Monday, September 8, 2014

My Fortnight in Beauty

Hello, stranger! I haven't actually sat down to write in quite a while; the posts you've been reading in August were all pre-scheduled for the time I was entertaining the family, and then on top of that, we had another house guest shortly after, and THEN it was my wedding anniversary/birthday weekend, and the idea of being glued to my laptop didn't quite appeal - or maybe I've just gotten out of practice. But I'm back!
To ease my way back into the swing of things, I've decided to share two weeks from my beauty diary - not that I actually keep one, it's just to sum up what has been going on with me and the products I've been using. If you like this type of posts, please check out Kar Yi's 'The Fortnight Face' and Liz's 'Makeup Diary', which inspired me to pour my oh-so-deep skincare and make-up thoughts out on these pages.

Let's start with the skin. In short, it's been shitty. The nearly three weeks that my in-laws stayed with us, my skin's been really bothering me: oily and dehydrated, with lots of larger breakouts, mostly on both cheeks - and when the first wave had finally healed, new ones popped up in the exact same area. Why?! I'm still nursing my face back to an acceptable state, but I think what helped to stop the constant crop of pimples was my previously underrated tube of Coral Actives 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Penetrating Acne Serum Gel. BP usually doesn't work great on my skin, but this time, it seems to have done the trick; lesson learnt that hoarding various acne treatments in the skincare drawer for desperate times can actually be a pretty good idea.
I've also been working my way through Murad's Essential-C range of moisturizers; when I first tried these I liked the Day Moisture SPF 30 more than the Night Moisture, which seemed too heavy and sticky, but I've since changed my mind. In fact, it's the daytime cream that's now too greasy and never seems to fully absorb into my skin, while the night cream, especially when applied on top of Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle, sinks in nicely and feels comfortable. But I wouldn't actually repurchase either; what I am considering buying in the full size is the Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel. Lightweight but hydrating, non-tacky and perfect for both mornings under make-up and overnight.
For the base make-up, I've been sticking to a long-lasting foundation by way of Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, and setting it with both Make Up For Ever HD Powder and Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish (I remain unconvinced whether the latter does anything to keep my skin matte, but I'm desparate to use it up). For concealing those pesky spots, I just can't quit Becca's Dual Coverage Compact Concealer - can someone please tell me to finally throw it out?! I guess I really like the convenience of a cream concealer in a pot.
Cheeks are the area where I mixed the old with the new: still trying to make a more significant dent in both NYC Blushable Creme Stick in Plaza Pink and the NYX Powder Blush in Angel. I've been really enjoying using the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer this summer, and for a warmer cheek, I've been pairing it with Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dazzled. Over the years, I've noticed that I get into real phases with blushes, where I fall in love with a particular shade and reach for it over and over again, until I finally make myself swap it out for something else from my collection. I've also put on some Canmake Cream Cheek in Clear Pink Joy here and there, but it failed to hold my attention away from the Tarte Dazzled.
I've been all about quick and boring eye make-up, with cream eyeshadow sticks and smudgy eyeliner being my preferred eye make-up routine. Firm favorites: Clinique Chubby Stick For Eyes in Ample Amber and Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick in Dusk, paired with Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Whiskey and copious layers of Benefit BADgal Lash. Contrarily to 95% of the Internetz (the percentage has been scientifically eyeballed by yours truly), I much prefer Benefit's BADgal to They're Real, and the big bonus is that it doesn't smudge or transfer on me.
So here's my ultra boring, neutral warm face, abundant in enlarged pores, spots, acne scars and summer freckles. The only area where I experimented on a nearly daily basis for the past 2-3 weeks was my lipstick; I frequently swapped out formulas and shades to suit my mood or sometimes even my outfit - I know, FANCY. The experience of having very limited access to my vanity (which is awkwardly situated in our apartment hallway, so for the comfort of my guests I just piled up my makeup essentials into a basket, grabbed my mirror and brush cup and moved all that to our bedroom) hasn't been as tedious as expected; since I was pressed for time to get ready in the mornings, I enjoyed the smaller selection of products. Now that I can use all of my collection again, I feel that I already have a lot of fantastic products in my stash that I missed using, and I don't feel the need to buy any new make-up for the time being - but I'm already planning my wishlist for the Sephora VIB sale in late October :)

So how have you been, my lovely readers? I missed talking to you! And by the way, thank you so much for all of your happy birthday wishes on Twitter - it made my day that much happier.


  1. The VIB Sale! How I miss splurging :-( Also the black Friday deals :,-(.. Ok sulking aside, have you tried the Pai eye cream? I caved in and bought it last month and I am SO happy with it that I don't think ill ever look at any other eye cream in a long time to come! I don't have a very dry eye area but for both day and night its amazing, hydrating , soothing and just wonderful! It comes in a pump bottle which is so much more hygienic than tubs I feel!

    Divya | TheConscienceFund

  2. LOL I'm an acne treatment hoarder as well ;-) I can't help it, I will bring out every single treatment and attack random bad streaks with ALL the things.

  3. I'm like that with blushes, fall in love with a colour and wear it to death! Until I actually can't see on my face anymore and I need a change. Loved this post, hope your skin gets back to normal soon! ;) xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  4. Hi stranger! I can't see any breakouts on your skin at all. It's glowing as usual :-) But if you're really having some skin problems, I hope it'll be over soon. I've been on a makeup rut, but I guess I'm allowed to, 3rd trimester and all. Hahaha!

  5. Nooo, how did I miss your birthday?! You even TOLD me about it the other day.... Happy belated Monika and hope you had an awesome one!

    Ah, I miss doing fortnight face posts and yours are so nicely laid out and tidy! I really want to try the Ole Henriksen eye cream because I have no proper night time eye cream at the moment and I haven't been getting enough sleep lately. I wonder if the Skindinavia spray is the same as the Urban Decay one because I know they worked together. I personally love the Urban Decay De Slick Spray and I was thinking of ordering from Skindinavia.... Hm, have to think about that again. Your lashes are always so fluttery and the subtle inner corner highlight is beautiful :)

  6. Happy Belated, Monika!! Must have missed the twitter feed. And welcome back. You, with skin problem? Really hard to imagine.. but everyone has her moment, I'm sure. I hope it'll get back to normal, soon.

  7. oh man..the Sephora FF sale. I'm waiting for that tooo hahaha.
    i love the nyx blush in angel! it was one of hte first blushes i really used all the time. a great 'everyday' color.

    i know what you mean about hoarding skincare. i have so many skincare stuff its almost like a magic bag when my skin runs into problems. i just reach into my drawer to see what will work from the things that have relegated to the darkness from disuse. its not a bad problem to have if you have the space :P

  8. Hopefully you'll use up NYC blush stick in no time, I know there's a lot of product in it and I'm also doing a project pan. I have difficulties with mine cream blush- seems they all last forever. Fingers crossed! :)
    Passing Fancy​

  9. Welcome back :) I can relate to the skin shenanigans—my skin can't seem to figure out if it wants to be dehydrated, oily, or irritated. I think it decided to go for "all of the above". Love the natural makeup look!

  10. Hi Monika!
    I love the idea of this post! I am obsessed with planning makeup travel kits (that will last 4-5 days). I travel maybe three times a year to the next town, but when I go shopping, I am always on the lookout for the "travel friendly" stuff. My new obsession -- Trish McEvoy brushes. They very good brushes, but I bought them for the look. They look like little glass dolls, and I have already accumulated 7, and it's just for the face.
    My sack of serums and lotions is huge, though. I am doing somewhere between 2 and 4 serums now to combat my super dry skin.
    How did you deal with not having full access to the makeup stash, and having to live out of a box? This would stress me out a lot.