Inventory: Single eyeshadows

Posted on August 01, 2017 under Inventory

I did my eyeshadow palettes big and small a few months back, so now it’s time to wrap up the eyeshadow inventory.

Cream Eyeshadows

I don’t know if ColourPop eyeshadows really are cream or not, but they dry up in like thirty-five seconds so I’m going to go with yes. Anyway, I have five colours: Paradox, a deep burgundy; Animal, a neon orange; Stereo, a dark purple with gold and pink glitter; Boy Band, a metallic copper; and Beverly, a dark berry.

Of these, I get the most use out of Boy Band (a one and done shade that I can smear all over my eyelid when I’m in a rush) and Paradox, which looks badass. Animal looks hideous on me, but I still have fun with it. Stereo looks totally different in the pan than it does on the ColourPop website and I never use it, and Beverly is dry as a bone now.

Here’s Animal on its own:

And here it is with Realgar from the Modern Renaissance palette blended above it and Buxom Covert Affair on the lips:

And iPhone selfies of how I wore it to see Laura Marling in May, with NYX Sapphire eyeliner and NARS Brigitte on the lips:

Paradox looks great on its own, and I have discovered that when you layer a blue-brown duochrome shade on top of it you get the most amazing look. Sadly I have no photographic evidence that I have ever worn Paradox, alone or otherwise, but one day I will try to get some and update this post.

Moving past ColourPop! I currently only have three Maybelline Color Tattoos (except for Tough As Taupe, which I use on my brows exclusively): Pink Gold (UK version of Inked in Pink), Electric Blue (… which is navy, not electric blue), and Tenacious Teal (featured in my “Life On Mars?” look). Inked in Pink is the only one that’s still available in Canada. I rarely reach for these anymore, although I loved them enough back in the day to have fifteen at one point. Powder eyeshadow wears better on me than any cream as long as I use a base, so that’s what I reach for.

Finally, I have one of the glorious new-ish Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro, which is PERFECT. It’s so shiny and metallic and beautiful, and it never creases.

Here are some swatches for your viewing pleasure!

L-R: Stila Rose Gold Retro, ColourPop Animal, ColourPop Boy Band, ColourPop Paradox, ColourPop Stereo, ColourPop Beverly, Maybelline Pink Gold, Maybelline Electric Blue, Maybelline Tenacious Teal.

Powder Eyeshadows

Lancôme single shadows are nice, but probably not $24 nice. Luckily, I paid for neither. Vue, a neutral rose gold, has sentimental value for me, as it’s the first eyeshadow I ever used. My mom may have given this to me or I may have stolen it from her makeup bag, but either way I have very fond memories of applying it all over my eyelid with a Q-tip when I was seventeen and the youngest person working at Urban Outfitters and wanting to look fancy and put-together. I don’t use it very often now, but it’s just one of those products that I can’t part with.

Infinitely Indigo is a shade which Aisling sent me in a big box of goodies when she was moving to England and I was first getting into makeup. Aisling is definitely a neutral kind of gal, and I believe she picked this up in Vegas, which is exactly where you would decide to buy blue eyeshadow. This product has stuck with me through approximately six moves because I like owning expensive shit. Its place in the future of my collection is unclear.

I don’t know how I can say that $24 for a single eyeshadow is overpriced but then rave about ones that cost $36, but here I am. I just really like the NARS Dual Intensity shadows, though of course I buy them at Murale, with Optimum Points. These shadows give an utterly glorious metallic sheen even when used dry. Callisto is the first one I acquired and definitely my favourite of the two: it’s the most stunning silvery pink. (It looks amazing applied all over the led with Buon Fresco from ABH in the crease!) Desdemona is a rich burgundy purple. I’ve found that these work the best patted onto the lid with a finger; the pigment doesn’t seem to stick very well to a brush.

L-R: Lancôme Vue, Lancôme Infinitely Indigo, NARS Callisto, NARS Desdemona

And that is it for my single eyeshadow collection! Next up will be eyeliner, and to finish out the series we’ll do lips. (That will be an undertaking – I haven’t photographed it yet!)

My Maybelline Color Tattoo collection – reviews + swatches + declutter

Posted on August 01, 2015 under Reviews

By far the product I have collected the most of are Maybelline’s Color Tattoos, a staple of every makeup addict’s drugstore collection. They’re one of those things that seemed to just happen, as I collected every shade I could get my hands on – even those that I knew I probably would not use very often.

I’m always trying to prune back my makeup collection to make it manageable, and cream and liquid products are always the first to go since they dry out or go off more quickly. The truth is, I’ve been using my Color Tattoos much less in the past six months, and some colours have barely been touched at all. In a continuing effort to pare down my possessions, I’m looking at all 15 of my Colour Tattoos and asking if I really need each one.

True neutrals


Barely Branded (permanent) is a yellow-based champagne with a bit of shimmer. It goes on fairly smoothly, and any (minor) patchiness is easy to remedy on my skintone since it’s a light colour.
The verdict: Purged; it was one of the first I bought, in summer 2013. It’s very dry, and Pure Nude is so similar. It definitely served its purpose:


Pure Nude (LE Spring 2014 Dare to Go Nude collection) is, essentially, Barely Branded with a pink base. It suits my skintone as a “nude” tone a bit better since my undertones lean more cool, but swatched the two are practically indistinguishable. If you managed to snag Pure Nude last spring and don’t have Barely Branded, don’t bother picking it up.
The verdict: Keep; it’s still good, and it’s a versatile base.

Inked in Pink (permanent) is a muted shimmery pink with subtle gold shimmer. This is my go-to shade when I’m having a lazy day and just need to slap one colour all over my eyelids and go; it works well with my complexion and adds a little dimension to my eyes without being noticeable or requiring any effort. It also works well as a base for more deliberate eyeshadow looks.
The verdict: Purged; like Barely Branded, this was one of the earlier additions to my collection. I’ve hit some major pan on it and it’s drying out something fierce!

Pink Gold (UK; permanent) is the UK version of Inked in Pink. (It was given to me by Aisling; I didn’t buy a nearly identical eyeshadow to one I already have!) I find that the gold shimmer is a bit more pronounced in the pan, and the pink is a bit darker and warmer. I’d consider it more of a rose gold than Inked in Pink, though once blended on the eyelid they’re essentially the same.
The verdict: Keep. If I’d kept Inked In Pink I would have purged this one, but it’s a replacement.

Tough as Taupe (permanent) is a matte, cool-toned taupe (true to its name), and it is my favourite of the fifteen I have. It works beautifully as a base for all sorts of colours, it can be used as a contour in a pinch (on my skin tone, at least), and it’s my holy grail eyebrow product. I started using it on my brows about half a year before Anastasia’s Dipbrow came out, and I feel like a goddamn innovator. Plus I’m saving like twenty bucks, so. (By the way, it looks a bit uneven in the swatch – that would be due to the fact that it’s getting a bit dry from daily use.)
The verdict: Keep; though it’s drying out, it still works well for my brows since I don’t want to pick up too much product for them anyway.

Permanent Taupe (UK; permanent) is the UK version of Tough as Taupe. Aisling gave this one to me too when I was staying with her in Brighton and realized that I’d forgotten to bring Tough as Taupe, leaving me eyebrow-less. Oh, the horror! Luckily she had Permanent Taupe lying around and didn’t care for it, so it is now in my backup drawer, ready for action.
The verdict: Keep; it’s my HG brow product and it will definitely be used.

Bad to the Bronze (permanent) is every blogger and YouTuber’s favourite; it’s a gorgeous, multi-dimensional bronze with lots of shimmer. Although it’s obviously a warm colour, it pulls on the slightly cooler side of bronze – it’s definitely a bronze and not a copper. Two layers of this and you’ve got a full eyeshadow look, no crease colour required. I often forget I have this one, but I need to bust it out more often – it’s absolutely stunning.
The verdict: Keep, though it’s on its last legs of usefulness. I’ll try to get some use out of it and determine whether it’s worth replacing once it gets too dry to use.



Vintage Plum (permanent; Leather collection) reminds me of tough as taupe, if you added a helping of purple to it. It’s a muted, dusty purple. I think the “vintage” in its name is apt – it’s as if a purple has faded over time. It’s a rather subtle colour and can function as a neutral depending on what other eye makeup is added to it. The formula is a bit patchy, and it can be difficult to get an even application with it.
The verdict: Purged, reluctantly; though I love the colour, I never reach for it because it’s a bitch to work with.

Audacious Asphalt (possibly discontinued) is a medium grey with silver sparkle. Despite the size of the sparkle particles, it is shockingly easy to work with, providing an even dispersal of colour. It also makes a great base for a classic smokey eye.
The verdict: Purged; it’s a gorgeous shadow, but I simply never use this type of shade!

Silver Strike (possibly discontinued) is a cool, frosty silver with considerable shimmer. I find silver looks a bit stark on me (I’m already pale enough!), and it’s not the most smooth to apply (though it’s certainly not the worst). It’s the sheerest Color Tattoo I’ve tried, which means it can be fairly subtle or built up to sparkly silver perfection.
The verdict: Purged; it just doesn’t suit me and I have a few other silvers that I like better on the rare occasions that I want silver eyeshadow.

Shimmering Sea (LE Summer 2014 Bleached Neons collection) is a muted teal and pink duochrome. It is simply stunning. It defies being photographed, but it is truly the most beautiful eyeshadow colour I own. I get compliments on it every time I wear it. The formula of this one is also top-notch.
The verdict: Keep; it’s my favourite after Tough as Taupe.

Sunwashed Sky (LE Summer 2014 Bleached Neons collection) has a grey-blue base with fine gold and purple shimmer. That sounds a bit garish, but the effect is a subtle shift. Although the formula is just as strong as Shimmering Sea, the colour itself is not as wonderful. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still pretty, but it’s not as multi-dimensional as Shimmering Sea.
The verdict: Keep, but make an effort to use more often! It is lovely, but I usually pass it up in favour of Shimmering Sea.



Edgy Emerald (possibly discontinued) is a medium green with slight shimmer. I don’t think it’s deep enough to be considered an emerald – I’d call it more of a grass green. I really like the formula on this one; it’s super creamy and smooth.
The verdict: Keep, though I wear it rarely. I don’t own any other bright green eyeshadows, and this is perfect for a pop of colour on the lower lashline. I also wore it for St. Patrick’s Day this year and got lots of compliments, so I’ll probably repeat the feat next year!

Electric Blue (discontinued) is another misnomer: it’s a dark navy shimmer, hardly electric. For such a dark formula with rather sizable shimmer, the formula is impressively smooth. Navy is not a colour I tend to wear on my eyes often, but it would make a nice alternative to classic black eyeliner.
The verdict: Keep, but try to use it more often. It’s out of my comfort zone, but I like it enough to try to work with it.

Pomegranate Punk (permanent) is another colour that’s quite difficult to describe. It’s part reddish-brown, part plum, and very shimmery. It looks very red in the pan, but once it’s on the eyelids it can blend out to be fairly neutral. It’s not totally even upon first application, but it’s easy to smooth it out with a second thin layer. I think it’s a very interesting colour, and works well as a base for both the truly dramatic and the more wearable.
The verdict: Keep, but make an effort to wear it more often! It’s gorgeous and unique, but I forget I have it.

My Color Tattoo collection is still on the large side at 10 shadows, but I got rid of 1/3 of the ones I owned so I figure that’s a start. And it’s helping to put me in the right mindset to get rid of more makeup – I’ve been great at getting rid of books, clothes, and other possessions, but for some reason I find letting go of makeup a lot harder.

Products that are worth the hype #1

Posted on November 27, 2014 under Lists

I won’t even bother writing an introduction about how it sucks when a product is super hyped up and then you hate it, because we’ve all been there and it’s pretty obvious that that’s a shitty experience. Instead, I’ll just say that these five are staples in my makeup routine and in my opinion totally live up to the hype!

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

I know that everyone and their mom talks about this eyeliner, and if you don’t use it you’re probably like, “UGH, SHUT UP, I GET IT,” but the thing is that you don’t get it because it is that good. I have tried a lot of black liquid liners in my life, and I have found exactly two that don’t transfer on my eyelids.

To illustrate how well this one stays put, I will tell you a story of how I put it to The Drunk Test, which is the best possible test. Once, I did perfect winged eyeliner (which this liner makes it really easy to do, by the way), went out, drank several sidecars, rubbed my eyes halfway through the night and vaguely, drunkenly realized I probably shouldn’t do that, came home hours later, decided to wash off all my makeup but my eyeliner so that I didn’t have to do my wings again the next morning, and woke up to perfectly intact eyeliner.

The lesson? Drunk me is an innovative genius, and this eyeliner is the shit.

Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow

We’ve all heard that this is the best contour for pale, cool-toned skin. While I certainly have not tried every contour in the world and so cannot definitively say if this is true, I don’t feel the need to try every contour in the world because I have found The One.

My wonderful friend Jelena let me borrow Hollow for a not insignificant amount of time this summer, and I got so used to using it that when I had to return it to her I was lost. None of the products I was using to contour prior to Hollow came close to reaching its godliness. One of the first things I did when I got the UK, land of many Illamasqua counters, was run to Debenhams and buy Hollow. NOT SORRY AT ALL.

Hollow is, indeed, the perfect colour to give my complexion realistic-looking cheekbone definition. It also has just the right amount of pigment: it’s visible without needing to build up a million layers on your brush, but not so pigmented that it’s like, WOW, YOU PUT A LOT OF MAKEUP ON YOUR FACE. It’s easy to blend out, stays put all day, and after months of use I have not seen a dent in it at all.


This is a bad quality picture because I actually took it to document whatever the eff my hair is doing after being dyed lavender last month, but you can also see Hollow in action.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Concealer isn’t a very glamourous or fun product, but after hearing so many UK beauty gurus rave about it, it was #1 on my list of things to buy as soon as I got here. It took a bit of hunting to find a store that wasn’t out of the lightest shade (shoutout to the Boots on Princes Street in Edinburgh!), but it was so worth it. It’s creamy and extremely high coverage, which is good because I have this one zit on my chin that pretty much never goes away so I need ALL THE HELP I CAN GET! I also love using this one on my brow bone for when I want ***flawless, high-def brows.

The only downside to this product is that the colour range is very limited, with only four shades. If you’re not fair to tan, you’re out of luck. This is worth mentioning because it’s symptomatic of a wider culture of exclusion in the beauty industry. I really wish Collection would expand this line, because there are so many people needlessly missing out on an excellent product.

Maybelline Colour Tattoos

I believe I have 14 or 15 Colour Tattoos, which really tells you everything you need to know. Some are better than others (the coloured ones tend to be a bit gritty/patchy/hard to blend), but the majority of them are fantastic. Gorgeous colours, easy to apply (I always apply them with my finger!), great staying power. I do tend to have creasing problems (a result of having hooded, oily eyelids – SO unfair when the rest of my skin is dry as a bone), but these always stay really well. I never use a primer underneath them and I have no issues. They’re a great base to add pigment or dimension to powder shadows, but they’re also gorgeous on their own.

By now probably everybody knows how great these are since they’re so affordable, but they deserve a shoutout since they’re definitely in my top 5 favourite products of all time.

Rimmel Lasting Perfection by Kate Moss Lipsticks

Again, most people are probably aware of Rimmel’s Kate Moss line of lipstick since they’re very inexpensive and so talked about. The regular and matte lines are both excellent – great formula that stays put and feels comfortable on the lips, and a really nice variety of colours, from nudes to bright corals to deep berry reds. I have five from the regular line and one of the mattes, and I usually pick up a new one when they go on sale.

My only complaint is that they could definitely expand the range of colours. While there are a lot of nice ones, I’m at the point where I pretty much have all the colours that suit me and that I like – and I want more! (I’m a lipstick hoarder, by the way.)

What do you guys think of these products? And what products are totally worth the hype to you?