Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Project Empty: Buy or Cry

Like many people, I am trying to be more responsible about my self-care habits. That means different things to different people. To me, it means, buying less of everything. The last few years, I bought far too much makeup. I’m reasonably good about skincare because I know that some have ingredients that deteriorate so I don’t stock up on it – I’d rather not throw away my money. Makeup became an issue and this is the year that I am limiting what I purchase to only items that I need like foundation and buying less of what I don’t (eye shadow palettes and lipsticks). I am also trying to use up products that are not cruelty free. In the YouTube world, this is called a low buy. In my world, it’s called project empty. I’m not a YouTuber, nor am I an Influencer, so I realize that I don’t need to have a million of everything and I should only buy replacement items or something truly unique. I’ve spent a lot less money this year (I’ll compare 2018 to 2019 at the end of the year) and I’m also getting rid of items that do not suit my colouring. Hanging on to them does not “spark joy” in the words of the great Marie Kondo.

I’ve had a lot of empties over the last little while and need to play catch up. Similar to my other Buy or Cry articles, I’ll let you know if I would re-purchase the item (buy) or not (cry). I’m supposed to tell you that these are just my views and you can think what you want. All true – but I’m right about everything!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, I have really sensitive skin so you aren’t going to see a lot of variety in skin care. I have a fair complexion; even if I like a formula, certain colours may not work for me. You are also going to get an honest opinion about the product whether it is cruelty-free or not. Just my little warning….Now here we go:

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara (Cry) – I received this mascara as a gift. I know that people swear by this brand’s mascara, but I always find that it flakes on me so I would not re-purchase it. It is also not a cruelty-free brand if that is important to you.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Extreme Zero Smudge All Effects Mascara (Cry) – This must have been a point perk or gift with purchase based on the small size. I checked the website, and I don’t think that they make this exact product any more. The wand was tiny and perfect for your bottom lashes. It was a great formula too with no flaking. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder is not cruelty-free so I couldn’t purchase the mascara, even if it was available.

Becca Mini Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone (Both) – This is a great formula from a cruelty-free brand. The only reason that it is a cry is because I prefer the Vanilla Quartz shade which is a little lighter. If you have a lot of highlighters or it just takes you a long time to go through one, I strongly suggest the mini-size. In Canadian dollars, the mini is $27 and the regular size is $46, making the larger size the better deal, but unless you put it on with a spatula, this will last you at least 9 months and will ensure that you actually use up your product so that it will be fresh.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in paaarty (Cry) – This was a 2017 Sephora Birthday Gift that I finally used up. The colour was nice – it was a neutral pink. The formula was nice, easy to apply, pigmented enough to not need to build it up, but not so pigmented that I felt like a clown. The major draw back was the lasting power. I found that it disappeared on me in about 3-4 hours. It is cruelty-free if you still want to try it.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in Night Mauves (Buy) – I got this in a Sephora lip box in December 2017. Those boxes are one of the reasons that I have far too many lipsticks so I decided to stop buying them. I believe that this was a full size. It is a unique formula – it really feels like you are wearing nothing on your lips and has the lasting power of a liquid lipstick. It does not make your lips feel dry like a traditional liquid lipstick would. The colour was perfect. If I ever get down to a reasonable amount of lipsticks, I would 100% repurchase this cruelty-free product.

No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Berry Blush (Both) – No 7 lipsticks are not available in Canada. I first tried them when I went to Europe and fell in love with their formula and perfect colours. I would always stock pile them when I went to Europe or the USA. The reason that this is getting de-cluttered was simply because it smelled off. I bought it in October 2016. I also cannot find information on whether the brand is cruelty-free or not, so I’m going to take a break from it. If that is not a concern of yours and you want a great drug store brand, this is it.

Bésame Cosmetics 1930 Noir Red Mini Lipstick (Both) – Bésame is one of my favourite brands. This came in a mini-lipstick set that I received as a gift. The formula of the lipstick is perfection. Their customer service and packaging is also perfection. The only reason that this is a cry at all is because the colour is way too dark for me. If you have a deeper complexion or just like very dark lipstick, then this will work for you. I highly recommend this cruelty-free brand.

Empty!

Joico Daily Care Leave-In Detangler (Buy but….) – This product did exactly what it promised – it detangled my very tangled hair. It did not weigh my tresses down, nor did it make them feel greasy. It is perfect except….it is not cruelty free. I believe that the issue is that the brand sells in China. I’ve read that China may eliminate the need for animal testing in the very near future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Eau De Parfum 30ml plus sample (Both) – I loved this perfume. It reminded me of old school sun tan lotion. It is beautiful and unique. I got compliments every time I wore it. Alas, it is not cruelty-free. Hopefully, one day I will be able to buy this beautiful fragrance again. Until next time Tom….

Empties

Bath and Body Works 24 Hour Moisture Cream in In the Sun (Both) – This is a great body cream. The scent is the perfect affordable complement to Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc. It has that same amazing sun tan lotion scent that just screams summer. The issue? It’s not cruelty-free. I have a ton of Bath and Body Works products to use up. They always do those buy 3 get 3 free (really who needs that much body lotion?) and I have some that are gifts. I won’t need body lotion for a very long time.

Ahava Dermud Intensive Foot Cream (Buy) – This brand is cruelty free and vegan. This foot cream saved me when I had my cast off after surgery. My foot was as dry as a lizard and my skin was flaking off – it was gross. Within a week of using this, my skin was back to normal and it has really helped with heel cracking too. It isn’t cheap, but I have not been able to find anything that works better on me.

All Empty – All Cruelty-Free

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (Cry) – This was expensive and it just did not work for me. I actually felt like it made my under eye area even drier.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (Buy) – All Drunk Elephant products are pricey (this one is $100). This one happens to be worth it and lasts for about 3 months. Do not stock up on Vitamin C serums, even if it is on sale or Sephora is doing one of their Rouge/VIB events. The product will degrade in time and they have a very short shelf life.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum (Cry) – I got this is “The Littles” gift set. It was worth the $110 to try more Drunk Elephant products and see what I liked and didn’t like. The little container held a lot of product – this lasted me for almost two months. It was long enough to see that this just did not work for me.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser (Buy) – This is a great face cleanser and a little goes a long way. This one tube has lasted me for almost 6 months which makes it cheaper over time than other drug store brands. It is $40 but you can save by buying it at the Sephora sale – it will keep if you buy one or a spare but don’t go crazy and buy ten. It leaves your face satisfyingly clean without drying out your skin.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (Buy) – I wrote about this product in my last Buy or Cry. Here is the link to learn more
https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/project-empty-buy-or-cry/

Are you on a low buy or doing a project use up yourself? Tell me what your favourite products are.


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Snow White and the Seven Cosmetics AKA Bésame: A Love Story

Snow white

Photography me (obviously with an iPhone).  PY Artistic Adapatation

Before I explain my love of Disney, I have to tell you about Bésame Cosmetics.  It is an unusual beauty company that was founded in 2004 by artist, cosmetic historian and designer, Gabriela Hernandez.  Hernandez has a love of vintage make up which is reflected in the product selection and packaging that you see with the cosmetics. I love what they have written on their website:

“Through a keen eye for color and historical expertise, we recreate modern reproductions of classic luxury makeup from the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, designed to make women feel elegant, inspired, and empowered by their beauty.”

Snow White 2

Bésame collaborated with Walt Disney on an 80th Anniverary Collection for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (or should we say little people now?).  The company painstakingly matched the colors from the original color palette provided by Disney’s Ink and Paint Department to create the beautiful palettes and lipstick colours in the collection.

I LOVE Disney but it isn’t always easy finding products that do not feel childish as much as I may appreciate the cute stuffed animals and snow globes, there comes a time when you have to move on.   There is an innocence and a lot of childhood memories that come with Disney and the movie adaptations of the fairy tales that I used to love so much growing up.  Cinderella is, has been and always will be my favourite princess but I love Snow White too!  These beautiful cosmetics are a perfect tribute to this beloved film. The packaging is, by far, the most perfect that I’ve seen out of any collabs Disney has done in the past with any of the cosmetic giants.  MAC, Lorac and Sephora also worked on collections, but nothing has ever been done with this kind of attention to detail.

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The lipsticks are far more beautiful in person – the packaging is perfect too!

I went a little crazy and bought the Snow White Travel Bag, Icon Book Bag (a makeup case), the Ever After Translucent Pearl Powder, the Keep Singing and I’m Wishing Eyeshadow Palettes and all 4 Classic Colour Lipsticks (Snow White Red, Make A Wish, One Bite and Love’s First Kiss).  I can’t give you a true review of all of the products, I’ve only tried the eye shadow once.  They are almost too beautiful to touch.  I can tell you that the lipstick is long lasting and true to the colour in the tube.  It’s intense and likely more pigmented than what you may be used to.  There is even a specific way to apply their lipsticks – here is a link to see how  https://besamecosmetics.com/blogs/blog/how-to-apply-besame-lipstick  It really works – my lipstick stayed on all morning AND because of the unique shape of the bullet, I didn’t need a separate lip liner.  It is perfect, but it does take a little getting used to.  You cannot put this product on with a heavy hand.

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It was impossible to take the photo without glare – the packaging and colours in person are much more vibrant.

One more tidbit about the company itself.  They have AMAZING customer service.  Sephora only carried a very limited collection of the Snow White line, so I bit the bullet (lipstick bullet that is) and ordered them from the US site.  I pre-paid duty and shipping so that there wouldn’t be an issue on delivery.  Sure enough, I got a notice from UPS that they tried to deliver my product twice but duty wasn’t paid.  I had proof of payment, so I contacted them and they basically told me that if they tried to deliver it one more time it would get rejected, and that I had to pay the duty AGAIN or go to their depot which is out of my way.  I explained my situation to 3 different people and they all told me that it wasn’t their problem and to contact Bésame.  I thought that I was going to get the run-around from them, instead, they could not have been more helpful.  They looked into everything, confirmed that I had indeed paid the duty and they gave me a full refund on the duty and threw in free shipping for the hassle (which wasn’t their fault).   Not only is their packaging impeccable, but so is their customer experience.

These products (minus the powder) and others like a mini-lipstick collection, lip balm, rouge and a scarf are still available their website.  If you are interested, and a Disney lover, I highly recommend the collection, particularly their lipsticks.