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.


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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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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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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Miscellaneous Items!

ITEM THE FIRST! We are making that pork thing again tomorrow, but this time, we’re using a pork tenderloin and not doing the apple part. Also, this time I didn’t use a recipe, I just mashed the marinade together using ingredients that I believe are approximately the same as the ones we used last time. It’s in the fridge marinating as we speak. Fingers crossed; will report back.

ITEM THE SECOND! The Christmas knitting is done. Praise Jeebus! Expect pictures in late December. In the meantime, I plan to finish up the projects that were sidelined in favor of the Christmas knitting. Remember those guys? Yep, still working on them, except that the ruffle scarf and socks have been finished and there’s a new pair of socks in the works. I want to finish them STAT because I have already selected my next scarf project (it’s technically a shawl, but it’s pretty freaking small for a shawl if you ask me) and my next shawl project. And, predictably, I want to start them NOOOOOOWWWWW! I have no concept of patience. It’s a fact. I may have started a pair of legwarmers in the meantime.

ITEM THE THIRD! I am apparently going through some kind of phase that involves wearing a lot of black, gray, and purple.

I keep ordering things from eShakti. This purple skirt is my newest acquisition. I ordered this dress in black today, so be on the lookout for it in a future post. One note about eShakti: things appear on and disappear from their site like mad. If you see something you like, you should probably pounce on it, or be prepared for it to disappear and then reappear at an unspecified later date, or to disappear in the color you wanted.

  • Purple skirt from eShakti, size 16
  • Gray long-sleeved t-shirt from Old Navy, size M
  • Black cardigan from Old Navy, size L*
  • Black tights that apparently photograph gray from Target
  • The eternal Born Mary Janes

*I kind of hate this cardigan. It pilled immediately, it’s slightly too big but not enough to justify returning it, and it picks up lint to such a degree that it looks like I slept in it even when it’s freshly washed. It might become an “at-home-only” sweater.

ITEM THE FOURTH! It has been unusually chilly in Long Beach for this time of year. Furthermore, our floor heater doesn’t work (long story), and it turns out that the bathroom is the coldest room of our already-chilly apartment. So, I’ve been spending as little time in there as possible, which means I have not been spending any time playing with makeup. Additionally, my fingernails are a hideous, peeling, crackly, ridgy mess at the moment, so no nail polish either. Woe is me.

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm  Comments (8)  
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Urban Flapper

I don’t know why, but I’m into flappers right now. I know, I know. This makes me sound like a five-year-old. Why? Why flappers? Why not unicorns or mermaids or fire trucks or construction workers? I don’t know, okay? All I know is that I have lately felt a burning need for a short bob, a long string of beads, and a cloche hat! Or two!

Being that I am also obsessed with makeup, it was only a matter of time before these two worlds collided. Luckily, flappers weren’t averse to makeup themselves.

About that: In the course of my flapper research (what?), I have noted that there is some controversy about what constitutes “authentic” flapper makeup. The general consensus is that they made do with what they could get their hands on, which is to say … not much. Kohl and rouge and powder, basically. Some people say that the eyes were generally worn very dark; some other people say that those people are idiots. But I’ll tell ya, pretty much all the photos I’ve found point in a Dark Eyes direction. I’m thinking in particular about Clara Bow here.

So I went for it. Urban Decay to the rescue. Here’s a better look at the makeup, unobscured by the hat.

DISCLAIMER! I do not claim that this is in any way “authentic” flapper makeup. It’s flapper-inspired, but I wasn’t going for authenticity here. Just having fun.

The goods! Incidentally, feel free to point people over here when they say that the Naked palette is good only for boring neutral looks.

  • UDPP
  • Urban Decay Creep on lids
  • Urban Decay Gunmetal above Creep to blend
  • Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero on upper lids and lower lashline, smudged all to hell and gone
  • Christian Dior DiorShow on upper and lower lashes
  • TKB Trading pigment in Deep Russet blended with clear gloss on lips

A better look at the star of the show!

And finally, a silly face with alternative hat and lips (my beloved UD Love Junkie) because dammit, I don’t make enough silly faces on this blog.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 7:26 am  Comments (8)  
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Lash Tints My World and Keeps Me Safe from My Trouble and Pain

Extra credit for anyone who gets that reference. I’m really clever. Just take my word for it.

(I get it. But I still like my title for this post better. It involved rum and sodomy.–La Principessa)

It’s me, Jette, back again for a guest post! Thanks once again to La Principessa for allowing me to share the spotlight. Today, alas, I am not writing about makeup. I know! Shock, shock, horror, horror! If you haven’t guessed, I am writing about…(ba da dummmm)…lash tinting.

That’s right, folks, lash tinting! I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this fascinating and esoteric practice, but lash tinting is available with your local aesthetician for not too steep of a price, and is, most simply, dying your eyelashes! For someone who has dyed her hair since she was 15 and really doesn’t remember what her real hair color is (medium-ish brown-ish?), this is too hard to resist.

The question is, regardless of the “Ooooh, neat!” factor…is it worth it? Which is what we are investigating today. With pictures. So, here are the basics. I started out with my normal brown-ish lashes, and like most people, they don’t look as long as they are, since the tips tend to be bleached from the sun. See Before photos, sans makeup and eyelash curling. I’m a brave girl. Excuse the gunk in the corner of my eye.

I then ponied up $23 (not including tip) at my local Aveda salon. My aesthetician applied a blue-black dye (the blue is intended to make the eyes pop), we waited about 20 minutes, and after much rinsing, voila!

Again, this is with no eye makeup and no eyelash curling. My thoughts on the process are as follows. First, it’s very cool and isn’t very expensive, so why not splurge every now and then? Second, I think the most noticeable difference is on the bottom lashes, which were barely there before. In conclusion, I think that someone who wears very little or no makeup (or who wants to look good if someone were to <ahem> see her first thing in the morning) would get the most value out of this, but I think for those of us who wear mascara, this provides a good base and fills the lashes out. Will I do it regularly? Probably not. But I did enjoy the hell out of this experiment.

If you’re going to try it, lash tinting lasts for 4-5 weeks, and you should be careful about removing your makeup. My aesthetician told me that I should preferably use water (hahahahaha – have you SEEN the kind of makeup I wear?) and not scrub. We’ll see how well that works.

So, what do y’all think? Totally worth it? No noticeable difference? A completely pointless beauty process?

Thanks to Jette for another fabulous guest post! Let’s all wish her a fantastic trip to England and keep our jealous muttering to a minimum!–La Principessa

Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 7:11 am  Comments (4)