Friday, June 29, 2012

Fragrance Friday

Friday, June 22
Afternoon: My Aedes order arrived, so I immediately tore it open and decided to transfer Amouage Memoir Woman (Chypre: cardamom, mandarin, pink pepper, wormwood, clove, incense, pepper, woods, jasmine, rose, white flowers, musk, labdanum, oak moss, styrax, leather), a leather animalic chypre, since it was rainy and overcast. Dabbed the vial on my arm, as usual. Deliciously spicy, complex, and a bit overwhelming. Intense absinthe top note backed by deep forest green and frankincense that wears down to a woody floral with some fruit, but really, far beyond my skills as a sniffer to describe (though I will say, I don't get the pickles that I usually smell in leather scents). I recommend you to reviews by The Muse in Wooden Shoes and Olfactoria (who loved it) and Angela of Now Smell This (who didn't).

Evening: Transferred Frédéric Malle Noir Epices (Oriental Spicy: orange, rose, geranium, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, sandalwood, patchouli, cedar), which was one of the scents that the FM people had recommended to me when I filled out their online form (the others were Musc Ravageur and Carnal Flower, both of which I already have). I'm not really sure what about my answers suggested this would be the scent for me, but it's way too dry for my taste. Reminds me a lot of Timbuktu in that respect, so I'll definitely hold on to it for times when I want something arid, but let's just say I shan't be needing a larger sample.

Night: Transferred Amouage Jubilation 25 (Oriental Floral: ylang-ylang, rose, tarragon, lemon, labdanum, amber, patchouli, musk, vetiver, incense, myrrh), which is a fruity chypre, supposedly. All I can smell is the tarragon, aka curry. I feel like I'm in an Indian restaurant. This is not a bad thing, per se; I love curry. I just don't know if I want to smell like it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Beauty Arsenal

I figured it might be helpful (for me as well as y'all) to have a readily-available list of the products in my collection, so I made a page for it: My Collection, under the header. I'll try to update it at least once a month––hopefully more often than that, but given my scatterbrained-ness, that may be expecting too much.

Also, I have a new camera and it looks like it may finally get sunny around these parts, so you can expect a deluge of posts in the next few weeks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beauty "Duh!" Moments

Do you ever have moments where you realize there's a much better way to do something than the way you've been doing it? Good Lord I hope so, because I have them pretty often. I've had a couple of beauty-related ones recently that I thought I should share, and hopefully get further ideas from y'all!

I used to layer my Cover FX primer over my sunscreen, under my foundation. One day I was in a hurry and didn't want to wait for the various layers to all dry, so I decided to combine the primer and foundation steps, and wow. So much better! Not only does it save on time (only one step rather than two), but it also saves on product––I find I use a lot less primer, and a fair amount less foundation, when I blend them together (in my palm, and then apply with fingers), without sacrificing coverage! The primer makes the foundation just glide over my face, and keeps me just as shine-free as when I layered them. I find it works better with my Revlon ColorStay foundation rather than my MAC Matchmaster, perhaps because the former is thinner and creamier so it mixes better (the latter also works so well on its own that I hardly need primer). But moral of the story: Primer and foundation are better together.

I've also found that using my Sephora smudge brush to apply brow powder is so much more effective than using an angled eyeshadow brush (too wide, product would go where I didn't want it to) or gel eyeliner brush (too thin, took too much time). The smudge brush is dense and pretty thin, so it's great at filling in my brows really quickly and easily, and the size makes it such that I can get pretty accurate placement. It wouldn't work if you're wanting to do fancy eyebrow shaping or anything, but if you're like me and just need to fill in and even out your brows, I definitely recommend trying a smudge brush!

What are your favorite beauty tricks? I'm all ears!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coast Meanderings

Last week I went to Bandon, a town on the southern Oregon coast, with my mother as an end-of-the-year vacation. It was lovely. Here, have some pictures and nattering! (This is really pic-heavy, natch.)

On our way down, we stopped at the Pancake Mill in Coos Bay, which has delicious foods (not just pancakes!), and got brunch. I neglected to take pictures (of most of the food we ate, whoops), but if you're ever in the Coos Bay area, you should stop by! Awesome link sausage. Then we stopped by Shore Acres, a gorgeous state park on the coast. It was originally owned by a lumber baron, and was donated to (or bought by? I'm not sure) the state after he died. It's got amazing views of the ocean, as well as some truly stunning gardens.


My beautiful mother :)

Me, in my movie star sunglasses and glamorous hat
(I didn't want to get sunburned! And yes, it worked)

More ocean!

They decorate everything with thousands of lights during the holidays, which is apparently quite the sight to behold. This time of year, there are oodles of blooms, though sadly we were past the time for tulips and rhododendrons, and some of the roses hadn't started blooming yet. I took too many pictures. Here are some of them:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fragrance Friday

I haven't felt much like writing this past week, especially earlier in the week, as I finally finished with finals and grading and frankly wanted nothing to do with yet more writing. So I haven't been keeping track of weather or anything, so this FF post is going to be rather less wordy than previous ones (though let's be honest, when am I ever "not" wordy?).

Saturday, June 16
Morning: I think it was sunny? I wore Frederic Malle Carnal Flower (Floral: bergamot, melon, eucalyptus, ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose, salicylates), because I knew I was just going to be grading finals at home and so didn't have to worry about offending anyone's olfaction with tuberose overload. It ended up being a little too rubbery for me; I wish there were a way to know how my skin would react with fragrance before I wear it, because it sucks to put something on that I usually love only to find myself wondering why it's not working. Ah well.

Evening: Had a neighborhood graduation party to go to, and it was nice and warm so I sprayed Dior Eau Sauvage (Citrus Aromatic: lemon, basil, bergamot, cumin, lavender, fruit, jasmine, rose, carnation, iris root, coriander, patchouli, sandalwood, oakmoss, vetiver, musk, amber). Seriously yum, and I am super pleased to have a full bottle!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

30 Days: Day 11

Hey, y'all! I'm writing this (note; the post itself was written awhile ago) from Bandon on the Oregon coast, a lovely little town. My mother and I came for a few days for a much-needed vacation, and so far it has been lovely. I've taken lots of pictures, but unfortunately forgot to bring my camera cord, so a full post will have to wait until I get home, at which point I will also catch up on comments and other blogs. Until then, though, have another 30 Days!

Show us your lippie collection! (Where "lippie" includes anything tinted you wear on lips, because I forgot to include lip balm and am too lazy to take more pictures.)

Full-coverage lipsticks: L'Oréal Infallible Le Rouge in Bold Bordeaux, Sephora Rouge Cream in Sexy Game, Clinique High Impact Lip Color in After Party
I rarely wear any of these, because I tend to not go for opaque lipstick, since I find it to be much less forgiving. I absolutely loathe the L'Oréal lipstick, and will post my scathing review once I take some more swatch pictures (the ones I have right now are after I fiddled with it for awhile to try and make it work, which is not as accurate a portrayal as I would like). The Sephora lipstick is a pretty color, it's just, again, really opaque, and I may throw it out. The Clinique is also very dark and vampy, but I find I can apply it sheerly when I want, and it was my first department store beauty purchase, so I'll hold onto it for sentimentality's sake if nothing else!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Illamasqua Matte Blush in Tweak Review and Swatches

I managed to acquire 3 new blushes last month, and this was the first. I'd been wanting to try an Illamasqua blush after swatching them in Sephora in New York and being bowled over by how soft and pigmented they are, and after seeing Tweak on Beauty Obsessed, a lemming was born. The approach of summer and perceived need for a loud, punchy blush led to the purchase of this bright red-pink blush.
Illamasqua Tweak, in sunlight (left) and under my magnifying lamp (right); the latter is a much more accurate representation of the hue and depth

Friday, June 15, 2012


Okay sort of. I am finished with my own work. But I still have 75 finals to grade. WHATEVER. I still went out and got kind of drunk (maybe more than kind of?) off of cider and shots. And maybe some stolen PBR. (Stolen from another grad student, not from the bar. Geez, people, give me some credit.)

BUT HI GUYS! I ate some beans and cheese and crispy burritos, and now I am eating some fresh strawberry pie with whipped cream, and my stomach is very happy. Also, my boyfriend (GUYS I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!) is coming back from Canada tonight and maybe he will help me eat my pie. It was a big piece of pie, ok?

I am definitely going to place a Surrender to Chance order, even though Mint will send me an angry email saying "you exceeded your Personal Care budget!", but I don't care because I SURVIVED MY FIRST YEAR AS A PHD STUDENT. Also, I have a job this summer! Teaching English! Making bank! So I don't have to stress about money so much. I'll provide more details in my monthly summary post. Which is somehow only 2 weeks away??? ALSO GUYS I HAVE THE HICCUPS. It's not great. So um, what's new with you?

I'm going to now go research floral perfumes, because I feel like I should have more floral perfumes in my collection, even though I don't really like floral perfumes. Ummmm that is a lot of "floral perfumes". ANYWAYS.

HI! What's new?

Fragrance Friday

Friday, June 8
Morning: My last class of the term! A 9 o'clock discussion class, ugh. I was exhausted and didn't want to bother taking a shower (as is often the case on Fridays, since I only have [HAD! whoaaaa] the one class in the morning and like[d] to come home and nap after), so I just sprayed SL Féminité du Bois (Oriental Woody: cedar, musk, vanilla, rose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, peach) down my sweatshirt and called it good. Warm, woody, cozy, which was perfect for the yucky grey weather we're still having.

Afternoon: Took a 4+ hour nap, then showered and made myself pretty, and sprayed vintage Guerlain Vol de Nuit (Woody: bergamot, galbanum, petit grain, jasmine, daffodil, spices, woods, iris, vanilla, amber) edt on my arm and down my shirt. It's a lovely classical oriental, woodier and dryer than Shalimar, but with the same Guerlinade base. Very galbanum-heavy opening, which I dislike, but that wears away pretty quickly and turns into an elegant green-tinged oriental with a rich oakmoss base. Sillage isn't amazing, but I also didn't spray on very much. I would definitely consider getting a larger decant of this. Also decided to burn Pacifica Mexican Cocoa again, because the weather was just begging for something gourmand, and trying to make sense of serial verb constructions necessitated as much olfactory assistance as possible.

Night: Decided to try spraying Parfums de Nicolaï Number One (Floral: jasmine, neroli, tuberose, rose, iris, black currant) before bed, only to discover that oh my god you guys I hate it so much. It smelled floral, yes, but also horrifically, stomach-turningly rotten. It actually made me want to gag, and it was only thanks to the protective barrier of my sheets that I was able to not have to get up and wash it off. Also, I sprayed Balenciaga Paris L'Essence (Floral Green: vetiver, patchouli, violet, violet leaf, green notes, sandalwood, cedar) on my arm so that I would have something pleasant (albeit boring) to smell.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 Days: Day 10

Yep, another 30 Days! Look at me go...

What's your favorite drugstore brand?
I really have two:

Wet N Wild wins for nail polish and eyeshadow, and for being so cheap.

Revlon wins for foundation and lip products; their lip butters are great, I don't mind their Colorburst lip gloss (which is high praise, coming from me), and their Ivory 110 foundation is light enough for me in the winter! They also have some great nail polish colors, but they're more expensive than WNW.

Honorable mentions: Maybelline for cream eyeshadow (Color Tattoo), CoverGirl for powder blush (Cheekers), L'Oreal for eyeshadow (Infallible, which have truly gorgeous colors, though they don't wear as well on me as they do on others), Prestige for eyeliner (Total Intensity ftw!), and Physicians Formula for bronzers and highlighters (though they don't come cheap).

What are your favorite drugstore brands?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart Review and Swatches

Happy Monday of finals week, everybody! (Okay, everybody at the UO and/or other universities on a quarter system.) Only 1 week until I am done with all responsibilities for the term (only 4 days until my own work has to be done, OH GOD), 8 days until I leave for vacation with my mother, and 11 days until I can give the blog the attention it deserves! Until then, I have some brief review-y posts scheduled. I'll see y'all on the other side...

I've been wanting a pretty warm pink lippie for the summer, and had initially thought that Chamade would fill that hole, but that ended up being more tangerine than I was expecting (not that this is a bad thing!). Luckily, along came a 40% off sale on Revlon, and I picked up yet another lip butter, this time in Sweet Tart, a lovely warm pink cream.
Revlon Sweet Tart (yes, I used it before I photographed it, I'm sorry!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fragrance Friday

I've been inspired by the Muse in Wooden Shoes' Scent Diary, and have decided that it may be a suitable compromise for Fragrance Friday: I can talk about perfumes, but I don't have to worry about writing a Real Review for which I am wildly unqualified. Let me know what you think! I'm happy to adjust as is appropriate.

Friday, June 1
Morning: Overcast but warm and humid, my least favorite kind of weather. Transferred Bond No. 9 Washington Square (Floral Woody Musk: rose [um, if you say so], tarragon, leather, vetiver) into a spray vial; dabbed the emptied vial onto my arm and spritzed once down my cleavage. I quite dislike the opening, though it's better dabbed than sprayed; it smells a lot like bug spray, and if I had Clinique Aromatics Elixir, I would compare them. It gets a lot better after ~half an hour, though, and turns into a "floral woody musk" with awesome longevity, managing to survive my sweatiness.

Evening: Finally started raining and cooled down some. Took a shower post-nap, because I felt gross and sticky. Sprayed Guerlain Nahéma (Oriental Floral: rose, peach, bergamot, green, aldehyde, hyacinth, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, vanilla, passion flower, Peru balsam, vetiver, sandalwood) down my shirt twice (equivalent of one big spray) to wear out to BFL; smells like "virtual rose" (LT, in Perfumes: The Guide), but I apparently do not want to smell like rose, virtual or otherwise. It's fine, it's just not love. Good sillage and longevity, though.

Saturday, June 2
Morning: Cooler and still overcast, had been raining; sprayed Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle (Floral: jasmine, orange blossom [blessedly absent to my nose], hyacinth, tuberose, nutmeg, clove, styrax, musk, vanilla) down my shirt. Really unpleasant opening that reminds me of L'Heure Bleue (camphor and menthol galore), but after half an hour the tuberose starts to come out to play. Remains somewhat icy, which makes it nice for cool, damp weather, but the tuberose keeps it from being unfriendly (unlike Après l'Ondée, which is an ice queen through-and-through). Weather ended up warming up and the sun came out, and TC remained lovely. Great sillage.

Evening: Wasn't really feeling any of my perfumes, so decided to burn a Pacifica candle instead (Mexican Cocoa [Oriental Spicy: nutmeg, cinnamon, almond, vanilla, mexican chocolate], a chocolate-y, warm oriental). I think the soy candles release more scent than the votives, but it still made my office smell nice. Took MM's advice and picked up a $1 long-handled lighter at the Dollar Tree, which means I can now light candles with impunity! (I am very afraid of fire.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zoya Reva Review and Swatches

I was going to include this in my random polish spam post, but ended up deciding it was worth writing a full review of. This polish is awesome, y'all.
Zoya Reva
Reva is a cool red with duochrome gold-to-magenta foil (which I totally wasn't expecting, and which just goes to show why I love Zoya polishes!). It's so rich and glowy! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Random Polish Spam

I am just about drowning in work right now, so I'm doing a cop-out post: Nail polishes that I'm too lazy to write individual reviews of! With my thoughts, if you can call them that...
China Glaze Grape Juice
Pretty purple foil. It's much warmer than it looks here, but purples make my camera freak out. I think this was 2 coats? Might have been 3, but the formula was good. Good wear, too. I ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would, because the foil is mostly silver with less pink than I was hoping for, but it's still a very pretty color.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's This? Why, Another Non-Post! This Time, Co-Authored by You!

I'm super-busy with end of term "fun" (there is not enough sarcasm in the world to negate the need for those quotes), but I promised a quick recap of the giveaway comments, and it's short enough that I can call it a study break! (Okay, it actually ended up taking me, like, 40 minutes to write this up. Whoops.)

Suggestions for products I should try:
MAC Paint Pots (I'll try these out once my TFSI runs out! So, like, in a year.)
Powder deodorants (I didn't even know this was a thing?)
Lancome Erika F eyeshadow, the "holy grail easter bunny of taupe" (assuming I can get my hands on it, wily little Asia exclusive)
ProStrong Nail Care (if the whole biotin thing doesn't work out, I'll definitely have to hunt this down)
Shiseido products
Something with shea butter
Sephora Collection foundation

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fragrance Friday: The Perfume Profile Post

I figured it was time to have a sticky post (or in Blogger's nomenclature, page) on perfume. I won't list my full perfume collection with my notes there (for that, see my spreadsheet, which is now color-coded by how much I like it and how much it costs, OCD ftw), but I will provide a run-down of things I like and dislike so you have an idea what my scent profile is, as well as information on where to buy perfume samples and vials. It's at the top of the page, under the tab titled Perfume Profile. And no, I definitely did not spend an hour and a half typing it up last night instead of grading essays, stop asking me these questions!
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