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.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:38 am  Comments (3)  
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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!

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.


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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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.


  • 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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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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Urban Decay Strikes Back

It’s Thanksgiving Episode V, which we all know is REALLY part 2!

Yes, Mister Principessa enjoyed Thanksgiving Episode IV: A New Pork Roast Recipe so much that he decided we needed to reprise it this weekend, presumably to help us bear up through the long, dark stretch of winter between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That might have seemed like a reasonable explanation, anyway, were it not gorgeously sunny and 80 degrees out today.

At any rate, I decided to wear the same dress I wore on Thanksgiving Episode IV, but sans layers and belt. It is WARM out, people. However, I decided to do different makeup this time around. I’ve been on a major Urban Decay kick of late, so I dragged some of my more neglected eyeshadows out for a little playtime. As a Christmas gift to me from me, I ordered a few new UD shadows (*cough*eightplustheAmmopalette*cough*), which are currently sitting in their little shipping boxes under the tree. Since there will soon be an influx of sexy newcomers to play with, I figured I’d better get to using the ones I already have, and quickly.

I have a couple of Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadows that I never wear because they seem somewhat … intimidating: Frigid and Freakshow. They’re actually similar colors, fairly intense purples with dark bases. Frigid has more of a blue tone to it (almost a duochrome effect–in fact, it’s rather like a much darker version of Asphyxia), and Freakshow is more pinkish. I’ve been playing with them both over the past couple of days, and it turns out that they’re much more wearable than I’d thought they’d be.

Here, I used Frigid as the main color. You can really see the blue tone in these next two photos.

Product breakdown!

  • UDPP
  • Urban Decay Asphyxia on inner 1/3 of lids
  • UD Frigid on outer 2/3 of lids and into crease
  • UD Freakshow in and slightly above crease
  • UD Sell Out to blend/highlight
  • UD Zero eyeliner on top lash line and smudged under lower lashes
  • UD lash primer
  • DiorShow mascara
  • Some ancient L’Oreal sheer lipstick that’s so old I probably shouldn’t be wearing it, but I am, because I’m gross like that

Yikes. I need a goddamn haircut. Good thing I’m getting one on Thursday. I’m trying to go in a short bob direction, but it’s currently leaning toward an unfortunate look that I refer to as Lady Senator Hair.

In other news, behold ye mighty and majestic tannenbaum!

Yeah, it’s a desktop model.

Published in: on December 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm  Comments (8)  
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Smoke On My Eyelids

You remember that old song by Deep Purple, right? “Smooooooke on my eeeeeeeeyeliiiiiiiiids …” Or something like that. I don’t remember exactly how it went.

Anyway! Today’s simple, subtly smoky look is brought to you by Fyrinnae Leshii, a rather dark, shimmery, gray-lilac. I wasn’t sure about this shade at first; when I swatched it, I found it sort of dull but sparkly, a weird combination. But I should have known better than to doubt the wizards at Fyrinnae. It turns out that this shade requires a sticky primer (such as the one by Concrete Minerals, or Fyrinnae’s own Pixie Epoxy) to bring out its true beauty. It’s dark enough to be dramatic, but still wearable, with some interesting multicolored shimmer and sparkle going on (turquoise and copper, according to the product description). It reminds me of charcoal and ashes, but purple.

In direct sunlight–click this first one to make HUGE for maximum turquoise-and-copper sparkly goodness:


I used Valhalla and Moon Child as the crease and highlight colors, respectively. Two things: One, these shades are incredible together. And two, Valhalla is one of those Fyrinnae shape-shifters. It looks like your standard pale lilac/lavender in the jar, but transforms as if by magic when you put it on, revealing a pink tone that is NOWHERE to be seen when it’s just hanging out in its little container. (French Vanilla Shake is another one that does this: it looks unassuming, even boring, in the jar, and comes to life when you apply it.)

In indirect natural light, indoors:

Product breakdown:

  • Concrete Minerals primer
  • Fyrinnae Leshii all over lids, up to crease
  • Fyrinnae Valhalla blended into Leshii into and above crease
  • Fyrinnae Moon Child to highlight
  • DiorShow mascara
  • Urban Decay lip gloss in Love Junkie, as usual

And just for fun, one flash photo:

Forgive my weird face and semi-wet hair here:

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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Three-Way Dupe Alert!

Maybe that’s actually a trip alert! You know, triplicate? Instead of duplicate? The point is, I have discovered that I own not one, not two, but THREE versions of what is essentially the same eyeshadow shade. And whether you like higher-end makeup, drugstore cheapies, or online-only mineral makeup, there’s one here for you!

The shade in question is a very pale matte beige. In my case, you might even call it a “my lids but better” shade. It’s light and matte enough that you can tell I’m wearing SOMETHING, but subtle enough to be barely noticeable. It makes an excellent, warmish highlight color and a perfect pale background for pinup-style eyeliner. And it might even make a reasonable “in a pinch” concealer or highlighter for the right skin tone.

Here are swatches of the shade in question. On the left we have MAC Blanc Type. I was super excited when I ordered this (it was my first MAC purchase, along with the Vanilla and Naked pigments). My excitement sank into mild disappointment and then vague irritation with myself when I discovered that it’s basically the same color as Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon eyeshadown in Brulee (center), which I already owned. And then, when I hauled out and swatched all my Silk Naturals colors a week or so ago, I thought to myself, hmmm … that Bone eyeshadow looks mighty familiar. Yep. That’s it there on the right.

Direct sunlight:

Indirect outdoor light:

In my opinion, Blanc Type and Bone are basically indistinguishable from each other. Brulee is very, very slightly warmer and darker than the other two; it’s also very soft, and I find it easier to get on my brush than Blanc Type. But those are basically the only differences, as far as I can tell. I’ve worn all three of these and have noticed no discernible differences in staying power.

I’m (obviously) a huge fan of this shade, so it’s somewhat comforting to know that I will NEVER EVER run out of it. If you are intrigued by it but don’t have any of these, I say, just pick your poison. Like MAC? You need Blanc Type. Like $2 makeup? Brulee will scratch your pale beige itch on the cheap. Like excellent customer service and buying little pots of powder online? I recommend Bone. Have at it.

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (8)  
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Eyes of Many Colors

Huzzah! The fabulous Jette is back with another guest post! Let’s all give her a very warm welcome! *clapclapclapclapclap* La Principessa

Dolly Parton, anyone? No? OK, moving on. It’s me, Jette, guest blogger who is somewhat crap at guest blogging on any regular basis! If you’ll recall from my last guest blog, I promised to do a smokey eye step-by-step…well, I lied. In the intervening time, I went a little crazy ordering eyeshadows from MAC’s Dare to Wear collection. If you aren’t familiar with this line, it’s GORGEOUS. Check out the pretty pictures of these eyeshadows on Temptalia’s blog, and just see if you can resist. Go ahead, I dare you. (Ha, ha.)

I tried to be a little sedate and just ordered four of them: Lime, Sassy Grass, Atlantic Blue, and Shock-a-Holic. When I got them, I spent many minutes marveling over the pretty colors and then days and days mulling over how I should wear them. In short, the end result was, “Fuck it, I’m putting ’em all together.” This is the result.

Please excuse my messy brows (seeing aesthetician this week – hallelujah!), but I’m happy to say that the photos adequately reflect the vibrancy of these colors.

I used UDPP as a primer, and then applied Lime on the inner third/half of my lid, as well as the inner corner. I then applied Atlantic Blue on the outer two-thirds/half, meeting the part with Lime. I used Sassy Grass to blend the two, applying it a little over the Lime bit and a bit over the Atlantic Blue bit. I then applied Shock-a-Holic lightly along the brow bone and also along the lower lashline.

I didn’t want to ruin the look with a glittery/shimmery highlight color, so I used a somewhat beige-y/white-y neutral color called Mylar. This particular eyeshadow was MIA for probably eight or so years at the bottom of my massive collection of eyeshadow, until I recently unearthed it. Apparently MAC still makes it, but it looks a bit more beige and less white than mine does. Eyeliner is MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, brow color is MAC eyeshadow in Sketch, and mascara is MAC Zoom Lash in Fast Black.

Some bloggers and reviewers have mentioned that these matte colors are a bit hard to work with, but they’re really not horrible. It’s not as easy as just smearing on a pigment, but it works with a little patience. I definitely recommend using a good primer and making sure to apply enough layers to get the vibrant effect and to make sure they’re opaque and not splotchy.

All in all, I was really pleased with this look, and now I’m hankering after more matte MAC shades to use with them! And bonus: I got lots of compliments on the look at the cheese fest (held in an Embassy Suites, strangely enough) my mom and I went to this weekend. Next time, I will have more restraint and will actually try the smokey eye step-by-step. I swear. Really.

Thanks so much to Jette for another fantastic post! Off to look at these damn eyeshadows!La Principessa

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 10:30 am  Comments (4)  
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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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