Monday, October 31, 2011

Philosophy 3-in-1 Shower Gels on Sale at Nordstrom (with free shipping, as always!)

Thanks to Musings of a Muse for this tip:
6 oz bottles of Philosophy shower gel are available at Nordstrom for $7.50 each, 2/$12, or 3/$15, in these scents:

Sugar Plum Frost
Ginger Berry Frost
Fresh Vanilla Frost
Peppermint Bark
Holiday Lights Aglow
Twinkle Berry
Brown Butter Cookie
Christmas Cookie
Snow Angel
Peace on Earth
Senorita Margarita
Vanilla Birthday Cake
Cinnamon Buns
Raspberry Sorbet
Hot Buttered Rum

Shipping is free (always! as are returns), and this is a great way to try out their shower gels if you haven't, or pick up some new ones to try (especially since, if you order 3, they're cheaper per ounce than the full sized ones!). I've only used their Vanilla Birthday Cake, since I got it for free from Sephora, and while I'm not completely cuckoo crazy for it, I do like it (and it's lasted a long time). It's running low now and I've been planning to get some new shower gels anyways, so this sale came along at the perfect time! I ordered Holiday Lights Aglow (citrus and evergreen), Peace on Earth (orchids), and Cinnamon Buns, based solely on what I thought sounded best from the descriptions, so we'll have to see if I like them as much in actuality.

Will you pick up any? Are you a fan of Philosophy shower gels?

P.S. Also this is my 200th post!  We'll say those shower gels are a gift to myself for making it this far :-)  Thank you all so much for reading and commenting; this blog would be pointless if not for you!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coming Up on Beyond Just Beauty

I'm sorry for the relative paucity of posts recently; I've been battling a very tenacious cold for the past week, and haven't had the energy to do much besides class and sleep.  Even eating lost its appeal, and regular readers of my blog (and those who know me personally) know that me losing my appetite is a sign of the apocalypse!  I'm finally feeling better, though my voice is a pretty good approximation of Darth Vader's, but the boy is visiting until tomorrow and school is getting busier and busier, so posting will be continue to be sporadic.

I received my Sephora order (finally! Curse you, West Coast shipping time), and once we get some decent weather I'll take pictures and swatches of all those.  Besides that, I've got a lot of new polishes, and I'm hoping to do a round-up post on all my makeup brushes with tips for how to find good quality, affordable brushes, and further posts in the Winter Skincare series are also in the works.  I haven't forgotten about you, don't worry!

How have you been lately?  Have you succumbed to the first cold of the season?  Have you gotten your Sephora F&F order yet?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wet N Wild Fast Dry Nail Polish in Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire Review and Swatches

Oh, Wet N Wild, why do you insist on such terrible puns?  This is better than Hannah Pinktana, but that's not saying much.  BWtbaM (wow, that's not a helpful abbreviation...we're just gonna call it "Blue" from now on, mk?) is basically Hannah, but blue: a sheer lightly holographic polish with itsy bitsy glitters.
Blue in sunlight

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Bond No. 9 West Side Review and Pictures

After trying Bond No. 9's Andy Warhol Lexington Ave. thanks to a friend, I was hooked.  Yes, the perfumes are obscenely expensive, and the scent-associated-with-a-New-York-neighborhood/landmark theme is a little kitschy, but after discovering that there are 0.057 oz vials of perfume on eBay for ~$6, I can discount the first issue (and I personally like the themed perfumes!).  After many hours of research and reading too many reviews (there may have been a spreadsheet or two, no judging), I decided to order West Side.
Image from Bond No. 9
Bond's description of West Side is full of fluff and sparse on content: "a melodious full-bodied coloratura perfume, with dark-light, high-low, sweet-sharp floral and woody notes".  That's great, guys, thanks for nothing.  They list the notes, though, which is more helpful; rose, ylang ylang, peony, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, and musk are all in the perfume, which I thought sounded nice for colder weather.  Users on Fragrantica and Basenotes classify it is a (floral) oriental, and give overwhelmingly positive reviews, which is another reason I chose to try this one first.  Herewith, my thoughts (and some rambling other information):

Tarte Lip Service Limited Edition LipSurgence Collection Review and Swatches

Here's the long-awaited (can you hear the sarcasm?) full post on the LE Tarte LipSurgence collection, available now at Sephora and  I've been pretty much wearing these non-stop since I got them so that I could get this review up before it sells out on Sephora again, but I also wanted to be sure to give as thorough and accurate a review as possible.  I think this is a happy medium!  For arm swatches and my initial thoughts, see here.

Left to right: Glitzy, Perky, Flashy, Swank, Dazzled

Three of these are Lusters and have shimmer, and two are sparkle-free tints.  I found that, overall, the lusters felt a little gritty from the shimmer, but they also seemed to stay moist on my lips for longer than the tints, which were not gritty, but lost their slip within half an hour.  The tints leave behind a lovely stain of color when they wear off, while the lusters last an hour+ (depending on the pigmentation) but leave behind less of a stain and a sprinkling of glitter.

They all have a very slight peppermint smell/taste, which gives the tiniest bit of tingliness when applied, but it's very mild.  They supposedly increase moisture by 6000%, which is just so ridiculous I can't even say.  They are moisturizing, definitely, more so than Clinique Chubby Sticks, but I do still rely on my Jack Black after a day of wearing these.  I'd initially thought their texture was softer than Clinique's, but I think that's only true for Perky, the light pink tint, as it seems to be softer than the others (and is also looser in its casing, so it has smooshed against the side of the tube a bit); I wish I could compare them, but, alas, I lost the Clinique one.  The texture is balmy, but firm, so there's no wasted product.  Overall, I would describe them as a glossy staining tinted balm, which is a mouthful, but I really think that covers all the pieces.

Pictures and descriptions of each shade:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recommendation Thursday: Winter Skincare, Lips Edition

For a more thorough explanation of how to keep your lips happy through winter, see the TT post here.

I'll talk about lip balm first; I have a lot of personal knowledge of balms, so most of the products recommended here have been tried and tested by me, as the notes accompanying most of them will attest. I also included a few that are very popular and well-liked but that I haven't tried myself, because I am nothing if not thorough!  A note before I continue: all of the lip balms discussed below are highly rated on MUA (minimum lippies of 4/5, minimum buy-again of 75%), so you'll notice several popular products that aren't included (many Burt's Bees items, for example).  I have given notes on those that I have tried, and some of them I really disliked, but since the general consensus is contrary to my experience, I figured it was still okay to include them in a recommendations list.  And, as always, your own suggestions are very much appreciated!

Lip Balms with SPF (because your lips can get burnt, too!)

Image from Sephora
Jack Black Lip Balm SPF 25 is HG for me (and Christine from Temptalia, who is the one who inspired me to give it a try).  It comes in several scent variations, and all except the Natural Mint are flavorless and free of any ingredients that induce tingliness and possible irritation.  My favorite is Grapefruit and Ginger, though I've yet to try the Black Tea and Blackberry (but I included it in my Sephora F&F order, whee!).  Lemon and Chamomile was too sweet-smelling for me, though I've used it nightly for close to 6 months (can't let it go to waste!), and the Lavender and Vanilla scent is actually quite masculine to my nose.  It's $7.50 for 0.25 oz, but, as mentioned above, it lasts a very long time, and it is intensely moisturizing and stays on a long time as well as leaving lips soft and healed once it wears off.  Also: there's a set of 4 out for the holidays, including Natural Mint, Lemon and Chamomile, and two new varieties, Mango and Mandarin and Shea Butter and Vitamin E, and if you buy it during F&F, it's $20 for 4 balms, or $5 apiece, which is 33% less than they are individually!  The two new scents are exclusive to the set, though I suspect they release individuals of them once the holidays are over, as that's what happened with Black Tea and Blackberry and Grapefruit and Ginger.  So if you're wanting to give it a try, the set's a great way to acquaint yourself with the brand!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sephora Friends & Family is ON!

Go here for your personal 20% off code, good for one purchase between now and November 2!

Let me know what you haul!

NYX Girls Nail Polish in Spot Light Review and Swatches (WARNING: SO UNBELIEVABLY PIC HEAVY IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY)

This is the last thing I picked up when I was in New York and had access to NYX makeup.  It was $1.50, and it looked so awesome in the bottle that I couldn't resist getting it (didn't even really try, honestly).  It looked like a rainbow-filled glittery miasma of glory.  I'm happy to report it looks just as awesome on my nails.  Like, I'm planning on wearing it indefinitely because it's just so awesome.  Bored in class?  Just look at my nails.  Feeling stressed?  Check out how my nails sparkle!  Feeling sad?  But my polish changes colors!  Seriously, unbelievably awesome.  Possibly the best purchase I have ever made (excepting food, of course).  I wore it over Sonia Kashuk Blank Slate (which I'll be reviewing soon); the first day with just one coat of glitter, and the second day I added another.  I liked it best with 2 coats, because the level of sparkly glowage was just unbelievable, but 1 coat was plenty to see the effect, and less gaudy for those sensitive to such things.  Now then, brace yourselves for a deluge of pics (and enlarge them for a better view of the sparkle!)...
Bottle in the sunlight, out of focus to show the crazy sparklies

And even in focus you can see how shiny it is!

The only shot I managed to get of it in the sunlight, when I stuck my hand out of the window in my office during a brief window (bahaha) of sunshine

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tip Tuesday: Winter Skincare, Lips Edition

Up first in my as-yet-undeterminedly-long Winter Skincare series is How to Keep Your Lips Happy When the Temperature and Humidity Drops and They Start Wanting to Fall Off Your Face, or "Lips Edition" for short.  As it gets colder and drier (in most parts of the country, at least; here in the Pacific Northwest we get to look forward to near-constant rain, but that's neither here nor there), your skin and hair lose moisture and can get cracked, dry, itchy, scaly, and/or grouchy.  The first thing to go for me is my lips, hence why I'm discussing it first (that, and because I don't really have to do any research for it!).

You want to have a good lip balm, for starters.  This can be anything from Vaseline to ... whatever the opposite of Vaseline is (Burt's Bees, maybe?), but it should protect your lips from the elements and feel good on.  In olden times, people would use axle grease or lard to treat chapped lips; fortunately, things have gone uphill since then.  Petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) and mineral oil are common ingredients, as are shea butter, beeswax, carnauba wax, and lanolin.  Many balms have ingredients that make lips tingly, which can definitely be fun, but those things actually irritate your lips further and leave you in worse shape than you started (generally speaking, at least; if the base is moisturizing enough, that effect is mitigated).  Menthol, which is used in Carmex and Blistex, among others, is a common culprit, along with camphor, clove oil, phenol, mint, and salicylic acid.  Ideally, you want to heal your lips, not just make them feel cool (pun intended), and especially in the wintertime, when they're prone to chapping anyways, finding a solid balm without tingly additives is key.

Lip balm with SPF is also recommended, especially if you live anywhere with snow and/or sun (though even those of us in dreary rainy states should wear SPF, too!), because your lips can get sunburned, too, and nobody thinks to put sunscreen on them (and, if they do, they soon realize that it feels disgusting).  Some people are sensitive to SPF ingredients, though, especially in higher concentrations, so be aware of that when trying balms out.  You can also use a different balm at night than you use during the day; I don't like carrying around a tube of Aquaphor with me, but it's extremely moisturizing and works great as an overnight treatment.

To help keep your lips from getting dry and scaly, you can make a homemade scrub from sugar, salt, honey, and/or various kinds of oil.  Mix a little in the palm of your hand and rub gently over your lips to exfoliate, then rinse it off and apply a nice rich lip balm immediately after.  Alternatively, you can brush over your lips with a soft-headed toothbrush in a gently circling motion for gentle exfoliation.

If you wear lipstick, try and stick to the more moisturizing varieties.  Many matte lipsticks can be drying, and put that with already-dry lips and you've got a recipe for flaky disaster.  A tinted balm works nicely, or layering lipstick over lip balm (this can cut down on wear time, but that's a small price to pay!).

What are your tips for keeping your lips in tip-top shape through winter?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tarte Lip Service Limited Edition LipSurgence Collection Sneak Peek

ETA: For a full review write-up and lip swatches, see here!

Last week, I ordered the LE Tarte LipSurgence collection from with a 20% off code (create an account, put stuff in your cart, and then leave it there for a few days, and they'll send you a code! Thank you, Retail Me Not) because it was sold out at Sephora and I didn't want to miss out on it.  It's back in stock, fortunately, so my review won't have to be a "what you can't have" type thing, but if you want it, I would snag it soon, since I'm sure with the start of Sephora's F&F sale (it begins this Thursday and runs through November 2nd, but order early if you want to ensure you get everything you want!) it'll go pretty fast.  Normally, a LipSurgence pencil is $24 for 0.10 oz, but you get 5 full-size pencils/lip sticks for $29 in this set.  And with 20% off, that's a mere $23.20, less than one regular pencil!  So, seriously, I couldn't afford not to get it.

It only just arrived today, and I immediately took some pictures and swatches so I could post them for your enjoyment, since I don't know exactly how long it'll take me to test and review them fully and wanted you to have some idea what the deal is if you're planning on buying it soon.  Anyways!  Here they are; I'll post a more thorough review with lip swatches and product break-down once I've had the chance to play around with them some.

In their pretty box, left to right: Glitzy, Perky, Flashy, Swank, Dazzled

1 swipe each, top to bottom: Swank, Perky, Dazzled, Flashy, Glitzy

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Swivel Stick Review

I suffer from perennially dry lips, and a nasty habit of rubbing my lips together, which together means I am somewhat of a connoisseur (wow, I spelled that right on the first try!  French is stupid.) of lip balms.  My HG is Jack Black lip balm in Grapefruit and Ginger, but as a beauty addict, I do stray from time to time to try others (especially because JB ain't cheap!).  A couple months ago I picked up a tube of Palmer's Cocoa Butter because I'd read so many gushing reviews on MUA that I knew I had to give it a try, and it as on sale, so I figured I could buy it and take it off my mental "to-buy" list (it gets crowded up in there!).  Herewith are my thoughts.
Image from Walgreens

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Summary

Happy Sunday!  I hope you've had a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend.  Today is apparently National Food Day, so I hope you have plans to eat especially well today :-)  My mother is making lamb korma for dinner tonight, so I'm pretty excited about that!

Some of the many posts from this week that caught my eye:
Getting Cheeky explains how to be ecologically-conscious in your disposal of old nail polish
Ebrushka's Makeup Bag shows us a great storage solution for lipsticks from the Container Store
Scrangie has swatches of the new Nails Inc magnetic polish in Houses of Parliament; it is so freakin' cool, you simply must go check out her post
Let Them Have Polish is doing the 31 day challenge for nail polish, and her day 5 blue nails are absolutely unbelievable––I don't know how anyone can be that precise on their nails, since I can't even manage to keep the polish from getting all over my fingers!
And then, a couple of non-beauty related posts:
The Doghouse Diaries captures how we all feel about coffee, and
Toothpaste for Dinner expresses how we all feel about Netflix raising their prices (while poking fun at us all, too!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skincare Saturday: Udderly Smooth Udder Cream Review

I was browsing the dollar store awhile ago looking for bins to store my nail polish in and, of course, stopped to look at the makeup and beauty section.  There wasn't any makeup that I had any interest in, but I did grab 20 black hair thingies (bands? ties? what are those things called?) and a tube of this Udder Cream.  I'd kind of vaguely heard of it before, though probably pre-my obsession with beauty blogs, and figured it was only a buck so why not?  I wanted to use it as an intensive hand cream in the hopes that it would fix my cuticles (cuticle oil works great, but it's messy and annoying and expensive).
Image from Amazon

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meow Wildcats in Puma and Snow Leopard Mini Review and Swatches

Wildcats are loose mineral powders intended to be used all over your body to add shimmer and shine.  I'm not really one to wear glitter anywhere beyond my eyes (and perhaps my cheeks for a special occasion), but I got these as free samples with past orders and thought I should at least share them with you!  They're very glittery and shimmery and festive, and seem like an amped-up Glow powder (which also comes in tinted forms, which I definitely need to check out), similar to Bobbi Brown Shimmerbricks.  Definitely not low-key or natural, but it's not intended to be!
Wildcats in Snow Leopard (left) and Puma (right); applied wet (top) and dry (bottom), in sunlight

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadow Swatches, Part II

I've gotten a few more samples of Meow eyeshadow (and some Wildcats, review and swatches to come!) since my first swatch post, so I should share them as well.  It was actually sunny yesterday, so I was able to take real pictures!  Wow!
In sunlight, top to bottom, wet (top) and dry (bottom): Claws and Effect, Chaos, Fannie F.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bloglove: Luxury Edition

It's been forever since I've rec'ed any blogs, and for that I apologize!  There are many, many high-end/luxury beauty blogs out there, but today I want to draw attention to three of the most prolific and popular.  I'm defining "luxury beauty blog" as being one that features exclusively high-end products, with a focus on brands like Le Métier de Beauté, Chantecaille, Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Guerlain, etc.  As in: brands that I will never be able to afford.  That doesn't stop me from drooling over the products, though!

Café Makeup is written by another Amy, and the products are modeled by Liz.  The pictures are phenomenal, and she often compares the products she's reviewing to other products in her collection.  Amy wrote a few months ago that she would be closing the blog down, but fortunately the blogging bug wasn't cured, so she's still posting, though somewhat less frequently.  Here's the recent post on the new Le Métier de Beauté Lip Cremes for this fall; doesn't it make you just die?

The Beauty Look Book, written by Lina, is a wealth of information on luxe brands.  She also takes gorgeous pictures, and usually does comparison swatches of the product she's reviewing next to other similar products in her collection.  She's not afraid to say when she feels a product falls short, and reviews mostly neutral-oriented products.  Here's a post on shimmery browns for fall, with beautiful swatches: yum.

Messy Wands, by Xiao, is one of the newer beauty blogs, and it is simply awesome.  She has product reviews with amazing swatches and pictures and incredibly helpful tutorials with, again, amazing pictures.  She's funny and smart and writes beautifully, and she always responds quickly and helpfully to comments (which I know because I have commented on her blog, because her posts are just so wonderful that I can't not!).  She's to blame for my wanting LMdB Lip Cremes (all of them, and for $36 a pop, even one is out of my price range, goldarnit; see here for her post on mixing them to create new shades, and then go and read all of the other LMdB Lip Creme posts!) and makes me wish I knew her in person so we could be best friends and she could teach me how to be beautiful.  Okay, yes, I have a beauty crush on her.  Once you read her blog, you'll see why!

Amy and Liz are both fair/light-skinned, while Lina and Xiao are Asian and somewhat darker, so you can compare swatches between them all to see how a product looks on different skintones.  And proceed to weep at how you're a grad student with loans and cannot justify a $47 lipstick...or maybe that's just me.  Regardless, the blogs are fantastic, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

What are your favorite luxury beauty blogs?  Have you read any of the ones above?  Do share!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Summary

It's that time again: a recap of the past week!  How was it for you?  I got more settled into the school routine, and got to know my fellow students a little more, which is definitely a good thing!  It's even been sunny off-and-on, so I was able to take some swatch pictures and frolic in the sunshine.

There were a lot of posts that I read this week and want to share, so sit back, relax, and click the linkies!

Jessica from Getting Cheeky wrote a summary post on lip balms (several months ago, but I only just discovered it), and it's very informative––now I have more lip balms I want to try!

Shawn, Christine from Temptalia's boyfriend and the tech guy behind the site, sporadically writes product review posts; this week, he reviewed the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth, which is a product I've been using for ages (close to a year now, I think!) but never gotten around to reviewing.  There's really no way I could improve on his review, so I probably won't even bother writing my own post on it, so go read his!  It's great.

As if that weren't enough awesomeness, Christine wrote a wonderful post on open letters to beauty companies.  Her notes are great, and reading the notes in the comments is really informative!

Another older post, but also very helpful, is loodie loodie loodie's post on how to make your own Zoya Remove+ nail polish remover (moisturizing and kinder to nails!)

Scrangie wrote a beautiful post on October being depression awareness month; as someone who has suffered from debilitating depression in the past, I'm so appreciative to her for getting the information out so that others who suffer may be able to realize there is help, and it does get better.  It's a great post to read, even if you don't yourself suffer from depression, because it has a lot of good information that you may be able to use to help someone else.  There's also a bunch of pictures of green nail polish, because green is the color of depression awareness (who knew?), and no matter how non-depressed you are, gorgeous swatches of various green polishes is guaranteed to make you even more non-depressed!

Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog swatched the new Bobbi Brown 1991 lip palette, but the real joy of the post is her list of "20 Things I've Done Since 1991".  It's funny, it's sad, it's sweet, and it reminds us all how wonderful life can be.

And on a completely non-beauty note, Toothpaste for Dinner did a comic on how to beat the Google targeted ad algorithm.  This might be why all my ads are beauty-related...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Skincare Saturday: Shaving Routine and Tend Skin Review

I was going to do a big shaving post, but I didn't get around to it before school started and now I know I won't have the time.  But N asked for info on what to do after shaving, so I figured I should at least do a review on Tend Skin and a quick run-down of my routine.
Image from Sephora

I've found that shaving cream or shave gel works way better for me than soap or body wash, so I definitely recommend buying some (it's less than a latte for a can of shaving cream or gel; I've used Gilette's shaving cream for sensitive skin [aimed at dudes, but worked fine for me] and Skintimate shave gel for women and liked both, so it's really a matter of preference).  I tend to use disposable razors, because my mom buys the 50 pack from Costco so it's effectively free to me, but non-disposables are better for more sensitive areas (bikini line, etc.) or if you have easily-irritated skin.  Men's razors are (almost?) always cheaper than women's, and I've found they actually tend to work better, so as long as you don't mind shaving with something that looks like it fell off a rocket ship, I think buying men's is the way to go.  There are usually coupons on razors and other shaving paraphernalia in the Sunday ads, so I suggest looking through those before purchasing anything, because you can save some money!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Juicy Couture Peace, Love & Juicy and Paco Rabanne Lady Million Mini Reviews

Fragrance Friday is back!  Sorry for the long wait between posts; I've been swamped with school starting and hadn't bothered to try any perfumes besides my usual.  I had some free time earlier this week, though, and no place to be, so I sprayed on some perfume and sniffed away.  The contenders: On the right arm, Juicy Couture Peace, Love & Juicy; it's hard to get past the fact that a company that sells $200 velour sweatsuits is trying to appeal to hippie types, but I'll do what I can.  On the left arm, Paco Rabanne Lady Million, which seems to be aimed at Kim Kardashian types.  Who will emerge triumphant?!
Juicy Couture Peace, Love & Juicy, Paco Rabanne Lady Million, images from Sephora

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because You Can Never Have Too Many Posts of Random Sh*t: Street Fair!

The title of this post pretty much sums it up!  There's a street fair on campus through tomorrow, and I paid it a visit today for lunch and to look for gifts for people.  Oodles of food, and even more craft booths.  I can definitely see the advantages of being at a big school in a legitimate college town (Swarthmore, this is a diss towards you, just fyi)!  This plus the (literally) hundreds of coupons I've received have got me pretty firmly in the "yeah, I like it here" camp.  It's even been sunny some today!  Sure, it was when I had class, but whatever.

Rice wok from 3 Forks, with various vegetables, peanut sauce, bean sprouts, and sesame seeds...nommmm

I tried to get a picture of the street, but there were so many people and I'm short so I wasn't able to get above the fray.

Ramblings and Pictures of Bunnies, Sorbet, and a Wallaby (not all at once, unfortunately)

It took forever for summer to arrive this year: mid-July was the first weather that could be considered "summery".  We all figured (or, perhaps more accurately, merely hoped) that it would mean that fall would take its time getting here.  No such luck :-(  It's been rainy off-and-on for the past few days, and it looks to continue for the foreseeable future.  Fingers crossed for an Indian summer in mid- or late-October!  I'm not ready to wear my rain jacket all the time (though it is cute, and it was only $18!  Yes, I purchased an item of clothing new, what the heck).  This means, in part, that I have less motivation to do bloggery stuff, because all I want to do is sit inside drinking tea and reading a novel (still The Brothers Karamazov), and the lack of sunshine makes taking good swatch pictures veeeeery challenging.  I do have a few things to review over the next couple of weeks, and I'll have a bunch of stuff after the Sephora Friends & Family sale (I. am. so. excited!), but, as I'm sure you've noticed, the blog has definitely slowed down!  As recompense, here are some pictures of animals, and one of food:

A wallaby!!  At a pet store where I got mealworms for "the boys" (as my mother calls Bandit and Tim, the sugar gliders; yes, I will work on getting you a video of both of them)

Bunny 1: she was cleaning herself by licking her paws and then rubbing them over her face/ears.  It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen, and I was literally hopping with excitement in the store (fortunately, no one else was there to see)

Bunny 2!  Very sedately nomming on greens.

Chocolate sorbet from Provisions by Marché.  That scoop was $1, and it was so rich and decadent that I couldn't even finish it.  Amazing, right?!

So how are things in your world?  Is the weather fallish for you yet?  Do you welcome the changing weather, or wish summer would hang around longer?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wet N Wild Fast Dry Polish in Waves of Enchantment (from the Mermaid's Cove Collection) Review and Swatches

I'd seen swatches of this polish at the beginning of the summer, but didn't see the limited edition collection anywhere in my area, so figured I would have to live without it.  When I was in DC, I happened to look at a completely non-makeup-related shelf in CVS, and was simply overjoyed to see a few bottles of various polishes from the Mermaid's Cove collection.  I ended up only buying one, Waves of Enchantment, because I knew I would have to fit anything I bought in my quart-size bag, and it was the only one that really caught my eye.
Waves of Enchantment; you can see the base color better in the left picture, but the right shows the gold shimmer and resulting peachiness better

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

theBalm and the Beautiful Palette at TJ Maxx

A few weeks ago I was browsing TJ Maxx (I needed new heels, but somehow found myself by the makeup...puzzling how that happens) and came across a few of the not-yet-released theBalm palettes.  These aren't supposed to come out until later this season, for the holidays, but there were several for sale (for around $17, I think?).  They contain the same products as are in the very LE Muppets palette (Cast Your Shadow), with different names, so if you weren't able to get your hands on that and wanted it, TJ Maxx is worth checking out!  And if you're not sure if you wanted the Muppets palette, here's Temptalia's review with swatches.  I passed on it because I knew I wouldn't get use out of most of the eyeshadows, but couldn't resist taking a picture!

On my most recent trip to TJ Maxx, they only had Shady Lady eyeshadow palettes and Overshadow loose shadows, so I didn't buy anything, though I'd been hoping they would still have Cabana Boy blush.  But alas, alack, alonder!  Hopefully it'll be restocked at some point...

What do you think of theBalm and the Beautiful/Cast Your Shadow?  Would you buy it?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meow Cosmetics Premier Puss Primer for Oily Skin Review

More Meow products, whee!  I just love that company.  I ordered several more samples during their anniversary sale (who can argue with 25% off and free shipping?), including this one, since I was running low on my Mattify! ULTRA and figured Meow's would be worth a shot.  It has only three ingredients: kaolin clay (great for absorbing oil), boron nitride (very low-friction and sticks well to skin, giving an airbrushed feel), and silk powder (also oil-absorbent, has some SPF properties, and is good for balancing skin), and, like all Meow products, is very finely milled.  Someday I might want to try formulating my own powder, but for now, the convenience and price of the Meow keep me happy.

It doesn't take much to cover my face with a fluffy brush, and even just wearing the primer powder helps soften my pores and even out my skin.  It's not quite as effective as my Mattify! at controlling oil, but it still lasts a good 6 hours before I get too shiny (an eternity in my world!), and it helps provide a nice surface for my Meow foundation.  In short: another Meow success!  They also make a primer for combination skin that has mica instead of kaolin, so if you have combo skin, it might be worth a try.
$1.00 for sample baggie, $14.25 for 4 g, available from Meow

Have you tried Meow's primer powders?  What did you think?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Summary

Another week has come and gone!  I hope y'all have had a nice weekend.  I spent mine catching up on some reading and sleep, and got to eat some cake.  And, writing this post :-)  Without further ado, here's the Sunday Summary!

Lipstick Musings, who is the queen of red, bold lipsticks, shows us that Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Intense lives up to its name
Front Row Beauty tells us about her makeup removing routine
Temptalia gives a summary of the beauty world's contributions to breast cancer awareness, along with some great places to donate
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