In Which I Wear Red

Look! An item of clothing that’s not black, gray, or purple!

I freaking LOVE this dress. It’s the ruffle sleeve cotton dress from eShakti, and I love everything about it. The color? Perfect. The fit? Perfect. The length? Perfect. I love it so much that the first thing I did after I tried it on was order another one just like it in black. One of these days, I’ll write a post about how much I love eShakti and why. In the meantime, just know that I really, really love eShakti.

It’s a pretty red red, so to calm it down for work, I reverted to type and wore it with a dark gray cardigan.

Cardigan is from Old Navy, tights are from Target, and shoes are the ever-present Born Mary Janes. The necklace is a pendant I found on clearance at Michaels.

It’s one of three that came in a set. The other two say “AT 26, FAST LIFE AND DISSIPATION” and “AT 40, AN OUTCAST”. For more details, check out this blog post at Penny Dreadful Vintage.

I decided to keep with the grayish theme for my eye makeup.

Eyeshadow is Heist by Urban Decay. It’s a matte mauvey-taupe, but it looks more like a straight taupe on me. It’s very versatile and I love it. Eyeliner is Stray Dog, also by Urban Decay and available exclusively in the 15th anniversary 24/7 eyeliner set. It’s a shimmery, grayish/silvery taupe. I mentioned in an earlier post that it’s almost a duochrome, and the above photo shows this aspect of it pretty well; it’s definitely taupey-brown when seen from an angle, but head on, the shimmery grayish-silver aspect dominates. Very interesting, and very pretty. Incidentally, Urban Decay’s eyeliners are called “24/7” for a reason–these photos were taken about 9 1/2 hours after I applied my makeup. Not bad, eh?

And finally … silly pictures. Watch out, I’m SMILING in some of them!

Aaaaaand a WTF picture.

I did NOT do this on purpose. I opened up this photo in Photoshop and then went to eat dinner, and when I came back and woke my laptop up … I found this. Not only is it negative, but I am apparently throwing up gang signs. Represent!

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Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm  Comments (13)  
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Like A Rhinestone Cowgirl

I felt like wearing really pale eye makeup today. And wouldn’t you know? Urban Decay, in their infinite wisdom, included a super-pale shade in the 15th anniversary 24/7 eyeliner set, which I am nowhere NEAR done playing with yet.

Behold … Midnight Cowboy!

(Photos were taken in indirect natural light, direct sun, and with the flash, respectively.)

You may know Midnight Cowboy as Urban Decay’s notorious glitterbomb of an eyeshadow. Their website claims that it’s their best seller, which I find hard to believe, considering how many complaints I’ve read online about the shade’s masses of chunky glitter and endless fallout. My patience for glitter decreases more and more with each passing year, so I’ve never even considered purchasing Midnight Cowboy in eyeshadow form.

However.

The eyeliner version is GORGEOUS, and right up my alley. It’s a pale, warm, peachy champagne color. It’s got some sparkle to it, but it’s not overwhelming. And I didn’t have to wipe glitter off my face once during the day, which is more than I can say for some of UD’s other glittery liners (*cough*Crash*cough*). I was so impressed, in fact, that I may or may not have purchased the 24/7 shadow pencil in Midnight Cowboy today. (Also, in Sin. Also, Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin. What? I’m going through a champagne phase! And we’ve already established that I have no self control!)

In keeping with the pale theme, I wore Midnight Cowboy with Sellout eyeshadow (touted on the UD website as “Midnight Cowboy without the glitter”), just a bit of Toasted eyeshadow in the crease, and DiorShow mascara.

Click this next one to embiggen.

Unfortunately, none of my full-face shots came out very well. They never do when I take them at the end of the day! But this next one gives some indication of why I like this kind of look–it brightens up my eyes in a very subtle way.

So, yes. Midnight Cowboy 24/7 eyeliner is YET ANOTHER of my new favorite things. (Interesting how very many “new favorite things” I have acquired since purchasing the 24/7 set. Hmmm … I wonder if there’s a connection … )

To conclude, here is my “WTF?” photo of the day. I don’t know what happened here. But it was weird.

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm  Comments (5)  
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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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A Properly Topped Pie

Remember that sweet potato pie I made on Thanksgiving? The one with the topping that tasted delicious, but looked unnervingly like taco meat? Well, I made it again this weekend, this time using regular old brown sugar from the regular old grocery store, rather than organic brown sugar from Whole Foods. And surprise surprise, this time the butter and sugar actually did what they were supposed to do.

Which is to say, they melted together and became a delicious, caramelly goo that actually coated the pecans to form a sticky praline topping, rather than sitting next to the nuts in stubborn, grainy little lumps. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

As the youth of today would say, “OMNOMNOMNOMNOM.” Are the kids still saying that? At any rate, lesson learned. Do not use fancy-schmancy untested ingredients when trying out new recipes. The pie is absolutely delicious and fairly simple to make. The recipe is here, if you’re interested in trying this procedure at home.

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm  Comments (6)  
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Corrupted

Being the boring, elderly, office-working neutral-makeup-wearer that I am, the first thing I did once I got my Urban Decay 15-year anniversary 24/7 eyeliner set home was start playing with the browns. And friends … I have fallen deeply, madly in love with one of them.

But before I get into that, let’s look at all the brown (or brownish) Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners I own, shall we? From left to right, we have Whiskey, Bourbon, Corrupt, Stray Dog, and Underground. I left most of these photos enormous, so click them for the full effect. In direct sun:

In indirect indoor light:

And a flash photo for good measure:

Please note that only the middle three liners in these photos–Bourbon, Corrupt, and Stray Dog–are included in the 15th anniversary set. Please also note that only Bourbon and Underground are currently available individually. I got Whiskey as one half of the dual-ended pencil included with the Naked palette, and the only other place I’ve seen it is on Sephora as half of a duo.

I’m pretty impressed with all of these shades. Whiskey is a gorgeous, mid-toned, warm brown, and I’d love to have it in a full-sized pencil. Bourbon looks essentially the same as Whiskey, but with gold sparkle. Let’s skip over Corrupt, because I have a lot to say about it. Stray Dog is a really interesting, unusual color. It’s a brownish taupe with a definite gray tone to it–almost a duochrome effect. It looks taupey-brown straight on, but when you see it from an angle, the gray takes over. Very unique. And we all know my feelings on Underground, which is to say I LOVE IT.

Corrupt is pretty much my new favorite thing in the world. Christine from Temptalia describes it as a “dark chocolate brown with warm amber undertones,” and Urban Decay’s website calls it a “dark metallic brown w/silver sparkle.” Both of these descriptions are technically accurate, but I don’t think they really do it justice. It’s a fairly dark brown, definitely darker than Whiskey and Bourbon, and it has a unique reddish-coppery tone. This aspect of it is most obvious in the flash photo above, and it gives it an almost eggplant-y sheen in some light. The sparkle is noticeable, but not obtrusive or glittery. I love the way Corrupt looks with my eyes. Paging Dr. Love! Paging Dr. I.M.N. Love! Sigh.

I wore it to the grocery store today. Prepare yourself for THE GIANT EYEBALLS OF DOOOOOOOM!

I wanted to emphasize the liner, so I wore it with a really pale eyeshadow and mascara, and that was pretty much it. Again, these photos are all pretty huge, so click away!

Details:

  • UDPP Eden
  • MAC eyeshadow in Bisque (which, it turns out, is EXACTLY the color of my eyelids)
  • UD 24/7 eyeliner in Corrupt on upper lids
  • Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara in Excessive Black
  • NYX brow powder in Brown
  • UD lipstick in Wicked (I got this as part of a “Beauty in a Box” set from Sephora, and I didn’t expect to like it at all. But it’s actually quite pretty and unobtrusive. Score!)

So, to conclude: Corrupt is just gorgeous. It surprised the hell out of me–the one I was expecting to go nuts over was Stray Dog–and I really, really wish it were available individually and permanently. What do you think? Like it? Need it? Don’t care? Have sworn allegiance to another brown eyeliner already?

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm  Comments (9)  
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My Weekend Plans

1. Make it be warmer outside. True, it’s warming up a little bit, and true, it rarely gets what I’d call “cold” here. However, according to the cat, it is cold, especially in the evenings. So cold that it is apparently time once again for her to wheedle her little cat self onto or inside of my sleeping bag at every available opportunity.

I was sitting on the couch last night, knitting, as usual. I had the sleeping bag over my lap (I use it instead of a blanket sometimes because it has a temperature rating of 15 degrees F and is therefore super warm) with the closed-up bottom part on the floor. I felt some activity and heard some rustling down there …

so I got up and investigated.

OK, CAT. WE GET THE POINT. IT IS CHILLY. You’d think for a cat from Colorado she’d be a little hardier than this. But, having lived here for almost 7 years, she is apparently a thin-blooded Californian weenie now. (I kind of am too. And the Mister totally is–he bumbles around in shorts and a t-shirt and then has the nerve to complain that he’s cold–but he was born and raised here, so he has an excuse.)

2. Cook food. We’re having Thanksgiving dinner again. This will be our third Thanksgiving dinner in as many months. I can’t wait.

3. Lock myself in the bathroom and emerge several hours later with raw, bleedy, swollen eyelids.

My Urban Decay 24/7 set arrived in the mail today. I’m not ashamed to say that I opened it immediately, at work, and commenced drawing on myself. What? Casual Friday! Don’t judge me!

Anyway, having this in my possession makes me feel like

So I plan to spend a lot of time playing with it this weekend.

Yes, folks, those are my plans. That’s the kind of glamorous, sexy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants existence we live here at Principessa Headquarters. Oh! And don’t let me forget the grocery shopping that will also happen this weekend! Try to keep your jealousy down to a simmer.

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm  Comments (7)  
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New Makeup Mania!

This post was really intended for yesterday. But then life intervened in the form of an ear infection for the Mister, a three-hour wait in urgent care, and another hour or so spent driving and filling prescriptions. He has learned a valuable lesson about, as the doctor put it, “not jamming shit in his ears.” Q-Tips are for EXTERNAL USE ONLY, people. Take it from us.

So after the trials and tribulations and craptastic sleep of yesterday, I thought I would take a little time today to play with my Christmas makeup some more. And what colors did I gravitate toward? Why, purples, of course!

I can’t help it! I’m exceedingly fond of purples! Especially pale, lilac-y purples like the ones I used today.

Products!

  • UDPP in Eden
  • MAC Digit all over lids
  • Urban Decay Purple Haze (the regular one, not the matte one … why they have two shadows with the same name, I’ll never understand) in crease
  • MAC Dazzlelight to highlight
  • UD 24/7 eyeliner in Rockstar on upper lids
  • Tarte multiplEYE Extend 3 mascara
  • Lorac Multiplex lip gloss in 3D

The mascara and the gloss came as part of a sampler thingy I got as a special offer from Sephora. I really like both of them. The mascara claims to be “clinically proven” to enhance lashes, and while I can’t confirm that, it does lengthen and thicken quite dramatically. I’m pretty impressed with it. And the gloss is INSANE. It’s multidimensional and incredibly glittery, but it’s definitely wearable, and the color is flattering and pretty. Plus it smells really good. It would be a nice nighttime “going out” gloss, I think. I didn’t manage to get any pictures that capture the level of sparkle or complexity. Boo on my crap photography!

Another item that came in that sampler set was Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick in shade “WOW, That’s Frickin’ BRIGHT!!” I mean, shade 36. Um … I don’t really think it’s me.

It’s actually quite pretty, and surprisingly flattering considering how bright it is. It’s my first-ever MUFE product, and the formula is extremely nice. And it does coordinate well with the kick-ass Bell Jar t-shirt Jette got me for Christmas.

Too bad my necklace is flipped around in this photo. It was yet another Christmas gift, from my mom this time, and I love it. It looks more or less like this from the front, only more gray and less gold/green/whatever the hell color it seems to be reflecting here.

Ha ha! I just realized it’s reflecting my front window, curtains, and lawn.

So! Speaking of makeup, did anybody have a temporary bout of complete insanity this morning and drop $92 on the new Urban Decay 15th anniversary 24/7 eyeliner set the instant it became available online? Because, um, I may have. What? Do you think I have no self control or something? Well, you’re right! Much like Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything except temptation. Also like Oscar Wilde, I have nothing to declare but my genius, but that’s a whole other post.

Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm  Comments (18)  
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New Year, New Chopsticks

As required by law, the Mister and I had sushi (well, sashimi) for our New Year’s Day dinner.

We have sashimi pretty much every New Year’s Day, and it was extra fun this year because we got to try out a few sushi-related gifty items that we got for Christmas. Such as the pickle dishes and doggy chopstick rest from my sister.

How cute is that? I failed to take pictures of the pickle dishes before we slapped a bunch of pickles onto them. Believe me when I say that they are also very cute; one of them has bunnies, and the other one has a cat.

We also got to mix up our own wasabi from the Penzeys wasabi powder my mom got us. It was very, very good. I’ve been disappointed by powdered wasabi in the past, but this stuff is amazing. Hot, but not too hot, flavorful, and not gritty at all. Highly recommended. Oh, and it’s not dyed bright green like most wasabi is either.

And finally, we both got to bust out our fancy chopsticks. I opted for my Mr. Gently chopsticks, which were a gift from the Mister’s sister some years ago. They have the following information on them: “Mr. Gently. He is my best friend. He is gentle manner and heart.” Plus, they have a cat! Wearing a suit!

And, the piece de resistance:

Light saber chopsticks, Yoda flavored, from Think Geek, Christmas gift to the Mister from me. Light saber noises were made at dinner, and there was a reference to “the dark side.” I can see that these are going to have to be used sparingly.

I hope that you had a fantastic New Year’s too, and here’s to a happy, healthy 2011!

Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm  Comments (12)  
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Neutral Territory

I am seriously into neutral eye colors these days. I don’t know why. I’ve never been hugely into brights, but I’ve gone crazy for neutrals all of a sudden. Taupes, beiges, reddish browns, coppery browns, very pale pinks and champagnes and off-whites, grays. Can’t get enough of them. I got 12 new (mostly neutral) eye shadows for Christmas, I have my Sephora cart all loaded up and ready to go with yet more, and my MAC favorites list is filled to the brim with subtle, gorgeous, glorious neutrals.

Man, I should have put on some lipstick! Anyway, I don’t know what the deal is with the neutral colors. I think part of it is that, as I get older, I’m less interested in “making a statement” with my makeup and more interested in flattering my features and skin tone. I’m also getting more concerned with the image that I present professionally: when I’m at work, I want people to focus on what I’m saying, not how I look. And these colors are perfect for professional, work-friendly, “grown-up” makeup looks. (Which is not to say that bold makeup can’t be professional and grown-up! There are a lot of things to take into consideration in terms of the makeup you wear at work: personal preference, the industry you’re in, possibly the dress code, and so on. Even where you live can have an influence.)

Here’s what I’m wearing!

  • UDPP in Eden
  • MAC Naked Lunch all over lids (thanks Mom!)
  • UD Roach in crease
  • UD Toasted above Roach to blend
  • MAC Dazzlelight to highlight
  • UD 24/7 eyeliner in Underground
  • Clinique High Impact mascara

These were almost all Christmas presents. The Urban Decay stuff was a gift to me from me, and my mom gave me the MAC stuff. Wheeee! New makeup!

Natural light:

With flash:

I know I’ve waxed rhapsodic about Underground eyeliner before, but I just have to reiterate that I freaking LOVE IT. It’s more subtle than black or even brown liner, and it’s just a unique and gorgeous color. I had a travel size of it before, but I got myself a full size for Christmas.

On a related note, were you aware that MAC Naked Lunch and Urban Decay Sell Out are almost perfect dupes? It’s a fact. Naked Lunch is just a tiny bit warmer and pinker, and Sell Out is slightly cooler and frostier. Otherwise, they’re practically indistinguishable pinky champagnes. I love them both!

Sell Out on the left, Naked Lunch on the right.

Published in: on December 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm  Comments (4)  
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How To Wear A Shawl

As I mentioned yesterday, I finally finished my frickin’ Pi Shawl. This shawl was developed by knitting legend Elizabeth Zimmermann. The basic concept is that, as the number of rows doubles, so does the number of stitches. This formula makes it super easy to come up with a perfectly round shawl. I’m neither a math whiz nor a knitting genius, so I can’t explain why it works … but it does. If you’re curious about it, read Zimmermann’s explanation in Knitter’s Almanac, or, failing that, have a math nerd explain it to you. Alternatively, you can just do what I do: ignore the whys and wherefores and focus on the knitting part.

I love this pattern for several reasons. One, it’s incredibly simple to keep track of. The version I did is just plain knitting, around and around and around, with lacy false increase rows interspersed with the real increase rows. Two, it’s quite versatile and customizable. If you don’t do the false increase rows, you end up with large swathes of plain knitting that are perfect for inserting lace patterns into. Or you can just keep it simple and plain; it’s beautiful regardless.

It’s also very easy to wear. I think a lot of knitters shy away from shawls because they don’t know when, where, or how to wear them, which is a damn shame. Shawls somehow have a reputation for being fancy schmancy evening formal wear, but they don’t have to be. I wear them everywhere: to work, to the grocery store, around the house, you name it. I’m bringing shawls back, dammit. And as for how, well, there are ever so many possibilities!

You can wear it standard granny style, of course–cuter and more unique than a cardigan (not that I don’t love cardigans).

You can wear it like a poncho. I find that this is the warmest configuration. It’s like a mitten for your torso.

You can fold it in half and tie it around your shoulders in the front.

You can tie it under your arms in the back and wear it like a shrug.

You can fold it over just a little bit and wear it like a big dramatic cape.

And of course, when you’re done wearing it, you can pretend to be a bullfighter. At least that’s what appears to be going on here.

See? So many possibilities!

However you plan to wear it, if you’re looking for a simple circular shawl pattern, I highly recommend this one. The “official” pattern is in Knitter’s Almanac, but a Google search should point you in the direction of a basic Pi Shawl recipe. Knitting this was so much fun, and I’m so impressed with the results, that I’m seriously considering turning right around and starting another one. Oh, and the yarn is Dream in Color Baby in Gothic Rose.

In other yarn-related news, I’m currently working on a triangular scarf in Malabrigo sock yarn. Last night I came across a bit of vegetable matter lodged firmly in the yarn that had somehow made it through the spinning and dyeing processes. It came out with a little gentle tugging, and I was impressed to see how well it had taken the dye.

Pretty! And poke-y!

Published in: on December 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm  Comments (9)  
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