Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Favorites, Acquisitions, and Empties (Or: Amy's Wordiness on Steroids)

Ok, guys, this post is massive. It's so far past tl;dr, it can't even see it on the horizon. Consider yourselves warned.

This month, I've been loving mixing Revlon Colorstay Ivory 110 with MAC Matchmaster 1. The combination is a perfect match for my skin, and it means the best of both worlds: the slip and ease of the Revlon, and the pigmentation and oil control of the MAC. Very pleased!

I've also been wearing eyeshadow 4 or 5 days a week (up from 1 or 2 in the past, ha!) because I get bored waiting for my sunscreen to absorb. My go-to look is TFSI with Too Faced Silk Teddy on my lid, LMdB Corinthian in the crease and outer V, and Too Faced Heaven above my crease to blend. Easy, elegant, and lasts all day!

I've also really been loving playing around with all my perfumes. Mitsouko is still my #1 love, but FM Carnal Flower and By Kilian Beyond Love are great for warmer weather (I love my tuberose, yum). Some of the other wins: L'Artisan Thé pour un Eté (jasmine tea!), FM En Passant (lovely lilac), Samsara (great day-to-night scent), Dior Diorella (weird, delightful chypre), and Jicky (ultimate comfort scent). I've taken to wearing one scent down my shirt (scandalous!) and a different one on my left forearm, so that I catch whiffs of them both over the course of the day. I do have to be sure to wear scents that don't clash, and sometimes I spray the same one both places, especially when I'm "testing" it (for my own edification with regards to how much I like it), but it's a system that's working well!

Blush and lipstick haven't really had favorites this month; I've done a pretty good job of wearing most things in my collection, which has been nice! Good to remember the variety I have. Though as always, Revlon Sugar Plum has been a staple.

Non-beauty favorites include wine, Yumm, cute boys, an adorable new dress (maybe I'll actually try doing an OOTD post, hmmm), Pacifica votive candles in, like, 6 different scents (my room smells great!), chocolate chip cookies, sunshine (though it's been interspersed with bouts of cold rain, a la February), and successful ling presentations (not favorites: annoying ling research, stupid syntax everything, too many papers to grade).

Sugar Plum (the second tube of it I've finished! Ridiculous!); I threw it out before I could take a picture of it. Whoops. I'll get better at this! I also finally finished my can of shaving cream (Skintimates Jasmine something, which I got for $1 at Fred Meyer, like, 6 months ago). This is more a testament to how infrequently I shave in the winter than any inherent longlastingness of the product itself, but still, pretty impressive. Wasn't crazy about the smell, but I would consider rebuying for the same price in a different scent. For now, I'm just using my Pacifica body wash to shave, which isn't quite as smooth but still gets the job done (and is a much better rendition of jasmine!).

Camille Beckman Tuscan Honey Body Butter: My mother got this sample somewhere and gave it to me ages ago, and I finally got around to using it. It's pretty nice, decently moisturizing and fast-absorbing, but the smell is too sweet for my taste (who'da thunk honey would be too sweet?).

Urban Decay Primer Potion: This is the most ridiculous design for a sample ever. Even so, I managed to get about a week's wear from it before it dried up. It did perform marginally better than TFSI, but not enough for me to want to buy a tube (especially given Liz's bad experience with the packaging!).

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter: Finally finished one of my little body butter tubs! I used this as a hand cream at night, as well as on my legs post-shave. It seemed to last foreverrrr, which I guess is a good thing if you're not trying to whittle down your stash! I liked it, and reviewed it here.

Bunch of Ojon samples (clockwise from left: Color Sustain, Damage Reverse, Dry Recovery, Volume Advance) that I got for $5, thinking I would review them for the blog. Consider this the review, because I'm too lazy to do a full post. Basically, none of them worked great for me (I have fine, oily, very curly hair that is prone to tangles and plays well with silicones). The only one that came close to working was Dry Recovery (I think? Shit, I should have taken notes), because the shampoo was foamy enough for my tastes and the conditioner was almost conditionery enough. They all smelled nice, and if you have "normal" hair and are willing to spend on haircare, you should definitely check out the line (it looks like the sample set is no longer available, sadface).

Tocca Giulietta Body Lotion: Free Sephora sample. A nice light body lotion with a very mild musk and green apple smell. It's quite pleasant and inoffensive, but nothing too remarkable.

Yu-Be Skin Cream. Another Sephora sample! This stuff is supposed to be good for really dry skin; I wasn't about to use it on my face, given how reactive my skin is (especially since the end of the tube has some numbers that may be an expiration date, 2 years ago?), but I did use it on my cuticles, as a hand cream, and once as a lip balm (it was not pleasant, and I wiped it off immediately––felt like lotion on my lips, which I hate). It was okay, not amazing, and I didn't like the filmy feeling it left on my hands.

I'm also almost done with Purity (the big bottle, in part because I poured 3 oz into the travel sized bottle, but I don't care I'll count it anyways!) and nail polish remover, but not quite. Next month! So, I'm not a super-whiz at finishing products, but I'm still pretty pleased with this. I also threw out a bunch of old skincare samples and lippies because they were smelling weird, but, of course, I didn't take pictures. Oh wells.

So, I didn't actually do a great job at not buying lots of new crap this month, but I'm going to be much stricter for myself in June and through the summer, since I won't be having much income coming in (working in the lab is just part and parcel of being a grad student, and is sadly not rewarded with additional funds). I'll talk about that more at the end of the post!

I'm not including things I purchased as gifts, in part because I still haven't given some of them and I don't want to ruin the surprise (hi, Neens!), and in part because OMG am I verbose enough already. Things I got for free (as samples with purchase or as gifts) are marked with an asterisk (*).

Claire's Candy Shop and Purple Mood Polish: BOGO 1/2 Off; I really wanted Candy Shop because I was feeling like a pink crazy glitter, and had been wanting to try a mood polish since Scrangie had mentioned them awhile back. Neither have the greatest wear, but they're very pretty, have good application, and are unlike anything else in my collection! Pleased with my purchase.

Revlon Strawberry Colorburst lip glossCrush Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain: Bought during Revlon's 40% off sale. Returned Crush, and am debating gifting Strawberry to L, because it's verging on too shimmery for me, and I'll need to compare it to my other new gloss acquisition (see below) to see if they're different enough to warrant having both.

My The Perfumed Court order, not at all in order:
Dior Eau Sauvage: LOVE, but in the process of trying to transfer it to a glass spray vial, managed to spray it all into a washcloth; a tale for another time, but this is definitely on my Full Bottle to-buy list, especially for summer!
Dior Diorella: aaaah classic chypre; it's weird, and I can see why TS described it as "Vietnamese beef salad" in Perfumes: The Guide, but I really like it; I think I prefer Eau Sauvage, though, and that one's half the price!
Hermès Osmanthe Yunnan: haven't yet tried
Guerlain Nahéma: "virtual rose"; managed to spill this on my desk, though I still have quite a bit left. It's a nice rose, and I like the Guerlinade base, but I just don't really like rose, I guess.
Guerlain Vol de Nuit, Vintage: spilled this all over my bathroom counter, so I've only got about 1/3 left (faaaaail); it's a classic oriental, softer than Shalimar, with a very green top that I'm not crazy about. Somewhat powdery, but in a comforting way; I like it, but I don't love it.
Patou Joy: too floral for me
Prescriptives Calyx: holy synthetic fruity floral, Batman!
Ormonde Jayne Champaca: nice, inoffensive fruity floral
Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute: lovely summery fruity floral, though it's a bit sweet for my taste
Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman: every review compares it to a fairytale; it reminds me of SL Bois de Violette, and while it's very pretty, it's not total love, though I wouldn't kick it out of bed, as it were.

What've you been loving this month?

Revlon Whimsical: There happened to be one bottle left during Revlon's 40% off sale, so I snagged it. Sheerer than I was expecting/hoping, but still pretty; I plan to layer it in the future.
Revlon Sweet Tart: Happy pink lip butter. This is the color I was expecting Chamade to be, and now I am the proud owner of both warm pink and pink-tangerine cream lippies! Summer, here I come. (Also bought during Revlon's 40% off sale, obvs.)

(Blogger's formatting is being a little poophead, so I apologize for the repetitive list-like format from here on out. BLERGH.)
Perfume samples! Clockwise from top left:
Fendi Fan di Fendi*: smells like fruity hairspray
Balenciaga Paris l'Essence*: I really like this, though it does pull a bit sweet on me; I'll do a bigger review on it eventually
Ralph Lauren Romance*: smells like Fan di Fendi
Bond No. 9 Washington Square*: citrus. I haven't worn it sprayed, only dabbed, but I think I like it. Reserving judgment, though
Lolita Lempicka: a rich gourmand in the style of Angel, but I like it about a thousand times more
Narciso Rodriguez For Her*: free deluxe sample, but is going to be gifted (Neens, I'm just assuming you didn't read this far down)
Tommy Girl*: supposed to smell like tea, but to me just smells like high school girl, though fortunately not overly sweet
Washington Square, Lolita Lempicka, and Tommy Girl were all gifted to me by L (thank you!); the three samples in the back and Narciso Rodriguez were all free with my Sephora order (I purchased Sunday Riley Start Over Active Eye Cream for my mother for Mother's Day, but didn't include it because it was a gift/I forgot to take a picture of it and doesn't it just work out well that I decided not to include gifts?).

Sephora order #2! Clockwise from top left:

Illamasqua Tweak: Unbelievably pigmented matte pink-red blush, review to come
Urban Decay Primer Potion*: See above, under empties.
Tocca Giulietta Body Cream*: Ditto.
Dior Diorlash deluxe sample*: Haven't tried this yet, but will use it when my Eyes to Kill stops working (never, I hope).
Murad Mattifying SPF 15*: Haven't tried this yet.
Benefit Bella Bamba*: Shimmery warm pink. Very pretty! 100 point bonus, which I was thrilled about because I've been wanting to try Bella Bamba for months! Review to come.

CoverFX ClearPrep FX Primer: The full size of my favoritest primer! Very pleased.

Orly Nail Rescue: My left ring finger nail was splitting from the side, and since I didn't want to have horribly nubbin-nails, I made my mom stop at Sally's on our way up to Portland for my aunt's birthday party (that was an awkward time, let me tell you) so I could pick this up. I'd read good things about it, and you guys, it is awesome. I'll review it in full someday, but for now: if you have nails that are prone to splitting, this stuff is very handy to have around! You just paint on the glue over the split, dip it into the powder, and buff it down. It supposedly comes off with 100% acetone, but I removed polish with said acetone and my nail remained perfectly intact, so basically, this shit is strong
Sally 100% Acetone Remover: Because my Rite Aid 100% Acetone bottle was getting low (as mentioned above), and I had a 15% off purchase coupon.

Makeup Artist's Choice 30% Glycolic Acid At-Home Peel, 3% Beta Hydroxy Serum: My mother decided she wanted to try out peels, and I happened to see a review of this on MUA. I registered at their website and shortly thereafter got a code for 25% off, and they have free shipping! Score! We're both using the peel and I'm trying out the Beta Hydroxy serum as well, and I'll have reviews for all in a few weeks.
Makeup Artists Choice Wild Oat & Honey cleanser*: Very mild, and really foamy, so a little goes a long ways, but I really dislike how it smells, and it's not very effective at removing makeup (even just that that's leftover after my oil cleanser). On the upside, doesn't seem to be causing any irritation or breakouts. Still prefer my Purity.

Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45: I got a two-pack of this from Amazon. I'll have a review of this soon, too, but basically: it's great. Buy it.
Over-the-door jewelry hanger: Another Amazon purchase; I got it because I wanted to reach $25 for free shipping and was ordering some stuff for my iPad (I'll do a post on that at some point, though probably not before the end of the term!). I needed something to organize my perfume samples, and had read about this as a solution (another promising option was ammo boxes, but I wanted to be able to organize by theme and not have to reorganize whenever I got new samples). As a bonus, it makes my perfume sample collection look tiny, so I don't feel so bad!

Target and Dollar Tree haul, clockwise from top left:
Cosmetic sponges from the Dollar Tree, for swatching blush and use in nail polish jewelry
Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant in Light and Fresh: Because with the rising heat, my current deodorant just ain't cutting it
elf Foundation Brush: I got this thinking I could use it for contouring, but it's way too thin and sharp. I may have been a bit tipsy when I purchased it (don't worry, I wasn't driving!), or else I probably would have realized that sooner. Fortunately, I kept the receipt, and this will be going back.
Dove White Beauty Bar: Another tipsy impulse purchase, but one I don't regret; my Purity is running low (oh my god, the jokes that could be made about that!), and I figured I could use this in the morning to help save it. May also try it with my Clarisonic.
I also bought toothpaste and a new toothbrush, but nobody cares, including me, so I didn't bother to take a picture.

My order from Liz's blog sale! You have no idea how much I squealed when I opened it :-) Clockwise from left:
Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm in 04 Coral Pink: Gorgeous, gorgeous moisturizing coral pink gloss with gold-orange shimmer. Very subtle, super comfortable, shimmer doesn't migrate, and the color is amazing. Full(er) review to come.
Skinergetic Recovery Moisturizer* and L'Occitane Ultra Rich Face Scrub*: Liz was so generous and included 3 free samples with my purchases! I'm planning on setting aside these aside for winter, when my skin is dry.
Dior Extase deluxe sample*: More mascara! So exciting! I won't have to buy mascara for, like, years, which is great. Looking forward to trying this!
CARGO SuedeBlush in Montebello: Oh my gah so beautiful! Shimmery pink with incredible pigmentation, great texture, and illuminating sheen. I'll have a full review of this eventually, but suffice it to say, between this and Tonga, CARGO has got my undying love.
And Liz also included a lovely card (with glitter! SO MUCH FUN) that gave me the warm and fuzzies like whoa. I definitely recommend going and checking out her selection, because you may find something you love but couldn't otherwise afford, and you'll be supporting a truly wonderful person!

Aaaaand that's it. If you made it all the way through that, congratulations/I'm sorry. Next month will be shorter, I promise, because I'm putting in very firm guidelines for myself:
1) Do not exceed $120 in personal care purchases (subsequent summer months will go down by $20 a month [though my birthday month is July, so I'll probably set aside some extra funds for that], but I need to get my hair cut next month which costs $45, and I'll still be pulling in half a paycheck, so I'm starting higher). This includes everything: makeup, skincare, toothpaste, shampoo, staples (like foundation, primer, concealer, nail polish base and top coats), bath & body, and perfume. It's this last category that will really be a challenge, because there are still lots of perfume samples I want to order! I'm not currently including candles in this budget, but that may have to change.
2) Buy no more than 2 non-staple beauty items. For June, that's going to be NYX Taupe off eBay ($6) and Sonia Kashuk Contour Brush ($10), for fun with contouring! 
3) Place no more than one "indie" order; this includes Etsy (whether for nail polish, bath and body, or jewelry supplies, because yes I am counting those as "personal care"), Meow, etc. This is included under the $120 limit.
4) Absolute strict no-buys on lippies (with the exception that, once I finish another tube of Sugar Plum [I haven't started either of the ones I have, so it'll be 2-3 months], I can order Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer Plum 600, budget permitting), body butter, mascara, blush, and eyeshadow. These bans stand until otherwise noted.
5) Conditional bans: No nail polish until I set aside the ones I no longer want and pawn them off on other people (possibly through the blog [not as a sale, nothing's nice enough for that, but as a "you pay shipping and you get free shit" deal]); no soap or shower gel until I use up the ones I currently have (this is in place to prevent me from buying the Duck Store's entire Pacifica stock); no base or top coats until I use up at least one of each.

So we'll see how that goes! I'm already meticulously planning my purchases for this next month, oh what fun. I'll keep y'all posted, assuming there's anybody left after this ENORMOUS POST. This is partly due to the fact that I got a bunch of essays to grade today, and I am being super mature and trying to procrastinate on them. Also because I talk way too much, which, if you didn't know that before, you sure as heck should now.

What've you been loving this month? Finished any products? Have any budgetary goals for next month?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...