Inventory: Small eyeshadow palettes

Posted on March 17, 2017 under Inventory

Today I’m inventorying my smaller palettes for you. As a general rule, I tend to reach for large palettes more often because I remember I have them and because they usually give me everything I need all in one place. I tend to neglect my singles and even my smaller palettes. I could probably pare down this collection, but that would be a post for another day. Also, I think I could have included some of the palettes from this post in the last one, but I divided them up based on gut feeling and we’re all just going to have to deal with the consequences.

Wet N Wild The Silent Treatment Trio

Pretty much since the moment I bought this trio back in the summer of 2013, I’ve been telling myself that one day I will get an empty palette and depot the eyelid shade of this trio so I can toss the other two. I have not touched either the crease or browbone colour in at least three years, but the taupe-y purple shimmer of the eyelid shade is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever. It’s divine. I keep this crappily-packaged trio around solely for that colour. It’s one of my most-used eyeshadows of all time.

Sleek I-Divine Mattes V2

You know those palettes that you keep around because they have a lot of really interesting colours that you might want to use one day even though you never actually do want to use them? Yeah. I actually did love a few of the shades in this palette many eons ago, but I haven’t touched it in years. Yet I cannot yet part with it! I wouldn’t say these eyeshadows are amazing, but they’re totally workable and the price is right. I’m going to see if I can get some use out of it now that I’ve remembered that I have it.

Unnamed Lancôme Quad, Lancôme Blush Sweetness, Lancôme Lavender Grace

These are all GWP sizes that I’ve picked up from work over the years; if you want to shell out $55 you’ll get larger pans and slightly more substantial packaging. The first quad, which has no name, contains the colours (clockwise from top left) Kitten Heel, Honeymoon, Platform, and Madison Ave. I love the shade Kitten Heel, which is the most beautiful shimmery peach. The other colours are all generic but pair well with Kitten Heel, so this works perfectly as a self-contained, slim, easy-to-carry quad.

I love the soft, romantic hues of the Blush Sweetness palette. Not everybody likes soft pinks on the eyes, but I think this palette gives a really gorgeous effect, and the shadows are very soft and smooth.

I love having Lavender Grace on hand for days when I really just want to wear purple eyeshadow. I don’t have pure purples anywhere else in my collection, but I do like wearing them occasionally, so I hang onto this. It’s not one of my most-used palettes, but it fills a gap in my collection to be sure.

The Body Shop Smoky Plum Quad

I’m pretty sure this was a limited edition holiday product several years back. I’m a sucker for neutral, taupe-based purples and plums, so I really dig this palette. The shadows are a bit on the sheer side, but they’re fine to work with and all the colours go together well. You know how sometimes you get a quad where you just can’t work one of the shades into the look easily? This palette is the opposite of that.

Urban Decay Naked Basics

Clearly, I use this palette all the time. I have a go-to look that I could do in my sleep, or more accurately, when I’m half-awake and running late. It’s perfect for travel because it’s so tiny and the rubberized packaging makes it resistant to shattering, plus it closes very securely. The shade Naked 2 is the best crease colour I’ve found for my skintone and I really wish UD sold it separately. I didn’t think I’d use this palette much until I got it, and now I can’t imagine life without it. I use it several times a week. It’s very boring but very functional.

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Violines

Okay, so, we all know that $71 CAD for 4 eyeshadows is absolutely ridiculous, regardless of how soft they are. This is a fact which I feel that I must establish right off the bat. If you know me at all you’ll know that I purchased this palette with Optimum points, which is always what I do when I feel like indulging in something I would never in a million years use real money on. Though the price tag is absurd, I really do love this palette. These taupe-y purple shades are some of my favourite to wear (see above), and I really appreciate that all these shades are completely matte. Obviously, there’s not a lot of versatility in the looks you can get from this palette, but it’s really great if you like these types of colours.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone

Again, I should probably depot the colours I actually use from this palette and toss the rest. Wet N Wild shadows are by and large actually great quality, but most of the shades in this palette are similar to things I already own elsewhere in my collection. However, the blue-brown duochrome and the olive green shade alone justify the five bucks I paid for it. I’ve swatched a few of the other shades, but I don’t know that I’ve actually put them on my eyes. I don’t think this palette works on its own either as all the shades are shimmery (as is par for the course with WnW palettes). One day I promise I will buy a small palette and depot those two shades and the taupe from the Silent Treatment palette and toss the rest!

Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in The Lolita

My friend Kristin got me this palette for Christmas because she wanted to get me something that I’d never get myself. And she is very right that I would never spend $71 actual dollars on an eyeshadow palette with seven shades, because that is absurd. (But I’d spend $71 fake Optimum point dollars on an eyeshadow palette with four shades, obviously…) This is sort of like the Naked Basics palette elevated: you get all your very basic shades and a few fun shimmery ones, though they’re all still neutral. I really like the looks I’ve managed to make with this palette, but that one ultra-shimmer shade in the middle SUCKS, guys. It’s fallout city with no actual colour payoff to make the fallout worth it. And, I don’t know, I just feel like if you’re going to charge $71 for seven eyeshadows you should make them all useable, at least. It’s too bad, because the texture of the other shadows is lovely, and there’s a super pretty iridescent pink colour that looks beautiful in the center of the eyelid. It’s just, you know, how can I be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this palette when that one shade is so goddamn bad?

Between these guys and my large palettes, you guys are probably like, “THAT IS ENOUGH EYESHADOW CLEM.” But no! I still have some singles, which will come at you someday. I don’t know when yet, because I have a backlog of posts I need to finish up and publish before I get to another inventory post.

Some skincare bits and bobs

Posted on March 09, 2017 under Lists

I’ve been doing a relatively good job at curtailing my makeup collecting habits, but I think I might have transferred these tendencies onto skincare. To be fair, I get a lot of skincare products for free through work, but I also purchase a lot of them myself. Skincare never used to be my bag; when I first got into makeup, all I did was use a St. Ives body lotion on my face (I know) and take off my makeup with a Garnier oil cleanser. Now, though, I have a multi-step skincare routine and a stable of products which I rotate through. I thought I’d share some of my favourites today, though this post is by no means an exhaustive look at what I own in the way of skincare.

For the record, my skin is normal to dry and currently at its driest. My biggest skin concerns besides hydration are a general dullness as well as stubborn post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

I absolutely adore washing my face at the end of the day. It just feels so satisfying. I never go to bed with makeup on, no matter the circumstances. I genuinely think I’ve at least removed my makeup if not thoroughly washed my face every single day in the past year.

I’ve been on the micellar solution train for three years now and I’ve cycled through a lot of them. I tend to just use whatever I get through work. I only started using everyone’s holy grail micellar water, Bioderma Sensibio H20, midway through last year. I originally had a 250mL bottle that I got from work, and then I purchased the big boy when I ran out of that. Bioderma is tied with the La Roche-Posay micellar solution for my favourite. I find both gentle and effective. A lot of other micellars strip my skin noticeably, but these two don’t. Bioderma gives me better value ounce per ounce, so I’ll probably stick to it. I like using a micellar solution to remove my makeup quickly and as a final step after a thorough cleansing to remove any leftover residue. I don’t use it as an eye makeup remover, though; I prefer a bi-phase formula since I wear waterproof eyeliner and sometimes mascara.

As I mentioned, even before I had anything resembling a skincare routine I used an oil cleanser. I’m still on board with that! I find oils break down my makeup super well and leave my skin feeling nourished. This is my third bottle of The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleanser, so clearly I love it.

An oil is a bit heavy for a spot of casual face washing, so in the mornings I use Marcelle Ultra Gentle Gel Cleanser. I mentioned this product in my 2016 favourites and I’m mentioning it here again because it’s that good. It’s an extremely gentle, non-stripping, but thorough cleanser which leaves my skin feeling 100% clean and smooth. It also removes makeup really well, though I do usually prefer an oil cleanser for that. Plus, it costs $12.95 at the drugstore. I feel like I should own stock in Marcelle based on how many bottles of this cleanser I’ve sold and how many of my customers keep coming back for it. It’s the best!

I’ve been [beauty blogger voice] uhb-sessed with acids for some time now. AHAs do wonders for my dry, hyperpigmentation-prone skin! I started with the NeoStrata Purifying Solution in the summer, which boasts 8% glycolic acid. There was a stretch of several months where I used it literally every single day, without fail. In the fall, I added The Ordinary 10% Lactic Acid into my routine, and usually rotate between these two. AHAs really help brighten my skin and reduce the longevity of my hyperpigmentation (which, as I’ve mentioned several times on my blog, is extremely stubborn – some spots will last six months).

Not an AHA, but I’ve been so totally reliant on The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 since the beginning of this year. This winter is really sucking the moisture out of my skin, and I use hyaluronic acid as my serum step every night and sometimes during the day to really give me that extra boost of hydration. I’ve noticed a big difference in my skin since I started using it. I have a bunch of products from The Ordinary (I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of a Deciem store), but this one is probably my favourite. I haven’t had any of the dreaded nose flakes in months now, and any fellow dry-skinned people out there know how real that problem is in winter!

At night, I tend to rotate between two creams. First, I’m still loving my Origins Drink Up! Overnight Mask. I use this most nights and I always wake up with plump, soft skin. If I have the time, I like to put on a layer of this, let it sink in, and then add another right before I go to bed for maximum hydration. Sometimes I skip using one of my liquid AHAs and use the Jouviance Glyco Laser 5 Soft Peel Night Cream. I got this as gratis from my store’s Jouviance rep, and at first I was a little wary about using it as my only night cream. The texture isn’t too thick, and I thought that the 5% glycolic acid might make it a bit too drying to use on its own. But it totally works as a night cream, and it’s good for lazy nights (or travel) because it combines my moisturizer and acid steps. My skin always feels incredibly smooth after I use this. I recently brought it on my trip to Montreal and used it four nights straight, and it didn’t dry my skin out at all. In fact, every morning I woke up feeling hydrated and smooth – it totally counteracted the ill effects of long nights out partying.

Finally, one treatment product which I’ve been loving: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+. The Effaclar line is meant for oily, acne-prone skin, but the Duo+ is extremely popular as a salicylic acid-, zinc-, and niacinamide-based spot treatment. Those with very oily and acne-prone skin can use this all over their faces as a lightweight, purifying moisturizer. Because I’m dry and don’t really have acne besides the regular hormonal zits here and there, I use it as a spot treatment. It’s a lightweight gel formulation which layers well with other products, and it’s extremely effective at drying out active blemishes and nipping baby zits in the bud. I would never want to use something like this all over my face (I do much better with AHAs than BHAs!), but used sparingly where needed it works like a charm.

I have some other skincare products which I’m testing at the moment, so I might do a part two to this post sometime in the future. But for now, these are the skincare products that I’ve been loving the most recently.

Inventory: Large eyeshadow palettes

Posted on March 04, 2017 under Inventory

I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and start an inventory series on my blog to showcase everything I have and give products I don’t mention much a chance in the spotlight. I’m kicking things off with a category which interests me but is manageable. (I’m afraid to do lipstick, guys.) I have a fair amount of eyeshadow, so I’m focusing on my big palettes today. I’ll do smaller palettes, quints, quads, and trios in another post, and singles in yet another. I’m not sure if my next inventory post will be eyeshadow or if I’ll bounce over to another category of makeup. We’ll have to see where my whims take me.

I currently have five larger shadow palettes, which I think is a pretty good number. There’s a lot of variety within those five palettes, but it’s a manageable number and I can use each one of them regularly. I’d say that eyeshadow is my second biggest makeup love, next to lipstick. Lipstick got me into makeup, but once I figured out how to apply eyeshadow to my eye shape I never looked back.

I’ll likely arrange the products differently in future posts depending on what makes most sense (for example, I’ll do lipstick by colour family), but today I’m just going to speak about these in chronological order of when they came into my collection.

Urban Decay Naked 3

Like a number of items in my makeup collection, this was a very generous gift from Aisling, who didn’t like the rose-gold shades in this palette on herself. I went to visit her in Brighton and came out of it with a snazzy palette! Out of all three full-sized Naked palettes, this one seems to be the most contentious. Some people love it, but most people don’t use it as much as the Naked 1 and 2. I can see why: it has a much clearer colour story, and you can’t get that many different looks out of it. It’s a rosy, soft palette. I actually really enjoy these colours and have quite a few go-to looks I can create with them. These shadows are definitely not the best quality I’ve used (my Anastasia, Kat Von D, and LORAC palettes all easily best this one in terms of pigmentation and blendability), but most of them are perfectly fine. (The shade Buzz is a notable exception; it’s a bit of a mess.) I have to be in a specific mood to use this palette and it’s not the type of thing I’d throw into a suitcase with the knowledge that it’ll cover all my bases, but I do like it.

LORAC Pro

This palette got a tonne of hype back in the day and now we barely hear anything about it in the land of beauty blogging, which I suppose is the natural cycle. I wasn’t really that interested in it (probably because we can’t get LORAC in Canada) until I saw it on r/makeupexchange for $35 and had to do it. In contrast with the UD Naked 3, this is a palette I travel with, because I feel like I can get a million different looks out of it. There are a few shades that I feel are redundant, but there are so many that are absolutely glorious that I can overlook that. Gold is my favourite gold shadow ever and a staple of my go-to look for any special event I have.

Stila Eyes are the Window – Spirit

I lusted after this palette for at least a year and a half until spending my Optimum points on it in early 2016, and I use it less than I thought I would. There are a few standout shades in here; my favourite is the burgundy, Pigalle. Between the time I first saw it and when I actually bit the bullet and bought it, I accumulated enough neutral eyeshadow that this palette is actually kind of redundant in my collection. I still like it and use it, but not as often as I’d imagined. These shadows are quite sheer – though not unpigmented – so they’d be better suited for someone who prefers to build up colour slowly.

Kat Von D Shade and Light

I feel too icky about Kat Von D to buy any more of her products, but this palette really is phenomenally good. These are some of the creamiest, most blendable mattes I’ve come across. This palette is great for self-contained looks and it’s the perfect complement to those palettes that just aren’t complete on their own. I can get such a variety of looks out of this palette: warm, cool, soft, smokey… If you don’t like shadows that kick up a lot of powder I’d avoid this, but if you don’t mind that too much then this palette really is great.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance

You guys, this is my favourite palette. It just is. I know I’m so two-thousand-and-late here, but I just can’t think of a more perfect palette for my tastes. Setting aside the fact that the shadows are beautiful quality (which they are), every single colour makes sense to me. There’s not one shade in this palette that I don’t use happily. I love that I can do a variety of neutral looks but that there are also interesting, bold colours. This palette is just so well thought-out and interesting yet complete. I’ll have a full review with several looks up at some point.

This is likely more eyeshadow than any human could ever go through in a lifetime, and that’s not even taking into consideration my smaller palettes and singles. I did just get rid of two palettes, though, and even if I never actually use up all of this eyeshadow each palette fits a slightly different niche in my collection, so I’m happy to hold onto them all for now.