Friday, July 1, 2016

Moderate Stash: Mid-Year Replacements

One of the things I like to do that sometimes freaks people out is get rid of stuff I love. Yes, I know, that sounds counter-productive: you would think that you would find something you love, hang on to it, and never let it go. The thing is that I try a lot of stuff--I mean, a lot--and I sometimes come across products I love even more than a long-standing Holy Grail. So rather than cling to all of those products and deal with the over-flowing makeup drawers of my youth, I let the old favorites be replaced by the young guns.

This doesn't make the replaced products any less impressive, mind you. They were favorites and stand-bys for a reason, my go-tos, my "I'm in a hurry and I have to get a decent face on fast" staples. Two of the replaced products were actually repurchases. Yet again, I just don't want to have so much stuff that a sizable chunk of it goes unloved.

Here are the products I've decided to let go of and their replacements.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee is being replaced by BBIA Downy Cheek.

Why I love the Josie Maran blush: This is a unique blush in my collection because of its gel texture and stained effect. While this works on all skin types, I think it's especially perfect for dry skin; several people I've spoken to have been able to use it even when they were dealing with intense dryness caused by -30 degree weather or cancer treatment. It's very sheer, but easily built up for more color.

Why it's being replaced: The Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelees come in several shades, but I find that all of the warm shades apply coral and all of the cool shades apply watermelon pink. By contrast, these Korean cream blushes from BBIA apply very much as the shade in the pan. And while the stark white bases make them less than optimal for anyone with a deeper skintone, they look truly lovely on very fair skin. The tipping point for me is their incredibly emollient formula, which is easy to spread on my cheeks even when they're at their driest and most sensitive.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is being replaced by NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

Why I love the Kevyn Aucoin concealer: If you want the most pigmented concealer you can find, it's hard to beat the Sensual Skin Enhancer. This creamy, little-goes-a-long-way base can cover the heaviest dark circles or the reddest blemish. The shade range is relatively broad, and the Sx01 shade is a great match for NC5-10 skintones like mine. (If Sx01 is too yellow for you, Sx02 is a hair darker and more pink.) This is at least my second pot of the SSE, as it's lovingly known, and the most popular posts on this blog outline tips for using it.

Why it's being replaced: The Sensual Skin Enhancer has a bit of a learning curve, and while I've figured out how to use it best on my skin, it's still a bit fussy. It's also a smidge too heavy for my undereyes unless I really sheer it out. The Radiant Creamy Concealer is simply an easier product to use, and I find myself continuously grabbing it instead because it works on my undereyes and does a great job of masking pimples. Also, I don't need a separate brush for the NARS product.

MAC Cream Color Base is being replaced by Glossier Haloscope.

Why I love the MAC highlighter: This is not my first pan of MAC Cream Color Base. Actually, I'm old old old friends with the formula, and I know I've run through at least one full pot of Pearl (an off-white pearl shade). This pot is Luna, a pure white that is very striking on fair and light skintones. While it has a cream formula, it's a bit "stiffer" than most, so it doesn't melt in your bag or feel heavy on the skin. This is yet another product that comes in a wide range of shades, including many different frosty finishes that can suit a wide range of skintones and a lot of very beautiful blush colors.

Why it's being replaced: I already have a stark white highlighter that beats the shit out of MAC Luna, and that's Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl. Glossier Quartz is a very pale gold, making it a different color from all of my other highlighters. Also, as I've gotten older, my skin has gotten dryer, and stiffer creams like the MAC Cream Colour Bases are often pushed aside for more emollient products like the Glossier Haloscope.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks are being replaced by several other liquid lipstick formulas.

Yes, that is a Lime Crime Velvetine, they were gifts, please don't hate meeeeeeeeeee!

Why I love the Hourglass lipsticks: Although the color range for this product isn't huge, it is decently varied, and you can get everything from a soft beige nude to a flaming red orange. These elegantly-packaged lipsticks are easy to apply and wear like iron; you can eat a massive meal with them on your lips and still have full, rich color after. Both of the shades I currently own, Riviera (orange) and Empress (plum) are beyond gorgeous.

Why they're being replaced: The ORLL formula has always been somewhat heavy and drying. While that was totally tolerable when I first tried these, the liquid lipstick market has since blown up, and some companies have now produced formulas that are just as pigmented and long-wearing, but also more comfortable. Competition to produce the best liquid lipstick and keep up with ever-evolving trends has also resulted in an absolutely stupefying range of shades. Finally, the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks are rather pricey. It's now possible to get a high quality liquid lipstick for a fraction of the price.

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