so… I’ve been brewing on this subject and all its variables for a long while and I had finally made up my mind regarding the approach I feel is the best for me. and it would make for great new video content for you, so everything was fine and dandy… all I had to do was an intro video about this… and it took me MONTHS to finally get something out that I thought vaguely encompassed all my thoughts on this subject. still cluttered with my rambles and lacking some details, but hey… at some point, I have to let it go.
it’s a chat about my relationship with the beauty industry, how it has evolved over the past decade, and how I’ve been feeling I need to do some changes and adjustments to rekindle my joy when it comes to both discovering and revisiting make up, to consolidate my collection, keeping what is really essential/joy-sparking in my drawers and very clear in my mind, to help me reign in my impulse purchases.
I want it to be a catalyst to sparkle new behaviours in my life for the long haul, so it will be a new series in my channel (don’t worry, I’ll keep doing all my empties, reviews and Up Close and Poresonals), having as main characters a mindful declutter of all my collection (friends, it’ll be open season to loot my stash!), several “second chances” episodes, revisiting products I’m not sure I know I want to get rid of; and repotting/de-panning into empty palettes products I know I want to keep for a while longer but without the clutter of keeping the clunky packaging.
I’m still undecided if I want to do a project pan, and I’d love to know how you’d go about something like that. The same about a videos on make up news/launches, with a strong “but let’s not get carried away and buy stuff” vibe… for the time being, I’m not doing a no-buy, since I feel it would be too restrictive.
but who knows what the future holds?
if you’re up for this ride, don’t forget to like and subscribe my channel!
I’ve been pretty faithful to the same brands and products for almost 2 years now, but my inquisitive soul has been yearning for some spicing things up. as my current faves run out, I’ve been replacing them with some new-to-me products, and, since I’ve now basically replaced every one, I wanted to share the new routine with you.
please bear in mind that some of these are fairly recent, so I can only speak to the cosmetic elegance, feel and finish of the product, as well as its ingredient list and claims. I can’t report on any results as of yet.
*Affiliate links to More Than Beauty Store. If you need some new products and want to help me purchase more skincare while you’re at it, this is a way to support me. Get 10% off any purchase using the code FREEVOLOUS10
I’m not a big fan of haul-type videos, but over te past several months my make up focus has been slowly changing, and I’ve been looking into so many fun and (to me) off the beaten track products that I had to share (stay calm, I still threw some Lisa Eldridges and Natasha Denonas in the mix).
If you want an in-depth video with swatches, comparisons, or how I incorporate these products in my life, just let me know.
everyone is raving about this foundation, so I had to give it a not-sponsored whirl.
it claims to be a natural-looking, very long-wearing foundation, with medium coverage, buildable up to high, demi-matte finish, meant for normal, combination and oily skins. it’s calling my name, right? not only do I have the combo-oily skin, I need my foundation to last a long time and I need to adjust coverage depending on how my acne and pigmentation are behaving.
so I went into a Sephora (not all colours were available to try in that store, mind you), shade-matched myself (which was a chore, because the charts they provide were way off in my case, and the foundations do set quite more peach/orange than they look), and brought a tiny sample jar to try it out with all of you. I did a wonderful shade matching job, if I do say so myself, ending up with the shade 1N15.
whenever you can, get samples before committing to the full size. it’s far more economical, kinder on the environment, and saves you from heartbreak and clutter.
this one’s available in 30 shades and in Portugal it retails for around 40€/30ml.
I don’t pretend to bring you insightful solutions, today. these are just questions, heartbreaks and thoughts I blurted out on camera while getting ready, of which I then tried to make a bit more sense by writing this post.
the (obvious) context
times have always been complicated. I’m not going to sit here on my privileged white European arse and pretend otherwise. I’m also, off the bat, acknowledging I’m not aware of all the wrongs in the world, despite my pitiful efforts to stay informed. I’m aware of several, and feel equally frustrated, angry and powerless to do anything to help.
I don’t tend to embark on simplistic two-sided views of the world. good and bad, hot and cold… many wrongs have been done under the guise of “doing the right thing” (according to whom?), and harming others – directly or indirectly; physically or emotionally; financially, whatever – is a very profitable business. at times it feels like the most profitable business. the ever-growing business, that feels like an inevitable cascade of “more, more, more”. it feeds on people’s petty selfishness, their fears and frustrations, it fuels them with empty promises, just enough to keep them running on the hamster wheel, but not weak enough to make them want to break free. more than anything, it keeps people isolated enough to not realise their true power as a group. I digress (as usual).
this one… well, it’s hitting a bit closer to home – literally, for me – and, full disclosure, the possible consequences of the current affairs have been wreaking havoc with my anxiety. and I’m not even directly affected by what is happening… there are so many feelings all at once, so many serious things to focus on, so much to feel responsible for, or powerless to solve, or angry at.
why make beauty videos now, then?
it may sound like a sob story (and I think I mentioned this before, when the pandemic started), but YouTube videos helped me immensely when I had a depression in 2019. yes, I’m talking on one hand about making videos – which I wasn’t able to do for a while, so when I finally got back it was a big stepping stone signalling the improvement of my mental health. when done without too much pressure, filming and editing brings me joy, and I plan to hold on to that joy for however long it stays that way for me. but, and mainly, I remember clearly that time when merely watching videos provided me with an escape: at first, a friendly background voice talking about simple, “normal” things when I couldn’t focus; and later being able to actually feel like was again engaging with the content I was watching. they actually helped me keep me out of my own head, and instead made me feel there was something “normal” to come back to, in a way. people passionate about their crafts and creative processes have always been my jam.
I’m an entertainer at heart, it’s actually my job, duh, and I see it as, yes, a public service. if I can provide that bit of escapism, replicate that feeling of distraction and company to even one viewer who is under any kind of distress, it’s worth it.
and let us never forget that any form of self-expression can be an act of defiance, empowerment, individuality, assertiveness, hence… freedom. make-up included.
so there you go.
all of this is to mean we can be many things at once, feel many things at once, some that collide and contradict others, even. we’re lucky for not being in the terrible situations that we’re witnessing every day (and all the others that go ignored by the media), but we can nonetheless empathise and feel our hearts in a twist. we can be living our normal lives, having a relaxed laugh with friends, and at the same time feel guilt, or even a sense of impending doom (justified or not, doesn’t matter. it’s there).
we can be concerned about what is happening in plain sight and still start to grasp other situations we weren’t aware of, or that we, by no matter what motives, didn’t pay attention to. we can be torn between believing in a better world and noticing all the “progress” we think we had done is mostly a smoke screen… or at its very best, standing on the most fragile foundation, vulnerable to any blow. the most precious things usually are.
I hate whataboutism. it mostly nullifies one thing to favour another. it’s useless, because stuff doesn’t go away just because you choose to ignore or de-prioritise it. and we shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees, either.
the fact is many many things were already wrong in the world. many many things are wrong at the same time in the world, and we need to come to terms with that. this is, for sure, another putrid drop in the cesspool of desperation and human lows. it’s not the best time for those “faith in humanity restored” hashtags, if we’re looking at the big picture.
it’s terrible to watch, knowing we’re only dipping our toes in the ripple effects, with monsters crawling around under the muddled surface – I can’t pretend to fathom what it is to actually live it. it seems our hearts can break infinitely, and at the same time it feels like we’re at a point where they can’t take another sigh.
I get that we don’t want to feel overwhelmed, on one hand, so it’s a natural defence mechanism; on the other hand some situations may challenge us to change our perspectives, which, when we’re already angry, afraid and tired, is a pretty hefty request.
so… a “yes, and” approach feels more balanced to me.
even though we’re not in the deep of it all, it is normal to feel overwhelmed: by the shock wave of something new that we’re powerless to stop; by the fact that everything is deeply confusing and there’s no absolute truths, no absolute good and bad, no absolute right or wrong to support ourselves on, just the muddy waters of war through which we humbly must admit we can’t really see; the endless widespread suffering, grief, waste of lives, of potential to do better, to improve on what was going well; the crippling anticipation of big and small consequences, both that are happening and are still to come; and also dealing with our biases, realising our never-ending list of blind spots, our personal failures, and feeling at once responsible and powerless with all this.
we want to log off to stay sane and we feel bad if we do. we want to choose one thing to worry about at a time and can’t help but feel we’re letting the freaking world down.
we’re very complex, full of contradictions, and most of us are doing the best we can with the information and tools we have. and we can learn to do better. allowing ourselves and others to be vulnerable and kind should be The New Brave, instead of all this toxic macho competitive bullcrap, that takes advantage of and steps on anything that stands in the way, even if it was just minding its own business. in my ideal world, we’d have the humility to admit we make mistakes (both in actions and in judgements), gather the determination to learn from them and do our best not to repeat them, and proudly stand with anyone who is being wronged. we’d allow ourselves to not mistake kindness for weakness.
hey, in the meantime, sometimes all we can do is breathe. and, yes, slap some make-up on.
Now on a less than perfect, over 40 skin, with no fancy filters…
This 6 pan MTHERSHP palette is currently selling for 71€ at the Pat McGrath web store. It seems to be a limited edition product, so I don’t know for how long it will be available.
I had fun, but also some challenges with it. The colour story is really pretty – albeit a bit limited, you can still get a few different looks from it. The shades perform well, they blend easily and mix well with each other. I didn’t find it worked superbly with the eye primer that I own – but then again, I hardly ever use a primer, so that’s a plus for me. I think the astral shade does benefit from using a glitter glue and a dampened brush, since the glitter is pretty dry and loose – and maybe looks a bit more opaque than it seemed in the videos. The rose/berry/pink shades work pretty well as blushes, which is a plus, and the satin finish is really flattering. The light highlighter shade did not perform as well as expected, it was a bit powdery and lacklustre, and it made my skin look a bit more textured.
Please note: this video was recorded before the the invasion of Ukraine. Even if just watching from afar, it is a very disturbing situation, and my heart is in a mush. I almost didn’t publish this video because it all feels shallow and dumb right now. But, as someone who is clinically anxious, I know how much comfort and escapism a simple make up video can bring. I can value and appreciate how this can help when one’s completely overwhelmed. And so here it is. I just didn’t want people who don’t follow me on other platforms to stumble upon this without any context.