Tag Archives: makeup

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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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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Oscar Beauties

I, like many, watch the Oscars for the clothes. If everyone was wearing jeans and sneakers it just wouldn’t be such a big deal. It’s the gowns, the hair, and the insanely expensive jewelry that make it worth watching. Those displays of glamour that most of us will never get to touch in our lifetimes so we live them vicariously through celebrities instead.

The whole idea of the Oscars is way overblown, it’s great that celebrities have awards ceremonies just like many other professions do, but the seriousness with which the show is presented makes the event seem a touch too self-congratulatory. For a show that is celebrating entertainment it never comes off as light and fun, it’s aggrandized and phony, plus there’s something incredibly dated about it. Obviously the Academy knows this and therefore chose “young and hip” actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco to host this year. Unfortunately it didn’t really work so well.

The result was Hathaway and Franco appearing uncomfortable with the grandness of the show—Anne Hathaway literally seemed like she was playing dress up and trying a bit too hard (though who could blame her?), and Franco’s way of dealing with the pressure was to act totally bored. The set, the overly dramatic music, and the cheesy writing all seem to stay the same year after year. You would think this time around with the push to appeal to younger viewers they would have changed things up aside from just the hosts. It’s weird because if the Oscars are really just an award show to celebrate achievements in the field of cinema, why do they need to appeal to anyone?

Anyway, like I said, I tune in for the clothes. The show itself drags on forever and always seems disappointing because nothing all that interesting happens. As awards shows go, it’s the biggest, but it’s also the most stuck-up which means all the stars are nervous and on their best behavior, which makes things boring. Pretty dresses however, are always fun to look at. This year my favorite by far was Mila Kunis in Elie Saab, I’m a sucker for purple. I like it when people take risks so I might be in the minority of people who loved Cate Balnchett’s Givenchy gown as well. Here are some other things I liked:

Michelle Williams and her simple but pretty hair, makeup, and earrings. She always gets it right, but also manages to keep things interesting at the same time.

Hailee Steinfeld’s youthful makeup, and her eyebrows which were thankfully left alone rather than plucked into oblivion leaving her looking as beautiful and happy as any 14-year-old at the Oscars should be.

I think it’s so funny when people on E! or other red carpet fashion round-ups make fun of Helena Bonham Carter because obviously she doesn’t give two shits what any of them think and she just wears what she wants. How can you not love that? I love her hair, her fan, her husband, and the way she sticks to her personal style no matter what.

I didn’t love Nicole Kidman’s dress, but I did love her big diamond necklace from Fred Leighton.
Also wasn’t a fan of Reese Witherspoon’s 90s prom looking black-and-white dress, but I did quite like her big sixties hair.
Anne Hathaway showed once again that she is at heart a (sometimes awkward) musical theater geek, but her Lanvin tuxedo was cute, and I especially like her custom Swarovski crystal covered heels.
Let’s hear it, who wore your favorite gowns, hair, or accessories?

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Stay Warm, Order Stuff Online

First things first, I am pleased to announce that I am now the happy owner of the purse I’ve been guiltily obsessing over. I bought it through the site bags bonanza which I emphatically recommend (just make sure you check out the seller ratings and ask for photos to make sure the bag is in good condition). This bag (the Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Clutch) lists for $295 and up, I saved my pennies and bought it for $200, which makes the purchase all the sweeter.

Last week I was also lucky enough to receive my free polish from the Zoya facebook giveaway. I had never tried Zoya’s polishes before so when Sara from makeshiftvanity told me that if they reached 20,000 fans on facebook they would give each fan 3 free bottles of polish (you got to choose the colors too!), I was psyched. It took a while, but they were worth the wait:

Valerie is my favorite, it’s a shimmery deep burgundy with flecks of gold and bright red glitter. The coverage is awesome, you could definitely get away with just one coat with this polish.

Malia is a creamy mid-toned purple I like it a lot, too bad it’s almost identical to a color I already have—OPI’s It’s a Grape Fit.

Dea is a chocolaty brown, it’s sort of the color of  light brown M&Ms (remember those?). It’s a nice color, but it reminds me of the 90s when everything was “mocha” colored which looked awful on me, I like my polishes brighter!

Julieanne is a really pretty, dark glitter polish, the coverage isn’t as good as Valerie, but after a couple of layers the deep bluish purple and the gold flecks look gorgeous.

Um, I’m not sure why I got four polishes (Dea was a throw-in) maybe they always do that or maybe it was an accident. I’m not complaining about it, nor am I sending it back! Thanks Zoya!

They also sent me a sampler of their color spoons which you can place over your nail to get an idea of the shade. I found myself more focused on the pointy tear-drop shape of the spoon than on the colors—but it’s a cool idea.

For all you Tarte cosmetics fans out there if you don’t already know, QVC carries a lot of Tarte products. Some of them are really discounted and some are full price which I don’t really understand, but there are definitely some deals to be found. I happen to be obsessed with the lipsurgence lip stains, and wish I had known QVC was selling them at a discount. Here is a set of 3 for $38, not bad at all.

And to cheer you up on this cold, snowy, wet January day here are two adorable seal pups:

Unfortunately both the Ringed Seal and the Harp seal can’t live without the arctic ice which is melting, so that sucks. Global warming is real people. Save the fuzzy animals, and the Narwhals and Belugas too! Sorry to be a downer, I’ve been watching too much PBS.

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My First Birchbox Has Arrived!

My first Birchbox couldn’t have chosen a better day to appear. I was feeling cold and annoyed at the icy, cold, disgusting, weather outside, so that fuchsia box in the mail was like a little bit of sunshine for me.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of the Birchbox you can get more information at their website. Basically you pay $10 a month (or $110 a year) and each month you receive a cute box of deluxe samples. Obviously if you’re not into products, it seems silly to spend over $100 a year on boxes full of stuff you might never use, but if you’re a product junkie, this might be perfect for you. I signed up in December and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first Birchbox for the last week, so let’s take a look at what I found.

The box itself is packaged very cute, when you receive it, you don’t feel like you’re getting a throwaway box full of cheap samples, it feels like a well thought-out gift. It comes with a card explaining all the featured products and why each was chosen for the box. This specific package has a sort of “new year, new you” theme, the products inside are meant to be rejuvenating and refreshing. Here’s the breakdown:

Blow Up Daily Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

I have a lot of hair, so it took almost the full bottles of each of these samples to get my head properly washed and conditioned. That being said, my hair does feel nice and smooth and the smell is also pleasing. Is there an increase in volume? Not noticeably.

Ahava, Dermud Intensive Nourishing Hand Cream

I have to say this hand cream is really nice, it dissolves very quickly, really moisturizes and a little goes a long way. It also has an interesting but unobtrusive natural smell that I personally like.

myfaceworks, Sheet Mask

This mask is a piece of cloth drenched in nourishing liquid. You’re supposed to lay down for 15-20 minutes when you wear it since it might drip, and also because the people you live with might run screaming from the house particularly if they’re scared of Michael Meyers or Leatherface—I’m serious, I scared myself in the mirror several times—yikes!

It does feel refreshing, but these are pretty pricey so I don’t know if I would ever buy them.  It’ nice that you just put it on and then pull the whole thing off in once piece without having to deal with crumbling mud or anything.

Serge Lutens, L’Eau

I really don’t like this perfume, but I think all women have very different tastes in scents, so it depends on the individual. This is a “fresh” scent that reminds me a lot of Clinique’s Lucky, but it’s just not for me.

Zhenea’s Gypsy Tea

I’m usually not a tea drinker, but this light and spicy Chai is really lovely, as is the tin it comes in. Perfect on a cold January day, the sample tin contains 5 tea bags.

And that’s it!

My main concern when I joined Birchbox was that the size of the samples wasn’t going to be worth it, but I’m not disappointed. I was worried they would be like the samples they give you in department stores that come in paper sleeves and can’t be resealed for multiple use, but aside from the face mask all these products can be used more than once. Since the one face mask alone retails for 9$ the whole thing seems like a pretty decent value.

I’m hoping that in the coming months there are more makeup products to play with. I have a feeling there will be some months that are amazing and others that fall short, but you can’t please everyone all the time right? So far I think that for the price, and the fun of getting the cute package delivered to your door, Birchbox is worth it if you love cosmetics.

Anyone else trying Birchbox? Let me know what you think!

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Beauty in the Movies: The Devil Wears Prada

I had a job interview this week, and on my way I couldn’t help thinking of The Devil Wears Prada. That might sound silly, but it was reassuring to know that even if the interview went badly, it couldn’t possibly be as bad as finding Miranda Priestly (or Anna Wintour) sitting at that desk across from you.

The Devil Wears Prada is the story of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a Midwesterner in New York, fresh out of college and desperate for experience. Andy wants to be a journalist, but she finds herself at the world’s top fashion magazine, Runway, interviewing to be the assistant of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), a job a thousand girls would kill for. Miranda isn’t just an editor at a fashion magazine, she is the voice of fashion. Her word is the last word, and all other opinions be damned. She is cold, brutal, and unsympathetic, but also elegant, successful and respected beyond compare.

Miranda hires Andy despite her “frumpy” (ahem, I have the j. crew coat she wears in the opening sequence—it’s cute, ok?) appearance in the hopes that she is different from the fashion obsessed girls who usually land the job. While Andy is up for the challenge, the demands of her new position put her relationship with her family, best friend (Tracie Thoms), and boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) into jeopardy. Andy has to choose what’s important to her, but in the process of self discovery there’s also a bunch of montages, a few Madonna songs, a makeover, and some great designer clothes.

This is not the most unpredictable film, but it certainly has its charms, most specifically Meryl Streep’s perfectly frightening portrayal of Miranda. It’s hard to take your eyes off her, everything from the way she enunciates her words, to the cruel flicker in her eyes while torturing Andy with impossible tasks, further propels the believability of her character. Miranda Priestly makes Working Girl‘s Catherine Parker look like a whiny, disheveled brat. Rumor has it the character was based on Anna Wintour, the notoriously steely editor-in-chief of American Vogue, but Streep creates her own Miranda and delivers a woman who is both vicious and awe-inspiring in her approach to life and business.

Emily Blunt is fantastic and funny as Miranda’s other assistant (the 1st assistant), she is the stand-out among the supporting cast and steals all her scenes right out from under Anne Hathaway. Stanley Tucci is also charming, while stereotypical as Nigel Runway’s Art director who is adored by both Miranda and Andy. Simon Baker plays a roguish writer and Valentino and Giselle (proving she shouldn’t quit her day job) make appearances as well.


Most people have had a boss or supervisor whom they’ve found less than pleasing, but this film takes it to new levels. Miranda’s treatment of Andy could be seen as character building—a tough love of sorts, after all she does learn a lot and come out on top in many ways. Unfortunately the ugly side of that coin is that her sadistic treatment virtually ruins Andy’s life, and as we learn, Miranda’s personal life isn’t all roses and sunshine either, leading the viewer to believe that great success comes only with great sacrifice. It’s an issue I wish the movie explored a bit more, because it feels like we’re meant to believe Miranda must be evil in order to be respected, which forgives her cruelty just a tad too much. There is too much of a shine put on everything in this film and the minute you think you might get to look deeper, you’re placated by pretty clothes, which is fine and can be really enjoyable, but it doesn’t make you think too hard either.

The Devil Wear Prada is a fun, entertaining, possibly unrealistic look at the fashion world. It’s also a coming of age film, and a film about figuring out who you want to be as a professional and as a person—but most of all it’s about really pretty clothes, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana and Patricia Field’s beautiful styling. I’d take a film like this over a bland rom-com with Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl any day, because while it might not be groundbreaking, it’s about something other than just men and cliches. Don’t expect to be surprised by the twisting plot or unconventional characters, just get lost in the brilliance of Meryl Streep and the beauty of Chanel while you sit back and wish you could afford designer clothes.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada by justinez featuring peep toe shoes

PAUW SS10/42330 009 COTTON –
172 GBP – farfetch.com
Wrap blouses »

Trimmed Cardigan by D&G Dolce&Gabbana
153 GBP – my-wardrobe.com
Knit cardigans »

Whyred Pasca pleated mini skirt
145 GBP – brownsfashion.com
Pleated mini skirts »

Lanvin T-Strap Sandal
$955 – barneys.com
Peep toe shoes »

Bianca Patent Platform Pump
$735 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Christian louboutin pump »

Christian louboutin shoes BLACK
535 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Peep toe shoes »

Gepa Vitello Daino Tote
$1,650 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Prada handbags »

Marc by marc jacobs bags DARK BLUE
440 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Leather totes »

Susan caplan vintage jewellery GOLD
475 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Gold jewelries »

CA & LOU Bracelet
315 EUR – colette.fr
Couture bracelets »

Chanel Gold Medallion Chain Belt
$900 – cmadeleines.com
Chanel belts »

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