June Wrap-Up

June CollageAfter last month’s broken camera hiatus, I challenged myself to blog every day in June, and I’m really happy to say that I did it! I also posted my first in depth comparison of all my eyeshadows in a color family and it was really well received, so I want to keep doing more!

June SwatchesReviews: I reviewed two collections, Always With Me from Baroque, which I did five looks for, and Brilliant Deductions from Aromaleigh, which was so big it needed eight looks. I also swatched and compared ten of my gold eyeshadows.

June LooksLooks: I posted a ton of looks this month, 33 total. 13 from the two reviews I did, one for the IMAM planet collaboration and 19 regular face of the days. My favorite looks this month were:

June emptiesEmpties: I’m getting ready to move next month, so I have a lot of things that got finished up all at once, and a few that are just barely hanging on. I finished 9 full sizes, 4 minis and 12 foils. 25 empties is definitely a record for me!

  • Ten Three Labs Salve Stick in Holiday Spirits: My first indie empty! I really like Ten Three’s salve stick formula. It’s an in-between formula that works for me during the day if I apply a thin layer or overnight if I slather it on. This one was supposed to smell like spiked eggnog, but the scent didn’t quite hit it for me. It was like a minty bubblegum version of eggnog, which was a little weird. But my other salve sticks have better scents, so I’ll keep using them in different scents.
  • Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Rocketpop: This was the first lipstick I really was into. It’s a rosy cinnamon color, but the formula is very, very slippery, in a way that makes it move around on your lips. It was discontinued a while ago, and I picked up a back up then, but now that I have more experience with make up, I don’t think it’s that special. I do have a soft spot for it though, cuz it was the first nice make up I bought myself, back when I was in college.
  • Lush Honey Trap: I really liked this lip balm. It’s my favorite for sticking eyeshadow to my lips, since it’s thicker and waxy, but it still moisturizes well, so I liked it as a nighttime balm. It has a nice not too strong honey scent too. I would definitely repurchase this.
  • Lush Eau Roma Water: This is my all time favorite toner. I spray it on after I wash my face before my lotion, and it makes my skin feels nice and my lotion apply more evenly. I’m not 100% sure what exactly it does, but my skin feels better with it than without it, so I’ll keep using it. Its smell is slightly rosy, but less strong than rosewater. The big bottle last approximately forever too. I will definitely replace this. It’s my HG toner. (I also really like spraying it on my body before putting on sunscreen. It helps it spread and absorb better.)
  • Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment: I love this stuff. I think I’ve bought three or four tubes over the years. It’s effective at making my pimple clear up faster.
  • Burt’s Bees Sensitive Night Cream: I like this, but it’s a little thin for an overnight cream for me. It’s absolutely perfect for layering over a serum or face oil, though. If I ever find a serum I love, I will definitely buy this again to layer on top. It also comes in a surprisingly weighty glass jar for something I bought at Target.
  • Clean and Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser: I first used this in middle school, I think, and I still like it. It’s not an every day cleanser for me, but I like using it for a deep clean once a week or so or if I’m really dirty, like after a dusty run. It’s also great to use before putting on a mask. It’s got a nice tingly cooling sensation, but doesn’t irritate my skin at all. When I use it regularly I definitely get fewer blackheads on my nose
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter: If you’ve been paying attention to my empties, you know I love Satsuma. However, it doesn’t translate super well into the body butter format. It takes on a weird plasticky quality. This is one of the normal skin body butters and I really like the texture for my hands and feet before bed, but it works for the rest of my body too. But I wouldn’t buy this scent again.
  • The Body Shop Mango Body Butter: I also love the Body Shop’s Mango scent. It very tropical and fruity with a hint of floral. This one is for very dry skin, so it’s richer than the Satsuma. It leaves a slight sheen to my skin after I apply it, so I usually stick to using it as a before bed hand and foot cream, or for extra dry elbows when it’s cold. This is one I have repurchased.
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Hand Cream: More Satsuma! I love the scent in this, but the cream is not creamy enough for me. I like a thick hand cream, and this one is thin, with a slightly gel-like texture.
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream: This was a nice, thick texture, but the smell reminded me of diaper cream and old ladies. I like L’Occitane’s hand cream formula, but now I know I need to be careful about what scents I choose.
  • L’Occitane Verbena Body Lotion: I love the scent of this. It’s very zesty and lemony, but it’s almost like there’s a hint of lime. Unfortunately, the formula doesn’t do much in terms of actual moisturizing.
  • Greenwich Bay Trading Co. Lemon Verbena Shea Butter Soap: This is the third soap from this company I’ve used now, and my least favorite. The formula still makes a good hand soap, but I like my lemon verbena scents to be sharper and more citrusy. This was definitely more floral than lemon.
  • Bliss Triple Oxygen +  C Energizing Cream: This is a very thin, runny lotion with a slight orange scent. It was prone to separating. It felt nice on my face, but it was very, very light.
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Wash and Creme Rinse: I used these together, so I can’t isolate what came from which product. The both have a nice, slightly generic aquatic smell, like I would expect from a nice quality ocean candle. They cleaned and conditioned my hair just fine. Afterwards, my hair was tanglier than usual the first day, but once I combed it out and let it dry, it looked really nice for several days afterwards, longer than with my usual shampoo and conditioner. So overall I liked it, but I don’t really buy expensive hair stuff, so I wouldn’t purchase it myself.
  • Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Butter: I hated this. It smelled very strong and floral in a gross way and it didn’t moisturize well. I did not even finish my sample.
  • Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil: I think might be too much for my skin. It smelled enough, in a gentle floral way, but it didn’t really help my skin. It didn’t break it out, exactly, but it brought a few tiny bumps to the sruface and made my forehead seem less smooth. Not for me.
  • Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: Like the overnight oil, it wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t the right fit for my skin. I wouldn’t use it again, but I didn’t hate it. There’s just a lot out there that works better for me.
  • Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream: Yet another eye cream that I liked fine, but which was nothing special. I din’t look up how much it was, but I’m sure it’s more than I would be willing to pay for it.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment: I tried using this as a serum and it itched so much I washed it off. As a mask it fared slightly better, but was still a little bit stingy/unpleasant feeling to wear, and didn’t do anything to visibly improve my skin, so I wouldn’t use it again.
  • Formula X Quench Cuticle Oil: This was my first time using a cuticle oil, and I think I like it better than cuticle cream or butter. This has a delicious cherry candy scent that made me want to smell my fingers after using it. But it’s kind of expensive, so I’ll probably try out an indie cuticle oil instead of buying this.
  • MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation in NC20: I got a sample of this from a MAC counter when I went to get matched. It’s yellower than I prefer my foundation to be, so I need to use only a tiny bit of it on a clean brush to get it to blend into my skin nicely. The formula is very dewy, with slightly more coverage than my usual Face and Body. It’s also the same price for a quarter of the amount, so there’s no way I’m buying this.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original: This has become my go to eyeshadow primer. It’s a thicker formula, but it doesn’t show up on my lids, which I like. I’ve already bought a full size.
  • Diamond Wipes Cleansing and Makeup Remover Towelette: I have no idea where my mom got these, but I actually like them. I almost never use makeup remover wipes, but these removed most of my makeup and didn’t feel scratchy or irritate my skin.

Orders: I kind of bought all the things in June. It was my birthday month and I’m finishing up the end of my time abroad, so I was feeling generous with myself. I ordered from seven new-to-me brands (including being one of the very first orders for a new-to-everyone shop), and several shops that I already know I like. I also picked up my first indie pressed palette, from Baroque, and I’m really excited to play with it. But because of my prodigious ordering in June, I’m officially declaring it Low Buy July. I have two planned purchases I’m going to make and a small LE contingency fund, for if something limited edition that I really want is released. But beyond that no purchases, unless I finish up a staple product and need to replace it (which is a possibility for powder and concealer, which I’m running low on, but I think they’ll be able to hold out til August), or if the one polish brand I’ve been waiting for a sale from has a sale (and even then, I only want two bottles).

Goals: Next month I’m going to be traveling a bunch, so I’ll be on the road for three weeks straight. I want to keep wearing make up at least some of the time, and I’m going to try to still update the blog at least a couple times a week. I’ve got a few posts saved up and ready to go which should make that easier. And I’m sticking to my low buy!

How was June of you? Do you have any beauty goals for July?

Comparison: Gold Eyeshadows

Golds swatches

DMM Aries, Shiro Perfect World, HW Tchaikovsky, Shiro Remake, Baroque Versailles / AFK Solar Flare, HW 1000 Likes, HW Amber, Shiro Mockingjay, Corvus Clio

Recently I wanted to find a dupe for Shiro’s Perfect World, my favorite gold eyeshadow, which is now sadly discontinued. I asked for suggestions on Indie Makeup and More, and realized I already had a couple of the suggested colors in my stash. I wound up pulling out all my metallic golds and decided to swatch them all to compare. (I skipped my peachy golds and yellow based golds, since that wasn’t what I was looking for.) I figured it might be useful to someone else who was also looking for a specific kind of gold.

All shadows are swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion on the top/left and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy on the bottom/right. The top picture was taken in indoor natural light and the bottom in direct sun, for maximum sparkle.

Gold swatches 1Dark Matter Makeup Aries, Shiro Perfect World, Shiro Remake, Baroque Versailles, AFK Solar Flare

Gold swatches 2Hello Waffle Amber, Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky, Hello Waffle 1000 Likes, Corvus Clio, Shiro Mockingjay

Aries 2Dark Matter Makeup Aries: “A light metallic gold with gold sparks. It also has an orange highlight that makes the color shift from a light to a more orange gold.” This is a pale sparkly light gold. Over primer it’s a little sheer. There’s a slight cool grey undertone to it in some lights. I don’t get the orange shift at all. If you’re looking for a sparkly gold, this is the one with the most sparkle out of the ten. (Previously reviewed here.)

Perfect WorldShiro Perfect World: “Pure, soft, slightly metallic gold.” This is my personal favorite gold. It’s description is spot on. It’s a neutral gold without noticeable undertones, and it’s very smooth and metallic. It doesn’t have any sparks. I’m super sad that Shiro discontinued it, since it’s great with my light skintone.

Tchaikovsky 2Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky: “Vibrant gold with red, silver, and blue sparks.” This is a neutral-toned gold, with a smooth metallic finish and noticeable sparkles. The sparkles mostly struck me as silver and blue. I didn’t really see red. Over Pixie Eposy it’s more densely metallic, but it looks nice over primer too. (Previously reviewed here.)

Remake 2Shiro Remake: “Shimmery gold-bronze with purple sparks.” This is a slightly warm, very metallic gold. When I reviewed it before I didn’t notice the sparks, but this time, with more experience looking at eyeshadow nuances, I definitely did, The strike me as bluey purple and are very pretty. (Previously reviewed here.)

VersaillesBaroque Versailles: “Antiqued molten gold.” This is a gold with a bit of a greenish tint to it, which makes it look antique. (The pictures pulled a little warm, but the green twinge is definitely noticeable in person. You can see the difference between it and the warmer golds in the shot of all them together at the beginning of the post.) It has a very smooth metallic finish, and a hint of silvery sparks. The antique greenish quality makes it distinctive in my collection.

Solar FlareAFK Solar Flare: “A bright and sunny gold with a metallic finish.” This is an orangey yellow gold, with less sparkle to it than most of the other golds I swatched. It’s like a mildly metallic goldenrod. Over primer it’s a little sheer, so it can come across as more yellow on the eyes if you don’t use a sticky base.

1000 Likes 2Hello Waffle 1000 Likes: “Dark gold shimmer.” This is a very warm orangey gold. It darkens as it gets more opaque and metallic on a sticky base. Over primer alone, it’s sheerer and lighter. The lumps you see in the swatch are 100% my fault for not waiting long enough for the Pixie Epoxy to dry. Last time I swatched it it didn’t have that problem at all, as you can see in this swatch. If you wait for your base to dry like a smart person, it applies very smoothly. (Previously reviewed here.)

AmberHello Waffle Amber: “Dark orange-gold shimmer.” This is a very warm gold, enough to make it look almost like a rose gold or a pale copper instead of a pure gold. It’s very smooth. Over primer it’s a little sheer, but on a sticky base it takes on a nice metallic sheen.

Mockingjay 2Shiro Mockingjay: “Metallic brown-copper-bronze.” So this one is more copper than gold (and as you can see, Shiro doesn’t even call it a gold), but in direct sun the shimmer takes on a bit of a yellow gold quality. In indoor light it looks like a shiny new penny. (Previously reviewed here.)

Clio 2Corvus Clio: “A slightly blackened molten gold with a metallic finish.” This is the darkest of my golds. It’s also the least shiny. Over primer it’s more of a tan brown with a hint of gold, but it’s almost matte. On a sticky base, there’s more of a sheen, but it’s still the least metallic of all the golds I swatched. Its darkness makes it excellent as a liner. (Previously reviewed here.)

So there you are! Ten of my golds swatched side by side. Hopefully this was helpful to someone else. If you’re interested in me adding in my more yellow or peachy golds, let me know and I can look into updating the post. If, like me, you were looking for a dupe for Perfect World, Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky or Dark Matter Makeup Aries are the closest that I have. Tchaikovsky looks closer to me over primer, but Aries is closest over Pixie Epoxy. Both of them are more sparkly than Perfect World, but it’s more noticeable with Aries. So if I had to choose one, I would go with Tchaikovsky.

How often do you wear gold eyeshadow? If you want some ideas on how I use it, all my posts tagged with gold are here.

Also, I finally got around to making a swatch gallery. It’s in the menu at the left and it has all my swatches sorted by brand. So hopefully that’s helpful to you!

The Make Up Tag

DSCN0435One of my internet friends, who blogs over at Scents and Sea Spray, invented this make up tag. I read her post, and decided to do it myself. Yay answering questions!

1. What is the first makeup item you remember owning?

I don’t know if it was the very first makeup I owned, but I was definitely into Covergirl Lipslicks when I was in middle school. I had a ton of different colors and I loved them. The first make up I remember using was an eyeshadow pyramid thing that my mom had. I’m pretty sure my grandma gave it to her, since my mom was not a make up wearer. It was one of those fancy old lady department store brands, like Estee Lauder or something like that. Anyways one day after watching Peter Pan I got it into my head to make myself look like Tinkerbell. My method of doing this was to take the sparkly white eyeshadow and use the sponge applicator to cover my entire body with it. Pretty ridiculous, especially since I’m already super pale and as a child was even more so. But it made me sparkle!

2. What’s the makeup item that makes the least sense to you?

Lip plumpers. So many otherwise perfectly nice glosses have horrible stingy plumping things in them.  And it never seems to make them look any different, it just stings. Why do that to your lips?

3. What category of products do you hate shopping for? Love shopping for?

I hate shopping for any sort of base make up, like foundation, concealer or powder. I’m always worried the foundation is going to be the wrong color, the concealer won’t cover my dark circle and the powder is going to be cakey. It’s never fun. But I love shopping for basically anything with color, like lipstick, blush or eyeshadow. Eyeshadow’s probably my very favorite, though. So many gorgeous colors to be used in so many different ways. Plus with indies I love that I can buy sample baggies and check out a new brand or pick up an entire collection for cheap.

4. What products are you currently lusting after?

Right now I’m lusting after a bunch of indie nail polishes, especially Literary Lacquer’s Octarine and Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. I’ve had them in my Etsy cart for well over a month now. I should probably just go ahead and buy them and call them a birthday present. I also really want Lucky 13 Lacquer’s Softening the Bad Things, which I’m for sure going to snap up as soon as she reopens. In terms of actual face makeup, I’ve been waiting for Pumpkin and Poppy to restock her Red Menace cream blush for months now. And I would really, really love to get a Hello Waffle Visage box subscription. Every month she makes such gorgeous things and I want them! I’m on the waiting list, but super, super far down.

5. What’s your most recent makeup purchase?

My most recent make up purchase was Urban Decay. They sent me a code for a free eyeliner for my birthday and I really like their eyeliner formula, so I picked up one in Desperation, a light grey. (I love matte grey eyeliner.) Along with it I got a couple of tubes of primer potion, since their site is the only place you can get it in the original squeezy tubes anymore, an Ammo palette as a present for my sister and a random bright blue sale nail polish to reach the free shipping threshold. My most recent indie make up order was from Preen, the day she opened. I got a sampler pack of all her lipstick colors and a passionfruit/coconut/lemongrass lip balm.

6. Do you have any brand loyalties? Why?

Absolutely. I get really attached to brands that I like. I love Hello Waffle, Shiro, Baroque and Kae Q and want to own pretty much everything they make. They’re formulas that just agree with me, and I like their colors and branding, plus the owners are all lovely people whose business practices I respect. I also adore Epically Epic for lip balm and Sixteen92 for lotion. In terms of mainstream stuff, I’m pretty loyal to MAC for foundation, Tarte for blush, Urban Decay for pencil eyeliner, Kat Von D for liquid liner, Buxom for mascara and Sephora Collection for brush cleaner. I don’t feel the need to experiment and try a lot of new mainstream stuff anymore now that I have a set of reliable favorites.

7. What is your biggest makeup packaging pet peeve?

Hmm. I hate when indie brands have eyeshadow samples that don’t come in sample baggies. I’m one of those weirdos who actively prefers baggies to jars. But jars are better than clamshells. Powder products should not come in clamshells ever. However, lip samples absolutely should come in clamshells. When I get a little slice of lipstick in a plastic bag it bugs me.

8. What colors do you buy most often?

Well, I buy pretty much everything, but there are some colors that make my heart flutter and I gravitate towards more. For lip and cheek stuff I pretty much can’t get enough peachy pink colors. For eyes, it’s sparkly champagnes. I want all of them! I’m also a sucker for turquoises for both eyeshadow and nail polish. And grey nail polish. Dark grey, light grey, sparkly grey, creme grey, I want them all.

May Wrap-Up

May CollageSo May was not my best month for blogging. I was on such a roll when my camera broke, and then figuring out my new camera was trickier than expected. (I still can’t get the white balance quite right, but slightly too yellow/orange is better than too green/grey, because at least I look like a person.) I only posted 12 looks as a result. I did have my 100th post, though, so that was exciting! 100 posts in about four month? Not bad at all, even with my hiatus.

May swatchesReviews: I only posted one review this month, of Dark Matter Makeup’s Zodiac collection. As usual, I did five looks with it.

May FavoritesLooks: This month I created 12 looks, seven face of the days and five for my Zodiac Collection review. I also posted my thoughts on having a signature look (light shadow, winged liner, matching cheeks and lips). My favorite looks this month were:

May emptiesEmpties: I finished a good number of things this month. Three full size products, four bigger samples and 9 foils.

  •  Mandarin Burst Moisturizing Shave Gel: I really liked the scent of this. Citrusy and fruity but not too strong. The formula is the same as always and I like it. I’ve already started another can of the same scent.
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Puree Body Lotion: This lotion has a strange texture, more like a gel than a cream. It makes it a good body lotion for when it’s hot out because it feels very light on the skin. I like The Body Shop’s Satsuma scent a lot and it translated well to the lotion. It’s maybe a touch less orange-jello scented than the body wash.
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Soap: Can you tell I like Satsuma? I used this as a bathroom hand soap and got almost three moths out of it. It smells like orange jello and doesn’t dry out my hands but isn’t actively moisturizing either.
  • Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Wash: This was okay. I was disappointed in the scent because it was mostly coconut, rather than guava. The formula was fine but nothing special. I think the bottle’s really cute though and will probably hang on to it to fill with other stuff as part of my travel kit.
  • Bliss Lemon Sage Body Scrub: This body scrubs works really well. My skin stayed soft and smooth for a week after I used it, so it’s definitely effective. The scent’s not my favorite though. I don’t really get any lemon from it, so it’s just herbal. If it came in another scent I would definitely consider buying it, but it doesn’t.
  • Lush Big Shampoo: Oh my god, I love the way this smells! The scent last a really long time in my hair too. It’s fruity and tropical and very feminine without really smelling like any specific fruit. The shampoo itself it full of large grains of salt, which lather up well. I can’t tell if it makes my hair bigger like it’s supposed to, though, cuz my hair pretty much lives in a bun. (As you may have noticed, since it’s up in every single picture on this blog.) I don’t usually buy expensive shampoo, but I love this scent enough that I might buy a tub for special occasions.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: I got this as my birthday gift from Sephora almost exactly two years ago. At the time I was really excited to try it, but it turns out it’s not my favorite lip balm. It’s very thick, but it doesn’t do much for my lips. It feels almost goopy if I wear it during the day but it doesn’t really sink into my lips if I wear it overnight. My lips are always slightly dry the next morning. The lemon scent is nice and soft, but that’s about all I can say for it. The tube is metal and very weighty, but the lip balm is too soft to not be supported on the sides and got all wonky. Definitely not something I would ever buy, and if I got another free one I would probably gift it to someone else.
  • Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask: This mask is too harsh for my face. It feels like it sucked all the moisture out of my face and left my skin pink and blotchy and I needed to put heavy duty moisturizer on immediate afterwards. I tried it on just my T-zone and it was better, but still turned my skin red. I would not use it again.
  • Bare Minerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum: This serum was nice. I liked combining it with a light night cream before bed. I can’t tell if it did anything special, though.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: I used two packets of this this month. I like it. It’s a basic, straight forward face cream. Thicker than my usual lotion, but in a way that didn’t feel like it was smothering my skin. The scent was weirdly medical, though, kind of like band-aids. I think that it’s unscented and that’s just the way the ingredients smell though. I would definitely use it again, even with the smell.
  • L’Occitane Divine Cream: This is so strongly scented, it’s like perfume for your face. I literally needed to go double check it was actually supposed to go on your face the scent was so strong. It is. It also turns out it’s 108 dollars a jar. I would never, ever buy this. It doesn’t even feel that nice on my skin.
  • Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Replenishing Comfort Eye Cream: This is also stupidly expensive (90 dollars for half an ounce), but unlike the Divine Cream, it actually seems worth it to me. If I was made of money (or really concerned about aging, which I’m not), I would buy it. I sample a lot of eye creams and they all blend together usually, but this one was really, really nice. I only needed the tinsiest bit, too, so if you did get the 90 dollar jar I bet it would last you a really long time.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin: This was my first sample of a primer potion that I didn’t get through before it dried up. I just don’t get the point of a shimmery primer. If I want shimmery eyelids, I’ll wear a shimmery eyeshadow. This did really make matte eyeshadows shimmery when I tried them on top of it, but it did sometimes make shimmery eyeshadows too shimmery. I have no need for this, and I’ll give my other sample of it to my sister.
  • Tokyo Milk Dark Everything & Nothing Handcreme: This is too strongly scented for a hand cream. The texture’s nice, but it’s overwhelming perfumey. I was hoping from the notes (sweet orange, pressed petals, desert moss and tea leaves) that it would be a little citrussy, but it just came across as floral. I wanted to like it because I think Tokyo Milk Dark’s aesthetic is cool, but I didn’t.

Orders: This was the month I decided I was interested in trying out indie polish, so I bought from four indie polish brands, and one new cosmetics brand. I also made some planned purchases with some of my favorite brands during sales they were having and signed up for two one-time mystery boxes, which I’m really excited to see what’s in.

Goals: My goal for June is simple. It’s just to get back to blogging regularly. I want to publish at least two reviews and do FOTD posts most days.

Thoughts on Having a Signature Look (my 100th post!)

Signature LookThe last couple weeks I haven’t blogged much. I did however wear make up. I had a three day conference that I attended. It was interesting having a work(ish) event that I actually could wear make up to, and it caused me to think some about “my look.” For the last few years make up has almost exclusively been something I do as a hobby. I’ve taught myself how to apply it and what kind of looks I like and I’ve stretched my comfort zone a ton. I usually wear nothing to work, come home and put my make up on then. On my blog, I post all sorts of colorful and out-there looks, but where I live I don’t wear them out much, unless it’s to dinner out with my husband. But in a couple months I’ll be back in America, where wearing make up is a normal thing that people do in public. It got me thinking about what I want to do with my make up on a more day to day basis. Which is winged liner. And light shadow. And rosy lips and cheeks. (Incidentally, this is pretty much exactly my wedding make up, and being able to do my wedding make up myself was the reason I got into make up in the first place.)

Anyways, this is my basic go to quick and easy formula. A sparkly light-colored shadow, like Shiro’s Doge or Aromaleigh’s #lovenotfear, all over my lids. If I’m feeling like I want more definition, I’ll put a pink or a light brown/tan in the crease. Then winged liner and mascara, basic face stuff and coordinating lips and cheeks. Going through my blog archives all the looks I had with this basic formula used a warm coral-pink lip/cheek color but the other day I did it with magenta instead and it was lovely. (So lovely, in fact, that I want to recreate it for the blog.) I like the idea of having a go to, that people think looks like me and that simplifies my routine in the morning. Plus, I got so many compliments on my make up at the conference. It felt good! I did the basic one day, the same thing just with teal liner the next, and a basic grey pencil liner look the last day. I like that I can use the same things, just with a bit of variation by changing up the lip/cheek colors or swapping in a colored liner. Plus, I really do feel pretty and like me when I do my make up this way.

This is kind of rambly and long, but those are my thoughts. I’ll probably make a space on my make up table for my go to don’t need to think about it look products. I’m really interested to see how much I wind up doing my make up like this once I’m back in the USA. I added a signature look tag, if you’re interested in seeing them all in one place. Also, it’s my 100th post! Yay!

April Wrap-Up

April Collage

Another month of blogging complete! I created 28 looks and reviewed two collections in April. I also did my first make up tutorial, which I’m really proud of! Between the IMAM sample challenge and Indie Truth or Dare, I did a bunch of looks chosen for me by other people, which was a lot of fun. Sometimes working within constraints really helps spark creativity. Also, I reached 10,000 views this month, which seems like a crazy high number, so thank you guys for reading this. It makes me really happy to know that my blog is being read and (hopefully) helping people out!

April SwatchesReviews: I reviewed two collections this month, Hello Waffle’s Alice in Wonderland themed spring collection, Painted Flowers and Corvus Cosmetics’ Mouseia Collection, based on the Greek muses. I did five looks for each review.

April FavoritesLooks: I posted 28 different looks this month, Five Painted Flowers looks, five Mouseia looks, six challenge looks (4 from the sample challenge and two dares) and twelve regular old face of the days. My favorite looks were:

April EmptiesEmpties: I had fewer empties this month than last, but that’s okay. I’ve got a number of things on their last legs that will definitely be finished next month. This month I used up three full sizes, one deluxe samples and six packets.

  • Lush Brightside Bubble Bar: I don’t have a bathtub, so I used this on vacation. (I actually got it on vacation too, which is why the label is in Croatian.) I loved it. It was nice and citrussy and turned the water a pretty shade of orange, plus it was enough for two baths! I was really glad to finally have a bathtub to use my second half in. Yay for luxurious baths.
  • The Body Shop Mango Whip Body Lotion: I find it weird that the Body Shop has different formulas for different lotion scents. This one is a pretty traditional creamy lotion. It sunk in well and had a nice not too strong mango scent, but it was nothing special. I liked it, but I wouldn’t buy it again.
  • The Body Shop Spiced Vanilla Body Scrub: I usually go for fruity scents instead of gourmand ones, but I got this from a friend and actually enjoyed it. It was a creamy formula and the scent was a very warm vanilla, without any noticeable spiciness. It also had bigger scrubby particles than the usual gel-based Body Shop scrubs. Again, it was fine but I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: This is my new HG liquid liner. I love it. I didn’t think anything could sway me away from my Stila liquid liner, but this did. It’s easy to apply smoothly, quite black and lasts well, although it is easier to remove than the Stila. Plus it’s cruelty-free! Next time I need a new liquid liner, I’ll buy this instead. Or, since Sephora loves giving out minis of it, I might just collect those. (I already have another mini in my stash.)
  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink: Initially I liked this fine, but then I didn’t. The color is quite natural, but the oiliness of the formula bothered me. Plus it made my finger feel gross after applying it. I wouldn’t use it again and will give my other sample to my sister.
  • Algenist Algae Brightening Mask: I enjoyed using this mask. It made my skin feel nice afterwards. I like getting mask samples because I can feel fancy using them for an afternoon, even though I would never spend so much to buy the fullsize.
  • Origins GinZing Eye Cream: This eye cream was pearly and pink, which made it seem like a make up/skincare hybrid. I usually use eye cream at night, so it was weird to have a morning-only eye cream. I can’t tell if it did much, so I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Soap and Glory Rejuvenating Super Serum: This serum was thicker and more lotiony than other serums I’ve tried. It had a pleasant but generic light citrus smell. I have no idea what the “6 in 1” things it’s supposed to do are, but I can’t imagine it could really replace 6 different products. It was fine but not special.
  • Goldfaden MD Wake Up Call Overnight Regenerative Facial Treatment: It might be coincidence rather than causation, but I broke out the morning after I used this for the first time. It’s very thick and my skin doesn’t like it. It also has a generic citrus scent. I’m giving my other sample to my mom.
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser: This is a cleanser. Sometimes I wonder why I even try other cleansers, since I’m so attached to my Purity. I guess it made my face cleaner? It didn’t quite take off all the coconut oil I use as eye make up remover, though. I don’t see any reason to use up my other sample, so I’ll give it away.

April HaulOrders: So I’m not great at low-buying. I sort of medium-bought instead. I bought from three new-to-me brands and some brands I know I like. I did a pretty good job sticking to smaller orders and not going crazy on the destashes, though, so it’s progress. I think for next month I’m going to think more specifically and see if I can plan out my purchases for the month in advance. Also, I got a super lovely swap package from the IIoM exchange, and my mom’s other package of compiled orders dating back to November made it to me here! With lip colors! I’m super excited to have more indie lip products to play with.

Goals: I feel like I’m in a pretty good place with my make up these days. I have a vague interest in learning how to do a decent cut crease, but I’m not sure I care enough to commit myself to it. If I’m inspired, great. If not, I’ll get to it eventually. I would like to get back to doing themed looks though. I did so many sample challenge looks I sort of let those fall by the wayside in April and I miss them. Also, I want to figure out how to best swatch lip products, and do some lip color reviews.

How was your April? Any plans for May?

March Wrap-Up

March CollageMonth number three on my blog! March went really well for me. I posted 25 new looks, reviewed two collections, did a guest post for Phyrra.net and posted two tutorials, one on applying foundation and one on salvaging broken lip balms. I definitely embraced bolder lips and also learned a new technique that’s really improved my halo eyes. I did a mix of crazy out-there looks and more simple wearable ones. It was a good month.

March SwatchesReviews: I reviewed two collections this month, Notoriously Morbid’s all-matte Buffy-themed Slay Me collection, which I did five looks for, and My Pretty Zombie’s neutral WTF trio, which got three looks.

March FavoritesLooks: I created 25 new looks in March. Five Slay Me looks, three WTF looks, five looks for IMAM challenges, one for my guest post on Phyrra.net, two animal-themed looks and nine regular old face of the days. My favorites were:

March EmptiesEmpties: I finished up a ton of samples this month, along with some bigger products. I started a sample box, where I pick out a handful of samples and put them in a box in the center of my make up area, with the goal of using them by the end of the month. Seeing the samples every time I did my make up helped me not forget about them! I’m definitely doing this again next month.

  • Philosophy Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser: This is my all time favorite cleanser. I started using it in college and it’s been my go to ever since. It’s gentle and milky and it doesn’t dry out my skin, even if I use it multiple times in the same day.
  • Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser: This didn’t do much for me. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to try cleanser samples. But I’ve heard you can use it as a mask too, so if I ever get another sample of it, I’d try that.
  • Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin: I finished another half-empty bottle of this this month. It’s my favorite moisturizer and I have yet another bottle already open.
  • Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream: This is definitely a cream, not a lotion, which surprised me because I guess I hadn’t read the label closely. It moisturized well, but since it was so thick I only used it at night. It had a very strong floral scent, which was pleasant enough, but I prefer unscented face lotions. I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer: This was very thin and runny. It had a floral scent. It was fine, but I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Sephora Total Age Defy Cream: I liked this much more than I thought I would. It was definitely my favorite lotion sample this month. I felt like my skin looked nice after I used it, and the consistency was similar to my go to Olay lotion. I’d consider buying it, but it’s way more expensive than Olay so I probably won’t.
  • Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream: I like this. I don’t know much about eye creams, but it seems to work, I think. Unlike the face cream, it’s not scented. I’d consider buying it once my stash of eye cream samples runs out.
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate: This had an herbal scent that made me feel like I was at a fancy spa. The grits were very fine and it didn’t scratch too much when I rubbed it on my face. I liked it.
  • REN Gycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask: This smells exactly like melted orange natural gummies from the health food store! Which I actually like. It feels kind of gross when it’s on. Like you’re covered in a layer of goo (which you are, because it’s the consistency of goo, with little lumpy bits). The first time I tried it I followed the directions on the bottle and it didn’t do much, so I looked up what it was supposed to do online and found an extra “rub it around with your fingers” step before rinsing it off, which felt nice. I think it did good things for my skin? I definitely wouldn’t buy it, though.
  • Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: I really liked this mascara. It was my favorite for awhile, because I really like the way it makes my lashes look, nice and separated. But the brush was pretty spiky and I occasionally poked myself with it, plus it’s not cruelty-free, so I’ll use up the other samples I have but if I need a new mascara, I like Buxom Lash better.
  • Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner: I pretty much flat out hated this. Hard to apply, flaky and I didn’t like the look.
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner: This eyeliner lasted me well over a year. It gives a nice dark black line and is easy to apply, plus it’s pretty waterproof. I like this and have a back up which I’ll open once my Kat Von D runs out.
  • Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion: Yet another Urban Decay primer sample. I can’t quite tell what it being “anti-aging” actually means. It was slipperier than the original formula. I like the original one better.
  • Jouer Lip Gloss in Peony: This is not so much an empty as a product I tried to use and am getting rid of. It smells like green plants and I do not like it. Also, the corners on the packaging poke my fingers and the color is sheer but not my favorite. It pulls off whatever’s underneath if you try to layer it over lipstick. If you wear it on it’s own, it’s not too sticky and feels nice on the lips, but that’s pretty much the only good thing I can say about it. Not a fan.
  • The Body Shop Mango Hand Cream: This wasn’t as thick as I like a hand cream to be, but it did soak in quickly. The mango scent had a slightly floral quality to my nose.
  • The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter: I love this stuff. The Body Shop’s grapefruit scent is fantastic and long lasting, and I really like their body butter formula. I use it on my hands and feet before bed. I would definitely buy this scent again.
  • Lush Dream Cream: I’m not a fan of Lush’s lotions, and this one was no exception. It smelled super herbal to me (when I looked up the description it said lavender, which I dislike and chamomile) and left a bit of a film on my skin.

Haul!Orders: My mom’s package of orders from November through February made it here, so I have lots of new things to play with, including indie lip balms, Fyrinnae lip lustres and a ton of eyeshadow samples. I’ve been having so much fun with my new things! I ordered from two new brands in March and four brands I’d bought from before, as well as some stuff from a few destashes. I decided towards the beginning of the month to officially start a low-buy, which has been going well. Since my low-buy started I’ve only placed three orders: two from destashes and a small one from Haus of Gloi’s spring collection. Next month I have a swap package coming from an exchange I’m participating in, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m also planning on sticking with my low-buy in April.

Goals: I feel like I made a halo eye breakthrough this month and having been wearing even bolder lip colors, so I did well with my March goals. (I even added a bold lip tag to my blog!) Next month I’ve got my first tutorial for a make up look, which I’m excited to share with you! I’m also planning on continuing my series of looks inspired by predatory animals. I’ve also got some more IMAM challenge looks and some dares from Indie Truth or Dare to put together, which should be fun.

How was March for you? What are your goals for April?