Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I won't say I'm a Scrooge since I buy my Christmas gifts well in advance and have Christmas tunes blaring from my stereo before Thanksgiving even gets here, but I do not enjoy messing with a tree.

Last night I had the house to myself so that I could unwind, so I went down to the basement where our artificial one was buried under mounds of memorabilia, comic book boxes, and more. I totally worked off any stress I had by getting that bad boy out of the corner, out from under a long table--and knocked a ceiling-high stack of comic book boxes over on myself (at least they were empty!).

I still have no idea where half of our ornaments are; the only reason I found any at all is because we bought them after Christmas last year and they were just sitting around down there. I also found some lights which are really awesome because they blink sixteen different ways, one of which made me feel like I was going to have a seizure just by watching. After we got the first strand densely wrapped around the tree, we tried to connect them to the next strand. Waitaminute...that wasn't possible. They don't actually connect?!!? Ohhhhh...they're the outside lights, the ones we have never used and probably still won't use this year despite their cool ability to blink sixteen ways, no less.

So we had no idea where our lights were. My husband scooped Ramona up and took her out for the second time last night, on the hunt for lights at Walmart and "getting into the holiday spirit." We also needed a tree topper and something to hang the stocking from. He called from Walmart to let me know that the Christmas stuff was already 75% off and they only had one color of lights left. Purple. I think the angels themselves started singing a chorus of Hallelujah in my head at once because I've always wanted a purple, silver, and white tree but can never find purple lights. Then he corrected himself and said, "Well, they're dark blue, but they might be close enough." They're decidedly blue once lit up, but they're still really pretty.

The whole time, Ramona's was SOOOOO excited about getting Christmas stuff. Seeing the box out when she and her dad came back the first time kind of freaked her out because she didn't know what it was. She looked at it, then ran to him and said, "Pick her up, please?" Then he explained and it was okay again.

Anyway, back to Walmart. He said she had to carry around the angel herself, periodically kissing her on the head. She brought the bag in herself and said, "Mommy, look! Look! An angel!" I let her unwrap her and then set out to remove the packaging. When we put her on the top of the tree, she just stared like it was the coolest thing ever. As we wound the lights around the tree, she kept asking, "Are you okay, angel? Are you okay, angel? Are you okay, angel?" I kept faking her answer, "Yes, yes, I'm okay." When it didn't seem to sink in, I tried a new method, "No, actually, I have a tree up my butt." And still, I got, "Are you okay, angel? Are you okay, angel?" It took a very long time to put on those lights.

We still have ornaments to do because by the time the lights were done, the chili was ready. Ramona didn't really want to eat much and we told her she didn't get to stay up and put the ornaments on if she didn't. Finally, she just said, "I wanna sleep." I guess the ornaments will happen tonight.

Putting up the tree was worth it this year, even if it was kind of late in the season (at least that way I don't have to pull her and the dog off of it for a full month). Ramona was SO excited about it. She jumped and skipped around so much! She also tried to ride our boxer mix, but that's nothing that new.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Embrace the tiny moments of joy...

A few days ago, I was driving to Starbucks along the winding road that takes me past the school, the drugstore, etc...nothing exciting. But as I lifted my gaze slightly, I noticed that the leaves' color was still shifting to an intense yellow. It was beautiful against the gloomy gray, drizzly sky. At that moment, I felt so in awe...so overwhelmed with joy. I had my brilliant, funny little girl in the back, I had good Christmas tunes coming out of the speakers at me, and I won't lie...I was pretty happy about the small red cup full of minty-chocolate goodness that was about to make its way into my hands. Cruising along that damp black road through mundane buildings, past other cars, there was an intense wash of joy that made its way over me. Cherish the little things (and the resulting random moments of bliss) and remember that sometimes the only way beauty can announce itself and be admired is by standing against a dim background, like the chartreuse leaves against the slate sky. How else would we know to appreciate it? Just lift your eyes upward a bit, calm yourself, and you will find it.

This year, I'm thankful for the ability to stop and look for the beauty and the hidden joys in the most unusual places. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Using up eye shadows

How long does it take you to use up your shadows? I'm sooo wanting to cut down on my collection but it's not really stuff I can sell because of the way I have it all organized (no magnets...shadows are rubber cemented into a palette). I really want to use up some of my stuff but it seems like it takes me forever. I've only hit pan on one shadow (MAC Shroom) and I bought that back in 2003. I just hit pan on it; it's not even gone. I've managed to almost use up a concealer over the past year or so, but I'm not as concerned with those. My liners are getting shorter and shorter (or in the case of gels, emptier and emptier), but the shadows and blushes--powder products in general--seem to be bottomless. I'm trying to use up a pressed mineral powder that seems to go on and on and on. It doesn't do much for my complexion, but I don't want to just throw it out since it's "okay."

I won't know what to do when I get my collection whittled away to just staples that all fit in one bag. hahaha

Speaking of staples, what are yours? Some of mine:

MAC Woodwinked, Shroom, Soft Brown (Soba's interchangeable), Shale, Crystal, the Smoky palette from 2007 (2006?)...
LUSH Celestial moisturizer
Josie Maran Argan Oil
MAC Lovechild lipgloss
L'Oreal Infallible Plumping Gloss in Plumped Rose
NARS blush/bronzer duo in Orgasm/Laguna
MAC Cream Color Base in Crushed Bougainvillea (it was limited edition but Posey cream blush might be close)
Micabella foundation
MAC Kohls in Smolder, Teddy, Powersurge, and Phone Number
MAC Feline Power Kohl
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack (though I'm sure there are plenty of cheaper dupes, which I'll be trying when I'm done with this one)
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara
Eve Pearl's Salmon Concealer
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Moisturizer for Dry/Combination Skin

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It was cold, misty, kind of a generally icky evening but we set out trick-or-treating anyway. Because Ramona had to get a costume that was a little too big for her, I ended up holding the edge of the skirt up so she didn't trip. It was nice and muddy. She didn't go trick-or-treating last year, so this year was her first. She kind of understood what was going to happen before we got going, but she didn't realize that everybody would be dressed up--even people giving out candy.

At the first house we went to, the lady was dressed as a witch. It was fine until she dropped a Tootsie Roll near Ramona's foot. Then the witch bent over to pick it up and Ramona lost her little mind, she was so terrified. The witch stood up and put the Tootsie Roll in Ramona's bag, though, and got a pitiful "Canks" (thanks) and a sniffle. Then she happily went on her way to the next house and wasn't terrified anymore after that. She especially loved this one guy who pretty much gave her his whole bowl of candy.

Fun times!

I had planned on doing a cool makeup post because I was going to be a belly dancer too. Circumstances led me to pass on putting on my costume, though, so I didn't bother with the crazy belly dancer makeup. I did do a mean smoky eye though, and I need to review two of the MAC holiday palettes (Sorceress and Devil May Dare). I used Sorceress for the smoky look. More on that later.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Love Fall!

We've had an eventful fall. We discovered our love for hiking, especially when waterfalls are involved. We visited a pumpkin patch (who knew there were BLUE pumpkins? Hello, centerpiece!). And of COURSE there's Halloween. This fall (or was it summer?) we also went to a belly dance show, and Ramona loved it so much, she danced the whole time she was there. When she found out it was an option, she insisted that we dress her like a belly dancer for trick-or-treating. The best we could do in her size and my limited craft abilities was a Princess Jasmine costume combined with a hip scarf I made. Good thing you can't see the stitching in the picture. Prepare to be bombarded with pictures.

She thought the view from the top of a very steep hike was awesome. She was the only one who didn't want to be in a stroller all the way up and down. Never doing that hike again.
She was NOT down with riding in the wheelbarrow.

This blue pumpkin is currently a part of our centerpiece. It. Is. Awesome.


Taking a break from the hard decisions. So many pumpkins, such short legs.

Check out the warty pumpkins! We carved one the other night and got so many compliments from trick-or-treaters.

Who knew warts were so cool? No Compound W for these guys, no sirree!

Well, ain't he just yummier than a pumpkin pie?

First real bite of candy ever. It's a mini Milky Way. She got hooked UP on the candy. One guy basically gave her the whole bowl. Two thumbs up for cuteness.

Who needs Rajah when you have a pony?
I freaking love this picture.

Belly dancer in action.

Another day, another hike. This one's way better. There's water. Wait and see.

She was surprisingly calm about all that water rushing below her feet. She could see it.

Way, way too many stairs, but I'd do it again. I have done it again since then. It's an awesome challenge.

This is the face I make when she screams in my ear. This is the face she makes when she is screaming about being picked up for a photo shoot. She walked down all the stairs by herself, and part of the ones on the way up. Girl could travel in style (in a backpack) and couldn't even appreciate it.

This is what serenity looks like.

She wasn't exactly thrilled about having to sit, but she posed because she was plotting on climbing those rocks behind her as quickly as possible.

I think this is a really cool shot for some reason.

This looks like a learning opportunity. I'm loving the hat.

The End! I'll try not to put so many pictures in one place again for a while. ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

How horrible is it...

That I made Ramona talk about pajamas a whooooole lot tonight once I found out it sounds like "Dumb Ass" when it comes out of her mouth? She was talking about Mommy's pajamas, Daddy's pajamas, and Ramona's pajamas...and had to be wondering why on EARTH pajamas were suddenly so funny. It was a teaching moment, though. I learned that if I make her say something over and over, eventually she gets it right and I can stop laughing.

Funny "Ramona" stories

A friend of mine said my daughter reminds her of Ramona (of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and that whole series). I like the comparison so much, I'm going to be using Ramona as my daughter's "code name" here from now on.

Random Ramona facts:
*She says "Sid the Science Kid is FUNNYYYYY."
*Her "boyfriend's" name is Buck. He's a grown, married man and the manager of a comic book store. He has a goatee and glasses. Every time we go there, she says, "Heeeeey, BUCK!" and she throws her newly purchased comic book at him. She wants him to throw it back, but I could just say that she's doing the whole kiddo thing where they do something mean because they like you. Well, except for that one time that boy in first grade kissed my hand like I was a princess. I was very upset and later got a wart there.
*She cheers when I grind coffee because she knows that coffee is the stuff nice mommy is made of.
*She really, really enjoys going to the dentist. Weirdo. ;)
*Ramona should be using the potty since she wants to change her own diaper so badly. I walked into her room a few mornings ago to find her lying there naked, diaper open, allllllll of her wipes pulled out of the tub, wadded up, and shoved onto the second shelf of her changing table. I asked why she needed all of the wipes and she replied, "Baby! Eeyore!" I said, "Did they need their diapers changed, too?" She chirped, "Yeah!"
*Pumpkin carving is her favorite sport. We taped on the patterns and she colored all over them with a chunky purple crayon so she eventually hit the dots that were necessary to get the pattern onto the pumpkin. Okay, I admit it. I got impatient and helped.
*She calls my sister, Brittany, BUTT-nee. She shouts it in her place of work, no less. I love it.

That's all I have for now! Oh wait, she wants to be a belly dancer for Halloween. Here is the hip scarf I made her. Instead of normal clothes, she'll have a Princess Jasmine costume on with it.

Oh, and a couple more photos. This is totally just a photo-dump. LOL

She really likes to shop at Target because there's a Starbucks there and she gets to drink vanilla milk:
Then there's her favorite hobby, coloring with her best buddy, Rufus:

She also has come to the point where she likes to have her hair fixed (thank God!):

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cover Girl Lash Blast Luxe Review

I got this in Black Royale because I've had luck with other blue-tinged mascaras. They tend to make my eyes stand out. In certain lighting, you can see the blue with this one...and the sparkles. The sparkles look like eyelid dandruff, so I'm not a huge fan. In all lighting, I need to work at noticing that I have lashes at all. This Luxe version is a far cry from the beloved original. If I weren't such a weirdo about throwing out barely-used products, I'd toss it. Maybe I can use it on top of other mascaras for a hint of blue and sparkle. The brush and tube seem to be the same as the original Lash Blast (the Luxe tube is a pretty pinkish-red rather than orange), so the problem has to be the formula.

Prettier tube than the original orange, and so far I haven't had as hard of a time getting it to open. That could change over time.
The color is a nice, subtle blue that looks soft black from far away
It doesn't irritate my eyes, even though there are tiny pieces of glitter in it

Where are my lashes?
Eyelid dandruff? Really?!?!?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stepping Back into Sexy

As the hubby and I are trying to decide when to have another baby, I'm remembering all those early days when I was sleep-deprived and wondering what the heck I was thinking (but yeah, in the end it was worth it because toddlers are super-cool). Recently, I ran across something I wrote after an attempt to "get my sexy on" post-baby and full nights of sleep. I thought this was already on here, but I guess not! So here's a funny story from when my daughter was around 3 months old:

Yesterday, two of my worlds collided. That there were just two of my worlds there is debatable. I experienced past/present, sexy/gross, fantasy/reality, ability-to-just-worry-about-not-busting-MY-face/can't-wear-heels-because-I'm-carrying-a-baby-around.

Ok, so a lot of worlds. It was the opposite of the Big Bang Theory (I know there's a term for that, but there's a whining kid next to me in her crib, refusing to take her normally 2.5 hour nap for the fifth day in a row, so I can't conjure it up at the moment). Whatever it's called, there was a giant implosion. Everything I know meshed together at once, and it wasn't pretty. It was colorful, though, a nice mix of purple-brown, green, and red.

I was in this cute little boutique in a nearby town's downtown area, enjoying the facts that I'd managed to work that stinking stroller at all, that I was in good company (my sister and my best friend since elementary school), and that I had some darn good (spilling as I navigated the slightly bumpy sidewalk with it in the cupholder of the stroller), fresh, delicious coffee with a bittersweet hint of chocolate. The sun was out but not scalding; the promise of spring was right around the corner. Life was good. It was almost what I've always known as normal. Plus the additional baggage, of course.

My friend, my sister, and I passed by the store at first, but my daughter was fighting the sun as ferociously as a six-month old can: shielding her face, taking off the hat that I put on her to block the sun and throwing it to the sidewalk in frustration, squinting, and trying to squirm lower in her seat as if falling to the ground would take the sun from the sky. Nope, it won’t take the sun out of the sky, but it might make her see stars. When we passed by, my friend mentioned that they tend to have cute things in there.

In an effort to relieve my daughter's discomfort at least for a little while, I decided to do a U-turn in the middle of sidewalk, crew in tow, and take a look though I'd sworn not to buy anything more than coffee and I dreaded steering a stroller through a store that promised to have narrow aisles. Oh well. I have to stop dangling my feet in life and dive back in, I suppose. I just prayed she wouldn't cry.

I thought the store might be full of stuffy old women and a pretentious owner who was as protective of her carefully selected merchandise as a bulldog with a pork chop. They'd look down upon screaming tots and the moms who thought it was okay to bring them in and disturb other customers' shopping experience. I know. It wasn't too long ago that my mindset was similar. The employees and customers weren't like I'd imagined at all.

They did have a glossy wooden sign inside that said, "Unattended children will be given espresso and a puppy." At least they had a sense of humor. I couldn't say that I blamed them for not wanting young children running around the store, breaking the beaded necklaces and tossing around the fluffy purses like hacky-sacks. I've seen what kind of damage eighteen year olds can do.

You know how some couples say they met at a crowded bar, that their eyes met instantly across the room and everything/everyone else just disappeared? They say they knew they should probably not break away from their group of friends to go chat, and they could never take that person home to Mama....because they had dangerous and fun written all over them--a far cry from steady and dependable, or even remotely wholesome.

That's how it was with this patent leather, red stiletto peep-toe pump. In an instant, I knew I had to have a pair of them, even if they were (especially because they were!) cheap. Not practical, I said. I need to have flats--cute, girl-next-door, mommy-material flats I was just expressing a need for to my husband. I'll never balance in those while carrying an extra 20 lbs on my hip, I thought (and I still won't, even though I bought them). Gaaah, it was sexy, glinting, winking at me under the muted lighting of the little store. Posed like a wallflower, but most obviously not a wallflower, the shoe was begging to be approached. By me.

I pushed my daughter in her stroller over to the display, trying my best not to drag the Vera Bradley purses that lined the floor along with me as I attempted to saunter over.

What size? What size? Ah! There it is! A 6.5. My size. Score. Oh no! It's too big; it falls off when I walk. "Do you have this in a six?" I tried not to sound frantic as I had a brush with my former, sexy life.

They did. I tried it on. Tight. Don't care. Doesn't fall off. I will sit and look pretty, as long as they stay on my feet while I shuffle short distances and try to suck my belly in. At this point, I was sitting with one crimson shoe on, one clunky, flat ski-shoe-esque boot on, holding my daughter who'd begun to cry.

I guessed she was crying was because she was hot and started to wrestle off her top layer of clothing, a hot pink blanket sleeper. As I sat there with one foot quite literally in the past and the other one in the present, I felt my forearm begin to warm. Prunes. Peas. Up my sleeves and previously eaten. The crying finally stopped as my best friend dove into my purse for a cloth to help me clean up the mess.

"How are those shoes working out for you?" the sales lady asked, seemingly oblivious to my dilemma.

At this point, I'd do anything to get some sort of groove back, so I answered, "A little tight, but I'm buying them anyway. And this smoky black loose eye shadow too."

"Oh, they'll loosen up over time."

"Good, that will be great," I replied, borderline delirious. Somewhere it registered that I was glad I was getting the tighter of the two pairs of shoes. I was thrilled I'd found a pair just like I'd wanted in the middle of last year at half the price. I was also distracted by the stickiness of my skin. I wished a change of clothes for me was in the diaper bag.

They should really consider making a Mary Poppins diaper bag. I've needed an umbrella, a change of clothes, a coat, and several other items since I've started carrying that thing around. I have to pare it down, though, having only two hands.

Let's just say I look like quite the intellectual pushing a stroller that protects the baby from the elements, in the rain with no umbrella, or in the cold with no coat (it's harder to pick up your child with a bulky coat on…they just slide right through your hands!). For my next act I'll be adding precariously tall heels while walking and juggling singing toys in primary colors. I may even throw in a cute little ditty or two while I do it, why not.

I cleaned up with one of the burping cloths I always carry whether I remember to brush my hair or not. My friend (bless her soul!) took my baby for a minute while I checked out, and I bought the shoes. Now I just have to figure out an appropriate time to slip them on.

Friday, July 17, 2009

MAC Colour Craft Natural Flare Quad Review

If you could bottle Fall and put it in a kaleidoscope, that is what I am wearing on my eyes today. It's the sun trickling through the slowly dying--but going out with a beautiful bang--leaves in October, a beautiful array of gold, brown, yellow-orange, and amber. So why could I have passed?

For starters, I like standalone products. Sure, coming up with new combinations by mixing products is fun, but I want a choice. Without a base, preferably a colored base, the shadow looks like faintly-colored glitter or mud on the lids. And the eyebrows, which quite frankly are prominent enough on my face without sparkles. And the cheeks. If I were to apply them all with a Q-tip or my finger, they might give me decent payoff (that's how I swatched them in the store). However, I like to use brushes, so that didn't work.

Yesterday, I put them over Indianwood Paint Pot and the shadow was lovely and almost metallic. The shadows stayed there all day. Perhaps Natural Flare is a little too warm-toned for my skin, but golds, oranges, and browns do great things for blue eyes, so I'm on the fence there. Sexy eyes + sickly face = ???

Today, I'm wearing the whole quad over Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I also wet my brush with Fix+. Again, metallic, pretty, and more vibrant than their dupes from the regular MAC line.

Speaking of dupes, did I really need this quad? Sure, Goldmine, Amber Lights, and Brun don't glow exactly the same, but I could've done without (and may still do without if I decide to return it). However, I can't think of a dupe in the main line for the yellow-orange color in the quad. Unfortunately, mineralized products are never all the same, so I kind of got cheated out of that color a bit. It's the smallest one of the four and the one I'll use the most of.

Pros: Colors can look glowy and metallic with the right amount of effort, you get 4 colors for $19.50, colors look amaaaazing on tan skin or blue eyes, and you can use them wet or dry.

Cons: If you're a blue-eyed, cool-toned gal like me, you may be torn between having amazing-looking eyes and the tones looking a little "off" on your skin; you don't necessarily get the same amount of each color; most colors are easily duped even within the existing MAC line; if you don't use a good base and/or wet your brush, you may find the color payoff less than ideal and the glitter fallout a big fat pain.

Tips: Use a base (duh), use them wet for extra intensity, and "pat" them on with a flat, dense brush rather than "sweeping" across the lid with a fluffier brush.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eww Haiku

This is unrelated to beauty, but yesterday my wonderful, curious little toddler wanted to see if she could stop up a bottle of water with one finger in the backseat. I've been able to trust her with a bottle back there before, but this time, her finger went in, the bottle went upside down, and water poured out all over her and the seat. (She tried to clean herself up with a napkin. LOL) She also has to eat snacks back there to ride in some sort of peace. Sooo...you can imagine the mess when I took the car seat cover off to let it dry. It was so gross, I wrote a haiku:

Removed car seat cloth
Soggy fries, bloated raisins
It's air-drying now

On a happy note, I will be reviewing MAC's Natural Flare quad and Colour-Crafted lipstick soon. I need to wear them more to see what I really think.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Favorite June/July Products

I forgot to do June's favorite products, and since July's half over, I'll combine them:

Micabella's foundation still rocks. It makes me happy to do my foundation in the morning. I've found it's not so great when you buff it into the skin using a kabuki like I've always done with other minerals. Instead, I sweep it downward with a powder brush I got from Spell Cosmetics.

Spell Cosmetics' shadows rock, especially if you use them wet. I used Lanikai Lagoon today (wet) about halfway up my lid from the lash line, put a bronzy brown above that, a coppery pink above that, and a champagne above that. It sounds scary, but it's the ultimate wearable beach-inspired look.

Benefit "10" bronzer/highlighter combo. You sweep the brush across both products at once, then apply it directly to your face that way. Blend back and forth, and you have cheekbones like crazy in just 10 seconds.

MAC's Love Nectar Lustreglass. You can barely tell it's on, but it's the perfect glossy, peachy-pink.

TiGi's Some Like It Hot shampoo, conditioner, and serum. It's great for keeping the humidity from wreaking havoc on my hair.

Stila's 24K Golden Noir Smudge Pot. It's a gorgeous black base with golden shimmer that you can actually see, especially when smudged out from the lash line. The shimmer is just that--not glitter.

Rimmel's Sexy Curves mascara's still great, but I'm eyeing the new L'Oreal Collagen one. I think I'll try that next.

Not makeup, but the Pecan Toffee Bars from Starbucks deserve a spot on the list.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Cute

I don't feel like talking about talking about makeup at the moment because I'm in the middle of an applesauce attack, but here's your daily dose of cute:

Between that and the wide-eyed little boy baby at the storytime meeting today, I think I might want another one after all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Micabella update

I just found on my shadow jar that it's 2.5 grams of product. Not the 5 I thought. Still, it's more than I will ever use up and since I'd have a hard time splitting a MAC Pigment with someone, I'd almost rather pay $10/shadow and get to play with more colors. I probably won't buy more simply because I have too much eyeshadow and I'm pretty sure I can get more product for less from other brands. The color payoff may just be a little less intense with those. The Micabella shadows are seriously beautiful.

Micabella Mineral Cosmetics

My mom was in town for the weekend to celebrate the 4th and my birthday. In true patriotic fashion, we went to the mall to light our wallets on fire and shoot them into the skylight heavens. First stop was Charlotte Russe, where they were having a great sale and I felt pretty darn cute in clothes I'm probably too old for. Trudging my way back to the door with two very large bags in tow with a sick "Why did I buy all that stuff?" feeling in the pit of my stomach, I wasn't giving my mom the attention I would usually afford my toddler if she were my shopping buddy.

So when she stopped to admire something shiny and say "Ooh, pretty" aloud at the Micabella kiosk (Micabella.com), my reaction ("RUN!") was a little delayed. I knew they were notoriously aggressive salespeople there. I didn't actually get the "Run!" out before the beautiful lady at the register swooped in and scooped me up with her perfectly pigmented talons (ok, manicured nails, but humor me on the mental image). She deposited me into her comfy little chair and went to work more aggressively than my own mama to try to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. I swear, if I ever have a really bad day and feel like a total hag (frequently do), I'm going there.

That said and all questionably genuine compliments aside, the products are really nice and if you're stubborn enough about not wanting to buy anything after they've taken the time to make you up, you can score a decent deal. The prices they tell you at first are not final. I ended up giving in and buying the foundation on top of three shadows. I wanted the blush, too, but I was already feeling like I should be about three feet shorter, looking over my shoulder with a naughty little grin and one glittery, pigment-covered hand in a forbidden cookie jar. In reality, my hand was just poised mid-air, credit card dangling.

The foundation does make my skin look flawless. It feels good to the touch and to my face. It's like I don't have anything on. Despite its powder form, it doesn't feel dry and tight like a lot of them do on me. I thought the color was a little dark for me but it looks better today. I got Lady Godiva. The shadows can be used eight ways, similar to pigments and loose shadow pigments from other brands (in your hair for highlights, in your lotion, mixed with clear mascara or nail polish, as lip gloss, as liner when used wet, etc). The shadows are highly pigmented and smooth; they also come in a range of colors to compete with almost any other makeup line. Because they're loose, you can also mix them to create custom colors.

If you're a fan of MAC pigments but hate the almost-$20.00 price tag and the fact that they don't come with sifters, you can get three Micabella shadows (with sifters) for $30. You get 7.5 grams of MAC pigment compared to what appears to be slightly less of the Micabella pigments (I can't find the number of grams anywhere, but it appears to be around 5).

Micabella makeup is 100% pure mica and minerals. There are no preservatives, dyes, chemicals, talc, or oils. They also never expire, so if it takes you 20 years to use up a product, it's not a problem. Just don't add moisture or oils to the main jar; keep things sanitary and you'll be fine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best Highlighter (Face)

I've been searching for the perfect cheek highlighter lately. Who knew it was already in my makeup collection? It's the one eye shadow I have from Stila--Kitten. It's a frosty peach-pink that's so light it's almost white, but not so white that it's too stark against my skin. It's also one of the silkiest shadows I've ever used. I love it on the tops of my cheekbones and the inner corners of my eyes. I'm going to try it above my cupid's bow one of these days when I actually think about putting on my lipstick before I get in the car. I think it'll make my upper lip look plumper. This is such a multi-purpose product!

Now, if I can just find the perfect cheek contour color...I'm not buying anything this month, so I'm forcing myself to figure out new ways to use the stuff I already have. That and maybe I can use up some of the things I've been collecting for years.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Review

This is for the regular Too Faced Shadow Insurance, not the colored "Lockdown" version that just came out.

Texture: Kind of oily/slick. You only need a tiny, tiny bit for both eyes because it spreads out so easily for a thin, even layer. This tube could probably last about a year for me. Maybe a little less.

Color: It looks beige when you squirt it out of the tube, but it's invisible on.
Price: $17 for .35 ounces, and you can get it at Sephora, Ulta, or TooFaced.com

Packaging: One of the more sanitary ones. It's a squeeze tube with a small tip so it's easy to control how much comes out. You don't have to dip your fingers in and you'll also be able to easily get the majority of the product out. The container was my biggest complaint about Urban Decay Primer Potion. If you didn't cut it open, you'd throw away about 2/3 of the product. This one's sort of like a very small tube of toothpaste.

Performance: I never knew my eye shadow could last all day on my inner corner OR stay bright all day long. Other things I tried like Urban Decay Primer Potion and MAC Paint Pots (which I used to swear by) just don't cut it anymore. At all. I'm going to have to force myself to finish my Paint Pots in Bare Study and Painterly just so I don't waste product and can use the containers for Back 2 MAC. I just can't say enough good things about this stuff. I really never knew a primer could work so well.

Point to consider: I have dry lids. I have heard that if you have oily lids, this isn't a good match and UDPP is better.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Favorite Products for April

April's almost over and I've discovered (or re-discovered) a few products that I absolutely love this month:

*MAC Silverthorn eye shadow: This one came out with the Rose Romance collection this month. It's not a simple silver. I see a lilac-blue tone plus a gold shimmer. It's hard to describe but this is a very unique color! And you know how some things show up in heavy swatches but don't translate well to the lids? I could still see the blue/gold tones on my lids yesterday when I wore this shadow on the lid with Circa Plum pigment, also from the Rose Romance collection, in the crease.

*MAC Just a Pinch Gel Blush (also from Rose Romance): It looks scary in the jar, but it makes you look like an innocent girl who just got her first kiss when you put it on. It's just a glowing, beautiful flush that blends into your skin effortlessly. If you've tried the cream blushes and thought this was the same, go try it anyway. The texture is completely different, lighter, easier to blend, and just, ahhh...

*Cover Girl LipStain in Everbloom Kiss: This is the lightest one and it's pinker than the other one that I have, Teasing Blush. That one shows up almost berry-red on me. Both are pretty, but I like Everbloom Kiss better for fair skin during the warmer months.

*MAC Perfect Topping Mineralized Skin Finish: It's barely-there pink and perfect to use as a blush OR all-over skin brightener. Use a regular, dense blush brush for blush application and a big, fluffy brush if you want to use it all over to brighten up your skin.

*Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara: I got this in Extreme Black and I'm still loving it. I mentioned this one earlier along with the LipStains.

*LUSH Honey I Washed the Kids Soap and Solid Perfume: One word: MMM! It's a pretty sweet scent, so if that's not your thing, you might want to pass. However, it's not completely sweet to me; I think it's got a clean sort of undertone, too. Either way, it's worth a sniff! I haven't been using anything else since I got it.

*Milani Nail Polish in Day Dreaming: This is a light, creamy gray. The lasting power is average for me. I've had it on for three or four days and there's some slight chipping around the tips of about half of my fingers. I didn't use a topcoat, though.

*MAC Dazzleglass in Steppin' Out: This is the only Dazzleglass I think I would repurchase. It's a beautiful hot pink with a slight coral tinge that doesn't scream for attention when you put it on, but just does a nice job of brightening your face. It complements MOST makeup looks I do, but I wouldn't pair it with a smoky eye or anything that dramatic.

And some products I tried that I wasn't impressed with this month:
*MAC Shadestick in Cakeshop: I tried it on my hand and it looked beautiful. The pewter-green shade showed up and the shimmer looked like shimmer, not glitter. On my EYES, however, the color disappeared and I was left with big chunks of glitter...which left ME with a big sty.

*Revlon Creme Gloss: The color (Slip into Pink) I got isn't bad, but I was hoping for a different applicator. It is a pretty, shiny nude-pink. Stupid me for not looking into it further before grabbing it. I just don't like the flow-through brushes. They tend to get messy and I feel like I either have too much product or not enough. This is one reason I'm not crazy about Stila's Lip Glazes.

*NARS Blush in Torrid: Even applying with the lightest hand makes me look blotchy and like I'm in the middle of an eczema attack. This will be better when I've got a little more color. It's still a very pretty medium coral-pink with a tiny bit of gold shimmer, though. It's darker and warmer than NARS Orgasm, one of my favorite blushes. Anyway, Torrid is beautiful, but just not the best for me most months of the year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Drugstore Makeup Finds

Yep, it's me. I'm alive! My goal is to start posting regularly next month. Life got pretty busy for a while there, in good ways and in bad ones. I'm trying to lay off the shopping for a while, but I couldn't resist a few drugstore finds. They're cheap, right? That's what I keep telling myself, "Oh, it's just $5.00..." MAC still has my heart, but it's easier to justify three things at Walgreens for the price of one thing at the mall. Here are some of the goodies I've picked up and love:

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara:
I'm usually disappointed by Rimmel mascaras despite the snazzy packaging that sucks me in almost every time. The brush on this one is curvy and it's plastic like Maybelline Define-A-Lash, Cover Girl Lash Blast, etc. It's almost like three balls in a line. I got it in Extreme Black, which really IS black, black, black--not gray. So far, it's thickened and lengthened my lashes. It says it curls, too, but I never really notice that with any mascara. My lashes aren't particularly straight to start with. Anyway, one big problem I have when it comes to mascaras is their tendency to kind of disappear. I don't know if it just wears off at the tips or what, but what starts as a va-va-voom lash day can fall to a measly attempt to maybe look like my lashes are tinted. This formula, though, stayed on all day. Yay!

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse: I got this one in Pink Frosting this time. I had a darker one once before that I absolutely despised because of the blotchy appearance it gave my skin. I ended up trying to give it away. This is a light, youthful pink and it's great on my fair skin. I'm on the fence about sparkles. Sometimes I see them and think they're obnoxious and sometimes I don't. As in, sometimes I just don't see sparkles on my cheeks at all so I'm not sure if there are glitter mermaids swimming around in there, coming up to the surface on random days to check out another life in the sun. (Can you tell I just introduced my daughter to The Little Mermaid?) If you like warmer tones, there's a peach one that looks really similar to this one. It was gorgeous too, but I didn't want to go all crazy and get two before I made sure I liked this one. I may go back for it. I'd like to wait for some sort of Maybelline BOGO sale though, because they tend to pop up frequently and I paid full price (still less than $8.00) for this one already. The consistency of this blush is like whipped cream and you just barely have to tap your fingertips into the pop to pick up enough color. Then you tap it onto the apples of your cheeks and blend around and back toward the temples. It's not scary because it's not the type of blush that will dry in one spot before you get the chance to smooth it out. The color is a bright, neutral medium pink that makes you look like you have a juicy little secret.

Cover Girl Lipstains: Beware of the colors! They're brighter than you might expect based on the packaging. I got Tempting Blush and it's a pretty red-berry color. The packaging is one of the lighter ones. Application will take you back to elementary school when you might've colored your lips with markers. That's essentially what this is--a fruity magic marker for your mouth. What makes that great is the precision you get. I once had a lip stain from Sonia Kashuk's line that not only tickled like crazy when I tried to apply it to my lips, but the brush was flimsy and I couldn't get it to go only where I wanted it. With this Cover Girl brush, you could line your lips and then fill them in with color--definition AND long-lasting color. Nice. Oh, and some of the reviews said they don't last that long, but I've had mine on since about 6:00. It's lasted through a meal, snacks, smooches, and a few glasses of water. It faded just a bit, but it looks better, more natural, this way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

30 Percent Off at Spell Cosmetics

Spell Cosmetics is offering 30% off everything in the store through Monday, March 23. Don't miss it! Also, check them out on YouTube for a chance to win more prizes.

My top picks:
Under My Spell Face Primer
Mineral Wet n Set (you can even do winged liner with this--in any color of mineral shadow!)
The AllThatGlitterz21 Glosses (I got the super hot pink Do I Dazzle You one, but I'm dying to try ElleAlie's Lullaby)
Crown Jewel Liquid Liners
Any of the eyeshadows. I've only tried the Cat Eyes Trio so far, but they're beautiful and blendable. Take a look at the Sun & Surf kit that comes with a bonus bronzer. It's absolutely perfect for summer!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Maybelline Great Lash

Have you ever had a product that you just felt the urge to warn everyone about due to its complete inability to perform? And then you suffer a lapse in judgment (or, in my case, you needed a kind of blah, liquidy mascara to blend your real lashes with falsies) and try the product again, only to find that hey, you love it now!

Three words: Maybelline Great Lash. The blackest black with the newer, cooler looking label, to be exact. I bought it before the one Christmas party I made it to because I wanted to wear falsies and I needed something that wasn't too volumizing to mix my lashes with the fake ones.

The next day, on a whim, I decided to try it on my naked lashes. Wow, I'm not sure they've ever looked better. They aren't clumpy. The brush glides through my lashes and it isn't awkward to wield at all (hello, flimsy Maybelline Define-A-Lash). While my lashes don't look super-duper thick, they do stand out. I don't clump this mascara into a category with those that simply tint your lashes anymore. By George, it actually does something!

Mascara ramble aside, yes, it actually is me! Back from the blogging dead. Next thing you know, I'll be doing tutorials again. First, though, I need to get a hair makeover. This DIY color just isn't working for me. I dyed it red and it was amaaaazing. For a week. Then it dropped me into some level of burgun-rust hell and I haven't been able to escape despite my attempt to use a "cool light brown" to turn it somewhere close to my natural color again. The end result was brighter, redder roots. Oh, yay. Mama don't have time for this red hair maintenance.

While dreaming of a magical hair color, I decided it's time to cut off my hair. I'm tired of looking like a washed up college kid. I'm kind of obsessing over this:

I even love the color, though I'd never go that light. I'm too pale and too lazy to maintain the roots. However, I love how all the tones work together, so maybe I can do something like that with brown. But first I need to find a babysitter.