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.

Review: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Posted on November 18, 2017 under Reviews

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Every time I visit Aisling, she has an enormous stash of makeup castaways for me to go through. (I mean, seriously, I filled a tote bag with stuff to bring home this time, and I only took about half the stuff she had stored for my perusal.) I always find it hard to resist mid-range and high end freebies even if I don’t really want them, so I ended up with a bottle of Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5 to try. I have heard overall good things about this product, but I also know that I prefer a light to medium coverage and that long-wearing foundations don’t tend to mesh well with my dryer skin type. However, I could not resist trying out a $50 foundation for free. Hey, if I like it I win, and if I don’t like it one of my friends will win.

I began to realize that I would probably struggle with this foundation when I watched Katya use it on Instagram Live. Now, I appreciate all the drag queens on the internet for teaching me so much about life and gluing your eyebrows, but when it comes to foundation I think it’s safe to say that if it’s drag-approved it is going to be beyond too much for me. Katya’s go-to is the Dermablend cream foundation, which I have tried and which could not possibly be thicker or more high coverage, so that gave me enough context to realize that I was wading into shark-infested waters.

And you know what? I was right! It’s not just that the All Nighter Foundation is truly full coverage, which is a level that I think few people actually need. It’s also the fact that this foundation is most definitely suited to combination to oily skin types. I usually describe myself as “on the dryer side of normal”, and now that we’re getting into winter it’s at its driest. Winter in general doesn’t wreak havoc on my skin, but the transition into winter does, and that’s where we’re at right now. So I fully acknowledge that I am not giving this product its best shot since my skin is at its lowest potential currently, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Whether applied with a brush, a sponge, or my fingers, the All Nighter Foundation tends to cling to dry patches and textured areas. When applied with a damp sponge I find that after an hour or two of wear it smooths out somewhat, but upon initial application it looks noticeably heavy on my forehead, upper lip, and jawline.

Here is my face with no makeup:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

And here is my face with about 2/3 of a pump of Urban Decay All Nighter foundation applied in one even layer:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

I mean, is it just me or does this look very unnatural and mask-like? It’s also a bit too light for me, although it does oxidize – more on that later.

Let’s do some close-ups so we can evaluate the coverage and texture:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Clearly, the coverage is impressive; it totally covers my blemishes and hyperpigmentation, and my moles barely show through. What does show is that I am wearing foundation. I’ve seen cakier, but come on. This is how I like my face to look (dark circles notwithstanding):

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Clearly, the All Nighter foundation is not giving me this look.

Here’s how it looks after four hours of wear:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Looks okay from here, but let’s zoom in:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

There is clearly some unflattering clinging going on here – not as bad as it could be, but not ideal.

The All Nighter Foundation claims to be waterproof, so I tested this by running my face under my shower head for about ten seconds. I let most of the water dry naturally and then blotted the remainder off. Some of the foundation did come off, but it maintained pretty good coverage. However, it looked way cakier.

Here’s my full face after being watered:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

And close-ups:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

More heaviness on the forehead and between the brows, and it’s worn away just above the inner portion of my eyebrow.

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Looks cakey on the upper lip, and it’s worn away around and on the nose.

Totally emphasizes the texture I have on my jawline, and it’s settled into my smile lines. By the way, the orange splotch is from eating soup sloppily and has nothing to do with the foundation. (Not that it needs help looking bad…)

Usually when I experience wear problems with foundation, it’s simply a matter of them wearing away. With the All Nighter Foundation, it stays on my skin but by the end of an 8- or 10-hour day it looks very heavy and textured. So I guess technically it is long-wearing, but it may not be something you actually want to wear for a long time. I wish I had photographic evidence of how it looks after a full day of wear, but unfortunately Glasgow is currently getting about 12 seconds of sunlight a day, so you’ll have to take my word.

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

Packaging-wise, I think this is attractive, sturdy, and functional, so it gets a Clem seal of approval. I love that it has an airless pump, because it means no product will be wasted. I’d say I wish every foundation were packaged like this, but we still can’t get every brand to include a regular pump so I won’t hold my breath. Either way, this is the only thing I wholeheartedly enjoy about this foundation.

Comparison swatches:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

L-R: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5, Rimmel BB Cream in Very Light, NARS All Day Luminous Weightless in Siberia, The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N (current best match)

Aisling told me that she bought the lightest shade, 0.5, because she had read that this product oxidizes a lot. It didn’t on her and she ended up with a product that was too light for her. On me, it definitely does oxidize – when I first apply it, it’s a hair too light, but it ends up being a hair too dark.

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5

You can see that it’s noticeably darker around the edges where it’s dried. If after this absolutely glowing review you’re interested in this foundation, I’d keep the oxidization issue in mind and maybe get a sample before buying if possible.

If you have oily skin and/or are a drag queen, the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation may be the product for you! If you are normal to dry, I would suggest avoiding it. I’m not big on full coverage foundations anyway, and this certainly isn’t the one to change my mind. While it’s packaged beautifully and does boast impressive coverage, it simply does not want to play with my skin type, and the oxidization is another strike against it.

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.