Wednesday, January 17, 2018

VIDEO: Night Time Skincare Routine

(NOTE: To watch in full screen, start the video, then click the "YouTube" link in the corner of the video.)

I'm not exactly a skincare expert, and many of the reasons why my skin stays relatively clear are internal: my genetics, my diet, stress levels, medication, and so forth. But now I have a camera that does that insanely cool face tracking thing, and I thought this might be helpful. Fair warning: I'm not wearing my glasses in this video.

Products Mentioned:
Makeup Remover -- baby oil and Shiseido cottons
Serum -- patch testing Jordan Samuel Hydrate
Foot Cream -- Deciem Heel Chemistry

Current Night Time Spot Treatments:

Music: Dirty Elegance, "Farewell Bob"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Now Accepting Donations for Charity

When you visit the blog now, you will see a little green "Donate" button with a coffee cup. This is Ko-Fi button, which allows you to "buy me a coffee" (aka tip me $3) via PayPal. I've donated to other creators' Ko-Fi accounts before, and I've come to realize how beneficial this could be for Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick.

You see, sometimes people ask me if there's a way they can thank me for writing this blog. It's a labor of love, a hobby, a passion project; I don't make money from it and I pay for most of what I write about. But I don't want money for myself. That's not why I blog. Even when I was offered money or products from readers in the past, I would always thank them and say, "Please consider donating to a charity instead." Some readers actually donated in my name, or spoke to me about their favorite charities, and I'm still oh so grateful.

I thought this would be a great way to make those charitable donations more substantial. When you buy me a coffee with the Ko-Fi button, I won't pocket a penny; instead, I'll add your $3 to my next donation. I'll keep track of the donations in a Word document to avoid mixing them up with my own funds. I will always make note of what organization I'm donating to underneath the Ko-Fi button, and I will also post about each donation I make on Twitter.

Let me be clear: I appreciate your non-monetary support so much. Your wonderful comments, kind emails, and helpful shout-outs on forums and message boards have been overwhelming, and I am beyond thankful for them. You are no in way, shape, or form expected to hit that Ko-Fi button. But charitable giving is incredibly important to me. And for those of you who would like to send some kind of gift? This is the best gift you could give.

I understand if this button makes some people uncomfortable. Please feel free to ask me any questions you'd like in the comments section of this post, and I'll do my best to answer them.

Thank you for the many years of support!

A few quick Q&As:

Will you publish my name if I donate to your Ko-Fi?
I'll be keeping track of donations on a Word document. Whatever you write as your name in Ko-Fi is what I will list. If you want to be anonymous, no problem; post anonymously, use a handle, whatever works for you.

How often will you donate?
I'd like to donate at least $20 at a time. Depending on how many tips end up in the tip jar, I'll either donate once a month, or I'll wait until I hit $20. 

Will my full $3 be donated?
Unfortunately, PayPal does take out a small fee. :( In my experience, they take around $0.23 for every $3 donated. I'll keep track of this in the Word document. ETA on 1/14: I stand corrected! PayPal takes their standard fee: 2.9% plus $.030 per transaction. This means they take $0.39 if you donate one coffee ($3), $0.47 if you donate two coffees ($6), etc. Again, I'll keep track in the Word document.

How do I know you're going to donate this money?
I'll keep track of the donations in a Word document, and I'll try to screenshot that and the donation screen when I make the donation. Beyond that, it's a matter of trust. If you don't trust me to donate your money, I completely understand! Please consider donating directly instead.

How often will your charity of choice change?
I think I'd like to make at least two or three donations to each charity before switching, unless a catastrophe pops up (like the recent slew of natural disasters). The current charity will always be listed under the Ko-Fi button.

How will you pick charities?
I will only donate to charities with high reputations and A grades that I have donated to in the past. The exception would be a disaster relief fund, since those are often set up on an as-needed basis by the area in trouble.

Besame Merlot Lipstick Giveaway WINNER!

The winner of the Besame Merlot lipstick is Clara. Congrats, Clara! You have 48 hours to contact me via the email address listed on the side bar.

Another massive thank you to everyone who entered! I appreciate you all so, so much. Let's make 2018 the best blogging year yet!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Best of 2017

It's finally here, you guys: 2018! I think most of us are hoping this year will be less of a raging dumpster fire than 2017. I'm cautiously optimistic. I know I've got big plans for 2018, including some new ideas and small changes to the blog. Hilariously, I'd planned on updating how I do my favorites (there will be 3 or 4 posts this year with both beauty products and lifestyle-ish stuff), but I hadn't planned on writing this post. Unfortunately, traveling gave me a UTI so vicious that standing still in a favorites video just wasn't feasible. Note to self: stop trying to hold it in on the plane, even if you don't wanna force the sweet, feeble old man with a cane to move.

Before we get in to the actual products, I want to mention two beauty-adjacent things I loved in 2017. The first is the treatment I received for chronic hives: vitamin D and a daily allergy pill. While I still get the occasional welt or two (I actually had one this morning), they're far less common and not as itchy, and I've only had a couple of serious breakouts this past year. Yes, I'm still carrying my Benadryl cream in my bag, but I no longer fear going to the movies or on a city outing--it's manageable. A huge thank you to my doctor for listening to me, ordering blood tests, and helping me find the best treatment.

And Ebates! I've actually had an Ebates account for years, but I never really used it because I kept forgetting about it. Then somebody mentioned that Ebates actually has a little toolbar button you can install; it'll flash when you can get cash back, and all you have to do is click the button. I still forget to click the button sometimes because I'm a dip, but "sometimes" is better than "never." I'm all about getting money back on stuff I was going to purchase, anyway.

Though $1.50 back on a $600 plane ticket was probably not even worth the click. #salty

Enough of this nonsense. Product time!

Glossier Cloud Paints, $18 at Glossier -- Cloud Paints have quickly become Glossier's most-raved-about makeup product, and it's no surprise. They're easy to blend, look gorgeous on the skin, and come in some truly lovely colors. (Also, the paint tube packaging is extremely cute.) I find that they look great on bare skin and over foundation. You can also mix colors to get your perfect shade; I only use Dusk to turn Puff and Beam in to a more muted pink or peach, respectively. The biggest problem? The shade range isn't very inclusive. Only Haze, the bright berry color, will work on deeper skintones. I've whined about wanting a bold red or deep orange in this formula (imagine a liquid NARS Exhibit A!), but Glossier hasn't produced it yet.

Makeup Eraser, $20 at Sephora -- If you'd told me I'd love a microfiber makeup remover that you just soak with a bit of water, I would have...well, I wouldn't have laughed in your face because that's just rude. But I definitely wouldn't have believed you. Then I received a mini Makeup Eraser in an on-clearance Sephora Favorites kit, and I ended up being so enamored, I bought a second kit. I wish they sold these mini sizes separately, because they're perfect for gently but effectively removing my work makeup (brows, mascara, concealer, powder, lipstick). Perhaps the best thing about the Makeup Eraser is that it can be washed up to a thousand times, making it a great alternative to makeup wipes if you're trying to cut down on waste. I also take these with me when I travel.

Shu Uemura Lash Curlers, $21 at -- I actually used the Shu Uemura lash curlers all throughout college. Back then, I lived decently close to a Shu Uemura counter, and I could sweet talk a new lash curler pad out of the sales associates every few months. Then Shu Uemura left the US, and new lash curler pads became a thing of the past: Shu insists you need to repurchase the curler every year and therefore won't sell the pads separately. So I switched to a few other curlers, namely the Shiseido offering, and they were great...but man, this really does give me the best curl. It's more curved than most other curlers I've tried, which fits my eye shape, and it never gives me those awful right-angle lashes, no matter how hard I squeeze.

Besame Classic Color Lipsticks, $22 at -- This might seem like a cheat to some of you, since I started using these lipsticks at the end of 2016. However, I have a "cut off" point: anything that I start using around the end of October is too new for me to put in the yearly favorites post. I'm glad I waited, since I tested, bought, and actually received over half of Besame's lipstick range in 2017. (Still not over it, never gonna be over it.) With a rich satin finish, opaque coverage in one stroke, solid staying power, and a slew of reds in the range, it's my ideal formula. Also, there's an Agent Carter collection coming out this year!

Butter London Glazen Eye Glosses, $24 at Ulta -- I wouldn't have tried these if it weren't for this post from Lynn and my weird desire to try stuff that isn't getting YouTube hype. I'm damn glad I grabbed Oil Slick and Unicorn during an Ulta half-off sale, though, because they are my new favorite cream eyeshadows. I normally tell my family to skip on beauty gifts with the obvious exception of gift cards because I'm so picky, but when I was offered the Majesty's Metals set (that is currently on sale for $19.20!), I was like, "AWE YEAH, GIMME DAT GLITTERY GOODNESS." You just smear them on with your finger and get high impact color like that. Dare I say it...they may even replace the Josie Maran liquid eyeshadows I've mourned so frequently. My one bitch is that this is an extremely pigmented cream product that will likely dry out quickly, so $24 for a huge pot is silly. Butter London should definitely switch to the mini sizes sold in kits and drop the price.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $15 at Sephora -- I've heard wonderful things about these pads for years, but the low acid percentage (< 2% each of glycolic and lactic acid) and the inclusion of a citrus ingredient made me avoid them. That, and I was relatively happy with my Paula's Choice 10% AHA. Then a friend of mine gave me a jar of these pads, and yep, they're my new favorite AHA product. While the Paula's Choice exfoliant gave me amazing results, it was so potent and reeked so horribly of burning tires that I could only use it once a week, and I had to rinse it off after 15 minutes. By contrast, I can use these gentle pads 2 or 3 times a week without issue. The liquid is weightless on the skin and dries down within 5 minutes. Definitely cut these in half if you buy them!

Catrice Long Lasting Brow Definer, $2.50 at Ulta -- I bought this brow pen because Catrice was BOGO at Ulta and I'd wanted to try the range for a while. I never expected to fall madly in love with this brow pen. It's deceptive: the liquid is translucent, so you can't draw on super-defined hairs, and the color doesn't look very dark. Within 30 seconds, though, I can build up the color to get fuller but still relatively natural-looking brows. The one bummer? They only have three shades: a medium brown, a dark brown, and a gray.

Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF 50 PA++++, ~$10 on eBay -- It's been a real struggle finding a face sunscreen that won't break me out, cause irritation, or suck the life out of my skin. When I hit maximum desperation, I turned to Ratzilla's list of alcohol-free Japanese sunscreens and grabbed the four best-looking options. This offering from Rohto was the clear winner. It has a thin, slippery texture and goes on completely clear. It's totally weightless and, amazingly, it doesn't make my eyes water. I've noticed that this sunscreen gets rave reviews on numerous skincare boards, and I'm not surprised; it's a total winner for normal to dry skin.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Last Budget Post and 2018 Goals

It's been an interesting year, full of plenty of saving and downsizing ups and downs. I now work two-and-a-half jobs, I'm almost 30, and I'm hoping to get married in the next couple years. All of this has shifted my views on beauty, budgets, and goals.

Let's start by talking about my year long project pan. I should have a picture of the products for you, but, um...I kind of threw a lot of them away after my last empties post. I'm really sorry; I wasn't thinking.

  • finish at least 2 mini face creams -- I actually ended up finishing a lot of skincare deluxe samples, including a handful of moisturizers.
  • finish the Glossier Balm dot Com in Mint -- I kept this in my work bag. Personally, I like this balm and the strong minty flavor, but I prefer the Jack Black mint balm because it has SPF.
  • finish the Glossier Boy Brow in Clear -- Again, this is a perfectly fine product, but I greatly prefer the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel.
  • finish the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Ivory -- To be honest, I have the tiniest bit of product left inside of this tube, but it's such a small amount that I don't mind calling it done. I prefer the Radiant shade, which is a peach corrector.
  • use up half of my 1 ounce MAC Strobe Cream -- Is using up MAC Strobe Cream ever a trial? I've gotten in to layering the Glossier Haloscope in Quartz over this for an extra glowy effect, so I went through this cream faster than I thought I would.
Not Achieved:
  • finish the mini Milk Makeup Blur Stick -- I tried to use this every time I went sans foundation, but honestly, a little goes a long way with this stick...and I don't like it that much. I'm not going to force myself to finish something I'm not liking, so in to the trash it goes.
  • hit pan on the YSL Creme de Blush in Babydoll -- The scent of this discontinued blush began to change at the end of this year, so I decided to toss it. While I didn't actually see the bottom of this cream blush, I did make a massive dip in it--check the most recent empties video for that.
  • finish the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light -- I developed a weird allergy to this product, but it took me a while to admit it. It's since been purged. I'm pretty bummed, because I really loved this product.
  • finish a mini lipstick -- On the one hand, I didn't finish a mini lipstick. On the other hand, I got rid of almost all of my mini lipsticks; I'm down to three now. So...progress?

Overall, I'd give myself a B- for this project. I didn't hit all of my goals, but some of those weren't my fault (Glossier PST allergy), and others aren't really bothering me (Milk Makeup Blur Stick). I can definitely do better, though.

Let's go over my other goals! I'm using + for goals I achieved and x for goals I didn't manage.

[ x ] Unsubscribe from Sephora Play -- This one is really 50/50. I unsubscribed in summer, resubscribed in fall, and just unsubscribed again this week. As you can see from the photo of my sample box above, I have a ton of new stuff to test and don't really need any more deluxe samples coming in. Also, I miss watching Drunk History and a Hulu subscription was around the same price. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[ + ] Complete another Project Pan -- See above!

[ + ] Complete another Lipstick Diary -- I'm still loving this series, but I'm wondering if I should try a new version. Maybe one in which I wear the same lipstick with two at-least-a-little-different FOTDs? That'd be a pain in the ass to keep track of, but it'd definitely be interesting.

[ + ] Put more money in to savings and charitable donations -- This ended up being pretty easy at the end of the year, as a slew of natural disasters prompted even more donations than usual. (I'm actually considering setting up a digital "tip jar" for this blog, and the money would be given to charity every $20 or so--does that sound like an okay idea?)

[ + ] Finish as many foils as I can -- At the time of this post, I've finished 52 foil sample packets!

[ + ] Be less wasteful -- Thanks to tupperware and the Makeup Eraser, I rarely use plastic bags or makeup/baby wipes anymore. I also switched over to glass straws, which are much better for the environment and can go in the dishwasher. I've bought very few new clothing items as well, thanks to the local thrift stores.

[ + ] Finish up at least $1000 worth of products -- I actually finished up over $1000!

[ x ] Maintain a $250 budget for cash spending on new products -- I went over my budget by $72.27, spending a total of $322.27 in cash this year (excluding staple replacements). Halfway through the year, I realized I probably should've made my budget $300, since taxes and shipping add on more than I thought they would...but still, I'm a little sad that I didn't stay under that number. But let's look at the bright side! Is it massively over what I wanted? No. Is it definitely under what I spent in previous years? Yes. And keeping track of my spending definitely made me more aware of my habits and weaknesses. Note, for example, that I tend to buy the most in the middle (April, May June) and end (November, December) of the year.

[ x ] Be more adventurous -- I want to blame my failure on working two and a half jobs, but really, I just became even more of a shy, sheltered homebody. I have plans to travel more this coming year, maybe that will help.

[ x ] Save up for a trip with my partner -- I'm not upset about this one because I encouraged my fiance to spend his money on something else, and we're very happy with the results. Again, traveling will hopefully be a priority of ours in 2018.

[ + ] Read 50 books -- As of this post, I've finished 68, and I'll likely finish another one before the year is out. I think I'll strive for 50 again in 2018.

Finally, let's talk about my goals going forward. As you can see from the photo above, I've decided to start doing a bullet journal/planner...type...thingy. (I dunno, it's not as pretty as most planners I see or as minimalist as a bullet journal should be, but whatever, it's meant to work for me.) I'll be creating a page for each month and two pages for each week. The monthly pages will allow me to keep track of important deadlines, bill payments, purchases (excluding necessities like food), and my wish list. The weekly pages will include a mini habit tracker, my work schedule, what I've read and watched, and a skincare log, plus whatever other notes I want to jot down.

I technically haven't started using this journal yet, since I've only recently finished the January pages. But I have to say that just creating this little book has been very relaxing. I've actually been wanting to try this for a while now, but my limited artistic abilities and the cost of the supplies prevented it. A huge thank you to my parents for giving me a slew of planning supplies for Christmas, including a sizable batch of washi tape. My God, that stuff is like crack.

As you can see, I'll also be using this journal to keep track of my 2018 Project Pan and my empties. And that empties section is so tiny because I'm going to make some changes for 2018 to see how they go. Namely:
  • I will no longer being doing seasonal empties videos with every beauty-adjacent product. I'll just hold on to empty makeup. Empty skincare, finished candles, depleted lotions, and so on will likely still be posted to my Instagram.
  • I'd like to skip the annual favorites for 2018 and do seasonal posts instead. These would include a couple of beauty products I'm really liking, but also any movies or books that impressed me, what music I'm loving, etc. (There will still be a "Best Products of 2017" video some time in January.)
  • I will not come up with a specific budget for 2018, but I will continue to keep track of my purchases, albeit in a more basic way. Honestly, keeping a budget this past year has made me hyper aware of my spending, and I'm more hesitant than ever to bring new products in to my bathroom.
What do we think of these changes? Yay or nay?

Moving along, here's a typed version of my Project Pan 2018 items, since my handwritten version is likely too tiny or too sloppy for most people to read:

  1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl -- I love this stuff, but I've had this bottle since graduate school. I'd like to finish as much as I can, then get a new bottle.
  2. Deciem Heel Chemistry -- I am the WORST at using this up, mostly because it smells kind of like Bengay and I don't want my hands to smell like that right before bed.
  3. Glossier Generation G in Jam -- A solid sheer plum lipstick, but it's showing its age and I'd like to use it up.
  4. Glossier Haloscope in Quartz -- This is a lofty goal, considering I have another highlighter on this list and a little of this cream product goes a long way. But it is a cream stick product, and they do age. Again, I'd like to see how far I can get.
  5. Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium -- This powder is...just fine. Let's see if I can get it out of my collection this year.
  6. Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner -- I like this pencil, but the very soft, slightly waxy formula is not my personal preference for brow products. I'd say the pencil is about halfway gone right now.
  7. Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose -- This is a deluxe sample lipstick that I received in a luxury Sephora Play box a friend got for me. It's an okay color, but it's nothing to write home about, and the Tom Ford formula is infamous for going rancid quickly.
  8. YSL Touche Eclat in #2 -- A perfectly nice product, but probably too expensive for what it is. I want to finish it and repurchase the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Radiant.

Last, but most certainly not least, here's a list of my beauty-related goals for 2018. Definitely let me know what yours are in the comments, and/or if you have any suggestions or tips for me!

  • Complete a year-long project pan.
  • Finish at least 15 fragrance samples.
  • Do not buy mascara for a year. (Free samples and PR are acceptable.)
  • Focus more on skin health.
  • Finish at least $200 worth of makeup.
  • Start a new inspiration series.
  • Maintain my current lipstick drawer: everything should be able to lay flat in it.
  • Do not purchase base products (foundations, concealers, powders) if there is clearly zero attempt to include darker skintones. If your product comes in three shades of beige, I'm sorry, I'm done with you.

I'll be away for the rest of 2017. The blog will be back in January. Happy New Year!