Ten Things I’ve Learned This Past Year


I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! We had a really nice quiet one, with an amazing smoked turkey that fed us for DAYS and DAYS.
It’s that time of year where everyone will be posting their favourite products of 2013, and I still might do that, we’ll see. Far more important to me though, is the Ten Things I’ve Learned This Past Year, so let’s get going!

1. I look better with less makeup on. Light and bright is my new makeup motto. I’m done with dark, vampy looks. They just make me look older and tired. The less I put on, the younger and fresher and more “lively” I look. I like looking lively! So, from now on I’m going to keep on wearing less-concentrate on making my skin look as good as it can, brightening my eyes and wearing a great blush. As for eyeshadows? I’ve also learned that less is more for me. Lighter, brighter is my ticket. And since most of them really don’t last all that well on my lids, I just won’t be wearing much of them from now on.

2. Eyebrows-less is more for me as well. I wish I could rock and actually LIKE the man-brows trending right now. But, I can’t. I’m forever a child of the 80s, and no matter how much big brows trend, I can’t stand them. I don’t like looking at someone and noticing their eyebrows first. All I see is Bogdan’s(Breaking Bad) eyebrows when I see them:

I just don’t LIKE huge brows- sue me. I’m not saying I’m a fan of pencil thin brows though. I think you should work what looks good on you. And for me, what I’ve got up there is what I will work with. At my age I can’t grow any more brows, so this is it for me:

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This past year, I’ve only been filling in the tails of my brows. I give up trying to make them look perfect. It just looks so fake if I do that. And the Shu Uemura Hard No. 9 brow pencil is my eyebrow enhancing weapon of choice. This pencil? Is AMAZING. You gotta try it.

3.My skin LOVES natural/organic skincare ingredients. WHO KNEW? I used to scoff at natural/organic skincare, and think it was just a load of hooey. Then I started to research, read some of my favourite blogs that kept spreading the virtues of going natural, and I tried out some Tata Harper skincare.

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AND?? My skin has NEVER looked better. In fact, every single freakin’ time I test out skincare that isn’t natural/organic I break out(which is why I always have La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo on hand). So, no more. I won’t be using anything that’s not natural/organic anymore. Oh sure, I’ll test things out because that’s my job/hobby with the whole bloggy thing. But as soon as I see some red spot rear its ugly head, I’ll cry uncle and go back to what my skin loves. NATURAL. And yes I know, Tata Harper is expensive. I don’t care. It works for me. But I’ll be trying other lines. There just might be something cheaper out there that my skin loves as well!

4. I look horribly old in red lipsticks. Nudes and light pinks, and pinks in general make me look younger and fresher. No more red lipsticks will come near me from now on. I know, it’s sad. If some get sent for me to test, well I’ll be sure to show them to you. But as far as purchasing any more reds? Done and done with that.

5. Now that my skin isn’t so incredibly dry and patchy and scaly thanks to my new found love of natural/organic skincare, using a makeup brush for liquid foundations is DA BOMB. Like the Shiseido Perfecting Foundation Brush-WOW I AM IN LOVE.

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It’s so soft, spreads my foundation so evenly and makes my skin look so natural no matter what foundation I use. I love it and am so glad I’m able to use it now.

6. All this doesn’t mean I won’t be playing with colour still though. If I didn’t, I’d get horribly bored with makeup pretty quickly. But I’ll be using colour sparingly as an accent, and not as the main feature in my makeup. No more Big Bird makeup for this chick!

7. Cream blush is AMAZING. As a blush fiend, you’d think I’d have been loving cream blush all this time, but as you already know, that wasn’t the case. Maybe it’s just me getting older or something, because I can’t get enough of the stuff lately. I use cream blushes all the time now, and will even layer powders on top. I used to hate doing that before, but now? I love it. Best thing ever. Like this one:

 RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture.jpg

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture

This is RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture, which as you can see is kind of an ugly deep brown red, BUT is the most natural looking cream or powder blush I own. PLUS it’s natural/organic! WIN, WIN.

wearing RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture.jpg

wearing RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture

Doesn’t even look like I’m wearing blush, hey? RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Rapture, like all of their products is coconut oil based which can be a good thing IF you have normal/dry skin. I find that when I first put the blush on, it’s dewey and creamy, but as the day wears on my skin absorbs the coconut oil, which leaves behind the pigment. I get a good 8 hours of colour, but if you have oily cheeks and skin, RMS might not be the line for you. For example, I can’t wear their cream eyeshadows as my lids are REALLY oily, so I barely get 10 minutes of wear time from them before they crease and disappear. Know your skin and what you can work with!

8. Don’t care about nails, nail polish-nope. Not one bit. Won’t be buying any. And won’t be showing you any, unless I absolutely love something. Here’s the last one I want to show you, the Sephora+Pantone Universe Elemental Energy Lacquer Collection(on sale for $8 each btw), specifically the AIR shade:

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These are pretty polishes, although I am clearly no expert when it comes to this stuff. Sheer and ethereal, they are meant to be more of an accent rather than a statement. Air would be amazing over any shade I think, but it’s particularly lovely layered over Water:

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Water, Earth, Fire layered over Earth, Air layered over Water

There’s LOADS of nail blogs out there that do this thing so much better than I ever could, so I yield. Plus, Marky is just way too hard to bribe to model these days. Cookies don’t seem to be enough of a payment lately! Bye bye nails. Trakee OUT.

9. I still love blush A LOT.

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Shiseido Camellia Blush, Dior Happy Cherry Blush, Essence Silky Touch Blush Life’s A Cherry, theBalm Instain Blush Lace

I might be giving up on most eyeshadows, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be stopping blush. I don’t know HOW to quit blush. Or bronzer. Or anything that goes on my cheekz. I love them all. Except for maybe hightlighters. They really don’t do me any favours, as I have LOADS of cheek wrinkles from my jolly life HAHA! I also have hyperpigmentation on the tops of my cheekbones, since that’s the first place the sun hits on my face. That’s the place on my face I can feel the sun SCORCH every single time I go outside. And wearing a highlighter just accentuates all of that. So none of that anymore! We want to only accentuate the good!

10. I really, really REALLY am done chasing the latest and greatest in makeup. I am seriously over doing that. There are loads of young ‘uns out there buying every new fiddle faddle out there, but this aging beauty blogger won’t be doing that anymore. I’ll only be buying what I really want or need, not because it’s the must have item at the moment. Like the Urban Decay Naked 3. You won’t be seeing that on this blog any time soon, even though the shades are probably really perfect for me. I just know I won’t use it as I rarely use my Naked 1 and 2, so why bother? See? That’s called Evolution. I’ve finally grown up and am ready for a more mature relationship with makeup.

How about you? Have you learned anything about your makeup habits this past year?

  • Sara Hawkins

    I learned that pinks and red lipstick look great on me. I still love my coppers but am using reds and pinks more.
    I like cream shadow better than powders. It is lasting, no fall out and doesn’t crease (at the brand I use).
    Shimmer ages me.
    I have embraced my pale complexion rather than be annoyed by it. It means I can play with colour better without using a lot of product.
    I love nail polish but wish I was ambidextrous so my left hand looks as good as my right 🙂
    I need to move to Ontario so I can shop at Sephora (Hubby refuses this wish. At least when I travel I have an excuse to buy a ton of make-up 🙂 )

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Hahaha love that last wish!
      Love all of you revelations, especially the cream shadows. I love them too, but only a handful last on me which is a shame.

  • Lily

    YES to Shu Uemura brow pencil! I’m having a more mature relationship with my makeup too. I need to downsize and bid adieu to quite a few items. I also learned that money saved from buying makeup can be used for skincare. YAY! Great skin is important 🙂

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Yay! Yeah me too. I’ll be downsizing yet again this year. I just use probably 1/4 of the stuff I have. And yup, that’s what I’ve been spending on too. Skincare is where it’s at!

  • Hey Tracy, what a great post! It’s really interesting to look back and see how one’s tastes/preferences have evolved throughout the year. This year I fell in love with matte eyeshadows, stick eyeshadows, cream blushes (high five), and berry/plum/pink lipsticks. I’ve never really done vampy and I’m not sure I’ll ever go there. I agree that a lot of the times, less is more 🙂

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Thanks Sunny! I’m so happy you love mattes now! I think that’s awesome! Ans yeah-I’m more of a less makeup person lately. I think it all comes down to getting your skin into a happy place. Once that clicks, you don’t want to wear a lot of makeup haha!

  • Elizabeth

    FABULOUS post!! I have had some of the same revelations this year, including embracing my brow shape (I will never have supermodel arches) and using softer lip colors. (I think that you always look fresh, cool, and hip in all of your photos, though, no matter what makeup you have on 🙂 ) Please do a post about the Shu Uemera brow pencil! (I searched your blog and didn’t find one, but let me know if I missed it!) I’m so tired of shelling out $20-something for my Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil that is gone in 2 months..:( Thanks so much for sharing your end-of-year beauty reflections with us! Happy 2014!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Awww, thanks Elizabeth! You are too sweet! xo
      I haven’t reviewed it yet strangely enough, but I will now! I didn’t think people would want to hear my brow thoughts since they’re kind of so different from most!

  • Love this post!
    I thoroughly enjoy enjoyed reading it over my morning coffee. How nice is this one is the first one popped on my feed today? 😉
    Love your blog and I have learned a lot about beauty blogging through yours & YOU.

    Wish you a even more beautiful 2014, Tracy!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      😀 Aww, thanks Lena! Finding you this year has been one of MY joys this year! I love talking with you and reading your blog. I love your exquisite taste! And I love how you really know what colours work for you. I wish I knew that YEARS ago!

  • I love your beauty reflections! I too have embraced natural skincare and cream blushes this year – 2 things I didn’t care for in the past but can’t get enough of now! Interesting how things change 🙂 I’m curious about that brow pencil now too – it seems like a lot of people really love it!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Thanks Elle! It is really interesting, hey?
      I’ll do a review of it soon then! It’s kind of the best brow pencil around I think!

  • grlnxdor

    I love this post and I think it is so refreshing that you will be blogging about what works for you and not just the latest *it* makeup that we should all run out and buy. I need to stop being seduced by nailpolish, too. I just don’t have the nails or the technique for it to look good. It’s kind of liberating to let go of things. Rock on Tracy, rock on!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      YAY! Yeah, I just can’t keep up anymore! If things get sent here, then sure-blogging of that newness shall happen. But as far as running out to buy everything? Nope. Too old. too tired for that!
      Haha yeah I just can’t really stand nail stuff. I even hate reading about them on blogs. Just has never been my thing to be honest!

  • i really love these type of posts and i am planning on doing one when my blog hits 1 years. i agree with you re; buying the latest craze. i always seem to do that with the drugstore stuff and mostly they just sit there. this year, i’m going to buy less and buy better

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Yay! I know-I watch all these people just BUY BUY BUY and it kind of bothers me. How many peach blushes, red lipsticks do you need? Kind of driving me insane!

  • Happy revelations, Tracy! I think I learned a lot about my own beauty preferences this year, too. I’m too tired to write a post right now though, lol! I just want to do nothing and relax…but I should probably get something up on the blog again soon.

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Haha thanks Larie! 😀
      I know me too. I’ve been relaxing like crazy lately. Not sure if I’ll get another post up before New Years truth be told. I’m kind of digging this slower pace .

  • Toya

    You know I’m going to 100% agree with you on the natural/organic skincare Tracy!!!!! My skin has also been ROCKIN’ since I made the switch and I can’t be happier. I’m so, so pleased that you’re having the same results, YEEHAW!!! LOL…sorry but it makes me excited 😀 😀 😀

    Also – WOW that Lip2Cheek is gorgeous on you!! I haven’t bought any organic makeup yet because it’s like, DAAAAMN do I need any more makeup?? I haven’t really purchased too much makeup lately but I’m planning to make any future purchases organic for sure. And yes, I concur that cream blush is AWESOME.

    Lastly…DAMN girl but your hair is freakin’ AWESOME. Seriously. Best EVER.

    That is all 😛

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Haha boy I love when you comment Toya! It’s just the best! Thanks so much xo
      I know what you mean! That’s my next step is to start researching organic/natural makeup now. I know I have WAY too much, but I’m intrigued. I need to know if there’s some great products out there that are just as awesome.

  • I love your evolution 🙂 All good things and fun to read. Go Tracy! I learned to really take care of my skin this year, and invest in good skincare!

  • For some reason my comment didn’t show so if I look like I’ve been overzealous and posted multiple times, please feel free to delete >.< I was saying that I think we both went to the same "school" because all your lessons had me nodding to every one. I especially loved No. 1, 8, 9 and 10 because that's how I feel too and you know what? I think we'll both be much happier for it 🙂 Happy new year Tracy! It's been a blast getting to know you 😀

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Yay!! Thanks Paris. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you too! I think we’d have been BFFs is we lived in the same place that’s for sure! We did go to the same school LOL. And yes! We both need happy! Happy New Year to you my lovely friend!

  • telle

    Tracy! Happy new year for 2014, filled with love, laughter, joy and light! <3 I am really excited to see the direction of your blog for '14! Im not on the organic/natural skincare bandwagon at this point (maybe when i cease having icky cystic like acne, i can change up, but for now, lovely hormones are what they are for me). I love cream blushes! i can't wait for more reviews and suggests, etc! Im also very curious about the research that you surface about natural/organic brands (aveda/burts bees/korres)! polishes- i love them in a bottle- so enticing and gorgeous- i just cannot wear polish- it doesn't keep on me and i won't be doing gel or arcylic nails ever- so i am rehoming most of the polishes to a coworker (i am saving a few bottles of ultra favorite shades for on occassion and for pretty summer toe painting!). i have been working hard to not purchase a lot of lippie things (esp gloss) unless its incredibly unique and i can actually see myself using it (thinking about EL's transforming gunmetal gray and white lipsticks that they came out with- unique like- but so don't need a "Transforming" lipstick). i have gotten so much better at not impulse buying- i try to plan ahead what i want to purchase, play with said cosmetic item(s)/try them out, several times before committing to a purchase. last point about this past year- working hard to use what i have, and if its something that was given to me, to pass it on, or toss it out and not feel guilty for not using something that i didn't like (that GWP mascara or lip color i didn't like, toss out– i gave it a fair try, and now i am moving it on to other places).


    i love that photo!!!! it's amazing and you look like a super hero! love it!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      HAppy New Year and all the best to you and your family Telle! Yeah, I have to change things up a bit around here! I want to start writing about other things I like as well, so look out for that! I’ll be sure to start spotlighting my cream blushes-that’s a good idea! And good for you! I was the same about GWP, but now if I try it once and don’t like it, garbage! Thanks love haha. I wish I had the athletic prowess of a Super hero LOL!

  • I don’t have any of the Naked palettes. They just don’t appeal to me. The only palette I currently own is the Hello Kitty Graffiti one with the limited edition Whip Hand Cosmetics

    Deco-Ed out creme eyeshadow palette on the way.

    I’ve started getting into blush. I used to not use it much before this year but it’s become a daily must for me now.

    Happy New Year and I wish you and your family an excellent 2014!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Happy New Year Iris to you and your family as well! I’m happy you love blush now! I got you, didn’t I haha!

  • Liz

    I agree with a lot of your points, and at the end of the day, it’s all individual! You always look glowy and happy to me. No matter the size of your brows (LOL Bogdan) or colour of your hair or lips, being happy is what counts. Happy new year, Tracy!!!!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      True dat! LOL haha, your the best Liz! Happy New Year my friend! xo

  • I love this post! I learned so much about beauty and makeup over this past year too! Like you, I am totally not super excited to get my mitts on the new, trendy IT thing anymore. Also, I am definitely more for the quality over quantity mentality now. I just cleaned my makeup drawer and I only have just a teeny bit left after major culling!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Yay! Good for you! Culling is good for the soul. I need to do some actually.

  • Ha! I wish I’d evolved as much as you!

    • TracyBeautyReflections


  • Gaelle

    You sound so wise! I have learnt that I’m a neutrals and red lip girl at heart and that all these colourful eyeshadows are going unused. I ‘m considering a huge huge cull where I’m only keeping the stuff I actually use.

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      LOL hahahahaha that’s the grey hair you’re hearing then!
      Me too. I need to really do a culling as well. Kind of sick at looking at all this stuff!

  • Hee hee! More mature relationships with makeups! Cheers! I too started off buying everything new and fabulous and have definitely slowed down on that over the course of the year. I still find your more flamboyant eye shadow looks amazing and beautiful and love you in red lips, but you’ve got to do what you like best. I do love that you’e embraced pink this year because it is so pretts on you. This was a great post!! Very inspiring! Oh and props on the brows! I too have hardly any brows to begin with so I’m never going to be able to rock the Brogdon look anyway! It’s all about working what you’ve got!

    • TracyBeautyReflections

      Thanks Love! I agree-you gotta work whatcha’ gots! Uggh, reds on me now-NOPE. Unless I can find one that’s more pink HAHA!

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