Monday, May 29, 2017

Last Week's Looks: Kiko, Viseart, Ciate London, and Natasha Denona

I hope everyone had a good week and weekend. I know this post is pretty late, but that's because I was away for Memorial Day weekend and didn't feel like bringing my camera. I've mentioned in previous posts that I have a major surgery (the first of two) coming up and I've been slammed with my busiest time at work. Well, my surgery is this week, in a few days, actually. So, this will be my last weekly looks post for a while, I would think. I'm not totally sure. I'll be taking some time off of work to recover, so hopefully I will be able to write some anti-haul posts if I am feeling up to it. 

In terms of makeup, I've just been really enjoying my collection, and it finally feels manageable to me. I couldn't tell you why I necessarily chose the looks I did this week, but that's okay. I just had fun. 

Look 1: Kiko 200 Champagne

Champagne on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy) and Viseart Neutral Matte blended into the crease. 

Look 2: Viseart

Viseart 8 on the lid, Kat Von D Ludwin blended into the crease, and Kat Von D Succubus padded onto the outer corner.

Look 3: Ciate London Pretty Palette

6 on the lid and 7 blended into the crease. 

Look 4: Natasha Denona Nina's Orchid

Nina's Orchid on the lid and Bobbi Brown Camel blended into the crease. 

Look 5: Natasha Denona Antique Olive

Antique Olive on the lid and Bobbi Brown Camel blended into the crease. 

Kiko 200 Champagne
Status: Favorite 

I've written about this shadow before, but it is truly such a favorite of mine. It has a wet and dry formula, but I had never used it "wet" until last week. And by "wet," I mean that I applied it over Pixie Epoxy. And, of course, it looked gorgeous. I've used this shadow plenty dry, and I think it is just lovely. Using it wet just enhanced what was already great about it. I paired it with some of the gray tones in the Viseart Neutral Matte palette, and I think the look came out quite pretty. 

Staus: Keep

I don't really know what the label this shadow as it is part of a custom palette with a mishmash of shadows. The main shadow is from a Viseart palette, either Paris Nudes or Sultry Muse. The shadow is pretty, but lacks a certain oomph that I have become accustomed to. I may try these under Pixie Epoxy and see what happens. Again, it was a pretty shadow, but if I don't love it the way I love almost everything else in my collection, it will have to go. 

Ciate London Pretty Palette
Status: Favorite 

I just wrote about this palette last week, so there is no need for me to drone on about it again. I went to an event the evening I wore this look, and I have this odd habit of wearing incredibly light makeup sometimes when I have a special occasion. I also had a very big meeting at work with the head of the organization I work at, and I try to wear light makeup on those days. The color I used (6) is my favorite in the palette, and I think you can probably tell from the amount of wear that the shadow has. Typically I would have added a dark shadow to the outer corner and lower lash line, but, again, I went for as light as possible this day. 

Natasha Denona Nina's Orchid
Status: Favorite 

I'll start by saying that I think Natasha Denona matte shadows (at least in the 5-pan palettes) are really bad. This one is slightly better than others, but it could be better. The reason it is a favorite is for the color alone. This exact look was my favorite look that I created with the Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly palette, and when I decided to declutter that palette, the only reason I was able to was because I had this shadow from Natasha Denona. This is the first time that I actually attempted to recreate that look, and I was exceptionally happy with it. I paired it (of course) with Bobbi Brown Camel, and I thought the look was perfect—exactly what I wanted. 

Natasha Denona Antique Olive
Status: Favorite

This is definitely one of my favorite Natasha Denona shadows. It looks quite bronze in this photo, but it is more olive in person. I'm sure there are many other cheaper shadows that look just like this, but I am happy to have this shadow in my collection. I again paired it with Camel because, well, it's the best. I also really like applying Antique Olive in the crease, but I think it looks lovely on the lid. There was a time when I wanted to declutter my Natasha Denona shadows—because the packaging was so bad that I genuinely never wanted to use them. I would still not recommend purchasing these shadows (in large part because of the packaging and the price), and I can't see myself buying anything else from the brand, but since I own these, I do like them for the most part. I am very happy I depotted the shadows and was able to make this one Frankenstein's Monster palette because I have gotten a ton of use out of it. It is made up of palettes I was severely neglecting and considering decluttering, so I am glad that I found a way to put them all together so that they would get use.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Makeup Rehab and Recent Declutters

Looking at the above photo, which has the three palettes I recently decluttered from my collection, it honestly doesn't look like much. It's just three palettes. And that's funny because getting rid of these three palettes has felt like an immense feat, like I've cleaned out so much of my collection. 

When I started this blog, I had close to 30 large eyeshadow palettes. That wasn't counting smaller palettes or quads. I believe I successfully completed four months of my one week, one palette series, which means that I got through about 16 of those palettes. Several of my palettes were what I considered "companion" palettes, and I left them out of that project. 

Now, I am happy to say that, including custom palettes, I have 12 large eyeshadow palettes. Excluding custom palettes, I have 7 large eyeshadow palettes. I have 9 smaller palettes/quads/Melt Stacks. 

Of the large eyeshadow palettes that are not custom:
  • 1 is the Urban Decay Electric palette, which I consider a "special" palette that isn't really in the daily rotation 
  • 2 are companion palettes (Viseart Dark Matte and Kat Von D Pastel Goth)
  • 1 is a travel palette (Tartelette in Bloom)
  • 1 is a sentimental one (Tarte Rainforest of the Sea)

So, considering all of that, outside of the custom palettes, the large eyeshadow palettes that I own that are "regulars" are:
  • Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts
  • Viseart Bijoux Royale 

And so I guess that's why, even though the numbers are still high, it doesn't really feel all that high to me. 

Even in my smaller palette/quads:
  • 1 is the Melt Lovesick Stack, which I may end up decluttering
  • 2 are companion (Melt Rust Stack and Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye quad in Plum)
  • 1 is only for inner corner highlighting 
  • 1 is a travel palette 
  • 1 is a custom palette with bight colors, which I also consider a "special" occasion palette

Which leaves:
  • Milani Earthly Elements (slightly altered by me)
  • 2 Tom Ford quads

I know that all of that sounds high maintenance, and sure, I'll take that. But this is what works for me. I like to have companion palettes, I like to have travel palettes, and I like to have those bright palettes that I don't use all the time. 

Now, I also have a large collection of single shadows, so I am by no means saying that I have a small makeup collection, but I feel I am actually getting close to an ideal collection for me. And that's what I think sometimes gets lost in the "makeup rehab" community. Sometimes I think people take the urge to buy and instead apply that to decluttering or panning. And then those practices can get obsessive as well. Now, I am certainly a fan of decluttering and using up products, but I do think that it's more important to work through why the impulse to buy is there and to evaluate your collection over a long period of time. 

Some people are happiest with an enormous collection with drawers and drawers of palettes. Some people are happy with a minimal collection or two eyeshadows. And some people, like me, are happy with an admittedly large collection that is incredibly curated. And as I say that, I still think there is room for improvement and downsizing in my collection. But several months ago, I thought I had gotten to a healthy place. And I have decluttered more than 10 palettes since then. I think decluttering is a process. But I really think it's worth the time to evaluate your collection and really figure out what you personally need and what works best for you. 

So, here are the three latest declutters in my collection. 

Viseart Boheme Dream:

I spoke about this in my Weekend Looks post this week, so I won't go on too much here. Essentially, this is a great palette that I just wasn't using. I don't need light, medium, and dark versions of green, pink, and blue, and I already have the Electric Palette and the custom smaller palette with colors. I also have all of these neutral colors elsewhere in my collection. So, this palette was just sitting in my collection making me feel guilty for not using it. I don't need it, so out it goes. 

MAC C'Est Chic:

I've really enjoyed this palette and found it challenging to declutter. This was actually a birthday gift to myself last year, and that kind of thing adds a sentiment that makes this hard to get rid of. Honestly, that entire bottom row will get no use from me. All of the lighter shadows lack pigmentation, and the main colors that I used I have elsewhere in my collection. So, out it goes. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye:

This is admittedly cheating as I kept my favorite four shadows in this palette. I've mentioned often that the Melt Rust Stack is now my absolute favorite companion palette and that it has essentially replaced this palette. And that's true. Even still, there were still some warm (and cool) shadows that I wanted to keep. The white shadow that is in the cool (middle) quad is one of my favorite brow bone shadows of all time, so I knew I wanted to keep that. And the large cool and warm shadows and the orange shadow in the warm quad were the main reasons that I bought this palette. And because of that, I figured I might as well keep them. I don't need the rest of the palette, I just want what I like. And what's interesting is that when I look at the above palette, without these four shadows, this palette looks so boring to me! Not only that, it looks incredibly repetitive. 

I didn't have any room in any of my custom palettes, so I needed to declutter a bit more. Here was what this custom palette used to look like:

And this is what it looks like now:

(The round shadow that is no longer in this palette is Make Up For Ever Pearl. Don't worry, I didn't get rid of it. It has been moved into another palette.)

What I find amusing about this is that now I only have 8 shadows left from both Viseart Paris Nudes and Sultry Muse. And maybe all of these colors just came out of one of those palettes and I have unknowingly decluttering the other palette shadow by shadow. Either way, I find it funny that these palettes I once loved so much have been reduced to just 8 shadows. I'll also mention that this is my least favorite of all of my custom palettes, and I would not be surprised at all if I decluttered this entire thing in the future. But for now, it stays. 

So ultimately, while I am only getting rid of three palettes, this declutter has freed up a lot of physical space in my collection and has made me feel a bit freed up in my mental space as it relates to my collection as well. 

Weekend Looks: Viseart, Stila, and Colourpop

I haven't had the greatest weekend. And it has been the kind of weekend where I'm realizing what is important and what is not. And as a result, I ended up getting rid of a few items that I haven't been able to get rid of. And that feels nice. 

I still have way too much makeup, but I've been really proud of how I have continually lightened the load, and maybe soon I will be in a place where I have a lot of makeup, but I don't have "way too much" makeup. 

Here are the looks I did this weekend:

Look 1: Viseart Boheme Dream

11 on the lid, 7 blended into the crease, and 10 padded onto the outer corner and on the lower lash line. 

Look 2: Stilla Glitter and Glow Rose Gold and Colourpop Wait for it and Making Moves 

Rose Gold on the lid, Wait for it and Making Moves blended into the crease. 

Viseart Boheme Dream
Status: Decluttered

When I started the day yesterday, this was in the "possible declutter" category. But now it has moved firmly into the bag of decluttered makeup items that is now overgrown. Look, this is a nice palette, but I just don't need it. I should have never purchased it in the first place because I didn't understand why I would need a light, medium, and dark pink, green, and blue. I have other colorful palettes. I have a pink very similar to this in a Viseart palette I love more than this one, so I just don't need it. And yes, I hate to declutter it because it was $80, but keeping it around because it was expensive does nothing for me personally other than to cause stress. And I just don't need that in my life.  

Stilla Glitter and Glow Rose Gold and Colourpop Wait for it and Making Moves 
Status: Keep

I've talked about all of these colors before, so I don't see the need to rehash anything. Instead, I'll just talk about the overall look. I love how this look turned out. I also really liked how the Viseart look turned out, but not as much as this one. And this is what I've been trying to keep in mind as I've been looking at new releases lately, delving into my singles collection, trying indie shadows, and decluttering. I like everything in my collection. I might even "love" everything in my collection. But I don't want this much. I don't need this much. I have variety. I have all the variety I could want. And when I evaluate an eye look I've created, I want to think, "Wow, I love that" rather than "that looks cool." And I love this eye look. And I only want to keep products in my collection that make me feel this way.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

This Week's Looks: Fyrinnae, Tarte, Tom Ford, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, and Ciate London

This was a week of old favorites for me, which was not my intent when I was making choices each day. I just kind of went with whatever I wanted to do, and I ended up going in an incredibly neutral direction this week. 

I've been under a lot of stress recently, and I guess because of that, I just naturally gravitated toward easy, "classic" looks that I knew I loved. And maybe also, because of the stress, I knew these were looks that make me feel good. And maybe I just wanted to feel good. 

Here are five looks I did this week. 

Look 1: Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions 

Rapunzel Had Extensions (over Pixie Epoxy) on the lid and Melt Rust Stack blended into the crease. 

Look 2: Tarte Tartelette in Bloom

Firecracker on the lid, Rebel blended into the crease, and Smokeshow padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 3: Tom Ford Nude Dip

2 on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy), 3 blended into the crease, and 4 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 4: Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

Molasses Chip on the lid and Viseart Neutral Matte blended into the crease. 

Look 4: Laura Mercier African Violet and Ciate London Pretty

African Violet on the lid, Ciate London 3 blended into the crease, and Ciate London 4 padded onto the outer corner. 

Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions 
Status: Favorite 

This is the third time I've written about this shadow, so I'll keep this brief. I love this shadow. It is so peachy and shiny and really stands out against my eye color. This shadow definitely requires Pixie Epoxy to be something special, but it's a step I think is worth taking. I paired it with some of the lighter shadows in the Melt Rust Stack, which continues to be a top favorite, and I think the look turned out really pretty. 

Tarte Tartelette in Bloom
Status: Keep

Almost every time I have ever used this palette, I have used Firecracker. Had it not been for this one shadow, I probably would have decluttered this palette. And that's not to say it's a bad palette, because it's not, it's just that it is so neutral that I have all of these colors. I wasn't terribly inspired by this palette when I used it in my one week, one palette project, but I decided to keep it because I liked it enough. And I continue to like it enough, though this was the first time I used it since the one week, one palette project. At the end of the day, I think this is a nice travel palette. I don't travel for long periods of time very often, but I travel to weekend trips enough that I do "require" a travel palette. This is not my go-to travel palette, but I think it is good for this purpose. I have considered decluttering this palette so many times, but I never do. And I'm pretty ruthless when I declutter, and after using it this week, I still want to keep it. So there must be something there for me. 

Tom Ford Nude Dip
Status: Favorite 

I've written about this quad several times as well, so I'll also keep this brief. This is the one Tom Ford quad that I hear people say isn't worth the money, and I guess I can see why they say that (because the colors are so basic), but I also feel like this is one of the only quads that is worth the money. And that's because I think the colors are gorgeous and classic and the texture is incredible. Applied over primer, I think these shadows are incredibly shiny and gorgeous, but applied over a base like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, I think the shadows are stunning. And for $80, I want stunning shadows that I know I will love and wear all the time, and I don't want to waste that money on glitter topcoat shadows. 

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons
Status: Keep

I didn't really know what to call this as these are the depotted shadows from my Chocolate Bon Bons palette. Molasses Chip was one of my favorite shadows in that palette, and even though it was a bronze (which I clearly have a lot of), I still thought it was special enough to depot and keep. And I still feel that way. Even looking at photos, I think this color is incredibly shiny and pretty considering there is only primer under it. I paired it with some shadows from Viseart Neutral Matte, and I found the look really pretty for being so neutral.

Laura Mercier African Violet 
Status: Favorite

This was my favorite shadow from the Artist Palette, and I decided to declutter that palette and instead buy this single shadow. And I am really happy that I did that. I recreated my favorite look from that palette with the Ciate London Pretty palette, and I love how it turned out. I think this was a nice shadow to wear considering how bronze the rest of the week was for me, but I also think it was neutral.

Ciate London Pretty
Status: Favorite

I've mentioned this a lot, but this is my favorite travel palette. I never used this for a one week, one palette, and I think it might be my only palette that I did not use in that project, but I know that I love it. It has three of my favorite lid shades (champagne, gold, and taupe), perfect blending colors (peach and plum), colors to deepen the outer corner, and a matte cream for the brow bone. It really is a perfect palette for me, and it's one that I could use for a longer trip as there are many possible color combinations.