Friday, July 29, 2011

Sinful Colors Rich In Heart

I know, I just brought you Revlon Hot For Chocolate, which is also dark and vampy, but it's just what I'm feeling, you know?
Sinful Colors Rich In Heart.
Rich In Heart is a deep, shimmery maroon - a really dark jewel tone, like garnets.  The formula was a bit thick, but very smooth and easy to work with.  No complaints!  No visible brush strokes, either!  When the sun hits, you can see really fine red sparkles.
Sorry about the craptastic photos today!  Not sure why the middle and ring fingers look matte...they all have a Zoya base coat and a Zoya top coat over 'em.  I blame weird lighting.  Or something.
Sinful Colors polishes usually run $1.99 at drugstores; they often go on sale for even less, though, so keep an eye out!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Thursday Post

Fiona Apple: Criminal.  Why yes, ladies and gentlemen, we're going old school.

I love Clémence Poésy, and Sasha from the Cranberry Mix has put together a gorgeous collection of photos.

I am usually indifferent to NARS lipsticks, but this one is gorgeous.  I want it.  It's red.  And a non-drying matte?  Sign me up!
I made blueberry lemon muffins.  They were light and fluffy.  I love blueberries!  I also made raspberry buttermilk cake.  You need to make that cake.  Use any berry you like - or even sliced peaches, maybe? - it's delicious.

Amazing discovery!  I'm not really a juice person (besides apple/orange in the morning, maybe), but I grew up with Hawaiian Sun.  The juices are much, much better in the can, of course (and I *think* they are HFCS free, but I'm not 100% sure about that) but the cans are hard to find here, and hard to ship, naturally.  But then my mom brought us these when she came up, and omg!  It pretty much tastes like the real thing, and S. is inhaling it. We only have two packets left.

If you are a gamer, try not to be excited about this.  I dare you.

Also, we saw Friends With Benefits.  It was funny, and I really enjoyed it - I feel like JT and Mila Kunis have great comedic timing, and good chemistry.  It's one of those deliberately not-thought-provoking, carefree, reliable chick flicks.  Even S. enjoyed it.  It's definitely adult, but it didn't drag and it was an enjoyable Saturday night.

Annnnddd...we adopted a dog :D  He has warmed up to us and just follows us around...I'm sure it'll get old someday, but right now, it's so nice to be greeted so enthusiastically when I come home! :D Thank you all so much for your kind words and congratulations!

Okay, have a great Friday, and a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Neutral EOTD...Because You Can Never Have Enough

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics
Dusty Rose (sparkly peach), Shiro Cosmetics [Subject Name Here] (matte peach), Golem (taupe)
Benefit Magic Ink, Urban Decay Glide-On Eye liner in
Crash (glittery dark purple/mauve)
I like Crash; it's one of my favorite colors.  It's eggplant but a little more gray, with lots of chunky glitter.  It's not gritty or harsh, and I love it against neutral shadows, like this.  For the outer crease color, I prefer Golem to warmer browns; I layered ARC Dusty Rose under Shiro's [Subject Name Here] across my lids to get a slighter rosier shade.
I skipped mascara, as usual.
Please be a dear and embrace my eye crinklies.  They reflect life, right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Adopted a Doggie!

Three year old shepherd mix from the humane society :)  He's a total sweetheart.  Very shy, and so very sweet.

His name is Dennison :)

Mom Came Bearing Gifts

As she always does.  She usually brings new things that she's bought (for both S. and I), as well as jewelry of hers that she feels she's outgrown.  We have similar tastes, so I'm usually happy to receive anything she wants to "donate."

Like this.  It's a Nadri bracelet, and I love bracelets - especially timeless, classic pieces like this.  Half of it is encrusted (like above) with some sort of crystal (not sure which), and the other half is just plain metal.  I love it.  I want more pieces!  Like this or this or this.  The rose gold versions are especially pretty.  Now if only I could think of some way to justify buying another bracelet...!

Earrings and bracelets are my favorite items of jewelry.  What are yours? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

MAC Harmony Blush

I wanted a brown powder blush for contouring - one that wasn't too red or warm - so I picked up MAC Harmony.  It's a nice matte brown - the shade of a lot of bronzers (it actually reminds me of the tan parts of Dior Aurora).
It is fairly light, so if you have a darker complexion, I'm not sure that it will show up very strongly.  On me, it shows up well enough - again, like Dior Aurora - and it is buildable.  It's brown and lovely without looking dirty or too orange.  It has a fairly rosy tone, so it doesn't end up looking fake or flat, either.  I've been using it with Dior Aurora; Aurora all over the face (cheeks, forehead, nose, chin), with Harmony just along the backs of my cheekbones, if that makes any sense.  As in, not on the apples of my cheeks, full-frontal style.  This is a much more subtle look that I actually prefer with all of my blushes.
MAC Harmony, swatched heavily, no flash.
To compare browns, and to give you a benchmark, I thought I'd show you Harmony with Tarte's mineral bronzer.
The Tarte is darker, and more shimmery; Harmony is matte and creamier looking, if that makes any sense.

All in all, I'm really happy with this purchase.  It's natural and pretty, and I like having it in the summer, to pair with my toned down eyes and lips - a more carefree, summer face!  It also wears long enough (through a work day) and a little goes a long way!

$19.50 for 0.21 oz at MAC counters or stores.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Pop of Color - Blue!

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
Stila shadows in
Kitten, Diamond Lil
Sephora Long-Lasting Eye Liner in
13 Fancy Blue
SmashBox Lash Primer and Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes
Sephora's liquid liner in blue is bright.  The photo is not really portraying its vibrancy very accurately, unfortunately.  When you first put it on and it's still wet, it's darker and more subdued, but it quickly dries into a bright, matte, brilliant blue.  Blue liner - on me, I guess? - is a favorite of S.'s - he loves the bright pop of color that it gives, apparently (review here).

The closed eye shot (below) shows you that my application is a bit messy, but it isn't at all noticeable (to me, anyway) when my eyes are open.  So, assuming there are no creepers watching me fall asleep on the bus, no one will ever know that your liquid liner application is slightly less than perfect.  Moral of the story: even if you are afraid...go forth!  Try it! Little mistakes won't be noticed by anyone except yourself.
This photo is actually after a day's wear - long lasting, yes! (Well, over primer, at least.  But I've had liners that didn't last, even over primer, so I'm still in love with this one). can see how some of the liner gets on my lashes, lol.  Oh well!  Blue lashes are fun, too!

Friday, July 22, 2011

MAC Lickable

I was looking at Girl About Town and Lickable; Girl About Town is an Amplified Creme, and Lickable is a Cremesheen.  I picked up Speed Dial at the same time (another Cremesheen), so I figured I'd just go with Lickable - I buy 'em in pairs, anyway.
MAC Lickable - Cremesheen.  You can see a bit of the purple tinge in the lipstick up there.
Lickable is a bright fuchsia, which I actually really like.  I feel like it goes on slightly more smoothly than Speed Dial, but I'm not sure what the reason for that might be.  I was initially a bit apprehensive about Lickable, because when you look at the actual lipstick, you can see a lot of silver sparkles in it - I was afraid it would be too frosty, or gritty.  Not! 
I actually find that it has an interesting purple-y sheen to it in most lights; it kind of softens the fuchsia ever so slightly, and makes it more wearable.  I actually prefer this to Speed Dial (though they're very different, they are still both pink); I think the darker color gives more contrast against my skin.  This one is great for summer, too!

I feel like I'm wearing bolder colors, recently.  It's actually kind of fun.  And lipstick is easier to change up than eye makeup.  I've been falling back on the same neutral eye and just popping on some bright lipstick.  I'm sure it's just a phase and will pass.

But I am excited to rock vampy lip colors in the fall.  I never really wore lipstick before this spring, but I love the dark plums and berries, so I am ready!  #stockpiling.

Lickable is $14.50 at MAC stores or online; it's a permanent shade.  Will you grab one?  How do you feel about bold lip colors?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blogger Interview on Lady of the Lane!

I'm on Charlie's site today - Lady of the Lane.  She has a really great "Beauty Bloggers Best Things "series, which I had fun doing!  Go check it out, and if you don't already, keep up with Charlie!

The Thursday Post

Birdy: Shelter.  This is a cover of the XX song; I like both versions - they're very different.  Her cover of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" is also definitely worth listening to.  She's 14!
No, nothing is really that blue in our apartment, but I was having fun with GIMP.  Wouldn't you? :D
Mama bought us a KitchenAid stand mixer when she was here!  All together now: Oooooh.  Aaaaaah.  I used to avoid recipes that involved creaming butter and sugar, or kneading bread, but no longer!  Do you have a favorite dessert recipe to share?

I saw Harry Potter, did you?  It was good, but I was a little disappointed, even though I've only read the book once when it first came out and remembered not so much of it.  I think I wanted more cool fight scenes!  Also, people in the theater cheered more when [spoiler] Bellatrix died than when Voldemort did [end spoiler].  Understandable, I guess.  Crazy b*tch.  Although, I actually really like Helena Bonham Carter.  She's quirky.

And...a bunch of other random things:
Things like this make me want long hair again.
Has anyone ever shopped here?  I've been into perfumes, lately...not sure why.
I've been reading Graveminder, by Melissa Marr.  Not bad so far, though it's been kind of slow.  Still, I like one-shot novels.
Feather Factor did an interview on Jean of Extra Petite!  Cuuute.

Okay, have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MAC Speed Dial

I have a problem with some of MAC's names.  I'm kind of a linguaphile, and have been known to be a grammar cop.  Of course, I make tons of mistakes, too, but um, let's not go there right now.  The point is: "Cremesheen?"  Really?  What the heck?  I find this in nail polish brands, too.  "Creme" is not a word.  "Crème" is a word - a French word - but it is pronounced "crem," with the "e" as in "men."  Not "cream," like the English word with the same meaning.  So "cremestick," "cremesheen," "creme finishes..." these are meaningless.  Do you say your lipstick is "cremey?" The accents are there for a reason, people.  I saw this in French and German class all the time; people would leave out the accents, or interchange them, thinking that it didn't really matter all that much.  It does!  When I studied abroad in France, our French teachers would have fits over it - they're different! With different sounds.  It changes the word.

I guess, though, that "creme" may have evolved in the cosmetic world as a valid word.  Whatever.

Okay.  Today's mini-rant was brought to you by the letter "è."

On to Speed Dial.  It's a Cremesheen (uuggggghhh), which, I think, describes these exactly; they're creamy, but they have a slight sheen to them - almost shimmery.  They're not really moisturizing but I actually didn't find them exceedingly drying, either, which is nice.  Speed Dial is a bubblegum pink that leans cool; worn alone, it's opaque, but sometimes I sheer it out over my tinted lip conditioners (like Fuchsia Fix).
I'd say it wears a good four hours or so, which is nice, though it does tend to sink into lines after a while (but I have dry lips, in general).  It's not as creamy as the Amplified Cremes and doesn't glide on as easily as the Lustres/Glazes, but the sheen effect is rather nice.  It gives it a light, almost-frosty look.  But not too frosty; I'm not a huge fan of frosty finishes, but I like these.  With Speed Dial, the sheen is silvery, and it keeps the pink from being too "in-your-face."
No flash.
Direct sunlight (hah!  We haven't had real sun in days...summer, yeah right), no flash.
It's a great color for summer - bright and cheerful.  If you're looking for a cool, Barbie pink, this is a good one to try.
Cremesheen ingredients.
$14.50 at MAC stores or counters.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Awards!

Vijiis of Fierce Nerditude tagged me for both of these!  Thanks, dear :)

I have one more tag that I'm supposed to do, and I'm working on that one, too.  I'm also backlogged in reviews/ was in town last week, and I didn't have any time to take/edit photos.  Soon, I promise!

On to the award questions.

Name your favourite color: I'm one of those lame people who don't have one.  There are colors that I don't like, but mostly, it depends on my mood.

Name your favorite song: I have a lot - I usually have music on, whenever, wherever, and I also like to dance.  Currently favorites: Set Fire to the Rain, Adele.  The Nicest Thing, Kate Nash.  Monster, Kanye West feat. Bon Iver, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj.  When I'm Small, Phantogram.  Skin, Rihanna.  Closer, Kings of Leon.  Sound Check (Gravity), Gorillaz.  Heavy in Your Arms, Florence + the Machine.  Bright Lights, Bigger City, Cee Lo Green.  Colors, Amos Lee feat. Norah Jones.  There, that's ten, at least - should give you an idea of the wide variety of musical genres I listen to!

Name your favorite dessert: Ice cream - not chocolate.  And pie.  And cheesecake.  I like dessert. 

What is pissing you off? Right now?  (warning: rant ahead) We're getting married next year, and we want a small, small wedding: > 40 people.  We're paying for it, because we don't expect our parents to pay for our wedding - they're not responsible for us any more, we're old enough and we make a living.  However, everyone else (parents and family members on both sides) is trying to insist that we need to have a bigger wedding - for a variety of reasons - and offering to pony up money, as well.  We appreciate the thought, but it's our wedding; why can't we do what we want?  I'm not trying to exclude people, or be mean about it.  The smaller the celebration, the more time we get to spend with the people who do come, and the easier everything will be to plan and handle.  We're also holding it here, in Seattle, when my family comes from HI and his family comes from PA - everyone would have to fly out here; I don't even know if people realize how expensive it would be for them to come out here.  Plus, even if we made more money, I wouldn't want to spend it on a wedding.  It'd be better served gathering interest or being put toward a house/condo down payment.  We are trying to be responsible and take care of ourselves - why can't everyone else just understand and respect that?  We are not budging, but I have no idea how many people are going to be upset over this.  Right now, I don't care.  There's enough to worry about. 

When you're upset, you... say nothing, and become even more sarcastic when pressed to talk. 

Your favorite pet: I like birds and dogs, although we can't afford either at the moment (and don't have the time to train one, either).

Black or White? Black. 

Your biggest fear is...: not accomplishing anything important in my life. 

Your best feature is...: Um.  Are we talking physical?  I'll pretend not.  I have a sense of humor and I usually don't take things too seriously.  I also don't linger on regrets.  

Everyday attitude: Easygoing, for the most part.

What is perfection? A hot cup of tea, a good book, and someone warm to sit next to on a cloudy day.

Guilty pleasure: Gummy candy.  Trashy vampire novels (and no, I'm not talking about that weird glittery guy).  Frou frou coffee drinks.  Huge, huge breakfasts (I'm talking eggs + corned beef hash + pancakes + hash browns + juice + coffee) on weekend mornings.  (Um.  Apparently I like food.)  Indulging in high-end makeup (obviously!).  Collecting boots.

Okay!  I tag, in random order:

Ki of Ki and Makeup
Makeup Morsels
Laura of Laura's Lacquers
Erin of The Cheap Chick
Vonnie of Socialite Dreams

Okay!  Go forth and do your tag, ladies :)  (I mean, only if you want to.  No pressure!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Revlon Hot For Chocolate

I bought this one or two years ago, actually - I think it was a holiday release, but I don't think it was LE, as it seems to be still available at most drugstores still.  I only wore it once after I bought it, but I dug it out again because I was feeling dark, creamy colors again.  In the middle of summer, yes.
Gah, sorry so messy!  I've been having problems with my manicures lately. 
With flash.
Hot For Chocolate is a dark, neutral chocolate brown (duh, I guess, right?); completely opaque in two coats.  The formula is easy to work with, if a bit thick - just give yourself a lot of drying time (or use quick drying drops, or whatever you like to speed that process up).  I really love the color, and I'm not sure why I've let it languish at the back of my nail polish container for so long.  I'll be breaking this one out a lot more often in the fall, I expect.

Revlon polishes range in price, depending on the drugstore and the sale, but they're all usually < $8.00.  My bottle was formaldehyde and toluene free.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Would You Rather - Tag

I was tagged by mNg of I'm Not Skinny, So What? (love that name :D)  I hate making these kinds of decisions...hopefully my answers are not boring!

1. Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks and lipglosses or lose all of your palettes and eye shadows?
I'd keep my palettes and eye shadows.  I can use shadows as liners, right?  Eye makeup = must.

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?
Chop it all off!  I hate growing out my hair - such a hassle.  And I think it's cuter when it's short.  Suits me better.

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek?
Coral!  I think it's a more flattering color for me.

4. If you had $1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or makeup?
Clothes.  I could use an extra $1000 in the bank right now, though.

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner or eyeliner as lipstick?
Lipstick as eyeliner.  I couldn't pull off black or bright green lips.

6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?
Sephora - I need the variety.  And they have a point system, which is nice (even if some of their deluxe samples are...mleh).

7. Would you rather use only one eyeshadow color or one lip color the rest of your life?
One lip color.  I need to switch up my shadows all the time!

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in the summer or summer clothes in the winter?
Um...I really hate freezing.  But sweltering in too-warm clothing is junk, too.  I don't know!  I guess I pick winter clothes in the summer - less chance of becoming ill or something.

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?
I like obnoxious colors, but then I like dark ones too.  I guess I'd pick vampy.

10. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a pony tail or a messy bun?
Ponytail.  Better for working out and stuff, and like mNg said, there's more variety in it :D

11. Would you rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lipgloss?
I could live happily without lip gloss.  I actually already do :D

12. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all? Or sharpie them in everyday?
Sharpie them in, I guess - that's better than having no eyebrows.

13. Would you rather live without makeup or nail polish?
I'd rather skip the polish than makeup.  Bare nails can look clean and polished too, if they're kept up well, but I need makeup for those days where I look like I haven't slept in a week.

Okay, I tag...all of you!  (I hate picking blogs, it makes me nervous, and then I feel lame afterward.)  I really do want to read your answers, so if you do this tag, please link to them in the comments! :)

I'm on Twitter

@eyeheartit, of course.  Find me, or let me know how to find you!

The Thursday Post

Elbow: Grounds For Divorce.  I love them.  Guy Garvey's voice is sexy.  I'm not going to pretend that I know what "progressive rock" means in real people language, but I like Elbow.  I will confess that I sometimes confuse their songs with The National's, though, and I'm not sure why.  I guess they sound similar?

Are you on Goodreads?  If you like to read, it's a great way to catalog your interests, current books, reading goals, etc.  I'm Pestozesto, if you want to add me as a friend :D  Although you'll prolly need to comment with your name, if you choose a different one than your blogging name.

Also, do you foodgawk?  :D  This is actually where I find a lot of our recipes.  We get a CSA box every week, and once I get the list of produce that's coming, I pop over to foodgawker and search by ingredient.  I also just spend a ridiculous amount of time drooling at all of the yummy photos.  I don't submit photos because I haz no skillz, but I like to look at food!

And am I the only one who's fallen completely for Zoya's upcoming Smoke and Mirrors collections?  They seem to have hit it out of the park with their fall collections!  I want both.  I really do.  Hopefully they'll do some sort of promo later so I can actually afford to have both. 

Because I need to rein it in; I've totally splurged on lip products, lately.  I'm way over cap and everything...oh well.  I blame my mom coming to town :P  We like to shop.  Anyway, besides MAC Musky Amethyst and Dior Serum de Rouge, I picked up MAC Speed Dial and Lickable, and I'll try to swatch those for you soon.  I also picked up MAC Harmony, which I like - it's a nice, subtle color, and not too warm.  I'll get that review up soon, too.

And these swatches are gorgeous!  UD's new stuff looks amazing.  The liquid liners are sadly not paraben-free (sigh), but the lip pencils are stunning.

And, last question - do you tweet?  I'm afraid of THE Twitter, and heretofore refused to tweet.  Would you be interested in my 140 character outbursts?  

Well, that's it for me!  Family's in town, and we're doing Korean BBQ tomorrow night - so excited!  I love Korean food.  Love.  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Darling Girl Cosmetics Part II: Lips

This is Part II of my Darling Girl Cosmetics reviews.  For Part I, click here.  This one features the lip products.  To just get it out of the way, I'll tell you that I really liked one of these products, and I really didn't like the other.  I'll start with the un-favorite. 
Darling Girl Cosmetics Raining Blood Holo-glass. 
Raining Blood is a holo-glass described as "blackened red with copper and red holo-shimmer."  Holo-glasses are supposed to be more sheer than other glosses, and they're also meant to have an interesting sheen to them.  Holo-glasses are $4.25 for 3.5 mL, or ~$1.21/mL; to give you a sort of benchmark, MAC lipglasses are $14.50 for 0.17 oz (roughly 5 mL), which is ~$2.90/mL.

These are advertised as "sheer." And Raining Blood is rather sheer; it's a spot-on blood-red with lots of gold glitter.  It's really pretty, even if it looks unnervingly like real blood.  Definitely made me think of vampires.  Here it is swatched; one is a focused shot, and one is blurred, so you can see the glitter.
Swatches of Raining Blood, in direct sunlight.  The color is very pretty!

The texture of the gloss is really slippery - not at all sticky or tacky.  This kind of formula feels nice, but also means the color doesn't last very long.  I don't usually have problems with reapplying, though, if I like the effect of the gloss.

The problem is, I don't.  Now, I know everyone has stellar reviews of the lip glosses from this company, but I have to admit that I wasn't really impressed.  The swatch was beautiful.  On my lips, though, application was messy and uneven.  I know it's supposed to be sheer, but that to me still means that I should be able to get an even wash of color all over my lips; I wasn't able to get that even, subtle wash of color.  I absolutely wasn't looking for opacity, but I didn't want patchy areas, and no matter how many times I went over my lips with gloss, it never evened out properly.  Copious amounts of gloss didn't help (lest you think I'm stingy with my lip gloss application, but am I really supposed to need copious amounts?); it just sunk into my lip lines. That is sort of understandable, I guess, since it's such a dark color...maybe I just can't apply lip gloss correctly, haha.
Swatched on bare lips.  Left: indirect sunlight; Right: direct sunlight.  See how it's not even at all?  Looks almost like I really was a vampire, and just had a snack... o_O
Since it was patchy on bare lips, I decided to try it over lipstick.  This is over MAC Musky Amethyst, from the Semi-precious collection.  On its own, Musky Amethyst is a deep berry color.
Darling Girl Cosmetics Raining Blood over MAC Musky Amethyst.
Not much better.  Still patchy, and the gloss kind of pushes around the actual lipstick when applying with the doe foot, even if I try to be as gentle as possible with my layering.  I would not go out like this - it's so messy looking.  This is a definite pass for me.  Maybe I'm missing something - any tips/suggestions?

Okay, enough of that.  On to the product I did like.

Boy Toy is a "Kiss Me Tinted Lip Balm" from the "Naughty & Nice" collection.  I picked up the Formula 1 variation, with these ingredients (from the Darling Girl Cosmetics' ecrater store product description):  Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Bee's Wax,Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (and) Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer (and) Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer. Candelilla Wax and Carnauba Wax. 

There is a shea butter-free formula for those with allergies (Formula 2), but I can't comment on that one as I haven't tried it.  Formula 1, at least, is buttery-smooth and soft.  Even though it looks sort of gritty in the tube, it isn't gritty at all, and applies evenly, if a bit thickly.  It's unscented and flavorless, though I do detect a faint, waxy note that is common in all lip products.  It's not pronounced or severe, though, and it doesn't bother me.  
Boy Toy on the lips (tinted lip balm).
Color wise, it is a great peachy-tan neutral that leans cool, with lots of pale shimmer - champagne-colored, actually.  It's really pretty, and I think it would go great with a smoky eye, or, well, any kind of look.  It does block out my natural pink lip color, as mentioned in the product description.  If you have naturally dark lips, I'm not sure if it would have the same effect - it may just mute your natural color very slightly.  I like that it's not too pink - pinky browns tend to make me look dead.  (It looks more pink in the photo that in person, I think).

In terms of wear and feel, it stays on comfortably for an hour or two.  It can get a little grimy and gritty after a while - even without eating or drinking - but a lot of balms are like that.  These tinted lip balms are $4.50 and come in a slim tube; I'm not sure how much product is in one - the amount isn't listed on the page.
Finally: the lip scrub.  It smells divine.  It comes in a small jar with a scooper, in a cute little bag.  I'm not sure about the consistency, as I haven't tried a lot of lip scrubs, though this one is definitely more chunky, and not suspended at all; what I'm trying to say is, it's a lot of sugar crystals loosely held together by oils, rather than an emulsion type thing with lots of itty bitty crystals (itty bitty gritties? Hee hee hee).

The directions on the website say to rub a small amount in a circular motion on your lips, and then just wipe off the sugar crystals without rinsing.  I tried this a couple of times, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I think I may have a minor reaction to some of the ingredients (though I don't have any known allergies to any of them), as my lips felt hot and tingly afterward - and not in a good, freshly exfoliated kind of way - and the product isn't as lubricated as I'd like.  I think I still want to try the Fresh lip scrub, though I will probably continue using this, unless the reaction becomes more pronounced.
I do appreciate the labeling the company does, even if the aesthetic isn't really my style.  That's neither here nor there, though, is it?
My overall feeling on the lip products?  I'd buy more tinted lip balms, but I would pass on the glosses.  I know she has a multitude of other formulas, but I'm not really that interested in gloss to begin with, and it's a little too much of a miss for me to experiment much more with products that can't be readily returned.  I'll probably stick to commercial brand products for that.  The company seems to be a good one, though, and maybe I'm just not a lip gloss person - I'd definitely encourage you to look at other reviews of her lip products, as many others seem to like them.  I'm also not really sold on the lip scrub, and will probably keep looking for a new one.

Sorry for the monster-sized post!  The glitter glue post will come up maybe this weekend, or Monday?  We have family in town, so I'm busy gallivanting around and pretending to be a tourist :D

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Darling Girl Cosmetics Part I: Overview

Darling Girl is an indie darling amongst many bloggers, and I've seen tons of great reviews on their products - especially their lip products.  I'm not big on lip glosses and lip products, usually, but curiosity got the best of me, and I spent some time browsing their ecrater store.  Then the owner, Susan, came out with more lip glosses and things, and I totally had to try something.  I ended up with an eclectic sampling of goodies:

Raining Blood (holo-gloss), $4.25
Boy Toy (Kiss Me tinted lip balm, from the Naughty & Nice collection), $4.50
Glitter Glue, $6.75
Raspberry Smoothie (Sugar Lips Sugar Scrub), $4.25

I figured it would be a good sampling of the company - a few lip items, a few eye items, and the GWP of the week was a fun coral blush (Charming Coral).  With shipping ($3.00), the total came to $22.75. 

The website is on the ecrater platform, and initially a little confusing to navigate, but once you locate and click on the "categories" button in the top right corner, you're golden.  The products are split into the appropriate categories (eyes, lips, face, etc.), and there are tons of things!  All of the product pages have a photo of the product; most - but not all - of them also have swatches.  There is also a description of the color, a list of ingredients, and a comment on the type of packaging the product comes in.  It is a pretty thorough type of product page, which I like.

The estimated turn around time was 10-12 business days at the time of purchase.  I ordered on June 28th, and received a shipping notice and tracking number with USPS on July 6th; my package arrived on July 8th.  Pretty fast!  The order came in a bubble mailer, and most of the items were individually packaged; I received everything I ordered, plus the GWP (blush) and two eye shadow samples: Hades, and Chantilly.  An invoice was also included, with a handwritten thank-you, along with two business cards and a Darling Girl sticker.
I'll review these in two separate posts: the lip gloss + tinted lip balm + lip scrub (part II), and the Glitter Glue (III).  I will prolly also swatch the GWP blush, but I don't think it will have its own post.

In short: Susan seems very sincere and dedicated to her customers, and she offers a wide range of cosmetics.  Shipping was handled well, and I always appreciate GWP and complimentary samples.  The prices are fair for an indie company, and the turn around time isn't ridiculous.  A good experience so far!

Have you purchased from Darling Girl Cosmetics before?  What are your favorite products?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dior Sérum de Rouge: 850 Red Serum

I wasn't deliberately looking for such an expensive red, but there you go.  I was at the Dior counter, ogling at Tuxedo, and reminded myself that I was looking for THE PERFECT RED, and wasn't this Dior, and didn't they do red?  (Cue story time!)
Comes in a pen.  There are explicit directions on the box - 2 clicks per use.
The SA saw my interest in the Sérum de Rouges, and when I mentioned that I was looking for RED (don't you feel like it's all capital when you say it?  "I want RED."  I feel self-conscious when I do it - it's kind of like getting caught entering the Victoria's Secret fitting room with bright red, sexy lingerie.  By say, your mom.  Eep!) she whipped this out and said, "Do you want to give it a try?" and I just sort of blinked at her, and next thing you know, she was going at me with a lip brush.  That's one thing that always makes me nervous - asking to try on a lip color.  You never know what kind of SA you're going to have: the pushy ones who need to put it on you and make it all perfect and try to buff out your lip lines and then apply five products before actually getting to the one color you asked for, or the indifferent ones who dunk the lipstick in a glass of alcohol and then hand it lazily to you, or the inept ones who try to apply it to your lips, but end up getting it all over your face instead...sigh.  So scary!  It's like roulette. 

Quilted design on the pen.  I think it's easy enough to apply, though I can understand that some people may prefer the firmness of a traditional lipstick bullet.

When she was done, she said, "Ooh, yeah, this is hot on you," and I was like, "?" and I picked up the mirror and looked at it for a second, and looked over at S., who gave me the thumbs up.  Maybe just one thumb up?  I don't remember.  So, $$$ later, in my bag it went, along with Tuxedo (they didn't have Blue Denim yet, or that would've come along too :P)

So, is this the perfect red?  Well, yes, and no.  It's not as blue-based as I wanted - it definitely pulls more coral on my lips - but it is gorgeous.  I wore it around for the rest of the day (feeling very self-conscious all the while), but as the day wore on, I grew more and more convinced that it wasn't actually red.  It seemed more orangey coral to me.  So I was all ready to exchange it for RED, but we had already left the mall.  I sulked about it a bit (yeah, I'm mature like that, haha, although I was more annoyed by the color changing that seemed to occur as the day wore on, than anything else), and I tried to look at it in all sorts of lighting.

After a while, S. said, "You really don't like it?  Even if it's not quite the red you wanted, I still think it's very you.  I like it."  I stopped and looked at him.  "Oh yeah?"  At which point I gave up sulking, and just decided to keep the damn thing.  It is bright, and beautiful, and luxurious, and really, isn't that what we want from THE RED?

Anyway.  The Sérum de Rouge formula is slippery and glossy - not like your average lipstick - though it survived a drink (sipped through a straw).  It wasn't drying at all; my lips didn't feel or look parched by the end of the day, which was very nice (I have dry lips, in general).  However, this is not one of your hard-core, stay-all-day varieties; I probably wore this for three or four hours, maximum.  After that, I wiped it off (I wanted to try on my MAC Hot Tahiti to compare them and decide if they were different enough on my lips - they are), but it was starting to fade, anyway.  I wore it through a meal on another day - the gloss disappears, naturally, but you are left with a red stain, which is nice.  When first applied, the color can be a bit patchy/uneven, and I may try a lip liner underneath to see if I can get it to be neater that way.  It may also last longer on the lips that way, but I'm not sure - I'm a lip liner virgin, actually.

If you want another review on the formula, you can see Temptalia's here.  Her main issue with the line is that you don't get a whole lot of product for your money.  This is a valid concern, but I don't wear lipstick every day,'s not so much of a problem for me.  I am still on the lookout for a blue-based red, though.

$32 for 0.07 oz, at Dior counters. There is also a 840 Crimson Serum, which may be more blue-based, for all you cooler-toned ladies out there.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

MAC Musky Amethyst

This is the only thing from MAC's Semi-Precious collection that interested me.  I went in, tried it on, and was sold.  I also picked up Sublime Culture, which I'll be reviewing later.
Musky Amethyst is a frost finish, but I don't find it overly drying.  It's a deep berry with a bare hint of shimmer - not too harshly metallic or anything like that.
I really love the color of this!  It's a beautiful deep berry, and perfect for fall.  I've been looking for a vampy color, and this is it.
Look how pretty it is in the sunlight!  Top swatch - direct sunlight.  Bottom swatch - indirect sunlight.
It looks a bit patchy on my lips, and it doesn't apply as smoothly as, say, a glaze finish, but I'm able to even it out when I actually wear it.  It has a bit of a goldish sheen to it - very reminiscent of gemstones.  It also ends up with a slightly lustrous finish - not matte at all.  If I want a slightly less punchy look, I apply it as usual, and then blot it off for a luscious wine-colored stain.  It lasts at least three or four hours, and leaves a stain after eating and drinking.

Basically?  Love.  A great addition to my growing lipstick arsenal.

Friday, July 8, 2011

And Now For Something Slightly Different...

I bring you a review on TEA!  I'm kind of a tea snob, I'll admit (although would you believe that it hadn't occurred to me until now that there might be tea blogs out there, and I should be following them?).  I enjoy green and oolong and white teas more than black - I do drink black teas on occasion, but I'm not a big fan of rich chai or other teas usually served with milk - and I usually drink them piping hot, without milk or anything else in it.
A tea tin.  Keeps your tea fresh and all, though any air-tight container will do just as well.  These are pretty, though, and good for gifts :D
I buy all of my tea from Lupicia; they have a store in HI that I used to frequent before I moved.  I believe they also have a store in San Francisco, but there isn't one close to me, so now I order online.  Online, free shipping is offered on orders $45 or more, and they always include samples, which is really nice.  I have converted quite a few people, too - even the fiancé, who I think really only started drinking green tea when we started dating, is a huge fan of Lupicia's flavored teas.
50 gram bags of loose leaf tea, and a tin.  Lupicia also sells tea bags, but I don't usually buy those.
I typically only buy loose leaf teas, which I either brew in a glass teapot with a removable infuser, or in a mug with a mini mesh tea ball or a filter bag if I'm just making an individual serving (filters can be purchased easily on Lupicia or on other tea sites, and even on Amazon, though I actually find Lupicia is cheaper than Amazon).  There are all kinds of rules about the best way to brew your tea; I just use an electric kettle, pour hot water into my teapot/mug, let steep for ~3 minutes (this depends on the type of tea), and enjoy!  The whole tea process is only as complicated as you want to make it - if you just want good tea, with a nice aroma and a comforting warmth, it's as easy as heating up water, and waiting three minutes.
You can use paper filters in teapots, too.
We recently just ordered some new teas (and combined an order with a newly converted friend, haha) so I thought I'd do a mini-review on them.  I picked up Chestnut, Tokio, Kamairicha "Takachiho", and Peach Melba.  The first three are greens, and the last is a rooibos tea; I'm not a huge fan of rooibos, but I figured I'd give it a shot, since I need more caffeine-free teas for nighttime.  I have some other favorites, too, so if you're interested in trying some and want more advice, let me know!  In general, I just buy the 50 gram pouches, and store all of my teas in an airtight container.  The tins are really pretty, though (I have a few), and make great gifts!
All of the specific tea-brewing instructions are printed on the label.  Handy, right?
Chestnut: I love the flavor of chestnuts, so this was a no brainer. This one is mellow, sweet, and savory in the way of sweet potatoes and other such foods.  Not a favorite with S., but he prefers fruity teas.
Tokio: The aroma is delicate but sweet, and I get mostly strawberry from it.  The tea itself is subtly sweet and still very delicate, with a light green tea flavor and just the hint of berry sweetness.  Perfect for summer, and I think it would be great iced, too.
Kamairicha "Takachiho:" A heavier flavored tea - it has substance to it, an a more earthy flavor.  I often get in the mood for a traditional green tea like this, so I make sure I always have one on hand.
Peach Melba: I'm not a fan of the rooibos flavor, but this is a mellow and caffeine-free tea, so it's nice for night time.
This newsletter gives instructions on cold-brewed tea, and features the summer flavors.  They're all pretty interesting; a lot of them feature recipes, or brief histories of tea.  Love!  The tea sample is great, too.
Also, if you spend more than $30, you are automatically subscribed to Lupicia's monthly newsletter; it's actually pretty interesting, not just junk mail.  And the best part is: they send you a free tea sample (one tea bag) every month, so you can try all kinds of teas.  It's really fun!  Any other purchase over $30 throughout the year will resubscribe you for the following year, which is nice.

Hopefully I haven't bored you too much :D  I like tea.  What kinds of foodie things do you indulge in?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Thursday Post

Kate Nash: The Nicest Thing.  Her voice is hypnotizing.  I also love the minimalist instrumentation - just her beautiful voice, and a guitar, and a violin (I think). 

My mom and S.'s parents are flying in for the official meet&greet next week (my dad was supposed to come too, but work interfered).  I'm terrified.  His parents are lovely, my parents parents, but the idea of sitting through an entire dinner full of awkwardness does not appeal to me.  We're doing Korean BBQ, because then at least everyone can actively be cooking their food, so it's not just "sit and twiddle thumbs while we wait for our meals to be served."  Still.  I could think of a million things I'd rather be doing.  I'm sure neither set of parents is looking forward to it either (and neither is S.), but you know, that's not comforting.  Five people who would all rather be somewhere else = not good times.  Also, I honestly don't think S.'s parents have ever had Korean food before - S. definitely never had it until he started dating me.  He agreed to this, though (he actually thought it was a great idea), which I take as permission to blame him if all things go awry.  Great start to this whole getting married thing, right? :D  Teamwork!

A England polishes are getting a lot of love in the blogosphere (you know, I really hate that word - new word, please!  Something to happily sum up the and I'm really, really tempted.  Especially after seeing these gorgeous swatches on Ommorphia Beauty Bar.  They're offering free international shipping, too, until the 15th. I'm trying to be a good girl, and refrain from purchasing any.  I'll just pout about it instead.  :D

MAC's Semi-Precious Collection is supposed to hit stores today.  I'm going to go down to a store to swatch the lipsticks - I want Musky Amethyst, and  I also want to look at some permanent lipsticks (Impassioned, Speed Dial, Shag), so there may be a lot of lipstick swatches coming your way.  In the mean time, I must wrestle with the prospect of lipstick purchases and my three strikes MAC lipsticks count as single items?  Hm.  I also need a lipliner - I'm thinking Summer Fruit or Naked.  Do you prefer the pencil or the cremestick thingee?

I splurged.

This is so cool.  The same four women (all sisters), captured in an annual photograph for 30 years.

How's your week going?  What kind of things are you planning on buying?  Any fabulous new acquisitions?   

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dior Vernis 908 Tuxedo

I usually refuse to pay more than $10 for nail polish, but sometimes you just gotta jump, you know?  This color is iconic Dior blue - it reminds me of all of the Dior packaging, shimmery and deep and lovely.  It's a dark, dark royal blue with very fine blue shimmer and sparkle.  It's opaque in one coat, but I did two, just for more intense color.
Two coats of Dior Tuxedo over Zoya Get Even, with Zoya Armor coat on top.
The formula is thick but easy to manage, though Dior polishes have the flat, wide, paddle brush that is found in Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (and some other brands).  It works, and covers the nail in one or two strokes, though it does lead to some minor dragging if you don't have enough polish on the brush tip.  It takes some experimentation to figure out the "happy amount" to have on your brush for even coverage - but not goopiness or overflowing the nail - but it's not problematic.  This is also one of the fastest drying polishes I own, and one-coat opacity is always a good thing, especially if you're crunched for time.  Tuxedo also dries down with an extremely glossy finish, even without a top coat.

Yes, this color is easily dupeable, and yes, it's expensive, but for me, I bought it as a pick-me-up.  It's Dior.  It's beautiful.  I see myself wearing this over and over again; it's dark enough to pass for vampy black under some lighting, but bring it into sunlight, and it eases into a beautiful jewel tone - like sapphires.  And it always retains that sophisticated, barely there shimmer.  Love.

$21 (US) for 0.33 fl. oz. at Dior Counters.  Dior nail lacquers are 4-free; that is, these formulas don't contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phtalate, toluene, or formaldehyde resin.

Ingredients: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Polyester-23, Acrylates Copolymer, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anydride Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/Pthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimethanol Copolymer, Surcrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Mica, Polyethylene, N-butyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Oxobnezo Dioxasilane, Citric Acid, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Methicone, Paraffium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Stearalkonium Hectorite.
+/- CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), CI 15880, (Red 34, Red 34 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30, Red 30 Lake), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another Handful of ARC Samples!

[Update: 12.12.11

ARC has gone through a lot of issues lately, it seems - I've seen a lot of posting on their Facebook page about unresolved/outstanding orders.  It seems that ownership has changed hands, but the company is still not back in operation (it appears they are trying to sort out any outstanding orders and making sure everyone either has product or a refund, which is admirable). I still enjoy the shadows that I have, but I can't in good conscience recommend a company that's not really functioning as a proper business at the moment. I'll let you know if I hear anything else.]

This time I picked up seven samples, again in jars (for an extra $0.50 each, during the sale; their regular price is $0.59 each): Dusty Rose, Chocolate Rose, Liaisons, Gangrene, la Fontaine, Musket, Revolution.  I bought them during the 15% off sale, and technically I wasn't supposed to, but I decided to call it part of July's Three Strikes instead.  I figured, by the time it got here, it was going to be July, really, and the total was so minimal ($10.48, including $2.50 for shipping) that I didn't even hesitate.  (confession: it arrived way before July, but um...shhhh.)
The two different types of labels for eye shadow jars.
My first review of ARC is here.  I love their shadows, and the owner, Racheal, is so sweet.  I have to mention that for some of these, the swatches on the store site are a little inaccurate; for example, I initially had no intention of ordering la Fontaine, because the swatch and photos made it look blue.  It is, however, a gorgeous silver, and Racheal said that they were trying to get better swatches to show more true-to-life colors.  I'm also going to try to update the swatches in my original post, because they seem kind of muddy, and these colors are actually really vibrant and beautiful.  All of my swatches are dry, without primer.  I usually swipe some shadow on, with a brush, and then pat over it.  Click for larger.
The grays are first!  I felt like I didn't have enough gray/silver/black.  So I got some more.  I wish all problems were this easy to solve!
La Fontaine: Beautiful, shimmery silver with silver sparkles.
Revolution: Matte black base with red sparkles; this one is a little chalky, but gets better over primer
Musket: Gunmetal gray, shimmery and beautiful.
Chocolate Rose looks orange on my arm...sigh.
Gangrene: Lime green, with sparkles.
Liaisons: bright fuchsia with blue sheen
Dusty Rose: shimmery peach with gold sparkle; I can never get enough of peachy shades like this.
Chocolate Rose: Warm, rosy, matte brown - pulls orangey on my skin.

And with flash!

These are soft and easy to blend, and stay put all day over primer.  I really think the samples in jars are great deals, too - it's a lot of product, but not overwhelming, so if you are an eye shadow fiend like I am and want new colors that you will never use up, that's the way to go.
To give you a better idea of how much is in a "sample," here's a shot of the jars.  And look how pretty Liaisons is!
(Btw, how is the new layout, with the super huge pictures? o_O)