More NYX Love - Golden & Walnut Eyeshadows

Watch out - I'm sure there are going to be several more posts like this about how much I like a new NYX product I've tried. I've been so extremely satisfied with my Trio eye shadow palette in Guru that I couldn't help but experiment with 2 new eye shadows - Golden and Walnut.

I bought these shadows seperately, but they also come in a Trio with Rust, a bright pink shade comparable to Milani Flare and MAC's Cranberry. I really wanted another trio, and this had the 2 shades I liked best, but the Rust was really killing it, so I settled on the singles. Rust is definitely a beautiful color, but I know it's not one I would have really used. If I ever get to that level, I will surely try Rust as well.

I was most interested in these warm, golden/bronze shades because my love for MAC's Bronze is quickly waning. I wear it on my lid, but when too much hits my crease, it just starts to look dirty. I already have tan skin, so a dirty bronze does nothing for it. If just applied in the crease, it is barely visible - the slightest shimmer that is not worth the price.

Walnut (#Es72) is a deep, mauve bronze in the pan, but goes on a more rose copper/bronze in a slightly pearl/metallic finish (by the way, the NYX color swatches are actually pretty accurate). Gorgeous over the lid for day, and with extra layering on the lid/crease for night. This shade would go with so many pink and brown shadows. Due to my skin tone and tinted lids, I need to use a heavier hand with this, but it is still far more pigmented and buildable than its Milani counterpart, Spice, which is currently collecting dust.

Walnut also reminds me of MAC's Glamour Check from the Starflash collection (which I didn't keep). Starflash is seriously overrated - the finish of these NYX shadows is actually better in my opinion (almost creamy and less dusty), as are those of several other shadows (Smashbox included).

Golden(#ES12) is an almost mustard gold with similar pearl/metallic finish and minimal shimmer. I like this on my lids for a little oomph that is warmer than some of the Guru shades I love. This is also great for daily wear depending on how it's applied, and of course, any gold would work for night. This is the effect I was going for with MAC's Woodwinked, but that also had the tendency to look a bit dirty.

I highly recommend these NYX shadows in particular - all of them are great quality, but next to the Trio in Guru, these are particularly versatile. I hope to try Champagne and Platinum Pink at some point, too! $3.99 @ Select drugstores or NYX Cosmetics

Best Lipsticks - Top 10 on All Women Stalk

Believe it or not, my neurotic ramblings were recently quoted in All Women Stalk's Top 10 Best Lipsticks.

One of my favorites, Maybelline Moisture Extreme (Plum Sable) made it to the list.

The list features a diverse selection of popular favorites, so be sure to check it out!


Much Ado About Clinique & Such

Being that I was born the day I wrote about my Clinique concealer, it's not surprising that I've rediscovered the entire brand. Actually, discovered is more like it. Clinique has always seemed too old-school and basic to me, and I've really bothered with it.

That's right - I've never owned a Clinique skincare or cosmetic product. Once in high school I experimented with the Facial Cleansing Bar and Dramatically Different Moisturizer and hated it. I currently have the gel version of the same moisturizer and feel the same way. I love the 2 lipsticks I have though (Chocolate Ice & Rum Raisin)!

My first real makeup purchases were either from the drugstore, MAC, BeneFit, Prescriptives, or similar, newer lines that didn't exist when my sister was in high school (yeah, that's kind of how I define such things...).

When the sweet sales assistant at the Clinique counter matched me for concealer and the Almost Powder Spf 15, I experimented with its eye shadows, and was so impressed. While I haven't yet found the right shade, there were more than enough options. The few that I did test had an excellent finish - sort of shimmery but not sparkly, pigmented, but not too much, wearable for work but not completely boring either (Gold Rush and Sienna Glaze).

I mentioned to her that I was less and less satisfied with MAC lately (returned Starflashes and contemplating getting rid of Bronze shadow) and she explained the most basic thing to me - certain lines are for certain kinds of makeup and wear, and few of the ones I've been exploring would thus have what I'm looking for. Light bulb moment. Clinique may not have the best shades for my skin tone, but it will be worth exploring brands that carry the lighter, more natural, everyday makeup I'm looking for.

So in addition to the concealer in Deep Honey, I also go the Almost Powder in Deep. It was perfect in the store and has been reasonably good the last few days - no drying, good color match, made my skin feel smooth afterwards. This morning, I had one of those Makeup Alley moments that I loathe reading about - the color seemed to magically change on my face!

Ok, ok, I'm sure it had something to do with the awful condition of my skin when I applied it...I had just walked across Central Park in oh, about 80 degree weather. My face was ruddy, sweaty, and irritated. In an attempt to correct the situation, I brushed some powder on and - ew. It went on an ashy, muddy taupe that looked nothing like my skin.

I hope this doesn't happen again, otherwise I might considering taking this back to the store. In general though, I'm pretty happy with this powder - it's one of the many staples I didn't really have (L'Oreal was temporary) but need. $22.50 @ Sephora


Quick Cetaphil Update

I felt the need to update my thoughts on Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser because as expected, I've hit a snag with it. Ah-ha! I knew SOMETHING had to be wrong with using this product. My initial review was unexpectedly positive, but I'm having second thoughts.

This is mostly because I don't like the method for using Cetaphil, not necessarily the product itself. You're supposed to slather it onto your face and then wipe it off with a washcloth or tissue. I don't like using tissue because it's not strong enough to take off the cleanser or makeup residue, and also leaves fibers behind. Up until recently, a washcloth was working just fine - now, my skin is a bit dry and flaky in the way it used to be before clearing up. I think it's also more irritable, and I'm sure it's due to the rough texture of the cloth.

I'll admit that I should upgrade to a better quality washcloth, but at the end of the day, the texture of any durable fabric will be somewhat rough for the skin, and I don't like the idea of doing that to my skin daily. I've already tried just washing it off, but didn't find that to be too effective.

What to do?! Not quite sure. I don't want to go back to some of the harsher cleansers I've tried. Either I will use this less often during the week, go back to rinsing it off with water, or try the other Cetaphil products (bar soap, gel cleanser) which can just be washed off.

This shouldn't be so hard, should it?


Missing Fellow Blogger

No, she's not actually missing, but I just miss her! San has officially moved - physically, geographically, away from me into a galaxy far, far away, i.e., The Black Hole that is not-New York (give us a break, we haven't lived anywhere else). The time has come to send her all the online coupon codes available, because the poor thing is nowhere near Sephora and I have to make sure she gets her makeup fill.

I've been away from friends/family before, and it always sucks not to just be able to pick up the phone and chat/vent/spew/giggle. Not being able to grab coffee well into dinner-time is also wretched.

But not having your friend around to whip out her retractable blush brush and introduce you to the wonders of NARS blushes? Or explain what BOGOF means on MUA? Heck, tell you what MUA is? It is almost too much to bear.

But San & I are committed to sharing our stories with each other and this funny little cyber world, so of course we will both keep it coming - she from The Black Hole (I promise I'll stop calling it that in a few week's time) and I from The Apartment I Hope My Application Got Approved For. Look forward to even more interesting stories as we continue to evolve for sport.

Concealer Revealed

I'm going to sound like I was born yesterday. Or even earlier this morning. I just discovered a beauty basic that most woman have experienced except for yours truly - concealer.

I only ocasionally use my Black Opal concealer to cover scars. Recently at the Clinique counter, I had a beauty epiphany, a revelation - good concealer makes a gargantuan difference, one that I most certainly need.

I have few Wow moments with makeup - some Whoa's, but not Wow. After the sales assistant blended Clinique Line-Smoothing in Deep Honey under my eyes and on my lids, I could not believe the drastic results - Wow. I looked younger! Awake! Refreshed! Even complexion all the way up to my beady little eyes! I recalled my face 60 seconds before and was truly ashamed. I haven't been doing myself justice.

Don't ask how I went 25 3/4 years without understanding the importance of concealer or getting matched for a good one. I don't have huge undereye circles but they are definitely noticeable - if I were to tell someone I was sick or had pulled an all-nighter, they would certain agree that I look it. Also, since my eyes are on the smaller side, those circles have always prevented liner and shadows from looking their very best.

According to my mom, my eyes looked smaller. I told her that they must have appeared larger before because they were being dragged outward by the abyss of undereye circles. A more even complexion made them pop out for what they are!

If there is one thing I apply everyday, it should be this. I've always been weary of face makeup, but I'm almost 110% sure I should be more consistent with concealer - maybe not every single day, but frequently, and definitely for special occasions.

Application was a cinch (just dot beneath eyes and on lids, and tap to blend in - no rubbing!). Checkout An Indian's Makeup Musings concealer tutorial for additional tips.

This Clinique concealer was a great match, doubles as a good base for other eye makeup, and the consistency is just creamy but thin enough for me. So happy to find something that I don't just like on the back of my hand, but that actually contributes to some real evolution. $14.00 @ Macy's


Color On - Shadow Solution?

Many of you might have heard about this new, slightly odd beauty product now available at Sephora. I was particularly interested since I have many eye makeup issues, particularly with shadow. It's a bit of an art - no, it's majorly art, and one I'm afraid I will never master.

Color On Instant Eye Shadow Applicators look to be the solution for the shadow-challenged, as well as quicken the overall application process for even those more experienced users. These eye-shaped appliques are coated with mineral eye shadow in various natural and dramatic looks. They are supposed to be one-size-fits-all, hypoallergenic, long-wearing, waterproof, cease-proof, and of course, hygienic since they are single-use - whew!

I love this idea, although it's doubtful that these applicators are truly universal enough to flatter everyone in terms of eye shape, shading, etc. Eye shadow is one of those products that is unique to the individual, and the pure fun of it is being able to create new and interesting looks. There is something almost static about Color On - like pictures from a coloring book! Almost too precise and too perfect to look natural.

I do like some of the shades and shadow blends, especially in the Smokey set. A few of the designs are too out there in my opinion (zebra stripes & leopard prints from the Exotic set? No, thank you...), but they're probably a great find for the more adventurous. Other sets include Tropics, Rhapsody in Grey, and Flaunt.

Each EyeEnvy set at Sephora includes 5 pairs of applicators, setting powder, and a brush. Not a bad value if you're a beginner like me, but I'm not willing to take the risk in case it doesn't work out. $25.00 @ Sephora

Things I've Been Reaching For Lately

This is a quasi follow-up to my previous list of products I've been consistently using (check it out here).

Since then, I've become mentally exhausted by many a thing for no good reason, and so I've been reaching for the bare basics in the mornings, if anything at all (those marked by an asterisk are products I don't necessary use - only if I'm in the mood). These include, in some combination or another:

*1) NYX Blush in Pecan or Rimmel Blush in Berry
2) L'Oreal FeatherLash Mascara in Black
*3) MAC Bronze eye shadow or NYX trio palette in Guru
4) The Body Shop Cranberry Shimmer Lip Balm
*5) Jordana Easy Liner in Eggplant

And that's about all - for no more than $15 might I add. I've nixed the face powder since my skin has cleared up a bit.

For some reason, I feel more comfortable with this list than my last one. My makeup bag is definitely lighter, and I never feel the least bit done or not like myself. Although the other day, after touching up with some Pecan, my friend noticed and said "nice makeup!"

I'm not sure how I feel about this - the point is sort of not to look done, and yet, of course it will be noticeable when I'm wearing something since I normally don't. At the same time, there's no point in wearing so little that is completely indiscernible and you don't look any better!

I'm toying with the idea of adding an additional product - or replacing about 4 of the above with it. You will hear about it very soon...


Not So Vogue II

A little while back, I expressed some frustration at Italian Vogue's July 2008 issue, which featured only black models and was hailed as some sort of genuine progress for the fashion industry - meh (read here).

Jolie expressed similar sentiment on her blog, in a post titled "Black is beautiful, says Vogue Italia...but skinny, tall and frizz-free helps." She is completely right in how attempts at portraying real women in all their diverse loveliness conform to the prevailing beauty standard. Right on, Jolie. I'm sure most of you will agree.

Jolie's comments were in response to a great piece on this issue by Prayamvada Gopal in the Guardian - happy reading.

Grey Chic

I've been experimenting with grays and taupes lately - on my nails!

This is definitely a fall look, but I think it's very chic and sophisticated without being terribly goth. Here's a photo of two of my recent favorites, swatched side by side.

Index & Pinky: China Glaze Recycle
Middle & Ring: OPI You Don't Know Jacques from the Fall 2008 France collection

China Glaze: $5.99 @ Sally Beauty Supply
OPI: $8.50 @ Ulta or a salon near you.

So It Begins

I'm taking a quick break from packing and panicking to share a fun find.

My Sephora withdrawal has begun, and I haven't even moved yet!

I've alluded to this in the past, but perhaps I haven't shared the magnitude of my addiction. I adore color. I also adore nail polish, because it's the easiest way to incorporate color into my life without being too outré.

So, of course, shortly after I quit my job in the city does Sephora begin to stock a new line of OPI polishes. I knew these were coming based on press releases that I've seen, but it was a low blow for them to begin arriving in stores a mere day or two after I stopped commuting to NYC.

The line has 43 great shades to choose from. And they've got the most adorable names - a hallmark of their OPI lineage, of course.

At first glance, I'm most interested in Never Enough Shoes (black with multi-color glitter), Metro Chic (dark smoke), and Run with It (shimmering dove grey). Some of the cuter names include I'm With Brad (shimmering wine over dark coffee), Mr. Right Now (classic wine), and Ms. Can't Be Wrong (deep mulberry).

These are definitely a little pricey for nail polish at $9 each, especially when you can choose from thousands of OPI shades for $8.50 or less. But I'd definitely like to check them out in person - some of the more unique shades may be worth it.

If you get a chance to take a look at these, let poor little me know how they are - in the meantime, I'll be jealous!

$9 at Sephora


Jordana Eyeliner - Eggplant

I'm writing about this in hopes of clarifying exactly how I feel about Jordana Easy Liner in Eggplant. While I definitely know that I don't hate this product, right now I feel a bit meh about it when I otherwise do think it's more wow-worthy.

Let's get one thing straight. Jordana has some of the most reliable eye liners at some of the best prices around - about $0.99 to a little more than a dollar depending on what type you buy. They have a cult following, and for good reason. I even managed to find them at a very small beauty store in India a few years ago and was thrilled. The kohl version is probably the best value you will find anywhere for black and well as brown shades.

I recently decided to pick up Eggplant because a) it's been a while since I kept a Jordana eye liner b) I've been looking for a plummy brown shade and wasn't happy with L'Oreal Le Plum and am bored with greens c) this is a truly unique shade that I have not seen anywhere else.

Wine wood comes to mind when I look at Eggplant - don't ask. It's definitely less blue/black/purple than the name would have you believe. It's actually a very deep brown with warm maroon/burgundy/wine tones. Most liners in this color family are too blue and cool-toned. This is very warm, and so I prefer it for my skin. The Easy Liner is a retractable pencil so is not as smooth as the kohl pencils, but still pretty soft to apply.

However, when applied, it basically looks brown - not entirely, but basically. That's why I'm undecided on this one. I know there is something different about it, and that might just be enough for me. At the same time, that difference could just be in my head. In any case, this is a unique color and a great alternative to blacks/browns. ~$0.99 @ Drugstores

NYX Love

I've heard so much about NYX products and have unfortunately, never tried any. Once, I found a huge display of their products in a Canadian store - I loved the texture of the eye shadows, but never bought any. San has love for an NYX blush (read about it here) and I've been itching to explore this line.

NYX is notoriously hard to find. I've been in drugstores where there is a single, lonely NYX product lying around without a price tag or display. So when San whipped out a cool NYX eye pencil the other day and told me where I could find it, I was happy to check it out and purchase some great products from the line. I bought a Jumbo Eye Pencil in French Fries, Powder Blush in Pecan, and Trio Eye Shadow palette in Guru.

French Fries is a chubby-wubby, friendly, creamy pencil in a basic bronze shade. This didn't show up spectacularly on my lids, but it was great for the inner corner of my eyes and would be more visible with some primer or a base. This was so easy to work with - the color stayed put and wasn't too creamy/smudgy. A little difficult to blend but the pencil allows you achieve whatever level of precision you prefer very easily.

Guru includes 3 warm, sheer neutrals (pink champagne, light bronze, and light, coppery pink) that were neither matte nor too shimmery. Great shades for work and daily wear if you just want to brighten your eyes up a bit, and a smooth, blendable texture that is on par with higher-end products. Pure loveliness. I wish there had been more trios available as these are a just tad too light for me (but still very usable and versatile) - after checking them out on the website, I'd like to try TS24 (shimmer, peach, copper) and many others.

Now the show-stopper. Pecan. What a blush. I know I've proven to be very fickle in my tastes but I really do love Pecan. It solves many of my recent Blush Issues. I was finding some to be too pink to wear comfortably all the time, especially on bad-skin days, but didn't like the blush/bronzer duos I've come across and couldn't commit to more expensive ones like Cargo's Beach Blush. I layered some blushes with my L'Oreal HiP bronzer but using 2 products is just annoying and I don't love that bronzer due to its shimmer factor.

I should mention that I've also generally been interested in trying bronzer. Granted, I didn't explore much because I felt that bronzer for my skin tone would be a bit difficult to find. Additionally, my skin is perfectly warm enough for me - I wasn't sure if bronzer would make it or break it. I wanted something that would complement it without too much color or muddiness.

Pecan is the answer! It looks like a very dark, coppery brown, bronzer in the pan but goes on like some wonderful new interpretation of "brick" blush. It is a slightly ruddy brown that creates a warm flush and hints at cheekbones (plenty of cheek here, little bone). This particular blush has an extremely fine, gold shimmer that is barely noticeable once applied but of course, enhances the overall effect.

I'm so satisfied and impressed - for just under $16.00 total and this level of quality, how could you not be? Jumbo Eye Pencil, $2.99; Powder Blush, $5.99; Trio Eye Shadow, $6.99 @ Select drugstores or NYXcosmetics.com

Star Crazy - MAC Starflash Collection

I hope those closest to me don't read this because they will surely think I've developed a problem. Over the last few days, I've experimented with various MAC Starflash products and been in Macy's several times conducting exchanges/returns.

This is all partly because I have credit at Macy's right now and am happy not to be actually spending extra money on this habit. Still, it is a tad neurotic and I will probably stop very soon since I've had so-so experiences so far. If only Macy's weren't so close to Penn Station...

So, onto these majorly-hyped MAC Starflash shadows. I was glad to hear about this new, and of course, limited edition formula. It was supposed to be a softer mix of pearl/metallic/matte shadows - exactly the kind I had been looking for.

Smoke & Diamonds, already sold-out online and in some stores, seems to be the new favorite, but I went with Glamour Check (dark pink/copper), Go (dark bronze), and Bold & Brazen (basically, Starflash's answer to Expensive Pink - a light, peachy/pink). All of these had a hints of pink, dark brown, and bronze, versus the gunmetal tones of Smoke & Diamonds. While I did like the finish of all three, I didn't think it was anything to write home about - it was very similar to my Smashbox shadows, and those aren't unique, limited editions!

I'm only considering keeping one - Bold & Brazen, because it is similar to the Expensive Pink I love, but a more workable version for daily wear. However, in this formula it also makes me look more washed out - EP has the gold tones that complement my skin.

Since I'm on this Starflash spree, I figured I'd give Mink & Sable (a dark, shimmery olive green) a try before calling it quits. Green actually suits me so maybe this will be the dark shadow I've been looking for. One can hope.

I really wanted the Starflash Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Raven (pictured above), a deep, coppery, "blackened" magenta, to work because it seemed similar to Laura Mercier's Black Violet (and other blackened shades) kohl pencil. It was beautiful on my hand (what else is new) but did nothing for my eyes, and was more metallic and glittery than expected, and definitely less kohl-like. I think Mystery, a blackened teal, might do me more justice.

Will keep you all posted as I become increasingly more disillusioned by eye shadow. $14.50 each @ MAC


The Great Mascara Duel

Just had to share this piece from The New York Times on mascara:



Smashbox Wicked Lovely Fall 2008 Collection

I don't really follow limited edition collections very much, but I have to admit that recent hype about certain lines have got me hooked. However, I hadn't heard much about Smashbox's Fall 2008 collection, Wicked Lovely, until I saw it in Sephora. Because I have several Smashbox eye shadows, I had to examine further.

I don't think there is anything particularly interesting about the theme of this collection, or many of its products for that matter, although I do appreciate more darker, dramatic makeup (mostly because my own face can't really handle it). But there was one stand-out product that I have been looking at online ever since. This is the Wicked Lovely Cream Liner and Loose Shimmer, pictured above.

I was previously lusting after Pop's Liner Cake, but this has closed in on that one because it comes with loose shimmer powder - wow! How fun! So much many possibilities in one little compact - 3 creme liners and a separate shimmer; how many combinations/permutations of looks that is, I cannot tell you, but it must be many.

My only issue with this is that the shimmer powder isn't ideal for my skin color - it's not god-awful, but not the best match either. It's just taupe, and not grey, enough to work with the right amount and careful application.

Not a bad value for 3 liners and 1 shimmer product - if I wore liner more consistently or it were holiday season, or I had the kind of job where I could walk in with Wicked Lovely eye lids, perhaps I would purchase this. $32.00 @ Sephora

Something Like A Phenomenon - New Givenchy Mascara

I've expressed my indifference to mascara before, with the exception of my dislike of Maybelline's Great Lash and my current satisfaction with L'Oreal FeatherLash and Fresh Supernova. The Fresh Firebird is pretty, no doubt, and actually a pretty good mascara - would be even better if it were waterproof according to my sis. But the new Givenchy Phenomen' Eyes Mascara is something I cannot even begin to fathom.

San once mentioned to me how a certain Clinique mascara reminds her of a medieval torture device. I completely agreed. I would like to say the same for this one. It looks like a ball and chain that someone could chuck at your head - sort of.

At the same time, the fresh take on mascara design is kind of interesting and cool. The only real innovation when it comes to mascara over the last few years (I think) have been plastic bristles and lash comb-type wands. The Givenchy one is so unique and I'm kind of dying to know how it works.

The little heart-shaped ball at the end looks easy to use on one hand, and quite weird on the other. But I've never liked using the usual mascara wands and for a while have been thinking of trying Sally Hansen Natural Beauty by Carmindy's mascara, which supposedly has a teeny little wand that coaxes out all those little lashes. This design looks like it might do something similar. If anyone has tried it, please comment and let me know!

This is definitely one of the most pricey mascaras I've seen so far, and I can't figure out why since the design looks like it takes about one-tenth the effort of creating a regular mascara wand. Hmm.....Either it will be a colossal failure or the next big thing. $27.00 @ Sephora

Balm Diggitys

Rolling out my list of my current, low-key lip faves. One of the reasons I love all things lips particularly lipstick, and always have at least 2-3 lip products on hand is because my lips turn into prunes every other hour. These products have fixed that every time.

I think Kiehl's and Smith's Rosebud Salve are a bit overrated - most of these have similar effects and are either cheaper or better quality. I use a couple of them almost everyday:

1) Carmex (Original Tube) - Yes, I know. I'm sure some people hate this. I don't know why, but it works great for me. It's sort of a stronger Vaseline, which is what I used to apply at night. I've switched over to this (haven't gotten around to buying Vaseline in a while) and wake up with smoother lips.

2) Blistex Lip Medex (blue pot) - This is very similar to Carmex, but has a thinner consistency, minty feel, and a pretty shimmer (Carmex looks more glossy) for which I like to layer this over lipsticks. This is definitely more moisturizing than Carmex, but because it comes in a pot, I tend to use it less. Hands down the best balm ever.

3) Nivea Glossy Lip Care & Lip Care (new) - Just discovered the Glossy one in Pink Star in Walgreen's and love it. I got the regular one from San earlier, but now it's officially available in the States so I'll probably use it more in the future as well. Not as good as the Glossy in my opinion but good enough.

4) Pop Beauty Mini Ribbon Lip Gloss - What can I say. The jojoba oil does wonders for my lips and I slather this on during work a few times a day. Also great for layering over lipsticks.

5) L'Oreal HiP Jelly Balm (reviewed by both myself and San) - This is the best understated gloss/balm out there right now, especially for the price. I have this in Luscious and even though it is pigmented, I use it occasionally as just a balm also.

6) Clinique Bare Brilliance Lipstick (Chocolate Ice) - Like I said earlier, almost down to a nub. Really more of a balmy lipstick than anything else. Too bad this doesn't come in other colors I like. There is some slippage involved for sure - definitely doesn't absorb into the skin as well as all of the above.

7) The Body Shop Cranberry Shimmer Lip Balm - I got this on sale for $1.00 so that might have to do something with how much I love it (clearance price might also indicate that it's been discontinued...). The color is similar to Chocolate Ice with more berry tones. This is the rare balm that successfully has some shimmer in it without going overboard, and without turning into a gloss.

Jane Shimmer Bronzer

This is one of the random products that has been sitting in my drawer since the pre-blog era. I can't remember what appealed to me about it and why I made the purchase. Thoughts were swimming around in my head way before I decided to express them here, and this was my original attempt at finding a good blush/bronzer.

I'm overall impressed with Jane Cosmetics, but this one - not so much. I have the Shimmer Bronzer in Tahiti which has a checkered mix of deep, warm brown/berry shades and some lighter, silvery peachy-pinks and lilacs. It was the only color combination that didn't have cool, neutral, brown shades and I thought some of the warmer berry tones would work on my skin.

I'm not too find of these "mosaic" products. The colors never seem to work well together to give a defining shade/finish. Tahiti leaves a slightly berry-toned, silvery, shimmery wash over my cheeks. There isn't much color payoff at all and there is 0 bronzing effect due to the coolness of the lighter shades. Instead of a "luminous glow," I achieved a sort of Stardusty, Caspar/fairy-like, just-fell-off the moon shimmer that doesn't suit my skin tone. Sorry, I know that's a weird description but my imagination is a little wild this morning.

But this is not to say that I won't use Tahiti occasionally, mostly for evening (who knows what I mean by evening - of late, my "evenings" consist of apartment hunting, tea, some dinner, and perhaps TV). The silver shimmer could work with other understated makeup and perhaps a more monochromatic look with similar tones/shades.

For the price, this is also a great value, as with all Jane Cosmetics. The compact is large and sturdy, with a hidden compartment underneath that contains a small brush (useless of course), but no mirror. It's similar to the regular shimmer blushes, but this one is bronze colored whereas the others are black.

While I wasn't completely thrilled with this, I will definitely give the regular blushes a try, even though those also have those annoying strips of color. I have yet to detect a shade from the regular blush line that might work - Sania's review of the Blushing Cheeks in Plum, however, is encouraging. If the shimmer blushes also don't impress, I might have to give in and give Cargo's Beach Blushes a try. $5.99 @ Drugstore.com (on sale right now for $4.19!)


Makeup Blues

So I've decided that in addition to having been busy apartment hunting, I've also been experiencing some makeup blues. I haven't fallen in love with anything. Yes, I was happy to discover Milani Flare eye shadow as well as the Rimmel blush in Berry, but those weren't exactly heart-stopping purchases. Anymore, that is.

If possible, I may be a bit makeup'ed out.

Gasp. Is such a thing possible?

I decided it is. Perhaps if I were more creative and adventurous, things would be easier. But I'm still rather clueless about many a makeup issue, and this has been hindering my exploration - and yes, evolution.

The one interesting discovery I had yesterday (I swear, while waiting for a broker in Sephora - it was hot out!) was an eye shadow from Urban Decay called Roach. I loved the name. So fun to say - rrroach! Pure awesomeness to apply something with such a gross name. Anyway, this was the closest I've come to finding that perfect, neutral, yet dark shade I've been looking for. It is a deep brown/coppery plum that can be layered for a more dramatic effect.

The problem I've found with even some of the darkest shadows is that they still seem to disappear into my skin somehow - even though I don't have very dark skin! Perhaps this is where a primer/base like UDPP should come in. I think I need a Makeup Holiday to purchase/experiment/return/fall in love.

In other news, 2 weeks ago I walked around Sephora finding the perfect match for my Jane Eye Zing in Hazelnut, which was turning out to be a pretty nice blush. When I asked the SA for help, she was intrigued, and said "Honey, whatever works for you..."

Surprisingly, the closest matches were NARS' Lovejoy and Laura Gellar's Blush-n-Brighten in Golden Apricot (a bronze/gold/rose). Lovejoy, of course, had more shimmer than I would have liked, but Golden Apricot was pretty dead-on. I won't be purchasing because I really don't need it. Now I wish I could attack the drugstore and see what cheaper blush/bronzer will match Hazel.

One thing I did learn - Lorac eye shadows are Amazing. I'm tempted to return my MAC Evening Aura and Bronze so I can spend the money on these instead. Soft and almost creamy to blend, with really wonderful, versatile colors - I was tempted by Garnet, Bronze, Inspiration, Gold, and Serenity.

Want to try the new MAC Starflash shadows - have read wonderful things about them, particularly Smoke & Diamonds. Sadly, I think that shade will make me look like an Indian movie star from the 1980s. Not a risk I'm willing to take, but perhaps the other shades are worth exploring - the finish sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. Aside from the Starflash shades, I'd love to try the Gold Stroke shadow - someone had a picture of it up on MUA and it looked gorgeous - a nice combination of Roach, Expensive Pink, and Flare - sounds like a winner, but we will wait and see.

My Clinique Chocolate Ice is nearing its end and I'm wondering what to replace it with - eventually. Sadly, there aren't any other colors in this formula that I liked. I'm looking for the perfect pink/bronze - anyone have ideas? I love NARS' lipstick in Kiss, but that is a tad bit too frosty and deep for me, and MAC's "O" - meh. Although comparable, it just didn't do anything special for me.

No longer impressed with the Maybelline Mineral Lipcolors - the shades I chose are definitely too bland. I may consider trying a more vibrant one since these formulas are so light.

Excuse the long post about everything. Hope to have a more specific, interesting one coming up.


Le Irony

A quick post just to let you know I'm still alive.

My 25th birthday was this past Friday, and today I went to Ulta to buy myself some goodies with birthday dinero.

I raided the nail polish clearance bin and picked up some OPI colors for less than half price. One of my great finds was '25 Colorful Years', a lovely pinky red from the 2007 Anniversary Collection.

The irony of it all only struck me when I got home.

But yeah, it does sum up the life of a makeup addict - doesn't it? Here's to hoping for many more years full of color for me and all of those I love.

template by suckmylolly.com