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De-stash & Trash – Summer 2015: Makeup, Beauty, & Fragrance

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.

Beauty Sponge

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.

Travatan Z

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.

De-stash & Trash – May 2015

May was so busy! We spent a lot of time traveling or preparing to travel and then I hurtled directly into our busy season at work. I guess, I can rest when I’m dead, right?


First off, my Real Techniques sponge/Beauty Blender experiment has a definitive result. I’ve spent the past six months alternating between the two sponges. Using them with the same foundations, cleaning them with the same soaps the same way. While I felt performance was comparable, I went through four Real Techniques sponges before my Beauty Blender started to wear out. Which means, I spent $4.00 more during that time on the inexpensive sponges than I did the high end.

When I first started using the Real Techniques sponges, they would last a good three months with daily use. Now I’m lucky to get six weeks with every-other-day use before they start to disintegrate. I hate to throw down $20 just for a sponge, but with the decline in Real Techniques’ quality, the Beauty Blender is actually the most economical choice.


I did a lot of traveling this month! I picked up a couple packs of these to use so I wouldn’t have to take a whole bottle of micellar water with me. They actually did a pretty good job removing face makeup and didn’t hurt my skin like most wipes do.


I also grabbed samples and things that were almost used used up to take with me on my travels. I got this gel moisturizer in a beauty box. It was very blue. It did moisturize, but I’m starting to learn that I don’t like gels very much for my own skin. It didn’t sit under makeup well, and it wasn’t moisturizing enough for nighttime.


Finished off a Jordana 24hr Made to Last eye pencil. It looks like there’s a lot left, but it wouldn’t sharpen anymore. I really, really like this pencil! It’s one of the few I’ve tried that doesn’t transfer on my watery allergy eyes when I tightline. It’s easy to use, inexpensive, and removes fairly easily.


I finally finished this concealer! I ended up cutting the tube open and scraping out the remainer once it got hard to squeeze out. I started to miss it after a couple of weeks and ended up getting another tube.


I actually finished off a couple of these this last month. I have them in a few spots in the house. Vanity, bedside table, living room, bathroom. My daily routine isn’t always routine. I love this stuff and how gentle and effective it is!


This was okay. I love me some serums and this one was as effective as anything else I use. But while most other serums take me 2-3 months to use up, this one only lasted about three weeks. And it was spendy, even at TJ Maxx prices.


This was last year’s sunscreen. Time to replace it!


Good old Coty Airspun unscented. This did the job, but I found an Indie powder foundation that I like for that purpose as well as for setting. So I probably won’t repurchase.


So, I my skin pretty much burns right through SPF no matter how much I apply. I got some sun while I was out of town and ended up dark enough to wear this and give it a good test. I was surprised at how oily my t-zone was after wearing this for a while! It might be a good full-coverage option for winter for me.


Got through a bottle of Rainbow Honey cuticle oil in the Frozen Flame scent. I really enjoyed it!


Finished off a couple of toners. The first was nice! It felt refreshing, tingly, and hydrating at the same time. It had a natural herbal scent to it. I’ve always had good luck with Andalou Naturals.


Garden Girl’s Soothing Harmony is my favorite toner so far. I like to try other things, but I keep coming back to this one.


I switched out my Clarisonic head this month. This was the radience one. I definitely didn’t like it as much as the sensitive. The bristles are longer and softer and they bunched together. I had to do some scrubbing to feel like it was effective.


I de-stashed some skin products. The Andalou Naturals BB Cream is pretty much done. L’oreal Visible Lift had a gritty texture I didn’t care much for. The sunscreen is expired in that tinted moisturizer. I never did get the Konad CC cream to work for me. It just made me look orange. And the Manic Panic white foundation was a good idea, but my skin reacted badly to it. I’ve since found other white foundations I like for mixing that don’t burn.

Project 10 Pan 2015 – 2 Month Update

After my second month of panning, I now know why so many people work with a deadline. I don’t think a year-long rolling project is going to work for me. First of all, I like deadlines. I enjoy having a target to aim for. I know this about myself, so why I didn’t start with the deadline method is beyond me.

Second of all, I’m getting bored and want to play with the rest of my collection. (Because, honesty!)

So, I think I’m going to adjust a bit.

I’ll keep Pan That Palette going all year. That one naturally lends itself to supplementing with other things as I finish shadows up.  For Project Pan I’ll finish out the month without rolling new products in as I finish. That’ll be the end of quarter one. I’ll keep Project Product going through quarter two. Quarter three will be another Project Pan and four will be a product.

I think this will work better for me!

I decided to keep this month’s update simple since so many of the products are the same.


First up are the face products!

1) Trucking right along with the Andalou Naturals BB Cream. It’s difficult to tell exactly how much I have in there since the packaging is opaque, but I settled on the level after some tapping and squishing.

2) I transferred the Cover Girl Clean foundation into the cleaned and sanitized air pump bottle the NYC peptide serum was in. The triangular bottle and thick consistency was making it a messy pain in the butt to use. I’m still mixing it with a drop of oil and applying it over the BB cream, and that seems to work for my skin.

3) The Rimmel Match Perfection concealer stopped dispensing. I cut the tube open and scraped out the leftover product. It should last me another few weeks at least! (I have to admit, I bought another one of these today. It’s a dependable concealer, and I have a couple untrieds.)


4) I think I’ll be using this Meow Cosmetics mineral eyeshadow sample until the end of time. It takes so very little on the brush to get color payoff. I’m really enjoying it!

5) Better Than Sex mascara smudges and transfers on me so immediately and severely that it looks like I’ve been having some. I’ve been able to use this under a tubing mascara and that lets me get through the day without it melting down my face, but at the sacrifice of the wonderful things it does for my lashes. And I have two more sample tubes of this stuff.

6) Milani eye primer. Does the job and does it well!

7) I finally sharpened the eyebrow pencil! The beauty mark has never looked better.

8) Tough as Taupe. *sigh* Still struggling with this one. Especially since I bought a new Color Tattoo and was subsequently reminded what the actual texture of these is supposed to be like. I think I’ll try the saline-and-microwave trick. If I still hate it at the end of this project, it shall be de-stashed.


9) I’m enjoying the Julep gloss more than I thought I would. It’s a little too light, but sheer enough. Sticky, but not too sticky. I might consider getting this in a slight deeper shade.

10) And finally, I’m rotating in another lip balm. Burt’s Bees with coconut and pear. I got a four pack from my lovely sister-in-law for Christmas, and I want to get to work on them since they’re natural.

Finished Products
Rainbow Honey Lip Balm
Nyx dewey finish setting spray
Korrres face primer
Rainbow Honey Frozen Flame rollerball

Project 10 Pan 2015 – 1 Month Update

I’m one month into my project pan. I’ve made lots of progress on some things and on other things…well…not so much.


1) Korres Face Primer – I’m so close to finishing this up! One or two more uses and it’ll be done.


2) Milani Eyeshadow Primer – Making steady progress here!


3) Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer – This is the concealer that doesn’t end! I have been using it under the eyes and down onto the cheeks. It does a really good job at covering redness there without settling into pores there.


4) Ofra Eyebrow Pencil – I haven’t even sharpened the darned thing. I don’t like it for much, but I do use it to darken my beauty mark when it fades under foundation.


5) Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe – I’m really struggling with this one. The shade is much, much cooler than my camera makes it look. It makes my eyelids look bruised because I can’t get it sheered out enough. It’s starting to get too crumbly to work with.  I have been lining my eyes with it and topping it with black shadow. I think I might give myself till the end of March and if I’m still dreading the sight of it in my makeup bag, I’ll just let it go.


6) Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – This stuff transfers like a mother. On me anyway. So many mascaras do, so I can’t judge it on that alone. The first time I wore it to work I ended up looking like a football player by lunch time. I love what it does for my lashes though! To try to make it work, I’ve started to pair it with some tubing and waterproof mascaras that I have open with inconsistent results. I have something else in mind to try!


Last month.


This month!

7) I made fairly good progress on the lip balm, if I do say so myself. I have never finished one before. Never. In 36 years. I may have myself a squee when it’s finally gone.


8) Slowly making my way through the BB cream. It’s very moisturizing and has a nice texture, but it’s just too dark for me. So…


9) …I’m using a foundation over it! This Cover Girl Clean is almost the right shade but it’s drier than what my skin likes. Pairing it with the BB cream and a little oil makes for a nice finish. I figured I should just cycle it into the project.


Julep Lip Gloss in Adored.

10) I very rarely buy lip products on purpose, but somehow have ended up with a bunch. To try to use them up, I’m going with a first-in-first-out strategy. This gloss came in a Julep box before we were able to customize. It’s sheer enough that I feel comfortable slapping it on during the day and sticky enough that it stays on fairly well in between breaks at work.


11) I’m cycling in one more product because the primer will probably be gone before this goes up. This is a mineral eyeshadow sample from Meow cosmetics that will gow with the palette I’m panning.

Finished Products
NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray
Rainbow Honey Rollerball in Frozen Flame

Project 10 Pan 2015

My very first project pan! I outlined my rules here. Where possible, I’ve marked levels with blue Sharpie.



My first product is a lip balm! (Ambitious, right?) Rainbow Honey’s nourishing lip balm in l’orange ganache.  My lips really like this, so I want to make sure to use it up before I lose it in the couch cushions or leave it in an old purse.



Next up is NYX’s Dewey Finish setting spray. I use this after powder and before mascara. It does a good job at tamping down the powder and giving my skin a nice finish. I’m not super fond of all the alcohol on my dry skin, though and I’m anxious to try something new.



This is a really nice BB cream! Like everything else out there, it’s a little too dark for me but it’s sheer enough to work under a powder foundation that matches me while giving me some SPF.



I like this concealer enough to eventually destroy the packaging to get to the stuff clinging to the side. I’ve been bringing it down onto my cheeks to help with redness coverage.



The Ofra eyebrow pencil. I got this in an Ipsy bag.  Now, I like my eyebrows. They don’t need a lot of tweezing or augmentation and I like ’em unruly. So brow products are lost on me. I tried this as an eyeliner but I didn’t like it that way. So I use it to darken the small mole above my lip after foundation. This is going to take a while to use up.



I’ve been on the hunt for a nice silicone-free primer. This one is nice! It had a citrusey smell and feels like moisturizer. But I don’t know if it does much more than that.



This actually does do good things for my eyeshadow. But I have other primers waiting in the queue.



I somehow ended up with two pots of Tough as Taupe and two other shades of Color Tattoo. They and I are now in a race to determine whether I can use them up before they dry out. Ready, set, GO!



I don’t wear much perfume or cologne. I’m allergic to a lot of scents and much of what I’m not allergic to turns on me and ends up smelling off. This does neither. It’s Rainbow Honey’s Frozen Flame. (I promise, I’m not sponsored by them! I just like their stuff and have a subscription to their mystery bag. They’ll be on here a lot.)



I ended up with three samples of this over the past couple months. It’s a nice formula application-wise but it transfers under my eyes like crazy. I’m going to experiment with layering this under other mascaras to see if that helps.