My First Impression of Makeup Geek

I've finally jumped on the Makeup Geek bandwagon! Granted, it's a very tiny jump. Hell, not even a jump but a toe tentatively hovering over the line. Hear me out, I'm on a very tight budget, but I wanted to try Makeup Geek out once before I go on a buying spree to pick up all the colours I'm after. I needed to ensure that the money I was spending, not just on the eyeshadows themselves, but also on the postage, was going to be worth it once I made the commitment to buy the colours on my wishlist.

I'm hell-bent on creating a green eyeshadow palette for myself, as it annoys me to no end that there aren't any cruelty-free green palettes that I can buy. Therefore, I'm resorting to my last option: curating the colours individually and then adding them to a magnetic palette when I find one that I love. I plan on having at least eight green shadows by the time I finish collecting them. I don't want to remove pans from existing palettes because I'm that kind of person that likes to keep everything intact and in pristine condition.

I only bought one single eyeshadow from Makeup Geek, and that is Jester, a foiled olive green that shines a lovely golden chartreuse colour when the light catches it. I would have bought more shadows if I had a looser budget, but as one foiled shadow costs about $13 AUD, plus shipping, I needed to settle on just one for now, especially when I hadn't tried the brand before and didn't know how it would work for me.

I used to have a metallic olive green pencil eyeliner back in high school that I loved to the moon and back, but I've since used it up (quickly, I might add) and could not find the exact same colour elsewhere, as they were either too pale, too dark, too blue, or too brown. And some were too hard to apply. This eyeshadow is the exact same colour as the pencil I once loved, and since I have a mixer from Makeup Revolution, I can either use this as an eyeliner or simply as an eyeshadow.

I'm not doing a full review on this just yet, as I have yet to truly test the lasting and blending properties of this baby, and I would like to purchase more shades before I do a full review on the brand.

I did a few swatches for this particular eyeshadow, as I wanted to show you all how this appears when you apply it using different methods. In this case, from left to right, I mixed it with a bit of the Makeup Revolution Aqua Seal and applied with a brush. I used my finger for the second swatch, a brush for the third one, and the far right swatch was applied on top of primer with a brush. The Aqua Seal has made it much more intense, but you'd need to use quite a bit of product to get this kind of effect, as most of it gets absorbed into the brush. Using a brush on bare skin makes it appear washed out, so you'd need to layer it to make it more intense. The primer swatch has the best coverage and looks properly foiled rather than just shimmery.

Going by what I've seen so far, Makeup Geek seems promising, though I wonder how the matte formula differs from the foiled ones. I have decided to purchase a few more shades later when there is a sale or when a free international shipping deal is offered. So far I have four more green ones I'd like to get, as well as a few other colours. Who knows, I might go with Makeup Geek for a To Me, From Me gift for my birthday later this year.

What are your Makeup Geek must-haves? Do you have any magnetic palette recommendations?


Cruelty-Free Products That I've Been Using Lately

It's been a while since I did my last update on the products that I've been loving. Since then, I've gone back to some old favourites, found a new favourite brand and I've discovered some new favourites along the way as well. I've been trimming down my collection a bit, lately, after realising that some things just aren't compatible with my skin, like the Essence Sooo Glow highlighter which causes my skin to break out where it is applied. I also threw out the Makeup Revolution The One Highlight stick, as the glitter is just way too chunky for my liking, and gets everywhere whether I like it or not.

The past few months have really seen me mature quite a bit when it comes to makeup. I'm no longer as obsessed with buying more products, and I have very few things on my wishlist now. I mean, aside from curating my own green eyeshadow palette, I cannot think of much else that I'm excited about. I haven't fallen out of love with makeup, I use it all the time, but other things are just more important in my life. That said, here's what I've been using lately.

First of all, I must rave about The Ordinary, because ever since I made the switch I've had far fewer breakouts. Not only that, my pores also don't look gross at the end of the day, my makeup sits better on my face, and I rarely encounter dry patches or irritation due to said dry patches. Currently, I use the Natural Moisturizing Factors (best moisturiser I've ever found to date) which isn't greasy and is very hydrating. My skin loves it so much. I've just finished my first tube of this baby, and I've already stocked up on two more tubes.

I'm also in the beginning stages of using the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum, and so far there's been no negative changes to my skin. I haven't been using it properly enough to see whether it makes much of a difference to my sebum production. I'm almost out of the Hylamide Low Molecular HA Serum, but I figure that The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum would be a very close substitute and replacement. I've yet to start using that one, but it'll be a couple of more days before I get fed up with trying to suck up the last dregs of the Hylamide serum with the dropper.

I'm back to using the Natio Restore Cleansing Milk again and have even stocked up on enough bottles to last me another year. I mean... tell me that these bottles won't last me at least another year! Go on, I dare you. I've never found a cleansing lotion, cream or milk that performed better than this because most of the other brands (cough- Sukin - cough) makes me break out. This one isn't heavy or emollient, so it's easy to break it down with some water prior to rinsing my skin, and it doesn't dry my skin out or leave it feeling dirty still.

I haven't really picked up new products, except for a mascara and a few single eyeshadows to go into a magnetic palette that I've yet to buy. The mascara in question is theBalm's Mad Lash mascara, one that promises length and volume. The curved, toothy wand is the first one I've ever tried of its kind, and I cannot believe how much easier it is to apply mascara to my lashes. As some of you may already know, I'm always dealing with mascara smudging onto my brow bone because of the thrice damned curly lashes. This reduces that problem to a minimum and it takes very little time to apply.
I've rediscovered my love for using the RCMA foundation palette. I mean, I've always used it for my foundation whenever I had the time to put in the extra effort, but I love it even more now. Why? Because I've finally found a way to conceal my under-eye area perfectly with this, and also stop it from creasing like a mofo.

Which brings me to my next favourite cruelty-free product. I've mentioned this one a few times, but I don't think it has had enough attention. It's the Australis Ready Set Go Pressed Finishing Powder. It's better than their loose version and sets my makeup perfectly in place without leaving a white cast, or completely mattifying my face. It goes a long way in absorbing a lot of the oil on my skin, and a retouch guarantees perfection for the rest of the day provided that you blot. I assume this one would be very similar to the RCMA No-Colour powder, only that it is in a pressed form. This baby is what stops my concealer from creasing under my eyes.

I've been using the Pixi Bronzer in Summertime every now and then, where I would use the tiniest amount below my cheeks whenever I look and feel particularly puffy. It's not noticeable because the shimmer particles catch the light and make it blend into the rest of my face as a seamless canvas, but when you look at my face head-on (pun intended) it gives the impression that my face is thinner. I've gained some weight, okay?!

Since my previous edition, I've used theBalm's Balm Voyage palette a couple of times, opting for it because I couldn't be bothered gathering all the bits and pieces before work. Also, when I have a migraine, I really cannot be bothered putting in the effort trying to decide what my look will be like the following day. The first time I used the Voyage palette I wasn't too crazy about the quality of the shadows, but since then I've been able to work with it so that it doesn't get wasted. On the other hand, the highlighter, bronzer and the blushes are actually quite pigmented, though the bronzer is a bit difficult to blend. I've never used the lipsticks provided because they're not my shades.

Now that it's winter here, I'm trying to aim for the more deep tones such as plums, berries, and dark reds like Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked. I've yet to try it out on my lips, as I haven't gone out much since I received it in the mail. I really liked the Rustic shade, and I thought it really suited me. However, I'm not sure why but I didn't get any compliments on it? Then again, it's 1 out of 20 times that I do get a compliment on my makeup. I'm not a pro, or even experienced in the art, but c'mon, I don't look like a clown, do I?

Well, except for that one time I thought pairing Makeup Geek's Jester with the aforementioned Rustic Velvetine was a great idea. It was not. Not a mistake I'll be making again anytime soon.

I recently picked up the Real Techniques Blush and Setting Brushes, so that I could have two of each in my kit. I found that the new ones aren't as dense as my old ones, and it turns out that the brand redesigned them, which makes me really sad in pants. They perform okay, but the blush brush isn't dense enough for me to properly blend out the blush on my cheeks. I'm really disappointed that they've changed things up because that means the quality has gone down with Real Techniques while the price remains the same.

I'm going to be very wise about what kind of brushes I buy next time because I do not want duds in my collection. I want brushes that perform amazingly, that last a long time and the quality is proportionate to the price.

I'm not sure if you guys have noticed, or thought that something seemed a bit different about my post today. I've taken these pictures with my new Canon 750D and it's taking me some time to get used to it, and frankly, I think I might just stick to manual setting, because the colours aren't the best when it comes to the Macro setting. It's also been a bit of a whirlwind on Photoshop because I've had to change my system in editing the photos so that the colours are accurate and the photos brighter. And I'm still not happy with it. So, I definitely need to get more experimenting done with both the camera and on Photoshop.

What products have you been using lately?


Plan With Me #1 ~ June

I am really on a planner kick lately, aren't I? In fact, I think there are more planner posts than there are for makeup, and that really is why I started this blog two years ago. That is largely due to the fact that I haven't been able to do a lot of work lately, and writing about planning comes quickly. It also doesn't take more than several minutes to take a few quick snaps of planner goodies, as opposed to taking photos of swatches or my own face.

However, I've knuckled down the last few days June to really amp up my content for July, and have as many posts ready to go live when they're meant to. In short, I'm tired of falling behind and so I'm kicking ass to get ahead.

My planner is really coming in handy for that reason, as I'm putting a lot of effort into keeping track of everything. I've created a few blogging inserts, as well as stickers to monitor a few things such as my skincare and supplement intake. Kudos to Stephii for trying to stay organised, aye?

The first week of the Happy Planner includes a large chunk of June, as each week begins on Monday and the first day of July doesn't happen until Saturday. So, I took the liberty of decorating said week, sticking to a unicorn theme, as a nod to my friendship with Cat, the one who made all this planning hoopla happen. I used all of the unicorn goodies that she sent me to decorate the spread, as well as a thin purple washi my sister bought for me in Japan. I also used both sticker books to organise my week.

I had to use the "Work hard and be nice" sticker to remind myself that even though it was the final week of the term and I now have two weeks of holiday from work, I still needed to work my ass off at the café. And be nice to a certain (difficult) co-worker. As it's the end of term for the students at the school that I work at, we had to clean the kitchen from top to bottom to prevent a pest infestation during the break.

The sticker books that Cat sent me didn't have any stickers to mark down my weight, so I downloaded a printable and printed them off at Officeworks. I also printed out a layout I created for Game of Thrones, a social media tracker, drink intake tracker, skincare tracker and a tracker to remind me to take my supplements. Some of which I downloaded, and the rest I created/modified to suit my needs.

After one week of actually using a planner properly, I've really noticed a few things. One was that I tended to slack off quite a bit throughout the week and I need to stop putting things off. Another thing was that I am really not good at keeping up with my drink intake, let alone being consistent with my skincare and my supplements. Having these scale stickers are actually a great way to motivate me into losing weight and not giving into my carb-loaded vices.

I'm sorely tempted to start decorating the other weeks in the planner, but at the same time, I want to do it slowly and take it one week at a time. I figure I'd get the most enjoyment out of that, incorporating any new material that I may pick up over time. In fact, I've just ordered some cutesy Harry Potter stickers and it is due to arrive next week. I'm excited because it means that I can decorate the July spread with a Slytherin theme (since I doubt I'll use the Slytherin washi often) and the final week for Harry's birthday.

I have one conundrum though. See, I want to buy all the unicorn activity stickers I find on Etsy but I can't justify the purchase of those when I would be making lots of different types of layouts that may not necessarily match the unicorns. I'm a very fussy person and would like for all of my stickers to match the theme I've chosen for the week. Nonetheless, these stickers are really cute and I want them so much! How does anyone work around this?! Help!

What stationery do you love buying? My weaknesses are washi tape and Frixion pens.


Opening the Latest Happy Mail from Kitty

I know I've been absent a lot lately, and it's not fun that I keep having to struggle to make time just to be able to work on here. However, I've been working on the blog the past couple of weeks, writing a few posts to get ahead, as well as planning what will go up over the next month. It's shocking that it's the end of June already!

I'm on holidays from work for the next two weeks as the school I work at is closed for winter break. I'm pretty excited about this as it means I have more time to myself, and to focus on finding out what is triggering my migraines, and what began it in the first place. I highly believe it's a result of severe B12 deficiency, aka pernicious anaemia, so I need to organise for a B12 injection as soon as possible. Possibly tomorrow.

Cat and I have finally settled on a name for our care package swaps! Last Tuesday, I brought Cat's parcel with me to work and sent it out as soon as I finished for the day. I intended for it to be sent out on Monday but I was having trouble figuring out how to finish the cover I made for her planner. Then, I had to go and get it printed and laminated at Officeworks.

Cat's box arrived last Friday, after being delayed for four days. Apparently, Australia Post wasn't prepared for the sudden and unexpected increase in international parcels at this time of the year. They likened it to be worse than at Christmas time, even more so because they were understaffed. The parcel almost didn't arrive on Friday, as it was nearing the very end of the business day and the sun had set. The poor delivery guy looked so frazzled!

The weight of this box is much like the first ever care package that Cat sent to me. I kept telling her not to buy more than the amount we decided on because these packages are expensive enough without having the hefty price tag associated with shipping it halfway across the world. But the damn woman loves to spoil me!

Australia is known for being completely slow with the latest trends in the US. It was many years before we even had our first Sephora in Sydney, and another couple of years for one to open in Melbourne. The planning trend is gaining traction here in Australia, but our hobby stores such as Lincraft and Spotlight are severely lacking in planning supplies. That said, Cat wanted to make sure I had everything I could possibly need to go with the Happy Planner that she also bought for me.

For our first friendiversary; the theme was paper, and since Cat recently got herself hooked onto planning, she wanted to get me hooked as well. I keep a small planner for day-to-day activities and reminders, as well as for the blog. So naturally, we settled on sending each other planner goodies as part of the paper theme. It is a stark contrast to the makeup-laden boxes that we've sent to each other before.

In fact, Cat sent me two lipsticks from Lime Crime, the matte Velvetines in Wicked and Rustic. I'm really excited about these as the formula from Lime Crime is one of my favourites, and Wicked is perfect for this chilly season. I've always wanted the Rustic shade, so I was pretty excited when Cat bought it for me. She surprised me with a Colourpop Creme Gel Eyeliner in Show Me, a metallic copper that I just know I'll use all the time, as copper is one of my favourite colours to use on my eyes.

She also included a copy of the Allure magazine as she wanted me to read a couple of articles that she bookmarked for me, as well as a box of pointy cotton tips and a sheet mask from Leaders Cosmetics. I flipped out over the little trinket dish because it had the letter 'S' on it and was trimmed in gold. Which, of course, is perfect for blog photography.

She gave me the MAMBI Modern Marble Classic Happy Planner, and I was really excited to start using them. I did my first layout already, complete with unicorns, and I'm working on next week's layout, centred around Spider-Man Homecoming. It's not yet finished, as I need to draw Spider-Man as well as some webs.

She gave me a bunch of stickers to use in my planner, and I can't wait to start using them. She also included a couple of sticker books from MAMBI as well, one of which is the watercolour set, and the other the 1829 piece set which contains all the basics. The last sticker set is a smaller, golden version of the 1829 piece set. There was a variety of sticky notes from Cat as well, one being of cute tropical flowers and plants in pots. A few of them were of retro establishments like a bakery, a diner and a boutique. Oh, and a set of cute sticky notes from MAMBI.

Other things that she sent along were the 9 hole punch for any inserts I may want to make for my planner, a set of expander rings, three pocket folders, a set of magnetic bookmarks and a stack of lists that you insert into the planner. There is a To Do list with a marble print, as well as a USB in the shape of a camera, which I'm going to use solely for the planner for when I need to print some stickers and inserts. And two sets of sheets for writing down notes and lists. I'm really fond of the covers that she included in the parcel as well, as on one side we have some retro stripes and on the other teal polka dots on a white background. Cat sent along some washi tapes, and I could not believe that she also included washi samples! As if 10+ tapes weren't enough, right?

We have an inside joke, which is that I'm the unicorn in the relationship, while she's the mermaid. It's why she decided to send a few unicorn goodies, and why I sent her a few mermaid sticker sets. The unicorn goodies that she sent was a set of sticky notes, stickers and some unicorn washi. Not only that, she also had her cousin make me a Harry Potter bag for my planner, and threw in a really cute pen of Harry.

Her cousin, Erica, made me a makeup bag with Eiffel Tower printed fabric. Pink may not be my colour, but I just love it, and the quality is amazing for something that was made by hand! It's my go-to makeup bag from now on as it's so roomy on the inside which fits all of my daily essentials. In it, she included a few stationery pieces. There were pineapple paperclips, as well as a small notepad with a pineapple print. Because, apparently, all Australians love pineapples, even as decor.

I ordered my new camera earlier this week, and it's due to arrive on Tuesday. I'm really excited because I'm getting fed up with how my current camera keeps corrupting my memory mid-shoot. Basically, it means I have to stop whatever I'm photographing, run to the computer, import everything and then reboot it. It's definitely a pain in the arse whenever it happens while I'm travelling and taking photos of my surroundings. The camera I'm replacing the piece of junk, the Olympus E-420, with is the Canon 750D. This should teach me not to buy shitty seconds from people without doing my research about said piece of junk.

I highly suggest that you guys stay tuned for my next post on Sunday, because I'm going to reveal the first layout I ever did on my planner. I was going to do a little preview of my planning collection but then I remembered that I had a few more things due to arrive next week. So, that'll have to wait. The one little drawer that I allocated for washi tape is now practically full, with room for about two or three more rolls. Crazy, hey? The sad thing is that I don't think I have enough! I'm trying to focus on stickers though, because I've got my heart set on some really cute ones, like the ones I mentioned in my wishlist earlier this month.

Do you have a friend in another state or country that you send mail to?


How To Make Your Own 3D Needle Felted Paperclips

I'm excited about this post because it's more complex than the tutorials that I've shared with my readers. One of my tutorials was on how to make your own tassel paperclips, and while that one is fun, it's really simple to make. I had another tutorial in which you could add a ribbon page marker to any book with a spine, which is also relatively simple and didn't require more than a few minutes and basic materials.

This one, however, takes some time and effort, and a lot of swearing as you stab yourself in the fingers. At least a hundred times in my case. I was lucky no one was at home or else they would be hearing expletives coming from my bedroom every minute or so. What can I say? I'm clumsy, even if I'm quite nimble with my fingers. I think impatience may have a lot to do with the multiple puncture wounds in my fingertips...

Harry Potter | Ravenclaw Inspired Makeup

It is no secret that I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter. What's not to love, though? You've got friendship, love, important life lessons, magic and a whole world that you can get lost in. I'm a Hufflepuff, through and through, and it is a very accurate sorting. I possess qualities from the other houses, but I'm also too loyal for my own good.

I'm going to do makeup inspired by each of the houses. I've seen lots of looks online, and while most of them are creative and fun, they don't quite represent the houses and their traits accurately. I wanted to save Hufflepuff for last, so I'm doing Ravenclaw first before making my way through the other houses.

How To Make Your Own Tassel Paperclips

Here's my second post for the week, and I think I'm actually getting things back on track. Sure, I only published two posts last week, but it was a bit full on then with work. This week, however, looks like it'll be a lot better. I'm trying quickly to make sure I can have this published tonight. I have work tomorrow, so I need to be in bed by 10. I went to the city today because a Japanese woman visited my work yesterday as she wanted to see what deaf schools were like in Australia. Being deaf herself, she's taught children Japanese sign language for a number of years.

She was interested in learning Auslan, and I was also interested in learning JSL. She was only in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Sydney, so I suggested that we meet today for lunch and coffee. It turned out to be a great idea, as we both learned a lot and it was fun. I took Misato to a Korean restaurant, as she wasn't interested in Japanese or Chinese cuisine, and then we went for macarons at La Belle Miette, before moving over to the cafe next door for some coffee.

I'm so surprised that I didn't stop by Daiso or someplace else to buy more stationery, considering how crazy I've been lately. For some of you that may not have read my previous post, I've been planner-obsessed and so my willpower is rather weak when I look at washi, stickers, and printables.

My Newest Obsession | My Planning Wishlist

So, here's the deal, my friend Cat and I had our first friendiversary earlier this year, and the theme for first anniversaries is paper. We thought we'd incorporate the theme into our next care package swap. That means we have to send each other something paper-based. She let on that she bought me the MAMBI Classic Happy Planner. I initially had no idea what it was, so I looked it up and that unleashed a monster. A hobby that incorporates scrapbooking elements and organisation?! How could I resist the temptation?

This is the stock photo of the planner she bought for me. Marble?! Rose Gold?! Oh, my...