March 05, 2017

Makeup Rehab | Decluttering My Blush Collection

This year, I've given myself only two makeup related goals. One, to not buy anymore for the entire year and two, to downsize the makeup collection. Unlike other makeup rehaber's, I'm not looking for a minimalist makeup collection. I enjoy experimenting and like having a variety of colours in my collection to mix things up on occasion. To kick off this little project, I'm starting with something easy for me, my blush collection.


The Original Collection 
I grouped my blushes into several categories: Light (shades that are possibly to light for my skin tone), corals, berries, shimmers, rose gold and brights. Breaking down the collection this way made it clear to see how similar some shades were and purge more items.


After Decluttering  
I was brutal with most of the categories. With the lights, I got rid of two blushers that were definitely not made for my skin tone and more for pale people. I got rid of all my coral shades because I know for a fact that I never reach for them. They were easier to wear with my natural hair but since dyeing my hair, I find it clashes horrifically. Since I don't wear berry blushes often, it made sense to only stick to one.

With my random shimmers collection, I simply got rid of the elf bronzer as I never reach for it and it was so cheap it was easier to part with. I rarely wear rose gold blushes, so I decided to keep my NARS sample that I had received for free a while ago and get rid of the rest. As all the blushes in the brights category were so different, I kept most of them and just got rid of my cream blushers. 


Last but not least, I had my everyday nudes:

I've kept more of these since these all flatter my skin tone and I don't look like a clown wearing them. I got rid of the blushes I considered to be poor performers. Since my Too Faced blush is nearly finished as well, I should soon be left with 2 powder blushes and 1 cream blush.

Binning : 11


There are two major patterns I noticed while chosing what to get rid of. First, I do genuinely believe you can get quality drugstore makeup items, I don't value them and rarely reach for them. They were the easy to let go of.  Second, I don't actually like cream blushers (although there is one exception), I should have never bought so many of them to start off with. Since cream based items carry bacteria a lot easier, they'll be going straight to the bin. As cute as Benefit's Rockateur blush is, it's been a pain to finish it up. I've gotten a decent amount of use from it and the bulky packaging takes up more storage space than I'd like so I'm unburdening myself from it by binning it.


Passing On : 4


I felt like these four are too nice to just chuck away, so I'll be offloading them to friends and family. If they aren't interested, off to the bin they go.


Keeping: 8


These are the 8 blushes I'll definitely be keeping. Illamasqua blushes are incredibly pigmented and long wearing, so there's no surprise that half of these are by them. Ultimately, I'm satisfied with the colour range and feel like any gaps in my collection that I would actually wear are filled. I'll probably never finish some of these brights but the point is to have them at hand for occasion wear. 

Panning : 2


Considering how empty my Too Faced Love Flush blush is, it only makes sense to try and finish it up as soon as possible. I'm also hoping to use up my MAC Star Trek Highly Illogical powder this year and put it towards one of six items to qualify for the Back to Mac program.

On Probation : 4



These four, I'm undecided on. A few months along the line, I plan on reassessing whether I do like them:

  1. Illamasqua's Zygomatic - The one cream blush I do actually like and love. However, I've not used it in a while. 
  2. NYX's Desert Rose - The quality of NYX's blushes are great. I'm just unsure about whether I need a berry blush. As I rarely wear them.
  3. Illamasqua's Chased - It's a bright rose pink blush that looks beautiful in the pan and swatched. However, pink has always been one of those problematic colours for me.
  4. Urban Decay's Flushed Blush Palette in Streak - This originally seemed like an excellent all in one palette. However, in the flesh, it seems like it's far too light to work with my medium skin tone. 

Repurposing : 1


Naturally with my obsession with purple, I couldn't help but grab Fyrinnae's purple blush. Although I love experimenting, purple blush is a tad too outlandish for me to pull off, even with purple hair. It greys my skin, I feel like cooler toned people might actually get a purple tinge but it doesn't work for myself. So instead I'll try and find another use for it, I'll have to double check the ingredient list to see if this is eye-safe so I could use as eyeshadow.


ORIGINAL COUNT : 30




AFTER DECLUTTERING : 14


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January 29, 2017

Indie Makeup | Sugarpill Pumpkin Spice Liquid Lipstick

The season of pumpkins was over a long time ago but that didn't stop me from ordering Sugarpill's Pumpkin Spice liquid lipstick in December. Although the pumpkin spice theme may have put people off for being gimmicky, I've recently been wearing coppers and oranges a lot, minus the oompa loompa spray tan. So when photos of Pumpkin Spice's coppery base with warm gold glitter surfaced, I made an order for myself.

The packaging for Sugarpill's liquid lipsticks are identical to both Jeffree Star's and Makeup Monster's liquid lipsticks. I prefer Sugarpill's white cap as it feels less tacky than Jeffree's bright pink or Makeup Monster's green cap.

Pumpkin Spice doesn't work like Trinket, it doesn't have the 'magic' rub your lips for glitter to appear surprise. When you apply it, the shimmer is immediately apparent. When applying Pumpkin Spice, I had to layer it a little to make sure it applied evenly along the lips. The formula didn't feel either drying or moisturising on the lips, it felt as though I wasn't wearing anything to begin with. Even after 7 hours of wear, my lips didn't feel particularly dry. I was surprised by the wear time as Trinket didn't seem to last quite as long as Pumpkin Spice.

Pumpkin Spice appears to be really dark on paler skin tones but the deeper the skin, the more 'natural' it looks, minus the gold glitter! The pumpkin spice scent of the liquid lipstick is only noticeable when you sniff the tube but when applying or wearing it, the scent is too subtle to ever be a problem.

Pumpkin Spice is a seasonal limited edition liquid lipstick and is currently only available on Sugarpill's website.
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January 22, 2017

Travel | 5 Things to do If You Can't Get Tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

A decade after the last Harry Potter book was published and I completely underestimated how popular the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play would be. Not only are tickets for the next year sold out but every time they release more tickets, I'm inconveniently at work and tickets disappear faster than you can say Wingardium Leviosa.

Personally, I got over my Harry Potter obsession before the release of the 6th book. However, out of nostalgia, I kept reading the rest of them, including the recent Cursed Child screenplay. Reading the screenplay just made me want to watch the show even more. Sadly, I'll have to wait until tickets don't sell out so fast, if that day ever comes. In the meanwhile, I've been checking out other Harry Potter related things in London.

1. Check out House of Minalima


Located just a minute away from the palace theatre, House of Minalima is a small store/exhibition currently displaying graphic artwork from both the Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts movie until 4th Feb 2017 and 4th Feb 2018 respectively. The exhibition gives you s greater appreciation of all the finer details put into the films.

2. Book Tickets for the Harry Potter Studio Tour


While you don't have to book a year in advance to check out the Harry Potter studio tours, you do need to book a month ahead. Die hard Harry Potter fans will easily love visiting the studios where the movie was shot. If you're not the biggest fan, it's still worth checking out for the insight on movie magic.

3. Graduate at Enigma Quest's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


Escape rooms have been popping up everywhere and while I have yet to check any out, Enigma Quest's Harry Potter themed one in London might be the one that pushes me to finally try it out. Instead of escaping a room, you have to pass a number of quests to solve within 60 minutes. If you pass, you graduate at the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself.

4. Visit King's Cross Station's Platform 9 3/4


If you're a little broke, or looking to kill a bit of time before catching a train elsewhere, why not  take a photo at platform 9 and 3/4 itself. Sadly, it isn't actually located between platforms 9 and 10. While they do charge for professional photos, it doesn't cost anything to grab a pic on your phone. Good luck not spending all your money in the souvenir store though.

5. Go on the Potter Trail in Edinburgh


Instead of exploring London, why not go on a walking tour of the city that inspired J.K. Rowling's books. A lot of inspiration came from the city itself and she wrote several of the books there too. Not only do you get an insight on some Potter inspiration, such as Tom Riddle's grave but you get to visit less touristy areas around Edinburgh and learn more about the city's history too. 
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January 15, 2017

Beauty | Huda Beauty Gossip Gurl Liquid Matte Lipstick

Despite the hype around the Huda Beauty liquid lipsticks, due to my own personal bias, I had low expectations for this. The personality behind the brand isn't one that appeals to me (not that I consider myself to be accessible to the regular Jane). However, I had a lot of coworkers convince me to pick one up during my Christmas break back home in Dubai. Online swatches convinced me that Material Girl would be the perfect berry plum shade to match with the new purple hair. However, when in store, swatches convinced me it was too mute and dull to part my money with. Instead I settled on, what I consider to be a rather embarrassingly named shade, Gossip Gurl

Gossip Gurl is described as not a but the everyday cute pink. I'm tend to dislike pink lipsticks, mainly because they look amazing on many cool toned girls I know but clash with mine. Since Huda Kattan is a woman of colour, I shouldn't have been surprised to find that this shade of pink actually really flattered my warm medium skin. Despite having way too many lipsticks, I don't regret buying this shade, it actually managed to fill a gap in my collection.

I found the formula for Gossip Gurl to be very drying. As much as I love the colour, I avoid wearing it too many days in a row because of how rough it makes my lips feel. On the plus side, it's very long lasting. There are matching lip liners to each liquid lipstick which I didn't bother with but it still manages to stay in perfect condition for at least six hours. It eventually leaves a stain on the lips.

For £18 in the UK or Dhs 100 in Dubai, I'm unsure if these are reasonably priced. The formula doesn't stand out compared to other liquid lipsticks I've tried and the packaging doesn't feel particularly unique to justify the extra buck. I would recommend the Huda Beauty liquid lip sets instead for £33 each. You do get a lot less product but more shades, but considering how difficult it is to use up full sized liquid lipsticks, it's difficult to fault that.
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January 08, 2017

Makeup Rehab | 5 Things I Regret Buying in 2016

Despite buying way more than I originally planned to in 2016, there weren't many purchases that were amazeballs. On the other hand, there also weren't many things I regret buying. Most of the things I do regret buying aren't for their quality. So this list is not a list of the worst performing beauty items. The best example of this is...

1. Anything & Everything by Jeffree Star


Jeffree's liquid lipsticks were my favourite formula on the market. As someone who doesn't watch YouTube videos, news of Jeffree Star's shameful past took longer to reach me. Sadly, I had literally found out just after spending a fair bit of money on his highlighters and a few liquid lipsticks. After watching Stephanie's video and further examining Jeffree's behaviour and YouTube content (including doing makeup inside a fancy car), there are more deserving companies and indie brands to give your money to.

2. MAC Star Trek Pure Show Liquid Liner


When swatched in store, Pure Show was the most beautiful sparkling yellow gold eyeliner. However, when I tried it on my lids, the formula was watery and the applicator made it impossible for either a thin or precise application. Whenever I wanted to wear double liner, I had to redo the first wing.

3. Shiro Cosmetics Algebraic Collection


I love Shiro's Adventure Time themed eyeshadow collection. They perform about as well as other shadows by Shiro Cosmetics. However, I really didn't need anymore eyeshadows and I didn't just buy one but the entire collection as indie shadows are affordable.. This collection was the first purchase I made in 2016 where I broke my no buy after 4 months. From there, it was a slow slippery slope of buying more per month.

4. Sugarpill Kim Chi Liquid Lipstick


I love the magical aspect of Sugarpill's liquid lipsticks. The matte application with sparkle that appears after you rub your lips and the unique scent that matches each colour set their liquid lipsticks apart from the rest on the market. Kim Chi works as well as the other liquid lipsticks do. However, the lavender purple shade really clashes with my warm medium skin tone, even with new purple hair.

5. Kat Von D Dali Liquid Liner


I'm not sure what my reasoning behind buying this was. When I swatched it, I knew it wasn't pigmented at all and needed a lot of layering to work. However, I bought it just for the teal colour especially as it matched my then turquoise hair. Then a few months later I obviously changed my hair colour, defeating it's original purpose. The way I use this, I not only layer the eyeliner but I also top it off with teal coloured eyeshadow to really get the colour to pop.

On a side note, this year I'm challenging myself to not buy any makeup. The only exceptions are the essentials like foundation, eyeliner, concealer and face primer. I'm only allowed to treat myself with some vouchers I received last year and and whatever is left on any of my points cards. I'll be focusing on destashing my collection and using up items in my collection.
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January 01, 2017

Beauty | Top 10 Beauty Products of 2016

So 2016 was meant to be the year I stopped being a zombie like shopper. For the first four months I managed to not make a single purchase but after that first purchase, I found myself slowly slipping to old habits again. Despite the fact that most makeup releases this year haven't interested me, I found myself buying more as the year progressed anyway. Out of everything I bought, there were only a few items that really stood out to me. So here are my top 10 products of the year, most of which weren't even released in 2016.

1. NYX Vivid Bright Eyeliners


I don't know what it is about colourful liquid eyeliners, but the quality almost never matches those of black/brown ones. While the NYX vivid bright eyeliners aren't an exception, I find they perform as well, if not better than some of the midrange ones I've tried, and at a fraction of the price. The vivid eyeliners rainbow of colours, make for an easy pop of colour to the eyes and are great for Halloween/fancy dress makeup. My personal favourites are the red (fire) and purple (violet).

2. Sugarpill Trinket Liquid Lipstick


My love for Sugarpill has been reignited this year. They've finally expanded into lip products. Every makeup brand have expanded their line to include liquid lipsticks, Sugarpill's are truly unique. When you first apply they seem like a generic almost matte liquid lipstick but when you rub your lips, micro glitters appear from nowhere, like magic! While I have all three shades that Sugarpill do, Trinket is easily a favourite as it's an everyday colour with subtle sparkle.

3 & 4. Kat Von D Lock It Concealer & Powder


Despite having pigmentation scars from bad acne of my teenage years, 2016 is the year that I finally understood how to use concealer without it just disappearing within the hour. I use the two by first dabbing on the concealer directly over the scars and immediately setting it with Kat Von D's transparent lock it powder. The two are definite staples that I will be repurchasing when they're finished.

5. MAC Mehr Lipstick


With bright hair, I find myself stepping away from crazy lip colours that I used to enjoy experimenting with my natural hair. As my MAC pro discount finally expired (which I barely used), I thought I'd pick up a few everyday lip colours. The standout shade was Mehr, which is described as a dirty blue pink. The nude pink lip has made for a refreshing change to the 50 shades of nude beige lip colours that I seem to have accumulated over the years.

6 & 7 Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipsticks in Gothica and Thin Lizzy


I'm unsure why the studded kiss metallic finish lipsticks aren't talked about more. These are like the Sugarpill liquid lipsticks in generic lipstick form, with glitter but minus the 'surprise' part. The best part? They're reasonably long lasting too. Gothica is a sparkling bronze and Thin Lizzy is a sparkling brick copper, they are both very complimentary to warm toned skin. 

8. MAC Star Trek Highly Illogical Trip The Light Fantastic Powder


The light fantastic powders from MAC's Star Trek collection are advertised as highlighters. Highly Illogical was the darkest of the three in the collection, designed for people with a skin tone far darker than myself but it was the only one that seemed to show on my skin at all. So I went with this and find myself using this as an everyday bronzer instead.

9. Illamasqua Beyond Powders


I tried my hand at highlighting earlier this year but found that the only thing being highlighted were my large pores. So eventually, I thought I'd try a different brand of highlighter instead. So I looked to one of the brands that began my makeup addiction, Illamasqua. While I haven't mastered highlighting yet, these beyond powders managed to not accentuate my pores.

10. Arctic Fox Hair Dye


Since taking my hair colour higher, I've looked into more cost effective dyes. While my experience with Manic Panic was great, the fact that they washed out very quickly and were at least £13 per 4 oz made me search for alternatives. After reading some reviews on Arctic Fox and discovering they sold their dyes in 8oz bottles, I thought I'd give them a try. So far I've tried Aquamarine and Purple Rain. With both of them, I found the colours to be extremely vivid, almost neon shades of turquoise and purple. They both last a lot longer than my Manic Panic dyes did too.

I think the fact that I've bought so much makeup this year but can't even chose 10 makeup items this year is pretty telling of how much money has gone to waste. Look out for next week's post, biggest makeup regrets of 2016.
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November 13, 2016

Beauty | Glitters by Lit Cosmetics

It seems like the US & Canada have a ton of makeup brands that focus on glitter. The first glitter brand to pique my interest was Lit! Cosmetics. Unfortunately, as a broke student, I couldn't afford to ship the already quite pricey makeup to the UK. It wasn't until IMATs last year where I could swatch them all that I finally bought a few.

Hot chocolate is described as a medium brown, it definitely has warm/orange undertones to it.

Soul Sister looks very green but is actually a brown glitter that twinkles green and orange.

Vanilla ice is a clear white glitter. It's very transparent and doesn't really show much.

Gunsmoke is a grey glitter perfect for smoky eyes.

Peacock is a stunning blend of blue and green glitter.

Cayman is a light turquoise glitter, reminiscent of the water by the Cayman islands

What do the numbers mean? The smaller the number the finer the glitter. The lowest, #1 is a fine micro glitter. The largest, #4 is a large cut. I personally prefer the larger cuts as they seem to pop more. The #2 small cut still seem too finely milled that the glitter doesn't shine as obviously.

The glass cube jars give the packaging a luxurious edge to it. I usually dislike sifter jars as they seem to prevent anything from coming out at all. Thankfully, the glitters are so fine that they sift through easily.

The thing with cosmetic glitters is that you can't really compare them with other brands quality wise. Standard 'solid' glitter's in particular as every glitter brand out there do them. It's whether the brand do any unique shimmer or holographic glitters that makes them special. Lit! do all the colours of the rainbow and more. While I love all the glitters, my favourite is definitely Soul Sister with it's multi coloured sparkle. Whenever I get the opportunity to pick up some more, I'll definitely aim to get more original glitters.

Lit! Glitters are available for purchase on the official Lit! Cosmetics website, Beautylish & Beauty Bay.
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