Saturday, December 14, 2013

Offtopic: My Low Milk Supply Journey

This is going to be a long story related to breastfeeding and milk supply issues, so feel free to skip it if these things do not interest you! I've had such a weird and difficult journey, I feel I should share it somewhere that might help at least one other person.

Having a baby is a scary thing, especially when you have a personality such as mine where you want to know everything ahead of time and prepare appropriately. There's too much to know that can only be gained from experience and every baby and parent combo is different. From the time I knew I was pregnant (at 5 weeks, essentially) until I delivered, I was always researching one thing or another. Of those things, some amount of time was devoted to breastfeeding (but not a huge amount). I knew I wanted to do it for some pretty logical and non-emotional reasons, which seems a little out of the norm. I did not dream of a magical bonding experience with my little bub (though if that would happen, that's neat!) but I wanted to feed him for free (more or less) with the best stuff I could provide and burn some extra calories all at the same time.

I did some reading and watched some videos, it all seemed quite straight forward. Ha ha, cough, sputter. Yeah. So, come delivery day, with the help of the labor and delivery nurses we get him latched on about 1.5 hours after he's born and he seems to be doing well. We also had lots of skin to skin time from the moment he was born. As the rest of the day and the next proceed, I'm having difficulty getting him to nurse. Latching and positioning are so much harder than I ever would have expected based on those videos I watched. I got help from nurses, but they just guide his head and pop him on without me really getting what I'm doing wrong. But we plug away and he'll hang out for a while sometimes, other times I get nowhere. He was very sleepy and we were constantly trying to wake him to eat. My nipples were getting pretty sore and dry, the lanolin I had packed didn't help much either. We're into day 2 and I haven't had my milk come in or any breast changes for that matter. The pediatrician brought up that formula supplementation might be an option we need to visit but we'll see how things are doing the next morning before we go home. Day 3 arrives, no more milk and he's lost 10% of his birth weight which is a concern. Diapers are slacking off as well. Lactation consultants come in, given a crash course in pumping and supplementing with formula via dropper with the explanation that this can get him over the hump until my milk comes in (hopefully a few days). The plan is to nurse every feeding, supplement with formula, pump afterwards.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Taupe

I have three other liners of this variety - black, blue and nude. I picked up the nude liner first because well, it's a nude liner! And word about town was these stuck to the waterline well. I have had the best luck in that regard with the nude liner - but I always say it may just be due to the fact that it wears off less noticeably. Both the black and blue break down near the wateriest part of the eye rather quickly but then linger closer to the lash line for a good amount of time.

I was at Walgreens last night picking up a prescription, so I browsed around the beauty section since they are having their regular clearance and I had a 15% off coupon. Didn't find much inspiring on clearance, but I did see that this liner in Taupe was in stock. Most times I check for it, it isn't. I take it as a good sign that it's popular! Or there's lackluster restocking, hah. I've heard mumblings online this was a good one to check out too, so there's that. If there's anything I tend to compulsively hoard, it is liners. I like having lots of colors and variety of textures, and there's always this hope that maybe *this* is the one that will stick like glue to my waterline (yeah, right!).

Anyhow, I picked it up thinking it's a little different from anything else I have in my already too large collection, so it's clearly a must-have! I know the formula is good for non-watery areas of the eye as well. There are so many good options for budgeproof liners these days!

It's on the cooler side of brown, but not overly gray. I used it today on my upper and lower lash lines and loved it! I find that being so fair, using a standard brown or black on my lower lash line can appear harsh or overly smoky when I'm going for just a touch of definition. This was a nice natural looking shadow to define my lower eye area.

It's not even that noticeable, just a subtle darkening. Lovely!

I smudged it around the upper lash line and it blended in with the Jane Cosmetics matte shadow in Smoke I had lightly applied to the lid.

Have you tried any of the liners from this line or Taupe? What did you think?

On the rest of my face:
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Jane Cosmetics matte single shadow in Smoke
  • e.l.f. Baked Shadow in Pixi (in crease, sparkles)
  • Studio Gear brown pencil in Medium Ash
  • e.l.f. brow gel
  • Maybelline Big Eyes mascara
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Soft Porcelain

Monday, November 18, 2013

Face of the Day with OCC Loose Colour Concentrate in Jubilee

Quick little post, one of the other OCC products I picked up during the Sephora VIB sale was this loose pigment from their Loose Colour Concentrate line in Jubilee. I saw it reviewed originally on temptalia - she said duochrome fans would love it, don't have to twist my arm!

I don't have any duochromes in the baby blue base and she said it shifted multiple ways. I think this is one that will only show all the colors in different lights. For the lighting I've seen it in so far, I'm seeing a shift to green only. Very lovely nonetheless! Pictures were taken with flash so you can see more of the sparkly green shimmer.

On my face:

  • LORAC Behind the Scenes eye primer
  • OCC Loose Colour Concentrate in Jubilee on lid (applied with fingers)
  • LORAC PRO palette Taupe in crease, Cream at browbone, Nude inner corner
  • Anastasia Covet liner in Gilded on outer half of upper lid
  • bareMinerals Lash Domination mascara
  • LORAC PRO palette Taupe on brows
  • OCC Concealer in Y0 on nose, cheeks, chin
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light all over and concentrated on cheeks for blush
  • Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Vivienne lightly applied and smudged around lip line

Friday, November 15, 2013

OCC Concealer in Y0, Initial Thoughts and Swatches/FOTD

When I was thinking about things I was interested in from Sephora during the VIB sale, I came back to OCC's concealer in shade Y0. I recalled hearing good reviews on it some time back, but never investigated further. I know some said that the very lightest shades were going to be too light for almost everyone (hello, that should have piqued my interest even more!) and for some reason I backed off.

I have a fair amount of redness in my cheeks and nose (that comes and goes during the day) and while the rest of my face is still pretty much normal, my nose is somewhat oily. So, products tend to break down pretty quickly and expose the one spot I'd really like to stay covered. I considered looking for a new foundation, but ultimately figured I can just put some concealer on my nose and cheeks, touch up here and there and be good. I don't really need anything on the rest of my face, and having bought a nice SPF I'm not relying on something (like my Clinique CC Cream) for that sun protection.

When I saw the pot, I thought gee is this going to be light enough? I had in my mind that there was a distinct possibility of it being too light, so I was a little surprised!

Swatching on my hand showed though it was definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum so I quickly popped into the bathroom to slap some on my very pink nose. I was happy to see it wasn't too dark or too light. I think it may be close to just right! I try to match colors to my neck, my face is around NC10 but my neck and chest region is more in the range of NC5. This is likely the lightest face product I have that doesn't have a pink undertone.

Swatched on my inner arm area which is what, NC0 or NC-5, haha. Thankfully I don't need to match this skin, it would likely never happen without a heavy dose of a white foundation. Can see the more yellowy undertones.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ULTA Haul November 2013 and FOTD Videos

I picked up some fun stuff from ULTA during their 20% off coupon time, recorded a couple videos for the haul and a face of the day using my goodies!

I recorded these in quite a hurry in a very slapdash manner. :)  I hopefully can get some sort of setup in the future for easily recording videos and taking pictures.

 (haul video here)

I'm really happy with the LORAC PRO palette! I had thought it was too similar to other things in my collection, but the mattes really are quite nice. A little more powder kicks up than my first impression that I gave in the video, but still not as bad as say theBalm Meet Matt(e). I've also been wearing the bareMinerals gloss like it's going out of style, I really like the minty feeling/scent and the color is a little punchier than what I'd normally go for. I feel like this is a decent substitute to some sort of balm to keep my lips from completely drying out.

(FOTD video here)

Look features LORAC PRO Palette, jane Cream Eye Shadow in Luminous Lilac, Anastasia Covet liner, bareMinerals Mineral Veil and bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lip gloss in Spark Plug.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Simple Face of the Day with NARS, Clinique CC Cream, CoverGirl Clump Crusher

So for a while, I had many days that were makeup free after the baby arrived but I've been making an effort to get something on my face most days now. I feel a little less like a zombie if I can catch a glance in the mirror while cleaning up pump and bottle parts for the millionth time with some makeup on. :) I've always liked the process of applying makeup, so there's that too!

I still haven't gotten my makeup collection in an accessible place after the move into the house. Good news is, I have a vanity and storage piece figured out, they just need to be assembled. :) Everything in this post is relatively new to me, have not mentioned them in videos or blog - but of course I rambled on about some of them on twitter as nicsviolet. You can follow me there for thoughts as they come, though lately it's mostly baby blather. Also baby and kitty pictures, with occasional makeup on instagram as nicsviolet too!

For my face, I'm wearing the Clinique CC Cream in Very Light - one of the very few BB/CC cream/tinted moisturizers that is actually light enough. It's a hair dark for me and quite yellowy beige (great for canceling out the redness in my cheeks and nose) but I say it's close enough. My skin is still more normal (pre-pregnancy it was very oily) and oddly even though this is a Moisture Surge product, it dries down quite matte on me. Depending how much oil I have during the day, I will get somewhat shiny after several hours - or not at all. It has a good amount of coverage, more like what I'd expect from a light-medium foundation. It doesn't feel like anything on my face, but if I touch my face I do get the feeling there's something a little tacky on it. I plan on setting it with a finishing powder at some point (once I unpack or buy one) to see if that helps. But overall, I like it for the SPF 30 and redness cancellation in one go.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quick Update and Post-Pregnancy Makeup and Skincare Favorites

As you may or may not know, I was pregnant and due the first week of August. Our little man wasn't quite ready though and arrived a week later. On top of that, we moved into a new house at the end of July which has needed a fair amount of work. As you might imagine, I've been a bit busy. Now with the baby here, I'm getting only the bare minimum done to make time for him. He is on an eating every 1.5 to 3.5 hours (at the most!) schedule, so we're always busy (also a long drawn out feeding process for reasons I won't get into). Anyway, short story is it might be a little while before I'm up to my regular antics.

I do have a few favorites, even though I've been mostly makeup and skincare free lately. I've cut down to washing my face and applying a spot treatment for skincare, I'm too tired and just don't care (to be honest!) about doing anything else.

I've been feeling like the Bliss Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk has been a good treatment for my skin, being that I'm doing very little to keep it happy. I leave it on most of my shower to get the more mask-like effect. After washing, I've been applying the Murad Acne Spot Treatment that has 3% sulfur as the active ingredient. It's helped existing blemishes and seems to keep them mostly at bay in my hot spots (sides and bottom of chin).

For makeup, I haven't been wearing much but when braving the outdoors I do like to have a little something on (unless I'm having a crying meltdown, which has happened I have to admit!). The bulk of my makeup is still packed away since my new storage location is in a box needing to be assembled, so I've had few options. I have had a favorite emerge from this selection though! I'll get some eyebrows and mascara on, but the favorite is MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque. It's nothing flashy, a little sheer but the color is so pretty! It's a warm peach with gold shimmer cream shadow, the texture is easy to work with and sets nicely on the lids. The color isn't hugely flattering on my skintone, I think it would look stunning on someone deeper - but I love it nonetheless! It will crease on me after 6 or so hours if used without a primer, but these days I just go without since I only am aiming to be presentable for a short period of time.

So that's about it! Thanks for sticking with me through the posting drought, and I do hope to be back in some time once I have more time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Laura Mercier Face of the Day

I haven't used my Laura Mercier eye and cheek palette I picked up during the Nordstrom Anniversary 2012 sale in a while, I've been in a purple-y kind of mood so I thought it'd be a good time to bust it out again. I've also been going back to my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Soft Porcelain more due to my skin texture issues (foundation polka-dotting pores during application). Figured I'd just keep going with a nearly all Laura Mercier look!

I used the purple shade all over the lid, a little of the taupe in the crease, the sparkly pink on the inner half of the lid and the light matte pink color at my browbone. The shades aren't super pigmented, but feel fairly soft and easy to blend. They look a touch muddy in my pictures, but I had taken these in some awful lighting and did a lot of editing to get them vaguely passable.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Purple Smoky Eyes Face of the Day

I felt like purple today! I wanted to do something that had more color on the lower lashline and I had decided it shall be Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Ransom and somehow MAC Extra Dimension shadow in Ready to Party (Glamour Daze collection) would be involved.

This is the final look I came up with. I used UD Ransom liner over most of the lid and blended it out with a brush, then layered some more over at the lashline. I also applied it to the outer two thirds of the lower lashline and smudged it out. It's not the best liner, especially compared to most Urban Decay 24/7 liners - but it seems universally difficult to do a really good purple liner. I used the deep blue-purple shade from Too Faced duo Skinny Dip on the outer half of my lid and barely blending into the crease. It contrasted nicely with the more pink undertone of Ransom.

I used MAC Extra Dimension Ready to Party all over the inner corner and inner half of the lid, somewhat overlapping where I pulled in the Skinny Dip shade. I did some cleanup and made an effort at defining a line between the shadow and my brows with NYX Milk cream shadow and LORAC Baked Matte Satin in Posh (discontinued) but it didn't go so well - mainly because the brush I used that I thought was clean, was not. Hah! No wonder it went all murky.

To finish off the eyes, I used L'Oreal Infallible Lacquer Liner in Espresso in my waterlines and Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Dark Brown.

On the rest of my face:
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Lemon Drop (underneath the shadow, of course ;) )
  • Urban Decay matte shadow in Shakedown (for brows, discontinued)
  • Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Ultra Light (all over nose, cheeks, around brows - applied sparingly!)
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque
  • L'Oreal Caresse lipstick in Sheer Linen
I'm still giving my chin time to breathe after a spazzy breakout on the right side (hence the convenient posing featuring my left side in pictures lately!). I, as usual, introduced a couple new products into my routine at one time and had a couple days where it was getting abused more than usual before the breakout. So, I'm scaling back and letting it heal and trying to determine what all was the culprit - or if it was just an overload of everything.

Hope your day is going well and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yet Another Winged Liner Post, Tips from Sharon Farrell

I rather recently found Sharon Farrell on youtube, she posted a great tutorial for eyeliner basics/tips/tricks called HOW TO APPLY PERFECT EYELINER EVERY TIME! She had tips I'd seen but one I'd never seen and one I'd never actually tried. Of course the night after watching it, I had to give them a go. I constantly struggle with finding the easiest way for me to apply winged liner. I have a few little things working against me that cause me stumble - loose skin at the outer corner, two creases that go a little past the corner, slightly rounded eyes that are ever so slightly downturned. Click here for all my liner posts, seems to come up quite often!

First tip! Using a nude or white liner to draw in the angle and use as a guideline for the liner. I did not take a picture of this because I was just futzing around originally and hadn't planned to write a post about it. I used a concealer pencil that came with my Hard Candy Glamoflauge that I never use otherwise, this being one of the few liners I have that aren't waterproof. Obviously you want something that's easily wiped away if you need to adjust it. I find my right eye especially difficult to match up with the left. The creasing/bunching is a little more pronounced on that side and even if I think both eyes look good - they often will be noticeably uneven.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tightlining Methods and Common Issues Video

In my Spring 2013 Favorites video, we were chatting about some issues with tightlining. I got inspired to make a video with the different techniques I use and a few tips for some common issues. I love tightlining and use it quite regularly, it's a fast way to boost the look of volume in your lashes - especially useful for lackluster mascaras.

(video link here)

Tightlining can be called invisible eyeliner and technically should not include your upper waterline. Ideally, the liner is just in the underneath root of your lashes.

In the video, I went over three main techniques/products I use. I thought I'd include some screenshots in this post in case you didn't want to watch the whole video that will hopefully help.

Tightlining with a Pencil, Problems with Transfer

Most times, people show tightlining as this (I have as well, many times):

Friday, May 24, 2013

Look Featuring bareMinerals READY 4.0 in The Elements Video

(video link here)

I've had this bareMinerals quad in The Elements for some time, but only use it occasionally. I always think about the colors and just wonder how I can use them. Of course the main reason I bought it was for the unique colors and combination in the palette. I was motivated to use it a week or two ago and the look was so pretty, I had to share!

I used all four colors in the quad. Air, a shimmery gray on the lid; Water, a deepened blue teal on the outer half of the lid into the crease; Fire, a matte dusty orange through the crease and Earth, a greenish gray along the bottom half of my lashline.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Warm Coppery Look Testing Real Techniques Limited Edition Duo Fiber Brushes

Not too long ago, Angie from Vanity Rouge posted a picture of the Real Techniques Limited Edition Duo Fiber Brushes which I'd been waiting to pop up in stores. I saw them a few times in pixiwoo videos but the real tipping point was when Nic (I think) mentioned offhandedly in a video that she loved how the eye brush blended. I decided I must obtain them! I've been having a major hankering for the Paula Dorf Sheer Crease Brush that Lisa Eldridge uses quite frequently and mentioned in her My Favourite Brushes video. But, it's not sold anywhere I regularly make purchases or have discounts for, so I've never picked it up (it's $30). I've been trying to talk myself into a different blending brush that I could get with a discount, so I was hoping this would do it for me. I had a 20% off one item ULTA coupon and snatched this kit up, regularly priced at $19.99.

I thought I would do a look that put all of my new brushes in action. I put a solid stripe of matte shadow into my crease and started blending away with the eye brush. I also kept an eye on how long it took to blend out to my liking.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"No Makeup" Makeup Look Inspired by Lisa Eldridge Video

(video link here)

A little while ago, I was browsing through Lisa Eldridge's videos on youtube and watched her 'No Make-up' Makeup Look again. Most days when I don't wear much makeup, I do smudged out liner with brows filled in and mascara. I hadn't really tried a true "no makeup" look and I was inspired to play around with the idea after watching Lisa pull it off so wonderfully.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Updated Collective Swatches of Foundation on Very Pale Skin

The most viewed post on my blog, by a large amount, is my original Collective Swatches of Foundation, Powder, Concealer on Pale and Freckled Me. I'm glad because a lot of what inspired me to make this blog was the relative rarity of very pale and freckled skin represented in the beauty blogging community. I have found others like Christa from Perilously Pale and her tweet of an older post of her foundation swatches reminded me I should post something new with the new products I use now, or still use. I didn't include concealer this time around, I think I will do that separately. This time I also wanted to make sure the foundation was mostly blended (although heavier than I would wear it on my face in the arm swatches) and had a good 30 minutes to dry down/oxidize.

For color reference, MAC Matchmaster in 1.0 is considered to be about NC10 - I am between NC5 to NC10 (matching to the lightest part of my face and neck is my goal). It is always tricky finding foundation light enough in both high-end and low-end brands.

In an effort to embrace my very oily skin, the past year I have used more powder foundations than liquids. With the winter/pregnancy and my drastic skin change to barely oily-almost normal, I have been back to using liquids more frequently.
  • MAC Matchmaster in 1.0 - this blended into my chin fairly well when matched at the MAC counter, but is slightly dark on the rest of my face
  • Revlon ColorStay Combination/Oily in 110 Ivory - this is also workable, but a bit dark
  • Maybelline Fit Me in 110 Porcelain - a more neutral shade, this is probably the best liquid foundation match I have
  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Face & Body in #38 - applies very sheer but if applied more heavily, it's also a little peachy/dark

Here they are swatched from above my jaw down into my neck. My face is noticeably darker than my neck (and my chest is even paler than my neck, yikes!) and I do strive to match my face to my neck to avoid the need to bring foundation down onto my neck. I always apply foundation in a thin layer to avoid covering my freckles, I am looking to even out my skintone and take down the redness/pigmentation on my chin, nose and cheeks.

Swatching the powder foundations was even trickier as several do not have a ton of pigmentation or match me decently well and disappear into the skin.
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Soft Porcelain - the color is okay but coverage is very sheer and it doesn't agree with my acne-prone skin too well
  • LORAC Wet/Dry Powder Foundation in WD1 - a good match, nice texture and light coverage
  • CARGO blu_ray High Definition Powder in #10 - a little dark to use as a foundation but the finish on this powder is gorgeous, very smoothing
  • MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light - also a touch too dark to use as a foundation but has a nice finish
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Face Powder in Translucent - not so translucent, eh? It's too dark if used as a foundation applied with a puff, obviously
  • Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder in Translucent Fair - a good match, also has a nice texture (not quite as silky as the LORAC) with light coverage
Let me know if you'd like heavier/wet swatches of the liquid foundation for comparison or have any questions about the products shown. Getting the lighting and coloring right is really a task, I did the best I could in editing but these aren't perfect. I hope this helps if you're in the market for a new liquid or powder foundation in a similar skintone! Thanks for stopping by, as always. Have a great day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Winged Upper and Lower Liner Look

I was practicing my winged liner the other day after being inspired by Lisa Eldridge's video for Modern 'Baby Bardot' look - she makes it look so easy of course. I've had a couple of posts/videos explaining how I try to work with my slightly hooded/mature eyes with winged liner but doing anything dramatic is usually still a complete failure. Here's a recent post about my eye shape, slightly rounded/hooded/downturned for reference with bare eyes and a simple everyday winged liner.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Eye Shape - Slightly Hooded Outer Crease

My eyes are not fully hooded, I have a couple creases that can get a little bunched up and I lose a lot of lid space/room between my crease and brows, but I do have a decent amount of visible lid space. What I find most tricky though is a slightly downturned outer corner with the crease folding down a bit more beyond the corner of my eye.

This combined with a slightly rounded shape, I have always had trouble creating a winged liner that makes sense. The desire, of course, is to lift the wing up but the elongated crease/downturn/round shape conspire against me.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mascara Swatching Series: Benefit They're Real

I received a sample size of this mascara with the Sephora Beauty Insider free birthday gift and have been using it off and on for a couple months.

It has a plastic/non-traditional brush with some extra spikes at the end. I think this shape is what got everyone excited about it originally, but that spiky bit is what bothers me most about this mascara.

The mascara glops into the spikes and I have to gingerly brush it on the tube to remove the excess, all the while hoping I'm not going to fling mascara on to my clothes from a spike getting caught up on the tube. Having excess product at the tip also means that I'm likely to make a mess when using on bottom lashes.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nail of the Day: Zoya FeiFei

It's been ages since I posted anything nail-related, I haven't been wearing much polish lately and not taken any pictures when I have. I picked up this Zoya FeiFei polish during a promotion a while back along with two other colors (Brizia and Bailey). I wanted to get interesting polishes, so I searched around for suggestions - but FeiFei I picked out on my own because it looked neat.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Current Skincare Routine While Pregnant and Acne Prone

One thing up front, if you have any questions about products or medications being safe while pregnant, ask your doctor.

So as you may or may not know, I am about six months pregnant. How I handle my skin, among many other things, has changed. Historically, I have had a very oily t-zone (shine breakthrough no matter the products I use after 2-3 hours on my chin and nose), normal to dry cheeks, very dry under eye area and mild to moderate acne controlled fairly well. This had not changed with the weather (other than my cheeks getting slightly drier) for the past two winters I have lived in Minnesota.

What does my skin look like today? Nearly normal t-zone, dry cheeks, almost normal (getting more dry now) under eye area, mild to moderate acne not so well controlled. Now I can't really say what has caused this sudden change of oil - pregnancy generally increases oil production but mine was so high already who's to say it didn't flip the other way. It also coincided with a fairly cold, dry winter this year and who's to say my skin didn't acclimate to the winter finally (after living in Miami for nearly 10 years with constant normal to high humidity). We'll see next year when not pregnant during the winter, perhaps!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Makeup Storage Reorganization

I've had my makeup in a desk I bought at Macy's for a good 1-2 years, I've redone the way it's stored a couple times now. This time, I was prompted for a re-do because I felt frustrated in blush selection. I have quite a few - but since I was using a shallow drawer blushes were laying on top of each other or stashed in the back, I'd miss them completely. Unfortunately, moving them out of that drawer entailed moving almost everything else. It was for the best, my eye palette/single storage was a bit of a mess in a similar fashion as well.

So, this is the desk I have to work with. I don't use any other storage for makeup or nail polish. I love being able to plop down in my chair and have everything in reach. It took me quite some time to find a desk that has this many shallow drawers (not mainly deep file drawers) and was in a style I like. Nevermind the grubby foundation/concealer fingerprints, my goodness! This is a downside to a dark wood.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Filling in Very Fair Brows Video

While recording my Easy 3 Step Eyes Featuring MAC Cranberry look, I decided to do a detailed chat and demonstration about filling in fair brows. I don't have a lot of brow hairs (not terribly dense) and what are there are an ash blonde which disappears into my face. When I have the rest of my makeup on, it can look a bit alien! That with mascara are the two things that I think really add structure to my face and keep me from looking so washed out and tired.

(video link here)

My natural hair color (I haven't colored it in a couple years now) is medium brown with some red/blonde (and gray). The lack of brow color really stands out against my medium hair/very light skin. I don't enjoy filling in my brows, but it's very much worth it!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easy 3 Step Eyes Featuring MAC Cranberry Video

Lately I've been doing a very simple eye look involving two eyeshadow colors and tightlining. I think it's quite flattering, can be used for a variety of colors/textures and best of all - it's easy. It's a very basic technique which even I can reproduce consistently! Added bonus in the video, Andy the cat gets into mischief yet again.

(video link here)

The basics of the look are the following:
 - Apply a light shimmery shadow on the lid
 - Place a deeper shade on the outer third of the lid going up into the crease
 - Blend with a clean brush the edges and the border between the lid/outer color
 - Tightline with a matte (non-sparkly) eye liner of your choice!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Soft Purple Look - Wet 'N Wild Petal Pusher

I was swatching for comparison Maybelline Great Lash in Dark Brown with Benefit They're Real for a post on Brown vs. Black Mascara and I thought I'd share the products I used. I was in the mood for something purple since I've been in warm neutral rut for a while.

As a fun base, I used the ULTA Extreme Wear Whipped Eye Shadow in Whipped Stardust - I love looking at this shadow in the pot and enjoy using it. The name speaks to my dreams of space travel and such, sigh. They appear to be on sale for half price on ULTA's site ( - not an affiliate link), I think that it's a formula that wasn't well received. I would say the color payoff isn't fully opaque, and if you slap on a thick layer (easy to do with the texture), it will crack and flake. But if you build up a couple very thin layers, you can get a nice semi-opaque sparkling finish that I personally enjoy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mascara Series: Brown vs. Black

So I got this idea in my mind that I wanted to try out brown mascara. I'm sure in my teens I used brown black shades but switched over to black or blackest black whenever possible later on. I didn't think about it for a long time, but suddenly I wanted to try it. Because I am so fair, I thought maybe the brown would look less harsh. I toured around Target looking at all of the brands and no one had a plain brown. I was a little surprised, but my last ditch effort of Maybelline Great Lash yielded results. I picked up Dark Brown.

After initially trying it out, I wasn't sure I could even see a difference. The formula and brush with Great Lash gives somewhat toned down, defined lashes with not much for volume. Other than that, hum. So, figured the real test would be a picture with brown macara on one eye and black mascara on another. Would the difference show then?

Friday, February 8, 2013

MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer #1 vs Hard Candy Glamoflauge Ultra Light

When traveling over the holiday, I had the chance to browse around a large Wal-Mart that actually carried Hard Candy makeup. The only local Wal-Mart I've been to doesn't carry it. So, one thing I had been wanting to try out was the Glamoflauge in Ultra Light. I'd seen some information online that seemed to indicate it might be for quite fair skin. I wanted to compare the shade, texture, wear time with something I have been using and enjoying already, MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer in #1.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My 2012 Beauty Favorites, With Video

I'd been waffling over this a while, wasn't sure I had enough favorites to bother with a post/video. Decided I did have enough clear favorites when I thought about it that I'd give it a go and filmed a nice short video for once. :)

(link here)

Most of these are no surprise, I've mentioned them a lot - but a few workhorses in the background I haven't said much about but do love nonetheless.

  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance - I used the original first, I still have Candlelight and I bought Lemon Drop some time during the year. It works very well for me and doesn't dry out and thicken like the LORAC Behind the Scenes eye primer
  • Cream shadows, all kinds that don't crease! - I love the experience of using cream shadows even if really they aren't more practical than a powder. Some of my favorites are the Maybelline Color Tattoos, MAC Paint Pots and Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place (all pots); Milani Shadow Eyez, Tarte smolderEYES, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks (jumbo pencils)
  • Urban Decay NAKED Palette - When thinking about all of my great shadow options, this palette just stands out in a way that it has a fairly good selection of warm neutrals (warm is easier for me to wear) with a great formula, a great fallback that I can always go to
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glaces - As I've mentioned many times, these keep lip peeling down to nearly nothing which is amazing! It's a constant problem with my chronic lip dryness.
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara - It just works for me, it gives me volume at the base which I like and doesn't get too clumpy, I'm on my second tube and will likely repurchase more at the excellent price of $3.99 at Walgreens
What have your favorites been lately? Anything standing out? Thanks for stopping by, as always.