what I bought in September

This is a quick post, because I bought nothing beauty-related this month!  Yes, nothing.  I was really just too busy to be thinking about make-up or browsing new beauty releases that much.  To be honest, I’ve kind of lost interest, although I’m sure I’ll be interested again in a couple of months.  I’m continuing to wear makeup, but I just don’t feel as interested in it as I used to.  All the new releases look the same to me, and I just haven’t felt a desire to buy anything given the realization of how long it takes to use up makeup through my project pan.

That being said, I do need to stock up on some stuff soon, and I’m thinking about buying one of those fancy expensive simplehuman mirrors this year…we’ll see.



17 in 2017: end of August

As always, the previous month (July) followed by this month (August).

Face Products: 



I wore my custom foundation mix a little more this past month since the weather has cooled down, and the outer rim is all used up–but this bottle just won’t quit.



Two empties!  The Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder is done (I crushed it up and used it as a loose powder), and I’ve decided to destash the rest of the Benefit Watts Up because it’s really inconvenient to use from a little sample pot – I always end up picking up big glitter bits.  I ended up crushing up the L’Oreal True Match Blush in C6 Rosy Outlook because it was harder to pick up with a brush when pressed, but I’m impressed by how long it’s lasted even after crushing it up.  Blush. lasts. forever.

Eye Products: 



I have a good amount of progress in the Marcelle Blue Lagoon Eyeliner and the LORAC Bronze powder (mostly due to the fact that it was repressed and is very soft).  I’ve been making more of an effort to use the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner this month, but it’s more time-consuming than liquid or pencil and I’ve been more rushed in the mornings.  I don’t think I used the L’Oreal HIP Nervy Paint even once – I’m almost certain I’ll just throw it out at the end of the year.

Lip Products: 


This is the same picture as last month, because I didn’t use any of these even once this past month.  These are all more berry-toned products that I’ll wear more now that we’re heading into fall, but this past month I exclusively wore brown/reddish/orange lip colors.

what I bought in August

Just one purchase this month!  And it didn’t cost me a thing.


Ulta had a 20% off sale, so I bought some stuff using my points and some Paypal credit I had.  I got NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel (a repurchase) and Hazelnut (a newer shade, which also works for me), as well as some stuff I need like blotting sheets (NYX tea tree blotting papers) and clear brow gel (NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel).  I got a foil sample of an IT Cosmetics primer with it (as well as a paper sample of NARS Blush in Orgasm, which I’m going to give away because it just doesn’t work for me). Total money spent: $0!

destashing for the very first time

If you don’t know, ‘destash’ is a fancy word used in the online beauty community to refer to ‘getting rid of stuff that you don’t use.’  I’ve destashed stuff before, but this post chronicles stuff I had a really hard time letting go of for whatever reason.





  • LORAC Pro to Go Palette blushes in Pink, Coral: I’ve had this palette for a couple of years but I’ve never worn these blushes outside the house.  I look like a clown with them on – the coral looks neon on me, and the pink is a barbie pink that makes me look like I’m trying wayyyy too hard to look like Nicki Minaj (and not in a good way).  I de-potted the Bronze shade (a bronzer that I use as an eyeshadow) a long time ago, and  I also de-potted a few eyeshadows I like, but I’m going to give this away.
  • NARS Blush in Orgasm: This was one of my earliest purchases from Sephora, almost three years ago now.  I got the Orgasm/Laguna blush/bronzer duo because I read that both shades were “universal” “classics,” but nothing could be further for the truth.  The blush is both far too bright of a coral/pink on my skin and takes forever to make it show up on my skin.  The glitter in it also emphasizes my pores.  The blush also developed ‘hard pan,’ which is part of what requires really digging into the pan and using multiple layers to get it to show up on my skin.  I’ve also since depotted Laguna – it’s more like a highlighter on me, not a bronzer!  Lesson learned: don’t fall for the hype about “universal” products.

Lip Products


  • NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Berry Strudel: Much like many other products on this list, I got this a couple of years ago and have never worn it out of the house.  I’m impressed by the formula – it is super pigmented and stays put pretty well, but this is a bright unnatural purple that I will simply never wear, something that it took me a while to accept!
  • Not pictured, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Venom: I gave this to my mom a few months ago because we were at Sephora and had picked out this lipstick (in the Vice formulation which is pretty much the same thing)!  I have so many berry/plum-toned lipsticks anyway, and I’m glad to give it to someone who will use it more than I do.

Cream Eyeshadows



Top to bottom: Bobbi Brown Suede, Laura Mercier Moonlight, Maybelline Bad to the Bronze

  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze: I’ve tried to make this work soooo many times.  You can see how much I’ve used too.  But I’m incredibly fed up with it, in part because of all the hype the Color Tattoos get, especially this shade – it’s not dark skin-friendly at all.  First of all, it’s not bronze.  It’s more of a pewter color and can even look silvery because of all the lighter shimmer in it!  It’s too cool-toned, it’s too glittery, and it makes my lids look way too dry and wrinkly unless I use just the tiniest bit.  The glitter even makes it look like I have white eyeshadow on in photos.  I’m mad at myself for not passing this on much earlier.
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick mini in Moonlight: I got this mini as part of a gift set, and while I generally love the Caviar sticks, this is too glittery and too light for me.  I wish the Caviar Sticks would come out in more midtone shades – there are a lot of darker and lighter shades, but not that many in the middle.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Suede: This is something else I tried to make work for a really long time, but it’s simply not working for me.  I wanted it to be a brown taupe on me that I could use as a one-and-done neutral eyeshadow, but it’s too cool-toned and looks basically gray on me – it clashes really badly with the yellow in my skin.  Powders don’t really stick on top so I can’t even use it as a base for other eyeshadow colors, and it also makes my eyelids look dry and crepey.  I’ve learned my lesson, which is that “taupe” eyeshadows basically end up looking gray on me.

what I bought in July

What’s something I don’t wear often, especially in the summer, and when I do, I use a very little bit?  Foundation.

What’s something I accumulated multiples of this past month?  Foundation.


Sephora had a surprise sale at the end of the June, and I ended up getting a small size of the May Coop Raw Sauce, and the Stellar Foundation in S14.  The Raw Sauce is alright, but I probably wouldn’t repurchase.  The Stellar Foundation is great and an amazing match for me straight out of the bottle – something I have never ever found before.  Total: $40.28.



Then I went out of town for a weekend, went shopping, and got suckered into the Dior counter at Nordstrom.  The sales ladies were so nice and helpful and matched me to another foundation that matched me straight out of the bottle.  I was excited to have a second match straight out of the bottle and–very atypically for me–ended up getting this very expensive foundation that’s probably the only luxury brand item I have.  Total: $53.00.



Then the Nordstrom anniversary sale happened, and I got the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set in Tribulation (Neutral).  However, the swatches on the website were very wrong, because I absolutely hated all of them because they were all far too light/white/bright on me, so I’m going to return it.  Total: $0.00.

I also returned the Urban Decay blush I bought for my birthday in June, because it just wasn’t working for me, either in terms of color or formula.  Total: ($17.42), bringing the total for the month to $75.86.  Again, this is far too much spent in a month when I didn’t even have plans to buy anything and when I didn’t actually need anything I bought.  That being said, I am satisfied with these purchases.  I don’t have much left in my budget for this year, so I’m going to try to save for fall/holiday sales and new items that will undoubtedly come out then.

17 in 2017: end of July

I haven’t been very interested in wearing makeup this past month, and it’s also been too hot to wear much makeup, so there isn’t a ton of progress on the below products.

Face Products: 



I finished up the L’Oreal True Match Crayon concealer, which is why it’s no longer pictured here (the Benefit Watts Up is below in a sample pot).  I think I only wore my custom foundation mix once or twice, but I’m sure I can finish up the remainder in a few uses.  Now that I’ve tanned somewhat, it also matches better without needing a color mixer.




I’ve been using Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder pretty consistently, and showing consistent use – I think I can finish it up before the end of the summer.  I don’t have as much progress in the L’Oreal True Match Blush in C6 Rosy Outlook, since I’ve been wearing other warmer blushes more often this summer.  Since taking this photo, I’ve repressed it so that it’s easier to pick up.  I haven’t been as much of a fan of the Benefit Watts Up since emptying it into a sample pot because it’s harder to pick up in the small amount that I prefer; I’m considering just throwing it out or giving it away to be honest.

Eye Products: 



I have a good amount of progress in the Marcelle Blue Lagoon Eyeliner, and a little bit of use showing in the LORAC Bronze powder (mostly due to the fact that it was repressed and is very soft).  I haven’t used the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner this month just because I’ve been using liquid liner more.  I don’t think I used the L’Oreal HIP Nervy Paint even once – I’m still very ambivalent about it, although right now I’m leaning towards de-stashing it.

Lip Products: 




These aren’t very summery colors (I’m liking stuff in the red/orange/terracotta family right now), so there isn’t much progress on these.  I think the texture of the Milani Mulberry lip pencil has changed a little bit – I may be forced to throw it out, but it may also just be that it’s summer right now.

spring 2017 empties

I’ve accumulated a looooot of empties over the past three months, so bear with me.


  • Benefit Watts Up: I really like this because it’s a buildable champagne color, but I would not purchase it because I’m not that into highlighting.
  • Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder: This was too orange on me, so I used it as a bronzer.  I have other bronzers I like more so I wouldn’t repurchase this.
  • MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Hydrating Primer: This was nicely hydrating for my chin area, but I doubt I would buy it again – it wasn’t anything special.
  • MAC Strobe Cream mini: I use this to hydrate around my mouth and add some reflectivity to the discoloration there before using corrector and/or concealer.
  • MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector in Pure Orange (the empty pan): I would not buy this again!  You have to mix it with something yellow unless you have very, very deep skin.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion mini: Good stuff, standard, but if I were buying eyeshadow primer again, I’d go for the NARS Smudgeproof or something similar.
  • Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Black Cherry + Pomegranate: I’ve used up many of these in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy: I got this in a kit, and it’s nice, but I doubt I would ever pay for it when there are so many options that hydrate my lips fine.
  • Buxom Full + Fabulous Mascara mini: This was nice and volumizing, but I didn’t love it so much that I would pay money for it.
  • Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil in Noir Intense mini: I used this up surprisingly quickly!  It’s a good standard black eyeliner pencil that I used to tightline, sometimes to line around my eyes, and sometimes to create a smoky eyeliner effect.
  • Rimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude: This was ok!  I would not repurchase – it fades very quickly.
  • Lotus Ecostay Kajal in Black: I loved this eyeliner pencil and was very sad when I couldn’t sharpen it anymore.  It barely ever smudges, and it stays strong long into the day.  I’m going to try to get a hold of this from India again.



  • Some foundation samples and some primer samples.  Nothing jumped out at me as really great, although the Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow sample really did have a very nice glowy satin effect.



  • Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Moisturizer SPF50 PA+++ mini: This was good, and I think I’ve actually had the full-size before.  But I wouldn’t repurchase because now I’m looking for better sunscreen formulas for under makeup.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50 mini: This didn’t sink in very easily, so I would not rebuy.
  • Pond’s Clarant B3 Dark Spot Correcting Cream: This actually does a decent job of correcting dark spots, but the jar packaging made it seem like it lost its effectiveness, so I used it as a neck cream and then as a body cream to finish it up.
  • Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA++++: Loved this stuff, but unfortunately it’s been reformulated.
  • belif the true cream aqua bomb mini: I remember liking this lightweight hydrating moisturizer, but there are more affordable similar options out there.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum mini: This was nicely hydrating, but again, there are better hydrating options out there.



  • Fresh Soy Face Cleansing Milk mini: This is a cream that you put on your face to break down makeup, but it was far too thin to really emulsify and break stuff down.  I didn’t like the texture, and I also found the smell annoying, so I would definitely not purchase.
  • Vichy Purete Thermal 3-in-1 one step micellar water: This was a fine micellar water, but I really didn’t like the packaging – the cap is hard to open and it makes it seem bigger than it really is.
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover: I like this stuff and would repurchase in the future, although I’m trying out some other eye makeup removers now.
  • Clinique liquid facial soap, mild: This was a very gentle cleanser that I liked because it didn’t dry me out at all, and I may even keep it in mind for the future.
  • MAC Cleansing oil mini x2: I got these samples with MAC orders, and they’re good but I wouldn’t buy the full-size.
  • Boscia Charcoal Cleansing Sponge: I’ve had this for a looong time and haven’t used it in a long time either; it was time to get rid of it.
  • Sephora Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes: These samples were useful for travel.

Continue reading

17 in 2017: halfway through!

I’m excited that I have more empties this month.

Face Products: 



The Manic Panic white mixer is separating a *lot*, so I may just throw it out in a couple of months rather than at the end of the year.  I haven’t been wearing foundation much lately since it’s too hot, so there isn’t a lot of progress in my foundation mix, but I think it can be done by the fall with occasional foundation use.  The L’Oreal crayon concealer is still going strong as a corrector for me.  I hit pan on Benefit Watts Up and emptied out the rest into a little sample jar, shown in the next set of pictures–>




I finally finished the MAC Studio Finish Orange Corrector!  I’m glad to move onto peachier correctors.  I would not rebuy it due to the color.  I’ve made a lot of progress in the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder this month since I’m using powder more in the heat, but not as much in the L’Oreal True Match blush because I’ve been using warmer blushes in the summer months.  You can also see Benefit Watts Up scooped out into the little sample jar – it’s so pigmented that it could last for months, but we’ll see if I find it too annoying to continue to use in this format.


Eye Products: 



Moderate progress in all of these.  I highly doubt I will finish any of these before the end of the year.  I also repressed the LORAC Bronze powder into a pan because I got too annoyed by the loose format.  I did find a way to combine the blue eyeliner and the eyeshadow though, so that’s good!


Lip Products: 



Only real progress this month is that I cut off a piece of the Revlon Black Cherry lipstick and combined it with some vaseline in a little jar that I keep in my desk at work.  I also can’t take the e.l.f. Long-Wear Lip Liner in Natural Blush out of the cap anymore (very stupid of me), but I was getting sick of it anyway so I’m fine with it being gone now.  I also tried wearing the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo as a blush a couple of times, and it was a good color, but faded pretty quickly.

what I bought in June

June was my birthday month, so I went a little crazy, but I bought less makeup and more stuff I actually need than I would have if I weren’t keeping track.

First, I bought a couple of sale items from Sephora and picked up my birthday gift and a few good point perks and samples, for a total of $43.02.  I opted for the skincare gift because the Tarte lipstick and blush seemed like they wouldn’t show up on my skintone.  The Korres body butters are mildly disappointing because they don’t sink into the skin that easily, but they’re a good size for travel.  I love the formula of the Formula X nail polish, although I was expecting a slightly different color.  I also really love the Bite lipstick mini in Beetroot – it’s my perfect reddish berry color in a great satin formula.



Then I picked up a ton of hair and body items from Ulta, along with a NARS sample set, with my birthday coupon, for a total of $69.12:



Urban Decay seems to be replacing the packaging on a bunch of products it had on sale, so I picked up the Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bad Blood and the Afterglow Blush in TMI, along with the birthday gift, the Afterglow Highlighter in Sin and some samples, for $28.31.  I love the lipstick but I’ve already returned the blush because it was hard to get it to show up on my skin (but the return hasn’t gone through yet, so this counts for the total for this month).



Ulta had a sale later in the month, so I picked up a couple more things I actually needed for body and nails, as well as blotting sheets and razors (not pictured).  The total came out to $87.82.



I also got a couple of items from Amazon this month:

This comedone extractor kit for $8.89, because I’m a weirdo who loves to remove blackheads:


I got these magnetic squares for $7.99 to attach to my empty MAC palette because the magnetism is weird and my non-MAC eyeshadow pans wouldn’t stick to it.  It’s come in useful already for some eyeshadows I’ve depotted, and I like that they’re easily removable.



The total comes out to an insane $245.15, and it doesn’t even include something else I ordered that hasn’t arrived yet.  I’m also beginning to hit the upper limit of my budget, so I’m going to go on a no-buy until holiday sales this fall.  I doubt I will need anything before then.

Inventory: foundation mixers

When you have anything darker than medium-toned skin, it’s really hard to find a foundation that matches you exactly out of the bottle…leading to me accumulating several mixers to adjust the shade of my foundation.  Not just to lighten them if they’re too dark, but also to adjust the undertone, since it’s really, really rare that most brands get foundation undertones right for people who are darker than, like… Jessica Alba.  The tricky part is finding a mixer that adds a good amount of pigment without changing the finish of the base.  This is what I have accumulated:


  • Manic Panic Flawless Foundation and Color Corrector in Virgin White – This is part of my 17 in 2017 project, but I will probably throw it out at the end of the year regardless of whether I finish it or not because it will be over three years old by the end of the year and I can see it starting to separate a little bit.  This also changes the formulation of a foundation by mattifying it, so it’s not ideal, although I actually like the mattifying effect for foundations that are a little too dewy on me.
  • Makeup Forever Chromatic Mix Oil-Based in White – I prefer this to the Manic Panic mixer because it doesn’t change the formula.  This is super-duper pigmented; one drop can lighten something by an entire shade.
  • Makeup Forever Chromatic Mix Oil-Based in Blue – I bought this to desaturate and gray out foundations that are too peachy/orange.  It’s extremely pigmented – one drop with one pump of a medium-coverage foundation will gray it out significantly, which is why I try to use it only for super-duper orange foundations.  Half a drop is probably enough for me with one pump of foundation.
  • TKB Trading Liquid Concentrate in Glycerin in Lemon Yellow – I bought this after realizing that, while my skintone is yellow, it’s not super warm.  It’s one of two non-warm-toned yellow mixers that I’m aware of.  The color is a good match, but unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of the formula because it mattifies foundations and makes them almost gritty-feeling and tacky.  I’m looking out for a better yellow mixer, and possibly a green one, but for now, the white, blue, and yellow I have are workable with my existing foundations.