Project Pan – 2018 – Better Late Than Never

I know, I know. Everyone starts Project Pans in the beginning of the year, but much like dieting, there is no better time to begin than the present.

As I mentioned in my Palette of the Month post, I am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by all the products coming out and feeling like I always need to get the next big thing. Why? I don’t know, but quite suddenly it all felt so wasteful. Like, why do I buy all this beautiful stuff to just use it once or twice and then stuff it in a drawer?

I actually declutter quite frequently, so whatever I currently have in my collection is stuff that I intentionally kept and like, so I decided to make a conscious effort to use the following products all the way to the very end. I also intentionally chose products that I would not typically go through quickly and use daily, like foundation and mascara, but rather products that will give me a challenge to finish. If I can finish these, I can finish anything!

The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer Highligher. The OG highlighter. I think everyone has this in their collection and for a very good reason, it’s gorgeous! It’s a beautiful, golden shimmering shade that blends into your cheekbones, without giving you that weird strip of glow that some highlighters give off. It’s also the only product I currently own with a considerable dip in the middle. I use this sucker a lot and I feel like this will be the one I will hit pan on first.

Nars Liquid Blush in Torrid. This one is going to be a toughie. I can feel it, but I did say I wanted a challenge.  It’s a gorgeous deep coral that will be perfect for summer and in fact, I did use it last year quite a bit. The problem is that a little goes a long way so getting through this bottle might take me all the way to December, but I’m a tenacious woman, so I’m up for the challenge.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow in Kitten Karma. Now this one I picked because I just did not use it enough since I bought it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful, but I always seemed to skip it when I was going for a glam look. I don’t think it will be too difficult to get through it, but it will certainly be interesting creating so many looks. I’m going to be sporting glitter to work meetings and, I’m sure, getting loads of side eye.

Too Faced Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss in Papa Don’t Peach. I was so into this lip gloss last year when it first came out and then it fell off my radar. I recently got into it again when I dug it out from the bottom of one of my purses and decided that I was going to pan it. I do not anticipate this will be difficult at all as I love the muted peachy color and find the formula to be lovely, glossy and moisturizing.

Hard Candy Cushion Wonder Color Corrector in Peach. I don’t have a lot of color correcting products, but I find this one to be quite nice and use it often, or at least when I remember. I have dark under eye circles, and this not only corrects it, but in a pinch, is a great substitute for concealer, if you are going for a natural look. I just apply some of this before my foundation and find that once I powder, I’m good to go. There is quite a bit of product left, because a little goes a long way, but if I use it more often than I have in the past, then I think I can squeeze the very last from the tube before the end of the year.

I’m been really into Project Panning lately, so feel free to drop your blog post in the comments below so that I can see what you are panning and maybe we can all motivate each other and keep our goals in check throughout the year.

Till next time, my friends!


PS – Amazon links above are affiliated, so if you choose to purchase some of the products above, I will make a slight commission.


Tales from the Beauty Crypt Vol. 1

Like most beauty lovers, I love nothing more that looking in the mirror and seeing an upgraded version of myself. Since I am not a makeup artist, I do find that I struggle in creating some of the looks – I mean you wing eyeliner – that are popular or making the rounds on Instagram these days. So, I do what any red-blooded woman in the midst of a midlife crisis does. I schedule a beauty appointment at Sephora in the hopes that one of the experts can help me achieve major cat eye status.

As a Sephora VIB, all I have to do is make a $50 minimum purchase to get a “free” beauty consultation. Since I was turning the BIG 40 in August, I strategically schedule it on my birthday thinking:

1. I get to look all glam for my birthday celebration that evening

2. Spending $50 would be easy seeing as I was going to do a mini-splurge anyways on myself on my big day.

This is the first time I was going to go for a makeover at Sephora, so I was pretty stoked. I walk in at 12pm sharp and I am greeted by one of the ladies as I walk through the door. She asks my name and promptly sits me down in one of the vacant chairs next to the cutest girl. She was fresh-faced and calm and she smiled at me through the mirror. I smile back seeing my reflection and the first thought that came to my mind was that the lights beaming down on me made me look like I didn’t have any eyebrows.

Damn, my fair-haired ancestors.

My beauty consultant comes by and asks me what look I am going for today. I told her, that I typically aim for a more natural look, but since it’s my birthday, I might want to take it up a few notches. She wishes me a quick Happy Birthday (wonder how many birthday makeovers she does in a day?) and then takes my color IQ or whatever you call it with that little machine that they place all over your face and then proceeds to fly around the store finding all the things to make me look beautiful.

As she picks up products, she drops them off on the counter next to me. So far, she has landed on a Lancôme foundation, Laura Marcier pressed powder, Nars concealer and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Dip. She also must have noticed my browless forehead.

Fresh Faced Beauty next to me looks down at the Lancome bottle and tells me that foundation is very expensive. I ask her if it’s any good and she just shrugs and leaves it at that. I am so not good at the chit-chat thing. Her beauty consultant has all the products laid out in front of her and the first thing that caught my eye was the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette. It looked so fiery and sexy that I immediately thought maybe I can request to have a look made with that palette.

My consultant comes back and places the NARSsist Unloaded Palette in front me. This is where it starts to go downhill. You see, if I were more of an assertive person, I would have told her that I already own that palette and that for that reason, I wanted to try something new, but I let it go and this is, precisely, also where everything started going wrong.

Narsisst palette

The NARS palette has a range of earthy and fiery colors that are right in line with my look, but she immediately went to the darker colors and when she began to smoke my eyes out with the darkest brown shade in the collection, I knew immediately I didn’t like it. I sat there watching her dip into that color repeatedly and never told her that dark colors are not my style or that I’m really not looking to go for a look so outside my comfort zone. Just sat there, silently watching her pack on that color.

It didn’t matter that when all was said and done she created a beautiful wing liner or contoured my cheek bones to perfection. That the NARS lip pencil in Cruella she put on my lips was the perfect red for my skin tone and that I added it to by online basket the next day or that when I got a Sephora gift card for my birthday, I also ended up buying the very same Anastasia Beverly Hills Cheek Trio blush she used. All this didn’t matter at that moment because all I wanted to do was get the hell out of the store.

She must have picked up on how uncomfortable I was because when she finished with me, she asked me if I would like her to lighten the eye look a bit, but desperate to just be done with this experience, I told her no. That it was fine and I thanked her and went to pay for some items I had picked out in advance.

This is ultimately more of a tale of caution, that a beauty horror story and it’s not because this consultant did a terrible job, it’s because I was a terrible customer. I told her what I wanted and never expressed any of my concerns during the process or guided her to the colors or products that I liked. All I did was sit across Fresh Faced Beauty and lament how beautiful her makeover was going compared to mine.

That really was not fair to myself or to my beauty consultant. In the end, I told her I liked the look. I led her to believe that I was a happy customer and that I was going to give her a good review. She would never know that I felt so uncomfortable with the amount of black eyeshadow I had on that I put on my sunglasses before I even left the store or that I washed off all the makeup the minute I got home.

It’s been about a week since my failed beauty consultant and I have decided that I will give myself another chance at redemption. Yes, you read that correctly. Not the beauty consultant or Sephora, but myself. I am going to walk in there and ask them to create a look with a few products I have been wanting to try and prove to myself that I am not a pushover or people pleaser because in the end, it’s not always about makeup, right?

Till next time, my friends.










NARS. Don’t Call it a Comeback..Yet

Back in the day, when Nars’ iconic blush Orgasm hit the market it caused quite a stir. Not only did the name itself prove to be risqué, but the color was supposed to resemble the peachy-pink glow that is obtained only by reaching that particular state of completion.

I was so naïve in thinking that everyone thought I was a total Samantha from Sex in the City whenever I wore it, when in reality, I was more like a female version of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.

Since then, I really haven’t really been taken aback by any Nars products. The market is so over saturated with beauty products and cosmetic companies, that you really have to create something spectacular, or get on the right Beauty Influencer’s radar, to capture the public’s attention again.

Well, Nars has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes back into the beauty world. They released an entire collection around their little baby, Orgasm, to reawaken the interest of their past customers and also lure the newbies in with suggestive videos such as this one on their website.

Leading up to their Orgasm release, they also released a line of highly Instagramed NARSissist eye and cheek palettes with the tag line #areyouaNARSissist.

Narsisst palette.jpg

Last month, they also debuted a series of liquid blushes that promised to give you a flushed, natural look that can be easily built up as needed. The formula swatches are highly pigmented, but when applied with a beauty sponge or brush,  deliver the perfect glow. If I can describe it, without making you all go “Is she drinking?”, I would say it provides a subtle touch of color with just the right amount of BAM!


As I write this blog, NARS has also gotten themselves into quite a marketing quandary. This past week, they announced that they will now be selling their products in China. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, local laws in China mandate that cosmetic companies test their products on animals before being sold in their market. NARS, a previously Cruelty Free brand, decided to backtrack on their animal testing stance in order to get a piece of that China pie. This move has brought on major criticism from other Cruelty Free brands, such as Kat Von D Cosmetics, and prompted an immediate boycott of their products from many of their customers.

NARS responded to all the backlash with an Instagram post stating (paraphrasing here) that they love animals, but love money just a little bit more.

Only time will tell if this move will have an impact on NARS. Their Orgasm Collection remains, for the most part, sold out and they are about to drop a set of Liquid Matte Lipsticks in a few days, so we will see the public response to that in our Instagram feeds and YouTube channels soon. However, if there is one thing we all know, controversy is not always bad to the bottom line.

What are your thoughts on this move by NARS? Will you still be buying their products. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Happy Hump Day, my friends!