Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inaugural Birchbox: January

Yep, I finally took the plunge and signed up for Birchbox. I did it because I was feeling pretty content with my cosmetics collection, but still wanted to experiment some. Plus, I love getting packages! I've since found about 50 things I want to add to my stash (working on yet another Polyvore post about it, ha!), but I figure Birchbox will, at the very least, give me something to post about every month.
Clockwise from left: poster, Harvey Prince Skinny Chic, Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo, Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, theBalm Hot Mama

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Currently Coveting: Um, Everything, I Guess?

I lost my phone on Monday, so to make myself feel better I've been looking at pretty things that I want. (I'm holding out hope that someone will turn it in this week, but that's not terribly likely...fortunately, they'll give me an early upgrade, so I can still have a phone!)

Le Métier de Beauté Bauhaus Eye Kaleidoscope
I want this for several reasons. One, pretty. Two, the LMdB eyeshadow formula is great. Three, three of the four eyeshadows are shades not present in my collection (I suspect the top color could be duped by some combination of neutrals in my stash, but the others are utterly unique). But I don't really have need for a $95 eyeshadow palette (understatement), so for now, I will satisfy myself with swatches from The Beauty Look Book (she makes me want everything) and Blushing Noir (who shows that layered, they create a gorgeous taupe––and who doesn't want another taupe?!). Seriously, guys, talk me out of it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quick Comparisons

Here's a very brief post of comparison swatches for two of the polishes featured in Manicure Monday.

The Purples
Left to right, 2 coats each of: Milani Hi-Res, Zoya Aurora, Zoya Carly
Hi-Res is, as I suspected, lighter and sheerer than Aurora, and has finer holo particles. Carly is a similar shade to Aurora, but completely different in opacity (almost a 1-coater) and finish (not holo).

Manicure Monday

This is a super-quick MM before I run off to my last class of the day (I hate not getting done until 5:30––no time for a nap!). These were all part of my order from Zoya during their 3/$10 promo.

Zoya Blaze
ugh, the only half-way in-focus shot I could get. sorry :(
I initially only ordered the black holo (Storm, seen here), but decided I needed the others, too. Aurora is absolutely amazing; it's a rich red jelly-creme with scattered holo sparkles, but the effect is more glowy than rainbowy, as the red base obscures the sparkles. I love it. I wish there were more polishes like this. It's mesmerizing! And really nicely opaque in 2 coats. It's been added to my "polishes I wear when I can't decide what I want because they're always pretty and make me happy" shelf (there's only 7 or 8 polishes with such distinction!).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fragrance Friday

Nope, still not Solstice Scents, because I got distracted by some Atelier Cologne samples I got from Aedes (my perfume heroes––I know I talk about them all the time, but seriously, $15 for 7 niche perfume samples? Is incredible. And there's apparently no limit on how many orders you can place, because I'm on my, like, 10th, and they have yet to yell at me). Enjoy!

Atelier Orange Sanguine (Citrus: red orange, bitter orange, jasmine, geranium, amber, tonka bean, sandalwood): This was the first Atelier I smelled, provided as a free sample from Sephora. I expected to be underwhelmed, since citrus perfumes are usually kind of bleh, either too sharp or too dishsoapy. Orange Sanguine, however, is perhaps the happiest, cheeriest perfume I have ever encountered. It's sweet but not cloying, citrusy but not soapy, bright but not grating, and complex enough to remain interesting. It smells like freshly peeled oranges in a room full of flowers and sunshine, and in this dark and dreary time of year, that is so very delightful. It's one of the stronger Ateliers, and lasts several hours before fading. The ultimate pick-me-up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pink Blush

Both blushes featured in this post were gifts, MAC Subtle Breeze from the lovely Larie and Annabelle Rosewood from the ravishing Reductionista. They both came to me last term when I was having a rough time, and I love them dearly for that. Also, because they're awesome blushes. (Seriously, ladies, thank you!)

Left to right: theBalm Cabana Boy, Annabelle Rosewood, MAC Subtle Breeze, CARGO TongatheBalm Down Boy
MAC Subtle Breeze
My first MAC blush! And first Mineralize product! I don't know if they're all as nice as this, but wowzers, this is a keeper. Subtle Breeze is a sheeny pink that gives the nicest natural flush. It applies sheer but builds up easily, never looking powdery or cakey, just breezy and beautiful and, yes, subtle. It's become my go-to shade when I'm lazy and don't want to think about things, because it's impossible to overdo, goes with just about everything, and lasts all day. Love. (See FOTDs featuring this blush here.)

Annabelle Rosewood
Annabelle is one of those Canadian brands that should be in the US already (hint, hint). This blush is great, a slightly warm barely red pink satin, intensely pigmented and smooth like bunny fur. I find it to be a warmer, non-shimmery counterpart to theBalm Cabana Boy, albeit less berry (okay, so really they're not all that similar, but it's the closest thing in my stash!); it's also the closest blush I have to my own natural blush. Because it's so pigmented, it requires a bit more care to apply, but the Real Techniques blush brush makes that pretty effortless, and it blends out really well. Also: lasts all day, and then some––I've worn it for 12 straight hours with no fading. Now I want everything from Annabelle, ever. (FOTD featuring Rosewood coming soon!)

Do you have a favorite pink blush?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Currently Coveting: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

Just because Meteorites didn't work out for me doesn't mean I've given up hope for finding a natural luminous finishing powder! Hourglass's new ones look (and sound––no talc or parabens!) very intriguing. I look forward to reading reviews and seeing swatches, since I have no real Sephora nearby where I can check them out myself, le sigh. Part of me hopes they're no good, though, because $45 is ouchy-making.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders by beyondjustbeauty on (OMG YOU GUYS, Polyvore is the best)
I'm particularly intrigued by Ethereal, Mood, and Dim Light (available from Sephora, $45/.35 oz). What do you think?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Manicure Monday

I had the stomach flu for several days last week (first week of teaching! my poor students probably think I'm listless and confused all the time, ha), and didn't feel up to changing my polish––I'd worn China Glaze Ahoy! for the first day of class, which I've already featured.
2 coats Under Your Spell on day 2
Then I painted my nails with Wet N Wild Under Your Spell with Orly Bonder (under and on top) and 3 different top coats (Zoya Armor, Milani Glossé, and Revlon Quick Dry) to test, and it proceeded to wear absolutely flawlessly for 4 days, at which point I decided to change my polish anyway. Some minor tip wear, but only marginally worse than when I first applied (the WNW does not play well with capping the ends of your nails, but is gorgeous nonetheless). Since I usually see significant tip wear and chipping after a couple days, this is just ridiculous. Get Bonder! And any of those top coats; I find they're pretty much equivalent––touch dry in 5 minutes, almost entirely dry in 20, and super-shiny and long-lasting. But seriously, Bonder! Is the shit! And Under Your Spell is a great, cheap vampy polish; it's super sheer on the first coat, but is opaque (except at certain angles) on the second, at least on my short nails, and dries really fast. I also love the Megalast brushes, which are wide and make getting a nice clean cuticle line really easy for me.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fragrance Friday: Perfume Bottles Edition

I'm finally mostly recovered from my stomach virus, though it has since passed to two others (sorry, the boy and Papa), but I haven't been wearing or smelling any perfumes because of the whole nausea thing. So instead of reviewing anything (or responding to comments/reading other blogs––I promise I'll get to it soon!), I decided to make more Polyvore sets! (Can you tell this is a new discovery of mine? It's so much fun, guys.) It ended up taking way longer than I anticipated, but it's cool, I got to look at a bunch of pretty bottles, which is something I don't do in my everyday perfumed life, since 99% of what I smell is from boring sample vials.

Spritzers! I have no idea what these are actually called (though a quick googling suggests spritzer is correct, what the heck), and they're really impractical for perfume use (the perfume evaporates more quickly through the squeezy thingy), but they just look so awesomely ridiculous! And classic, of course. Nothing goes better with a Guerlain than a fancy-ass perfume puff!

Sprayers by beyondjustbeauty
Clockwise from top left: Guerlain Vol de Nuit, Guerlain Liu, Prada Prada, Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This is a filler post, because I've been sick with a terrible, no good, very bad stomach virus/food poisoning/hell experience the past couple days. Not great to get sick the first day of teaching class, y'all. Already behind...not to mention, being sick? Is just the worst. I spent most of yesterday alternately kneeling over the toilet, on the toilet, or laying on the ground in front of the toilet, which may be tmi, but since when have I ever let that stop me?! I was actually able to eat something besides ginger ale today, though my digestive system is still pretty angry with me...

But anyways. To make myself feel better, I've been looking into deep, rich blushes, inspired by posts from Larie and Liz (and another from Liz!). I don't really need more blush, but who cares?! I don't have a true red, nor any cream blushes, which clearly needs to be remedied, stat. Here are some ideas––if you've tried any of them, let me know what you thought! And if you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears...

Blushes Like Whoa

Top row, l to r: Tarte Flush Natural Cheek Stain, NARS Montenegro Cream Blush, Becca Raspberry Beach Tint, Illamasqua Crush Cream Blusher
Middle row: Illamasqua Crave Cream Blusher, Kevyn Aucoin Patrice Creamy Moist Glow Blush, Giorgio Armani Sienna Blushing Fabric, Illamasqua Panic Powder Blusher, Tarte Natural Beauty Cheek Stain
Bottom row: Becca Papaya Beach Tint, NARS Exhibit A Powder Blush, Giorgio Armani Shimmering Peach Blushing Fabric (and how mis-named is that?!), NARS Cactus Flower Cream Blush

Monday, January 14, 2013

Manicure Monday

Whoa, another weekly feature has made its triumphant return! I'm going to try and get through all my unworn polishes the next couple months, so this will probably actually be a weekly feature, assuming I can stay on top of my stuff and photograph my manicures...but my shortcomings as a blogger aside, here are the two I wore last week!

Illamasqua Baptiste
I purchased this in July using the Sephora gift card my dear friend Z gave me for my birthday, but have never actually featured it by itself (you can see it in my birthday manicure here, though). Really pretty dark warm purple with gorgeous magenta-purple hidden shimmer; looks black in dark lighting, purple indoors, and shimmeriffic in direct light. In the past, I've found it prone to bubbling, but it may have been the summer heat or something because I had no issues with application or wear this time. 2 easy coats, wore for nearly 4 days with minimal tip wear and no chipping, albeit with base and top coat. I do violently dislike the packaging, though––the square top doesn't line up with the bottle unless I don't close it all the way, which is irritating as all get out. Gorgeous shade, though!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fragrance Friday

Heyyyy, FF is back! I'll be featuring more Solstice Scents next week (the leathers!), but I didn't get around to wearing some of them enough this week, so I give you: niche-y scents.

Hermès Hermessence Ambre Narguilé (Oriental Spicy: honey, benzoin, labdanum, musk, vanilla, rum, cinnamon, sesame, tonka bean, caramel, orchid, coumarin): Sprayed on at the Hermès store in South Coast Plaza; amber, but really apple pie, or more accurately to my nose, cinnamon applesauce. It's pretty delicious, and very long-lasting, but still, it's applesauce. An excellent choice for those who like to smell like food, but I tend to like my gourmands to be woody (so, yes, not gourmand at all).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

FOTD, or: I have a tripod and taupe eyeshadow, so let's post about it

So I found a tripod in my brother's old room (which I'm in the process of moving into, very gradually, and which has all sorts of peculiar oddities, such as a bow and arrows). And then I read MM's taupe eyeshadow post. And then I decided to use my tripod to take a FOTD with my own take on the taupe eye. And then I decided to post it.
Le Métier de Beauté Corinthian up to crease, MAC Antiqued in outer corner and crease and lining upper and lower outer lashline, Maybelline Full N Soft mascara

Oh hai, glasses-less self
Other things I'm wearing:
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish in Shell (full review to come)
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer 1 Pink Porcelain
Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder
NYX Marbella (blush half)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow Ash 25
Becca Sheer Tint Lip Color Gisella (somewhat faded, as I didn't reapply after snacking)

The end.

Monday, January 7, 2013

They Know Me So Well

I love the holiday season, even though I loathe Christmas music, because there's an abundance of food and PRESENTS! Gift-giving and -receiving is one of life's pleasures, and something I thoroughly enjoy on both sides. I've been blessed to receive several wonderful gifts from loved ones, including several beauty-related, which I share with you today (which is also the first day of winter term, and passed by without issue, hurray!).

Tauer Perfumes Carillon pour un Ange
I smelled this in New York at Min, and absolutely fell in love. At $140 for an ounce, though, it's way out of my price range. Min had a 20% off sale before the holidays, and I so wanted to purchase it then, but $112 is still, well, too much. The boy knew of my plight, and offered to buy it as my Christmas present. I didn't want him spending $112 on perfume for me, either, but he said he knew I loved it and it was something I wouldn't buy myself otherwise, and therefore made the perfect Christmas gift. Having only smelled it and worn it the one time, I was a little worried that it wouldn't be everything I remembered, but I needn't have feared: Carillon pour un Ange is one of the best things I have ever smelled. Y'all know that I love my woodsy oriental rich scents, which Carillon pour un Ange (literally, Chimes for an Angel) decidedly is not. It's a floral green lily of the valley scent, none of which are things I usually go for, which just goes to show a) how talented Andy Tauer is, and b) how much you shouldn't assume you know what you like. I think the ambergris help anchor the scent and provide contrast, and the woodsy notes add complexity, but it is, through and through, a floral scent. It's also insanely strong and long-lasting; I sprayed my arm and it lasted more than 24 hours, including through a shower. Because it's a floral, and lily of the valley at that, I find it to be more of a warm-weather scent, but even in the gloom and grey, it smells beautiful. I feel so blessed that the boy understands me so well, and is so very generous. Thank you, grapes!
(Samples are available from Luckyscent, $3 for 0.7 ml, should you wish to try it yourself!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Look, Ma, A Real Nude! Becca Sheer Tint Lip Color in Gisella Review and Swatches

I tend to gravitate towards bolder lips and lighter eyes, but sometimes I feel like changing it up. I have a sizable collection of eyeshadows, and in spite of my glasses hiding pretty much everything, I like to give it the old college try occasionally. (The irony, of course, is that I don't actually have the time to do elaborate eye makeup when classes are in session, but that's neither here nor there.) And so, I like having the option of a true nude. Until this point, Le Métier de Beauté Purple Haze has served that purpose, but it really only works with cool-toned eye looks, so when I needed to reach the $50 free shipping at Becca, I figured I might as well try to find a nude lipstick there. Some quick browsing led me to Gisella as the most likely shade to work that purpose, so into my basket it went. How well did my online peeks serve?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...