Makeup: What I Am Not Gonna Buy (re-purchase)

Title credit to Ms Kimberly Clark; talented Drag Artiste, social activist and one of those few YouTubers who aren’t afraid speak their minds. She is bloody funny too. Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 10.15.36 AM

Warning: Rather long post. Skip below to which ever product you are interested in. I am not going to buy 11 products. 1.the Bobbi Brown Setting Powder, 2. the ELF under-eye setting powder, 3. Lancome Grandiose Mascara, 4. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush, 5. Loreal Infallible Paints Eyeliner Pen, 6. Loreal Infallible Liquid Eyeshadow, 7. Mac Bronzer, 8. Mac Lip Prep and Prime, 10. Estee Lauder Little Black Primer and 11. Becca Champagne Pop highlighter.

Note: All my observations are via a x5 magnified mirror because that’s the only mirror I use to apply my makeup thanks to aging eyes 🙂

My project pan journey started March 2018 (post) . Using a product over and over again on different days, at different times, under different circumstances helped me understand what I really want out of  each product. What I like about it, what I don’t and why.

I have reached a level of zero tolerance where I want a product to perform exactly how I expect it to irrespective of when and how I wear it. Otherwise I am not gonna buy it. (not including user error or using a sweaty hike as an example of performance :))

What I am not gonna buy (re-purchase);

Bobbi Brown Finishing Powder in Warm Natural & ELF Undereye Setting PowderBB Finishing powder.001

I love the ever widening pan, go me!

I usually powder to set my under-eyes, on my t-zone and along the sides of my nose.  The rare occasion I have used to set my entire face I have to spritz MAC Fix plus to reduce the powdery effect.

I like it because of its blurring effect on my forehead lines and the pores on my cheeks. Under my eyes ? Not so much. It accentuates the lines under my eyes.

Now I like this product and would recommend it to people but for me personally;

  1. I don’t want to use a powder I have to spritz down. I want ease of use. One step and done!
  2. I don’t want a powder that accentuates the lines under my eyes. This is either a new thing with my advancing age or I have just noticed it. Either ways, nah.
  3. And lastly I want to own only 1 setting powder at any given time. Not have a mattifying one and another one thats a different formula on days I don’t want to use a spritz. It adds to clutter and an extra product I will struggle to ‘pan’.

So this I will not re-purchase, but what will I buy  instead ?

I have a mini Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder I received as a sample that I will start on once I have panned Ms Brown.

However I am dreading the whole ‘sieve-powder’ hoopla that I have to go through with the Laura Mercier one.(Seriously how lazy of a makeup lover am I?)

By the time I am ready to buy another setting powder I would like to invest in something like the Becca Hydra Mist powder that is supposed to be 50% water and glycerine. But I am hoping they bring out a pressed powder version by then, I am so over this salt shaker bs.

The ELF undereye setting powder, the darling of many on the net, is not coming back either. Why ?

  1. I don’t like the micro glitter in it. While great for the under-eye not great for the other areas of my face.
  2. It accentuates the fine lines under my eye and
  3. I don’t like the whole sieve-powder malarkey, too tedious.

Lancome Grandiose Smudgeproof Mascara.001

I don’t like mascaras that are too wet and clump lashes together. In the picture it might look good but in real life, I had to brush through with a lash comb everytime I applied it, and I still wasn’t happy.

I don’t want 7 clumps of lashes, I want a full fluffy effect. Just for reference I love Benefit Bad Gal,  Dior Icoinic, Chanel Inimitable (not de Volume; too wet for me) and Charlotte Tilbury’s Full Fat Lashes.

Oh…see the smudge-proof in the name ? well it….smudges. That’s my first beef with it.

Loreal Infallible Paints Eyeliner Pen  & Liquid Eyeshadow Loreal

I am sorry both these are duds for me.

The Eyeliner pen is a hard felt tip which on my crepey eyelids skips and makes for a very jumpy line.  Also it tends to go ‘translucent’ on me, not the solid black I was expecting. And it dries really fast on the lids, even before you have finished lining the entire lashline, so going back to smoothen out a skipped patch or smoothen out a rough line just removes the colour you have laid down in the first sweep.

And…it transfers onto my eye crease. Every time. I powder my lids and it still migrates. I have oily lids that are hooded to boot.  The struggle is real.

The good news is the pen doesn’t dry out quickly. I started to store it nib side down from almost the 5th day I bought it and avoided the quick drying out that a lot of these type of pens seems to succumb too. I bought it last year and it’s still going.. …alas….

The eyeshadow paints are just not working for me.

Loreal EPaint
Cool Ivory Gold on top, silver below
  1. It looks like curdled cottage cheese on my eyelids. I think the glitter might be too chunky for someone with my crepey lids. Definitely not the rich wet sheen I had expected out of them.
  2. It applies well with my Real Techniques (synthetic) shading brush but my fingers give the best, uniform, coverage. However this could be a fat fingers v/s tiny eyelid space thing, but the shadow spreads all over, ie beyond my mobile lid, so there is shimmer all over my lids.
  3. The shade Cool Ivory applies translucent over my natural deep skin tone and needs a second layer. While they can be built up very well, you need to wait for each layer to dry before the next one and I can’t be bothered with that.

I expect liquid eyeshadows to be a wet-sheen like finish that can be achieved with a quick swipe and slight buffing around the edges.

The Loreal worn alone or buffed out with a matte shadow, looks dated because the shimmer travels all over the lid.

Remember when all eyeshadows were either satin or shimmery and looked awful on the lid because it emphasised every crease and made the eyes look bulgy ? ugh.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush in Pink SugarBB Blush

Great blush, very pigmented with very  very fine shimmer. I mean it’s Bobbi Brown I wouldn’t expect anything as crass as big chunks of glitter. 🙂

Once I am done with this one I am not gonna re-purchase because I now prefer mattes so I can place my highlighter on the specific areas I want to highlight, rather than the whole cheek.

But even without the shimmer I would not re-purchase because this is very pigmented, something I love in eye shadows but do not appreciate in blushes.

I lightly tap my brush in the pan, wipe it on the back of my hand and then apply it on my cheeks. Even then I am feverishly blending it out and finishing that off by buffing my setting powder over it. I like a flush effect and this takes a lot of work to where I am comfortable with the look.

Weirdly I prefer low pigment blushes so I can be rough and tumble and rest assured, whether I blend or not, I wont have clown cheeks.

MAC Bronzer and MAC Lip Prep and PrimeMAC B and Lip.001

I have seen the gorgeous effect of a bronzer on people. Instant fab! Sadly not for me.

Bronzers rarely do anything for me or at-least I can’t see it.  Contouring powders on the other hand, I can see their effect especially my favourite, Benefit’s Hoola.

I am a WOC with a NC 40 skintone and have a yellow undertone. For me, in order  to look healthy and glowy it’s more about exfoliation, hydration, moisturisation and SPF. Add to that an under-eye concealer, a rich lip balm, dab on some highligher and done ! Kajal or mascara; optional.

When my face goes ‘flat’ after foundation I prefer to add the contours back with a matte contour powder.

This  MAC bronzer is a beautiful neutral brown, imparts a natural ‘glow’ because of the  fine micro shimmer it contains and would work wonders for someone else.

For me not only can I not tell the difference it’s making I don’t like the all over glow-y look. As always I prefer adding highlighter only over very specific areas of my face and not the larger areas this bronzer hits.

This bronzer is in my project pan and when….oh lord when?…I finish it I will not be re-purchasing. But I wont be buying the Hoola either.

I don’t really ‘contour’ that much and for when I do, I will simply use one of the many brown matte eyeshadows I have lying around.

And once those powders/eyeshadows are done, I will re-purchase the Hoola, the mini one ofcourse!

The MAC Lip Prep and Prime. Another product I am not sure I can see or tell what the product is doing for me. I know what it is supposed to do because I have read the marketing info and the instructions but IRL not worth the price for me.

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer and Becca Champagne Pop highlighter (pressed).ESTEE and BECCA (1)

I received the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer as a gift and I LOVED it. I would still recommend it.

On no makeup days I would wear just that!  It gave my lashes definition and didn’t smudge, even in Hong Kong’s 90% heat and humidity!

However worn under a mascara I couldn’t really tell the effect or rather it did not make such a huge difference.

Would I re-purchase once I am done with it ? Probably not.

In this past year or so my whole mascara attitude has changed. I have become mascara brash. I want my lashes to scream ” I am wearing full fat fluffy lashy mascara”.

And on those ‘natural days’ I could just as easily wear a mascara from the drugstore that doesn’t do it’s job and merely coats the lashes. (We know a lot of mascaras like that don’t we ?)

And drugstore is a heck of a lot cheaper than Estee Lauder.  I am not comparing formulas here because the EL is uhmazing rather the effect it has on me or how I want to use it.

“Oh Becca Champagne Pop pressed powder. I am not impressed by you and I think it might be me and not you.”

I was expecting it to be sheen-y. In my x5 magnifying mirror I can see micro glitter that clings to my skin and peach fuzz and I don’t like it.

Also I am not into the ‘I have highlighter on’ look. I am more the ‘oh look at her inner glow’ type of person. 🙂

Right now the ONLY highlighters I like are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders.

Hourglass and ELF

and if they change their formula I will weep.

And if for some horrible reason they are not available anymore I will probably re-purchase the ELF blushed gems. Yes. Read my review here

So that’s it, enough rambling……back to panning … I can be free of these.

Sigh 😦











Makeup: Lessons from Project Pan

Project Pan is like a weightloss plan. You need discipline and it takes time.

I started my project pan March 2018. Read post here  I put $ value against the things I need to use up. Almost $239(+tax) worth of stuff. 20180306_094412This is NOT counting Eyeshadows. Eyeshadows added an additional $250.

Now if you have been on a project pan journey, you know how hard it is to use up makeup. It takes ages to hit pan and then even longer to empty that pan.

And through this journey you will meet Boredom & Patience, head-on!

However for me personally the first thing I had to/have to wrestle with is Discipline. I see people on their project pans who have the absolute discipline to stick to a single palette or lipstick for a month!  I can’t.

Eyeshadows is the worst for me. And I have no excuses. I have a tiny eyeshadow collection (made up mostly of Regrets!) and I struggle to stick to one palette. I dabble in a new one everyday!

ES palettes
The ’empty’ pans you see were dud shades I threw away. They were annoying me.

Out of all my eye shadows the easiest palettes to pan are Wet n Wild’s Comfort Zone, Viseart’s Petit Pro 1 and Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Soft Glam palette. Each can take you day to night, every single day.

Comfort Zone and Petit Pro 1 should be no brainers right ? Small enough to hit pan and feel a sense of accomplishment.

That sense of accomplishment which is the carrot a novice panner like me needs to persevere on.

My next strategy after that would be to attack the neutral matte shades, which I have many of thanks to the 3 Wet n Wild Colour Icon palettes I bought, and pair those with the NYX Love You So Mochi Electric (all shimmer) palette.

And I could always rotate the eyeshadows. A palette a week and then rotate.

Easier said than done. I lack that discipline. Very much like my lack of discipline with cookies and chocolate.

And it takes Patience because you can not hurry hitting pan. You have to work through the discipline (and boredom) of using that same palette every day for a week, or for a month, and then allow for time to hit pan.

If I need to be successful in my Project Pan I need to pray for discipline! Pray? yes I take my makeup seriously, okay! 😛

But all is not lost. I have learnt a very useful lesson. The lesson to prevent un-necessary accumulation of stufffff.

I shudder to buy more product because I now know how long it takes, and how hard it is to finish it up.

Do I need one more blush ? No! I can barely make a dent in the one I have.

Do I need one more highlighter ? Heck no. I am sick of the one I have but I must finish it because I spent good money on it.

I have also learn’t the lesson that full size makeup is too damned big to finish and when I repurchase it will be MINIs where possible.  The reality is that I get bored with the brand halfway through it’s life anyway.

Note: For skincare and toiletries I have always had one of everything. I use it up then buy another. The real struggle is makeup. It’s so pretty and sparkly and colourful!







Eyeshadow Brush: Anastasia Beverly Hills v/s Walgreen’s

I generally dislike pitting brands against each other because almost all brands have hits that they should be appreciated for rather than focusing on their misses.

But I had to, just had to, blog about this Walgreen’s $4 eyeshadow brush. Less to diss ABH, rather to give kudos to this humble brush that many might skip over.

So the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palettes come with dual ended brushes. I bought the Prism and Soft Glam palettes in the recent Macy’s 15% off sale and got the brushes inside. (wish they did not include them and just reduced the price instead!)ABH palettes (1)What surprises me is a lot of YouTubers actually said the brushes were good and there is really no reason not to trust them, but what I really don’t understand is how???

The fluffy end of this brush is so scratchy I literally can not do ‘wind shield’ wiper motions on my eyelids. I am sure I am getting micro abrasions there, honestly. 😦 The flat end is good, picks up product well to pat,pat,pat the shadow on.

Anyway I have been on the hunt for an eyeshadow brush that is small enough for my hooded eyes but fluffy enough to diffuse my crease/transition shade with my brow bone, to create a blown out effect.ABHWALBrush.001

I have been burnt by brush recommendations before because they are  always too rough or pokey.

The ONLY brushes that are soft enough for me are the Wayne Goss brushes and I had resigned myself to getting me another Goss brush from Beautylish.

But before dropping the $$$ I decided to take one last walk along the aisles of Walgreens when I spied this eyeshadow brush.

OMG!!! bunny rabbits shed their fur for this brush.WALGREENS BRUSH

The flat and fluffy end both do a great job and blend so beeeoootifully.

I used both dual ended brushes, the ABH one and the Walgreens one on my Soft Glam palette with the same shades, on two different eyes to give them both a fair trial. And the Walgreens is my favourite.

I don’t need to spend money on the Goss brushes because I have the perfect sized, soft brush to diffuse my eyeshadow.

Surprising note on my soft eyeshadow brushes: The softest are the 2 Wayne Goss brushes, my Walgreens dual-ended one and…….get ready…brace yourself….a $1 Daiso calligraphy watercolour brush. I use it for mega blown out effect. LOLALL Eye BrushesDare I say…my search has ended.

umm who am I kidding?….till the next release. 😛