I didn’t work for Clinique for six months without developing a pretty sound knowledge of every damn product they market – and there’s a lot of them. I started writing a Clinique Top 5 list, which expanded quickly into a Top 12, but I’ve chopped it back down to 5 (just as long as you don’t count the individual lipsticks).
Like Ruth from A Model Recommends, I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Clinique 3 Step system: I like a cleanser that can remove my makeup, I like a toner without alcohol, and I like a moisturiser that doesn’t break me out (but that’s my weird skin’s fault, not Clinique’s). I have managed to cobble together my own functional alternative system instead, although I’ve left cleansers out of this post because they’re fairly interchangeable.
So I’ve been a shit blogger in 2015 but I’ve still been using products and trying products and having thoughts on them, so I’m still going to write a Best of 2015 post. This time I thought I’d keep it nice and brief with one favourite high end product and one favourite affordable option. Conveniently they also work out to be one makeup product and one skincare product! Nice and symmetrical. If this isn’t enough for you, feel free to read my 2014 and 2013 favourites, all of which I still like.
How better to start a series of old-school product reviews than with a review of an old classic? The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer doesn’t even look like this anymore, which is testament to how long I’ve had it and how long I’ve been into it. It was my first true bronzer – before this, I was using a brownish-pink Rimmel blush with more than a little shimmer in it to contour my face. I bought it when I lived in Toronto; I used to walk over to the Shoppers Drug Mart on Sherbourne St and spend hours ranging around the beauty section and contemplating walls of products which, at the time, entirely overwhelmed me. To be fair, the drugstore offering of matte bronzers was pretty pathetic seven or so years ago, so that Rimmel abomination may have been the best choice available.
Anyway. The /r/MakeupAddiction subreddit that got me into this Too Faced bronzer, and I loved it for a long time before moving on to others that I bought needlessly at the peak of my “I need all the makeup” phase. (That was around when I started this blog, actually, and when I wrote this post about contouring.)
Last time I properly checked I had eleven lipsticks loose in the bottom of my bag, and I suspect I’m not the only person who does this. I want to be able to have a quick rummage to find my lipstick for a top-up, so bags-within-bags don’t make a lot of sense to me; or, they do when I’m trying to be tidy and organised, but they don’t function so well in real life. What this means is that I spend a lot of time groping around for a lipstick, finding a tube, then pulling it out and uncapping it or scrutinising the little sticker on the bottom to see if it’s the one I want. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Lipstick tubes that are the same colour on the outside as the product on the inside are both enchantingly cute and mind-blowingly simple. Need your dark red lipstick? It’s the dark red one! Genius.
2014 was the year of skincare on Hyacinth Girl, so it only makes sense to round up my 2014 skincare favourites as well as makeup. I could have posted almost every product I used, but these were the ones I truly valued. Another common thread with all of these products is that they’re largely affordable products that have surprised me by how dope they are.
If you’ve dedicated December to festive topics, there’s nothing like the week after Christmas to render your past month of content entirely irrelevant. I’ve been skimming through my blog reader and Youtube subscriptions but let me tell you, the last thing I want to hear about is Christmas wishlists and DIYs. This is good in a way, because I’ve been reading a lot of Real Books instead.
I can’t let 2014 pass by without a 2014 makeup favourites post, however, so here it is. I’ll follow this up with my 2014 skincare favourites before the year is out. (Side note: everything on my 2013 makeup favourites list belongs here too, but I didn’t want to repeat myself.)
None of the channels in this screenshot are from New Zealand. You’ll have to click through to see who my favourites are!
Today I want to share some of my favourite lesser-known New Zealand YouTubers. I’m subscribed to over 100 channels on YouTube, mostly beauty-related, and of course I follow people like Shannon Harris, but everyone knows about her already, and I wanted to give some other people the credit they deserve.
I don’t really watch tutorials so that I can then sit down and recreate what they did, but I feel like by watching so many I kind of absorb all that information. To be honest, a lot of the time when I’m ‘watching’ videos I’m kind of just half-listening while doing something else. I’ll click into the video tab when it sounds like they’re doing something interesting. Otherwise, I’ll set a playlist running and prop my Macbook up on the washing machine to watch while I wash my hair.
Periods. Lots of people experience them, although it seems in my age group that’s decreasing as IUDs become more popular. Not a lot of people love them, unless they’re having a pregnancy scare moment. Not a lot of people like talking about them either, which is weird. In high school, my friends and I had an elaborate system of codes we’d use to let each other know we needed a tampon or pad (more on that shortly).
Ages back I wrote about wanting to be more open about stuff like this on Hyacinth Girl, and Hannah got in touch to let me know she was launching Scarlet Delivery. It’s a subscription box service for sanitary-related supplies, and today I’ll show you what’s inside.
The MAC x Brooke Shields collaboration came out in New Zealand a month or so ago, and I knew I would buy something from it. I may have considered the fifteen-pan eyeshadow palette, but at $300 I was lucky it was sold out by the time I made it to the MAC counter. Instead I bought the bronzing powder, which I was never not going to buy, given its name. It is called Scone, after the very same cheesy, buttery, refined-carby goodness that I consume religiously once a day. (I honestly do eat a scone every single day that I am at work. Sometimes it is the only thing that gets me through the morning.)
Looking at the lipsticks in my handbag is the best way to tell which of my lip products I use the most. I do a clear out once a month or so, and I thought it might be interesting to share what I’ve been using lately. There’s a bit of everything: gloss, liner, sheer, opaque, matte… if you can put it on your lips, it’s probably in my handbag.