• Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: February 2021

    This months arsenal was actually picked out a few months in advance, when I was beginning to get a bit bored with only choosing Meow shadows. I chose January and February in one go and after that I decided on March and April the same way.

    February’s arsenal consisted of four fixed palettes and two quads assembled with single shadows. A lot of colour and shimmer with a solid base of matte neutrals by Urban Decay, Chanel, Illamasqua and MAC.

    The Afterdark palette by Urban Decay

    The Afterdark palette by Urban Decay was limited edition in 2017 and I was pleasantly surprised when I found it available in Sweden despite hearing rumours that it would not be sold here. So I bought it. The overall colour scheme is very appealing but it was a very long time since I last reached for it.

    The Moondust palette by Urban Decay

    The Moondust palette, also by Urban Decay, was bought in autumn 2016. I used it for a while and then it was overshadowed by newer items. I have not worn this for many years now.

    The Demise palette by Illamasqua

    I purchased this quad, the Demise palette by Illamasqua, as part of a bundle in 2018. I was purchasing a number of other products and this bundle consisted of a dark burgundy lipstick (that I never wore and then it expired), this quad (that I’ve never used) and a full size Gel Sculpt in the shade Silhouette. The Gel Sculpt is now my favourite contour and I’m very pleased that this bundle offer made me try it. But….all in all I feel like I might have been a shitty purchase.

    The Candeur et Expérience palette by Chanel

    This Chanel palette was part of a stunning collection in 2016 fronted by the equally stunning Kristen Stewart. I fell in love with the entire collection and received large parts of it as a gift from my husband. It consists of four warm satin mattes, three brown shades and a red.

    Top Row L-R: Strike While Haute, Farasha

    Bottom Row L-R: Indian Ink, Vibrant Grape

    To add a bit of colourful mattes into the mix I opted for four MAC singles in coral red, pumpkin orange and two shades of violet. These shadows are of varying age and the newest is probably from around 2014. Most of my MAC shades are quite old at this point.

    Top Row L-R: Brains & Brawn, Concrete

    Bottom Row L-R: Outré, Coquette

    Then finally we have another quad of mattes to fill in the colour gaps in the arsenal, some more neutrals including somewhat cooler crease shades. These are also all older MAC shades.

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

    All of these MAC mattes performed well for me even though I did not wear them as much as I initially thought I would (the warmer neutral shades in the Chanel quad was my primary source of matte crease shades during February). But I wore all of these shades one or twice and liked what I saw. A very pleasant experiment was on February 21st when I used Farasha and Strike While haute on top of a paler glossy lipstick (Luxurist by H&M) and made an amazing fruity lip colour (see look further down in this post). I will definitely use that technique again to customise a lip colour.

    The Candeur et Expérience palette by Chanel

    I have so many fond memories surrounding this palette and the collection it was part of. An entire collection seldom catch my heart but this one did. The shadows were warmer than I was used to and that warm red was intriguing. Many of my favourite lipsticks were purchased in relation to this collection as well. The shadows in the quad perform well and even though they are not as unique shades in my arsenal anymore I still want to keep it and keep on wearing it just for the nostalgia.

    The Demise palette by Illamasqua

    I only used this palette once, if we do not count that the black shade did liner duty quite a few times. It became apparent that I have no use for this quad. The cream shade is pretty but it creases on my oily lids and the burgundy is not up up to par quality-wise. The white gold is beautiful, but so is Alter from the Afterdark palette and I have limited use for numerous shades like that. I will let this one go in its entirety.

    The Afterdark palette by Urban Decay

    I really like the shade selection in the Afterdark palette (Urban Decay) but several shades perform badly. I do not think they have aged well because I can not remember Backfire and Paralyzed being so bland. The shade that stood out in a positive was Lounge. I tried to find a dupe in my collection but could not so after much consideration I decided to depot that shade and keep it. In doing so I also opened the possibility to keep some more shades. I decided on Supersonic, Sinful and Alter. Vibrant and very useful shades with a good formula. All of the others were poor performers except Scene, but I have no use for another pale gold pink.

    The Moondust palette by Urban Decay

    I fell in love with the Moondust palette this month. The texture of the shadows is just amazing and my preferred method of application is tapped on with a finger on their own or on top of another shadow as a sparkly transforming shade. I can happily wear all of shades in the palette and I am so glad that I have rediscovered this gem.

    So that was the rundown of the products in April’s audit. Let’s have a look at some of the looks I created with said products. 

    February 3

    Eyes: All four shades from the Chanel quad, Scene, Sinful and the bronze pink from the Illamasqua quad

    Cheeks: Bronze and Glow from the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette (Charlotte Tilbury)

    Lips: Sultry (Revlon)

    February 6

    Eyes: Element, Lightyear, Vega, Galaxy, Brains & Brawn, black by Illamasqua, black cream base by H&M

    Cheeks: Stereo Rose (MAC)

    Lips: Muse lip pencil and Velvet Blush (Lisa Eldridge)

    February 14

    Eyes: All four shades in the Illamasqua quad, Outre

    Cheeks: Pomegranate (blush, Sleek), Silouhette (gel sculpt, Illamasqua), Phantoma (highlighter, Meow Cosmetics)

    Lips: Velvet Decade (Lisa Eldridge)

    February 19

    Eyes: Lounge, top two shades from the Chanel Quad and the black by Illamasqua

    Cheeks: Supernova (MAC)

    Lips: Beet lip liner, Burning Love lipstick (MAC)

    Februari 21

    Eyes: Strike While Haute, Farasha, black by Illamasqua

    Cheeks: Spring Flock (MAC)

    Lips: Luxurist (H&M) topped with Strike While Haute and Farasha eyeshadows

    In this audit I let go of two fixed palettes and a total of 10 individual shades. I’ve also rediscovered a great palette (Moondust), which makes me very pleased. Another focus this month, besides evaluating the eye arsenal, was my effort to wear as many of my cheek and lip products as possible. I actually managed to wear a whopping 19 blushes, 6 contour shades, 14 highlighters, 18 lipsticks, 1 gloss and 3 lip pencils. A damn good job!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my audit project lately. I still think it’s a valuable way to evaluate my large and ageing collection of makeup by wearing things for a month to solidify my opinions on them. The monthly arsenal also gives me a creative push by having only a fixed set of tools to work with. But as I was picking out shades for May the other day I realised just how many shadows I have to go through still and if I keep doing the monthly arsenal the way that I have I will be doing this for way longer than I want to. I am a super keen to move forward to round 2 of the audit, where I compare similar items, but I really want to wear stuff on my eyes before I discard or keep them. A bit of a dilemma.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’m running low on mattes. It says a lot that I’ve been able to do this for a year and a half and I’m only now running out of certain basic mattes to form a comprehensive monthly arsenal. I’m not completely settled on how I want to proceed, but I think I will have to switch up my approach in the near future.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: January 2021

    Having gone through all of my powder cheek products such as blushers, highlighters and contour shades in previous audits, for January I only had eyeshadows in my monthly arsenal. So when doing my makeup I had my entire cheek arsenal at my disposal.

    After a few months with large monthly arsenals full of individual shadows I wanted something “lighter” to audit and chose two fixed palettes that offered a large variety of colours. A massive palette by NYX consisting of 40 shadows of varying finish and a smaller 12 shadow palette from H&M with mainly shimmers/glitters. Together these two palettes offered a plethora of choice with a total of 52 shades with a great variety of mattes, metallics and other textures. My choice to use only these two palettes did limit my possibilities to let things go this month but on the other hand it did provide the opportunity to really get to know two palettes in my arsenal and that is a very good thing.

    The Swear By It palette by NYX

    The Swear By It palette by NYX is my first and only eye shadow product from the brand. I purchased it in the spring of 2019 after seeing some rave reviews online and finding the colour selection very appealing. The murky mattes (especially 6, 11, 19, 24, 27, 29, 37) combined with some appetising shimmers (such as 12, 21, 28, 32) were the main draw and I felt it would be a nice addition to my arsenal. After starting my audit project in the autumn of the same year I did not touched this palette so it felt really good to give a proper run this past month.

    Top Row L-R: A, B, C, D

    Middle Row L-R: E, F, G, H

    Bottom row L-R: I, J, K, L

    The Special FX Eye Colour palette by H&M was a limited edition piece that I purchased in the summer of 2018. It is full of flakie and duochrome goodness. A true little gem of a palette. Since the shades have no names I gave them letters as identifiers just to make it a bit easier when reporting my thoughts on each shade.

    Let’s move on the swatches and my thoughts on each shade after using them during the course of January.

    Swear By It

    First row in the Swear By It palette by NYX

    The first row consists of pale and dusty pastels, six mates and two shimmers. 1 is one of those amazingly useful crease shades for me that gets used a lot. I use it as an only crease shade or to blend out other darker shades, such as blues. 2 is a pretty light golden beige that serves as an inner corner highlight on me. It’s one of the few shades in this palette that served that purpose for me. 3 is a warm peachy brown and an overall basic but useful shade. 4 is a pastel peach shade that I found a bit dusty but I think it looked very nice used all over the lid. 5 is a tad to yellow to be a proper brow bone shade or edge diffuser on me, and not dark enough to be a proper crease shade. But I did get some use out of it as a crease diffuser in the inner part of my crease where it also added a tiny bit of depth in the diffusion that I enjoyed. 7 on the lid looks mainly like a light gold albeit a slightly green tinged gold. It works ok as an inner corner highlight as well. 8 is a bit too pale and nothing to be a useful shade on me. One of the proper duds for me.

    Second row in the Swear By It palette by NYX

    The second row consists of three mattes and five shimmers. 9 is a very stunning muted rusty pink shimmer with a brown base that paired well with 10 for an easy but not boring neutral eye look. I had never worn 11 before this month and I’m so glad I have now discovered it. It’s unlike any of my other yellow shades and very inspiring. A sort of dirty bright. I only managed to use 12 once and 13 was not used at all, but since they are easily some of the most previously used shades in this palette I think nothing of it. Yellow is a colour I wear a lot and this bright yellow is no different. 12 is a stunning dusty pale rose gold and one of my favourite shades before this month. 14 is a nice olive green shimmer, pretty but not too exciting. I do not gravitate towards aqua shades like 15 and I’m not surprised that I never wore it. But I envision that this shade has potential as a topper in the future. 16 is a nice medium gunmetal. Not very exciting but useful.

    Third row in the Swear By It palette by NYX

    The third row is full of bright yet somewhat muted colours, six mattes or near mattes and two shimmers. 17 is a pretty muted rose that was worn once paired with another more intense shadow from the H&M palette. 18 was a lovely surprise. A stunning slightly muted dark pink and I shade I found was easier to use than anticipated. Easy to blend and build up. 19 and 20 are amazing shades for me to use all over the lid or as a pop of tangerine in the crease. 21 is a beautiful fiery gold shade and very useful for me. 22 was not the easies to blend but the shade is very interesting. It’s not a matte but rather a satin. I did not use 23 and I’m not sure I ever want to. I rather just let it sit there untouched. That type of blue is just not my jam. 24 was a real positive surprise as well. The perfect blue shade on me! I have issues with wearing blue since I often feel it does not go well with my complexion. But as with all colours it is all about finding the perfect shade for me, not that I cannot wear the colour at all. This dusty greyed blue is one of the prettiest blues I’ve worn.

    Fourth row in the Swear By It palette by NYX

    The fourth row is a bit more neutral. 25 is yet another great crease shade for me. A tad darker and cooler than 1 but both have similar purpose, this one just add more depth. 26 is a pink shimmer with a mauve base, a pretty muted shade that is not done justice in the picture above. 27 is a lovely rosy brown and a fairly unique shade in my arsenal. 28 is a stunning rosy copper and 29 is a dirty tangerine. All beautiful on the eyes. 30 was another surprise. A dark murky green that was lovely to use and added depth and colour to a more smokey look. 31 was never worn but this is one of the blue shades that I actually could see myself liking layered on top of other shadows. 32 is another previous favourite so I’m not too worried that I hardly wore it this month. A beautiful blue duochrome with a ruddy base.

    Fifth row in the Swear By It palette by NYX

    The final and fifth row consists of primarily darker shades. Only two out of eight are shimmers. 33 is a cool dark purple and 34 is a magnificent cool dark red. 34 especially had beautiful pigmentation and was easy to blend. 35 is a great dark cool brown and despite looking a bit boring in the pan it was beautiful on the eyes. This shade is also great as a base to layer other shifting products over. I can see the green/blue shimmers looking amazing on top of the brown base. 36 was one of my most worn shades of the month as it functioned primarily as a deepening shade for warmer looks as well as a liner. 37 is yet again another muted bright matte – the reason why I love this palette. Such variety in interesting matte shades that are easy to work with. 39 was surprisingly easy to use despite being such a dark shade and I had fun using it. It is a tad redundant to have both 38 and 40 in the same palette, but I did get use out of both.

    I have really gotten to know this palette in January and my feelings for it have increased. The Swear By It palette has got a great shade selection for me and it provides endless options. I can use most shades, even several of the blue shades, and the shade variety nicely complements the rest of my makeup collection. The murky mattes and pretty shimmers combine so well and even after using it a whole month, there are still oh so many combinations that I have yet to try. The only negative I can think of with this palette is the cheap and boring packaging. But the insides are a whole lot of fun.

    Special FX

    The Special FX Eye Colour Palette by H&M – Part 1

    The Special FX palette was a perfect companion to the Nyx palette. A is a stunning bright fuchsia with blue and pink glitter particles. I applied this with a finger on top of other pink shades and the look was stunning. B is a lovely molten gold and one I actually did not use this month. I already know it is an easy shade for me to wear so I did not focus on it. C did inner corner duty and did it well, I love a duochrome for that purpose. D was used as a liner but otherwise this shade is a bit of a dud for me. I suppose it has a function in the palette to accompany the other shades but I still need to bring in other mattes for a complete look so I would just prefer if this was another shimmer instead of a matte with glitter. E is a bit tricky to use. The glitter is a bit chunky and I found that the best application method is to pat it on and blend with a finger after I had applied my matte shadows. F was never worn, but not because I’m not attracted to it but rather that I had so many other shades to try and was spoiled with choice.

    The Special FX Eye Colour Palette by H&M – Part 2

    H is a very shiny silver that reminds me of mercury, it was lovely to use both as a lid shade and as an inner corner shade. J is another blue shade I really enjoy. I paired it with a dark matte red and it looked so good. G, I and K were perfect as inner corner highlights but K was a bit of a weaker performer than the other two. The formula was chunkier and drier. Nothing that will stop me from using it in the future though. L looks boring in the pan but the purple shimmer particles really pop on the eye.

    To evaluate the palette as a whole I think it’s a fun and valuable component in my arsenal. The shadows are very beautiful and many of them are unlike anything else I have.

    So that was the rundown of the palettes in January’s audit. Let’s move on to some of the looks I created with said products. 

    January 2

    Eyes: 2, 8, 39

    Cheeks: Sur and Next to Skin (MAC), Filmstar Bronze and Glow highlighter (Charlotte Tilbury)

    Lips: Velvet Muse (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 4

    Eyes: 4, C, 36

    Cheeks: Breath of Plum, Next to Skin and Perfect Topping (all by MAC)

    Lips: Blush gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 9

    Eyes: 7, 19, 27, 35, 40, H

    Cheeks: Dusty Rose and Nude Blossom (Isadora), Perfect Topping (MAC)

    Lips: Velvet Midnight (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 11

    Eyes: 16, 22, 25, 30, H

    Cheeks: Dandelion (Benefit), Lightscapade (MAC)

    Lips: Nougatine (H&M)

    January 13

    Eyes: 4, 26, 27, 29, 36, C

    Cheeks: Breath of Plum and Next to Skin (MAC), OMG (Illamasqua)

    Lips: Skyscraper Rose (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 15

    Eyes: 2, 25, 33, 34

    Cheeks: Turbinado (Sleek), Here Comes Joy (MAC)

    Lips: Blush lip gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 17

    Eyes: 11, 38, G

    Cheeks: Muscavado (Sleek), Taupe and Perfect Topping (MAC)

    Lips: Cream Lip Stain “17” (Sephora)

    January 18

    Eyes: 1, 7, 9, 10, 36

    Cheeks: Mocha and Sculpt (MAC), Phee’s original loose highlighter

    Lips: Noir Moderne (Chanel)

    January 19

    Eyes: 28, 29, 36, 37, G

    Cheeks: Sur (MAC), purple shade in LE-trio (H&M)

    Lips: Velvet Muse and Blush lip gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 22

    Eyes: 14, 22, 30, K

    Cheeks: Kendra and Obsexed (Nabla)

    Lips: Burning Love (MAC)

    January 25

    Eyes: 34, 40, I, J

    Cheeks: Demerara (Sleek), Gotham (Nabla), Filmstar Bronze and Glow highlighter (Charlotte Tilbury)

    Lips: Velvet Fawn (Lisa Eldridge) and When in Rome (H&M)

    January 29

    Eyes: 1, 12, 29, 35, 36, 38

    Cheeks: Bon Fire (Sleek)

    Lips: Muse lipliner and Velvet Muse (Lisa Eldridge)

    January 30

    Eyes: 18, 25, 32, 34, 39, D, L

    Cheeks: At Dusk, Next to Skin and Lightscapade (MAC)

    Lips: no notes

    This month has not resulted in me letting any products go since both palettes are terrific. But it has solidified these two palettes’ worth to me as part of my possessions and introduced me to the possibilities these shadows give me in terms of creating looks. Both contain a multitude of shades that are unique to my arsenal and I am very happy to have them at hand. I am now better acquainted with most of the shades and a memory of what they can do. There are a few shades in each palette that are not great, but most of them are great.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: December 2020

    This December I participated in the tag #redlipsdecember created by @luvanloud on Instagram as I have done for a few years now. The main goal is to wear a red lip on every day of December and I tweaked my ambition slightly so that I at least wore red lips on every day that I wore makeup, which was not everyday by any means. Last year I chose neutral eyeshadows to audit in December to make my job easier when creating looks to go with a red lip. This year I unintentionally chose a different approach. Since I have been going through my seasonally appropriate loose shadow collections by Meow Cosmetics for a few months I had in advance picked what to use for December as well, not even thinking about #redlipsdecember. But I did feel up for the challenge and it turned out to be a fun month creativity-wise.

    Besides shadows from several Meow Cosmetics collections (Santa Baby, Ghosts of Xmas Past, 4 Horsemen, End of Days, Xmas Trees, Holiday Wishes, Reindeer), I chose loose pigments by MAC and Bare Minerals, single shadows by Illamasqua, Urban Decay and & Other Stories. In addition I picked one fixed palette by Linda Hallberg and one magnetic palette with singles from brands such as Lethal Cosmetics, Nabla, KvD, Makeup Geek and Neve Cosmetics. A whopping 50 shades for the eyes. Cheeks was not a big category this month since I am currently down to my last two highlighters to audit, both by Phee’s Makeup Tips. This means I can start with round 2 for blush, contour and highlighters in 2021. Not sure exactly how to proceed with that yet, but it should be fun.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Quadrifoglio, Hipster, Radikal, Chiaroscuro

    Middle Row L-R: Brownie Points, Lotus, Devil, Petra

    Bottom Row L-R: Frantic, Cascade, Imago, Delirium, Martyr

    Every month need some core shades such as mattes and neutral shades. Some of them were assembled in this magnetic palette. One depotted Neve shadow (Quadrifoglio), two by Makeup Geek (Hipster, Brownie Points), four by Nabla (Radikal, Chiaroscuro, Lotus, Petra), two depotted by KvD (Martyr, Devil) and four from Lethal Cosmetics (Frantic, Cascade, Imago and Delirium). Some colour and some basic neutrals – a good mix.

    Top Row L-R: Heroine, Cubica mauve

    Bottom Row L-R: Velvet Nude, Smokeout

    To complete the core lineup I added some single shadows to cover the holes left by the other palette. Two crease shades, one by Illamasqua (Heroine) and one by & Other Stories (Cubica Mauve), one beige shade by Bare Minerals (Velvet Nude) to use as a diffuser and a satin black by Urban Decay (Smokeout) to use as liner and to darken any eye look.

    Metallic Mysteries II by Linda Hallberg

    This Linda Hallberg palette is full of typical Christmas shades so I thought it would be appropriate to use it this month. I got this as a gift when it was released two years ago. I’ve worn it a few times but not enough to feel like I’ve had a proper relationship with it, if you know what I mean. A good audit contestant.

    Top Row L-R: Basic Red, Kitchmas, Pink Pearl

    Bottom Row L-R: Delicate Drift, Stylishly Merry

    Some MAC items of varying age were also included due to being very seasonally appropriate. Kitchmas is one of my oldest pigments and it might even have been from when I lived in Brighton in 2000-2001. I’m a little unsure of the exact year but lets just say it is extremely old. Basic Red and Pink Pearl are from between 2012-2014 I think. The two shadows in compacts are newer from the Snow Ball collection from 2017. The are both shifting pink bronzes, a type of shade I am extra drawn to.

    Top Row L-R: Duplex, Winter Coat, Grinch

    Bottom Row L-R: Ornament, Fa-la-la

    Moving on to the Meow Cosmetics collections. Here we have the Santa Baby (Duplex) and Ghosts of Xmas Past (Winter Coat, Grinch, Ornament, Fa-la-la) collections.

    Top Row L-R: , Cedar, Spruce, Noble

    Bottom Row L-R: Love, Serenity, Peace On Earth

    Then we have the collections Xmas Trees (Cedar, Spruce, Noble) and Holiday Wishes (Love, Serenity, Peace On Earth) also from Meow Cosmetics.

    Top Row L-R: Death, Famine, Violence, Pestilence

    Bottom Row L-R: Dancer, Comet, Donner

    Then we have the 4 Horsemen (Death, Famine, Violence, Pestilence) and Reindeer (Dancer, Comet, Donner) collections by Meow Cosmetics.

    Top Row L-R: Doomsday, Hysteria, End Game

    Bottom Row L-R: Oblivion, Hopeless, Prophecy

    And finally we have the End of Days collection from Meow Cosmetics (all of the shadows above). Dark and murky yet colourful goodness.

    That was all of the eye products in Decembers arsenal, a hefty number of products. Let’s move on to swatches and a walkthrough of how I felt about each shadow during the course of the month, starting with the magnetic palette with matte singles.

    All shades side by side, se names in the next two pictures

    Quadrifoglio (Neve Cosmetics) is a shade I depotted from their Scurissimi palette but this shade can be purchased as a single as well. This shadow was fairly easy to use and kept its colour when blended. Even though it might be a shade I wear seldom I want to keep it to se if I can use it more often. Hipster (MUG) has turned a bit dusty over the years and that is one of the reasons I will not be keeping it. The colour was nice to wear but it simply does not have enough impact to be kept when I know I have other similar shades from other brands. Radikal and Lotus (both by Nabla) are beautiful colourful mattes that I want to wear more often in the future. I enjoyed wearing both and they were lovely to work with. Chiaroscuro (Nabla) was mainly used as a liner so I can not say too much on its merits as a smoky shade. The cool tone makes it very versatile for me and I would like to keep using it. The same goes for Brownie Points (MUG). It’s an interesting dusty purple brown that pairs well with other shades.

    All of the above shades will be kept. The ruddy pinks from Lethal Cosmetics are amazing to work with – Frantic, Cascade and the lovely Imago. The blend so well and keep their colour. Delirium (Lethal) is a nice shade as well, even though it is not as fun as the other Lethal shades included this month. But it is oh so useful! The Lethal shades are some of my newest eyeshadows (purchased in the Spring 2019) and I did not expect to get rid of any in this audit, but it was lovely to play with them some more. Petra is another Nabla shade and I do enjoy this one a lot. A ruddy brown that I think is rather unique in my total arsenal. Lastly we have two depotted KvD shades from the Sinner & Saint palette, Devil and Martyr. I used them mainly in the crease to add a bit of colour and warmth. They are both pretty and worked well. Both are the type of shade that I probably have ten times over but I will keep them for now.

    Heroine (Illamasqua) is a very useful crease shade for me and I really love the brand’s packaging. It is very impractical for me to have such a basic shade in a single compact but I will think about that later. For now I will keep it. Cubica Mauve (& Other Stories) is a shade that my love for has lessened. I have similar shades that I enjoy more so this is a single I’m ready to let go of. Velvet Nude (Bare Minerals) is a beige shade that is a smidge darker than my skin colour when applied to the face. I did use it as a diffuser around the edges of an eye look during this month, but i have no need to keep it in my arsenal. I have similar shades in pans that I prefer using for that specific purpose. Smokeout by Urban Decay is a lovely satin black that I reached for quite a lot. I used it as liner and to darken up the outer corner of my eye. I might depot this in the future but UD singles packaging is so pretty that I am a bit reluctant to disturb it. Out of these four I’m keeping Heroine and Smokeout and letting the other two go.

    Metallic Mysteries II by Linda Hallberg

    Since this was a gift that I had wished for I feel a bit sentimental towards the Metallic Mysteries II palette but one thing this month has taught me is that I have little feelings towards it other than that. The shades are fine but they are simply not special enough for me to keep this separate little quad. If I could have depotted them I might have considered it but as it is now I am letting the whole thing go.

    The image above is just so delicious to me. The shades go so well together. Let’s start with Basic Red (MAC). I used to fantasise about owning this PRO pigment back in the day when that assortment was hard to get a hold of in Sweden. I lusted after it and when I finally bought it many years later, did I ever use it? NO. The swatch above is beautiful but when I used it on the eyes it quickly became such a mess that I had to remove the whole thing. I love red eyeshadow passionately but a matte loose pigment is clearly not for me. The fallout was spreading pigmented stains of red/pink on my cheeks, making the pigment a nightmare to work with. I am glad to let it go. Kitchmas (MAC) on the other hand is a sparkly light silvery pink pigment that I still love. I have very sentimental feelings towards this pigment, since it was purchased at a significant time in my makeup loving life, and the fact that it still is lovely on the eyes make me want to keep it a little longer. Maybe not my most level-headed choice in this audit but I’m clearly not ready to just let it go. Pink Pearl is a beautiful pink shade with a blue shift and i enjoyed wearing it a lot. Keeper. Delicate Drift and Stylishly Merry are stunning shadows. I really enjoy the In Extra Dimension formula from MAC and these are no exception. I need to wear these a lot more often.

    Santa Baby and Ghosts of Xmas Past collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Duplex is a pretty colour on the eyes but it’s not special enough to keep. If it was a pressed shadow I might reach for it, but in loose form I’m sure it will never be used. Winter Coat is also out due to being a flat and boring shade on the eye. Grinch on the other hand is a magnificent green that I’m very excited to wear again. Ornament and Fa-la-la are both very happy and bright shades. They will go on to round 2 as well. So two out of five are out.

    Xmas Trees and Holiday Wishes collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Next we have three green shades. Cedar is a very pretty inner corner shade and Spruce and Noble are beautiful on the lid. I am very fond of green eyeshadow in general so all three can stay for now. Love, Serenity and Peace On Earth were all used as inner corner highlights and there is just something about them that I love. They are all staying as well.

    4 Horsemen and Reindeer collections by Meow Cosmetics

    Violence and Pestilence are beautiful dark but still colourful lid shades. Famine has a lovely delicate blue sheen not visible in the swatch above. I enjoy all three a lot. Death was the least exciting shade of the bunch, but still nice enough to keep in order to keep the 4 Horsemen collection intact. Moving on to the three reindeer shades, Comet was the only letdown. Somehow it had a weird blue base that came through when blending, a fact I had not noticed before (and I’m quite sure I have used it before this month). That feature made the decision easy since I know that it will keep me from using it in the future. Donner and Dancer are stunning though. Donner is a beautiful inner corner shade and Dancer is stunning all over the lid.

    End of Days collection by Meow Cosmetics

    I’m very fond of the End of Days collection primarily because of the shades Hysteria and Prophecy that I have use quite a lot over the years. Prophecy is a stunning white gold that is lovely in the inner corner and also as a cheek highlight. Hysteria is a potent molten gold that makes my heart sing. Then we have End Game, a very interesting muted green yellow. A very fun shade. Doomsday is also a hit, a strong popping purple. Oblivion is nice as well. A more muted dark red that I enjoyed pairing with darker pinks with great effect (see look from December 26). The dud of the lot was Hopeless. It has a blue base that makes it difficult to blend and the end result was not a shade that looked very appealing on me.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    L-R: Cryptic, Lasaia

    My last two highlighters are two cool shades by Phee’s Makeup Tips (Cryptic, Lasaia). Since I had no blushes left to audit I picked a selection of previously audited items to complete the cheek arsenal, see my choices below. This is also the last month I will be doing a cheek arsenal since I will have audited all of my blushes, highlighters and contour shades when December is over. In January I will start using all of my cheek products again and evaluate the entirety of my cheek collection simultaneously. Maybe I will let some go, or I will be content with keeping them all. We shall see.

    Top Row L-R: Legendary (MAC), Pink Cult (MAC)

    Bottom Row L-R: Baby Don’t Go (MAC), Flushed (Sleek Makeup), Rapture (Urban Decay)

    I wore each shade only once this month and that was enough to determine that these are not for me. These were too stark for me, I just know I will not reach for them. So both are out.

    That was it, the complete rundown of all the products I audited during December. Let’s move on to some of the looks I wore during the month, created with this arsenal. And all of my red lip products! Let’s not forget them.

    December 4

    Eyes: Pink Pearl, Cascade, Delicate Drift, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Brick (MAC)

    December 5

    Eyes: Arcturus, Frantic, Imago, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Lotus, Rapture, Prophecy

    Lips: Rouge Vie (Chanel)

    December 8

    Eyes: Ornament, Delirium, Love

    Cheeks: Flushed

    Lips: Rouge Vie (Chanel) and lip pencil in Redd (MAC)

    December 9

    Eyes: Stylishly Merry, Peace On Earth, Draco, Quadrifoglio

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Cherry (MAC)

    December 11

    Eyes: Famine, Donner, Brownie Points, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Rapture, Cryptic

    Lips: Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    December 13

    Eyes: Pestilence, Cedar, Imago, Delicate Drift, Chiaroscuro, Smokeout

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Velvet Jazz (Lisa Eldridge)

    December 19

    Eyes: Draco, Lotus, Collision, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Legendary, Prophecy

    Lips: Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    December 20

    Eyes: Hysteria, Donner, Martyr

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Cherry (MAC)

    December 21

    Eyes: Collision, Epsilon, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Legendary

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge)

    December 22

    Eyes: Fa-la-la, Doomsday, Prophecy, Hipster, Brownie Points

    Cheeks: Pink Cult, Prophecy

    Lips: Rouge Feu (Chanel)

    December 25

    Eyes: Kitchmas, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Pink Cult

    Lips: Striking (Revlon)

    December 26

    Eyes: Violence, Oblivion, Lotus, Frantic, Cascade, Chiaroscuro,

    Cheeks: Baby Don’t Go

    Lips: Fiery (Revlon)

    December 29

    Eyes: Noble, Devil, Petra, Chiaroscuro

    Cheeks: Flushed

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge) and lip pencil in Brick (MAC)

    All in all I let 11 items go, a total of 14 individual shades. I also felt like I had a very inspired makeup month and it was a fun challenge to do colourful eye looks to go with the red lipsticks. I had 9 lipsticks/crayons and three lip liners to play with and I used them all 2-3 times during the course of the month. It was very satisfying to utilise my red lip products to a maximum and get to know each shade’s potential a little bit more.

    Moving on to January I’m not going to continue with choosing Meow Cosmetics collections as such a big part of my monthly arsenal. It was fun to do it for the three months that I did, so that I could use the Halloween and Christmas collections at the “appropriate time”, but now I want to choose differently. I might include one whole Meow collection in future monthly arsenal, but I look forward to choosing a bit more freely from other brands as well in the coming months.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: November 2020

    For November I continued with my plan to use seasonally themed collections from my vast Meow Cosmetics arsenal. This month I chose shadows from the collections Something Wicked, X and Asylum. All four had been released as part of Meow’s Halloween lineup.

    Two palettes with singles from MAC, Neve, Nabla, MUG and Inglot were picked to accompany the loose pigments from Meow, a total of 33 shades for eyes. For cheeks I only had two products to audit this month, one blush from MAC and one loose highlighter from Phee’s Makeup Tips.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Cinnamon, Kids, Poetry, Coconut Milk

    Middle Row L-R: Verve, Leon, Chérie Shape, Circle

    Bottom row L-R: Paprika, Camelot, Caramel, Fossil

    This months core palette was this compilation of mattes by Nabla. I’m a big fan of their single shadows and their mattes are generally amazing.

    Top Row L-R: Red Carpet, Cheer Me On, 45

    Bottom Row L-R: Blacklight, Shimma Shimma, I’m Peachless

    To accompany the Nabla mattes I added two more shades by Neve Cosmetics (Red Carpet) and MAC (Cheer Me On) in a smaller palette and also four inner corner highlights by Inglot (45) and Makeup Geek (Blacklight, Shimma Shimma, I’m Peachless). These two palettes would have to do the work the Meow Cosmetics pigments could not.

    Top Row L-R: Valley of the Dead, Tormented, Folie A Deux

    Bottom row L-R: Wicked, Nightmare, Wretched Soul

    The Something Wicked collection by Meow Cosmetics is compiled of murky golds and greens. Very appealing. I know I have hardly ever worn these shades.

    Top Row L-R: Mothman, Wampus Cat

    Bottom row L-R: Snipe, Boogie Man

    The X collection by Meow is so beautiful and I have worn this quite a lot in previous years. Especially the shades Mothman and Wampus Cat.

    Top Row L-R: Sedative, Padded Cell, Electric Shock

    Bottom Row L-R: Lobotomy, Basket Case

    And finally we have some brighter shades from the Asylum Collection, also by Meow Cosmetics. These have hardly ever been worn.

    Let’s go through each shade and see how they fared in the audit.

    The Nabla shades were generally lovely to use and fulfilled their purpose during the month. Most worn were Camelot (liner, deepening shade), Coconut Milk (diffuser for edges) and Circle (crease). Leon was a fun crease and slight deepening shade that worked well in many looks. Cinnamon, Kids, Paprika and Caramel are lovely shades too but I guess I looked for cooler matte shades more often to accompany the loose Meow shades. Verve and Poetry were used only once each but they perform very well and the colours are quite rare in my overall collection. All of these are keepers for me. Chérie Shape was not worn at all but I see no point in letting it go. The quality is good, the shadow is fairly new and the colour is unique in my arsenal so it can stay for now. The one let down of the bunch was Fossil, the one shade I should have used a lot due to its versatile colour. But I found that it did not look good on me, weirdly enough, and this type of shade usually does. I wore it twice and came to the same conclusion both times. So Fossil is out.

    Red Carpet (Neve) was worn only once but looked great and kept its colour nicely on the lid. I’m always glad to have an array of reds and this deep blood shade is a standout. Cheer Me On (MAC) looks terrible in the swatch but buffed out in the crease it did its job well and added a touch of bright orange. I know I have many oranges but this shade might be special enough and I would like to compare it to others before even thinking about letting it go, so it can stay until round 2. The four shimmers in this palette were used primarily as inner corner highlights and two are standouts. I’m Peachless and Blacklight (both old MUG) are such amazing duochrome shadows. I’m not suprised, I’m Peachless has been one of my favourite and most used shadows for many years now but I’m glad I have rediscovered Blacklight a bit. It’s perfect for layering over darker shadows for that stunning pinky-blue shift. Shimma Shimma (MUG) was pretty but it’s too basic and I have no need for it. 45 (Inglot) is an intense yellow gold highlighter shade and it’s very old. Had it been a more unique shade I would have considered keeping it, but it’s simply not special enough.

    Something Wicked collection by Meow Cosmetics

    Tormented and Folie a Deux are lovely dark and murky shimmers. They are similar but Tormented is lighter. I loved using them together as well as separate. Valley of the Dead, Wretched Soul and Wicked were very pretty as well. The only shade I do not feel keen to keep is Nightmare. I just know it is a shade I would never reach for.

    X collection by Meow Cosmetics

    After a bit of debating, I’m keeping all four of these. Mothman is a beautiful duochrome that I adore using, Wampus Cat is a rich green gold and Boogie Man a luscious pale green. Snipe was the one I was on the fence about initially but after using it a second time it won me over. It has a lovely pink shift that I enjoyed wearing.

    Asylum collection by Meow Cosmetics

    The final shadows this month were some bright and colourful shades from the Asylum collection. Out of these Lobotomy is a clear favourite. A stunning shimmering bright strawberry shade. Electric Shock is a lot of fun and Basket Case, albeit being a tad finicky to use, is such a unique shade of purple. Padded Cell is a bit too pale to be functional for me and Sedative is pretty but not special enough. So those two will be let go.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    L-R: Magenta, Brimstone

    I am down to some of my final cheek products. Magenta by MAC is the last blush to be audited. Brimstone by Phee’s Makeup Tips is one of only three highlighters left.

    Top Row L-R: Taupe, Sur, Play It Proper

    Bottom Row L-R: At Dusk, Stereo Rose

    To have some variety on the cheek front I decided to add in a selection of shades by MAC that I had previously gone through the audit victorious. Three blushes (Stereo Rose, At Dusk and Sur), one highlight (Play It Proper) and one contour (Taupe).

    Magenta (MAC) was worn only a total of four times throughout the month. Such a deep pink is not an everyday shade for me. Even though I enjoy wearing it I have already kept similar blush shades that I know I do not need to keep another one. Brimstone (Phee’s) was only used twice and that was enough for me to know that I have no use for it. It’s just not the effect I’m after in a highlighter, this visible green silver sheen. So both cheek products are out.

    Let’s move on to some of the looks I wore during the month…

    November 5

    Eyes: Wampus Cat, Leon, Padded Cell, Camelot

    Cheeks: Sur, Play It Proper

    Lips: Velvet Muse lipstick and lip pencil (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 7

    Eyes: Sedative, I’m Peachless, Red Carpet

    Cheeks: At Dusk

    Lips: Don’t remember

    November 9

    Eyes: Cheer Me On, I’m Peachless, Lobotomy,

    Cheeks: Sur, Brimstone

    Lips: Velvet Muse mixed with Velvet Blush (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 10

    Eyes: Boogie Man, Folie a Deux, 45, Leon, Camelot

    Cheeks: Magenta, Brimstone

    Lips: Muse gloss (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 17

    Eyes: Kids, Padded Cell, Coconut Milk

    Cheeks: Sur, Play It Proper

    Lips: Rouge Feu (Chanel)

    November 18

    Eyes: Shimma Shimma, Padded Cell, Kids, Coconut Milk, Leon

    Cheeks: Magenta

    Lips: Velvet Muse (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 21

    Eyes: Electric Shock, 45, Verve

    Cheeks: no notes

    Lips: Velvet Decade (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 25

    Eyes: Wicked, I’m Peachless, Circle,

    Cheeks: Taupe

    Lips: Velvet Muse mixed with Velvet Blush (Lisa Eldridge)

    November 27

    Eyes: Blacklight, Tormented, Folie a Deux, Cinnamon

    Cheeks: Velvet Dragon lipstick by Lisa Eldridge

    Lips: Velvet Dragon (Lisa Eldridge)

    As you probably can tell November was the month when my order from Lisa Eldridge arrived. I purchased quite a few shades both from her new and old lineup. Other than being excited for the new lip shades at my disposal I had a pretty uninspired makeup month. The audit itself went just fine but I spent so much energy at work that I had little time to be creative and play around with shades. Autumn has been like that I notice, I said the same thing in last months roundup. Being able to work from home during this pandemic has been a privilege but I’m beginning to notice that it takes its toll as well. Meeting after meeting, with little time for natural breaks and room to “breathe”.

    To conclude this audit I started with 33 shades for eyes and out of those I will let go of six. Both cheek items will go as well so that is a total of eight items.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: October 2020

    During 2013 I was infatuated with the indie brand Meow Cosmetics. They did and still do loose mineral eyeshadows in beautiful and fun collections. No new collections have been created for quite some time as far as I can see, but most of the older (and stunning) collections are still available.

    For a while I was collecting their shadows and I have oh so many. Meow used to open up their Halloween shop in the Autumn and made some special collections available for a limited time only. The same collections would appear every year and sometimes new shades were added. The same approach was applied for Christmas, Summer and Friday the 13th. I bought the Halloween shades for a few years before I had snagged what I wanted. Very satisfying.

    To honor my vast Meow stash I have decided, starting in October, to base my monthly eye arsenal heavily on season appropriate Meow collections. I will keep this approach for a few months at least, until I get bored I presume. For October I’ve picked all the shadows I own, and have yet to audit, from the Zombie Apocalypse, Dance of Death, Scary Ghost Stories and Halloween Zombies collections. A total of 21 shades.

    The October arsenal

    To accompany these loose shimmer/metallic shadows I picked some mattes in the form of mixed singles and a fixed palette by Sleek Makeup, ending up with a total tally of 45 shades. Other brands included are Nabla, MAC, Makeup Geek, Illamasqua and Inglot. To accompany the eye team we have five cheek products – four blushes and one highlighter. But more on cheeks later, lets start with the eyes.

    Part One – Eyes

    Top Row L-R: Uninterrupted, Confection, Tuscan Sun, Blackberry, Brun

    Middle Row L-R: Feint, Black Tied, Early Bird, Morocco, Wild Side

    Bottom Row L-R: 304, 370

    This palette includes mainly matte shades of varying age from MAC (Uninterrupted, Blackberry, Brun, Black Tied), Makeup Geek (Confection, Tuscan Sun, Early Bird, Morocco), Nabla (Wild Side), Illamasqua (Feint) and Inglot (304, 370).

    Force of Nature palette

    This Sleek palette was released 2015-2016 and is an all matte palette. Just looking at it I am drawn to the colour scheme but I have used it very infrequently over the years.

    Top Row L-R: Brains Over Beauty, Living Dead, Post Mortem

    Bottom Row L-R: Tetrodotoxin, Datura, Sepulchre, Infection

    For loose shadows we can start off with seven shades from the Zombie Apocalypse collection by Meow Cosmetics. Muted shimmer shades with lovely names like Infection and Post Mortem.

    Top Row L-R: Present, Past

    Bottom Row L-R: Eerie, Necromancer, Cadaver, Spellbinding

    Next up we have four shades from the Dance of Death collection by Meow Cosmetics and two from the Scary Ghost Stories collection (Past, Present). Past, Present and Eerie are the ones I’ve used the most previously.

    Top Row L-R: Full Moon, Skelecat, Witch’s Brew, Spider Web

    Bottom Row L-R: Jack O Lantern, Ghoul, Omen, Banshee

    Finally we have eight shades from the Halloween Zombies collection by Meow Cosmetics. A bit more bright and colourful shades compared to the other collections.

    Let’s move on to swatches of each shade and a rundown of how they fared in the audit starting with the matte singles palette.

    These mattes were workhorse shades in varying degrees over the course of the month. Black Tied (MAC) and Wild Side (Nabla) were used the most followed by Uninterrupted (MAC) and Confection (MUG). All four performed well and will be kept. Blackberry and Brun (both by MAC) also work well and are useful albeit maybe not very exciting. Tuscan Sun, Morocco and Early Bird (all by MUG) were fun matte additions due to their more colourful nature. Another beautiful and rather unique shade for me is Feint, a depotted shade from a face palette by Illamasqua that I had to get rid of due to cream products that had gone off. 304 by Inglot was only used once but worked nicely and will be kept for now. The one shade that did not strike my fancy was surprisingly enough the bright yellow shade 370 (Inglot). This specific shade of yellow did not look good on me. I would describe is as a garish light banana shade. I love using yellow and enjoy most yellow shades that I come across but this was simply not for me. So it will leave my collection.

    Force of Nature palette – Sleek Makeup

    The Force of Nature palette (Sleek Makeup) was a bit of a surprise for me. I really thought I would enjoy using the purple shades but they just did not entice me when wearing them. The more neutral shades were ok but they are not worth keeping on their own. So this palette will be let go in its entirety.

    Zombie Apocalypse collection – Meow Cosmetics

    One thing to note is that these shadows are generally hard to get nice swatches of. If swatched without a wet base of some kind they look lackluster and if used with a primer they tend to come out patchy. But used on the eyes with a primer they usually work well and fulfill their potential. Out of the seven shades from the Zombie Apocalypse collection by Meow Cosmetics I have decided to keep Brains Over Beauty, Tetrodotoxin, Post Mortem, Sepulchre and Infection. Not all of them might not survive a round 2 of this audit, but they tickle my fancy enough to be kept for now. Living Dead is a pretty gunmetal shade but not special enough to warrant med to keep it as a single shadow. Silver shades is something I wear quite infrequently and I see no point in having too many options on hand. Datura was used on the lid and as an inner corner highlight. It is very pale green but it is so light in its effect that I see no point in keeping it.

    Scary Ghost Stories and Dance of Death collections – Meow Cosmetics

    Present and Past from the Scary Ghost Stories collection are very pretty in different ways. Present is a delicate shade with a soft shift that I like to wear as a topper or an inner corner shade. Past is a potent lid shade. Moving on to the Dance of Death collection, Eerie is a stunning purple with a blue sparkle throughout. Very unique. Cadaver is a beautiful green gold and Spellbinding is an intense white with a slight pink shift and pink sparkle. I used this one as a cheek highlighter as well. Those three are keepers. The only let down of the bunch was Necromancer. It has a black base that unfortunately made it difficult to blend and not fun to work with.

    Halloween Zombies collection – Meow Cosmetics

    Last of the eye products are from the Halloween Zombies collection by Meow Cosmetics. Full Moon is a very intense white gold and very pretty. Skelecat however is a bit too slight in its effect. In the jar it has a lovely green tinge but on the eye that was sadly not visible. I used it primarily as an inner corner highlight and it was just not potent enough for me for that purpose. Witch’s Brew, Spider Web and Jack O Lantern are all fun pops of brighter colour and Ghoul is a dirty neutral that was anything but boring to wear. Omen and Banshee are maybe less wearable for me, but unique and beautiful enough to keep. So out of this lot the only one I’m not keeping is Skelecat.

    Part Two – Cheeks

    Top Row L-R: Autoerotique, Melba, Fever

    Bottom Row L-R: Here Comes Joy, Regal Mauve

    When it comes to cheek products I have managed to near the end of my collection. I only own three more blushes and two of those are quite deeply pigmented so I saved one shade for November. To have a little more variety I chose to add two more shades, shades that have already been through round 1 of the audit in previous months (Autoerotique and Melba by MAC). I know I own some loose highlighters that I could have included this month but forgot about them, so instead I did a repeat of a pressed one from MAC (Here Comes Joy). In total four blushes and one highlight were picked for this arsenal but Regal Mauve by Nabla and Fever by MAC are the only ones being audited.

    Top Row L-R: Autoerotique, Melba, Fever

    Bottom row L-R: Here Comes Joy, Regal Mauve

    Fever (MAC) is one of those deeply pigmented and bright shades that I rarely reach for on a daily basis, and that is a shame. It’s a bit tricky to use but I find that if I only pat off the blush in the palm of my hand before applying I can control the intensity a lot more easily. Fever is a very pretty shade and it deserves to be kept for round 2. Regal Mauve (Nabla) is another cool toned shade and I enjoy it a lot. It’s very versatile and easy to use. So both cheek shades are being kept for the time being.

    Moving on to some of the looks I wore during the month…

    October 2

    Eyes: Spider Web, Skelecat, Uninterrupted on top of Primer Potion in Caffeine (Urban Decay)

    Cheeks: Fever

    Lips: Noir Moderne (Chanel)

    October 5

    Eyes: Dawn, Moonbeam, Twilight, Lightning, Sandstorm, Skelecat, Brains over Beauty

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve

    Lips: A mix of Noir Moderne (Chanel) and Dolce Vita (Nars)

    October 12

    Eyes: Tetrodotoxin, Skelecat, Wild Side

    Cheeks: Fever, Here Comes Joy

    Lips: A mix of Mull it Over (MAC) and Devoted to Chili (MAC)

    October 13

    Eyes: Banshee, Ghoul, Datura over Cream Fusion Eye Colour in The New Noir (H&M)

    Cheeks: I have no notes on this

    Lips: nothing

    October 14

    Eyes: Wild Side

    Cheeks: Fever, Spellbinding

    Lips: Burning Love (MAC)

    October 15

    Eyes: Spider Web, Tuscan Sun, Full Moon

    Cheeks: Autoerotique

    Lips: Velvet Ribbon (Lisa Eldridge)

    October 17

    Eyes: Cadaver, Uninterrupted, Black Tied

    Cheeks: Autoerotique, Here Comes Joy

    Lips: Burning Love (MAC) and Nougatine (H&M)

    October 20

    Eyes: Omen, Necromancer, Morocco, Spellbinding

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve, Spellbindning

    Lips: Rouge Audace (Chanel)

    October 21

    Eyes: Witch’s Brew, Datura, Early Bird, Black Tied

    Cheeks: Regal Mauve

    Lips: Love of My Life (Lisa Eldridge)

    To conclude this month a total of seven items were let go consisting of 16 unique eye shadow shades. This month was not a very creative makeup month for me and I was quite uninspired most days. I think it was due to having a very hectic month at work. I went without makeup a lot and when I did do my makeup I often had little time to play. But doing this project is still a lot of fun and I always look forward to the next monthly arsenal.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: September 2020

    I remember sitting on the floor close to my makeup storage and choosing what to wear for September. I had difficult time narrowing it down and I was quite inspired both to wear a ton of more murky shades for Autumn, but also to dig deep into my stash and audit some old treasures. I ended up with products from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inglot, Neve Cosmetics, KvD, Makeup Geek, MAC, Meow Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Nabla and Sleek Makeup.

    The chosen eye arsenal consisted of five fixed palettes and six singles. I must admit a total of 74 eyeshadows was a bit much to take on in month. But I ran with the feeling when I had it. For cheeks I settled on a total of five products – one contour, two highlighters and two blushes. A bit more sensible but not due to my choosing. I have almost gone through all of my cheek products and I have not got much too choose from when kitting my next arsenal.

    Let’s start with going through the eye products as usual.

    I picked up the KvD Metal Mattes palette in store at Sephora in Gothenburg in 2016. I was so excited because the mattes shades were unlike anything I had at the time. But when I started using the palette the metallics were so boring that I soon stopped experimenting with it and therefore ended up using the mattes a lot less than I expected.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek Makeup has not been used much since being purchased in 2014 and feel that half of this palette does not even appeal to me. I am mainly attracted to the yellows and greens.

    Modern Renaissance – Anastasia Beverly Hills

    Another purchase from 2016. Viola aka Killer Colours made such a beautiful review of this palette that I was sold. Modern Renaissance was also my first ever purchase from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I still adore the general aesthetics of the design and colours included.

    The Electric palette by Urban Decay was one of my first bright palettes and I have fond memories in relation to some of these shades. I bought it in Edinburgh 2014 on a very special trip and I remember being so excited to own it. It has gotten some love over the years, and especially the shade Slowburn.

    Top row L-R: Pioggia Acida, Utopia, Fenice, Chimera, Twilight Bottom row L-R: Mela Stregata, Abracadabra, Polline, Veleno, Mezza Estate

    This Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics was also purchased in 2016 and was a natural progression in my love and search for duochrome shadows. It contains some solid favourites but I think depotting it would garner some more use of these shades.

    Top row L-R: Rapture, Relic, Faux Fur, 433

    Bottom row L-R: Creative Copper, 419

    On top of all those palettes I added a selection of singles from KvD (Rapture, Relic), Makeup Geek (Faux Fur), MAC (Creative Copper) and Inglot (433 and 419). Both the MAC and KvD shadows were depotted from fixed palettes.

    That was an introduction to all of the shades. Let’s see how they fared in the audit starting with the KvD palette.

    As mentioned I never held these metallics from the Metal Mattes palette in high regard. Using them this month just solidified that standpoint. I used Synergy, Volt, Twinkle and Tinsel and then I was so bored and stopped even considering these metallics as an option when doing my makeup.

    I quickly decided that I was never going to keep this palette intact so I started evaluating the shadows more on an individual basis and I did manage to use all of the matte shades except Linen and Velour. I learned that I have no warm and fuzzy feelings for any of these shades. The mattes are good, but not unique enough for me to depot the thing. My final verdict – I will let the entire palette go.

    The Supreme palette by Sleek however is going to get the honors of being depotted. The shades P-Funk, Al Green and Delfonic were amazing and are quite unique for me. I might keep Grand Master Flash or Commodores Cream as well. The rest will be let go since I could not even be bothered to use most them during the audit.

    Oh Modern Renaissance, how you entice me. I still love using this palette and enjoy most of the shades. Vermeer and Primavera are stunning inner corner highlighters and Golden Ochre, Buon Fresco, Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange and Warm Taupe are such versatile lid and crease shades. Love Letter, Red Ochre, Venetian Red and Realgar are lovely for a deeper pop of colour and Cyprus Umber is ok as a deepening shade. The bummer of the bunch is Antique Bronze. It simply does not perform well anymore and I dislike using it. Time has not treated it well because I do remember loving that shade when I first got the palette. I am definitely keeping this palette and used it extensively during the month.

    I’ve been so conflicted over the Electric palette. I still love using Slowburn and Thrash. Savage is ok but stained my lids badly and the formula was quite dusty. And I know I have another similar bright pink shade that is new and that I would prefer using. Revolt and Freak are not special enough and I have no intention of using Gonzo, Fringe or Chaos. Urban is pretty but not unique enough and Jilted was lovely but I’m sure I can live without it. My initial plan was to depot this palette and keep 3-4 shades. But would I wear them often enough to warrant the effort? UD palettes are a lot of work to depot and I learned that the hard way whilst depotting my Naked palettes. I’m sure I have something else to do the same job as Thrash and Slowburn, the two shades that makes this a tough decision. Let it go Sofia!

    The Duochrome palette by Neve Cosmetics on the other hand was super easy to dismantle. The foam tray around the shades was easy to lift and under that all of the shades were labelled singles on a magnetic mat. So easy to take out. If I had known that I would have tossed the packaging way sooner. This palette contains some real gems and my favourites are Fenice, Mela Stregata, Polline, Veleno and Mezza Estate. Pioggia Acida is nice enough to stay but the others are either lackluster or not my jam colour-wise.

    Rapture and Relic are from the Saint & Sinner palette by KvD that I decided to depot a while back. It had some interesting shades that I wanted to give a fair chance before letting them go. These two are lovely. Relic is an intense melted gold and Rapture is a reddy pink topper shade. Fun to use since I have them. Faux Fur (MUG) on the other hand was an epic fail. Dusty and very hard to work with. Not keeping that one. 433 and 419 are old, a bit smelly and not unique enough to keep. Creative Copper (MAC) was part of a larger fixed palette that I depotted and this was my first and last time using it. A poor performer for sure.

    That was all of the eyeshadows. Let’s move on to the much smaller assortment of cheek products in this month’s arsenal.

    Top row L-R: Next to Skin, Apple Red

    Bottom row L-R: Kendra, Chameleon, Superb

    As mentioned I have audited most of my cheek products already and therefore I have less to choose from. This month we have three MAC products , a contour (Next to Skin), a popping blush (Apple Red) and a highlighter (Superb). A Nabla blush (Kendra) and highlighter from Meow Cosmetics (Chameleon) rounded everything off. Having only two blushes was a bit restricting, if I can say so myself, but it made it a bit of a challenge too.

    As you can see in the swatch, Next to Skin (MAC) is very close to my skin tone. But it did its job as a cheek contour beautifully. Very lightly pigmented and easy to use on an everyday basis. Apple Red (MAC) looks scary in the pan but was a lot easier to use than one might expect. It was not as pigmented as many of its counterparts in my collection and that made it easier to apply. Kendra (Nabla) is a shade that makes me a bit confused. Sometimes it looks amazing but sometimes is emulates the natural redness of my skin a bit too much. It sort of picks up the redness in places where I have tried to neutralize it with my base products such as foundation and concealer. I love adding blush but I want the flush to be placed exactly where I want it. Anyway, I have no reason to get rid of Kendra right now but I will keep an eye out and see how our relationship evolves.

    Chameleon (Meow Cosmetics) is a loose pale white gold shade and it works well as a cheek highlighter as well as an inner corner eye shade. Superb (MAC) on the other hand does not really work as a cheek highlighter for me, it is simply too dark. I enjoy the formula but I have no reason to keep it.

    That completes the rundown of the products worn in September. Let’s have a look at a few of the looks I wore during the month. It was a really boring makeup month for me and I felt very uninspired. I did however manage to make notes on what I wore on my lip on most days.

    September 1

    Eyes: Volt, Silk, Fringe, Twinkle

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Superb

    Lips: Sultry by Revlon

    September 3

    Eyes: Golden Ochre, Burnt Orange, Primavera, Cyprus Umber

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin, Chameleon

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 7

    Eyes: P-Funk, Delfonic, Commodores Cream

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 9

    Eyes: Creative Copper, Rapture, Mezza Estate, Suede, Oak

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Rouge Audace by Chanel

    September 10

    Eyes: Antique Bronze, Buon Fresco, Burnt Orange, Chameleon

    Cheeks: Apple Red

    Lips: Mull it Over mixed with Devoted to Chili by MAC

    September 11

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Twilight, Pioggia Acida, Feather, Moss, Stone

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: When in Rome by H&M

    September 14

    Eyes: Utopia, Buon Fresco, Vermeer, Jet

    Cheeks: Kendra

    Lips: Goldstone mixed with Pink Opal by Linda Hallberg

    September 16

    Eyes: Mela Stregata, Raw Sienna, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 19

    Eyes: Slowburn, Savage, Rapture, Relic

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 21

    Eyes: Jilted, Fringe, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra

    September 22

    Eyes: Polline, Buon Fresco, Thrash, Bronx Black

    Cheeks: Apple Red, Next to Skin

    September 25

    Eyes: Fenice, Raw Sienna, Mezza Estate

    Cheeks: Kendra, Next to Skin

    September 29

    Eyes: Pioggia Acida on top of Caffeine primer by Urban Decay, Vermeer

    Cheeks: Next to Skin

    Looking at these pictures make me feel like I had a better makeup month than it felt whilst it was happening. During it felt like most makeup looks ended up on the uninspired spectrum and I had quite a few days when I felt it looked crap. I thought I would end up with just a handful of pictures to post but here I am with quite a few.

    To conclude this month I decided to let two fixed palettes go and two will be depotted. All in all 45 eye shades will leave my collection and 26 will be kept. All cheek shades will go into round two except the one (Superb). Quite an effective month I must say.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: August 2020

    August is just over and the weather is starting to signal Autumn here in Sweden. Chillier winds, a lower general temperature and more rain. In general I really prefer this weather to summer. When the sun is shining you can be outside in normal clothes and a light jacket. No sweat and sunburn, just crisp air and nature is so stunning right now.

    The August arsenal was significantly smaller than the previous month. In July I had the selection of 66 eyeshadows to choose from – this month I had 31. The cheek selection was more or less the same, a total of six shades. Brands included are Inglot, MAC, KvD, H&M, Urban Decay, Phee’s Makeup Tips and Nabla. Let’s start with the eye team first as usual.

    Top Row L-R: 343, 292, 390, 287, 360

    Bottom row L-R: 302, 348, 293, 326, 384

    I chose two Inglot palettes as my main palettes, just because I’ve not shown them as much love as they deserve over the years. I made one with only mattes and one with mainly shimmers. Most of these are from 2013 but a few mattes are newer and from 2016-2017.

    Top Row L-R: 461, 434, 26, 420, 44

    Bottom row L-R: 153, 430, 446, 470, 25

    Many of the shimmer shades smell quite a bit and even though I remember them doing that even when they were new, it does not feel too good seven years on. They are old and I’m sure some of them should be thrown out.

    Top Row L-R: Pitch Black, Artemisia

    Bottom row L-R: Capsize, White Truffle

    To fill in some gaps in the arsenal I chose four Nabla shadows to complete the matte eyeshadow team. These are fairly new (2018) and I highly doubt that these will be anything other than winners.

    The Alchemist palette adds some duochrome action to the arsenal. I remember loving this KvD palette when it launched, it was the greatest thing. But I do not reach for it any longer and it’s time to evaluate what it really means to me.

    Top: Artisan Copper

    Bottom L-R: Stargazer, Fireball

    Lastly we have three singles full of shimmering goodness. Stargazer by Urban Decay is in the Moondust formula. Fireball by the same brand is a regular shadow and both of these were purchased in 2016. Then we have a limited edition shadow by H&M Beauty (Artisan Copper) which I think is even newer.

    Moving on to swatches and a rundown of what my final opinions are of each eye product in the audit.

    One thing this audit project has told me that I seem to really enjoy Inglot mattes. Very few of the ones I have are being discarded and most of them perform beautifully. 343 and 287 are solid brights and very useful to me. 292 is that lovely brown mustard type of shade that I adore. 390 is a great soft crease diffuser on me and 360 is a good mid neutral brown. 302 and 293 are very unique shades in my collection and 326 is a generally versatile shade. 384 was the one hanging a bit loose but is given a pass until further notice because I enjoyed this specific shade of green on me. However it’s the kind of shade I use very rarely so it has to be pitted against anything remotely similar in Round 2. The sole loser in the matte bunch is 348, the grey. I have no feelings for it whatsoever.

    I really enjoy the Inglot shimmers as well. The fact that they smell is a big turn off though. 461 is a lovely sand matte with slight shimmer and it looks amazing on the eye. 434 was a surprise favourite for me. It’s a gorgeous dark purple grey and I have nothing else like it. Despite being a bit old this one stays until Round 2. 26 and 420 were lovely as well but less unique so they will have to go. 44 however is another surprise. It’s a forest green with an ethereal green shimmer running through it and it looks amazing on its own or on top of other shadows. I fell in love with this shade and cannot find anything similar in my collection. So it stays. The taupe silver 153 also gets to stay despite its age (and smell). I really enjoyed using this on the lid but also as an interesting inner corner highlight. 430 and 25 are pretty but nothing special so they can go. 446 is pretty enough but too dry for me to ever reach for it again. And the last one is 470, a lovely light coral shimmer that was a joy to use. So a total of five discards from this palette.

    All four Nabla shadows are great and are staying. No contest.

    The Alchemist palette (KvD) is in theory perfect for me. But during the month I’ve realized that most of the shades have a bit too much of a white base to really be what I want this type of shifting shadow to be. That base makes them less ideal to layer over other shadows because it dims the base shadow. They work ok as inner corner highlights but I still prefer to use other shadows for the job. I feel no need to keep this.

    Stargazer, Artisan Copper and Fireball are all unique in their own way and all three are solid keepers.

    Moving on to cheek products…

    Top Row L-R: A Little Lusty, Phee’s Glow

    Bottom row L-R: Gotham, Habana, Coralia, Obsexed

    For cheeks I assembled four of my Nabla single pans in a palette – one contour (Gotham), two blushes (Habana, Coralia) and one highlighter (Obsexed). To this I added a MAC blush (A Little Lusty) and a loose highlighter by Phee’s Makeup Tips (Glow Highlight Powder).

    I really enjoyed using this month’s blush selection. A nice late summer palette with a bit more muted shades. I have no reason to let any of the Nabla products go. I rarely wear contour nowadays but Gotham works well as that and as a blush. Coralia and Habana are nice blush shades and Obsexed is a fun duochrome pink gold shade that is quite wearable. Not quite as wearable was A Little Lusty (MAC) due to its deep pigmentation, but the colour is so gorgeous. Simply stunning. Tapping into the pan with a light hand and then swirling the brush in the palm of my hand prior to applying it to my cheeks made the application process less daunting. Finally we have the loose highlighter with no name, the original Glow Highlight Powder shade by Phee’s Makeup Tips, a pale white gold with quite a significant sheen. Initially I deemed this too glittery for my taste and that I would not continue to reach for a highlighter in loose form. But as the month progressed and I kept using it I learned that I really enjoy it. Applied lightly it gives a stunning glow and I would love to keep using it.

    That completes the rundown of the products I used in August. Let’s have a look at a few of the looks I wore during the month.

    August 1

    Eyes: 25, 470, 343

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 11

    Eyes: 44, 293, 26

    Cheeks: Coralia, Obsexed

    August 14

    Eyes: Artisan Copper, 430, 292

    Cheeks: A Little Lusty, Gotham, Phee’s Glow

    August 24

    Eyes: 420, 434, 348, 343, 390, 360, Pitch Black

    Cheeks: Habana, Obsexed

    August 26

    Eyes: 434, 461, 26, 360, 302

    Cheeks: Gotham, Obsexed

    August 28

    Eyes: 470, 420, Emerald, Saphyre, Amethyst, Opal, Pitch Black

    Cheeks: Coralia

    This was a fun month. The arsenal felt reasonable in size and I managed to get quite a lot of use out of each shade. Out of a total of 31 eye shades and 6 cheek shades I am letting go of 10 of those shades in total. I’m glad some of the old Inglot shades are getting some love and that some of them are weeded out.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: July 2020

    July is the month were I usually take my summer vacation and this year it was no different. Four weeks off work and a chance to recuperate a bit after a very hectic Spring.

    This month’s arsenal consisted of a total of 13 items with four palettes, three single shadows and five cheek products. 66 individual eyeshadows. A wide variety of brands including MAC, Nabla, Benefit, NYX, IsaDora, Sleek Makeup, Illamasqua and Meow Cosmetics.

    For eyes I did not really have a main palette this month but instead opted for four pre-made palettes that included a multitude of neutrals and colours both in a matte and shimmer/metallic formula.

    The Dreamy palette by Nabla was released in late 2017. It gained some rave reviews in the online beauty community here in Sweden and I became intrigued. When getting it though I was not really enamored. It was merely ok. I’m generally a big fan of Nabla shadows but this is my one and only pre-made palette by them.

    The Del Mar palette by Sleek was purchased in 2014 and has been used sparingly. The mattes in this palette are very unique in their shades and deserve to be used more.

    The Showstoppers palette by Sleek came out in 2013 and I must have purchased it around that time. It’s a collection of popular shadows from other Sleek palettes. This one has also been used sparingly. This palette added some neutral shimmer and a matte black to this month’s arsenal.

    Last up we have the Celestial palette also released by Sleek in 2013 and I do not think I have used this more than once prior to this month.

    L-R: Telekenesis, Astral Projection, Telepathy

    Finally for eyes we have three duochrome loose shadows from the Supernaturals collection by Meow Cosmetics. I adore these and they are some of my favourite inner corner highlighters. I bought these in 2013.

    Let’s go through some swatches and a rundown of what the audit told me about these eye products.

    I must say the quality of the shadows in the Dreamy palette (Nabla) is great with the exception of Delirium, which is a really crappy shadow. Sadly it is also one of the first I want to reach for whenever I use this palette. Using this palette over the course of the month made me realize what a reliable basic palette it is. Nothing overly exciting but very useful and easy to use. I have no reason not to keep it at this point.

    The Del Mar palette (Sleek) is filled with so many cool mattes and a few satins and shimmers. Paradise is a fun shade that is unlike anything else I own. Feel Euphoric and On the Rocks have a slight sheen to them that added a lovely soft juicy feeling. Very summery. Opening Party had a gorgeous purple sheen and Ambiance and Sunset Strip were lovely muted brights. I wore all shades at least once and even though some of them might not get a lot of use moving forward I have decided to keep this palette. All Sleek palettes are most likely going to be depotted so that I can more easily see what I have.

    The Showstoppers palette (Sleek) is a mixed bag. I am very attracted to the shades Bad Girl, Sunset, Graphite and Bohemian. The others are meh. I considered if this would be a depotting candidate just for those four shades but have come to the conclusion that those shades are not unique enough for the hassle. I should just let it go. It took me a while to reach that point, but that is also the beauty of this audit. Having a whole month to evaluate every item’s worth to me.

    I have a similar feeling about the Galactic palette (Sleek) as with the Showstopper one. A few shades are really appealing (Stargaze, Saturn’s Ring, Meteoric, Terrestrial) but I can not bring myself to keep the entire thing and depotting it for those four shades. Even though I have nothing like those specific shades I am sure I have other things I could use instead. If I continue to crave a pale minty green, maybe I can purchase it as a single in the future.

    Behold the stunning magical sheen that is the Supernaturals from Meow Cosmetics! All three of these shades are beautiful and I love wearing them. I only used two of them this month and only once each but it does not matter. I have no plans of letting these go if I do not have to.

    That was all of the eyeshadows – moving on to cheek products..

    Top Row L-R: Dandelion, OMG, Taupe

    Bottom row L-R: Pinky Peach, Light Year, Oh My!

    Three blushes, two highlighters and one contour. Dandelion by Benefit is the most ancient specimen of the lot. I have no idea of how old it is but it’s more than ten years old. I even purchased a backup of this way back when Benefit was hard to get a hold of in Sweden and that has been sitting in my drawers for many many years. Then we have two more recent blush shades by IsaDora (Pinky Peach) and MAC (Oh My!). By recent I mean 2016. One of my favourite highlighters by Illamasqua (OMG) is in here together with a darker shimmering product by MAC (Light Year). A Mineralize Skinfinish with a marbled effect that on the skin turn out darker than my skin tone. And lastly we have Taupe by NYX, a blush that I have mainly used as a contour.

    Dandelion (Benefit) is almost not a blush, more of a breath of pink powder on the cheeks. And that is why I like it. I have some strong makeup memories connected to this blush and will keep the backup I have and start using it. The old treasured box will go to makeup heaven. Pinky Peach (IsaDora) and Oh My! (MAC) were both lovely to use and will stay for now. Light Year (MAC) is stunning in the pan and I tend to forget that I have no use what so ever for this product. It’s too dark to be a highlighter on me. It could work like a blush topper, a product category I do not use, but it’s way too shiny to work as a blush on me. OMG (Illamasqua) on the other hand is a stunning peachy gold highlighter and it suits my skin tone very well so it is a firm keeper. The finally cheek item this month was Taupe (NYX), a taupe blush with just enough of a cool tone that made it perfect to contour on my skin tone. This shade works equally well as a blush on me too. But it is old and I have other products I can use that are newer and that I prefer if I want to contour, so there is no point in keeping this. It has served a purpose in my collection, but it’s time to say goodbye. Dandelion (the old one), Light Year and Taupe are exiting my collection.

    That was all of the products in July’s audit. Let’s finish off with some of the looks I created over the course of the month.

    July 5

    Eyes: Au Natural, Talahanca, Feel Euphoric, Paradise

    Cheeks: Dandelion

    July 6

    Eyes: Sunset, Lounge Lovers, Sunset Strip

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 6:2

    Eyes: Sunset, Lounge Lovers, Sunset Strip, Paradise, Opening Party, On the Rocks

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    July 12

    Eyes: Bad Girl, Paraguaya, Bohemian, Storm, Terrestrial, Illusion, Sistina, Dogma

    Cheeks: Oh My!, Pinky Peach

    July 14

    Eyes: Astral Blue, Saturns Ring, Ambience, Opening Party, Paradise, Astral Projection

    Cheeks: Taupe, Light Year, OMG

    July 17

    Eyes: Stargaze, Meteoric, Solar, Sistina, Ultra Mattes V2

    Cheeks: Pinky Peach, OMG

    July 18

    Eyes: Poolside, Ambience, Paradise, On the Rocks, Ultra Mattes V2

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 20

    Eyes: Saturns Ring, Meteoric, Terrestrial, Telepathy

    Cheeks: Taupe, OMG

    July 29

    Eyes: Paradise, Ambience, Talahanca, Lounge Lovers

    Cheeks: Oh My!

    To conclude July’s audit I am letting four items go, but a total of 26 individual shades. The Dandelion blush is replaced by my backup so it does not count really. I’m very pleased that I decided to let the two Sleek palettes go.

    Makeup-wise I’ve had an inspired month and worn a lot of colour. The looks I’ve created have been different to what I usually do, and that was definitely down to the product choices at hand.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: June 2020

    June was such an devastating and important month in the history of humanity. Not the first and not the last of its kind, but truly significant in its own right. Posting about makeup felt like such an indulgent luxury so I took a break from the online community of face art and external expression and turned inwards. I still did my makeup, but it was different. I could not have posted my audits then and in a way it is why my backlog is what it is. The world has not changed but it feels like a more widespread awareness has been achieved and hopefully it will be the seed of the vital changes that the world so desperately needs. The world continues on – with its flaws and its beauty. My wish is to become more aware, informed and more compassionate. A never ending quest.

    Now, taking it back to the more superficial aspects of June and my makeup audit. My arsenal consisted of one big palette of singles, two pre-made palettes, one blush trio, 2 single blushes and a sculpting/highlighting duo.

    A total of 38 eyeshadows, five blushes, one sculpting shade and one highlighter. A very varied mix of brand also this month – Viseart, MAC, Nabla, Linda Hallberg, Makeup Geek, Charlotte Tilbury, Sleek Makeup and KvD. Let’s start with the eyeshadows.

    Top Row L-R: Smut, Madreperla, Pegasus, Soot, Natural Wilderness, Peach Smoothie

    Second Row L-R: Deep Fixation, Heaven, Sabbath, Crucifix, Poppy

    Third Row L-R: Star Violet, Cherry Cola, Citron, Aphrodite, Satisfy

    Bottom Row L-R: Steamy, Glamorous, Ablaze, Woodwinked, Bandwagon, Malt

    In my main palette I gathered some neutral mattes and shimmers as well as a few pops of colour by MAC (Soot, Woodwinked, Steamy, Malt, Natural Wilderness, Ablaze, Star Violet, Satisfy, Smut, Deep Fixation), Makeup Geek (Glamorous, Cherry Cola, Bandwagon, Poppy, Peach Smoothie), Nabla (Citron, Pegasus, Madreperla, Aphrodite) and depotted shadows from the KvD Saint & Sinner palette (Heaven, Sabbath, Crucifix). Oldest of the bunch are the MAC ones from 2012-2014 with the exception of Satisfy that is much older. The Nabla and Makeup Geek shades are from 2016 and the KvD palette came out in the end of 2017.

    To add a bit more of summer fun brightness I chose the Viseart Editorial Brights (08) palette. I purchased this second hand from an Instagram acquaintance. I’ve heard so many great things about this palette over the years so when getting the chance to buy it used but a discounted price I took a chance. But the truth is I never reach for it. So it is the perfect audit candidate.

    Adding some duochrome goodness to a monthly arsenal is a must. I purchased the Enchanted Secrets palette by Linda Hallberg in 2017 and it has since been discontinued. It’s really a beautiful collection of magically shifting shadows.

    Let’s move on to swatches and a rundown of how each eyeshadow fared in the audit.

    Sabbath and Crucifix (KvD) worked their jobs ok, but the quality was nothing special and they will be let go. Soot (MAC) worked well as a liner and a deepening shade. I am a bit on the fence about this one but I think I will let it pass on to the next round. As I keep on mentioning, grey mattes are not my favourite shadows to use but keeping a few does serve a purpose for certain looks. Natural Wilderness (MAC) is a great murky mustard and I love this type of shade. Keeping. Cherry Cola (Makeup Geek) however was a disappointment. The pigmentation was not there and it was difficult to blend. Poppy (Makeup Geek) on the other hand is a lovely muted light red shade and a pleasure to use. So three out of six shades are leaving my collection.

    Ablaze (MAC), Bandwagon (Makeup Geek), Malt (MAC) and Peach Smoothie (Makeup Geek) were all lovely shades to use and blended well. Bandwagon and Malt are quite unique to my collection as well and the two are a great pairing. But Satisfy (MAC) is nothing special and it is really old, so its time has come. One out of five is bye bye.

    Moving on to some shimmers. Smut and Deep Fixation (both by MAC) were really dry, lackluster and difficult to use. The rest were nicely pigmented and pretty on the eyes. Despite that, Star Violet (MAC) is the only one I will keep. It has a very interesting shift and is an unique shade in my collection. Aphrodite (Nabla), Glamorous (Makeup Geek) and Woodwinked (MAC) are also nice but I’ve got similar shades that I like more so there is no need to keep these. Five out of six are out.

    Citron (Nabla) is just one of those green shades that I adore. Steamy (MAC) is really pretty and I loved wearing it together with Bandwagon and Malt as a sheer mermaid eye. Madreperla (Nabla) has a grey base with a pink shift. I find this shade does not work on the lid or as a topper over a darker shade sadly. But it is a great pink duochrome for an inner corner highlight. So I am keeping it for now for that specific purpose. Pegasus (Nabla) is a pale lilac with a gold shift. It is super pretty as a swatch but I have no use for it on the eye. On the eye the lilac is barely visible so it’s not a good lid shade and it is not popping enough to be a great inner corner highlight. I wore it four times over the course of the month and it only solidified my opinion. It’s a similar situation with Heaven (KvD). It looks amazing on the arm but I felt nothing for it on the eye. So two out of five are leaving.

    Wearing this Viseart palette over the month sadly made me develop a conflicted relationship to it. This palette consists of some bright shades unlike anything else in my collection. But I found it to be too much work and never felt felt pleased when using it. Hard to blend and the pigment, however great in payoff, did not last well on my eyes despite using a primer. Not even the shades that are the most useful to me, the yellow/orange and bright green and pink, were fun to use. So I will get rid of it and admit it was a poor purchase.

    Last but not least we have the stunning Enchanted Secrets palette by Linda Hallberg. There is no contest here, I’m keeping it.

    Top Row L-R: Peony Petal, What I Fancy

    Bottom row L-R: Pumpkin Trio, Filmstar Bronze & Glow in Fair-Medium

    Moving on tho cheek products we have got a nice little selection of bright colours. Two pastel blushes by MAC (Peony Petal and What I Fancy), a trio of popping shades by Sleek Makeup (Pumpkin Trio; Lantern, Squash, P Pie) and a compact with a nude sculpting shade and highlighter by Charlotte Tilbury. The newest of the bunch is the Bronze & Glow which I purchased in London in 2017.

    This month was a surprise for me when it comes to cheek products. I usually end up keeping most of my blushes and highlighters but this month was the complete opposite. I’m only going to keep one item.

    Peony Petal and What I Fancy (MAC) are quite unique to my collection and therefore I was a bit conflicted when I did not enjoy wearing them. Not that they do not appeal to me in theory, but the shades did nothing on my face. The were simply meh. So the sound thing to do is to get rid of them, but because of their uniqueness it feels a bit wrong. But I am doing it. The same goes for the Pumpkin trio by Sleek – but in this case the shades simply did not look good on me at all so there was no internal discussion to be had. The shades in the trio were too bright and quite hard to blend well. The sole winner this month is the lovely Filmstar Bronze & Glow compact (Charlotte Tilbury). I used the sculpt shade primarily as a blush and the highlighter is simply lovely on me. So to conclude the cheek products – out of four items, three will leave. Out of seven individual shades, two are kept. I’m a bit astounded and impressed by my resolve.

    So that was the rundown of all the products in June’s audit. Let’s finish off with some of the looks I created with this arsenal.

    June 1

    Eyes: Woodwinked, Heaven, Peach Smoothie

    Cheeks: What I Fancy

    June 2

    Eyes: Viseart yellow green and grass green, Citron, Sabbath

    Cheeks: P Pie, CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 5

    Eyes: Viseart pink and orange, Moonwake, Zephyr, Crucifix

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 15

    Eyes: Glamorous, Ablaze, Satisfy, Zephyr, Sabbath

    Cheeks: What I Fancy, CT highlight

    June 18

    Eyes: Star Violet, Citron, Ablaze, Poppy, Ethereal, Crucifix

    Cheeks: CT sculpt, CT highlight

    June 20

    Eyes: Viseart blue purple, Orphic, Ethereal

    Cheeks: CT sculpt

    Rounding off June it feels good to say that I found some duds in my collection and some generic shades that can easily be let go and make space for the things I actually love. A total of 15 items and 28 individual shades are out. Not my most inspiring month for a multitude of reasons but a very successful audit.

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup

    My Makeup Audit: May 2020

    May was such a fun makeup month in general. I created looks of great variety and the shade selection for the audit kept me inspired all the way through. This month we had an arsenal with multi use items, so the usual eye and cheek split will not apply in this post.

    Note from me: Due to my vast blog backlog – this post is another one in retrospect. I look forward to catching up but it will happen eventually, all in due course.

    The arsenal consisted of three pre-made palettes, two personalized quads and ten singles. A total of 42 individual colour products and 41 unique shades. The base of the arsenal was the Infinity Palette and the Infinity Deep Palette by Linda Hallberg (the shade Fornax appears in both) offering shades for both eyes and cheeks.

    The Infinity Palette by Linda Hallberg is a well loved product that I’ve used mainly when traveling, because of its versatile shade range for me personally and its slim, light and mirror including packaging. I love that. Two shades double as blush and two as highlight, as well as working on the eyes of course.

    The Infinity Deep Palette by Linda Hallberg is another versatile product but for me despite not including any spot on cheek highlighters. It does compensate for that by including additional shades that can work as blushes in both the shimmer and matte section. And all shades are great on the eyes. This palette has not been used as much as the other Infinity palette but It’s also newer so I can see why. Also the first one is more adapted to my skin tone, but I do think they complement each other nicely and they are both very useful.

    With those two palettes as a base I wanted some more shimmer shades and some colourful mattes.

    Firstly we have another pre-made palette. My Comfort Zone palette by Wet N’ Wild is of the older incarnation and generally considered a makeup cult classic. It’s been worn over the years but I never reach for it anymore. A great contender for a proper audit.

    Top Row L-R: Scene, Coral

    Bottom Row L-R: Beautiful Iris, Sketch

    I pulled some more MAC shadows for May and created two quads. In the first one I gathered some mattes to complement the Infinity palettes as well as a lilac iridescent shimmer. All of these shades are from 2012-2014 I think.

    Top Row L-R: Chrome Yellow, Bio Green

    Bottom Row L-R: Bitter, Three Ring Yellow

    In the second quad we have four citrus shades two mattes and two shimmers. These four shades are also from 2012-2014.

    Top Row L-R: Blarney Stone, Twilight Glow, Paraskevidekatriaphobia

    Bottom Row L-R: Apparition, Prancer

    Top Row L-R: Cherry on Top, Orange Rainbow, Parrot’s Beak

    Bottom Row L-R: Tribal, Siren

    For a little brand variety I dipped into my Meow Cosmetics shades again and got out some shifting highlighter shades and other shimmers to achieve a better variety to the overall arsenal. The Meow shades are most likely from 2013-2014. Rounding everything off is a red matte by Sephora. Finding true red shades for the eyes have been an ongoing quest for me over the years, since it was a hard shade to find good versions of many moons ago. Not so much anymore, but a matte red is a great thing to have and that is why I picked up this Sephora single in the first place.

    Now we have gone through the complete arsenal of 42 shades. A bit of a mashup at first sight, but nothing that hindered my creativity when using them during the month. Let us move on to swatches and a verdict of each shade.

    The Infinity Palette – Linda Hallberg

    The Infinity palette was used almost daily and was my main source of blush and highlighter. Virgio ended up being my preferred highlighter but Milky Way is quite nice as well. Andromeda is a stunning blush shade on me and was used a lot. Pinwheel however, is not a favourite of mine. I think I would prefer this shade if it was a matte, something I would have loved for the eyes as well. I do get some use out of Pinwheel but I’m always a bit underwhelmed by the result. Maffei is a great diffusing crease shade and Cigar is very versatile as a crease shade, medium deepening and works as a cheek contour also. If I mix Fornax and Cigar I get a workable brow shade. Zwicky is a beautiful yellow brown, used mainly to give warmth to the crease or as a single coulour all over the lid and crease. I only used it once this month but I know I enjoy the shade and it fulfills a purpose in this palette. Fornax was used mainly as a liner or mixed with the other shades to add depth. This is a great palette and a solid keeper for me.

    The Infinity Deep Palette – Linda Hallberg

    The Infinity Deep palette is also a keeper. Solar is a great inner corner highlight for me and so is Polar Star. Polar Star also just passes as a cheek highlighter on me but I do not think I will continue reaching for it for that purpose. Quasar and Mars is are both very versatile shades for me since they work amazingly as both blush and eyeshadow. But Light Year is my favourite shade in this palette. It’s a peachy brown and on me it works beautifully as a complementing crease shade, all over lid/crease shade and blush. Umbra and Red Shift are great for depth and warmth and Fornax is your perfect pairing partner for mixing, liner and smoky duty.

    The Comfort Zone Palette – Wet N’ Wild

    On to a dud. Comfort Zone was very underwhelming to use. I used all but three shades but quite quickly decided that this palette is not worth keeping. The quality is just not there (anymore?). The blue brown shade, despite being stunning (worn May 7th), faded quickly on the eye.

    Scene is a blue leaning mid grey and it works just fine. I’ve decided to get rid of it since grey is not my favourite matte shade to use and I know I’ve kept other greys that can fill whatever use I might have for a matte grey. Coral however is one of those shades I just love to use. It works so well with my skin/hair/eye colouring and adds a fruity brightness to any look. Love it! Beautiful Iris is stunning on the lid but my favourite way to use it is as an inner corner highlight (see May 8, 16 and 30). Sketch was a surprise. I loved how it added a bit of a colour and depth paired with other shades. I was not prepared to like it but it will go on to the next round.

    On to the citrus shades. Chrome Yellow is another staple shade for me. I get so much use out of matte yellow shadows and this one works beautifully. Bio Green was a bit crumbly to touch but on the eyes it was such a popping bright green (May 2 and 29) and I think I have nothing else like it in my collection. So I am keeping it for now. Bitter is a great lime shade and despite not being a true matte is works as one for me. It is great for a pop of juicy green and blending out other shades. Lastly we have Three Ring Yellow. A green leaning yellow that adds a bright gilded sheen to the lid. i do not know how unique it is compared to other golds but the future will tell. I enjoyed using it and it can stay for now.

    Moving on to the lovely Meow Cosmetics loose shadows. Blarney Stone (St Patty’s Day collection) is a green tinged silver. This was a surprise like for me. and you can see it in action in the look from May 22. Twilight Glow (Harvest Moon collection) looks so good in the jar but on the eye it simply does not work. The issue is the black base. Any blending results in an ashy mess and the beautiful bronze shimmer totally disappears. I have no use for this shadow. Paraskavidekatriaphobia (Friday the 13th collection) is an interesting shade. A very sheer light Tiffany blue with a great sheen. A topper or inner corner shade for me. Prancer (Reindeer collection) is a similar shade but slightly greener. Apparition (Supernaturals collection) too, but a vanilla gold version. I love that type of shade and I love reaching for my Meow shadows for that purpose.

    shadows on bare skin

    Meow shadows with primer underneath

    For the next round of Meow shadows I wanted to showcase how much these loose shadows transform if used with a tacky base. Their true potential only comes out that way. Since I always use an eye shadow primer anyway due to having oily lids this is not any extra hassle for me. Orange Rainbow (Gloom & Bloom collection) is a very light coral orange with a silvery sheen and Parrot’s Beak (also Gloom & Bloom) is the same but more peachy orange. Tribal and Siren (both from the Lost Rainforest collection) are also quite similar to each other, soft purple mauves with a golden sheen. Similar but definitely not the same. I must say that I love all of these shades. It’s a joy to use them. And let’s not forget the matte red shade Cherry on Top (Sephora). It’s also great. Easy to work with (May 18 and 28) and just a great colorful staple.

    That concludes the rundown of the products in May’s audit. Let’s have a peek at some of the looks I created with said products.

    May 2

    Eyes: Bio Green, Three Ring Yellow, Bitter, Maffei, Cigar, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Pinwheel, Virgio

    May 7

    Eyes: Blue brown from Comfort Zone, Maffei, Cigar, Scene, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 8

    Eyes: Mars, Cherry on Top, Coral, Beautiful Iris, Sketch, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 11

    Eyes: Siren, Maffei, Cigar

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 12

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Coral, Chrome Yellow

    Cheeks: Pinwheel

    May 14

    Eyes: Twilight Glow, Solar, Light Year, Umbra, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars, Polar Star

    May 15

    Eyes: Three Ring Yellow, Parrot’s Beak, Chrome Yellow, Fornax

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 16

    Eyes: Tribal, Beautiful Iris, Coral, Umbra, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Virgio

    May 18

    Eyes: Paraskevidekatriaphobia over Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil by MAC, Coral, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars, Milky Way

    May 19

    Eyes: Prancer, Maffei, Cigar, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 22

    Eyes: Blarney Stone, Apparition, Light Year, Maffei, Umbra, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Andromeda, Milky Way

    May 25

    Eyes: Polar Star, Light Year, Maffei, Fornax

    Cheeks: Mars

    May 26

    Eyes: Orange Rainbow, Parrot’s Beak, Maffei

    Cheeks: Don’t know, missed noting it

    May 28

    Eyes: Siren, Parrot’s Beak, Mars, Cherry on Top, Red Shift, Fornax

    Cheeks: Quasar, Virgio

    May 29

    Eyes: Bio Green, Three Ring Yellow, Bitter, Fornax

    Cheeks: Light Year, Virgio

    May 30

    Eyes: Beautiful Iris, Coral

    Cheeks: Coral, Virgio

    Time to wrap up May’s audit. Six shades were used as blush and three as highlight. Three shades from the Comfort Zone palette were not used at all but other than that I managed to use most shades multiple times.

    Exiting my collection this month are the Comfort Zone palette, Scene and Twilight Glow. A small cull but on the bright side I am glad that the shades I own are a joy to use. I’m getting to know them better by doing this audit and exploring the vast possibilities at my disposal. The deeper into to audit I get the less tempted I am by new makeup releases and that feels great. I obviously already own some great products and shades and using them is such a pleasure.

    Thank you for reading!