Best of 2015 discoveries

I posted my list of beauty discoveries in 2014 when I started this blog so I thought I’d continue the tradition this year. I consider something a “discovery” if it’s new to me, not necessarily something that was launched that year. Since I was on a No-Buy all year, I was either using up items in my stash or opening up unopened products that I had hoarded. I decided on the Top 15 since I saw it on Classic Maggie’s blog (I suppose next year I’ll need to list 16 items?)  I’ll differentiate the Rediscoveries with (R) and New discoveries with (N) on my list.
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Where available, I’ve linked to blog posts where I’ve either reviewed or mentioned the products. In no particular order:

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Blotting paper stash

I write this post a bit tongue-in-cheek because who the heck has a stash of blotting papers?  ME, that’s who:
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I love picking up random blotting papers here and then and then forgetting about all the ones I’ve already got, and then buying more.  I mean, they don’t expire, so why not?

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MAC Paint Pots and Paints

Today I’ll swatch my collection of MAC Paint Pots and Paints.  They’re an essential part of my daily eye makeup.  My lids are quite oily and after years of trial and error, I’ve finally settled on the fact that I need both a primer and a cream eye shadow base to create a canvas for my powder eye shadows.  MAC Paints Pots are hands down, one of the best cream eye shadows on the market.  They help to prevent creasing, can be worn a lone for a wash of colour, and they do not dry out as fast in the pots compared to others on the market (Maybelline Color Tattoos, I’m looking at you!)
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MAC Paint Pots ($26) contain 5g of product and are contained in glass jars, whereas the Paints (also $26) are in the squeeze tubes and contain 6.5g of product.

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My MAC Extra Dimension collection

I mentioned a while back that I love the then still limited edition MAC Extra Dimension finish, and I was super excited when it was announced that they were making it permanent.  Today, I’ll swatch my collection of Extra Dimension items, which include eye shadows, and blushers and a bronzer:
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Extra Dimension formula is described as a “liquid-powder hybrid” with most eye shadows having a shimmery finish – some do have more obvious glitter or frost.  They can be used dry or wet for higher intensity but I’ve never used them wet – I will have to try that eventually. Worn dry, I find them to be exceptionally pigmented and smooth (all my swatches are done dry).

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July beauty favourites and 200 Days of No-Buy

I’ve never done a monthly favourites because I fear that my picks will become too repetitive month after month, since my favourites don’t change drastically.  Maybe it won’t be a monthly affair but let’s see how it goes. Before I get to my July favourites, I just want to acknowledge that today is my 200 day of No-Buy (aside from my birthday purchases, which is completely pardoned in No-Buy-land) – yay:
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Onto the July favourites:
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Trash Stash: June 2015

The end of June marks the official mid-point of the year! I’ve always wondered why it’s “Christmas in July” when it really makes more sense to be in June! 💡
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It was especially satisfying to finish some of these products this month because many of them I’d been using for a long time.

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Transition Eye Shadow Shades

When I finally understood the concept of a transition eye shadow, it upped my eye shadow blending game by tenfold.  A transition eye shadow shade is one that is typically matte and slightly darker than your natural skin tone – this helps to blend the lid colour into the brow area. Most days now, I just pop on a shimmery neutral shade [taupe!] on the lid up to the crease, then I blend the edges with a transitional shade – something like this:
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My blending skills are better than my photoshop skills.

It looks like I spent a lot of time with my eye look but in fact, it took less than 5 minutes. I’ve depotted some of my most used transition colours into a small z-palette so I can have a range to choose from each morning:
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I would group my transition shades into neutral, warm and cool categories. I’m around NC25 so these would be suitable for skin tones that are similar.

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Salux beauty skin cloth

When someone touches my arm in passing and blurts out, “omg your SKIN, it’s SO soft!” I’m a bit embarrassed and surprised – I mean, I really have no frame of reference to the degree of skin softness on other people. This invariably leads to said person asking someone else to touch my skin to verify that it is indeed SO soft, which leads to petting time at the zoo…

I can’t pinpoint exactly why my skin is “SO soft” but I can attribute it to a few things:
•  Genetics 60%
•  Skincare products (soaps, shower gels, lotion, body butter) 25%
•  Salux cloth 15%

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What is this Salux cloth?  It’s like the cherry on the cake!

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Shiseido skincare reviews

First, let me insert my usual disclaimer here that I’m no expert on skincare – I’m just a skincare enthusiast.  I’m also by no means a guru on all things Shiseido – there are just my experiences with these products.  I’ve been using skincare from this brand starting about 5 years ago.  I would categorize the brand as high-end but not luxury, with the skincare above the $50 price point and mostly below $100 each.  Shiseido is sold primarily through department stores and inside special beauty boutiques in some drugstores.  All of the products shown are made in Japan.  The line has some nice moisturizers and cleansers that I’ve repurchased – but like all brands, there are good and bad products within the range.
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I thought I’d provide a quick overview of some of the products that I’ve tried.  I’ve categorized the items into Love, Like, and Loathe.

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Back-up Worthy Items

After being burned one too many times with discontinued or limited edition items that I LOVE, I decided to take matters into my own hands and purchased back-ups of certain products for insurance purposes.  Here are some items I have unopened in my stash:
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Anna Sui Dolly Girl Lipstick in Natasha 003 – $25
I’ve already used up an entire tube of this – this is my second tube, plus I have another unopened one in my stash. It’s a gorgeous sheer coral shade with tiny shimmers that’s very hydrating. I use this as a tinted lip balm and it goes with any makeup I’m wearing.  The pretty packaging and bullet design are just added bonus!  This was a limited edition item from 2011.

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