When You Find What You Weren’t Looking For…

forgotten

Is there nothing more awesome than finding something you had forgotten about?  For instance, if you are in the habit of frequently swapping out handbags day to day, you may forget to remove cash from the bags.  It’s nice to find money in bags or jackets.  If you’ve misplaced a really cool doodad and just gave up on looking for it, but then find it during a new reorganization session, you get giddy from finding it again.  Or what about that little pot of multipurpose color you have been looking everywhere for, and you get a nice little surprise when you look inside a cargo pocket and find it.  Awesome, right? 

What about when it’s not?  I was clearing out some space in my closet to move in boxes of paperback books I had either read and loved, or not read yet, but for which I did not have the time for, and I started clearing out a large Muji brown paper bag filled with items I had thrown in there from an old “cleaning” session.  Sometimes these “cleaning” sessions involved me dumping things in a bag, letting it sit there for a while, and then shoving it some place where it won’t disturb the pseudo organization I had completed.  On the surface everything looks sparse, neat and organized.  Under that shiny, sparse exterior lurks the dirty, messy, disorganized and clumped truth – the mess I shoved off the tops of surfaces and stored in dark corners not to be seen again – for a while. 

In this Muji brown paper bag I found the tape measure I had been looking everywhere for, the booklights I wondered what I had done with, the rolls of extra packing type I could have sworn I had tons of, but had purchased more of because apparently it had been a figment of my imagination – which it wasn’t, tons of little odds and ends…OH, YEAH AND A SMALL SEPHORA BAG FILLED WITH A RECEIPT AND BRAND NEW ITEMS – circa a 2012 shopping trip.

!@^%#(&!

I had completely forgotten about these items.  What were they exactly?  A Laura Mercier 500 point Sephora VIB gift and the  Boscia mini kit deal, along with several lovely long-wear, matte Sephora brand lipsticks.

Instead of being pleased by these re-emerging gifts, I was hit with a sinking feeling.  Like WTF! Not only do I have to worry about a horde of mid-use make up expiring and cool minis that won’t get the same level of enjoyment and appreciation I normally give because I can’t soak in the experience, now I have “new” boxes of unopened stuff from last year? 

This is all very Dantean, you know.  I love beauty and skincare products so much that I went a bit overkill.  I love trying new things and I love trying to find something that will fix a skin issue, but I crossed a threshold.  I wasn’t getting the same level of enjoyment and appreciation.  Throwing in some economics – I did not maximize the optimal level of satisfaction for beauty.  I overran it and each additional util of enjoyment decreased until it became displeasure.   I am soooooooooooo over that point.  It’s sad.  I find it ironic that I need to abstain from new beauty products for a while in order to regain the sheer joy I gained from a new product. 

But this wasn’t just it.  It was something more.

My “Mission to Finish” and “Beating the Beauty Clock” sucked the fun and pleasure out of beauty.  Beauty isn’t a speed contest on usage.  It’s an experience.  A luxury.  My overkill in the foundation, highlighter, and sunscreen department, along with my sense of guilt on waste, made using my beauty products seem like a chore.  A CHORE!?!

Needless to say…that focus on using up certain products exclusively?  Gone.  Beauty is as much fun as it is purpose for me.  I stripped the fun and it became all purpose…and then I couldn’t care less.

If a product spoils, it spoils.  So be it.  I will need to make better “inventory” decisions.  That means, as I mentioned before, no new foundations for a while.  No new highlighters either. Ditto sunscreens.  But in the meantime, I won’t hesitate to use a different foundation, if it’s the texture I want, the application technique I want.  Same goes for sunscreen.  I am not only using my Origins Stay Tuned Makeup, I am using my “no where near expiring” Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation, as well.  When I feel like it.  And you know what?  I am enjoying my Origins Stay Tuned Makeup even more now, because I am not forcing myself to use it all the time.  Allowing myself to be free is increasing my enjoyment of all of my makeup.  And that means, even if I am only able to get a few uses out of it before it goes bad, I am actually appreciating it more, enjoying it significantly more than if I had forced myself to use every last drop exclusively.

I am sure the applications and analogies for this are RIPE for exploration.

If you love something, SET IT FREE. LET IT BE.

That’s maybe easier said than done in certain situations, but on this one…I am coastin.’

As in most things in life, there is collateral damage.  Expired bottles?  Ehh, I can live with that.

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The Foundations: Part 4

Foundation Collection

These four liquid foundations were the last foundations I purchased before I went on my beauty spending ban.  Sadly, one of these bottles may already be on it’s death legs -err bottle.  These foundations get the least usage from me for one very big reason…they are mostly too dark, with the exception of MAC’s Face & Body Foundation in C2.

By far the DARKEST foundation I own is Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Liquid Foundation ($64.00 for 29 ml) in Cashew Milk Parfait.  I had been staring at the few online swatches I could find and I was stuck between Cashew Milk Parfait and Chestnut Milk Parfait.  I decided to err on the darker side because it was described as olive.  But this is what I call a Eva Mendes with a tan olive – very orange olive.  I tried to pass it on to my really golden tanned sister, who was rocking a MAC NC 42 tan, but it was too light for her.  Now, I just use a teeny amount of this stuff mixed in with a too light foundation, or highlighter, and use it like a tinted moisturizer for warmth.  I can’t really comment on how this feels on it’s own long term on my oily skin because I have to dilute it significantly with other lightening products.  But I will say it has a lovely blendable gel-texture.  There is a slight scent to it and it has moisturizers in it like shea butter and skin conditioners like panthenol.  This foundation DOES oxidize darker on its own and it’s not great for oily skin.  I like the idea behind Rouge Bunny Rouge, but their foundation range is incredibly limited, so I would not purchase any of their foundations again, until they expand AND I can test it out.  I purchased this from BeautyHabit.com.

The second darkest foundation I own is Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 123 Desert ($42.00 for 1.01 oz).  Unlike the Rouge Bunny Rouge foundation, which I purchased based on online swatches, I actually sampled MUF HD in 123 for a while during the fall.  I knew it was too dark for me, but I LOVED the way I looked with it on because despite it being too dark, it worked with my undertones.  I eschew tanning of any kind because I know that it will make my future skin leathery and wrinkle-y (and I suffer from melasma) but I look GREAT with a strong tan.  This foundation represents the sun burnt shade I would be if I didn’t have to work for a living.  Plus, I felt ooooooooooooh so exotic in this shade, like I was from one of those teeny French Polynesian islands.  I know I should not have purchased this shade, but I did.  I have worn it occasionally at night in the winter (with a turtleneck and long sleeves), or during the daytime lightened up with highlighters and moisturizer.  This shade leans more yellow-brown with a hint of orange.  It offers an incredible satin-finish to the skin but my skin did look oily very quickly with it on.  This is not a good summer foundation, so I suggest avoid it during the summer if you have oily skin.  Honestly, I should not have gotten this color and this is not a good foundation for oily skin, but drier skin types will likely love it.

My Inglot AMC Cream Foundation in MW100 ($22.00 for 1.0 oz) was purchased last year and I was super excited with it’s very olive-tone.  I saw a youtuber describe it as almost gray, but it’s just a very green tone.  I was stuck between MW100 and LW600 and just decided to go darker.  I loved the shade, which looks darker in the swatches than the other shades but it does NOT oxidize darker unlike the other shades.  I do lighten it a bit but it works with my undertones.   The color is the only thing I loved because this is not a skin friendly formula.  This cream foundation emphasized dry patches on skin, even on my oily skin.  I found I had to excessively exfoliate my skin and use Japanese toners to remove the loose skin flakes for even application and then slap on some moisturizer, but it didn’t matter because an hour or so later I would see lose skin flakes separating on my face along with the foundation.  I understand I was using strong retinoids, but even when I wasn’t I would have the same issues. I would not purchase this again.  It is not a good foundation, but the shade is great.

Last, but not least, is my MAC Face & Body Foundation in C2 ($27.00 for 1.7 oz).  This is a very sheer foundation, but it offers more color coverage than Becca’s Luminous Skin Colour Foundation, which is super duper sheer.  Unlike Becca’s Luminous Skin Colour Foundation though, MAC’s Face & Body Foundation offers flexible, buildable coverage.  This foundation, like most warm-toned MAC foundations leans orange so I went with the lighter color, although I could have gone with C3 just as easily.  The shades overlap into each other.  I have used this foundation for a tinted moisturizer look.  It is not the best for oily skin, but it can be blotted rather easily due to it’s satin-finish that reads humidity-dewy on me.  It does not emphasize dry flakes of skin.  It is also water resistant, which makes it great for body cover-up.  This product is probably one of the most used foundations in fashion shows.  I know it is constantly mentioned in backstage beauty breakdown lists.  I do have a packaging caveat – it is not leak proof.  The cap does twist off easily  when in a make up bag and product can collect in the cap while it is closed creating a mess.

As you all know, I am officially banned from buying anymore beauty products until November.  However, I will go on a modified quantity restriction for certain products even after the end of my beauty ban.  I have WAY toooo many foundations.  Yes, my overall number has decreased because of expired bottles and what not.  But no single human should have like a dozen or more liquid foundations, that’s like ridiculous.  I am going to cap myself to six, which in truth is still a lot, but still manageable because I do use a lot of foundation to cover up acne or discoloration.    Six is an arbitrary number, but it’s a hell of a lot better than like 15!  I do want to get better at discarding USED UP products and not expiring ones.  Therefore, it will be a while before I purchase a new foundation even after the ban because I still have more than six bottles left and in non-expiring condition.

Here are the swatches.

Foundations 4 text

Monday Minis # 2

MM1

I love minis.  You know this.  This is my second Monday Minis post.  Woohoo.  The first is here.   I have made headway on using the minis in the first post.  About half are almost used completely.  Unfortunately, the packaging has made some minis difficult to use up completely.  But progress has been made!  With that I introduce to you my second set of mini’s for your review.  I don’t want to slap things on my face just to use them up with these newbies.  I prefer care to distinguish products I may purchase full sizes of. 

Currently, only Josie Maran’s Argan Oil sample has been used.  I am still trying to make headway through my older used products, but some have passed their expiration date and had to be trashed.  It could not be helped.  You win some you lose some.  These minis were accumulated a few weeks before the start of my ban, so I am not worried about them going bad.  Either way, in my gym bag and makeup case they go for eventual exploration.

MM2

MM3

MM4

MM5

There is one particular brand I have to rave about in this assortment and it is Atelier Cologne.  I was given a sample of the Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue, which is fine.  I am not a fan of orange scented perfumes.  However, I love their Bois Blonds Cologne Absolue.   I am not a perfume nose and I hate jarring noticeable strong scents. So I have a preference for subtle softer scents, but not powdery ones.  Atelier Cologne’s Bois Blonds Absolue is the perfect subtle scent that skims the senses.  I am not anywhere near picking up a bottle just yet – 1) hello! ban! and 2) it’s rather pricey ($170!).  However, when the holiday season pops up – conveniently around the corner after my ban – I will be picking up a bottle.

Gorgeous Cosmetics Base Perfect Foundation

DSC03363

I happened to stumble on Gorgeous Cosmetics within days of their introduction to the U.S. market when I was scanning Nordstrom.  Any time a new cosmetics brand is made available in the U.S. I get super excited because I feel I have tried almost all the brands available to me, so being introduced to something new is refreshing.  Gorgeous Cosmetics is especially interesting to me because it hails from Australia.  The only other Australian brand I am aware of is Becca Cosmetics and since I loved them, I was anxious to try another aussie brand. 

Of course, these brands couldn’t be farther from each other from a branding perspective.  Becca Cosmetics favors a skin-natural look with textures and shades that favors a beach, bronzey, sultry look with an emphasis on sheered out skintones.  Lately, I have noticed with their new production introductions that they are going more for the “made-up” face with opaque, matte colors. We will see if this fundamentally changes the branding dna and philosophy of the brand over time, if it does at all.

Gorgeous Cosmetics branding appears to be more of a traditional red carpet, or C-suite executive, or politician on the stump, fully “made-up” face.  A power face brought down to a minimum of various standard looks and textures.  However, they have not invested in promotional images the way Becca Cosmetics have.

As always, I stayed within my bread and butter for trying out a new cosmetic brand.  I picked up a foundation.  Earlier in the winter, I reviewed Gorgeous Cosmetics Sheer Brilliance foundation here.  It was not a good option for me shade wise. So those went back.  I also picked up the Base Perfect Foundation in two colors since I wasn’t sure which would work out: 2Y and 2N.  I figured Level 2 shades would be equivalent to a light-medium depth and it is, but on the darker side.  I actually fall on the lighter side of light-medium.  I am usually the darkest shade in the Light category, or the lightest shade in the Light-Medium spectrum.  However, my undertones are closer to medium shade undertones that favor yellow-olive skin.  Gorgeous Cosmetics shades are a better fit for beigey skintones, which is not a good fit for me.  Oh well.  But this actually makes sense if you consider the ethnic origins of the bulk of early immigrants to Australia, primarily English and Irish.

As you can see from my swatches below, these were not a good shade option for me because the undertones were off and it actually oxidizes a bit deeper over time.  If you look at the outer edges of the swatch you can see where the color is turning darker and more soft orangey/peach.  I returned these because these were not a good shade match for me, but I received PRESS SAMPLES of all of the Level 1 shades of the Base Perfect Foundation and I was able to find a close shade match.  Yippee! (Disregard the red inflammation as a result of me scrubbing off staining swatches on my arm!)

Gorgeous Swatches Base Perfect Text

I will reserve my comments on the pros and cons of the foundation for the PRESS SAMPLE post simply because it was with a PRESS SAMPLE foundation that I was able to see how this works on my oily, acne-prone skin.

*On another note:  I am soooo happy I am getting through my “Upcoming Posts Sneak Peek” posts.  I thought that previewing products that I would post about would light a fire under my butt to get them posted sooner, but the opposite happened.  I had less desire to post about them.  I now realize the error of my ways and will not do posts like that because it actually kills my desire to post full reviews. 

Second, I can now understand the slippery slope of posting about press samples.  I haven’t even done a press sample post yet, but even referencing a future post felt funny.  It was foreign territory for me to be contacted by the public relations department of a cosmetics brand.  Do I try to be all professional? Do I just act like a regular ‘ole consumer who is tickled pink about getting to try a new product for fun and FREE?  This isn’t a business for me and I don’t need to receive press samples go review stuff.  It doesn’t mean that I would be reluctant to growing my blog and investing more time and money into it to take it to the next level.  It’s just that my interests and time (or skills!) aren’t there right now.  Right now, this is fun and a way for me to share my interests and opinions on things that I enjoy.  But my thoughts definitely flirted with the dark side of beauty blogging and all the ramifications it came with.  I had to step back, re-center, and plug along as usual.

Maybelline FIT ME! Pressed Powder

Maybelline Fit Powder Front

Over the past spring – technically it is still spring, but you sure wouldn’t think it-I started preferring powder foundations over liquid foundations.  This was mostly laziness and the fact that my skin has been looking pretty good for a while now.  Powder foundations allow for lighter coverage that you can quickly swirl and buff in in a matter of seconds.  Not so with liquid foundations.

In the past, I have overwhelmingly preferred liquid foundations.  This was mostly due to the fact that powder foundations were very thick AND they did not come in shades that matched me.  Liquid foundations were more forgiving and adaptable.  I am pleased that along with the expansion of shades for liquid foundations, powder foundations have also gone through a shade expansion. 

Maybelline’s new FIT ME! foundation line is probably one of the best drugstore foundation lines out there next to Revlon’s.  It was a huge improvement compared to their previous foundation lines and I find that it offers better tone variation than the very peach/orange leaning L’Oreal True Match foundation line or Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation line, which is what I refer to as blazingly orange.

Maybelline Fit Back

I picked up Maybelline’s FIT ME! Pressed Powder ($7.99) in Natural Beige (220) and I was able to compare it shade-wise to my oldest sister’s powder match in Natural Buff (230),when she visited for a weekend.  The swatches are below (each window contains both shades in different lighting) and I do think the names are a bit deceptive.  I would assume that Natural Beige (220) would be darker than Natural Buff (230), but it is not.  Even in the powder form, Natural Beige (220) looks darker than Natural Buff (230), but when you swatch it, it is the opposite.  Natural Beige (220) appears lighter and less orangey than Natural Buff (230).  My oldest sister has a neutral, light tan skin tone, compared to mine which is lighter with yellow-green undertones.  However, both powders oxidize significantly.  Initially, Natural Beige (220) looks like a fantastic skin tone match for me, but then it turns considerably darker as it mixes with my skin oils.  It actually doesn’t turn a vibrant orange, like Revlon’s Nearly Naked Pressed Powder, but a beigey, light tan brown color. It’s actually a lovely color.  It is less jarring than an orange face.  However, I look like I have brown face on a light yellow neck.

Maybelline large Front Text

Maybelline Fit Me Swatches Text

Aside from this issue, which I try to control by not using as much of the powder,  using a highlighter to tone done how dark the powder will oxidize, or using mineral sunscreens that leave me white, I actually do like this powder.  The powder is blendable and does not appear cakey – like ever.  It provides a natural skin-like finish and it never appears too powdery.  This is a great budget powder, and I believe it is actually my FAVORITE budget pressed powder.  If you are within the light to medium range, this is a great foundation line to check out.  I am also super excited to say that Maybelline seems to have added some new shades to the foundation line.  I am excited about the new shade, Golden Beige (240), which appears lighter than Natural Beige (220) on Maybelline’s website.  I hope they create a matching powder for it.  Also, if you are within the deep range, Maybelline has extended the shades to actually reflect DEEP skin tones, and not the medium shades they try to pass off as Deep.

Collage gb1

Ingredients: Talc, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Magnesium Stearate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Nylon 12, Caprylyl Glycol, May Contain (+/-):, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), CI 77491, CI 77492, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), F.I.L. D43256/1

And Another Thing…

How about other musings in my day to day activities?  Gotta cover up the fact that I’ve been less inclined to beauty blog lately, even though I have tons of other stuff to blog about.

Well here goes…

I still have plenty of magazine subscriptions but they mostly suck.  I spend 10 minutes or less flipping through them.  I’ve even allowed issues to pile up without a glance.  Same ‘ole same ‘ole. 

magsBut now things are starting to irritate me.  Like stupid “tricks” that aren’t tricks but common sense.  Next months tip will be to use a “moisturizing” conditioner if your hair feels dry, or you know, use conditioner if you don’t.

Annoying narsA while back I mentioned that I hit a new/old weight low.  I am not sure if I mentioned I “celebrated”…for a couple of weeks…errr, months.  Apparently, I was so proud of that achievement that I decided hitting it a SECOND time would be so much more FUN!!!  It is fortunate it is the summer because being hot makes me less hungry.  Easiest way to lose weight is to just eat less.  On that note, I’m going to be relying a bit more on those NAKED protein shakes – yes, I know – a lot of sugar – but it’s still better than eating a greasy hamburger or fried cutlet.

dbnRecently started at a new job/company.  Despite the long hours I have been told I will need to work to meet a deadline, I will not let my gym habits slip…um, even though I’ve only been to the gym once in the past two weeks.

Don’t put 12 people in a conference room and expect orderly consensus.  I hate hearing multiple voices going at it, mostly over tangential issues.  The more people speak, the less I am inclined to.  This is probably not a good thing. I think there is some relevant post gold to dig there.  Especially as it pertains to Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, which I have been reading – slowly.  So far, it rings mostly true.  I am considering sending a cease and desist letter for using my deepest darkest feelings and basing a book around it…JUST KIDDING.  Why do so many women feel like this!

Lean in 2There is a good reason I stopped mentioning networking habits…networking into a career you have no tangible connection to other than grad internships and your undying passion SUCKS!  I am going to have to write a post about acceptance, failures, and recalibrating.  Tenacity is wonderful folks.  But even tenacity can cross over into delusion and detriment if you hold on too long!!!

Networking in the form of just being open to meeting new people, engaging them day to day, and building long term relationships, on the otherhand, is the way to go.  You may get a random text from a former co-worker/friend asking if you would be interested in something you never even thought of.  I didn’t have to interview for my new job.  Internal referral.

The KEY is to be open to whomever, whenever, wherever.  This also means extending yourself to individuals you probably don’t have that much in common with outside the job…I am not a fan of happy hour and alcohol, but I guess it’s going to be me and some Ginger Ale.

KhanI was told by my sister that she would NEVER see another movie with me again, after I became one of those obnoxious annoying people in theatres who loudly whispers a key reveal before the rest of the uninitiated figure it out.  “KHAANNN!!!”

Then I realized that I had done it again by revealing a key SPOILER for the movie by blogging about it.

I actually teared up watching The Great Gatsby near the end.  Build a monument to love, delusional or not, invite the world, watch them greedily gobble it up, and have it crumble with nearly no one to remember you or care. 

tgg

I’ve become addicted to eating sliced tomatoes marinated in salt, vinegar and olive oil.  I’ve got a four a day habit.  I wonder if all that lycopene can work on my skin from the inside out.

tomatoes

I’ve discovered my foundation situation is actually closer to DEFCON 1.  Forget using up one bottle at a time.   I’ve pulled out SIX bottles from their drawers and lined ’em up front and center (Lancôme and YSL should not have been pulled out!).  They are not going back in the drawer.  They will be thrown out this summer.  Starting with Becca’s Luminous Skin Colour Sheer Foundation in Camel and Olive (reviewed here).  With the exception of the Inglot foundation they are all at 50% or less capacity, which makes it a little easier.   In the meantime, I am making like a BARISTA with the remaining that have not gone bad yet.

Defcon2

The spending beauty ban isn’t that difficult after the first few weeks.  Habits are easy to break or make.  Repetition is key.  The hardest part is actually getting to the decision of setting a spending ban.  The worst moments: The hour before your spending ban goes into effect and the first week after.

Ironically, its not Sephora that I have to be careful of, but Duane Reade because it is where I do my most THOUGHTLESS spending.  I’ll go in for a NAKED drink and come out with a $50+ bag of goods.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am on a beauty spending ban as I pass by aisles or promotional makeup displays.

I was checking out wristlets for work, when I passed by the Chanel makeup counter and decided to get a quick swatch of the shades I was checking out from Chanel’s Double Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Sunscreen Powder Makeup the last time I visited and the shade the beauty associate thought I matched, which was B60.  Need a reminder of my musing concerning this event?  I wrote about it here.  Here is a snap. 

Chanel Powder Text

Seeing this picture reminds me of how reactive my skin is to intense sun.  My skin is already burning a soft red in the direct sun.  I have no red undertones in my skin whatsoever.  This picture was taken with less than a minute of direct sun exposure in the middle of a blazingly hot day.  After a bit, the red will settle into a tan.  Look at the bottom of my arm to compare the skin that is being hit directly with sun.  I am thin-skinned (nastily pointed out by an old dermatologist who pinched my skin repeatedly to show me how thin-skinned I was, and how skin elasticity will decrease over time to wrinkles – I never went to that dermatologist again. But I still think about what she said abut my thin skin).  So seeing this just makes me want to go outside in a burka.  I am not ready for wrinkles.  Maybe in 20 years, if ever.

I’ve gotten really lazy about blogging.  It’s just another lull.  It happens.  I have a bunch of delayed foundation posts, a lipstick inspired post in honor of Carina’s tag from Softly Sometimes and a Versatile Blogger Award post.  I am crossing my fingers and will try to have them up this June.