Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Thursday Post

I can't believe it's Thursday already!  This week seems to have gone by rather quickly - prolly because I was so busy.

I tried to go out bare-faced for most of this week.  Sometimes you just don't feel like putting on a full face of makeup, especially if you have to come home and work out (I don't like to climb or attend dance/kickboxing classes with makeup on), which means taking it all off and then reapplying moisturizer and such.  It's a hassle!  Also, sometimes it's nice to let your skin breathe, and get yourself readjusted to your bare face.  It sounds weird, but after a while, you get used to seeing your own face only with makeup on, so it's somewhat strange to see yourself without it.  Do you also find this to be true?

Of course, I still applied moisturizer, sunscreen, and eye cream - skincare routines are important!  I do feel like my Clinique moisturizer isn't performing well lately, though, and I don't know whether to attribute it to the rough winter air (that is still lingering around, bleh) or what.  My hair is also dry and dull.  This all makes me unhappy.

But it's supposed to be a "things I'm loving" post, not a rant.  I apologize.  I am loving our new French press - coffee never tasted so good!  I like French press coffee, but I was initially indifferent to the idea of getting one because I wasn't going to grind beans every morning and then pour the water and press the plunger down...yeah.  Too much work for me in the morning.  But S. was up to it, so he makes the coffee every morning, and it's so worth it.  You can't go back to drip!

I finished The Mischief of the Mistletoe last night.  I know it's not Christmas, but it's not really a Christmas story.  I enjoy Lauren Willig's books...they're formulaic and all the same (girl meets guy, they exchange witty remarks, dash about and outwit spies, and then live happily ever after) but I love the time period and the fact that they're based on one of my favorite books: The Scarlet Pimpernel.  The books are definitely chick lit, so nothing insightful or thought-provoking, and yes, there are plot holes and some things are a little too perfect and absurd, but they're meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, I think, and they're funny.  Sometimes you need a lightweight, completely brainless romp with hot guys and smart turns-of-phrase.  Start with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, if you're interested.

Okay, well, my Zoya order is supposed to come in tonight - woo!  Other than that, there's not much going on in my life.  But having a breather is nice.  Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Pairs of Shoes...

The trouble with online shopping (for shoes, especially) is that I can never get a good feel for texture or the general quality of the shoe - it's hard to gauge whether the synthetic material looks cheap, or is well-made.  That, and the obvious issue of sizing; even if I have a general shoe size, not all brands run the same measurements per size, etc.  With all of this in mind, you would think I would just go to the store and pick out my shoes, but...sometimes you just get the urge to shop, and you're stuck at work, and well, what else am I supposed to do?

Anyway, they came today - Madden Girl Rhiana booties in Taupe, and BCBG wedge sandals in red.  I like the look of both of them!
They're cute, right?  They're not as gray as this picture makes them seem - they lean towards dusty brown.
It's dark outside, so I couldn't take these with natural light, but the flash changes the color entirely.  These wedge sandals are more of a maroon than the fierce fire engine red that appears here.  They also appear this color (bright red) on the DSW website, and that's what I thought I was getting, but I actually like the maroon, too.

Unfortunately, the booties - as I feared - are too big in the ankle area.  They don't come up very high on my foot at all - they're more like regular pumps in that aspect - and my foot easily slips in and out of them even without undoing the zipper, so these are a pass.  I have the hardest time with booties - they're all too big in the same area!  The BCBG sandals are also a six, but those fit perfectly.  They're keepers :)

Annnd just for kicks, I thought I'd show you my house slippers!

 Adorable, right?  I originally bought a green pair for S. on one of his birthdays, and he loved them.  Then we got some for me.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dinner with Friends

We had an enjoyable night out on Friday.  First, a nice dinner with friends at an Italian place downtown, followed by drinks and munchies at a popular bar/restaurant (Zigzag Cafe), and then drinks and chatting at a friend's house.  We got home waaaay later than my bedtime, but it was a lot of fun; sometimes it's nice to just hang out and forget about work.

It's been slightly warmer (fifties) lately, which has been nice.  I used the night out as an excuse to wear slightly more dressy items that I don't usually get to put to use in the day-to-day routine of school/work.  You've seen the boots and purse before, but what can I say?  I like what I like.  And it's good to get a lot of use out of staple items - it makes them worth their hefty price tags.

Also, this dress has pockets!  I love it when dresses have hidden pockets that don't horribly alter the shape of the dress (as in, make your skirt bulge out awkwardly in the pocket area).  Pockets are fun.

dress: H&M
cropped shrug: purchased in Korea a few years ago
leggings: American Eagle
purse: Prada
boots: DKNY

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Thursday Post

 Not a lot going on so far this week, though tomorrow we're going on a hike with S.'s research group members, and then tomorrow night we're going out for dinner and drinks with some friends - should be a good time!  I'm excited; it's always nice to get together with people.  And any excuse for dressing up and drinks is fantastic.  And Zigzag Cafe, which we've been to before, has an amazing bartender.  Good good good!

I've been wanting to try more intense lip colors lately (as in, any at all, rather than the usual nothing/clear balm I have on).  Today I wore Tarte's lip stain in Enchanted (review here) - all day - and not just around my apartment where no one could see me (besides S., who seems to think I look awesome no matter what absurd kind of makeup I have on.  I guess he's a keeper, hehe).  It's prolly not dark at all for people who are used to wearing bright lip colors, but for me, it's definitely a bold, rosy pink and a departure from my normal wear.  I toned down my eye makeup and just used liner (black and plum), mascara, and a bit of blush to go with the look. I always feel like people who normally see me, will be puzzled by the sudden use of lipstick/lip products, but I guess I shouldn't really be bothered.  Also, on the plus side, even though I had to reapply every two hours, the stain actually does do a good job of keeping lips moisturized.  The color doesn't sink into lip lines, either, which I really appreciate.  And the color intensity doesn't get out of control with every re-application.  Win!

And to brighten your day: a bit of cuteness.  I love owls, and this (short) video may be the cutest thing ever.

Have a good weekend!

Zoya Jules

Zoya Jules is the one bottle of the Spring 2011 collection that I was the most wary of.  The color is beautiful in the bottle - it's a delicate, molten gold shimmer - but I was afraid that once it was applied, it would wash out terribly on my hands.
It didn't.  Don't you love when you're proved wrong in the best possible ways?

It applies evenly and is very forgiving; this is two coats, with an OPI base coat and a top coat.  The finish isn't gritty at all - very smooth - and it reminds me of those gold fabric ribbons that often come tied around Christmas presents.  Beautiful!  I want to try layering it over black nail polish...if that comes out well, it just may end up being what I wear at my wedding.  Though, that is more than a year away, and I'm sure there are dozens of different beautiful colors that may catch my eye before then.  We'll see.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Still Sunny!

Trust me, this is amazing weather for a March day here.  I took full advantage of the sunny day, and ditched the usual rain boots + rain jacket routine.  The outfit:
 There is a little playground right behind our apartment...someone had left a toy dinosaur!  :)

cardigan: Banana Republic
leather jacket: Michael Kors
boyfriend tank top: Gap
skinny jeans: American Eagle
boots: Circa Joan & David 

The jacket was for walking around outside; at work (indoors), I walked around without it, just the cardigan.  There isn't much going on with accessories here, but I like to wear big earrings, which you can't see.  And scarves, but today is warm!  Necklaces are not so much my thing, though I feel this outfit could have used one.

Lately though, I feel like I have so much clothing, but nothing that I really want to wear.  It's kind of depressing.  I think I just need to clear out things that I no longer want (though I feel like I have just done this recently) and then slowly start collecting new items again.  Big on my list?  More cardigans and tank tops - I need to learn how to layer items more effectively.  I also just ordered two pairs of shoes on DSW today (8% back with ebates!) but I'm not sure if they're going to be too big, so I have my fingers crossed.  The first is a pair of red wedge sandals by BCBG (I am getting ready for summer!) and the second is a pair of taupe booties from Madden Girl.  There was free shipping over $35 and double points for March, and there is a DSW locally that I can make returns at, so I'm set.  But I want them to fit well - they're so cute!  Photos when they come in, I promise.  I know everyone can always use a bit of eye candy to brighten up their days.

Hope your Wednesday is just as cheery!  Kickboxing tonight, woo!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fashion Blog?

I subscribe to a lot of fashion blogs by RSS (yay for Google Reader!) and it's made me want to participate on my own, as well.   Seeing all of the fabulous outfits that people put out there has also made me a little more conscious of the things that I throw together and call outfits.  It's also making me consider my shopping philosophies more carefully.  Do you like to invest in expensive but well-made staples, or would you rather buy a lot of cheaper trend items?  I think most people do a mixture of both.  I usually do, though there are some things I do tend to splurge on, like boots and coats.  Those items seem to be more resistant to passing fads, and really, you need good shoes (i.e. well-made, sturdy, not destructive to your feet) and durable coats are a must in bad weather.

Today, however, it was sunny and beautiful!  Is it finally spring?  I hope so!  I know it is officially spring tomorrow, at least in this part of the world, but the weather in the Pacific Northwest is not always very cooperative.  To take advantage of the weather, we went to the outdoor mall nearby, where we both indulged a little (Sephora for me, joint ogling at Crate & Barrel, purchase of a French press and burr coffee grinder, etc).  I poked around a little in J.Crew and Free People, but nothing really caught my eye.  I do, however, want to share what I wore - it may be fun to do a little bit of fashion blogging.  Or at least, try to.  So, here we go.  Picture by S. 

  Trench: Banana Republic
Skinny jeans: American Eagle
Boots: DKNY
Handbag: Prada
Sorry, I have bad posture and it's not a very pretty environment (our doorway, hah!) but I am a little self-conscious about this whole photo thing.  It would have been nice to go outside and take some pictures on the lawn, but...there were people outside.  Hahaha.  I'm shy.  I'll try to stand straighter next time, and actually, you know, face the camera.  Thoughts?  Any comments/helpful advice would be much appreciated :)

Snapshot: Currently Loving

This is simply a mini-review set - more like a spotlight - of things that I've been using over and over recently.  Coincidentally, many of them happen to be mini or sample sizes.  (Click for larger; all pictures taken in natural light).

Eyes:
Bare Escentuals "Silk Stockings" mini eye shadow (it came in one of those Buxom sets, but I don't remember which one now).  I'm sad that this seems to have been an LE (either that, or does BE constantly roll out their old colors?  Annoying) because it's lovely.  It is a matte, sandy, taupe color, but it has teeny tiny bits of sparkle in it; however, this is not a shimmer.  The finish is still matte all around, with little chunks of gold sparkle.  It's hard to describe accurately, but I really love it - it's got that fun kick to it, without the heaviness of frost or shimmer finishes, so it still works for those more natural, neutral looks.  I could see myself picking up another one when this finishes, but since it's no longer sold...time to look for a dupe!

Bare Escentuals "Night Owl" shadow - this one came from the Smoky Eye Tutorial kit that I picked up free as a VIB gift from Sephora at some point.  It's a lovely, shimmery purple-brown-gray that pairs well with the Silk Stockings shadow (this in the crease and outer edges, Silk Stockings on the lid).  Since I don't find BE shadows to be very strongly pigmented (as in, not overpowering or too intense), this works well for a more subdued look.

Urban Decay "Crash" and "Zero" eyeliner: purple-brown-gray color with chunks of glitter, and the classic, staple black.  Crash goes on more smoothly than the similar "1999" shade.  I've been wearing them both - often at the same time.  Zero first, directly on the lash line, and then Crash a teensy bit higher up the lid, slightly overlapping the Zero line.  These are mini versions that I picked up in various sets - I think I have three or four Zeros of various sizes running around, though.

Benefit Magic Ink liquid liner: I like liquid liners and I use this or Zero depending on the kind of look I'm going for (sometimes both, haha), and I love that Benefit has a paraben-free formula, but what is up with this brush?  Who decided this bristle-y brush tip was the best idea for a liquid liner?  It's not rough at all, but the bits and pieces of the brush tend to stick out all over the place, which is not ideal for a thin, precise line.  I can usually get it to work out for me, but I'd rather not wrestle with my makeup in the morning.  That's my only gripe; it stays put and is a nice, pigmented black.  Good for winged liner days.

Cheeks:
Tarte bronzer: "Hotel Heiress."  Love.  That's all I have to say about that.  This is a mini version that I picked up as a free gift with purchase from Tarte.

Perfume:
Hello Kitty, from Sephora.  Isn't the mini bottle cute?  I bought the full version today (Sephora damage, oops) and I'll show you that later.  This was a 100 point sample from Sephora, and it's pretty hefty for being a mini sample.  I've worn it nearly every day for the past month or so, I think, and there's still a substantial amount left.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Zoya Dove + Zoya Dannii

Zoya Dove on fingers, Dannii on toes.  Base coat + 2 coats color + top coat for all.

Dove is a light gray cream; the first coat applies a little streaky, but the second coat smooths everything out and gives you a nice opaque color.  No additional complexities of color here, but sometimes a nice, solid, clean color is all you want.

Dannii is a beautiful purple shimmer/foil type, and it's really a shame that it's still boot season and no one will see my toes!  Well, I know they're gorgeous, and they will also be visible at kickboxing and dance class :)  This one applies smoothly - no streaks, even with just one coat- and though you could prolly get away with one coat, I like two for a fuller, more consistent color.

They're both from Zoya's Spring 2011 collection.  $8 each from Zoya.com.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bobbi Brown: Dress for Success

Bobbi Brown is donating the purchase price of her Dress for Success kit to the charity of the same name - it's an organization which helps prepare low-income women for the work force.  This is such a good cause.  I've looked into it recently because I have a pile of things that I wanted to give away to a good home, and this is one of the options I looked at.  I feel like simple things that we sometimes take for granted (makeup, clothing that makes us feel good and thus helps us start off on a happier note) can work wonders for people who aren't used to having as much.

Anyway, Cafe Makeup did a post about it - read more there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Thursday Post

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  S. is half (or very nearly) Irish, so he's got corned beef all ready to go in the slow cooker today.  I am...not Irish, but I enjoy corned beef.  He'll have a Guinness, I'll have some Irish whiskey, on the rocks.  It'll be a good night.  Any fun plans for you?

Zoya is having another promotion soon!  You need an account by March 20, 2011, so go forth and do this.  Their promotions are always worth it.

Adele's latest album is still on repeat.  Love her voice.

I have a shoe shopping urge.  I kind of want these.  Though I'm still divided on the merits of booties, and it's hard for me to find ones that fit - they're always too big around the ankle, and then my foot slips around.  I have a few more bookmarked, but I think I may just have to go down to DSW or something and pick some up.  Shoe shopping online makes me nervous.  I know Zappos does free returns, but shipping things back is such a hassle!

And...I've been playing Pokemon Black.  :D

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bliss Eye Cream Update

I think it's working!

My under eye area seems smoother, and definitely more moisturized.  It's a subtle difference, but it's there.  It's most noticeable when I wake up in the morning; I look in the mirror after I wash my face, and the usual dark, dark circles have been mitigated to become simply dark circles.  Upon closer inspection, the skin there is definitely not as dry, either, which makes the lines less noticeable.  (Mini panic attack - when did lines appear under my eyes?  Omgwtfahhhh!)

No pictures - don't worry, you will not be subjected to the supreme awful-ness of my dark circles.

Zoya Spring 2011: Intimate Collection

I told you that I participated in Zoya's promotion for International Women's Day - I couldn't help myself.  My order went through on the 8th, and look what came today!  Yay!

The colors are all very beautiful.  I've been seeing swatches of the collection for the past couple of months, and I really wanted to have all of the colors; they're all unique and demure and lovely.  Spring-like, but not garish, or too pastel.  I like the mix of shimmers and creams.

 
In natural sunlight, no flash

Oops, Gemma's hidden!  (Hidden...Gem?  Hahaha sorry, I couldn't resist).  They're all beautiful to look at; I'm excited to try them.  I'll prolly do reviews/swatches individually when I actually get to wearing them.  Right now I've got a Sally Hansen red on my fingers, and I'm too lazy to switch.  Plus, I like red nails.  You know, fire engine red - the kind of shade that makes a classic lipstick statement. 

Also, Temptalia has the 2011 Zoya summer collections up.  Have a looksie!  I'm a little disappointed; they don't look terribly original, though I do like Reva and Apple, at least.  Once nail swatches come out I'm sure I'll be smitten with at least a couple.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Flying Trapeze!

We took a two-hour "circus taster" class yesterday at Emerald City Trapeze Arts.

It was one of the most awesome things I've ever done.  The class had two components: flying trapeze (1 hour) and aerial arts (1 h); aerial consists of silks, static trapeze, and the hoop.  Both parts were extremely fun, and the instructors were great - helpful, enthusiastic, and overall just fun people.  There are all kinds of safety precautions in place, but you also get right into the swing of things (um, pun not intended).  You get there, fill out your waiver, are instructed to stretch, and then spend ten minutes listening to the correct technique for the flying trapeze.  Then you get a safety belt (the instructors fasten them on to you) and up you go to the platform.  There are nets, of course, and you are hooked in safely, but it's still such an exhilarating feeling.

Silks were fun, too.  For some reason, being up on the silks (even though you can get up way higher) isn't as scary as the static trapeze or hoop.  I'm not sure why that is.  Fabric burn is a very real possibility with the silks (ouch), but it's still less painful than the metal hoop and trapeze bar that you have to propel yourself over and onto and around, etc. 

Still, all very fun!  If you ever get the opportunity, I would really suggest trying it.  We had a Groupon, which made it even better.  I do think I will eventually sign up for regular silks classes.  It's pretty addicting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm: Honeysuckle

I don't think I've ever actually tried one of the regular Burt's Bees balms, so I don't really have anything to compare this to.  I'm just evaluating it on its own merits.

The texture is nice and the color I bought, Honeysuckle, is a barely-there neutral that ends up slightly matte.  I figured I'd do this pro/con style, because I'm still experimenting with formats.

Pros:
  • the "tinted" part is true - it does have a slightly matte, noticeable tint on your lips, though if you look at the swatch, it doesn't seem very strong (it also applies more sheer on my hand than on my lips)
  • texture is smooth and lightweight; feels nice going on
Cons:
  • no SPF
  • color settles into the lines on my lips; it might go on more smoothly if your lips aren't dry, but I feel this sort of defeats the point.  If your lips aren't dry, you're not really in need of a good balm, and if you have to apply a balm before this one to get the color to go on smoothly - ?  You see?

Bottom line: I don't think I'll repurchase.  The mellow shades are nice for those wary of strong lip colors (like me), but I don't see the point in having a tinted balm that I need to prep my lips for.  But if you have smooth lips with dryness problems, and are just looking for a light color for your lips, this might be a good option.

Paraben-free.  $6.99 at drugstores.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sarah Seven: Mrs Black

I saw this on The Knotty Bride, and my jaw nearly dropped off.  These dresses are so gorgeous!  The Sarah Seven website is here, and I spent a good while flipping through the Spring 2011 bridal collection.  5% of all sales go to good charities, too!  Take a looksy.  They're so pretty - even if they're out of my price range.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Thursday Post

I really like scones.  S. made these.  I was happy.  He made this broccoli casserole thing too, which was equally delicious - and I don't even really like cheese.

This past week, we played Scrabble, not just Words with Friends.  We bought the travel version because the tiles snap into place and it's all compact and stuff.  The tiles are tiny!  But it was fun, and when the tiles snap in, you don't actually have to sit at the table - you can spread out on the couch and floor and stuff, haha.  This is convenient when you are piled up with blankets.  The only drawback?  Trying to pop all the tiles off when you're done!

This makes me want more fun board games.  Like the Settlers of Catan game, or Pandemic.  Has anyone played these?

Easter candy is out!  While I don't like chocolate, I do like Sour Patch Jelly Beans.  They're not really your typical jelly bean in texture (which I don't really enjoy anyway); they're more like tiny Sour Patch Kids in pebble form.  This, I like.  I buy them every year.  Random fact: Wikipedia claims that there are equal numbers of each color of Sour Patch Kids in every bag.  I am going to buy two bags and count them next time.  Of course then, I'll have two whole bags of Sour Patch Kids left.  Shucks.

I love peachy coral gold colors for shadows, so I am totally hooked on this Givenchy palette.  Want!

Also, are you viewing this on your phone?  Cute and Little has a good tip for correcting your mobile viewing settings!

Have a good weekend!  I'll try to have more reviews up soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bliss Fabulous Every Day Eye Cream

Yep.  ^ That's really what it's called.  Is it fabulous?  Fabulous is hard to live up to, I think.

Well, let me explain.  I've tried a handful of eye creams/gels, and since I'm still going, you can assume that I've never found something that I wanted to stick with.  The most common problem I have with eye products is that my skin apparently refuses to absorb them - they just form a sticky layer on the under eye area, and start to pill and rub off when I apply any foundation/concealer.  Very, very annoying!  I guess this means that the skin there is far too dry, or something.  I've tried Clinique's eye gel, the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief eye cream, Bremenn Research Labs, Yes to Cucumbers.  Possibly a few more, I can't remember.  I'm trying to eliminate dark circles, and generally just keep the area hydrated so that I can apply a concealer/corrector without creases or that cakey look that comes with dryness.  Also, Momma said that she started using a good eye cream in her mid-twenties (and I'm just about there, sigh) so anti-aging benefits are beginning to be a plus.  (Mum has good skin.  I listen to her in beauty matters).

Of the ones that I've tried, the Bremenn and the Yes to Cucumbers forms that layer.  I returned the Bremenn to Sephora (thank goodness, it was the most expensive one so far, I think), but I kept the Yes to Cucumbers because I bought it from Target, and it's used, and...well.  Also, I discovered that while it doesn't do much for dark circles (or moisturizing), it does de-puff eyes pretty well.  One morning I woke up with considerable puffiness (from eating too much salty Korean food the night before, I think), so I put some of the Cucumber gel on the under eye baggage before breakfast.  After breakfast, when I was getting ready to do my makeup, the bags were gone!  Hurray.

The Clinique gel and the Skyn Iceland cream were both just "okay."  They didn't seem to do much for my dark circles, but they felt soothing and seemed to do a better job with moisturizing.   But...dark circles, they're not attractive.  They ruin everything.  So I moved on.  I was looking for an eye cream that:
  • hydrates the undereye area
  • gradually alleviates dark circles
  • has some anti-aging properties
The Bliss formula is touted to keep the undereye area hydrated, with an illuminating effect.  Also, Bliss claims that with regular use, it will lessen the appearance of dark circles and smooth out the appearance of fine lines.  Sounds good, right?

So, I've been using the Bliss cream for a week or so now.  At $28 for 0.5 oz, I figured, why not?  It comes in a slim tube with a nice screw-on cap, and it's easy to control the amount that comes out, via the tiny tip.

A little dot goes a long way - one tiny little dot for each eye is sufficient.  I use it at night (before going to bed) and in the morning, and it's too early to say whether it is having any significant effect, but it does feel nice.  And doesn't form that icky sticky layer.

I do think that my dark circles seem a teensy bit lighter, and the undereye area does seem to stay a little more moisturized, though my concealer (currently the Cover FX) still seems a bit dry going on.  Perhaps that's just a problem with the concealer itself? 

I will try to update in a week or so, to tell you if anything has changed.

Ingredients (from Sephora.com): Water (Aqua), Squalane, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Steareth-21, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 2, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Cholesterol, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Linoleate, Isopropyl Myristate, Laureth-7, Palmitic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sucrose Palmitate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Zoya International Women's Day Promo

Zoya is offering their Spring 2011 collection (which is gorgeous) for $25 and free shipping.  So, 6 bottles of polish (normally $7 each) for $25, which is about $4 and change for each bottle.  Check it out here.  I have to admit, I ordered a set this morning.  I had been wanting to, but I couldn't bring myself to do it (new car, insurance, saving for a wedding), but this is too good a deal to pass up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau

What a sexy name.  Lingerie de Peau.  I miss my college French classes.  And France.  Those are thoughts for another time.

Still, though, it does show you what kind of effect marketing has on people.  I mean, think: Lingerie de Peau.  Don't you just want it to be lovely?

And you know, it is.  Look at the bottle:

Beautiful.  Heavy, solid, sleek and lovely.  Product is distributed via a very easy-to-control pump, so you don't have to dip fingers or brushes into anything, and it's easy to pump out just the amount you want, no more.
Besides the practicality of the bottle, just look at it.  I'm not really a packaging fiend - by which I mean, I won't buy something just for the shape of the bottle/color of the box etc, but I still appreciate luxurious packaging.  And I'm constantly left in awe by the elegance of Guerlain's bottles, compacts, lipstick tubes, paper boxes...yeah.  You get the idea.

I purchased my bottle (in 02 Beige Clair, the lightest shade, which turned out to be perfect for me) online from Sephora; it's $56 for 1 oz.  Pricey, yes, but worth it.  Why?  Consider:

What I want from a foundation:
  • light-medium coverage (leaning toward light) that blends well into my skin
  • a faintly dewy or a matte finish
  • long wear (as in, a full work day)
  • a "barely there,"  weightless feeling once it's applied
So does this product meet those needs?  This is what I noticed.

Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau:
  • light-medium coverage (starts off light, but it's buildable without getting heavy or cakey)
  • natural, matte finish, but with a nice glow
  • wears all day; no greasy buildup, no color change.
  • feels smooth and natural, not heavy.  Blends well upon application.
  • a little goes a long way
  • has a faint violet scent, but it's not offensive or lingering; I only notice it upon initial application
  • pump is easy to control, packaging is sleek and elegant and sturdy
I have combination skin that gets dry in the cheeks and mouth area during the cold winter months, and I noticed that if I didn't use a heavy moisturizer (I've been testing out Perricone) to smooth out the chapped skin around my lips, the foundation settled a little into the dry areas there.  So, if you have dry, patchy skin, this may not be the way to go.  I do wish that the formula were a little thinner; its consistency is a little thicker than most tinted moisturizers (and thicker than Chanel's Teint Innocence, which is now discontinued and which I loved) but thinner than most other liquid foundations (e.g. most Clinique formulas I've tried, Lancome's Teint Miracle, YSL's Teint Radiance).  It isn't really a problem, since it blends out well and isn't cakey or heavy, but I feel like a slightly looser consistency would eliminate any possibility of going too heavy-handed with the coverage.  Otherwise, it looks and feels beautiful, and I think I'm done looking for a new liquid foundation.

I will do a more expansive, comparative foundation post later (I've been on the hunt for a new HG foundation for a while now) with a few mini-reviews (i.e. bullet-style pros/cons) on products I've sampled (YSL Teint Radiance, Lancome Teint Miracle, Bobbi Brown Natural Finish, Tarte Smooth Operator, and a few others).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cover FX Conceal FX Camouflage Concealer

$27 for 0.5 oz (I bought mine at Sephora), but this baby is going to last forever.

I bought it primarily for use as undereye concealer, because I have dark circles there.  That area is also always very dry, no matter what kind of eye cream I use (at least, so far).  I was using Bobbi Brown's corrector (cream), but that still isn't quite emollient enough for me, so I decided to try something new.

The texture of this is still very thick, so it's easy to control how much comes out of the tube at once (it also has a very thin tip, as you can see).  I squeeze a tiny dot out onto a concealer brush, and then lightly paint it on the under eye area. 


The coverage is medium to full, I'd say, and the color matches nicely; it does do a good job of brightening the area.  However, texture wise, it seems to be a little too thick.  I always apply this over an eye cream, but it still tends to dry out and emphasize lines a bit.  However, the coverage and color are so nice, if I can find a good eye cream to prep the area first, I think this will be perfect.  It is also good for covering blemishes and dark spots.  And like I said, it'll last forever.  Recommended.

Ingredients: hydrogenated polyisobutene, cyclopentasiloxane, polyglyceryl-2 triisostearate, aqua, silica, diethylhexyl carbonate, diisostearyl malate, polyethylene, squalane, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, neopentyl glycol dicaprate, tricontanyl pvp, titanium dioxide, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), curcuma longa (tumeric) root extract, tocopheryl acetate, bisabolol, butylene glycol, cholesteryl hydroxstearate, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, ceteareth-25, dehydroacetic acid, linoleic acid, dimethiconol, linolenic acid, cetyl alcohol, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, iron oxides, retinyl palmitate, carbomer, tin oxide, behenic acid, ceramide np, cholesterol, ceramide ns, polysorbate 20, ceramide ap, ceramide eop, ceramide eos, caprooyl phytosphingosine, caprooyl sphingosine, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3

may contain: titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), chromium oxide greens (CI 77288)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Thursday Post

I started Muay Thai kickboxing this week.  I love it.  Who knew hitting things would be so much fun?  The studio that we picked is a martial arts studio, so the emphasis is genuinely on self-defense and actually learning the methodology and discipline of this martial arts - it's not just one of those faux-sport kickboxing cardio! (yes, the ! is necessary) routines.  Don't get me wrong: those programs are good, too - anything to get people moving - but I think this sort of approach is going to help me stay interested.  S. enjoyed the class, too (he took some kung fu form for 10 years and is a black belt - who knew?) so we'll be going once a week.  Yay!

I wore the Korres liquid lipstick on date night (review and swatch here).  I don't wear lipstick often, but I decided I actually really like this.  It wears well, it feels nice going on, it has a pleasant - but fairly subtle - vanilla scent.  It's light and feels hydrating.  I think I'm going to order more.  I'm also looking into the cherry oil lip glosses.  I don't like the lip butter, but I'm thinking the lip glaze might be slightly better.  I have high hopes!

Although, this also looks like it may be good.  And it has SPF!

I've fallen in love with this song.  So sexy.

I like birds.  This made me laugh.  A lot.  It's like a geese marathon!  The best part is the sound their webbed feet make as they're hitting the pavement.  Hilarious.

And it's Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri).  I miss mochi.

And I haven't gone clothes shopping lately.  I am kind of torn on what I want to buy.  Solid, non-trendy pieces that will last forever?  Or fun, cheap, trendy stuff?  My wardrobe is currently composed of a mix of these things, which I like, but I don't know what I need now.  I definitely feel like my closet could use an update, though.  And look at this new Forever 21 collection!  Fun.

Have a happy Friday and weekend!  There will be a few new product reviews soon, I promise.  I just haven't had time to take pictures/swatches, but I will try to get to it this weekend.