Saturday, August 30, 2014

Maybelline Electric Orange: It Will Be Your Cold Weather Getaway Lipstick

[Product was purchased by me.* Was a gift and ** was a Sephora perk.]

I know summer is almost over, and with it, the reign of orange, so this post is a little late. But, in the middle of winter, when you're tired of freezing and layers and never want to see another vampy lipstick again in your life - think of this, my pretties.

This is Maybelline Electric Orange, a Colorsensational Vivids lipstick. After being so impressed with Vivid Rose, I scored this for about $4 on Amazon. It's slightly drier than Vivid Rose, but still comfortable, and has a more satin finish than the jelly gloss of its fuchsia sister. Still high-shine, though.
It's not like I have a thing for orange, or anything.
L-R: Shu Uemura
Bright Orange*, Maybelline Electric Orange, Maybelline Mandarin Rapture Lip Elixir, YSL Orange Fougueux Kiss & Blush, MAC Lady Danger.

As you can see, it leans more yellow-orange than red-orange (it's when I say things like this that I realize I am crazy); Shu Uemura Bright Orange was LE and is peachier, Mandarin Rapture is a gloss and has purple sparkles in it, YSL Orange Fougueux dries matte, is peachier, and less bright, and MAC Lady Danger is matte and much redder.
If you would like to wear it the normal people way: with neutral tones and bronzer (YSL Afrique on eyes, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer**, and YSL Agate cream blush, with the Sephora Sculpting Disc* to highlight.

You can see that it's definitely more yellow-orange, but it doesn't make teeth look terribly yellow, which is a pleasant surprise.
And here is the crazy people option - bright eyes, bright lips! Shiseido Floracouture and Color Bar on eyes, Clarins 02 Candy* cream blush, Sephora Sculpting Disc* to highlight

We must always give the crazy people option.

If you want an orange that leans more toward red, Vibrant Mandarin would probably be a better bet, but I wanted something more traditionally orange, which this definitely is. I also like the look of Brazen Berry and Shocking Coral, and I don't feel too guilty about indulging in these (prices range from $4-9 depending on sales - wait for a sale!).

Are you going to store one of these away for winter? Or you leave orange for the summer sun? What kind of makeup would you pair it with?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Inspired By: Fellow Bloggers - The Smokey Navy Eye

[* were gifts from fabulous friends.]

My arm hurts from blending. Seriously. You would think that using primarily one eye shadow would make the look easy-peasy-simple-beaver, but no.

Even the Great Lisa just says (roughly) to blend for years...and blend some more. But she says it in that gorgeous accent, so it's okay.

Enough whining. I am often inspired by my blogger friends. I rarely wear a smokey eye (see above: blending is hard), but always fall in love with the look, especially when it involves blue and is pulled off so beautifully by stunners like Jenny and Lily. (Can we trade faces? Is that weird?) Since it will be fall soon - the season for dramatic makeup - I've been practicing my navy blue raccoon face.

After priming lids with NARS, I used a combination of L'Oreal Midnight Blue Infallible (which was a giveaway prize from Lily!) and theBalm Risqué Renee; neither are texturally superb, which adds to the blending woes, but the colors are beautiful. I blended the crease out with MAC Moleskin*, and finished up with Sephora liquid liner and Clinique Lash Power Feathering mascara.
Nose freckles. *sigh*
For the rest of the face:
MAC Lingering
MAC Brow Finisher
MAC Mineralize concealer (NC20)
MAC Pro-Longwear concealer (NW25)
Sephora Sculpting Disc*
MAC Stratus
Maybelline Intoxicating Spice

What's your favorite shade for a single-color smokey eye? Are you gearing up for fall fashion and beauty already?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Scents of the Week: Aug. 17 - 23

I thought a scent journal could be fun, in a "hey I don't have to take any photos!" kind of way.

(ahem. Laziness. It's a thing.)

And I also actually wore different fragrances this week, instead of the same old, same old. I've been poking through my samples, trying to weed out the ones that make me want to cry and the mediocre ones and the ones I need to add to the "want to but desperately must not buy" list. The perfume box is full, so necessity dictates I clean.

Sunday: sample of L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubérose
notes: spices, tuberose, woods (so specific, L'Artisan!)
It starts off as all this loud tuberose that reminds me of school dances back in Hawaii (you buy the dude a lei. He smells like this all night. Manly.) and then the flowers die, and it dries down into this spicy mango that reminds me of ginger candy/beer/soda. Or that Japanese cola hard candy. It brought to mind Sweet Anthem Juliet (pikake mango tobacco) but that is not as spicy and more flower-focused. They're different enough. I think I like both.

Monday: sample of Hanae Mori Butterfly EdT
notes: strawberries, bilberries, black currant, Bulgarian Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, almond, praline
For some reason, my hand gravitated toward my sample of this. Apparently I was feeling like a fluffy cloud princess. Seriously. Strawberry, almond-cotton-candy = fluffy cloud princess. I can't take myself seriously wearing this, but sometimes I don't hate it. I don't think I could ever bring myself to buy some, though. (Also, what the hell is a bilberry?)

Tuesday: sample of Diptyque Eau Duelle EdP
notes: Cardamom, Asian cyprus, elemi, juniper, saffron, calamus, black tea, black African olibanum, amber, Firnat Vanilla, Bourbon Vanilla, white musk
S.: "You smell good."
Me: "Oh yeah?"
S.: "Yeah."
Me: "That's good. It's Diptyque Eau Duelle EdP and costs $140." *beams*
S.: "I see. Oh-...what?"

Yes, I'm shameless. But that tactic got me Prada Candy, so there. Eau Duelle starts off with a burst of green - some kinda tree smell - and then settles down into a deliciously vanilla, spicy tea element that I absolutely adore. It's light and not cloying, and lingers close to the skin for hours. It is less spritzy than Jo Malone Vanilla Anise, but in the same vein - vanilla with a twist. Between this and Volutes, I think I am more often in the mood for Eau Duelle, but - *wrings hands* - can I still have both?

Wednesday: Firebird Bath and Body Black Tea and Mint perfume oil (sample)
notes: black tea, citrus, mint

I absolutely adore this scent, but I wish it came in an EdP, and full sized bottles I had from this shop sort of went off, so I'm loathe to buy another one. It's quite strong, equal parts peppermint and black tea, and I really, really like it. If you know of any minty black tea fragrances, let me know!

Thursday: I had a bout of allergies and flailed and wore no perfume.

Friday: Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine + Vanille Insensée
Also, if they didn't want you to smell like creamsicles, why would they sell this as a duo?
Spray Vanille Insensée first, then Orange Sanguine: this combo smells like orange creamsicles. Grown-up orange creamsicles. Sophisticated ones. (Okay, I lied, sophisticated orange creamsicles don't sound like a thing.) I didn't love Atelier Cologne's base dry down at first, but it's growing on me. And everybody likes creamsicles.

Saturday: L'Occitane Thé Vert & Bigarade EdT
notes: "sparkling citrus notes in an accord of sweet and bitter orange, with an aromatic base of green tea"
One of those bracing, sharp, citrusy scents that cuts through summer heat like a scythe. It almost has that earthy green tea note that I have been searching for everywhere, but really it's just a refreshing summer splash of ambiguous "citrus" and "green tea." Pleasantly inoffensive, though, and lasts longer on me than most L'Occitane potions.

Well. That was fun. In retrospect, I think I could do without Nuit de Tubérose and it's $120 price tag, but not without Diptyque Eau Duelle. My sample is almost gone, or I would spray it liberally and convince S. that it would make an excellent anniversary/birthday/Labor Day/some-upcoming-holiday present.

What fragrances have you been wearing lately? Would you be interested in more blurb-type scent journals?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shiseido Fall 2014 OR316 Floracouture Trio + Comparison

[Product was purchased by me.]

Yeah, you knew I was going to cave to Shiseido Fall 2014. I only bought one of the three new trios, though, so that should count for something. 

I have been looking for a deep maroon/plum shade, as well as an orange, and Shiseido OR316 Floracouture ($33) supplies both. I didn't have a warm cotton-candy pink either, so overall, this is so much win.
Shiseido OR316 Floracouture Luminizing Satin Eye Trio, new for Fall 2014. As far as I can tell, it is a permanent addition to the line.
Swatches with a finger on bare skin, under artificial lighting. Darkest shade is wine with a purple-blue sheen; middle shade is bright orange with a gold sheen, and last shade is warm, cotton candy pink.
It makes you think of the autumn harvest, no? Many asked if it is similar to RD299 Beach Grass, and at first glance, the colors look similar. 
On the left, OR316 Floracouture; on the right, RD299 Beach Grass.

Buuuut, nope - and I'm not just being all beauty blogger about it, either. The colors in Beach Grass are muted and delicate, while OR316 Floracouture is bolder, less pearlescent, and more dramatic. The quality of the shadows is excellent - soft, pigmented, and never looks flat on the eyes.
RD299 Beach Grass swatched on the top, OR316 Floracouture on the bottom.
 Since I love oranges, peaches, and recently, mauves and plums, I'd say the two palettes are different enough to warrant having both.
All three shades of OR316 Floracouture on lids, over NARS Smudge-Proof Shadow Base. Finished with Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Liner and Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara. 
I think the deepest shade in Floracouture will be great paired with champagnes or toasty caramel shadows (or with Beach Grass!) and the orange just makes me smile. I'm on a mission to collect them all, obviously. I can't help it. The satin texture of these shadows is pretty much my favorite, and I like the interesting colors.

I've seen the new trios at Macy's (online and in store), Sephora (online only) and Nordstrom, as well as Shiseido's site. I also finally picked up GD804 Opera (the trios' numeric names focus on the center shades, I think), and I can't wait to play with the gorgeous khaki in that palette. Plus, Dick Page just makes me want everything from Shiseido.

Have any of the new trios caught your eye?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Let's Chat About: Hair (Lazy People Style)

Yes, I've been in a boring, functional mood, lately. Why?

(Also. Confrontational. Pugnacious, even. Ha.)

I like short hair. It's easy to maintain and I don't have to brush it, it doesn't tangle (ugh, tangles, why), doesn't fill the floors, and air dries pretty quickly.

I have thicker, pretty resilient hair that tends to fluff up when it's short and becomes wavier as it gets long (which it is no longer allowed to do, ha). I usually shower at night, and try to give myself enough time to let my hair air dry before I go to bed. I have never in my life owned a blow dryer or a straightener. Here, you may take my girl card.

However, with short hair, you can't ever resort to a hide-it-all ponytail, so I do use product to tame fluff and frizz. 
These are the four things I actually use - not all at once and not all the time, because, you know, lazy. The Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother ($24) is the only one I use daily; I run it through post-shower wet hair with fingers to encourage my hair to be sleeker and less mushroom-head in the morning. Then I let it air dry.
He is adorable, but a style icon he is not. Mushroom head must be avoided at all cost.
IF I do go to bed with wet hair, though, in the morning, it's still all creased and sticks out in every direction and S. cheerfully tries to tell me it looks "fine." LIAR. MEDUSA IS NOT A GOOD LOOK. In that case, I'll run a tiny bit of Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil ($25, a bottle lasts forever) through my hair, near the root where it puffs up (like rice cereal. Like pomeranians. Not cool), and then comb my hair out so it stays mostly flat. Hair is nice and shiny afterward, never greasy. Also, it smells good. Thumbs up.
Bernini's "Medusa." Also not a strived-for look.
The last two products are also Alterna; one is the Dry Oil Mist version of the Bamboo Oil - it was part of a Sephora GWP. I like it about the same as the treatment oil version, although the latter can double as a hair mask (which I try to do...not as often as I should). If you have finer hair, I think the mist is probably better as you can get a lighter overall distribution by spraying versus using your fingers.

Finally, there is the Alterna Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Hair Spray ($10) - (why do we have to repeat words in a name?). I know I said excessive volume is usually the problem, but on occasion (phase of the moon, whatever), I do end up with flathead hair. So I flip my hair over, spritz, fluff up, and carry on. I also used this when I had longer hair, and it helped with limpness. It's not sticky or crunchy and smells better than hairspray usually does.

Voilà! Lazy people hair stuff. Do you fuss around with hair products? What are your favorites?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let's Chat About: Eye Creams

Let's talk about eye creams.

Some people don't use 'em, some people must have them. I fall into the latter group. Generally, I feel that the point is ingredient concentration. Skin can only absorb so much, and rather than layer on facial moisturizers on the delicate eye area to try to achieve some effect, I'd rather just pick up a targeted treatment. If you're one of those lucky people who have no undereye issues...*twitch.* Go away. We'll be friends again tomorrow.
Eye creams
Various eye creams I've tried, either in full or deluxe sample size.
I've been using various eye creams (gels, whatever) for about half a dozen years. I have dry skindark circles and puffiness (thanks, dad, since mom insists I could not have inherited anything so aesthetically unpleasing from her) and I like to mitigate all as much as can reasonably be expected. When something isn't working, I can always tell (when looking through FOTD photos, ha. Benefits of a blog). I've found some that I like, though, so I thought I'd share.

Typically, I use two different products with specific purposes.
For night, I need something to prevent puffiness in the morning. Also, I can't evaluate any anti-aging claims on a reasonable time frame, but I like having anti-aging ingredients in my nighttime product, as well. I don't mind if it's tacky, because I'm going to bed. My favorites are Ole Henriksen Eye Lift Gel (I've only tried the old formulation, and will have to repurchase the new one the next go around), and Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye (have gone through a tube of this and would repurchase). The Ole Henriksen does leave the skin noticeably tacky afterward, the Kiehls doesn't. Both combat puffiness. I've also used and liked Philosophy's retinol eye cream, but it kind of stings, so I if I bought a full size, I would probably only use it once a week or so.
In the morning, I aim to use concealer to counter under-eye circles, so my aims with eye cream are to hydrate the area and prep for makeup - it can't flake or pill off. Currently I'm alternating between Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Moisture Eye Balm and Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream. The first is the most insanely moisturizing thing ever, but it does leave the area oily and can make some of my liners run. I also wonder about the lavender oil to the eye. The other one I use in the AM is the Shiseido; it's not advertised as hydrating, and even though it doesn't leave the skin feeling particularly wet or moisturized, the area doesn't feel dry, either, and it contains light-reflecting pigments that help with the dark circle problem. It also makes the undereye area smoooooooth, and concealer goes over it so nicely. I like.

Are you one of the lucky, bright-eyed and bushy tailed? Or do you use eye treatments? What are your favorites?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Lovin' Tag

Figured I'd do this tag, since we're still fully embracing summer over here in the desert.

1. Summer lipstick you're loving:
I did a summer lipstick wardrobe post, and then I also picked up Maybelline Vivid Rose. Still into brights!
From that summer lip product post (link above).

2. Summer nail polish:
We started climbing again, so polish doesn't last very long and I'm loathe to paint them that often. But some of my recent picks for tips and toes are (below, L-R) Chanel Taboo, Dior Blossom, Cirque Stella, Sephora Formula X Incandescent, MAC Soirée (gifted), Zoya Trixie. I'm kind of all over the place with polish, usually - not as seasonal. But I guess there's a trend in these.
Sorry for the shoddy lighting. I'm still figuring out this place. There isn't a great spot for FOTDs, unfortunately.

3. Summer blush:
I haven't been getting along with blush lately, actually. My skin's been extra dry and blotchy since we've moved, due to the outrageous heat and dry air, air conditioning everywhere, and recent bouts of allergies caused by all of the that nonsense. I do need some color in my face, but I haven't been happy with the colors I've picked, most days. I actually haven't been happy with my makeup in general. Mostly I've just been picking up bronzer, pretending I know how to apply it, and calling it a day. Oh, and highlighter!
Clockwise from top left: Armani Sun Fabric 400, MAC Whisper of Gilt, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (Sephora perk), Sephora Sculpting Disc (gifted <3).

4. Favorite summer Frappucino from Starbucks:
I don't really drink these. I believe they still have HFCS in their fraps (though they've eliminated it from their food) and HFCS leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. I like iced caramel macchiatos, though, but I haven't been by in a while.

5. Favorite fake tan:
I don't fake tan. Or real tan.

6. Favorite summer song:
It's not new, but I recently discovered Laurel, and I can't get enough of her. Check out Firebreather. So good!
7. Favorite summer accessory:
My cheap Target hat. It's fun! I want a new pair of Ray-ban aviators, though.
Also, this oil is helping my hair from fluffing up in the dry climate.

8. Summer fragrance:
Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum! Also, because I like to rotate through perfumes frequently, Sweet Anthem Lucille (linden blossom!), Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (which doesn't last at all on me, but is a refreshing burst of fresh orange peel for the first ten minutes or so - sheesh), Sweet Anthem Lizie (tomato leaf and neroli! This is one of my favorite summer perfumes - I reach for it every year), Jo Malone Vanilla Anise.

9. Summer book:
I wasn't reading for a while and then I marathoned through a few books. Nothing spectacular enough to mention. However, I am rereading Sabriel!
10. What are you most excited to do this summer?
Well, we moved, and that was a big thing. I miss Seattle, but we're getting used to the new place and exploring and such. I really want to get a job, though. There are a few prospects and I'll keep you posted if anything exciting happens. In the meantime, I'm teaching myself (or attempting to teach myself) C++ and also brushing up on my French. And watching The Legend of Korra, and knitting, and trying to make the dogs become friends. And baking. And playing Hay Day (omg, why). We also joined a gym with a climbing wall and some pools, and they also offer cardio/strength group classes, which I've been trying out. I have a few fitness goals for myself, and few things beat the sense of accomplishment I have when I'm dripping with sweat at the end of a cardio-intensive class, or after a tough lifting session. Overall, forced vacation isn't so bad, but I miss working. Of course, once I get a job I'll probably miss vacation, but such is life.

How's your summer going? Did you do the tag? Feel free to answer the questions in the comments or do your own post and let me know!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

You Need This Budget-Friendly Beauty: Maybelline Vivid Rose

[Product was purchased by me. * was a gift from a friend and ** was part of a Sephora VIB perk.]
Wearing Maybelline Colorsensational Vivid Rose. Apologies for the lighting - still trying to figure out the new place.
I've seen this lipstick as low as $5.59 at various retailers (regular price), and drugstore items often go on sale, so this is really a steal. This is a Maybelline Colorsensational lipstick and part of the "Vivids" line; it is one of two that I purchased (the other is Electric Orange, which I will review at some point).
I saw it appear more coral on other bloggers, but it's definitely a bright, cool fuchsia on me, and I absolutely love it. It's more of a "jelly" lipstick-balm type finish than a cream finish, which is what I prefer. It's a little heavier on the lips than say, Dior Addict Extreme Lucky, but the texture feels surprisingly similar - these Vivids are good.
L-R: Maybelline Vivid Rose, Dior Addict Extreme Lucky*, NARS Carthage, Marcelle Cleopatra, Dior Addict Diorkiss**. Vivid Rose is glossier and less white-based than NARS Carthage (which is a Pure Matte), more opaque than either Dior, and brighter and more blue than Marcelle Cleopatra.

It has a faint vanilla scent - but it's more dessert-esque than the MAC "vanilla" (which I really kind of dislike, to be honest) and not long lasting; I can't detect any taste. The color lasts a few hours (and I drink a lot of water) and never dries out my lips.
Other makeup: Estee Lauder BB Glow 02 Intensity, Sonia Kashuk illuminator, Senna Cosmetics Très Jolie*, Armani Sun Fabric Bronzer in 400, MAC Spiked, Shiseido Beach GrassLaura Mercier AmethystShu Uemura Calligraphy Ink, Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach.
I also like to wear it over a light layer of balm (like Epic Blend) for a juice-stained look. It's pretty much perfect, and costs less than lunch. If you want to dabble in brights (I wasn't so sure about blast-in-your-face-neon-fuchsia, myself), this is a great way to explore - the formula is stellar, especially for something under $10.