Project Declutter: Makeup

Affiliate Links

I recently posted about decluttering my beauty collection, starting with the products in my bathroom, and today I'm moving on to makeup. I regularly go through my collection to make sure nothing is expired, but this time I decided to really be honest with myself and also eliminate products I just don't use. 

First up, three base products needed to go. The Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in 100 Ivory was my best friend this past winter and spring, but I tried to use it again recently and it started oxidizing on my skin into a very pink tone. It's noticeably different on my warm-toned skin, no matter how much I blend it, so the shade simply doesn't match me anymore. I'm pretty sad about this—I loved the formula, and it was too light for me to wear in the summer, so I was hoping to get back to it this winter. Next up, I have the same issue with the Revlon Colorstay Foundation: it matches well when I put it on, but quickly turns too pink (I have the shade 180 Sand Beige). Also, I just can't deal with pouring a foundation  out of such a wide opening. Lastly, I received this pretty generous sample of the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, and I never actually opened it: it's in the shade Nude Glow, which is the darkest option they have available, and I know my match is the Snow Glow (which is the lightest). None of these are expired, so they can definitely be used by someone else. 

Next, I knew I needed to take a good look at my cream eyeshadows. Ever since I discovered the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, I've been using those almost exclusively, and before that I was going between Chanel and Buxom options. Originally, I thought I was going to keep a few shades of my Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadows, but I ended up parting with all of them. 

I am actually quite sad about getting rid of these. I used to love them and they were a staple of my everyday makeup, but after a while they started drying up. I tried a few methods of reviving them, but at this point they just don't apply as smoothly as they used to, so I don't reach for them anymore. I don't think I will purchase them again either—my other cream shadows don't seem to dry up as fast. Apparently, you get what you pay for here.

I also had some liners to purge. Any previous liquid liner pen favorites have been replaced by the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner—it's the only thing I reach for, and it's seriously the best. So there went my old Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liners (which needed to go regardless) and the Cynthia Rowley Liquid Liner (which just isn't black enough for my taste). I also have a Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen, which I got from a beauty subscription box. It didn't work as an eyeshadow for me, and it's obviously too thick to be a liner. 

Finally, my lipstick drawer needed some serious purging. Can you tell how hard I was trying to find a pink lipstick that works for me? There is also an array of coral reds, which I just don't need—I have a couple of orange reds that I wear the most, and a few true reds which I love. I think coral is just not my scene. I did keep one (Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick in Shocking Coral), just in case, but the rest of them are going. I'm not going to go through everything in this photo, because we would be here all night, and because most of these are being left behind because of the shade—not the formula. However, I do want to point out two formulas that I didn't get along with: NYX Round Case Lipsticks and Bourjois Rouge  Edition Velvet Lipsticks. NYX just didn't work on my lips, emphasizing the smallest creases, and sliding around too much. I did mention them in my Disappointing Products post, but I was trying to make them work for me. I'm over that. The Bourois lipsticks I'm actually upset about—I really wanted to love them. I wrote a review a while ago, mentioning that the formula is inconsistent, and that the scent was weird. Well, guess what? The scent has gotten progressively worse—they smell like a mix of plastic and aspirin now, and they're not even that old. Very disappointing.

I feel like this decluttering session was very productive. I think I will tackle my nail polish next. 
How often do you go through your makeup collection and get rid of things?

NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Rita and Brigitte: Review + Swatches

Affiliate Liks

After patiently waiting for the Sephora VIB sale, I finally got my hands on a couple of NARS Audacious Lipsticks. If you remember my Wish List post, I was trying to decide between Rita and Brigitte, but as you can tell, I ended up getting both of these. I have no regrets. Lipsticks are my absolute favorite makeup items. I also feel like these aren't my last purchase from this lipstick range—the hype is definitely well-deserved. 

First of all, NARS stepped up their game on the lipstick packaging. One of the things that I'm not a big fan of is the matte coating on their products: it looks nice when it's new, but it gets dirty really quickly, and starts peeling fairly quickly. This is not attractive—I need my lipstick to look perfect when I'm pulling it out of my purse. Now, the Audacious lipsticks don't have the coating—they are very sleek and the lid is actually magnetic. They ARE prone to fingerprints, but that's much easier to wipe off than every bit of dust that sticks to the matte coating.

Second, the formula is excellent. These lipsticks are super pigmented and are fully opaque after just one swipe. I really like the consistency too: they aren't too balmy or slippery, but they aren't dry either. Both of the shades are creamy and comfortable to wear. They will stay on your lips and eventually start fading evenly into a stain, as long as you don't have a full meal. After eating, I noticed that the middle was definitely worn off, but since the majority on the color was still intact, I didn't actually need to reapply—rubbing my lips together to "redistribute" the lipstick was enough. My only issue with these is that they transfer very easily (especially Rita) no matter how much time has passed since the application—if you're planning to kiss anyone, better reconsider the lipstick (or the kiss, you know, depends on who we're talking about). Surprisingly, no matter how much transfers, you are still left with more than enough color on your lips. What is this sorcery?!

The shades themselves are beautiful. Brigitte is the perfect everyday pink, right in the middle between a nude and a light pink. It's warm enough to look natural, but definitely gives a nice wash of color. And of course, Rita is a to-die-for red. I can't get over how vibrant this shade is! I love the natural creamy finish on these, since I'm not a fan of lipstick that's too glossy. Basically, I'm in love!

Have you tried any of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks? Do you have a favorite shade?

If you're curious about what else I picked up during the Sephora VIB sale, you should check out the video below!

Nails of the Day: Butter London Cor Blimey

Affiliate Links

Most of you probably know by now how much I love purple. Not the bright pink-purple, or the pale lavender—I'm talking about rich, deep purple (did I just say Deep Purple? "Smoke on the water, a fire in the sky...") Naturally, I was drawn to Cor Blimey as soon as I saw it. Butter London describes the shade as a "full coverage, brilliant aubergine in matte-satin finish," and I have to say, the matte-satin finish was one of the main reasons I decided to pick it up. I've never tried a matte nail polish before, but I have been wanting to for a while now.

First of all, the formula is great—I'm on a roll with Butter London. I'm wearing two coats on the photo above, and as you can see, it's perfectly opaque. Despite the shimmer, the color applies smoothly, without any streaks. Now, let's talk about this matte situation for a minute. I'm wearing my regular top coat on my ring finger, so you can see the difference. The finish definitely isn't full matte—a satin is a much better word for it, and it actually gets less matte after a couple of days. Something that gets almost completely lost in the matte finish is the beautiful shimmer—if you click on the photo and look closer, you will be able to see the difference between the top coat vs. no top coat versions. The biggest downfall for me though was the fact that without a top coat Cor Blimey starts chipping on day three, if you're doing normal things with your hands like cleaning, washing dishes, or do a lot of typing. It also takes quite a while to dry on its own, and the slightest imperfection is very noticeable (you can see I messed up my pinky).

Here's the bottom line: I love the color, I love the formula, I'm not sold on the satin finish. I think if you want a truly matte manicure that will stay on for a while, you're better off investing in a matte top coat. I'll be treating Cor Blimey as a regular nail polish from now on, and I am still happy to have it in my collection.

Do you like matte nail polish? Is there a matte top coat you recommend?

Five Things Friday (even though it's Saturday): Unwind and Recharge

Happy Saturday, everybody! Obviously, this post was going to go up yesterday, but that was before life got in the way. Still, I wasn't about to let this just sit here for a week or go to waste, so here we go: Five Things Friday... even though it's Saturday. I don't know about you, but I've never been one to party hard on the weekend—clubbing, bar hopping, or big loud house parties just aren't my scene. I've given in to peer pressure when I was younger, but these days I'm happily embracing the homebody status. I'll go out for a movie, or a dinner, or a quick trip to the mall, but most importantly I like to take time to relax and give my brain a break. Here are my five steps to a perfect chilled out afternoon:

1. Step away from the electronics

Be honest with yourself: how much time do you spend "plugged in"? Your phone, your tablet, your computer, the TV, constant social media updates, all complete with a major case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Now step away from everything that has a screen for at least a few hours. It's liberating. And if you are a superhero and the World is suddenly in need of saving, I'm pretty sure you will figure it out without repeatedly (and aimlessly) refreshing your Twitter feed. 


2. Give your skin a break

If you're planning to unwind after work, take all of that makeup off. If you're relaxing on a day off, don't even put it on. When I'm having at-home chill-out time, my beauty routine consists of a hot shower, moisturizer, and a lip balm. You won't see me painting my nails, or even applying a BB cream. Once again, it's liberating—I love feeling clean and letting my skin breathe.


3. Set the mood

You didn't think this was going to happen without a candle and a hot beverage, did you? Especially during autumn and winter. Tea and coffee are my two most consumed drinks, and with the extensive number of options I have at home / nearby Starbucks, I am always drinking something delicious. As for candles, I'm currently into scents that are sweet and spicy, but not too strong—just enough to create a cozy atmosphere. 

4. Read

Now, when I say "read" I mean a paper copy of something. Remember, we are stepping away from the electronics here, so don't pick up that iPad and get lost checking your email "really quickly". Nothing relaxes me as much as reading—I love getting lost in a fictional world, learning something new from a non-fiction book, or revisiting an old favorite (if you're curious about what I'm reading this month, check out this video I just posted). Personally, I don't really read magazines, but if there is nothing wrong with flipping through the latest issue of Vogue either. 


5. Go for a walk

Unless it's completely miserable outside, taking a walk is one of my favorite things to do to clear my mind. Actually, I already took one today before writing this post—I love fall weather. I love it whether it's a crisp sunny day or a gloomy one that puts me in a nostalgic mood. As long as you don't spend your walk texting and instagramming, you are guaranteed to come back feeling refreshed and inspired: look around, take deep breaths, and take in the world around you. 

What about you? What's your recipe for a perfect relaxing afternoon?

Project Declutter: Skin, Body, and Hair Care

Affiliate Links

There has been a lot of "makeup graveyard" and "purging" talk in the beauty community lately, and I have to say I think it's a great trend. Consumerism is booming and we keep buying into advertising that tells us we absolutely NEED the newest *insert product*. And it's fine, sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to something new and pretty, but let's talk about product hoarding. I may get some heat for saying this, but I do not understand when people say they collect makeup or beauty products: they're perishables! It's like collecting food! What?! Sure, most of us collect something, I'm not judging, but storing unused goo and powder seems like a strange concept to me. Rant over, moving on.

Generally, I'm pretty good at using things up and not having too many products open at the same time, but after taking a closer look at my beauty collection (and stuff I own in general), I realized I could easily let go of quite a few items. Bathroom was my first victim: I went through skin, body, and hair care—as you can see, I found some products I wasn't using. Now, I don't hate all of those—I just know I won't be using them anymore for one reason or another. Here's a quick overview:

Sachajuan Body Lotion and Aqua Spa Body Crème are two body moisturizers I got from subscription boxes. They both feel nice and smell delicious, but here's the thing: I have moved on to body butters and body oils quite a while ago, and lotions just aren't my thing anymore—I feel like they're neither here nor there. But I know for a fact, my mom is going to love both of these.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product is a really good multitasking leave-in conditioner, but I'm not the biggest fan of the scent, and I have two other ones that I absolutely love. I've used up about half of the bottle and there is nothing wrong with it, so I'll probably give it away if anyone wants it. The Sebastian Whipped Crème Style Whip is something I got as a gift with purchase, and I've never even used it—it's meant for curly/wavy hair, which I don't have. Chi 44 Iron Guard is another product I don't have any use for—my hair is too short to curl, and it's stick-straight on its own, so I have no heat to protect myself from aside from the blowdryer (which my leave-in conditioner takes care of). My last hair item is the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega+ Nourishing Oil. I'm not even going near that: I don't get along with hair oils and anti-aging? Come on. All three of these can obviously find a better home.

Next up are two LUSH products: Sea Spray Hair Mist and No Drought Dry Shampoo. Sadly, I didn't like either of them, and I really tried to make them work. The Sea Spray is too heavy for me and makes my hair look weird, and No Drought actually works, but is pretty difficult to distribute evenly or blend in. In addition, the expiration day on both of these is up, so they are going in the trash. Another thing that bit the dust is the Anatomicals Facial Spritz (sorry, can't find it online)—nice and refreshing, but there is no need to use expired products. 

Lastly, I have a few unopened travel size skin care items that were free add-ons with purchases. I like the Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient-Rick Facial Mask, but I have a full size bottle of it that I'm nowhere near being done with—the little guy is just collecting dust. Next, the Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer isn't something I have any interest in, as I prefer more natural skin care. Same goes for Clarins Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream, except for I also have no interest in correcting wrinkles, so that's a double "no". Obviously, giving all of these away to friends and family.

I feel like this decluttering session was very productive—now the only products in my bathroom are the ones I use and love. I'm definitely on a mission to minimize my collection, so you will be seeing more posts like this in the coming weeks. Sorry about the wall of text—once I get to makeup I will actually be able to show you closeups and swatches to break things up. Are any of you working towards a lighter collection? Do you have any tips?

On the topic of minimizing my collection, I've been doing a really good job at using up products. To hear about my most recent pile of things I've finished up, check out my latest video—it has a ton of quick reviews:

October Book Haul!

Affiliate Links

Well, that's a new kind of post, isn't it? See, here is the situation: I haven't done that much beauty shopping lately, but I sure have made up for it in book shopping. So why not make a haul out of that? If you've been reading my blog for at least a couple of weeks, you probably already know how much I love reading, so I hope you don't mind seeing a different kind of haul. Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought about them!

First of all, I invested in a couple of volumes of Saga, which I mentioned in my October Favorites video. The idea was to slowly get through them, dragging things out until the next volume is released in December (which obviously didn't work out that way). I keep recommending this to people—it's such a fun comic book series for adults, it has everything you can imagine, and more. Then, the internet has talked me into Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, which is a YA fantasy trilogy (I've also read a few pages of the book sample and loved the writing). You may wonder why these three books look beat up if they're new... Well, it's because I REALLY didn't like the US covers—I thought the art looked kind of cheap and tacky, so I had to hunt down the UK editions (at least one is used). Yes, I'm that person who wants pretty covers. I collect books, OK? My final fantasy purchase was the last available book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Dance with Dragons. Now my Game of Thrones blu-ray and book collection is up to date.

Moving on to more a more contemporary setting, I bought a horror/mystery book called Horrorstör. I've been in the mood for this genre lately, and also this book looks like an IKEA catalogue (seriously, look it up). UnDivided is the final book of the UnWind series, which I am a big fan of. I pre-odrered this one a while ago and forgot about it, so I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. The series is YA dystopia with some science fiction involved, and if you want a quality dystopian book that will creep you out a bit, I highly recommend the UnWind series.

Up at the front I have a mix of things: a zombie novel, a story about ambition and superpowers, and a historical fiction book based on folklore. The zombie novel is Warm Bodies, which you may have heard about because a few years ago there was a movie under the same title, based on this book. It's written in first-person zombie narrative—doesn't that sound like fun? Then, Vicious is the story about ambition and superpowers: it follows two friends, who may have figured out a way to gain extraordinary abilities. Finally, Deathless blends history, Stalinism, war, and Russian folklore—I couldn't pass this one up.

Now, to see which of these I've actually read in October, check out my latest video:

Have you bought any exciting books lately?

Bite Beauty Best Bite Remix Set: Review + Swatches

Affiliate Links

And the most Halloween-appropriate brand name award goes to... Bite Beauty! I mean, come on, it's called "Bite"—that's just asking for vampire references. Not to mention, they have plenty of lipstick shades to satisfy anyone's vampy lips needs. I have recently fallen in love with Bite Beauty lip products, so I was kind of stalking Sephora in hopes of a holiday set for the past couple of months. When the Best Bite Remix set appeared on their website, I ordered it immediately, and I'm pretty sure this was one of the best beauty purchases I've made all year. I actually talked about it in my October Favorites video a couple of days ago.

The set contains four of Bite Beauty's High Pigment Pencils: two permanent shades (Rhubarb and Pomegranate) and two shades exclusive to the set (Sablé and Winterberry). The formula is really nice: creamy, pigmented, and comfortable to wear. On me, the lasting power is about average: they will stay on as long as I'm not eating or drinking. As you can see in the photo, the shades are very opaque, but they don't feel heavy at all on the lips, which is nice. The Best Bite Remix set is $25 at Sephora and I think it's a great price for what you get: each pencil is 0.05oz (one regular size pencil is $24 for 0.09oz). Now, let's take a closer look at the shades:

First up, Sablé is a perfect everyday pink-toned nude. It's very wearable, but also has enough pigment in it to not leave you looking washed out. Initially, I didn't think I would get a lot of use out of this one (I struggle with nude lipsticks being too light for my pigmented lips), but I actually really like it.

Rhubarb is a really pretty mauve shade that makes the lips stand out without being too intense. I would still consider it an everyday shade, even though it's much darker than your average neutral pink. 

Pomegranate is a stunning cool-toned red that will flatter any skin tone. I wore it a few times already, but I can tell that this is going to be a big hit in my book during the holiday season. It's worth noting that, out of the four shades, this one stains my lips the most and therefore stays on longer than others. 

Finally, Winterberry is a berry fuchsia shade with a very appropriate name. I can't think of a more perfect lip color for the cold seasons! I wish this existed in full size—it's my most used pencil out of the four at the moment, and I'm going to be really sad when I run out.

Have you tried any Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils? What is your most coveted holiday set this year?