Quarter 2 Beauty Product Consumption Accountability Checkin

Posted on July 07, 2017 under Lists

All the beauty products that came into my life in April, May, and June! I’m including not only makeup but hair, body, and nail stuff, as well as beauty tools. Anything that has a second price listed in brackets reflects what I paid with my 30% off employee discount. Anything I’ve converted to USD reflects how much I paid at the time of purchase.

Products purchased between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017

There are a few brushes missing from this picture because I am imperfect.
  1. 03/20: Essence Matt Matt Matt Vibrant Shock lipstick in 09 – $4.49 ($3.14). I forgot to add this to my list from last quarter, so I’m slipping it in here. I wanted a fun lip colour for the Green Day show I went to so I picked up this navy blue. I didn’t love the formula on this and I’m undecided if I should keep it or not, but for three bucks it served its purpose.
  2. 03/26: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Oil nail polish in Vert Époque – $3.00. Again, a product that I missed in my last roundup. This was on clearance for three bucks and I loved the creamy turquoise colour, so I bought it. No regrets!
  3. 04/04: Milani Color Statement Lip Liner – Nude – $4.29. I’m on a lipliner kick lately and the price on these is good, so I thought I’d try one. Really enjoying it, and for an unbeatable price!
  4. 04/04: Milani Eyeshadow Primer – $9.49. I ran out of my NARS and didn’t want to shell out $30 for a new one, so I thought I’d try a cheaper option. Again, I love this product, so this was a great purchase.
  5. 04/04: ELF Small Stipple Brush – $3.99. I’ve been looking for a good brush to apply cream products with, and emilynoel83 raves about this brush for this exact purpose. When I came face-to-face with one, I had to buy it. Although this brush goes for $3 on the ELF website, with the Canadian conversion this price is spot-on. (At the time I purchased it, $3 USD converted to $4.02 CAD.) I’ve actually been using it most often for contouring: it gives quite a soft, subtle look, which I like.
  6. 04/04: ELF Blending Brush – $3.99. I’d been meaning to buy a few more ELF Crease Brushes since I use mine every day, and I thought this was the same one. When I got it home I saw I was mistaken, but I still use it regularly.
  7. 04/04: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Topcoat – $12.99 ($9.09). Replacement.
  8. 04/25: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – $6.80. Replacement.
  9. 04/25: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane – $7.90. Replacement for my argan oil, which I used up. I read Lindsey’s post about squalane and was sold, and so far so good!
  10. 04/25: The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N – $6.70. I definitely didn’t need this, but I wanted it, and I bought it. It happens!
  11. 04/30: Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Mermaid’s Eyes – $4.80. This was on clearance for 80% off and I purchased it with Optimum points.
  12. 04/30: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna – $40 ($28). Purchased with Optimum points.
  13. 04/30: Clarins Truly Waterproof Mascara – $28 ($19.60). Replacement, purchased with Optimum points.
  14. 04/30: L’Oreal Brow Plumper Brow Gel – $8.99. Replacement, purchased with Optimum points. On sale from $15.49.
  15. 04/30:NYX Wonder Pencil in Light – $6.99 ($4.89). I got this to use in my waterline because I don’t have any nude eyeliners for that purpose. Purchased with Optimum points.
  16. 04/30: Lise Watier Eyeliner in Marin – $23.00 ($16.10). Purchased with Optimum points.
  17. 04/30: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Indigo. $29.00 ($20.30). Purchased with Optimum points.
  18. 05/09: Witchcraft Be Strong – $10.99 ($7.69). Replacement. I can’t live without this stuff. My peely nails love it.
  19. 05/16: ELF Small Smudge Brush x 2 – $5.99 total. Canadian beauty retailer FTB Beauty is closing down and I bought a bunch of brushes when they were on clearout for 40% off. I’ve had one of these brushes for years and I use it daily, so I picked up two more.
  20. 05/16: bdellium tools 768 Round Dome Shadow Brush – $5.99. Also from FTB Beauty.
  21. 05/16: bdellium tools 787 Duet Fiber Large Tapered Blending Brush – $7.49. From FTB Beauty.
  22. 05/16: Real Techniques Bold Metals 201 Pointed Crease Brush – $13.79. From FTB Beauty.
  23. 05/20: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Duo – $6.49. These duo sets were marked down from $19.99 to $6.49 at my store. I actually don’t love the nail polish colour (in Aqua Chakra) and I’ll probably just give it away, but the topcoat alone is $12.99 full price and I go through it like water so it seemed like a prudent purchase.

  24. 05/20: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – All Chalked Up – $6.49. Another clearance polish! This one appealed to me because of its pale, grey lavender tones. I really like it and it’s well worth the price. The Miracle Gel formula is one of my favourites.
  25. 06/07: Light Blue Shade Shampoo – $9.99 ($6.99). Replacement – this is my favourite purple shampoo.
  26. 06/10: Quo Deluxe Powder Brush – $14.99. I’ve been eyeing this brush for over a year and it was on sale for 40% off, so I snapped it up. Full price is $25!
  27. 06/19: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Secret Salma – $39. Technically I bought this with birthday money that my grandma sent me, but I will include it in this category.

The lipsticks I bought this quarter. Looking at this, NARS Anna and Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma look almost identical, but I swear they’re different! Anna is a lot dustier and cooler than Secret Salma.

Jeez, looking at this list you’d think I was really into nail polish. Or clearance nail polish, at least…

Total value (CAD): $407.52 (almost the exact same as last quarter’s value…)
Total spent (CAD): $178.10

Year-to-date value (CAD): $812.70
Year-to-date spent (CAD): $512.94

Products received at no cost between April 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017

Makeup I got for free.

In the interests of full transparency, “gratis” indicates that I received the product through work, whereas “PR” means it was sent to me by the brand for review on my blog. I would receive gratis whether or not I had a blog, and the teams who handle gratis and PR are totally different.

  1. 04/01: Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit – Nice to Fuchsia – $4.99 USD ($6.68 CAD) – Gift. Okay, technically I picked this out myself and am fully responsible for it entering my collection. I also fully intended to pay for it, but I was in Walmart in Kentucky with my family and my dad said I should just add it to the groceries we were buying because he didn’t want me using my credit card to pay for it. (I always use credit in the US because my debit card generally doesn’t work.) So I’m including it here since I didn’t spend my own money on it. Thanks, Dad!
  2. 04/04: Biotherm Life Plankton Sensitive Emulsion – $55 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  3. 04/04: Biotherm Blue Therapy Serum-In-Oil – $78 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  4. 04/04: Biotherm Biosource Total Renew Cleansing Oil – $34 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  5. 04/04: Biotherm Homme Aquapower Eye Depuffer – $30 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  6. 04/04: Lancôme Absolue Night Precious Cells – $205 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. I haven’t used this yet because the fact that it is $205 intimidates me.
  7. 04/04: Lancôme Energie de Vie Liquid Care – $60 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  8. 04/04: Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Florale EDT – $93 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. I’ve since destashed it without opening it because I don’t like the scent enough to keep it. My coworker said her mom would like the scent, so she gave it to her for Mother’s Day.

    Some skincare I got for free.
  9. 04/04: Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick – 317 Pourquoi Pas? – $39 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  10. 04/04: ELF Illuminating Palette – $6 USD / $8.03 CAD – Gift. My mom made an ELF order and received a bunch of stuff, including this, as GWP. She passed this on to me as she already owned the same product.
  11. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra – $19.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  12. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – $16 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  13. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer – $34 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  14. 04/11: La-Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Cream – $11 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Passed this on without opening it.
  15. 04/11: Vichy Eau Thermale 150mL – $13 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Passed on unopened; I don’t use these thermal water sprays.
  16. 04/11: Vichy Idéalia Serum – $49.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training. Gave to my mom because I have too much skincare on backup to bother with something that I’m not interested in.

    More free skincare.
  17. 04/11: Vichy Idéalia Peeling – $39.95 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  18. 04/11: Vichy Mask Sachets – Double Glow Peel, Quenching Mineral, Pore Purifier – $6.99 each ($20.97 total value) – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  19. 04/11: Vichy Teint Idéal Pure Light Face Roll-On – $27 – Gratis. Received at a brand training.
  20. 05/21: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue – $4.99 – Gift. My friend Kristin found a vintage bottle of the old formula of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue lying around and generously donated it to my cause. Now I have four bottles of PB, which makes me feel slightly less anxious about the impending doom of using up the last of the world’s supply of the stuff.
  21. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 374 Kiss Me Cherie – $29 – PR.
  22. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 378 Pink Power – $29 – PR.
  23. 05/24: Lancôme Matte Shaker in 379 Yummy Pink – $29 – PR. I’ve put this aside to give away to a friend; I can tell that I won’t like the colour on myself so there’s no use in using it and contaminating it.
  24. 06/16: Avène Couvrance Mascara – $19 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Passed this on to my mom ’cause I don’t need mascara right now. She has sensitive eyes so she’ll appreciate it more than I will!
  25. 06/16: Laboratoires Filorga Meso-Mask (travel size) – $70 full size – $42 value – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  26. 06/16: StriVectin Multi-Action Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel – $65 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  27. 06/16: Avène 3 in 1 Makeup Remover – $20 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.
  28. 06/16: Vichy Mineralizing Thermale Water (mini) – $7.95 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Yes, another thermal water spray that I do not want.
  29. 06/16: A-Derma Soothing Foaming Gel – $15 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss.

    Body care and stuff.
  30. 06/16: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lotion – $29.50 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Very timely, since the day I got this I discovered that all my body sunscreen was expired.
  31. 06/16: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – $16 – Gift. Part of my birthday gift from my boss. Now I have two of these!
  32. 06/19: Stila Magnificent Metals Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro – $31 – Gift. I went shopping with my mom on my birthday and she offered to spend a few Optimum points on me. A super glittery eyeshadow seemed like the perfect ridiculous item to choose.
  33. 06/19: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice – $11.99. Another little birthday gift from my mom. I don’t normally wear colours like this, but I was feeling adventurous!
  34. 06/22: Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara* – $13.99 – PR. Got this from Influenster and did not care for it!

Total value (CAD): $1203.95

Year-to-date value (CAD): $1689.39

Uh, I wasn’t lying last time around when I told you that you’d see a lot more gratis in this post. The Lancôme training school is extraordinarily generous. I gave away quite a bit of this stuff to friends and family without trying it myself just because I don’t like to have too many skincare products going at once, and I already have a lot of backups. If products don’t interest me then I’m not going to try them just for the sake of it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty blogging lately. In any genre of blogging there are professionals and hobbyists; I think this divide is especially obvious when one is blogging about something so driven by consumerism. Professional beauty bloggers have huge makeup collections because they try everything. On the other hand, I’m a normal person, buying and using things that I’m actually interested in. I try not to buy products just for the sake of reviewing them and to instead buy what calls to me. My own beauty purchasing is pretty under control (though I still buy more than the average makeup consumer, probably), but working in cosmetics means I’m constantly acquiring new products faster than I can reasonably use them. But then, it is my job to keep up-to-date on products – I mean, my literal day job, regardless of my blog. However, I’ll be leaving my job next month (eep!), so my beauty stash is going to be a lot more under control and the second section of my quarter 3 accountability post will be considerably smaller. See you then!

Review: bdellium tools 766, 944, and 964 brushes

Posted on February 21, 2016 under Reviews

bdellium tools 776, 944, 964

This year I’ve decided to work on adding more brushes to my collection, more so than makeup products. I pretty much have every item of makeup I could ever need, but I have gaps when it comes to beauty tools. My first brush order of 2016 was initially supposed to be from Zoeva, as they seem to receive excellent reviews across the board (including from people whose opinions I really trust). However, the unfavourable Canadian exchange rate combined with a high cost of shipping to North America put me off that pursuit. An order of three brushes went from $55 including shipping to $71 thanks to our tragic economy. I’d still love to try Zoeva brushes, but I think I’ll wait until the Canadian dollar rebounds or until the shipping rate becomes a bit more reasonable.

I’d seen bdellium tools brushes featured in a few blog posts and YouTube channels, but they haven’t received a quarter of the hype of Zoeva brushes. They’re similar in concept: affordable, high quality brushes for the layperson who doesn’t have hundreds to invest in Hakuhodo, Suqqu, or even MAC. In presentation, they’re a bit more utilitarian than the pretty Zoeva brushes (which are periodically launched with beautiful limited edition packaging), but with a much lower shipping rate I managed to save a good $16. (It’s still utterly painful that $38 USD for three brushes including shipping was bumped up to $55 CAD.)

Shipping time was about what I’d expected; I ordered them on December 27 and they appeared in my mailbox on January 12.

I ordered three brushes, all from the yellow-handled Studio line: the 776 Blending Brush, 964 All Purpose Blusher Brush, and 944 Tapered Contour Brush.

776 Blending Brush

bdellium tools 776

bdellium tools 776

The bdellium tools 776 Blending Brush ($9) is a natural-fiber brush which the bdellium tools website claims can be used for cream or powder products. I really only apply cream products with my fingers, so I haven’t tested it for that. The 776 has been widely compared to the MAC 217, which is a pretty apt description. It’s ever so slightly smaller and a bit fluffier sideways, but it performs the same function. I find that my 217 blends slightly more quickly, but the 776 certainly does the job well. I’ve washed my 776 a few times and it’s held up well. There has been no shedding. Were I looking to purchase another blending brush, I’d pick up another one of these over the 217; I don’t think the much higher cost of the 217 is proportional to its quality – even though I love and cherish my 217.

964 All Purpose Blusher Brush

bdellium tools 964

bdellium-tools-964-comparison2

The 964 All Purpose Blusher Brush ($14.75) is a natural and synthetic fiber blend. It’s rounded and of a medium density, which I think makes it ideal for applying blush – I get an even application that I don’t have to build up too much (as with my Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Brush, second from top), but it’s suitable for highly pigmented products in a way that something denser such as the Real Techniques Cheek Brush (bottom) isn’t. From the side, it’s slightly rounder, meaning it can quickly cover more area than the flat ELF Blush Brush (top). Overall, I really like the blush application I get with this brush. I have noticed occasional and minor shedding.

944 Tapered Contour Brush

bdellium tools 944

The 944 Tapered Contour Brush ($15) is made of natural and synthetic fibers. It’s a pretty standard shape for those tapered highlighter brushes that are everywhere these days, but I didn’t own a brush like that – hence why I picked it up. The ELF Blush Brush it’s shown with is the closest thing I have to it, though it’s not similar at all. I love how this brush applies highlighter; it covers the perfect amount of area, sets it down evenly, and gives me just the right amount of pigmentation. I can build up my highlighter to be very noticeable if I want or keep it a bit more subtle. I haven’t noticed any shedding with this brush.

As you can tell, overall I am very pleased with my purchase from bdellium tools. I’m sure I’ll order from them again – even if it’s just to pick up another 776. (You can never have too many blending brushes, can you?) I predict that these babies will become pretty big on YouTube in 2016 – they’re just too good (and cheap!) not to. If you’ve used bdellium tools brushes, let me know which ones I should order next.

bdellium tools brushes can be purchased from their website.