There are things in my rotation that I like and others that I use out of a sense of duty. I've paid for them, they're not so terrible that they cause an irritation or make me ill, so I should be using them. I noticed that I was hardly touching some of the things that I didn't like but was not willing to throw them away either, and decided to do something about it. I guess you can call this my current use-up pile.
My foundation situation is kind of in limbo right now. I have several foundations that are all good enough, and one that I want to use above all the rest – the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte. I'm saving it for travel, because the packaging, and use it mostly on weekends as a reward for using the other ones.
First on the list to use up were my high-end foundations, the Diorskin Forever, which had become very orange, and the YSL Teint Touche Eclat, the original, which they don't even make anymore. Both of these foundations needed to be mixed with a white colour (the Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation) for them to be suitable for me, while my drugstore ones are all passable on their own. I'm happy to report that I'd used up the Dior even before compiling this selection of products, and as of now I've used up the YSL too and am working on the Revlon Colorstay (more on that in a future post).
Some other things I've already used up are the Max Factor Masterpiece Transform mascara, which I loved (it's restored my belief that a non-high-end mascara can be good, and is my go-to now. Wouldn't wear it on lower lashes thought...); the brown Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Waterproof Eye Definer (which I can't find online for some reason), which was not waterproof in my experience and smeared quite badly on my oily lids, but worked very well on dry and mature skin where the creaminess really paid off; and the Yaby eyeshadows, which were terrible.
I'd had the Yaby eyeshadow pans for a long time and have since used up or just gotten rid of them, so I couldn’t tell you the exact names of the shades I had. One was a shimmery nude, one a matte white and a purple-brown matte. I was originally enamored with the ideal of re-purposing an old compact with a magnet and having this ultra portable eyeshadow palette on the go.
I purposely didn't wipe down the compact for the picture to show just how messy these shadows were, and I'd been keeping this compact just out on the table, flat, all the time, and still this mess would accumulate. Never mind if it were stored somewhere sideways in a drawer, or oh horror, floated around freely in a makeup bag. They were just an absolute pain to use.
The formula was awful. There was so little dimension in the shimmer, it was just beige with a pearly white sheen, and the mattes were incredibly patchy on the lid. I could pile on the dark colour and blend it away completely. There was also tons of fallout and getting into the tiny pans would damage my brushes. I used up the white colour completely, the beige crumbled to pieces at the end of its time, so I just threw it away, and the brown, after using it in the outside corner almost every day for three months, I just couldn't take it anymore, and threw it away.
I originally raved about the Clarins bronzer, but about two months into using it, my mind changed. What happened was that the compact broke – the hinge to be exact, so the lid/mirror didn't stay on anymore. I'd have to slide the two carefully into the velvet pouch to store the product flat. That became very old, very fast, and I've been resenting the product for much longer than I ever enjoyed using it.
The powder started to break apart quite easily once I'd hit pan. Fine, I thought, that just means I was close to using it up. Oh no... About a week or so after taking this picture, the powder broke so badly that none of it was sticking to the pan anymore. It was a considerable amount of product and I couldn't just throw it away. I found an empty loose powder jar, transferred the pieces into it and shook rigorously. How long could it possibly take to use up at this point?
So the packaging is now even worse than it was before, and I like using this bronzer even less. About two months after I'd done the transfer, fewer and fewer powder would come through the holes which made me think, at last, it's almost gone. One day, when I couldn't get any more more powder to shake up, I decided to peer under the plastic stopper and to my surprise found that most of the product was never in crumbles at all. It had broken up when shaken and adhered in a thick layer to the walls of the jar. It must have been 5mm thick in some places. There is still SO much bronzer left!
I've now removed the stopper and the last of the loose crumbles so I can just swirl my brush right along the walls and tap it off on the lid. My hope is that this will be a less frustrating way of using it. Switching from a large powder brush I'd usually used for bronzer to the Goss 11 for a more precise application, has helped, but honestly, this product is trying my patience.
I only got to use it between 1-2 months as advertised – in the correct, intact packaging. Everything else has been one compromise after another. It upsets me that companies make such large compacts that can't withstand normal use and predicted lifespan of the product, which for 20g, should be several years of daily use.
If the compact had not broken, the powder still cracked at a point when the majority of the product was not used up. I'd say that over half of the powder was unused when it broke. What's the point of paying more for beautiful packaging and a large amount of product, if after a fraction of its predicted use, you have to make so many compromises? I'll be honest, the product itself is just okay. What gave it value was the design and quantity. I'll do my best to use it up by Christmas, but I'm getting rid of it this year, either way.
Since cream eyeshadows are notorious for drying out, I'm making a conscious effort to use them more systematically. The Lancome Ombre Hypnose Stylo is not a formula I like – it's dry, not bendable and drags on the skin. I can't use it on its own, because it remains tacky and feels sticky when I blink, plus it creases unless it's set with a powder shadow (to be fair, that applies to all of my cream eyeshadows). Thankfully, I only have the one colour – 04 Brun Captivant – and will be focusing on it in the fall for darker everyday looks.
The Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Stick in Prohibition Pink seemed like an awesome purchase initially, but that's when I was convinced it was a twist-up pencil, which it wasn't. It took a considerable amount of effort to find a sharpener big enough for this pencil and the one I found cost as much as the eyeshadow. It's impossible to not waste product when you're sharpening the tip, so all in all it ended up being pretty bad value for money.
The product itself is just okay. The colour is not very complex, it's got a white pearly sheen and it sort of blends into my skin and just feels sticky on its own. I'm actively using it as a base and have made good progress (it's about half the size now compared to when the picture was taken). My idea was to keep it around and compare it to a By Terry Ombre Blackstar, which I'm struggling to talk myself into buying, but we'll see...
Finally, the Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in 08 Les Perles. This is the perfect example of liking something so much you never use it. But wait, you're thinking, three of those eyeshadows are showing pan! True, but the only eyeshadow I wanted out of this palette is the purple, which looks almost untouched.
I didn't really like the other three shades and was worried I'd use up the purple very fast and would be left with only the colours I disliked. Instead, I found ways to incorporate those three and made up arguments in my mind to save the purple for a more special occasion, and here's the result. I'll have no problem using up the pink and white (I use them daily for my inner corner), or the silver as it's sheer and I can wear it in the middle of my lid over almost any shadow, so I'll be left with one little lonely shadow in a quad in no time. I guarantee that having only one eyeshadow in packaging that could house four, will annoy the heck out of me, which is why I need to stop trying to preserve the Guerlain logo in that purple and start using it more often, especially now that it's nearly fall and the Yaby shadows are gone.
Phew... What-a-journey. This took a while, but it needed to be said (to myself), and if you were amused by my nonsense or saw yourself in some of it, that's great too. Until next time, bisous.