Lipsticks in Rotation February 2018

Hi everyone!
Now that I’m in the second month of this no-buy challenge it feels much more exciting and doable. The idea was for these rotation posts to go out at the beginning of the month but in the end, they’re going out at the end of the month. It might be better that way as I get to add my new thoughts about my options as I go along. All my rotations for the year are already planned out although subject to change – it’s a lot of fun deciding on what to use for a certain month!
Starting this month I will also slowly make my way through the Box of Withheld Lipsticks, one a month. This box is full of the new lipsticks I bought on Boxing Day or received as presents that I decided not to open until an allotted time this year to keep me from feeling too deprived of new and shiny lip products. That too is already scheduled!
Sleek Metallic Matte Me Lip Cream in Roman Copper
This is a metallic lip cream in a light, super shimmery pale gold shade. This is a new item that was in my box of withheld treats. As expected, this is a really difficult colour to wear alone. It’s fun to experiment with but I can’t imagine myself repurchasing it or even using it at all so I also imagine I will destash it relatively quickly. A full review will be going up relatively soon so keep an eye out for that.
Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer in Cherry Pop (mini)| Review here
I got this free in a magazine a few years ago and wore it once or twice… and although I still love it, it needs use. I have two of these minis now, as well! It’s a luscious bright reddish pink with a fabulous shine that is not glossy and lasts really well.
I actually had to remove it from the rotation halfway into the month to prevent it becoming a month of wearing only this lipstick…

There were plenty of these sets of minis on sale throughout Boxing Day so I did buy one at the time and including the second Cherry Pop, I now have three new colours in my Box waiting to be opened later this year. Needless to say, I’m quite excited for those as I love the formula.

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush|Review here
Like Bare It All last month, this was an off shade I wasn’t sure about as well as an apparent dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy. This is a pale nude shade which pulls ever so slightly peachy on me. It’s a little light to my liking but just enough for most people’s everyday nude and just shy of washing me out. Again, I like to layer this with a darker liner to adjust the colour, but otherwise, this is a comfortable everyday option.
Colour Ultra Matte Lip in Speed Dial
I’m not sure the peachy nude tone in this lipstick suits me sometimes but at one point I was wearing this daily, so I was hoping I would fall in love with this lipstick again. For me, the formula isn’t an issue as I love the Ultra Matte Lips and can withstand them although many have found them to be drying.
This month I just haven’t been reaching for it, so it was going to go in the Potential Destash box. However I discovered that it looks great on top of a dark berry lip liner like Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses in Black Tulip, resulting in an interesting shade that I’ll be happy to wear another time. Speed Dial is safe… for now.

With Flash
Revlon Balm Stain in Crush
This hits the spot between being bright, yet a wintery berry, yet not being too bold for everyday wear. It’s pretty much the perfect purple. It’s not completely opaque, and I did experiment it with lip liners but this balm stain is a bit too stiff for layering and ends up moving the liner pigment around. This alone is for gloss and springtime. It lasts really well, and yes, it stains.
Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge 06 Rose Nu (mini)
I had this in last month’s rotation, too. It’s here again because I am very eager to finish it up in the first third of the year. I have no qualms about wearing it a lot, in fact I probably wore it for at least a third of January. When I am stuck for a casual colour, I reach for this.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Beau Brun| Review here
This is yet another colour that I use a lot and have a duplicate of, and I’m sure you all know how much I love this, seeing as the review is one of my most viewed. I have had my first bottle for a while now but it doesn’t show signs of running out so I am hoping to use this bottle up this year.

This month’s picks are a better spread of nudes and bright colours compared to last month. I have definitely been naturally reaching for more neutral tones recently
and wanted to enjoy more of my brighter options. Next month there are three lined up so I think the plan is to gradually bring back brights for the summer!

Until next time,

X

[Makeup and Chatter] Lunch at The Botanist

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this unintentional ‘Makeup and Chatter’ series. I get to talk about a good day with nice memories at a place I haven’t been to before, as well as share a makeup look. Oftentimes posts with only the former don’t do so well but I really do enjoy writing those so I’m glad I’m finding a way to keep them going. Also, I can’t keep these photos languishing in my computer folders forever.

The Botanist is a bar and restaurant which, in Birmingham, is tucked away on Temple Street, off New Street, just around the corner from Tesco Metro and a bit further up than Ryman’s. I didn’t even realise that it was a place you could eat – it’s one of those places easily overlooked, I think.

The bar has a glass ceiling part (I’m sure there’s another word for it…) which lights up that area quite well for photos, including this gorgeous coloured centrepiece I took a few snaps of, but otherwise, the restaurant is ambiently lit and very cosy. We went in just as it opened and it was still pretty busy for the lunch period as far as I could tell. As orders were taken and the restaurant leapt into action the smell coming out of the kitchen was divine. I stopped regretting skipping breakfast (by accident) right away.

I ordered the Berry Good Times Mocktail and the Butternut Squash, Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Pie. It was a really nice comfort meal and I totally stuffed myself. The hanging kebabs looked fascinating, though. Maybe next time! I can never make it through a two course meal unless the portions are really small or I am especially starved… Is it just me? Otherwise I would have totally gone for dessert.

I finally gave my friend her Christmas present, a handmade hat like this one but in a different colour scheme, dark green and grey. I might do another post on it. On the other hand, she gave me a few packets of instant miso soup which taste really good and can’t really be found here. We spoke about a lot of things over lunch, like makeup (okay, that part of the conversation was mostly me) and boys (also me, but not normally my conversation topic of choice) and general facts about each other.

The thing about making new friends now is that there’s a breadth of past and potential to talk about as we get to know one another. She’s already finished her year of study here and moves back home soon and I will miss her to bits, as she was actually one of the first few friends I made at university, too.

Her birthday was yesterday and I hadn’t figured out what lipstick to buy for her (I am living my lipstick-buying life vicariously) so we popped around Selfridges, got sucked in by the lady at the YSL counter for several minutes, and ended up popping around MAC and picking a satin nude shade. We also popped by a NYX stand and I spotted a Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm on sale for £4 (it’s on my wishlist for after I finish a certain other product) and I had to tear myself away from the counter, ASAP. In hindsight, that was pretty funny.

I had a lecture in the morning so I couldn’t go completely overboard with the makeup. I did end up a little late anyway (this isn’t usual of me! Don’t worry! I’m normally twenty minutes early!!) but this was because I made the over-excited last minute decision to add false lashes. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

I practised last night and it went okay, but that meant nothing this morning. It took me two attempts and then, not being used to using eyeliner with false lashes, the lashes got in the way and my eyeliner wasn’t so great. But I let that pass. Some makeup mistakes nobody else will really notice and this was one of them. The other was that my falsies were uneven.

The weather decided to turn bad just as I began to take photos but I persisted!
It got so dark in the space of two minutes, I was shook.

Eyes
Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer
Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette
Shades Ludwin, Succubus, and Saleos
CLIO Kill Black Brush Pen Liner
Shu Uemura Standard Eyelash Curler
(These are only on trial at the moment but so far, I love them.)
Eyelure Naturalites False Eyelashes
(I can feel them on my eyelids but they’re not uncomfortable, although I put that down to my inexperience. I’m sure these are an old pair, the packaging is different but this box has been lying around unopened for years, I tell you)
Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Base
Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer in Light
Innisfree No Sebum Powder
(Note to self – base was already breaking down by the three-hour mark.)

Lips
Lancome 06 Rose Nu
(I am always surprised by how well this lasts and it almost never bleeds… at least in a bad way…)

I never really use eyebrow products these days… I’ve been wanting to try out some eyebrow mascara type products like Boy Brow and so on but my fringe covers my brows, and my brows themselves are thankfully nice if not needing a bit of tidying from time to time.

But anyway, that’s what I got up to today. My exams are over and I’m back in the full swing of uni and part-time work. I hope you’re all doing good!

Until next time,

X

 

Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Hi everyone!

In order to help me along with my goal of not buying any lipsticks this year, I, of course, have to shop my own stash a little. I wanted to wear more of the lipsticks down below and for some of them, also figure out if I like them enough against my other offerings before I decide to de-stash them. It’s also a fast chance to review ones I’ve never mentioned here before…

Without further ado, these are the lipsticks in rotation this month!

NARS Velvet Satin Lip Pencil – Rikugien (Mini)

This is sheer nude pink shimmer. I do like it, and it’s very pretty, but since I normally want noticeable colour, I just don’t reach for it a lot. I have a feeling this might be one of the first lipsticks to go but it might be worth experimenting with lip liners underneath. Maybe.

Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick – Bare It All

I actually quite like this for its rather long wear and cheap price (£2.99 on Amazon as an add-on item!). I bought this particular shade because it’s an apparent dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy and I wasn’t sure how that would suit me. The plastic packaging also quickly got shattered after that holiday to Vietnam in my travel bag. I didn’t even wear it there much after discovering how much they love reds over there!

I wouldn’t repurchase this colour as I think it’s just a smidgen too light for my personal taste (although it doesn’t wash me out), but I’d consider similar darker shade like In The Flesh another time. Or maybe I should look for similar shades in less breakable packaging… Or maybe I just shouldn’t travel with it!

My favourite way to wear this shade is actually with a layer of NYX’s Butter Gloss in Praline on top for a lovely glossy nude lip, which is why it has joined my rotation. It’s also great on top of a muted red liner like Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses in Spice or Kiko Smart lipliner 103.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate – 08

I like this but haven’t been reaching for it much recently. It’s a mauve nude with a satin finish. I don’t think I’ll repurchase it once it’s used up, though. Sometimes I also like to layer it with Rimmel’s 1000 Kisses Lipliner in Spice which is clearly my go-to to warm up a lip colour.

Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin – 04 Rosewood (mini, discontinued)

I LOVE this but haven’t been reaching for it much, probably as it’s so precious. It’s a brown with a hint of pink, and it’s not too sheer on me (unlike Rikugien) and can also be built up, making it a fabulous nude MLBB shade. In true Burberry fashion, even their casing and bullet are plaid patterned. I think this particular line of satin shades was discontinued, but from what I’ve seen of the Lip Velvet bullets, they still seem vaguely similar (they also have a Rosewood shade!) So I might check them out in future.

Lancome L’absolu Rouge 06 Rose Nu (mini)

I got this as a mini from my mom. In fact, I think this is the oldest lipstick of the lot and it shows as it has the biggest dent out of my stash. I am hoping to finally finish it up this month or next… This is a classy, rosy pink that isn’t super opaque but can be built up well. It has a satin finish and is so comfortable to wear. I’ve had no problem reaching for this daily, and I’m not a girl who wears the same lipstick two days in a row! In fact, if it weren’t for the rapid expansion of my lipstick stash it would probably have been finished all those years ago…

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick – Brown Sugar

This is a cool brown shade and is true to its name in that it’s super creamy. This actually hasn’t had more than a couple of wears since its review last year, so it simply needs a bit more love. I particularly wanted to try it out with different coloured lip liners, and I really like it over MaxFactor’s lipliner in Red Rush for that extra red tone. It’s quite opaque so I couldn’t apply too much and lose that tone, though.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick – Wild Nothing (limited edition)

This is a medium mauve toned lipstick that I find best described as a lighter version of the infamous Tulle shade from the original line of Ultra Matte lipsticks. It’s not the most flattering on me, though. This is another one that I want to experiment mixing with a coloured lipliner but Colourpop’s colours are so opaque I wonder if it would work. Maybe a lip topper? I’m not sure if this is still available on their site as it was from their Christmas collection in 2015.

I realised as I took swatch photos that all of these picks are neutrals in one way or another! Although Rose Nu is stretching it a bit towards the pink side, it’s still a great choice that suits anything. I think it just goes to show what a wide range of shades neutrals can encompass. On top of that, only two of these shades have separate reviews because beyond what I’ve said here, as I’ve not had much to say about these shades!

Fingers crossed I make a dent in these or finally decide which ones have to go…

Until next time,

X

Starting a Year-Long Lipstick No-Buy

Recently, I took stock of my beauty drawer, and came to the realisation that I just… have too much crap. Not exactly breaking news, but hey. *shrugs*

My lipstick stash needs a bit of cutting down. It’s not exactly a need, per se, because my lipsticks, high end or not, are a little luxury for me and I have them by choice and not need, anyway. However, it’s now making me feel sort of bad or even uncomfortable that I have this many. This is because, currently, I own 43 (excluding lipliners), which is more than my lipstick holder allows by more than 10. I don’t like my collections outgrowing their designated spaces!

The Beauty Drawer collections I see online don’t make me stress though because, like, you do you, right?

[Added edit: It’s now 44. Q just gifted me her Christmas present. I held it, still wrapped, and went ‘it’s a lipstick, isn’t it?’ and she replied ‘it’s not like I knew you would buy 8 on Boxing Day!!’ WHOOPS. THANKS, Q!]

[Edit: It’s 47. I mis-counted.]

It’s true that I haven’t de-stashed in a while. But then here’s the thing… In my humble opinion, there aren’t any duds in my current collection. There’s something I like about each and every one of them enough to keep them.

Actually *leaves the room to throw two out*, at least there is, now.

What does this mean? This might be a big ask, being a beauty blogger and all, but my aim is to:

not buy any lipsticks at all this year.

This is also something I want to commit to and want to be held accountable for. Part of fulfilling a goal involves an action plan, so here’s mine:

  • I will share my progress at the bottom of new posts. How many days as it been since I last bought a lipstick? What’s going on my wishlist? What did I wear most recently?
  • I will continue to keep lipsticks a thing on my blog by incorporating ‘my week in lipstick’ or ‘lipstick in rotation’ posts. Or, I’m super diligent, a ‘lipstick empty’ post! Will it ever happen? Stay tuned~ LOL
  • Stashing my new and untouched lipsticks (9 of them) (and other products) in a box, only to be taken out once in dire need of new makeup to talk about. It will be like a gift to myself!
  • Letting my siblings call me out and stare at me disapprovingly when I buy or even attempt to buy stuff I don’t need.

 Like seriously, call me out if it seems like I’ve bought another, please.

I should note that I’m not stopping buying beauty stuff entirely! I’m still searching for my dream mascara and I will repurchase my favourite eyeliner as it runs out. This isn’t about spending less (although it’s always better if I do that), but about owning less and making sure I only own what I use… I.e. returning to regular levels of consumption…

[This excludes any lip stuff I get as a gift, though Q has made it known to me that I own a lot and probably won’t buy me anymore lol]


On the same note, some of my other aims this year is to use up a few of the yarn and notebooks in my stash, and also whittle down my wardrobe to basic items that will get some wear. I have some gorgeous bits and bobs that I just don’t wear anymore, and I don’t want to be like a certain close relative who genuinely has no room for her new clothes that now live in the second laundry basket, taking up space.

I made a start by clearing out drawers and taking them to the charity shops in the city centre. I actually do this fairly regularly but I was extra harsh this time around. That coral jumper, I adore, but never ever wear. That plaid top, I also adore and actually flatters me, but I never wear that either.

Sort of on the same topic, but in a better light, my spending habits have actually improved this year. Even the Boxing Day damage was not as bad as I (or Q, when I told her) expected it to be.

Do you have any beauty-related resolutions this year?

Until next time,

X

P.S. AS IF NYX tweeted two of their newer lip ranges just now sob *adds to wishlist*


Days since I last bought lipstick (as of the date this post goes up): 14
Most recently worn lipstick (as of typing this post) : Lancome 06 Rose Nu (mini)
Products added to wishlist:  NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream, Cannes – metallic versions of their famous lip cream line! (There was also a powder lip product, but I wasn’t feeling the shades after I googled them. HA. #selfcontrol)

An Adventure in Mascara 

 

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m taking a bit of a detour from the lip things that I know and love, and delving into mascara for a bit. I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a mascara here despite my buzz of activity in makeup and there are reasons for that which I will get into…

So. I very rarely wear mascara. I have poker-straight Asian lashes and that limits what works for me. Knowing that, I wanted to narrow down my search and just explore the different types of mascaras out there and decide which types to go for.

I have gathered a few sample sized products to compare. These are:

Lancome Hypnose
The full size of this is £24.50 ($32.11USD). It is a volumising fibre mascara with a brush-type applicator.

MAC Upward Lash
The full size of this is £19.50 ($25.56USD). This is a volumising fibre-less mascara with a rubber brush.

CLIO Salon de Cara Back Comb
The full size of this product is actually difficult to find in the popular online Korean beauty stores! However, it is sold on Amazon US and CLIO USA’s official site and retails for approximately £16 ($21USD). It’s a fibre mascara with a brush applicator.

The photo below compares the brushes of each mascara in the same order as listed above. As these are all sample sizes of the mascara, I would hope they are also representative of their full-size versions.

The Salon de Cara brush (right) is interesting as it has long bristles on one side and short ones on the other. I only use the long ones, so that’s no use to me,  but I imagine if you wanted a very thick coat of mascara, it would be good for that. Salon de Cara gets very messy quickly due to the fibres escaping the tube as I put the brush back in.

Let’s have a look at how they performed on my lashes. I curled my lashes before I put the mascara on each time.

 

As you may be able to tell from the photos, I had a bit of trouble with the Lancome Hypnose and the MAC upward lash weighing down my lashes and as a result, losing the curl they had. They did have more visible volume, and there wasn’t one that did particularly well over the other between those two. The MAC Upward lash had a creamier, wetter formula that was generally far easier to smudge on my eyes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that CLIO’s Salon de Cara Back Comb didn’t weigh my lashes down. It did not add as much thickness to my lashes as the other two mascaras, but it added some length without losing the curl. Of the three, this ended up being the one I used the most.

It’s interesting to note that CLIO is a Korean brand – perhaps I should be looking to Asian brands where more people have similarly annoying lashes to mine and therefore may have mascaras that will work better for me.

I think I have a better idea now of what kind of mascaras I am looking to try in the future. A lengthening mascara might be what I am looking for as opposed to a volumising one. I also prefer the fibre mascaras. Most importantly, I want my mascara to be able to hold the damn curl!!

Please, by all means, recommend me a good mascara…

Until next time,

X