Monday, March 19, 2012

Makeup Addiction and Burnout, Part 3 - DeStash in Progress

I started working on my binder Saturday morning and finished up Sunday evening. I'd reduced this twice previously, removing all the colors I didn't wear and removing shades I'd worn and felt weren't quite right on me.

I started with the samples; since I didn't buy full sizes of these shades, I thought it would be easiest to start with them. Some of the pictures are a little dark, but I finished up in the evening and the sun was long gone. Using the flash washed everything out so I relied on the bathroom lights only.

a handful of samples
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swatching in progress
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There were three hundred and twenty seven sample sizes, and I wanted to swatch each and every one, again making the three piles - keep, maybe, go. I tried to keep similar shades together so I could easily compare them, but it's hard with that many. I ended up keeping thirty four samples, only four of which were maybes. The other two hundred and ninety three were binned. I've used them all at some point, so I didn't want to pass them along or sell them.

one page of what I kept. Some are on the second page and some are in containers
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part of the trash pile
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There's a variety of brands that were in each pile, and what was kept or trashed is no reflection upon the company. With so many samples and being within a very narrow range of colors, there's going to be similarities and I had to make often difficult decisions to continue moving forward.

I got all of those done on Saturday and started working on the full sizes Sunday. There were two hundred and ninety three full sizes, mostly in bags but a handful in containers. These were the really tough ones, since I do really love these shades.

A handful of full sizes and samples in containers
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the binder has been greatly reduced
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I ended up keeping one hundred and sixty three full sizes, far more than I wanted. But I did get rid of one hundred and thirty full sizes. That's an accomplishment, considering all of these shades had been spared on the previous clean outs. Perhaps I should've waited a few more days before tackling the full sizes; I think so many in one weekend was too much.

Some shades were eliminated due to their finish / sheen, usually too metallic or shiny base. Others were tossed because they were too green, golden, or too warm on me. There were a few shades I liked but the shimmer / sparkle in them wasn't right, usually blue or greenish, but a few even had too much red. I had a few very similar black shades with purple shimmer, one got the ax simply because I thought the size of the glitter was too big compared to the others. Some were eliminated because they were too sparkly, others because they were too plain.

trashed
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Again, no reflection upon the companies. All these shades were lovely, which was why I bought them in the first place. I've worn them all and letting go ain't easy!

With each purge, I have less and less colors to deal with, which makes it easier to compare them. All the shades I kept will be gone through again, and making it through this time doesn't mean they won't get axed down the road. My binder had been organized by brand, but is now by color. (I've switched it around a few times for various reasons.) I believe having it back in color order will make it easier to compare similar shades next time.

I think I will wait a bit, then work on these some more before I get to the unopened spares. If I can continue to narrow down, it'll make it easier to part with them. I am motivated to continue but it's a long process with all the swatching.

I'm unsure about the binder. My original plan was to get rid of it entirely, but with most of my full sizes being in the bags, it may make more sense to keep it to stay organized. I hope I can eliminate a lot more shadows before deciding on storage. If I do end up keeping it, I'll use a smaller one, and put the rest of my (mineral) shadows in bags and have them all in one place. Time and more destashing will tell.

I can say I rediscovered colors I haven't worn in a long time. That's a drawback to having so many shades, some get lost in the crowd.

Thanks for reading.  Part 4 is here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Makeup Addiction and Burnout, Part 2

**Disclaimer** remember this is not intended to belittle or minimize real addiction. Thanks.

Hubby got the new closet organizer installed and got to work. I started by swatching my shadows and made three piles - keep, maybe, get rid of. If there were similar shades, I'd keep one. It took about three days of all day swatching to get through them. I tried to make as many instant decisions as possible.

I reduced my mineral shadow spares by a little over three hundred. They were all unopened, unused, full size shadows. I'd claimed a few times that it was around 100, but I was embarrassed to admit how many it really was.

The ladies of the old AL Anon group were thrilled to snap up everything I was ready to part with. I charged what I thought were reasonable prices - less than what I'd paid for the items. Lots of ladies wanted trades only, but since I really didn't want to accept any more shadows I'd give the items away, asking only for a few dollars for shipping.

Another 250-300 shadows were opened, used full sizes that I got rid of in other ways, giving them to friends and coworkers or tossing them if there were no takers. I stopped counting those so I'm unsure, but hubby thinks it was over 300. I had loads of sample baggies, which were also given away or trashed. Some unused samples were passed along to a couple of women's organizations, although not always officially.

I took all but a handful of the full size shadows and dumped them into their matching sample bags, then put them in my binder to conserve space. I knew I still had way too much, but it was a great first step in conquering my hoard. I felt so much better, like a weight had been lifted.

I've had a few times when I opened the closet door and thought, ok, time for the next purge. I've tackled one category per day over the course of a few months, so I could be thorough instead of trying to do it all in one sitting. One day I got rid of all the mineral foundations and finishing powders. I sorted through my shadow palettes. I went through my lip products, then blushes. Traditional foundations were next, and lastly my brushes.

Here's my current stash, and ideally I'd like to get it to a point where it'll all fit in just one of these 9 inch by 6 inch plastic organizers. Yes, I realize some of you are feeling faint over that thought. I also have a Tarte Maracuja oil and a Stila One Step primer which aren't pictured. The Holika Holika cream is going to a friend next week, btw.

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The majority of the bags are full sized containers poured into the baggies. I did switch from a 3 inch binder to 2 inch one. Eventually it will be gone.

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I have a 3 drawer Sterilite organizer, which is 9 inches tall, 8 3/4 inches across, 9 inches deep; it contains spares and some nail polish.

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There's also one more plastic organizer with more dupes and some full sizes in baggies. No, you're not imagining things, there's 18 of the same shade in this last container.

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These duplicates are my elephant in the room. I know they're there, but don't acknowledge them daily. I firmly believe in grabbing the bull by the horns and my inaction on these really irks me.

I need to spend a day or two swatching them all, and finally decide keep or go. I've been slowly going through the binder, selecting one or two shades every few days. I wear them and decide, and most are going.

Do I feel I've conquered my makeup addiction? I don't know. I believe I've made good progess; I don't know many who'd willingly reduce their stash this much. I feel like I have to stroll through the makeup aisle, but I have done really well sticking to a low buy for a few months now. I also started a no buy while doing a Project 10 Pan.

I do read several blogs, and joined the NTMS FB group. I do like the ladies there and I think it helps me to be on the fringes - I get a vicarious fix and that's plenty for me.

The $50 Sephora gift card from Christmas is unspent. I'll use it for LaVanila sunscreen, which is a health care item for me, not a beauty item. The money I'm not spending on makeup is going to another fund. I'm not ready to tell the world about that, but it's a good thing.

Let this be a lesson to my fellow makeup addicts. It's wonderful to have a great collection, but don't allow it to consume you.

Thanks for reading.  Part 3 is here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Makeup Addiction and Burnout, Part 1

***Disclaimer*** This post is not intended to belittle or minimize true addiction. Thanks.

One day I realized my makeup collection was out of control, and I'm not sure how or when it happened. It was all neatly organized, but the organizer itself was a bone of contention with hubby.

I'd purchased a 7 drawer wide Sterilite organizer from WalMart for $35, and added some wheels to the bottom from a smaller cart. At 40 inches tall, 22 inches across, and 16 inches deep, I thought it would be the last organizer I'd ever need to buy.

It worked really well to store all my makeup. I found I had to keep rearranging, moving things from drawer to drawer, to stay organized. I had brushes in the top drawer, various primers and creams in the second, foundations / powders / blushes in the third, and shadows in the fourth. I had lip products, nail polishes, some perfumes, and duplicate shadows in the fifth drawer (the first deep one). For a while I had my hair dryer, brushes, and other misc items in the bottom two, but they were soon moved elsewhere to make room for more shadows. Isn't that when I should've realized I had a problem? Or should it have been when I bought the organizer in the first place?

Here's the WalMart photo, which is small so it looks reasonable!



Here's the cart, moved to the basement to hold some of Ian's old toys. I had some pictures of my makeup in it about a month after I had purchased it, but have since deleted the pics.

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It justbarelyfit in the bathroom closet. I could leave it in the closet while I applied my makeup, but had to wheel it in and out anytime I needed something from the closet. Hubby was not pleased with this, and after a while even I got annoyed having to constantly move it.

If we lived in a McMansion I could've put it in a spare room, but we live in a small home and the only spare room doubles as an office. Wheeling this organizer back and forth to the bathroom each day would've been ridiculous, as would adding a vanity, mirror, and great lighting to the spare room.

Now, hubby has space for all of his tools. We have a nice sized shed, added on a two and a half car garage, and I even created a "tool room" in the basement. The shed has outdoor tools, the garage has automotive tools, sandblast cabinet, large air compressor, welders and welding supplies, 6' tall cabinets with various other supplies, and several large Snap On Tool boxes. The tool room has all the other things that he might need around the house, and hubby's one of those who has every tool there is, and in various sizes and types.

So why, you ask, shouldn't I have space for my vast makeup collection? Tools are part of hubby's everyday life, including his job (industrial HVAC). He's mechanically minded and fixes anything and everything for us, our family members and lots of friends. The tools serve a very valuable purpose.

My makeup served only me. Did I need such an insane amount of makeup to make me happy? No. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the size of my collection was making me unhappy. The daily routine of selecting which shades to wear was cumbersome; it had ceased to be enjoyable. It felt overwhelming, suffocating me. The moment of clarity was upon me.

With all that I was facing in my daily life - a dying Grandmother with severe Alzheimers, a family who couldn't provide the necessary support either financially or emotionally yet questioned my decisions on her care, my own second guessing my actions, a husband who'd had a heart attack at 40 and my concerns due to his very poor family history, ongoing and progressively more worrisome issues with my son, fertility issues and miscarriages, accepting that I was never going to have another child, and receiving not one but two somewhat unexpected diagnoses about myself - all major issues on their own. I felt as if I'd get through one crisis and the next would knock at the door without allowing me time to breathe. Really, we all need a little break from reality from time to time and I was no exception. I'd used makeup as an escape.

Sadly makeup drama surrounding a company I loved really went into high gear around this time. It's never ending in the makeup world. It can be useful - reports of poor customer service, screwing people out of their orders, not issuing refunds, unsafe ingredients in the product, unsanitary manufacturing conditions - those are all things that we should talk about, not only to protect ourselves and each other, but to hope that the owners will make any necessary improvements.

There will always be personality conflicts and not everyone is going to like each other. So be it. Some of the comments were disgusting, and it seems to get worse with each new incident. I found I simply no longer wanted to be involved in any forums or groups. Removing myself from them did make it easier to move forward minimizing my collection.

I talked to hubby about putting a new closet organizer in the bathroom. We selected a system at Lowe's and got some sliding baskets in different sizes. I told hubby I would make sure my makeup fit in one large basket, which is 7 1/8" high, 21" wide.

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He was doubtful that I'd be able to cram it all in that basket, but I was determined. I'm stubborn that way and refuse to allow anyone to tell me I can't do something. Stubbornness helped me quit smoking. I just decided one day to quit, and although coworkers said "yeah right" I wouldn't accept failure. Threw the pack away and that was that.

With cigarettes, it was actually easy, because I just didn't buy any more. But my makeup, eek, it was everywhere, and the amount of money involved was mind boggling. I knew it would take longer and be more difficult than quitting smoking, but I was determined to get it under control.

Thanks for reading. Part 2  is here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Illamasqua Skin Base 02 and Cream Foundation CF110 & CF115 swatches

I was excited when Illamasqua announced their Skin Base last year. It's been out a while now, so I'm not going to go into great detail about it. This is more to show you swatches so you can see the shade.

I'm a big Illamasqua foundation fan. I can easily wear two different shades, the 105/110 (white with pink undertones) and 115 (very light skin with neutral undertones). I prefer the cream formula, which gives me great coverage without feeling greasy. When Skin Base was released, Illamasqua had a chart on their website to show which shade would work based on your current shade. It's gone now :( I went with shade 02, figuring the white 01 might be too light for normal use. I might get it when I run out of other Illamasqua items and need to place an order.

The Skin Base formula provides sheer coverage, lightweight, and not at all greasy. It is buildable, but I'm not one for sitting around waiting to apply layer after layer when I can easily use the cream formula and get great coverage with one layer. I'll have to try it one day when I don't have to be out the door 10 minutes after I wake up.

For those of you who like using tinted moisturizers, need only minimal coverage, or only a bit of evening out your skintone, this is a great option. It lasts all day - my "all day" is anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, and it looked great by the end of the night when I removed my makeup.


Without further ado, here's some swatches for you.
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I swiped the blob down my arm using my fingertip
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Then blended gently using a non latex sponge
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I put the CF110 on heavier than the others or it wouldn't be noticeable by the time I got outside and snapped the picture.

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Again, the CF110 was a heavy coat, but it's still not so easy to see in the picture

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The Skin Base has also practically disappeared.

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The CF115 is noticeable around the edges of the swatch, but not super obvious. It's slightly more yellow than my skin. When I wear this shade I apply it using the Illamasqua sponge that comes with the foundation, then blend further by using either a tapered or flat top facial brush (sorta like a kabuki).

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If you need swatches of Light Liquid 115 or 120, I have them posted here.

Swatches of LF115 and Rich Liquid RF105 (white with pink undertones) are posted here.

Swatches of CF110, CF115, and CF120 are posted here.

I hope you've found the pictures helpful, and thanks for looking!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Holika Holika Petite Moisture BB Cream and Illamasqua Skin Base 02

I bought both of these a couple of weeks ago, before my no buy went into effect. Since you all know about beauty balms, let's get right to the swatches, shall we? I tried to hurry up and get a few pictures during the 10 minutes the sun came out the other day.

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The opening on the Holika Holika tube is much larger than the Illamasqua, which you can see below. The plastic tube is a lighter weight and anything more than a gentle squeeze means you get too much product. The Illamasqua tube is much heavier (same as the Liquid Liquid container) so you have to give it a good squeeze.

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HH is a firmer blob, more solid, see the stiff peak. It blends nicely though.
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The Illamasqua is lighter, less viscous, than the HH.
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Swiped each little blob down, neither is blended in. I pulled about half the blob of Holika Holika onto my finger and didn't swipe it downward, since more of that came out and I wanted the amount in each swatch to be similar.
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The HH is darker, more beige. I've read it described as greige and I'd agree.
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The Illamasqua is much lighter.
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Ok, blend those babies in. I used a non latex sponge for each, not rubbing hard, just a gentle blend. The Illamasqua blends right in, while the Holika Holika is easily visible.
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a different view a couple of minutes later
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close up - very peachy
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see it? It's still visible, but you have to look for the edges.
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Here's an inside picture
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The Holika Holika isn't a terrible match, particularly when I think about many of the other liquid foundations I've tried over the last year or so. I can get away with it if I use a very small amount and blend it well. It's more yellow than my skin, but that can help minimize my redness. It's really too lightweight/sheer of a formula for me though, I generally require heavier coverage. I don't really know whether it's supposed to be buildable, I suppose thin enough layers and time between each layer would make about anything possible.

The prices vary. I bought mine on Amazon, and with the shipping it came to $11.98. That's pretty cheap! It's a 30ML tube. There are a few other formulas, they all have an SPF ranging from 25 to 30. I always use sunscreen under my makeup, I don't rely on what's in the foundation.

The Illamasqua, oh, where do I begin. I've been completely in love with Illamasqua for a while now. I've wanted to try the Skin Base since it came out, but didn't need to order anything.

Why not get it from Sephora? They don't carry it. They don't have the Skin Base at all, either in the stores or on their website. The Sephora near me doesn't have ANY Illamasqua. This sucks. I'd love to be able to sample various shades of other products, but nope. Sephora's website does offer a limited range, limited in both product and shade. I contacted Customer Service asking if they would consider carrying the 115 shade in the Cream or Liquid formula, but their answer was that they'd be happy to help me select a different brand. *stomps foot* I don't want a different brand, damnit! Illamasqua is my favorite foundation, and if they offered it in their stores and a better selection online, more people would buy it. Sorry, am I having a temper tantrum?

Ok, so since I had to order it online, and really forced myself to order only that item, it was expensive. By the time the currency was converted and add in the shipping, that 30ML tube cost me $54.44. WHAT? Yup, $54.44. *insert tears here* It's £25.00, which converts to roughly $40 US, which of course fluctuates. I must admit I nearly fell over when the package arrived three days later, all the way from the UK. I figured it would take a week to ten days.

I know this is small, but this is from my statement. But you know what? I'd buy it again. Having a great color match is worth it for me.

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I did have a coupon code but it wasn't valid on the Skin Base. Normally I'd order a bunch of items to get free shipping, but I honestly didn't need anything.

You can see from the pictures that it really blends in perfectly with my skin. I can wear both CF110 (white with pink undertones) or CF115 (very light skin with neutral undertones) successfully. I could probably use the Skin Base 01 as well, but figured I'd go with the 02. When I start running low on my current creams, I'll toss an 01 in the basket too.

Like the Holika Holika, it's a very lightweight, sheer formula. While it does match my skin wonderfully, I really require heavier coverage. It is buildable, but in all honesty I'm not one to sit there waiting to apply layer after layer when I can just grab my Illamasqua Cream, put on one layer, and be done with it.

For you Illamasqua fans, I'm working on a post comparing the Skin Base 02 to the two cream shades. I lent my Light Liquid and Rich Liquid to a friend, so can't really compare them side by side for you til I get them back.

Hope you've found this information helpful, and thanks for looking.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Goth Look for NTMS Showcase

I haven't done any looks for a while, but the Never Too Much Sparkle showcase was a Goth Look this week. I figured I could handle that.

I'm going to bombard you with silly pictures now. The first three are outside with no flash.

This is the one I posted for the showcase, complete with black lenses.
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eyes down so you can see the shadow
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my own eyes. I like the color but they look too light with dark shadows.
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Hubby says I look like I'm in my coffin. Duh, it's the bed.
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another with flash, but you can see the shadow and lip color!
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I used the "retouch" for this one, to minimize the huge red vein and weird spot on my eye. I ought to play with this more to figure out how to erase my wrinkles!
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Here's what I have on:

Face
Fyrinnae Gel Silica Primer
Illamasqua CF110 foundation

Eyes
Evil Shades nude primer
Fyrinnae Immortality on the lid, under eye
Fyrinnae Nevermore in the crease
Fyrinnae Dinosaur Plushie just above that & along browbone
Fyrinnae Pure Sugar on browbone
MAC Greaspaint stick in black as liner
Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara
MAC Mineralize Cinderfella in brows (which really need waxing, sorry)

I didn't use any false lashes because I'm out of glue. D'oh!

Lips
MAC Black Knight Cremesheen lipstick along edges
Fyrinnae Coffin Velvet lip lustre all over

Hair
HeadRazor 26" wavy black and purple falls. They clip right in on enormous jaw clips. Yes, I realize my reddish bangs are showing through the purple. Eh, what can you do.

I enjoyed doing a look for the group, particularly since it was well within my comfort zone. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow - Sultry Smoke & Perpetual Purple

I didn't buy these - a friend recently dropped by and swore up and down she bought them for herself, swatched them, and didn't like them. I know she'd never wear either shade, but she also knows I'd never allow her to buy items for me, particularly while I'm really trying to stick to this no buy. It was a nice treat :)

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It's been overcast for days, but the sun managed to poke out for a few quick minutes so I rushed to snap some pics. Couldn't seem to get a good picture without a shadow creeping in, sorry.

The Sultry Smoke is a not quite matte grey shade. There's a bit of shimmer in there which is just enough, IMO. The Perpetual Purple is a blackened purple color with multicolored shimmer. Both are really pretty.

I haven't worn either yet but if their staying power is anything like the other two Infallible shades I bought (Endless Pearl and Eternal Black) I'll be quite happy.

Thanks for looking!