The Makeup Edit

The moment I discovered makeup I pretty much went from zero to a hundred real quick. Between the fixation on finding an HG, limited edition releases (Hello Kitty x MAC omg), and access to designer labels that I could not afford otherwise (read: Chanel), I found myself filling up one Muji drawer after another.

These days I feel quite “set” in my preferences; after years of constant hoarding and experimentation I have (thankfully) figured out which looks I prefer on myself, which products work on my face, and which items are most likely to languish at the back of my makeup drawer. And while I’m not completely immune to marketing (who is?), I no longer feel the need to scurry off to Sephora with every new product release.

My makeup drawer has been subject to a number of edits over the last year or so, but recently I decided to do yet another round and document it for, err, science.


I find that very few makeup brands really understand Asian undertones (read: WE ARE NOT ORANGE), so I mostly stick to those that do - Japanese brands, and NARS (a Shiseido subsidiary, so it's quasi-Japanese, really).

Suqqu Extra Rich Cream Foundation. Love love love this. (Review)
Temptu Air Pod. Reserved for special occasions only, because $$$. (Review)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I'm actually scraping the sides of these two tubes. Repurchasing in the airport (cheaper there!).
it Cosmetics CC Cream. I was trying this out as a possible replacement for Suqqu, but unfortunately it dissipates off my face in like three hours. Still keeping it because it's a nice handy size and it's still good for quick errands.
Becca Mineral Powder. Used mainly for touch ups.
Cle de Peau Concealer. Eye-wateringly expensive but an incredible color match. I always have to stop myself from spreading it all over my face; saving it for use on blemishes only.
Hourglass Mineral Primer. I just got the trial size to test it out; now I'm a convert (but will probably still repurchase the trial size because it lasts a decent amount of time).

Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude. I was expecting a slightly glow-y version of the Double Wear Light. It's not.
Chanel Les Beiges. Meh.


One of my biggest Eureka! moments was when I realized that most blushes look the same. I mean sure, they swatch differently, especially when compared side by side, but when buffed on to the cheeks? You'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

NARS Exhibit A. Kept for sentimental reasons. Also, it's pretty.
Dior Rosy Glow Blush. This was supposed to be my cool-toned blush, but it warms up a bit when applied. Still a good color, though, and it lasts quite a bit.
Benefit Rockateur. Hate the packaging (hate), but love the color.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. To be honest this was a bit meh, but it's a good neutral so I'm keeping it.
Bare Minerals Warmth. For when I look deathly pale.
Becca Beach Tint. Good for on-the-go, but not particularly exciting or interesting.

Makeup Forever HD Cream Blush. Discarding because it's more than two years old, which for a cream product means goodbye. I did hit pan on this, but not repurchasing because I didn't find it particularly long-lasting.
The Balm Instain. Also really old. Not repurchasing because I don't think it's particularly unique.
NARS Douceur. I love this blush, but it's five years old. FIVE. Unfortunately it's discontinued. I might try to find a dupe.


I change my mind about my brows a lot - I vacillate between "barely there" to "so very defined" - hence the variety of product.

MAC Brow Shader. I don't think I've ever used the highlight shade, but the brow powder is my everyday staple.
Anastasia Brow Powder. For when I want stronger brows.
Tom Ford Brow Pencil. Great for natural brows. Crazy expensive, so I try not to use it too often, but even then I'm already on my second one.
Charlotte Tillbury Brow Pencil. There was a learning curve with this one, but now it's yet another product I love but don't use too often because it's not locally available.

MAC Eyeshadow. This is in Charcoal Brown. The SA told me it would be a good brow powder but it's just not for me.
Billion Dollar Brows Eyebrow Powder. Bought when my hair was kinda turning orange. Probably not going that route again.


I don't wear eyeshadow daily, just because I have a hooded eye and would rather not deal with all the creasing. I do like a smokey eye on occasion, though. Realistically I think a well-designed quad (or quint) is probably enough to serve all my eyeshadow needs.

Burberry Eyeshadow {Pearl Barley}. A relatively new purchase; works well as a single sweep of color.
Chanel Charming Palette. This was a gift from the husband but it's so old he doesn't even remember buying it. I'm still keeping it out of sentiment, but will probably replace with something similar (it's limited edition).

Laura Mercier Artists Palette. It was a good idea, in theory, but I really don't get as much use out of this as I thought I would. Also pink eyeshadow makes me look like I have an infection.


Lip color is probably my one remaining problem area, because I haven't quite gotten my "signature" lipstick color down just yet.

Charlotte Tillbury {Bitch Perfect}. I actually bought this off of my bridal makeup artist. A nice peachy nude. 
Chanel Rouge Coco {Adrienne}. A sheer everyday nude. 
NARS Audacious {Racquel, Barbara}. Lovely colors, drying formula. Will keep only one because the colors are too close to justify both. 
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine {Nude in Private}. I've worn this down to a nub; will repurchase in the airport. 

MAC Plumful, Intoxica. Bought during a "bright lipstick" phase that didn't quite work out.
Givenchy Le Rouge. I bought two of these, in different shades, and both turned into a gritty mess shortly after purchase. Never again.
Tom Ford Lipstick. Not in photo, but I just feel I have to mention that of all the lipsticks I own, drugstore and high-end, these were the fastest to go off. For the (ridiculous) price, it's just unacceptable.

More Lip Things

See, I told you this was the problem area.

MAC Vamplify Lip Gloss. Probably the closest I will ever come to a "vampy" color.
NARS Lip Glide {Bound}. A pretty mauve <3 (super comfortable too!)
Lip Pencils. Lately I've been really loving wearing lip pencils on their own, with just a bit of lip balm. I wish they had more variety though.

Happy Skin Liquid Lip Color. I really wanted to support local Filipino brands, and the colors are wonderful as well, but the formula is just too drying :(
Revlon Ultra HD Liquid Lipstick. Part of aforementioned unsuccessful bright lip phase.

And that's that! From having stacks upon stacks of drawers, I can now fit all my makeup in one small traincase, and I'm pretty chuffed. I think I have fifty items now, more or less, and moving forward I'll try to keep my collection around that number. Of course there's still my makeup brush collection, but let's save that for another post ;p

1 comment

  1. I just discovered your blog and it is WONDERFUL. You have such a great "voice" when you write -- succinct but with a great sense of humor. I'm looking forward to more updates in your minimalism series. I can completely relate with going from zero to a hundred with makeup. That was my 2017, and now I'm on to the "next phase" and really just trying to trim everything down.