Tag Archives: eyeliner

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?

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under cosmetics

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!

4 Comments

Filed under cosmetics

Beauty Grab-Bag: Makeup Fun-time

I haven’t done a beauty grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d do a quick one today and feature some random things.

Before my wedding when I was desperate for blogging help I put a call out to anyone who could do a guest post or had something to share. Sara over at makeshift vanity sent me these makeup collages she put together for fun—and they’re pretty fun to look at too! Things got so crazy before the wedding that I never got a chance to publish these, but I’m happy to feature them now, thanks for submitting these Sara! I love a good makeup collage, and these backgrounds are awesome.

In other news—If you haven’t heard of it yet, there is this site called Birchbox,  you pay $10 a month (or a flat $110 a year) and they send you a box of 4-5 cosmetic samples, shipping is free and apparently most of the samples are deluxe. Since I was good and forced myself out of Sephora without buying the $30 YSL lipstick last week, I figured I could splurge and spend $10 to try this out for January. Birchbox combines two of my favorite things—sampling new products and getting stuff in the mail! I often find myself wishing stores sold products in sample sizes for just a few dollars so I could try them out before buying the full size. Dealing with scuzzy, over-used testers and crowds at retail stores has gotten really tiring, so I hope this works out. If you don’t like the service you can cancel, it seems too good to be true doesn’t it? I’ll let you know how it goes and share pics in January when the box arrives!

Speaking of getting things in the mail, I participated in my first nail polish swap last week with the above mentioned Sara. I’ve been behind on my nail polish purchases and missed most of the Fall launches, so I was very happy when Sara sent me 4 mini shades from Essie’s fall line—Sew Psyched, Little Brown Dress, Limited Addiction, and In Stitches. I wouldn’t wear these in summer, but they’re great neutrals (except Limited Addiction). Amanda from mandabear did a guest post in October and featured Sew Psyched as one of her favorite picks for fall, and I have to agree with her, it’s a khaki gray-green and a nice alternative to griege. Swaps are fun! I apologize that you have to look at my incredibly dry winter skin, yikes—I really need to start moisturizing.

(from left to right, Little Brown Dress, In Stitches, Sew Psyched, Limited Addiction)

For the requisite cute animal part of the grab-bag, I present you with this cute video of baby otters.

I would like a baby otter for Christmas please, he would fit in with my cats just fine:

7 Comments

Filed under cosmetics

Celebrating 100 Darts

Ok, so I guess it might not be all that exciting for anyone but me, but I was pretty surprised to see this was my 100th post. I thought a little celebration was in order—which really means taking a look back at some highlights from the last 100 posts. I’m sorry if this is like when TV shows have a “new” episode, which is really just clips from old episodes, but I always secretly kind of liked those shows.

My Lovable Lipsticks post still reminds me that I should wear lipstick more often, it can be a great way to change-up your everyday look and try something new. I’ve been planning a blush post for a while, so you can expect that somewhere in the next 100 posts.

My nail polish ode is one of my favorites, it was so much fun to do, and my collection has since been weeded out and replenished, so there will probably be another one of these in the future!

What else happened in the last 100 posts?

I got angry about fashion magazines calling me a fruit:

I talked about popstars:

…and body image/acceptance:

I admitted my deep fear of dressing rooms:

…and my frustration with finding an exercise routine I could stick to:

I got married and talked about it a lot:

I wondered what the hell a “conventional beauty” was:

…and what “good hair” was:

And in June I started the feature ‘Beauty in the Movies’ as a way to explore films that showcase prominent, interesting, female characters (since there unfortunately aren’t too many out there). Since it started, ‘Beauty in the Movies’ (and sometimes on Television) has featured some pretty great films, and I hope to feature many, many more. Check out the 25 ‘Beauty in the Movies’ posts by clicking on the thumbnails below!

 

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the next 100 posts, and I want YOU to help me! Send me your suggestions for posts, or movies, or questions that need answering (I am compiling a Q&A post and hope to do an eyeshadow tutorial once I reformat my persnickety Flip camera) remember—there are no stupid questions!


More than anything I want to thank all of you for reading, without you I don’t think I would have had the motivated to keep writing, so I bestow on all you readers the most magical and wholehearted of thanks and good wishes. This blog has introduced me to some awesome, beautiful, intelligent, amazing people and I can’t wait to hear from more of you! Here’s to all you readers!

Kisses!!

xo

Justine

6 Comments

Filed under acceptance, cosmetics

Beauty Bullseye: Sephora gift-sets

I know I complained about Christmas coming too early last week, but I guess the holiday madness has gotten to me. This seems to happen every year actually, because I just can’t resist gift-sets, all those little samples wrapped up in some sort of cute and usually portable package, they’re just irresistible to me. Sephora is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for cute gifts-sets for friends, family, or maybe even yourself this holiday season.

Let’s take a look at some highlights currently available at Sephora.com, shall we?

Tarte The Jewelry Box  $52

Tarte comes out with a set like this every year, and while I’ve never had one myself (I already own more eyeshadow than any person ever should), I’ve bought them for friends who have loved them. Tarte is a pretty awesome brand, and this is a great value for the price, especially since you get a substantial amount of product (they’re basically full-sized). This year the set comes with a chain necklace that’s a nice bonus even if it’s not the most expensive looking piece of jewelry, but it’s still pretty cute (what can you expect for a throw in gift?).

Sephora by OPI Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set $48

I pretty much get excited just looking at little bottles of anything, but especially nail polish so I had to put this set on the list. The set contains 18 .12 oz bottles of polish from the Sephora by OPI collection, each one works out to under $3 which isn’t bad. The only downside is that you can’t choose which colors you get, so while there are some nice ones in there, there might also be a few that you hate and will never use. It’s the risk you run with any gift-set, but if you have a friend who is a big nail polish fan this is a wonderful gift—and any colors they don’t like, they can always swap with you!

Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Makeup Deluxe Sampler $39

Sephora has a few of these deluxe samplers, they all feature a nice selection of best-selling products in small, but generous sample sizes. These are great if you want to try out some new products before you buy anything full-sized. This sampler makes an excellent holiday gift as it contains Sephora’s most glowy products, including a .17 oz Tarte cheekstain and Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil, perfect if you want to sparkle this season!

Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland $49


A friend of mine was recently raving about Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer, so naturally I have to feature this set which includes both eyeshadow and primer. If you don’t currently wear a primer under your shadow, it’s highly recommended, it will totally change not only the way your shadow looks, but how long it lasts on your lids. This set is cute for any girly-girl and features a bunch of the most popular Too-faced products including their Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk which is one of the only lip glosses I wear (it smells nice and isn’t too sticky).

Sephora Makeup Palette To Go – BCA Edition $15

Isn’t this little pink palette just too cute? At $15 you should buy one for all the women in your life this Christmas, especially since Sephora is giving $1 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for each palette sold. Great for travel, and perfect as a stocking stuffer—you can’t beat the price, 8 eyeshadows, 4 lip glosses, and a blush all for just 15 bucks!

Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster $48

If you know someone who has only recently entered the world of makeup, whether it be a teenage niece or a cosmetic curious friend, this is the perfect gift. I personally wouldn’t buy it if you already have a large makeup collection because there is a lot of stuff in there, but if you want to experiment and are looking for a variety—look no further.  Don’t expect high-caliber products, this set is definitely quantity over quality, but half the fun of makeup is playing with it anyway. With almost 100 shadows and 70 lip-glosses, you’re sure to have fun and find what colors suit you, that way you can invest in some higher quality products next year!

Deluxe Fragrance Sampler For Her $50

Last but not least, if you or someone you know is a fragrance fanatic, this is both a fun and practical gift. Sephora sells this kit for $50 which includes 12 perfume samples, the idea is that you try out each of them and then bring in the voucher included in the kit for a full size bottle of your favorite. As any perfume connoisseur knows, you can’t tell how a scent will interact with your body chemistry by spraying it on one of those paper strips in the store, you need to be able to wear it around for a couple of days before you decide if you really love it. I can’t be alone in having purchased a scent which I thought I loved and was later repulsed by, so I think this is a brilliant idea! The only downside is that last year they had a few different samplers to choose from and this year there is only one.

Anyone have other Sephora (or any cosmetic) gift-set recommendations? I’d love to hear them, got to get started on that Holiday shopping STAT!

6 Comments

Filed under cosmetics

The beauty of choice

I love makeup. I have never had a day where upon waking up I feel annoyed at having to put it on. If that were the case I probably wouldn’t wear any. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t wear so much, or that I only do it for other people, and I resent both those ideas. I don’t see why anyone should feel the need to tell anyone else what they should, or shouldn’t, do with their own face or body. Unless, of course, it’s seriously hurting themselves or others.

For me, makeup has always been a form of expression. In Jr. high school, one of the most miserable periods in my (and probably everyone’s) life, I used to come home, sit in front of my light up mirror, and escape. I could try on different personas, I could be anyone, it was freeing. I hate the idea that for some women wearing make-up isn’t a choice, it’s an obligation. It’s something forced upon us in the name of making ourselves our best, but really all it does is promote sameness, because women aren’t encouraged to wear make up to express themselves, they’re encouraged to wear it to ‘improve’ themselves, to show their best face to the world. That’s fine, but it shouldn’t be a standard. To some people, a woman who doesn’t use cosmetics is equally as shameful as the woman who layers it on. We are always being told, do this not that, this is appropriate, and this is not. But the truth is, what is appropriate for one person may not be for another. We get to make those choices for ourselves.

I have tried every kind of look on my face and I’ve proudly paraded my blue eyeshadow or purple lips wherever I felt necessary. Unfortunately, once I started working in an office I began feeling pressure to conform. As an intern my supervisor once turned to me in horror “your eyeshadow—it’s GREEN!” I suddenly felt called out, and for the duration of my internship I stuck to taupe shadow, I didn’t want to appear unprofessional, I wanted to be taken seriously. Looking back I know now that I shouldn’t have let that get to me, I am who I am, and I like green eyeshadow.

I’ve also worn liquid eyeliner nearly everyday for ten plus years, I love wearing it, it feels like me. I put it on to go to the grocery store, and even sometimes when I am doing an aerobics video at home, all alone. I do it for myself. Once, when I was going through a tough spat and feeling very depressed I stopped wearing it. A close friend of mine sat me down and told me she was concerned “I noticed you haven’t been wearing eyeliner, is everything OK?” it wasn’t. And she was right, it made me realize I was losing myself. Because what you put on your face, it’s really all about you, and how it makes you feel. Nobody should be afraid to wear red lipstick or blush, but nobody should feel like they have to either. It should be an individual choice. If you want to wear bold lips and bold eyes, well damn what Allure says, you go do it! Not because you want to look hot for some guy, or because your friends are doing it, or because it’s like super hot right now, but because YOU want to do it.

There are always going to be people who, for some reason, feel the need to share their opinion of what you choose to do with your body, probably because they have issues with their own image, but it’s your face, and it’s yours to show the world however you decide.  So please ladies (and gentlemen) don’t let anyone ever make you feel otherwise!

5 Comments

Filed under acceptance, cosmetics