Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Waste not ...

... want not? I'm not so sure about that; avoiding wastage does not seem to help me want less things! But anyway.

I don't like wasting anything, be it paper, food, an opportunity, or much more importantly: cosmetics! I started noticing how empty all my stuff currently in use looks, and I thought I'd do a little post about using up every single drop of everything you own, obsessively. Because it may be an unhealthy compulsion, but it's also good economy in the current horrible economy.

I've put helpful dotted lines over each image to show you how much product is left. (Click the picture to go to the webstore)

I'll start with One Hand Washes The Other's Black Magic, since I use it the most often - twice a day - and therefore am faced with the difficulties of getting out every last drop more often. This cleanser is Holy Grail material for just about everyone who tries it, me included. My skin gets very upset if it is deprived of the Magic. And it's not that it's so expensive, this size bottle is just $6, but ... I cannot bear to see any of it go to waste!! (The "full" part is actually mostly empty, too, though it looks full in the pic.) I know I could potentially saw it open and remove all the remaining goodness, but I don't know how to do that, so for now I am just squeezing the heck out of the hard plastic bottle and reaching into it with my pinky to get at the cleanser. I already have a backup waiting, and I won't open it til ALL of this is gone. ETA: I've been using this since mid-January! Not bad for a 2oz bottle!

Next up is my trusty e.l.f. Zit Zapper - a steal at $1, but that doesn't make it any easier for me to throw it out! It's been getting dangerously low lately, and I am very glad that Kimberley of KimmieKarmaLove was awesome enough to send me not one but TWO backups, since getting it from the e.l.f. site involves very high-cost, very slow shipping. I can never find e.l.f. stuff near me (aside from nail polish and stuff at the dollar store, or gift sets at Target), so I was thrilled when she volunteered to pick them up at work and send them my way! This is the second in my trifecta of skin care, including the aforementioned Black Magic and argan oil moisturizer.

Moving on to perfumes, and here's where I really was shocked at myself. I know I have a tendency to "collect" [hoard] things I like, but wow ... I have a few DOZEN perfume samples I never look at, some completely full, others well-loved scents that I have used, or used up, as you can see here! That full-sized Island Michael Kors is completely empty. It's dry as a bone. It still lives in my lingerie chest because I ... um ... can't bear to toss it need to remember to buy a new one because it's so lovely! And the original Michael Kors is nearly empty, but not quite. I do have a backup mini of this scent, but it's almost empty too, uh oh ...

Another unhealthy obsession - but it's healthy for my lips so that makes it okay, right? I am a lip balm addict. My lips do not do well without a good balm, by which I do NOT mean Chapstick. OrangeThyme makes my favorite balms as of now, and especially since it always takes so long to get stuff from her, I am loathe to throw out a balm until it's COMPLETELY empty. Hence, the above picture: two of those tubes (both Apricot Plum, actually, which should tell you which is my favorite flavor) are empty, but stll have a tiny amount of product stuck in the base, which I scrape out with my fingernail when I'm just at home. I do have some pride, I only use reasonably full ones in public! I swear these are not full when they're brand-new ... they don't last me very long at all. Anyway, I will continue using these until they are dry, despite the disturbing fact that I have not one, or two or even three but SIX backups in different flavors (and about five more on my wishlist)!

Last but definitely not least, my bottle of Seche Vite topcoat. This one really gets to me. You can see it's got a fair amount of product left in there ... but it no longer works!!! Oh, it makes me so mad. It's gone gloopy, stringy like mozzarella on pizza, and patchy when applied to my nails ... I hate it. I have to use more of it to get a decent finish, and even then it looks like crap. But this stuff is not cheap! I refuse to throw out so much product, it should still be perfectly good (it's really not that old)! I've heard you can mix in "thinner" to make it better, but I have no knowledge in that department, so for now I'm just dealing with it. I don't yet have a backup, and won't be getting one until and unless I can get it on sale, now that I know a good portion of it will be unusable. I still love the product itself though, when it's usable ... ETA: Apparently Seche Vite also makes a specific thinner for this product which costs as much as the product itself, the jury's still out on whether or not I'm buying it.

So those are my almost-empties. I hope this post has been useful in some way, though I kind of can't see how it will be ... let's end with a moral maybe? How about, if you use your beloved Holy Grail items more carefully, you will be able to use them longer - does that sound good? It's true, so think about it next time you go to throw out your bottle of conditioner that has a bit left at the bottom!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cheap Pick: Rimmel Violet Metal

If you haven't visited your local CVS to check out their clearance sale, GO! There may still be time (and some stock left)! But there also might not be. The one I went to today didn't have any of those little orange stickers that we so love to see.

For example, this Rimmel nail polish in shade 350, Violet Metal, proudly displays its 75% sticker - I don't bother pulling them off my own stuff - that drew me to it in the first place. I had never tried Rimmel polishes before, and first of all, that brush is weird!* It's really wide and picks up way too much polish, so things were a bit messy. But look how beautiful the shade is: berry plum + blue duochrome = LOVE.

I didn't even stamp over this, I didn't want to cover it up! I did end up putting a few tattoo-style heart decals on my thumb and middle fingernails, but since I did a horrible job applying them (first-timer), I'm not showing you that.

But my favorite thing about this nail polish is the price: just over $1. Beautiful.

*Am I wrong? Is the Rimmel brush super great and I'm just clumsy?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lots of awesome stuff!

Facebook group Beautiful Inside and Out has passed 500 members and is holding a huge giveaway in celebration!

Prizes include Sigma brushes, a BH Cosmetics 120 palette, Sephora gift card and even MORE!

Enter to WIN here!

Surf Baby

If you happened to blink and miss the approximately 100 or so blog posts about MAC's new collection, Surf Baby, here's the summary: really pretty colors in really cheap-looking packaging. The most highly-coveted items from the collection were Hibiscus lipstick and My Paradise cheek color (apparently that's what we call blush now). Both have already sold out.

Here's your chance to get My Paradise! This beautiful coral with gold overspray should flatter just about every skin tone, and while the packaging is not the best-looking of all MAC's limited edition collections, the product itself looks beautiful in its pan.

Head over to Adventures in Makeup to enter to WIN!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sleek Makeup Giveaway

For those not in the UK or not familiar with the brand, Sleek is a lower- to mid- priced makeup range sold in drugstores, known for the bright colors and high quality of its items. Sleek is also now known for its horrible FailSale, which many have compared to NYX's recent FailSale. For this reason, some people refuse to give Sleek their money.

But if you're lucky, you could win some Sleek to try out without actually supporting the brand! This giveaway at Beauty and Bows includes foundation, blush, and lipstick from Sleek in some fantastic colors.

Enter to WIN here!

Friday, May 20, 2011

SUGARPILL Giveaway!!!

Generally known as the best of all the indie makeup companies, Sugarpill Cosmetics is a gorgeous brand of incredibly high-quality pressed and loose eyeshadows in adorable packaging. The items are a fantastic value for the amount and quality that you get, and I highly recommend them!

And Christina of Confessions of a Glitterholic is giving some away!

Samples of each of the loose shadows Sugarpill sells

The giveaway runs til 5/27 and will have not one but TWO lucky winners, enter to WIN here!

Concrete Minerals on Heartsy 5/21

EDIT: Um ... yeah. I got the date wrong. It should be Saturday, 5/21. Sorry!

If you haven't heard of Heartsy before [where ya been hiding, under a rock?], it's a website that sells store credit to Etsy shops at a minimum 50% off the actual value of the credit; so for example, you'd pay $10 or less for $20+ worth of store credit at the shop. You get to vote on what you'd like to see featured, and there are new deals every day.

And coming up today, Friday, May 20, Concrete Minerals will be featured! The offer is $9 for a $21 store credit* or, for VIP members, it's a $31 credit you can purchase now. (There is a membership fee for VIP, otherwise it's free to sign up on Heartsy.)

Concrete Minerals makes beautiful, complex eyeshadows. I own five of them, and Wicked and Deviant are must-haves in my opinion. They're lovely, unique, but still subtle. I also hear great things about their eye primer!

L-R: Wicked, Deviant

Let me know what you get, if you decide to get in on this! I need to live vicariously ^.^

*Disclaimer: This should be an affiliate link if I've done it correctly, so I would in theory get credit on Heartsy if you sign up through this link and buy something. Thanks in advance if you do, otherwise just go to Heartsy.com if you'd rather not use my link!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick note

I've got a button on the top of the right sidebar where you can donate to the GEMS fund that Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics and Dark Heart Designs are currently working on. They hope to have everything ready to send to GEMS by mid-June at the latest. If you haven't already read my brief post about the campaign, please do so now and consider helping if you can!

Personally, with my lack of income, I can't exactly donate a million bucks, BUT I've got an extra unopened Jumbo Milk Pencil that I will be sending to them because it's what I'm able to do to help!

GET THE LOOK: Valentino Zebra Sandals

I was ... innocently browsing, shall we say, on UrbanOG.com thanks to Lena today, and came across these funky cut-out zebra booties. I thought they looked familiar, and sure enough, I had the designer inspiration bookmarked ...

So obviously not an exact match, but the concept is the same, and the look is fairly similar. Considering the Valentinos retail for around $1,275 and the Wild Rose boots are about $40, I'd say it's a pretty good deal! And look how cool they look on:

What do you think? Do you buy designer-inspired items even if they're not exact dupes?

I'm also lemming all of these from the same website:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Revlon Craving Coral

I haz it.

Normally I hate the Revlon polish formula, but you know what? At CVS, this had a little 75% off sticker on the cap, and I ended up paying $1.45 for it.

I'll put up with a lot for $1.45 ...

(Am I the only one who HATES Revlon polishes?? They always bubble, and refuse to settle when wet so that if I tilt my hand while painting my nails, the polish slides around on the nail ...)

Another Quite Cute Giveaway

Missed out on MAC Quite Cute (or refuse to give them your money)? Not to worry, here is another chance to get your hands on some of the best items from the collection, including the highly-coveted Candy Yum-Yum!

Head over to Adrienne Adores to enter to WIN!

What the what?!



Never ever thought I'd have a "real" following like that. Maybe like, 15 followers tops?

Well it's very nice to have you all here! I'm taking note of your GFC names so that iiiiiiifffffff I should happen to do a celebratory giveaway, each of you would get an additional entry just for being my first 50* followers.

What?! 50?! Sorry, it still seems crazy to me ^.^ I solemnly swear to try and be a better blogger, post more often with higher quality stuff, and not disappear into a 3-week tonsillitis-related black hole again (I really, really want to stick to that last promise. REALLY.)

So thanks again for being here and I hope you'll stick around!

*Actually 51 as of now. So I'll be counting 51 of you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I found this fun quizzy thing over at Don't They Know Who I Am? - a blog that's new to me, which I found via someone else's blogroll. As if 300+ blogs wasn't enough to follow, I just LOVE to add more and more to my subscriptions!
It's a fun little way to get to know more about the blog author, so I decided to C&P and fill it out!
A. Age: 24! I get to say that for several more months, and after that … I LIE.
B. Bed size: Eastern King (as opposed to California King, which is longer and narrower – do you have those sizes in other countries?)
C. Chore you hate: LAUNDRYYYYYY!!! My arch nemesis!
D. Day: Ehhh … weekdays? Less people milling about
E. Essential start to your day: Catching up on blogs with Google Reader!
F. Favourite colour: Purple.
G. Gold or Silver: I like both, also copper!
H. Height: 5'4” barefoot … I used to wear minimum 3” heels on a daily basis and thus stand about 5'7”, but being unemployed I tend to be 5'4” more often now!
I. Instruments: I have played the clarinet before … and I'd LIKE to play piano, if it was easier to learn.
J. Job title: Ahem ... self-employed freelance none.
K. Kids: No thanks!
L. Live: In California.
M. Mum’s name: Allora (her parents' names, Al + Loreen = Allora, but the Italians actually invented this word before my grandparents did)
N. Nicknames: “Little One.” Seriously, everywhere I go, people come up with this nickname for me … is it tattooed on my forehead or something?
O. Overnight hospital stays: Let's see, I think the last one was my back surgery at the age of 14. And that was a week, not just a night.
P. Pet peeve: People who are native English speakers making tons and tons of spelling, grammar and vocabulary errors all the time … text-speak … annnd lots of other language-related things because grammar policing runs in my nerdy family!
Q. Quote from a movie: "Damn the man! Save the Empire!” - you should know what that's from.
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: I have two brothers, one 18 months older, one 18 months younger. Very organized, M&D!
T. Time you wake up: Um. Can I skip this one? Heh! My sleep schedule is very random.
U. Underwear: Ooh, yes please, I love to buy pretty bright lacy underthings!
V. Vegetables you dislike: Raw onion, raw tomato, mushrooms.
W. What makes you run late: My own inability to get out of the house in time for anything.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Back, mostly. But also teeth, fairly often.
Y. Yummy food you make: Lots! I love to cook and bake, have been doing so for about a decade now under the influence of my highly skilled mother, a registered dietitian. I especially love Cornish pasties, but they take HOURS to make; this one pasta dish with leeks, peas, Pecorino Romano and pancetta; and I invented a cookie recipe to taste like chocolate-covered blueberries … yep, those are delicious cookies.
Z. Zoo: I'd love to go! I haven't been to one in a long time. But maybe on a no-children day? If such a thing exists?
I'm gonna tag some people to do this quiz too! I choose ... mNg, Amanda, Erin (cool name ;-), Liz, Claire, Mel, Manda, Sandi, and Reggie! I want to learn more about you lovely ladies! (Everyone else feel free to do it too of course!)

Quick charity appeal

I'll be brief, I promise. I don't like being solicited for donations and I'm sure most other people don't either. But the wonderful women of Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics and Dark Heart Designs are working on a fantastic donation to an organization called GEMS, which helps young women who have been forced, exploited and/ or brainwashed into prostitution and/ or sexual slavery, and I thought it was worth mentioning.

There are many ways to help, and being cosmetics companies, these ladies have chosen to donate that which they do best! Rachael of ARC will be donating over 250 eyeshadow samples and 50 full-sized jars, and a friend is making 50 makeup bags to contain the donations; and that's just what has been arranged so far. These cosmetics will be a welcome gift to women who are essentially starting life over again after being sexual slaves.

How you can help, if interested: Monetary donations, of course, can be sent to the organization, or to the girls organizing this donation to buy more supplies for it; spreading the word about the organization and/ or this campaign to raise awareness; or if you'd like to donate makeup, the girls are looking for NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Milk and Black Bean to send along with the eyeshadows. The two most affordable places I've found those items are on eBay in this lot of 6, or, if you'd prefer to buy less than 6 at once, you could buy them individually from BeautyJoint.com (shipping is VERY affordable). Contact Rachael at arcpigments[at]gmail.com if you want to send any items to go along with the existing donations.

For more information, go to the GEMS website or the ARC Facebook page.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Can't stop loving coral

Although that's not really the point. But yes, I continue to adore coral, in clothing, lip color, nail color and eyeshadow. It's so juicy, fresh, and cheery; it really screams SPRING, or dare I say SUMMER (I wish)!

In a stubborn attempt to defy the rainy weather, which is an interesting break from the 80+ degree days we had before that, I decided to do a bright manicure. I used OPI and Konad Special polishes, both of which are on the pricey side - if you're paying retail.

But WHY pay retail?!* I found this and a few other shades of OPI on clearance at CVS last month for around $2 each, retail $5-9. I bought the Konad stamping polish on Amazon for about $6 shipped, as opposed to $6.50 retail plus shipping.

And as much as I like this manicure, which also includes a HOT pink Playboy nail polish from the set Shelby sent me out of the goodness of her heart ... I am very glad I didn't pay full price for this polish. "Give Me A Coral Sometime" is horribly sheer, and even after 4 coats you can still see through it. Normally I love OPI's formula above all others, but this one is not a winner to me.

I know it's not easy to find brand new collections at discounted prices - like the new Pirates of the Caribbean collection by OPI - but I also know that if I give myself time to think about, 9 times out of 10 I will realize that I don't need to buy the newly released stuff. I'd rather find a great deal and be able to buy twice as many items, or just not spend that money at all ... until the next shiny object comes along, of course.

So the point of all these words I'm jabbering is - uh - sometimes cheaper is better?

*(Ok yes, I do pay full price sometimes, we can't always avoid it.)

Monday, May 16, 2011


If you read this from the actual site instead of a reader, you may have noticed little design changes. I'm playing around with the banner - banner? header? whatever you call it - and working on a button, too.

That's what we do when we've got nearly 50 followers (WHAAAT? Crazy! Never expected that!), get all professional-like, all classy n' junk! Hope you like it ^.^

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some more great giveaways

At DeyiMizu, you can enter to win a Lancome Color Design Palette - or a giftcard of equivalent value to non-US readers!

LOADS of great prizes include nail polish, MAC and Bobbi Brown makeup and more at BlushingNoir, enter to win here!

And Phyrra is celebrating her blog's 3rd birthday with lots of awesome prizes, including Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, Urban Decay Primer Potion, MAC lipstick and lots of indie eyeshadows here!

Good luck to everyone who enters :)

Spellbinding Nails 500 follower giveaway!

If you are into nail art at all, you've GOT to check this one out :)

Having reached (& passed!) 500 followers, she is doing a giveaway whose prize includes 12 nail polishes and 10 stamping plates, 8 of which can be selected by the winner!!!

Last minute reminder!

The gorgeous Antoinette's Revolution Cosmetics shop had its grand opening and with it, a sale! The sale ends TODAY, shame on me for not posting it sooner!

Details: 15% off everything - example, 6 full-sized shadows for $20 (already a great deal) becomes 6 for only $17 - and free shipping on everything! Now is definitely the time to grab a few full-sizes, or just order samples. She also has the FULL collection available in sample packs for just $20.40 (32 colors!) and you can buy empty 3g jars for your samples at $0.50 each! UPDATED codes are YAYLAUNCH1 (free domestic shipping) and INTERNATIONAL2 (free international shipping)!

Every item listing has the color on an actual eyelid thanks to the lovely Christina aka Glitterholic, and there are definitely some more colors I would like to have ...

Racheal (the owner) has also just stated her intention to team up with a charity; in her own words:

"We've just contacted a New York state program called GEMS that takes in very young girls that have been exploited and forced/brainwashed into prostitution. We're planning a large eyeshadow contribution, but we need help! We would love it if you ladies would like to contribute. We'd like to purchase a large quantity of NYX jumbo pencils so we can send them along with the eyeshadows."

An admirable plan IMHO, especially for such a new company, to already be thinking of how they can help others.

There are swatches of these gorgeous colors all over the web, including at Phyrra's and I'm Not Skinny, So What? Hurry up and get yours on sale while you can!
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