Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Votes are currently split 50/50 on the train case situation. HOWEVER. One additional vote in favor of Brownie came in via Twitter, so that tips the scales in favor of keeping my makeup where it is, at least for now. And that’s good, because this is also the lazy option, which I tend to favor in general. Thanks to everyone for your input! And lest you think that Colonel Mustard is sitting in a corner somewhere, gathering glittery dust and sobbing quietly over his Least Favored Train Case status, please know that I have filled him up with perfumes and about half my lotion collection. Oughta take care of that soap smell right quick.

In other news, I’m leaving on vacation in the morning, so posts might be few and far between for a week and a half or so. But I’ve got lots of ideas stirring for when I get back, involving Detrivore, more Fyrinnae, and cheap brush comparisons, plus a Makeup Showdown or two, which I haven’t done in a while. So, as Poochie would say … Catch ya on the flipside, dudemeisters!

Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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Decisions, Decisions

Here, my friends, is the question. Do I leave my makeup in its current home:

Or do I relocate it to fancy new digs?

Yes, Vintage Train Case the Second has landed. And now I am torn. Torn between two loves. Do I stay with Old Reliable, my first, handsome, dark, and classic, or do I allow myself to be carried away by this newcomer, with its charm, sunny disposition, and vague smell of hotel soap?

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 7:12 am  Comments (8)  
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Drugstore Cowgirl

It is my extreme good fortune to live about two and a half blocks from a Rite Aid. They have excellent and frequent sales, including regular occurrences of that Holy Grail of sales, the Buy One, Get One free (or half off). Tonight, I took advantage of the current BOGO 1/2 off to pick up two new Prestige eyeliners.

But even more exciting are my two brush purchases. As you might have read the other day, I’m currently on the hunt for decent cheap-ass eyeshadow brushes. So I picked up a Studio Basics “retractable” eye shading & detailer brush, as well as another one from Maybelline. (Incidentally, I put “retractable” in quotes because it’s not actually retractable–there are little hollow pieces that pop out of the handle to cover up the brush heads. NOT RETRACTABLE. They should call it a “cover-up-able eye shading & detailer brush,” because words mean things. </pedant>) The Maybelline one was 40% off, bonus! I’m going to try them out over the next couple of days, and if they work OK, they’ll accompany me on vacation.

In further brush update news, based on recommendations from Heather and Galen, I also ordered four e.l.f. brushes online today: the contour and concealer brushes from their Studio line (I thought the concealer one might work well as an eye shader … I guess we’ll find out!), and their regular eyeshadow and blending brushes. One of these days, when I’m not making a half-assed attempt to curb my spending because of an upcoming vacation, I also plan to try out the GOSH and Sigma brushes (the latter also recommended by Galen).

And to finish out the Rite Aid angle, here’s my current nail polish. CQ Petites Color Fever in Vintage Gray.

The second picture shows the color more accurately, but they both seem to indicate that the polish has a hint of lilac, which I don’t see in real life. In fact, the word that comes to mind is “putty.” I think I love these CQ polishes. I really like the formula, and I REALLY like the teeny brush on this gray one. I’m an extremely lazy and sloppy nail polisher, and the smallness of the brush minimizes the “polish all over the fingers” syndrome that usually plagues me for days after a polishing.

Incidentally, after we got home from the drugstore tonight, when I sat down to write, Mister Principessa asked me, “Hey, aren’t you going to put on that makeup and take pictures of it?” In time, my dear boy. In time.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 7:07 am  Comments (4)  
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Brush-a Brush-a Brush-aaaa

Everyone who just had a flashback to the slumber party scene in Grease, raise your hand!

Today, I’d like to talk about … makeup brushes! Or rather, I’d like to shamelessly beg you for recommendations. I know that everyone’s going to say the MAC 239 and 224, which are already on my wishlist and which I may well treat myself to for my birthday.

However! As we all know, I am a big fat cheapskate! So what I’d like to know is, which are your favorite CHEAP makeup brushes? I’m most interested in eyeshadow brushes, but I’d love to hear anything you have to say on the topic!

My favorite cheapies so far are Sonia Kashuk’s, by a long shot. Specifically, the black ones, not so much the ones with the white handles. The white-handled ones are decent, especially for the price, but they seem to have more errant sticky-outy hairs that require trimming, which bugs me.

I also have a couple of Sephora brushes, which aren’t too bad. I have a few Ulta ones too, which ARE too bad. Or rather, it’s too bad I spent my money on them. ZING! They’re just awful … stiff, thin, and basically useless. They might as well be lip brushes. About the only thing I’ve found I’m able to use them for is lining under my lower lashes with shadow. That’s pretty a goddamn specific task. At least they were cheap (and BOGO free even, as I recall). And I suppose they might be good for applying concealer, which I don’t wear. Le sigh.

I’ve looked at lots of cheapies online–e.l.f., Coastal Scents, Essential Beauty Supplies [ETA: and GOSH]–but I have yet to take the plunge and buy any. And I know that some people just use paintbrushes from craft stores. So tell me … any recommendations? Any to steer clear of?

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 9:39 am  Comments (10)  
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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Who is the fairest of them all? Why, my old friend Jette, of course, back for another guest post! As always, click photos for big versions.–La Principessa

Happy Mid-Week-and-Post-Labor Day! We have to celebrate something, right? Since we now have practically THREE WHOLE MONTHS without free-from-work holidays.

It’s Jette again with just a quick guest post (thanks, Principessa! No no, thank YOU, for doing my work for me gracing us with your presence!). My original Plan of Action was to do my take on a smoky date-night-type eye (wow – really lovin’ the hyphens here today) for my next guest post, but I haven’t done that yet. So, instead, you loyal readers get my Eye of the Day, which I’m going to call Poison Apple. I know, not very original, but that’s what I first thought of when I created this.

Oh, and this gives me an excuse to push more MAC, since this is an all-MAC look (all-MAC, all the time!).

The colors are, starting at the upper left and going clockwise, MAC pigment in Quick Frost, MAC eyeshadow in Nocturnelle, MAC pigment in Entremauve (yes, the same one as my last post – how versatile it is!), and the focal point, MAC pigment in Golder’s Green. Again, I’m hoping some or all of these are still available for purchase. (La Principessa says: Nocturnelle is available on the MAC website, so I assume it’s a permanent color; I didn’t see the others on either the MAC site or the MAC Pro site. Looks like you’ll have to find dupes or wait for MAC to repromote them in one of their 19,731 annual limited edition collections!)

I first applied UDPP all over the lid, up to the brow. I then applied Golder’s Green all over the lid to a point just above the crease (have to layer this one on a bit to get the really intense shade I’m wearing). Entremauve went in the crease and the outer V, but I left a tiny bit of Golder’s Green showing on the outer edge for a sort of duochrome look. I then applied Nocturnelle with a small angled brush to the bottom half of my lower lash line, and Quick Frost went on the brow bone. My usual heavy eyeliner and mascara are MAC kohl in Smolder and MAC Zoom Lash in Fast Black, respectively.

What I Love about This Look:

  1. It’s an unexpected pop and combination of colors.
  2. Entremauve, even though it’s so dark, allows a bit of the green to show through, for a very unique effect. I think people might be surprised that this is really only two colors.

What I’m Not as Keen on:

  1. I was aiming for a brighter purple, and I think I probably should have tried Nocturnelle for the crease as well. The downside of that is the loss of the effect by using just pigments.
  2. My slightly village-idiot-like liner job on the left eye. Luckily, you really can’t notice it when the eye’s open, but it’s super-blatant in my photos! (Yikes – no, I haven’t been doing this for 16 years and change, nuh-uh.)

Anyway, enjoy! Also, for more green-and-purple looks, be sure to check out La Principessa’s (scroll down) and xSparkage’s from January 21. The former is more light and summery and the latter is more candy-colored.

Next time: Smoky Eye by Jette. I promise.

Many thanks to Jette for another lovely guest post! I created a MAC tag just for this … the sacrifices we make for free labor. Sigh.–La Principessa

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 7:08 am  Comments (3)  
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A Few Unrelated Items!

ITEM THE FIRST, AKA Skin Care Product Decision Time! I think I’m going to start with a brand I know and love: Lush. I’ve narrowed it down to Angels on Bare Skin cleanser and Celestial moisturizer, which I plan to order tomorrow after I get paid. I might also try their 9 to 5 cleanser, because “most gentle cleanser to date” + Dolly Parton reference = strong possibility of awesome. Yes, I know I just asked for advice this morning and have already made up my mind. I’m impulsive. It’s a fact.

I also got some recommendations from Heather, Cacau, and the lovely Jette, and I will definitely investigate them. Soon. Probably later tonight. OK, maybe right after dinner. I enjoy hearing your suggestions, so if you’re using something you love, do tell! And if you’ve used any of the stuff I mentioned, let me know what you think!

ITEM THE SECOND! Speaking of awesome, I am still not done swooning over Fyrinnae. I wore Kurisumasu! (a rosy pinky color that works really well with my skin tone) and French Vanilla Shake (a warm, pale highlight) today. It was overcast when I took this first photo, and it was also about 7:15 AM, hence the wet hair, puffy lids, and general pre-coffeeness of my appearance. (Also, you can barely see the eyeshadow in this one … sorry about that. I had terrible photo juju today.) Click for big versions all around.

Fyrinnae eyeshadow look with kurisumasu! and French Vanilla Shake

Not a terribly groundbreaking look, perhaps, but simple and subtle and totally work-appropriate. Here are the details:

  • UDPP
  • Fyrinnae Kurisumasu! all over lids
  • Fyrinnae French Vanilla Shake to highlight
  • DiorShow mascara

Took this next photo in direct sunlight immediately after I got home from work, about 10 hours after I took the above photo. Quite a testament to the staying power of Fyrinnae’s shadows and the magic of Urban Decay Primer Potion.

Fyrinnae look over Urban Decay Primer Potion after 10 hours

I did swatches of these two colors because I LOOOOVE THEM. I think they’ll be go-to neutrals for me. Kurisumasu! appears sort of frosty here, especially in the first photo, but that’s a trick of the flash. In reality, it has a gorgeous, satiny finish, which you can see better in the big versions of the photos.

Fyrinnae eyeshadow swatches of kurisumasu! and French Vanilla Shake

Fyrinnae kurisumasu! and French Vanilla Shake eyeshadow swatches, different angle

French Vanilla Shake is another color that looks totally unassuming in the jar, like Generic Beige Cosmetic Powder Substance, and transforms as if by magic when you apply it. It’s pale and shimmery and warm and fairly opaque–in other words, it’s what I wanted MAC Vanilla pigment to be (with apologies to Jette for slandering her beloved).

There’s at least one more Fyrinnae look percolating in my brain, so stay tuned.

ITEM THE THIRD! Between telecommuting on Mondays, Labor Day weekend, and my upcoming vacation, I only have to go into the office 14 days this month. Realizing that was like putting on my heavy coat for the first time since last winter and finding $10 in the pocket. Maybe even $20. And a lip gloss.

ITEM THE FINAL! Speaking of vacation, I’m going to be in Colorado for a while toward the end of the month, so posting might be light. I could post some vacationy-type stuff, or even try to squeeze in a bit of makeupping. Or, I could just not bother. What do you think? Do you like vacation posts?

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm  Comments (3)  
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In Which I Ask Your Sage Advice

Skin care! Who cares?

OK, so perhaps that’s not a great attitude toward this topic, but I have historically not given much of a crap about my skin. Oh sure, it was the bane of my existence during The Acne Years, leading to a hideous concealer-makeup-breakout-more concealer-more breakouts cycle. But since it cleared up, I haven’t really given it much thought. I haven’t worn any type of face makeup (foundation, powder, what have you) in years, and my skin care routine goes something like this:


  1. Wash face with Dove soap.
  2. Moisturize with moisturizer from Target. I believe it’s Neutrogena.


  1. Maybe remove eye makeup if not too tired. (Yes, yes, I know. Eeeeeeeeeewwwwww. AND WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE PILLOWCASES???)
  2. Ingest birth control pill.

Not joking on that last one. It will clear your skin RIGHT UP.

Anyway, it appears that I have reached the age where the phrase “fine lines and wrinkles” has real meaning in my life. I also have combination skin, and it’s been pulling some crazy crap lately. Insane flaky dryness surrounding one (1) nostril! Renegade clogged pore on left cheek! Series of horizontal lines across forehead! Increased pinkness and general sensitivity! Of course, it’s entirely possible that the recent increase in the number of close-up flash photos I’m taking of my face has just made me notice these things more. At any rate, it turns out that I’m not quite as happy with my skin as I thought I was.

So! Tell me about your skin care routines! What should I be doing that I’m not? Any product recommendations? Help me to help myself! I am counting on you to FIX MY FACE!

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 8:03 am  Comments (11)  
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