Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good bye 2009...Welcome 2010

Each year I do the same bl**dy thing, I cannot wait until a new year begins.  To me, it's like spring it signifies a new beginning.  For girls like me, I always welcome a fresh start.  I am realistic though, I realize there are things I cannot control.  I cannot control things which I have no power over.  The economy, the war, the corruption and the fact that life is not fair.  It used to be that your education was a segway to a career, skill trumped opportunity and hard work would eventually pay off.
Currently, it's marketing, public relations and what you look like, with a few exceptions.  I have seen people who have worked their asses off in the makeup artistry industry not get signed by agencies who will sign a popular guru on YouTube, I've seen brands market their products to people who make videos whose demographic are the 12-19 age range with things they can't afford.  There I said it.  But, I've also seen YouTubers who aren't the stereotypical beauty be featured on George Lopez, I've seen a "dowdy" Susan Boyle break records late in life, and I've seen people who would never have an opportunity to make people smile, like me (Michael Buckley, MsFili et al) this past year.
I don't know what the purpose of this post was, other than to say, "If you have a dream, you have a chance, but if you don't try, you'll never know."  I wish I were the type to say screw them, and put myself out there, but I'm not.  I've endured too much pain to put myself out there and can't fault anyone but me.  100% of shots never tried have failed, so for me, I will make it a point to face my fears one day at a time this coming year.  Not everyone will like me, some will say ugly things, and there will ALWAYS be someone who will bring you down, rain on your sun, and tell you how ugly, fat, stupid, etc. I am, but it stops today.  It should have stopped a long, long time ago. But in the tradition of New Year's Eve, I must have at least one resolution, and it's said if you put something in writing, the odds are better you will achieve it.  Who's with me?  If anyone reads this and wants a support system, you have it here.  I will accept your past, support your present, and encourage your future. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review: Physician's Formula "POP" Enhance Eyeshadows

I have to confess, I have never liked Physician's Formula Cosmetics.  I found them about ten years ago when I was a neophyte in makeup artistry.  They had models who were circa 1950s pinup, with the svelte figures, bright red lips, cat eye liner, porcelain complexions, and wavy hair.  I wanted to emulate that look on my skin.  I wrote to them and inquired about them having a market for women who had tan to dark skin.  Every other line had at least a shade "Caramel" by this time since Halle Berry had become a spokeperson for Revlon.  I never heard back from them.  Usually, I'd get a "Dear Jane" letter or an auto reply thanking me for inquiring, but Physician's Formula sent me nothing, ever.  To this day I still have not heard from them.  But, it's very true when people say, what goes around...I know this product is new for PF, but it was already clearanced to 75% off! 
This product claims to make whatever your eye color, blue, brown, hazel or green, will "POP" with the color combinations.  In their typical style, it is broken into three categories, neutral, playful and dark.  They all  look the same, the last three are the deepest shades, but still varied versions of the same color.  I don't have green photographed, but it's got some nice blue and green shades.  None of them are spectacular, but the payoff/pigment is better when you apply wet.  I would not recommend this product, as the pigmentation takes work, and I don't believe a product should be layered, applied with a darker/lighter base, with a mixing medium, etc.  I must say the L'Oreal singles have a much better payoff than these shadows, and if you slightly bump or drop this, it's gone!

(hazel, brown, blue)


Monday, December 28, 2009

Wet N Wild Limited Edition (Naughty/Nice)

Every time I see the words "Santa Baby" I hear that Song Madonna did.  I know all the words but this year I don't think I played any Christmas music.  I enjoy Christmas songs, but not in December.  I'm an odd bird in that sense. 
So, I heard about this from the sales person/stockist and he told me they would be on sale, so he set a pair aside for me.  They were only $5.99 plus tax, so I would feel really bad, not purchasing them with the buy one get one.  Even though I know Boxing Day they would be even less.  I am a sucker, but Wet N Wild has raised the bar on drugstore products.  I was highly impressed with the pigmentation and color texture of some of their other limited edition shadows.  I don't know why manufacturers opt not to keep consistent with products, it would benefit them in terms of revenue and reputaiton greatly.  This came with 12 shadows, one lip gloss and a mascara.  The lip gloss and mascara is useless unless you want them for carry ons in your purse.  When I tried the mascara it looked grey.  It didn't do much other than coat my lashes, but I expected as much.  Overall, I am pleased with this purchase, However, I know I won't reach for this much.  It's quite gimmicky.  In addition, I must add that this style of trio will be something you will see more of from Stila for Spring 2010.  It's the same as the Barbie Palette I posted months back.  This collection is not a must have, but it is a great stocking stuffer, gift, or item for anyone on a budget.  The cool palette is highly recommended for darker skinned lovelies.

             (buy one get one)
                                                               (Stila loves Barbie?)


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Urban Decay + Alice in Wonderland = LOVE!

I made the dumb mistake of reading twits from Urban Decay and they mentioned a palette which would be released the 28th of December.  That's this Saturday!  I knew it would be the Alice in Wonderland palette, but I was hoping I was wrong.  Why?  Why must Urban Decay do this to me after the holidays?  I have been making shopping a sport.  It's been exhausting chasing all these limited edition and "spotted unicorns" all over town.  I could not believe I found Photo Ready before many of the bloggers I follow.  If they had asked  for a CP, I would have done so.  When I "make it big" I promise to send CP's to people who can't get items in their town, country, etc. (pinky swear)  So, after finding the Wet N Wild Naughty and Nice palettes, (post to follow) I am obsessed with this Alice in Wonderland palette.  Not because I need any of it, but there have been so many collaborations with designers, merchandise (Sanrio's "Hello Kitty") and many, Ungaro, did not really have meaning for me other than to "collect."  Alice in Wonderland was my favorite storybook as a little girl.  I loved the characters she came across when she fell down the rabbit hole.  I confess the Chesire Cat still creeps me out to this day, but knowing that it was all a dream was so amazing given how vivid the story was.  I have and still have those dreams which feel so real that when I wake up, I'm still a bit shook.  The palette will cost me more than the Book of Shadows II at $52.00 USD and tax!  But, if I never buy another item, I have to have this one.  I love all the palettes and shadows I have had by UD. They are very pigmented, and smooth but what's more, the palette has a pop out and mirror!  Come on, how can I ignore that?  That's extortion!  So, my last big buy (please God) will be this and since it will be at ULTA before the 1st, I'm cool to start an official "low" buy before the new year starts.  Look at how pretty this bit is..

Can you blame me for wanting this?  Sure, it's a dupe for many, many of the things that I have, but who will sell me the palette sans shadows?  Plus, it's limited edition and Sephora won't have this until after the new year, per UD's tweet!  I am so disgusted in my inability to fall for advertising; however, I have not made a purchase at MAC since the Style Black collection :)  Watch the trailer!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Milani Crystal Eyez Review

I guess I am doing my end of the year shopping.  When I got the Revlon PhotoReady, the nice lady at the store was putting these on display. They were $6.99 and, of course, buy one get one free.  The pictures are a tad dark; however, this is not something I would tell anyone to run out and get.  It is in a gel form, and does not state that it is "eye safe" which poses a concern for me.  In addition, you would really have to layer or use this as an eyeshadow gloss for an evening out.  A rare evening out, like New Year's or Halloween because it's really an odd concept.  Creme eyeshadow would never be so sheer, and it doesn't stay sticky.  In addition, glitter would not be so sparse, which once this is sheered out with a brush or fingers, there's no glitter, and the glitter isn't like other glitters which sparkle and catch your eye, it's rather muted.  Imagine taking hair gel, and putting craft glitter and shaking it up.  Well, that's what this has the texture of.  I waited for it to dry but not too long as I wanted to return it and ask that they take it off their shelves.  I wouldn't give this to my neice to play with on her dolls or use to make me crafts or artwork to hang on my ice box.  This product is one of the worst attempts at becoming new or innovative and to be honest, most of what Milani has been doing since it pulled their original line has left me unimpressed.  I would not recommend, repurchase or even blog about this, but I hope it saves another makeup addict their "allowance" and not be suckered like me.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Revlon Photo Ready Review (Women of Color)

Well...Revlon and most drug stores are really stepping up their game in order to remain competitive against high end cosmetics.  I must admit Revlon has been quite impressive.  I like that Colorstay kicked MAC's Studio Fix Fluid butt, but (no pun intended) now it's gone after Make Up Forever's HD.  Unfortunately it doesn't quite make the full cut.  The only reason is, Revlon doesn't offer the same level of color schemes for most women.  Revlon display's its available in nine shades - 002 Vanilla, 003 Shell, 004 Nude, 005 Natural Beige, 006 Medium Beige, 007 Cool Beige, 008 Golden Beige, 009 Rich Ginger, and 010 Cappucino.  I wish they had caramel, but since it really isn't schedule for launch until March 2010, I can't fault Revlon.  I purchased it at CVS for $13.99 and it was buy one get one free so that's about $7.00 and change.  I had to mix Rich Ginger and Cappucino to get caramel (top/middle).  It has a pump which I love, and goes on sheer but is buildable.  Some have reported a sheen, however, I didn't find that to be the case with me.  I haven't worn it enough to compare it to Color Stay and I love Color Stay a lot.  It didn't make my pores look huge, nor was it oily.  I have concern over the SPF in that this is sold as "Photo Ready" and the SPF is what gives the gray cast.  I'll take more pics tomorrow.  Here are the ingredients:
 ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: titanium dioxide 1.1%, zinc oxide 2.0%
INGREDIENTS: water, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, butylene glycol, boron nitride, cetyl peg/ppg-10/1 dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone, sodium chloride, nylon-12, hdi trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, calcium aluminum borosilicate, alumina, trimethylsiloxysilicate, glycerin, bis-peg/ppg-14/14 dimethicone, isodecyl neopentanoate, dimethicone/bis-isobutyl ppg-20 crosspolymer, trisiloxane, methicone, triethoxycaprylylsilane, tribe henn, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, cycloheptasiloxane, silica, sorbitan sesquioleate, tetrasodium edta, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, 1,2-hexanediola MAY CONTAIN Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947) 21897 (Date: December 2009)


Monday, December 14, 2009

L'oreal HIP Studio Secrets

I did a lot of shopping for my friend overseas and whilst looking for something else, I came across this from L'oreal.  They were buy one get one free and I purchased a few since I like HIP as an alternative to high end brands.  They are from L'oreal's HIP line but are called Studio Secrets.  I also noticed they had the regular line at 75% off.  I don't know if this is part of a repackaging or restructuring of L'oreal; however, if you like their original line, I'd buy them now or you can wait for them to appear at the dollar stores as there have been sightings.
I applied the swatches without primer and used my finger and did one swipe per swatch for each color.  I can say the formulation is markedly different.  While the product is softer, it has an odd texture.  It feels like there is more oil or binding in these.  I can't explain, but Victoria's Secret has shadows with the same feeling.  The reason I don't like it is, you can't get a lot of product with a brush.  There isn't the powder/chalk feeling, but you get more product by using a sponge tip applicator and there is also buildup.  I don't know what this trend is, but I'm not fond of it.  If you notice the swatches are smooth, rather they are crumbly like creme glitters.  If you have been to Claire's they have shadows with this formulation and you will first thing it's silky but then realize it leaves a residue/buildup on your finger.  The pigmentation is horrible.  You have to use a base to ensure you get the color you see.  The lavender and silver one on the right?  I'd compare that purple to Parfait Amour by MAC.  It's quite pretty; however, with the prices at drugstores, I'd suggest you save the money and purchase something with better pigmentation.  I realise MAC is hit and miss, but there are loads of brands I'd recommend.  If I were to rate this on a scale of one to five and five is the best, I'd give this a one.  If you do purchase this, buy from a store which has a return policy.  If you have purchased this and have made it work, let us know what you did.  Although I don't believe in spending money to make a product work, I may send these as stocking stuffers for my neice.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frugal Finds

Saving money is ALWAYS a plus, but I am so excited about what I did and I countered it by doing a good thing as well.  I was shopping for goodies for my friend in Iraq, and found these brushes.  They were ALL only $1.50 and I've seen this brand at Sally's for loads more $$$. They are by Beauty Strokes and they do have some really nice brushes and they are so soft and they have a brush for everything.  I am so happy since I have a sick addiction to brushes.  I also found products from DDF and NARS, so I feel really happy for splurging.  Have a lovely weekend if you are reading this.  Feel free to ask any questions, and I will be happy to help you. x

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I took a different route to catch the train home today and ta da...they have the Christmas tree up on the lawn.  It's so beautiful albeit slightly anorectic.  It's sort of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree; however, in the evening it's so pretty andto  I don't tend enjoy the Christmas season.  I can look at this tree and it makes me feel really happy and that's not easy to do these days!What's more the storm brought snow!  Snow?  Snow!  I love it, but some people are bundled up so tight they make me cold and I quite like the cold.  I'll take cold over heat any day.  I am having such a nice time walking through the Capital.  The music in the stores either makes me feel angry or sad, but the music at the Capital is quite refreshing.  What's more, there are so many people who are gravitating around to observe and take photos it makes my people watching more interesting.  I really wish I was on some committee responsible for tourism or something. 

(the Capitol building from the west steps)

(watching the sundown on my way home!)
Some people, including me, don't really know how lucky we are.  All it takes is a dream, a heartbeat and a desire to have a new day, a new beginning and a new start.  I had heard about another ugly high jack of youtube guru Fafinettex3's account and it bothered me.  Not because she and I are affiliated, I don't really watch YouTube since there has been so much ...well, it's different than it had been in the past.  I don't enjoy them, or I need a break, but Aubrey is building her account from a tragedy and looking for a "fresh start."  That's a great attitude and I am a firm believer that people can start over as long as they have a desire and a heartbeat.  I may not be completely content where I am, but I am very fortunate with the little bit that I do have.  I may even start watching video's again :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sole Mates, everyone needs at least one.

So...perusing a shoe store I saw the most wicked pair of boots evar! :)  I bought the boots!  They were the last pair in my size and they will replace the pair I brought with me from Europe!  But, as I looked closer, what struck me was the heel.  It had this bit of plastic on the spike part which made it interesting to say the least.  I found out the sales assistant had attached a pair of sole mates to them.  They were $6.99 for one pair but I did research and found four pair for $19.99 plus s/h at QVC
I wore the following shoes to work one day and my co-worker told me "those shoes can do damage."  Guess what?  She was right!  Although I don't walk on the grass, which is what these were said to be designed for.  They don't get hooked on the cracks in the pavement when I'm walking across the Capital on my way to work.  One day I may try walking on the grass of the Capital Park, but with the weather being so bad, I'd save it until I know I won't slip on my bum!

(side view)

(from the back...another camera?)

Voila, here is the ensemble!

I would recommend getting them from the QVC store in order to save money, but if you only want black, you may be better off buying one pair from the website.  They come on and off, but I like having a backup/surplus (just in case)!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just another day in Sunny California

If someone had told me I'd be living and working in California a few years back, I would have called them a "fat liar!" I am.  Not a day goes by when I don't wonder "How the hell did this happen?" or better yet, "How the hell do I get out of here?!"  I'm a very thankful and blessed person.  I have a job, a dog I love, a warm flat, etc.  I don't seem to be able to fit in here.  It's not that I don't try, my personality just doesn't work here.  I have joined social groups, churches, volunteer, attend classes, hang out in libraries, bookstores, and can't say how often I am about shopping. 
California is very nice.  Where else do you find people in shorts, sandals and shades whilst Christmas shopping?  It's very common to see high profile people and they are just about doing their thing.  I used to think it would be nice to be around celebrities, but here, everyone believes they are one.  I dunno...
This day, I was leaving work and walking to the train.  I like to take the late one in the afternoon because there is a man who looks like Adrien Brody on it and I like to stare at his profile.  In the morning there's a chap who looks like a young George Clooney.  I never make eye contact with most men, I don't want them to mistake me for a "fan" but I do want to take their photo so I can show how much they resemble these stars.
Well, this day there was an event at the California Museum of Art. You have to love transit for being near all the hot spots.  It looks lovely having transients asking people who wipe their bums with Benjamins for spare  change.  Or, the homeless person(s) wearing their blanket and carrying their sign in the shot of the news reporter.  When I stumble upon news persons, I always look pissed.  That way they don't ask you any questions.  Who wants to give their opinion about Tiger Woods, the President or any other fodder for all their coworkers, friends and associates to see?  Sure there are loads, but that's not me.  I'm too vain to be caught unversed on a subject or looking a hot mess in front of a camera.  No way, since I still can't find a foundation that my skin doesn't absorb by noon.
I've been practicing taking photos since I am such a novice.  I really loathe just having my mug all over as it seems vain and self absorbed.  I now have an addiction to cameras.  Why can't I have a cheap addiction like...dunno collecting buttons or matches...
So it appears one of the recipients was Harvey Milk.  I wondered why there were signs about Milk being a pervert.  Most times milk is similar to vanilla.  It's pure, boring, or plain, but never perverse.  What's a typical day for you?  Where do you live?  Do you like it?  I am looking to leave, but dunno where to go :(

(who's holding a press conference? or, which building is having a stand off?)

(Milk was a pervert?  ah..protests...)

(don't you love how tacky the "red carpet" is?)

(guy in white hat tells me "no pictures")

(so I cross the street and continue)

(had I known, I could have been the next "party crasher")

(absolutely love this art piece, see it everyday on my way home)

(oh hai mummy, just chilling til you get home :P)

Friday, December 4, 2009

If anyone had told me I would be "that girl" you know "Lee press on nails" I would have laughed and then thrown in my style card forever.  Well... after reading and obtaining superior results from wearing protective hair styles, I wondered if it were possible to obtain similar results from sporting "protective nails."  I have been  wearing press on nails from KISS.  But the ones I sport have a "cuticle moons."  Makes the fake nails look more ahem authentic.
I have been wearing them for about three weeks and my natural nails are still strong.  I loved artificial nails, but they are expensive, and quite harsh on my own nails.  They tend to make my own nails weak and thin.  I have begun to take vitamins for my hair and nails so this is a great alternative whilst awaiting for my own nails to grow.  The unfortunate thing is, I prefer these rather than my own nails so I have to cut my nails to ensure my fake ones fit.  The fake ones are not long and the ones which are long are too long, I reckon I could cut them, but they also don't have the fake cuticles.  I guess too much fakeness? 
My method is different than the box.  I don't apply to clean dry nails, I cut my cuticles, and apply nail hardener.  I wait for that to dry and apply a stronger glue (the one in the box is not quite strong enough), then I attach the appropriate size nail and glue it down and press down for about a minute.  Finally, I allow my nails to "cure" for the night before I do anything with water so the glue can dry without manipulation.  I do this routine each Sunday.  The nails last me a good while before the glue has build up which prevents them from adhering properly.  I hope this helps someone!  It's all in fun, I have long thin fingers so the fakes give me a sense of having nicer hands.  The "piano fingers" or "ET phone home" jokes get old after awhile. 

natural nails with top coat

nails set out for each finger :)

nails applied with professional glue

Easy peasy and fake as a $3.00 bill!