Hello from the UK! I’ve spent the last two days recovering from jet lag, with the help of some delicious scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and herbs (imagine me pronouncing the H):
Overview: This roundup is going to be brief, because I bought almost no new makeup in May. After several months on this low-buy, it’s become easier to postpone purchases, and even to postpone them indefinitely. No matter how much I want something, I can usually persuade myself that at least one of four things is true: 1) I already own a similar product; 2) even if I don’t, the shiny new product will still be around in a month; 3) even if the product is limited edition, something similar will be released eventually; 4) even if I don’t end up with the product or a dupe, life will carry on exactly as before. Granted, it’s also easier to avoid buying new makeup when I’m depressed, and I was fairly depressed last month. But I’d like to believe that depression isn’t the only explanation for my restraint, and that I’m finally internalizing healthier spending habits.
That said, I do expect to go over my usual budget this month, given that I’m in the UK and have access to so many brands I can’t get at home. But I trust myself not to go crazy, and it’s nice to be able to trust myself, even when confronted unexpectedly with a huge shelf of affordable nail polish from an unfamiliar brand (I bought nothing!):
Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in #765 Ultradior:
Your standard sheer warm pink gloss, enlivened with some very large sparkles. The gloss is supposed to be “plumping,” which made me worry for my poor sensitive lips, but there’s no tingling sensation: the plumping effect, such as it is, comes from hyaluronic acid instead of an irritant.
Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+: free with an Amazon gift card (usually about $10):
Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara in Blackest Black (~$7.50, can’t remember exactly):
Let’s do some mini-reviews! I actually ordered the Bioré sunscreen in April, but it took about three weeks to arrive from Japan and I didn’t start using it until mid-May, so I’m including it in this roundup. Why can’t American brands make lightweight, non-greasy facial sunscreen? My usual Eucerin is fine for winter, but when the weather warms up it’s a disaster. It actually seems to make me sweat more than usual, and it turns into a nasty mess within ten minutes outside. The Bioré has more or less solved this problem. It has a nice mattifying, priming effect (it’s designed to be worn under makeup), it gives more coverage than the Eucerin (SPF 50 vs. 30), and it actually stays on my face in hot weather. It also lacks that distinctive sunscreen smell, delivering a hint of lemon instead. The only obvious drawbacks are the small size of the tube and the high alcohol content of the formula. I probably won’t use this sunscreen in cold weather when my skin is unusually dry, but it doesn’t seem to be drying me out right now. I did get a few small pimples during the first couple of weeks of use, but that seems to have settled down, so I’m going to chalk it up to an adjustment period.
I bought the Volume + Length mascara, one of five new Revlon mascaras, to replace another from the line: the Super Length mascara, which performed beautifully for about a month, then started flaking all over my cheeks. I’ve been using Volume + Length for just a week now, so I have no idea whether it will start flaking eventually, but so far I’m very impressed. I was wary of the volumizing claim, since I prefer natural-looking, well-defined lashes, but this mascara is even closer to my ideal than Super Length. As you can see, the brush has a large number of close-packed bristles, which help separate and define my lashes.
Sephora Flash membership: $10
Total beauty spending for May: $49.92 (let’s call it $50)
1. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Facet (£14.50):
I’ve wanted this dark gray polish with gold flecks for over two years now. It’s sold out on Illamasqua’s website, but I’m hoping I can find it at the Illamasqua counter in Selfridges.
2. MAC Intoxica (£15.50) or similar:
|Image via Temptalia.|
I still haven’t bought ColourPop Mars, due to my uneasiness at ordering from the ColourPop website after its security breach during April’s sitewide flash sale. But I more or less forgot about Mars after seeing Temptalia’s swatches of Intoxica, part of MAC’s limited-edition Blue Nectar collection (why this collection includes no blue lipsticks, I couldn’t say). Intoxica looks roughly identical to Mars, but with the addition of a subtle shimmer that gives the color some depth. I’m not sure I can bring myself to spend the UK price for a MAC lipstick when it’s $17 in the States, but the collection is arriving in stores on June 9 and will probably be gone by the time I return home next month, so…we’ll see.
3. A dupe for the lipstick Eddie Redmayne wears in The Danish Girl
I saw The Danish Girl for the first time on my transatlantic flight two days ago. It’s adapted from the diaries of Lili Elbe, a Danish painter and one of the first transgender women to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, from which she died in 1931. Though I think the film has some glaring flaws (does Lili have a personality and inner life beyond her gender identity? why suppress the fact that Lili’s wife Gerda was openly lesbian?), it’s aesthetically gorgeous. I was particularly taken with Lili’s lipstick, a faded, burnt orange:
I assume the lip color for the film was a custom mixture, but there must be something similar in an existing lipstick line. MAC Chili is the first lipstick that comes to mind, but given the popularity of brownish lip colors these days, I’m surprised I can’t think of more. Suggestions welcome!
4. A bright, deep purple nail polish
Something similar to Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme, but less than $18. This shouldn’t be hard, but my casual browsing has yet to yield the perfect color.
Finally, I’m still contemplating Sleek’s Sunset Palette, but I’m not convinced I need it. In fact, I’m not convinced I need any of these things, because guess what: I don’t! It’s nice to feel material desire that stops short of urgency. Who knows whether my restraint will last, but I hope it does.