Sunday, December 30, 2012

Playing with Sugarpill

Krampus Santa was kind to me and put Sugarpill eyeshadows under my religiously unaffiliated tree! I was gifted loose eyeshadows in Goldilux and Darling. For those who haven't had the pleasure of hearing about the sugarpill brand I highly suggest you get your arse to the Sugarpill Cosmetics website right now. They specialize in vibrant vegan cruelty-free eyeshadows.
Goldilux has been raved about as the perfect gold eyeshadow. After trying a few other gold colors, I was not displeased. Goldilux has the perfect balance of metallic, bright, and sparkly. For those who want a more vivid color with this I suggest applying wet. Dry is more wearable for those who want a pared down nuanced or natural look. My personal preference while experimenting with Goldilux was a more vivid look. (As you can see in the photos.)
Wearing goldilux

Close up of Goldilux on the lids
Darling is a vibrant turquoise-green shade with plenty of green shimmer. I paired this with Urban Decay's narcotic on the lid, with Darling on the crease.
Darling on the crease

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Return of the Side Bun!

Devin, author at the fansite Fifty Shades of Devin Gray and adorable little sister of mine rocked the side bun after seeing my last post on the hairstyle.
Devin of Fifty Shades of Devin Gray
Rock on little sister, rock on. Anyone else try a new incarnation of the bun?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Current Hair Style Obsession

Take the chic, sometimes even dated and school marmish bun, smash together the edginess of the 80stastic side ponytail, and you've got the surprisingly fashionable side bun.
What's better about this style? Even a styling novice can do it. Put your hair in a side ponytail, twist the rest of your hair, coil into a bun, and fasten with a slew of bobby pins.My version didn't even require product!
Here's where I'm supposed to tell you that this style is just perfect for holiday parties.But I'm not.
Reppin the side bun

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beautiful Individual of the Week: Kimya Dawson

“Last night sergio valenti customized some denim for me
Special for my special shape, they fit me perfectly
Now I've got this new ensemble, certain circles I'm a bombshell
But a guardian anglo keeps saying "negro please" “

One time half of The Moldy Peaches and solo anti-folk maven Kimya Dawson is one of my inspirations for unabashed self expression.  She is a unique entity all her own, and she’s never apologized or sought to change that. The lyrics in songs like “5 Years” (You can listen to the song clip at the end of this post.) show both her pride and shame at not fitting a cookie cutter beauty, racial, or gender mold. Some may rebuff the "shame" remark. But stop and think about it a minute. How many women, transgender, minority, or just plain different people feel ashamed about who they are? I include myself in this as a strange, quirky girl who seldom fit(s) in anywhere. One of the biggest manifestations of that on my part was hating myself as I am looks-wise. I think a lot of people go through that. Whether it's based on impossible societal beauty standards shoved down our throats in myriad ways I'll leave for another post. But I remember feeling shame for being who I am "Maybe I should just conform to something I'm not because it will make other people less uncomfortable." I'd always rebuke myself later, because despite all the mental noise at the core I liked who I was and others who were strong enough to just be themselves with no apologies. The "ugly duckling"/grass is greener is always in the subconscious, but there is an evolution that happens when you realize beauty has a thousand onion layers.
"5 years" and Kimya Dawson's body of work really encompasses that sentiment as a whole.

Click here for a clip of "5 Years".

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Friday's FOTD and a Rare Moment Where I Covet Designer

Well, here was Friday's FOTD (face of the day for those who aren't acronym savvy.)

Products used: Mac's Diva lipstick, Mac's kitchmas on the lids, Lime Crime's vixen on the crease of the eyes.

I recently saw a Chictopia post with a designer dress I fell in love with. High end designer is not my flavor. Most of it is emblazoned with names and insignia's that make you pay a huge price tag for advertising a brand. LAME. The dress I saw on Chictopia pulled at my inner baroque heartstrings. Black dress. Floral and cherub print. Need I say more? The heartbreak: It's $1500 price tag.
The dress in question.

*Dolce and Gabbana image was taken from this site.

Monday, August 20, 2012

High End Makeup Review: Urban Decay Lipsticks

Urban Decay recently had another one of their fantastic sales. This is about the only time I can afford to get my hands on Urban Decay products. I've always wanted to try their lipsticks to compare it to other brands, and I was finally able to afford to do that with this sale. (The markdown ended up being almost 1/3 of the price!) Anyway, I scored 2 tubes in Gash and Apocalypse. I know they've been out there for a while seasoned makeup junkies, but hey, they're new to me.
The first thing you have to notice is the badass packaging! As many people know, the lipstick tubes feature daggers on the end. Bitchin guitar solo ensues. Some reviewers find them to be cumbersome, but the inner gothling in me loves it.
Dolly's daggers.
Wearing Gash.
Wearing Apocalypse.
Right off I noticed that the colors are more sheer when applied compared to the richly pigmented Mac and even the lower end drugstore brands like Wet N Wild's Megalasts . For those who are a little worried about how wearable the lipsticks are, this is definitely a positive. For people like me, who go for a more bold color it simply means you'll have to layer it on for the pigmentation you desire. I did this, and I will say that it doesn't clump up or appear caked on. Going on it does have a moisturized feel to it that Mac does not. It has more staying power than a lot of lipsticks that go on this easily, but it is by no means long lasting. I chalk this up to the fact that it doesn't leave my lips feeling like I sucked on a lemon. I'm fine with reapplication, but it is something to note with this product. The immidiate smell is a sweet aroma that Urban Decay refers to as "creme caramel." I did note what past reviewers have said about an unbearable taste. I noticed a slight aftertaste with Gash, but nothing ungodly. Apocalypse I didn't have that problem with at all.

Gash went on as a warm red with a cool berry undertone. I wear a lot of brick and vibrant red tones, and this is something that gives a red lip with a little different hue than the norm. Apocalypse is a more brown-red. It has a little dimension to it. In fact, I've noticed that with most Urban Decay products. The shades are vibrant and edgy, but they have a wearability that caters not only to teens and twenty-something's, but also to the older makeup user who bold stock makeup may not flatter.
Gash and Apocalypse.

Overall I give the lipsticks a good review. I'm loving them, but I'm not over the moon. They're great colors with fun packaging. I've noticed a trend in reviewers to want a lipstick to be a magical tube of wonder that meets every need. People seem to want them to have fantastic color payoff, stay in place, last all day, not dry, flatter, and moisturize all at once. I have never worn a lipstick that can meet all those requirements. The can't check off all the boxes, but they do a lot within the bounds of lipstick.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Drugstore Makeup Review: Wet N Wild’s Megalast Lipstick in Dollhouse Pink

Hello Lovely Readers,
I’ve written about Wet N Wild’s Megalast lipsticks in the past. It’s a great cheapie version of a lot of the high end ultra pigmented brands. ($1.99 versus $18+ for higher end Macs, etc) Well, I was perusing my local drugstore when I happily discovered a new shockingly pink shade: Dollhouse Pink. It’s a matte violet-pink with blue undertones. Worn it looks almost neon. There have been quite a few shockingly pink shades- think of Viva Glam’s Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga inspired shades, the Hello Kitty inspired shades.
Wearing Dollhouse Pink

It doesn’t seem to be quite as drying as the red shades. But I also noticed that it doesn’t have the staying power of the other Megalast’s I’ve tried. It still has a little bit of staying power, but you don’t have to steal wool it off your lips at night. Overall, I’m in friggin love with this color.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Face Of The Day: Toofaced Tricolor Eyeshadow

Products used: Yellow gold, purple, emerald green from Toofaced's World Domination Tour box.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fun with Too Faced

I dipped into THE BOX OF GOODIES again to find a lovely Too Faced palette. It's the Too Faced World Domination Tour All Access Backstage Beauty Collection box to be precise. I believe this little darling may be discontinued.
My inner 5 year old girl loves the fact that this also converts into a music box.  

 But I digress. I decided to go with a purple and gold look. The gold in this set was a very mellow gold, and the purple a blue-violet that is definitely on the cooler side of the color spectrum. I also paired this with the blush included in the set.

  Ta daaa!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tiny Little Hearts

Here is a fun makeup look I did for Saint Valentine. I had work, so I was able to be slightly festive, but couldn't go over the top.

What's on my face:
- Stila tinted mositurizer
-Maybelline liquid eyeliner
- From The Balm and the Beautiful palette: The Neighbor on lid (a mellow nude-gold), Bad Boy (a rich brown with red sparkle) on crease. This was one of the palette's from the Big Box O' Makeup that was gifted to me. Click the link to read about it.
- Aromaleigh's Eros for the red of the heart, which is a nice matte coral-red color.

Apologies for a lack of more extensive pictures of the makeup. I was heading out the door for work!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let Me Borrow That Top

I picked up Green Is the New Black at my local used book shop a few weeks ago. While it's filled with a TeenVogue fluff sort of writing style, the guts of it have inspired me to write about ethical fashion. 
I'm a poor girl. I was raised in a paycheck to paycheck household. I now subsist off of a paycheck to paycheck sort of lifestyle. We never had designer clothes growing up. I am luckier than my parents budgetwise because I don't have children to support. (Kiddies can be cute, but they’re a black abyss of moneysuck.) So I can occasionally afford fancy beauty products here and there.  Green Is the New Black addresses fashion and beauty in that posh Sex In The City “Money- isn’t-an-issue-when-it-comes-to-a-fabulous outfit” sort of way. This is alright, but I'd like to speak up for those of us who can pull off personal style on a shoestring budget.  This often means I have to make a choice between cheap affordability vs. quality. Obviously certain cheap items are not made with cruelty-free , ethically sound manufacturing in mind. Sometimes, however, you can budget to get that tube of vegan makeup from an independent business. 

                I have been thinking of where the products I buy come from. Do starving children make them?  Are the resources used to make them going to no longer exist in 20 years? Are they built to break/fall apart in a week? Certainly consumers can’t solve all the worlds problems, but being more aware certainly helps.
Here are a few suggestions that are both budget friendly and ethically sound:

1     Thrifting. Thrift shopping is a full circle ethical activity- Find cool, vintage, lightly used items, which in turn is a mode of recycling. And a lot of places such as Goodwill or Philly Aids Thrift in Philadelphia donate part of the proceeds to the local community or cause of choice.

2       Try to avoid “throw away” clothesThose leggings that fade and pill after 2 washes will only create more trash to throw away in the long run. 

3    Arrange/participate in clothing swaps. These could range from events like Swap-A-Rama-Rama to small parties with friends. It’s a fun and thrifty way to recycle. I have attended a few of these with friends. Not only did I pick up some great things, but they also got me through transitional times when I was unemployed and too poor for even the thrift shops.

4.       Bring Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag. I’m happy to see an upward trend in this at the retail location I work at. When I do receive plastic shopping bags I recycle them.  They can be used to take lunch to work/school in, and work well as wastebasket liners.  The fancier bags can come in handy as gift bags. Even when having things shipped I save the more sturdy boxes and reuse them when shipping things out myself.
6.       Try to avoid overpackaging on beauty supplies. If it does have shiny, sparkly packaging aim for recycled or recyclable bottles. Overpackaged products cause a lot more excess waste. Buying them not only encourages the companies to keep making products with excess packaging, but the manufacture of the packaging releases more chemicals into the atmosphere. Basically, it’ll shrink your personal carbon footprint.

In fact, you should track your carbon footprint RIGHT NOW.

In posting this, I hope you take away that I am not being condescending or pretentious. I'm not thinking about these things because it's kitsch, but rather because it's getting harder to ignore that we humans have a shitty impact on our natural resources. I personally slip up due to factors like convenience and budget. Everyone has times where they make the wrong choices. Being mindful of what you're consuming is half the battle. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Limecrime's Candy Eyed Eyeshadow Primer Review + A Surprise At My Doorstep

Recently a friend of mine had poor luck with Lime Crime's Candy Eyed Eyeshadow Helper. She didn't like it, but offered it to me since I just ran out of my darling Urban Decay Primer Potion  (Read my love letter to UD PP.) and for the benefit of my lovely readers.
I will be posting my personal experience with the Candy Eyed primer, as well as my friends' reasons for not enjoying it. (I am nothing if not fair and balanced!)
The Helper in action.

Now, my friend was used to the Mac primer. I have no experience with it, but I imagine it's similar to UD as I was told it has a similar foundation-like consistency. Her objections were that Lime Crime's primer was too glue-like, and it was difficult to blend. Taking her advice into consideration, I applied a very small amount to my eyelids when I tried this out. I also applied it ONLY to the area I wanted eyeshadow to adhere. I didn't seem to experience any problems using this method. I didn't try and do too much blending as I was applying only one color. The color I applied, Aromaleigh's "fragile charms" mineral eyeshadow, definitely popped in a way I hadn't seen before. The primer made the subtle purple shimmer in the shadow pop. It stayed on through an entire shift at work lifting heavy things, bending, moving, and other activities that tend to smudge eye makeup.
Primed eye

Overall, I enjoyed this product. The packaging is adorable, it lasts throughout the day, and it extends the wear of eyeshadow. If you are vigilant about overuse, and you want a product that makes eyeshadow stay PUT then I would recommend it.

Some of you may be wondering what the "surprise at my doorstep" bit was about in the title of this post. Well, I recently connected with the author of the Becoming That Woman blog. We chatted about societal beauty standards, how we like to defy them, and of course shiny pretty things that go on our faces. It turns out she was cleaning house of a few palettes that she kindly offered to me. Last night after work I came home to a HUGE FRIGGIN BOX OF MAKEUP. Palettes, brushes, the works. Thank you Gwen! I look forward to sharing my reviews of everything. This might take a while...
It's okay. I know you envy my box.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trend That I Loathe: Fringe Boots

I want to put a disclaimer on this post to say that I don't discourage anyone's personal style. One person's cup of tea is another's sewer water.
Now that this is out of the way, I have to say that most "trends" bother me on a soul level. Newness and inventiveness is wonderful. Buying into it with triple and quadruple digit pricetags because it's a trend, however, is not. This is especially true when the trend itself is an utter eyesore. (See trucker hats, crocks, uggs.)
Polyvore alerted me today of a new trend. Something almost worse than trucker hats. That would be the fringe boot trend. WHY? Do people actually pay top dollar to make themselves look like they should be deer hunting with a bow and arrow?
If it's a part of a motifed costume I can understand it. A little. If I squint.
Exhibit A:

Maison Martin Margiela ankle booties

Maison Martin Margiela ankle booties   These boots retail at Bergdorf Goodman for $895.

The above pictured boots aren't even boots with a little fringe on the edge, they are boots made of fringe! It's a mutated gladiator sandal that's hit a new low on the ugly ladder.
How about it, dear readers? What trend absolutely makes you want to stab yourself in the eye with a spork?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bjork, My Eccentric Style Muse

When most people think of  (or google) "style" and "Bjork" one incident comes to mind. The swan dress. In one fell swoop Bjork's choice of dress made her the darling of vapid worst dressed lists far and wide. I had always been fascinated by her choice of fashion. The swan dress did nothing but amplify my intrigue.Who the hell else would have the (figurative) balls to pull something like that off?

For this and myriad other reasons Bjork has been a personal style goddess of mine. I have never sought to copy her fashions, but rather her independent fashion sense. She is an artist, and that carries over into how she adorns herself. She doesn't follow the "rules" of Hollywood or The Runway. From making her own clothes to styling her eyebrows in imaginative ways. She made a fan of Steve Mcqueen, who she interviewed for a fashion magazine years ago. The paper doll making website even features her. And yes, the swan dress is in her virtual wardrobe.
My Bjork star doll.

I've loved her since seeing her clad in a wool sweater on the cover of Debut. I was captivated by eclectic music videos where she dressed as a starlet, a goddess, a bear, a nouveau mod. She has inspired me to follow the cues of my own loud personality with loud fashion. I never sought to find a swan dress of my own, but rather express myself through clothing and makeup choice. What is the Aesop's fable here? Life IS an art project. So go ahead, put ribbons and flowers in your hair, wear different colored shoelaces, adorn your eyes with blood red eyeshadow and glued on jewels. (I may have done all of these things.)

And here I am in all my flamboyant beauty circa early 2011.
The most iconic thing about Bjork's style is the fact that she throws caution and beauty standards to the wind. When she strips from the costumes and gowns she still retains her beauty, but it isn't something that can be manufactured by a plastic surgeon or an airbrush. She's simply beautiful for the entity that she is.