Smoke Alarm - Etat Libre d'Orange's Jasmin et Cigarette

I'm flabbergasted. Another fragrance with tobacco notes. Worse yet, "cigarette" is a part of the name. This month, a new French line of perfumes, Etat Libre d'Orange, introduced Jasmin et Cigarette. The description of this perfume on the website reads:

"It is the era of Harcourt Studios when Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich magnetized men with a Hollywood look in the eye, smoking a cigarette in a smoky black and white ambience. Jasmin et Cigarette is also the slightly jasminy smell of a women's skin when she exposes her freshness to the dark seduction of night. A hazy atmosphere. The reminder of a fantasy, of an indelible trail she leaves on a dress at the break of day or in the intimate memory of the man who made love to her. It is elegance seen by Gainesbourg, the woman from the 80s who smokes Gitane cigarettes and wears jeans and who, with astounding naturalness, claims her sensuality as a right. Transparency in sophistication, just a trace of jasmine mingled to the so far neglected smell of a cigarette. Jasmin et Cigarette is the twilight zone, the banned, addiction. Nicotine woman or heroine, she is an icon, the woman one longs for."

If suffering from lung cancer wearing 80s jeans and a Gitane hanging out of the corner of your mouth seems like a bright idea, power to it. If nicotine also helps you claim your sensuality, all the more power. Clearly, the world of Jasmin et Cigarette IS the twilight zone, one where feminity is somehow tied to a frankly disgusting and dangerous habit.

I don't know if its a coincidence that both this and Fresh's Tobacco Caramel were launched (or relaunced in Fresh's case) during the same month, but something doesn't smell right. I earlier addressed the Fresh issue as well - read here.

I'm pursuing graduate studies in Public Health and so this is the expected response from someone like me. But I shouldn't have to immersed in PH issues to feel this way. More people should be troubled by the power of marketing/advertising and their implications for tobacco control, smoking cessation, and prevention of diseases and conditions associated with tobacco use. The more eco-conscious are careful about selecting natural products and support companies that don't use animal-testing. This as, if not more, important, and people should be concerned. Particularly young people targeted by this kind of nonsense. Do you long to be like Greta Garbo and snag a man with your coffee and cigarette breath? I didn't think so.

I think a letter to both companies is in order. If you agree, let me know. I'll feel less like - one of those letter-writing people.

Beauty Week At Macy's

Get to it, ladies. This week, Macy's Beauty Week gives you the opportunity to check out new products through several special offers, as well as receive a cute tote page with any purchase of $75.00 or more. And there is free online shipping throughout the week as well. Enjoy!

Skin Breakthrough - Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

My cleanser dance continues...

Pears' was a good cleanser, but my skin was dry for days even after 1 use. I don't attribute this to Pears', however - my skin has just become increasingly sensitive over the years. Even the simplest products just won't do.

I reconsidered my options and thought back to what I did in high school/college. Back then, my staples were either Oil of Olay foaming cleanser, Clean & Clear foaming cleanser, or Clean & Clear cream cleanser.

I used the C&C cream cleanser the longest, stopping only after reading too many beauty magazines and convincing myself that it was too greasy for my combination/oily skin. But in retrospect, chances are that my skin issues then had more to do with lifestyle and stress than what cleanser I was using. My skin was never irritated or dry as a result of my cleanser then. Now in my 20s, I thought it would be worth a shot trying something similar.

I almost went for the C&C again, but thought that something "natural" might be a small step up. Since my Burt's Bees Peach & Willowbark Scrub has actually worked for me over the last few months, I decided to try the company's Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream.

After 3 uses, I think it's safe to say that this is The balancing, non-drying, non-irritating cream cleanser for me. I also feel that it's better to have a slightly moisturizing cleanser (or one that leaves your skin's natural oil balance as is) instead of a drying/stripping cleanser after which you have to slather on some moisturizer anyway.

The Deep Cleansing Cream isn't thick or waxy in the least, but is still rich and soothing. It also washes off easily without leaving any residue. It definitely creates a slight "tingle" on application, which I would normally take to be a sign of irritating chemicals. But this hasn't led to any irritation, and the benefits far outweigh it.

I would recommend this as a safe, reliable cleanser if you're skin is somewhat combination/oily, or if you'd like something richer for the winter months. It might not be the best bet for very oily skin, but could be worth a try - the prevailing wisdom on these things isn't necessarily always correct.

Most of Burt's Bees products list how "natural" it is (this one is 97%), and contain no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates. If you're interested, take a look at this helpful page on their website which advises you on How To Read Your Personal Care Ingredient Labels. And yes, it is also a bargain. $7.99 @ Drugstores


Golden Brown Rockstar - Korres Eye Shadow & Urban Decay 24/7

So what I have discovered now? Korres! Urban Decay! Hooray!

Not. Ugh. This is becoming tiring. As soon as I really sit down and assess my latest find, I compare to everything I have and realize, by golly, that it's no different from other products I have. Bummer. I think I'm starting to resist a few things - gasp! Could it be true? It is, indeed.

The latest is Korres' eyeshadow 34S - Golden Brown, and Urban Decay's 24/7 Eye Liner in Rockstar.

First, the Korres shadow in 2 words - refreshingly amazing. A soft, blendable texture, a formula that gives a soft shimmer/sheen, and the perfect bronze shade for darker skin tones. It's even better than the Cargo Bronze - really. Over time, the coppery-pink tinge of Cargo Bronze has become more apparent to me. Golden Brown is a cross between Cargo Bronze and MAC Bronze. Something must be wrong with me for finding all minute differences between what is essentially one, basic color.

Even worse, you can achieve the effect of all three from the NYX Trio in Guru (which I own and love and makes me want to throw out all my other shadows). True, there are differences in formula and texture but honestly, once you put a neutral metallic on your eye in this range of products, it all looks the same.

I'm normally not very critical of packaging, but I find the Korres one to be sub-par for $16.00. It's a plain, white, plastic square with some techy looking black print on the top. I think it's supposed to look sleek, natural, and almost medicinal a la Clinique (sort of), but somehow, it just looks - weird and unimpressive. It looks like you stole your sister's European eye shadow from 1985 and never threw it out.

Rockstar may be the answer to Perfect BIV Eyeliner that I have been on the search for. On the first few tries, I was impressed by this ultra-creamy pencil, but I'm afraid that this lasts almost TOO long on me. It was between this and the Clinique Cream pencil in Starry Plum. I went with Rockstar because it had less shimmer and was a long-lasting formula. If I'm going to go cream, it has to last (just not forever...).

Korres Eye Shadow, $16.00, $ Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner, $16.00, both @ Sephora


Ellen Degeneres - New Cover Girl

Well, isn't this interesting and refreshing? Ellen Degeneres (whose talk show is actually really great - I would love to dance with that lady) is Cover Girl's new spokeswoman. Ellen is a far cry from the company's most recent spokeswoman, Drew Barrymore. While I never understood the hype around Drew, Ellen is different - she's got spunk and some character, while still remaining a sweetheart. Read more about it The New York Times here.
I'm not really into this whole "real" and "other" beauty marketing that has been cropping up lately, but there is something to be appreciated in all of it. Its nice to see women who are accomplished in more areas than one being recognized for their own unique beauty, and not just riding on it. Yay, Ellen. I approve (and I seldom do).

New Style, New Thoughts

Hello there, ladies. As some of you have already noticed, I'm experimenting with some new formats. I basically got sick of staring at pink bars on either side of the page - it was like some kind of overwhelmingly sweet, pink, lipstick'ed prison. This is much more liberating.

It is also exactly the same as another new venture of mine, Sumania - La Vie En Suman. Yes, the time has come to bombard cyberspace with my thoughts on things other than beauty. I'm just starting out so bear with me. Thus my lack of originality when changing the format of this blog. I liked how the Sumania one looked, so I copied it. But hey, they are both mine, so I'm allowed. Will continue to fiddle and fine-tune this one...


NARS Super Orgasmic Blush

For those of you who have mastered the Orgasm, rejoice. Now we have Super Orgasm.

I'm speaking of NARS blushes, of course. As much as I love NARS, I'm quite skeptical of what will surely be it's latest over-hyped blush. Maybe I’m bitter because Orgasm has never suited me. But then, I have a pretty universal skin tone so I can imagine that there are many people that it doesn’t work for.

Super Orgasm is also been described by NARS as a universally-flattering peachy pink with golden glitter. Shudder. I know glittery makeup doesn’t necessarily mean you will look like a Vegas show girl, but if this is supposed to be The Blush for darker skin tones, then adding golden glitter doesn’t make it so. I have a feeling this may be a less golden pink but more sparkly version of my beloved CG Cheekers Blush in Golden Pink.

Super Orgasm may be worth a try. My never-ending Sephora credit practically demands it. $25.00 only @ Sephora


A Skincare Classic - Pears Soap

I've been having terrible luck with skincare products lately - they're either too drying/moisturizing or just plain old irritating, especially with this changing weather in NY. To top it off, I'm starting a Retin-A regimen which will likely make things worse.

My only friends have been Burt's Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub and The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick (a true godsend, by the way). I use the scrub every few days and the blemish stick has taken care of some nasty, cyst-like zits pronto. But I've been on the hunt for a gentle cleanser and moisturizer.

I almost turned to Kiehl's, but that's is a bit pricey for me right now. So I rubbed my chin, twirled my hair, read some online reviews, and decided that I should find a basic, gentle soap instead and use small amounts of an equally basic moisturizer (think Pond's or Oil of Olay).

I twirled my hair some more over options such as Dove Beauty Bar when all of a sudden, I remembered Pears Soap. How could I have forgotten about Pears?! Good old, originally British soap now only manufactured in India that I remember my sister and mother using as a kid (and still have a pack of at home - not in new apartment). A unique, transparent, amber bar with a lovely fresh scent that seemed ideal for what I need right now.

I tried to find reviews online (just for fun), but found nada, although there is a great history about it on Wikipedia here.

I'm surprised this doesn't have its own cult following. Of course, very few drugstores or pharmacies carry it. I finally found a few at an awesomely huge 99 cent store that kept everything from "ethnic" brands to Britain's traditional Yardley's soaps. I used it the other day and was relieved at how simple and non-irritating it actually is. Soaps in general are a bit drying, especially in cooler weather, so I plan on using this minimally but so far, it's been a great alternative to more expensive brands. My skin is clean and balanced, and that is about all I need.

For those of you who are into such things, give Pears a try. It's also hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic, so if you have breakout-prone skin, fear not. At about 99 cents a bar or $2.49 for a pack of 3, you can't go wrong.

Fresh Tobacco Caramel Eau de Parfum

I recently received an email from Fresh Cosmetics that said that following:

"You asked and we listened! Back by popular demand, we are pleased to re-introduce two of our cult-favorite eau de parfums: Patchouli Pure Eau de Parfum, Tobacco Caramel Eau de Parfum.

Tobacco Caramel Eau de Parfum: Infused with voluptuous notes such as tobacco flowers, tarragon, and rich amber, this musky blend captures the mood of glamorous New York City jazz clubs and a bygone era.

These completely unique and utterly addictive fragrances, developed by co-founder Lev Glazeman, are available now exclusively at Fresh retail stores and Fresh.com."

Hm, ok. Let's see here. "Tobacco," "glamorous," "bygone era," "ADDICTIVE!"

After all the known ill-effects of tobacco use and the public health action against big tobacco, I'm truly appalled that Fresh would contribute to positive tobacco associations like this.

I won't lie. I know what they're talking about. I have an uncle who smoked a pipe when I was younger, and reading this email reminded me of that distinct smell I associate so many memories with. But it ends there. No one needs a perfume CALLED "tobacco" and Fresh certainly does not need to use words like "glamorous" and "addictive" to sell it. Really - addictive? What were they THINKING?

Let's not forget the bygone era they are recalling. Which era would that be? Oh right. The one in which everyone set the stage for developing lung cancer and worsening air quality. What an era to long for...

I haven't bought any Fresh products and don't plan on it anytime soon.

More BIV Pencils/Shadows

Wow, I'm sure getting a lot of work done today, aren't I? I've been itching to share my most recent beauty thoughts, particularly this one. After a couple of less than thrilling experiences with BIV eyeliners (as in blue, indigo, violet from the rainbow acronym ROY G. BIV - yes, I know I'm a dork), I refused to give up. After a few buys/returns/exchanges, I gathered the following thoughts on some products:

1) Smashbox Cabernet Eye Shadow ($16.00) - An absolutely *gorgeous* deep wine (as the name suggests) shade with a very small amount of shimmer/sparkle. Like the other Smashbox shadows I've used, the texture of this was soft, velvety, and very blendable. Unfortunately, I just didn't know how to make it work for myself. I wanted to use it as a liner but at this price, I didnt' think it was worth it.

2) LORAC After Dark Eye Shadow ($17.50) - Eye shadow's answer to Laura Mercier Black Violet pencil liner. Wow. Another amazingly pretty, deep, blackened purple whose name clearly follows its function - this is definitely a shadow for heavier, smokier eyes or just as liner. It felt like butter and with a heavier hand, would've given me a black eye. Again, I just couldn't justify keeping it at this price since my makeup use is rather minimal overall. I tried to pretend I would use it. Then I moved into my new apartment and decided I need the almost $20 back immediately.

3) Sephora Jumbo Pencil Pink 503Y ($) - This chubby pencil is a muted, lilac-mauve with a slight metallic sheen. It was easy enough to apply and rather blendable. I actually quite liked it, but the effect wasn't all too noticeable. It took a few layers for the color to really show through, and I didn't want to apply so much product. There must similar pencils out there with slight better color payoff and consistency - I could see this one drying out pretty fast.

4) Sephora Colorful Mat Mono Eye Shadow Mat No. 07 ($10) - This lovely, matte, deep burgundy/purple shadow was actually quite impressive. Very smooth texture and a great, basic shade that could work with so many looks. However, it was slightly chalky and not very pigmented. I layered it over the Jumbo Pencil and it kinda worked...kinda. I was very tempted to keep this but decided to do a little more exploring.

5) DuWop Eye-Catcher Pencil - Brown Eye Intensifier (Dark Purple)($18.50) - Hrmph. This one sort of stumped me. A combination of Almay's Purple Amethyst liner and Laura Mercier Black Violet, this new liner is sized somewhere between a regular pencil and a jumbo one. The color was pretty and intriguing, but the pencil itself was incredibly dry and difficult to apply. Plus, for this shade, the pencil was too thick.

6) Revlon Beyond Natural Eye Pencil, Dark Brown & Plumberry) ($7.99) - After testing Plumberry, I didn't even bother with the Dark Brown. It was neither plum nor berry. In fact, it was a slightly metallic, muted lilac. Yeah, seriously. It disappeared right into my skin with one smooth blend. Utterly forgettable and not worth a cent. If you're into smokier brown/black eyes, perhaps those shades will work for you (although a better option would be NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils or Jane's ColorSticks Eye Crayons). I wasn't too impressed.

All this, and all I really ended up lusting after is the DuWop Smoke eye shadow duo in Plum Wine (pictured above). These are exactly the shades I've been looking for and the cream, non-pencil formula looks like it might be easier to work with.

I'll keep you posted on the rest of BIV shadow/liner hunting, and hopefully this DuWop duo - stay tuned.


NYX - Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil - Slate

Couldn't help it. Tried to stick to trustworthy lipsticks for experimenting. But you know me. The eye makeup battle is one I keep fighting. Plus, since I have this in French Fries, I really wanted to give another shade a try, and since the cold weather is approaching, it was time to try something deeper and more interesting for fall/winter.

As an eye shadow pencil generally, this one is excellent - silky, smooth, and non-greasy. There was absolutely no tugging involved, and the color is easy to blend. Excellent for the lower rim, although the thickness of the pencil doesn't allow for thin, precise lines. I'm not sure how this will fare during sharpening though - it will need a good one.

Now, the color - a beautiful, deep, steel/gunmetal, blue-toned jade with a subtle metallic finish. Less "slate" than I would have liked. On my hand it was perfect (yeah, yeah, I know...) but on the eye, it was definitely more blue-green. I drew a thick line over my top lashes, blended out over the lid, and finished with liquid black eyeliner. Very pretty and different, especially for me. Yet I know I won't use it much, as lovely as it is. I would have preferred a true, blue-based slate.

I mayreturn this but will sleep on it since it's a unique, high-end color with great performance and price. $1.99 @ Select retail stores or NYX Cosmetics

NYX - Diamond Sparkle Lipstick - Sparkling Chestnut

Ah, NYX. How grateful am I that I discovered you. Especially since I've been good and haven't bought any new products from either Sephora or Macy's (any new products were bought on credit I had - really!).

The NYX line has allowed me to fall in love with some products very, very cheaply. My latest find is the Diamond Sparkle Lipstick. Normally, I would've been cautious of the "sparkle" in the title but this lipstick was a surprise. I've also been looking for a great, neutral bronze and this quickly ended that quest - for once!

The Diamond Sparkle formula applies like butter, and has the perfect balance between shimmer, gloss, and pearl finishes. Sparkling Chestnut (DS18) is a difficult color to describe. It's a soft, fleshy pink-brown bronze/copper shade. I've been looking for a shade like this that wasn't too dark or frosty. I'm tempted to call it the perfect, slightly glam nude because it manages to be great for that dark eye/pale lip combo without making you look dead or like a porn star. At the same time, it has just enough pigment to be worn alone.

On my lips, the effect was slightly glossy and wet, but not in that awful plastic or glassy finish - just dewy and elegant. I should add that in the tube, it looks there is some MAJOR silver glitter/sparkle action going on, but the particles don't show up on your lips at all.

I'm not sure about the lasting power, but for the results and price, it's worth taking a few extra steps to make sure it stays put. I have issues finding the right color for my skintone, and this is, in one word, Perfect. $3.99 @ Select retail stores or NYX Cosmetics


Daily Beauty Gripe - Brow Behavior

Some people have facial ticks, some, beauty ticks. You know, that weird little mishap that seems to occur repeatedly, daily, that you can never really fix? Some have complicated solutions, others, none. My personal daily beauty gripe is The Brow Droop - my sister and T will know exactly what I'm talking about.

I have pretty thin but just full and shapely enough brows. They are easy to maintain except for The Droop. See, my eye brow hairs are on the longish-side, especially in the middle (like most probably). At some unpredictable points throughout the day, some will fall out of place and tip unattractively into the middle of my arch.

I never really noticed this until the sis and T, being the older sisters that they are, would delicately smooth it back into place. Frankly, it doesn't bother me all that much - I have worse problems during the day and cannot check my face all day long. But it occurred to me that I could use a swipe of clear mascara/brow gel or something along the lines of Vaseline to fix things.

Almay used to make a great clear mascara but I think it's been discontinued, so I tried one from Maybelline that essentially did nada. I'm going to have to succumb and use The Body Shop's brow gel which is what the sis uses. I also came across this one from Anastasia and was surprised at the rave review. Too pricey for my purposes, but good to know nonetheless.

A weekly trim might be in order here. Perhaps this is why I crave being at home most of the time instead of going out. When else would I have the time to think so hard about brows and such?


Black 'n' BIV

Remember how I mentioned Laura Mercier's Black Violet eye liner oh, just about every other day? I reluctantly let go of that irrational desire for a violet/purplish eyeliner only to circle back to it a few weeks ago. Damn that Jordana Easyliner in Eggplant! I liked it enough to continue searching for similar, but perhaps slightly better options that are in the BIV family (blue, indigo, violet - yes, as in ROY G BIV).

I like Eggplant a lot. I really do. But that wine/burgundy quality about it that I liked so much? Well, surprise, surprise - it made me want to go bluer and more purple. Go figure. So I subconsciously edged my way towards LM Black Violet without ever quite getting there.

I began by perusing the drugstore aisles for a cross between Black Violet and Eggplant. Some contenders: Almay Amazing Eye Liner in Purple Amethyst and Raisin Quartz (liquid and pencil formulas), N.Y.C Waterproof Eyeliner in Smoky Plum, Wet 'n' Wild H20 Proof Eye Liner in Amethyst Pearl, Maybelline Define-A-Line Eyeliner in Rich Raisin, and Revlon Beyond Natural Defining Eye Pencil in Plumberry, and Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner in Burnished Amber.

I bought, tried, and returned both the Almay in Purple Amethyst (pencil) and the N.Y.C Waterproof liner in Smoky Plum. First off, let me just say how impressed I was the N.Y.C pencil - it was soft and creamy (but not too creamy), actually gliding on with no tugging. The color was also pretty nice - a slightly blue-toned plum with a slight metallic sheen. Sadly, this just wasn't pigmented enough for me. Gave some sort of simple, smoky effect but wasn't all that noticeable. However, at a later time I will definitely purchase a basic black from this line - it may just be the budget-conscious option to Make Up Forever's Aqua Eyes in Matte Black 01.

Purple Amethyst was an almost neon, blue-purple nightmare on my hand but it was less than special on the eyes. I would have been better off using a simple navy blue instead because this color just didn't stand out or blend in - very weird.

Chances are that the Raisin varieties won't fare much better either. Sigh. I may just have to succumb and try Black Violet, but I know it will be a royal mess on my eyes. With cooler weather approaching, however, perhaps it stands a chance.

For now, it's back to the basics - a swipe of black liquid eyeliner and lipstick. Always reliable, if a bit boring.

Hope to try Revlon's Plumberry next - stay tuned.


On Indian Beauty

Do you want this woman giving you beauty advice? To be fair, the woman pictured on the left has been called the Helena Rubinstein of India - mighty impressive if you ask me. She is Shahnaz Husain, Indian beauty entrepreneur whose Ayurvedic products reach the likes of yours truly from New Delhi to New York. Read about her empire in "Indian Beauty" from the Wall Street Journal.

I myself am a total sucker for "natural" skincare and beauty products, particularly if they are from reputable Indian brands, including Shahnaz Husain, Biotique, and Himalaya Herbal Healthcare. When it comes to Shahnaz, I've had pretty good experiences with the line's kajal eyeliner, moisturizer, and an occasional face "pack" or two. Don't know how I feel about the company's philosophy or business aspirations, but wouldn't it be funny if this was the face behind the latest addition to Sephora, QVC, or Whole Foods?

On a more serious note, I do think it would be a refreshing addition, and would be thrilled to find such products at popular stores rather than hunting them down in Little India or Jackson Heights in NY. Can't say the prices would be so pleasing, but let's see what happens.

Here's to Husain's rosy aspirations...


Much Ado About Metals

Convinced that few deep colors look good on me and that neturals are dulling, I've been on a gold/bronze eyeshadow trip for the last few months. Yes, trying to find the perfect ones that could work both in a number of different ways.

It was LORAC to the rescue. Bronze and Gold are exactly that - a basic bronze with a hint of coppery pink, and a slightly mustard gold. These shadows are great alternatives (and improvements upon) my previous MAC Bronze and Woodwinked shadows. In truth, the MAC versions are slightly truer to the respetive metals they are named after but I wasn't too happy with their results. This is still something I'm mulling over, but for now, I feel safer with LORAC.

However, if you're really on a budget or are obsessed wtih drugstores like me, try Jordana's Sunset and Marigold shadows. The quality is wonderful, especially for the price ($1.99) and the shades are nearly exact matches for both Bronzes, Gold, and Woodwinked. Sunset has more orange/peach than either Bronze, but still gives a pretty, sunkissed look. Hard to find, but worth it. Again, that Duane Reade near the NJ Transit at Penn Station is a gold mine...

I also recently (as in...this morning) experimented with Revlon's Illuminence Creme Eye Shadow palette in Precious Metals because it was on sale with a mascara and I've always wanted to try it. I happen to really like creme eye shadows - they are so easy to apply and blend, and I prefer the finish over most powder shadows (I think they look a bit "dusty").

However, this one is going back to the store. These are very, very sheer shadows that take more than a few dabs of the finger to show up, crease easily, and leave behind more shimmer particles than anything else. I'd rather spend a few extra bucks (or use my never-ending Sephora credit) to try Clinique's Quick Eyes Cream Shadow.

Whew, that's a lot of metal for now. Time to explore some deep browns and plums for fall!



Wow, I cannot believe I haven't expressed my odd views and makeup love in almost 15 days. Unheard of. I wasn't even able to christen the new month with a post on Sept. 1st. This is due in part to the fact that I was out of town for about a week and a bit busy before and after.

Some news: have an apartment, and so now must become obsessed with a different, more necessary kind of shopping. Shower curtains, utensils, lamps, anyone? Believe it or not, this is more my world :) If I had a fatter wallet, however, I'd go the high-end way to decorate or at least, Urban Outfitters (although I can't say I love their stuff). Not necessary though. I love my pad, but will decorate and furnish as simply, cheaply, but somewhat elegantly as possible.

I have very little to report makeup wise except that I discovered some Artiba products in San Francisco and found them interesting, but didn't buy anything. Will have to look it up. Exchanged some old, unused products for LORAC eyeshadows and so happy with them - read here for more.

Buying into all this MAC Cult of Cherry Spiced Chocolate Quad and wondering how to get my hands on one!

Overall, been wearing very little makeup lately, but skin is better and weather is cooling down, so now I'm psyched about having fun with fall makeup - so much easier, so much more fun and interesting, right?

More to come!

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