Thursday, October 6, 2016

September 2016 Favorites

Hey guys and gals! I'm going to start taking a different approach to my monthly favorites, I think. Let's keep it simple: one per category. I'm not going to talk about mascara since you know I toss them every month!


Primer: Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer- I started using this in August and it has replaced MAC Prep & Prime as my favorite daily primer. I'll probably get a backup next month when Sephora has their sale, despite the mountain of primer that I need to work on!

Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer- Girl. I know all of the YouTubers are raving about this. But it's really that good! I can work with Fair, so I'm thrilled that Tarte actually made a shade for me. I wish that there were more shades- especially for those with deeper complexions than mine.

Powder: RCMA No Color Powder- This is so cheap and works like a charm. I'm currently taking a vacation from it in order to work on my Use it Up powder, and miss it. So good.

Foundation: L'Oreal Pro Matte Foundation- I'm so happy to report that it was my primer rather than this foundation that broke me out initially. I cannot believe how flawless I can look with an $11 foundation. This has become my daily foundation of choice for months now.

Blush: Benefit Rockateur got pulled out of the drawer! Woot!

Bronzer: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer- Light Bronze. This is effortless and goof-proof.

Highlighter: Becca Shimmer Skin Perfector- Rose Quartz. I'll be devoting an entire post to this coming up in a couple of days. It's my new HG.

Palette: MAC C'est Chic- Until I picked up the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics, this was a daily staple for me. It's so wonderful and you can get so many looks from it.

Solo Eyeshadow: L'Oreal Infallible in Amber Rush- I know everyone raves about this. But it's rave-worthy because it's just. so. good.

Eyeliner: Inglot Gel Eyeliner #77- It's so dark and lovely and perfect for wings. I love layering this over a liquid liner

Finishing Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light- This just gives my face life.

Lipliner: Dior Greige- I decided to make this a use-it-up item and gosh I miss it already. So great for my pigmented lips

Lipstick/Lip Gloss: MAC Lipstick in Pink Plaid. I love topping this with the gloss from last holiday's pink lips kit for an effortless light pink look.

Nail Polish: OPI We the Female. I was really feeling these fall transitional shades! (On that note, I'll be posting a review of Kendra Scott's new nail line soon once I get a few more of the shades.)


Only one major standout this month- Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser. I'll put it up against any high-end foaming cleanser!


Drybar Triple Sec continues to be a favorite of mine, and a product I'll never let myself be without. I also really like Living Proof No Frizz Styling Gel since in September it was still hot around here.


Since I've been concentrating on Use-it-Up, I don't really have a favorite fragrance of the moment. Let me finish another bottle or two and I'll go back to wearing what I want rather than what I should be wearing.


This was the month that I let my obsession with the Kendra Scott Andy Cuff Bracelet (currently on clearance for $39.97) take over. This is perfect for my large wrists, and I actually gifted one to my mother for her birthday as well.


I wore a lot of fun things in September- I really enjoyed Gwynnie Bee (I'll write an updated review soon) and continued to wear out my two Elizabeth & James Cynnie Totes.

That's it for my September favorites! I wanted to quickly get this post up so it was still sorta relevant. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but trust me I'm working on something big around here.  Check out my Instagram for some of my more recent looks (the matte-hater is crushing on the new UD palette. What?!?).

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Makeup Allergies, and a Plea for Help!

Important November 2017 update: Most of the comments have been from people who have had Shape Tape issues. I have positively ruled that out as the cause of this issue for me. I'm sorry that so many have had issues with the product, but this is NOT a post about Tarte Shape Tape causing issues for me.

It has to do with lashes and lash glue. Trust me on that. I could put Shape Tape on my lid right now and not react (I've tested that theory); it's lashes (not 100% sterilized) and lash glues with latex, formaldehyde, and other nasty ingredients.

Warning: Less than Pleasant Images Ahead

I need your help! 

I've developed a sudden allergy to something that has literally cost me multiple days of work and my eyelids peeling. (Ewwww.)

Until the past month, I only once had a makeup allergy. The Tom Ford cream eyeshadows made my eyelids burn, so I immediately removed it and sadly passed it on. I tend to shy away from a lot of cream shadows as a result.

More forward to mid-September, 2016. After playing with some fun new makeup, I woke up with my eyes swollen shut.

These photos were taken on Day #2, after I seriously attacked it with antihistamines, topical creams, etc.

Day #3, the peeling took over.

I'm still not sure what caused it since I was playing with new makeup, but I had a few suspects given the location of the most inflammation:

  • Concealer- I don't normally bring it onto my lids  (Tarte Shape Tape)
  • Eyeshadow Base- I used a new one (NYX Milk Eyeshadow Stick)
  • Eyeshadow (but I used that several days prior without issues) (Urban Decay Electric Palette- the greens)
  • Eyeliner- I was trying a new one (Revlon ColorStay Gel Eyeliner in Blue)
  • False Lash Adhesive- but it was the same one I've been using for close to a year (Duo)
  • False Lashes themselves (contact allergy? I dunno) (Ardells)

It took about 5 days to be back to normal.

I swore never to use NYX pencils on my eyes again, banished the eyeliner, and bought a latex-free lash adhesive. I was just starting to feel better about life until this afternoon.

I was playing with the new Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics and was loving my look:

Everything was all cool. I was loving the Rebel Eyes trend and was already dreaming of a terracotta look for Monday.

About an hour later, I decided to try to add some lashes to pump it up.

Probably 30 min later, I realized my eyes were burning, so I rapidly removed my eye makeup and discovered this:

It was mostly my right eye but both eyes are impacted (as evidenced by the hurt). The shiny nature is some ointment that I already put on it. I know my brows are all over the place, but that's beyond the point of this.

What the heck?!?!?!?!

Here's the list of products I used:

  • Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape
  • Eye Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
  • Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics- Extra Bitter
  • Eyeliner: None
  • Lash Adhesive: Revlon Lash Adhesive (latex-free)
  • Eyelashes: Andrea #45s
I'm heartbroken. And now I want to know WTF is causing this!

Here are the only commonalities.

1. Urban Decay eyeshadows
     Mitigation: I've worn them for years without issues. It was a green look the first time, so it's not a red dye issue. That was a thought of mine.
2. False Lashes
     Mitigation: I wore lashes from January-September almost every day
3. Lash Adhesive
    It's not Latex. I'm wondering if there's another ingredient that's triggering this.
4. Concealer
     I don't have any reaction to it anywhere else....

I'm at a loss. I'm also changing jobs soon so I don't want to look like this all the time. So I could really use your help!!!!!!!!

Has anyone else ever run into something like this? If so, what was it? Please shoot me an email- it's quirkybusyandbeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com! Or leave a comment. I'm desperate to figure this out. I don't want to think that I have to give up on makeup. I adored the look I was playing with, but I've ended up with the same reaction.

I'm wondering if it's lash adhesive or the lashes primarily. I ruled out latex, but I wonder if there's something in both Duo and Revlon adhesives that's also in the Tom Ford cream shadows.


QBB's Skincare No-Buy- Part 1

Hey guys!

So this post will be a little different- I don't have any photos planned. You'll see some of it soon though when I do my September empties and favorites (Girl. I needed a legit shopping bag for September. Holla!)

I wanted to take a moment to talk about this crazy No-Buy that I've been on since March!

I think the need for a no-buy hit me shortly after the Sephora sale this spring, when I literally couldn't get my basic skincare and haircare in a medicine cabinet. Just the daily necessities.

Let that sink in for a moment.

I also had overflowing bins of samples.

So I decided to do something insane: go on a skincare no-buy. I wanted to use up everything that I had so that I could make an informed decision on what my skin really needs. This will be wrapping up soon- likely with the next Sephora sale and Lord & Taylor's Friends & Family (in case you didn't know, you get 10% off cosmetics. Including Chanel.). One might think this is scary given my ultra-sensitive skin, but I've given away many samples I know won't work for me, and I tend to use brands and lines I trust.

I'm so not even done yet, but I'm starting to run low on some key categories. That fits in with my original rules.

  • You can buy makeup wipes (I use them swatching and cleaning up my face)- but you only get 1 package of Purity wipes every 2 months at best.
  • You can buy a single item in a category once you've finished all full-size and travel-sized items in that category
  • If something happens with your skin and you need a specific treatment, that's ok.
  • Stop buying skincare! Just because you want something, you don't need it.
  • Sunscreen does not count- I consider that preventative medication, like vitamins (someday I'll go into this, but I wear 3 different sunscreens daily and just pray I'm avoiding my likely fate. I also have the skin of an early 20-something in my mid-30s. HOLLA!)

Even though sunscreen doesn't count, here's the sum total of my skincare-related purchases since I went on the no buy (I had an eye cream in reserve):
  • Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser
  • Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist (I just got this once the weather suddenly did a 180)
  • Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50
  • Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 15

The only one that was a bit naughty was the face mist, but the only hydrating face mist I own that's not a primer or setting spray is a large bottle that can't go with me. The last time I bought skincare was in March, I believe.

The money that I've saved allowed me to somewhat finance my recent DIY renovations. I've also been discovering a number of products that I love. The only reason that it will be coming to an end is the changing seasons- I simply don't have any more samples of the rich products that my face demands once we hit fall.

I shocked myself- Either I'm just good to have already identified amazing products that I love, or I'm cheap when testing them one after another. I think I'll be repurchasing a lot of the moderately priced (for skincare) products I used before this no buy. Perhaps it's that whole wanting to know what else is out there itch that I had to scratch?

Here's my dilemma: I really liked a couple of extremely pricey items. In one case, I was using items from that same parent brand, just down a couple of lines (AmorePacific v Laneige). I just don't know if I can justify a huge pricetag for an item that performed better (but not that much better) than my trusty items (that are usually in the ballpark of $30-50 each).

When I finally start purchasing items, I'm going to be filling my medicine cabinet with the following items by category (Part 1)

  • Foaming Cleanser: I adore a foaming cleanser for usage in the morning. I'm really loving the Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser (under $10) I bought- and its price! In terms of high end cleansers, I do love L'Occitane's Immortale Cleansing Foam ($30).
  • Creamy Cleanser: This will be a bit, since I have two large cleansers I'll be using up. I tend to keep 2 large on-hand (one in the cabinet and the other in the shower). I have three that are my favorites: Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam ($35, currently in the shower), First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser ($30, likely next up in the cabinet for usage with my sonic face cleanser), and Chanel Mousse Douceur (I love the clean feeling that I get with this, but it might be too much for winter). I do want to try Aerin Rose Gentle Cleanser ($35) because my skin loves rose items.
  • Hydrating Toner: I have two that I really love. I also like to keep 2 toners around because my skin gets bored within weeks. I'll likely keep Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner ($16) and Laneige Sensitive Essential Sensitive Skin Refiner (about $25-30) in rotation.
  • Facial Mist: I'm going to keep repurchasing one of my favorite budget staples: Reviva Labs Rosewater Facial Spray. It's super hydrating- rosewater, aloe, and hyaluronic acid are among the ingredients. It's also about $8 on Amazon for 8oz! I'm also going to keep using the Herbivore one that I have (but it lives on my bedside table for a reason)
  • Facial Oil: I have to re-introduce this into my routine for fall. I have three that I love: one honey oil-  Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil ($98), and two rose oils- Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil ($62), and By Terry Liftessence Oil Elexir ($140)

That's as far as I'm going to go today... more later this week. Also: September favorites & empties!