Wednesday, April 16, 2014

milani flamingo pose

I would say that I have become fairly confident in wearing bold lipstick out in public without feeling self conscious. The main reason I don't regularly wear the stuff is mostly due to the maintenance rather than feelings of doubt. A girl has to eat and drink. Even though I say this, I do get rather nervous when it comes to wearing bold pinks. Remember when I tried my hand at fuchsia (yes I had to look up how to spell this correctly...again)? I don't know what it is about it. Maybe because I have never really been a fan of pink in general or perhaps it reminds me all too much of Barbie.

Either way, I have been determined to try and overcome my bold pink lipstick fear. I tested out the waters with the reddish pink Revlon Strawberry Suede and have come to really love the color. After I got used to that, I picked an outrageously pink color to get the ball rolling: Milani Flamingo Pose.

BAM...just look at that color. It is much brighter in person. It takes me a couple minutes to get used to all that color radiating from my lips. Not for the timid and all for the ones who want to call attention to their lips. It is a pretty color but I still prefer my reds and plums over this.

I have absolutely nothing close to this color. It is an almost neon punchy pink so it isn't surprising that I couldn't find anything similar to what I own. Milani does lipsticks decently. They glide on easily enough and aren't extremely slippy so it won't melt off. They have rich pigmentation and don't excessively accentuate any rough patches. I don't find it to be the most moisturizing but it definitely isn't the driest I've come across. This particular shade leaves a pinkish stain behind once it fades away or even if it is wiped off which I find quite nice. It does have a strong melon scent which I think is too artificial and sickly. I wish it wasn't present but it doesn't linger for the entire wear.

SWATCHES
L to R: Milani Flamingo Pose, Revlon Fuchsia, Estee Lauder Rubellite

All these shades would be beautiful cream blush shades, no? Fuchsia is obviously more of a cool pink with some purple shot through it, Rubellite is almost frosty and more of a tamed ruby.

AWKWARD POSING

So all in all I'm still not used to these punchy bright pink shades, as indicated in my uncomfortable face above. But that doesn't stop me from trying. I wish this shade looked as kick ass on me as it does on Viola but then again she looks good in all damn lipsticks shades, even blue ones. The more I apply it the less shocking the color seems on. Maybe NARS Schiap will be something I'll wear one day. Still terrified.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

001 thoughts of the week

I thought I'd start a series called "thoughts of the week", an idea I completely copied from Jessica. These are some of my favorite posts that I look forward to reading on her blog and my philosophy when it comes to blogging is to always put out content I would want to read myself. So here's to the first installment! I'll try to make this a weekly thing, perhaps even on the same day. Look at me, all trying to be routine-y.

1. I have been quite engrossed with Mindy Kaling. I actually have never seen anything she has been in (I never watched The Office, don't throw stones at me), but in the past I would see her frequently popping up on my twitter and tumblr feed. I was finally prompted to read her book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" after seeing a friend post about it. It wasn't boring and I read through it quickly yet it is not the funniest I have come across. Still, I love reading about the beginning struggles of the successful and now I have the urge to start watching her show.

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2. Speaking of reading, my birthday is next week and my boyfriend surprised me with an early present, a Kindle Paperwhite! I was actually very taken aback he got me this since I mentioned it only in passing this past November. I guess guys really do listen...sometimes :P Any recommendations are welcomed. My GoodReads account in case you wanted to get an idea of my reading patterns.

3. I ran across this article earlier this week about a family who stopped eating sugar for an entire year. I personally think it is a bit of an extreme measure. Although, I do agree that the general population consumes more than their fair share. Thoughts?

4. I liked this post about preservatives and why they are necessary in most of our beauty products. I don't understand how they got such a bad rep, perhaps because they sound too "chemical"?

5. Already thinking about what to try next after my great success with Clarins Lotus Oil, something like Sunday Riley's Artemis looks promising. The price is slightly nauseating.

6. My sister is one of those fickle purchasers that refuses to finish up products and buys a new replacement halfway through its use. Her recent pickup was Victoria's Secret True Escape lotion which I initially dismissed because Victoria Secret scents remind me of a mixture of over-tanned college freshmen and strippers. I randomly slapped it on the other day and couldn't stop sniffing myself. It is quite fresh and light but also has a bit of warmth and sweetness to it. Squirt some on the hands next time you are in VS and let me know what you think.

7. Game of Thrones is back \o/ But I haven't been able to watch the premiere due to school so no spoilers!

8. This weekend I am going to see Hardwell and I am very excited. The only thing that makes me wary is the venue is 18+ so the likelihood of me wanting to murder a majority of the crowd is extremely high.

9. Recently I watched the cult movie Heathers for the first time and was highly, highly entertained. It is on Netflix so if you have an account you have no excuse, go watch it. Be ready for high fashion 80's blazers with exuberant shoulder padding, frequent monocle use, and witty dialog.

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 photo heathers_zpsb9ddebe7.gif
Oh yeah, there is a lot of profanity too ha.

10. Louis C.K. hosted SNL and then Anna Kendrick followed and I haven't been able to watch either yet. Only a couple more weeks of school...

Monday, April 7, 2014

box of neglect round 3 - lipstick edition

Remember my Box of Neglect challenge? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't, it has been over a year since I have done anything with this series. That box contains a lot of tough cookies that made me feel overwhelmed in picking out what to test out next. I apologize and will do better, pinky promise. I'll back up this promise by attacking the lipsticks in my box. I have about two handfuls of lipsticks lying in the dusty box, waiting to be played with so here is the lipstick edition, round one.

NYX ROUND LIPSTICK IN FRAPPUCCINO

Man this lipstick is a throwback. Remember when NYX round lipsticks were all the rage? I bought this in the beginning stages of my obsession with makeup. I don't remember why I picked this particular shade, probably because someone on YouTube I followed at the time recommended it. Anyway, I have never worn this out of the house. I have only applied it on a Saturday and pranced around the apartment all day to get a feel for it. It is one of those mature, browny shades that I find outdated. It isn't exactly unflattering but it also isn't the best shade for me. The NYX round lipsticks are very creamy and slippy so application is easy and hydrating, however, this causes the lasting power to be weak.

SWATCHES

L to R: NYX Frappuccino, NYX Thalia, MAC Blankety, Revlon Mauve it Over

I think Frappuccino would be most flattering on olive skinned or deeper toned ladies as it would look like a natural nude without the corpse look. For us people on the paler side it looks very mature; office appropriate and non offensive. I thought it would be most similar to Revlon Mauve it Over but it is actually darker and more terracotta. NYX Thalia is more mauve and less brown. MAC Blankety is not even similar as it is paler and has no trace of red in it.

It should say something that I completely forgot about this lipstick's existence in my collection. It isn't a horrible shade but it is one that I can't see myself reaching for often or even a shade I would be in the mood to wear. Back in the BOX it goes.

RIMMEL BIRTHDAY SUIT

When I look at this lipstick now I can't help but wonder what the hell I was thinking when I bought it. It is the weirdest and most unflattering shade for me. It looks like the type of shade you would get as a cheap GWP. I remember I distinctly bought this because of Holly Ann Aeree when she was first starting out. She mentioned it was one of her top nude lipsticks. Ahh to be naive and just buy something because it's flattering on a YouTuber that does not have similar skin tones to you. This is my only Rimmel lipstick and probably the last since I dislike the formula very much. It doesn't glide on easily and accentuates dryness, as you can see in the above picture.

SWATCHES

L to R: Rimmel Birthday Suit, Revlon Nude Attitude, Revlon Soft Nude, Dior Incognito

Thankfully I seemed to learn my lesson by not going out and buying anything similar to this shade. It is an almost bronze brown in comparison to the other nudes I have. Another shade I completely forgot I owned. It won't be missed. BOX

MAYBELLINE PINK PLEASE

Maybelline does surprisingly well when it comes to lipsticks. They are creamy without being too messy and feel very comfortable. Pink Please was another Holly Ann Aeree pushed purchase but luckily for me this one works. One of those nice, soft medium pinks that works on almost everyone. I like the satiny finish.

SWATCHES

L to R: Maybelline Pink Please, Maybelline Born With It, MAC Angel, NARS Mayflower

I thought for sure this was going to be almost the same shade as MAC Angel but it isn't as pasel, it is also darker with a richer payoff. Born With It is sheerer and paler. NARS Mayflower is rosier and sheerer. I think I'll keep this one around, it photographs nicely and wears comfortably. I was pleasantly surprised I didn't own a shade similar to it seeing as it is a fairly non-unique shade. DRAWER

TOTALS THIS ROUND:
BOX: 2
DRAWER: 1

TOTAL SO FAR:
BOX:10
DRAWER: 6
TOSS: 1

Saturday, April 5, 2014

this, not that

Lately I have noticed that a few steps in my beauty routine were taking a new direction. Instead of my tried and true application methods, I have been discovering new ways of packing on the products for a little change. One of the greatest things about the beauty world is how it is ever changing and never boring. Nothing is permanent or stagnant.

CONCEALING

I visited my parents last weekend and remembered to pack my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer but neglected to toss in its usual partner, the Real Techniques Detailer brush. I had previously been using these paired together exclusively since the small synthetic head of the brush was great for pinpointing spots, much better than my stubby fingers. I didn't pack my Detailer brush, but I did pack my Essence of Beauty Smokey Wide Duo brush.

This is one of my most loved brushes due to the wide shader side; it is perfect for applying those all over the lid eye shadow shades. I entirely ignored the smaller domed head side as it wasn't stiff enough for my liking to smoke out shadows. But for concealing? It was made for it. Its packed flexible bristles makes the stiff consistency of Secret Camouflage blend out into a workable thin layer that covers up spots much better than the pin pointing I was previously doing. Sorry Detailer, looks like there's a new girl in town and I don't think she will be surpassed.

EYE LINING

My previous eye lining routine consisted of framing out my outer portion of the eye with a flick of L'Oreal Lineur Intense. Although I can do this quicker than average compared to other liner methods, I still wanted something quicker. So I turned to using Smashbox Filter eye shadow trio paired with MAC 214 smudging brush. I pack on the dark brown shade close to my upper lashes and then blend it out with MAC 217 to add some soft definition. I like this look for day time as it is looks more natural and eye opening than winged liner. Plus it gives me a reason to use up this darn shade in this trio. Dark eye shadows are so hard to hit pan on.

MASCULINITY

This is something I have been obsessed with. Instead of reaching for a feminine fragrance, like Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb, I have been spritzing on Hermes Terre D'Hermes. I had this little gem sitting in my dish that holds all my perfume samples and randomly sprayed it on one day and fell in love. I rushed home to get a better look and on closer inspection I was surprised to see it was actually a men's fragrance. I am slowly spinning into a panic because I only have a sample size and am going through it quickly.

My favorite place to spray this is actually in my hair! I have read this isn't the best place to spray fragrances because the alcohols can dry out your hair but since I only do a couple small bursts I don't see the harm. It is certainly the longest lasting place since my hair retains the woody cedar aroma for more than 24 hours. I would be willing to bet this would be absolutely irresistible with men's skin chemistry, but for now I'm too obsessed with it on myself to test that theory out.

Monday, March 31, 2014

clarins lotus face treatment oil

Facial oil is a category of beauty that I have always been curious about yet timid to try out for myself. I dislike any oily, greasy feeling since I already have to deal with that on a daily basis thanks to my skin type. Patting on additional drops of the slick stuff seemed counterproductive in my eyes. Despite this, I kept seeing Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil pop up on some blogs over the past year and I couldn't help but wonder and keep it in the back of my mind. Everyone who spoke of it wrote that it balanced out their oily skin and made their overall complexion improve. How could I not be curious?

DSC_1689

This past Christmas my boyfriend gifted me this oil because he knew I had been wanting to give it a whirl. It comes in a nice weighty glass bottle holding 1 oz of product. I have been using it for over a month and in short, this has been extremely lovely. Like, I'm considering a long lived future together and everything, it is that serious.

Since I had never used a facial oil before, I relied on the handy dandy instruction pamphlet that came with the box. It instructed for me to use it at night after my toner so my skin was still slightly damp. The action of application is quite pleasant and soothing: it instructs to place 3-4 drops of oil in your hands and to gently press-and-release the product all over the face. Not going to lie, this part of my routine is something I look forward to all day. Am I alone in this?

DSC_1697

I use 4 drops all over my face. It does have a scent, it is quite herbal but not in a bad way. I read on Makeup Alley that it reminded them of a spa which I agree with. When I first started using this, my face flushed up quite a bit after application but I didn't feel any sensation at all which surprised me. Now my skin has acclimated and doesn't pink up anymore. It soaks in nicely after I press it into the skin for about 20 seconds and doesn't feel overly greasy. I like sandwiching my moisturizer, CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, on top after application to really inject the most nourishment into my skin. I did try skipping lotion a couple nights to see if the oil could work well as a moisturizer on its own. It worked fine this way, but I preferred the layering method for maximum effect.

INGREDIENTS:
Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Parfum/Fragrance, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Belumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate

I think almost everyone will be okay with the ingredients in this one. It is made of mostly plant based oils and at the end there are a few fragrance oils and one trace preservative. I thought it was nice that the bulk of the product was what the brand highlights. I thought of Gummy when I saw hazelnut oil as one of the top oils used; she wrote on her blog a few times about it and recommended me to try it out as it is one of the best oils to use for oily skin. Right she was!

Since using this I have seen a dramatic decrease in oil production on my face. I still get oily, but not nearly as fast and not nearly as much. I previously had to blot halfway throughout my day and after using this I can make it to the 6-7 hour mark before doing so. Amazing. I was a skeptic but this truly is balancing yet moisturizing. My skin responds to this very well. I feel like it even heals faster too because when I get hormonal acne (booo, the worst) it always leaves a mark behind but this helps the scarring process go by quicker so it doesn't linger.

I really recommend this to anyone, even if you had dry skin since it is quite nourishing and moisturizing. It balances, moisturizers, and makes my skin feel less congested and at its peak for renewal. I would definitely repurchase and am now a believer in facial oils. The only downside is the price, a hefty $52 USD, but seeing as I use 4 drops at a time I believe I will go through this at a snails pace. What to try next? Perhaps Pai Rosehip Oil...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

nars gilda

I have a lot of choices when it comes to blush. So much that I tend to neglect many of them. Because of this, I've been trying out a new strategy of plucking 2-3 shades from my drawer and putting them in my daily makeup holder so I can rotate their use for at least a couple months. This helps use up product and it gives me a chance to get to show some love to whatever shades I picked for that rotation. Win win, right?

One of the blushes I currently have in use is NARS Gilda. I actually put this in my rotation to stop myself from buying all of the Final Cut blushes as it seemed along the same lines. I must admit, I rarely reached for this in the past. I was first interested in the shade a few years ago due to BlushingPixie on YouTube. She mentioned it was one of her favorites and every time she wore in in videos it made her complexion look beautiful. So I promptly bought it, tried it on, and wasn't moved by it so it stayed hidden in the back of my row of NARS compacts.

After using it this past month, I have changed my tune. It is really an underrated color. I use a Real Techniques Blush Brush to apply. Gilda isn't crazy pigmented but it also isn't too tame that I need multiple layers. A generous fluff on the brush and sweep across the cheeks and I'm done. Satisfying for fast blush appliers and pigmentation lovers alike.

In the pan the shade is your typical matte peachy pink shade that you can find in any brand. On my skin however, it completely changes and shows not even a hint of pink. It is a very distinct peach. Bizarre. This is probably why I wasn't originally won over with it. I have discovered that my most loved blush shades tend to be neutrals (like CARGO Tonga) or some variation of pink (NARS Desire). Peaches get ignored. I believe this is because I have such a hard time making them work on me. They either make my skin look dirty or are too jarring.

Gilda is a very gentle shade. It is one of those colors that isn't in your face but makes your skin look nicer than it really is. It's nice to finally have a blush that instills some hope in peach blush for me. Maybe I was being too harsh with MAC Melba and Peaches (both shades I own and rarely reach for...because, peach).

NARS Gina is very similar but leans more orange. I do not own it but I do remember going back and forth on which shade to try because they share tones. NARS Amour is also comparable but has more pink in it. I like Amour more than Gilda, unsurprisingly, as it actually shows up as a peachy pink on my skin. Danielle has excellent swatch comparisons of Amour and Gilda if you wanted to see for yourself.

Overall I'm glad I gave Gilda another chance. It is a joy to wear due to its ease and natural effect. Peach lovers will dig it, though you probably have a shade very close to it already. Admittedly, isn't the most unique shade ever made but it is indeed a staple.

SN: Can you believe NARS blushes are $30 USD now?! I remember when they were $25. Sad days ahead when it pushes past $30...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

011 items used up

My empties bag was simply bursting to the brim proving how behind I am in updating this series. I have quite a bit to show this time, which makes me wonder if I should keep each post of this series with only a few items at a time, or at the end of the month, or quarterly like some blogs I follow do. What do you guys think?

I polished off mostly skincare this round. Makeup, as usual, is the smallest pile. Here we go...

HAIR

Let's start with the most boring area, shall we?

L'OREAL EVERSLEEK REPARATIVE CONDITIONER
Nothing special. I don't mind these lines but I don't particularly find them raving good either. The small size of the container always irritates me since I have a lot of hair and use these up in less than a month.

REGIS MOISTURIZING CONDITIONER
Not very moisturizing but hey it is in a huge pump container that lasts long. Wouldn't repurchase though, there are much better conditioners on the market.

L'OREAL POWER MOISTURE RUSH HAIR MASK
My sister really loves this, she says it makes her hair feel very soft and smooth. I like it too, but I don't think it had a huge effect on my coarse hair.

MOROCCAN OIL
I really liked this. It smells so divine, dried my hair faster than normal, and made my hair sleeker. I almost went to repurchase this but instead I ended up getting Orofluido in my Ulta haul. I've been using the Orofluido for about 2 months now and I actually like it better than Moroccan oil! It doesn't hold a candle to Moroccan's scent but the effects have been better...

JOICO SMOOTH CURE CONDITIONER
Not great, I liked the Regis conditioner better. This is expensive and does not deliver any smoothing or conditioning results.

L'OREAL EVERSTRONG RECONSTRUCTING CONDITIONER
I love the smell of this line (rosemary mint), though it may not be for everyone. I like this and pick it up every now and then; I can't use it continuously because my hair retains a memory to the repairing and moisturizing effects and then those results fade away compared to the first initial use. Would repurchase at a later date.

BODY CLEANERS

CARESS ENDLESS KISS
Caress is my favorite body wash drugstore brand. It is cheap, doesn't leave my skin squeaky clean (I dislike that feeling), and the scents are fun. I didn't really care for this scent. It wasn't terrible but there are much better offerings within the brand that I like better.

DR. BRONNER ALMOND SOAP
My favorite scent out of the Dr. Bronner line that I have tried so far. This is a staple in my shower routine, it works particularly well on sensitive skin areas that are irritated by normal soaps. Will always repurchase. I picked up a bar version of the Peppermint scent to see if the bar would last longer than the liquid to make my dollar worth it, but in the future I'll stick with the liquid. It lasts much longer.

THE BODY SHOP SATSUMA
My favorite scent from the brand. I actually don't really care for any other scent they offer. This was part of a Satsuma set that was on sale a couple year back or else I wouldn't have picked it up myself. Overpriced, though very effective and lovely smelling.

BODY MOISTURIZERS

SONIA KASHUK YELLOW ALLURIANA
Loved this. Smells fresh like lemons and moisturizes well without any lingering greasiness. I would consider repurchasing as a treat to myself. If you haven't picked up on it, I hate these squeeze packaging containers. You have to cut them open to get the most of the product and it holds such a small amount. I went through this very quickly.

THE BODY SHOP SATSUMA BODY BUTTER
HG body moisturizer. I stocked up on these during the Cyber Monday sale and I usually reserve its use for Spring/Summer when the scent is more appropriate but I couldn't resist cracking one open.

SONIA KASHUK PURPLE SEDUCTIA
I enjoyed this equally to Yello Alluriana. Same deduction as above.

SKINCARE: CLEANSERS & TONERS

MARIO BADESCU GLYCOLIC ACID TONER
Fairly affordable with minimal ingredients that will appeal to the natural product junkies. A bit harsh at first, this stung my skin a bit during the first few days of use but eventually my face got used to it. It isn't a terrible toner but it also isn't something I would repurchase. I'm glad I tried it out.

SHU UEMURA PORE CLARIFYING CLEANSING OIL
So far this has been the best cleansing oil I have tried to date. It is more fluid and less viscous to everything else I have tried. Boscia is downright thick compared to it. Very effective and makes my skin happy. I'm not so sure about the pore clarifying claim though. I have a backup ready to use in my bathroom once I use up my current Boscia.

NEOSTRATA TONING SOLUTION 1
I would say this was harsher than Mario Badescu. Again, my skin acclimated to it with continued use. Same verdict as MB, wasn't terrible but wasn't noteworthy either. Glad I tried it but wouldn't repurchase. I think toners are an area that I will forever be exploring and trying out different brands and types.

GARNIER RADIANCE RENEWAL CLEANSING GELEE
Cheap product and easily accessible. I think this broke me out initially so I stopped using it for some time. I restarted up and didn't break out again so who knows. A fun, cheap thrill. Smells like citrus, foams up slightly, works well as a second cleanser. Wouldn't repurchase, there are much better cleansers than this.

CERAVE MOISTURIZING LOTION
Sick of seeing this bottle yet? HG moisturizer, will never be without it.

SKINCARE: TREATMENTS

LA ROCHE POSAY MELA D SERUM
I was going to do a separate review post to this but it really wasn't a product worth talking about. It smells STRONGLY of alcohol and chemicals, is expensive, and I didn't see any huge results. Ole Henriksen Enlighten Me is cheaper, better smelling, and actually gave me results. Skip it!

LUSH MASK OF MAGNAMINTY
Really enjoy this mask and would repurchase. Smells minty and makes my face feel great. Less congested and refreshed.

LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR DUO
Another HG skin product. Essential to keep small breakouts and clogged up pores away.

MAKEUP & NAILS

UD PRIMER POTION
It works but I won't be getting the packaging like this again. I'll either try out the improved squeeze tube or try out the NARS eye primer.

OPI TOPCOAT MINI
This dried out due to the small packaging. Not the best topcoat, won't purchase the full size.

GIORGIO ARMANI EYES TO KILL LINER
Favorite kohl liner to date. I used it up until it gave me no more! I talked about this product in my kohl liner roundup and comparison post.