Friday, July 29, 2011

Another care package of WIN from Europe!

Suzy and my boyface have done it again! They thought I needed cheering up, so when the boy was visiting Suzy in Holland, they did some shopping and mailed a big box o' stuff my way. It actually arrived on a really horrible day, when I was falling to pieces and in desperate need of a reason to smile, so the timing was perfect and it was just so lovely and kind of them to do this for me  THANK YOU GUYS!!!

Merry Christmas to meeeeee
This is *most* of the contents of the box - not even all of it! Talk about like Christmas in July - every single item, including the box itself (not shown since it got awfully battered by the USPS -_-) was wrapped up in pretty paper, and there were super cute Hello Kitty stickers on the outside of the box which you can see in the top left corner. I won't be showing you the card, sorry 0_~

Vero Moda top
So originally, Suzy wanted to send me this top she had found and thought would look good on me (SUPER AWWW!), and this was the foundation of the big box o' win. It's a bit more lilac than it appears in this photo, a bit sheer, very flatteringly cut, and perfect for summer! I love it!

Hopefully-not-real Anna Sui wallet
Can you imagine how I freaked out when I unwrapped this gorgeous wallet?! It says Anna Sui on it. I made the boy reassure me that it was not real Anna Sui before I even let myself open it up ... I can't have nice things like that! But oh, it's so beautiful, and really functional too. I shall use it as a clutch for going out!

Kruidvat anti-age eye cream
This eye cream is specifically from Suzy because the manfriend officially does not condone the sending of anti-aging products to me :P which is weird because I'm already older than him and likely to keep on getting older, so why the pro-aging sentiments? Anyway, I do not know if this has any real effect, but I can say I have been without an eye cream for[literally]ever and the scent of this one is fantastic, plus it doesn't sting or burn my eyes or the surrounding skin. I've heard some eye creams do that ... and now I won't have to go spend a million dollars on an eye cream cuz I have this ooooooone! If you don't read Dutch or French, I will translate for you: "Kruidvat" is the brand and orchid is the scent. That is all I have figured out so far.

L-R: Catrice Birds of a Feather eyeshadow quad, Bird of Paradise blush stick, and Bird of Paradise Crystal Clear Gloss Stick, all from the LE Papagena collection
Then ... OMG. Did my eyes deceive me? No - it truly is THE CLEAR LIPSTICK I was gibbering about a while ago! Okay. Maybe she saw that post and remembered that I had been wanting it, but how did she know I was drooling over the other stuff in the LE Papagena collection as well?! It must be her psychic abilities, I'm not the only one who believes this of Suzy ^.^

I now own enough Catrice to make a judgment about the company, I believe. And my opinion is that they are fantastic! I have been impressed by the quality of every single thing I have from them :D

Catrice Birds of a Feather eyeshadow quad, swatched in clockwise order starting at top left in quad, in direct sunlight, no flash. Top half is swatched over Pixie Epoxy, bottom half swatched over TFSI.
The eyeshadows are so beautiful, in fact, too beautiful to use since they have different textures and patterns pressed into them. Oh well, I'm using them anyway. Surprisingly, the purple is not my super favorite of the bunch! Actually I do really like it, but the two greens are so lovely: a lighter citrus green that brings lemon-lime soda to mind, and a darker green with red, gold, and other glitter in it (click photo to zoom in).

L-R: Catrice Blush Stick in Bird of Paradise, Catrice Crystal Clear  Gloss Stick in Bird of Paradise, GOSH  Light'N Shine lip gloss 04, direct sunlight, no flash
The blush stick is really cool, with a creamy texture sort of similar to a lip balm, and the perfect amount of pigmentation - it starts off really sheer but can easily be built up in color. It's a great neutral light pink which I think probably would work best on pale girls like me. And the lipstick-shaped-lollipop "gloss stick" is more or less transparent, but with a slight tint of wine. It also smells like fruit punch, yum! Not that moisturizing though, so it's definitely not meant to be a balm. That third swatch is the gloss from this next bunch ...

L-R: GOSH Cosmetics Mono Eyeshadow in 005 Purple, Light'N Shine Lip Gloss in 04
GOSH goodies! I looooove this stuff. They know me well, so they chose a purple eyeshadow for me, and then the gloss is just way cool! It has a mirror on one side (I left the sticker over it for this photo), and it lights up when you pull out the wand, making it super easy to apply the gloss in any lighting conditions.

GOSH Cosmetics Light'N Shine lip gloss in shade 04, direct sunlight, no flash
The gloss is a pale milky pink with tons of violet, blue and silver sparkles. I think I'll wear it most often over more opaque lipsticks, just to add some cool glitter.

GOSH Cosmetics eyeshadow in 005 Purple, direct sunlight, no flash, swatched over Pixie Epoxy on top and TFSI on bottom
This eyeshadow was the slightest bit chalky, as you may be able to tell from the swatch. It really resembles Sugarpill's Poison Plum in the pan, but not at all on the skin! It's darker, with some pink and blue sparkles, where Poison Plum is a bright red-toned matte purple.

Last but definitely NOT least, the candy! I got some Curly Wurlies from the boy when he first came to visit me, and I loooooved them, so I ate this one right away. For us non-UK peeps, a Curly Wurly is just like caramel covered in chocolate but sort of made like Swiss cheese with big holes ... yums :) And in fact, laws were broken here, because it is illegal to import Kinder Surprises into America O_o That's because they contain non-edible bits inside which could be choking hazards. Wanna see my choking hazard? (WOW THAT SOUNDS DIRTY)

It came all folded up in that little yellow pod, inside the egg-shaped milk chocolate lined with white chocolate
I got ... a little windsurfer! I had to put it together myself ... on-camera ... with commentary from the peanut gallery ^.^ But I got it eventually!

So *whew* I think that was everything! Can you believe how generous these two are? Man, if not for the fact that I got to send him a big birthday present right before this, and am already stockpiling stuff for Suzy's birthday (ahahahahaha yes, yes I am Suzy), I would have felt ... even more undeserving of all these awesome goodies! Sometimes you just meet the best people through the internet :)

OMG I forgot to mention!

The voting was reset on the Beauty Blog Awards due to some overzealous people voting multiple times with proxies ... and I forgot to mention it and the voting's almost over! (August 1st)

I'm not about to win for Best Beauty Blog (but still super flattered to be nominated :) BUT there's a very close race between Darling Girl Cosmetics and Fyrinnae for Best Indie, so every vote counts - get over there if you haven't already, and cast your vote!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More awards/ tags/ surveys, pt 1

Larie from Eye Heart It tagged me for these awards, which come with a fun questionnaire! Actually, Sandi from Peace, Love, and Sparkles also tagged me for them, but I'm going to post separately for the Top 10 Award :)

Name your favourite color: Purrrrrrrrrple!
Name your favorite song: Exogenesis Symphony, by Muse. There aren't many words in it, but it's hauntingly beautiful!
Name your favorite dessert: All of them? Well, I especially love chocolate raspberry cheesecake, or flavored crème brulee, or grilled Hawaiian Gold pineapple rings with melting ice cream on top ...
What is pissing you off?: People who love to say hateful, ignorant, hurtful things online that they would never have the courage or stupidity to say in person. Flakiness and going back on your word. Know-it-alls, particularly teenagers, whose minds are not open to seeing other points of view. Every single bad thing piling up on me unceasingly.
When you're upset, you...: go quiet, choke up a bit, hear roaring in my head, bite my tongue until I can speak rationally rather than lashing out with curse words or violence!
Your favorite pet: Mah pretty kitten! 

O hai, I'm pwetty and I need snuggles
Black or White?: It's rarely that simple. (Nerrrrrd)
Your biggest fear is...: being sent to a mental hospital, and then having everyone in the world think of it whenever they look at/ speak about/ think about me … or being sent to debtor's prison (or the modern equivalent, you know what I mean) and having everyone find out … I do really hate how nothing stays private or secret for long, and yes I worry about very extreme things ^_^;
Your best feature is...: According to other people, cheekbones or eyes. According to ME, my newly grown cleavage! I was always on the flatter side and now am on the fatter side, which has had a very pleasing effect on my rack ^.^ (TMI? Oops)
Everyday attitude: Stressed – oh, that's a mood. Erm, pessimistic but patient.
What is perfection?: Whatever makes you happy.
Guilty pleasure: So many! Particularly Wild Berry Skittles, ginger ale, paranormal romance novels (LOL), buying new perfume/ nail polish/ makeup, etc etc etc

Wheeee, now I get to tag people! I want to tag people I haven't yet, and there are a lot of them, so here is a random selection of bloggers I feel are deserving of these awards:
Georgina of Cupcake's Clothes
D. Sadie of DGS Beauty
All 4 contributors at Parokeets
I'd love to find out your answers to those questions if you want to do the tag!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Simply Sweet Skin [long-overdue] review

A stupidly long time ago*, there was a special promotion announced on the Simply Sweet Skin Facebook page: buy a $5 sample pack, get free shipping + 2 extra free samples. I had been itching to try SSS for a while and after looking at the listing for the sampler, I caved!

Packaging (inside a bubble mailer)
Clockwise from top L: Solid perfume samples (2), body frosting sample, whipped soap sample, lip scrub sample, perfume oil samples (2)
Check out what $5 got me. Can you believe it? I mean, I've seen generous samples before, but this was like ... like ... paying for one soda and having another one fall out of the vending machine, too xD

And these were packed FULL, too. I'll start with the solid perfume samples because those were the things that shocked me the most when I went to photograph them twisted up all the way:

Solid perfume samples
I don't know about you, but what comes to mind when I think of  a sample of something is just a tiny amount of it for you to decide whether or not you like it. This could honestly be sold as a full-sized product on its own, that's how much is in there. Those are oval lip balm tubes FULL of solid perfume!

The scents I ordered were Hawaiian Hibiscus, which I'd heard of and thought I knew exactly what it would smell like, and Midnight Tuberose. HH is a very sweet floral, and I'm not sure why I was expecting it to smell like gardenia, but for the record it does not ^_^; I can't find the actual scent descriptions anywhere, so unfortunately you'll have to accept my amateur description: "kind of floral candy, like watermelon Jolly Ranchers but with a bit of a tropical flower scent too." Although I expected this to be my favorite scent, hence ordering almost all HH samples, I actually prefer Midnight Tuberose! Don't get me wrong, I love candy and I love flowers, but it's not a scent I'm in love with. Midnight Tuberose, on the other hand, I loved, and is easy to describe: "musky tuberose." It's very simple and straightforward - and not too musky, I happen to hate musk in itself - and if you love tuberose like I do, then you will love this scent.

The solid perfume formula is pretty average compared to the many other ones I've tried. It's not too hard that you have to scrape product out with your fingernail, but not so soft that it'll melt with the slightest suggestion of heat. In fact, it feels like a normal lip balm, and I do get confused sometimes and want to apply it on my lips O_o The scent is not overpowering, but does fade rather quickly, within a couple of hours. This is common in solid scents, at least in my experience, which is why I tend to carry them in my bag and use them to "touch up" my scent if I feel I no longer smell great!

The perfume oils have better staying power, as perfume oils tend to. If you're not familiar with perfume oils, please rest assured that it's not like smearing olive oil on your pulse points; perfume oil has a similar consistency to normal rollerball perfumes, but maybe a touch slower to evaporate on your skin. When I apply these, I can still detect a bit of the scent much later in the day.

Forbidden perfume oil was one of the two free extra samples included with my order, and I really love it, too - it's a sexy warm citrus scent, like yuzu or possibly mandarin, that isn't cloying or sickeningly sweet. I mean, there's some sugar there, but not so much that you feel like a pre-teen wearing this scent. I have a bit of a thing for citrus scents, and this one is gooooood - it actually smells a lot like OHWTO's Yuzu scent, if you're familiar with that (another favorite citrus perfume).

Moving on to the bath stuff, I'll just quickly explain that the reason I ordered soap and lotion and solid perfume and perfume oil all in one scent was that I like to apply layers of scent for the most lasting effect. I've found that if you use a scented soap in the shower, followed by scented body oil and/ or lotion, perfume oil, and then a spritz of perfume, you will not reek of scent but you will stay nicely scented all day. That sounds like a lot, but really, each layer is such a tiny amount that it doesn't add up to too much; it just sticks around much better. And the Hawaiian Hibiscus perfumes in both solid and oil, the soap, and the lotion all smell exactly alike, which is good - I hate when the lotion or soap of a perfume smell slightly off - and when layered, they truly do last all day on me.

After about three weeks' usage
The whipped soap (white) is not the texture I was expecting based on the ONE other non-traditional soap I own (pink), so I have comparison pics to explain:

See how the soap looks really hard compared to the pink one? It's almost like regular bar soap in its consistency, only slightly softer ... and I really hate bar soap. The item description calls this fluffy and creamy, and I'd have to disagree about that. But I found that this does lather well, scent me nicely and does not require a lot per use - that photo was taken after using it at least once a day for a few weeks, and it hasn't gotten much emptier since then! It also doesn't leave my skin feeling tight, dry, or covered in soap film. So even though it's not what I expected, I still think it's a winner!

After about 3 weeks' usage
The body frosting, again, was a totally different texture than I expected. It's described as being creamy, and the photos in the listing make it look like, well, like frosting. Here I have a bit next to a body frosting from a company no longer in business:

Once again, it was so much more stiff than I expected! In fact, it feels more like soap than lotion until it melts into your skin, which does happen pretty quickly. Then, it turns into what feels like oil (you can see it happening in the photo) ... and after much rubbing into the skin, it still leaves a bit of greasiness that will get all over your cell phone, iPad, etc, so be careful!

HOWEVER - I have very dry hands. I have to wash them often, so I tend to use a lot of lotion to make up for it. Prior to this, I had been using a lotion meant specifically to heal very dry skin, and my hands were still a bit scaly and dry. Once I started using this every night, my skin became ... softer. Actually softer, not just "less dry!" Plus, there were no flaky, peely bits of dead skin until I forgot to use this one night and used a different perfumed lotion instead ... then I saw some dry skin coming back. So this has become Holy Grail material for me, and my little pot is now almost completely empty D: I must order a full-sized jar ASAP or say hello to my old nemesis, crocodile skin, once again!

Lastly, the other free sample that came with my order was the Creamsicle Lip Scrub. Once again, I got a very generous amount in my sample; the little green tub may look tiny, but you only need a tiny bit per use, so it will last me quite a while. I've used it several times when my lips needed it, and found it to be a bit oilier than other lip scrubs I own, though it feels dry to the touch in the tub - it's not a gloopy mess like some body scrubs. It does a fantastic job of exfoliating, and the oil leaves my lips feeling soft, plus the scent is EXACTLY like a delicious Creamsicle so it is an absolute pleasure to use.

Overall, I was really impressed with my Simply Sweet Skin goodies! I think the quality is excellent, and it's certainly a good value for your money - I definitely recommend you try a sample pack first so you can make sure your skin won't have any allergic reactions to any products, plus you can determine which scents you like before ordering full sized items. Seriously, the samples I got are going to last me ages, and the only ones I know I'll run out of completely are the lotion (very soon) and the soap (maybe in another month)! There are many scents available, including famous brand dupes, and Catina, the owner, does run promotions off the Facebook page fairly often, so you can always get a great deal. I'm sorry to say that the sample packs are not listed in the shop right now, but if you can get them listed for you or see them in the shop again, definitely grab at least one and try this stuff out!

*The weekend of June 12th

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I got my Jealousy Wakes!

Last week I found out that I won the Jealousy Wakes giveaway at Cosmetics Aficionado, and it arrived on Monday! Perfect timing - my car broke down on the freeway while I was heading to a party Saturday night, and on Monday, I found out that I basically no longer have a car. Yet I am still paying it off. FML

But anyway, Monday was a fantastic mail day and one of the packages that helped cheer me up a bit was this one from Leticia. 

My prize :D
Quite Cute buttons and JEALOUSY WAKES!!! 

Look how prettyyyyyy
If you follow me on Twitter (you should, btw, if you enjoy nail "art" pics, lemmings* and mini-rants) then you may remember me going a bit crazy trying to show how my manicure matched Jealousy Wakes ... suffice it to say, I was infatuated with the color and unable to buy it. Plus it sold out IMMEDIATELY.

I was overjoyed when I found out I won it, obviously! Here is about the worst swatch EVER, please look it up on Temptalia or just Google for much better pics of it ... I was all out of clean brushes so I had to wipe it on with my finger -_-

Swatched over Pixie Epoxy (top) and TFSI (bottom). Direct sunlight, no flash
AND the Blogger's Obsessions collection is back on the MAC website once more and when it's sold out this time, it won't be back! So run, don't walk, over there and please buy me Caqui, Sonoran Rain and Nitro:licious 2046 while you're at it :P

Small[ish] Victoria's Secret haul

Remember when I mentioned that you could take an extra 20% off* clearance items on the Victoria's Secret website? I had been doing so wellllllllllllll, avoiding the semi-annual sale ... until then.

Well, anyway! Here's what I grabbed:

I'm not going to model the apparel for you. You're welcome :P Those two boxes contained my eyeshadows, one per box with a  TON of bubble wrap cushioning them - pretty good packaging for clearance stuff!

L-R: Decadent, Wanted
I owned one of their shadows already and absolutely love the quality, it's a smooth texture commonly likened to "buttah" and great pigmentation, so I definitely couldn't resist the clearance pricing of $4.79 each (after coupon code)!

Product in pans - MASSIVE, no included applicators, click to see how STUNNING the blue is in the pan!
The webstore had tiny squares of color that you roll over with your mouse to see larger detail swatches (they appear to be closeup photos of the product in the pan), and based off those I ordered a bright cobalt blue and plummy taupe in the "Lustre" finish.

Direct sunlight, no flash. Swatched over: top - bare skin; middle - Pixie Epoxy; bottom - TFSI
The blue, Wanted, is described only as "deep blue" by VS, and the product in the pan is STUNNING sapphire blue with violet flecks. Sadly, it was a bit of a challenge to get my swatch to look that vibrant. It looked best over Pixie Epoxy (middle of the swatch), but still not quite as dark or deep as I wanted it to. You can see the violet flash if you click the photo for close-ups!

Decadent is called "steel plum," which sounds a bit silly, but I guess it is a metallic plummy taupe ... This is a gorgeous taupe, and the finish is beautiful, but if you click the photo to zoom in, you'll see some weird fallout. It's not glitter, it's like ... chunks of eyeshadow o_O

It may not sound like I'm very pleased with these colors, but actually I am! They definitely are worth the $4.79 I paid for them, considering that not only are they pretty, but also contain 3.5 grams of product each - to put it in perspective, MAC shadows are 1.5g, Sugarpill are 4g and Wet n Wild trios contain 3.5g total for all three shades combined. So you're getting a massive amount of product with these! (Visual size comparison in my own palette here - it's the biggest one!)

I suggest checking out your local VS and swatching them sometime - it seems like they might be discontinuing them, so now's the time to try them out if you're at all interested. They're a great value and very pretty!

*Sorry, the code has expired

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Little bit o' haul

I was at CVS for perfectly innocent reasons, intending to just do a return and get out of there. Of course I couldn't just do that -_- I went to peek at their Wet n Wild display in search of the new trios, and as usual, there was nothing LE in the stand ... but I did find a cool lip thing I had never seen before, and since WnW was marked BOGO50%, I also grabbed the Walking on Eggshells trio.

Right before my stuff got checked out, I thought to myself, I should scan my card at the box first. But it was pretty much too late so I just went through checkout, and sure enough, I had $5 extrabucks AND a coupon for $5 off any Revlon ColorStay Ultimate lip product. I'd hate for those to expire or something, so I decided to use them immediately ^_^;

About $6 total for this!
So I thought it said ColorBurst at first, and was all excited thinking I could get the Peach lipstick I wanted for free! But no, it was only the longwear range that was eligible for this coupon. I spent a little while gazing in puzzlement at the display because I couldn't figure out which one to go for ... finally I noticed someone (not me!) had opened one of the liquid lipsticks, so I swatched it, and decided to get it. It's the ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Miracle Mauve, and it claims to last up to 24 hours. Its price was $10.99 before my coupons. I'll be doing lip swatches and review for this on my other blog soon!

Has anyone ever seen the Wet n Wild "Perfect Pair Lip Wand" before? I never had, and couldn't recall seeing anything about it on any blogs, but I thought it looked great so I picked it up in the only color that was there,Passion Plum #123. This was $2.99, I think ETA: Nope, $3.99! I have only 2 lip liners right now, so I liked the idea of having a matching coordinating lip liner and lipstick in one tube ...

... but the liner is definitely not the same color as the lipstick. It's darker, and more brown, yet it looks fine when on the lips (no noticeable darker line where it's applied). Here are quickie swatches of that and the liquid lipstick:

L-R: Liner, lipstick from Passion Plum; Miracle Mauve (artificial light, no flash)
I love the color of the lipstick, a cool-toned berry, and actually the liquid lipstick, which is a cool-toned mauve with a bit of what looks like blue and silver shimmer, looks great on top of that!

Walking on Eggshells is a trio I have been eying for a few months now, but never managed to ignore my guilty conscience long enough to buy it. It just seemed unlikely that I didn't have similar shades already in my stash. But I watched Emily Noel's video of MAC dupes recently and she showed swatches of these three shades next to three MAC shades, so that was excuse enough for me! Now if I see a tutorial or look I like online that uses the MAC shades I can whip out this palette and try to copy it :)

L: no flash - R: flash; swatched over Pixie Epoxy on the left and TFSI on the right of each swatch
Luckily for you, there are lots of swatches of this palette online already, so please Google it instead of relying on these crappy pictures :P I really need to make better use of the California sunshine and take my pics outside!

So that's my little $6 haul! I've already been wearing the WnW lip duo and like I said, will be reviewing it (and the Revlon liquid lipstick) along with lip swatches on my other blog soon, so stay tuned for that :)

Giveaway - happy blog birthday, Funny Face Beauty!

I can't believe Alicia of Funny Face Beauty has only been writing her blog for one year! I always assumed it was a blog that had been around for a while, I mean she has over 2,000 followers! But it's her 1-year blog birthday, so she's doing a massive giveaway of all kinds of awesome goodies ...

... including OCC Lip Tars (I've always wanted to try them), MAC lipstick(now that I have one, I want more!), even a perfume!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Free lollipop day at See's!

See's Candies are giving out free lollipops today (instead of the usual free samples)! This is nationwide, and I don't know what your location may have, but mine was handing out Root Beer flavor ... meh, but still worth the excuse to go poke at (and buy and eat) chocolates :)

PLUS, they're doing a National Lollypop Day sweepstakes where you can enter to win a trip to San Francisco and tour of their factory, or one of ten $50 gift cards! Enter to WIN here!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Extra 20% off clearance at Victoria's Secret

Just a heads-up, you can take an extra 20% off clearance merchandise at Victoria's Secret online right now with code HOT20 - clothes, shoes, obviously lingerie, and more are already marked way down, so 20% off those prices? Not too shabby!

I have one VS eyeshadow, and I think the quality is fantastic, so $7.99 - 20% is an excellent price on these! Also, they've got Too Faced Aqua Bunny Bronzer, and look how cool the zebra-print quads are!

Let me know what you haul - I'm nosy :) *goes off to drool*


Both shameless self-promotion, I'm afraid ;-)

Thing 1: Have made a new blog called Ravings of a Lipstick Lunatic, which my Twitter pals have already seen, but I wanted to wait to link it once I got my new LE, DC, MAC lipstick (SO MANY ACRONYMS)! It's a blog for, obviously, my lipstick obsession ... swatches, hauls, dupes etc ... so if you love lipstick, go check it out and maybe follow! I'm ridiculously pleased with my graphics over there so I hope you'll like them, too :)

Thing 2: I entered KimmieKarmaLove's Show Me Your Inner Animal contest and it's voting time! I did a look based on my cat. Yes, I'm that person. 

My pweshus! Looking very grumpy even though she was very happy at the time, hence the drooly nose
Photoshopped my eyes green, but it was impossible to get them to match her eye color!
Making a bitchy face to be more like my cat xD
I used a slightly pink brown on the outer corner, pinky taupe on the center of the lid, and pure silver in the inner corners, all over a base of silver Jumbo Pencil, to mimic the colors of her fuzz. Then I drew around my eyes with Milk Jumbo Pencil to mimic her thick white eyeliner! I did a bit of very amateur contouring under the apples of my cheeks to try for more cat-like bone structure, and applied a peachy lipstick and pale pink gloss to approximate the color of her nose. I used matte white eyeshadow on the cupid's bow as a nod to her white mouth. A very strange look overall, but it's how I imagine my girlie would look if she was a people (are my Sailor Moon roots showing?).

Anyway, head on over there and vote for your favorite before next week! I had a hard time choosing who to vote for (despite boyface telling me to just vote for myself), I think all the entries look really cool :)

Hidden Treasure: maybe not so hidden anymore?


I heard Essie Braziliant polishes were on clearance at Rite Aid, and Revlon cosmetics are 40% off this week, so you can bet I spent some time there yesterday ... I didn't find any Braziliant at all, but lookie what I did find in the midst of the clearance polishes!

Sadly, it was not on clearance, and was nearly $8. What. Why is this drugstore brand selling for so much? You may have a new and improved formula, but why would I want to take your word for it when I could buy OPI for the same price??? But it was Hidden Treasure and I had no idea they were even still making HT so I grabbed it!

You've probably seen a million swatches of this polish and its twin Nubar 2010 all over the internet, but if you haven't, here's my official color description: Fire opal chipped into tiny flakes and mixed into a pale sheer gold nail polish. Ahhh, so beautiful!

I was just complaining to myself the other day that my Revlon Craving Coral pedicure I did on the 4th of July is still looking perfect and I'm bored with it ... so now I'm going to put HT over it :)

I'm also going to put it on my next manicure, maybe over Sinful Colors Verbena ... the possibilities are endless! I don't think there is a single color that would not look good under Hidden Treasure :)

ETA: Here it is: 1 thick coat over 2 coats of Verbena!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stay Beautiful 500 follower giveaway

Rocks my socks! We're talking Sleek, MUA, Barry M, Collection 2000 ... all kinds of English stuff I can't get here! Plus a few indie items, yay :D


That's what I'm going to call this, since so many of them made me go "nnnooooo!!!" mNg over at I'm Not Skinny, So What? tagged me to do this would-you-rather thingy ... here are my responses!

1. Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks and lipglosses or lose all of your palettes and eye shadows?
Noooooooooo!!! Well, to be honest, I could survive without eyeshadow, but not eyeliner or lipstick. I think they make a big difference to my overall appearance, whereas eyeshadow is more … an extra, you know?

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?
D: another nooooooooooo!!! Um, never be able to cut it again, I guess. I like how long it is right now (all the way down my back), and although it could use a bit more shaping it's not toooooo bland at the moment. ETA: The boy pointed out to me that the "never be able to cut" option means letting it grow and grow forever, not keep it as it is now forever. Derp! Oh well, I still choose "keep it as it is now, forever"

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek?
I want to say pink, it just gives such a pretty, windblown look compared to coral.

4. If you had $1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or makeup?
Gotta go with clothes! I'd seriously spend most of it at discount stores too, just to maximize that $1k!

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner or eyeliner as lipstick?
Errrm … I guess lipstick as eyeliner, since I have purple lipsticks that'd be decent eyeliners, but no eyeliners I'd be okay with using on my lips!

I do not ever want to look like this!
6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?
Sephora, hands down. Not only do they have a variety of brands and price points, but products as well – skincare, perfume, tools, and of course makeup!

7. Would you rather use only one eyeshadow color or one lip color the rest of your life?
Gahh! Well, I'll say eyeshadow (just don't ask which one) … although I have one lipstick I turn to more often than the rest (Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose), I still love to choose different ones for different looks!

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in the summer or summer clothes in the winter?
Ha, I'm going to cheat and say summer clothes in winter, because … I generally do anyway! It doesn't get very cold here in winter. Plus, I could just stay inside ...

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?
Bright, for sure – I almost never do dark nails.

I love this blog and want to try to mimic this next week!
10. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a pony tail or a messy bun?
Ew to both, I hate how my face looks when my hair is pulled back :( I'll go with ponytail though, you can glam up a ponytail but a messy bun would get old after a while.

11. Would you rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lipgloss?
Lipgloss, not lipstick? I guess … hmm. This is a tough one, I may just have to say no more nail polish! I do have fun painting my nails but lipgloss can make me pretty and nail polish really is just for giggles.

12. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all? Or sharpie them in everyday?
Ew-ew-ew! Neither, PLEASE! Ugh, if I HAD to choose it'd be Sharpie, but for the love of anything, please never make me actually choose D: I can't stand unnatural-looking brows, I think they're the quickest way to turn a pretty girl ugly!

13. Would you rather live without makeup or nail polish?
Nail polish. Again, makeup makes such a big difference in appearance and therefore self-confidence, while nail polish is just to make me smile!

I don't know exactly who has already been tagged, so can I please cheat and say that I tag anyone reading this who wants to do it? Kthanxbye ^.^

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gem of Roses Giveaway!

MAC's newest collection, Semi Precious, had some hits and misses, but one of the standout, and then SOLDout, items is the strawberry-pink lipstick Gem of Roses.

Now $30+ on eBay, this lipstick appears to be universally flattering and a must-have for any girl (or guy)'s collection. Luckily for us, Wendy of Turtle Beauty is giving one away!

INCREDIBLE Hello Kitty Giveaway!!!

Biggest ... Hello Kitty .... haul ... EVER!!!

Lipgloss Love Affair has been hinting about this giveaway for what seems like ages, building up the suspense - and the stash - til it reached epic proportions! Check out all that Hello Kitty stuff :O

I am entering this giveaway because my manfriend's best friend Suzy, who keeps buying me lots of stuff over in Holland and sending it to me, is a huge fan of Hello Kitty ... and while I did suggest she enter to win herself, I happen to have really good luck at winning stuff and I'm in the US, so I would be able to get the nail polish, too (and then have the boy bring it back to England with him in his luggage, because that's legal even though shipping it via airmail isn't. Whatever)!

Uh, anyway - enter to WIN here!!!

But please don't actually win. Because I want to. xD

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Voting has begun!

The nominations are in and the poll is up! Head over to Cinnamon Candies to vote in the Beauty Blog Awards, with categories ranging from Best EOTD/ FOTD Blog to Best Indie Make Up Company. And you'll notice some friends nominated me for Best Beauty Blog (awww! But as if! Lol) and my boyfriend voted for me xD

Cast your votes now, the poll will remain open until midnight July 24th!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wearable trends: Orange Lips FOTD/ Tutorial

Orange lips are still going strong, and this trend can be intimidating for a lot of us. What orange will I look good in? What do you wear with orange lips? What if I spend a million dollars on an orange lipstick and then it immediately goes out of style (no longer seems likely, but still)?

I've never worn orange much before, as it just hasn't ever looked good on me ... clothes, makeup, nail polish, I avoided orange at all costs. I have a few bits of orange in jewelry, but that was it until recently. Suddenly, everyone in the stylish world was obsessed with orange lips ... and I began to wonder if I could make it work for me, too.

I'm happy to report that orange can be very wearable! It's bold, it's fun, and as long as you pick one with the right undertones to complement, not clash, your skintone, it's completely wearable (for example, I needed a more reddish orange, not a yellow or pinkish one). It can also be very affordable - no, you don't need to buy the NARS gloss, you can just head to a drugstore and pick up some Revlon or Barry M! Here's my first FOTD with bold orange lips and slightly neutral, yet complementary-colored EOTD:

Sorry this pic is a bit out of focus :/
When trying to figure out what eye makeup would go well with a bright orange lip, I first thought "it had better be softer," or else I'd venture into dangerous clown territory. But then it was boring, so I thought, why not just do a pop of bright eyeliner, in a complementary color, and wear a bright blue top as well? I loved the way it turned out! ETA: Thanks, Yami, for pointing out that this look could also be considered colorblocking, another hot summer/ fall trend!

Can you see the double liner?
Here are the products I used (aside from foundation, etc):

Benefit Creaseless Cream (mini) in R.S.V.P. - this was my base for the look, I've found it can replace TFSI* and give a bit of extra depth to the colors for more neutral looks
Simply Naturals eyeshadow in Raw Sienna (DC*) - lid color
Silk Naturals eyeshadow in Bare Back - crease color
Lost in Makeupland highlighter in English Rose - browbone highlight, inner corners
Inaz Pigments shadow in Electricity - foiled* as liner
Physicians Formula gel liner, black with silver sparkle, from "Glam" green trio - line closer to eyes, under eyes
Urban Decay Lash Primer Potion - to prepare lashes
Physicians Formula mascara - as mascara (duh!)
Essence Smokey Eye brush for crease/ blending, resold angled liner brush to apply liners, and e.l.f. $1 eyeshadow brush for lid color
Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Coral all over lips and lipgloss in Papaya just in center of lips

And this is something new I'm trying: a color-by-numbers eye map to help explain the look! Photoshopped entirely by me, hence the slight awkwardness:

Does this make more sense than the photos? Is it redundant? Confusing? Too 80s? Super awesome? Let me know!
1 & 2 - Benefit Creaseless Cream or similar eyeshadow primer base
1 - Raw Sienna eyeshadow or lid color to match your skintone
2 - Bare Back eyeshadow or crease color slightly darker than your skintone
3 - Electricity pigment, foiled, or bright blue liner applied in thick winged shape
4 - Black with silver sparkle gel liner or similar black liner applied close to lashline on upper lid and halfway along lower lashline

I also think this type of look would be awesome with a purple lip and emerald green eyeliner - because in my mind, purple and green are complementary, not purple and yellow ...

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