Holy Mascara Review: Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara Super Waterproof in Black

Just to be clear – there is nothing holy about my review, and the mascara is holy only in the way that when you put it on, you go ‘HOLY-‘. Which was exactly my reaction.

My beloved HG mascara backups have dried up, unfortunately. I mean, I knew the day would come, but when I tossed my last remaining one, I was very distraught. How am I supposed to start all over again looking for the right mascara for me?!

I knew that I definitely had to look to Japanese brands for my mascara. It’s super fucking hot and humid in Singapore year round, and people in Europe/USA who have the privilege of choosing ‘water resistant’ or ‘non waterproof’ mascara have no fucking idea what it’s like. Give me bulletproof or nothing. Japanese brands are famous for making mascaras that survive the apocalypse.

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Why yes, my daisies are indeed inspired by Lana Del Rey and I’ve been wearing them in my hair all the time. Other Japanese make up items to…. complement the Japanese mascara?

Of course, I always have to first credit bimatoprost for my beautiful lashes. Without it, they would never look the same. I actually stopped using it for a few weeks, and my eyelashes did start to get shorter as the mega long ones fell out, but it actually still looked pretty decent and much better than before I used it. So the effects may not be as completely temporary as I once thought. Anyway, I’m back on it now and I don’t intend to stop. It definitely helps the search for a mascara because longer lashes hold a curl for longer.

I remembered reading a post from RocailleWrites about the Heroine Make Volume and Curl. The Long and Curl is the more popoular one, but since bimatoprost makes my lashes really long, I really need volume. I realized the one I bought is the one in Super Waterproof, but considering how apocalypse proof the original is, I don’t think it matters. This new tube looks much sleeker and better designed than the tacky hot pink tube though.

The brush also looks to be a huge improvement. It’s much fluffier and has more bristles for less clumping. But this mascara is REALLY wet. I always wipe off lots of products on the sides. And I do find bits of black dots on my browbone sometimes that I have to wipe away because it’s so wet and it takes a little while to dry, but this may partly be due to my lashes already being very long from bimatoprost.

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I do find that some of the critiques of this mascara Monica wrote to be valid – it does clump my lashes together a little, so I don’t get the beautiful fanned out effect like the mascara she compared it to. But maybe I just have a lot less lashes than her even after bimatoprost. I mean, I AM a hairless Asian *envious*

However, this was definitely a ‘HOLY-‘ mascara.

For one, it is so, incredibly, super crazy inky BLACK. I mean, my lashes are goddamn black to begin with but when I put this mascara on I’m like OMG THIS IS REALLY BLACK.

It is also most definitely Apocalypse Proof. Below is a photo, freshly applied and then 5 hours later. It looks EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME. My curl has wilted NOT AT ALL. And I have worn in this my usual 12 hour days and my lashes look nearly the same as in the morning.

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As you no doubt can tell from the above photo, it is CRAZY lengthening even though it’s not even advertised as such. Voluminizing – eh, you can see how my lashes do look thicker and darker but they’re not fanned out, so I do look like I possibly have less of them. So it’s really not 100% perfect in this respect.

I mean, we all know photographs kind of play down make up, so you have no idea how crazy long, black and dramatic this is in real life. I keep asking people if I look like I’m wearing false lashes, because I don’t want to be too over the top. Is it too over the top??

This is also a very comfortable mascara to wear – I don’t get the crunchiness (but then I possibly did not load as much mascara onto my lashes.) Removal is not THAT easy – even my usual slathering of baby oil does not remove it immediately (and you can bet I was fucking amazed.) It does take a little bit of massaging to melt away all the mascara, but it can be done (and with just baby oil.)

At about $21.90 or $24.90 at Singapore drugstores, this is cheap by Singapore standards. And the tube is huge, so it will definitely last you quite awhile. If you’re one of those people who toss mascaras every 3 months, you’ll probably still find this reasonably affordable.

Overall, this mascara is not 100% perfect. But when I buy mascaras, I just pray to god (I’m an atheist) that it holds a curl, and this mascara delivered so much more than just that. It gave insane length, black inkiness and (somewhat) volume that is apocalypse proof, and all at a drugstore price/availability. Although I have to be very careful applying it in the mornings, I find the effect to be so great that I don’t mind it. I wholeheartedly recommend this and though it is not perfect and I’ll likely still try halfheartedly to search for my true perfect mascara, it will be my failsafe mascara until it is discontinued, which I hope is never.

Sample Rundown: I don’t get many samples

  1. Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum:

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I didn’t like the Enriched Orchid Cream (review), from another Innisfree line, so I didn’t have that high hopes. Seriously, all Innisfree products are insanely fragranced. Maybe I’m just used to CosRX’s non fragranced stuff, but holy shit this fragrance is so strong. It’s not unpleasant, but I don’t want to put perfume on my face

It does seem reasonably effective – my skin seemed a lot smoother and nicer when I was using it, but I was using it when my skincare routine was barebones with only the Galactomyces essence (which tells you how long I’ve been writing this post…) I didn’t try it for very long, of course. 2 sample sachets lasted me about 3 days with day and night use, but it did seem quite nice. It’s rather slippery and siliconey but it did seem to have lasting hydration effects, which is definitely more than I can say about the Orchid cream. It’s also fairly affordable – you can buy it here [affiliate] for $43,90 for TWO 80ml bottles, or $23,90 for one, which seems like a pretty good deal to me for a ton of serum! I would consider this if my hands ever felt an itching to try new serums.

2. Innisfree Green Tea Seed cream:

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Holy shit this is so fragranced. After being used to CosRX’s very nicely unfragranced Rice Mask, this is a bit overpowering. It is also super siliconey, and pills up a bit if I’ve applied too much stuff underneath. I don’t find that it moisturizes that well either. At least it didn’t give me a film on my face like the horrible Orchid cream. Overall, a solid meh. Just in case you still want to buy it, you can find it here for $21.90 plus shipping. Personally, I would recommend the CosRX masks as moisturizer instead.

3. Dr Belmeur Daily Repair Foam Cleanser

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This was also super fragranced, which was not great, but it was quite low foaming, which was good. I feel like it cleansed my skin well without leaving residue, but also not leaving it tight. However I did get a couple of rather deep pimples in the couple of days I was using this wash – not sure if it was entirely due to this wash, or just three consecutive 12 hour work days and the wrong time of the month. I think the whole Dr Belmeur line is very cute (reminds me of like, Dutch milkmaids, but one whose a practicing doctor? Idk) but The Face Shop has a long history of meh skincare products, so…. It’s available for $11.89 from my bae Roseroseshop which I buy all my Korean shit from, not too bad a product to try out.

4. Danahan Silky Radiance BB Cream in 23

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If Sulwhasoo was the queen of traditional Korean skincare, Danahan must be one of the imperial consorts, assuming Korean royal court worked like all the Chinese ones in the dramas I watched in my childhood. My 2 sachets are in 23, which is the colour I prefer in Korean terms because I’m more scared of the bald eagle effect than having a slightly darker face. It also has SPF 30 which you know means almost nothing to me.

This is a super thick BB cream. It’s so thick that it’s difficult to spread with fingers and I had to use a brush, which left streaks that I had to blend further with my fingers… not a good start. After that, it didn’t look too bad, although it does look rather heavy. I’ve also not been using a face primer recently, and I felt like this didn’t cover up my pores as beautifully as my other foundations. It also looked a bit heavier than what I’m used to, but it does have more coverage than say, my Koh Gen Do 213.

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L-R Koh Gen Do Aqua 213, The Saem Tip Perfection concealer in 1.5, Danahan BB Cream in 23

You can see it’s much more neutral than the super olive 213, and it doesn’t have much of a grey cast. Overall, it’s a bit too neutral/pink for my face, and too dark, but passable.

I think it’s alright…? You might want to try it if you want to feel like a fancy traditional Korean. It’s not a bad product, but perhaps not what I’m used to (and I’m very finicky about shade matches.) You can get 40ml of the BB cream and a free gel cleanser for $30.69 from Roseroseshop.

Nail Polish Review: Miniso polishes

I haven’t mentioned any nail polish for a long while, since the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish. I’ve somehow managed to stop myself from acquiring more polishes and using up some of my old ones. (Yay!)

But the other day, I was trying to buy a sharpener that fit my Dragon Girl (still can’t find one… might try a pencil sharpener instead of a cosmetic one) and I stumbled across the beauty section of Miniso. I always thought Miniso was Japanese, since it obviously sounds like it might even be related to Daiso, but… it is apparently Chinese, but cofounded with a Japanese dude. Well, doesn’t quite matter to me. It does share some qualities with Daiso – everything is dirt cheap. They sell most things for around $3, some things up to $11 or so, and their nail polishes are $3 for 2.

Yes, $3. for two.

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Continue reading “Nail Polish Review: Miniso polishes”

Foundation Review: Koh Gen Do Aqua 213

So, I’ve had this awhile now and I’ve worn it lots of times, enough to finally share my thoughts!

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Wow, now this is a flatlay I am quite proud of!!!

First off, this is definitely not something you expect to be able to get for cheap on Carousell, as it is a very niche brand. So I had to buy retail, which pains my soul. At $80 for 30ml, it is on par with other high end foundations. For reference, Armani’s Lasting Silk is $87. NARS Sheer Glow is $73, Shu Uemura Light Bulb is $75. So straddling the line between department store brands and outright luxury. Good thing that there’s a counter in Taka, so feel free to use all your Taka vouchers! 🙂

Continue reading “Foundation Review: Koh Gen Do Aqua 213”

How much does your skincare cost you?

We all have our skincare favourites we repurchase over and over again. Have you ever thought about how much your entire routine costs say, in a month?

Thanks to my relentlessly seeking out good budget alternatives, my skincare items tend to be quite affordable. I’m using retail prices, although I do try to grab good deals where possible. I didn’t count shipping fees, because usually when I buy Korean skincare on Qoo10, I maximize my coupons so that my shipping is basically free. I also try to overestimate my usage where possible, so it’s perfectly possible for the products to last me longer than what I have stated below.

Caveat: my face is quite small and my skin quite balanced, so I tend to use very little product.

Current routine: My current routine is a little bare-bones, because I’m waiting for my fancy shit to arrive. 

Morning:

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Continue reading “How much does your skincare cost you?”

Vitamin C Serum on the cheap: OST C20

Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and supposedly also helps your cells to create more collagen, etc. That’s why it’s frequently a star ingredient in a lot of skincare.

The cheapest and most widely available Vit C for us in Asia is likely to be the OST C20 Vitamin C Serum [affiliate]. It’s available for a super cheap $15.57 plus shipping from Roseroseshop.

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I bought it and used it mainly because of the scarring on my chin from the hormonal acne. If you look on the internet, some common criticisms are that it contains Niacinamide, which is what you DON’T want to mix with Vit C, and that Ascorbic Acid is not the best form of Vit C to use.

Ingredients:

Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethanol, Sodium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glucose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Esther Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan, PEG-180, Gluconolactone, Beta-Glucan, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Zinc PCA, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tocopherylacetate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ubiquinone, Diisopropyladipate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

Overall, the texture is a viscous liquid. It smells to me like hotdog brine – slightly salty. It tastes slightly sour and salty too if you get it on your lips. I don’t mind it, I don’t find it weird or offputting. It dries slightly sticky, but it doesn’t matter to me because I put other stuff over it anyway. I had a tingling sensation the first few times I used it, but it’s non irritating and it won’t make you red. It does sting a little bit if you’re using it on pimples.

I first got it on 9/10/16, so it’s been about 3 months. I still have about 1/4 of the bottle left, and that’s only because I really doused my face in Vit C almost everyday and I even used it on my arms for awhile. I keep it in the fridge, and it hasn’t oxidized, so I’m pretty happy.

I used to use it right after cleansing in the evenings, but Vit C + AHA + BHA was a bit too much for my skin, so right now I use it in the mornings and use my AHA + BHA in the evenings. I wash my face, sometimes with a bit of cleanser, sometimes only with water, pat it dry and then apply it. I usually wait for a few minutes and get dressed before putting on the other stuff.

My chin scarring is still present because I keep picking at my skin (I’m working on it I swear) so there’s not much photographic evidence there, but here’s evidence of its effects of the spot on my cheek.

Some background: I fell down flat on my face around 10 years old, which resulted in a huge scab on my cheek. I never really actually noticed this scar until I got older. I don’t really mind it, since it’s not very obvious or terrible. It’s just a small patch of darker coloured skin on my left cheekbone.

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Defying logic, I somehow placed the before pic on the right, and the after pic on the left. The difference isn’t crazy dramatic, but it’s not as dark or as stark now, and the edges have softened up considerably. Note that the picture on the left is a super close up (which means it should be all the more obvious) and the one on the right is zoomed out.

Overall, this Vit C serum is a great beginner’s serum. It’s cheap, reasonably effective and easy to get from Qoo10. However, there are definitely better formulations out there. I’m going to be trying this one next, which is way more hardcore. However, this is dependable (and so budget friendly) that if future ones I try don’t work, I would definitely return to it.

Skincare Review: Laneige Water Science Mist Sparkling Water (Brightening)

Talk about loooongass product names.

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This was something that I actually received as a freebie from a fashion event that was sponsored by Laneige. I’m always happy to receive free shit to test out!

This is a face mist-type product, which means its not something that I have lots of experience with. The ingredients list is here, but obviously it is made out of mainly water and little else. And ‘Sparkling’ water obviously refers to carbonated water, although personally I have no idea if the carbon dioxide does anything.

The pump that comes with this bottle is FABULOUS. The mist is even and very fine and sprays over a good area. I will definitely be reusing the bottle.

There is a very definitive smell about this: it smells exactly like plain soda water, probably thanks to the carbon dioxide. I do like soda water, but frankly I feel that there’s not much difference from spraying soda water in a nice pretty bottle. It’s quite refreshing of course, and cooling, and perhaps just a little bit soothing, and of course it’s good to have more water on your skin to seal in with humectants and occlusives and such.

The price is really something to balk at though. I can’t confirm it, but it’s $54 at the Laneige boutique? Whatthefuck? You can apparently get it at Qoo10 for $29.50 plus shipping, and it does last quite a while, but it’s still by no means cheap.

I have been using this for maybe 2 months I think? Close to every morning and night, and I’m very generous with it, spraying maybe 3-4 times every time I use it. And so far, it’s about 1/8 gone. So it will lasts quite a while, I’m predicting a year, at least.

Still, I feel that it’s a bit too expensive for a novelty item that probably doesn’t do that much in your routine. After it’s gone, I would probably idk, make my own aloe/rose infused water or something and put into the bottle!

Changed my mind: 3W Clinic Powder Crystal Creator Bright

This is what I hope to make into a new series. Basically about products I thought I liked or hated at first, and then grew to hate/love it for some reason or another. I am fickle, yes.

Anyway, let’s talk a little about this powder. This is 3W clinic, the same brand as my beloved sunscreen, purveyor of cheap and good Korean cosmetics. I think this powder used to be called Dodo Palgatong theatrical powder. The history behind this red jar is absolutely confounding.

The red jar is very sturdy, if not very pretty. The included puff is pretty good too, soft and squishy and pretty thick.

Anyway, my powder is in the shade 10 Pearl. There are 3 shades: 10 Pearl, 21 Light, and 23 Natural or something. Korean shades are very standardized, so basically 21 = super fair, maybe NC 10-15 thereabouts, and 23 = NC20. I would usually go for 23 in anything Korean. Aaaaand the shades end there. Korean brands don’t have a good reputation for shade range, can you tell? 😀

I got this secondhand off someone, which explains why I ended up with Pearl instead of 23 (ie I wasn’t looking.) Pearl is actually translucent, with a SHITTON of glitter. I shit you not, look at my arm. This is using the included puff, patting it off, and then patting my arm very lightly.

Compare this to the Catrice Radiance Pearls. I used a buffing brush, picked up as much product as I could and really buffing it on. You can tell that the 3W clinic powder has actual glitter in it, whereas the Radiance Pearls just have shimmer.

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L: Radiance Pearls. R: 3W Clinic Crystal Creator

This was why when I first got it I was like FUCK ME why did I buy a tub of glitter. However this week I took it out and trialed it properly and I changed my mind!

The reason is that the glitter doesn’t translate as horrendously as you think it does. On the face, at certain angles when the light hits you yes, you do look like you have glitter on your face, but not like a walking disco ball. The glitter is small enough to be relatively subtle and ‘perfecting’ rather than ‘glittering’. Plus, the powder is LOVELY. It’s makes my skin look amazing, with or without the glitter. It’s very natural, and melds into my skin amazingly. Or if you’re really anxious about the glitter, use it as a highlighter or something.

Of course, I don’t apply it with the puff. That would really look like a walking disco ball. I take my powder brush and I tap it on the puff and tap off the excess. Basically, be a little more careful.

However I have to note that it doesn’t really have oil control properties. I like my skin to look natural, so I just sweep it on after my foundation (the satinish Lasting Silk.) It gives me a very soft satin look. It will NOT make you matte or keep you matte, but it will make your skin look amazing.

The best? It’s DIRT CHEAP. 30g (1 oz) costs $5 on Qoo10. [affiliate] Of course you can opt for 21 or 23 rather than a tub full of glitter you see here instead.

Moral of the story? Great powder can be really cheap! I swear this is as good as any more expensive powder out there.

Current Make up Inventory

Since the last inventory, I’ve destashed and used up quite a bit of stuff. Here is my make up inventory, so I can see what else there is to destash and what other things I MIGHT allow myself to buy.

Caveat: My collection is quite large, but I didn’t spend much money on it because I bought a lot of destashed, blogsale, etc stuff that cost me significantly less than retail price. I think like 90% of my collection is not from retail. For example most of my quads were bought at $5 or so.

(Sorry about the upside down pics in some of them, idk what is happening…)

Blushes: 11 (Ideal: 4)

I’ve used up 1 blush and destashed a couple since the last inventory, so now I’m left with 11 pans.

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  • Sleek Blush palette Candy Collection (3 pans)
  • Cargo blush in Barbary Coast
  • A few broken eyeshadows that I mixed up and became a purple blush, how cool is that? 😀
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge in Florita
  • Alcina Bronzer in Light
  • NYX Cream blush in Natural
  • 4 pans of hot pink/orange/red eyeshadow that will be gorgeous as blushes but I would probably never wear as eyeshadow.

Ideally I think 4 blushes would be more than enough. 1 neutral go with everything, 1 warm, 1 cool, and maybe 1 really weird thing like red or purple or something.

 

Eyeliners: 16 (Ideal: 6)

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Okay, I still have way too many eyeliners in too many funky colours. Didn’t use up or destash any. Right now I’m working on the Silky Girl Ever Green pencil since it’s the oldest, and I find that I kind of like a subtle green wing.

I included the 2 liner ends of my mascara because it is unfortunate that my gorgeous mascara comes with a liner on the other end, but it cost me like $3 or $5 per duo so I don’t care.

Without the duo liner end: 16 liners total. Ideally I think I’ll like to have 1 brown, 1 black, 1 champagne, 1 white, and maybe 2 funky colours, so an allowance of 6 total.

Base: 6 (Ideal: 3)

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  • Philosophy in the Buff
  • Armani Lasting Silk
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua
  • Cyber Colours Pore Primer
  • Seventeen Stay time concealer
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

The Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua NEVER. DIES. WHAT THE FUCK. Every month I tell myself that This is the month that it will die, and I always have to adjust my expectations. I’ve been expecting it to finish since November and it always proves me wrong. I’ve destashed all my other foundations because all I really need is Lasting Silk and I think it will last me for like, 3 years.

Philosophy In the Buff is essentially a cream bronzer of sorts. It’s a bizarre, heavily discounted Nordstrom Rack buy from my sister. It works decently mixed in with foundation in VERY. SMALL amounts to darken it slightly to match me.

My ideal wardrobe would probably be Lasting Silk, the primer, and RCC. The Seventeen concealer doesn’t cover much as I would like a concealer to, but it actually works very well as a creamy foundation. I might bring it along for travel for convenience.

Highlighters: 5 (Ideal: 2)

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  • The Balm Mary Lou Manizer
  • Kiko Radiant Touch Highlighter
  • Life’s Entropy Illuminator samples x2
  • Colourpop Monster

I think ideally I should have 1 normal highlighter, and 1 weird coloured highlighter. I haven’t found the strength to destash any 😥

Powders: 6 (Ideal: 3)

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  • Za True White foundation OC20
  • Seventeen BB powder in Light
  • Essence Stay Matte powder
  • 3W clinic Crystal Creator Bright in 01 Pearl
  • Custom mix of like, Laura Mercier translucent powder and crystal creator bright in the body shop jar
  • Catrice Radiance Pearls

Man, I really do not need another powder for a long, long time. I only use powder foundations on the weekends and rarely powder my face in the day. Ideally, I should have 1 powder foundation, 1 translucent powder, and my radiance pearls, and I think that’s it. I just don’t use powder that often. At least they’ll stay usable for many years to come.

Brows: already ideal

I’ve been using the remnants of my mascara for my brows. Frugal to the max, amirite? Other than that, I have 2 samples of Life’s Entropy Brow Theory, and a tiny nubbin of a pencil for travel. I don’t have a brow buying problem because brows are BORING, guys.

Eye bases and sticks: 5 (Ideal: 3)

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Kiko stick eyeshadow 09, 38, NYX Milk, Black Bean, and Etude House Proof 10 Eye primer.

Eye primer is a necessity, of course. Black Bean and Milk are workhorses but I don’t think I’ll be able to use all of it, ever. 38 is a very, very nice single wash colour, so I’ll definitely go through it, but I don’t know if I would repurchase. 09 is a very pretty colour but hard to use and work with, so I’ll see if anyone else wants it.

Eyeshadows: 196 (ideal… Definitely like <50.)

Click to enlarge!

  • Singles: (middle of bottom row) 14
  • Depots: 60 in right of middle row, 55 in left of middle row, 18 in middle of middle row, 6 in right of top row. 8 random ones in middle of top row. Total 147 pans.
  • Sample baggies: 23 + 1 baggie I depotted into a jar.
  • In palettes: 4 x 8 quads, 2x 1 duo. total 34.
  • Random Rouge Bunny Rouge glitter pigment thingy on the bottom left.

SO. MANY. EYESHADOWS. Technically I still have a quint and a duo I’ve been trying to destash but have yet to be sold.

At least now most of my shadows are in Z palettes so I can pick them out easily and see how many dupes I have (a lot.)

My Armani ETKs are my guilty pleasure. I swear I went through them and swatched all of them trying to decide what to sell and…. couldn’t. Thank god my Z palettes are filled with Sleek shadows that cost like $10-$15 per palette of 12, so my full Z palettes cost me like $150 at most? I think the ETKs cost me more than that, lol.

 

This is an embarrassing amount of make up. The lips will be taking up and entire other post. I have been diligent in not buying more, and using up what I have. I don’t think I can be on a complete no buy for the entirety of this year, but I am forced by life circumstances to be frugal, and be frugal I will.