Neutral Eyes: Cheap-Ass Edition

During my weekend sojourn to Rite Aid, I noticed that they’d restocked their Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon section. I’ve been impressed with the Color Icon line, so I picked up a couple of neutral-toned eyeshadow trios: Sweet as Candy and Walking on Eggshells (hey, for $2.99 a pop, why not?). These two trios are actually very similar, except that Sweet as Candy is cool-toned and leans pink, while Walking on Eggshells is warm-toned and more peachy.

I played with Sweet as Candy today, and it didn’t disappoint. As you might expect, this trio includes three shades: a pink champagne, a cool-toned taupe, and a very pale highlight color. I paired this trio with NYX eyeliner in Velvet, which complemented the taupe incredibly well.

Swatchery! In direct sunlight:

In indirect outdoor light:

And a flash photo:

(An aside: Velvet is somewhat reminiscent of Urban Decay Underground liner. It’s significantly lighter and browner, though, so I wouldn’t call it a dupe.)

The look I did was very simple. Wet ‘n’ Wild trios helpfully tell you what color goes where, so just follow the instructions and you’re golden. I used the pink on my lid, the taupe in the crease, and the highlighter, surprisingly enough, to highlight.

My bad photo juju continues, so no full-face shots today. Sorry about that.

Click the next one to embiggen!

Products used:

  • UDPP
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon trio in Sweet as Candy
  • NYX eyeliner in Velvet
  • Maybelline The Falsies mascara
  • NYX brow powder in Brown

If you haven’t tried Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Color Icon shadows, I highly recommend that you get on it! I’ve been pretty impressed with them pigmentation-wise (much better than a lot of pricier drugstore shadows I’ve tried *cough*L’Oreal HIP*cough*), and at a couple of bucks a pop, you can’t really go wrong.

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Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:38 am  Comments (3)  
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None More Black

It’s like, how much more black could this eyeliner be? And the answer is none. None more black.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’m referring to Perversion, the new super-black eyeliner from Urban Decay that’s available exclusively in the 15th anniversary 24/7 set. This shade is one of the reasons I folded like a house of cards the instant the set became available online. And let me just tell you … it’s pretty goddamn black.

But wait! you’re saying. Doesn’t Urban Decay already have a perfectly swell black eyeliner? Well, yes. Zero is indeed a damn fine black. Not to mention that if you’re anything like me, you probably already have at least three or four of them floating around, given that UD seems to include them in pretty much every palette, set, or kit they sell.

However. Perversion takes black to a whole new level. And here’s the photographic evidence! Zero on the left, Perversion on the right.

Indirect indoor light:

Overcast outdoor light:

Flash:

Zero is nice, but Perversion is NUTS. Velvety, matte, and very, very black. If you’re a black eyeliner fiend, it’s well worth seeking out. Maybe not worth buying the whole set for if you won’t use the other 14 shades, but at least worth trying to hunt down on eBay someday. There are plenty of other excellent blacks out there (check out the massive black eyeliner comparison post on Temptalia, or listen to Jette wax rhapsodic about MAC Smolder). But if you love love love black eyeliner, this one’s well worth looking into.

So, how does it look on? DRAMATIC. If this eyeliner had been available when I was in high school, I’d have peed my safety-pin-festooned pants.

  • UDPP in Eden
  • Urban Decay matte eyeshadow in Cult (LOVE this)
  • MAC Bisque to blend
  • Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Perversion
  • DiorShow mascara
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Wild Shine Lip Lacquer in Lustful

And there you have it! So, tell me … what’s your favorite black eyeliner?

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm  Comments (6)  
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Dork In Boots

Happily, it stopped raining today for exactly the amount of time it took for me to drive home from work and then have Mister Principessa take a few pictures of my outfit.

Admittedly, the outfit isn’t all that spectacular. Dress you’ve seen before, scarf you’ve seen before, generic Old Navy t-shirt, uninspired Gap cardigan. What I really wanted to show you is these:

They’re the Carrie riding boots from Torrid. They were an early Christmas present from my mom, and they arrived just in time for me to wear them through one of the craziest, longest-lingering rainstorms southern California has seen in years. They’re warm and comfy, and I like them a lot. The zipper and buckle give them just a bit of an edge, but not enough to make them inappropriate for work–at least not for my fairly casual office.

(A side note on fit, in case you’re looking at buying these: I wear a size 8 1/2 shoe, so I waffled for a while between the size 8 and the size 9. My calves are somewhere between 17 and 18 inches, and the Torrid website says that these boots, at a size 9, should fit a 17.8″ calf. So I opted for the 9. They’re slightly big on me, both in the foot and in the leg, which leaves just enough room for me to slap a pair of thick handknit socks under them.)

So yeah, it’s raining like mad in southern CA at the moment. The first crazy storm has moved out, and the second one (which might bring thunderstorms and–joy of joys–hail) is in the process of moving in. The tree out front dripped on me as I stood posing for photos.

Also, I don’t know what’s going on here, but it looks funny.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm  Comments (8)  
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Lush Face

Terrible title, I know. What can I say, I’m sleepy and distracted by Rain Apocalypse 2010 and the impending Christmas festivities!

So! As you might (or, more likely, might not) recall, I embarked upon a Lush skin care routine some time back. I was having some skin issues (odd dry patches, clogged pores, and the like), and since I’m a huge fan of Lush’s bath and body products, I figured it was high time to try out their skin care stuff and see if that sorted things out. After much hemming and hawing, I selected a few products that I thought might work well for me:

I have also augmented this routine with a couple of other items:

Now that I’ve been using this stuff for several months, I’ve formed some opinions. And here they are!

First off, the cleansers. I really, really like both Angels on Bare Skin and Buche de Noel. They’re similar products in that they’re both solid cleansers. As a former user of bar soaps, it took me a while to get accustomed to them; they have a cookie-dough-like texture, and you mix a pea-sized amount into a paste with water in the palm of your hand. It didn’t take me long to figure out that it takes very little water to achieve the required consistency. Both of these cleansers are very mild, and they have a gentle exfoliating effect as well. Buche de Noel is somewhat like a more moisturizing version of Angels on Bare Skin, and I’ve come to LOVE it; I suspect that it might be a Christmas-only product, and if that is the case, then I will CRY. It smells so good that I want to eat it.

I like both of these cleansers a lot, and would/will definitely purchase them again. In fact, I’m tempted to buy a backup of Buche de Noel RIGHT NOW, just in case they yank it after the holidays. I do think my skin has cleared up a bit since I started using them (although, to be fair, it was fairly clear before), and it certainly FEELS a hell of a lot better. So, yeah. I’m sold on these two.

Moving right along to the other new cleanser in my arsenal, 9 to 5. This is a makeup-removing “cleansing lotion,” and you use it like a cold cream, which is to say you smear it all over your face (including eyes and, if required, lips), and then wipe it off with cotton balls or a washcloth.  I don’t wear foundation or blush, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness in removing them. It’s fairly effective and non-greasy as an eye makeup remover.

However. I swear that one of the ingredients in this product reacts with certain mascaras that I wear, creating a STINGING-EYEBALLS-FROM-HELL situation. But this only happens with certain mascaras. DiorShow? No problem. Clinique High Impact? OH HOLY HELL MAKE THE BURNING STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I don’t know what’s up with that, and I don’t know if other people have had the same experience. I use this pretty regularly, and I would buy it again, but if I have the Clinique mascara on, I stick with Clinique eye makeup remover.

I’ve also become pretty fond of the Bubble Gum lip scrub. I’ve read some complaints about this product to the effect that it’s basically just flavored sugar mixed with oil. Which, OK, is true. But the flavoring is DELICIOUS (if you like like Snow Fairy/Godmother/Candy Fluff, you’ll like this). And it’s relatively cheap (US$8.95), and a little bit goes a LONG way. So I’ll continue to use it, and I think it’s a great value. For extra awesomeness, scrub your lips with this, then follow up with Whipstick. Mmmmmmmmmm soft and yummy.

And finally, Celestial moisturizer. My new love. At US$22.95, this isn’t particularly cheap, but it’s one of Lush’s more affordable moisturizers. I definitely think it’s worth the price. It smells delicious–like vanilla ice cream and almonds–and it’s incredibly soothing to my skin. It’s noticeably moisturizing without being greasy. I like it at least as much as the significantly pricier Paradise Regained, which is what I was using before I bought this one. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I adore this and would/will buy it again.

So! There’s my rundown. Have you used any of these products, and if so, what did you think? Is there some other magical Lush wonderment that I’m missing out on?

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 10:17 am  Comments (1)  
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We Are Your Overlords

First things first: I am apparently the highly suggestible type. Once again, a cosmetic shade name has triggered a chain reaction in my brain, with the end result that I’ve spent a whole day singing quietly under my breath and thinking “OK, I need to get that song out of my head. Where did it even come from in the first pl–oh, RIGHT.” This happened a couple of days ago with an eyeliner name and a song from “The Labyrinth,” and it happened again this weekend with an eyeshadow and a Led Zeppelin song.

So, to what eyeshadow do we owe the pleasure of this unscheduled musical interlude? Why, Fyrinnae Valhalla, of course!

I love Valhalla. It’s sort of a silvery lilac with a definite pink tone. It’s really pretty and sparkly yet subtle and somehow festive-looking, like powdered sugarplum fairy in a jar. I used it as my lid color here. To bring out Valhalla’s purpley tones, I used Ravens and Writing Desks (a very saturated, matte, lilac-y purple) as my crease color. I used the shimmery and beautiful Moon Child to highlight; I hadn’t used this color before, and I think it’ll be a versatile addition to my collection.

Let me issue my usual slew of Fyrinnae-related disclaimers: These shades are all much, much prettier in real life than they look in these photos. Fyrinnae eyeshadows are flawless, and my camera is awesome, but my photo-taking abilities are nowhere near good enough to capturing the subtleties here. I barely managed to document the sparkle of Valhalla or Moon Child, an impressive feat of photographerial incompetence considering that they’re so sparkly (Valhalla in particular) that I ended up with sparkles all over my face, including my forehead and nose.

With flash:

This next one shows shadows’ colors and opacity more accurately.

Product breakdown:

  • UDPP
  • Fyrinnae Valhalla all over lids
  • Fyrinnae Ravens and Writing Desks in crease and under lower lashes
  • Fyrinnae Moon Child to highlight
  • Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero on waterline
  • DiorShow mascara over Urban Decay lash primer
  • Urban Decay lip gloss in Love Junkie

To conclude in the immortal words of Robert Plant: The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands, to fight the hordes, sing and cry, Valhalla, I am coming! AH AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH, AH! AH AAAAAAAAAAH, AH!

ETA: If you like kittens, Vikings, and Led Zeppelin, you’re going to want to check this out. Thanks to spinster-in-training for bringing it to my attention!

Published in: on November 7, 2010 at 10:18 am  Comments (6)  
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Get Your Long Skirts Here!

A couple of you have expressed interest in Shukr skirts–I’m looking in the direction of one spinster-in-training and one guest blogger–and I have to say, I can’t recommend them highly enough. They fit me extremely well, which is no small feat given the proportional weirdness I’ve got going on. Most of them are a very flattering A-line shape, and they’re well made out of high-quality materials.

More important (to me), Shukr is the only retailer I’ve found that reliably sells skirts that are both stylish and floor-length. They’re meant to be “modest,” which is a concept that I’m not going to touch with a 10-foot pole; I don’t care about that aspect of them at all, I just like really long skirts.

I wore one of my Shukr skirts to the Japanese market this morning, so I thought I’d show it to ya!

Mister Principessa, being an obnoxious boy, was taking photos and not telling me, so half of them came out looking like some variation of this:

Nice.

I LOVE this skirt. The patterns at the bottom are embroidered on, and there are sequins sewn in to the vertical lines of stitching. It’s incredibly comfortable and very cool in the summer. It looks like this particular style is sold out, but there are plenty more where it came from. I’ve had my eye on this one for quite some time. This one too. Also, this one.

Anyway! In case you care, my top is from Old Navy as usual, and I’m wearing the same necklace from Etsy as in yesterday’s post. Incidentally, I’m intentionally NOT mentioning the seller’s name because my shopping experience was not very good, and I wouldn’t recommend that seller to anyone, least of all my charming readers.

Stay tuned for more about that trip to the Japanese market–specifically, the food we bought there. Gonna be all Japanese food all the time this coming week, yum!

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm  Comments (9)  
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Simple Green

As you are probably aware, yesterday California voted down Proposition 19, which would have made it legal to grow and possess marijuana for personal use. This has been a major topic of discussion here in SoCal of late, so I figured, why not jump on the bandwagon with a lovely green eyeshadow named for the sticky icky itself? Behold … Chronic by Urban Decay!

As you might have guessed by the post title, this is indeed a very simple look. Just two colors: Chronic all over the lid and up slightly above the crease, blended into Fyrinnae Marshmallow Puffs, which I used as a highlight color.

These pictures are all pretty terrible, I’m afraid; I’m still figuring my new camera out. They’re all kind of blurry, and I didn’t get a single full-face shot worth posting.

Product breakdown:

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden
  • Urban Decay Chronic all over lids and under lower lashes
  • Fyrinnae Marshmallow Puffs to blend and highlight
  • Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero on upper lids and waterline
  • DiorShow mascara

Chronic is my first Urban Decay matte, and the stories are true, oh, so true. It’s pretty incredible. Smooth, highly pigmented, doesn’t apply patchy at all, blends like a dream. Love it. Will need more.

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 9:14 am  Comments (8)  
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I Confess

I’ve been holding out on you.

When I posted that last Fyrinnae eye of the day, I was also test-driving another product for the third time: Fyrinnae Fluff.

What is Fluff? Well, here’s what the Fyrinnae website has to say about it (I’d link to the product page, but the site appears to be having a little holiday at the moment):

“Fluff is a lightweight, transparent, multi-use pure mineral powder to soften pores and fine lines, give a soft finish after makeup application, as a mild oil-absorbing primer. Unlike pure silica powder, this lacks the airborne “flyaway” aspect. Use alone, under makeup, or as a finishing powder. The round silica acts a reflective surface, which does create a very slight glow, but there is no noticable shimmer. The Titanium dioxide is very minimal (less than 1/2%), and does not make the powder whitening. It’s “fused” with silica. Like our Powder Primer, you only need to use a very small amount, which is best applied with a flocked sponge or kabuki/powder brush.”

When I first read about Fluff, I was intrigued. Although I don’t like to wear a lot of (OK, any) makeup on my face, I am, as I’ve mentioned, starting to see some signs of aging on my skin. And I also have combination skin that gets oily in the T-zone region, something I’d hoped to leave behind after I turned 20, along with Stridex pads and Noxzema.

Now, being the feminist that I am, I don’t see anything wrong with looking older. In fact, in a weird way, I kind of enjoy the fine lines on my face. They prove that I’ve been around the block, dammit! I have experience! I wasn’t particularly good at being a kid–I took everything way too seriously, just ask my mother–nor did I really enjoy it. So as far as I’m concerned, seeing signs of, uh, MATURITY on my face just proves that I’m a grown-up now. Anyway, that said, I notice that, by the end of the day, my face seems a bit shinier and linier than it does first thing in the morning. Fluff sounded like just the thing to combat that. I’ve tested it out a few times now, so, without further ado, here’s my review!

For starters, it really is transparent. I was worried that it would be whitish and make me look ashy, like other face powders I’ve used. Nope. This looks white in the jar, but that color doesn’t transfer to my face at all. Then again, I’m a white girl, so I can’t speak to how Fluff looks on darker skin tones.

As for how well it works, it does take the shine situation down a notch. This isn’t that noticeable on a freshly washed face, but when I applied it at the end of the day, it really made a difference in the way my skin looked.

And I do think it lives up to its promise of “soften[ing] pores and fine lines”. It just makes everything look a little more … soft focus. It’s a very subtle effect, and it really doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. (Mister Principessa didn’t notice I was wearing anything at all.) What it does, to my eye, is make my end-of-the-day skin look more like my freshly-washed-and-moisturized skin: glowy and healthy, but not sparkly or ashy.

Of course, I can blather all day, but photos tell the real story. On to the HARD PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE. I took these photos at the end of the day; in the first ones, I’m wearing no makeup whatsoever, and in the second ones, I’m wearing Fluff on my face, plus eye makeup and lipstick. I did not wash my face before applying the Fluff. These are all flash photos; sorry about that. Click if you dare … I left the originals pretty big so you can get a good look.

Before Fluff:

After Fluff (I think the pore-softening effect is particularly noticeable on my cheeks here):

Before:

After:

Am I happy with this purchase? Oh hells yes I am. It did exactly what I wanted it to do, and exactly what it claimed to do. I don’t wear foundation, and I really like the way this looks on my bare face. If you wear foundation, this won’t replace it, but if you want something to finish off your look and give your skin a very subtly glowy, airbrushed quality, Fluff just might do the trick. Nine thumbs up!

So that’s what I thought! How about you? Have you tried Fluff? Did it work with your skin tone? Anyone tried it over (or under) foundation?

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm  Comments (12)  
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Lush Update and Quick & Dirty Fyrinnae EOTD

My Lush skin care stuff arrived on Wednesday, so I’ve had a chance to use it a few times. And damned if I’m not impressed with all of it! Just as a reminder, I bought Angels on Bare Skin and 9 to 5 cleansers and Celestial moisturizer.

So far, I LOVE 9 to 5. It’s a “cleansing lotion,” which is kind of weird to me; I don’t believe I’ve ever used one before, unless Noxzema counts. It does a good job of taking off my makeup, even mascara. And shockingly, it works even better if I actually use it the way you’re supposed to, i.e., wipe it off with cotton balls or a washcloth rather than rinsing with water. Using water doesn’t work so good. It also leaves my skin really soft–none of that tight, dry, flaky feeling at all. Nice! Plus, I’m hoping I’ll be more dedicated to washing my face at night now that I’ve seen what ends up on those cotton balls. Bleah! No wonder I have cloggy pores!

Angels on Bare Skin is nice too. Weird, but nice. (I’m pretty sure someone wrote that about me in my high school yearbook, come to think of it.) It comes in this big roll thing and you pinch off a piece about the size of a pea, then mix it with water into a paste. Odd or no, it seems to work very well. It actually feels like a very mild, gentle exfoliant. But again, when I get done with it, I don’t end up with that tight feeling.

And you might have predicted this, but I’m liking Celestial too. It smells AMAZING … very nice if you’re into almondy/vanilla-y scents, which I am. It also leaves my skin really soft, and it definitely moisturizes, but it doesn’t feel greasy. Plus, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, like the last Lush moisturizer I bought, Paradise Regained (and have you seen this one? WTF???). Honestly, I think Celestial does just as good a job, and for less than half the price.

Of course, this is my very-early-stage, “I’ve been using these products for three days,” honeymoon-phase review. It’s entirely possible that in three weeks I’ll be back here going “DAMMIT! 9 to 5 is making me break out, Angels on Bare Skin has degenerated into common garden mud, and Celestial SEEMED nice at first, but I noticed that 20 bucks were missing from my purse this morning.” So no guarantees yet. But so far, so good–and my skin already feels a hell of a lot better.

And just so this whole thing isn’t a wall of text, here’s a quick & dirty Fyrinnae eye of the day! It’s sort of the lazy, everyday version of this one, using the same shades: Daemon’s Tail and Polar Bear.

Daemon’s Tail on the lid, Polar Bear in the crease. Forgive the crapness of these photos; I took them after work, about 9 hours post-makeup-application.

And some swatches, since I didn’t do any last time. With flash (DT on the left, PB on the right):

Fyrinnae Daemon's Tail and Polar Bear eyeshadow swatches

Direct sun:

Fyrinnae eyeshadow swatches, Daemon's Tail and Polar Bear

This one is, um, “blurred to show sparkles.” Also, complexity? In reality, all my direct sun photos came out blurry and this was the best of them. However, in the big version of this photo, you CAN see purple sparkles in Daemon’s Tail that I didn’t notice at all until I saw it in the sun. And THAT’s what I mean when I say that Fyrinnae shadows are complex; I’m always noticing some new nuance. Keep ya guessing, they do!

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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Know What I Love?

THIS NAIL POLISH.

[Holy CRAP this is a terrible picture, and it does no justice to the polish whatsoever. I don’t know how you nail bloggers do it.]

Now, I am by no means a “nails person.” My nails don’t grow very well, and I don’t do the acrylics thing; I have a desk job that requires me to type all day, plus I love to knit and cook, and I think long nails would get in the way. Also, I’m not a huge fan of wearing sparkly/shimmery/glittery/otherwise “fancy” nail polishes on my fingers. On my toes, I go nuts. But on my fingernails, I like to keep it simple. I prefer to wear very dark or otherwise sort of drab creme colors–blue so dark it almost looks black, green so dark it almost looks black, red so dark it almost looks black, grayish taupe, lilac-ish taupe, brownish taupe, you get the idea.

So, given that I am something of a spoilsport when it comes to fingernails, I’m sort of shocked that I like wearing this color as much as I do. AND I DO. It’s a really nice shade of purple, and it has this amazing metallic finish that almost looks like plastic. If you’ve ever seen those metallic-looking plastic Mardi Gras beads, or metallic-looking tokens (which the Intarweb tells me are anodized aluminum), it looks like that. And I lurve it.

For the curious, it is CQ Nail Polish enamel in Mystical. The only downside to it is that getting it this opaque took four coats, but I tend to be extremely conservative with coat thickness. The finish is incredibly smooth. It’s held up very well, and I am HARD on my nails, what with all the typing and knitting and cooking and subsequent doing of dishes by hand.

So, to conclude in Hulk Speak: ME LIKE METALLIC NAIL POLISH MUCH MORE THAN ME ANTICIPATE. ME NEED TAKE PAPER MONEYS TO RITE AID, GET MORE FANCY COLOR IN BOTTLE. MAYBE ALSO WAXY PRETTY COLOR IN WOODEN STICK.

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm  Comments (4)  
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