I take a break from just about everything during the summer. While the rest of the world is vacationing and enjoying a break from school, librarians are enduring their busiest season of the year. I live and work in a 40,000+ town in one of the fastest growing counties in the country. This summer, our library had over 2,000 kids participating in the annual Summer Reading Program with attendance that ranged from 60-350 at any given event with each kid checking out dozens and dozens of items afterward, creating a never-ending stream of people from open to close.
And exactly how are libraries obsolete again?
We outnumbered our main branch (which is twice as big as ours in a city three times the size) in program attendance and came within 300 of their SRP sign-ups. Despite the huge numbers of people walking in our doors and the ever-growing statistics, we’re working with fewer man hours than we were when I was hired in a decade ago because our town council can’t really wrap its collective head around the fact that we’re an essential service, and that all these people moving into our area come from places that actually value education and culture. They’ve kept our funding level for three years straight.
Now, we’re much luckier than a lot of libraries in our area – even the metropolitan one in the county next door. Many budgets are getting outright cut. But there’s one significant difference: most of those communities have stagnant or decreasing population. Ours has doubled in a decade.
So, I’ve spent the last few months working, eating, sleeping, and working without much energy for anything else. I have, however, been keeping track of the stuff I use up for an epic three-part D&T.
I discarded my last ever Real Techniques Beauty Sponge. I used to love these, but I’ve noticed the quality decreasing over the past year or so. This particular sponge disintegrated after its second use and wash. I’ll be springing for the Beauty Blender from now on.
I tried out a lot of mascara this summer. I actually finished the Tarte Gifted and loved it. Almost more than their Lights, Camera, Lashes. It made my lashes look thick and fluttery at the same time, but just like L,C,L, it transferred on me like a mother. I used a waterproofer over it and that made it last all day without flaking or smudging.
I finished a couple of tubes of Cover Girl’s Professional Remarkable Waterproof mascara – one ran out at the very beginning of the summer and the other I used throughout. This is a very dry formula, which I enjoy quite a bit. My lashes are long – even longer now, but we’ll go through that in a sec – and anything that’s wet tends to make me look like Tammy Faye Baker. This stuff builds nicely and doesn’t smudge or transfer at all when I use it by itself. The downside to the formula is that it tends to dry up about two months in. But it’s an everyday workhorse mascara for me, and the benefits outweigh the longevity by a long shot!
The last two mascaras I didn’t like at all. Urban Decay’s Perversion applied all right, but about a half an hour after application, I started to itch. The itch just got worse the longer I wore it, and I noticed some redness on the lids after I removed it. And it started to smudge underneath my eyes almost immediately. I could deal with the smudging, but the reaction will keep me from trying Urban Decay mascaras in the future.
Finally, Essence’s Get Big! Lashes was also a smudger. It didn’t do much for my lashes besides darkening them a little. I got it as a freebie, so I didn’t feel bad just getting rid of it.
This is a medication, but I felt like I needed to talk about it here because it does influence my beauty routine quite a bit. Over the summer I was diagnosed with high eye pressure – I’m extremely nearsighted, so this is probably the cause. I could have had surgery, but opted for the nightly eyedrops instead. I learned later that one of the side effects of the drops was eyelash growth and possible darkening of the iris, similar to Latisse. (In fact, Latisse and eyelash growth serums like it were derived from glaucoma drops like Travatan.)
I’ve been on the drops for a little over two months and I have seen a significant change in my eyelashes. They’re much longer, thicker, and darker. I actually had an awkward growing-out period where they were downright unruly. I have not had any iris darkening, but the tech at my doctor’s office said that, although very few people experience this, my blue/green/gold eyes seem to be the type that it happens to the most. So we’ll see.
I decided to de-stash this blue Rimmel eyeliner. I try blue eyeliner every single summer, expecting it to be a fun pop of color. I haven’t found a blue yet that doesn’t clash with my eyes. I have resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not comfortable working with blue. Purple on the other hand…
I’m also de-stashing this NYX concealer. It was one of the first I’d purchased after getting back into makeup. It’s a couple of years old, is too hard to use for undereyes and, in the rare event that I need facial concealer, it doesn’t really cover well.
I picked up a Becca foundation on Hautelook. While it was pale enough for me, it made my skin itch and burn almost immediately. I took it off right away, but the redness and tenderness lasted for a couple of days. The only other foundation I had this sort of reaction to was Stila’s Illuminating Liquid Foundation. I’m beginning to think I need to stay away from anything that says “radiant” or “illuminating.” I have started keeping track of ingredients to try to figure out what I might be allergic to.
I generally don’t try much fragrance because I’m kind of sensitive to them, but I keep getting samples. So I figure I might as well sniff them, at least. The first might as well have been called Versace Instant Headache. I couldn’t get it out of my house fast enough! Marc Jacob’s Mod Noir was actually pretty nice. It was a clean, unisex scent that I actually wore for awhile. It lasted well and didn’t turn on me. (Which is another problem I have with perfumes. Rose in particular is my nemesis!) While I wouldn’t spend the dough on this one particularly, I would be happy to try another sample.
So that’s it!
In addition to daily swatches, I should have the summer skincare and nail care D&T coming up in the next little while, as well as a special project polish post.