Category Archives: cosmetics

Beauty Announcement + Grab-Bag

So, the good news is, I got a new job! The bad news is, I definitely will not have as much time to blog anymore. But never fear, I am still committed to posting and I’m especially hoping I’ll be able to continue Beauty in the Movies on a pretty regular basis.

Moving on to more fun things, last week I picked up one of the new polishes from OPI’s Pirates of the Caribbean collaboration, plus I also got my hands on a bottle of the new Silver Shatter polish.

This color is called “Planks A Lot” and it’s a lovely purple creme that appears slightly bluer on the nails than it does in the bottle, almost periwinkle in certain light.

Here it is with the Silver Shatter polish on top. The cosmetics world is acting like shatter polish is a new thing, but way back in the 90s it was called “crackle” polish released by Cover Girl and it was all the rage for a few months. The silver is pretty, and I think it would look even better with a darker shade underneath.

Here is a beautiful black iris that just blossomed in my front yard, isn’t the color gorgeous? I’d like a nail polish that looked like this.

So, I threw caution to the wind and my sister and I battled our way through the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale a couple of weeks ago. It was worth the scary crowds and the long line because I came away with this baby. The style is called the “Dear Tote” and this one is in a taupe glazed leather.

I will be paying it off for a while, but it’s a perfect work bag (great for starting a new job!) and it can fit a lot. This bag also has a whole bunch of pockets, can be worn across the body, and the color is really versatile. Money well spent I think!

Also, I started this blog one year ago today! Time really flies. I really hope I can keep this thing going, and thank you so much to all of you who’ve been reading, you’re the best!!

Ok, that’s it for now, but don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Beauty in the Movies!

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Zoya Earth Day Promo Polishes

Last week I was positively giddy when my Zoya earth day promo polishes were delivered a whole day before they were supposed to! I got eight polishes for the promo, and they arrived in these cute little boxes:

Here are my ladies all lined up:

Charisma, Maura, Ali, Jolene, Happi, Adina, and Faye.

Poor Kara missed this photo shoot because she was still in my purse after I brought her to the nail salon for my first pedicure of the season. Here’s a pic so she won’t feel neglected (yes, I know I’m anthropomorphizing nail polish, but with these polishes it’s hard not to!):

Here are some swatches (not my best, sorry I was rushed!) in both sun and shade:

Happi (thumb): This color is really different, it’s a light shimmery pink duochrome with a golden undertone that really makes it pop in sunlight.

Kara (pointer): While I really love this color and think it’s a great summer shade, it’s not all that different from others I’ve owned, but it’s a nice bright coral.

Faye (middle): This is another really unusual color, in the shade Faye might just look like a standard gold polish, but in the sun it explodes with a sparkling purple/bronze shine!

Maura (ring): I’m always on the lookout for a really bright red, basically something that looks like what a character on Mad Men would wear, so Maura is perfect, she is a straight-up, classic, tomato-y red cream.

Ali (pinky): Ali is super bright! It’s the hot pink polish I’ve always wanted, she will be perfect for scorching summer days.

Adina (ring): Adina has an “oil-slick” finish. It’s hard to get a good shot of this color because it’s almost a trichrome (probably not a word). It has shades of green, purple, and pink with an overall metallic sometimes gray looking finish. This is a very different shade, definitely unique.

Charisma (middle): Ok, so I was more excited about this shade than any other, and of course it was the biggest disappointment. I LOVE the color, but unfortunately both the application and the chip-age (also not a real word) were really bad. I’m surprised this is one of Zoya’s top sellers because I’ve tried to wear it at least four times and it always chips within the first day of wear. It also goes on very streaky, which I wouldn’t mind if the polish were stronger. I’ve tried a few different top coats but it fails every-time which makes me very sad.

Jolene (pointer): In the bottle I wasn’t so thrilled with Jolene, but on the nails she is actually a really pretty, girlie pink. It’s a very feminine shade, maybe not the most unique, but overall very nice.

All these polishes (aside from Charisma!) went on easily and stayed on for a long time without chipping—and I’m really tough on my nails. Zoya’s polishes are lovely and made even lovelier by their earth-friendliness. If you haven’t tried Zoya polish yet I highly recommended testing it out for yourself. Rumor has it if they reach 50,000 “likes” on facebook they will have another totally free polish giveaway, so if you’re on facebook head over to their page now!

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Random Pretties

First of all, hooray, it’s finally spring!! I’m not freezing at the moment and I even have a window open, it’s a miracle! I haven’t done a grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d share some fun products I’m liking right now.

I haven’t bought a nail polish for more than $8 in years, but when I was at Ulta over the weekend they were having a promotion where if you bought a butter London nail-polish you would receive a free mini bottle of their powder polish remover, so I decided to indulge and purchase the color “Macbeth”. The powder polish remover is nice, it leaves behind a sort of baby-powder smell on your skin rather than a strong nail polish remover smell.

Butter London polish is $14 at Ulta, and despite the name it’s actually an American company. I really like the bright reddish-orange shade I bought and even on the third day there is minimal chippage, but when it comes down to it I’m still cheap and I’ll have to be impressed by an unusual color for me to purchase this brand again.

I fell and skinned my knees in front of Penn station last week both hurting and embarrassing myself while also ripping a new pair of $15 tights to shreds—so what did I do after that? I dusted myself off and went to Sephora where I bought this Hello Kitty eyeliner for $16 to cheer myself up. When you fall down, pick yourself up and buy some makeup—trust me.

It’s an olive-green color called “picnic basket” and it’s a nice alternative to my usual black winged liner. I’m a little worried it might dry out fast, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m very happy with this liner and thinking I might buy the purple the next time I find myself in Sephora (or the next time I take a spill).

This Pangea Organics lip balm came in my March Birchbox and at first I was like “whatever, sure, another lip balm”, but then it slowly won me over. It has a relaxing jasmine-y smell and goes on very smooth and moisturizes well. I haven’t decided if I can bring myself to buy another for $12 but I’m thinking about it.

This is the biggest problem with birchbox, they make you fall in love with expensive products and then you feel compelled to by them—I guess that’s kind of the point though right?

Last but not least, I’ve written before about my disappointment in the totally wasteful and annoying packaging of Urban Decay’s primer potion, they’ve finally listened to their fans and Sephora has changed the packaging for more efficient use. It’s always nice when a brand actually listens to their customers, isn’t it?

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Zoya Earth Day Polish Promo Funtime!!

Do you have a box of old, separating, nasty, nail polish that you just haven’t gotten around to throwing out either because you feel guilty for buying them in the first place or you don’t know how to dispose of them safely? Well if you do, it’s your lucky day! From today until April 27th when you buy 6 Zoya polishes you only pay a shipping charge ($4 each) and can choose from over 300 lovely shades! Just enter the code EARTHZOYA at checkout.

If you haven’t tried Zoya polish yet, I can tell you that it’s awesome. Zoya is formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, which makes it one of the earth-friendliest, healthiest polish brands out there, plus it is long-lasting and has some truly amazing, unusual colors. Today I’m wearing the color “Kieko”—cats love it too!

Here’s the deal, choose your 6+ polishes (max 24) and you pay $4 shipping per bottle, you have to order at least 6 bottles—which means spending a minimum of $24. Then once you get them, you ship your nasty, crusty, old polishes back to Zoya and they promise to dispose of them in the proper manner (rather than them seeping into a landfill somewhere). You can think of it as paying half price for each bottle and getting free shipping, plus you’re doing something nice for mother Earth.

It might not be for everyone, but if you’re a polish fanatic and haven’t tried Zoya yet, now might be a good time to give it a whirl. They only do this promo once a year, so start choosing those polishes! If you don’t send back your old polishes, they won’t hold it against you either, you can use the promo code anyway, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel guilty about it. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my order, and when I get it I’ll be sure to share my pics with you! Happy polishing!

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Beauty Inspiration: Peggy Moffitt

Last week I talked about spring cleaning and organizing my makeup. What I didn’t mention in that post was that I had tried to accomplish that task before, but this happened instead:

Um yeah, so it’s not the most productive thing to do with an afternoon, but it’s way more fun than cleaning. For this look you need black liquid eyeliner, black and white (frosted) eyeshadow, a good angled brush, and a steady hand. It doesn’t hurt to have a few baby wipes or makeup removing pads in close reach either—they help you get a smooth line and are the best thing for fixing mistakes (buy them in bulk at Costco!).

The ’60s were a great time for makeup, and even though I didn’t have false eyelashes on hand, I was definitely drawing inspiration from Peggy Moffitt for this look. If you’re not familiar with the model and muse, she was famous for her “five-point” haircut given to her by Vidal Sassoon as well as her kabuki-like makeup which became iconic of ’60s style. She often worked with photographers William Claxton and Rudi Gernreich, here are some pictures of her from the ’60s.

Pretty cute right? Definitely a fashion and makeup inspiration!

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Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Last week I finally tried out Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips. Since they’re kind of pricey I’ve been waiting for a special occasion to use them (this past weekend was my sister’s 30th b-day party, a worthy event). There are two sets of 8 strips in each package, I’m totally confused as to why they don’t just give you an even 20 to assure that you get two uses out of each purchase—I mean most of us have 10 fingers right? Am I missing something?

If you have relatively short nails you should easily be able to get all 10 fingers covered with the 8 strips, using a scissor just cut off the top part of the strips you place on your thumbs and apply them to your pinkys. If you do that you can set aside the other 8 strips for another use. Once you’ve opened the vacuum sealed package, these will dry out and won’t stick to your nails as easily.

I followed the directions on the insert, but I added a top coat which makes for a shinier finish and adds extra protection. The hardest part of application is fitting the strip on to the cuticle line. If, like me, you have small nails you might have to trim off some of the excess around your nail bed, but for the most part I was surprised at how easily these fit on my nails. Just remember to press down and smooth out any air bubbles. Also note that application can be a bit messy due to the discarded bits of polish getting everywhere, as you can see here:

…but it’s worth it because they’re really f-ing cute!! I couldn’t stop looking at my nails and have received many compliments. I especially like this pattern (Check it Out), because the black and white make it sort of (a crazy) neutral as compared to some of the other patterns available.


I don’t see why you would buy these in the solid colors, you might as well just use regular polish, the patterns are pretty awesome if you love nail art though. Apparently they can last up to 10 days, but I may be harder on my nails than anyone on the planet so as you can see from this picture by Tuesday morning (I applied them Thursday night) they’ve started cracking and chipping.

I will be buying these in more patterns, especially when there is a promo like buy one get one half off at CVS. They sell out quick though, so when you see them be sure to snap them up, they’re definitely worth a try!

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Spring Cleaning

It’s officially Spring, April showers and all. Over the weekend I faced the fact that my bedroom didn’t look like it was inhabited by humans—mountain goats maybe, but definitely not rational people. Piles of dirty laundry, unpacked suitcases, and general clutter had taken over, it was time to put an end to it. So I rolled up my sleeves, opened my windows, and decided to engage in the ancient tradition of spring cleaning.

There’s something satisfying about weeding through your belongings, throwing a bunch of them out, and then rearranging what’s left. It leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and a firm resolution to keep up the cleanliness for good. My resolution usually breaks after about a week, but it’s nice while it lasts.

There are tons of articles in magazines about making your belongings easily accessible and adorably tidy. They make it look so easy with the colored containers and compartmented trays. Unfortunately I hate putting things away, I like to have all my things out so I can see them or I forget I have them. The problem is space, there just isn’t enough of it, and that’s why I end up with piles of crap everywhere.

I know there are people who keep all their stuff in good order, who don’t run around jamming things in closets when they’re expecting company or panicking that said guests might show up early and catch them in the midst of a cleaning hysteria. Sadly I’m not one of those people. I’m the person with way to many tchotchkes covered in dust who won’t let friends anywhere near my bedroom when they come visit (where do you think I throw all the junk from the rest of the house?).

I’m envious of those who keep pristine households (like the ones seen in these lovely pictures, all courtesy of that bastion of organized perfection to which I aspire, Real Simple), but maybe they miss out on the catharsis that spring cleaning can bring. You need to have a lot to organize in order to feel the sense of renewal that comes with finding a place for it. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself when my room reverts back to a mess and it’s time to clean it again.

At the moment I’m still riding a high from organizing the mound of makeup that has been piling up on my dresser for months. I took some tips from Real Simple and used a variety of containers to arrange things:

Ok, so it’s not Real Simple caliber, (I could never have that much white in my house anyway, I stain everything) but I really tried! Here’s the breakdown:

I am going to put a lot of effort into keeping things clean this time, for real—unless I’m in a rush. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyone else attempting to reorganize themselves in some way this spring? Share your tips!

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A Review: Tarte 8th World Wonder Collection from QVC

One day I will do a full post on the ridiculous yet mesmerizing phenomenon that is QVC, but for today I’m just going to review this Tarte collection that I took a gamble and splurged on since I needed a new powder brush anyway. QVC actually has some awesome makeup deals in case you didn’t know. This whole collection was available for pre-order at $48.36, the blush is $25 at Sephora and the mascara is $19, so that’s almost the whole cost right there. Now the price is up to $52.74, I’m not sure how much the cost will go up and when they’ll get in more stock, but even at $60 this collection is a great value.

Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 with brush

I haven’t worn real foundation in years, I use MACs studio finish concealer and blend it with moisturizer instead. The reason for this is I’m really pale and everything looks orange on me (even tinted moisturizers with names like “extra light”) so I was surprised this foundation actually matches my skin. Maybe because Maureen Kelly is as pale as I am, but that also means all these shades of foundation run light. Hopefully they’ll add more shades, because even the darkest doesn’t look very dark. Also the brush is really soft and fluffy.

Amazonian clay 12-hour wear powder blush in Glisten

I’m very happy with this blush, it’s kind of like Nars Orgasm but smoother. It’s not cakey like powder blushes can be sometimes. It is very pigmented so try not to layer it on. It also has shimmer, so if you prefer a matte look, it might not be for you.

Pure Maracuja oil sample

I’m loving this oil, and not just because I like saying the name “Maracuja”. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and it makes skin look hydrated and healthy without looking greasy.

Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette

This eyeshadow quad is a little flimsy, I kept trying to pull the plastic off the mirror until I realized it’s just a really crappy mirror. The shadows are nice and smooth, but definitely need to be blended with attention. Some of the reviews on QVC complain that these shadows (and the blush) are too pigmented, but you can’t blame the product if you don’t use it right. Blend, my friends—that is the most overlooked makeup “secret” of all and it’s very easy to do. The more pigment a product has the more use you can get out of it in the long run, just use it in moderation.

Lights, Camera, Lashes! volumizing mascara in Black

While I think this mascara is very nice and was happy to get it with this set, I think my trusty drugstore brands (Covergirl, Maybelline) get the job done just as well.

Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum

I was surprised that this liner went on smoothly, stayed put all day, and still came off easily at night. It’s a plummy, brownish-gold color, and it doesn’t have glitter flecks or anything.

Pure Optic moisturizing lip gloss in Golden Pink

This gloss on the other hand is very glittery. In fact it’s mostly just glitter with a teensy bit of a pink hue. I’m not a gloss person, but this one isn’t as sticky as others and also has a fresh minty scent.

And it all comes in this purple woven bag!

Here’s the whole look:

Can I just say, taking pictures of yourself without looking like an ass is really hard. There are so many women out there who do this for their makeup blogs all the time and god bless them, but I don’t know how they do it. I always have to crop out my messy house and sometimes I end up with some really scary wide-angle shots. Anyway, I do it for you readers, I want you to see what the makeup looks like on a real person. If I could use my cats, I would, but they’re kind of busy.

While I’m on the subject of embarrassing pictures of myself and also cats…guess who got to meet Hello Kitty at Sephora last week? Yeah, It was me and she totally grabbed me in a bear hug and I loved every second of it!

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Crazy for Coral

Now that the clocks have jumped forward and the sun sticks around until 7pm, it seems like those breezy, warm, days are just around the corner. I’m currently on the lookout for a bridesmaid dress in the season’s hottest color—coral, so I have that shade on the brain right now. In anticipation of spring, lets look at some pretty coral makeup that will give you that lovely orange glow—not like self tanner, more like you finally got the chance to get out in the spring sunshine.

Nars Illuminator in Orgasm, $29

I received this illuminator in my February Birchbox and it gives a very subtle peachy glow on cheekbones. I think it probably works best on warmer skin-tones.

Mac Eyeshadow in Paradisco $14.50

A beautiful shimmery coral with gold undertones, this shadow works even on women without warm or tanned skin-tones.

Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Tipsy $25

I have one of these coming in the mail from QVC (more on that later), but the colors look beautiful in Sephora, especially this bright coral.

Dior Addict Lip Polish in Glow Expert $30

If you want a juicy, peachy glow without being sticky, this coral gloss is perfect, but pricey.

Essie Nail Polish in Haute as Hello, $8

One of my favorite Essie polishes, this color just feels happy and warm, it’s a real pick-me-up for your finger tips.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Wild Coral, $24

If you prefer lipstick to gloss this new coral from Estee Lauder will deliver color that is both bright and long lasting.

I just finished up this commission for a bridal box featuring coral flowers too:

And if you’re still not sold on coral, here is a polyvore collage featuring pretty things to get you excited for spring:

60s Coral, Cream and Gold by justinez featuring vintage style earrings

River Island lace dress
45 GBP - riverisland.com

Smocked dress
$98 - topshop.com

Chiffon blouse
18 GBP - desireclothing.co.uk

Beyond The Valley tweed mini skirt
149 GBP - farfetch.com

Marc Jacobs short short
558 GBP - matchesfashion.com

TopShop high heels
$135 - topshop.com

Sigerson Morrison slip on flat
$213 - theoutnet.com

Love Moschino shoulder strap bag
132 GBP - my-wardrobe.com

Marc by marc jacobs tote
200 GBP - matchesfashion.com

Kate Spade chain necklace
$195 - zappos.com

Tinley Road flower ring
$22 - piperlime.gap.com

House of Harlow 1960 gold bracelet
$125 - shopthetrendboutique.com

Chandelier necklace
$24 - modcloth.com

Vintage style earring
$12 - modcloth.com

TopShop woven scarve
$32 - topshop.com

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Summer Cravings

Some say January is the worst month of the year, with the post holiday letdown and freezing temperatures. February is just as bad, but at least has the decency to be shorter than other months. Then we have March, which I find the cruelest of all. March teases you into believing it’s spring. the sun sets later, the stores are full of pastel candy, and you keep getting e-mails about sandals and bathing suit sales. And then, just when you’re thinking winter is done, the assault of cold air outside snaps you out of your warm weather delusions.

Recently, I’ve been fantasizing past the spring and have jumped full force into daydreams of summer. You can probably expect more posts in which I complain about the weather and long for the joys of springtime. Also, once it’s summer you can bet I’ll be whining that it’s too hot. Anyway, just for now, here’s what I’ve been pining for these last few weeks:

I am so sick of dry cracking skin, every time I wash my hands all the moisturize seems to disappear leaving me with scary mummy hands and the need to slather on gloppy expensive creams. The same goes for my face, I can’t use soaps or scrubs at all, they reduce me to an ugly flaking mess. I long for the humid days of July when I can once again be lazy and achieve a dewy glow without having to spend time and money dosing myself in products. Sure, I’ll complain about my hair frizzing up constantly, but right now, unruly hair seems like a reasonable trade-off for glowing skin.

There are people who always wear shoes, even in the house, they wake up in the morning and even if they’re not going anywhere they put on shoes—it amazes me! My husband is one of those people, he thinks I’m the crazy one because I never wear shoes inside. As soon as I walk in the door I have to get those things off my feet immediately. If it weren’t considered taboo by society I would walk around barefoot all the time (and yes, I’ve stepped in glass enough to know this is not a good idea). I hate having my poor feet trapped inside heavy socks and constricting footwear all winter long, toes want to be free!

When it’s finally warm enough to liberate my trotters, the first place they’ll be going is into the sand. It’s not a far walk, just a block away actually, I could go right now. Unfortunately I would have to wear my parka and would probably catch frostbite and then be sad about it. Boo March.

Don’t get me wrong, I love apples, they might just be the most versatile of fruits. Apple pie, apple crisp, apple butter, apple strudel, apples with peanut butter—dear god please someone give me some strawberries! It’s so much easier to eat healthy fruit in the summer when it’s in season and delicious. I bought strawberries the other day and half of them were mushy and rotten after a day, then I felt guilty for buying fruit out-of-season and killing the environment all because I’m impatient. I’ll go back to apples for another couple of months and continue to daydream about strawberries, watermelons and avocados (especially when they’ve been smashed into a delicious bowl of guacamole).

Come to think of it, I’ve been craving summer food in general. Not only fruit, but BBQ, hamburgers, chicken wings, salads and being able to eat outdoors. I’m sick of soups and stews, and being too cold all the time to eat anything that isn’t piping hot. I can’t even tell you about the lustful cravings I’ve been having for ice cream recently. I have to remind myself that enjoying a bowl of creamy cold goodness will just force me to add yet another layer of fleece to my already bundled, freezing body.

Obviously you can wear bright nail polish anytime of year, but for some reason it just feels better to wear it in warm weather. Somehow whenever I wear bright pink polish in the winter I feel like I’m lying to myself. This season the beauty world is telling us that darker polishes are in for spring—like Chanel’s black pearl, but I’m not buying it. Give me brights (especially on my toes at the beach) and I’m a happy girl. Save the black pearls for Fall, or for Liz Taylor—since they’ve always brought her luck.

I’m not only craving flowers, but green grass and budding branches. The other day in the supermarket I found myself staring longingly at the flower section, which was kind of embarrassing. I was literally stopped in my tracks by a bouquet of zinnias. This time of year I find myself trying to remember what the trees look like with leaves and what it feels like to go outside without being wrapped in down. I can’t wait for the first crocuses and daffodils to poke their heads out of the dirt. They’ll be a true sign that winter is over and summer, dewy skin tasty food and all, is finally on its way.

Anyone else having summer cravings? Let’s hear ‘em.

 

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