Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Favorites!

Where has August gone?  Soon it will be fall!  Don't get me wrong - I love fall - but after fall comes winter, and winter is...cold.  Yeah, I know, thank you Captain Obvious, right?  But I hate freezing.  And my face was already dry this month, for some unknown reason.  It's summer!  It's supposed to be hot and sticky and not dry enough to give me patchy skin.  Whatever.  I added an extra moisturizer on top of my Clinique Moisturizing Gel, and it seemed to recover.  I still haven't managed to pick up a full sized First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream, but I will have to do that before winter, because I know it'll help.

August's favorites were:

Dior Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora
I know, I've already showcased this one over and over again.  I can't help it, though!  I've used this one nearly every day this summer, and look - still going strong!  It gives just the right amount of sun-kissed color to my face, giving me a wonderful glow.  I love this one, and it's made me interested in more Dior cheek and face products.  Find my original review here.

Scent by the Sea Egyptian Honey Perfume Oil
I was initially on the fence about this one, but I've since warmed up to it.  It's subtly sweet - not too overpoweringly syrupy or warm - and has a slightly exotic flair to it - without being incense-y or spicy.  It's slightly floral and also reminds me of banana pancakes.  You know, that faint, fruity smell associated with bananas (though it does not smell like bananas - that would not be cool with me) tempered with the warmth of sugar and batter.  It's not homey or foodie, though; that's just my weird association.  I feel kind of sexy with this on, and yet not at all femme fatale.  Actually, you know, I think I just rambled on and you still don't know what the hell this smells like to me, so I give up.  Bottom line: I like it.  Moving on.

Makeup Forever HD Blush in Quickie
I'm not really about these provocative names; I'm not offended, but it's already been done to death, I think.  Driven into the ground.  Squish.  Anyway.  This is Quickie.  It's a creamy salmon pink and it's lovely; I've been using it when I want just a faint flush of color in my cheeks.  A little goes a long way - it's easy to go crazy with the pump on this thing.  I do like the texture and consistency of the product, and its staying power.  I'll probably pick up a few more colors the next time I decide to do a Sephora splurge (when is the next FF, anyone know?).  I've had this one for ages, but, erm, I forgot about it.  And now it's seeing some love again! (The fact that I can forget about products like this probably means I have far too many, but we already knew that, didn't we?)

Darling Girl Cosmetics Kiss Me Tinted Lip Balm in Boy Toy
For me, it's a nice nude with cool shimmer.  It mutes my natural lip color and wears well with MAC Harmony (above) and intense eye looks.  The texture of the balm is not tacky or slippery, but rather a happy medium, and it doesn't gunk up on my lips after reapplication - it feels very comfortable, which is so very nice.  It also keeps them fairly moisturized, which is always a plus.  It's a tinted lip balm, but it packs a lot of pigment, which is awesome, and is also great for layering over and under lip stains or lipsticks (I like the DG Boy Toy + Tarte Enchanted combo!  It ends up being a gorgeous shimmery rose.).  I need more of these in different colors, for sure.  Find my review here.

MAC blush in Harmony  
It's the perfect contouring blush.  It's a little warmer than I'd like sometimes, but otherwise it's a nice, medium brown that isn't *too* warm.  It's good for days when I have dramatic lips or bright eyes.  It's a basic MAC powder blush; for me, that means good staying power and it's easy to apply.  Find my original review here.

Shiro Cosmetics eye shadow in Dunsparce
I received this as a freebie sample with one of my orders a long time ago, and then I let it sit around because I'm lazy and it's hard to open up a little baggie.  But then I tried some out of curiosity one day, and bam!  Instant attraction.  It's the perfect mellow gold color, with lots of purple sparkles.  You can see an EOTD I did with it here.

Apparently this was the month of cheek products!  What were your favorites in August?  Link me to your posts or let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

EOTD: Being a Test Subject - Variations of Autumn Tones

The bonus of putting myself on an eye shadow ban is that I have more motivation to do EOTDs with the products I already own.  Eye makeup is actually my favorite anyway - and has been for a long time - so it's fun to try to push myself to do different looks.  I still feel like they all end up looking the same, though!  So, along that line of thought, I decided to show two similar looks, with a slight variation, just for comparison's sake.  In the first EOTD, I use Shiro Cosmetics Unsatisfactory Mark on the outer edges, and in the second, I use SC Test Subject .

In the jar, Test Subject looks far too warm and reddish-orange for me; usually these kinds of colors make me look...funny (or funnier, whatever).  However, this is another example of the magic you can accomplish when you blend things to hell!  And no, I will never get tired of Triforce (although I think I lose my video game nerd card...I tried to beat Phantom Ganondorf the other day in Ocarina of Time, and I died a horrible, miserable death.  To be fair, I only have three hearts - I'm doing the three-heart challenge again, which I have successfully done several times - and playing OoT with a Wii Classic Controller is not as cool as with the N64 controller.  I'm convinced it is sabotaging me.  Anyway, geeky tangent over).
UDPP Greed (shimmery gold)
Shiro Cosmetics 
Triforce (sparkly gold), Unsatisfactory Mark (red), Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics Revolution (matte black with red sparkles)
Benefit Magic Ink, UD 
Underground (cool brown) liner





UDPP Greed
Shiro Cosmetics Triforce (sparkly gold), Test Subject (shimmery reddish orange)
Benefit Magic Ink, UD 
Underground

The lighting is slightly different in these two photos, but you can kind of see how different they do look. The addition of a smack of black in the crease of the second look, too, gives it a slightly different cast (to my eyes, anyway).  I think from far away, it won't matter so much, but sometimes changing the tone of the eye colors incorporates the color scheme better into an overall look.  Also, it amazed me that red could be worn in a fairly natural manner.  Unsatisfactory Mark is very, very red in the jar, but it's beautiful - and not so scary - when blended into a soft look.
Unsatisfactory Mark (red); I look like I bruised my eyes in this pic...eh.












Test Subject (reddish orange)

Monday, August 29, 2011

MAC Me Over: Runaway Red Lipstick (Or, Why Beauty Blogs Are Bad For Your Wallet)

Not sure why it looks like it has funny spots.  Oh well.
I wasn't originally interested in anything from the Mac Me Over collection; there were just too many things, and the press releases were all over the place, and I didn't need anything, and blah blah blah - you know how it goes.  But then Tracy went and blogged about it and how gorgeous this was, and next thing you know, I'm down at the MAC store, swatching it and falling in love.
Ingredients.  Click for larger.

If only all things were that easy, I guess.  Basically, I like red lipstick, and it's not that hard to win me over.  Reading beauty blogs is dangerous for your wallet, but great for your personal happiness!  (On a side note, I swatched Prince Noir and Oh Oh Oh, the only other ones that interested me.  Prince Noir is far too mauvey-brown on me, and Oh Oh Oh is sheer and pinky-plum; reminds me of Syrup, actually, except Oh Oh Oh is sparkly.  Neither excited me; Runaway Red is the only thing I came home with.  Cheer!)

Here is Runaway Red; it's a blue-based satin finish lipstick, and it is gorgeous.
I did experience a little feathering on the edges...I think when I wear it again, I will line my lips first.
I was initially afraid that it would look too much like NARS Mascate (besides the different finishes), but I think they're actually quite different in color, as well.  Runaway Red is bluer, and of course it has that satiny finish.  Mascate is more of a brick-red color.  Naturally, I love both.
The lighting is different in these two photos, but you can see that they are quite different in color and finish.
I've only tried one other MAC satin finish and ended up returning it; this one is a lot more forgiving.  The color lasts several hours and stains through a meal.  It has an almost glossy finish, and while it wasn't necessarily moisturizing, it definitely wasn't drying.

So.  I've thrown in the towel and accepted the fact that I like red lipsticks and I will probably start to collect them.  So much for buying lipsticks only if they were very different from what I already had.  Everyone needs a hobby, right?  Haha.  Maybe I'll do a red round-up post sometime...to show that you can wear any red you want and make it work for you, no matter if you're cool or warm toned!  I have orange-based reds and blue-based reds and sheer ones and matte ones...good times.

Try it if: You like blue-based reds with a glossy finish.
Skip it if: You already have too many reds, or you're not a fan of MAC's satin formula.  I can't think of any other reason why you'd skip - unless you're a warm red kind of girl (though I usually feel that people can wear both.  They end up looking quite different, but not bad - not by a long shot.)

$14.50 at MAC counters or stores - snatch it up while you can!  Like I said, I bought the last one at my store, and I went the day after the collection launched!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cartoon EOTD: The Fairly OddParents


Cosmo and Wanda are a little too crazy to be some of my favorite cartoon characters, but I did occasionally watch "The Fairly Oddparents" when my brother had it on TV - it is pretty funny.  I decided they were a good excuse for green and pink eyes.  As in, one green eye, and one pink eye!  See?  (Also, Ki asked me to do a green and pink EOTD, though I'm pretty sure this isn't what she meant, haha.)
UDPP Eden
Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics Powdered Wigs (matte white), Gangrene (lime green), Liaisons (fuchsia with sparkles)
I tried to pack on Gangrene, but it seems to be exactly the shade that appears to blend into my skintone in pictures.
No, I did not go out like this.  I did put on MAC Candy Yum-Yum afterward and giggled over how clown-esque I looked, though! :D
I used three Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics shadows for this; Powdered Wigs is a bit patchy, but otherwise these are great colors.  Gangrene is beautiful, despite its name, and Liaisons is my kind of pink.  I actually really liked the way this one came out, and the mismatched-yet-symmetrical eyes are fun!  I debated for a while on whether to line the bottom with the same color or the opposite; S. said opposite so I went with that and I think it tied both eyes together pretty well.

Don't forget to check out Tracy over at Beauty Reflections; she's my cartoon buddy! :)  She's doing Team Rocket from Pokemon this week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

MAC Candy Yum-Yum

This is a retina-searing pink matte lipstick from MAC that was released as part of this spring's Quite Cute collection.  It sold out here in days, but apparently not in HI, so a good friend from back home picked up one for me (thanks much!).

It's bright.  Really, really bright.  And it's matte, so it's actually pretty dry; it does kind of emphasize all of my lip lines and my lips need to be prepped before I apply it.  I'm not sure I could wear this out without toning it down somehow, but I still really love the idea of it.  Is that crazy?  Haha.

Unfortunately, it's not available anymore, but I figured I'd swatch and show it anyway.  I also compared it to two other MAC pinks I have, just to see how different it actually was.  Verdict?  It's pretty different.
Lickable and Speed Dial are cremesheens, not mattes, but the colors seemed similar.  Once I swatched them though, I could see that they're quite different.  Candy Yum-Yum is definitely matte, and cooler.  For some reason, Lickable and Speed Dial look really similar in this swatch, but they look nothing alike on my lips.  
My camera captured Candy Yum-Yum's neon brightness perfectly, but my computer seems to have killed it.  Temptalia's swatch is exactly how it looks on me, and how it looks in my iPhoto.
In person, it's more purple, more opaque, and ridiculously bright.  This is so frustrating!
Anyway.  There you have it.  The lipstick that defeated my camera.  Do you have Candy Yum-Yum?  Are you brave enough to wear it out?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Thursday Post

Lil' Wayne feat. Robin Thicke: Shooter.  I'm not a huge fan of Lil' Wayne; I think his rhymes lack wit and finesse, personally.  But this song is catchy.  And sexy.  And explicit, so be warned.

I'm on an eye shadow ban (which has been pretty successful so far, actually!) but this palette has me very, very tempted.  I love the Muppets!  I also try to justify my purchase of palettes by saying "But they travel well!"  Yeah.  You know that's a valid excuse.

This made me smile.  Sometimes you just need to be reminded of things like that.

I still want these.

And I want lashes like this.  Now.  Now.  That Hourglass Lash Lacquer will be mine!

I made those cookies I talked about last week.  And then I made pie.  It was a happy week.

And here's another picture of Dennison.  S.'s mom included some stuff for him in a package she sent, and he was quite curious about them.  Are the Dennison photos getting excessive?  I don't want to be one of those people :P
Oooh, for me?
Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

EOTD: Ice and Smoke


I wanted a nice, cool blue look today, to go with my blue and white collared shirt.  It's not very smokey, I'm afraid, just subtle and soft (again, right? :P).
UDPP Greed
Shiro Cosmetics Desu (pastel blue), Midna (shimmery navy blue with blue sparkles)
Benefit Magic Ink, UD Binge










Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion with Soothing Oatmeal

The claim: "This triple-oat formula moisturizing lotion with shea butter extract is clinically shown to combat all five symptoms of winter skin: dryness, discomfort, flaking, roughness. and itchiness. And since it has no added fragrances, it's ideal even for sensitive skin." (Amazon.com)
Let's cover the good first (the bad - and there definitely is a bad - is coming): this body lotion does soothe and relieve itchy, dry skin, like it's supposed to.  It is fragrance-free, and even when my skin is already red and itchy, it provides immediate relief.

BUT.  Okay, ready now?

I hate this stuff.  You see, the label says "dimethicone skin protectant," and well, that's fine, because I usually don't react to dimethicones.  However, it makes the texture of the lotion...disgusting.  When you first pump some out, it feels like normal lotion, and then you rub it into your skin, and it sinks in.  But then you are left with this awful, awful tacky feeling afterward, no matter how much you try to rub it in.  You know the tacky feeling of makeup primers (which, ding ding ding, contain silicones!)?  Think that feeling, but everywhere on your body - legs, arms, feet...yuck.  I hate it.  It makes me feel sweaty and unclean, which is not the desired feeling right after I shower and right before I hop into bed.  It makes my legs stick together and I really, really don't like it.  The sticky feeling also lasts throughout the next day, which is even worse.  The itch relief does last quite a while, but the tackiness lasts much, much longer.

It's a shame, because I love the Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Nourishing 24-Hour Body Moisturizer, especially the Soothing version (vanilla & chamomile).  I purchased this one when I ran out of that one, mostly because Target didn't currently have the vanilla chamomile and I needed my lotion.  Also, not all of Aveeno's products are paraben-free; this one was.

Try it if: You want a soothing, itch-relieving lotion for dry skin and you don't mind sticky lotions.
Skip it if: You have a sensitivity to dimethicones (and other silicones), or you hate the texture of silicone makeup primers.

This one runs $6-11 at most drugstores and Ulta; the price depends on what sale is running, etc.  It lasts for a long time and the pump packaging is handy.  However, this one makes my "misses" list, and even though I'm forcing myself to use it up, at some point I will probably wave my white flag and go buy a bottle of the vanilla chamomile stuff I do love.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Zoya Maya, or Why I Feel Like Malibu Barbie

Zoya Maya is a squishy pinky coral jelly.  When I first ordered it, I left it for months, unloved, simply because its bottle color is quite uninspiring.  Why did I order it?  No idea.  I thought I needed a pink jelly?
Zoya Get Even base coat, 2x Maya, Zoya Armor top coat.  It looks more coral here than it does in person.
And you know, it turns out that I do.  With two coats, you can still see the nail line, but at a casual glance, all you get is this wonderfully bright, luscious pink!  Pinks aren't even close to my favorite color, but I really like this one.  It's somehow neon and exciting.  And it really does make me feel like Malibu Barbie, though I wouldn't necessarily call that a positive benefit.  It just makes me laugh.

The formula was easy to work with - thin and easy to spread, with no dragging.  I will say, though, that my thumb nail chipped the day afterward.  Whether this is due to the polish or the fact that my nails are paper thin, I'm not sure, but this one does seem to dry down more shell-like (and thus more prone to chipping, rather than just wearing down) than the usual Zoya.

Try it if: You like pinks and jellies.  Or if you just want to feel like Malibu Barbie.
Skip it if: You want complete opacity from your polishes (this is always going to be rather translucent, because of the kind of polish it is).

$8 from Zoya.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cartoon EOTD: Raven of Teen Titans

It's Cartoon Saturday again!  Today, I decided to go for a more matte look, purple and mysterious, since a lot of my recent EOTDS have been brighter or softer.
Image source: Teen Titans Wiki
image source: DC Database (wiki)
I needed two pictures; she can be all scary with her glowy eyes (first picture), and then more moderate looking - for a super hero, I mean.  Raven is typically mysterious and emotionally distant, but she has a mean sense of humor, and constantly cracks me up.  She has the powers of telekinesis, and is generally kick-ass!  Definitely my favorite member of the Teen Titans team (though it's hard to pick a favorite, really).
UDPP Eden
Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics
Powdered Wigs (matte white), Revolution (matte black with red sparkles), Shiro Cosmetics Lance the Dragon Trainer (shimmery cool purple with sparkles)
Tarte EmphasEYES Aqua Gel liner in
Plum 
I decided to go with stark colors like matte white and black; the white reminded me of Raven's glowy eyes, too.  And then I piled some purple on there, and bam!















I will say I'm not completely thrilled with this look :/  Something about it just didn't satisfy me.  Oh well. C'est la vie, right?

Don't forget to check out Tracy's look - she's my cartoon buddy! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sweet Anthem: Perfume Samples

Sweet Anthem is a vegan indie perfumery, with a storefront on Etsy.  They are going to have a physical store in Seattle in October, which I'm really excited about! 

I ordered a sample set and chose Peter, Louise and Emily, all as perfume oils (the other option being solid perfume samples).  I paid $14.00 for 3 samples (2 mL each) plus $2.00 shipping.  I had another $1.08 thrown on because of WA state tax (ugh), but that's the way it goes.  You can find the sample set listing here.  My order was placed on July 22; I received a shipping notice (with a USPS tracking number) on July 27, and my package arrived on July 29th.  It was packed in a paper pouch, inside of a bubble mailer.  I received my three samples, plus a freebie sample; there was no invoice, but there was a beautiful business card (I personally don't mind it when a paper invoice isn't included; it's just one more thing I'd have to shred, and I keep pdfs and emails of all of my purchases.  I think I've been living in Seattle too long - it's a very green city.  There's no need to waste another piece of paper!).
Here are the official scent notes for the perfumes I chose (taken from Sweet Anthem's Etsy store site):
014. Peter - Black Currant, Leather, Champagne, Lemon, Matcha Tea, Patchouli
011. Louise - Amber, Benzoin, Lavender, Maple Sugar, Opium, Pumpkin
008. Emily - Almond, Coconut, Honey, Milk, Oatmeal, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Yuzu

The sample was:
015. Rebecca - Agarwood, Amber, Black Pepper, Bluebonnets, Ginger, Honey, Pear, Tobacco
They are all neatly labeled with their respective names.  Oops, sunlight, bad, I know!  It was just for the photo!
They come in cute, clear vials, and it's clear that they are naturally different colors - very pretty!  The caps have a small rounded tip in the center that fits snugly into the vial opening, which means they screw on tightly and won't leak.  I also use the extended tip to dab the oil onto me.  Is that wrong?

As usual, I tried to give all of these a few days each.  I know that the smell you get out of the vial is different from the scent that may linger on your skin, so it's imperative to test these out on skin.  I also thought I'd give you S.'s thoughts, as well, since it's good to get another person's opinion, and I wouldn't wear something that he found really unpleasant (maybe :P).  Generally we like the same sort of smells (that is, I like the colognes he wears and he likes the perfumes I wear) - so his opinion is helpful.  I'm also listing Sweet Anthem's description of each, taken from their Etsy store site.

014. Peter 
From Sweet Anthem: A black currant-champagne cocktail for the Emperor after a long day out on the hunt, sipped as he daydreams about a certain wooden tallship. (Woods)

• Top Notes: Champagne, Lemon, Matcha Tea
• Heart Notes: Black Currant
• Base Notes: Leather, Patchouli


My thoughts:
Strong.  In the vial it smells like lemon, leather, and some sort of earthy pine (the patchouli, maybe?).  One me, the other notes fade away too quickly, and I just get the earthy pine, as well as a strong, clean smell.  It lasted all day, and then some - I scrubbed it off after two hours because the intensity was giving me a headache, but I still got whiffs of it throughout the rest of the day.  If you want your woodsy perfume to last, this would be one to try.

S.'s thoughts: Very clean and fresh; not bad, but not particularly standout.

015. Rebecca 
From Sweet Anthem: A perfectly ghostly way to go... the deepest black oud and smoke, mulled with a harvest blend of honey and amber, and livened with ginger and cranberry. Candied pears, Texas flowers, and late summer blooms are strewn throughout.

• Top Notes: Cranberry, Fig Ginger, Pear
• Heart Notes: Bluebonnets, Honey
• Base Notes: Agarwood, Amber, Tobacco


My thoughts: Spicy and dark in the vial.  Smells kind of like Peter, but not as citrusy or clean.  On my skin, it still pulls too woodsy and spicy for me.

S.'s thoughts: Spicy.  Not a favorite.

008. Emily 
From Sweet Anthem: Still she wears her red dress, and paints her toes and twirls. Emily takes it back to old times of honey, oatmeal, yuzu, almond, Turkish mocha, vanilla, coconut, and sandalwood.

• Top Notes: Almond, Milk, Yuzu
• Heart Notes: Honey, Oatmeal, Turkish Mocha
• Base Notes: Coconut, Sandalwood

My thoughts
: This one smelled incredibly different in the vial, and on me.  In the vial, I got a lot of almond and honey, and just the faintest hint of yuzu, and it was almost too sweet.  On me, it was initially that same smell, but then it dried down into something softly floral and almost powdery - but not too powdery.  The more I wore it, the more it grew on me.  I find that I need only a teeny, tiny bit of this one - a dab on one wrist.

S.'s thoughts:
(This is the dialogue that went on between us).
me (hold up my wrist for him to sniff - he's used to it, haha): What do you think?
S. (sniffs): Um. What are your thoughts?
me: No, I asked you.  I don't want to tell you and contaminate the experiment!
S. (laughs): Oh.  Okay.  Well.  Um.  Play-doh?
me (burst out laughing): Who makes Play-doh perfume?  Though I guess I can kind of see that.  It has that initially sweet smell, but it doesn't have the awful, awful end note that Play-doh has.  I like this one!  No?
S.: Um, not my favorite.
me: *mumble mumble* I'm going to keep it anyway, for when you piss me off.
S.: What?
me: :D Nothing, babe.  Thanks for your input! :D <3 :D (Seriously?  Play-doh?  *shakes head*)

011. Louise 
From Sweet Anthem: Celebrate fall anytime - maple sugar, spiced pumpkin, a hedge maze, and a late fall bonfire before winter snow sets in.

• Top Notes: Pumpkin, Maple Sugar
• Heart Notes: Lavender, Hay
• Base Notes: Amber, Benzoin, Opium

My thoughts
: Very foodie/gourmand from the vial.  I thought it'd be a good idea when I ordered it, but when I smelled it, I had to wonder - did I really want to smell like pumpkin pie?  Actually, the spicy pumpkin scent is okay; did I really want to smell like maple syrup?  So I dabbed just a teeny, tiny bit on my wrist, and apprehensively held it to my nose.  The foodie sweetness was gone, replaced by heavy, heady incense.  It's rather a complex incense smell - when I sniff my wrist, it's sweeter and spicy, but the general dry down is heady.  Not my kind of scent, honestly.  Another one for the swap pile!

S.'s thoughts: Smells like incense.  (He's awfully brief sometimes.)

I have to confess: I'm horrible at picking out perfumes.  I have no idea, simply based on scent descriptions, what I like.  Yet I still try!  With mixed results.  And I can't always detect which note it is in a perfume that I don't like, just based on sniffing and comparing my personal assessment with the scent description - probably because I don't know what some of those notes are (agarwood, anyone?).  But this is the only way to learn, right?  And my personal failures at perfume selection shouldn't deter you from trying Sweet Anthem.  There is a wide selection, and I already have my eye on a few other ones. This is at least helping me to compile a list of notes that I do and don't like, and I appreciate the detailed listing of fragrance notes on each perfume.  I wish someone offered a consulting service! :D  So far I have learned, though, that I do not like woodsy scents.  Oops.

Read more about Sweet Anthem here, in a featured seller interview with Etsy.  I've also found Meredith to be very responsive on Twitter (@sweetanthem) and Facebook, if you need to get in touch with her about anything.  She was extremely helpful with questions I had when I was trying to make an order, and I really appreciated it.  Perfumes are extremely subjective, and however it smells to me or on me is possibly completely different than the experience you would have with it, so really, I can only review the company itself, based on my interactions with the owner.  Everything about my shopping experience was great, so I would recommend Sweet Anthem, especially if you're looking for a vegan perfumery.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Thursday Post

Kenny Chesney: Somewhere With You.  Country songs can be so romantic.  Sometimes a bit too syrupy, it's true, but some of them just make me melt.  Annnnd that's more than you needed to know about me.

I want to make cookies soon, and these are on the list.  I love coconut and lime!

Scent by the Sea, one of my favorite Etsy perfumeries, has a new sample pack out!  I think they're super affordable, at $12.00 for ten generous samples!  Will you try it?  I'm so very, very tempted.

Speaking of perfumes, I'm looking for a little wooden curio - preferably one with wooden doors - to store my perfumes and oils in.  Have you seen anything like this?

And I'm on ScentBase!  Are you?  Perfume is becoming my new obsession...it's very, very bad.

Dior's new polishes look beautiful.  I think some are repromotes, but since I only own one Dior polish so far, I don't care.  They're all so pretty!

And, we've done it!  We've decided where we are getting married.  Here.  It's modern and has a sophisticated, contemporary aesthetic, which is what we were going for.  The food is good, and they were able to give us a really good proposal.  One thing off my list, hurray!  Now.  Our wedding is still a year out, but I'm kind of a compulsive planner and I like to have things organized.  I am trying to pick colors.  We're thinking black and white, and one accent color - like gold.  Thoughts?  What would you/have you pick/picked?  I'd appreciate any feedback!

I leave you with...a Dennison photo.  This is his couch.  We've given up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

EOTD: Soft Gold and Brown

UDPP Greed
Shiro Cosmetics Dunsparce (pale, shimmery yellow with purple sparkles), Triforce (sparkly gold), Golem (cool dark brown)
Benefit Magic Ink, UD
Underground (cool brown), El Dorado (bright gold)
Gold today!  I had a sample of Shiro Cosmetics Dunsparce that I've never tried, so I decided to play with it today.  It's very subtle and very pretty - a soft, shimmery gold with purple sparkles that make it really pop.  I added Triforce in the center of the lid to brighten it up, and Golem in the outer edges.

With sunlight, to show how beautiful Dunsparce is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NOTD: Zoya Gemma + Sinful Colors Smoking Hot

I haven't given my nails much love lately, and part of that is because of the new doggie - he doesn't quite understand the concept of nail-painting, and nail-drying.  He wants to poke his nose into everything!  He's generally a calm guy, though, so after he got used to everything, I busted out my polishes again!  I felt like I needed to do something exciting, but because I have no nail skills or fancy stamps and tools, I just did my level of "exciting."  I wanted Zoya Gemma, for some reason (inexplicable, really, because while it's pretty, it's not one of my usual favorites), and I decided to put Sinful Colors Smoking Hot over it.  Smoking Hot is slightly mattifying, but my Zoya Armor top coat took care of that!
Zoya Get Even base coat (ridge filler), two coats of Zoya Gemma, one coat of SC Smoking Hot, one coat Zoya Armor (top coat).
And here's one to show how pretty the glitter is!

This definitely picked up my mood!  After all, it's sparkly - how could it not?

Monday, August 15, 2011

MAC Sheen Supreme: Can't Resist!

I wanted a coppery red, or a red with gold/copper sparkles - something for fall and the holidays.  I know it's still summer, but Nordstrom had its Anniversary Sale, and I needed something else for free shipping ($200, really?), so I picked up one of these.  Initially, when I was looking for this sort of color, I had put Bobbi Brown's Sunset Bronze Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 on my list, but Temptalia's swatch of MAC Can't Resist made it look more intense and pigmented, so this is what I went with.  Plus, it's cheaper than Bobbi's (though it doesn't have the SPF rating that the Treatment Lip Shines do).
These have a slim, plastic tube that's a perfect cylinder, rather than bullet shaped like MAC's other lipsticks.  The packaging reflects the actual lipstick shape; it's flat tipped, versus a typical lipstick bullet.  It still clicks shut, which is nice.

Isn't it pretty?  All sparkly and stuff?
It's a deeper, sheerer red with a gold sheen.  I love the color of it and the finish - sparkly without being frosty.  It does settle in lip lines a bit, but that's honestly only noticeable if you're right in my face - and you shouldn't be.  I really love the color; it is so pretty!  It'll be a great holiday lipstick, for sure.
Natural light.
Direct sunlight.  This doesn't really do it justice; up close and personal, you can't really see the lip lines the way they are emphasized here.  It's much less obvious in person.
When I first applied this, I was surprised by how emollient the formula was, and how smoothly it went over my dry lips (I didn't prep them in any way).  The color builds nicely, and I really do like this shade - a shimmery burgundy.  It reminds me of a gloss I had in high school, for prom.  I will say that this is initially tacky - it definitely feels like a gloss on my lips and is rather sticky.  However, after a little while, it eases into something fairly lightweight and comfortable on the lips.  The shine factor decreases with wear time, but the color remains, well into hour three or four.

Unfortunately, I found that it doesn't have the same faint vanilla smell characteristic of MAC's regular lipsticks; it's stronger and sweeter, and reminds me of Revlon's Super Lustrous lip glosses - at least, the way I remember them smelling, but I haven't owned any since high school.  I'm not a huge fan of this scent, but it's tolerable.  However, the Sheen Supreme lipstick also has a faint taste associated with it, too, which I don't like.  I didn't find that the scent/taste went away; I just stopped noticing it after a while.  If I thought about it again, though, I could detect both scent/taste throughout the length of wear.  I am, however, pretty sensitive about smells, so if they typically don't bother you, you'll probably be okay.

I didn't find these particularly moisturizing, but they aren't drying.  All in all - they feel like a gloss, but have the pigmentation of lipstick.
Sheen Supreme ingredients. Click for larger.
Try it if: You're looking for a glossy, non-drying lipstick that comes in strong, saturated colors.
Skip it if: You don't like tacky or sticky lip products, or you prefer clear-cut, strong lip colors and sheer glosses, rather than a hybrid of the two.

Either way, smell them first.  Temptalia said they are vanilla-scented, but I don't really get that, and Can't Resist definitely smells different from my other MAC lipsticks.  I like some of the other Sheen Supreme shades, but I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of this sticky formula and the smell.  It's actually not that strong, but it's noticeable.  I think I'd probably stick to another brand of glossy-almost-lipstick (maybe try Dior's Addicts, or more Sérum de Rouges), even if they are pricier.

$14.50 for 0.12 oz., at MAC counters or stores.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Top Ten Award

I was tagged for the Top Ten Award by the lovely mNg at I'm Not Skinny, So What?  You must go see her - she's such a fun blogger, and her swatches are always so perfect.
And then, because I took so damn long with this, Su from My Perfume Diary (she puts so many fragrances on my wishlist, it's not even funny) tagged me as well.  Thank you both!

So, I'm supposed to tell you who tagged me, then show you my top ten beauty products, and then tag ten more bloggers.  Let's see if I can do this.  Picking just ten sounds...hard.  These are the ones I'm constantly picking up right now.  I've probably showcased most of them at some point or another, so I don't know how many of these will be new to you.

Top Ten Beauty Products (in no specific order):

1. Clinique Moisturizing Gel - Yes, I'm one of those girls, but I can't help it - this keeps my skin all normal like and happy, and it's not greasy or funny-smelling.  It sinks right into my skin, and a little goes a long way.  The bottle lasts forever!

2. MAC Tinted Lip Conditioners - all colors are great, and they keep my lips happy.  They are natural looking and smell like vanilla.  Plus, they have SPF!

3. Clinique Super City Block SPF 40 - my go-to facial sunscreen.  Repurchased more times than I can count.

4. Stila Shadows in Kitten, Diamond Lil - I mentioned these in my July favorites post, but this is my go-to combo of eye shadows.  They are soft and brush on so easily, and they never fail to flatter.

5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil - is it cheating if I say all of them?  Well, I don't own all of them (yet :P) but I own most of them, and I love all of the ones I have.  The colors I reach for most often are Crash, Underground, Flipside, El Dorado, Binge.

6. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, Greed - Pre-primer potion days, my eye shadows and liners always creased, and it was ugly.  This has banished those bad times!  Eden and Greed are the only paraben-free formulas (so far), and I actually prefer these yellow-toned shades to the original's pinky peach shade (or Sin's pink champagne color, as well).  Eden is a yellowy matte base, and Greed is a sparkly gold base.

7. Aveda Brilliant Damage Control - I'm not into hair products, really, since I don't really have high-maintenance hair; don't color it and I make regular trips to the salon.  I use drugstore shampoo, and pick up whatever is on sale; I'm not committed to a specific brand.  I do, however, go to an Aveda salon, and I love the way their products smell.  It's kind of herbal, though, so it's not for everyone.  I do experience dry or poofy every once in a while, and this fixes that right up; it makes my hair smooth and manageable, and calms it down when it's out of control.  A few sprays and I'm set!  I like that it's supposed to provide UV protection, as well.

8. Benefit Magic Ink - a satiny black liquid liner with a flexible brush tip.  It took me a while to get used to, but now it's my go-to liquid liner.  I wish it came in more colors.  It lasts all day and sets quickly, but not instantly.

9. Venus Spa Breeze 2-in-1 razors - Um, yeah.  I shave my legs every day or every other day, and I hate fussing around with shaving gel/cream.  These have the soft gel pads on them that make the blades coast over your skin.  When the pads wear down and the blades are dull, toss the head and get a new one.  Easy.  I know people swear by epilators etc., but shaving in the shower takes me about a minute or two every day, so it doesn't bother me much.  It may not be the closest shave, and obviously I have to do it all over again the next day, but eh.  I have bigger things to tackle.

10. Dior Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora (despite its ridiculous name!) - this is the perfect powder for bringing a bit of subtle color to my face.  I often use it in lieu of blush or bronzer, and it's so easy and fool-proof.  I may cry when I run out, as it was a Summer 2011 Limited Edition item.  Oh well, there's always something new, right?

Okay! I tag...everyone.  Because I'm lame like that I can't remember who has already done this tag.  Please do it, and link me to it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cartoon EOTD: Velma, the Original Color-Blocker

image source: Wikipedia
I mean, right?  Look at that!  She may not be a fashion icon, and that sweater is probably ten sizes too big, but hey, she was color-blocking.  Take that, trendy fashion elitists.  The nerdy girl had you beat!  What a trendsetter.  So ahead of her time.

Anyway.  It's Cartoon EOTD time - something fun that I'm doing with Tracy of Beauty Reflections to inject some fun in our - and your - lives.  This week, I'm doing Velma; I hope you're all familiar with Scooby-Doo!  I watched it a lot as a kid, and I still enjoy the cartoons (I'm going to pretend those very strange live-action films are a whole different beast, okay?  I think we'll all be happier).  Even though I've seen some of those episodes 3423948023 times, I still enjoy them.

I know Velma doesn't exactly seem to inspire fashion-forward looks, but I wanted to take her red and orange combo and translate that into an EOTD.  Her hair is brown, so I chose brown eye liner - UD Bourbon.  I stuck with the theme of "color-blocking" and tried to do a more mod look, given the era that Velma is from.  Here's my take.
UDPP Eden
Shiro Cosmetics
Charmander (shimmery orange), Hearts (shimmery red)
Benefit Magic Ink, UD
Bourbon (reddish brown with sparkles)

And then I put on my glasses, just to get in the spirit of things.
S. had to take this one, because contacts + glasses = vision that is blurry as hell.  Thanks, S.! <3
I have freckles on my nose.  I never used to have freckles on my nose.  ???  Whatever.  Anyway, and then I found this, which is hysterical.
Jinkies!  I do not know where this came from - if you have a source, let me know! 
So I smoked out my original look, to give it more of that "sex goddess" vibe.  I don't think I accomplished that (me ≠ sex goddess), but it's a fun look nevertheless - and shows how different a look can be with just a minor alteration - so I figured I'd show it to you.
All the same, with the addition of Shiro Cosmetics Ganondorf (dark reddish brown with red sparkles).
And that's all I have to say about that.  This one was fun!  Stay tuned for next week!  And go see Tracy's look! She did Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls!