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?

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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.

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?

February Wrap-Up

February CollageFebruary was my first full month of blogging, and I did a lot! If I’m counting correctly, I posted 32 different looks this month. (Yeah, February only has 28 days. Sometimes I do my make up more than once a day.) I also did my first guest post over on Toxid-Lotus, which I’m really proud of. Red eyeshadow for everyone! I also discovered a new technique which made me totally fall in love with smoky eyes and posted my first tutorial, on how I wash my brushes.

Feb Swatches labelledReviews: This month I reviewed two collections, Darling Girl’s My Three Witches and Hello Waffle’s 1000 Likes, and created five looks for each of them. I also did my first single-color review, for Notoriously Morbid’s Jupiter Rain with three looks.

february favoritesLooks: I managed to create 32 different looks in 28 days, which I admit is kind of crazy.  Five were from Hello Waffle’s 1000 Likes Collection and five more were from Darling Girl’s My Three Witches Collection. Three were from my Jupiter Rain post and three using red eyeshadow were for my guest post on Toxid-Lotus. Three were from my little set of Harry Potter house looks. The last 13 were regular old face of the days. My favorites this month were:

  • Gradient liner! I did this twice, once with golden purples (Hello Waffle Ethereal Voice, Silk and Cravings) and once with silver and navy (Hello Waffle IMAM and Heavy Breathing Cat) and loved it both times.
  • My Hufflepuff look with Darling Girl Dandelion and Shiro Cornucopia and Notoriously Morbid Bloody Awful Poet. This was the surprise win from my little Harry Potter sequence.  I just loved how bright and cheery it was.
  • My Valentine’s Day make up with Shiro’s Doge and Wildflowers. It reminded me of my wedding and was pretty and classic. Plus I had a really great Valentine’s day this year, so it gets points for that too.
  • Smoky Eyes! I did a bunch of them this month but the plum one with Hello Waffle’s One of Us! and 23 was the one that started it all. The pixie epoxy technique has totally transformed the way I approach smoky eyes.
  • My patriotic red, white and blue look with Shiro Unforgettable, Glowstick of Destiny and Cake. Why did I feel the need to do a Fourth of July look in February? I don’t know, but I’m glad I did, cuz I loved it.

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Empties: This month I used up four more of my packet samples this month. Slow and steady, but still progress.

  • Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Gel: Meh. It’s shaving cream. I like Skintimate in general and picked this up because the drugstore was out of the fruity scents I like best. The scent wasn’t problematic, but I’m going back to the fruity ones. (Also, the lids of these make fantastic holders for odds and ends like tweezers and q-tips.)
  • Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion for Sensitive Skin: I love this stuff. It has been my go-to face lotion for years and I will probably continue to use it for forever.
  • The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub: I love this so much! The smell is pure grapefruit and nothing else and strong enough that I can still smell it post shower. It’s not too harsh and leaves my skin feeling really soft. I would definitely get a full size of this.
  • Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer: I’m not actually done with this entirely yet, but I twisted it up too far and it wouldn’t go back down, so I melted it into a clamshell and have been using it with a lip brush. (Which, by the way, is super easy to do if you have broken lip products too. Put the broken bit on a spoon, hold the spoon over a candle, pour the melted product into a clean container and let it set. Ta da!) I like it, especially before bed. It’s very slick and totally unscented. I like it, but I won’t buy it again, cuz it’s nothing special.
  • Mint Chapstick: I finished another one. My thoughts are the same. I like it but I want something better so I’m using the ones I have up.
  • BareMinerals Bare Skin Foundation in Bare Linen 03: I hadn’t realized my sample of this was empty until I tried to use it this month. It’s a shame because I really like it! The color’s a good match for me and it feels super light on my face and gives me very natural light coverage. I was worried about applying it without their weird special brush, but it works just fine with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I am definitely considering picking up a full bottle of this.
  • SPAresource Sweet Tangerine Hand Cream: This is a Canadian brand that I got in a swap a while back. It’s thick and moisturizes my hands really well. At first I liked the scent, but towards the end of its life it started to smell plasticky. This is probably because I rationed it for too long. If it was easily available, I’d get more, but when I checked their website, it didn’t look international-order friendly, so I’m not gonna track it down.
  • La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes: Does every hotel in America give these out now? I feel like I got a billion last time I visited. They’re okay. I’m not a huge fan of make up remover wipes, but sometimes they’re handy. The ink on the packaging of these runs like crazy and the fabric can be a little scratchy if you’re not gentle. I wouldn’t buy them, but I’ll continue to use the ones I get from hotels.
  • Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream: Nope. I don’t like this at all. In fact I have three sample packets of it (why, Sephora, why?) and I’m not even going to use my last one I dislike it so much. It’s kind of sticky and I don’t like the smell. Plus my dark circles were definitely worse when I was using it. That might just have been bad timing, since it was the start of the term for me, but still. Not using it again.
  • Jurlique Purely Bright Radiance Serum: I don’t use a serum, but I have a bunch of serum samples so I thought I’d try one. I can’t tell if it did anything but it felt nice on my skin. It had a strong floral lotion smell. I wouldn’t buy this.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original: I like this better than the Eden primer potion I tried last month. It’s got a smooth texture and seems to work. I don’t have huge problems with creasing or anything like that, so primers all seem pretty interchangeable to me.
  • Greenwitch Bay Trading Co. Juicy Peach Shea Butter Soap: I love this! It feels nice on my hands and the peach scent was very fresh. It almost had a hint of blossoms to it. One of the little bars of these lasts me about a month as bathroom hand soap, and I will definitely get more.

Orders: Pretty much everything. I have a lot coming in the mail. :) I gave in to indie perfumes and ordered a bunch of samples from a bunch of shops, so eventually some perfume reviews might pop up on this blog. I picked up some new eyeshadows and lip products as well. I’m most excited to finally try out Femme Fatale’s eyeshadows and Smelly Yeti’s Buffy perfumes.

Goals: My goals for February were to continue wearing a bold lip color once a week and to branch out from winged liner by trying some halo eyes. I definitely succeeded on the lip front (metallic grey!) and I branched out from winged liner, but I did it with smoky eyes, not halos. This month I think I’ll try again with the halo eyes. I’ll post another couple collection reviews and choose another shadow to do a spotlight focus on. I’ve also got another basic tutorial all lined up for you, and a third in the works. I’m also thinking of ideas for another pop-culture themed collection of looks.

How was your February? Any beauty goals for March?

January Wrap-Up

PicMonkey Collage 2January was a really big month for me, beauty-wise. Most importantly, I started this blog! Reviewing collections and creating looks from them has given a structure to the way I do my make up. Instead of a what color do I wear today free-for-all, if I’m ever stumped for a day’s look, I can just choose from the collection I’m working on. Limiting my choices has stretched my creativity and is actually a ton of fun! I keep the colors of the current collection in mind and am coming up with new ways to combine them all the time. I also joined /r/indiemakeupandmore on reddit, which pulled me even farther down the indie rabbit hole, and gave me a community of people to talk to about my indies. (Which is good, cuz while he’s a great listener, my husband doesn’t have much to say on the topic.) It’s also led to my indie products featuring much more heavily in my rotation. I don’t think there’s been a day since I joined that there hasn’t been indie something or other on my face. So, now let’s take a look at the month as a whole.

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Reviews: In January, I put up two reviews, for Shiro’s Tributes Collection and Hello Waffle’s Musicians Collection, and created 5 different looks for each of them.

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Looks: I put 15 different looks up on the blog this month. Five were FOTDs, 5 were from the Tributes Collection and 5 were from the Musicians collection. I got more comfortable with red eyeshadow, which I’m starting to love. I even tried a couple of smoky eyes and wore bold lipstick once a week, which had been a goal of mine. My favorite looks are shown above. Because I’m me, all but one has winged liner. I love me some winged liner. From left to right:

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Empties: These are the products I finished in January. I’ve started making a conscious effort to try to use up my samples, and I got through four of them this month.

  • MAC Face & Body Foundation in N1: This is the first foundation I’ve had that’s actually the proper color for me, and I love it for that. It’s a very thin formula, which makes for light, dewy coverage, which I like, although when it’s hot it definitely needs to be set with powder. At first I applied it with my fingers like the girl at the MAC counter showed me, but I think I prefer using a buffing brush. It makes it easier to get a thinner coat. If I apply too much it can get a little itchy, but powder helps and most of the time I don’t have a problem with it. I already have a new giant-size bottle of this. Also, if you have MAC empties too, it’s worth hanging on to them, cuz there’s a program called Back to MAC where you can exchange 6 empty containers for a free lipstick.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden: This was the sample that wouldn’t end! I got over a dozen looks out of it and used it for both my swatch posts. I thought the little packet would dry up, but it didn’t. As a primer, I like it ok. It’s meant to be a “tawny matte” according to Sephora. It had a strong yellowish tone to it, and was pretty opaque. It worked fine to bring out the colors of the shadows and I don’t usually have problems with creasing, but I had to be careful around the edges, because if any of it didn’t get covered with eyeshadow, it was a noticeably different color than my skin. I don’t regret trying it, but I like sheerer primers better.
  • Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer: I wound up with three little sample packets of this and have been using them up. It’s slightly thicker than my usual Olay lotion, but it moisturizes well. It has a kind of generic lotiony scent, which I don’t love, since I’m used to unscented lotion on my face. I won’t buy it, but I’d choose it as a sample from Sephora again, especially cuz I can get four uses out of each packet.
  • Greenwich Bay Trading Co. Fresh Milk Shea Butter Soap: I randomly picked this up at a specialty soap shop last time I was in America, but I really, really liked it. The milk scent was soft and creamy and fresh, and it was the perfect consistency for hand soap. It left my hands feeling nice. Plus the little bars were 3 for 4.25, which is a great price. I’d definitely buy this again and am looking forward to using the other scents I picked up.
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Shower Gel: I love this stuff. It smells exactly like orange jello. I’m already on to my next bottle of it and have a back up for after that runs out as well.
  • Lush Dirty Springwash: I really liked the sample of this I got. It’s spearminty and refreshing, which I love in a body wash. The mint feels great on my skin when it’s hot. The consistency is a little thin, so you need to make sure to add lots of water to your poof to get it to bubble up, but then it cleans well. I’d consider buying this.
  • Mint Chapstick: I have used countless tubes of this. It’s been my go-to lip balm for years, but lately I’ve been wishing it was more moisturizing and more strongly scented. I’ll use the rest of the tubes I have, but I’ve got a lot of indie balms coming to me to see if I can find something better.
  • The Body Shop Glazed Apple Body Butter: I got a sample of this and used it on my hands and feet. I like the Body Shop’s body butters as a before-bed lotion, but I didn’t care for this scent, even though I’m usually a fan of apple. This was too sweet and artificial (but not in a fun tart apple candy way) and also weirdly floral. Not a fan. If you like the scent, it does stick around a long time, though.

Orders: I ordered from eight different shops during January. Yay for spending Christmas money! I’ve got new eyeshadow brands, a ton of indie lip balms, a couple lipsticks, some bath stuff and my first indie perfumes coming. I’m most excited about my Baroque Eyeshadows, Haus of Gloi Pink Champagne-scented things and Ten Three Labs Salve Sticks, but something else could turn out to be my surprise favorite. You’ll just need to wait and see.

Next Month: In February I’ll continue to post a mix of random FOTDs and looks centered around a theme. However, in addition to looks using only eyeshadows from a single collection, I’ll also be posting looks that show different ways of using the same eyeshadow. I’ve also got a couple of tutorials focused on the type of super basic stuff that baffled me when I first started taking make up seriously. I’m really excited for it. In my quest to expand the kinds of make up I’m comfortable with (and so my blog’s not just a never ending stream of winged eyeliner and sheer lipstick), I want to do a few halo eyes and wear a bright lip color once a week. And, inspired by my accidental Gryffindor look, I’ll post looks for the other three Harry Potter Houses as well.

How’d January go for you? Do you have any beauty goals for February?