique shades and the price point was appealing. So I did as one does in these type of situations – try to find every swatch on the planet and decide on what to get, if anything at all.

    The shadows are sold in pans at 6€ each and if you get a bundle where you customize a 12 palette you get 30% off. I ended up getting two customized palettes in one go, 24 shadows in total, and they arrived in the brand’s white Synergy palettes. I would have preferred the black Hive palette, but it was out of stock at the time (insert sad face).

    The palettes are quite small, sturdy and they have a lovely large mirror. The only negative is that they are white. You can see in the first pic how dirty mine got within a few weeks. Not a deal breaker for me but worth noting.

    I picked shades that interested me at random and did not try to assemble cohesive palettes. The result is a mixed bag of mainly mattes and a few shimmers. I divided them into a “warmer” and a “cooler” palette and both palettes turned out colourful and fun.

    The “warmer” palette

    Row 1 (L-R): Relapse, Remission, Spawn, Fahrenheit
    Row 2: Defiance, Void, Cycle, Recluse
    Row 3: Frantic, Habitat, Echo, Cascade

    The “cooler” palette

    Row 1 (L-R): Vertex, Helios, Equinox, Release
    Row 2: Calcination, Enigma, Unearthed, Spirit
    Row 3: Euphoria, Imago, Symbiosis, Delirium

    The shades I was most exited for were Enigma, Imago, Release, Helios, Recluse, Habitat, Remission and Echo. The most worn shades so far have been Cycle and Delirium but I have been doing mainly quick looks for work.

    Now on to the swatches…

    The metallic shades
    Mattes from my “cooler” palette
    Part 1 – mattes from the “warmer” palette
    Part 2 – mattes from the “warmer” palette
    Comparison of the red/pink shades
    Comparison of the yellow/green shades

    I have worn most shadows in some capacity and all have been wonderful to work with. The mattes are easy to blend with a great colour payoff and the shades are so much fun. I have only scratched the surface on what I can do with these shades and I look forward to doing more looks with them.

    Here are some recent looks using mainly Lethal Cosmetics on the eyes.

    Delirium, Symbiosis and Helios
    Remission, Fahrenheit, Cascade, Frantic, Echo, Cycle and Helios
    Delirium, Equinox, Vertex

    My thoughts on the shadows so far are that they are of amazing quality and many of the shades are unique additions to my arsenal. I am glad I bought them with the only exception being Unearthed. It’s a bit too cool and I have other similar shades that look better on me.

    I can highly recommend them if any of the shades available tickles your fancy. The brand recently released some new shades to their lineup – the Skyfall and the Landfall collection. None of those shades called my name but I will keep an eye out for future collections.

    Thank you for reading,