Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Darn Bookstore Screwed Up My Book Order

The Cat Book of Cats is NOT on any of my classes' reading lists.

By the way, I have found the Assumption College Bookstore to be unfailingly competent and efficient. I have always received my books promptly and the staff is friendly and helpful. I would like to see a larger "fun" book section - I was spoiled by American's two floor bookstore - but having great customer service makes everything better. High five, Bookstore! (And the cat thanks you for the bonus toy.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Boxed In

Got a little more Illamasqua action for you here, this time centered on their lipstick. I do not have my handy lipstickometer handy, but this one's tricky anyway. The color is EXCELLENT and has almost no bleeding, but the texture is not the best. It's not instantly drying but it's not all that moisturizing either. My sister has been working with me the past couple weeks and this means mornings are a little more chaotic. This means I do less exciting eye makeup and rely on my lipstick more often, like this shade from Illamasqua, called "Box."
I just used a black eyeshadow from the Sephora Colorful Artist Palette to line my upper lid and give it a slight wing and threw some Phenomen'Eyes on my lashes.You can see that I encountered The Eyeliner Hazard, that being transfer to the upper lid. The way my eyes are set makes my lid kind of roll under my orbital bone so I constantly risk this kind of transfer. While it bothers my OCD, I have also learned that people do not generally take note of or care about this. As a general rule, if your makeup gets to a weird place on its own, it tends to do it in a sneaky way that is unlikely to be noticed by strangers. One of the great challenges of exploring more daring makeup is realizing that no one really cares what your makeup looks like beyond "I like it" or "I don't like it," and that judgment is usually linked to color. I have been known to completely remove my makeup and do it over because I didn't like the line I was getting on my liner, so this has been particularly difficult for me to take off the worry list, but the less I worry, the more enjoyment I get out of my makeup.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Wine and Chocolate

My boss gave me an AmEx gift card for Christmas, so what did I do? Went to Sephora, of course. I bought a couple items, including their excellent Sephora brand Colorful Artist Palette. I was eyeballing the sparkly teal that's in there, but I am really skeptical of large-grain glitter shadows and that one looked like it was right on the borderline. As I kept shopping, I found the palette, which included the sparkly teal along with a bunch of other great colors. Total no brainer, particularly given the wide range of colors, from bright to dark, sparkly to matte. I will say that the brush didn't do much for me, but the nice big mirror is terrific.

I am kind of a sucky packer. I know HOW to pack light - and I'm not just talking about figuring out what clothes to pack, I'm talking reading of packing techniques, special folding and bundling of clothes, etc. - but despite the fact that I CAN pack for a four day weekend in a speedy bag (yes), it all tends to go off the rails when I actually get to the DOING of the packing. Items like this provide an incentive to pack light, because I love gadgets almost as much as I love overpacking. You have 15 colors for whatever you need, whether you just need a touch of light color or full dramatic makeup. Bravo, Sephora!
I used the wine color - in fact called "Red Wine" - as an eyeliner, then topped it with "Cocoa Powder" for a smokyish eye in browns. I liked how the eye came out, though the application of Red Wine on my lower waterline did not stick. That's okay - it's not really designed to do that, but I wanted to try it to see. Sometimes eyeshadows do all right as liners.
I probably could have used some lipstick here, but I took this shot right after my coffee and thus all lipstick had rubbed off. I went with the Too Faced Lip of Luxury in Celebrity Meltdown, which continues to be wildly versatile!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Is Barbie Still Relevant?

I bought a couple of Illamasqua lipsticks a while ago and was happy with the intense color and staying power, so I picked up one of their Intense lip glosses in Frenzy, which is neon Barbie pink. The first time I tried it, I didn't like the application that much because I didn't apply evenly, so I shelved it for a while. When something neon pink is staring you in the face, though, you tend to pay attention, so one day I picked it up and slathered it on. The slathering was the key. I hit some kind of critical mass that let it apply smoothly and the results were dramatic and fab...though still very bright.
I figured I would have to pair it with something light on the eyes, so I just popped some Broken Rules, one of my standbys from The She Space, onto my lids with Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes mascara. Even though the situation didn't call for vibrant eye color, not using the more dramatic Givenchy mascara would have left the look a little flat.
Overall I was happy with the look and I got a ton of compliments on the lipcolor. I will be honest with you - it takes relatively little to excite people with makeup, because I don't think people like playing with it or taking risks. People tend to understand their faces as portals for communicating with the world, so changes on their faces can be hard to adjust to. This is why we spend billions on haircolor and wrinkle creams - our faces are some of the most unique parts of us and we want to preserve how they look (plus lots of wrangling with mortality, but that's a separate issue). If you've ever made a major change to your hair color you know that it often takes a couple days to even be able to tell if you like it; hair frames your face and affects your look, and color matters. Makeup is just as affecting, but it's for an even shorter term. My advice is to play frequently, take risks, and give makeup a chance. I love rich colors and I love wearing them on my face. I find that the more dramatic or unusual the color, the more people compliment me on my makeup, so really...what's the risk? The VERY WORST POSSIBLE THING that could happen to you would be looking funky for one day. I have that happen to me on a biannual basis for a week - it's called EXAMS. Certain periods of shady-looking-ness are inevitable in life, so you may as well direct the action, no? You are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul.

Or at least of your makeup stash.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Catwalk Crybabies

This lipstick has been a great find in the Great Hunt for Awesome Red Lipsticks. It's Too Faced's Lip of Luxury lipstick in Celebrity Meltdown. It's a nice rich red with a good dose of sparkly gold in it. The lipstick is nice and smooth and though it does not moisturize as well as the Kat von D Painted Love stuff I mentioned previously, it has great staying power and does a totally acceptable job keeping my lips protected.

*twenty minute break*

I didn't want to give short shrift to the Lip of Luxury, but I wanted to compare, so I made a scale. It runs from rubbing NORTON ABRASIVES FROM WORCESTER, MA (but not anymore) on your face to Carmex, which...dude CARMEX COMES IN A TUBE NOW. Now my life is complete. Carmex is the best moisturizey stuff out there, hands down, and if you want to argue with me I will ignore you mightily and you will just have to sit there in your wrongness being wrong. In any case, on a scale of abrasives (0) to Carmex (10) I give Too Faced's Lip of Luxury an eight.
Eyes were pretty simple. I used this great lilacy-pink from The She Space called Catwalk Crybabies. I just threw some of it on my lid and finished everything with Makeup Forever's Aqua Smoky Lash mascara.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: Illamasqua Hack

When Sephora started carrying Illamasqua, I was immediately drawn to their intense colors and great looks. There's one example in particular that features these insane blue eyelashes that I desperately want to try. My favorite though was this one:
Isn's that glorious? I love the iridescence of it and the way the color migrates across her face. Here's how they tell you to do it:

Prime your skin with a mixture of Satin Primer SPF 20, $28 and Rich Liquid Foundation, $30 for a youthful, dewy finish. To add dimension to the face, smooth Illuminator in Fondle, $18 across cheekbones, up to the temples, and down the bridge of the nose. Follow by buffing Cream Blusher in Lies, $23 onto the apples of cheeks.

Bring a sparkle to your eyes by applying Pure Pigment in Furore, $24 all over eyelids and up to the temples. Add irresistible color with Pure Pigment in Involve, $24 on the ball of the eyelid then contour around the eyes. Create further drama by using Powder Eye Shadow in Moonflower, $20 to highlight the inner corners of the eyes and the brow bone. Finish with flirty False Eye Lashes in 016, $16.

For a glossy pout, layer on Sheer Lipgloss in Tantrum, $19.

So all told, this look will cost you $202. Now, does it have to be used all together? No, and you'll probably break it up, but it seems to me that $202 is just a sconch steep for this look. I decided to try and get the same look for less. I tried it a couple times and unfortunately I did not take a picture of the Going Out, high drama version, but you can see here how I adapted it for work.
My sister gave me this necklace for Christmas maybe five years ago and I love it so much. I still wear it ALL the time.
As you can see, I didn't carry the color out as far. That being said, I really need to start using a better camera, because I tend to lose the subtleties of my makeup regardless of what the look of the day is. This camera has a hard time picking up whites and light shimmer.
I went over to The She Space for some color at $4.50 per jar; I could have gone even cheaper and gotten samples at 50 cents a pop. I started with Dance With The Devil for the purple, which I applied in a kind of U-shape over my eyelid. I then applied a little spot of Snow Capped in the center of the lid for emphasis. I originally tried Clean White Shirt but it didn't provide quite the pop I was going for, though it's a really great highlight color. I then applied Angel's Blush over the top of the brow and over to the sides of my eyes, which is a kind of pinky champagney color, and fine tuned the edges of the whole look with some more Snow Capped. I used my Smoky Lash Mascara ($22) and Carmex lip balm (~$3) to finish everything; it also looks like I used NARS Orgasm blush ($25) for color. Total cost: $63.50. Even if we take the foundation out of the equation on the presumption that you already have a foundation you like, the eye colors alone drop from $68 to $13.50.

Am I saying you should never spend money on high end makeup? No. But when you want to test colors, it's nice to have a place like The She Space where you can try these looks out for much less with makeup that is still of excellent quality. This is the same reason I like the samples that Sephora hands out and their testers at their stores. I know I am on about The She Space all the time, but I just really like the lengths to which Heather goes to make sure her products are of the highest quality possible but still easily affordable.

Never Trust Cuteness

Awww, isn't he cute?Look at that dopey little fang. It's so adorable! This animal is made out of sunshine and rainbows and will love you forever."You're not seriously buying this crap, are you?"...Guess not.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Makeup Is Easy: The Dark Side

Every year Sephora is all "OMG dark lipstick" and I always buy one because it looks so awesome on the model, then put it in my makeup bin for three months because I can't figure out how and where to wear it. It's a vicious cycle. This year's model is Kat von D's Painted Love lipstick in Homegirl, which is a superdark purple color. Here I am modelling it imperiously.

No, I don't know why I make these faces, but there's always one. In any case, I've got my standard face base on, but I used a Laura Geller blush that is too warm for the overall effect. I think to make the dark lip work you need to embrace your pastiness and use whatever cool tone you have in your skin. I went with a silvery-white eye so there was still some balance but it wasn't Way Too Much Look.

If I recall, it was the She Space's Snow Capped, but it may also have been Moonlight Whimsy. I am 97% sure that it was the former.

Overall, I was happy with the look. As I said, I would nix the blush in the future, but it's a dramatic look for the colder months when I am at my pastiest. I really like the Painted Love lipstick and actually bought it in a wine color called Rosary. It's a very creamy and moisturizing lipstick, and it generally stays exactly where you put it. I'm starting to get some bleeding on a lot of my lipsticks, but these really hold a good line. I might consider using a clear liner if anything.