Budget Beauty Buy | 40 Coastal Scents Shadow Pots

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight
I realized recently that I’ve turned into a snob when it comes to … well, most things, but especially makeup and skincare. Even if there was an affordable dupe, I would tend toward the most expensive version simply because of how it would look on my vanity or the assumption that cheaper = lower quality, always. Since that realization I’ve been making deliberate efforts to try a wide variety of brands. 
I’m never going to be the girl with a minimalist makeup collection – I like too many different finishes and colors and I love having the option to wear bizarre colors if I so choose. That said, I don’t need to spend $50+ on an eyeshadow palette full of yellows & oranges if I only wear those shades a few times a year, ya feel me? I’ve done that way too often this year, so when Coastal Scents was having a big sale over the 4th of July weekend, I decided to take advantage of some brights (and neutrals) in order to really give some budget shadows a chance. 
Coastal Scents Shadow Pots are typically $1.95 a pop, but they often run half-off sales – I’d recommend waiting until one of these sales so you can load up on $0.99 shadows. Coastal Scents has over 350 shadow pots to choose from, so I tried to take my time and do my research. I chose these shades based on a variety of things: if they were recommended by name through makeup artists I trust, if they were highly reviewed on the Coastal Scents website, and if I could find swatches of them in a blog post. The latter factor is partially what’s inspiring me to write this – I could find lots of blog posts with swatches, but not for every shade I wanted to try.
I put together a cool-toned palette and a warms & brights palette using Coastal Scent’s 12-pan and 28-pan shadow palettes (which are $6 and $10, respectively). There is an option for a solid black palette, but I prefer clear tops, though they get smudged and dirty, so that I can easily see which shadows are where. The palettes are magnetized, too, so it’s easy to pop pans in and out with minimal effort. 
Click through for a look at swatches of all 40 shades! 

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 labeled white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight
I’ll start with my smaller, 12-pan cool toned palette, though it clearly isn’t perfectly cool. I do want to mention that I have not played with every shadow for actual eye looks yet, so they could end up performing better with primer or could end up having a lot of unexpected fallout, etc., but as far as swatching goes I was pretty impressed. 
As usual, I have to mention my disappointment with brands using “gypsy” as a marketing tool when they probably meant “bohemian” in the first place … which would’ve been alliterative and everything! 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight swatches swatch swatched
Finger swatches on bare skin (a.k.a. no primer)
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac swatches swatch swatched
+ White Silver | Described as “a shimmering white hue with silver sparks” with sheer application and a shimmer finish. Though it is too shimmery for a browbone shade, I have really loved it so far as an inner corner highlight. 
+ Bermuda Sand | Described as “a smooth, brown-taupe hue with a satin finish” with semi-opaque application and a satin finish. I’ve tried using it as a base eyeshadow, but it’s a little too dark and pigmented for that. Bermuda Sand is probably my favorite of the mattes (thus far) and I think it’ll be a great crease shade.
+ Ashen | Described as “a light greyish-taupe hue with a satiny finish” with semi-opaque application and a satin finish. Semi-opaque or even sheer is definitely right, but I still think it’s pretty and works as a nice, sheer wash of color on more no-makeup days. It blended easily and could be built up through finger application vs. the fluffy brush I used to apply it all over. 
+ Brownstone | Described as “a matte shade with a medium brown hue” with opaque application and a matte finish. This is … my least favorite shadow, I believe. I haven’t used it in a look yet, but I’m unimpressed by the patchiness of the swatch. 
+ Ice Ballet | Described as “a frosty, pastel purple with a shimmer finish” with semi-opaque application and a shimmer finish. Though the website describes it as such,  I was still expecting a white/silver eyeshadow with more of a lavender duochrome flip. Imagine my surprise at receiving a true lavender shimmer! It was soft and pigmented during swatching. 
+ Antique Lilac | Described as “a classic twist to pale violet with an opaque, matte finish” with … obviously … opaque application and a matte finish. This shade is really pretty, but I had to work to build up that swatch. If they had described the application as sheer or maybe even semi-opaque, I wouldn’t be disappointed, but opaque? That’s a real stretch. I’m going to keep working with it, since I don’t have anything like it in my collection, but just know going into this shade that it’s much more sheer than advertised. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight swatch swatched swatches
+ Perfect Plum | Described as a “satiny, purple shade” with opaque application and a satin finish. Purples seem to be a challenge for most companies, from low end to high end, so I’m happy with the opacity of this one. It applied better with a wet brush (I use Mac Fix+ spray to wet my brushes) and was very pretty, but a little too easy to sheer out. 
+ Ash Grey | Described as a “neutral, monochrome hue with an opaque, matte finish”. I’ll let you guess the intended application and finish. I like how this swatches, but haven’t had a chance to give it a fair try yet. I forgot to add a crease shade last night so I tried to layer this into the crease over Perfect Plum and ended up making a bit of a muddy mess. Swatch-wise, though, I feel that this is one of the better mattes. 
+ Brandeis Blue | Described as “a cobalt blue shade with a dazzling purple iridescence” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. I’m really happy with how brilliant this shade is! It’s another that’s better when I pat it on with my fingers, as the brush can blend out a bit of the pigment. I didn’t notice any purple iridescence in the pan or on my eye, but that’s fine with me as I like this cerulean blue shade as-is. 
+ Tanzanite | Described as a “velvety, deep blue shade” with a satin finish and opaque application. This is another shade that I expected to be different than it is, though who knows why – it’s a navy satin. Though it’s described as “velvety, deep blue” (which, I mean, navy is) I was expecting something a little more special. I found this shadow to be a little difficult to work with – workable, but not worth the effort for me when I have better navy shadows in my collection. 
+ Gypsy Blue | Described as “a beautiful haze of light blue with subtle undertones of grey and gold” with satin finish and opaque application. This was really pretty as a inner corner highlight in combination with Brandeis Blue on the lid and Tanzanite on the outer corner. It’s very similar to Niagara & I don’t know what anyone would need both – of the two, I prefer Niagara. 
+ Elven Midnight | Described as a “gleaming gunmetal hue” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. So far I really like this shadow! It’s darker than I’d normally choose, but the silvery shimmer finish keeps it interesting. It also leans a little purple, which I like. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette
And now for my warm/bright palette! After swatching I’ve realized there are a few shadows I’d like to switch around (for example, Ashen might be better in this palette and Mai Tai might be better in the cool palette, while I could switch Niagara and Gypsy Blue around without ever knowing the difference). 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette labels labeled
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatched swatches
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette caramel ice aluminum taupe niagara victorian pear mai tai mauve frost canyon coral swatch swatched swatches
+ Caramel Ice | Described as “a frosted, pale caramel hue with a shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application. So far, it’s been a nice brow highlight & inner corner shade. I think it’s interesting to see what Coastal Scents considers to be opaque & semi-opaque, though, as I feel that Caramel Ice is a highly pigmented, nice shimmer shadow. 
+ Aluminum Taupe | Described as “a dark metallic silver hue with a shimmery finish” and semi-opaque application. This is a gorgeous shade, though I certainly wouldn’t describe it as “dark metallic”, or silver, or, again, as semi-opaque. It’s pale enough to be a pretty inner corner shade and, to my eye, seems to function as a shimmery Bermuda Sand. 
+ Niagara | Described as “a wash of bluish-green with a shimmery finish” and opaque application. To me, Niagara functions the way I expected Gypsy blue to, and it comes across as a pale blue-gold duochrome. Right now I’m wearing it on my inner corner and under my eye as a liner, and I’m really loving it in combination with 18 Karat Gold on my lid and Kodiak on my outer corner – the combo pulls out the greeny-gold of Niagara while still adding the brightness of a pastel blue. 
+ Victorian Pear | Described as “a creamy off-white hue with a slight green tint” and a satin finish with sheer application. It is sheer and pretty, more of a dusty rose than an “off-white”. In the pan I could see light green sparkles, but they didn’t translate in the swatch or on the eye. I’m not sure how to use it yet, but I think it’s pretty and I want to incorporate it. 
+ Mai Tai | Described as “an indulging mauve hue with a silver shimmer” (lol… indulging…) with a shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. I love this shadow so much more than I thought I would when I placed the order. It’s almost a silvery dusty pastel purple and I don’t have anything else like it. I’m in love. 
+ Mauve Frost | Described as “an icy pink hue with an ultra shimmer finish” and opaque application. Icy pink is right, much more so than “mauve”. This looks bright in the swatch, and it can be, but it also works in the inner corner as a highlight if you use a light hand. I’m really liking it. 
+ Canyon Coral | Described as “a deep bronze-coral hue” with a satin finish and semi-opaque application. Pretty, pigmented, and on-trend, but another shimmer that’s more opaque than semi-opaque. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette antique maroon oatmeal tan oktoberfest burnished wine earth rose paprika tyrian purple swatch swatches swatched
+ Antique Maroon | Described as “a rustic, brownish-red hue with a satiny finish” and opaque application. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks super wearable. 
+ Oatmeal Tan | Described as “a light tan hue with a matte finish” and semi-opaque application. Oatmeal Tan & Oktoberfest were the most widely recommended shades from Coastal Scent’s entire line of shadow pots. Initially … I was disappointed. It took some effort to build up and the swatch wasn’t great. However, when using it on my eye, I actually loved it. It was easy to build up and blend out and wasn’t patchy. A great neutral shade.
+ Oktoberfest | Described as a “burnished” (you keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means) “orange-brown hue with a matte finish” and opaque application. My opinion on this is the same as for Oatmeal Tan! 
+ Burnished Wine | Described as “a rich, burgundy-brown hue with a shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application.This is super shimmery with almost a foil finish, particularly when applied with Mac Fix + spray. 
+ Earth Rose | Described as “a dusty red hue with a satin finish” and semi-opaque application. LOVE this shade way more than anticipated. I haven’t worn it yet but I wonder if it could be a crease shade, even with the satin finish. 
+ Paprika | Described as “a rich, orange-red hue with a smooth, matte finish” and semi-opaque application. This was another highly recommended shade that disappointed me during swatching, but again I have actually really liked it in the crease for pink-toned eye looks. 
+ Tyrian Purple | Described as “a deep, reddish purple hue with a silver shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application. This one is more subdued than I expected – I thought it would be the brightest of any of the purple shades, but I like it. Haven’t tried it on the eye yet so we’ll have to see how it works. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatches swatch swatched
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatches swatched balsam amazonian ice 18 karat gold atomic apricot copper pot panama rose amethyst
+ Balsam | Described as “a deep, golden-green hue with a shimmery finish” and opaque application. I wouldn’t say this is a deep golden green, but rather a true green shimmer. I wore it with Atomic Apricot and really loved the tropical combo. 
+ Amazonian Ice | Described as “a bright green hue with ultra shimmer finish” and opaque application. I was genuinely shocked by how incredibly pigmented this shadow is! Since it’s so pastel I expected it to sheer out to a sheer green glitter, but it’s creamy and incredible. 
+ 18 Karat Gold | Described as “a glistening gold hue” with shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. Another super pigmented shade I tried today in combination with Niagara in my inner corner and Kodiak on the outer corner.
+ Atomic Apricot | Described as “an explosion of peachy-orange” with shimmer finish and opaque application. I didn’t expect to like this pale orange shade as much as I do, but I think it’s really pretty and fun. 
+ Copper Pot | Described as a “luxurious, shimmering gold” with opaque application. Another universally highly-rated shade. Mine came with a little bit broken out of the corner, and that bit breaks a little more and more every time it’s used, but it hasn’t caused too much of a problem. Just know that this shadow is especially soft and fragile. 
+ Panama Rose | Described as “a shimmering, violet hue with a pink under glow” with a shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. I’ve tried this shade (honestly, thinking it was Tyrian Purple, whoops) and I thought it was beautiful on the lid with Mauve Frost as the inner highlight and Raisin Berry on the outer corner. It lasted all day with no creasing or fading! I use a primer, but this is still a good quality shadow compared to any of my high-end shadows. 
+ Amethyst | Described as a “gemstone purple hue” with shimmer finish and opaque application. I expected a royal purple shimmer when I ordered this color, so I’m a little disappointed with how warm and fuchsia it looks. However, the pigmentation is great. Just not what I’d hoped it would be! 

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatches swatched cherry moss amaretto raisin berry cherry chocolate kodiak dark golden olive timeless taupe
+ Cherry Moss | Described as “a reddish-brown hue with green iridescent shimmer” with opaque application. I wouldn’t describe it as opaque, as it swatches rather sheer, but it is a unique shade in my collection that has an almost-duochrome flip from peachy to green-gold, depending on how the light hits it. Definitely worth playing with! 
+ Amaretto | Described as “a luxurious reddish-brown hue with a shimmer finish” and opaque application. Amaretto is a super pretty shadow. In person, it almost looks like a dusty rose shimmer (maybe a little more brown than that). It feels buttery to the touch and I’m a fan. 
+ Raisin Berry | Described as “a stunning maroon” with shimmer finish and opaque application. So far I’ve used Raisin Berry as an outer corner/bottom lid liner shade on a pinky-purpley eye look, and I really like it. Pigmented and blendable. 
+ Cherry Chocolate | Described as “a rich reddish-brown hue” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. Meh. I’m not super impressed with Cherry Chocolate – it feels more stiff & dry in the pan than the other shimmer-finish shadows, and swatches patchily because of it. It seems to be a matte dark brown shadow with pink shimmer sparkles, creating the “cherry chocolate” effect. 
+ Kodiak | Described as “a shimmering golden brown hue” with opaque application. Kodiak looks olive in this image, but in real life I think it’s a much more functional, creamy deep brown shade than Cherry Chocolate, but with golden shimmer rather than pink. 
+ Dark Golden Olive | Described as “a shimmering deep green hue with iridescent gold sparks” and opaque application. It is exactly as described – buttery, pigmented, and true olive green with golden shimmer. 
+ Timeless Taupe | Described as “an antique brownish-grey hue with a matte finish” and semi-opaque application. Mattes seem to be Coastal Scents weaker shadows, in my opinion. but Timeless Taupe isn’t too bad. Describing it as semi-opaque is fair, and it can be built up to opaque with little effort. It’s a nice matte crease shades to round out all of the shimmer shadows! 
Since I started writing this post (it’s taken me weeks to finish up – my lack of motivation is truly astounding) Coastal Scents has already had another half-off shadow pot sale, so I’d definitely keep an eye out! At $0.99 per shadow, these are absolutely worth it. Some shades are obviously stronger than others, but the fact that some of them perform just as well as my Anastasia, Marc Jacobs, or Kat Von D shadows goes to show the extreme mark-up on makeup products. If you’re looking to try out funky new colors that you aren’t sure you’ll incorporate into a normal makeup routine, I’d say Coastal Scents is the way to go rather than dishing out ~$50 on something like Urban Decay Electric or colorful Kat Von D singles. I’m a fan! 

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

I didn’t imagine, at the end of May, that the Ipsy post would be my last blog post for two months. I was committed and had all kinds of ideas and my one year blog-iversary was coming up! But life snuck up on me, as it so often does. This Summer has been a whirlwind. There has been a lot of change in my life, both good and bad. In lieu of a June and July monthly post, here’s a brief rundown of what’s happened over the past couple months.

+ I lost my Poppa to lymphoma & dementia at the beginning of July. He was ready to go, but being forced to come to terms with losing far & away the most important man in my childhood is shitty.
+ I finished school, though not as well as I would’ve liked. Unfortunately since that last class, I haven’t kept up with my newly acquired knowledge at all. It’s like my brain was fried.
+ I regained my weekends & have been able to spend more time with my family.
+ I moved! A month & a half earlier than planned, too. I’m in a beautiful house with a fenced in backyard & Sansa gained a brother, Mowgli. I’ll try to post pictures of the dweebuses, but they’re wrestling 24/7 so quality photos are a challenge.
+ I’m still getting my anxiety meds figured out. I love almost everything about my current prescription, but it exhausts me like Benadryl or Dramamine. I can barely make it through the work day before having to come home & nap.

So, it’s been an intense couple of months but I want to get back to regularly scheduled programming ASAP.

May 2017 Ipsy Glambag Review

At long last (well, a little over a year, to be more precise), I think my love affair with Ipsy is coming to an end. Nothing has changed about the service and I still think it can be a fun way to treat yourself every month, but my makeup collection is expansive. I have reached the point where it is rare for me to receive something I don’t already own in a similar shade and finish. This month even contained two items I very specifically wanted and was very specifically excited to try, but … not because I need  it. I was just curious about the formula! While for many people that is the point of beauty subscriptions, I have a humongous backlog of samples that I am never going to use up. I will definitely still be receiving a June bag, but I am actually considering cancelling for July … at least for a little while! 

Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Highlighter in “Sin” | RV $9.57. This was one of the products I was most excited to try this month, but also a product that made me realize how little I actually need to continue trying your typical champagne highlight. In the photo below, it’s the third swatch from the top – it’s shimmery and pigmented and really lovely, but it’s simply not a product I need now or anytime soon. The sample alone would likely take me a year to finish.
It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara | RV $$13.60. This was the second product I was excited to try! The It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara gets consistently great reviews and I look forward to sampling it, but yet again … when will that be? I’m currently working through a mascara stash and have ten I’d like to use up before starting on this one. 
JellyPongPong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo in “Electric” | RV $22.95, Full-size. I have been on an overwhelmingly huge eyeshadow kick lately, so I was glad to be receiving this duo. In the photo below, the shades are the top two swatches on bare skin. They don’t look too impressive, but I’ll be trying them over primer before writing them off. The compact they came in is charming, but I do think $22.95 is quite an inflated price. If I’d been able to choose, I would have picked the teal and bronze variation of this duo for a little more contrast. 
Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint + Velvet in “Practicable” | RV $19, Full-size. You may recall my previous experience with a Cailyn Cosmetics Extreme Matte Tint, as conveyed in my Lip Hoarder Part Three post which was basically that it’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad matte lipstick. “Practicable” was better. Described as a “cinnamon nude”, the shade was much more flattering and the application was a breeze. As you’re applying, it feels like it’s going to be a perfect matte lip paint … but then it dries, and it isn’t. Though better than my first experience, Cailyn’s Matte Lip Tints still dry your lips out so badly they pucker, which is universally unflattering. It’s also impossible to remove – I tried my face wash, a lip scrub, a cleansing oil, and a scrubbing brush, and my lips are still tinted. Shade – beautiful. Product – stay far away. 
Adesse New York Gel Polish in “Surfer Girl” | RV $18, Full-size. I love nail polish (obviously, I have a Julep subscription) and I like this shade and the fact that it’s a gel-like finish. My only qualm with receiving this polish is that just last month I received a nail polish in almost the exact same shade from Ipsy. It’s not a big deal and I prefer the Adesse polish to the Defy & Inspire polish, but I’d prefer to diversify my collection. 

Total Paid: $10
Total Retail Value: $83.12

That value is wild for a $10 subscription bag, but again, I think some of the values were inflated, particularly on the JellyPongPong shadow duo. I also think $18 is an awful lot to spend on a single polish, but it’s not unheard of – the gorgeous Smith & Cult polishes are also $18 a pop. Regardless, this bag was well worth $10, but it’s just not meeting a need anymore. I’m at a point where I would rather spend more to have exactly what I want than $10 to have a variety of new items to try. I’m sure it’s a pendulum, but for now I plan to pause my Ipsy subscription. 
To try Ipsy yourself, sign up here for a monthly beauty bag! 

Saturday Reading List

This article on the positive trends in retouching images. “Instead of reshaping, shellacking, and airbrushing women to look more like model versions of one another (thin, tan, young, and tall with shiny hair and clear skin), the retouching trend today is more focused on making sure you see individual quirks, without distraction.”
This blog post from my school has been helpful to me lately (though not a complete cure) as a reminder that we all feel inadequately prepared to tackle jobs from time to time – or often, or always! 
This opinion piece from early May highlighting the leadership qualities exhibited by Sally Yates & Condoleezza Rice, which seem to be missing in most of our current administration.  
This homage to my professional woman fashion muse, Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson in The Fall).
This essay from The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness, which discusses ambivalence toward having children in our modern world. So … me. 

Lip Hoarder Part 4

Lip Hoarder Part Four with Nyx RealHer Too Faced Stila Burt's Bees bareMinerals NARS Urban Decay and Colourpop
It has been so exceptionally difficult to motivate myself to do a damn thing that isn’t work lately, including keeping up with posts I’d like to share (obviously). My Lip Hoarder challenge has been going relatively well, though May has been a month full of being too lazy or busy to apply any makeup whatsoever, so progress is happening slowly. I have whittled my way down (after this point) to a myriad of shades that are a little vampy or out-there, so wearing new shades has started to become a challenge in and of itself. However, I don’t want to give up yet, and it’s interesting to see which shades I miss the most – like a weird orangey-coral from Nyx that I would never expect to be the lipstick I long to wear. You’ll notice in round four that I tended toward Spring-y shades with a dash of alternative colors thrown in intermittently. 
Lipstick Swatches Stila Burt's Bees Nyx Kat Von D Colourpop RealHer Urban Decay
1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” – I like the Stila Stay All Day formula, but I think this is too close to Nyx’s “Soft Spoken” for me to need it in my collection, and I actually prefer the Nyx formula. 
2. Burt’s Bees Lipstick in “Blush Basin” – While this isn’t a particularly flattering shade on me (and I have already destashed it because of that), I am impressed with the cute honeycomb packaging and the moisturizing formula of the Burt’s Bees lipstick. I’d try it again in a cooler nude or dusty pink shade. 
3. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Stone Fox” – This project has made me realize that super duper dark, vampy shades are just not too pretty on my fair skin, but I do think this is a good product. I much prefer “Stone Fox” to number 13 on this list, “Oh Put it On”. It’s a rich charcoal gray that dries matte and doesn’t pull away from your inner lip line. 
4. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Lovecraft” – I like “Lovecraft” and want to try more KVD Studded Kiss lipsticks after trying this one, but it’s a little too close in shade to number 7 on this list, UD “Backtalk”, and I’m afraid I prefer “Backtalk”, so I’ll be passing this little guy along. 
5, Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip in “Kink” – For a long time, I was anti lip gloss. It gave me too many high school flashbacks. Lately, however, I’ve been particularly enjoying the highly-pigmented Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lips, and “Kink” is no different. It’s a cool-toned fuchsia with sparkle and I hate that it was limited edition, as it’s one of my more fun shades to wear. Not that I’ll ever use up an entire lip product in this lifetime, but I’d like for others to have the opportunity to try it!  
6. RealHer Plumping Gloss in “I Am A Rockstar” – Though I absolutely hate number 11 on this list, RealHer’s “I Am Gorgeous”, I do like this lip gloss as a solid neutral gloss. It’s nonsticky, but I want to do an immediate side by side of this with Trust Fund Beauty’s lip gloss to see which basic neutral gloss is more worth keeping. 
7. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in “Backtalk” – Backtalk is the first lipstick I’ve ever bought for myself that cost over $10! I’ve been gifted others or received them in subscription boxes, but Backtalk was my first experience with trying a sample of something and immediately rushing to Sephora to hand over $17 for the full-sized lipstick. It’s my favorite pinky nude that I own, and looks even more flattering now that I’ve dyed my hair dark. 
Lipstick Swatches with Nyx Nars bareMinerals RealHer Trust Fund Beauty Nyx and Too Faced
  1. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Industrial Paradise” – I’ve noticed that pastels are really, really difficult for most companies to pull off, so I was surprised by how well baby blue “Industrial Paradise” worked. It applied smoothly and was completely opaque, though it did wear off since I wore it to grab tacos and margaritas with a friend. It’s not a color I’ll be able to wear often, but I’m pleased with it.
    9. NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in “Gold Digger” – I feel totally neutral about this. I guess for the price of a full sized tube, I’m disappointed. It adds a sheen, I guess, but it’s not enough to wear alone and I’m just not impressed like I am with the Colourpop glosses.
    10. bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm in “Pink Passion” – I’ve written before that I’m fond of the bareMinerals Pop of Passion balms, and this one is no exception. I like the bright pink shade. I think they’d be a good replacement for something like the Glossier Generation G Sheer Lipsticks. They aren’t matte, but they have decent color payoff for a sheer and they are made to be moisturizing/soothing to your lips!
    11. RealHer Matte Liquid Lipstick in “I Am Gorgeous” – I have no idea what the wear on this product is like because I ripped it off my lips within 30 seconds of applying. First, it’s too pale and gives me early 00’s Tara Reid fashion vibes. Secondly, it’s thin but way too easy to apply way too much. It’s one of those few products that I will probably just throw away because I wouldn’t want to curse anyone else with it.
    12. Trust Fund Beauty Lipstick in “Try to be Nice” – I am really fond of this lipstick. I like Trust Fund Beauty as a brand – their products aren’t incredible, but they’re nice and different and I like supporting smaller companies, especially when they’re cruelty-free. I love that this lipstick is a creamy lilac shade but that it wears down to a soft pink. The wear makes it easy to pull off in more conservative situations while still wearing a slightly alternative color. It seems that this shade has been discontinued, which I hate, so I plan to keep and enjoy this tube while it lasts.
    13. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Oh, Put It On” – Hate, hate, hate, loathe entirely. I am a huge advocate for the Nyx Liquid Suede Lipsticks and think, in general, they’re the best bang for your buck when it comes to matte liquid lip products. This deep, blackened violet is a complete bust, though. It’s impossible to apply – even the matching lip liner was patchy, and the lipstick immediately pulls away from your inner lip line and began flaking off before I could even leave the house. I don’t know why this one shade is so terribly useless, but it is, and I’ll probably just throw it away.
    14. Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in “Chihuahua” – Something I like: The applicator! It was different but effective and I liked how smoothly the lipstick applied. Something I dislike: The shade was a little too brown and warm for me, so I passed this baby on to my mom, for whom Glossier Skin Tint in “Dark” is too pale. Riddle me that.

May Check-In

Sorry for my lag in posting. I feel like I have been losing my mind a bit lately, and between work and school I have had little time for the small things that bring me joy – my self-care habits, like this blog or long baths or writing in my planner. I’ve been failing tremendously in some aspects: my stress shopping is going wild, for example, and I keep clicking “Confirm Purchase” on things I know I do not need. However, I have also had some big life successes. It may be a normal thing for most people, but I made an appointment to see a doctor about my anxiety, I actually went and was prescribed medication. This is a huge deal for me. I have dealt with various manifestations of debilitating anxiety since I was a kid and it is so empowering to have taken this step.

So, no small goals check-in this month. I can’t handle reviewing failures right now. No goals to set for now, either. I am trying to focus on each day individually until I feel like I can breathe again. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more soon, as posting really is a fun release for me, but we will see about carving out the time.

Thanks for reading.

xx Abbie