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.
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!
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.
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..
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….
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 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 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.
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.
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!)
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;
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.
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.
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!
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
The “cooler” palette
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…
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.
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,
Many years ago I was purchasing new nail polish with feverish intensity. In recent years I have slowed down, mainly due to being quite happy with what I have and therefore being more picky with what new beauty items I spend money on. The ones that still tickle my fancy nowadays are usually of the indie variety.
When the lovely Swedish site, and my initial go-to for indie polishes, Edgy Polish closed in 2017 I more or less stopped buying indie brands. Too much faff with shipping. A bit later on a friend introduced me to another European supplier, Hypnotic Polish (found here), and that door in my brain opened again. I now find myself drooling over unique quirky shades again. My last near purchase was thwarted when I compared my virtual basket to what I already owned and had to stop myself. But recently I took the leap and bought ten new shades. They excited me and that excitement is something I have missed a lot! It’s sadly not a common feeling for me anymore since the market is swamped with new releases and brands trying to up each other to win our attention. A lot of releases are just flat out boring..
Just show us the damn shades Sofia!
Ok, ok I will. But I must warn you, this post will be quite long due to heavy picture action. I hope you don’t mind. All stick swatches are three layers by the way.
I bought four shades from the spring/summer collection by F.U.N Laquer and out of these I chose the holo version for three of the shades (all shades in the collection are available as both with and without). This entire collection really enchanted me and I could easily have purchased more of them, but I am damn pleased with the shades I chose.
Sunset (holo version) is a beautiful shade that can be used transparent on it’s own in one layer or up to three layers for more opacity. I have tried it on top of another polish and its fiery shift is stunning as layering shade. I look forward to using it more like that, especially over darker shades.
Lavender (holo version) is also a very stunning translucent shade and can be worn in a similar fashion to Sunset. A sheer wash or a more opaque varnish. Also I imagine they all will come alive even more when paired with a really glossy top coat. It’s a ghostly wash of muted lilac with a blue shift, yum. The swatch pic looks a little flat but it’s not in real life, promise.
Uniphant (holo version) is a real favourite. I LOVE IT. This was the first one I wore and I adore its sickly green sheen. I think I will wear this one mostly on it’s own or maybe as a thin one coat over a lighter neutral base.
Beetle was the one shade from F.U.N Laquer that I opted to purchase without the holo effect. This shade also has a very interesting otherworldly and greenish sheen to it.
Emily de Molly, Enchanted Polish and Femme Fatale
Next up are two brands that are totally new to me, Emily de Molly and Enchanted Polish. The shades just spoke to me, especially Groovy Ghoul that I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.
Goddess of Rays by Emily de Molly is just that – a goddess. It really lights up the nails and it’s a real chameleon depending on the light as you can see above from the swatches. On the swatch stick I have three coats but on my nails it was sufficient with two.
Groovy Ghoul by Enchanted Polish is such an attractive shade. Swampy green with a burning fire within. Murky and fantastic. It was love at first sight!
His Fangs Are Sharp is a shade from the Jumanji collection by Femme Fatale, a brand that is not new to me. They tend to do shades that entice me so I have a few already. This is another lovely murky shade with a fiery glow. It’s more golden mustard swamp compared to Groovy Ghoul that is a lot greener.
Five by Eight is also from the Jumanji collection. This is such a beautiful squishy and juicy shade. A muted tropical cocktail shade with a jelly finish that lets the gold flecks shine through.
Hygge is a super cool and radiant shade. It has a stunning pinkish shift and little holographic flecks that run through it. Elegant and edgy at the same time.
Succulent Garden is another shade I’ve been eyeing for a few months. I’m very drawn to this kind of green and the exquisite shift is so beautiful.
All in all I’m very excited to wear these and as I am typing this I have already worn five of them in some capacity. They are unique additions to what I already own and I do not regret getting any of them.
Thanks for reading,
I highly enjoy reading about products that other people have used up and their thoughts on said products. In the past I have documented my own empty products more sparsely via Instagram but since I now have the possibility of being a bit more in depth with my documenting (since I have a blog these days) it will be a task I look forward to continuing in this format. I, as a consumer, sharing my thoughts on some products and our time together. Why did I buy it? Would I repurchase? If not, why?
I had accumulated a lot of empty products, mainly skincare, before we moved from Gothenburg so I sat down and documented everything before discarding them. However, this was in January! I’ve had very little time since moving to spend on the blog so this post have had to wait a little longer to be created. I personally don’t mind but hopefully my notes will be enough since I do not have any of the packaging left.
For reference I am 37 years old with a combination skin that is dehydrated. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.
Purifying Gel Cleanser by Glo Therapeutics
Stats: Purifying cleanser with salicylic acid, glycerin and yucca that should be massaged onto wet skin for 60 seconds. It comes in a 200 ml pump bottle.
Thoughts: This cleanser was introduced to me by a friend who gifted me a bottle for my birthday. I liked the smell and how my skin felt after using it. I used it primarily in the mornings whilst in the shower and it felt like it cleared up my skin just a little bit extra, left it smooth. It was en enjoyable experience.
Repurchase? This was my second bottle. The first one was a gift, as mentioned, from a friend and the second one that same friend helped me purchase at a salon. When it was empty I felt an urge to try other products and moved on. No hard feelings.
A quick google search later and it seems the company has rebranded itself and products are now marketed under the name Glo Skin Beauty. They still offer a Purifying Gel Cleanser but I do not know if it is the same formulation. I might try something else from the brand in the future. Who knows?
Sensibio H20 Make-up Removing Micelle Solution by Bioderma
Stats: Micellar water for sensitive skin, a quick cleanser and remover of makeup. This was a 250 ml bottle but various sizes are available. Price point for this size is as of today 95 SEK.
Thoughts: When this cult classic became available in Sweden naturally I wanted to try it. I use it for a quick removal of eye makeup when I’m tired or when I have a lot to remove. Also I use a tubing mascara (the only type of mascara that does not smudge on me) and I find that this specific micellar water is excellent at removing it.
Repurchase? This was not my first bottle and will not be my last. I always have a bottle on the go. I love that it does not sting my eyes nor does it feel drying around the eyes. I have tried other similar products and so far this is the one I prefer.
Glow Tonic by Pixi
Stats: 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner. I used up a 250 ml (regular size) and a 40 ml (mini from a kit). Price point for the regular size is currently between 239-299 SEK.
Thoughts: I use it in the evening after cleansing as a mild exfoliant (when I remember to use that is). It is in my routine because it has a cult following and I follow that hype. Seriously.
Repurchase? My skin is happy and it looks nice but it’s hard to pinpoint what product does what to be honest. But I like the idea of doing some light exfoliation on the daily and then doing some more intense cell sloughing with a mask here and there. So yes, I have repurchased it and probably will again and again. The marketing machine works!
Overnight Glow Serum by Pixi
Stats: “Concentrated Exfoliating gel” with alpha hydroxy acid. A 30 ml serum in a dropper bottle with a price of 320 SEK.
Thoughts: Bought it since I enjoy other Pixi products. However, I disliked the consistency and how it felt on my skin. I used it primarily in the evenings but to be honest since I did not enjoy using it I was very inconsistent in my usage. I finished the bottle however. Good girl!
Repurchase? Not bloody likely. For an exfoliating fix I would prefer using a face mask now and again rather than this serum form.
Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate by Eucerin
Stats: This 5 ml bottle is part of a larger kit containing 6 bottles. It is described as a concentrated anti-wrinkle serum. Price is approximately 300 SEK (for a total of 30 ml).
Thoughts: I bought this because Caroline Hirons did a Eucerin overview and made it sound interesting to try. But I did not fall in love with this product as I had hoped. I was anticipating some serious hyaluronic acid action and ended up not liking the smell or the texture. It did nothing for my skin.
Repurchase? It’s simply not for me. I will use up the remainder of the bottles but I’ve been avoiding using it daily since I do not care for it and I will naturally not consider it in the future.
Glow Boost Essence by Lumene
Stats: Essence with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid from the Valo range. This was a 15 ml mini that I got in a kit. It has the same dropper bottle as the regular size available on the market. The regular size is 30 ml and the price seems to vary a lot online and I can find it for 209 – 289 SEK.
Thoughts: I first picked this up because the word “essence” drew me in. Now it’s a staple of mine that sinks in quickly and makes my skin feel nice and hydrated. I love the smell too. I use ut to layer hydration and it does a fantastic job.
Repurchase? Hell yes, I always have a bottle on the go. Since I repurchase quite often I try to buy one when there is a discount because I run through quite a few bottles yearly.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 by the Ordinary
Stats: 30 ml hyaluronic acid and friends in serum form, in a dropper bottle. 89 SEK.
Thoughts: Intrigued by the Ordinary I needed to see if this could be my new HA fix. Sadly, it is not my new favourite to use for extra hydration. It does not sink in properly into my skin and it started to pill when I layered other products on top. It did not make my skin feel hydrated, more like the opposite.
Repurchase? What do you think? No.
Hydrating Milky Mist by Pixi
Stats: Mist with hyaluronic acid and black oat (?) for a “quick hydration”. 80 ml is currently priced at 223 – 279 SEK
Thoughts: Another one from the Pixi train. I love layering hydrating products so that is what I use this mist for, both in the morning and evening. I love to spray it on straight after cleansing in the morning or after cleansing/Glow Tonic in the evening. Then I add serums and the combination works well for my skin. I also love the smell BUT.. my more recent bottles have had sprayer issues. The mist is fine for a while but then it starts to squirt in your face. We shall see if this issue continues but it’s starting to put me off the product quite a bit. That would be a shame..
Repurchase? This product has been a staple in my skin care routine for quite a while and I have one on the go and a back-up ready. The sprayer issue will determine its fate.
Precious Oil by M Picaut
Stats: Seabuckthorne, lipo peptides and apricot are highlighted on this 30 ml dropper bottle. It’s an anti-aging serum and is priced at 699 SEK.
Thoughts: Swedish brand M Picaut was getting some rave reviews in the beauty community and I wanted to try it for myself. As with most oils I used it mainly in the evenings. It was nice and I liked using it, but my skin does not NEED it if you know what I mean? At that higher price point it felt a bit excessive and my combination skin does not care for oils all that much in general.
Repurchase? Might do yes, if my skincare needs change due to drier or more needy skin.
Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% by the Ordinary
Stats: “High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula”. A serum in a 30 ml dropper bottle for 69 SEK.
Thoughts: I think I bought it due to what it said on the packaging about its effect on pores and impurities (I have very visible pores) when I was browsing the The Ordinary shelf at my local H&M. I use this serum primarily on my larger pores, in the center of my face, in the evening. I see quite a bit of difference in my skin texture if I use this regularly. My pores just looks nicer.
Repurchase? Already have.
Age-Repair Eye Cream by Grown Alchemist
Stats: “Tetra-peptide & centella”. 15 ml pump bottle for the slight price of 620 SEK.
Thoughts: Sadly (says my wallet) I think it’s very nice and I learned just how much I like it when I stopped using it for a while. It’s moisturizing but not greasy and it looks great under makeup. One bottle lasted me more than 6 months.
Repurchase? It’s a bit too expensive for my taste but I have caved in and bought a new bottle. I really like it and will make an effort to repurchase only when I have a discount code.
Hydration rescue 24H Replenishing Balm by Lumene
Stats: This is a moisturizer from Lumenes Source (Lähde) series and a 50 ml jar is 159 – 199 SEK.
Thoughts: Lumene does some great products and I appreciate their price point. The words “Hydration Rescue” combined with “Replenishing Balm” sold it to me. I love this as a night time moisturizer and in the winter I use it in the daytime as well.
Repurchase? I already have a new one in use.
Disclaimer – future me can report that I am not sure I am as smitten with the product anymore. My new jar feels different, the product not the jar itself, and I am not enjoying it as much as before. Reformulated maybe?
Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder by Charlotte Tilbury
Stats: Pressed powder in the shade 1 – Fair that is currently not available through Swedish retailers. I bought mine in the CT Covent Garden store in London but there are British online retailers that ship to Sweden and it currently retails for 34 GBP.
Thoughts: Reviews were rave and I listened. Now I can say that I too love this product. It’s a super fine pressed powder in a beautiful slim rose gold case. I use it for setting my liquid foundation/concealer in the morning and I adore the finish it gives.
Repurchase? I have not yet but I most likely will. I wanted to use up some other powder products first and recently (since writing my initial notes for this post) I have purchased a contender from Nabla. It is a similar product in a slim compact and it has gotten great reviews. I think I will purchase the CT powder again in a few months and use them side by side to get a better opinion on how they compare.
Legendary Brows by Charlotte Tilbury
Stats: It is a tinted brow gel. I used the shade Super Model which is a cool dark brown. The availability is the same as for all CT products and it retails for 18,50 GBP.
Thoughts: When I was at the CT store I willingly let the makeup artist sell me things, including this. I love how small the brush is but I was not wowed by the effect or colour payoff as to warrant the price point. It was ok but not amazing, if you know what I mean.
Repurchase? I’m testing out cheaper options and they are performing well so most likely not.
Blur Foundation by Lumene
Stats: I have the shade 0 (Light Ivory) and the tube is 30 ml. It’s marketed as medium coverage and retails at 169 – 189 SEK.
Thoughts: I do not remember when I first bought this or why. I had probably read a nice review or two. I really enjoy using this foundation and it is my preferred one at the moment. I have been mixing this shade with a newer shade (00), especially in the winter, to get a better match to my skin tone. It is a staple in my makeup wardrobe. It can be used sparingly for a lighter coverage or built up for more coverage.
Repurchase: I already have and will certainly continue to do so as long as it keeps working for me. A tube lasts quite a long time and I enjoy using it a lot. The price point is nice too. If I will continue to mix it with another shade will be up for evaluation since I feel like the shades have been tweaked over time. I’m not so sure I will need both moving forward, but watch this space.
That was all for this round! Since nearly six months has passed since I took these photos I have naturally accumulated more empty products. So a round two will appear in the near future.
Thank you for reading!
The start of 2019 has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I’ve been planning, packing and executing the relocation of my family and our lives to the east coast of Sweden. Not a small task to say the least. But all the pieces are slowly but surely falling into place beautifully and the mayhem is starting to settle.
This look is from January when we were still living in our apartment in Göteborg. My kitchen lamp gave me light and I snapped some quick pictures. I am a big fan of yellow on the eyes and try to sneak it into my looks as often as possible, this time as an inner corner pop of colour.
- Make Up For Ever – Ultra HD foundation in Y2015
- Urban Decay – Naked Skin concealer in Fair Neutral
- Illamasqua – Cream Pigment in Hollow
- Linda Hallberg – Infinity Filter Loose Setting Powder in Light
- Nabla – Brow Devine pencil in Uranus
- Nabla – powder shadow in Camelot
- Idun Minerals – Perfect Eyebrows Tinted Brow Gel in Dark
- Urban Decay – Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging
- MAC – shadows in Chrome Yellow, Goldenrod, Farasha and Butterscotch
- Linda Hallberg – shadows in Arcturus (Metallic Mysteries II palette), Red Shift, Umbra, Fornax (Infinity Deep palette)
- Kat von D – Tattoo Liner in Trooper
- Linda Hallberg – Flash Crayon in Whipple Flash (used on the waterline)
- Clinique – Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx
- MAC – powder blush in Mocha
- Charlotte Tilbury – Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk
- Fenty Beauty – Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow
I really loved wearing this makeup and yellow is definitely my happy colour. It was also a great opportunity to bring out my “old” MAC shadows. They have not been getting much love lately.
Thanks for reading!
2019 will be the year of change. In February I, alongside my family, will move from the apartment we have called home for more than a decade. We will also move from the city we have lived in since 2004 – Göteborg aka Gothenburg. We are moving to a bigger home, a house, but also closer to our families.
This epic change is very much welcomed and it will mark the start of many positive beginnings.
Makeup wise it means that I have already put most of my makeup items in storage and have a smaller and more curated (for me anyway, it’s still a LOT of fun items) makeup collection on hand. I thought it would be fun to revisit how I stored my makeup before I put it all in boxes. So here is a peek of my makeup products – as it were…
I stored all of my makeup in the living room and always brought what I needed to the bathroom when I did my makeup. A task I’m looking forward to eliminating completely.
My most frequently used makeup was housed, and still is but in an edited version, in a plastic tray sort of a container from IKEA. This is lugged to the bathroom everyday together with my brush containers and also whatever eyeshadow palette I wanted to use.
If you know me you will know that I own a lot (an excessive amount to be fair!) of makeup and I was quite a hoarder at one point.
But since I’ve accumulated so many products over the years I’ve also stopped being attracted to new stuff. Few new things excite me as they use to these days. So at the moment I’m mainly focused on using the gorgeousness that I own.
My two Helmer drawers were stacked on top of each other and the top one was filled with makeup and the bottom one was filled with nail polish.
In the top drawer I stored extra face products such as cream and powder foundations, setting powders, highlighters and shade/bronze products. My everyday foundations were stored in my tray but in this drawer I had more full coverage foundations, mineral powders and some loose powders that were used more seldom.
I am not really one for bronzers but somehow I have managed to purchase a few anyway. I find that they are a nice product to have to warm up the face when you have managed to do a base that is a bit lighter than intended or when you want a quick eye look. A quick sweep with a bronzer is perfect as a subdued but warmed up eye shade.
The second drawer was filled with powder and cream blushers/contour shades. I love this drawer! Blush makes me so happy.
I have a plethora of shades (after years of happy purchasing every MAC blush in sight) but it’s been a long time since I’ve purchased something new. I think the latest addition were the Nabla pans visible in the picture, and I can happily report that I’ve used them quite a lot. I also own a lot of Sleek trios that are gorgeous. I am very happy with the shades that I own and look forward to using them more.
My lipstick drawer is not the most exciting. I purged it a few years back and have not bought many lip products since. Lipsticks do not have that much longevity so I want to keep my collection small-ish. (Please note that liquid lip products and crayons are not stored here).
To be honest, I am an eyeshadow person. Lipstick are usually a complement to whatever eye look I’m wearing, not the main feature.
The pigment drawer is quite exciting for me. But I hate to say that I do not use these nearly enough. I have some beautiful MAC, Inglot, Sleek and MUG pigments that are calling my name!
I had a thing for manically collecting Sleek palettes for a while and it is quite the collection I have. I still really enjoy using them but often I forget about them. Classic makeup hoarder problems!
More loved are my Urban Decay palettes and they are used quite regularly.
The final item on the agenda today is my palette drawer. As seen I have many palettes stored all over the place but this is the last batch. Inglot, Kat von D, Urban Decay, Nabla as far as I can see.
Conclusion after this little blast from the past (pictures taken in April 2018):
In the future I will not store my makeup in the same way as before, just for the sake of shaking things up. I love organizing and it will be a pleasure to arrange my makeup items in my new home. The goal is to make it easy to see what I have and to take it out for usage. But until then..
I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek into my makeup amassment! You will see me use these products in future posts.
Yup. I should have done this a long time ago. No, delete that. No ‘should’ belongs in this space.
What I can say is that I’ve thought about creating a blog for many many years now. But out of fear of ‘something’ I put it off. And the years accumulated. In lack of the creative outlet that I obviously craved I started dabbling with Instagram. And I ENJOYED IT!!! Oh the narcissistic horror! Taking pictures of my face and my possessions and sharing it with the faceless masses. But then the feeling of awkwardness for this social media newbie disappeared and I realized what a great source of creative and aesthetic inspiration Instagram was. It was the perfect outlet for me at the time. I felt safe. Not too personal and I was not committing to anything.
But now my cravings for a another creative space have led me in a new direction. Hence the creation of this space – my blog. One of the joys of creating, for me, is sharing the result with someone. I hope You enjoy some of the things I create. Maybe get inpired. That is what I wish for….
See you around!