Sunday, October 31, 2010

Inventory #4: Concealers

I think concealers are the smallest batch.  Here goes.

From left to right:

Makeup Forever Full Coverage Concealer (90% full):  When and how I will finish this, I don't know.  It takes very very little to get the coverage that you need, and splitting my time between this and the other three, I'm going to take an eternity to ever finish it.  But this is a great product and well worth the money since it's water-resistant and provides full coverage.  Verdict:  Do my best to finish it before expiry.

Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Concealer (80% full):  This one is quite pricey as well but you don't get as much out of the tube.  I'd love to take the packaging apart and see how much is actually inside.  But it works so well that this is the second time that I've purchased this product.  I've been using it much more than the Full Coverage Concealer lately, and I'm likely to finish it again.  Verdict:  Finish it.

TheBalm Time Balm Concealer (90% full):  This one is specifically for the undereye area, while the previous two I just apply anywhere that I feel needs coverage.  The marketing for this says it's good for day, night and even during sleep... but I don't know that it can be better for your eye than an actual moisturizer.  I have a fondness for TheBalm, so I keep getting their stuff, but there are better concealers than this out there.  I'm stuck with it until I finish it.  Verdict:  Finish it.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (as part of the Big Beautiful Eyes Palette) (55% full):  Hallelujah, you can actually see the bottom of the pan in this one!  If you suffer from dark undereye circles, Boi-ing is a pretty good concealer.  Buy the individual concealer in either light, medium or dark.  I would get it again, and I'm hoping Benefit will come out with more shades in the future, because we're not all light/medium/dark, ya know.  Verdict:  FINISH IT!!!

It's a good thing I have plenty of acne scars to keep these concealers useful... *mutter mutter*

Inventory #3: Powders

I don't even like powder very much but here I am with five.  Four full and one mini.  Why?!?

From left to right:

Physician's Formula Multi-Colored Pressed Powder in Beige:  I've made a very slight dent in the centre from four months of continuous use.  Then one day I noticed that it made my face darker than it was supposed to be.  Off it went to storage until I became more tanned.  Verdict:  Use as bronzer or to be thrown away after one more summer.

Cover FX Setting FX Transluscent Setting Powder:  This is my favourite loose powder right now.  It sort of diffuses the colours on your face nicely and does help keep the oils under control.  Verdict:  Use until finished.

Makeup Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation:  Previously mentioned here.  I like dusting it after foundation with a kabuki brush.  Verdict:  Use until finished.

L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder:  Its foundation counterpart is amazing but I'm not as crazy about this powder.  It is the oldest of the bunch, so I do think its expiry is imminent.  Not sure why I'm still hanging on to it.  Verdict:  To be tossed... soon.

Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder:  I received this sample and a makeup bag at The Bay counter when I purchased the Mat Velvet foundation and Full Coverage Concealer.  I would say it's not as amazing as all the beauty gurus out there are lauding it to be.  It seems to leave a streak of white finish behind, unlike the Cover FX which I like much better.  Verdict:  Will give away.  [Feb 2011:  I did not give this away and in fact gave it another try. There are days when it works amazingly and keeps me matte all day, but there are other days when it feels ineffective. I'm still trying to pinpoint why, so I'll be adding an edited review when I figure it out.] 

Next post:  Concealers.

Inventory #2: Primers

God bless/damn whoever it was that came up with facial primers.  I was all for it when Smashbox came up with their original Photo Finish, but it broke me out and I ended up giving an 80% full bottle to a friend.  Then they caught on and came up with the Light version, which I did test and found was pretty decent to my oily skin.  I've used about a good half of it when I suddenly became disenchanted with it.  It had to do with the rediscovery of the Laura Mercier primer which felt so much better and lighter on my skin.  And somehow I ended up with an extra sample of the original Smashbox primer which I'm not going to use.

From left to right:

Cover FX SkinPrep FX Treatment & Priming Serum (70% full):  This product is amazing.  It's the second full size I purchased and it's so good for your skin that it helps clear up whatever issue you have going on at the moment, be it dryness or even acne.  Sometimes I use it in lieu of a moisturizer and it's been so good to my skin.  I'm a devotee of this product and will probably continue to repurchase this.  Verdict:  Using to the last drop.

Cover FX ClearPrep FX Matte Foundation Primer and Anti-Acne Treatment (50% full):  Not bad but not as great as the long-ass name proclaims.  It certain did not clear up any acne nor did it mattify.  I'm not sure that I see any difference whether I wear this under foundation or not.  Verdict:  Since it's a sample size and not harmful, I'll use it until finished.

Cover FX BritePrep FX Brightening Foundation Primer and Photo-Aging Defense (90% full):  This thing makes me break out whenever I go near it.  It's super greasy and not great as a primer at all.  The only good thing about it is that it has SPF 50.  Maybe it's good for those with dry skin?  I don't know.  Verdict:  Will give away to someone with dry skin.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (25% full):  I believe this is not even the oil-free version but it absorbs so nicely into the skin and adds dewiness without grease and oil.  I'm going to run out of this baby in a few days but now this project forbids me to replace it until I'm finished all the others.  Drat.  Verdict:  Finish it by next Friday.

Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Color Adjust (green) (99% full):  This was my latest purchase despite my misgivings about Smashbox primers.  I've been wanting to try colour-correctors for a while and thought this would help cover up some of the acne and acne scars I've been struggling with.  Big mistake.  Its texture and finish is the same as the original Photo Finish which broke me out.  Verdict:  Returning to Sephora.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (100% full):  Don't like it, will never use it.  Verdict:  Will give away at first opportunity.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light (45% full):  Eh, it's not bad but not great.  I guess I'll just keep using it.  Verdict:  Finish and toss.

Next post:  Powders

Inventory #1: Foundations

The average person I know has one foundation she relies on on a daily basis, or maybe two at most.  If you're a junkie like me, you're constantly seeking out the next best thing, whether you're happy with what you have or not.  I have seven different foundations, and there is no way I'm going to finish all of them without slathering myself with each of them several times a day every single day.

The stash:

From left to right:

Cargo Oil Free Lightweight Liquid Foundation (80% full):  It's actually an amazing product.  I've been complimented on how good my skin looks each time I've worn it.  I bought it for half its regular price from Sephora when they phased out the brand some time last year.  It lay at the bottom of my stash all year until I rediscovered it a month ago.  As the name states, it's lightweight and provides minimal coverage.  But it does even out the skin tone and adds a luminous glow.  Currently I mix it with other foundations to get the extra coverage that I need, and also because it's not an exact match for my skin shade.  Verdict:  To be finished to the last drop.

MAC Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation (20% full):  It was my respectable daily wear foundation all of last year after I ran out of my favourite Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation.  It's a great foundation and I've almost finished it, but I got sidetracked when spring came.  I anticipated a gorgeous summer tan and decided that I needed something more matte and darker than the usual shade.  At this point I just want to finish it and be rid of it.  Verdict:  To be finished to the last drop.  Deadline: December 31, 2010.

Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation (50% full):  This is the foundation I cheated on the MAC Studio Sculpt with.  It's a great summer foundation for those with oily skin.  True to the name, it keeps the face matte and has a nice velvet finish.  Unfortunately my "tan" faded super fast and suddenly this great product is too dark for me.  I've been mixing it with the Cargo foundation to get that perfect colour match, which works out well in the end but is such a pain in the ass in the morning.  Verdict:  To be finished to the last drop.

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (95% full):  The most expensive and the most disappointing one of the bunch.  I know that it's holy grail foundation for many people out there, and I got it with a giftcard upon the recommendation of a fellow beauty junkie friend.  It looked great in the store when I tested it, but on the way home it oxidized on my oily skin and the colour just doesn't match as precisely as I want it to.  It's also not luminous on my skin at all, and I was probably better off with its matte sister product instead.  I would exchange it except that I've already gone back to exchange it for a different shade (which was worse than this current one) and I've used 5 pumps of it already and don't feel right about taking it back to the store in that state.  I have worn it mixed with the MUFE or Cargo and those combinations seem to work out fine.  Verdict:  Undecided.  (To be sold, exchanged, given away, returned, or used to the last drop.)

Vincent Longo Liquid Canvas Dew Finish SPF 15 Foundation (95% full):  It seems that I like to waste the most expensive products.  Vincent Longo was sold at Sephora for a while and their prices were so ridiculously high that I never had the nerve to buy any of their products until everyone else decided the same thing and Sephora phased out the brand.  I snatched the last remaining shade that looked like it would work on my skin and bought it for 50% of the original price.  It's a really strange texture, which is why I didn't use much of it before I abandoned it for something else.  Now it's become a few years old and should be tossed.  However, I can't resist the urge to re-test it again just to see if there is any magic left in the product I may have overlooked.  Verdict:  To be reluctantly thrown away after one last very risky and unwise testing.

TheBalm Time Balm Foundation (99% full):  My newest purchase.  I got suckered into buying it during a drugstore promotion.  The prize was a free full size blush called Hot Mama, also from TheBalm.  Love the blush, but not the foundation.  I prefer liquid foundations so the texture of this product takes some getting used to.  It's a cream foundation, not a cream-to-powder, so you really have to use it sparingly and work/blend it well into the skin.  It felt slightly heavy and mask-like on my face today, so I may use it as a concealer instead, since it did cover acne scars well.  Verdict:  To be used a few more times to determine worth.  Possibly to be used as concealer with reduced prestige in the morning lineup.

Makeup Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation (90% full):  I've been using this as a finishing powder, not foundation.  Because the MUFE Mat Velvet worked out so well, I was convinced that this would also have a great mattifying effect, and that the two would keep my face perfectly dry and shine-free all day.  Not quite so but it is a worthy and respectable product that kept me shine-free from 9am to midnight on a very strenuous day in August.  Verdict:  To be tested with a wet sponge for different effect and complete its life cycle as either a foundation or powder.

Next up:  Primers.

The Name of the Game

I forgot to set out the strict rules I'm going to adhere to for the next 365 days.  Here's the plan.
  1. List every single beauty product I own, whether they're sample size or full size.

  2. Do my best to either finish the products and toss them (recycling the container when possible) or get rid of them if I absolutely can't finish them for some reason (my skin reacts badly, it makes me physically ill, it makes me look like a clown, they're expired, etc.)

  3. The next one here is crucial.  I am not allowed to buy new products until I have finished the entirety of that category.  For example, no new foundation until I finish/get rid of every single one I already have in my possession!  (Ack, what am I doing to myself???)  [Exemptions: blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, lippies and nail polish.]

  4. The only way I can get new products are under these strict conditions:
    (a)  if I run out of an entire category (I'll have a new post dedicated to each category);
    (b)  if they are given to me as gifts;
    (c)  I need it in order to accomplish something extremely important (I can't imagine what at the moment but life has a way of throwing curves at you the second you make vows)
This all sounds awfully difficult, so here's the reward portion of the program.  Once I do get rid of an entire category of products, I am allowed to splurge on one replacement item of any price range.  Because if I am sticking to only one product per category after all this trouble, it had better be good.