Hello and welcome to my first update for Pan that Palette 2018!

Happily it's been a great opening month for me and I've made a lot more progress than I thought I would - especially when it comes to my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette.

Also, we're early into the panning year so of course I'm feeling nicely motivated and haven't tired of anything yet! 

Bet fellow panners can relate ; )

First up, my Hourglass blush palette. Above and below are photos of the palette as it was, one month ago when I kicked off Pan that Palette 2018.

You'll note below that I'd already started scraping out the pale swirls in each powder (being the Ambient Lighting Powder portions of each pan), so I had some reasonable progress last month:

And here's how my palette is looking today, after one month of daily use:

Same shot, enhanced for clarity:

My golly, what a difference! I knew I could make decent progress on this after using my 'needle method' when I included this palette in Project Dent last year, but I certainly wasn't expecting to make as much progress as I have.

Here's what I've been doing:

Luminous Flush (left): this is my least-favourite blush in the palette because pink doesn't suit me - and of course as luck would have it, it's the one with the smallest amount of pearl in the pan. I keep hoping for some pearl to peek through as I use it, but all I keep finding is more pink! 

I've been using this on the eyes and I've also been mixing some pink with the pearl from Incandescent Electra (below) to use as my facial highlight. Plus I run my brush through it before dusting my face with setting powder. Sure, I don't use much that way (unless I want to have a pink face ; )), but every bit helps!

Incandescent Electra (middle): this is my favourite blush of all time, so I've had absolutely no problem applying this to my cheeks every day. Sometimes I think 'oh, I should use another blush from my collection for a change', but I don't want to! 

Funnily enough, if I use mostly pearl and a tiny bit of the peach pigment, Incandescent Electra is also one of my favourite highlighters. Lucky I have a full-sized back-up ; )

Mood Exposure (right): this is the surprising one. The progress I've made on this is huge and I wasn't expecting it. I've always wanted to buy Mood Light because Mood Light and Dim Light are the only two Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders that don't have tiny flecks of shimmer in them, and while at first I thought I didn't have much Mood Light in this blush, as I've excavated the pan, I've discovered that I have heaps of it below the plum surface. Huzzah! 

I've been using Mood Light daily as a finishing powder, and the plum pigment works beautifully as a topper to 'Hourglass airbrush' my eye looks. 

While I previously thought I would pan this whole palette in a year if I was lucky, I'm starting to think that I might even get there a little earlier...

Now for the Burberry quad. This is my biggest makeup regret of all time (so far, touch wood), which is why I want it out of my collection. Happily though, I have found a way to use it and not necessarily enjoy it, but I've at least found that it serves a purpose. More on that in a sec.

Here's how it looked one month ago:

And here's how it's looking now:

There's definite progress here, and you can see that I've deliberately focused my brush in the green and rose shades so I could hit pan early on - for the simple reason that I like to know exactly where the pan is!

I've also expanded the pan in the pale bronze shade, which isn't hard to do because it has zero pigment so all I need to do is load my brush with it before mixing it with another shadow that actually shows colour when applied.

The dark brown and 'green' (which in practice is a muddy grey) make my perfect cool-toned brow colour when mixed, and that's how I've mostly been using those. The 'green' also has rubbish pigment, so I need to use a lot of it to make the dark brown pale enough to work well on my already-dark brows (if I go too dark, my brows look like they've been painted on).

The rose shade is nice - it's the only decent shadow in this palette - and I've been using it daily through the crease. Slow and steady wins the race.

Last up, my custom palette:

Here's how it looked one month back:

And here's how it's looking now, after one month of use:

As always, let's go by sections.

Here's the left side, as it was one month ago:

And here's how it's looking now:

As you can see, there's not much movement in Nars Isolde or Stila's Luster, although I have used all three quite a few times during the month. I'm not super focused on these shades at the moment because I'm working on other shadows, but I will use them more as the year moves on.

Happily I've hit pan on the Clarins bronzer, although it's only a tiny amount! I've been using this as a body bronzer (shoulders, chest etc) because I don't love it on the face, so I'm making the most of the fact that it's summer and I can go to town with it on exposed body skin! It's not super pigmented so I have to apply a lot each time, which is helping with progress. Day at a time ; )

Here's the right side of my palette, as it was last month:

And here's how it's looking now:

The big news here is that I've finished Stila's Kitten and Bubbly. This wasn't difficult because there wasn't much left and both shades were carried over from Pan that Palette 2017, but it's nice to have finally cleared them out. Funnily enough, I panned them by using them on my shoulders and collarbones. They're a bit too high-shine for me to use in everyday eye looks, but I did love them on the collarbones especially.

Otherwise I've expanded the pans in the purple and teal shadows (I mixed these myself from various old shadows) and I've almost finished Stila's Sunset (bottom left, re-pressed into a smaller pan), which I've also carried over from last year. 

I hope to have Sunset and the teal shadow finished in February. As for the other powders in this section, let's talk about those once I've started making more progress on each.

Last up, the round pans. Here's how they looked last month:

And here they are now:

The Becca cream shade is on the way out. I've been using that not only to set my eye primer, but also to manage oil around my nose throughout the day. It also works well enough as an all-over setting powder, and my aim is to pan it completely in February. 

The Ardency Inn shadows in Heaven, Disco and Rose Gold: I don't love any of these on me for various reasons (must review them soon), so I tend to use these as 'play' shadows. That is, when my husband gets home and relieves me from two-toddler-duty, I hide away for a while and play with my makeup. I've always done this - light makeup during the day and then playing with colour and different looks in the arvo before my shower - so since I've always done that anyway, I might as well use shadows like this for that purpose! These are also the kind of shadows that show decent progress even if you don't use them that often (something about the formula), so I can't see any issues with finishing them in 2018.

In sum

It's been a pretty good first month for Pan that Palette 2018 and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do in February!

Also note that once I've panned a few more shades from my custom palette, I'm planning to recharge it like I did last year so I can finish as many shadows as possible in 2018.

Oh! Here's my Pan that Palette intro post if you're interested in seeing that : )

Let me know in the comments how you're going with your own panning projects: I'd love to hear.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

As you may know, I recently announced my 2018 skincare no buy, which I've been doing for 1.5 months now and I'm going pretty well so far.

The thing is, though, that I've made three larger makeup purchases over the last couple of weeks - and while they were all purchases I'd planned to make anyway (they all involved discounts), I made them on top of each other so I already knew that it was time for a dry-patch for a while. And then I thought, why not throw a makeup spending ban into the mix?

I've got some big life changes coming up, so I mightn't need to rely on beauty as my only outlet anymore. More on that in a tick.

I did a year-long spending ban for makeup/skincare a couple of years ago, and it was tough. I lasted ten months before caving, and I learned that it wasn't necessarily 'healthy' for me to cut off the one outlet I had at the time.

I don't buy clothes, restaurant meals, accessories, real coffee etc for the simple reason that I'm mostly a minimalist/thrifty kind of person anyway - I can't tolerate too much junk in the house and I'm not someone who enjoys spending money on non-essentials - and for years we haven't been in great shape financially because we have two toddlers and a mortgage, and there's only so much 'money work' I can do to bring more funds into the house. I'm self-employed, I'm a primary carer and I just don't have the time.

However. There's a silver lining to all this. And it's a good one.

As of Monday next week, my daughter is starting 3yo kindergarten so she'll be there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8am until whenever I feel is a good time to pick her up (they're open until 6pm if we need).

And also as of next week, my son will be going from two half-days to three half-days in childcare (also Mon, Wed and Fri), so I'll have three mornings a week where I'm free as a bird for the first time in almost four years.

And when I say 'free as a bird', I really mean that. I'm not pregnant and I've almost finished weaning my son - so my baby brain is on the way out. I can already feel it lifting. My memory is getting better. I've started thinking about my next story. The words are starting to flow more easily for the first time in years.

Yes, that's right. I'll finally, finally, be able to start writing again.

Why is this relevant to my no buys?

Because it means I'll be able to experience the writing 'drug' again. Beauty products and blogging about beauty products have kept me going through the brain-fog years, but gosh I miss writing novels and short stories. Fellow artists will know the call of the trade - whether it's painting, photography, music, words or whatever your poison may be - and christ that call is strong. It's consuming. I miss it.

Don't get me wrong, I'll absolutely keep blogging and doing my makeup and skincare daily (which have become meditation for me), but I shouldn't feel the need to buy something special each month just to have something for myself to carry me through the challenges of raising young kids.

Because I'll be writing again.

And yes I'll be building more 'money work' into my day as the year progresses, but for now? I'll do my usual work and write in every space that I get. Can't wait.

So! Here are my no buy rules:

  • I'm doing it for 4.5 months, until the beginning of June - so it will end when the skincare no buy does. 
  • I can buy anything essential that I run out of during that time (eg I can see this happening with concealer and tinted moisturiser), but nothing else.
  • Gift cards don't count, and if I need to spend a couple of extra dollars to buy something I need/want with a gift card or Priceline voucher (we get those quarterly in Australia), that's ok. Better to spend a few extra bucks to buy something I need/want, as opposed to buying something just because it's the same price as the gift card or voucher!
  • I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot with this. Eg I've been desperate to buy the NYX Banana Powder (I don't own a banana powder and I've wanted one for a while) and Sephora usually has a 20 per cent off sale in May, so if I'm almost out of something by then or if NYX happens to be half-price at any point, then I'll take advantage of those sales.
  • Tools and storage (eg, makeup brushes or an acrylic lipstick holder) don't count: I don't have many brushes so I may buy a few here and there if there's a decent sale on; and I don't own a proper lipstick holder because I bought one of those in the many cheap 'have almost everything' shops. Mine's plastic and has a lid, and I suspect it would normally be used for beads, paints or even pills for those among us who need to take various pills on the same/different days.

Wish me luck! It's not easy to ban myself from makeup and skincare at the same time, but I want to curb non-essential spending so I have the time to write and not worry too much about earning more money than I have been to help with household expenses.

After all, it's been a busy few years. I mean, not only have we had two kids (and got a dog just prior to my first pregnancy), but we bought and sold a house and also migrated to Berlin and back not long before my first pregnancy!

Might be time for a little break?!

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

* All images courtesy of unsplash.com
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