bobbi brown

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – December, Report #3

Previous report was in July (ha ha) and can be found here.

I went back to stila ITK after my holidays in the summer. Since I got a little bit tanned I mixed Wind and Desert up to get a better match on the lid. Here’s what it looked like it July:
stila-itk-july

Now:
stila-itk-dec16

I’m back to using just Wind at the moment. If I’m lucky I might see pan before 2017.

I took the Lunasol foundation with me for the summer because the shade worked better on me then. The picture in the last report was after holiday use. I went back to Maquillage not long after that. So here’s an update on that group photo:

pans

Taken January 2016

Now (almost a year later):

pans2016

Taken December 2016

Every time I travel I take the WnW with me. Haven’t used much of the BB this year (I use this as a brow powder). I’ve reached for it from time to time lately but nothing regular so it looks pretty much the same. I managed to use up quite a few brow pencils though 🙂

Blotting powders then:
pan-sexymama

Now:
blotting-2016-12

That’s the Soap & Glory one on the left. That’s since July as well I believe? Probably forgot to post this last time 😛
Ok they both claim to be translucent (Sexy Mama’s “anti-shine translucent powder” vs SG’s “super-translucent mattifying powder”). I think SG might be just a leeetle bit better at oil control, but if you’re not careful it can look chalky. Sexy Mama is talc-free and tinted so you’re less likely to look ashy. If I had to choose I’d probably go with S&G as that one seems to work better on my skin.

And I’m still working on the MAC blush:

July:
mac-poised Now:

blushes-2016-12

Lunasol Chocolat Beige, MAC Poised, RMK Hot Red

Yup, not much change. But I got so bored of using Poised everyday I incorporated other blushes. Primarily those two in the pictures.

I actually took the RMK with me (due to its slim and compact size) for a solid month during my time in Hong Kong and it still looks like new. There’s only 2.2g of product in this compact. How am I ever going to use up the 6g in MAC? And that’s just a fingerprint mark in the Lunasol and not a dent. But I’m hoping it being a cream formula I’ll hit pan faster.

I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pan anything!

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Make up Brushes – My Collection + Review

I thought I’d write a post on brushes since I touched on the topic recently with my purchase from Koyudo. Originally meant to be one post, I have divided this into two because of length. This is part one, a run through of what I have and my thoughts of them. The second part will be what brushes to buy. This is a long, pic-heavy post!

I might have mentioned briefly in the past about how I started my collection (a humbly sized compared to collectors) but here’s all the history in one post 🙂

I bought brushes individually right from the beginning and heeded the advice of others who say to buy the best you can afford. Right from the bat I knew it was an investment so I started with shu uemura (this was like 20 years ago). I was quite a fan of theirs at the time anyway and even used their skincare range. Even back then I was told their brush prices climb up yearly and if you’re going to buy them anyway it’s better to get them early. So!

I started with 2 shadow brushes (sable, synthetic, both paddle style), 1 powder, 1 cheek (pony, also paddle style), 1 lip, the 5R (kolinsky) for socket and I think a spoolie. I still have all of them with me (although I LOST the 5R during a move). I have retired the cheek and powder brushes which started to shed gently a few years ago. The sable shadow brush is also coming loose at the ferrule, but otherwise still good. Considering they’re 20+ years old that’s not too bad. If you take good care of your brushes you can count on using them for 10 years no problem.

I was perfectly happy with these until I started experimenting more with makeup. So I added brushes like kabuki, stippling, eyeliner, dome shaped face brushes and so on and so forth. I’ve tried brushes from brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown in the early days, and in more recent years Sue Devitt, Lunasol, RMK, Rae Morris. And I never bought a set until Real Techniques came along. They’re so affordable and I believe at that time there were some brushes you could only get in the sets. I tried some Sigma, Sephora and zoeva brushes too. The last brushes I bought before the small Koyudo haul are Hakuhodo brushes when they were at the Bon Marché for a limited time.

This is the first time I counted how many brushes I have:brush-all

Little by little I have accumulated 63 brushes (59 in the picture above, a few didn’t make it in there but will be seen later in the post). I’m kind of surprised myself. They look so manageable sitting in glass candle jars and whatnot and you don’t even know how many you really have until you lay it out like that. Lucky the Man wasn’t at home when I took the picture. Even though I suspected as much that’s one big visual confirmation that I have too many. I really only use a handful regularly, and others are there when the regulars are dirty and I haven’t got the time to clean them 😛

I will try to be brief and go through the brushes as quickly as I can.

Since I forgot to take a close up shot, in the top left hand corner are 3 kabuki brushes. The smallest one is a freebie from Dior. This one came from the Nude Bronzer, I have another from Nude Air powder. The bigger one is MAC, the laquered one is Bobbi Brown. I don’t have a detail pic for these. The MAC one has longer bristles. Otherwise in terms of use they are (BB & MAC) similar to me and interchangeable.

Onto the rest of the brushes.

brush-rm (2)
I use the medium and fine point shader a lot. I probably reach for them the most, out of habit and because they work really well for me and suit my eye shape. With hooded eyes there’s just not much room to work with and most shadow brushes are too big.
Radiance is a nice brush, it works like a dense buffer brush. You can apply your foundation with it although I’ve never tried and have used it mainly as a dense buffing brush to polish the foundation and get a nice finish.
The smudger brush is soft and not scratchy like the Laura Mercier one but for some reason I just don’t reach for this often.
I really like the lip brush.
Precision liner I bought with the intention of mastering the flick. But I actually got better results with a push brush. It’s down to technique I suppose. I’ll keep practicing.

A word on these in case you didn’t know, these have magnets at the end of the brush and are designed to be displayed/arranged with a metal plate. They clump together if you store them flat or in a bag. The good thing though is I can easily hang them to dry in the kitchen 😛 I use the lid of an old coffee tin to store them upright.

Here’s a closer look:

brush-RM

Below is the Ultimate Cheekbone, which is exactly what it says, perfect for contouring that area.

brush-RMface

My Hakuhodo and Koyudo brushes:

brush-koyu-haku (more…)

Recent Haul

Japanese stuff first:

haul10-15a

1. Kos̩ Medicated Sekkisei Lotion Excellent Рthis one contains 2 more premium ingredients. I hear this has some anti-aging properties?
2. Kos̩ Medicated Sekkisei Рthis is the regular, classic version.
The Man was on a business trip to Korea, he was very busy. So I bought #1 on my own and surprise surprise he managed to get me #2. That’s why this is looks a little Sekkisei overkill. I’m using a new bottle of #2 (not photographed) so I’m good for a long time.
3. Kos̩ softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil Рtried and loved. My budget choice.
4. Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ – “a lightweight, water-based, high protection sunscreen with hyaluronic acid + royal jelly essence + citrus mix to help moisturize the skin. Can be used with primer, under makeup. Doesn’t leave a white cast.” This was voted as one of the best in the Japanese @cosme awards. Japanese sunscreens tend to be very light yet efficient and I’ve always preferred them.
5. Hada Labo Skin Conditioner Medicated Gokujyun – in addition to the moisturizing goodness of the classic skin conditioners, this one soothes irritated skin and prevents spots (hence medicated).
6. Hada Labo Shiroshizuku – this is a brightening serum/moisturizer
7. suisai Beauty Clear Powder – an enzyme based powder cleanser with moisturizing properties that cleanses pores, helps remove blackheads. I’ve used up boxes of this before and really like how smooth it leaves the skin feeling. Convenient for travel too of course.
8. Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick – this is a small, handy hair styling product. The green one here is for strong hold. I think they have a pink one.
9. Rohto Lyc̩e eye drops Рfor contact lens wearer. Lightly cooling.
10. Lunasol Full Glamour Lips in #36 – already featured in the Nude lipstick post. This is a really, really moisturizing formula. I’m going to pick up more of these lipsticks when I can. So impressed! #36 is a new colour.
11. Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX01 Chocolat Beige – cream to powder blush. Doesn’t smell like chocolate (I hear the eyeshadows and lipstick/glosses do). Beautiful colour that mimics perfectly your own flush. Very natural. It’s on the sheer side layers wonderfully.
12. Maybelline Lashionista mascara in black – this mascara adds fibres to your lashes, making them look longer/more volume.
13. Shiseido Integrate gel liner in black – bought to try having read good things about it.
14. Kos̩ Fasio Smart Curl Mascara V Рvolume
15. Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long
16. Vis̩e Super Slim Gel Liner Рcurious to compare this with others
17. Kate eyebrow pencil in BR-5
18. Kate slim gel pencil in black  – staple
19. Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in RD425
Hidden between #15 & 16:
20. Kos̩ Fasio Quick Dry Gel Liner in black Рagain want to compare with liners

I can’t remember when I started reincorporating Japanese skincare products into my regime, but for the last (almost) 8 years I’ve relied on European brands (specifically French drugstore) which my skin seemed to have preferred. Perhaps it’s the drier/cooler climate here, who knows. Nonetheless I’ve been getting deluxe skincare samples steadily (cleansers and toners mostly, then moisturizers) and with my recent experience of Sekkisei, I’m once again ready to embrace Asian skincare products.

Iope skincare:

haul10-15b

Haven’t tried these yet. Will report in time …

European stuff:

haul10-15c

The small tube is Sephora Brow Thickener.

A close-up of the Bobbi Brown:

bb-linerpowder

Intense Pigment Liner in Midnight.

Reviews to come!

And so I Caved …

As I confessed in my previous Project 2 x 5 Pan update, purchases were made when no pans were happening. And even though they are allowed (most of them being limited edition products), I still feel kind of guilty about them. Here are the items that successfully seduced me since I started the project. Most of them are LE:

From: MAC Strength collection
Item: Poised blush (satin)
I had high expectations of this when I placed the order and from reviews thought it’s a brown-brown blush. When it arrived I was disappointed – it reminds me of Gingerly and I am looking for a more unique shade that I don’t have dupes of. I have since been converted because it looks very natural on the skin. I have a few MAC blushes but only one other in the same satin formula (Her Blooming Cheek, a fuschia) and with this one I finally saw the subtle sheen and shimmer it imparts.

Having said that Poised isn’t that much of a unique shade in my collection:

Project 2 x 5 Pan – Update #2

First up: No pans.

Second: I should admit upfront that I’m hopeless at this and confess that I have made purchases doing the project, which defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

Having said that I must also point out that had it not been my commitment to this project and the self-imposed ‘ban’ (albeit broken) I would have caused much greater damage to my wallet with ‘unnecessary’ purchases. Because of the project, I at least kept my promise to not buy any more eyeshadows. You will not believe how many times I’ve been tempted to buy another quad or palette. The new Birds of Paradise Dior quint for example (I like the green one more) is sooo beautiful; And I almost bought the smashbox photo op eye palette on Sephora because I know I like the formula and it’s a good deal.

I’ve become an expert at the pretend-shopping-cart game: Whenever a sale of 20% comes up (= tax free on the inflated prices here in France) I go on the site and fill my basket up with everything my heart desires, look at the final price, apply the coupon code, and proceed to eliminate items until I’m left with the ‘minimum’. And then further consider whether it’s worth it and if I don’t already have something similar at home. Most of the time I end up closing the window and breathing a sigh of relief, having conquered the shopping demons. I am also thankful that the Sephora website doesn’t stock everything they have in store, and Sephora itself doesn’t get every single makeup releases. The Lancome ‘In Love’ ones with Emma Watson are only available in Lancome counters, for instance.

So… to reiterate, the tally for makeup pans since January, still at 0.

However, I have the 5 skincare pans to do as well. This is good news because I have finished 3 products in March. Which means that I have only 2 products to go before my skincare pans are done. Have I bought skincare products during the project? But of course, I bought two creams (on sale). This means I’ve only got 1 pan, doesn’t it?

*sigh* ……

Despite my failures, I’m not giving up. I guess this means the project will continue indefinitely until the end of the year, and will primarily act as a reminder to restrain myself more than anything.

Lets look at the most reached for makeup products in March:

Winter Cleaning – Winnowed products in January

I’ve been using my Armani Eyes to Kill waterproof mascara for a while now and I know it’s finally time to say goodbye even if it’s not completely empty. Such is the pain that you need to accept if you choose a high-end mascara … Anyway this brought me to consult my inventory spreadsheet and I’ve winnowed some more products out that have past their prime in terms of their shelf-life. I’m fairly lenient on expiry dates, I keep track but might not necessarily follow it to the ‘T’ (especially regarding powder products). The ones to keep an eye on are of course mascara, then cream/liquid products, particularly ones that go on and near the eyes. I don’t use much lipgloss but I would probably put those close behind, especially if it has an applicator where you go back and forth from tube to lips instead of having a squeeze tube.

Some products here are really old … I’ve put them at the bottom of the post. I haven’t been using them, just never gotten round to dumping them. Now they can all go at the same time, with dignity and remembered by this winnowing post, ha.


Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Shore (#35)
For about a year I was using this religiously everyday on my eyelids as a base and to even out the skin tone on my lids. It’s started to dry out and I’ve actually stopped using it for a couple of months now. There are still a lot of product left as you can see but the texture is not the same. I thought the smell has gone a bit off as well but when compared to the two other shadows I bought around the same time, they actually share the same smell. The only difference is since I rarely use those two they are still very creamy.

(more…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan

My rules:

1. No buy on makeup items until I hit pan on 5 makeup items. Doesn’t have to be empty but pan needs to be seen.
2. No buy on skin care items until I empty 5 skin care items.

Exceptions: 
– Carefully thought over, can’t-live-without LE items are allowed with restraint
– When 20% or more discount is on offer

And that’s the 2 x 5.

There. It’s official after this post. The ball is rolling and there’s no turning back on this project that’s been nagging me for the past year. I think 5 for each category is more realistic. I don’t want to be discouraged so early on, need to build me up some confidence first. One baby step at a time right?

And the empties in January won’t be counted. I’m quite proud of this because as you’ll see, there’s quite a bit this month.

I also have a confession: I made a small haul before decided to kick this off so there will still be one more post of a haul at least.

Meanwhile here are the only items I hit pan on in my life:

Left to Right:
Bobbi Brown eye shadow in Saddle (#61) – current brow powder, item is 2 years old.
NARS single eye shadow in Blondie – my previous brow powder, this could be *gulp* 10 years old …
Chanel Pureté Mat Shine Control Powder (#10) – I don’t know how I managed to hit pan on this TBH

I know it’s crazy how different in tone those 2 eyeshadows are. Somehow Blondie manage to work at the time. I do prefer Sable now, it’s a lot closer to my natural hair colour. My first one was actually Bobbi Brown’s Mahogany, back when the eyeshadows came in those round screw top pans. I never finished that one either, but it cracked to a million pieces when I dropped it in the bathroom.

Actually eye shadows used as brow powders are the only things I consistently hit pan on. I’ve also used up small brow powder palettes from Shiseido and PN (remember PN? Pieds Nus? Sub-brand of Shiseido, replaced by Maquillage I believe. They made some nice duo-chrome eye shadows).

I won’t include these items in the project of course, but if I do finish the Chanel up I will count it as a pan for makeup.

Doing a Project X Pan means that there will be less reviews of brand-spanking-new-just-released products. But I think we can look forward to in-depth reviews of permanent items that I’ll really get to know.