Makeup Organization

I’ve known for a while that I’ve had a problem, but recently I’ve been struggling to really figure out what I’m doing with my makeup collection. For a while I was leaving it all out, but then I realized that it’s simply overwhelming me, and honestly in the depths of fall, I’m not going to use my Pastel Goth palette. The pan and empty challenge that I did this year has been really successful so far. I’ve decluttered SO many things that I wasn’t using, but ended up trading them for items that i do use, so while I didn’t gain any space, I feel less guilty about looking at the palettes.

I’m considering putting away my makeup by season – that way when I break out my spring/summer stuff, it’s like brand new. I know that for myself, if I have the new sexy, I tend to use it more. Case in point: I’ve been marrying TONS of looks with the metallics in the Prism palette and have felt more inclined to do an eye look while my daughter takes her nap. I’ve kept a couple of palettes with me at my computer desk which is why I’m thinking that severely limiting what I have out might help.

I know I sound like a whiner and full of privilige right now – “Wah, I have so many products that it’s hard to deal with” – and I get that. But I also don’t think it’s any different than any other hobby. Eventually we all get to a point – be it with makeup, warhammer, funko pops, or whatever – that we need to adjust and make space.

I’m entranced by the idea of Swedish Death Cleaning. I’m actually writing another post about that so I won’t go into too much detail here. I don’t want to get rid of my stuff. It was so hard saying goodbye to products that I KNEW weren’t good anymore (colourpop mattes, BBW lotion from five years ago). I felt very guilt, and that feeling of wasted money has helped me be MUCH more mindful with what I’m purchasing over the past few months. Which is what it’s supposed to do.

But at the end of the day, I’m still sitting here looking at battlestation photos and wishing I could do that.

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Brow Musing

I think I’m too old for glam brows (instabrows, full brows, whatever). That’s not to say that I don’t love  a good brow – I spend a lot more time than I’d like to admit watching eyebrow tutorials and considering if dipbrow pomade is right for me. I admire those that can spend the time carving and brushing and grooming their brows into a stunning work of art.

I suck at it.

I’ve hated my brows since I developed a unibrow in high school. While years of tweezing have calmed it, it still grows in and I find myself spending Saturday evenings plucking away. Left ungroomed, my brows grow all the way up into my hairline. One has a lovely arch and the other sorta lies there. In a psychotic episode, I pulled half an eyebrow off and still have a bald patch to this day. Thankfully I missed out on the overtweezing in the late 90’s that a lot of girls I went to high school with fell into (including a few who shaved their brows), so I still have a nice base to work with.

And who knows what we’re supposed to do with our brows anyway? If you search eyebrow trend 2017, you’ll get hundreds of articles contradicting each other.

Anyway, this is my retirement from trying to figure out on fleek brows. I don’t see myself putting away my gel tamer just yet, nor am I willing to rock my unibrow loud and proud (although I love seeing accounts like Hudabeauty and ABH sharing photos and videos of women who unapologetically have them). I just am admitting my limitations, and that includes being able to figure out how to make perfect little brows with drawn-on hairs and wispy arches.

Zombie Defense Palette – Lunatick Cosmetic Labs (review)

I’m going to come right out and say that I am extremely disappointed in this palette. Like, seriously disappointed. I absolutely adore their mattifying powder (and still feel its one of the best I’ve ever used) and the Lip slicks are awesome, and comparable to OCC.

This palette though. Ugh.

IMG_2128

I did the swatches and was a little disappointed by the pigmentation of the colors, but wrote it off because I didn’t use a base and figured I could go ahead and make it work. You can see where they don’t start off too badly. After all, we’ve all done swatches where we weren’t super satisfied but once we got into the palette it’s worked well. I’ve seen tons of insta looks where people have used the colors in here and they’ve looked really nice as well.

Should have gone with my gut.

I’m not sure if it’s because this was a pre-made, but all the shadows in here were super hard and dry. No matter the type of brush that I used, synthetic or natural, it was difficult to pick enough color up for an easy application. Then, when I got it on the eye, it skipped areas and application was awful.

And the fallout guys.

Look at this (and please excuse my greaseball face):

Even after taking the tape off (I totally cheat) you can see the very definite fallout that gathered on my cheeks and nose. I couldn’t get it off with a brush – I had to wash my face in order to start from scratch. It was so bad I couldn’t even finish up the look I was trying to do.

Also – that black is supposed to have glitter, and it does in the pan. But all of it fell off during application, no matter how gentle of a hand I used, and even using a damp brush couldn’t keep a transfer.

It’s such a shame because like I said, I enjoy their products, but I simply can’t find positives about the eyeshadow. Yes, the palette is amazing looking (coffin shaped, bat cut-out in the mirror, cute internal graphics, ouija inspired motif on the external). It appeals to my gothic side and I love it. But for $35.00 for five shadows (1.5g each, which is the same size as their singles listed at $9 each), I think you need to have a little more quality in there.

For me, this was a huge miss, and I won’t be purchasing any of their shadows in the future.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know – I’d love to know if you have any tips on how to make this palette work as the colors are unique and I’m always up for learning.

 

 

 

L’Occitane Amande Concentre De Lait

Something that I am terrified of is my hands aging prematurely. I don’t know why. I honestly don’t. It just scares me. I’ve tried taking care of them via lotion and gloves, but the past couple of years I’ve noticed that the surface of them have started wrinkling and, honestly, looking much older than I’d like. And we all know that for the best goth complexions, smooth skin looks best under that pale foundation!!!

Working through my backlog of samples, I came across a .7 oz bottle of L’Occitane Amande Concentre De Lait (Almond Milk Concentrate) and figured what the heck. I’ve been using it a few times a day for three weeks (a little dab will do ya) and I’m amazed at the transformation my hands have gone under. My hands feel soft, like my infant daughter’s skin. It doesn’t dry down greasy like so many other anti-aging lotions I’ve tried. Even after doing dishes, they feel wonderful and they LOOK younger. Plumper? Less defined lines? There’s a significant lack of hangnails that I normally get from doing dishes and other mom stuff, and my nails aren’t splitting and cracking like they normally do. My *husband* even mentioned it last night that my hands looked really good.

The cost is pretty up there – $50 for 7 ounces. I also don’t like that the full size jar is a twist lid that you have to stick your fingers into. I’m a freak about bacteria since I was 16 and got pinkeye from sharing mascara with a friend (who didn’t have symptoms but apparently had held on to the mascara for a while). However, in my search, I found plenty of these little .7 twist bottles on ebay from good sellers. The batch that I bought included 3.6 ounces of product for 20 bucks, which is a little less than SMP, but also much more manageable while I budget for a full-size jar from L’Occitane.

I’m not sure of your feelings regarding aftermarket makeup sales and swaps, but I’m a fan, especially since most places don’t take returns and I had shelves of products used once or twice that I couldnt’ do anything with. I swap with people who have something I want, they get what they want, everyone’s happy.

Anyway, if you’re a woman of a certain age (agh! That marketing term!) and wanting your hands to look their best, but haven’t been sure about this lotion, give it a try. Sephora gives samples of it a couple times a year, and with the holidays coming up, they have trial sizes of this lotion in stores (L’Occitane and Sephora) as well as website, so you can try it out and not have to buy in at the full size. And if it wasn’t for you, let me know because I’ll gladly take your samples off your hands =D

 

12 Year Old Girls

If you spent about six minutes with my SD, you’d know in two why we call her Sassypants. The girl just rolls in it. She usually uses it for good, but lately, it’s been slipping into a problem.

I made a deliberate  decision about four years ago to not put a lot of details regarding my husband and his ex, the custody issues, and that side of the family into the internet because of a couple reasons: With a little digging, it’s not that hard to figure out who I am, and I didn’t want her to have anything she could take to court and also because I don’t want to have the big kids come across my blog one day and think that I just trashed that woman. My husband and I make damn sure that we don’t trash her – mostly because it’s not fair to the kids. They are allowed to love their momma, and shouldn’t EVER feel bad about it.

The problem is, the majority of S’s issues stem from the custody issue. We have full-time, primary placement. She gets biweekly visits, school vacations, and summertime vacations. This was decided by the GAL for the kids, as well as an investigation by the courts into the allegations of abusive behavior and neglect she inflicted upon them. It was messy for her, guys. But it’s over with. Last year, on S’s birthday, while visiting her mother, she decided to tell all the business (her version of course, where she’s a victim) and blame S for them coming to live with their dad. She has done nothing over the past year but punish S repeatedly for this – telling her that it’s all her fault, blah blah blah. It’s awful, and if I were 12 and starting my period and a hormonal mess dealing with emotional issues from my mother separating herself from me, I’d be a bitch, too.

So now she’s got all of this going on, and she’s lashing out at us. She’s being cruel to her brother. This weekend we had a sleepover for her birthday and she decided to make fun of her brother, her grandmother and of course, me. Not going to lie, even though I understand the roots of it (trying to impress, pushing boundaries, typical 12 year old stuff that I’m certain I also did as a kid), it hurt. We have tried to support her and guide her through this as much as we can, but it seems like there’s not much else we can do.

Husband and I talked, and the “T” word came up – therapy. It’s a real thing we are considering. It’s not that we’re opposed to it – I’ve been frank about my mental health status, and I know that it can help – but we have some concerns. How do we find a good fit for her? We’re terrified that the therapist might teach her to be a victim instead of moving forward. She has a manipulative streak in her a mile wide (something she employs even now albeit rarely); would this trigger her to use it as justification to be shitty?

And at the end of the day: Are we awful parents that we think of this?

This is really more of a vent blog, but I’d love to know if some of you parents out there have been through this. We want to do the right thing for her, and we know that this might be good because we aren’t’ qualified to treat her mental health – but in issues of her health before, she’s used that as a weapon against things she doesn’t want to do (I can’t do the school walkathon, I have asthma; I can’t do the dishes, I had a fever last week). I love her. We want her to be happy. But have we already screwed her up?

Day Watch

On Friday, I came into the bedroom to see my husband watching a movie. Usually I don’t pay attention to them because he has a fascination for awful, terrible, seriously the lower on Rotten Tomatoes it has the better movies.

But there were two women in a shower, and suddenly it was a man and woman in the meadow and all of a sudden the two women were watching hockey.

I asked him what the hell and he told me that it was Day Watch, a Russian movie that came out in 2006 based on a trilogy of books and it was a sequel to Night Watch.

Guys. I got sucked in and watched the whole damn thing. It was absolutely ridiculous in all of the right ways. Plot pacing, continuity, set design – none of that mattered (which is a good thing because it wasn’t awesome).

From what I could tell, having not seen nor read the books, there are two factions of magic users in Russia – Light and Dark – and there’s a truce between them. The Dark ones want to break the truce, but not be at fault, so they use one of the Light Ones, Anton’s, son  as a pawn to get the Great Light One to come and fight him so they can start a war. Anton is trying to get a piece of chalk that a woman named Alicia – wife of the Dark Ones ringleader – has because it’s magic chalk and can undo his mistakes and make his son happy and love him, and not cause this war.

I don’t know why this movie sucked me in like it did, but I don’t regret it. It’s stupid fun, so if you like these types of stories, I’d watch it while it’s on Netflix.

ABH Prism Palette – Review

Got it on launch, arrived yesterday, and have been able to play with it on myself and my stepdaughter. Stepdaughter has normal skin, I am a greaseball.

The more I think about it, the more I don’t like doing first impressions, so I really wanted to talk about this with some authority. I’ve done ten different looks with this (and some help from Subculture), and today’s look has been on for eight hours. My husband got this for me as a surprise as it wasn’t something I was going to get for myself, but he said that he saw the packaging, and because I got the other two by ABH for my birthday, he thought it fit me. ❤ Y’all, get you a man who researches your makeup hobby and encourages it.

Here’s the review that I’m writing. I don’t have pictures because, well, my pictures absolutely suck, I’m not a pro so my looks suck, and swatches are out there in abundance. If you guys would like to see stuff that I mention, such as certain blends or whatever, let me know and I’ll do that – but in the meantime, I’m going to keep to the meat of the matter.

The cons:

  • The included brush is trash, just like with MR and Sub. It’s just a trash brush. Shedding straight out the gate, bent up hairs, and worthless. I know that ABH is trying to keep their palettes in a certain price point, but honestly, I’d much rather they skip the brush – maybe include a deluxe eyeliner that co-ordinates with the palette. For me (and this is me, not everyone else), it turns me off from wanting to purchase any of their brushes because this is the quality they send out – so why spend the twenty bucks on something that isn’t going to perform well?
  • The metallics have the same caking over issue as subculture.
  • The darker colors are tricky to blend.
  • The palette was shipped in the standard box (12x12x3.5), BUT without any sort of filler like they used to – instead there were eight pieces of black tissue paper simply folded up – not wadded to hold the palette or cushion it. There was bubble wrap around the palette and thankfully nothing was broken. I’ve been seeing lots of people speaking to getting broken palettes – go back to the paper shreds, ABH.
  • There are some similar shades (not quite dupes) in sub and MR.

The pros:

  • Ugh, it’s so freaking gorgeous. The box feels like a NARS compact and the palette itself has the velvet flocking on it. The gold detail is so thin and it doesn’t look gawdy. Even though I definitely see some Pink Floyd DSOTM influence, the geometric design is beautiful.
  • Mirror was the same size as MR and Sub – so a nice touch there.
  • The ingredients for this are similar to the mattes in Sub, which worried me. However, I think they used a harder press with these as there isn’t tons of powder or kickback when using the mattes. Additionally, they are extremely pigmented, but have better slip when applying regardless if I use bare skin, potion primer, or nyx eyeshadow base.
  • If there was a learning curve to using Sub (which I still feel is some BS and a PR mistake on ABH), there doesn’t seem to be one here. My stepdaughter (12) was able to play with the palette and achieve some nice blending very easily.
  • THE BLEND. Like butter. As a 34 year old woman, my eyes are not as smooth as they once were, and sometimes, you can see the wrinkles when I apply color. These mattes were so easy to diffuse, and I was able to achieve soft and dramatic looks with ease, simply by adding a tad more powder to each brush.
  • There wasn’t any issues with oxidation that I experienced with Sub. Today’s look has been on for 8 hours and I’m not mad at all about it. It looks the same as it did this morning.
  • The metallics are stunning when you use a WET brush. Because I had an issue with this with sub, I was nervous as six or seven of these colors are metallics. I looked at the ABH insta and saw where they said use a damp brush. And they are breathtaking. Do yourself a favor and try it out – this singlehandedly is what made me really fall in love with this palette for fall and winter.

Bottom Line:

If you like MR and are willing to give ABH a shot, go for Prism while it’s around. I don’t feel like my husband got ripped off buying this brand new. If you have a lot of similar colors to this palette, and don’t like metallics, then pass on it. But if you like the metal look and are wanting something new to add to your arsenal, these metallics are done very well.

I don’t regret getting this one, and I think that if I had my pick, this is the one I would have gone with.

 

The Great Purge

A year ago when we moved, we got rid of a lot of our things in anticipation of having things in storage. It was also a chance to declutter some things that the kids didn't use – and that we didn't either. While we eliminated a great deal of things, we still have a long way to go.

Our living situation doesn't look like it's changing for a long time so we have to start paring down. We have an entire house full of stuff in the garage and storage unit and need to eliminate a lot of it. The good news is that by waiting a year before we start this is that the emotional attachment that we have to a lot of junk has been eliminated and it should be easy to make better choices.

I'm just at a loss of how to do this. I don't want to throw things away because environmentally it's bothersome. But how do I go about selling this stuff? It's overwhelming to think about. I think I'll wait and do a few boxes at a time, and go from there.

Any advice?

Birthday Haul

So I'm not sure how you feel about haul posts but I love them. That's what this post is so feel free to skip over if you aren't in the mood!

My husband is an awesome guy and keeps track of my wish lists. He also knows that I've been keeping with that low-buy this year and loves supporting my hobby. Don't get it wrong, I support his as well – he loves video games and tech. We also don't go in really big on holidays with each other because of the kids but our birthdays we treat as a big deal. Regardless, this was unexpected!

Some of these items I got from selling my old stuff, a couple are rewards program gifts, and then the rest are from husband.

From the Viking:
Modern Renaissance and Subculture palettes from ABH. I have had MR on my want list since it launched but never quite jumped in since I was uncertain about the coloring. He went ahead and took care of that for me😄

Moonchild glow kit from ABH

Dark side liner and Gold liner from ABH.

I asked him why ABH and he said that he knows it's a brand I've wanted to try so he would get me started.

Everything Now night version by Arcade Fire. I also got Music for Heart and Breath by Richard Reed Parry.

Lolita blush and eyeliner

I picked out the UD stuff using destash cash: afterglow blush in Bittersweet and Quiver, Deslick primer, All-nighter foundation, 24-7 liner in a silver and copper colors and a replacement for my Meltdown.

Also from destashing, I ended up with the Auroa Glowkit, the Beauty Killer palette, and Candlelight Glow by TooFaced.

Birthday Promos this year were had from Ulta (Nyx palette), Sephora (Tarte blush and liquid lipstick) and UD (full-size Afterglow highlighter in Sin.

Also I got the spirit board pillowcases from killstar and the mini planchette pillow from Killin Me Softly Co. (gift from a friend who knows I'm trying to goth up our room and have a weakness for all things Ouija).

I'm such a happy camper guys. I hope your birthdays are full of awesomeness this year and you get at least one thing your heart desires! Stay tuned for reviews and looks and thoughts coming up in the next few weeks!!

Ulta Birthday Reward: NYX Happy Birthday Eyeshadow Palette

First, I’m sorry to those who didn’t get this quarter’s gift from Ulta. If it makes you feel better, last year’s UD shadow was AWFUL.

This quarter’s Ulta gift is a 10-pan NYX eyeshadow palette. There is no name for the palette nor the colors, so I’m just calling it the Happy Birthday Palette.

I’ve never used any NYX colors before, so it was nice to try it out. When I swatched, I didn’t use any primer and I used my fingers, so please note that. Also, even though I tried several times with different types of lighting, some washed out against my skin color. Also, the metallics simply don’t hold up under photo and those are what makes this palette gorgeous, IMO.

IMG_1588As you can see, there’s some patchiness in the orange matte shades, and the neutral is, well, neutral against my skin – I promise there’s a swatch in that middle picture!

I wore a couple of looks with this palette over the past week and was happy. As I said, the metaliics make this palette completely awesome. my favorite are the copper and metalic burgandy shades and that gorgeous green-bronze shift shade in the third picture. While I’ve seen it photograph as a silver, I didn’t get that on me. The green popped really nicely.

When they rang this at Ulta, they said the retail value was $18.00. It says that the net weight across all ten pans is .04 oz when a full size shadow is .06 oz and retails for $4.49, so you end up with 6 and 2/3rds shadows for the cost of a little less than 3  if you were to be able to purchase this.

I wore them with UD’s potion primer and they lasted for about six – eight hours until they started fading, and I have oily skin and live in high humidity areas. The metallics lasted a lot longer than the matte shades, although once the color faded, there was still shimmer which was an interesting look. There wasn’t a lot of oxidation or color changing that I could tell, and while it took some blending on the matte shades to get them to look how I wanted, it wasn’t anything that would stop me from buying the brand.

For those of you wanting it, there are some available on ebay averaging ten bucks. It’s a great way to try out some of the shadows that I’ve seen being praised and for free, I don’t have any regrets.

For those of you who have picked it up, what are your thoughts?