30 June 2012

Revlon PhotoReady Coral Reef Cream Blush

Olivia Wilde's face goes a long way in images that make me buy things.  Actually, truth be told Revlon is one of my more favorite drugstore brands. I like that there is a definite push from them to keep fresh relevant "models" for their images and that they try to keep their products inventive and on parallel with more prestigious cosmetics brands (even if they out right copy them *cough*balmstainisatartelipsurgencepencildupe*cough).  I appreciate the effort, because I'd much rather shell out $10 or so for a fun bit of pretty, than for a product with a heftier price tag.

The external packaging!

This blush debuted with Revlon's Summer 2012 collection, designed by Gucci Westman for Revlon, featuring Olivia Wilde's face, and having this blush as one of it's offering.  Actually, there are three Photoready Cream Blushes available Pinched - a delicate pink-peach, Flushed - a neon fuschia, and Coral Reef - a vibrant shade that looks a wee bit like this.... (look at the next picture!)

Holy crap it's so bright, how can you possibly wear such an atomic color on your cheeks, Olivia Wilde doesn't look neon in her pretty advert, what non-sense is this!  This non-sense is actually just a bit of deceptive shock, Coral Reef is actually pretty tame and sorta reminds me of another shockingly Orange-Pink cheek product by Benefit.  Yes.  I'm talking about the 2011 Mango hued ChaCha Tint.  Coral Reef looks almost exactly like it, except for one small thing - it's loads easier to use.

1- Revlon Coral Reef. 2 - Benefit ChaCha Tint.  Pretty bang on, right?
So if you were jonesing after softly hued cheeks reminiscent of a sheer coral glow Revlon Coral Reef may be your cheaper solution and also exact dupe.  So, now that that revelation is out of the way, we can discuss the product formulation and wear.  Coral Reef is a bit dry to the touch, in that the texture feels more like a matte foundation cake than blush.  When you press down the product does slide and become more malleable, but the texture can be problematic for application with a flimsy duo-fibre brush or even your fingers.  The key to use a cream blush effectively is to find out the best way to blend it on the skin so that you get a pretty diffuse flush.

All will be revealed in due time.

So in order to be comprehensive and provide sensible solutions to the conundrum of product application, and to showcase the color more, and just because I can... I applied the blush in a variety of ways to my arm.

1 - For this method I balled up a tissue, swirled it into the product and pounced it onto my skin.  The error with this method, is that balled up tissue has hard edges and scrapes up more product in some areas and less in another.  Clearly, tissue geography is prohibitive in proper application, but this can be overcome by pouncing slowly, and switching to a clean tissue to remove excess product and clumps of blush that deposited on your cheeks.

2 - Cosmetic sponge.   I know some people frown upon them, and some people only use brushes, and some people think they're cheap and tacky and no good.  But seriously.  They were invented for a reason and this is actually my preferred method of application.  They're spongy, have a wide surface area so you don't get areas of concentrated color on the face, and application is as simple as pounce on, pounce off.  Dab the sponge into the product to pick up, and dab in sweeping circular motions to apply to the face. 

3 - Finger.  I suck at finger applying things.  I never get it to blend right and I always pick up too much product, it gets deposited in roughly a finger sized area, because it's coming from my finger, and then I can't get it to blend nicely.  But it is an option, should you be so inclined.

I apologize for my hair and my dazed vacant expression.  But I do have Coral Reef on.
Overall, CR is very sheer despite it being mind bendingly neon in the package, but I'm ok with that because I'm not a crazy blush fanatic. I prefer blush when it's sheer and less obvious and more natural looking.  I applied this using the cosmetic sponge method over my cheeks, diffusing back towards my hairline, on my nose and a tiny bit on my chin.  This applies well over unpowdered and powdered foundation, and takes the application of translucent powder pretty well, you lose a tiny bit of intensity with it, but you can layer more product over top to increase intensity and longevity.  Unfortunately, even with layering Coral Reef doesn't stay around for long. It wears off during the day and you get about 3-4 hours of wear out of it max.

Coral Reef is by Revlon and sold for about $10 - $12 USD wherever you can find it.  I procured mine from Walmart.

29 June 2012

NOTD - Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Black Satin

This is my favorite nail polish formulation of any drugstore brand. I own at least four bottles of Rimmel LFP, of which Black Satin is my favorite and favorite black nail polish of all time. BS is virtually opaque with one coat, but I'm hardwired into the 2 coat conspiracy perpetuated by individuals that I assume comprise the beauty branch of the Illuminati. Yes they do exist! Anyways this is two coats on freshly clipped and filed nails. (I'm getting better at this manicure thing!)

28 June 2012

Faves & Fails: Friday Edition!

I. love. the. Olympics.  Everything about it.  I watch the Summer and Winter Games with equal fervor, I even love the commercials.  In the build up to the Summer 2012 Games in London, I am absolutely glued to the US Olympic Trials.  Diving. Track & Field. Swimming.  Gymnastics.  I've seen them ALL.  (Well all up to this point, because Gymnastics is airing this weekend - I really wanna see if Liukin has got her gravitas back and makes the 2012 team).  My favorite thing about the trials is the outpouring of emotion from athletes that make the team for the first time, it's so epic!  In light of this extreme obsession with all things ring-bearing and medal worthy, I live tweet most of the trials I watch and I fairly certain I will be obsessively tweeting the Games themselves!  So join me on Twitter (@lachesissss) and get the lowdown from me as I awkwardly mistranslate commentaries from people more intelligent than I am (well at least more intelligent about world class competitive sports).


Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep - This is brand spanking new from Aveda.  Like, the last time I got my hurrs did, the salon didn't have any to sell, and what was used on my hair was a preview bottle that I couldn't purchase... believe me, I tried.  This product is very jack of all trades for short, spunky hair.  Where before I'd have to use a thickening mist, dry shampoo, spray wax and hair spray to get a volumized, texturized, gravity defying do', all I need is a liberal mist into semi-dry hair and a bit of a set from the blow drier and my hair is done - volumized, texturized, piecey in just the right way.  It's amazing.  I have fine, but abundant hair follicles and this works perfectly with them, it's not greasy and doesn't weigh my hair down.  It's a perfect blend of alchemy, hair awesomeness and that weird herbal scent all Aveda products seem to have.  YOU MUST TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE SHORT HAIR! (Also, I can't find a stock photo of this, but if you go to an Aveda certified salon they should have it.)

MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW25 - This is hands down my favorite MAC concealer.  I've tried Select Cover, Pro-Longwear and Studio Sculpt for my under eyes and while all of them have their merits, none of them have ever made me want to repurchase them.  Mineralize however, is my new favorite magic eraser - the light diffusers and the peach tone literally cause the giant triangle of fail that is my under eye area to disappear, without the aid of another lighter concealer or some sort of Touch Eclat esque brightener to be layered over top.  I dot it on my lower orbital bone and wing a bit down the side of my nose and a couple of swipes with my fingers to blend and I'm set.  I look less tired, less dead and more like a normal person blessed without atrocious swaths of dark circle-y doom.

This is what this looks like. I'd provide a swatch, but I'm watching the Olympic trials.


My Wardrobe  - I've hit that awkward phase where everything I own is too baggy, but I'm not quite into the next size down successfully, and since I'm not banking on staying that size for a prolonged period of time, I don't really want to shell out the money for clothes.  So, I'm stuck with dryer shrinking everything and wearing jeggings or just sucking it up and looking pregnant or like a gothic hippie.  Which is totally up my alley. 


Glossybox June -  I've paid for my box.  In fact, I paid for it on 7 June.  Have I received a shipping notification yet?  No.  If this doesn't arrive soon, it's going to be more of a July box than a June box.  Just sayin'.

Upcoming Content - I've got a Revlon cream blush review on deck and two more Mascaras to go head to head for Mascara Wars!  Also, I think I'm going to profile my hair salon that I go to, which will only help you if you live near me, but I love it and my stylist is awesome.  Other than that, I'm going to have my typical monthly posts - My beauty subscription boxes, Faves & Fails, Hand of Swatch, Lemming List and random Mblogs.

TV - Awkward. is back!!!!!!! I love this show.  I'm stoked to see MTV actually putting effort in their content, and not just coasting on Reality TV spinoffs.  And I love when they cast people in their mid-twenties to play highschoolers.  Also, Jenna's makeup in the season finale for season one was really pretty and really highlighted her nicely shaped eyebrows.  

That's it kids! Thanks for reading!

26 June 2012

Giant Hand of Swatch Vol. 6

Ahhh... back to my regularly scheduled hand.  It's so good to swatch on it again!  This hand is themed today, because I like themes and I love eyeliner.  All of these liners featured are latex based, with either a flocked tip or a brush tipped. I am selective about what kinds of liner shades I wear, and I feel that my liner collection is representative of a broad spectrum of color intensities, opacities, shimmers, glitters and mattes.  As always, read the in picture captions - the key is listed below. 

Also- there is a mini-theme going on here.  See if you can't figure it out.
1 - MUFE Aqua Liner - Shade 8 (glitter)
2 - MUFE Aqua Liner - Shade 13 (glitter)
3 - Illamasqua Precision Ink - Abyss (satin)
4 - Illamasqua Precision Ink - Havoc (satin)
5 - Stila Sparkle Liquid Liner - Rock Candy (sheer)
6 - Stila Sparkle Liquid Liner - Starry (sheer)
7- UD 24/7 Liquid Liner - Sabbath (satin)
8 - UD 24/7 Liquid Liner - Siren (shimmer)

A gratuitous shot to show the shimmer and depth of color in the liners.

Mmm so pretty!

NOTD - OPI Big Hair, Big Nails

Look at how long my nails have grown!!!! OPI BH, BN is a sheer jelly polish, which I really like. To get this intensity I layered three coats of varnish between my usual Nail Tek Ultra and Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat. Really smooth and shiny even before a top coat!

22 June 2012

Faves & Fails: Friday Edition

Things have been a little slow lately, sorry for that, I've been distracted.  It's also been mind bendingly hot the last few days which has also been messing with my productivity.  I'm going to start amping up the content again, so hopefully you will hear from me more!  Also, my darling sister is watching the Real Housewives Top Whatever Moments, and it's literally murdering my brain cells with plastic surgery, weave and stupidity.


I've been using a lot of the same products lately, and as the temperature has increased my compunction for wearing makeup has severely waned.  However, I really love this look and have been duping it with various shades of neutrals from MAC, the Urban Decay Naked2 palette (much better than the original Naked IMHO) and the WnW Matte Palette.  It's dead easy to duplicate, but instead of a flesh toned liner on the waterline, I use MAC Powersurge, one of my all time favorite eyeliners and I skip the falsies because I wear it as a daytime look.  It's easy, sultry and deceptively deceptive.  (I'm talking nonsense there.)

Sharonmakeupartist is an Irish Makeup Artist,she has a ton of fabulous looks on her channel, and I sincerely love watching her.  My interest in YT gurus has stagnated lately, and I actually watch lots of other types of content (theVlogbrothers, SciShow, CrashCourse, CGPGrey, WIGs) on YT more than beauty, but I watch her videos the way I watch the Pixiwoo sisters.  She's very down to earth, clearly knows her stuff, and creates beautiful makeup looks with emphasis on tailoring them to her while still effectively emulating the looks that inspired them.  Needless to say.. LOVE!

- California Mango Magic Cuticle Oil + Nail Tek Extra - This magical combination of moisturizer and an Extra strengthening basecoat has given me AMAZING nails.  When I give myself a manicure, after nipping my cuticles and shaping, I liberally coat my nail beds and nails with the Cuticle oil and let it soak in, then I whisk off the excess oil with some Zoya Remove+, and apply a coat of Nail Tek Extra.  This has really enabled me to grow out my nails and make them long and strong (and bound to get the friction on! XD)


 *crickets*  It's been hot.  I'm not stupid. I only wear specific makeup in hot weather.  Makeup I know that has been tested and proven against a 105 F heat index.  So clearly, I have no fails this week.  But if you're interested in the base for my weekly makeup in crazy hot weather, check out my 5k Makeup post!


Some people have Thinspo, which is "Thinspiration", and kind of a useless way to hate yourself, if you want my opinion.  So I've decided to make it a positive, and have "Fitness Inspiration", which to me is more achievable.  I have a deep obsession with Pinterest, and I used to stay away from the Fitness Interest Board, mainly because I was afraid I would find skinny people's aspirations for fitness demoralizing.  However, having ventured on there, I have found some great inspirational quotes that motivate me in my quest to be a thinner, fitter person.  This weeks FITSPO is one of my faves :), because it gives me perspective on how fitness isn't a competition against another person, it's against yourself and about broadening your horizons on your abilities.
I'm such a cheeseball... really.


I'm over 50 Shades.  I read all three books before they broke into pop-culture infamy, and quite honestly, while Mr. Grey is insanely hot, Miss Steele makes me want to punch things.  Lots of things.  And then a small part of me wants to be her, obviously for the perk of being in the sphere of Mr. Grey.  HOWEVER.  I'm not going to bore you with that, I'm going to inject your lives with a better book.

Love this cover!

This book is the Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, and for those of you that abhor reading you can also watch the Sophia Coppola cinematic version, that remains fairly true to the plot and the tone of the book.  And, though I'm sure its probably sacreligious to mention Eugenides and James in the same essay, bear with me when I say that cleverly crafted obsession and tragic life circumstances is more hard hitting when five girls commit suicide because life is stifling them, than when one girl gets multiple sexytime spankings from one guy who is making it his personal mission to stifle her with his hunka, hunka burning love (and by that I mean his penis).  Also, that was a gross generalization, there is so much more going on in the Virgin Suicides that its more akin to doing literary parkour than taking a fanfic for a walk in a baby stroller.

And thats it! Hope you liked this weeks all F subheading Faves&Fails!


FOTD - Fyrinnae Aztec Gold

It's a ballsy move wearing loose pigment in 100 F heat. To cement this awesome shade to my face I layered NARS smudgeproof ESP, MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl and Pixie Epoxy. Then I patted on Aztec Gold, blended the crease with UD Tease and linef with MAC Black Line iPG. Other notables are the By Terry Hyaluronoc Face Glow and Carmex Moisture Plus Lipbalm.

19 June 2012

NOTD - Orly Jealous, Much?

This is from the Spring New Romantics collex from Orly. I'm a huge fan of Orly polishes, they're always consistently fabulous and I love the bottle handle. This is 3x coats to get full opacity, at two its still slightly sheer, but if you have bright white nail tips naturally it gives a cool effect. Also, it was not my intention to dupe the EXACT color of Fischer Nitrile gloves, but I was highly amused by this! I apologize for my cuticles they don't look this atrocious in person, promise!

18 June 2012

5k Makeup (Because That's How I Roll)

A major part of my weightloss has to do with my secret quest to be a runner.  I hate running, I'm pretty terrible at it.  So I don't run-run, I fail-run! I ran my first mile straight through on a treadmill in December, I did it 12 minutes and was sucking wind the entire time.  My first race was a 10k trail run, and holy crap was I massively under prepared.  My goal, however, was to do it in under 3 hours, and not be last.  Both of which I achieved - I did it in 2hours and 54 minutes, and I wasn't last, primarily because 100 people quit at the water stop halfway through.  Therefore, I failrun!

This weekend I participated in the Color Me Rad! 5k in Philadelphia - which is an untimed 5k in which you get completely covered in powdered dye and are, effectively, a human rainbow at the end.  It's pretty wicked.  If you have one near you, you should sign up no matter your fitness level, because it's hella fun. 

Be that as it may, I for one, firmly believe in being prepared. And while I am not one for sweating through an entire face full of makeup, I think a natural look is perfectly appropriate for running, and plus, I'm pretty badass... so of course I'd wear makeup.

Before... if only my face knew what was going to befall it.
For the above face I used the following products:

- Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 20 in Sand - I think it's obvious why I'd use this product, it's like a triple threat - moisturizer, skin even out-er (yes.. that's a technical term) and sunscreen. Plus!  It's oil-free, so if you sweat through it, it won't clog your pores.

Benefit Speedbrow - No need to have unruly brows when you run!  The gel makes them aerodynamic and can help improve your sprint speed! (This claim as yet remains unproven - but is entirely plausible!)

- Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara in Blackest Black - My eyelashes are transparent, I need mascara to function. This formula is pretty smudge and sweat proof, as from what I can tell it was still on at the end of the race.

- The Body Shop Hemp Lip Conditioner  - I just like lip balm.  It's moisturizing, and prevents your lips from drying out as you huff and puff along your way.

After - I drove all the way home from Philadelphia like this... and as I got lost leaving Fairmount park, well.. I got some looks.
Anyways! The first step to a running addiction is signing up for a race!  I highly recommend it :) 


FOTD - MAC Desire

It's Monday, and I came into work 2 hours early to finish a project, so I was crazy tired and couldn't be bothered with actual makeupery. So I decided on classic misdirection! Lips are three layers of MAC Desire LS (lustre), blotted between each. I have LM TM in Sand, Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara, MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW25 and NYX Matte Bronzer in Medium. Earrings are Arrowhead dangles from F21, my current fave!

16 June 2012

The Lemming List Vol. 2

Oh if only Sephora had a credit card.... Actually, just kidding.  That would be a terrible idea, because I would buy the whole store and then call up the credit card company and promise them my first born child as a slave laborer if they'd just raise my limit.  Some people would call that extreme, but I call it enthusiasm!  I'm just sort of waffling about, eating Chinese food, and wanting to buy makeup....  You know, the usu.


Are we surprised by this?  No.  Illamasqua is one of my favorite(r) brands.  They aren't quite up there as NARS with me (over 75% of my daily face is generally NARS), but I do love their products.  I'm not sure what it is about foundation lately because a few years ago I couldn't care less about it.  Now, I see it's use and quite honestly - I'm not crazy big into color anymore, so my skin needs to look awesome in order for the rest of my makeup to look good on my face.  I've seen the Pixiwoo sisters use this product in TONS of tutorials, and they look great with it on.  It's described as a cross between a BB cream and a foundation, which sounds good and all. (Everything in foundation sounds good to me - I stray away from overly matte and overly moist and overly shimmery, but otherwise it's pretty much a free for all.)  I'm on board, but the only thing that's stopping me is that I have NO idea what color I'd be.  I can guess and check, but I kinda think that it's a bit ridiculous to purchase one or two expensive foundations to test and return the one that doesn't work.  I'd be much more inclined to go to a store, obtain a sample test it out and then buy it.  What I'm really trying to say is that Sephora needs to get rid of the GIANT Stila or Smashbox or Givenchy (namely the brands I never realllllly want to buy) dusters in the store and use it for selling the full range of Illamasqua.

This is shade 8. I think its one that may match me?  I'm not sure.


I love the PI formulation, I use Abyss and Havoc on a regular basis.  And I LOVE the images used in the Human Fundamentalims adverts, especially the one where the model has a teal wig/ lips with bright white eyebrows and eyeliner on supertanned skin.

It's just so pretty.  And impractical.  But I love it!

That being said - this is pure white.  I'm not sure what I'd do with it outside of one very specific look/ looks, which essentially would be using the liner to do a large wing, with a smaller wing of black liner inside to anchor it and keep it from looking too Cray-Cray.  Lately, I've been wearing simpler and simpler makeup (I think my weightloss is making me feel more confident in myself), so I dunno if I'd use this as much as I would convince myself I would.  But still... I WANNIT NAO!
I would want a daywhite liquid liner.


It's matte forest green.  A color which is beautiful and hard to get right in cosmetics.  It's either too black, too sheer, the formulation is too chunky... etc.  I just enjoy really intense colors, and I want it too be INTENSE.  So we'll see.  It's a bonus that the product is from MUFE, because the brand tends to be really great at understanding color nuances and has never failed me when I've been looking for a certain off the wall color.  I'd ideally love to use this for a quick smoky eye, just all over the lid, blended into the crease with a bit of MAC Vex or a bright silver to perk the inner corner and lots of lashes.

Blessed she who clearly sees the world for the trees, to obtain a birds eye is to turn a blizzard to a breeze...


I'm not big into Lip Primer.  The last one I can honestly say I loved was DuWop PrimeVenom.  My main attraction to this particular product is that it is from Bite, a brand whose Luminous Lip Cremes, I love.  Also, Grav3yardGirl from YT endorsed it.  And everything product that I've tried that she's recommended has been quite awesome.  Also, I've been leaning towards wearing more lipstick lately and my co-workers think its weird that I reapply and blot a lipstick every couple of hours, well I don't know if they think that, but if I were them, I would.  So.

I also adore Bite's packaging.  It's plain, simple and supremely suggestive of effective cosmetic-ry.

As always, all images are stock from Sephora.com, the headers are links to my lemms... so clickety, click if you'd like, I'm not affiliated or sponsored in anyway.  Sephora just happens to be my mothership of choice.


15 June 2012

Faves & Fails: Friday Edition!

Sorry about last week, I was overcome with the need to try and Ombre manicure.  Something which I was not skilled at... at all.  Moving on!  I've decided to manicure my nails after I type this post! So keep your eyes peeled for an Mblog post tomorrow.  Probably while I hide furtively in the bathroom at work because I cannot QC anymore data without wanting to go crazy.


NARS Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick - For the record, I only spam the blog with things I really like.  And I have devoted a swatch post and a LOTD post to this lipstick, as well as an Instagram photo.   This is a strawberry red lipstick, that is matte.  It layers beautifully and evenly.  Doesn't dry my lips out, doesn't fade patchily, and doesn't leave a nasty product ring around my mouth.  This is the first lipstick I can say I LOVE to wear everyday, and it doesn't make me feel awkward to do so.  I think it's great for summer, because you can really pare down your eye makeup and your face makeup, but still make a beautiful and feminine statement that lasts in the heat.  I think I've finally found my perfect red lipstick.

Image from Sephora.com


Diorshow Extase Mascara -  I actually documented the failure of this mascara.  And while it was a sample, I wanted to love it because some part of me, clearly the less intelligent and more lemming pony inclined part of me, is convinced that I will never be complete without having a Diorshow Mascara as an HG.  There's just something about it that I can't seem to shake.  Unfortunately, this lemming will not be cured with Diorshow Extase, no matter how many times I spell it Exstase and then realize I'm a moron for doing so.

Image from Sephora.com


Mail Calls

June 2012 Glossybox - I've been charged my requisite $21 for the box, and the website is now taking orders for the June box, so I'm just waiting for the e-mail saying they've shipped it!  If you're curious as to the contents of my May 2012 Glossybox - click...... here!


I want to see a crapload of summer movies.  I love going to the movies and forgetting everything for awhile, and coming out excited and bubbly and curious because I was immersed in someones imagination for 2 hours.  So here they are in no particular order:

- Prometheus - I haven't yet because, quite frankly, the music will give me nightmares.  Which is sort of embarassing to admit, but it's true. I have a hyperactive imagination and it doesn't take much to warp my dreamscape into something brave, new and sonically frightening.

- Snow White & the Huntsman - Two words - Chris. Helmsworth.  I could give a shit about KStew, and secretly I don't think this bitchy role is too much of a stretch for Mizz Theron.

- Brave - This just looks fun and weirdly reminds me of Julie Garwood books, you know the Highland ones with the spunky heroines.  Even though this is marketed to little girls and isn't about romance novels. 

- The Amazing Spiderman - I have a ladycrush on Emma Stone.  But really, who doesn't?

- The Bourne Legacy -  I have an obsession with the Bourne Franchise.  They are my favorite action/ adventure/ spy movie series.  It made me love Matt Damon, and this new one, with Jeremy Renner, will hopefully make me love him (even though I kinda already do).  This movie also secretly makes me wish I could be a spy, because in my mind, I'm fairly certain I would be badass at it.

Social Networking

I bought my blogs domain name!  It's now thebeautythinktank.com.  In the interest of shameless self promotion if you'd like to interact with me, I have the following networking sites for the Think Tank!  I really like to know that people aren't finding the Think Tank via Google.  Even though, I suspect, most traffic is directed here from that search engine.

Instagram - @lachesissss

I'm mainly on Twitter and Instagram.  I love Pinterest - and have all kinds of random stuff pinned!  Also, from now on all of my photography/ stock photographs for the blog will be uploaded to a Flickr account, because it makes putting images into the blog much easier.  Blogger hates to let me upload pictures!  Much in the same way its being quite bastardly about the layout.


Florence + the Machine - Strangeness and Charm... It's a song about an all consuming love, and physics.  Although.. I'm not entirely sure to describe the song as an all consuming love of physics wouldn't entirely be off the mark either.  This is a live version, but I think it captures the mood of the song really well.

That's it!  Thanks for reading!

14 June 2012

LOTD - NARS Moscow Matte Lipstick

This is my perfect red lip. I've always thought true red colors were too intense on me and that if I didn't anchor it with other makeup, I looked so weird. I like that its a darker muted red with a touch of orange/ brown to it. I never feel akward wearing this, and its so pigmented that as it fades it leaves a nice blush on the lip. The formula can also be sheered out for a nice color. Other products - NARS PRTM, UD Big Fatty, Benefit Bella Bamba.

13 June 2012

Big, Bad Scary Evil - Urban Decay + China = ?

DISCLAIMER: I only feel comfortable expressing my opinion this way because currently I have very low readership, and those that do read my blog either find their way here through a search engine, or I know these people fairly well (or so I feel) and feel that these individuals are relatively open minded. Or you can just title this post, exposition from a snarky bitch who wants to offer alternative and snide explanations to a non-issue.  I freely admit to that.


Urban Decay is now selling their cosmetics in China.  Due to Chinese policy, the government may require animal testing on Urban Decay's products which the government will conduct independent of Urban Decay in order to sell their products.  Urban Decay is known in the US and in Europe as a cruelty free brand.

SOME People buy UD makeup because it's cruelty free, and they feel good about using products that aren't tested on animals.  Now, because of the desire of Urban Decay to sell their cosmetics in China and due to the will of the Chinese government and their regulations regarding consumer product safety, these cruelty free products may become decidedly unfriendly towards animals.  This has caused a myriad of reactions including but not limited to:

1) Indifference
2) Distraught
3) Anger
4) Pledging to never buy UD makeup sold in the US or Europe again (I will come back to this point later)
5) Pledging to never buy UD makeup and to throw out all of the currently owned UD cosmetics
6) Flurries of blog posts decrying, supporting, or maintaining carefully crafted neutral positions about the whole event
7) My blog post

The first three listed are emotional, and to be entirely truthful, my main reaction was Indifference.  I don't use cruelty free brands now and have no plans to make the jump.  Those that were distraught, I think were jumping the shark a bit.  It is makeup.  It's great that it engenders those reactions in you, and shows that you are passionate, but much like the individuals who were angry about this, it's not really doing anything for you.  Urban Decay is still going to sell products in China, and the Chinese government is still going to test products on animals, whether you are incredibly pissed off about it or not.  The press release confirms this.  Which leads me to my next paragraph.

The rest of the list is actions.  Specifically actions taken by people to whom the announcement engendered specific emotions, including, but not limited to, the ones I've listed.  Number 4 is great, if it will make you feel better about the situation by not supporting UD anymore, more power to you.  I am not going to be one of those people, because I like UD's products.  But a little something to bear in mind - UD, up until this point has never tested their products on animals in the US or Europe, and while they have certainly compromised their ethics, we know, up until now, that what is available for purchasing by us in stores has not been tested on animals. Number 5 is just wasteful.  Not only have you wasted your money, you're wasting things that other people don't have the privilege to experience.  At least swap it, or give it away to someone who will enjoy it.  To quote Marilyn Monroe, "Makeup is the best joy!" So please share the joy!

As for six, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  And I think its great this decision has sparked so much conversation in the beauty community and is bringing to light issues regarding the sale and purchasing of makeup that is exposing the underside of consumerism.  However, outside of the beauty community, how many people are going to know that UD is now selling in China?  And honestly, if you weren't plugged into the beauty pulse, would you even care?  Are people formulating opinions just to have them? Yes.  It's a hot button issue right now, it makes sense to provide commentary no matter how sincere or insincere or snarky (as is the case with this post) because those that are inclined to scour beauty blogs will read it.  Controversy and gossip drive us, and this issue is rife with both.


So, why am I writing this post?  Well, partly for the reasons listed in the second half of the above paragraph, and partly because I can't contain myself when presented with the opportunity to play the devils advocate.  Realistically, I don't have an opinion about UD beyond if their products work or not and do I like them or not and do I think it's worth it to purchase a product based on the performance of the cosmetic in various situations.  Ultimately, I think that most people have this opinion, but when a hot button issue comes along, people have knee jerk reactions to it and choose one extreme over the other.  My issue with the "UD is bad" opinion is that these opinions may be coming from people who use makeup from other companies that test on animals, like L'Oreal brands, for instance.  Which really is stupid.

To be quite honest, it is inevitable that you will use a product that has been tested on animals multiple times in your life.  Whether you consciously choose to, or not.  Most medications that are known and loved and used and sold go through extensive testing, usually on animals, before they even get to pre-clinical stages in the drug development and discovery process.  The use of animals as test vehicles is essential in toxicology, its how we determine if chemicals are bad for us and where that line falls between OK and Not so OK.  Now, I know that with cosmetics, short of being crushed to death by a Sephora display, most of us will never encounter anything remotely close to the required dose to be killed or incapacitated by any chemical used to manufacture cosmetics.  So, the rational conclusion is to say that it is unnecessary to test cosmetics on animals, and I quite agree.  But we don't get to make those decisions.  Now do we?


Whatever you like really.  I just wanted to add my two cents to the cauldron, and felt safe expressing it here on my blog.  Personally, I'm not surprised at this move from UD.  And I'm not upset or angry with them for it.  I am upset with people who would chuck their perfectly good makeup and not at least share it.  I'm annoyed with people who develop opinions without thinking about the issue and the relevancy of being annoyed with it.  I'm dismayed that ultimately, even though makeup culture is now driven by bloggers, this expansion into China will make money for UD and replace those once loyal customers who are now alienated by their decision.  Because I highly doubt people in China will have as much beef with the animal testing issue as we do, and sadly, we're replacable.

*dons flamesuit* Ok internetz... let me have it!

12 June 2012

Birchbox - June 2012

June 2012 Box Exterior

It's June!  Time for my 6th Birchbox, and for the 2nd installment of it's review on the Think Tank.  If you'll so kindly notice, I bought my blogs domain name!  I guess it means I'm taking it seriously.  Also, if you know of anyone who is good with blogger/ able to make the layouts work, I'd be super appreciative.  The theme for this month is Jet Setting, which seems sorta meh, but I'm down.

Kinda cheesy but I appreciate the effort!


Still inconsistent, but this time it totally swings in my favor.  I received my ship notification on 9 June and received my box today 12 June.  They finally gave up using god awful Streamlight and now my tracking code in my e-mail links directly to the UPS website.  I also appreciate that I'm billed at the beginning of the month and have rarely received a box later than mid-month, which makes it a nice treat and a step up from the Glossybox so far.  With Glossy you are billed in the beginning of the month, usually within the first week, and will probably receive your box sometime closer to the end of the month.

I'm not sure what happened to the postcard... but I can't imagine that shipping bent it this way, and it doesn't seem deliberate enough to be intentional.  Just saying.

June's Products

The insides!
Stila One Step Bronze

This is full sized, and while I'm jazzed that I received a full size product (I think it was my turn for FS, I haven't recieved a FS product since I opted to take the March Teen Vogue themed box and was rewarded with a Tarte Matte Lipsurgence Pencil),  but I'm sorta iffy on it. Stila is not a fave of mine, especially as they seem to have backslid into mediocrity as a brand.  But I have pictures and swatches!  I may test this out as a primer or cheek glow tomorrow, and see how it does.

The swirling nodules of color kinda freak me out... It just looks... odd.

One pump onto my hand - you can see all of the shades that are swirled in the barrel of the product. 

But when blended out you can't really see it, the bronzing is neglible on me.  It does however have large particle shimmer and glitz in it.
Juliette Has A Gun - Not a Perfume

EEEEEE!!!!!! I FINALLY GET TO TRY THIS! I love JHAG's Citizen Queen fragrance, and I've been compulsively smelling Not a Perfume since I cracked my box open.  It has one note - Ambroxen, which is reminiscent of a warm, powdery amber basenote that is not medicinal or overbearing.  If a fragrance is warm and powdery/woodsy/musky I tend to love it more, and I love this one note scent.  It's beautiful and timeless.

My fragrance cardholder was wrapped around my Stila, and it got bent in my box.  But still! EEE!

It would be awesome if you could huff the internet.  But you can't! Trust me, this is lovely!
theBalm Stainiac

I'm not usually into stains like this - gel based and pink toned.  Mainly because I think these rose-red transparent hues look better on a cool toned, fair skinned gal.  Of which description I am not.  And after swatching it, I'm still not into these kinds of stains.  Maybe this would be good as a base for a heatproof red lip, but otherwise, I'm not crazy into it.

It's also mini-sized.

Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipe

I don't really care about this.  I know how to appropriately wash my hands and I have a bitchin' immune system.  Germs don't frighten me.  Therefore this feels stupid and unnecessary.  I think a shower gel or dry shampoo sample would've been a better option and have gone with the theme of the box better.



A FAA approved fancy decorated Ziploc baggie for stowing your toilette if you can't be bothered to check your bag.  Kinda cool and keeping with the theme.


Eh.  I'm not really into this month's box.  The standout sample was definitely the Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume vial.  Everything else feels sorta hodgepodge, like it was thrown together, and just happened to be vaguely themed.  I'm also sorta miffed at how this was packaged.  Generally my Birchbox's contents are immaculately packaged.  It's one of the things that makes me go Ooo! when I open it, but this month was sloppy.  It's not really that big of a deal, considering that my box had a full sized product in it.  I'm going to give the Stila a go and see, sometimes I surprise myself with what I like and don't like when given the opportunity to test products out.  I do think the Stila one step would be a great leg bronzer, it's gel based and once dry is pretty budgeproof.

In terms of dollars and scents, whenever you receive a full sized product you're generally getting more than what you paid for with Birchbox.  And while I like that benefit, this month, I'm not sure if I'm going to use the product more than a few times. So in a hit and miss world, the value of the full sized product for me, this month, is a miss.

www.birchbox.com - It's a $10 a month automatically billed subscription for your very own beauty box!

The Hair Chronicles - Rainy Day Updo

It's raining, and my hair is follicularly challenged as of right now. How to deal? Bobby Pins! Even short hair can be nipped and tricked into behaving with careful application and super hold hairspray!

11 June 2012

NOTD - Revlon Scented Apricot Pastry Polish

This reeks. I'm not sure why people think scenting polish is a good idea, but seriously. It's not. Especially when the polish smells like plasticized fruit, that does not make it better! I'd rathet breathe in the regular old solvent nail polish smell. It's less off putting. Alsp this is very sheer, you're looking at 3 coats and its a little streaky and chalky, but I love the color!

10 June 2012

MASCARA WARS! UD Big Fatty v. Diorshow Extase

I'm actually surprised nobody has thought of this idea... It's pretty genius.  I mean there's Storage Wars (my fave! Love Barry!), Baggage Wars and Parking Wars... and now from executive brain at the Beauty Think Tank, I bring you MASCARA WARS!  Two mascaras go head to head to see which has the packaging, brush, formulation and smudgeproofness (or other such measure of mascaraworthy-ness) to reign supreme and deliver lashes that would hold up to modern warfare!  It's new, exciting, and bonus! -  it shows which mascara is worth it's pricetag and which is an overhyped let down!  So let's proceed to today's contenders!


Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

Christian Dior Diorshow Extase (Deluxe Sample Size)

Hmmm... Well.  I guess it depends on how you feel about your packaging.  If you like blingy and shiny Diorshow Extase is the clear winner.  But, I've had my tube of UD Big Fatty for about a month and the tube still looks brand new. I have a feeling that after a month of constant use the Extase packaging would not fare as well and be covered in fingerprints and scratched up.  Sooo on that thought I give the packaging to UD - it's big, sleek and unobtrusive.


UD BF - Rubbery and spiky, but with lots of varying lengths and plenty of product deposited on the wand.
CD DSE - It's swirled like an icecream cone, with plenty of pockets for mascara to flow into.
 I'm going to call this a draw as, I believe it is equally as likely for each wand to give me epic lashes of epic.  And plus, I don't want to give away what I think about the products just yet....


1 Coat

UD BF - 1 coat. It's black and clearly volumizing.  And there is quite a bit of transfer.

CD DSE - Not as black as UD, and more lengthening. There is also not as much transfer.
2 Coats
Oh yeah UD! Two coats, and its becoming thick and black, without being clumpy.  A bit more transfer.

CD DSE - It's a bit longer, a tiny bit thicker, but not much blacker.  This second coat didn't add much.

3 Coats

UD BF - It's still getting thicker and blacker, but we're losing some of the length here.
CD DSE - This coats really thinly.  It's a wee bit thicker and longer, but not darker.
 4 Coats

UD BF - The fourth coat and it's still long and thick, but getting a bit clumpy.  This coat only makes it more 3D.
CD DSE - This is a bad picture, but not much has been added.
So it seems that the Extase mascara plateaued after 2 coats, while the UD BF keep on building up. I like super thick and fat lashes so I'm going to give this one to Big Fatty.


UD BF - lots of transfer in the crease and along the upper lashline.  I'll explain why I think this is in the next section.
Similar transfer on the lid, lots of smudging along the lashline as well.
Again, I'm going to call this a draw, I feel like they both transfer the same way, which may, in part have to do with my application method.  I tilt my head back and try to wiggle the wand back and forth as close to the base of the lashes as possible and then blink my ends through the wand to make the tips thicker.


The scrunch test involves letting the mascaras dry for about 30 seconds after the 4th coat and then closing my eyes super tightly, effectively scrunching them and compressing the lashes for 30 seconds and then releasing them.

UD BF - Oh fail! SUPER FAIL! 
CD DSE - Kinda looks like all of the other pictures of my right eye with this on.  Maybe the lashes are stuck together slightly more.
This is the only category in which CD DSE runs away with the win.  It dries very fast, so the scrunch test did virtually nothing to this, but it's sort of mediocre anyway, so I guess you have to excel at something.  The UD BF is a far wetter mascara, so it takes longer to dry.  In fact, my only gripe is the fact that you really need to let it properly dry before it becomes budge, smudge and transfer proof, otherwise the above will happen and you'll ruin your makeup in a grand fashion.


Drying time aside,  Urban Decay Big Fatty clearly kicks CD Diorshow Estase's ass.  I mean certain people will see the charm of Extase, and like it for its wispy-ness and fast drying time.  But seriously.  For $29.50 Extase is not worth it.  Especially when UD BF is $20 and actually volumizes, lengthens and is SUPER Black.  Some days I don't wear any other eye makeup but UD BF mascara, which is saying something, because I think I look freakish without eye liner!

Have a dispute with the way I played this out?  Leave a comment below!  I'd love to hear from you!