Monthly Archives: January 2014

NARS NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette

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Oh, NARS.  What have you done?

Made me spend $79 on an eyeshadow palette, that’s what.

I have never in my life spent that much money on eyeshadow.  Granted, I just started getting into makeup a mere five months ago, therefore never spending any money on any makeup is more like it.  Now, however, I will drop $40 on foundation without a blink, $22 on lipstick with nary an eye twitch.  I’ve been desensitized to high-end makeup prices.  It’s because I want to own all the things.  We’ve discussed this already.

Anyway, saw the NARS NARSissist eyeshadow palette on the internet somewhere, and immediately fell in obsessive stalkerish kind of love.  Look at all these beautiful neutral, smoky colors:

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Gah!  I die.

The colors are not displayed on the palette itself, or even the box it comes in.  So I stole this information off the internet.  Top to bottom, left to right, the names are All About Eve I, Madrague II, Fez, Bali, Coconut Grove, Madrague I, Nepal, Ashes to Ashes, Brousse II, Mekong, Bellissima I, Lhasa, Bad Behavior, Dogon II, and Pandora II.  I’m not ashamed to admit I printed out the names on my label printer and stuck them to the back of my palette.  Big dork, right here, y’all.  Sorry.  (Not sorry.)

I am an obsessive compulsive, anal retentive, perfectionist.  Just putting that out there as a disclaimer for all the weird crap I do in future blog posts.  Cuz there be several.  Guaranteed.  And don’t worry about me destroying the sanctity that is the purity of the NARSissist palette.  The labels are in extremely tidy, kempt rows, evenly distributed and pleasing to the eye.  In fact, I think I’ve actually improved the aesthetic of the whole thing.  Trust me, it’s perfect.

Anyhoo, back to my point.

I received this in the mail over the weekend after an insanely long one week and one day wait.  It was absolute torture, believe me.  So much torture that I even told my husband I was expecting it any day now, and therefore admitting I bought more stuff.  I think we’re still married, so all is well for now.

One thing about this palette is that these shades are not new.  They are all part of the NARS collection, so if you are a die-hard NARS fan, you may already own these either in singles or part of a duo.  The benefit of owning this palette would simply be a nice, neat place to keep these all together (OCDers, rejoice!).  Or, if you are like me and do not own any NARS shadows, you can purchase this kit without reservation and enjoy.

So I’ve been using this palette for the past three days, mostly in the blue/pewter or taupe/purple family, throwing in a matte beige for the crease and deep black for emphasis.  And I swear I’ve been trying very hard to do such a good job but I tell you what, if you want to spend light years blending in your eyeshadow, then you’re in for some fun.  I was quite literally running a big fluffy brush through my outer V for about 20 minutes and still not satisfied.  So I gave up, accepted it for what it was, and moved on.

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Can’t say I’m unhappy with this palette.  I still have several other shades to try which I will get to later this week.  I just feel slightly bummed that my expectations got the best of me.  And that I’ve been extra late for work two days in a row.  If they only knew what was happening in my bathroom in the morning.  Blending, blending, blending, napping, blending, blending, blending … It’s a nightmare.

Maybe I need to practice my eyeshadow skills in general before attempting to use this palette.  I mean, I’m no expert.  Sometimes I attempt those fancy manuevers you see on You Tube only to be left with a prostitutey mess.  I will say after purchasing some proper brushes, I’ve gotten better but still feel I have miles to go.

So take this review with a grain of salt.  I am a beginner, and I might have reached for the stars too soon.  If NARS wants to be a little complicated, then by all means go for it.  Perhaps my definition of complicated is simply from a newbie’s perspective and I should just zip it.  I dunno.  But if you are a master of makeup, and you’ve tried this palette, I am interested in hearing what you think.

Lip Factory | January 2014

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These boxes will never end.  As soon as one month wraps up, the next batch of boxes come in.  Not that I’m complaining or anything.  Although my husband is starting to give me stink eye everytime he opens the mailbox.  I can’t even pretend the boxes aren’t for me.  Cuz he knows better. He’s too smart for his own good.

I shoulda married a dumb one.  Damn.

Anyway, Lip Factory came in and here’s what I got:

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A mix of highs and lows, but mostly highs so we’re gonna give this one a thumbs up.  First the lows.  What in sam hell is that one-time use skin care system doing in this box?!  Not knocking 29 Cosmetics or anything, but how am I gonna tell I wanna run out and buy an entire skin care line based on a one-time use?  Although, I will say the blister pack they sent is so much better than a packet.  I like it about one-tenth more because of it.

Next mediocre thing is the One Stick by Be A Bombshell.  I have received one of these already in a past Ipsy bag, and I didn’t like it all that much that time either.  The premise of the One Stick is that it can be used as a cream eyeshadow, blush or lipstick.  I don’t know what it is, though, that makes me not love it.  The Ipsy one was a super frosty pink that reminded me of my early 90s, triangle-shaped hair, big eyeglasses fiasco.  Maybe I’m suffering from a little PTSD, then?  I dunno.  But getting another one, although this time in super hot pink, made me go ew.  I put it in my train case of unused makeup.  It will die there, I’m sure.

Middle of the road thingy was this Electric Lip Slide by Bodyography.  I used it, and it is a super duper pigmented lipstick.  A little goes a long way here, unless you want to look a little hooker-y.  In that case, have at it.  I don’t know the name of the shade I got, but it’s a vibrant raspberry color.  It’s pretty but not a beautiful, can’t live with it kind of deal.  I’ll use it, but it will most likely last me until 2021.  Side note: this is a full-size tube; retail price $19.  That just about covers the entire $22 beauty box fee.  In other words: Go, Math!

My two favorite (and last) products in this box are by a company I’ve never heard of called Teeeze.  They are a Netherlands based company, so by that fact alone, I feel super international and fancy. I received this beautiful purple eyeshadow and matching eyeliner in the cutest, coolest packaging of anything I own.  See:

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Seriously.  I die.

I used both of these the other day at the same time, putting the eyeliner under my lower lashes and smudging it out a la professional makeup artiste.  And it was stunning.  Even my husband, who is brain dead when it comes to makeup and what things (in general) are supposed to look like, said my makeup was pretty.  So sweet.  I will put that in my arsenal of excuses for when I get in trouble in the future.  Cuz it’s bound to happen.  He can’t keep pulling box after box out of the mailbox with a simple stink eye for too much longer.  There’s gotta be a little pressure building underneath all that, surely?

Either that, or I’ve married Jesus.

Anyway.

Hope all is well with you.  Thank you for reading my ramblings.  More soon.

Ipsy | January 2014

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I’m just gonna go ahead and give Ipsy their props.  They are one of the best, cheapest beauty boxes available.  If you don’t believe me … well, then something is wrong with you.  I mean, definitely cheapest – it’s $10 per month.  And the quality of products you get is phenom.  Granted, you don’t always like what’s in your box, but that is typical of every box.  But I like what I get more often than I don’t.  Therefore, (and back to the point) I am right.

But I never doubted myself for one second.

Now.  Having said all that, I’m going to sound like such an oxymoron when I say that this month’s box isn’t my favorite.  Here is what I mean:

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So there is a lovely little pack of makeup removal wipies from Absolute.  I’m not complaining as they are very useful, but just kind of boring.  Here’s an exact reenactment of what happened: saw makeup wipies, said oh thanks for the wipies, then tossed wipies on the bathroom counter and walked away.

Pretty noneventful, wouldn’t you say?  Excitement level: about knee-high.  Later on that evening, I did go back to the bathroom counter and used the wipies.  So take that as you may.  They were like any other wipie.  Was supposed to smell like pomegranate.  I do not know if this is an accurate claim, as I’ve never smelled a real pomegranate before.  But the wipies did smell, and not all that unpleasant, so I’m going to assume this claim is for real.

I hope you’re still reading this, because I just got bored for about 2.5 seconds.

Next up is a soy tri-wheat leave-in conditioner from Sexy Hair.  I do not know what tri-wheat is.  Nobody does, unless you are a scientist, or perhaps a farmer.  But I ran out of my 12 Benefits detangling spray, so it was nice to have something to replacement it with.  I’ve used it twice now, and I will say for me the spray is quite watery.  Does not feel very conditioning.  Although, I’m no expert on detangling spray.  So I could be spouting gibberish for all I know.  I will finish the bottle but won’t repurchase.  I like my 12 Benefits way better.

One of the most intriguing things is this Bright Skin Serum from Apothederm.  I love anything in serum form, as to me, a serum is a promise of better things to come.  Use this serum, and all your problems just go away.  The word “serum” by itself is a magic word.  I mean, don’t witches use serums?  Or maybe those crazy doctors from back in the 1800s who had weird herbs in jars and cured your tummy ache with the elixir of tree bark or something?

Maybe I’m thinking of potions.  I dunno.  Serum is a magic word, and that’s the end of that.

Anyway, the claim on this one is to brighten skin, even out skin tone, etc.  So I’m hopeful.  I just want a face like one of those Madame Tussauds wax people.  Is that too much to ask?

Also got this super skinny eyeshadow pencil from Elizabeth Mott in the shade Pearl.  I haven’t used it as part of my actual makeup look, but I did do a little sample on the inner corner of my eyelid after work one day.  It’s really sparkly.  That may be good for some people (i.e., teenagers) but I am old y’all.  I’m on the precipace of 40 and I don’t feel it’s appropriate to be dressing up my eye wrinkles in glitter.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  Might as well just put a little spotlight right on my crow’s feet for all the world to enjoy.

I say this as if I don’t wear glitter eyeshadow anymore.  And for the most part, I don’t.  But if I buy a palette, and there be something sparkly in there, I feel it’s wasteful if I don’t use it.  So I do so, but sparingly.  Which is how I’ll use this Elizabeth Mott one.

Last product in the batch, and my absolute favorite, is the tinted lip balm from MicaBeauty.  The color I got is called Natural, and it’s a really pretty rose.  The texture is quite dry/matte but in a good way.  The more you apply, the darker the lip balm is.  It can be sheer, but also very pigmented.  Do I make sense?  I hope so because I really love this product.  It is unlike any lip balm I’ve ever used.  I will most likely hit pan on this thing, unlike all the other barely dipped into lip balms I have in my bag.  In fact, I’ve left it out on my bathroom counter for convenience sake instead of locking it up in my train case full of hardly used crap.  That = love, people, trust me on this.

So I know I said Ipsy is one of my favorite bags, but according to this review it looks like it’s not.  But even with the mediocre items, I do find them all useful and well worth the $10 spent.  I am a fan.

Buying Stuff: Episode 5

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Well, I’m not surprised one bit. It’s almost natural I find myself in this situation, as I’ve been here at least a jillion times before.

I bought stuff. I am in the possession of stuff. I have stuff.

I love stuff.

Lord. I’d say help me, but let’s be honest – I’m not gonna listen to a damn word you’re saying. I may not show it, but as soon as you say we need to talk, it’s sounds of la la la la la up inside my head.

Anyway, I bought this:

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It was not my fault. It was 3 a.m. on Saturday night, and my husband left me unsupervised. He shouldn’t go to bed so early. So clearly, the blame lies with him.

Thought I’d try this little Korres Greek Yoghurt kit. Comes with a cleanser, moisturizer and a sleeping facial. And if you’re thinking I bought this simply because of the sleeping facial you would be right. I mean, the curiosity is just too much to process. Plus, I love Greek yoghurt. Which has nothing to do with this kit, but I thought y’all should know.

And while I’m piling on the Korres products, I threw in a pomegranate lip butter for good measure.

Last thing in the lot came about because I earned $6 in rebates from Beauty.com and had to use them before they expired. Yes, a $6 coupon lured me in.

Well, I would’ve lured myself on my own at some point anyway. The $6 freebie was just a bonus.

Selected this gorgey lipstick thingy from Ellis Faas called Hot Lips in the shade L406. Here’s a close up:

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And while my selfie skills could use a little work, you can see what one swipe – yes, one swipe, of this beautiful gloss does to you. Like, seriously people, I just can’t. You need this in your life. In your life and on your lips. Like stat.

Alright, that’s it for now. Gotta go remove my makeup and apply about 45 minutes worth of skin care. Good night, lovies!

Sample Society | January 2014

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By this point you may be wondering if we’re done yet. The answer to that question is almost always NO.

Another beauty box, this time it’s Sample Society by Allure Magazine. I’ve been subscribing to this one for maybe three months now, and I like it pretty much. Plus, it got me to subscribe to my now favorite magazine (the previously mentioned Allure), so there’s that. And it’s also a dadgum beauty box (of which we love and/or are addicted to) so there’s that.

Here’s my bunch of goodies:

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For whatever reason, I got two StriVectin products in my box. I don’t think I’m complaining, as I’ve always wanted to try the brand. It’s also very expensive, therefore I automatically love it. (I suck, I know this.) But I’ve just never had a box give me two of the same brand before.

In any case, they sent me the Instant Retexturizing Scrub and the Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles. First off, should I be offended about that wrinkles thing? Doesn’t that sound so awful? How about we just call it ‘Eye Concentrate’ and then move right along? But no, you gotta go adding ‘For Wrinkles’ onto the end of it as if we don’t know or something. Let me clear this up: we know. That’s why we’re buying the dang Eye Concentrate to begin with.

Phffft.

On the other hand, I got a new eye cream to fix my wrinkles! Weeee! (Well, I never said I wasn’t excited…)

The other thing, the Retexturizing Scrub sounds promising. It says it works after the first use. Hallelujah for instant gratification! Why wait, I always say. I did use this the other day, but did so in conjunction with a facial mask so I’m not sure who’s to blame for my beautifully soft skin afterwards. I am going to give it another go tomorrow for my Mid-week Fancy (or Wednesday night exfoliation, in layman’s terms).

Also in the box was this bottle of nail strengthener called Horse Power by Butter London. I will admit at first I was like ho hum pig’s bum, but now that I’ve used it three nights in a row (per the instructions), I’m kind of loving it. I have horribly weak nails. I’m sure wearing falsies for 3 years straight has absolutely nothing to do with that. But I swear to you, no sooner will I achieve ten lovely shaped, perfectly manicured nails, will I have some sort of typing injury, or my zipper pull will get stuck in the downward position, or I will have a leisurely walk down the hallway and my swinging arm will hit a doorframe or something ridiculous to that effect – and break a nail. And then like some horrific chain reaction, a domino effect of nail breakages transpire, and before I know it, I’m
Nubby McNubbersteen and I have to start growing all my nails all over again.

How tragic.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m happy with the Butter London thingie.

Another brand I’ve been excited to try is Malin + Goetz. Received a little bottle of Vitamin E Face Moisturizer. Never against a good moisturizer, and this one has fatty acid absorption technology. I’m sure that means something to someone out there. But for me, I got sidetracked by its $45 price tag and suddenly I can’t see straight. I so love getting small versions of pricey things. Makes my heart feel good.

Last item, and one I am never ever ever excited about, is a perfume sample. I am not a perfume person. In fact, I have the same bottle of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea in my cabinet that my ex-husband bought me 8 years ago. Barely used. I could probably sell it on eBay as NEW for full-price as that is how unnoticeably used it is.

So despite the fact that you are Nicole Richie, you are famous, and you have your own perfume, I’m still unmoved. I just don’t care that much. Thank goodness the sample comes in a super tiny spritzer dealie and won’t last long. I can use it for a week or so, be done with it and set my conscience free.

And for the record, it doesn’t stink. That’s my review. It doesn’t stink. Yeahhhh. Pretty sure Nicole Richie is thanking me right about now.

That’s it. Til next time, my lovelies.

OneRadiant | January 2014

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I’ll be honest. The subscription to this box came about during a particular lull in the mail. All my December boxes had arrived and I was lonely. So what better way to cheer myself up than to subscribe to yet another box?!

Well it made sense at the time.

Now that OneRadiant is here, can’t say I’m disappointed. First of all, it’s strictly skin care, and I luuurve my skin care so it’s perfect for me. Plus, it’s completely custom, which is what makes this box justified beyond all justification.

I use a lot of justification. It’s the only way to clear my conscience.

Anyway, took a skin care survey online and now not only does OneRadiant know I have dry skin, but that my focus area is anti-aging. And that’s just a little secret between me and them.

First shipment came in and I was so super excited.

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Aside from those hideous packet thingies, I’m pleased. I know that what I’ll be using is made special just for me. Let’s review.

First item is two packets of Karin Herzog eye cream. Let me preface by saying Blush had sent me a tube of Karin Herzog Vitamin H face cream previously and it was flippin’ unbelievably good. So despite the horridness of the packet situation, I was slightly less peeved because it was Karin Herzog.

I used it all last week, and while I didn’t hate it, it was extremely hard to love when your squeezing it out of a little paper packet. Ruined everything! Would it kill anyone to make a tube? Just ban packets all together? Anyway. I’m sure I could’ve gotten several uses out of the packets cuz a little goes a long way, but I was just so annoyed by the whole scenario that it was in my trash by day 2.

Moving right along.

Next packet fiasco comes in the form if four single-use EltaMD sunscreens. I will say this fared better simply because they were a one and done. Squeezed it all out, used it, and then went about my merry way. And the sunscreen was actually very nice. I would actually buy this if I hadn’t already decided on my favorite sunscreen. CoTZ Face, if you are so inclined.

Then I got an actual jar of something. So by that fact alone, I love it. It was rhe Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream. It’s for the face and body, but I’ll probably just do the face. I dunno. Maybe I’ll go all over. I haven’t used this yet as it’s in line behind 14 other moisturizers, but you will be the first to know when it happens. (You’re excited.)

Last product I got was the M2 High Potency Skin Refinish. Apparently this is so potent you are not allowed to use it everyday, only every other day. Should be a little frightened, but my splotchy, uneven-toned, freckly, scarred face skin says Bring it on. If you’re about to give me the face of a 25 year old, I say welcome to my skin. And do as you please.

Looking forward to future boxes from OneRadiant. This is a prepaid three month subscription, so I’m not sure if they cut you off after the three month term is up or if you get the option of renewing. Guess I’ll find out in March. And of course, I’ll let you know.

Have a great day!

Buying Stuff: Episode 4

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I spend a lot of time on the couch. It’s the one thing I do that I do very well. In my house, couch-sitting is an Olympic sport and I am the undefeated, gold-medaling champ.

But when combined with pajamas and an iPad, I’m downright unstoppable. Because:

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Things like that happen.

I’m telling you, I don’t even know what it’s like to be normal anymore.

My status quo lately? Undeniably buying stuff. All the pretty things that others have, I want. Then I just make it happen. It’s seriously like magic.

Anyway, picked up a few things at Sephora as I am wont to do. Needed a body scrub so thought I’d give Soap & Glory a try. The Flake Away had a little travel size available for $5 so yes, please. Nexxxxxxt.

I wanted something from Illamasqua. Don’t judge me when I say I didn’t even care much what it was exactly, I just wanted to own something from the brand. That sounds exactly as if I have some sort of a shopping problem. But we’re just gonna ignore all the warning signs and move right along.

After scrolling through their offerings, I decided on a lovely cream blush in the shade Zygomatic, which is described as a peachy beige. Looked pretty online, but one never really knows about these things. Lemme just say, I am so very pleased. I don’t own any blushes in this color, so that proves right there that I needed it. But also, in person it’s just so so so nice. Feeling pretty darn pleased with myself at this point.

Now I have saved the best for last. One of my You Tube beauty gurus did a video on the Kat Von D Esperanza palette. And in proper form, I went and purchased it about 2.5 seconds later. Here’s a close-up of the colors:

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Well. I love. That’s all I can really say. Don’t they just speak the word spring to you? I find a sort of peace and serenity just looking at it. In the midst of the gloomy grayness of winter, I can temporarily be fast forwarded about 3 months. And it cures me. Kat Von D’s Esperanza palette cures me. It’s basically a medical necessity. Therefore justified.

And then as you can see there is a tiny sample of Origins CC cream. It was a freebie. Sephora gives you gifts with purchase, and out of all the tube-like products to choose from (as there’s no way in hell I’m choosing anything that comes in packet form), the Origins seemed the best choice. Hopefully I’m right.

So that’s it. I bought stuff. What else is new? Good night.