Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Stash: Eyeliners

Since I first became interested in makeup in my teenage years, I've always felt the need for eyeliner. It and mascara was a must for the eyes. Eyeliner was crucial for my transformation from squinty-eyed kid to doe-eyed beauty queen (in my eyes, anyway!). Even when I wasn't makeup obsessed, my stash always included a black liner. Now I have plenty, in a rainbow of colors to create all the cool liner looks I see around. At first glance, I don't think I have too many, but I must evaluate all parts of my stash to make sure of it.

From upper left to lower right:  Covergirl Liquilineblast in Brown Blaze, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Onyx, Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Violet Voltage, Tarina Taratino Eye Dream Highlight Hyperliner in Cute Robot, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Ransom, Covergirl Queen Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Cabernet, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Whiskey, Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Blue Boom, Milani Liquif'Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Black, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Graphite, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, Revlon Grow Luscious Lashliner in Emerald, Rimmel Special Eyes Precision Eye Liner Pencil in Burgundy.

Of course, later I find another eyeliner hidden away!  Here pictured is Covergirl Queen Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Amethyst, all by its lonesome.

I also love my big eye pencils!  

 On left: Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Black.  From top to bottom: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Rehab, Avon Big Color Eye Pencil in Eggplant, Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Taupe* and White Glitter, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Delinquent, Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in Kaki and Purple Glitter, Avon Spectra Define Eye Liner in Navy.  

*I've managed to swap this away by post time!  Guess I'm on my way to leaving my beauty hoarding ways behind!

I haven't mastered liquid liners, but I've been trying.  Here's my collection:

From left:  Palladio Liquid Eyeliner in Black, Jordana FabuLiner in Black, Black Radiance Fine Line Liquid Eyeliner in Black.

I find the Jordana liner's pen-style applicator easy to use. With patience, I can make a decent cat-eye with it.

I have fourteen skinny pencils, eight thick pencils, and three liquid liners for a total of twenty-five eyeliners. Is this too many? Sort of.  I like having different colors of eyeliner for a easy swipe of color to liven up my looks, so I'm okay with the number in and of itself.  My problem lies in my buying the same colors over and over again.  I don't need five black and two navy liners, but I certainly have them! 

My next step involves getting rid of any liners that are not being used.  I also will not buy another black or navy pencil until I've used up what I have.  Beyond that, my buying of additional eyeliner pencils will be restricted to those with superior formulas, unique colors, and reasonable prices. 

As for liquid liners, all but the Jordana are probably expired and I need to throw them away.  I feel satisfied with just one right now.  I'm just not good enough at using them to want to hoard them. 

Gel liners remain an unexplored frontier, so I'll let myself buy one within my low-buy parameters, if I ever become interested in them.

I'm confident that I will not have twenty-five eyeliners the next time I take an inventory.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mascara Purge Addendum, or I Keep Finding More Mascara Everywhere!

More mascara to purge:

Where were y'all hiding?

I found these in my sprawling stash after I did my first mascara purge

1.  Maybelline the Falsies Volum' Express Black Waterproof in Black Drama - I don't normally wear waterproof mascara, but I bought this for a funeral I had to attend.  It held up to the heat and the tears.  However, the drama that this mascara delivers is more huge heavy clumps than extra-black lushness.  I much prefer the original Falsies to any Black Drama formula, and if I need to cry again while wearing mascara, I'll buy Full 'n' Soft waterproof.
2.  Maybelline Great Lash in Pop of Purple (Limited Edition) - Hate, hate, hate!  It didn't make my lashes look good!  It clumped and stuck my lashes together.  It turned my soft black lashes a funky greyish purple, and I couldn't see that unless I was in the sun!  When I removed it, this foul concoction took at least six of my lashes with it!  Ugh. 

I think I'm down to one mascara open now.  Really.

Total Empties since December 1st: 27

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holy Grail #1: Dove Limited Edition Winter Care Beauty Bar

We are always on the look out for a holy grail in something.  Fortunately, in beauty, the journey is just as fun as the destination!  I've managed to find a holy grail, and that is no lightweight feat.  I don't throw around the term holy grail much, unless I am talking about the ABSOLUTE BESTEST PRODUCT FOR ME!!!!   Yes, I have to shout about it because this product is worth a try for anyone.

You are my favorite.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jordana Blush Powder Swatches and Review

I mentioned here that I bought some Jordana blushes as a part of that (shameful!) December haul.

Cheap thrills!

From top, left to right;  Coral Sandy Beach, Blushing Rose, Redwood, Terracotta

These blushes come in small plastic tins with clear, screw-on lids.  They are not taped, so they can be easily opened in-store.  (Definitely a drugstore cosmetic peeve of mine.)  I found these blushes at Big Lots among other Jordana products in a large plastic bin, and a lot of blushes had become loose or totally unscrewed.  Also, the packaging won't protect this blush from thumps and bumps.  When I originally discovered these blushes in-store,  I bought Redwood, Blushing Rose, and Bronze.  After making my purchase, I stuffed my bag in my purse and went home. The next day, I discovered that my Bronze had shattered!   I have to baby these blushes, or at least refrain from shoving, tossing, and flinging them.

Coral Sandy Beach

Blushing Rose



  • Coral Sandy Beach is a pinky-peach with gold shimmer.  Perhaps it is NARS Orgasm-ish?  In my in-person swatching in Sephora and Googling, I think it is very similar, but not an exact dupe.  This and Blushing Rose have a nice dual blush-highlighter effect when blended on the cheeks.
  • Blushing Rose's name is a misnomer.  This is a light purple with pink undertones and gold shimmer.  No blush or rose here. 
  • Terracotta is a matte, warm brown with orange undertones.  Terracotta has a "no-blush" blush effect on me, sculpting my cheeks while not looking overtly colorful.
  • Redwood is a slightly cool matte red-coral with tiny silver glitter.  The glitter keeps the blush from looking completely flat on the face without my cheeks sparkling. Redwood delivers a natural, flushed, I-just-said-my-inner-thoughts-out-loud look to my face. 

Heavy finger swatches, without and with flash:

Left to right: Redwood, Coral Sandy Beach, Blushing Rose, Terracotta

See how the flash picks up the subtle sheen in Coral Sandy Beach and Blushing Rose?

These blushes are soft and a little powdery.  They are also very pigmented, so proceed cautiously.   One tap on the blush with my brush is enough to do one cheek.  The staying power is also good.  I applied before going to work, and each blush was still visible on my cheeks after eight hours.

I recommend these blushes to makeup wearers of all skintones who love a cheap thrill.  I really enjoy these, and maybe I'll pick up some more in other colors someday.  However, I am definitely considering depotting these to a sturdier palette to protect from shattering.

Jordana blushes can be found at Kmart stores, Jordanacosmetics.com, and other online retailers.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Stash: Black Radiance Artisian Color Baked Blushes and Bronzer Swatches

Everyone should know about these blushes!


From top left:  Raspberry, Toasted Almond, Plum Sorbet, Gingersnap, Warm Berry

Toasted Almond
Plum Sorbet
Warm Berry

Black Radiance products are manufactured by Markwins, Inc., the same company that produces Wet 'n' Wild Cosmetics.  Like its sister company, Black Radiance's blushes are amazingly pigmented and smoothly milled.  The packaging is bulky, but adequate; these blushes are not prone to easy shattering like their wet 'n' wild sisters.

Heavy finger swatches, without and with flash:


From left:  Warm Berry, Plum Sorbet, Raspberry, Toasted Almond, Gingersnap.

  • Warm Berry is a dark reddish pink with a satin finish and fine silver glitter.  I love to pair this with my red lipsticks.
  • Plum Sorbet is a pinky plum blush with pale pink, deep plum, and violet veining.  It has a shimmery finish.  I love this color with plum, berry, or even blue-toned red lips.
  • Raspberry is a rich deep magenta with a satin finish.  Due to its richness, I often pair this with my-lips-but-better colors.
  • Toasted Almond is a deep pinky brown with a matte finish.  It goes well with any lip color.
  • Gingersnap is a light bronze with gold veining and a hint of pink.  It has a shimmery finish.  This color cannot serve as a contour for anyone due to the shimmer;  I use it as a highlight or a barely-there blush.  It also goes well with any lip color.
A few months ago, I also purchased the bronzers in Blackberry and Rum Spice.  Rum Spice is lighter than Gingersnap and showed up almost champagne on me.  Blackberry is a deep cool purple with gold veining.  If it wasn't for the shimmer, it would be the perfect contour color for dark-skinned, neutral- to cool-toned faces.  I could find no use for them, so I returned them to the store.

These blushes are best approached lightly lest you end up with clown cheeks.  Even so, they are a joy to use because they are not excessively powdery.  I find that these blushes last on me all day until I wash my face, whether or not I am wearing foundation.

These blushes and bronzers can be found at select drugstores (read: stores that serve a Black population),  drugstore.com, and walgreens.com.  Blackradiancebeauty.com has a store locator to help you find nearby stores that carry these products.  They usually retail at $4.99, but I've seen $1.00 off coupons included on the packaging every once in a while.

I highly recommend all who love blushes to give these a try.  I enjoy every color I own.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Empties, 2nd Edition: Mascara Purge

While going through my stash, I noticed the abundance of opened mascaras I have lying around.

Since I couldn't remember when I started using any of these, I decided to start this year with a fresh mascara.

1. Maybelline the Colossal Volum' Express Cat Eyes Mascara in Glam Black - This actually gave my eyes a slight cat-like appearance.  The wet formula actually did more lengthening than thickening, so I layered it with a thickening mascara.  I'd buy again.
2.  Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara in Black - I'm seriously disappointed in this.  I read all the reviews on the internets and had to try this for myself.  The formula was so dry it was non-existent!  Maybe it was because I bought a mini, but I doubt I'll be buying the full-size to compare.
3.  Covergirl Natureluxe Water Resistant Mascara in Black- I bought it on clearance, then bought another in Very Black after trying and liking this.  It is a really nice mascara that is easy to throw on and go.  It provides a nice, natural look with a good balance of lengthening and thickening.  I'd repurchase if it's still available when I need it.
4.  Avon superFULL mascara in Black - Absolutely terrible.  Too dry to make any kind of impact on my lashes.  I couldn't see it, but it still managed to crumble all over my face.  Yuck.  I wonder if this was a dud, but not enough to buy.
5.  Benefit They're Real Mascara - At first I hated this mascara, but it really grew on me.  The formula and brush create dramatic lashes, but they look "made up".  Nobody will think that these are my real lashes, but I enjoyed this mascara anyway.  I'd definitely repurchase.
6.  Wet 'n' Wild Megalength Mascara - The brush will take your eye out if you are not careful, but the formula is nice and it lengthens my lashes well.  A real bargain that I would repurchase.
7.  Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Primer - This is nice.  It gives my lashes extra length and thickness under my mascaras.  I'd repurchase if I feel like splurging.

I need to set a limit to how many mascaras I have open at a time!  Two, maybe three is enough for me.

Total Empties since December 1st: 25

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trial Size Tuesday: Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator

I have a lot of trial- and travel-size items to get through, so I'm instituting a weekly challenge to try to get through them.  Exciting!  Let's get started.

This is my hair.

It's a kinky cloud, basically.  My hair demands moisture all the time.  Unfortunately, I neglected it a bit during the holiday season, leaving it parched.

Enter the Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator.

From the label:  This intense hydrating treatment restores moisture to overly dry, damaged hair, seals the cuticle, imparts shine, and improves manageability and elasticity.  pH 3.5.

Sounds good to me!

This conditioner has a thick, lotiony consistency.  Not watery, but not thick enough to call creamy.

It smells just like a hair salon.  Really,  just go to any salon when it's open and you will smell this conditioner.  Fortunately, the smell doesn't linger once the hair has dried.

DIRECTIONS:  Apply to damp hair.  Leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse.  

When it comes to deep conditioners, I always leave them longer than the label recommends.  In this case, I applied a generous amount to just-shampooed hair, slapped on a plastic cap, and left it on for an hour.

I rinsed my hair and was left with this:

 Lovely, defined, fluffy awesomeness.

After styling, my hair shrank some, but the definition and softness remained.  Impressive.

The softness and touchability of my hair is so nice.  The moisture was indeed intense, delivering just what my dry hair needed.  Also, the touch of keratin served to smooth my rough strands. It's definitely going into my deep conditioner rotation.

I recommend this to anyone who needs deep moisture with a little bit of strengthening.  This product can be found at salons and Ulta.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Stash Part 2: Blushes (and One Bronzer)

I heart blushes.

Once upon a time, I didn't wear blush.

"I got plenty of color in my face!  Why do I need it?"

My thoughts were so, so foolish back then.

My discovery of blush eighteen months ago was like that of a infant discovering his toes for the first time.

Now I have these:

Ahh, lovely.

 From bottom left, clockwise:  Milani Mai Tai, Wet 'n' Wild Berry Shimmer, WNW Heather Silk, Black Radiance Raspberry, BR Warm Berry, BR Plum Sorbet, WNW Mellow Wine, BR Toasted Almond, BR Bronzer in Gingersnap.
Middle, from top:  Jordana Coral Sandy Beach,  La Femme Golden Sunset, Jordana Blush Powder in Blushing Rose, Redwood, and Terracotta

Total: 13 blushes, 1 bronzer.

I don't need or want more.....except for the Sleek MakeUP ones I plan to haul.  I alluded to that here. Then I will be done.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Empties, 1st Edition

Since December 1st, I've been saving my empties in anticipation of this blog.  Like others who do this, I like to take a moment and reflect on my thoughts on what I've thrown away.  I've seen this done a lot across the internets, so it's hard to pin the original idea on one particular person.  I do, however, want to shout out Liz at BeautyReductionista because hers were the first empties I saw in blog form.


1.  Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Extra Care Cream - This cream is very nice for softening and smoothing rough, dry areas.  In the winter, I like to layer it with my regular body lotion to add a little extra moisture and keep me from being itchy and scratching my legs raw.  I have a few body creams to finish up, but I will definitely repurchase. 
2.  Avon Bubble Bath in Vanilla Cream for Dry Skin - This makes a lot of bubbles and does not irritate me or dry out my skin.  I already have another bottle of this in my bathroom cabinet. 
3.  Softsoap Milk Protein & Honey Hand Soap - I highly recommend this! It smells good, cleans well, and does not leave my hands ashy.  It's been a staple in my household for years, and will be again once I finish the Bath & Body Works soaps I recently bought.
4.  Alberto VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze Clarifying Conditioner - Another staple!  I use this to cleanse my hair between shampoos.  It smells good and leaves no buildup. 
5.  Equate Nourishing Nail Polish Remover with Vitamin E - In my opinion, nail polish remover is pretty much all the same, at least on the drugstore level.  I tend to buy whatever store brand I see when I need more.  However, I did buy Zoya Remove+ just to see if it is any better than anything else I normally buy.

6. Equate Rejuvenating Toner - This is a dupe for the Proactiv Revitalizing Toner, and both products are awesome for my skin.  I'm cheap, however, so I brave the Wal-Mart craziness to pick this up.  I have acne-prone skin, and this toner keeps dirt and dead skin from building up on my face and exacerbating breakouts.  This is a rebuy, over and over again. 
7. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream - Good for all the dry spots! I like to alternate between this and many other creams, so it may be a while, but I'm sure I'll repurchase this at some point.  Also, the smell of this stuff is so yummy! 
8. Avon Foot Works Intensive Moisture Foot Cream - I love this cream because I can rub it into my feet, wait a minute or two, then put on my socks/shoes/sandals without worrying about greasiness.  I use this year-round, and stock up on it when it's on sale.  It's normally $5.00, but I have gotten it for as low as $1.99 in the past. 
9. Pond's Clarant B3 Anti-Dark Spots Moisturizer - I don't think this really helped my dark spots, but it is a great moisturizer!  It hydrates without breaking me out or feeling heavy.  I used this morning and night.  I plan to rebuy, but I have to finish some other creams first. 
10. Dove Invisible Solid, Fresh Scent - It keeps me dry and it doesn't make my underarm eczema worse. I've been buying Dove for years, switching between different scents.

11.  Simply Smart Lotion - This is a lotion you can only get from Holiday Inn hotel rooms.  I spent three days at one thirteen months ago, and I enjoyed the one left in my room so much that I went to the front desk and asked for a few more!  It's a light lotion that smells faintly of cinnamon rolls.  There's at least two more in my stash, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts....or until I stay in a Holiday Inn again.
12.  Yardley Naturally Moisturizing Bath Bar in Honey Vanilla Creme (Limited Edition) - This was released during the 2012 holiday season, but it may still be available in stores.  I'm a sucker for Honey or Vanilla anything, so when I saw this in Walgreens I had to try it.  I enjoyed it so much, I went back and bought five more!  This soap smells more creamy than honeyed or vanillic, but it's still nice.  Plus it lathers well, rinses clean, and doesn't overdry my skin.  I'll enjoy these while they last, then consider buying one of the permanent varieties.
13.  Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 - This was part of my Sephora birthday gift along with its untinted counterpart.  My lips are really pigmented, so the tint barely showed up on my lips.  However, it felt nice on my lips, sinking in and smoothing them out.  The softness of the balm was bothersome, melting at the slightest bit of warmth.  I won't repurchase because this is pricey for a lip balm and inexpensive balms suit me fine.

16.  St.  Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub - I actually didn't finish this because it burned my face.  I'm surprised, actually, because my skin is pretty tough.
17.  Nivea Kiss of Berry Swirl Vitamin Enriched Lip Care SPF 10 - I couldn't even try this out because I hoarded it for too long and the sunscreen expired.  I previously mentioned it here.

And now, for my crowning achievement in usage....an actual makeup product!

18.  Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Fig Jam - My favorite lip butter out of the many I own.  The peachy-red-brown color is just enough to brighten up my face, even when wearing no other makeup.  It doesn't dry out my lips, so I can use it as a balm in a pinch.  My only complaint is that its soft consistency can cause it to smear on the edges of the tube.  Because of that, I only turn the tube a tiny bit and expose the bare minimum of product before using.  I have repurchased and will continue to do so as long as Revlon makes this product.

I think I've done well so far, and I intend to continue.  There's no usefulness in my having a bloated, unused stash.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Stash Part 1: Eyeshadows

Part of my mission to limit my stash involves documenting what is in it.  I believe that if I can see what I have, I will be better able to resist the temptation to add more items.  First up is my eyeshadow collection.

Neutral Singles
From far left, clockwise:  Revlon Platinum Glimmer, Revlon Rich Sable, Sephora Collection Cocoa Powder, Sephora Collection Coffee Brown, Wet 'n' Wild Nutty, Urban Decay Toasted, Urban Decay Smog, Sephora Collection Cafe Latte, Wet 'n' Wild Brule, Wet 'n' Wild Penny.
Middle:  Wet 'n' Wild Panther, Mark Magic

Not a bad one in the bunch!  I enjoy all these shadows, particularly the Soft Sable to fill in my eyebrows. 

Colorful Singles
From bottom left, clockwise:  Wet 'n' Wild Envy, Urban Decay Shattered, Haight, Dashiki;  Wet 'n' Wild Lagoon, Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister and Ecstasy;  Smashbox Cabernet, Laura Mercier Kir Royal.
Middle:  Mark Pool, Urban Decay AC/DC.

I really want ALL the blues, greens, and purples, but I think this is plenty to play with for now.

Color Tattoos and Infallibles

From top, left to right:  L'Oreal Infallible in Eternal Black, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Rich Mahogany,  Infallibles in Perpetual Purple and Bronzed Taupe, Color Tattoos in Tough as Taupe and  Pomegranate Punk, Infallible in Midnight Blue, and Color Tattoos in Tenacious Teal and Audacious Asphalt.

Now that the craze over these has subsided, a few comments:
  1. These are all worth a try.
  2. I think I got sucked into the hype a bit.  If I could go back, I would not have acquired the Eternal Black.  I suck at making it look good.   
  3. Rich Mahogany, and all the other Fall 2012 Limited Edition Color Tattoos, should be made permanent. 
  4. Rich Mahogany + Bronzed Taupe = go-to neutral eye look.

 Clockwise from top left:  Wet 'n' Wild Vanity, Urban Decay Rollergirl, Wet 'n' Wild Lust, Wet 'n' Wild Pride, Wet 'n' Knock on Wood, Black Radiance Downtown Browns, Wet 'n' Wild I Got Good Jeans, Wet 'n' Wild Comfort Zone, MUA Makeup Academy Undressed

The Rollergirl palette is my favorite, favorite, favorite!  Oddly, the Lust and Pride palettes are not all that awesome.

I own a total of 23 single powder eyeshadows, 5 creams, 4 Infallibles, and 10 palettes with 64 shadows among them.  This makes a grand total of 96 shadows.  Ninety-six isn't THAT bad, is it?  Well, I plan on maintaining my stash right here.  I'd like to consolidate my single shadows and a few of the palettes into a couple of freeform palettes, getting rid of some of the Wet 'n' Wild duds in the process.  I haven't played with the Milani palette at all, but I plan to keep it to satisfy the bright eyeshadow urge.  

By the way, 96 is a multiple of 3 which is my favorite number!  I'm such a nerd. 



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

December Hauls Part 2

More haulage, as promised.

November was the month I discovered blogsales.  December is when this obsession gathered steam.

(To be fair to myself, four of those nail polishes and the lipstick was actually acquired through swaps.)

And, because I can't walk into Walgreens without walking down the health and beauty isle:

It was on SAAALE! That's okay, right?

Picked this up while looking for something to hold together my splitting nails.  The nail glue worked kinda okay....sort of?

Bath & Body Works' Semi-Annual Sale + receipt survey coupon = this!

Sephora at holiday time is no less than awesome if you are aiming to buy gifts for others yourself! 

I believe that my actions were the same as anyone's would be....if preparing for some sort of makeup-depriving disaster.  Ugh.

Friday, January 4, 2013

December Hauls Part 1

The idea of de-stashing and low-buying had been rolling around in my head for a while, but I decided to finally implement my plan about a month ago. I spent last month getting my mind right, but a (big) part of me wanted to haul like I'd never be able to again.  So I did.  I went some of EVERYWHERE!

This is what happens when you get all excited over sales, clearances, and coupons at Ulta. You may also note my current obsessions with brow pencils and false lashes.  I don't even think I meant to buy that two-ended Revlon eye brush!

 I went nuts at the CVS Beauty Clearance Sale!  I finally picked up the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation when they dropped the price by 75%.  I'm looking forward to trying it.  Also, I absolutely love and recommend the Milani Lip Flash pencils to EVERYONE.

At Rite Aid, I took advantage of a sale of Nivea balms, and the crystal file was 75% off.

 I went to Texas to visit my cousin over the holidays, and when we were at the mall I went to LUSH for the very first time!  We were in a hurry so I just grabbed the Butterball bath bomb to try.

I even managed to do random haulings. My aforementioned cousin gave me the Creme de la Curl.  The Wet 'n' Wild lipstick in Sandstorm was purchased from eBay.  I bought the Jordana blushes from Big Lots.

  I know that the "fairness" soaps and cream look suspect, but let me make it clear that I love my skintone, but I am not fond of my hyperpigmentation.  I got the soaps and cream from my local Indian grocery.

This isn't even all I hauled!

Has anyone out there hauled like crazy before attempting a low- or no-buy?