Friday, October 29, 2010

Review by Joeybunny - NARS Melusine Duo

Sometimes, I feel as if the reviews I do here on Pink Sith are monotonous. I’m either reviewing something that’s purple, or something from NARS. I am sorry that I am both boring and predictable, truly.


With this apology in mind I bring you one of my latest acquisitions from NARS: the Melusine duo from the Holiday collection.


NARS Holiday was quite lovely, and I was incredibly tempted by much of it. Of course, financial constraints led me to pick just one piece from the collection, and Melusine it was.



Just a random factoid: I had no freakin’ clue what a melusine is. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that Melusine is a figure of European legend, who inhabits bodies of freshwater and has a serpent-y or fishy bottom. So basically, Melusine is like a mermaid.


Anyway, the color combination of Melusine doesn’t strike me as something Holiday-ish. When I think Holidays, I think of reds or greens or blues or golds or silvers. Not usually purple! However, I love purple so I cannot complain. Of course, NARS has produced another beautiful piece of makeup with this duo, as both the colors and the textures are divine and easy to work with.



On the left side of the duo we have what appears to be a shimmery/frosty greyed lilac color. Of course, no NARS color is ever that easy to describe. In fact, I’m going to have some trouble describing it, so this is the best I can do: Have you ever seen MAC Vex eyeshadow before? Now, imagine MAC Vex with a glowier, softer texture and a more purpled base. That’s the color of the lighter side of Melusine. There is a subtle hint of green that mingles with greyed lilac base. It makes my eyelids glow. The texture of the shadow is so soft as to almost be a cream, and it applies without the least bit of frost. Honestly, the effect is eye-opening without being obnoxious. The color works well on its own, which is the beauty of this duo: the darker matte shade functions well as a companion shade or as a liner shade.


Let me discuss the darker matte shade with you all - does anyone remember NARS Daphne from the Fall collection? I remember being so excited about Daphne, a deep royal matte purple. And then I swatched it. It was chalky and streaky and made me oh-so-sad. Well, the deep matte purple in the Melusine duo does not disappoint. It’s a more red-toned purple, similar to MUFE (Makeup For Ever) #92, but not so ultra bright as #92 and not so red-toned as to be unwearable. It is slightly wine-tinged, if that helps. This shadow is special because it is an usable matte, which are very hard to find. It blended into my crease like a dream, creating gorgeous depth in my eyes. I imagine this shade would make for a great liner, too, but I haven’t tried it yet.


I find this duo very easy to wear on my MAC NC40 skin. The lighter shade I slapped all over my lid, and blended the darker color into my crease. Those with smaller eyes would probably be wise to concentrate the deeper color along the lashline.

So here’s another winner from NARS. Did you get anything from the Holiday collection?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Poll


Halloween is this Sunday. I love Halloween. I love the costumes I love the pumpkins, I love the candy.  This Halloween Darthypie will be going as Wolverine, I'm not sure what Mr. Sith is dressing up as.  I think he's dressing up as Zach Galifianakis' character from the movie The Hangover.  He has the most awesome shirt that we picked up in Las Vegas this summer. See?


Yeah.  So this year I think I'm not going to dress up. I honestly haven't had time to think of a costume and just don't feel like it.  I hate that I'm all bah humbug about it this year.  Last year I dressed up and all the little kids that came to the door to get candy were scared (I was a zombie).  So this year I would rather not scare the kiddos and just be me.  Since Halloween is on a Sunday a lot of people have said that they are taking their kids out on Saturday to Trick or Treat.  I say that's got to be the stupidest thing I ever heard.  Sorry that Halloween falls on an inconvenient day to beg for candy but I am NOT answering the door on Saturday. Nope. It's Sunday or nothing.  Do people celebrate the 4th of July on a Saturday because it's inconvenient for them to watch fireworks on a Wednesday?  No!  Do people celebrate Christmas on a Saturday because it's easier to open presents on a weekend?  NO! (Please note, I am not equating a holy holiday with Halloween, it's just an example.)  So to those weekend warriors, please deal with it. Halloween is SUNDAY. If your kids ring my doorbell I'm gonna give them raisins and toothbrushes instead of candy bars like the other kids are gonna get on Sunday.  Oh and who the hell ever thought it was a good idea to give out toothbrushes for Halloween?  Probably the same fascists that wanted to change Sesame Street's The Cookie Monster to The Veggie Monster to show kids healthy eating options.  Screw them!  CANDY FOR EVERYONE!!!
On To The Poll!

1.  Blush Of The Day? - Today it is Chanel JC in Pink Explosion.  Such a pretty color.  It's so PINK and not a speck of glitter on my face, although I see it in the product. It must be hiding in my brush.

2.  Do you celebrate Halloween?  Do you dress up or at least hand out candy? - Well yes.  I have to. I have a kid.  I think it's a law or something.

3.  Recent Beauty Acquisition? - I bought a new jar of MUFE HD powder.  This is my third one. I love this stuff.  It's a great setting powder.

4.  What was one of your favorite Halloween costumes you ever wore? - I think my favorite would be when I went as Satan's Cheerleader.  




5.  Current Lemmings? - I am totally lemming more lipstick. I have 5 different lipstick in my virtual shopping cart with Sephora, but I don't think I'm gonna pull the trigger...however you never know, stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vera Wang Anniversary Fragrance


Vera Wang has launched a new limited edition fragrance called Vera Wang Anniversary.  The new fragrance for women celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Vera Wang fashion house, and is described as “bright and lush” "a sensuous woody floral for the modern elegant woman". 

I personally did not get a "woody floral" from this fragrance. I got FLORAL!  Not a smack you in the face, walk into a florist shop, floral, but more so, Ah we must be walking by some gardenia bushes because it REALLY REALLY smells like gardenias, floral.  But you know what? I REALLY REALLY like the scent of gardenias!

According to the manufacturer the notes are:
Top:  Sicilian bergamot, red apple leaves, mandarin oil, cool dew drops
Middle:  White gardenia, rose absolute, orange flowers
Base:  Silky musks, orris, amber crystals, cedarwood

Do you know what cool dew drops smell like?  I do, but I have yet to find any fragrance that can truly capture that scent.  Do you love the scent of cedarwood and amber? Well avoid this perfume because you can't smell it in the dry down.  All I smell is at first spray Gardenia with a faint rose and overwhelming bergamot and orange flowers.  Then in the dry down it's a strong but not overpowering gardenia.  The gardenia mellows out after a minute or two and you get the creamy scent of gardenia and softer orange flower note..but I stress the word soft.

The Vera Wang Anniversary perfume bottle pays homage to the classic Vera Wang bottle, Anniversary comes in a hefty and stout lavender glass bottle with a clear glass cap and shiny platinum collar. It won't be knocked over like some taller slim bottles and honestly, I adore the purple hue to the glass and petal like cut outs near the top.  The spray gives a nice fine mist that does not deposit too little or too much fragrance on the skin.  It's juuuuuuuust right. 

I have read other reviews for this scent and I get a distinct "Old Lady Vibe" from the reviewers.  I read comments like "Mother Of The Bride" "Grown Up" "Old Fashioned" "Woman Of a Certain Age" and "Adult".  I think it is the strong gardenia scent to this fragrance that must evoke these characterizations.  The gardenia scent always seems to evoke that "Old Lady" term from a lot of reviewers.  I don't find gardenia to be old lady at all.  Maybe that's because most of the old ladies around me when I was growing up, wore scents like Halston, Estee Lauder Youth Dew, Caron Bellodgia and the vintage German Cologne Kölnisch Wasser 4711 (YUK)  Perhaps if all the geriatrics in your life wore Gardenia and Rose and Jasmine then you might smell the same geriatric scent as other reviewers.  Either way I find this gardenia scent to be crisper (the addition of the bergamot and the orange flower helps this) than most and not as heady as others I have sniffed.  Sadly this scent lasts maybe a few hours on me. It fades quickly.  I wish it lasted longer. I suppose I could decant some into a purse spray if I wished to refresh during the day.

Now all that being said, I really liked this perfume.  I am a HUGE fan of florals. I love flowery perfumes. I love Rose, Jasmine, Lilac, Gardenia. I like smelling like a florist.  So those that prefer stronger scents of amber and patchouli and other deep dark musky scents should steer clear of Vera Wang Anniversary. But those that love light fresh florals without being too green or too water based should find Vera Wang Anniversary, delightful.

The Eau de Parfum in the 1.7fl oz/50mL bottle sells for $72 and the 3.4fl oz/100mL is $92.  You can also get a Shimmer Rollerball: .34 fl oz/10mL $25

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser


Image from http://us.lizearle.com
Hot Cloth Cleansing has been popular in the UK for some time but not so much in the US. Cleansing with a muslin cloth isn't part of the norm. here.  In fact I can't tell you where to even pick up a muslin cloth in order to cleanse your face here in the US.  Sure you can use a wash cloth but those terry towel abominations are far to rough for the delicate facial skin.  But then again, it's not all about the tool you use to cleanse with as it is about the cleanser. So why am I writing about yet ANOTHER cleaning system for my face?  Because this is the first cleaning system I have used since the Clarisonic that has made my skin soft, acne free and clog free in ages!

This wonder product is the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.  The company started in the mid 90's by Liz Earle and her friend Kim Buckland.  They developed a one of a kind cleanser that is powerful yet gentle and appropriate for any skin type.  This plant based cleanser is free from Mineral oil and has a luxurious creamy texture to remove dirt and oil quickly and easily.  The 100% pure cotton muslin cloth is the 2nd phase of the cleansing system. By using the cloth you gently exfoliate your skin, remove dead skin cells and reveal smooth soft glowing skin!  

I used this product two times a day for a month and I must say that I have never had such clear skin in my entire life.  Normally when I don't use my Clarisonic brush for a few days I start to break out and my forehead gets all clogged and congested.  Not this time.  The muslin cloths combined with the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser really did the trick.  I may never have to use my Clarisonic again! (Blasphemy)  My breakouts have significantly disappeared and my normally clogged forehead has improved by 50%.  My skin tone seems to be better and I have started using a lighter coverage foundation because I don't need such heavy coverage any more.  I can even feel comfortable leaving the house without foundation for a short trip to the post office or grocery store.  That's a miracle in my book!

The cleansing is simple and easy. I massaged 1 or 2 pumps onto dry skin over my face and neck.  Then I rinsed the muslin cloth in hand-hot water and lightly wrung it out. I put the entire cloth over my face for just a few seconds and then gently wiped the cleanser off from my face starting with the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin and finishing with the neck. Then I would splash my face with cold water and follow with Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser.  The muslin cloth can be easily rinsed out and hung to dry and I wash mine once a week with my whites and air dry rather than put in the dryer.

Now I will say that I did not find the cleanser to effectively remove makeup and mascara as well as the company claims it can.  I did try using it two times without using my Shu Uemura oil cleanser to take off my makeup and the Liz Earle cleanser did a poor job at removing my foundation, eyeliner and mascara on its own.  It should be noted that I use waterproof mascara, sunscreen and long wear foundation so typical cleansers have a hard time dissolving all that.  Oil based cleansers are the way to go for me.

The cleanser has a STRONG Eucalyptus scent to it.  But once you rinse it off is leaves no scent behind, but those with sensitive noses beware.  The creamy cleanser rinses off cleanly and easily and leaves no oily or filmy feeling on the skin.  My skin felt soft and smooth after use and I did not experience any tightness or dryness after rinsing off the cleanser. 

The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot cloth cleanser can be purchased online at http://us.lizearle.com in the US and Canada or http://uk.lizearle.com/ in the UK  or click on "Change Location" at the top of the screen to select another other area in the EU.  The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser retails for $24.50 for a 3.3 fl oz pump dispenser cleanser and 2 muslin cloths.  This is known as a "Starter Kit".  Subsequent refills of the cleanser retail for $21.50 and 2 new muslin cloths are $6.00. Liz Earle also offers a 6.7 oz squeeze tube of the cleanser for $40 and a small trial/travel size 1 oz cleanser for $9.00

Do you NEED this?  Yes.  I think this cleaning system is not only great for all skin types, but one of the less expensive mid to high end brands out there.  I am not yet finished with my 3.3 ox bottle but I have already placed an order for the large 6.7 oz tube so I will be sure not to run out any time soon!

I did use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser in conjunction with Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic and the Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser for Combination/oily skin, and I'll write more about those products in another post.

The Liz Earle Cleanser contains Cocoa Butter to moisturize, Hops Extract to act as an astringent and tone,  Rosemary Essential Oil/Extract for it's antioxidant properties, Chamomile Essential Oil/Extract for soothing the skin, Eucalyptus Essential Oil for the decongestant properties it contains.  The cleanser also contains D-panthenol, otherwise known as pro-vitamin B5 for moisturising and stimulating cellular renewal, Glycerin (vegetable derived) for its humectant properties, and Beeswax for its skin protecting properties and aid in relieving chapped skin.    The other ingredients in this product are:  Benzoic acid, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cetyl esters, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, ethylhexygylcerin, methyldibromo glutaronitrile, limonene, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 60, propylene glycol, polyaminopropyl biguanide, sodium hydroxide, sorbitan stearate.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guerlain Holiday 2010 Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara High-Shine Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit

image from neimanmarcus.com
 
Guerlain Holiday 2010 Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara High-Shine Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit. That is a mouthful to say Mascara, don't you think?  But I guess when you are working with Guerlain, you aren't JUST getting Mascara.  The Guerlain 2010 Holiday collection has a GOLD theme and true to form Guerlain has come out with some stunning products for the collection.  The Mascara is once of these products.  Now I must admit that when I first received the mascara I was skeptical.  It costs $36 and After having 2 eye infections in one year I had given up on high end mascara. It was such a shame and waste to throw away my beloved Shu Uemura mascara twice in one year because of pink eye.  So when I was trying out the Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara High-Shine Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit I had reservations.  If I fall in love with it, I'll be falling in love with yet another high end mascara and what if I get another eye infection or just don't want to shell out the cash for the mascara?  But like a good little blogger I gave it a test.

The mascara itself has a black mascara and a warm gold lacquer to put over lashes to give it that extra shimmer and shine.  Honestly I found the gold lacquer to be quite pretty, but a little gimmicky, but holiday collections are supposed to have that sort of extra flair in the products so I had no problem with the addition of a gold overlay to the mascara.  The packaging, as you can see above, is sleek and elegant.  The 2 brushes for the mascara are stored at either end of the tube and the end with the black mascara has the Guerlain Holiday Bee on it.


Now all things being equal, Mascara acts different on different people.  What may work for me, may not work for you.  What I loathe, you may love.  It's so subjective.  I like the idea of this Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara High-Shine Volume 13 Or 2 Nuit mascara.  It has 2 "brushes". I put the word brushes in quotes because one of the "brushes" is really a semi doe foot applicator. 

The mascara brush is your standard mascara brush. It has a goodly amount of space between the bristles and a fairly full set of bristles.  I like that a lot.  The mascara is black. Not a smokey black but a nice rich black.  Since my lashes are blond, most black  mascaras are black enough on me, but I think this one is one of the darkest blacks I may own.  The mascara formula is supposed to be volumizing. (I know Volumizing isn't a word.  I'm still using it!) I will say that this is the LEAST clumping volumizing mascara I have ever used.  That's a great thing.  Most mascaras that claim to deliver volume end up looking like clump city upon application. Perhaps it's the formula or the brush or both, but this volumizing mascara applied clean and neat and gave wonderful definition.  Not only that but the mascara actually made my lashes look longer than normal.  When I used this mascara and wore my glasses, my lashes were always hitting the lenses!  The mascara never felt dry or brittle on my lashes.  It took a little longer to set than some other mascaras I have worn, but the end result was no flaking, no smudging and soft flexible lashes.  The mascara wore well, Over 12 hours of wear with little to no wearing off at the tips of my lashes.  I normally wear contacts and never had a problem wearing this mascara while I wore contacts at the same time. No flakies getting into my eye or anything like that.  The end result of just the mascara (without the gold application) you can see below.  Nice definition. Medium volume, Rich pigment and no clumps!!

Do my lashes have increased volume?  Well not entirely, but this was only one coat. I'm sure if I applied multiple coats it would look thicker, but that's just not really my thing.  I like the look I have above.

I do have a few things I didn't like about the Guerlain Holiday 2010 Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Two Brush Mascara.  I found the gold lacquer hard to photograph on me. Perhaps it was the lighting or the application (Usually it is user error, so blame me) but honestly, I couldn't get it to show up.  I recommend you take a look at a picture of Amy's Daughter over at Cafe Makeup.  She is sporting the mascara wonderfully.  You can see a picture and read her review HERE.  I found the gold lacquer to make the lashes stick together and it made my lashes look clumpy.  I wasn't a fan.  However, I can see this being pretty for when one goes clubbing or when one has a candlelit dinner and your significant other is gazing into your eyes from across the table.  It will make for a very pretty look.  The other thing I was less than impressed with was that the mascara did not allow me to hold a curl in my lashes.  Remember when I said my lashes were touching my lenses in my glasses?  Well I think it was partially because the curl had relaxed so much that my lashes were stick straight as you can see in this picture.


But in the interest if full disclosure, many mascaras cause me to lose the curl in my lashes, so I can't say this is the ONLY mascara that does that.

Do you NEED this?  Well, if you are going for a gold holiday look this is THE mascara to purchase.  It is a great formula and the added gold will really brighten up a holiday look.  Do you NEED this mascara for daily wear? As I said above, everyone is so different when it comes to mascara I can't say it will work for you or not.  It worked for me in most aspects and I find myself reaching for it over my cheap-o Drugstore mascaras, so much so that I plan to purchase the regular version of this mascara without the gold addition.  The regular version also has two brushes and the 2nd brush is a very tiny brush that is PERFECT for getting those little lashes in the corner of your eyes.  I have used the regular version in the past and had excellent results with it.  So that's saying a lot.  Guerlain has broken my ban on high end mascara!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review by Joeybunny - Using Fyrinnae to dupe the Urban Decay Black Palette

It’s no secret that I love Urban Decay palettes. I’ve waxed poetic about the Book of Shadows palettes here on Pink Sith, and about the Summer of Love palette on my own blog. I can’t help it: I’m more than a little enamored with Urban Decay. It was because of my near-irrational love of their palette releases that when I heard about the Urban Decay Black Palette, I wanted it. Immediately. Without researching it. Eep.

Thankfully, I have Elvira to function as my makeup conscience. She’s much wiser than Jiminy Cricket, though, and she linked me to the lovely Charlotte’s posts about this palette on Lipglossing (her blog!). Charlotte did a really interesting experiment with the UD Black Palette; please reference her pictures for a comparison to mine. Before I describe it to you though, let me tell you about the colors housed within the palette:

There is one matte black shade, and five black-based shades (a gold, a green, a blue, a silver, and a purple). The idea is for a high-sparkle colored, smoked look. Ok, great! Sounds good to me.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Charlotte swatched the six shades over the UDPP Eden base that comes with the palette, and over UDPP regular. The colors were muddy, devoid of sparkle, and completely not worth their $36 price tag. It wasn’t until Charlotte used Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy as a base that the colors really shined. The colored sparkles glowed against the black base, and the complexity of each shade came through. Lovely!

In discussing Charlotte’s experiment with Elvira, we (mostly Elvira, and I went along with it) came up with an idea: since I’m such a huge Fyrinnae fan, and I really wanted the UD palette, and the UD palette is expensive, and the UD palette isn’t even worth the money unless used with Pixie Epoxy...

WE WOULD USE FYRINNAE SHADES TO DUPE THE BLACK PALETTE.
AND GUESS WHAT BITCHES?
WE DID IT!

For $12 + $2 shipping (assuming you do mini sizes of each color, and only order the six colors since orders over $20 mean free shipping), you too can own a seriously amazing dupe of the UD Black Palette using the following Fyrinnae eyeshadows. And hell, you don’t even need Pixie Epoxy to make the colors look incredible - but it’d be better if you bought it anyway, because it rocks hard.

Original Urban Decay Black Palette image from lipglossiping.com Used with permission


Here are the shades you need to dupe the palette:

(FYI I keep my Fyrinnae shadows in bead cases from Michaels!)
  • Fyrinnae Snow White - the darkest matte black ever, and holy hell, this is an incredible liner shade.
  • Fyrinnae Kuroneko - a black base loaded with gunmetal sparkle; the shimmer is multicolored and this shadow is freakin’ pigmented. One dab can cover probably your whole body.
  • Fyrinnae Freya - a black-based cool deep purple that has a pink/red lean (as you will see in my swatch pictures, the pink/red lean is most visible when the shadows is used over Pixie Epoxy).
  • Fyrinnae Biker Chic - a black-based deep midnight blue. In my opinion, this was the most sparkly color (Kuroneko looks sparklier but the sparkle is more pronounced in Biker Chic, I think).
  • Fyrinnae Bastet - a black-based antiqued gold shadow. Truly lovely and this is probably the most wearable shade. It’d make a lovely liner, methinks!
  • Fyrinnae The Randy Ferret - a black-based deep green with teal and pink shimmer. The green shadow in the UD palette was clearly the hardest to dupe, but The Randy Ferret is a gorgeous green (it looks the most green over Pixie Epoxy).

So, here’s my attempt to duplicate Charlotte’s experiment. I don’t have UDPP Eden, but I have UDPP Sin and regular UDPP. Of course, I used the Epoxy as well. I’ll leave it up to you, my dear readers, to decide which base brings out the best in each color. I will tell you that I prefer some of the colors over UDPP Sin rather than Pixie Epoxy, but that’s only because Pixie Epoxy can really amplify some of the colors. A good example of this is to see how Freya and The Randy Ferret change over the different bases. Also, Pixie Epoxy and matte eyeshadows don’t play well - see what happened to Snow White?

Over UDPP Sin Eyeshadow Primer

Over regular UDPP Eyeshadow Primer

Over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy


Anyway, after doing this experiment I can in no way justify a purchase of the UD Black Palette. Fyrinnae mini sizes are quite large (it takes an average of 30 uses to finish one), and $12 is 1/3 the price of the palette. Throw in a full-sized Pixie Epoxy for $7 or a sample for $1.50, and you’re set! Furthermore, the Fyrinnae colors are much nicer - regardless of what base is used, they all shimmer and shine like they should! Thanks Elvira and Fyrinnae, for never disappointing this happy Bunny.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Poll


My brother is a Professor at a mid sized College.  He likes to joke about torturing his students. My brother has a very dry sense of humor but is also very sarcastic so I like to think that despite the difficulty of his coursework his students like him.  I like to help devise ways to torture his students as well. I suggested conspicuous use of copious amounts of hand sanitizer every time the go into his office.  I also suggested a pop quiz.  he said he has done that, but he did give them a days notice.  FAIL! A pop quiz is NO NOTICE.  he's too nice.  I suggested starting the lecture and in the middle tell them there is a pop quiz right now!  I suggested the group project, which is torture for the over achievers because they end up doing the works of the slackers.  I suggested making students stand up every time they have a question that seems really old school but just annoying and passive aggressive enough to get under their skin. There are may ways to torture students.  Why do I know so many? Because I was tortured by my teachers in school. Aside from every single teacher mispronouncing my name, followed by a chorus of the entire class singing the Oak Ridge Boys song, the quizzes, inane text books that they make you buy then never refer to the entire year, the cryptic syllabus that forgets to mention a key part of the class for the quarter, I've been though it all. (Including the standing up to answer questions and pop quizzes)  Of course I was in school during the stone age.  We didn't have the Internet or Microsoft windows for that matter.  We had card catalogs and books published in 1963 as our only reference on a subject.  We had Xeroxed syllabus (syllabi?) and had to speak to our professors in person should we need an extension on a paper or what not.  Yes.  We had actual dinosaurs on my campus.  It was a drag dodging the T-Rex to get to Abnormal Psychology 101, but always a blast to slide  down the brontosaurus at the end of Statistics class.  What I'm saying is, I'm freakin old.  I guess not as old as some, like my Brother who went to college and they didn't even have personal computers.  He had to type his papers on an actual typewriter...at least I have that going for me...I guess.  Oh and if we wanted to cheat we had to write stuff on our arms and shoes.  No fancy text messages like they have now.  Oh did I say that out loud?  Forget I said anything!
On To The Poll!

1.  Lip Of The Day? - Chanel Glossimer in Pagoda with Chanel Nude Lip Liner all over lips.  Since I have little to no pigmentation in my natural lip color I have to use a liner when using most Chanel Glossimers.  Pagoda is a warm pinky-red-brown with silver and gold shimmer.  It's a great fall lipgloss!

2.  What was your most torturous class in school? - For sure it was Statistics.  I just sucked at it. I didn't want to take it but had to in order to complete my major. I barely got a C. I sucked at it that badly.

3.  With the Holiday Cosmetic Collections hitting the counters now, which ones are you most interested in? - For sure Chanel, but I recently say Clarins Holiday collection and I must say I'm really interested in a few items from them as well.

4. Tell me about a fond memory of a day in school for you. -I was in kindergarten and we were finger painting.  The teacher had covered all the tables in plastic wrap, which we thought was odd, and she made us wash our hands before using the finger paint, AND we were only given one color - BROWN.  Then about 3 minutes into finger painting the teacher announced that we were using chocolate pudding!  We all squealed with delight and started eating our finger paint masterpieces and licking our hands.  Yeah. Good Times!

5.  What beauty item have you recently used up, run out of, and/or need to repurchase? - My Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. I need a new bottle ASAP.  Since Nordstrom is having a GWP I thin I'll pick up a bottle from them!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Sephora Friends and Family FAQ

What is the Sephora Friends and Family (FF) sale?
Originally started as a 20% off discount to friends and family of employees, this sale has expanded over the years to include anyone that has the code to receive the discount.

What is the Sephora FF code?
The code is FF2010.  It will give you 20% off all your purchases made on line though Sephora.com This code is not valid for in store purchases and only works on line at Sephora.com There are special cards that a Sales Associate (SA) at Sephora may give you if you are her best buddy, but they are rare so don't ask for one because a lot of the SA's play dumb and act like they have no idea what you are talking about.

When is the Sephora FF sale?
October 22, 2010 - November 3, 2010

Is the Sephora FF valid in Canada?
No. As far as I know it is United States only. Apparently Canada does not believe in giving its citizens discounts to makeup, but they do have a great health care system and excel in Ice Hockey so you really shouldn't complain.

Is $50 minimum purchase for free shipping calculated before or after discount?
Before. Or After. I'm not quite sure. Last year the $50 free ship was AFTER the discount but some are saying that this year it will be before.  Either way it's a great time to stock up on $5 Sephora Brand Lip Liners icon or a $3 Sephora Brand Pencil Sharpener icon or $10 Boscia Blotting Linens icon. Any of these can probably get you to the $50 mark after the discount.

What if something I want is Out Of Stock (OOS) During the Sephora F&F sale?  Will they restock?
Sephora will not issue a "rain check" for the sale. In order to receive the discount you must purchase during the sale period and use the sale code.  If the item is OOS during the sale there is little to no guarantee that they will restock before the sale is over. Last year my beloved Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil mysteriously went OOS before the FF sale and was never restocked during the sale time line.  Same with a nail polish I really wanted from Dior.  F*CKERS!

Can I still use ebates (http://www.ebates.com - cashback on certain purchases if you use their specially encoded link) with the Sephora FF Sale?
Yes. Although ebates has a disclaimer that using promotional codes will SOMETIMES void your cash back, the code has safely worked with ebates cash back.  If you are not immediately credited with your cash back, give it 30 days (it is ebates policy, payouts are quarterly, oct/nov is in the middle of a cycle anyway) DO NOT PANIC, and enter your info in the ebates "Where's my cash back?" Section and they will work on crediting your account.

I'm not a registered user of ebates and I want to give YOU credit for referring me because I'm just that giving and wonderful.  How do I sign up?
Click on this link
http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=hL1bKBzezd0mL0CJ3AEjIA%3D%3D
By clicking on this link , signing up and making a purchase though ebates, you give me a credit that ebates will add to my account. The credit is $5 a referral (no money will come out of your account) However I don't expect you to click this link to register.  You can simply go to http://www.ebates.com and follow the registration guidelines without having a referral from me.  I have been using ebates since 2007 and since then I have earned $357.41 in cash back! And I have religiously used it for Sephora FF. Each time I get my little cash back check in my paypal account (you can get a real check if you like) I get all giddy...and then spend it right away.

What are you getting from the Sephora FF sale?
Well if you must know I'm on a budget and I'm only going to get some Clarisonic Replacement heads and Shiseido Cotton.  WHAT ARE YOU ALL GOING TO GET?  Oh and if you live outside the US and cannot participate in Sephora FF I don't want to hear your sob stories. You probably have a) Superior Health Care, b) Access to a wider variety of cosmetic brands,  c) More attractive Nordic Like Alexander Skarsgards or rugged like Daniel Craigs in or Sexy Takeshi Kaneshiros in your home land, and/or d) Have a more stable economy...so I don't wanna hear it.

Any other questions?

Oh yeah. One more thing.  I like to watch the chaos erupt at about 1:00 AM and 9:30 AM on the first day of the sale when the Sephora website crashes and all the people on Makeup Alley dot com start to flip out.  You can play a fun drinking game by taking a shot every time someone asks "What did you get from FF?", or "What is the code?",  or "OMG the Sephora Site has Crashed!" and then in the days following you can take a shot for every post complaining about how their order was either a) Canceled, b) Not confirmed and/or c) Not yet shipped.  It's great fun...but don't expect to be vertical for very long.

Special thanks to iwannabeakennedy from MUA for many of the details in this post.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow In Midnight Star


I don’t want to brag but I lead a very glamorous lifestyle.  This glamorous lifestyle requires a glamorous makeup look to go with it.  That’s why I love doing a smokey eye.  Why just the other day, while I was stripping Darthypie’s bed to wash the sheets he peed on, I thought to myself.  “Self.  This is quite a wonderful thing you are doing. May haps you should really dress the part?" So I ran into my room, put on my best clubbing outfit, my 5” high heels and a navy smokey eye.  Or like last week when I had a 102 fever and Strep throat.  I was just coming back from the Dr. office with Darthypie and waiting in the local supermarket for my prescription to be filled. I knew this little glamorous jaunt deserved my best navy smokey eye and a rather large and brand conspicuous hand bag...oh and a lot of jewelry.  Because nothing says glamour like flashing a brand of a designer whilst wearing a lot of clanging jewelry in a supermarket.  How did I learn these valuable life lessons?  By watching the Real Housewives of [insert city here].
 

OK.  Let’s face it. My life isn’t very glamorous, but I can at least pretend it is with makeup every once in a while.  While shopping at my local Target does not call for a fab navy smokey eye, if I really wanted to, I could do one with ease.  Thanks for my Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Midnight Star.  Do I sound like an advertisement?  I do, don’t I.  Well rest assured Estee Lauder has not paid me for this endorsement.  I purchased this shadow with my hard earned money.  Sure I could have skipped it, but once I swatched it, I KNEW it had to be mine….plus the only other navy shadow I own is more of a blue base than a black base and it just doesn’t work as well for me.


Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Midnight Star is a metallic formula and is very pigmented and very luxurious.  It is soft without being too soft and it is smooth but still had some glitter in it.  The navy color is backed by a black base which gives it a rich color and fine blue shimmer gives it an almost duo chrome effect.  There is silver glitter in the shadow as well, but honestly if you don’t like glitter shadows, you won’t have to worry about this one because it is hardly noticeable on the eye.

The packaging is nice and it comes with an ample mirror and foam applicator.  Now normally I say toss the applicator, but in this case, if you want more of the blue shimmer to show up on your eye, the applicator will deposit it better than a brush can.  Unfortunately when I took my Eye Of The Day picture I didn’t use that little trick, but trust me, it works.

Do you need this?  Well honestly I think the entire range of the Estee Lauder Pure Color shadows are wonderful.  So Yes.  You need this…or at least another color.  Navy looks stunning as a crease color with a light taupe, or shell pink or apricot color as a base. Plus, at $20 per shadow you really can’t go wrong with a nice basic taupe or navy.  They also have an Emerald Green Metallic similar to the navy, which might be my next purchase!

EOTD with Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Midnight Star, Benefit Bunny Hop as a base, Illamasqua Cake Liner in Danger and Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guerlain Holiday 2010 Kiss Kiss Strass lipstick In Rose De La Reine #363


I am all a buzz with Guerlain's 2010 Holiday collection.  OK. That's me being cheeky about the bee theme for the collection. The little bees on some of the packaging and the honeycomb finish on the eyeshadow quad is enchanting, so why did Guerlain come out with such an average lipstick color for this collection?  Sure there are other colors that are a bit more stunning, but this one had so much potential just because of the name.  Rose de la Reine.  Rose Queen!  
Now don't get me wrong. I ADORE Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipsticks. I adore the lipstick cases which were designed by French jewelry and furniture designer Hervé Van der Straeten.  They seriously have turned Guerlain image around from an aging spinster to a chic glam socialite. I can't deny that, but I guess it's the color...or lack there of...for this specific lipstick.  Now that being said I understand why Guerlain chose to go with a cheer lipstick with pretty shine and sparkle.  It's not about the lips this holiday season.  No. In this collection it's all about the eyes.  The Guerlain Les Ors 2010 holiday collection focuses on the stunning beauty of warm gold, dusty purple and smokey eggplant that is the eyeshadow quad.  Why would anyone want a lipstick that only competes with that?  Ah ha.  So the geniuses at Guerlain developed two Kiss Kiss Strass lipsticks that are sheer with visible, but not chunky glitter to add that subtle touch of color and shine.  See?  It's not so crazy after all.  

 

Now the Guerlain Rose de la Reine lipstick looked almost clear on me, but the warm pink base has blue and warm pink glitter to enhance the color and give it a bit more depth.  The result is a glossy and shiny lip that gives just a hint of color.  Perfect for a dark purple or any other smokey eye.The formula is smooth as silk and glossy.  The glitter isn't gritty and the finish is shiny but slightly on the sticky side...not sticky like lipgloss but sticky enough to make it last though a cup of tea, providing you don't eat any madeleines.


Do you NEED this?  Well. I'll say that it is nice in the tube but because of the severe lack of pigmentation in my lips the color looks like just a clear gloss on me.  If your lips are darker perhaps it will look better on you. As for the formula and finish of any and all Guerlain Kiss Kiss Strass lipsticks, you really can't go wrong. The price of $31 each may be a bit on the high side but honestly the luxe packaging, formula and feel of the lipstick make it worth it to me.  Maybe not in Rose de la Reine, but perhaps in the other Holiday 2010 release of Rouge imperial. You can see swatches of the collection (Minus the Rouge G lipstick on Karlasugar.net)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Compact

image from neimanmarcus.com
 I have to say this is a controversial item among cosmetic junkies. Guerlain Meteorites have always evoked a LOVE IT or hate it reaction from people.  I think the Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Compact can be even more polarizing; mostly because of the price. It currently runs $170,  however the refills are about $55.  That's a might big investment as far as makeup goes.  But after reading my post perhaps you will want to get one for yourself.

Let's start with the compact.  It is sturdy and well made.  The beautiful enameled silver compact (It was once gold with a rainbow of tortoise shell colors) is refillable as well as extremely elegant.  The ample mirror in side does not distort your features and the packaging itself is easy to keep clean and stores neatly in a velvet case.  It is small and thin enough to fit into most bags for easy on the go touch-ups. 

 
If you are fortunate enough to find an empty, used one on evilbay or any other auction site you can pick one up pretty cheap.  I got mine for $45 USD.  Mine is from a limited edition release so it has pink, red and white tortoise shell like enameling on the top. But it's not really all about the compact...it's about the product inside.


The multicolored powder is a blend of matte and pearly shades. It contains a mix of six correcting and light-enhancing colors.  The result is a glowy airbrushed look to the skin.  The three correcting colors are a Mauve that catches the light and brightens the complexion, a Pink that refreshes tired complexions and a Green that reduces redness.  The three light enhancing colors are a White to infuse the complexion with light, with no chalky effect, a Champagne to make the skin sparkle and radiate and a Pink gold to unify olive complexions and warm up fair skin tones.  This sounds nice and all but does it really do everything it says it will do?

No one product is going to correct extremes in any skin issue/concern, but I truly believe, and have found for myself, that Guerlain Meteorites Voyage helps in all of these aspects.  The charming violet scent may not be for everyone but it is certainly a signature Guerlain scent and quite honestly it fades pretty quickly.  The finely milled powder practically melts into your skin.  Once applied, you are left with an almost airbrushed and ethereal finish.  There is no color from application, however it does impart a soft and unfocused sheen to your skin. When applied correctly, using a fluffy brush, the result is sheer perfection.  Flawless skin and diffused pores.

What Guerlain Meteorites Voyage is NOT.  It is not a highlight powder. It is not a color correcting powder. It is not supposed to replace your regular pressed or loose translucent powder. It is not a blush.  Don't buy this if you overreact to slight shimmer. If I hear the words "Disco Ball" in association with Guerlain Meteorites I'll scream.  You do not get a disco ball effect at all. I'm not sure how these people that claim this, are applying the meteorites, but I'll bet you a million dollars they also think cottage cheese is spicy and the color beige is too racy for day wear.  Conversely If I hear one more person complain that it "Didn't Highlight Enough" I'll also scream. This isn't a highlighter. It's a finishing powder.OK. I'll calm down now.  It's just that I love this product so, it makes me sad when it is misunderstood.

What Guerlain Meteorites Voyage IS:  It is a finishing powder.  After you have applied all of your makeup...your loose powder, your mascara, your highlighter, then, and only then do you apply the Guerlain Meteorites powder with a fluffy brush, and using a light hand, across your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, your forehead and temples.  Take a step back and revel in the pure flawless awesomeness that is you.

Is it worth the money. I think so, yes. It's an indulgence for sure, but after going though 4 refills in two and a half years, and I use this compact once or twice a day, I know it is worth it. 

Feel free to balk at the price, feel free to leave comments about how you would never ever pay that much for makeup. I was even joking about the disco ball comment above. If you really really hate this product it's OK to say so.  I'm OK with that.  Guerlain Meteorites Voyage not only makes me look pretty it makes me FEEL pretty, and sometimes you just can't put a price on that.

Progrids

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