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.

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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.

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.