Makeup Inventory

So in an effort to try and cull my collection, support my no-buy (that I’ll be back on again throughout the summer), quickly figure out dupes, and switch out my winter/fall for spring/summer colors, I have been diligently working on a swatch book/inventory of sorts.

I’ve learned a couple of things:

1. I have too much freaking makeup. It’s ridiculous.

2. I have, over the past year and a half, been more mindful of the products that I buy as far as quality and use goes but still have a bunch of junk from prior purchases that I should use.

3. There’s not a lot of cool-toned palettes out there.

4. I miss doing stage makeup, like really miss it. I think in an effort to do more panning as well as embrace my burlesque past, I’m going to set aside a couple of nights a month to try and do some fantasy/vaudville looks, starting with nailing down the typical makeup of my persona (the namesake for the blog).

5. I have horrible handwriting.

6. I need to learn to say no to KvD everlasting liquid lipsticks but on the upside, I regularly use every color. I need to make monochrome mondays a thing again on my insta. It was fun and challenging.



February 2018 Empties

Goodness this month went quickly! It’s almost as if it’s the shortest one of the year or something…

This is a short post but I’m still doing it anyway to keep me accountable for what I’m trying to accomplish on a personal level.

I really didn’t do my makeup often this month, and therefore don’t have any empties to talk about.

How about you guys? Any pan challenge progress? Empties to talk about?

Review: ABH Subculture

I’ve spent quite a lot of time with this baby since purchasing it last year, and as it’s a permanent palette, it’s still something I want to go ahead and talk about.

I’ve already discussed the controversy and PR issues in another post, so I won’t rehash that. This, instead, is going to be based off of my experience with the palette. I’ve completed 43 looks with it, so I feel pretty well versed in its performance. I have made an effort to attempt a lot of the issues that people were naming off (skipping, muddy shadows, blending issues, oxidation), and hope this is a well-rounded review for someone that might be considering purchasing this.

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Wayne Goss Brush Review 19, 20, and 16

I know that right now, the world’s abuzz regarding his anniversary set 2, so if you’re looking for info on that, please accept my apologies as I’m not talking about those.

For Christmas, my husband sprung for two of Wayne’s “redesigned” eye brushes – 19 and 20. I have hooded eyes, and I’m a follower of WG’s vlogs, as well as VintageorTacky, who is a fellow hoodie and swears by his brushes. I see her using them in a lot of videos as well, so I was impressed by that as she’s also a pro.Her using them a lot means that she is purposefully reaching for them out of all the others she has. Temptalia also recently did a brush round up and mentioned a few of his in her daily go-tos, and they tend to be highly spoken of, as well as repeatedly used, in the ‘guru’ world.

WG said these second sets were created for hooded eyes specifically. Because Beautylish has such a wonderful rep for customer service, I went ahead and took the pluge, figuring that if they weren’t what I wanted, I’d exchange it and still have a lovely gift.

So for eight weeks, I’ve been using these two brushes every time I do my makeup, about four times a week.

They have changed the game for me. So much so, that I ordered the 16 brush a few weeks ago, and shamelessly am ordering another one this week.

I hated them at first. Not because they were a shitty product, but rather because they were such an awesome quality brush. I’ve owned some nice brushes, but usually I have to compensate for them being made for perfect eyelids, or in the case of my favorite crease brush from Sephora, I have to cut the bristles and shape down in order to not look like a racoon or Petey from the little rascals.

It took a few times of me using them before my hands adjusted and it suddenly clicked – and I’m never going back. Sorry, old Sephora brush!

It’s gotten to the point that I don’t need to use tape anymore to guide my outer V or created crease – like, seriously, they are that forgiving! They do such a wonderful job picking up that color, and they apply it without skips or bare patches.

I wanted to put them through the wringer, so I busted out my Subculture palette and began using them on some of the colors I had issues with due to the skipping. I’m both annoyed and thrilled to say that with exception of Fudge, these brushes resolve the skipping. It’s made Subculture a steady rotation palette for me.

So what’s the bad about these things? I feel like all reviews should have a balance, and sometimes that means cons. As far as quality goes, there are absolutely no low points in these guys. They feel sleek and wonderful. No looseness in the ferrels. The bristles are lovely and only a couple of the hairs have stuck out in a wonky area. No shedding. No misdirection. Hell, even the damn font is lovely to look at. When you wash them, you MUST be gentle, otherwise you have hairs sticking out willy-nilly. From what I’ve seen, this is part of the ‘shedding’ process, and this isn’t the only time I’ve had this issue with brushes so I don’t think it’s a ‘lack of quality’ thing, but rather an ‘I’m waaaay too impatient for this stuff’ thing.

The white hairs stain – which can be an issue for some who like that snow-white aesthetic. I have come to accept it with my natural hair brushes because I use dark shadows and pigments, so it is what it is at this point.

Staining on the #16 Brush

I do think that there’s a learning curve which might be a negative for some. Like I said, I really disliked these guys the first few times because I felt like I was a child trying on mom’s makeup again. This is not a brush you can simply use like your other ones, so if you buy them, keep that in mind.

The hairs are natural, which means that even though the animals used are treated well, they (I imagine) are confined for hair collection purposes and this makes the brushes non-vegan, which is also a negative for some of you. I’ve done research on how these types of Japanese brushes are made and how the animals are treated, and they seem to have a good life, but I know that there’s a difference between a good life and a wild life for many, so I want to point that out.

I personally feel the price point is right in line with what you’re getting. I’ve paid more for similar brushes that don’t perform as well, and it’s true I have some cheaper brushes that perform comparable to this in other areas. I see a lot of people that complain about the price point of the entire set, and I agree that for me, it’s financially unreachable for me to drop $130.00 at once, or even the close to $300 that the anniversary set 2 was going for. I do want to point out that Beautylish offers a 90-day payment plan with NO interest or accounts or anything like that, so that might be an option for those of you who want the set instead of just one or two brushes. If you’ve never used Japanese-style brushes before, I really do recommend buying just one to see if it’s your jam. I’d hate to see you go out and buy a whole set of something only to find out that you simply detest them.

I really do feel though, that for hooded eyes, this is a gamechanger, and that Goss has a convert when it comes to his brushes.

Oh no DECIEM, what are you doing?

So, I may have been a little premature in my rave review of The Ordinary. and its products, especially considering what’s been going on. Stupid me, I forgot to research deeply before I did that.

Brandon Trueaxe, the CEO, fired his marketing team under the guise of a really nice thought: “Marketing is simply a way to try to convince people to buy what they don’t want or don’t need.” Honestly, in this era of consume and limited editions and hype around beauty, I think that it’s a pretty nice way to handle things.

Except I happened upon the brand’s instagram, which featured a now-deleted post:


Apparently Brandon is drinking some kava or something on his whirlwind around the world tour because he has absolutely NO filter or chill. Seriously, this is crazy. Apparently, TJ Esho wasn’t aware of his line being dropped by DECIEM until this post. And I think that it’s pretty messed up to do that, no matter what sort of ‘transparency’ you are trying to create for your brand. It’s also super shitty to claim that everyone hated a product especially at the end when you are like “Those of you who love ESHO”.

It’s not a bad thing to fess up that you expanded waaaay too quickly for what you thought you had and that you didn’t quite understand what you were getting in line for.

Between this, the employees coming forward with their stories, the ongoing logistical issues, the glassdoor reviews, and Brandon insulting people on IG, I’m really bummed that a product I loved is quickly ending up on my no-go list.


It just smacks too much of the American Apparel guy and the issues they had with him wanting to shake-up the industry and be seen as the anti-status-quo guy. We know how that ended up.

The fact that Brandon’s #2 continuously refers to him as ‘passionate’ seems bothersome corporate speak as well. In fact, that’s another line that was well-tread during the AA adventures.

I’m also concerned by the lack of actual, direct contradiction these allegations have from the company. It’s well within a reasonable timeframe to point out if these actions are true or from a company standpoint, not true. Trueaxe’s irrational posts not withstanding, he’s not the only concern in the walls, and if this is simply part of some growing pains so be it – but allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of abuse deserve much more than a “Our new building is going to have glass walls! Because that’s totally how transparent we are” for a response.


Anyway… I’m not trying to say that a boycott should occur. I’m not saying that I’m going to be burning my products, either. (I won’t, however, call out the products when I use them anymore) While I find some of these things problematic, I know that I’m not you. But I do feel that part of being a consumer is trying to do things responsibly and paying attention to what our brands do online and offline. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what happens with these allegations, if anything, and if Trueaxe finally has had his phone taken away from him.



January 2018 ANTIHAUL

Woo! In the midst of reflecting on all the crap I’m not going to use anymore, I also realized that it was now February, which is a good time to do the Anti-haul. I LOVE these, and I think they are great for a lot of people. I enjoy seeing the thoughts of others and it helps me not get swept into the hype of something I’m never going to use. For instance, our first stop:

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RWS Vintage Deck- IT’S MINE!

I’m obsessed with Tarot. Like, seriously. My grandmother gave me a deck when I was 8 or 9, and that started a lifelong obsession with these beautiful works of art. My first deck was a RWS deck and it had a two-piece box. Although, it’s not one of the ones from the UK – it had the blue and white hatch back. It was lost in the fire, sadly.

I have gotten plenty of RWS decks over the years, but never have searched out any sort of vintage type decks. The reason I keep getting them is because I keep handing them out to people who seem interested and I just feel that anyone who is new can use it. The RWS is iconic in it’s imagery – even Ann Perkins, that beautiful starfish, has four framed and hanging on the wall of her house. Ann's_House_3

So, my most recent deck that I picked up gave me some issues. I never really connected with it, if that makes sense. Plus, it’s laminated and slips weird, and it just annoyed me. I started researching to try and figure out what the difference was between my first one and this one that was bugging me. I found out that around 1975, the printing had changed and they started laminating the decks, with varying degrees of thickness throughout the years, whereas the previous ones printed in Switzerland (from like, 1970 to 1975) were simply matte paper.

Okay, so I knew what period to focus on, but when you go on ebay, literally EVERY SINGLE SELLER markets their RWS decks as “Vintage 1971 Original Rider Tarot Deck”, which isn’t the case. I mean, seriously, there’s decks from the most recent printing being marketed as 1971 decks. So you have to be careful.

I knew I wanted one wtihout the copyright on the cards, without the “R” on the box, and one that was printed in switzerland. Those three things would get me to around the time period i needed to be. I came across a few dishonest sellers who tried to pass off other images as what I was looking for. Many flat-out refused to send me a picture of the cards themselves, knowing that the copyright being present would preclude it from being published anytime before 1975. The folks at the Acletic Tarot forums do amazing research, and that community helped me immensely.

I missed out on one deck at an incredible price – some vulchur came in right at the last second and sniped me. Oh well. But the next day, this treasure shows up on ebay:


And it catches my eye because that box is well-loved. I look at hte boxes and see it’s a switzerland. No “r”. The cards lack the copyright. But is it plasticized or not? I email the seller. She responds with the address on the booklet and the printing – 15. IT’S THE ONE.


I bought it, paying more than I should have, but less than I’ve seen others pay for this deck. It arrived yesterday and holy moly, it’s amazing.

The box is worn and well loved, and you can feel the love radiating off of these cards when you handle the deck. Someone used these, and used them often, but treasured them as well.


I’ve been able to narrow down that this was printed sometime between 1971 and 1975, and it’s just gorgeous. Matching up the cards to the prints, it’s apparent that it’s based off of the Pam-A drawings – less cross-hatch, more attention to detail, somber sun with a squiggly line, as well as the lack of copyright on the cards, the printed titles, and the sunburnt magician box, which lends credence to my date estimation.

Sunburnt Magician

Regardless, I didn’t get this simply for collectibility; I wanted a deck like this to rediscover the RWS deck and read with again. I’m super jazzed about this, honestly. When you go looking for a RWS, keep in mind some of the things I pointed out above to avoid paying top dollar for a deck you can get on Amazon for 15 bucks, and ensure that you’re getting what you want.

Swedish Death Cleaning

There was another article a few months ago about how elderly parents were surprised that their kids don’t want their stuff and the obligation children feel that causes stress. I also came across an article that introduced a book, called “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning”.

My father’s parents have so much crap in their houses (Yes, houses – they can’t get along and therefore have lived next door to each other with a tunnel for the cats to go back and forth for 25 years now). They are going to pass away soon, and the only people around to clean out their homes are myself, my brother, and maybe my father. I might not be involved – that’s a family drama. My grandfather (my mom’s dad, and the closest person to an actual father I will ever have) passed away suddenly in May. My grandmother enlisted her kids to clean the house of fifty years of his stuff. It took two roll-off dumpsters. A handful of items were taken by family members. I got his key-making equipment, a pair of chuck taylors that he wore in high school, and a set of golf clubs.

It was heartbreaking seeing the posts my uncles put on social media – “Does anyone want this stuff? Otherwise it’s going to the landfill” – but that’s how it goes when we die. When we returned to visit in August, the house was the same – but it was also so empty.

There’s a few things that remind me of my mom and good memories – her cookbook collection, for one. But she has like, seventy of them. I don’t *want* seventy cookbooks. And I don’t forsee my daughter wanting my 30-deck and still growing collection of tarot cards when I pass. Mom gave me Granny’s china set when we went to visit in August, and it was awesome. I used it for the Days of Awe, sent her pictures, and she enjoyed seeing the china used. I’ve busted it out a few more times since then, but it’s not something I use daily.

The idea of Death Cleaning is appealing to me – not just because of the title – because it seems to be a more realistic, less flighty version of the life-changing magic of tidying up. I don’t anticipate dying soon, but I would LOVE some more room in my life for things that make me happy, namely, empty shelves. We’re now a year into living with my in-laws, and we’re still trying to figure out how to make things work. But the room that we live in still has shelves of my MIL’s crap. Stuff she doesn’t want to throw away. But there’s no room in the attic. No room in the garage. No room in her closets. No room anywhere. Our stuff has been in storage for over a year, because there’s no room at the inn.

She’s repeatedly said over and over that when SHE dies, we have to go through EVERYTHING, page by page, little by little, because she apparently stashes money and jewelry everywhere. I don’t believe that – I think that she just wants us to remember her impact and how she documented my husband and his sister’s life. She’s terrified to let anything go. She randomly points out stuff in the house and says “oh that’s worth a lot of money” (It’s usually not; it’s usually worthless and not something a person would collect).

A good example: My husband’s Star Wars figures from when he was a boy. They go for about five bucks each on ebay. Since they retailed for only a dollar or two originally, my MIL is convinced they will be worth much, much, more later in life, so we can’t get rid of them. But they can’t be played with, and in fact she took them away from my stepson when she saw him playing with it. Finally, after much going back and forth, she’s decided to give them to someone else who’s son actually collects the damn things, “since y’all are too lazy to sell them”. But i’m like… okay. So, I sell them one at a time on ebay over the course of a year for five bucks each. To me, that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Shouldn’t they already go to someone who collects them and enjoys them? T attempted to enjoy them, but he didn’t do it in the way she wanted him to.

I’ve lost everything that I’ve owned a few times, so I guess I have a different view. I know what happens when you lose everything: You get it back again. Sure, there’s some things that i miss. For instance, the set of my mother’s little house books she gave to me as a girl, or my granny’s little red trunk with the yellowed crumbly star patterned liner paper. I miss some of the pictures I had, and some of the notebooks. But overall, I have everything I need. And I take comfort in knowing that all my important stuff can fit in the back of my car if I need to go immediately.  Maybe that’s a weird thing.

I dunno. We seem to ebb and flow as a culture between consume and restrict – even in regards to our physicality. I was born in 1983, so I grew up near the end of the consume culture and my Gen X mother was definitely into the rejection of societal norms or getting stuff just to get stuff. She hard-core related to reality bites.

(Here’s where I’d put a “She said she didn’t want a BMW” gif if I could find one. Alas, I couldn’t. Enjoy this bit instead:


So what happened to her? Was it the years of living desperately poor that turned her into a hoarding type? Was it her partner (who definitely is a hoarder) influencing her? She recently started cleaning out her spice cabinet because there were things in there that expired in 2012. Her liquor cabinet had stuff from my high school graduation party in 2001. I’m proud of her for making these steps, and I think it’s great – I only wish other parents would do that.

An article that was published around the time that GAOSDC was announced for publication really struck home as well: “Eight times out of 10, kids don’t want the parents’ furniture or boxes of letters or scrapbooks,” she says. “That’s a hard thing to come to grips with, and at first parents are insulted. It can create hurt feelings. But it’s not that they don’t love you. They don’t love your furniture.”

So how do we navigate this new frontier of status while keeping the peace? For now, all I can do is simply box up things secretly and put them in the garage while my MIL is at work, and gratefully accept the things that I like, while passing on the ones I don’t. And then work towards making sure that I don’t push a house of stuff on my kids when we’re gone, by communicating that it won’t hurt my feelings if they decide to pass on our dresser. Anything but the china, really. =D

The Ordinary. Serum Foundation (REVIEW)

Hiya! Two blog posts in two days? What’s going on here? Well, I’m finally adjusting to life with a toddler, coming out of my recent depressive phase, and feeling better. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, last December near the start of the month, my husband got me a beautylish “spree” (I wanted a couple of Wayne Goss brushes, he acquiesced for Hanukkah, and I had some room in my budget), so I went ahead and picked up a few things by The Ordinary. I hadn’t really seen a lot of the brand being covered by the “usual” gurus, but I dug their philosophy, and I’m in the market for a good CC Cream that isn’t by IT Cosmetics. I figured for less than ten bucks, I would give it a whirl.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, a couple of quick things: They are cruelty free, animal testing free, and even the umbrella they are under (DECIEM) adheres to this guideline. The guiding philosophy is “Clinical formulations with integrity”. They encourage people to contact them with questions about any ingredient in their products, and by indications on other blogs that I’ve seen, they respond quickly and without canned form responses. Not all of their products don’t seem to be vegan, but they don’t allow animal oils in the formulation, as well as a few other things, so socially conscious consumers could dig a little further into them and decide if they are something you’d like to try.

So, I picked up a few things by them, but what we are talking about today is the Serum Foundation. I use color 1.2 N. They don’t have a wide variety of deep colors, which is disconcerting, but from poking around, it seems they are working towards making their brand more inclusive. We’ll see how they keep that promise.

The Serum Foundation is a “pigment suspension formula” that provides a “Sheer coverage”. It is NOT silicon free. This specific product IS VEGAN, and for my oily sisters, it has NO alcohol, and NO oil.

I apply it using a damp beauty blender after I moisturize because it’s winter and I have gas heat, and dear lord, I can’t stand my face to be scaly. It goes on like a freaking dream. I was worried at first because it seemed to be a little light for my skin, but after dry down, it’s a damn perfect match. The first I’ve ever had with a CC cream/sheer coverage product. Like, no, i could stop at my jawline and not blend and still have no indication that I’m wearing something type match.

It also takes to a setting powder very nicely. I’ve been using this every day since it arrived, over 30 days, and still have about a half bottle left. Using it this way allows all my freckles to shine through, but it also neutralizes my red patches. I haven’t noticed an increase in blemishes, nor has my skin tried to compensate for the lack of oil by turning into a slick. It worked well for about four oils without a setting powder before I had to blot (which for me, is about average even for my high-end foundations). With the setting powder, I got about six-seven hours before I was noticing an oily buildup.

The product comes with 30 Ml, or just shy of one ounce, which is generous for $6.70 USD. I’ve seen a few bloggers comment that the bottle is plastic as a problem for them, but honestly it hasn’t been one for me. With my MS and tremors, it’s nice to know that I have something that won’t shatter if I drop it. Also, glass is a luxe touch, but the plastic used here just FEELS nice – it’s got a matte coat to it, and it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s also less expensive to use plastic versus glass.

For me, this is my new daily go-to. I highly recommend trying it out, especially if you’re in the US, because the price just makes it so worthwhile. I love how it performed, I love how my skin feels naked with it on, I love the look. I’m 34, a SAHM, and a goth girl. Some days I just want a little coverage to balance out my eyeliner and lipstick without having to invest the full hour into doing a glam look. I need something I can whack on in a couple of minutes while leaving the gym, or while my daughter is desperately screaming at me to pick her up because she noticed I sat down. This fills that need.

If you have different experiences, or other comments/questions, please feel free to leave it below!

(None of the links in this post are affliate/monetized – I just linked so y’all could find the info)

January 2018 Empties

This month I worked really hard on getting my empties done and recommitting to using what I had on hand. I’m happy to say that I did really well, and even used up some samples. Without further ado, here we go:

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Trial Size)

Honestly, I’ll try any dry shampoo. I have a horrible combo of oily hair and dry scalp and have had dandruff forever, so I wash every other day. I’ve had some good ones, and I figured I’d give this one a shot because everyone raves about it. For me, not so good and not something I’ll rebuy. It worked great initially – soaked up the oil and for about three hours made my hair look freshly washed. After that point, however, it stopped working? My hair looked like a grease trap and it kicked my dandruff into overdrive. I tried using a buildup shampoo to get rid of it but it didn’t help. I don’t regret buying it, and I got about six uses out of the trial size, so it’s a good value if you’re wanting to try it yourself. I’d recommend it for normal scalp!!! For me, it’s back to NYM.

Fresh Soy Eye Makeup Remover (Sample from Sephora)

Fresh’s whole gimmick is natural and gentle type ingredients, so I didn’t think this would be a negative but I was wrong. It burned like a motherfucker. Like, seriously, I’ve gotten onion juice in my eye that hurt less. It also didn’t remove gently and I ended up having to tug a bit until I washed it off and went to my current makeup remover. (UD’s Meltdown) As it was a sample, I have no investment, but I won’t try it again, pick it up as a sample, or go out of my way to purchase it. It comes up quite often in the freebies on Sephora, so if you’re wanting to try I’d go that direction.

Clinique City Block Mask+Scrub (Deluxe Sample)

Guys, I’m a facemask junkie. It’s a hard habit I’m trying to break, but I’m working on it. Since I ran out of my other scrub that I loved and won’t ever rebuy, I’ve been working through my backlog. I’ve not had a lot of luck with Clinque products in the past, so this one sat in my drawer for about a year before I started using it. Out of the deluxe sample size, I got seven – YES SEVEN – full face mask uses. It dried really quickly, didn’t burn, and I loved the combo scrub application because it made me feel okay about using it and only having about five minutes of time for a mask. It wasn’t drying on my skin (oily girl), and it didn’t push my skin into overtime, either. I can’t find it on clinique’s site, which makes me worry they might be discontinuing it. This is one that I would purchase the full size of if I didn’t have other masks and samples waiting in the wings. It’s 28 bucks for the full size, which is comparable to other masks that I use and considering the amount of use I got from a small sample, I’d be okay with this one.

GlamGlow Supermud Cleaning Treatment (Deluxe Sample)

Normally, I adore GG products. Again, working through that sample skincare backlog. This did not work for me. In fact, it caused a chemical burn within two minutes of putting it on. Raised red blotches and everything. Do not recommend. Will not purchase. Sorry.

Diorshow Mascara (Trial Size)

Still searching for my mascara bae, this was one that was recommended to me. I used it faithfully, but was overall dissatisfied. It worked. There wasn’t a lot of fall out or clumping the first four time I used it, however it started drying out like CRAZY. And once it started drying out, the clumping and fallout happened. I used it until it was just dunzo. No, I didn’t pump air into the product. No, I didn’t leave it sit open. I won’t be repurchasing this one, and still am looking for my mascara match.

I’m happy to report that I’ve got more products that are looking like they’ll finish up in Feburary, so we’ll keep going then. I know that this doesn’t seem like a lot to professional panners, but I’m proud of it. Best of luck to the rest of you that are on no-buys, low-buys, or users of products you have already!!!!