Thursday, April 28, 2011

Misadventures in Depotting

After watching some youtube videos for DYI palettes (especially intrigued by EnKoreMakeup Koren's tutorial using CD Jewel cases) I decided I should start depotting my cheap, old eye shadows.  I'd watched various depotting tutorials some time back and I figured I'd remember all I needed.  Maybe I should have refreshed my memory!  I made a good mess, now partly I will blame it on some of the packaging being fairly non-depot-friendly, but still.  Stubborn old me keeps hammering away despite things going badly when I'm on a Mission.  Come hell or highwater, those suckers were coming out!

Here's a photo of the wreckage:

So I had two little quads and two duos from e.l.f., and Maybelline and Revlon quads.  I had almost thrown away the Maybelline and Revlon shadows, they are quite old and especially the Revlon I find very difficult to work with.  Hard to get out of the pan.  First I worked on the e.l.f. quads since they are ultra cheap ($1 each) and I knew it wouldn't be the end of the world if I completely mangled them.  Well, I did mostly mangle them!  I tried my hair straightener heating method first but found it to take too long and I was worried about burning something on the straightener etc, so I went to a candle next.  After inhaling a bunch of fumes and getting just about nowhere, I gave up.  I recall someone using alcohol to dissolve the glue, so that was my last step.  I finally made some progress, but those shadows were glued down all across the base of the pan (as opposed to a glob of glue in the middle).  I completely destroyed one pan in the quad, but luckily it was a very blah brown that I didn't care for anyway.  I did want to keep at least the cranberryish and olive tones from the quads.

I used a couple pairs of tweezers, a knife, a small thin spoon all to try to pry out the pans.  None were terribly successful with the e.l.f. shadows.  What led to the greatest success with the Revlon pans (I did these last and they came out almost completely unscathed) was inserting the knife at the side edge and popping them out with leverage.  Most were soaked in alcohol by the end of this, we'll see how they dry out.  Some I really had to repress into shape because they cracked significantly.  I'm not sure I trust myself to depot any of the shadows I actually care about!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Love the Options, Hate the Cleaning

I have quite a few brush options these days, which I love.  I bought a Sigma kit and a few extra items that didn't come in the kit (the hard container that snaps together) that I wanted.  I also have a variety of spare eye brushes, powder and blush brushes I bought before the kit, etc.  It's great having so many things to choose from, but the cleaning... What a pain!

I use the MAC brush cleaner for the every few days cleaning, sprinkle some on a tissue and swirl around, dries quickly and removes a good amount of the gunk from the brush.  Liquid and cream product brushes I wash in the sink once a week, but it's the dreaded haul of brushes to the sink that I loathe.  I didn't wash everything today, but I did do the brushes I've been using daily of late.  I was miserably bored and my back was aching so I had to take a break about 2/3 of the way through.  Working at the sink is a terrible angle for my body.  I need to find a better way!

Full deep cleansing I've been using a mild soap and olive oil (to keep the brushes softened and help loosen the makeup).  Wetting the brush, dab into the cleanser, swirl around with some more water and lather it up on the palm of my hand or in a small bowl.  Then the dance of rinsing and swirling until the soap and makeup is gone, squeezing (gently) dry with the towel and on to the next brush.

I dry them laying flat overnight (I have heard recommendations to put guards over each brush so they can be dried bristles down, but this seems far too complicated).
Here's the result of my arduous work today:

And here's what I didn't wash, along with a quick view of my desk/makeup area; eye brushes:

And face brushes:

And you get to see what I picked out for tomorrow!  I like to not make decisions or think in the morning, so usually after I put on the retinol/moisturizer in the evening I'll pick out the eyes for tomorrow.  My friend wants to coordinate some green eyes tomorrow so I grabbed the Too Faced Lucky Charms duo, MAC Sumptuous Olive, Coastal Scents Matte palette and Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Whiskey.  Someone on youtube had recommended tightlining with a square/straight liner brush and getting product off a pencil with it; I have found while the application isn't as intense it doesn't get massive globs of pencil tangled up in eyelashes.  Especially with the UD 24/7 liners, that globbiness (?!) was very messy to remove.  Now I'm really offtrack here.

Moral of the story: hurray for choices, boo for the work of cleaning all those lovely options.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Foundation with Freckles and Difficult Skin, Coverage and More

I hadn't considered wearing foundation for many years due to the lack of light enough color selections, but maybe a year or so ago using the little shade finder gadget with L'Oreal True Match it seemed to match me on the lightest warm shade (W1).  While I'm not a huge fan of this foundation, it opened me up to the idea that even drugstore brands were carrying shades light enough for my skintone.

I have acne issues, redness, a few broken capillaries in my cheeks, dry patches around my nose and a very oily chin.  Having moved to the north midwest from a very humid tropical climate this year, my skin also had to adjust to a very dry winter.  Altogether, good reasons to want some decent coverage, but the patchiness from weather and acne treatments have given some trouble texture-wise.

If that wasn't enough, I do like my freckles and don't want them to be covered by makeup.  Finding the right balance of coverage for the redness and spots without hiding the freckles has been tricky.  I find it truly sad when searching the web for information about makeup for freckles and the vast majority is about trying to cover them.  Using concealer for especially red areas (the capillaries on cheeks) helps get away with a light coverage, but I'm still finding difficulty in achieving the perfect balance.  Throwing acne into the mix makes everything more complicated, I don't aim to completely cover the spots but just tone down the redness.  Too much coverage (from concealer) seems to aggravate the acne even more.

I am hoping with the warmer weather coming soon (though we had snow over the weekend and it's forecast for more this Tuesday) the humidity will balance out the excessively dry, peeling spots.  I can't seem to keep spots right around my nose from drying to the point of peeling.  Downside being I can feel the oil is increasing on my chin and soon I will be in the Sweat Zone since I take the bus to work.

With the 15% off sale at Sephora, I went in hoping to try out the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ for the water resistant, oil free, oil controlling properties.  Apparently I wasn't the only one!  The shade I think matches best, #20 Ivory; sold out!  Didn't have it in stock at another store the SA called either.  I did go home with a sample to try out of #15 and #20 (#15 is a little pink for me) and SA has promised to hold a bottle for me when the shipment comes in on Wednesday (thankfully still in time to use the coupon).  I wanted to give my skin a chance to breathe today so I'm going sans-foundation/powder, but I will give the sample a try on my full face tomorrow.  My only concerns are that a) it will have too much coverage b) it will catch on my dry spots (I really make an effort with moisturizing and exfoliating but haven't found the perfect balance yet) c) I've heard it can be difficult to blend/sets quickly and I am known to be a slow mover.  We'll see!

One day I will find the perfect combination!

EDIT: See my update on MUFE Mat Velvet+

Monday, April 11, 2011

Huge Collective Haul - ULTA Friends and Family Sale, Walgreens, Coastal Scents, Sally Beauty Supply, CCO, Target

Over the past month I've done a fair amount of shopping, so I figured I'd lump it all together for a big collective haul.  Have gotten a few other odds and ends but these were the noteworthy ones for me.

ULTA had their Friends and Family 20% off including prestige cosmetics, so I had to stock up!  I didn't have too clear of an idea of what I wanted, figured I'd wander until I found things I was excited about. I've been in this highlighter mood, but I had just picked up the pixi blush/highlight combo so I didn't plan to buy one.  I had in the back of my mind that I wanted the LORAC highlight at some point though.

Here's a couple snaps of the groups (forgot a few things and had to get a second group)

And on to the swatches!
Excuse the bulging veins, we went rapidly from winter to summer this week and it was about 76F inside, I was starting to melt; full size images are also showing quite pink (partially I really was hot and red, but the sketchy lighting is also to blame).

Starting left to right:
  • NYX Iris 501
  • NYX Vitamin 626
  • NYX Indian Pink 550
  • NYX Mega Lip Shine Smokey Look 159
  • NYX Mega Lip Shine Beige 129
  • Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm Golden Pink PTB05
  • Palladio Waterproof Lip Liner Nearly Nude PRL12
  • MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Porcelain Pink
  • MAC Beauty Powder Blush Blush of Youth
  • Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder Spotlight
  • pixi Energy Blush Golden Energy (blush and highlight)
  • Cargo blu_ray Pressed Powder Light 10 (below blush and highlights, almost disappearing into skin color)
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes (Purple)
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes (Green)
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes (Black with Green Shimmer)
  • Coastal Scents Dual Ended Eyeshadow Pencil Copper Penny
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencil Whiskey
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencil Flipside
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder Taupe/Ash
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Petal Pusher (top row is left side, bottom row is right side)

  • Too Faced Romantic Eye palette (top matte shades, bottom shimmers, middle large shadows)

  • Too Faced Eyeshadow Duo Lucky Charms (Green and Yellow Green)
  • NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Baby Pink
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On liner Zero (I smudged it while applying, drawing fail)
  • Coastal Scents gel liner True Black
Before I go into the very long winded ramble about each item, there are a couple items that have really stood out to me.  The Physicians Formula eyeliner has amazing staying power, when cleaning off the swatches with the Urban Decay liner, UD wiped clean several swipes before the PF.  I've been tightlining with the PF and even if it gets on my waterline it doesn't transfer to my lower lid (if I do this with UD, it's a huge mess beneath my eye).
The texture and finish of the Cargo blu_ray pressed powder has really impressed me, I am absolutely loving it!  The LORAC luminizing powder does have a lovely sheen to make a very natural highlight.

I got the following from ULTA (a couple of these I picked up on a previous visit):
  • Too Faced Romantic Eye palette - I really liked the matte light pink, shimmery "nectar" (I don't think Too Faced knows what color it is either :) ) and the gold and dark shimmery golden brown
  • LORAC eye primer - I wanted a backup of my Too Faced Shadow Insurance, the SA told me it works just as well for creasing and it's almost twice the ounces for only $2 more, we'll see!
  • LORAC Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight - I heard raves that this had very fine shimmer to give a sheen instead of a sparkle
  • NYX Lip Smacking Lip Colors in Iris, Indian Pink and Vitamin - I'd been wanting some brighter peachier lip colors for spring, can't go wrong with the price for NYX
  • NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Beige and Smokey Look - Emily Eddington (emilynoel83) recommended Beige for a nice medium pigmented creamy pink and so far I'm really enjoying it
  • NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Taupe/Ash - my eyebrows are incredibly light brown, but the color they do have is fairly ashy so I had been wanting to try something that was a bit cooler, using warm toned looks okay but I think this combo looks more natural; been using it daily since I bought it and I really like the result (I don't use the wax)
  •  Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils in Zero, Whiskey, Flipside - I've been working on my eyeliner technique, I was hoping to use this for tightlining but I have to be very careful because it smears and smudges badly if it gets on my waterline
  • Cargo blu_ray Pressed Powder in Light - I had no plans to buy another pressed powder but when I felt the texture of this and the coverage it could give, I had to get it; I have used it about three times and loving the finish
  • RoC Deep Wrinkle Serum - with some wrinkles and still fighting acne, I've been looking to Retinol more as a two for one solution; I have a moisturizer with retinol but it can cause breakouts so I decided to try out a serum so I can control the moisturizer I put over it
  • Too Faced Eyeshadow Duo in Lucky Charms - there was a Cargo quad (Tahiti) with an awesome chartreuse, but I didn't want to invest in all of the colors, so I got this combo instead; wore it today with a matte light brown from my CS matte palette and the gold from Romantic Eye on inner quarter of lid, unusual without being shocking like my fuchsia look last week
  • NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Baby Pink - Wayne Goss (gossmakeupartist) had reviewed NYX pigments saying they were good quality and I had been considering grabbing one previously, the color was just too adorable
Cosmetics Company Outlet/Cosmetics Company Store
  • MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Porcelain Pink - been wanting a MSF because they're just so pretty and I wanted a golden/peachy highlight
  • MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Blushing Youth - the rose powder shape and glowing matte light pink sold me, but the color payoff is fairly light, hoping once I get through the first layer it will come off on the brush a little easier
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon palette in Petal Pusher - was lacking a good selection of purples with spring/summer coming up, grabbed this having heard lots of good things in general about these Color Icon palettes
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes - I had $4 off in Target coupons for Physicians Formula and figured the last thing I needed was more powder products, so I grabbed this for the green and purple liners; three eyeliners for $7 or so I figured I couldn't go wrong
  • pixi Energy Blush in Golden Energy - knowing I had an Ulta coupon, I was wandering in Target wanting to buy a highlight that I couldn't get anywhere else and I liked that it had a bit of blush too and the highlight was golden toned
Sally Beauty Supply (I went in for the buy 2 get 1 free on nail polish, but had to grab some makeup too)
  • Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm in Golden Pink - I just wanted to try out some Palladio products and I'm a sucker for golden frost in a lip product and tinted lip balm is fuss-free
  • Palladio Waterproof Lip Liner in Nearly Nude - I don't have any lip liners, but have been meaning to pick up a nude pink, thought I'd give it a go
 Coastal Scents
  • Gel liner in True Black - haven't used a gel or cream liner in ages and I was placing an order anyway for the Double Stack Matte Palette
  • Dual Ended Eyeshadow Pencil in Copper Penny - didn't click it was being sold as eyeshadow and liner pencil, bought with intention of just using liner
  • Bionic Flat Top Buffer Brush - wanted something firmer and dense for applying foundation
  • Black Detail Synthetic brush - a small detail brush, not sure what to use it for yet
  • Synthetic Deluxe Crease Brush - I was hoping for another blending type brush that was firmer than a fluffy brush and a bit smaller

Sunday, April 3, 2011

First impressions of Coastal Scents 42 Double Stack Matte Palette

When I initially swatched a few colors the first night I broke the box open I wasn't seeing a whole lot of color payoff.  Being all mattes, I figured they would be a little more difficult to deal with and it's not top-top quality stuff, so that's okay too.  Well, I was jabbering away with my Mom today and started working on a look with the new palette.  Took a nice healthy swipe of one of the pinks, brushed across my lid and WOW!  That's some kind of pigmentation!  Figured might as well just go with it and played around with the pink and a couple purples, a really nice peachy coral, bit of yellow and the white for highlight.  Also sampled some of the blushes, they are less pigmented (good for me, I tend to be heavy handed with blush) - nice range of colors, some I don't have anything similar.

Pictures taken about 7 hours after I put them on, used Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer.

I wish they'd change the font on these palettes...

The white isn't the best pigmentation-wise, but the rest I tried except the coral-peachy color gave that much payoff on one swipe.  I absolutely love matte shadows, for hooded/saggy lid eyes like myself I think it doesn't attract as much attention to that fact.  Not to mention the soft glowing gradient effect that matte can give.  Looking forward to playing around more with this palette!