In this post I will go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2022, January through June. This post have been in the making for several months but somehow time always slips away from me. But better late than never as they say. In those six months I managed to finish a total of 20 items and out of those 13 were makeup products. I’m not including all beauty consumables in this bi-annual post. Categories not included are body care, nail care, haircare or any type of SPF (unless it is a skincare/makeup item that just happens to have SPF in it). I still prefer not to track those categories in any way.
As per usual I want to highlight some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my opinions on these products. I have dehydrated combination skin and I am noticing my skin changing a lot because of ageing (I’m 41) so I am slowly adjusting my routine to its evolving needs. I still get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies. Let’s begin!
My current routine: I use a cream cleanser or something similar in the morning before skincare/makeup and then I use two cleansers in the evening. One oil/balm as a first step in removing makeup and/or sunscreen and then I go in with a second round with the same cleanser that I used in the morning. I usually have 2-3 cleansers in action at any given moment.
Let’s start with a new favourite. I purchased the Golden Amber Probiotic Cleansing Balm (125 ml, 399 SEK) by M Picaut shortly after it was released. Since I am always on the lookout for a good cleansing balm and I generally like products by M Picaut it was an easy purchase. Hello new favourite cleanser! I love the smooth honey texture, the soft smell and the beautiful tube that makes it easy to squeeze out the right amount. There is nothing I do not love about this balm. I’m even ok with the price since I think it is a very luxurious product that lasted me a good while. I have already repurchased this one.
Moving on to the Clean Cleanser by Acasia (100 ml, 199 SEK), another brand that I have repurchased from recently. This was my third tube of this specific product and possibly my last. It is a good cleanser but my critique is as mentioned in my last post “This milky cream cleanser has a mild scent and does the job very well but the consistency was a little too runny for my taste and I felt like I needed quite a bit of product to cleanse my face. So one tube did not last as long as I would like it to. I do not think I will repurchase this any time soon but I might try it again in the future since it does have a preferable price point.”
Essence & serums
My current routine: I like to use a hydrating serum 1-2 times a day and it is a core item. I also dabble with more treatment focused serums but I’m more irregular with those.
Let me present to you another new favourite – two whole empty bottles of the Hyaluronic Super Serum (30 ml, 359-495 SEK) by Acasia. The serum contains hyaluronic acid (duh!), niacinamide, Vitamin C and E. Three drops is enough for the whole face and it is a dream to apply. One bottle lasted me longer than I had anticipated and these two bottles lasted longer than six months. I use the serum both morning and night and my skin loves it. One thing to note about this product is that the price varies quite a bit depending on which reseller you pick it up from. Something I will definitely focus on since this is a product I have and will continue to repurchase.
Moisturisers & oils
My current routine: I use a variety of creams depending on what my skin needs. In the morning after serums I like to put on a basic moisturiser before adding SPF and/or a primer. I have lighter and heavier creams (I’m using the term heavy lightly here – I have combination skin after all) and adjust the combination according to seasonal variations like the climate outdoors/indoors. For daytime the goal is to have a face base that does not pill or look patchy when I apply makeup on top. In the evening I like to use a more robust and comforting cream since I do not need to worry about the makeup bit. I use an eye cream both morning and evening and the main goal is to hydrate the skin without stinging my eyes or melting my mascara. I use oils sparingly but I like to have one on hand for facial massages or as an extra comforting layer when my skin needs it.
Another recurring product is the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA by The Ordinary (30 ml, 79 SEK). I use this as a basic surface hydrator and usually layer it under my sunscreen. I have repurchased this and will most likely continue to do so. It is reliable, nicely priced and works well under other products without pilling.
Here we have yet another new favourite. I purchased the Rose Quartz Supreme Rich Cream by M Picaut (50 ml, 749 SEK) to use as a night cream but I have also worn it in the daytime during the autumn/winter months. It is a creamy dream with a comforting scent that reminds me of vanilla pods. The pump distributes product with great control and it “pops” in the end when all of the product is distributed. The bottle is easy to close, you simply twist the top to secure it and it has a little lid on top of that. A little goes a long way and I felt like this 50 ml bottle lasted me long enough to warrant repurchasing it at this more hefty price point. My skin feels soft and nourished but never greasy after applying this cream. I have no issues with applying makeup on top in the winter-time, but I have not yet tried using it that way during the warmer months.
The Overnight Retinol Oil by Pixi (30 ml, 399 SEK) is a repurchase. I gave it a favourable opinion when I used up my first bottle in 2020 (read The Used Up 2020:2 here). However I did not enjoy using the oil as much the second time around. It was merely ok and I often omitted using it in the evenings. I was simply not drawn to it and it was forgettable. Since the product has a shelf-life of 6 months it started to smell rancid before I had finished the bottle. I persevered and used it up but it was not the best experience. I will most likely not buy this product again.
The Blur 16 H Longwear Foundation (30 ml, 209 SEK), here in the shade 00 Ultra Light, used to be a favourite until Lumene changed the formulation and no shades matched me anymore. They did this more than once. From a trusty staple product to an inconsistent mess and ultimately failed purchase. Not a good arc. As previously stated I would use the tubes I had already purchased and then stop trying. You can see in the swatch picture that the lightest shade is not a good match for me.
Next we have one concealer in two different shades that have quickly become new staples for me. It’s the HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (3 g, 109 SEK) by NYX in the shades Alabaster (CW 00) and Green (CW12). The formula is easy to work with, pigmented yet light and blendable, and the price point is great. I use Alabaster as my under eye corrector. The shade might be a smidge too dark but I get away with it most days. If I need a little brightness I just tap another concealer on top where needed. The shade works very well to neutralise the colour under my eyes and make me look more awake. The Green version is used as a neutraliser for the redness on my face but also to bring any other base product in a direction that better matches my undertone. My perfect shade is a fair neutral with a hint of green in it. Most base products are too pink och peach for me so the NYX concealer is a great mix-in. I repurchased both of these as soon as I ran out.
Moving on to the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer (5,9 ml, 349 SEK) in Porcelain. First of all, I did buy a shade that is way too light for me. So it does not work on its own as a concealer, the job I intended it for when I bought it. But I have been using it in combination with other base products that are also not quite right on their own. I used it primarily to lighten foundations that were too dark. But I did notice that the concealer was not as easy to work with as I had anticipated by the name Flex. It was thick and not as blendable as I would like. So after trying this one I do not feel the need to try another shade of the same product.
The Pat Away Concealing Base by Pixi (3,8 g, 249 SEK) had a good shade match for me from the start. I picked up the shade Cream and the undertone works very well. It could be a little lighter but it is one of the best shades I have found in a long time. I used this concealer all over the face where needed and it was pigmented and blendable. However it felt like I used it up very quickly and always in conjunction with other products I was trying to use up so I did not focus too much on what it was capable of. I am considering buying it again in the near future to give it a proper run.
The MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation (15 g, 395 SEK) is an old hero product for me. I’ve used this product for nearly half of my life. I used to buy NC20 for years and later picked up this specific one in NC10 when that lighter shade became available. I would for sure be interested to pick up another one of these but I think I would like to try them in store before choosing what shade to get. On the MAC Scandinavia website they list an NC15 as well, but I want to see them next to each other before deciding. Last time I was in store these products were out of stock, otherwise I would have bought a new one already. The Studio Fix powder for me is the best product to add on more coverage during the day. I have combination skin that gets shiny easily and melts my makeup. Since I have a lot of redness I want a product that adds suitable coverage as well when touching up my makeup. Only blotting away the oils does not do it for me. I can apply Studio Fix straight on top of my makeup and it saves the look. If I am very oily I blot first, but it is not always necessary with this powder.
This is my second compact of the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (10 g, 55€) by Charlotte Tilbury in 1 Fair. I got this one for my birthday last year and my first purchase was in London in 2017. I must say this is so far my favourite powder and any attempt to find another one I like as much has failed. The product has since been updated to a refillable version and I got one of those compacts for my birthday this December. I also wished for, and received, the new Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish Powder by CT. It will be fun to use them side by side and see how they compare. Both are refillable which is great.
Mascara & brows
Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel (4,5 g, 259 SEK) had a great colour for me in Grind – a lovely cool dark brown. That, and the size of the brush, was my favourite aspect about this product. The formula was very wet and got everywhere where I did not want it. I could not notice any build up by the fibers and the overall appearance was messy. Another thing is that it started to smell “off” quite quickly. The white packaging did not do it for me either, but that is a smaller complaint. On the whole, this was not a good product for me.
Relevée Mascara (6 g, 320 SEK) by Surratt is a staple at this point (you can find my previous thoughts on this product in The Used Up 2021:1 and 2021:2) and I still enjoy the formula and I very much like the brand as a whole. BUT. As I have mentioned before the mascara does tend to create some fall-out smudge, especially from my bottom lashes. It did not bother me too much in the beginning of our relationship but it’s starting to get on my nerves a bit. I do not want to check my face regularly to see if my under-eyes are smudgy. Of course I wish it did not have any fall-out of any sort but until I hear about another great tubing mascara that I would like to try I am stickning with this one.
The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Caffeine is my secret weapon when I want to do a quick yet impactful eye look. This mustard brown primer works as a cream eyeshadow and primer in one on my skin tone. I apply it all over the lid and a bit up in the crease and then blend and shape with a stiff synthetic brush. It is very easy to blend and when I’m happy with the shape I just pat a shiny metallic shadow on the lid, all over or just in the center depending on what I’m going for, with a flat brush or my finger and it is more or less done. I already have a new tube of this in rotation.
The 24 H Photo Finish Shadow Primer (12 ml, 215 SEK) by Smashbox was a fail for me. It was quite thick in formula and it dried very quickly. I like to start working with shadows when the primer is still somewhat tacky in order for it to intensify the shadows and the longevity on my lids. I found it hard to blend shadows on top of this primer and it did not boost the look of the shadows as I’m used to. It might be down to pure preference but I will not buy this shadow primer again.
How I wish this product was not limited edition. The Rouge Coco Shine in Noir Moderne by Chanel has been a firm favourite for many years now. I do not remember when I bought it but the internet suggests it was released around 2016 and it sounds about right. The Rouge Coco Shine formula is not even around anymore. It was replaced, I presume, by Rouge Coco Flash. This dark yet transparent lipstick was a good moody yet wearable lip for me. I’m trying to find a dupe for Noir Moderne but no such luck yet.
To finalise this post we have got another Chanel product. It is the Stylo Yeux Waterproof (310 SEK) in Agapé (929). This shade was also limited edition and part of the Le Rouge Collection No.1 for fall in 2016. It was creamy and easy to work with. Lasted well as an eyeliner but not in the waterline. I do not own that many liners nowadays so it was fun to use this one up. I’m not immediately drawn to picking up new shades of this liner (I had two from the same collection) but you never know.
That was all of the products from the first half of 2022. Since I was a bit late with this post I think the next instalment of The Used Up might come in the near future, since 2023 is nearly here. These post takes some time to write, but they are always way easier to conjure up when not too much time has passed since I used the mentioned products. I wish you all a great New Year and I hope you wear some fabulous makeup!
Thank you for reading!