Packing Light for Prague

Posted on November 25, 2017 under Life

My last few trips I did not bother to pack light makeup-wise, either because I didn’t have to or because I felt I needed options. This weekend, however, I’m going to Prague for purely touristy reasons, and I thought this would be the perfect time to exercise some restraint. As with all my European weekend trips, I pack entirely in one small school-sized backpack, so I really need to streamline my makeup to make room. I thought I would share my very minimal makeup bag today.

I can easily fill a liquids bag with skincare, but I know that when I’m walking around all day and sleeping in a hostel dorm room at night my desire to keep up with a complex skincare routine is zero. So my liquids bag – which is from Muji, by the way – reflects a back-to-basics approach.

The skincare steps I cannot do without are cleansing and moisturizing. The Caudalie Vino Perfect Serum from this year’s Sephora birthday gift will help boost the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturizer to keep my skin nice and hydrated. I’ve never had issues with dry undereyes until the past month or so, so I decided to bring the Biotherm Homme Eye Depuffer (which, by the way, is a nice gel eye cream even if you’re not a man). I got a sample of the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor which I’ve been saving for travel, since obviously my poor dead hair requires a lot of moisture. I don’t have any travel-sized shampoo right now, so I’ll have to pick one up at the airport.

The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is such an easy, fuss-free foundation that it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing which base product to pack. The packaging is also incredibly travel-friendly. For concealer, Maybelline Master Conceal works under the eyes and on blemishes.

I can’t be without Milani Eyeshadow Primer, and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a staple for me as well. The Lancôme Hypnôse Drama mascara mini is convenient for travel, and I like the mascara as well. (Lancôme mascaras are so hit and miss to me, but this one is a hit.) Finally, a fresh tube of Essence Lash and Brow Mascara to keep my brow hairs in place.

And then the rest of my makeup easily fits in one small bag, which is a point of pride when I am prone to overpacking.

For the cheeks, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure goes with everything and is a perennial travel staple for me. This is the most beautiful flattering blush colour in the world despite how “meh” it appears in the pan. I’m not sure if I’ll bother with highlighter, but I figured I’d give myself the option. Glossier Haloscope in Quartz is easy to apply without brushes and it gives a very natural effect, so I thought it would be perfect for travel.

Urban Decay Naked Basics is probably the most boring travel palette choice in the world, but it’s small, practically indestructible, and foolproof. I decided to add an eyebrow pencil into my repertoire mainly for travel purposes, so I don’t have to mess around with a brush and pomade when I’m on the go. The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Taupe is one of many ABH Brow Wiz dupes, and it works for me.

Forgive me for being extra and packing two lip balms. Overnight, my lips need the heavy-duty power of Nuxe Rêve de Miel, but during the day I prefer something a little lighter like Vaseline Lip Therapy. In an uncharacteristic move, I am committing to a single lip liner – Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Enchantment – and a single lipstick – YSL Rouge Volupté in #17. I love moisturizing lip products when I’m travelling, and the soft berry shade of #17 makes it a perfect candidate for this trip. I usually like to pair the Rouge Voluptés with a liner underneath to increase the staying power a bit, so I’ll likely just wear this combination together each day.

I tend to really overpack brushes, but this time I cut it down to the essentials: Magic Collection Oval Brush, ColourPop Blush Brush, ColourPop Blending Brush, ELF Crease Brush, ELF Eyeshadow C Brush, ELF Eye Contour Brush, ELF Small Smudge Brush, Elf Spoolie. Wow, I do really like ELF brushes, don’t I?

(By the way, I definitely washed that foundation brush after I took this picture!)

In case you were wondering about cleansing, I did buy a pack of makeup wipes from Superdrug. I hardly ever use wipes, but I just think washing my face with an actual cleanser while travelling is more hassle than it’s worth. My skin is pretty resilient, so I think it’ll survive. I love using actives on my skin, but I know that I can get away with just makeup wipes and moisturizer for three nights. It’ll make my life easier!

Anyway, I’m off this evening with my nice light makeup bag. I’ve wanted to go Prague for years, so I’m really excited that I could finally make it happen.

Pre-moving declutter part III: Lip products

Posted on September 03, 2017 under Declutter

I’m back with one last declutter post for you before I’m off to Glasgow! I was quite ruthless with my lipsticks and managed to get rid of almost a third of my collection.

If you want to see swatches of any of these colours, you can refer to my recent lipstick inventory.

Things That Are Old

ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips in Marshmallow and Prim: The two times I wore Marshmallow in public were worth the $6 USD I spent on this supremely unflattering purple-grey. I knew it would look like shit on me when I ordered it, and it surely delivered. Sadly, it and Prim, a striking deep brown with a hint of purple, both smell very off now. ColourPop products don’t seem to have a very long shelf life.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless: Do you know how long I spent popping into every drugstore I passed to see if they had an unmarred tube of Shameless? So long. And then I finally found this tube, in early 2014, and I wore it a lot, and now I don’t wear it anymore. I still love the colour, but it’s old besides being flawed (patchy, not as comfortable as other Matte Balms).

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Raspberry: Raspberry is from the OG Joe Fresh line (pre-expansion into Shoppers Drug Mart, back when the prices were considerably lower) and it used to be one of my absolute favourites. I still love the playful pink-red, but the formula no longer excites me when I compare it to other lipsticks I have, and the packaging has been broken for almost as long as I’ve had it. The only way to describe the state of this lipstick is “crusty”.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 06: I love this colour and I have held onto this very old tube for longer than I probably should have while hunting for a suitable dupe. I have finally found it and can now say goodbye to this old, nasty tube.

Colours That Look Bad On Me

Buxom Plumpline Lip Liners in White Russian, Ransom, and Intrigue*: Buxom sent me six of these and I kept half. I really like this formula – and I use the rosy brownish pink Hush Hush and burnt orange Covert Affair regularly – but these colours do me no favours.

Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink Lipstick in Orange Pop: This is a sheer neon orange which does not suit me in the slightest. It’s okay, I bought it because it looks like a cat (proof here), and that alone has brought me joy for many years.

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Pourquoi Pas?: Okay, listen, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I got this as gratis from a Lancôme training I did for work back in the spring, and I was super excited to get one of these fancy clicky tubes until I saw the colour. This is a sheer, cool hot pink that looks like shit on me. I wore it to work one day despite my reservations and I regretted it the entire time.

Lancôme Matte Shaker in Yummy Pink*: I actually haven’t even tried this product on, but see above re: cool pinks. I love the Matte Shaker in Pink Power, which is much warmer, so I’m sure a friend will enjoy this brand-new product.

Colours That Are A Little Bit Off

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Viola (Mini): I want this to be warmer! The difference between lavender and lilac is crucial for me, and this is just a hair short of lilac. I don’t think it’s completely unwearable, but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect lilac.

Little Mix By Collection Lipstick in Perrie: This dusty medium purple is very pretty but not quite right on me. I wore it a lot when I got it, but I tried it on recently and wasn’t wowed. This lipstick was £2.50 so I think it was money well spent.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Please Me: Light and mid-toned pinks are tricky on me, and this one is just slightly wrong. It’s not horribly unflattering, but when it comes to everyday colours I can do a lot better.

Colours That Are Similar To Things I Like Better

Little Mix By Collection Lipstick in Jade: This is a rosy brownish pink, a colour description that I have already used in this post in reference to the Buxom Lip Liner in Hush Hush. I prefer the matte, longwearing formula of Hush Hush, and I have no need for both.

Joe Fresh Long Wear Liquid Lipstick in Fuchsia: You know, I have to give Joe Fresh credit for coming out with these (now discontinued) liquid lipsticks ahead of the curve. I bought this well before the liquid lipstick trend had beat itself to death. I used to love this ultra bright fuchsia. I’ve noticed that my feelings towards fuchsia – once my favourite lipstick colour – have changed considerably, and this isn’t a colour I love on myself anymore. I have similar shades that are just more flattering on me. Also, yes, I have two tubes of this, because I lost mine, repurchased it, and found the original tube within hours.

Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in Posh Pink: I wanted this lipstick to be a replacement for the Rimmel shade, but it’s too pink and not vibrant enough. I have plenty of bright warm pinks and corals; this one is unnecessary.

Little Mix By Collection Lipstick in Leigh-Anne : A redundant red. That’s it for my Little Mix makeup products! Ironically considering the name of this brand, I have decided that collector’s items do not need to stay in my makeup stash. I absolutely love British girl band Little Mix, and these lipsticks are really good for the mere £2.50 they cost, but this colour is generic and unnecessary in my life.

Clarins Rouge Prodige in Fusion Red: I like the shiny finish of this slightly warm-leaning red, but it’s not the most practical when it comes to wear time. I have both warm reds and true reds which I prefer over this. This is one of my oldest makeup products and the packaging is so pretty that it pains me to part with it, but I don’t think I’ll actually miss it.

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Hang-Up: Again, a sheer, moisturizing finish for a fairly deep shade is not my favourite. This colour is very similar to the Buxom Lip Liner in Mystery, and since it’s matte I think the formula is more compatible with the richness of the colour. I do like Hang-Up a lot (the colour is super pretty and it’s comfortable to wear), but it’s time for it to go.

Things I Just Don’t Like

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Scarlet: Scarlet is housed in much sturdier packaging than its younger sister Raspberry up there, but it has always been a little “meh”: a bit patchy and not my most flattering colour. I have deep reds/wines/berries that I think look nicer and that have far superior formulas.

Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in Wannabe: I love this colour, but the formula is quite waxy and I don’t enjoy wearing it.

Essence Matt Matt Matt Vibrant Shock in 09: This product taught me that I like navy blue lipstick, but that’s the only good thing I can say about it. It’s too sheer for such a bold colour and it wears off easily.

Know Cosmetics No, My Lips Are Sealed Topcoat: I didn’t notice that this did anything, and I didn’t like having to apply it from the little spatula on the end of the wand.

Lip Liners

Arbonne Lip Liner in Berry*: The formula on this is fine, but it’s a colour that doesn’t pair that well with any of my lipsticks.

MUA Lip Liner in Brooding Plum: I’ve used this with my deeper reds enough times to justify the £1 I spent on it, but it’s a fairly dry formula that’s not that pleasant to work with.

Collection Lip Definer in Damson: A truly beautiful deep plum that doesn’t go with any of my lipsticks. It’s pretty dry by now, too – I’ve had it for ages.

That’s 24 lipsticks, 3 lip liners, and one lip topcoat. Combined with the face and eye makeup products, that is a total of 57 products plucked from the loving embrace of my collection. These products completely fill up one makeup bag, which I think is a considerable amount of space to have saved in my luggage. Yay!

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.