Just some makeup reviews!

I’ve been going a bit crazy with makeup recently. Now that I found a foundation in my shade and figured out how to work with my hooded eyes, my makeup game has improved by about 500% and I’m not planning on stopping soon. I also feel more confident in my skin and like I can wear bolder looks, and I know what I want in a product. Thus began my search for a holy grail liner, a bright and colorful matte palette with decent pigmentation and figuring out if I can hack a nifty beauty tool.

L.A. Girl – Glide Gel Liner

Now this thing right here is what I call a god damn miracle in pencil shape. I have liquid, gel and regular kohl liners but I run into issues with all of them. My lashes are too thin, light colored and short to make liquid liner look good, even when I tight line. Gel works really well but the ones I’ve found that I like aren’t exactly smudge or waterproof. Kohl liner just makes me look like a panda after a couple of hours, especially when I use it to tight line.

Then there comes the L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liner and I’m blown away by how well it holds up. Once you apply this liner and allow it to set, it really doesn’t go anywhere. It takes an oily makeup remover to take off. After I swatch these liners on my hand and wait a minute, I can pretty vigorously rub my finger on top and nothing happens to it. I have to keep going for a while or involve spit or oil to make it budge, so unless you’re rubbing your eyes all day long nothing’s going to happen to that liner. Not only that, the way it applies is an absolute dream. It’s a pencil liner but it applies like a gel. Without any pressure or needing to warm up the pencil it just glides onto your skin like nobody’s business (which is probably why they named it the way they did!). For only 5 euros a piece, with the very black pigment payoff and all the qualities it has, I genuinely can’t complain.

Kara Beauty Bright & Matte Eyeshadow Palette – ES02

I’ll be honest with you: after searching for a palette that I liked and stumbling on the Morphe Brushes 35B palette, I had my heart set on that one. The pigmentation looked good for the price, the range of colors was diverse, every color has a matte version which was important to me and it wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg. (More honesty: if I had the money, I’d definitely have shelled out 73 euros for the Viseart Bright Editorial palette.)

Unfortunately, Morphe products are all the rage at the moment thanks to big Beauty YouTubers promoting the crap out of them, so my favorite online makeup store has been out of stock for weeks and they’re not expecting a refill until the beginning of May. I know that Morphe does private labeling (which doesn’t bother me at all) so I started looking for Morphe ‘dupes’ that contain the colors I need.

Lo and behold, I stumbled upon the Kara ES02 palette – pretty much an exact duplicate of the Morphe 35B, and about 5 euros cheaper to boot! I watched some swatches/reviews on YouTube from the few folks who’d gotten their hands on this. They all agreed that the matte colors are more pigmented than the Morphe palette, but the shimmers are better with Morphe. Since I specifically wanted this for the mattes I didn’t care much about the latter, especially because I already have a shimmery rainbow colored palette.

Why the difference though? No idea. The colors appear identical so I’m assuming they’re from the same factory, but the ingredients are different between Kara’s and Morphe’s palettes, so who knows what happened there. Maybe the new batch of Morphe palettes coming in May are more like this?

All I know for sure is that I really, really like the way this palette looks once applied to my eyes. The pigment is good, but better when applied wet. A white base brings the colors out perfectly. It’s definitely buildable if you use them dry too. One thing I highly, highly recommend is using a good eye shadow primer. And I mean a legitimate primer, not a concealer or moisturizer. I tried one eye with a primer + white concealer, and another eye with just white concealer, and the eye without a primer stained something fierce. I spent 15 minutes trying to clean it off, which is not something I enjoy doing at the end of the day.

Kara’s palette is exactly what I wanted. The pigmentation is not mind blowing, but solid enough to work with. I’m super impressed for the price and color payoff for sure!

Dry makeup brush cleaner

You’ve probably heard of the Sephora Switch. It’s a sponge in a tin on which you swirl a used (dry) eye shadow brush to clean it and immediately dip it into a different eyeshadow. It doesn’t replace washing your brushes regularly but it will save you a crapton of tissues and makeup wipes to clean the brushes between uses. There are other brands available and I was fortunate enough to get a free brush cleaner with my recent makeup order!

I want to start by saying: this works excellently and allows you to apply multi-colored makeup faster with a minimal amount of brushes. Need to blend with a clean blending brush? Just swirl it around on this thing a few times and you have a clean blending brush. It’s easy to take with you and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. It will last you a long time and all you have to do is rinse it out in soapy water every now and then to clean it.

My only issue with the sponge is this: the markup on these is ridiculous. The Sephora Switch is almost twenty dollars. The actual product probably doesn’t even cost a buck to make. You can go to the pet store and purchase a coarse aquarium filter sponge, cut it to size, stuff it into a random empty tin at home and it will be the exact same product. Similarly you can purchase a cheap bunch of stippling sponges intended for special effects makeup and probably spend no more than 1 or 2 dollars per sponge.

There is nothing special about this. It is just a coarse sponge that is used in a wide variety of situations, and I have to be honest and say I am bothered by the way it’s marketed. I will never deny any company to make a profit with good products, but whereas I can’t make my own buttery eye shadows and press them into a professional looking palette, this is something that even a child can purchase with their allowance and make without needing an adult at all. And they want us to shell out twenty bucks for it? This is just a gimmicky way to make a lot of profit.

If this is something you really want to try out for yourself, just make it and save yourself the money. I was already considering doing that before I got this for free, and it’s exactly what I expected. If the sponge wears out, I’m just going to my local pet store and replace it.


All in all I am pleased with all of these, even if the sponge irks me a bit on the marketing side of things. I have been experimenting with various looks and I’m very excited for the warm and pleasant spring days to arrive so I can start wearing bold, floral inspired looks! I’m also prepping for Pride Month with rainbow eye looks to dazzle everyone in sight!

Would you like to see more makeup reviews? My blog isn’t makeup focused but I enjoy reviewing products. I ordered the Red Cherry lashes I talked of before and most of my issues disappeared with them. If you want to hear my thoughts on Red Cherry lashes and their glue, let me know! 🙂

 

I need help with false lashes

The glue-on lashes make my eyes look fan-fucking-tastic. I’m able to apply them just fine (and will practice more in the future), but I run into two issues:

  1. The ever so famous “one of the corners came off” issue happens to me every single time, despite royally applying glue to the corners and them sticking for an hour or two just fine. Yes I allow the glue to dry before applying. I have no idea how to fix this.
    • Someone suggested cutting the lashes into 3 sections but that might look like crap too. Anyone have experience with this?
    • I’m very curious to try individual lashes, are they less likely to come off than full band lashes? Are they more difficult to take off?
    • It might be the lashes and the glue themselves. They are ‘cheap’ drugstore brand (Kruidvat) and obviously plastic-y, the glue might not be very good at all, but I’m not experienced enough to know. I’ve never tried more expensive or different brand lashes because I couldn’t justify investing when I’ve barely worn/planned on wearing falsies.
  2. I have a cylinder in one eye, which means my right eyeball is shaped different from my left. This in turn makes my eyelids uneven, and the lashes don’t apply the same way to each lid. Should I just accept that they will always look uneven or is there a fix for it? I’m fine with my eyes being different (sisters, not twins, applies to everything and not just eyebrows!) but if there’s a way to improve symmetry I’m all for it.

I want to order some nice Red Cherry lashes with the ‘Red Cherry She Gloo Clear’ in the next week with my birthday money – any thoughts or recommendations for other lashes/glues are most welcome. (Keep in mind I live in the Netherlands, so not all brands may be available to me.)

Diabetic Crafts

Carrying around two separate pouches/cases for insulin pens and a glucometer, all of which can be difficult to handle because they’re kept in place by elastic rings, has become very tiring for me. I sometimes forget one of the two, it can be a hassle to open two cases that can be clumsy in use, and in public places it tends to be awkward.

I’ve looked at diabetes clutches online, but they only provide room for 1 insulin pen. This baffles me, when I’m out and about I want both my basal and bolus insulin on hand in case I get stranded somewhere, or my plans run late etc. And what if I’m visiting family and staying around in the late evenings? I take my basal at 8pm every day, so that doesn’t work out.

Then there’s the question for this summer: how am I going to manage this with my Frio case? It’s not designed to fit in any clutch, and I’m not interested in carrying three separate bags in hot clammy weather.

So my solution was to make my own bag, big enough to toss everything in there without those awkward straps, with pockets on the inside for my needles and lancets, bandaids and alcohol wipes, and disposed needles and lancets. Best of all, big enough to easily hold my Frio case and flexible enough to stuff into another bag if necessary!

My only problem was that I had zero experience sewing bags and zippers, and I needed to step it up a notch by including inside pockets too. I sewed a little experimental bag with leftover denim from old jeans I no longer wore and was very successful! No lining in this one because it was unnecessary.

The sewing machine and sewing case I have are my mom’s cause she no longer sews, and she’d collected quite a few zippers. So naturally my first zipper bag was destined to become… a zipper bag!

On to the actual project, it was a moderate success. 🙂 Of course I made mistakes. I sewed the zipper on the wrong way the first time around, and had to undo all the seaming I did while cursing and being fed up. Second time around I noticed way too late that the zipper had been sewed on slightly askew, so it looks a little off now. Most importantly, it’s functional, fits everything I need and has room for then some, and it closes and opens properly without issues. I value functionality above looks at all times, so I don’t mind!

Fabrics used were more denim from old worn jeans, and the leftover cuts from my curtains that I had to trim. Zippers were picked from the assortment in my case based on length, not color.

One inside pocket is to hold my needles and lancets. The other is meant for the disposed needles and lancets, but also carries some alcohol wipes and band-aids for those pesky glucose checks that keep bleeding. The main pocket holds both my insulin pens, my glucometer, lancet device, testing strips and has room for glucose supplies, like little bags of Skittles. 🙂 Also featured it an activated Frio case with both insulin pens fitted nicely inside.

The case is pretty big at 18x25cms (7×10 inches) but I like it this way. The fabric is flexible enough that it will fit into most hand and shoulder bags easily. The opening is wide which means it’s easy to fish out the exact item I need. And I don’t have to deal with shoving everything back into an elastic band to keep it in place!

All in all, for my second attempt at a bag I’m very, very pleased. I’m happy I managed to recycle fabric as well. I’m looking for an iron-on design to put on the front to break the monotonous denim look now!

It really makes you think

I started watching the film “The Impossible” this afternoon. It’s about a family vacationing in Thailand when a tsunami hits. Movies like this are hard for me to watch.

I’m sure we all pause and try to imagine what it’s like to end up suffering like that, losing family members, the shock and disorientation in the aftermath and trying to survive. Then it hits me how screwed I would be because of my diabetes.

Because I’ve had my diagnosis for a couple of years, with the clear message I would become insulin dependent eventually, I’ve thought of it a lot. Not until I became insulin dependent did I fully understand what any kind of disaster – natural or man-made, like a war – would have on my ability to live. Slowly but surely I am getting used to the idea I’d be one of the first people to go. I would be one of the first to die if I survived in the first place. I would be the first left behind if things depended on it. Probably also the first to sacrifice myself because I’m very aware of my chances of survival compared to others.

Sometimes this depresses me immensely, but then I also realize there’s not much use in feeling that way. If something is going to happen, it will happen. I have this illness, without my medicine I’m fucked, and if I don’t have any on-hand when shit goes down I know exactly what my fate will be. I might live for a few (miserable) months at most, depending on how much insulin production I have left, before DKA sets in and I die a pretty awful death. Fretting about it won’t change this. There are tons of others like me. When civilization falls, it’s all about natural selection anyway, isn’t it?

Has anyone else ever thought about this? There are a ton of websites where diabetics speculate about what to do ‘when the world ends’, how to survive, how to make your own insulin, how to ration, how to eat. But it all seems to come down to ‘you can extend your chances of survival but you’re not going to grow old either way unless you can get your hands on a proper batch of insulin again’.

On the upside, chances are this won’t ever happen in my lifetime. You never know for sure, but I seem to be in a good place at the moment, so it’s all just speculation. For now I’m proud that I’ve got a fairly good hold on my diabetes at the moment, on a (mostly) moderate carb diet no less. I do have days where I exceed 200g carbs, but I’m so bound by my budget that I don’t always have the choice. Taking what I can get!

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I’m super stoked about the HbA1c value in this calculator. I’m getting lab work done next week and expect it to be higher than this, as I only started insulin beginning of January, and I’ve only logged a little over a week’s worth in this app. Obviously it’s not a good indicator for my actual A1C, buuuut if this trend continues I predict a great value around June!

Also had my first hypo last night since on insulin (1 in almost 4 weeks!). I’ve always caught every single one early, but there’s a first time for everything! I think now that I’m able to sleep at night and get enough rest, my insulin sensitivity has gone up, and therefore my i:c ratio has changed slightly. (I needed it at 1:11 during my insomnia bout, I think I’m going to try 1:13 for a bit now.) So after shoveling a couple of oatmeal cookies into my face as I watched the newest TWD episode, I probably bolused too much. I tidied up around my place after finishing the episode, and as I sat down I tested 3.3mmol/L. Whoops. Got the shakes and disorientation, but a baggie of Skittles fixed me right back up.

I’m pretty much always in range now with the exception of a few stragglers here and there. Proud of myself, after my checkup with my DSN I’m going to see what I can do to do better.

I’ve also received a request for more knitted knockers, so I started this last night (in the middle of my hypo because I’m dumb) and hopefully will have the pair completed in a day or two!

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