Spending Ban Be Gone ~ Beauty Haul

Something clicked in me last year and I was getting exasperated at the amount of beauty products or crap as my husband calls it, that I have. Products were overflowing from my bathroom wall shelves, the cabinets under the sink and the drawers of my nightstand. 

Before my husband decided to contact the producers of Intervention, I decided enough is enough and put myself on a spending ban which lasted until early this year. On top of that, I also did a major purge and was left with a much smaller but practical amount of products.

But it left me with a dilemma...

I've noticed that a huge majority of my posts are on products that were kindly sent to me by brands or PR companies and while I pride myself to be as brutally honest as possible, I'm starting to wonder if it's starting to get boring for my readers. I started this out of sheer passion and while I am very grateful for all the opportunities, I needed to find 'me' again so to speak. 

So I went shopping...a lot. It started out with convincing my husband I needed a couple of products to complete my beauty life (pathetic, I know...) but after that I said to myself, fuck it!, I need something new, something refreshing for the blog so I went hog wild.

This will be a haul & first impression post and also to let you lovelies know what will be featured on the blog in the upcoming weeks and months. Grab a coffee/tea/beer or a glass of wine because this will be a long one.

Beauty Haul

Hourglass Ambient Powder in shade Dim Light
I have to shamefully admit that I purchased this because I wanted my Sephora birthday gift (sample size of Marc Jacobs eye liner and lipstick) and free shipping. For almost three weeks I absolutely loathed this because I couldn't see any differences and it was super pricey for a powder. I finally noticed how beautiful it made me skin look in Malaysia and now I use it almost everyday. Phew! It was worth it.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Balm (travel size)
Another product I purchased because I wanted my birthday gift from Sephora Malaysia. I was too embarrassed to walk in and ask for the gift without purchase (I don't know how some people do it?!) so this ended up in my hand. I know the reviews are absolutely horrid on this but I love it. Will explain further in another post.

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40
If I could only use one foundation for the rest of my life, it would be this. This foundation deserves a post by itself.

Hard Candy Glow All The Way Baked Bronzer in shade Tiki
I picked this up because I don't own a powder highlighter and this is highly recommended as one of the best from the drugstore. Let me know if you want a full review on it because this is a very old product. On another note, I have no idea why it's called a bronzer because unless you love to look like a fairy farted all over your face, this is a highlighter.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in shade Champagne Gold
I don't follow Jaclyn Hill on YouTube, I dare say I've only tried watching two or three of her videos but never made through to the end, her style is not quite my cup of tea but this highlighter is perfection. I feel like I'm an Asian version of Jennifer Lopez whenever I wear this.

NYX Angle Veil Primer
This is my first primer that I purchased, previously I was using tiny weeny samples of Benefit Porefessional and Smashbox Photo Finish from subscription boxes which frankly, I don't care for and I don't think made any differences to my makeup or skin. While this primer is pricey for a drugstore product, it also changed my mind about primers in general. It's touted as a great dupe for the super pricey Hourglass Veil Mineral primer which I am considering to purchase (travel size!) for a comparison post in the future.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer
I bought this because I was about to run out of my beloved Essence Eyeshadow Base and a few bloggers whom I follow absolutely love this. Unfortunately I don't feel the same way. It's a good base but doesn't conceal the veins on my lids so I just couldn't fall in love with it. Plus, it's pricier than Essence. Pfft!

The Brow Game
Beauty Haul

NYX Micro Brow Pencil
I'm about to run out my Marcelle Duo Eyebrow-PRO so I bought this after reading really great reviews. I picked up the shade Chocolate which unfortunately is a touch too light for me but thankfully, I can make it work. 

Essence Make Me Brow
This is everything that I wish Benefit Gimme Brow was! Initially I was very hesitant to purchase this but seeing it's so cheap, I thought what could go wrong, right? I hated, freaking hated the one from Benefit but this was love at first use. I'll go into more details in another post.

Beauty Haul

Because mascaras are very tricky, these are my initial reactions. I will write a separate post updating how each of the mascaras perform after a month or two of testing.

Revlon Volume + Length Magnified
Length? Yes! Volume? Are you fucking kidding me? That's what I will tell you while rolling my eyes to the back of my head. It doesn't hold the curl and I bought dark brown instead of black like I usually do.

Essence Lash Princess
The first time I used this I loved how black and long it made my lashes look, it doesn't hold the curl very well but I was okay with it. Second time I used this, my lashes clumped together so badly that I looked like I had one, big, fat, gloopy eye lash (yes, singular) on each eye. Wish me luck for the third try...

Catrice All Round Mascara

Catrice Better Than False Lashes
This was a very pleasant surprise. I had zero expectations and thought it would be absolutely horrid like All Round Mascara but I really like this. It gave great volume, some length and holds a little curl.

L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black
This almost made me cry the first time I used it. It was soooo wet and gloopy that my lashes stood zero chance against it. But one night after removing my makeup, I grabbed this mascara and combed through both my lashes without curling them beforehand like a woman possessed. I swear my lashes never looked so long and curled! Great first impression and now I want to purchase the gold tube for comparison. Let me know your thoughts between this and the gold tube please!

Revlon Ultimate All-In-One
I can't tell you how much I despise this mascara. One coat is bearable, second coat will give you a VIP pass to gloopy, messy, sticky, crappy, shitty mess. Can you tell how much I hate this? Will continue using and hopefully it'll get better with time.

Beauty Haul

Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops
This is a repurchase as I finished my first bottle. If you love doing your own manicure at home then this is a must have! It dries down my nail polish within seconds and anyone with a toddler knows time is of the essence (see what I did there?) when it comes to painting your own nails.

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel
I bought Pretty Peas, Peri-win-le of an Eye, Cyantific Method and Lavender Out Loud after watching Kathleen Lights raving about them. First impression wasn't the best because I had to remove and reapply after smudging them overnight (they don't dry fast, not even with Essence Express Dry Drops) but they last very long. I'm wearing Pretty Peas since Saturday, cooked up a storm for my MIL's birthday on Sunday and there was zero chipping until today. The tips have slightly faded but other than that, it's still good. Will write a thorough review in a later date.

So there you have it, my decent size haul since January and if you managed to read everything then you're a super hero! Do let me know if there's anything in particular that you want me to review first so I'll get to it as soon as possible.

What is your latest beauty purchase?

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Maira Gall