Tag Archives: thoughts

Hello there!

favorite freestyle palettes

I rearranged all my freestyle palettes. These are my two favorites.

Hi everyone. Wow, it’s been a while – apparently, I needed a break. And it seems that it’s not just me; I’ve been reading a lot of posts from other bloggers who are kind of burned out and/or shifting what they are choosing to blog about.

My makeup-purchasing habits have changed significantly in the last few months of not-blogging. I have stopped buying makeup just because it’s new, and drastically cut down on my purchases overall. I’m trying to downsize my makeup stash, albeit not very successfully – I keep putting things in a box to give away or sell, then taking them out a week later.  I like this change. I don’t think I’ll ever be a makeup minimalist, but that’s okay – and there’s a lot of space between “minimalist” and “buy ALL the things!”.

KGD Aqua foundation - empty

I used up a whole bottle of foundation!


I am not really sure how often I’ll be blogging, or what I’ll be writing about. I do have some favorite items from the last few months that I hope to post about soon (but no promises).  In the meantime, here are a few recent(ish) pictures.

Maybelline Deep Forest Color Tattoo

I’ve been using this Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in my brows recently. I really like it; it has just the right amount of pigment for my (fairly full) eyebrows, and despite being greenish, it somehow looks very natural.

Maybelline Deep Forest Color Tattoo swatch

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Deep Forest – left swatch is blended, right swatches are applied with an angled eyebrow brush.

Gucci Tuscan Storm eyeshadow palette

I bought one item from the recent launch of Gucci Beauty – this is Tuscan Storm eyeshadow quad.

Gucci Tuscan Storm eyeshadow palette swatches

Tuscan Storm swatched, no primer.

MUA Makeup Academy CVS

I was SO EXCITED to see MUA Makeup Academy brand items at CVS, and very disappointed to learn that they’re a completely different line than the same-name UK brand, despite having the same logo. I believe CVS licensed the brand name from the original company.

How have you been lately?

bloglovin’ // instagram // facebook

So, why the hiatus?

L'oreal LaLaque LeMatte - Wet n Wild Limited Edition Trios - Maybelline Color Elixir Gloss

some recent-ish drugstore purchases

It’s been quite a while since I posted. Rather than just jumping back into reviews and such, I thought I’d take a little time to write about the (unplanned!) hiatus.

At first, I stopped blogging just because I was busy – mostly wedding planning, but also a job search and a minor health issue (now resolved, thankfully).  At first, my “to-review” pile grew larger, and I – feeling guilty for not posting – left all my new products untouched so I could have pristine product photos.  As the pile grew larger, I felt worse & worse about it – I felt bad for not reviewing what I purchased, bad for leaving items untouched for so long, and bad because I wasn’t even looking forward to blogging again. Blogging, and especially reviewing new products, had turned into something I felt I had to do, rather than something I wanted to do.

Maybelline Baby Lips Electro

I think I bought these in July.

Eventually, I opened up all the new products and incorporated them into my stash.  I stopped buying new items just because they were there & I thought others would want to read about them.  I started buying only what I actually wanted to try out or have for myself.  I read some fantastic posts about blogging and consumerism, especially from Belly – she’s written a lot on this subject, and then more recently from Kate.  I realized that most of the reason this blog wasn’t as fun anymore was because the focus had shifted away from from writing about things I love and/or I’m interested in – and shifted to reviewing & swatching the shiniest, newest items.

So, I’m going to try and refocus this blog to make it more fun for me.  I’m not really sure what that means; I do love to try new things, so I’m sure there will still be plenty of reviews. But I’m now more focused playing with the makeup already I have, and buying only what *I* want – not what I think others want to read about.  I’m not really sure how often I’ll be blogging in the future – probably less than I was for a while, hopefully more than I have these past few months.

Surratt Beauty

my most recent purchases (from today) – a few items from the new Surratt Beauty line

A few wedding photos after the jump, for those that requested them!

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A $150 Makeup Collection

Some of the items I would purchase

Earlier today, Christine at Temptalia posted a question: If you had to rebuild your makeup stash with $150, what would you start with? I started typing in an answer, but it got long – so here’s what I would do. (Links go to reviews or swatches).

$8 Maybelline Lumi concealer (save up for Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer)
$3 ELF Tone Correcting Powder (But I’d save up for my favorite Guerlain)
$6 Inglot 342M (to contour)
$20 MAC Blushbaby – it just goes with everything
(And I’d save up to buy Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight highlighter; it’s not actually my favorite, but my other favorites are all discontinued)

MAC Blushbaby

Eyes / Brows
$5.50 Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner in Deepest Black (no one is suprised!)
$7 NYX HD eyeshadow primer
$2 WnW Brulee eyeshadow single
$2 WnW Nutty eyeshadow single
$2 WnW Panther eyeshadow single
$5 WnW Comfort Zone eyeshadow palette
$4 Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
$3 Wet n Wild Brow Kit (But I’d save up for my favorites – Anastasia powder or the Browlash pen)

$1 NYC Sheer Red
$1 WnW Silk Finish Black Orchid
$2 WnW Mega Last Sugar Plum Fairy
$2 WnW Mega Last Coral-Ine
Makeup Total: $115.5
$1.50 Essence pencil sharpener (A perfect dupe for UD Grindhouse)
$3 ELF Studio Blush Brush (for blush & contour)
$3 ELF Studio Complexion Brush
$3 ELF Studio Eyeshadow C brush
$3 ELF Studio Small Angled Brush
$10 Ecotools Bronzer brush
Note that the brow brush in the WnW kit is useable
And I’d save up for a good eyelash curler
Tools total: $23.50
ELF Studio Blush Brush
Grand total: $139 — $11 under budget!

If you had to put together a starter makeup collection for under $150, what would you include? Leave your answer in the comments or link to a blog entry!

On Expensive Makeup – Is It Worth It?

Burberry Sheer Summer Glow compact, $50

Today, Christine at Temptalia has a thought-provoking post about when very expensive “luxury” cosmetics are worth the expense for her.   Similarly, yesterday’s post by Rae of theNotice discusses how much she’s willing to pay for a lipstick.  These are really timely, because yesterday I bought four Burberry items; the $50 limited-edition Sheer Summer Glow compact, and three $29 eyeshadows (Trench, Pale Barley, and Midnight Brown). I will be reviewing all four items soon – along with some Wet n Wild lipsticks, drugstore eyeliners, and assorted other mid-end items!

How much is too much to spend on cosmetics is a really contentious subject; some people feel that spending $30 (or even $20) on a lipstick is utterly outrageous, while others happily pay $48 for a Guerlain Rouge G.  Some people will spend a lot on foundation, but think that buying a high end mascara is madness.

Guerlain Meteorites Compact, $56

Personally, as I wrote in a comment on the Temptalia post, I think it’s (sometimes) worth spending more on something that’s really special.  I’ve been trying to adjust my spending habits so I buy less impulse/ low-quality things (which can be inexpensive or expensive!) and more thought-out, high quality products (which again, can be inexpensive – but I’m willing to spend quite a lot on them also.)

In the long run, not only is it more enjoyable to buy and use what you love, but it’s cheaper too.  I’ve probably used my $42 MUFE HD foundation 80 times (so it’s at 50 cents/use thus far, even if I stop using it today), and I bet that I’ll use up the whole bottle.  I’ve used my $11 Bourjois Healthy Mix (an impulse buy; it’s nice, but not a perfect color match) probably 2-3 times – so that foundation, while cheaper, currently cost me about $4 per use – not really a cheap buy!

Guerlain Nahema, $35

I also find that when I buy less expensive “dupes” of something I love and want, I end up spending more than I would if I had bought what I wanted in the first place – because I’ll often buy three things to try and replace the expensive item, then might buy the expensive item anyway! Better to just buy what I want, and save by purchasing carefully and avoiding impulse buys.

How about you?  Do you have hard and fast price limits? Are there some items that you’ll splurge on and others that you won’t, or are you like me and you evaluate things on an item-by-item basis? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Blog Feedback & Some Thoughts

a puppy photo for your thoughts?

Sunny over at Mostly Sunny just posted that she is working on improving the pictures on her blog, as well as making some other changes.  She also asked for feedback on the new improvements, which got me thinking (always dangerous!).

I read a lot (a lot) of blogs, and many of them of blogs by fairly new bloggers. Every once in a while, I notice things that other bloggers are doing that aren’t optimal.  Some of what I notice are big mistakes – no one should have a blog that automatically plays music – and some of what I notice just isn’t optimal (poor lighting, for example.) I don’t contact the blogger with my feedback, because it seems rude to offer unsolicited feedback.

But, I’m sure that *I* also am making tons of mistakes as a new blogger, and I’m sure that some of you have noticed things that I’m doing that aren’t optimal, but haven’t said anything because I haven’t asked.  So: if you’ve noticed anything I’m doing that could be improved, I would really appreciate it if you left a comment or emailed me with your feedback.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

On Makeup and Feminism

 I am a feminist. I love makeup.

For some people, those two things don’t go together; some people (quite reasonably) believe that makeup is one of the tools used in our society to oppress women. And, to the extend that a women feels like she is required to wear makeup – and to the extent that she is correct – and she is often correct – makeup is used to oppress women.  When women are required to wear makeup at their jobs, albeit by subtle, silent pressure, makeup becomes yet another way to oppress women.

When I hear a woman say that she needs makeup to look acceptable, that she looks terrible without makeup, it makes me sad. You are all beautiful without your makeup, too.  I actually feel so strongly that I want to be okay with my naked face that I make sure to go at least one day a week completely bare-faced. I want to make sure that I’m comfortable without any makeup at all.

no makeup

So, why do I wear makeup? Mostly because it’s fun. I like color. I like bright lips. I like applying makeup; I like the ritual, the “me” time. I also like how it enhances how I look, and how I can create different types of looks. I can be vampy, bright eyed, glittery, or pseudo-natural.  I look just fine without makeup, but I like how I look with it on, too – it’s a different kind of beautiful.  I can appreciate both looks, without disparaging one.

Everyone reading this blog wears makeup, I’m sure – but do you consider yourself a feminist?  Have you spent time thinking about how wearing makeup and feminism fit together? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.