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.

Inventory: face primers

I’ve decided to do an “Inventory” series.  Partly because I always find glimpses of other people’s makeup stash to be interesting, but also partly because I’m hoping that it will help me declutter stuff.  I have a lot of trouble letting go of stuff that I have no use for and which I know I will never use, but I tell myself that I’m “saving” it for something or that I’ll use it when I’m out of other stuff.  I hope that, after looking at products as part of a collection of items, I will be able to let go more easily.

I’m starting with face primers – pretty much all of them are samples and mini sizes (so I swear it’s not as bad as it looks!).


  • Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector – I bought this in the smaller available size last summer to use on the areas where I sweat and get oily a lot during humid weather – my upper lip, nose, forehead, and the inner part of my cheeks.  I use a very little bit, rub it between my fingers, and tap it on.  It does a good job of mattifying and I will probably repurchase in the future.
  • Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer – I use this to smooth over my pores and fine lines.  It’s just ok – I wish it did a better job of filling in acne pockmarks, and while it mattifies a little bit, it doesn’t keep oil from coming through for longer than 5 hours.  After I use it up, I’m going to look for a better pore-filling primer.
  • Laura Mercier Foundation Radiance Primer – I got this as a sample and surprisingly turned out to love it.  This is a beautiful primer that makes my skin look absolutely glowy.  I actually like to wear it on its own or under powder, rather than under liquid foundation (which can look too shiny).  I may repurchase it in the future.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – I was ambivalent about keeping this one because it’s basically just silicone in a tube.  I don’t like the way it feels when putting it on, and if I leave it on for too long, it can cause pimples.  But I wore it for a couple of days and it actually does do a good job of smoothing over my skin, lessening oil production, and extending the wear time of foundation, so I will keep it but I will not repurchase.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Undereye Primer – I’m on my second tube of this.  I know an undereye primer sounds ridiculous, but I actually really like it to hydrate my undereyes (without being too thick) before putting on corrector and concealer.  Plus you only need the tiniest bit; a tube lasts over a year.  I may repurchase again, or I may purchase an eye cream with SPF.
  • Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage mini (x3) – I’ve used up samples of this before and I really like it – it’s smoothing and controls oil decently well.  This is the type of product that I like and will use when it’s a sample, but will not spend the money for a full-size for.
  • Mac Prep + Prime Natural Radiance in Radiant Yellow mini – I have not tried this yet but I want to see what it’s like.
  • Mac Strobe Cream mini (x3) – I really like this to hydrate around my mouth. Another example of the type of product I like when it’s around but would not purchase.
  • BlackUp Perfect Mattifying Primer (foil sample) – I’ll try this out this summer.
  • Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish (foil sample) – same as above.

17 in 2017: end of may update

I’m making good progress on base products and think I can finish up a few products at the half-year mark.

Face Products: 


I don’t think I used the white mixer even once this month.  I can see it starting to separate so I will probably just throw it out at the end of the year.  I may be able to finish my custom foundation mix in the next month, depending on how amenable the weather is to wearing foundation.  I’m still digging into the crayon concealer because I really like it for my discoloration, but I’ll probably finish it in the next month.  It looks like I will also finish up the Watts Up, but I like it so I’ll probably scoop out whatever’s left and see what I can do with it.


This is decent progress on all of these – I’ll probably finish up the orange corrector in the next month.  Little pieces of the blush are also falling off, so I may re-press it once the pan reaches the rim all around.

Eye Products: 


It’s hard to tell, but I hit a teeny tiny pan at the bottom of the gel eyeliner!  I’ve also worn the L’Oreal HIP Cream Shadow paint more often this month than before.  I like it, but I will probably declutter at the end of the year because it’s so old + it’s easy to go overboard and look too gray on my eyes.  I also made some visible progress on the blue eyeliner pencil, and I’ve used the loose brown shadow pretty often but there just seems to be more of it every time I use it.  I really like it but I hate the loose powder formulation; I may try to press it into a pan.

Lip Products: 


I’ve worn each of these a few times, although obviously the most obvious progress is on the pink lipliner, which I hope to finish in the next month.  I wore topped it topped with Revlon Black Cherry (the bullet lipstick) as a stain – it’s hard to tell, but the bullet shape actually narrowed because I would rub my finger on it and then stain my lips.  I actually like it most as a sheer, buildable stain on top of lip balm; I may dump it into a tube and mix it with some lip balm or vaseline.

what I bought in May

I ended up making more impulsive purchases this month, and ironically, I think it’s because I stopped paying as much attention to makeup and planning my purchases in advance as much.  I’ll probably spend more in June because it’s my birthday month, but I’ll try to plan all my purchases.

First up, a total impulse purchase: items from the Urban Decay Basquiat collection.  I don’t usually buy limited-edition products, but I kept reading rave reviews and had a macy’s gift card to use while they were on sale, so I went ahead and bought Vice Lipstick in Epigram and 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Anatomy.  They came out to $11.26.  I’m pleased with both so far; Epigram is a nice peachy-terracotta shade in an excellent formula, and Anatomy is a matte coppery red which I really like although I wouldn’t wear it often.



Next, another impulse purchase: a pack of 16 Dermal sheet masks off amazon for $8.95 while ordering other stuff.  I sheet mask every once in a while and was going to wait to get more until I’ve gone through some of my regular masks, but… then I didn’t.



I bought my mom and sister-in-law a bunch of stuff at sephora to treat them, and then ordered something that was out of stock for my mom online.  I’m not counting this towards my total, but I did get some skincare samples and point perks along the way:

Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm + Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask


Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover + Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser + boscia Charcoal Makeup Melter + Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate + Sunday Riley CEO Moisturizer + Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask + Dr. Roebuck’s Pure Hydration Moisturizerpndlrhlg


And finally, I made a planned purchase from MAC during my Select anniversary month for $23.95.  I got the Pro Longwear concealer in NC45, something I’ve been wanting to try out forever.  I tested it as an undereye concealer briefly and I think it’s a pretty good color match.  I picked up another mini sample of Strobe Cream and Cleanse Off Oil, as well as the gift of the Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Pleasant and the Shadescents sample.


My total spent for the month is $44.16.  This is more than I would like to spend during a month when I don’t have real planned purchases, especially since it was mostly on new makeup and not on any ‘necessities’ like skincare or running out of something.

17 in 2017: a third of the way through

I finished two products: the Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Pencil in Nude, and the L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in N-6-7-8, although I’m continuing to dig in and use it since I have a lot of scarring along my chin lately.

Face Products: 






The blush is really starting to come apart, but knowing how long blush lasts, it will still probably take me through the end of the year to use it up.


Eye Products: 



Not too much progress on these other than the Rimmel nude eye pencil.


Lip Products: 



I forgot to photograph the Revlon Black Cherry lipstick, but not too much progress on these either, except for the e.l.f. Natural Blush lip pencil, which I hope to use up soon.


what I bought in April

I splurged a little this month because of the Sephora spring sale and accompanying Ulta sale, but I used gift cards to help cut down on how much I actually paid out of pocket.  Even so, I spent almost as much this month as I did during the first three months of this year!

First, the bobbi brown website had a sale, and a lipstick that’s been on my wishlist, Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Tawny, and is unavailable from other retailers was already on sale, so I picked it up for $22.86 along with some samples.  I technically broke the rules of my low-buy since I’ve only used up one other lipstick this year, and my rule is that I have to finish two lipsticks for every new one.  But my desire to buy new make-up has in general been waning this year, plus this is the perfect MLBB lipstick for me with a great formula, and I got it for almost a third off, so I don’t have regrets about buying this.


Next up, I got my hair cut into lots of layers, and I’m terrible at blow-drying my hair to keep it styled nicely, so I instead bought this John Frieda hot brush for $27.75:


I didn’t have a desire to buy much during the Sephora spring sale, especially since I was planning to get more stuff from the Ulta sale, but I had some gift cards I wanted to use to try something I’ve heard lots of good stuff about but which I would never buy at full price: Sunday Riley Good Genes, along with some point perks and samples.  It retails for $108, but I got it for $47.17.  I’ve use it a few times and I haven’t seen anything miraculous yet, but I will give it more time.


Finally, I got a whole boatload of stuff from the Ulta sale!  I had a $100 gift card, so I only paid $69.88 for all of the following, which includes skincare, body care, hair stuff, nail stuff, eye makeup removers, a few makeup brushes and some blotting sheets, cotton pads, and makeup in the format of the new Urban Decay UDPP in Caffeine and Becca Sunlit Bronzer in Ipanema Sun, as well as a GWP of IT Cosmetics makeup because I made my purchase on a Wednesday afternoon.



All in all, I spent $167.76 this month.  I may buy some stuff from MAC next month because I have my MAC Select Anniversary coming up and want my GWP eyeshadow, but other than that, I don’t really foresee any purchases.

January, February, and March empties

I don’t have many makeup empties for this post, but I did use up a lot of skincare, especially older foil samples.



  • Burberry Fresh Glow primer sample in Nude Radiance – as reviewed here, this is just ok!  I might try out a sample in Golden Radiance if I get the chance, but I would not purchase this.
  • bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip-Oil Balm in Plumberry Pop – I received this as a sample with a Sephora order.  I didn’t like it at first because it’s a little slippery, but by the end, I actually liked that it was a hydrating plum-berry color that could be applied sheerly or built up to be darker.  However, even if I didn’t have loads upon loads of lipsticks, I probably wouldn’t buy this because I didn’t like it *that* much.
  • Urban Decay Vice Lipstick sample in Seismic (Sheer Shimmer) – I got this as part of a Vice Lipstick sampler from Ulta last year.  This one is a sheer shimmery purple that was surprisingly slippery on the lips.  It was nice to sample but I would rarely wear a shimmery lipstick so I probably wouldn’t buy any of the Sheer Shimmer Vice lipsticks.
  • Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer – As with lash primers in general, I’m happy to use any samples I get, and I notice a slight difference, but I wouldn’t go out and buy them.
  • Dior Diorshow mascara sample – I only liked this when it started getting very dry towards the end of the six months that I had it open, but I have to throw it out because it’s been so long since I started using it.  Before it dried out, it left my lashes too clumpy, but once it dried out, it volumized and curled my lashes beautifully.  Under other circumstances, I might be tempted to keep this, but I just had a stye in my left eye in March, so I’m acutely aware of the dangers of using eye makeup for too long.
  • tarte lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 mascara – I got this as part of a tarte Black Friday set a couple of years ago, and while I love the packaging, this mascara is just ok!  It volumizes my lashes, but it’s nothing special.  I also found this a little clumpy at first, but it dried out more quickly than the Diorshow and became easier to work with.
  • NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Black – I’ve been using this as part of my weekend/travel makeup kit for about a year, and it’s just ok.  I prefer the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz because it’s a little stiffer and has a more gray-black color available (Granite).  I broke it apart after I couldn’t twist it up anymore out of curiosity, and was surprised to see at least an inch of product left – but when I tried to use it, it all broke off.  I may purchase this again, but I don’t see myself needing brow products anytime soon.

Skincare – Cleansing:


  • Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm mini – I got this as part of a Clinique Black Friday set.  It served its purposes well as a travel cleansing balm, but I’m not sure I would purchase it in a full-size just because I’m never sure how much to scoop out of the jar.
  • Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil – I prefer other cleansing oils because I found that this one wasn’t as good as others at removing make-up.
  • Murad Essential-C Cleanser – I got this as part of a Murad skincare set over the holidays.  It’s a nice, gentle cleanser that I used in the mornings, but vitamin C in a cleanser doesn’t do much so I would not buy this in a full size.
  • Bioderma Micellar Water H2O 500 mL – I have been using this since last summer, and it’s a nice micellar water that removes makeup well without leaving a greasy film on the skin.  I have a couple of other micellar waters to go through, but I may buy this again in the future.
  • Mario Badescu Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion – I got this as part of a Mario Badescu skincare set a looong time ago.  I used this just as a cleansing toner after removing makeup and washing my face, to remove any last traces of makeup and hydrate my face.

    Skincare – Moisturizers:


  • belif the true cream moisturizing bomb mini – This is a really nice moisturizing formula that’s easy to spread.  I may buy a full-size in the future once I’ve gone through my oodles of moisturizers.
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin liquid – As you can see, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Jart+ products.  I have loved the ceramidin liquid since I first tried it because it hydrates the dehydrated parts of my skin so nicely.  I got this bottle as part of a set over the holidays, used it up within a couple of months, and promptly repurchased a full-size.
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream – This was the other part of the set I bought in VIB sale, but I don’t like it as much as I like the liquid.  I find that it doesn’t sink in that easily.  I probably will not repurchase it although I may try another sample if I get the chance.
  • Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer mini – This was the first Dr. Jart+ product I tried that wasn’t part of the Ceramidin line.  This is a lightweight moisturizer that basically turns into water once you spread it around on the skin.  I used it like a toner or essence, to hydrate before applying a moisturizer.  I really liked it, and may purchase it in the future.
  • Dr. Jart+ Tigergrass cream mini – This is supposed to “color correct” skin by reducing redness, which I don’t really have a problem with, so while it was a nice moisturizer, I wouldn’t repurchase it.
  • Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF30 PA+++ mini – This was also part of the Murad Vitamin C set I bought over the holidays.  It’s nicely hydrating without being too greasy and I may purchase a full size in the future.
  • Neutrogena Deep Moisture Day Cream SPF20 – I bought this last summer but used it in the winter due to the low SPF.  It doesn’t get too greasy, but it does leave a white cast and I’m not a fan of the jar for sunscreen-containing products, so I would not repurchase.
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation mini – This spreads really easily and is super duper hydrating in small doses, but I probably wouldn’t buy a full size.
  • Lancome Energie de Vie smoothing plumping pearly lotion mini – This is a very watery, hydrating essence–somewhat thinner than the Dr. Jart+ ceramidin liquid–and I want to find a cheaper Asian beauty dupe for it.

Skincare – Other: 


  • Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Mask mini – I got this in a birchbox a couple of years ago, and it’s pretty good at clearing pores.  I used to use this at night, but I used it up by putting on my face before showering in the mornings, because the oiliest parts of my face tend to get super oily overnight.
  • Clarins UV Plus Ecran Multi Protection mini – I got this as part of the sephora sun safety kit last year.  It is extremely greasy and leaves a white cast that takes a while to sink in, so I would not repurchase!
  • MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme SPF50 Broad Spectrum mini – From the same kit as above.  It separated a little, but was otherwise fine, although it seemed to get used up very quickly.
  • Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF30 PA+++ mini – From the same kit as above.  This was fine the first few times I used it, but it got used up very quickly, and by the end it had dried out and would just pill up all over my face.  I’m also not really a fan of not being able to see which parts of my face I’ve applied sunscreen to and which I haven’t (although white cast also bothers me).

Foil Samples


I made an effort to use up a lot of older foil samples over the past few months.  I don’t have a description below where I really have nothing to say!

  • bobbi brown extra repair eye cream – This did not spread easily or moisturize well at all!  It’s actually not a moisturizing eye cream, I think, but in that case, I don’t really understand the point of it.
  • Framacy Eye Dew Total Eye Cream – it’s ok! Hydrating but nothing special.
  • 3 x IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream – This is a nicely hydrating eye cream that isn’t too emollient either.  I have a bunch of these left to work through.
  • 2 x sheet mask
  • Mario Badescu Vitamin C serum
  • Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel
  • Paula’s Choice RESIST tripe-action dark spot eraser 2% BHA
  • 2 x Paula’s Choice RESIST daily pore refining treatment 2% BHA
  • Erborian Bamboo Waterlock Mask
  • Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

Hair Products: 


Body, Perfume, and Cleansing Tools: xea3dmd

finish 17 in 2017: three months in

I had a stye and didn’t wear any eye makeup for the first half of the month, meaning that I generally went lighter with makeup (i.e. didn’t wear foundation every day), so not a *ton* of progress this month.  I’m putting last month first, this month second in the pictures below.  The background also changed because it’s finally springtime and I can take photos in daylight!

Face Products


Some visible progress on all of these.  I’ll probably be completely done with the L’Oreal crayon concealer by next month!


Some good visible progress on all of these too, although I continue to be stunned at how long it takes to go through blush.

Eye Products: 


Not much visible progress on these.  I don’t think i even used the L’Oreal HIP Cream Shadow or the Marcelle Blue Lagoon eyeliner at all.

Lip Products:


I used each of these a handful of times this month.  It may be hard to tell due to the difference in angle, but you can see that the Revlon Rum Raisin liquid lipstick is starting to empty out a little, and that both lip liners have also gotten shorter because they’ve been sharpened a few times.  I figured out that layering both lip liners together actually creates a great berry purple color for me.

what I bought in March

I was planning to buy skincare from The Ordinary this month, and some brushes from Hakuhodo, so of course I bought other stuff this month instead!


MAC unexpectedly had a 25% off sale, so I bought one thing I’ve been meaning to try for a while: MAC Paint Pot in Layin’ Low, to serve as an everyday neutral one-and-done eyeshadow that corrects my eyelid discoloration.  However, it’s too light and chalky on me, so I’ve already returned it in store.  I also picked up the MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush to set powder on small-but-not-too-small areas of my face like around my mouth/chin, and it does the job, but I actually like it a little bit more as a blush brush.  I also picked up a large MAC palette for full price, and a sample MAC Cleanse Off Oil.  Including the return, everything comes out to $37.29.



Next up, I had a skincare breakthrough: I realized that while my skin is yellow, it’s more of a cool surface yellow, and I may not actually be super warm-toned.  So I bought the TKB Trading Lemon Yellow Mixer, which doesn’t have as good of a formula as the MUFE yellow mixer I bought last month (which I also returned), but the color is much closer to what I need.  I picked up some empty lip balm tubes and a metal funnel for lip product-mixing experiments, although I haven’t used them yet.  Because TKB Trading is a super cheap bulk supplier, everything only came out to $10.89.

Taking into account returns, I spent a total of $32.94 in March on beauty products.  Although I’ve been continuing to peruse my favorite makeup blogs, I haven’t been keeping up with new releases as much and don’t really have as much of a desire to buy makeup products specifically – I hope to continue to spend less on beauty this year.