31 March 2011

High Street Beauty: Hard Candy Fox in a Box Bronzing Duo in Skinny Dipping

I'm not British (though I certainly am an anglophile), I like how they refer to Drugstore Makeup as "High Street" so I am adopting the slang.  It makes it sound less depressing, and more ritzy.

Speaking of a society with a highly organized upper crust system, oh how the mighty have fallen with Hard Candy.  However, despite the fall from High End Beauty, they manage to give a fresh face to the regular pickings at Wal-mart.  Fox in a Box is a $6 dollar cheap thrill.  It's as cheap (ie knockoff Benefit blush in a box packaging, with crookedly seated blush pan and lid that doesn't realize it should close flush) as it is thrilling (a potential MAC Stereo Rose MSF dupe!?!).  Overall Skinny Dipping is a soft, shimmery blush with a slightly muddy plum brown "bronzer" (bitch please this couldn't bronze a ghost) and super pretty, eye popping coral. When blended you get a coral shimmer blush, that probably wouldn't show true on deeper skin tones.  Overall, I quite like it, even if it doesn't close all the way.  On to the Cheek Pron!

Lid - It's cute in a Too Faced knock off kind of way

'Scuse my man thumb and chipped crackle-cure.  Skinny Dipping under daywhite fluorescent lighting conditions.

No flash - under daywhite fluorescent bulb.

Flash!
I take photos on my iPhone and edit in Picasa.  Sometimes the focus blows, its not uniform so you get barrel distortion of the images.  However, I try.

-/L.

30 March 2011

Mail Call: Inglot Cosmetics!

Guess what just came in the mail! My Inglot Order!

Swatchy Swotch
Isn't it so pretty!?!


Hee! This is Inglot order number 3 for me, and I have to say.  I totally get the hype.  Everything I've tried as been awesome. I've found dupes of MAC LE items that I couldn't get ahold of.  The green liner is a better version of MAC shade.  I can't wait order another freedom palette.  I'm thoroughly tickled.  Yay!

-/L.

Nina by Nina Ricci

I am slowly, but surely, making my way into more Gourmand type fragrances.  I traditionally like fresh, skin like fragrances with Burberry's The Beat being the only perfume to date that I have purchased twice.  I tried to get into more of what I describe as "piss and vinegar" type of perfumerie, the types of perfumes that hardcore perfum-o-philes dig, but I couldn't I'm just not cut out to smell like Oud or Ambergris.  I can't do it.  So I ran the opposite direction and decided I wanted to smell like warm candy fluff.  Which Nina by Nina Ricci is, in the nicest way.


I'm going on record and saying this is a PERSIMMON... apple imagery and Twilight be damned.  Image courtesy of Perfumezilla.com

So if you go onto the Sephora website, they describe this scent in a bunch of carefully marketed hullabaloo designed to make you really, really, REALLY want to buy it.  Phrases like Caipirinha Lime and Red Toffee Apple and Calabrese Lemon.  Seriously, wtf.  All this does is make me hungry.  Second.  It's not an entirely accurate representation of what this scent smells like.

When I first spritzed this is in ULTA, I was assaulted by an overwhelming Pink Lemonade Pixie Stix kind of smell.  Literally, I kind of felt like I had snorted Kool-Aid minus the burn.  I could almost smell the sugar crystallizing in the air.  This put me off the scent, almost immediately.  Fortunately, this went away within 10 minutes and dried down to a warm sort of lemon-y, sugar-y, slightly acidic fragrance with a softly warm heart.  There is a tiiiiiiiiiiinnnyyy bit of warmth, most likely from the woods this scent has.  As it wears, it becomes a very soft warm, creamy scent.  Most of the sugar goes away leaving what I would describe a bright sort of apple type note and then the warm base with the barest hint of flowers.

This fragrance is a very fresh, youthful fragrance.  I can't imagine anyone over the age of 30 being able to get away with it, maybe 35 if you don't mind not being taken seriously.  As the hero fragrance of a fashion house established in 1932 trying to undergo a major re-vamp and become modern, I'm not sure if this is a timeless enough, or sophisticated enough,scent.  I think that there could be a noir type version, with a bit more woods and spice to make it vaguely oriental and slightly more refined, but not too much.  A bit of sandalwood or amber would round the drydown out and give it a nice base as well.

I've been wearing this to work, and no one has said anything untoward about my general body odor.  So I think I'm in the clear.  I'm not going to lie.  I do like this fragrance, its not a staple by any means, but its a fun sort of flash in the pan kind of scent that breaks up the drudgery of a weekday.

Google Nina by Nina Ricci, there are retailers everywhere, and it qualifies as an ULTA tier 6 reward.

-/L.

29 March 2011

Inaugural Post

Hello my lovely Brainy Beauties!

Welcome to the Think Tank.  A Tank, as it so happens, that likes to think about all things Beauty.  This blog is an evolution of a previous unmentionable blog that sunk to inferiority due to neglect and fair weathered feelings towards its existence.  However, this blog will venture to not suffer the same fate, by being uniquely different in the world of beauty leisure reading.  It will be opinionated.  Outrageously so.  It will be colorful.  Garishly so.  It will be it's own entity, operated by a brain and a tank, and hopefully, with reader support and encouragement.

Currently, the format is free form, hopefully to be more structured as this blog sallies forth into the beauty blogger ether.  But for now, some insights into my personal style/ bent, that will give credence to what I plan to blog about.

I rather like retro makeup.  Currently, I am a simple winged liner and nude/ bright lip kind of girl.  I really like Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2 in 1 Eyeliner Pen in Extreme Black and the following lipsticks - MAC Up the Amp, MAC M'Orange, MAC Go For It and Cover Girl Divine Lipstick.  I prefer slightly bronzed and highlighted cheeks in a sheer-ly made up face, and precision brows with full lashes.  All of these instances are aided and abetted by the following products: Physicians Formula Glow Boosting Bronzer in Medium/ Deep, Illamasqua Halycon Illuminator, MAC Select Cover Up and Studio Tint Fluid in NW25 and NC 25 respectively, Anastasia Brow Powder in Brunette with Prestige Cosmetics Brow Tamer and the deft hand of Mai - a certain take no prisoners kind of eyebrow waxer, as well as Prestige My Biggest Lashes in Blackest Black.

I like drugstore and high end brands alike.  Favorites being Physicians Formula, MAC, Fyrinnae (I own approximately 40 eyeshadows from them), Illamasqua, L'Oreal, NARS, Prestige,  Guerlain, Inglot and Wet N'Wild.  I'm not overly discriminate but I think the following brands are terribly overrated: Smashbox, Givenchy, Too Faced, BARE ESCENTUALS (supremely loathe), Benefit (I try and fail at liking this brand), and most Cover Girl (the new lipstick formulation is a notable exception). 

I've a tendency to be slightly over aggressive in my skin care regimen, which leads to interesting results in the anti-aging department - I enjoy Mario Badescu, Clarisonic, Strivectin and Cetaphil.  I also have been very interested in Gourmand fragrances lately, Nina by Nina Ricci and Angel by Thierry Mugler being my indoctrination into the more heady type of fragrance. With Burberry The Beat! and Narcisco Rodriguez for her being stereotypical signatures.

Any and all products listed feel free to try, they're great, unless they react badly with your body chemistry, then I would suggest avoiding.

Also feel free to enjoy the feeshies! They are below!  Hope to see more of you around!

-/L.

Prelude to a Haul: MAC Quite Cute

If this isn't a giveaway as to my former identity I don't know what is.  Anywho, I love doing Prelude to a Haul, and this one is for MAC Quite Cute.  Remember, its about shopping smarter not duping harder.

Something is le deranged here, and its not me this time.      

Apparently pastels are in this spring, hopefully transitioning to a neon summer.  This kind of looks like a loose, slightly more feminine, less panda-esque Ganjuro makeup (It also reminds me of pictorials from Illamasquas Toxic Nature collection).  Which honestly, is not a trend you see dutifully copied in the US.  We like to rebel with metal and ink here in the US (and even thats not really that rebellious anymore).  Overall, this collection seems to favor the more cool toned gals, with all of the pastel, frilly, silliness, so I am not sold on most of the collection per se.

MUST BUY

- Play Time Cremesheen Lipstick - I enjoy purple lipsticks, like really enjoy them.  I think there aren't enough available to purchase.  This one is described as an intense violet (which hopefully isn't a Violetta dupe - given the cremesheen texture, signs point to this not being the case).

- Bubble Tea Plushglass - Plushglasses are designed to plump the lips (which is why you never see MAC coming out with a pure plumping gloss) and I think that if you're going for bigger, puffier lips, nude is the way to go.  It's light so the lips appear larger, and the nude can downplay any overly bee stung color, while still being natural.  Bubble Tea is touted as a nude, but its not.  It's more of a milky warm pink.  Which is not nude, however, it seems to be the most wearable of the bunch being released.  I'd like to see it in store, but I feel that this would be a safe choice if purchasing products sight unseen.


SEE IN STORE

- Miss Behave Mineralize Blush  - This is the only shade I can feasibly see being used as a cheek product.  Perhaps as a highlighter?  I'm hoping the mint green will provide an interesting reflect, instead of a washed out shimmer. However, swatches on Temptalia (which are slightly over- exposed) give no indication of that being the case.  Otherwise, I'm really not interested in the cheek products.  I feel that they are boring, and relatively safe choices compared to the cheek products released in last years Spring collections from MAC.

- Little Girl Type Cream Nail Lacquer - Is it me or is this polish vaguely pedophilic sounding?  Like... MAC got into deep shit over their Rodarte collection that never released last November, I'm surprised this was allowed past the PC filters.  I think out of the three shades this is the most wearable.  Not necessarily the most unique of the set, but its the only one that doesn't make me twitch with the overblown pastel theme.

SKIP! (This should be SKIP IT! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SKIP IT!)

- Quite Cute Cremesheen Lipstick - Dear fashion world.  NO ONE LOOKS GOOD IN LAVENDER LIPSTICK UNLESS THEY ARE PAPER WHITE.  /end rant.  Just skip it.  A shade like this has been released once a year (Lavender Whip and Blooming Lovely to name a few) and they all are perennially pretty in the tube and a perennial fail on the face.
- Cutie Eyeshadow Quad -  Seriously... are we 15?  Because thats what I feel like.  I can't say that I'm impressed or excited over this quad.  I feel like once you take a good hard look you can find cheaper dupes from indie brands that are more nuanced/ better and have a more unique less mass produced look to them.

- Boldy Bare Lip Liner - I thought this was a pastel collection.  SO WHY IS THERE A BRICK RED LINER?  Is this so you can smoosh the ugly, off-color pastel plushglasses into it to formulate a wearable color?  Why include this?  Do you want to have obviously overlined lips with pastel centers (which is plausible, but I thought we were scamming Ganjuro makeup, not Chola makeup)?  I'm not sure, but I can't forsee this being a big seller for MAC.

REPROMOTES

- Naked/ In Sych Lip Liners  - from 2010's Too Fabulous Collection.
- Saint Germain Amplified Lipstick  - Permanent Collection.
This collection drops 7 April.  Thanks for reading!

-/L.