The following paragraph is a large block of text on life and not at all concerned with autumn favourites! I'll mark it with asterisks if you so wish to skip to some words on currently loved skincare and makeup!
It's been almost a year since my last post. And I miss this small slice of internet of mine. So much and so little has happened since my last post. It feels grand yet considerably small as well. I've recently turned twenty-one and began my third year in university in the past couple of months. Today, after taking photos for this post, I was struck with the fact that my bio still said "19". Time is rather unforgiving. The final semester of last year was a breath of fresh air that breathed into the summer. The summer months were filled with new bright things like travel and falling deeper in love with some of my friendships. It was also re-discovering the city that is, for intents and purposes, half of Hometown. It was learning so much about myself and those around me, there were many humbling moments, and moments in a dark room during sunrise after a night of dancing and moments in the back of a car realizing how small and beautiful life is (or can be) Thus far, this new semester has proved challenging, in fact, and I hesitate to say it but it has been the most challenging. I find myself questioning my capabilities, wondering about my capacity as a person and as a student. When I was beginning university, I had received a letter that at the time (or perhaps even now) broke my heart, and there's a line in that letter that I haven't forgotten. Something like, "I'm in my downswing right now I hope yours is on the upswing". I am often confused about my outlook, berating myself for being so indulgent during the down days, but find myself in bed thinking that it's okay to say Today I will take care of myself by staying in bed all day and getting rest and reading a good book and painting. But I think a large part of self-care is being able to get up in the morning, showering, getting dressed and participating in the responsibilities, in the life that is at times so heavy, so seemingly impossible to overcome. I have many days when I feel like I just can't get out of bed. Yet I remain, (ever so) hopeful. It's easy to be defeated, crestfallen, and all those words dipped into liquid lead and mottled unclear water, but sometimes the air smells so strongly of possibility. I would like to think that these years, these times of warring with myself will end, but until then, I will continue to grow from it, become stronger from it. I am still conflicted on the balance between the stay in bed self-care and the get up and do things and be A Real Human Being self-care but I am learning each day. I will continue to learn each day.
OKAY. So, these past few months (the summer and the couple of months back at uni) have resulted in some sustained favourites, and a few that I've only recently grown fond of. Over the summer, I traveled and left a majority of my collection in storage. I would like to think that I grew to appreciate a more limited selection. In any case here are some products I've been truly enjoying recently.
La Mer The Powder: I've been using the Estee Lauder re-nutriv powder for so long that I thought I might try other loose powders. I've since tried the infamous Laura Mercier loose powder, Ben Nye luxury powder, and the Coty Airspun. I enjoy each of these for specific things, the Laura Mercier for mattifying, the Ben Nye for a little colour as I have it in one of the sand colours. Admittedly, I've used the Coty a lot less than the others, mostly because the smell is quite strong. I enjoy the La Mer powder the most because it's brightening and leaves my face at a natural and soft finish as compared to a truly matte finish. Recently I've also been really interested in trying the RCMA powder, as well as By Terry's Hydra powder.
Diorblush Sculpt: I really enjoyed this compact over the summer. It's a very subtle contour and highlight on my skin. I would repurchase this especially since I've even hit pan on the highlight. I use this alone for a subtle look, or to blend out a more intense contour.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powder: Ahhhhhhhh, Les Beiges. Light of life! This is such a wonderfully soft and velvety powder. I bought this for the outer perimeter on my face to warm it up after foundation and powder. I wouldn't finish my make up with this powder, but it's feather light and perfect for what I use it for. Also, how can one not love such an elegant compact? I have this in shade 40.
Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation: This is probably one of the only foundations I've truly enjoyed from the drugstore. In the past I've liked the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation (the one with the blue pump) and the Wet n Wild Cover All, and recently I've been trying the L'Oreal pro-matte. However, this Rimmel foundation was such a pleasant surprise. It's a medium buildable coverage that feels good on the skin even after hours of wear. My only hopes would be for a pump and a wider shade selection, as even the darkest shade they over in the states is a tad too light. I feel that the drugstore is really lacking in offering a more comprehensive deeper shade range both in hues and undertones. I wouldn't even mind if Rimmel offered even one truly deep shade, then one could at least mix. I own the shade True Beige.
Missha Perfect Cover BB cream: I'm not sure if this breaks me out, but I really enjoy this formula for when I don't want to wear foundation. I've worn this a lot more than any other BB cream I've tried, and sometimes use it under a cushion foundation. I don't wear this alone, but have found that it adds moisture to my skin even under copious amounts of a matte foundation or powder. I guess I use this BB cream more as a primer more than anything, but I still enjoy it on its own. Though, I wouldn't wear this without powder simply because of how rich the formula is. I wear shade 27.
Cle de Peau concealer: Am I ever going to be disappointed by Cle de Peau? Maybe last year's inclusion of nail polish in the fall/winter collection. But this concealer is the opposite. I've tried this in the past and recently repurchased after feeling ambivalent about the Marc Jacobs pot concealer. I don't have much to say apart from the stellar lightweight smoothness and cover of this concealer. I wear Honey.
Hello Waffle blush: I have this in a wonderful violet colour, I use it as a contour when I want to mimic "tonal" shadow that leans closer to warm/violet shadow rather than the cooler grey grown/taupe colours or the warm red browns of bronze shades. In watercolour, one is able to use violet as a glaze in adding shadow and depth when painting deeper skin tones. I adopted this technique, and have enjoyed the few times I've tried it.
Shu Uemura Hard Formula eyebrow pencil: I had an intense lover affair with this pencil last summer when I bought it in Seoul. I stopped using it because I could not find a single Shu Uemura pop up shop or counter in the states. This is an incredible pencil and I will continue to repurchase it. I've since sharpened it with a regular sharpener and it's just not the same. I think apart from the excellent formula, the "Samurai" sharpening of this pencil is one of the integral components as to why it's so DANG good. I've watched a few videos on how to do it yourself, but it's a bit terrifying. Maybe I'll try it, I'll definitely write about that experience and whether or not I end up cutting my thumb off.
Fyrinnae eye shadow in Polar Bear: Fyrinnae has always been a constant and enduring favourite every since I began using indie shadows in high school. I still remember the very first order I made and how excited I was for Serendipity. Polar Bear is a beautiful inner corner high light, and general ethereal gold shade. This summer I was enamored with wearing this with all the warm toned red/brown looks I wore. Transitioning into the cooler months, I still find myself reaching for this shade. Fyrinnae's formula is, after all just generally beautiful. Apart from them, I would say Dreamworld has never disappointed.
Rouge Dior in Zinnia Red: Ah. What a big surprise right? Not really. I believe this lipstick was in my last favourites post a couple years ago. Perhaps rivaled only by Cle de Peau's red or La Prairie, though both lean more matte, and this is definitely more of a cream. As such I refrain from making the comparison. I have tried a handful of other reds, some really extraordinary and some falling between good and Never to be worn again, doomed to the bottom of the box. However, this has persisted because of the shade and the formula. I'm still not the fondest of the matte liquid lipstick phenomenon and as such, my favourite lipsticks are still often that of the more traditional formula. I don't know what else to say about my dearest Zinnia Red... it's a staple for me. Although, I should note a contender not pictured here. By chance I picked up the Mia Wallace red lipstick from Urban Decay...a brand that I've never really gravitated to purely because I'm very rarely in Sephora. Anyway, I was so pleasantly surprised by that lipstick, it's not as smooth as Rouge Dior, but that specific colour is very sumptuous and the formula is incredibly long wearing.
Charlotte Tilbury in Birkin Brown: I recently tried Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation and find that I really... don't like it very much. Perhaps I haven't given it a chance, but in the handful of times that I have, it pales to my tried and true rotation. Anyway, I have dissimilar feelings for this lipstick. The formula is so light, and applies effortlessly on the lips. It's long wearing and this specific shade is one I do not own. After discovering an affection for more neutral colours this past year (thanks to the following Cle de Peau lipstick and rediscovering an old high school treasure, Estee Lauder's Woodland Berry) I found myself looking for shades of pink, neutral, and browns. I'm still looking, especially for these brown shades.
Cle de Peau in ???: Unfortunately I never keep packaging and I don't have the number of this lipstick. It's a gorgeous "neutral" lip colour for me, the colour I wish my lips were when I wake up in the morning. I don't have much to say. My adoration with Cle de Peau began with their lipsticks, and this one is no different in its incredible luxury formula that is both lightweight, pigmented and long wearing whilst still applying and wearing beautifully on the lips. I could continue to wax poetic, but maybe I'll save that for when I talk about my renewed love for their extra silky line.
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Amour: I'm so excited by this product! A friend from uni bought one of these and shared positive feelings. I was rushing out of the store when a display of new colours caught my eye. I have this in two varying red shades and really enjoy the formula and wear. It's in between a liquid cream lip colour and a matte liquid lipstick. But the wear is really comfortable and my lips feel almost plush when I wear it. I'm definitely keen to try other colours and will do so sooner than later. I find myself really enjoying this type of formula, where it's unlike the quintessential matte liquid lipstick that dries down entirely- to discomfort at times. The L'Oreal matte lip glosses are similar and are also really lovely. Those are exquisite but less long wearing than the Revlon.
Laneige Lip Mask: I have always had trouble with dry or chapped lips. Especially because I wear lipstick so much. I've enjoyed this and keep it at my desk. I use the Clinique lip balm when I'm outside because it comes in a more convenient tube. However, I find that they moisturize my lips similarly, although this Laneige one is very scented. However, I'm not the fondest of the tub packaging, especially for a product one might use multiple times a day. The little tub is rather inconvenient.
Vivterskin Sunscreen: I am a massive supporter of sun protection. I believe that good sun protection is vital to the skin's health. This was gifted to me and I really enjoy it. It's more moisturizing than my previously adored sunscreens (Elta MD UV Clear and Biore UV Aqua Rich) which is both good and bad, good in that it provides that extra moisture and bad in that sometimes I forego a moisturizer in the morning when I'm in a rush.
Estee Lauder Nutritious Vitality8 Radiant Energy Lotion Intense Moist: What a mouthful but: Ahhhhhhhh I've been trying the Nutritious Vitality8 line these past two months and I really really enjoy it. From my trials, I would certainly purchase this light lotion and the night cream in full size. The light lotion is something I use in the morning if I want something lighter under my sunscreen and makeup. Apart from that, when I layer this under the night cream in the evening, I wake up with such supple skin.
And that's it! I'm sure there's an odd one or two that I'm missing, but for the most part these have been such treats. I recently tried a new cleansing balm (following the Kose deep cleansing oil) and it broke out my skin. As such, makeup has taken a back seat to trying to repair the damage. I've really focused on a basic regimen, while slowly adding in my actives. (Recently: the Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion) I really enjoyed (though at times grew frustrated) working with a limited set of makeup in the summer and find myself almost overwhelmed now that I'm back in university. After recently taking my things out of storage I am astounded by how many eye shadows I've forgotten I have.
Years have passed now since I first dipped my toes in red lipstick and the world the followed it. But I still find myself finding such a deep and wonderful pleasure in getting ready (and in the evenings, un-ready). It's silly to think that a good eye shadow look, or wearing a favourite red lipstick brings me such joy and confidence, but then again, what's so silly about partaking in the rituals that make us feel beautiful? Capable? Able. I am so deeply grateful for those I love and their love, as I am grateful for the spark of giddiness I feel when I finish my makeup with that final step in lipstick.
Thank you for reading!
Till next time.
P.S. Today was a rainy day and it felt good as good to get out of bed and into the rain, as it did to lie in bed under the covers with the windows wide open.