Monday, April 29, 2013

Blue Lipstick

I was wearing a blue, black, and white floral dress yesterday, which I matched my eyeshadow to (Inglot 428 on the outer half, theBalm Stubborn on my lid, theBalm Sassy patted on the center, Inglot 352 above crease). The boy suggested I wear blue lipstick as well, which of course inspired us to go looking for blue lipstick looks. Our favorites were all darker, richer blues rather than lighter, brighter ones, in particular:

Not something I would necessarily want to wear, but I have to say I do find them very interesting! Now I kind of wish I had occasion to wear something so unorthodox...

What do you think of blue lipstick?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sweet Anthem Perfumes Mini-Reviews, Part II

I ordered a new camera, and even sprung for a pretty nice one––it's only money, right? I figured it might be nice having one that can take legitimately good pictures when I'm in Europe this summer. Once it arrives, I will get to swatchin'! For now, have some perfume reviews, which need no photographs.

Sylvia (cedarwood, champagne, mistletoe, osmanthus, tuberose): "Champagne" is a very apt note to include in the list, as Sylvia just tickles the nose. She's floral and aldehydey, but unlike many aldehydes, she's not sharp or forceful––the champagne just adds fizz and happiness to the delicate floral base. It's really fun and pretty, and perfect for spring.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sleek Original i-Divine Palette Review and Swatches

At some point in the last couple years (which was the last time I'd checked, ha), Sleek Makeup of the UK changed their shipping prices such that they're now insanely affordable for us here in the US, so I decided to order from them after finishing last term's finals. (Does anyone else find that stress –> makeup explosion? The past few weeks have definitely attested to that reality in my life, ha.) I wanted a ton of stuff, but managed to restrain myself to just this one palette, as I was wanting an injection of color into my eyeshadow collection. And color, this provides!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm Just a Barrel of Laughs

You know how some weeks are just bad? Things go wrong, you feel off balance, you're stressed and unhappy. This has been one of those weeks.

I'm waiting to hear back about my second year review (turned in my personal statement and writing sample last Monday) and whether I'll be allowed to continue in my doctoral program, which is no small amount of stress. On top of that, I've learned that the Swarthmore administration lied to my face (and to my email, which is great for me but pretty damning for them) about the consequences of my filing a sexual assault case against my ex-boyfriend. They never had any intention of actually following through with the agreements I made with them, and needless to say, I am none too happy about it. ("My belly is a pit of rage" would more accurate, but I'm trying not to succumb to excessive emotion that isn't productive.) Other students are in the process of filing Clery Act and Title IX violations against the college, and I have contributed my story to the pile. I don't know if anything will come of it, and it's obviously far too late for me, but I hope that future students will not have to go through the pain (both in terms of assault, and in terms of dealings with the administration) that I have.

The thing that brought me to tears, though? Was dropping my camera when I was about to take some swatch pictures earlier today. It broke. I don't know if it can be fixed. It's an opportunity to spring for an even nicer camera, but it was definitely not what I needed today (not least because it's not even a year old!). So you'll have to wait awhile longer for the ~20 Meow Cosmetics blush and Cat Glow powder swatches I have planned (and also EOTD, FOTD, more 30 Days, and pretty much anything of interest). I'm sorry.

I'm going to go drink some tea (ordered some more Adagio samples for spring, and so far, they're delightful!), study some Turkish (color coded flashcards = teh best thing evar), and try to learn R (programming scares me). And breathe. And maybe paint my nails, even though I don't have the time for it, because fuck it: I deserve sparkles.

How are you doing?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet Anthem Perfumes Mini Reviews

Larie gave me a bunch of perfume samples when I met up with her, and I've slowly been making my way through them. Today, here are my thoughts on a few from Sweet Anthem, a Seattle "micro-perfumery". Many of them are no longer available, but I hope my notes give you an idea of what to expect (spoiler alert: high quality, lovely scents).

Lucille (amber, jasmine, linden blossom, rosewood, sea salt, tonka bean): Though nothing particularly sweet is listed (save tonka bean, and even that isn't sweet so much as vanillic), I swear there's some fruit in this. Fortunately, it's balanced and light and very pretty. The linden blossom comes through nicely, giving it a very springy air, and though I can't smell the amber, it must be there to help anchor the scent because it manages to wear for several hours. Happily, this one is still available! If you're wanting something springy, you should absolutely give it a go.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation in Ivory 805 Review and Swatches

The product in this review was provided by Ladies' Home Journal as part of the Beauty Ambassadors program. I am not being paid to review this, and I am quite sure they do not know I have a blog, but I figured since I got it (and gave them my opinion already), I should review it! I am in no way affiliated with CoverGirl, nor am I being paid to review this (duh). No links herein are affiliate links, blah blah blah. (Okay, FTC, are you happy?)

With that disclaimer out of the way, let me get to the review! I chose to receive this in the lightest shade, Ivory 805, and was frankly expecting it to be a disaster. They claim it is an "all-in-one foundation with a long-lasting formula that fuses primer, concealer, and foundation in one easy step!" and that it "provides a flawless look that lasts all day long". I used a CoverGirl foundation many years ago and it was not the greatest, and this one makes so many claims that I prepared myself to be underwhelmed on all counts. I was wrong! Though it's still not the foundation for me.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

30 Days: Day 20

Have you entered the giveaway?! 9 subscriptions, currently only 7 people entered...your chances are good ;) Ends tomorrow!

Only 2 weeks into the term and I am as overwhelmed as during finals. It's gonna be a great quarter, y'all. I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to find wee bits of time for the blog, but I apologize if my posting becomes even more sporadic than usual! For now, though, here's the last of the lippies: the reds! Because I have so many reds. I don't know how that happened. Then again, looking at these swatches, it's coming back to me...

Lipstick Queen Thriller: Very similar in finish and feel to Cosmos (below), but slightly less glossy.
Lipstick Queen Cosmos: Probably my favorite gloss, both because of the color (such a pretty berry-red) and formula (not really very gloss-like at all!). Currently MIA, because I am terrible at keeping track of my things.
L'Oréal Endless Red: Intensely pigmented, shiny, and long-lasting. A true red, very showstopping, and not something I find myself reaching for very often because it's so bold. I love it no less for that!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quick Review: L'Oreal Color Caresse Shine Stain in Rose On and On

Hey! Have you entered the giveaway?

Picked up this rosy shade when they were on sale at Rite-Aid to complement the two brighter shades from the line that I already have.

The formula is the same as the others, though this one is sheerer and has shimmer in it so it's not as easily blotted (leaves shimmer behind). Wears really well, lasting 3 hours with no fading and even after eating leaves a pretty stain behind, and is a nice lippie for times when I want more than nude but less than plum. You can see it in action here.

Comparisons, left to right: Elizabeth Arden Rosy Shimmer 13, Clarins Coral Pink, L'Oreal Rose On and On, Revlon Sweet Tart, Guerlain Chamade  

If you're looking for a long-lasting, glossy, warm pink lippie and don't mind the strange slightly gummy texture, give Rose On and On a try. It's quite lovely! Grade: A-

How do you feel about pink? What do you think of this one?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

30 Days: Day 19

Today's lippies: the cool pinks and plums!
Left to right:

Revlon Colorstay Lip Liner in Plum: Got this to wear under Becca Berry Twist because I liked the red one so much. It's warm and brown-leaning, but not too warm for me. On its own, it's a little too dry and tugs, but it applies really nicely over blotted lip-balmed lips and lasts several hours. It also helps even out Berry Twist and extend the wear quite a bit, and is nice under Sugar Plum as well (makes it vampy and last longer).
Prestige Waterproof Lip Liner in Wine: Purchased for the same reason as the Revlon, but I got this one first. I like the shade, a cooler, pinker plum, and the formula is fine; I don't find it as creamy as the Revlon, but it wears well and is about as effective as the Revlon.
Shiseido Nymph: Every time I wear this, I'm reminded how much I like it. It's a lovely neutral rose that gives lips color without being the focus of a look, and the formula is very pleasant, moisturizing and somewhat long-lasting. I prefer the LMdB lip crème formula because Nymph gets a little sticky (on the upside, I never feel the urge to rub my lips together), but the color is gorgeous, and it's still one of the best formulas I've tried.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Not-Quite Related Giveaway!

I was recently (okay, not that recently, but I am perpetually behind the times) contacted by Zinio, an online newsstand with pretty much every magazine imaginable. They asked me if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway for 10 free subscriptions to any of their magazines, to which I said no duh, of course I would. (Okay, I didn't actually say that, because I can be professional! Sometimes.) Full disclosure: I get to keep one of the subscriptions. But that means there's 9 left for y'all! They recommended "women's" magazines, by which I mean Cosmo, Glamour, Lucky, Allure, etc., given the topic of this blog, but I prefer getting my beauty news and reviews from blogs (less airbrushing and advertising b.s.!), so I was thrilled to discover they have National Geographic, Smithsonian, and – be still my heart! – Consumer Reports, among many, many others.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who obsessively read Consumer Reports as a kid?

So here's the deal. Fill out the widget below before April 15 (tax day, ugh) for your chance to win 1 of 9 free digital magazine subscriptions. You can choose from any of the many (have I mentioned there's a ton of choices? THERE'S SO MANY CHOICES! 5500, they say, which is just insane) magazines they offer, and should you win, I'll send off your email and magazine to Zinio and then they'll send you your subscription information! These magazines can be read on tablets (I plan to read mine on my iPad), computers, or smartphones, online or offline, and they store any issues you've already read so that you can go back and revisit them. Now go! Check out their selection! And good luck :)
Fine print: Must be legal in country of residence (18+ in most of the US). Only one winner per email account, but you can complete all options for more entries and a correspondingly higher chance of winning. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

They also have other awesome monthly promotions; for example, through April 16, they have 50% off 50 titles in honor of Earth Day, and their promotions change pretty frequently so it's worth checking their website every so often to see what's new and exciting!

Have you ever heard of Zinio? What are your favorite magazines?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Best Affordable Makeup Brushes, Updated!

This post was originally written in November of 2011, but I've learned a lot since then, and my brush collection has morphed and grown and been begging me to please, please share it with the world, so I figured I should update it (though L still deserves the credit for inspiring me to make it in the first place!). Needless to say, it's really long, even more so than before (and dear God I shudder to think how many hours I've put into it), but I've tried to organize it in such a way that you can find specific parts easily and skip what doesn't interest you. I'll be including reviews for the brushes in my collection under their respective categories, so keep an eye out for those.

Okay, crash course on why makeup brushes matter: Using quality tools to apply your makeup will ensure you get the most out of your products, or, put more accurately, using bad brushes will make even the nicest makeup look and behave like crap. Regardless of whether you use high- or low-end cosmetics, you want to get the most out of your collection, and good brushes are a vital part of that.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Manicure Monday

School starts again today (alas, 'tis no April Fool's joke), but I'm hoping to balance my time a little better this term than last. We'll see how it goes! I took advantage of the relative lack of work this weekend to attempt some nail art; after some false starts, I ended up deciding on a neon watermelon look.
Index, middle, and ring are two coats Wet N Wild Dreamy Poppy dotted with Wet N Wild Black Creme (using the Essence Dotting Tool), and thumb and pinkie are two coats Color Club Wild Cactus with Wet N Wild Caribbean Frost zig-zagged on. My left hand looks better than my right, but even doing it with my non-dominant hand didn't turn out too bad! It's very summery and bright.
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