Summer 2018 Favourites

Posted on July 30, 2018 under Favourites

I hardly ever do favourites posts, mostly because I don’t try nearly the volume of products necessary to make that tenable on a regular basis. I think occasional seasonal roundups work for my purposes, though the last one I did was back in the fall of 2016. Here is the warm-weather answer to that, then!

Like many others, in the summer months I opt for a lighter base. This is now my second summer regularly using The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N, which doesn’t work too well for my skin in winter but looks beautifully natural in summer. To pair with this lighter base, I’ve really been enjoying Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory. True to its name, it has a natural, radiant finish, but its peachy undertone does wonders in brightening up my dark undereye area. To give it a bit more coverage and lasting-power (and to make it a tad lighter), I usually mix in a little bit of Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer in C1. Mixing concealers is a new and slightly finnicky trick in my repertoire, but I can’t fault the results.

Here’s the Bourjois concealer on its own (on the right, obviously) for comparison’s sake:

When mixed with the Makeup Revolution concealer, it’s not quite as dewy as it appears in this picture. I do prefer that look slightly, but I think the results of Radiance Reveal on its own are lovely: natural, luminous, and surprisingly effective for such a comfortable, emollient, lightweight formula.

Back in May I used some Optimum points to pick up the Clinique Blush Pop in Peach Pop, my first taste of this well-loved formula. Though I find the clear plastic packaging a bit cheap-looking, I can’t deny that this is a beautiful buildable, long-lasting blush. Like a basic bitch, I love peach in the summer, so I’ve used this very frequently over the past few months. When I want a more vibrant blush, I use my trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat, a lovely red-coral. Between those two blushes (well, and the always-appropriate Hourglass Mood Exposure, of course), I’ve scarcely touched anything else.

My eyelids eat cream formulas after the six-hour mark, and I always have the best results with powder shadow over a good primer. So colour me surprised that the Stila Shimmer and Glow Liquid Eyeshadows truly stay put on my eyes all day. In the heat of a humid Toronto summer, these shadows are quick and easy to apply and completely bulletproof. I picked up the shades Kitten (Stila’s classic champagne) and Jezebel (a rose gold) in May, and I’ve been using them… basically all the time. I do really like the Glitter and Glow shadows, too, but they’re a bit prone to fallout, while the high-impact, metallic Shimmer and Glows are not.

Here’s how Kitten looks on my eye, with a matte brown powder shadow in the crease:

And Jezebel, with some similar crease shadow action (and mascara smudges):

And a swatch gif, so you can see how beautiful these guys really are:

In the summer I gravitate towards my impossibly bright lipsticks, all of which are in the same basic colour family. Marc Jacobs So Sofia, a purchase made almost exactly a year ago as summer wound to a close, has seen a lot of use. So has Revlon Fire and Ice, a truly classic shade which lives its best life in the summer months. New-to-me is NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, a shade popularized by Taylor Swift several years ago. In the wake of 1989 (which was a damn catchy pop album, sue me), I coveted the colour but could never pull the trigger; when a family friend gifted it to me last month, I was predictably ecstatic. On Swift, Dragon Girl is a bright, fiery red; on me, it’s noticeably more pink, though still as delightfully vibrant. Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Romantic is a long, long, longtime favourite – it’s a beautiful sheer, warm red that’s never too much. (They still make this shade, too, though most of the Balm Stains are long gone.) After a long period of gravitating more towards neutral lipsticks, I’m back to my best self with my bold colours.

L-R: Marc Jacobs So Sofia, Revlon Fire and Ice, NARS Dragon Girl, Revlon Romantic

I arrived back in Canada at the end of May after eight months in the UK, and I found that my hands were suddenly very dry in this climate. Though I have a pretty dry face and very dry arms and legs, my hands have always self-regulated pretty well. But apparently the change in climate was too much, so I had to turn to The Chemistry Brand HA3 Hand Hydrator. This is a super effective, hyaluronic-based hand cream with a light whipped texture. The reason I like it enough to talk about on my blog is that it sinks in incredibly quickly without compromising its efficacy. I cannot stand feeling like there’s anything on my hands; I want to wash them immediately. A lot of hand creams are like nails on a chalkboard to me, but not this one. It also has a very peppy zesty scent which I enjoy.

I also really enjoy The Chemistry Brand Hyaluronic Body Mist for a hit of moisture between body lotion applications. It’s especially nice to have something so quick and easy to apply in the summer, when the heat can induce lethargy. Sometimes it seems altogether too much to rub cream all over my body, but a quick mist is within my capability. This product definitely isn’t a substitute for an actual body lotion (at least not for my dry skin!), but it’s a great interim product.

In the non-makeup realm, I would probably be dead without the Invisibobble knockoffs I got at Primark back in the winter. I’m growing out my blonde (as you have no doubt been able to surmise from my photos over the past year and a half), and I have a few months to go before I can chop it all off. My hair is longer than I like it, and since it’s very thick and abundant it’s just far too much to have on my neck in the summer. I’ve been putting it up in a high ponytail or topknot almost every day, and these little coiled hair ties do an amazing job at keeping my hair comfortably in place. I definitely don’t think you should pay for the brand name version, but if you can find cheap knockoffs they are great for keeping thick, unruly hair at bay.

And, before I go, one summery miss: Avène High Protection SPF50+ Emulsion. This sunscreen has a pleasant texture (if a bit thicker than other facial sunscreens by brands like La Roche-Posay and Vichy) and user-friendly packaging, and seems truly effective if my perpetually-fair face is anything to go by. Unfortunately, it leaves such a white cast. When I’m going to work this isn’t an issue as I put foundation on top anyway, but I often leave my house without makeup but still want to be protected from the sun. It’s a bummer, because I do like the product otherwise, and the pump/squeeze-tube hybrid packaging is always welcome in my home. When I’m out of this I’ll be looking to another brand for my face sunscreen needs.

And that’s what I’ve been putting on my face this summer! It’s a nice mixture of new discoveries and old favourites.

Inventory: Lip Products

Posted on August 27, 2017 under Inventory

Oh, Lord. This post has been a massive undertaking. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time on a blog post. I put this one off for a long time because it was such a daunting task, but here we are: a catalogue of all of my lip products. There are a lot, because I’m a lipstick kind of gal first and foremost.

I’ve categorized these roughly by colour, and according to how they look on my lips. (They may pull slightly lighter or less intense in arm swatches.) Some could have fit into more than one category or don’t fit easily into any categories; I used my best judgment for those. Human error is evident in my categorization. These are all swatched in the same order that the tubes are arranged. Tubes are wound up all the way to indicate usage unless otherwise noted. I’ve also indicated approximately when I got each lipstick.

I’m thinking of doing a series of lip swatch posts by colour family as well, but that will depend on how ambitious I’m feeling. I don’t know how YouTubers swatch like 50 lipsticks at a time because my lips pretty much force me to stop at 10. If I do this I’ll include notes on the products – this time I didn’t do mini reviews because the post is long enough as it is. This is what happens when you have too much lipstick.

Anyway, let’s get on with it…

Neutrals/MLBBs

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Honeycomb* (Mini) (February 2017)
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss – 017 (July 2013)
Little Mix by Collection – Jade (March 2015)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Hush Hush* (December 2016)
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Mini) (June 2016)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Secret Salma (June 2017)
NARS Audacious – Anna (April 2017)
Maybelline Creamy Matte – Touch of Spice (Summer/Fall 2016)

Total: 8

L-R: Bite Honeycomb, Rimmel 017, Collection Jade, Buxom Hush Hush, Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma, NARS Anna, Maybelline Touch of Spice

Notes: My most-worn out of all of these is Hush Hush – I find the rosy brownish pink very flattering and pretty much a no-brainer. Bite Honeycomb (a beige) and Rimmel 017 (a light peachy pink) are not colours I would instinctually assume are my most-flattering, but I like them a lot. Out of all of these, NARS Anna is my least favourite – it’s just a little too cool to be easily flattering on my complexion.

Light and Medium Pinks

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – White Russian* (December 2016)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Ransom* (December 2016)
MAC Matte – Please Me (Summer 2014)
Maybelline Creamy Matte – Lust For Blush (Summer 2015)
Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Velours – Cake Pop (Summer 2014)

Total: 5

L-R: Buxom White Russian, Buxom Ransom, MAC Please Me, Maybelline Lust For Blush, Lise Watier Cake Pop

Notes: Not my favourite category – when I’m going for pink, I tend to go for something more vibrant. That said, Maybelline Lust For Blush is one of my favourite lipstick colours ever.

By the way, for some reason those two Buxom colours did not want to photograph as the pinks they are, but you can see how they actually look (on my face) in the full review post.

Fuchsias and Bright Pinks

NARS Audacious – Angela (August 2017)
Lancôme Color Design – Wannabe (August 2014)
Lancôme L’Absolue Rouge – Pourquois Pas? (April 2017)
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine – 28 (May 2016)
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain – Lovesick (November 2016; my second tube)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Fiore (December 2014)
Lancôme Matte Shaker – Pink Power* (May 2017)
Joe Fresh Long Wear Liquid Lipstick – Fuchsia x2 (May 2014)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Electric Poppy (October 2016)
ColourPop Lippie Stix Matte X – Poppin (March 2016) (Not wound up all the way because the bullet broke off)

Total: 11

L-R: NARS Angela, Lancôme Wannabe, Lancôme Pourquois Pas?, YSL #28, Revlon Lovesick, Stila Fiore, Lancôme Pink Power, Joe Fresh Fuchsia, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, ColourPop Poppin

Notes: Fuchsia lipstick was my original love when I was 19. I remember looking at myself in Revlon Lovesick and thinking, “That looks good on me!” Maybe it’s the fact that I had brown hair then or maybe it’s just changing preferences, but fuchsia is no longer my favourite lipstick colour. Though I still have Lovesick (which is long-discontinued), I lean towards slightly warmer, brighter fuchsias now. Lancôme Pink Power and CT Electric Poppy are two of my favourites.

NARS Angela is very hard to categorize, so I stuck it in here.

Peaches, Oranges, and Corals

ColourPop Blotted Lips – Sucker (August 2017)
NARS Audacious – Brigitte (November 2016)
ColourPop Blotted Lips – Candyfloss (August 2017)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Covert Affair* (December 2016)
Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink – Orange Pop (February 2014)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Intrigue* (December 2016)
ColourPop Blotted Lips – On A Stick (August 2017)
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss – 06 (Fall 2013)
ColourPop Lippie Stix – Trixie (August 2017) (Not wound up all the way ’cause I was afraid of it breaking)
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème – So Sofia (August 2017)
Revlon Super Lustrous – Fire and Ice (June 2017)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Tuesday (January 2017)
YSL Rouge Pur Couture – 57 (May 2016)
Lancôme Color Design – Posh Pink (Summer 2014)

Total: 14

ColourPop Sucker, NARS Brigitte, ColourPop Candyfloss, Buxom Covert Affair, Tony Moly Orange Pop, ColourPop On A Stick, Rimmel 06, ColourPop Trixie, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, ColourPop Tuesday, YSL #57, Lancôme Posh Pink

Notes: Peach, orange, and coral are all colours with which I have traditionally had a rocky relationship. It’s funny that this is my biggest category, although I guess technically it is three smaller categories. I have definitely been appreciating these types of colours more recently, but in the beginning of my makeup collecting days I would never have given most of these colours the time of day.

In retrospect I’m not sure why I put YSL #57 or Lancôme Posh Pink in this category, since I always say they’re not quite coral but rather warm pinks. ColourPop Tuesday is borderline, here – I’m not really sure how to categorize or even describe it. Dark coral? Reddish coral?

Reds

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain – Romantic (Summer 2013)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Beso (Mini) (October 2016)
NARS Audacious – Annabella (August 2017)
Clarins Rouge Prodige – Fusion Red (December 2013)
Little Mix by Collection – Leigh-Anne (Fall 2013)
Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick – Raspberry (May 2014)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Red Carpet Red (October 2014)
Lancôme Matte Shaker – Kiss Me Chérie* (May 2017)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil – Cruella (Mini) (March 2015)

Total: 9

L-R: Revlon Romantic, Stila Beso, NARS Annabella, Clarins Fusion Red, Collection Leigh-Anne, Joe Fresh Raspberry, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, Lancôme Kiss Me Chérie, NARS Cruella

Notes: I do love red lipstick, but I find it pretty easy to keep this section of my collection fairly pruned. In terms of true blue-based reds, CT Red Carpet Red has been the only one in my life since I bought it. All of the others are warmer or deeper. I used to be a staunch blue red fan, but I have opened my heart to warm reds recently. NARS Annabella is a new find which I am really enjoying.

Berries and Plums

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine – 17 (June 2015)
NARS Audacious – Audrey (November 2016)
Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick – Scarlet (March 2016)
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Beetroot (Mini) (June 2017)
MAC Cremesheen – Hang-Up (December 2013)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Mystery* (December 2016)

Total: 6

YSL 17, NARS Audrey, Joe Fresh Scarlet, Bite Beetroot, MAC Hang-Up, Buxom Mystery

Notes: “Berry” is a pretty broad category, as you can see here. It’s also a little vague; the difference between a dark red and a berry can be fine. YSL 17 is my lightest berry and one of my favourites – it’s easy, flattering, and more of an everyday berry than the others I have, which are more dramatic. I always think I like berry lips on myself more than I actually do – I was surprised to see how few I had in comparison to other categories. Maybe it’s the nebulousness of “berry” that I don’t like – I prefer something more distinct, like a red or a magenta. Speaking of which…

Magentas

ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lips – Split (August 2017)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Lume (Mini) (October 2016)
Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit – Nice To Fuchsia (April 2017)
MAC Satin – Rebel (Summer 2015)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Aria (May 2014)

Total: 5

L-R: ColourPop Split, Stila Lume, WnW Nice To Fuchsia, MAC Rebel, Stila Aria

Notes: Some of my favourite colours to wear! I think magenta is so flattering on a variety of skintones, mine included. MAC Rebel is my favourite lipstick colour ever.

Purples

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Viola (Mini) (October 2016)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Lychee (January 2017)
Little Mix by Collection – Perrie (Fall 2013)
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm – Shameless (February 2014)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Chianti (March 2016)

Total: 5

L-R: Stila Viola, ColourPop Lychee, Collection Perrie, Revlon Shameless, Stila Chianti

Notes: I used to be a huge purple lipstick fan. I actually still really like it in concept, but I guess I’ve become picky and purged a lot of my purples because they weren’t quite right. I find that purple tones are apt to make me look quite sickly if just a bit off. That said, I adore Stila Chianti, which is the most amazing dramatic blackened purple.

Browns

Maybelline Creamy Matte – Burgundy Blush (March 2017)
ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips – Prim (March 2016)
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Whiskey* (Mini) (February 2017)

Total: 3

L-R: Maybelline Burgundy Blush, ColourPop Prim, Bite Whiskey

Notes: This category would not have existed prior to my purchase of ColourPop Prim. As it turns out, I like dark brown lipstick. I still have not ventured into the territory of more 90s mid-toned browns, though I like them on other people.

Unconventional Colours

ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips – Marshmallow (March 2016)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Dr. M (January 2017)
Essence Matt Matt Matt Vibrant Shock – 09 (March 2017)
Barry M Lip Paint – Black (Fall 2014)

Total: 4

L-R: ColourPop Marshmallow, ColourPop Dr. M, Essence 09, Barry M Black

Notes: These are all very fun and very impractical. I am not the kind of person who wears colours like this in public regularly, but I feel good having them on hand. All of these were inexpensive, and I have worn them all in public at least once, so I think that’s all we can ask for.

Lip Liners

Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil – 020* (February 2017)
Milani Color Statement Lip Liner – Nude (April 2017)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Contempo (January 2017)
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Enchantment (2016 sometime?)
Arbonne Lip Liner – Berry* (September 2015)
Clinique Quickliner For Lips – Intense Jam (January 2016)
Lancôme Le Lip Liner – Rose Lancôme (August 2017)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Heart On (January 2017)
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Red Diva (Late 2014/Early 2015)
MUA Lip Liner – Brooding Plum (Late 2014/Early 2015)
Collection Lip Definer – Damson (March 2015)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Nevermind (January 2017)
Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil – 044* (February 2017)

L-R: Bite 020, Milani Nude, ColourPop Contempo, Rimmel Enchantment, Arbonne Berry, Clinique Intense Jam, Lancôme Rose Lancôme, ColourPop Heart On, Rimmel Red Diva, MUA Brooding Plum, Collection Damson, ColourPop Nevermind, Bite 044

Grand total: 70 lipsticks, 13 lip liners

Notes: Obviously, this is a lot of lipstick, and you will soon be seeing a declutter post. I have to say I don’t feel super great about the 70 mark – 50 seems like the largest number I could have and still reasonably use everything. Somehow it doesn’t seem like that many lipsticks when I actually look at them, of course.

The mean number of lipsticks per category is 7, the median is 5.5, and the mode is 5. Yes. I do math now. (No I don’t.)

43 of my 70 lipsticks were purchased in 2016 or 2017, which seems pretty absurd but which I guess is a good thing because it means there’s not too much old, crusty stuff in my collection. Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve purchased more than usual in the past year and a half – if anything, I’ve decreased my consumption. I declutter often, though, so most of the stuff I bought way back in the early days is long gone. Still, I should probably chill with buying lipstick. I clearly am not hurting for it.

Inventory: Eyeliner

Posted on August 10, 2017 under Inventory

Let’s quickly run through this. Even I have limits when it comes to discussing eyeliner.

Liquid Liner

A staple in my eyeliner life since forever (aka 2013), I think I will always have Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black on hand. This eyeliner has never done me dirty in four years, which is why I have a backup. (I keep expecting this one to run out because I bought it in June 2016, but somehow it has managed to surpass its usual lifespan of 10 months.) I also have the same product in Snow and Indigo.

I’ve come to realize that almost every NYX product I’ve tried has disappointed me and thus ended up being destashed, but the Vivid Brights Eyeliner in Sapphire is legit. I rarely find a liquid liner formula that my eyelids don’t swallow, and this is one of them. Plus, well, cobalt blue is my colour.

Finally, a third liquid liner formula that actually works for me: Lancôme Grandiôse Eyeliner in Cerulean and Fuchsia*. Sadly these two beautiful colours were limited edition in the winter, but I love them. They’re so much fun and wear beautifully. I wish Lancôme would come out with more fun colours in this line and make them permanent, because the formula of this liner is bomb.

L-R: Stila Intense Black, Stila Snow, Stila Indigo, NYX Sapphire, Lancôme Cerulean, Lancôme Fuchsia

Pencil Liners

I use black pencils exclusively to tightline. Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil in Noir is okay, but not the most transfer-proof. I got this as a gift from a friend and I’d never pay $27 for it! The Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer (last year’s Sephora birthday gift) lasts a lot better, though it’s also overpriced.

In terms of browns, I have two of these Stila Smudge Sticks, in Damsel (a matte dark brown) and Lionfish (a lighter, warmer brown with some shimmer). These Smudge Sticks seem to multiply of their own accord; I’ve never actually bought one, but somehow have four (and that’s after decluttering at least two). Two more: Halfmoon and Purple Tang, a matte grey and a sparkly purple, respectively.

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey is a really nice warm brown that complements warmer eye looks very well. I probably don’t need it since I already have two brown liners, but I like it.

NYX Wonder Pencil in Light is a classic nude to pop in the waterline to brighten tired eyes. I like it! I’m usually a twist-up pencil kind of gal because I’m lazy, but it’s a soft, creamy pencil that sets nicely. I love that they make this in different shades of nude, too.

Finally, two blues: Lise Watier Waterproof Eyeliner in Marin, a navy, and Annabelle Kohl Eyeliner in Lapis, a beautiful cobalt. Lise Watier and Annabelle are both Canadian brands owned by another Canadian brand, Marcelle, and of the two I vastly prefer Lise Watier. The Annabelle eye pencils come in a really great array of colours, but they’re drier and stiffer. The Lise Watier liners are creamy to apply but budgeproof once they set. Of course, they’re also about twice as expensive.

L-R: Clarins Noir, Marc Jacobs Blacquer, Stila Damsel, Stila Lionfish, Stila Halfmoon, Stila Purple Tang, Clinique Black Honey, NYX Light, Lise Watier Marin, Annabelle Lapis

Eyeshadow Sticks

I don’t know why I decided to put these in this post instead of with the single eyeshadows, but what’s done is done. These live in the same cup as all my liners, so that’s probably why.

If you were involved in the Reddit makeup world in 2013, then you probably either bought a NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk or coveted this product mightily. This was back in the days of savagery when NYX was not available in Canada, so I had to get my mom to pick these pencils up in New York for me. This product does not work as an eyeshadow base for me whatsoever: it creases terribly, even over a primer. I also don’t like it in the waterline because it’s too stark. I used up quite a bit of one pencil on Halloween 2015 when I used it as makeshift face paint on three people. The other one is untouched.

Lise Watier 24 Hours Glam Cream Eyeshadow in Satin Glam is a beautiful, shimmery champagne shadow stick. I’m not big on eyeshadow sticks, but this has a great formula. I mostly use it in my inner corner for an intense highlight.

L-R: NYX Milk, Lise Watier Satin Glam

I also have a gel eyeliner by Essence which I neglected to photograph but which you can see in action here.

There we go – I breezed through that batch of products pretty quickly, huh?