October was a really awesome makeup month for me. I started my one week, one palette challenge this month and have been having an absolute blast playing around with shadows that I've had for a while but have never really played with. I also have some rediscovered favorites, new favorites, and repurposed favorites.
These are the items that stood out the most to me this month.
theBalm Frat Boy blush:
I was actually considering decluttering this blush at the start of the month. I wasn't reaching for it, had only reached for it a handful of times, and was so into my warm mauve blushes that I thought this warm pink probably didn't look all that great on me. However, not wanting to declutter something I couldn't remember how it looked, I decided to try it one day. And as soon as I did, I no longer considered decluttering it.
It really is the perfect pink blush for me. It's warm first and foremost, so it shows up on my skin. So many pink blushes look like absolutely nothing on me, and it's because the undertone is just too cool. The warmth of Frat Boy shows up on my skin and also really, really flatters it. My cheeks look healthy rather than looking like I've slathered them in blush, though the colors is still discernible.
Second, and just as important, Frat Boy is semi-matte. I've got large pores and some texture to my skin, so shimmery blushes really aren't the best for me. On the whole, I don't like playing by "makeup rules" such as the age at which people should stop wearing shimmery eyeshadows or what seasons are most appropriate for certain colors. Screw that. I'll wear what I want to wear, full stop. So for a while I didn't care about my shimmery blushes and how they emphasized pores. But eventually, it started bothering me, and I felt it didn't look the best. I still don't love completely matte blushes on my skin because they can sometimes look a little flat and powery, but I adore mostly matte blushes with a slight sheen to them. That's what Frat Boy is for me. I've heard people say it's a matte blush, but I think it gives a healthy, subtle sheen that I love.
Frat Boy went from my least used blush to my most used this month, and I'm really happy that I gave it a try before decluttering.
Make Up For Ever Pearl:
The photo doesn't do it justice, but I've actually hit the pan of this eyeshadow and am close to clearing all the product out to the edge.
This is Make Up For Ever Pearl. It was included in the Artist Palette Volume 1, and before a few months ago, it had never been touched. I actually didn't understand shadows like this that are stark white, and I really didn't get why the Volume 1 palette had so many light shadows that were, in my mind, unusable.
I was never one to put a shadow in my inner corners because it just seemed like an extra step that I didn't need. And I honestly can't remember why one day I decided to try it, but I know I used Pearl because it was entirely unused and I wanted to try and get more use out of my shadows.
Honestly, this has been the biggest lesson for me. I have had this eyeshadow sitting in my collection for at least a couple years, and it went entirely untouched. When I finally used it, I fell completely in love. Now it is easily my most used eyeshadow and is the only shadow in my collection where I have reached the pan (and these pans are deep).
Not only that, but now I love to highlight the inner corners of my eyes. Yes, it's an extra step, but it's fun and pretty and I don't care. And Pearl is my absolute favorite color for this purpose. There have been a few days where I haven't used Pearl, and I've sincerely missed it. It will take me a while to clear out the entire pan, but I fully plan on purchasing a full-sized Pearl when I finish.
Burberry lipstick in English Rose:
Along with Pearl, Burberry English Rose has been my biggest lesson in makeup purchases and makeup usage.
I purchased this lipstick a few years ago from Saks with my good friend. It was a really lovely experience, and my friend moved across the country a few months later. And I really miss her and wished she still lived close by. I haven't wanted to use up this lipstick because it reminds me of this really nice day I had with her. But that's just silly because I have the memory of that day and don't need to let this lipstick go to waste.
I know it's gross to keep a lipstick for a few years, but it still smells exactly the same, so I know it hasn't gone bad yet. But, I also don't want to keep lipsticks much past the time I've had this one, so a couple months ago I decided to actively try to use it up. And just like Pearl, I have fallen hard for this lipstick. I have fallen so hard, in fact, that this lipstick looked close to new when I started trying to use it up, and now the above photos shows all that is left of it.
By my standards, I have a lot of lipsticks. By other people's standards, I have little. I have nine full-sized lipsticks and three minis. That's plenty for me, and honestly, a little more than I want. I want to finish this tube of English Rose because of its age, and it makes me a little sad to know that I can't repurchase it right away. As soon as I'm done with English Rose, I have two other lipsticks I would like to try to use up (again because of their age), and after I finish them, I might feel comfortable repurchasing English Rose.
English Rose is just the perfect color for my warm-toned, olive skin. It is the perfect "my lips but better" color, and it goes with absolutely everything. That's not surprising to me because that's why I bought it in the first place, but somehow along the way, I forgot just how much I loved the color.
I'm not someone who likes to play with lip color. Eyeshadow is the fun part for me, so there are really only a few colors that I really want in my collection. Part of me wishes that I wouldn't have fallen so much for this lipstick so that I could just get one out of my collection and not just to buy it again, but I'm also thrilled to discover how much I love it because it motivates me to get my lipstick collection to a place where I can comfortably use and finish everything and not get too overwhelmed.
L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Brunette:
This might seem really obvious, but brows really make a look! I have always had naturally think, full brows, and my biggest concern was always just cleaning them up. I never thought I needed to fill them in because they were already so thick.
But one day I just decided to try it, and I bought the cheapest brow pencil I could find that was similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wizz. Now, this pencil isn't perfect. The product tends to clump off after a little bit of use, but I've been really happy with it for the most part. I think it has been a great intro brow product.
More than anything, brows in general are my favorite this month. I'm fortunate that I have a nice natural shape to my brows and don't have to put a ton of effort into creating new brows, but even just combing them and slightly filling them in has made such a difference in my overall look.
Once I finish this pencil, I would like to look into the NYX pencil and then maybe the Brow Wiz after that. However, I love this color so much that I wonder if it's worth putting up with the clumping. I don't know. It's probably not worth the clumping.
Stila kajal eye liner in Topaz:
I don't even think this pencil is sold anymore, but I got mine a little less than a year ago. I was looking for a cream colored eyeliner to put on the water liner, and this seemed to be the prettiest color for what I was looking for.
I've spent the better part of the last year trying to finish off some of the black eyeliners in my collection. I've never been a huge eyeliner collector, and even now only have one liquid liner, two full-sized pencil liners (one black and Stila Topaz) and three mini liners (one black, one bronze, and one gold). The only reason I have as many liners as I have now and why I needed to finish off some earlier this year is because I've gotten them with orders from Sephora.
Since I have spent the better part of this year with a black water line, I thought it would be nice to try a cream colored one. And I really like it! On the whole, I like a black water line better, but I really like the openness the cream color gives my eyes.
The Stila kajal eye liners are really creamy, which I like, but the staying power isn't the best. I've decided to try to use this up and then replace it with something that has slightly better staying power.
Kat Von D Thunderstruck:
This was actually inspired by Jacquelyn Lovene (formerly FortWorthFamous) after she mentioned wanting to pick up Thunderstruck in the Sephora VIB sale as a face highlight.
I really love this shadow and have used it as a face highlight before, but essentially forgot about it as a highlight since I have quite a few highlighters. I've been flirting with the idea of getting duo chrome highlighters for a while, so I thought I would first try some of the duo chrome shadows I have. And I've really been loving this shadow as a highlight. It really does give the skin a nice healthy, beautiful glow, and I can see it working for warm and cool skin tones.
The only negative to using this as a face highlight is that I can see myself hitting the pan really soon. And I do really like Thunderstruck as an eyeshadow, so I wouldn't want to use the entire thing up on my face. But it certainly has been fun to use as a highlighter!
Benefit They're Real! and Kiko Extra Sculpt mascaras:
Benefit They're Real! has been my favorite mascara for a few years now. I have flirted with the Benefit Rollerlash and Cover Girl Supersizer, but They're Real! is just my favorite.
I like to only have one mascara at a time, so having They're Real! again has been quite a treat. However, it is not a perfect mascara. I love the brush and love how it gets the outside edges of my lashes, but it is a real pain to get off. Most nights I'm flat out not able to get it off all the way, even when I think I have, and I'll wake up with raccoon eyes.
The Kiko Extra Sculpt was recommended to me, and as a standalone mascara, I hate this. I could not apply it to my lashes without getting mascara all over my eyelids. I was really bummed, because it was about $15, and I felt it was a total waste.
However, paired with the They're Real! mascara, the Extra Sculpt is really nice. I gives my lashes an extra oomph of volume that I really love. Attached to another mascara and applied away from the base of the lashes, I actually really like the effect that it gives. Even though this was a dud for me originally, I'm glad I've been able to find a way to make it work and get some use out of it.
Tokyomilk Dark perfume in Novacaine:
This perfume was recommended to me by a friend (the same friend I mentioned before, actually). She said, "It smells like Christmas!" Immediately I thought that meant it would be really heavy on cinnamon, like Big Red gum, and I didn't think I would like that.
But she and I have very similar perfume presences (Flowerbomb, Prada Candy, and LaVinila Coconut Vanilla), so I thought I would give it a chance. I got this as a sample in a Sephora order, and I absolutely love it. And I absolutely agreed with her—it does smell like Christmas, at least what I associate with Christmas. She and I are originally from the desert, and I can't help but wonder if there's a note that reminds us of Christmas in the desert. Apart from that, yes, it does have a cinnamon scent to it, but it is sophisticated and not too spicy.
This is absolutely a perfume that I would love to buy full-sized, but I have so many perfumes right now that I might have to wait a little.