Saturday, 16 February 2019

Collection Inventory: Red Lip Products

Kicking off my collection inventory project with the most ridiculous category of makeup I own: red lipsticks. I have a lot, as determined by the length of this post. And while a lot of them are different, a lot of them also aren't. Part of this collection inventory business is going to be me figuring out what I really do want to keep and what I bought for some ideal version of myself, or what I bought when I was trying to figure out myself, or what is keeping me from achieving true lipstick nirvana: enough variety without overwhelming myself with my options. 

The good thing about owning this many red lipsticks is that I do wear red lipstick most days. It's become my thing, to the point that when I went without lipstick while working over the holidays, my manager introduced me to someone and quickly mentioned that it wasn't a true first impression, since normally I'm wearing red lipstick. Okay, true. But even I, queen of red lipstick, admit that this might be a little too much. The good thing is that this is by far the largest part of my makeup collection, and thus, the easiest to trim. I've done a little trimming in general of my makeup since I posted my overview, but that was more obvious items. At the end of this post, I'll share what will be placed into purgatory - if I miss it and want it back, great. If not, all of the things taken out of my collection this year will be given away, sold, or trashed. 

If I wrote a review on it on the blog, it's linked.

L-R: NARS Starwoman, Bite Flag Red, NARS Annabella, Besame Victory Red, Besame Red Velvet, Besame Cherry Red, NARS Dragon Girl

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

NARS makes such great colours in general, and I've liked all of the lipstick formulas I've tried from them. Dragon Girl has been on my list for a while, and I made the plunge in October, picking it up while a coworker and I went shopping on our travels for a course we were taking. And I love it. I wish it didn't require sharpening, since I lose a tiny bit of product that way, but it's otherwise perfect. It's a beautiful, bright pink red, lightweight, matte but not drying, and it doesn't transfer too much. Of all of my reds, I think this one is among the most flattering.

Besame Lipstick in Red Velvet

Besame makes one of the best, long-lasting, non-drying, satin finish bullet lipsticks out there, in my humble opinion. They're also incredibly opaque but not too heavy. Red Velvet is one of their oldest and most classic shades, a neutral, more muted red. It's plush and easy to wear. I also don't think I'd repurchase this one once I'm done my mini, just because I have so many and this one doesn't feel as special to me as the others. But I do enjoy my mini!

Besame Lipstick in Cherry Red

This one actually looks like a cherry - so many things called cherry red don't look at all any kind of cherries, you know? This is the deep, rich, pink red of cherries, like the stain you get on your fingers, but opaque and in lipstick form. This is probably my favourite of the set of Besame minis I got in November 2017, and one that I would purchase the full size of once I'm done, whenever that may be. 

Besame Lipstick in Victory Red

We all know that Besame can do reds, but with so many, there are inevitably some better than others. To me, Victory Red is the pinnacle of their reds. Bright, saturated, pure, vibrant red. I love it. It's so bold and striking, and with that tenacious Besame formula, it's pretty close to perfect for me. 

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Flag Red

The thing about Bite is that I like it in theory, and frequently in practice, but there's always something I like a little better. Flag Red (which, for the record, is not the actual red on the Canadian flag) was put out by Bite for Canada Day in 2017, and I picked it up then. It's a fun, warm tomato red, but it's also almost identical to NARS Annabella, which I like a lot more. Bite lipsticks also don't have the longest of shelf lives, due to the food grade ingredients, and I really don't expect this to last beyond the next year or so. The Amuse Bouche formula is also a little too smudgy for a bright colour like this.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella

My most recent lipstick purchase, picked up with my Christmas giftcards in January. Another warm, bold red, this is just a really fun red. I love it. The Audacious formula is one of my favourite lipstick formulas - it's plush, comfortable, tenacious, and has a satin finish, which is my preferred finish these days. A classic red is always good, but Annabella had the impact of red while being punchy and casual and a little more laid back. Or at least, that's how I feel about a warm red like this. 

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman

I swore off liquid matte lipsticks, but then Lena had to go and praise the Powermatte formula, and in particular, Starwoman. The second I saw it, I knew it was a red for me. I dithered for a little while - obviously I don't need any red lipsticks - but ultimately purchased it. Starwoman is all I thought it would be. The formula on these is not bulletproof or transferproof, but after snacking, drinking, talking, and even eating, Starwoman still looks perfect. The formula is very comfortable, and I think part of the swing away from the crazy dry mattes of the last few years. It's matte by not drying, and reads more velvety that flat. 

L-R: MAC Mystical, Glossier Zip, Essence Deep Sea Lore, Bite Cherry On Top, Sephora After Hours, NYX In the Red, Pat McGrath Elson, Sephora Always Red, Peripera Sellout Red

MAC Alluring Aquatics Lipstick in Mystical

This limited edition came out in 2014, and while the packaging is beautiful, the lipstick itself is fine. It's a cremesheen finish, which means it's glossy and semi-sheer and slippery as hell. When I bought this, that was more my thing, since I wasn't sold on the lipstick thing yet. It's a sheer ruby on me. It doesn't really build up very well, since that makes it thicker and more slippery. This lipstick hasn't gone off yet, and I have used it loyally since purchase. A+ shelf life.

Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Zip

This is the second formulation of the Generation Gs, before they were reformulated in fall 2018 to have better packaging and a new awful drying formula. Way to go, Glossier. This formulation is lightly emollient going on, and the bright poppy red that is Zip builds up to opaque nicely, but also looks great as a semi-sheer matte. I said originally that the Colourpop Blotted Lips were very similar and a far better price. As it turns out, the Generation Gs age a lot better. My Blotted Lips all dried out and snapped, while Zip is exactly the same as the day I got it. I enjoy this for a more casual lip colour, but still want something bright and fun. It's not as tenacious as other lipsticks in terms of wear time, but it fades well and is easy to reapply.

Essence Cosmetics Water Kiss Glossy Lip Colour in Deep Sea Lore

I discovered this formula before Christmas from a comment on Reddit, and picked up one. I fell in love. And picked up another. They're super cheap and super unique. The Water Kiss formula is not a gloss, not a stain, and not a lip oil. It's a thin, watery formula, not quite opaque, and build easily. It has a glossy sheen, but that wears off over time and leaves the colour. But the colour doesn't stain. It's magic and comfortable and beautiful. Deep Sea Lore is my second one, and it's a bright pink red, almost coral, but not quite. I really love this colour, and I see it being a staple in the summer.

Bite Beauty Crystal Creme Shimmer Lip Crayon in Cherry On Top

This is tied with NARS Annabella for being my most recent lipstick acquisition, being part of that same order. I was mourning in December that I had to toss my favourite holiday lipstick, Colourpop Let's Play, because a bold lipstick with shimmer is something I feel I need. And then Bite released this new line! Of course I picked the red with red shimmer. Cherry On Top is a red with warm red shimmer, and fills that sparkly hole in my life. This is almost identical to the original creme matte lip crayon, except shimmery. The packaging is also shimmery plastic, which is more my speed than the usual matte grey of Bite's products. Cherry On  Top isn't an everyday kind of red, more of a statement. I really enjoy it.

Sephora #Lipstories Lipstick in After Hours

The #Lipstories were all the rage when they were released last winter - a million colours and finishes and only $10 at Sephora! Score! And of course, now no one talks about them, me included. I picked up two and ended up only keeping this one. And while it's a beautiful brick red, the formula is a very strong meh after nearly a year. It is a demi-matte, and looks beautiful when first applied, but it highlights flakes if I'm not super careful.

NYX Super Cliquey Matte Lipstick in In the Red

A friend recommended this to me in the summer, and despite me thinking that NYX products are largely disappointing at best, I still picked it up when it was on sale, because the colour was just so beautiful. It's a red that verges on coral, though it never quite gets there. The formula is very good, being a cream to matte finish. It's got great staying power, and I like the small, teardrop applicator, though the idea that one click gives you enough of the bullet for your day's wear is laughable. Its main flaw is that you can't reapply over a worn layer without it starting to look a little flaky and weird by the end of the day. However, I've definitely gone without reapplying and that was fine too. Hats off, NYX. You made a formula I actually like.

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Elson

I'm so conflicted by this lipstick. I got this as part of a trio of minis of Pat McGrath's lipsticks, because I wanted to try one, but the full sizes are $52 here in Canada. That is definitely over what I consider to be the top range of what an acceptable price for a tube of lipstick (which was $40, but NARS Audacious is over that now). And while I stand by my original statement that it's no especially unique in terms of colour, Elson is a treat to wear. It's lightweight, with a velvety finish, it's a beautiful darker red on me, and it applies beautifully. But no! It's not $52 worth of goodness. The mini is abysmally small, so I may actually finish it. I would consider using a giftcard to buy the full size. I would not use my own money, because $52. How many times can I say that? But it's really appalling as a price. 

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red

The original Cream Lip Stain, and generally agreed to be among the best, if not the best, of the formula, one of my coworkers gave this mini to me as part of my Christmas present this year. It's a great true red, and the formula is a little thinner than the others I've tried in the past. It dries to a matte finish, and lasts pretty well through meals. I'm glad I only have a mini, though, because this isn't especially unique in my sea of reds. 

Peripera Peri's Ink Velvet in Sellout Red

Into purgatory: Flag Red (because it's too similar to Annabella, and I like Annabella a lot more), After Hours (because it's kind of meh and Starwoman fills the dark red niche for me), and Mystical (because it's almost five years old and good packaging is not going to outweigh an ancient, mostly finished lipstick that is starting to smell off...actually, I think I'm going to write this off and Back to MAC it sometime this year).

My makeup tastes and style has shifted wildly since I started this blog, and that's not terribly unsurprising, since I've undergone some major life shifts since I started it. It's only been in the last year that I've felt like I've finally fallen into a longer term style after exploring a bit, and so this is the time to really take a look at these. The rest of these posts shouldn't be quire as long!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Eyeshadow for Lazy People

Once upon a time, I used to love eyeshadow. I loyally wore it every day. I bought and finished multiple drugstore quads, making questionable eye looks and never using primer because I didn't know what it was, nor was it a thing then. Later, I graduated to primer and liner and mid-range shadows and delved into indies. And in the summer of 2014, it came to a crashing halt. Normally, I stopped wearing shadow in the summer, because it was hot and I'd sweat it all off anyway (even with my new primer), but started again when the weather cooled. And...I never did in the fall of 2014. There are many factors that went into that: it was the rise of Instaglam and I wasn't super keen, I was in my last year of my MLIS and had started to panic about what I was going to do with the rest of my life (a worry I'd staved off a little by going to grad school), and I desperately needed sleep from whenever I could grab it. It was also just easier to keep not doing it.

Glossier Lidstar in Slip (my favourite liqiuid shadow!)

That has largely been my eyeshadow philosophy since: I love how it looks and the artistry, but I have zero interest (anymore) in hauling out palettes or pots, using primer, or even worse, having to regularly wash colour stained brushes. I've become lazy about it. I don't want it to be work. Sometimes I do like to sit down and create eye looks (rarely), but most of the time I think about eyeshadow, it's something I would like to do but something I'm not super willing to put the time into at that moment.

A little more unorthodox, and probably the height of complexity for a weekday eye look: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty on my lid, and Touch in Sol Metallist Liquid Eyeshadow in Titania in the inner corner.

Enter what I like to call eyeshadow for lazy people. I wear some form of eyeshadow a handful of times a month now, which is up from a low of 2-3 times a year. After getting rid of most of my powder eyeshadow over the past few years (though I do have a small palette of singles), I have settled on creams and liquids as the kind of shadow I'm most likely to wear. Why? Because creams and liquids come with doefoot applicators and/or can be picked up and blended with your fingers. Perfect. There was a thread on Reddit's r/muacjdiscussion that asked what a brush collection designed by you would look like, and my answer was "a bottle of hand soap and a powder brush." This is my current makeup philosophy. 

Glossier Lidstar in Moon

My criteria for a shadow these days, other than being a cream or liquid:
  • should be a duochrome. If not, should be shimmery. 
  • Must be blendable with my fingers.
  • Needs to be able to stand on its own. One and done, or I'm not playing.
That said, I do have some shadows in my collection presently that don't hit all of these, but have such lovely formulas and are otherwise fuss-free for me to use them. 

My current routine, when I do wear shadow:
  • Pick one shadow
  • Apply to lid
  • Blend out with finger if needed
  • Apply eyeliner
  • Finish with mascara
See, this is what I think is a more realistic option for me most days. I like colour, I want to wear it, but I also need to be able to do it in under 30 seconds. The tradeoff here is that most of my eye looks are more subtle, but I occasionally do a work-safe, slightly unexpected look but still maintaining my truly lazy self. See below: the unexpected inner corner highlight with a blue shift. 

Rituel du Fille Celestial Sphere Eye Soot in Pyxis

I don't think it's a coincidence that current makeup trends are starting to move toward lower maintenance looks, because I can't be the only beauty enthusiast who looked around and was like "Nah...this isn't going to work." This is also not a revolutionary use of eyeshadow - some of you are impressed/annoyed at how many words I've used so far to say that I like simple one shadow looks done with cream or liquid shadow. But certainly, I've been able to benefit from the current move toward lighter, dewier, easier makeup, since my preferred lazy eyeshadow aesthetic is now in vogue. There are so many great lid shades in the cream/liquid eyeshadow world right now. They don't need anything else. They shine on their own. 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

2018 Reads: October to December

I DID IT! I read 52 books in 2018. However, I didn't really do what I set out to do, which was to learn to enjoy reading again at a more sustainable pace. When I saw I had only read 18 books in the first six months of the year, I was determined to finish 52 books this year and dedicated myself to squeezing as many in as I could. Which I did...but of course, failed to learn my lesson. So I'm going to read 52 books in 2019 too, and hopefully get myself on track with where I want to be, which is reading steadily and because I want to, not just to make a goal I've constructed. I'm also probably going to do these posts more frequently so I can write more expansively, because while I do take notes, I've read a lot since the early ones in this post and forget some of the finer points I may have wanted to comment upon. Also they can get too long too fast. Stay tuned for 2019 posts.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History - Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman

I strongly recommend listening to the audiobook of this - I read it first and then listened to it, and I think the audio was far superior, though it's hilarious either way. It's like listening to a conversation between Mullaly and Offerman about their lives, both personal and professional. It's funny and sweet, and I recommend it if you enjoy their work.

This Will Only Hurt A Little - Busy Philips

Being a casual fan of Busy Philips means I probably wasn't quite the audience for this memoir, but I read it anyway. It was funny and heartbreaking, but brutally honest (at least, I think so. She didn't shy away from sharing the more difficult moments in her life). It was good enough. 

Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb

The first of the Farseer trilogy, I thought this would be in my wheelhouse. Fantasy set in something like the Middle Ages? Main character plucked from obscurity to train and live amongst royalty and nobles? Magic? Secrets? Mysterious mentors? It does check all of my boxes, but I found this to be a bit of a slog, even though I overall enjoyed the story. I'm probably going to finish out the rest of the trilogy but I won't be rushing to it this second. It's got some slow pacing and I'm sure some of the quests and paths will make sense later in the story.

Maine - J. Courtney Sullivan

I love a good family story set at the beach, but while the setting of this story delivered, I found myself kind of annoyed at the whole family. They were dysfunctional but not in an entertaining way, more like dyfunctional in an extremely sad and tragic way. I did enjoy the the exploration of trauma and how it cascades, as well at the competing and differing ways of living life, but I was mostly happy to be finished with it.

After Many Years - LM Montgomery

As per the law I'm sure exists about all little girls in the Maritimes being required to read all of Montgomery's catalogue, I picked up this most recent collection of her short stories even though I'm an adult now, because I've been committed to reading her work for more than twenty years. I actually prefer these later story collections - they're darker and far less treacly than most of the older anthologies, though none of them were collected in order anyway. I recognize some elements of these stories in other parts of Montgomery's works - family feuds, orphans, estranged aunts and uncles, etc., but they were done in a more mature and complex way in most of these stories. 

Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

A friend recommended this to me, and while I also enjoyed Throne of Glass (talked about below), I think Strange the Dreamer makes my list of favourite books read this year, and certainly was the best in terms of YA fantasy I've read in a long, long time. And not just because the main character, Lazlo Strange is a librarian (I kind of hate all fictional depictions of librarians and libraries for the most part, because they tend to be wrong, with the exception of 1995's Party Girl. Go watch it. Lazlo isn't bad, and the book does touch upon the tension of faculty and librarians and faculty devaluing the work and research of librarians in a way that is very very real). The world building in this is incredible, and to be perfectly honest, I was destroyed at the end of it. Lazlo is fascinated by the city of Weep (which isn't its real name - he remembers when its name was wiped from memory, but he can only remember the removal), and when the hero Eril-Fane comes to Lazlo's city to recruit for people to assist in removing the abandoned citadel, former home of gods which floats over Weep, Lazlo manages to persuade him to go. Up in the citadel, there are a few survivors, the children of the gods, who have lived there alone for years. Sarai, the unknown source of the nightmares of the citizens of Weep, longs for more than their carefully hidden existence in the citadel. Magic, slavery, loss, teenage love, sacrifice - there's a lot going on and it can feel very wistful and dramatic at times but I loved it. It's such a fascinating, well-built world.

Muse of Nightmares - Laini Taylor

I was really fortunate that I read Strange the Dreamer a few weeks after this one came out so after the devastating ending of the first one, I was able to immediately plunge into the rest of the story. This one was not quite as good as the first, but pretty close. This continues the story: what really happened in the citadel, who they are, and it introduces the story of Kora and Nova, who are integral to the beginning of the citadel and the lore of Weep. It explores a lot of the themes in the first book and continues to pick them apart. Not quite as emotionally crushing, but still wonderful.

Becoming - Michelle Obama

Being a Canadian, I think it'll shock no one when I say I like the Obamas. Canadians in general love Barack Obama, and by extension, Michelle. This wasn't especially juicy or anything, and I saw some reviews complaining about that, but...really, what did they think Michelle was going to write about? I thought she got appropriately personal, and as someone who has some distance but still vested interest in the United States, I found it incredibly interesting. Yes, it was a little sanitized. It was also still interesting and well-written. Michelle Obama is a highly educated and successful woman. That is apparent here. She's also humble and funny. I recommend it. I got it for my mother in law for Christmas, though I apparently should have gotten it for everyone, because my parents wanted it too.

They Left Us Everything - Plum Johnson

I suggested to my parents that they ought to read this memoir, being a little more experience with the death of one's parents and having to go through belongings afterward, but I ended up reading it myself. Plum Johnson wrote this about the end of her mother's life, and the subsequent task of going through the family house and sorting out her parents' lifetime of belongings before selling the house. She details the pain and grief and memories and the ways that family can drive you nuts and make you happy. I am (thankfully) not in this position yet, having two relatively young and healthy parents who also are big on minimalism, before it was a thing, but I have watched my parents sort through their parents' belongings. I have very dim memories of my father having to deal with his parents' belongings, though their house was enjoyed by us for many years after they died and was finally torn down in 2015. I do remember sitting on the floor of the spare bedroom in my grandmother's house, watching my mom shred piles and piles of paper because my grandfather saved literally every piece of official paper that he received. They Left Us Everything reaffirmed my stance that you should not do that to your children, but it also gave me a little more insight about why it might unfold that way, and how things are, for better or for worse, what we often end up with after someone dies.

The Tsarina's Daughter - Carolly Erickson

This is the worst fictional telling of the Romanovs ever, the end. I hated this. The only truly unique thing that I think it did was use Tatiana as the narrator, because so many of the them centre on Anastasia. It sucked. It wasn't even remotely historically accurate or interesting and I advise you to never read it. The only mercy is that it wasn't terribly long, and I got it at a used bookstore, so I didn't pay much for it.

The Christmas Sisters - Sarah Morgan

I usually read A Christmas Carol every year, but this year I was racing to the wire to finish my 52 books, so I decided to seek out a Christmas story. This one was a little fluffy for what it was, and the characters definitely all need more therapy than they ever got (none), but I enjoyed the descriptions and it was sweet. It's set in Scotland, in a small Highland village, and is about a family of three now-adult sisters who were adopted by their mother's best friend and her husband, after their biological parents died in a tragic mountain climbing accident. The story centres on the sisters coming home for Christmas, examining their lives in their late twenties to early thirties and thinking about making changes, and revisiting the trauma that binds their family together. Plus Christmas. It's actually happier than it sounds, and was slightly predictable, but I think it did a good job of portraying the bond between siblings, and conveying that complexity of emotion and obligation, particularly with a traumatic incident thrown in the mix.

The Flame - Leonard Cohen

This was published in 2018, a posthumous collection of poems, sketches, songs, and selected pages from Cohen's notebooks, as chosen by him before he died. It also includes the last emails he ever wrote to his close friends, as well as the speech he gave for the Prince of Asturius award. Leonard Cohen, as strange as his prose could be (Beautiful Losers, anyone?), is much better in poetry and speaking. I like his work as a comfortable place - Canadian literature is led by Jewish Montrealers, and so Cohen is familiar to me. His work speaks to me deeply and usually hits some deep-seated sadness. But in a good way. If you liked Leonard Cohen, this is a good collection. I prefer Cohen as a poet instead of a musician (let's face it, the man was not a talented vocalist, though his emotion and storytelling do help overcome that) and so reading this volume was just really enjoyable. 

Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas

There are lots of spoilers below.

One of my cousins suggested the Throne of Glass series as a good way to get our fix of YA fantasy as fans of Tamora Pierce. I don't think Maas is as good as later Pierce, but she's a lot better than early Pierce (let's face it, the Alanna books were set in a Tortall that wasn't fully formed, as enjoyable as they are) and the world-building was more complete from the start. Parts of these are eye-rollingly hilarious - okay, Celaena, you're the greatest assassin. Keep saying it, because you do nothing to prove it. I managed to finish 4 of the 7 books in the series (there's a book of prequel novellas, which I didn't read first) before 11:59PM on December 31st. There's a lot happening in these books, but here's the premise as short and sweet as I can make it: Celaena Sardothien is an 18 year old assassin, serving out a hard labour sentence in the salt mine-prison camp of Endovier, one of two such places in the kingdom of Adarlan. Adarlan's king has spent most of her life conquering various other countries on the continent, including her own country of Terrasen. Celaena is plucked out of the camp to compete to win the title of king's champion, by Prince Dorian. And that sets off a chain of events which includes: discovering what happened to magic, which vanished 10 years prior to the first book; Celaena winning her freedom and later coming to terms with who she really is: Aelin Galathynius, the lost princess of Terrasen and by the way, a very powerful fire-wielder; and the start of a revolution to overthrow the king of Adarlan, which leads to far darker and direr battles to free Terrasen. Anyway. It's definitely a good romp, though I did tend to figure out most of the twists well ahead of their revelations, and I find it a little unbelievable that Aelin and all of her allies are unbelievably hot and talented people in their late teens and early twenties. All that said, Maas does do a great job of capturing the attitude and feelings of that time of life, even in the middle of a YA fantasy epic.

Check Please: Book #1: #Hockey - Ngozi Ukazu

This webcomic was recommended to me by a library-world friend, and I decided to pre-order the book rather than try to read it online for a number of reasons, most of which have to do with how I process images. Vision loss strikes again, friends. Anyway, this covers the first two years of Bitty's college life, a figure skater turned varsity hockey player, who loves to bake and has a huge crush on the captain of his team. Guys, this is sweet and funny and details hockey culture in a genuine, touching way. I adored it. It's also framed in a really interesting way - Bitty is a vlogger, and it's written as if he's vlogging his time at college. I gave it to my middle brother for Christmas, and my partner stole and read the whole thing that say. He also really liked it and told me to tell him when the second volume comes out so he can read it then.

I'll Be There For You: The One About Friends - Kelsey Miller

I find Friends moderately fascinating for two reasons: it was such a huge pop culture icon, and I remember it airing but didn't watch an episode till the summer of 2008 (I was in the Netherlands and so my first viewing was with Dutch subtitles), and watched the series in full in the summer of 2017. It makes a certain amount of sense that I skipped it when it aired, because while I was technically alive, I was not quite 3 when it debuted and 12 when it aired its finale. So I remember people talking about it, but it didn't figure largely in my experience of the 90s and 2000s. If you had been obsessed with Friends back in the day, you might not get that much out of it, but for someone who wasn't and has dim, childhood memories of the context it aired in, this was helpful. I still don't think the show aged all that well, nor was it that funny, but it's excellent background television, even with all of its problematic elements. This book explores that and sets a helpful tone. 

Total this quarter: 19
Total in 2018: 52

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2018 Reverse Rouge Challenge: November and December

YAY we made it! Now I can stop hoarding boring garbage in my bathroom cabinet. I've already said I've learned that my empties are pretty boring from this exercise, but also, I use a lot of products. I was admittedly trying to use things up, but I also definitely need to quit my random face mask splurge, because it produces a lot of trash and isn't super cost effective. I can enjoy my clay masks (like Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, my one true clay mask love) and DIY honey masks, which are generally more effective and a little tiny bit kinder to the environment. 

And of course, unsurprisingly, I don't use up a lot of makeup. It's good to have that reaffirmed, particularly as I go into 2019 where I'm trying to reduce my spending significantly, and look more critically at my makeup collection.


  • L'Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray in Sublime Sleek (400ml): $10.99
    • I bought this by accident at the beginning of the year instead of the unscented. This has a crazy strong rose scent, which makes it way not work-friendly. I've been using it on the weekends in order to use it up. I also don't notice anything obviously different about it over the unscented. Obviously I will not be repurchasing because no one needs a separate weekend hairspray.

  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion WetForce Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50+: $20
    • This actually retails for $49 but I know I paid $20 for it, as I bought it from Liz in a blog sale from her Reductionista days.'s expired now. I have probably one application left of it, but nah. Not chancing it. I used this as a body sunscreen, and quite liked it - non-greasy, lightweight, etc. but it's definitely not $49 worth of liking. If I could get it for $20 again, definitely. 

Missing is the Biore Bright Milk for undetermined reasons.
  • Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel in Creamy: $9.99
    • I tried this as my morning cleanser, and I liked it well enough, but I think next time I grab a Marcelle cleanser, it'll be the cleansing milk again. Which was just better. This was completely serviceable, and the gel was much closer to a cream, but it wasn't as good as the cleansing milk.
  • Formula 10.0.6 Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser: $8.99
    • I feel like I wen through this tube pretty fast, but whatever. Still works.
  • Pixi Glow Tonic (250ml): $33
    • Still a staple, but am using up one of my mini bottles before repurchasing this size. Soon, though.
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (30ml): $4.35
    • I can't remember if I got this as a sample from Sephora or Beauty Boutique, but I remember thinking it was very generous. Probably Sephora, because Beauty Boutique always gives great samples. I used this for removing swatches from my hand/arm, because I have been burned too many times by micellar waters that aren't Bioderma.
  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (100ml): $7.70
    • I think this tube went through some temperature swing or I had it a very long time, because it felt like the moisturizer had separated a little, but whatever, it still worked. 
  • Mizon Snail Rcovery Gel Cream: $17
    • Snails! I love this but might try out the CosRX snail mucin again because it's cheaper. We'll see.
  • Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturizer: $9.99
    • Still my favourite, but I'm not sure it's quite enough right now. I may boost it with something I already have around here.
  • Biore Bright Milk: $11.27
    • My favouite sunscreen still. My sources dried up during the Canada Post strike, so I'm making do with others but will make a bulk order of this once those dwindle.
  • Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: $27
    • I just professed my love for this above, so that still stands. I've since repurchased my third tub. 
  • Dr. Jart+ Shake & Shot Rubber Hydro Mask: $15
    • Got this as a treat yo'self thing in my fall sale order from Sephora. The good: it's cool, the mask temporarily reduced all redness in my face, and it was fun to mix. The bad: it wasted a ton of product because my face is small and the mixture can't be saved for later, and it was $15. I've wanted to try one of these for years, and am glad I got it out of my system.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet MasK: $11
    • This mask fit my face better than all other sheet masks and hydrogel masks ever. It was fun and made my skin glow for about a day. It's $11! Yikes. I might spring for one in the future, but it's a once a year kind of deal. 
  • It's Skin Avocado High Nutrition Sheet Mask: $2.99
    • My other Miniso sheet mask. It was fine. Kind of unremarkable, so wouldn't repurchase.
  • The Creme Shop Hello Kitty Tea Time Sheet Mask in Black Tea and Collagen: $2.66
    • I got this in a 3-pack at Winners. It was nice enough, but again I can't think of anything mind-blowing. I'll use the others but won't repurchase.
  • Tony Moly I'm Real Seaweed Skin Purifying Sheet Mask: $0.79
    • I found a 10-pack of these at Winners for $7.99. Score! At least, I'm stocked for sheet masks for a while and can wean myself off of them. This is nothing special but it feels nice, the end.
  • The Face Shop Real Nature Calendula Sheet Mask: $2.99
    • The Face Shop is now being sold at Shoppers/Beauty Boutique online, if not in store yet, and I'm here for this expansion of brands there because points. I picked up this Calendula one and the Avocado one. I really loved this mask. It's soothing and healing, and my skin was a little angry prior but noticeably better afterward, and in the days that followed.

  • Mountain Madness Lip Scrub in Peach & Coconut Milk: $8.35
    • I love this very fine grain lip scrub, but as you can see, the jar is a little mangled from me trying to melt it in the microwave to get rid of an air bubble. I would buy it again, but they ship from the US and their fees are high. But I may get it again if I can't find a similarly fine one somewhere else.
  • Farmacy Honey Butter Lip Balm: $13
    • An expensive, unremarkable lip balm that didn't do much hydrating. I used it to remove liquid lipsticks mainly, and occasionally attempted to use it as a hydrator. Would not repurchase.
  • Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Deep Brown: $9.99
    • Still my favourite liquid liner. Such a fine line and stays put.
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolour Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape (mini): $15
    • I love this formula, so of course it's discontinued. I've had this mini for two years, and when I went to use it recently, it smelled off. Unsurprising, but a bummer, since they're hard to find and anything would be definitely expired. I love the glowy, natural flush these give. I feel like they would be having a moment right now if they were still a thing.
  • NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (mini, 2.8g): $13.20
    • This is so old that it predates there being multiple colours of this primer. It is unbelievably ancient, and what is left is officially dried out. I did love this primer once upon a time, but I don't use eyeshadow enough anymore. I've replaced it with a Milani eye primer.
Total these two months: $255.25

Total this year: $1410.41

I'll probably continue posting some interesting empties on Instagram, and may eventually make an empties post on here again, but for now, I'm glad to shake up my writing again and try something new.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Year of the No Buy: Collection Inventory Overview

Okay, here we go! It's January 2nd. It's on. The replacement only no-buy. I detailed my plans here, but a quick recap of the rules:
  • Can only purchase direct replacements for staple items, unless said item has been discontinued or is now detrimental to my skin
  • I can use gift cards to purchase new things, as well as things like PC Optimum points
I'm currently sitting on a bounty of Sephora gift cards after the holidays, but otherwise, there is no spending in my future. Ideally, I'll use up stuff, destash stuff, and otherwise further refine my makeup collection this year. In the interest of full disclosure, I did purchase a few things at the end of December to take advantage of Boxing Day sales for things I'd had on my list for a while. Those are included in this total, and will be detailed in upcoming, in-depth posts about each category of makeup in my collection. While I've always been fairly happy with how much I use all of the things I have, I definitely could stand to have less makeup. Or use up more makeup. Or generally stop buying so much shit, the primary reason I'm doing this.

As of now, this is where we stand:

Brow gel
Powder blush
Cream/liquid blush
Powder eyeshadow
Cream/liquid eyeshadow
Eyeshadow palette
Powder highlighter
Cream/liquid highlighter
Lip gloss
Lip pencil
Lip stain

At the end of the year, I'll report on how these changed. In terms of reporting on how this is going, I'm going to replace 2018's bimonthly posts on empties (which are boring when they're the same all the time as I keep repeating) with bimonthly check-ins, wishlists, and other thoughts. There's going to be lots of navel gazing and probably some meta-blogging in there too. It'll be fun.

I'm hopeful this will force some creativity on my part, both blog-wise and in my use of makeup. I've discovered this last year that I can be goal-oriented, I just need to appeal to my competitive side (spoiler for a post later this week: I did read 52 books in 2018!). So I intend to triumph this year. And plus, I have plenty of stuff to review on here, so there will be no shortage of content (just time, as usual). 

And I hope to use up some damn lipstick. 

Collection Inventory: Red Lip Products

Kicking off my collection inventory project with the most ridiculous category of makeup I own: red lipsticks. I have a lot, as determined by...