Saturday, July 31, 2010

MAC Dupe: Mauvement

So, many people are excited about MAC's Feline collection so they can get their hands on the "Mauvement" pigment. I  bought this pigment in my "oh em gee it's MAC so I have to have it hey day" and don't recall ever using it. I do like my NYX piggies so when I rediscovered I had Mauvement, it reminded me of my beloved "Beanie" and this post was born. Enter disclaimer here: I am not a photographer, editor, nor do I blog/swatch/review for a living so admittedly my pictures suck aren't the best, but I try. I don't have Photoshop so I take a lot of shitty photos to give as much information (visually) as possible. end disclaimer. I didn't swatch on my arm because my skin tone is brown and I don't want the colors to reflect inaccuracy due to the base of my skin tone, so I used a white disposable cloth to get the most accurate representation. I included Seclude not because it's a dupe, but it's more on the warm side so if anyone is wanting Mauvement but feels they can't make it work, Seclude may offer an inexpensive alternative.

without flash

natural light

Admittedly it's not an exact dupe, but it's very close.  Beanie has more red and Mauvement pulls more dark brown and Seclude is very brown.
the colors in natural light

 in direct sunlight

with flash and their package

I bought the NYX pigments for $3.99 plus tax each and they are almost half the size of the MAC pigments which are $19.50 plus tax.  The pigments from NYX are very similar to MAC's in that they have that binding feel to them, where other pigments feel like dust and are more finely milled.  I have loads of MAC pigments, but haven't bought any since the repackaging.  It isn't in protest, I just realized I don't use them, and just collect them but now that the packaging is different, it throws me off.  I dunno, but I think this NYX alternative could work if you, like many are pressed for cash.  If you are an avid collector, no amount of swatching or comparisons will change your mind.  I've been there.  Hope this helps!  Stay lovely and as always, I'm here if you need more

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Product Review: Dare to Wear

I have no idea how those bloggers do it.  I had the absolute worst day, and decided to treat myself to this collection.  I budgeted an amount when I first learnt "Going Bananas" was being re promoted.  I really wanted it when it came out in "C-Shock" but it sold out and the only other time was in Manish Aurora and yes, I did buy that palette for G.B. but I haven't used it, it's still in the box.  Unfortunately, I really had to work to capture the color.  I didn't base, or prime my hands.  In fact, I washed them because of the gloss swatches which were a b*tch to clean.  Glitter bomb, but pretty none the less, they are very pretty.  I wasn't really "feeling" MAC but  MAC has been funny with their limited editions.  I don't know if it's supply and demand or the scarcity factor, but they aren't really producing enough of their collection for the mass amount of people ready to buy.  eBay is making a killing, but there used to be a time when you could get an item but now...."up short."
Most of the colors swatched well.  The pictures I took with my cell phone, which isn't and iPhone or anything special, but I did take them in direct light.  I actually followed my own advice and left the store and it felt odd.  Usually, security will follow you if you go in a store and come out without a bag and then return to the store again.
I didn't pick up the red color which is similar to the red I have from Sugar Pill and many other reds, it's not "amazing."  I think my Wales/88 palette is similar.  In addition, the blues are meh, but I'm not good with blue, I liked the look Eve rocked in her C-Shock promotional photo, but .....nah.  I bought the purple, because it swatched lovely, it's matte and I love purple.  It's nothing like the infamous #92 but I haven't found anything similar to that one.  *shrug*  I also bought the green because I returned or sold my Landscape Green pigment.  I am done with minerals and pigments.  I really don't like working with them anymore, and matte's are impossible for me to press.  I passed on the glosses because I don't wear bold, bright, and glittery lips enough to justify this.  In fact, I have a lip gloss from Milani very similar, and if I layer it with Girl About

Town, instant wow factor without glitter.  I'm temporarily on assignment and it's a very conservative environment.  I get enough grief for existing, my style makes them shake their head, and though I'm not insecure, I'd like to finish these 10-12 hour days as quickly as I can.  The red gloss is nice, but again, the glitter doesn't work for me.  I don't club, it is rather "busy" for daytime, and again, I won't reach for this, but if I feel the need for glitter, I can easily make my own and be fine. 
Ugh...I don't know why MAC isn't doing it for me at all.  In fact, I'm more interested in the Urban Decay Neutral Palette than any upcoming collections *hands in MAC club card*  I guess I'm on probation pending further investigation.  It's not the heat, maybe the stress in my life?  Ah well, I'm sure I'll find another vice to obsess on...Shoes!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MAC + Rodarte=$$$

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I just can't sit on this post.  I
know we've grown tired of the MAC and Rodarte sisters collaboration, but what irritates me is how some people are being outright ignoramuses about this.  I got a tweet stating "No one gave a fat fuck about Juarez until MAC collaborated!"  This is presumptuous on this vlogger/guru's part because we don't really know what people support or causes they contribute to very well do we?  I care about many issues, but there are far too many to speak on.  Right now, I'm lobbying against human trafficking, but does that mean I broadcast this daily?  No, but if a collection came out from MAC which had anything remotely to do with human trafficking, I'd be proactive in voicing my concerns. 
Another vlogger/guru posted a video stating MAC had not mentioned Juarez in the collection and that people were "overreacting."  Normally I let ignorance stay ignorant, but I wrote to her not because she felt this was a "waste of time because people were still going to buy this collection."  My issue was that she gave a defeatist impression.  If we all shrugged our shoulders because "it wouldn't make a difference" why would we have so many privileges today.  In fact, I would still be sitting in the back of the bus and minorities would not be allowed to vote.  How stupid can people be?  Never encourage people to not take a stand for something they are passionate about.  I don't care if it's something I disagree with, make your voice heard.  Never let someone else tell you you can't make a difference.  Or, that "no one cares what you think." 
(Rodarte sisters:  We didn't mean any harm $$)
If it meant no difference, why are they sending contributions of $100,000.00 (chump change/write off) ?  It's quite simple if you've understood marketing.  Now that this collection has been so controversial, the Rodartes get their name out there from someone other than Tavi.  Seriously, when was the last time you spoke of them?  Exactly!  Many people didn't know they were designers, because MAC has done so many collaborations we've grown bored.   The collection isn't even interesting if I'm honest.

Kitchmas?  1/2 the product at the same price? 

I get what MAC is doing from a business stand point, but that does not mean I don't find it distasteful.  There are so many other methods of getting your name out there.  This isn't really necessary and if a vast amount of people are offended, why do it?  I am no saint, but I would be hard pressed to capitalize off anything which would offend an oppressed people or make light of a serious situation.  What if another company made a collection called "Stonewall?"  Would MAC be as non chalant with this all races, colors, ages theory?  Of course not, what happened was horrible and gays are still not considered as equals.  To close, as I've said before, Si Se Puede!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Emergencee at a great price with Great Service!

I love love when I get good service.  This place is my new best friend.  I found Ugly N Beauty when my regular distributor flaked on me.  *boo hiss* I have to have Emergencee.  It is one of my "must have" products for my Afro textured hair.  It has been fundamental in my hair journey and, while I could find an alternative it doesn't have the same effect.  It's called Aloxxi now, but my hair reacts the same to this formula and I only see one difference and that is the amount of water in the ingredients.  I don't recommend this product for all hair types, especially fine hair, but if you have long Afro textured hair that tangles easily, this should be in your stash somewhere.  Most etailers sell this one 16.9 oz bottle for $50 or more.  I got two for less than $65 including shipping.  Great price, great service, and fast shipping.  They included beauty products as well.
Sadly, I am not sponsored, nor am I a "common name" in the blogosphere, therefore, when companies give me good service, I'm shouting from the rooftops since it seems you have to "be someone" in order to get good service these days.  I tried to call and thank them, but was too lazy to stay on hold, so I'm posting this instead.  I will do a review of this product in full, and indicate why I love it so much and how I use this.
see how matted? meh!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fix? or Fad?

I don't know how those who are in the "know" in the beauty blogging and advertising world handle it.  Seriously, I am by no means an expert or even on the radar of high profile beauty bloggers and every morning at least, no exaggeration, 15 emails are about the "next best _______."  Seriously, I think e.l.f. have me on a hourly list of emails which come to the same address but are addressing me in various manners.  I'm not blaming them, I'm the idiot one who signs up for these things.  Why? Discounts of course! 
(really Stila?)
In my defence, this stuff is really getting out of hand.  I need another primer like I need a whole in my head. 
For example, you know how brands have primers in shades to counter facial discolouration.  Green for redness, purple for yellow or sallowness...? Well, Stila has an all inclusive primer.  How the fuck on earth does Stila's primer "magically" know what to correct?  Can the primer see my skin?  Does it detect where the redness is, where I need brightening?  My skin is black, will I walk about looking like one big bulb?  Seriously, how does this primer know my face from yours?  Not to mention my skin is temperamental, I may wake up with no issues and then by noon, I'm developing a planet. Here's what Stila has to say:
one step correct


Swirl you way to perfect skin in one step! This innovative, triple-swirled helix serum instantly color corrects, brightens and covers skin imperfections for a flawless face with no fuss.
This primer, color corrector, brightener and anti-aging skincare serum does it all with the help of Stila's Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex™:

Instantly makes imperfections disappear
Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, pores and pigmentation
Miracle Worker
Hydrates, controls oil and improves skin texture

The revolutionary new product contains 3 color-correcting brighteners:

•Green tone instantly neutralizes redness and conceals blemishes

•Lavender tone counteracts sallow undertones for a vibrant, energized look

•Peach tone brightens, illuminates and helps diminish the appearance of sun spots

The weightless, creamy formula blends imperceptibly into skin and won't clog pores or settle into fine lines … so all anyone will notice is your perfectly flawless skin! <~~~~ Rrright!  Only $36.00

As if that weren't enough....Coastal Scents is my new friend too.  Aside from weekly alerts on Fridays, I received....

"Prepare to be amazed by the astonishing results of CS Shadow Worx Eye Primer. Shadow Worx comes in an easy to squeeze gold tube with a slim release point, this allows for precise disbursement of product along with eliminating bacterial growth. You will find it easy to squeeze down to your very last drop, no waste.

Shadow Worx appears pearlescent and is champagne in color, it offers multi-functional uses with ease. Shadows will apply smoothly like silk, blend well and dry quickly, as well as remain crease-free and vibrant all day. A matte effect is easily obtained when applying matte powders over the Shadow Worx.

Price: only $14.95
I'm not saying I don't appreciate products which are innovative and cutting edge.  My question is, "Why do we need products, for products to do what they are designed to do?"  If I buy a foundation that says it will give me a flawless finish, or a matte finish why would I need to buy their primer as well?  I know, to prime the skin well, that would mean you have a skin cleansing system.  I'm sure there is a cleanser or something to help eradicate my ruddiness right?   
It's a dog eat dog business beauty is.  I'm just disgusted at how many fads, trends, and the amount of shit stuff I've accumulated just to look "pretty" and feel good about myself.  I'm a marketing teams dream.  I know I won't be a supermodel tomorrow and that these things are 90% hype, but...what's a girl to do?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beauty Guru Faux Pas!

I am praying the intent of this post does not get lost in the "personalities" but I have fun with some of the YouTube guru drama.  Why?  It's silly, and since things are so bad in my life, I am entertained when I find that "oh snap gurus are people too!"  I like Kandee, she's fun, inspirational and can whip a look together faster than you can shake a stick.  I don't doubt her talent.  In fact, I don't really watch too many tutorials to replicate looks, rather find reviews, get tips, find out what's new, hits and misses on products, etc.  I would be a hypocrite if I didn't say at times the drama is cruel but the people who are so obsessed with dogging gurus...I'll leave it alone and get to this.  So you see the quick tip re: L'Oreal true match?  Quick video and while it's not the "typical" Kandee video, it's meaning is simple.  Look good, with inexpensive makeup and here is how and why you would also contour your makeup.  Fair enough right? Well, not so much.  You see the bottles she's holding?  Now let's observe what she reaches for....

(hai thur new bottle)

Now before anyone gets all bum hurt, this isn't to disrespect Kandee.  The way I see it, Kandee is thinking "Sure, I'll promote your lousy product, but I ain't about to put that shit stuff on my face!"
I think this made my whole night.  Sadly, she is probably getting comments about selling out, or whatever, but these gurus are genius.  Who wouldn't want to make videos rather than be forced to work and follow protocol at a company?  I couldn't handle the mean comments.  Blogging is easy as it's writing and you can formulate thoughts, post pictures, ramble and network without being constantly bombarded with requests, insults, spam, requests for ________. 
On the other hand, I don't condone when people don't disclaim they are being compensated or have been given a product for review and then the product is the answer to the oil spill in the Gulf.  I find it takes a lot of integrity to be 100% about a product in spite of having said company think they own your channel.
Again, this is not to put anyone down.  I emailed Kandee, tweeted her, but I reckon she sees me the way most viral Internet pseudo-celebs do.  I'm a mere white noise in their stream of chatter.  I'm good with it, but this could go wrong to those who have vested their "faith" in people.  We always come short, but you have to admit, even for a video, the girl is not about to mess up her face ☺

cheers luvs,

Friday, July 9, 2010


I hated IMATS always being in Los Angeles with respect to the tour for the USA.  I get that LA holds a large population of industry people and the attendance is always impressive....
BUT, New York is a completely different style than the west coast.  Yay for the laid back, bronzed, beach loving style of our California makeup artists, but can't we mix it up?  I'd like to see the difference in style that New York has to offer, I think it would prove enlightening for all makeup artists and enthusiasts.  Makeup artists aren't compensated a lot in the early years.  Imagine flying all the way to Los Angeles every Spring/Summer (the busiest time) and still have to find hotel accommodations, parking, and money to haul and the issue which always hit can't carry your makeup on the plane, so you have to find a place and have it boxed and shipped to you.  Seriously?  WTF?  Granted, it's only once a year, but that's it.  It's once (1) *Justin Bieber "One Time"* a year.  Well, they can always go to IMATS in Toronto.  Sure, that's no problem, unless you need a passport, those don't take long, and neither do customs. 
To be really honest, it would be nice if IMATS could take it's show on the road.  I'm talking Texas, Florida, Chicago.  Not to mention  the other countries not represented.  I'm smiling at the thought of IMATS in the "Big Easy."  Imagine the work reflected by makeup artists in New Orleans?  That would be so sick.  Well, if you are an early planner you can get your tickets, information and all that other rubbish right here
Hug and Kiss xoxo 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

After Artificials

So...after months of wearing falsies, I've succumbed to sporting my nails in their "natural" state.  Yay for finally going natural.  I debated this decision for quite some time.  I read when Lollipop26 had tweeted fake nails were "tacky."  I didn't care she had declared that so many times, and like her, fake nails don't scare me, but I do find the transition annoying.   For instance, I have said a thousand times, "always review your purchases" online and check reviews.  I should re think the stuff I say.  My best reviews left me with an arsenal of products.  Guess what? ..... THEY ALL WORK THE SAME!! The only thing I noticed to differentiate between them is some have a thicker consistency.  To be fair, I plan on using one brand for a week at a time.  I can tell straight away if a nail varnish will live up to the hype within a day, but to be fair, "Operation Rescue Nails" is going to be very thorough. 
My goal is to test all of the products which came highly recommended, then I will post the results.  The price, consistency, length of wear, strength of my nails, all of it.  I want to know if Gelous, is better than Nail Magic.  Is Nail Magic better than Sally Hansen?  This will be fun.  I am not going to use color, I think that will impact the results.  We'll see!  The worst part is getting used to the texture of my nails.  They feel paper thin, even though they don't bend.  It's because there is no shield on top.  The fake nail forced my brain to "believe" that my own nails were stronger, when they really weren't.  I guess looking at those ads with the woman with the lumineer had a bit to do with it.  Reviews, to come?  What do you do?  Start over? Cry?

(I meant business)

If there is one you are particularly curious about, or can vouch for let me know, I'll swap it immediately and proceed to the next round. Have a beautiful day! ♥♥♥


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

OOTD: $8 dollar dresses at the Red Dot Boutique!

How do those fashion bloggers do it?  Seriously, it's easier for me to take photos of intelligent life on Mars, than to get a decent picture of myself. Screw me, this post is all about you! 
Y.O.U. !!!
Ever see those women who have on a cute simple dress and it seems like it's a classy expensive dress.  Not designer (Dior, Cavalli, Herrera) but Macy's or Express.  Well, this was a deal at Target.  It's a good material, not too thin, not heavy, and is lined with satin (great for hot days).  I bought a few of them in different colors.  They are simple, quick and easy to make office appropriate.  With dresses simple, and solid, accessories make all the difference in the world.  Think scarves, statement necklaces and bangles.  The dress is Mossimo, and was on the clearance rack for $8.00 plus tax.  It's perfect for the summer and, if need be, a pair of tights and boots with a jacket and I'm good to go for winter.  Unselfish me, is telling you where the deals are!  Those other girls?  Lies!  They are "programmed" to tell you they bought their outfit somewhere chic, so I'm keeping it 100% and letting you know, I've had meals worth more than this dress at Chipotle.  Don't spend all your hard earned money on expensive stuff knowing your weight will fluctuate just as fast as the trends, these are classics.  Classics are great as they don't go out of style, they're work appropriate and you can add a cardigan, blazer, pashmina or whatever you wish to make the dress suit you during the day, to something daring and sleek for after hours cocktails or a date with a new "friend."
  (brown dress and peep toes)

So, this was not the best outfit of the day, but I don't have someone to follow me in the park and take photos of me striking model poses.  I am an admitted loner, who loves to look pretty.  I am looking for an inexpensive tripod to put somewhere to get decent pics, or I may just hang the bloomin dress and snap away.  For now, this will have to suffice.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pet Adoption

I kid you not when I was sitting on my pity pot I really had no idea how much work taking care of a pet entails.  I have been absent in order to take care of my adopted doggie. If I had known earlier what I know now, I may have went with the cat.


I'm going to cringe if I ever hear about an adult giving a child a "pet" as a gift.  Why?  The odds are that same pet will end up in a Sara McLaughlin ad because the dog was overwhelming and the child could not take care of it, let alone themselves.  Pets are a huge responsibility.  For many years, they are in a child like state.  You know how at some point you have more "faith" the dog won't act out?  No.
This summer I've been working, taking a class, and raising a tiny mutt.  I have the worst bags under my eyes, a headache and guilty conscious.  The dog can't be in the heat so we didn't celebrate outdoor activities.  He's quite small so while we get the "Aw...he's so cute, how old, what kinda ..." I can't be away from him too long or he gets separation anxiety.  I dropped my dog off with my father so I could visit my mum.  The dog got nervous and peed on the carpet.  I asked my dad why he didn't let him out and he said he was worried the dog would want to look for me, and run away or get hit by a car.  Good on dad, sucks to be me!  When I returned the dog was so upset he didn't leave me the rest of the evening.  I thought he had a tummy ache but no, it was trauma having been away from me and in an unfamiliar environment.  Here are some things to keep in mind BEFORE getting a critter, things to ask yourself:
  1. "What will I do with him when I go on holiday?"
  2. "Do I have the money for vet bills or insurance in the event of unexpected accident, injury, illness?"
  3. "Do I have the patience to clean, potty train, walk, feed, cleanup, groom, him?"
  4. "How much time will this dog need from me?" Some dogs are VERY needy they are very different than cats.
  5. "Are my living arrangements going to change?" Some people don't want pets around them, you may be transferred, downsized or made redundant.
  6. "Is anyone I love, care for, live with, allergic/frightened of him?"  I am surprised at the people I thought I knew who don't like dogs regardless of how tiny and cute.
  7. "How big will he/she become and what kind of space will they require?"  Dogs need to run about, but if you have a Labrador and you live in a tiny flat, you may want to rethink the flat or the dog.  Unless, you don't mind finding a place nearby to walk him to so he can get exercise.
  8. "Did I pet proof the house?"  Dogs to some crazy shit stuff when we are away.  You may come home from work and think you are at the wrong house.  Hide those shoes, lipsticks, pillows, toys...
  9. "Do I want to invest in behavioral training?"  The best time to stop those pesky pet problems?  Before they happen.  You may teach an old dog new tricks, but it's not as easy.
  10. "Am I committed?"  Whoa, this is a big commitment.  I spent more on my dog than I have any partner thus far.  He's everything and I committed to providing a safe, loving, happy home for him, but I've had to sacrifice a lot of things.  After work drinks, weekend get aways, overnight guests :) "my time" etc.
If you have a loving heart, it's all worth it.  I don't plan on making any changes in the next year which would impact him.  I also don't mind that he's so needy for the most part.  Sure he cries a lot, but it's just because he wants to be with me.  He hates when I leave, but the chewing is over.  I don't get to play in my makeup the same, but I went to the shelter everyday after class and finally gave in.  I need to contribute to a cause anyway.  It's teaching me patience and unselfishness. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Caring for your Extensions

Wouldn't it be nice if we all had hair like Rapunzel?  I don't know that I would have some man using it to climb up a tower, but yeah.  We don't and neither did she.  Granted, there are those people who are genetically gifted with thick, long and strong hair.  The rest of us?  Duh!  We buy it! There used to be a lot of shame and embarrassment surrounding "fake hair" but we got over it, and now, like false nails, hair is no exception.  Sure, there are many, many naysayers, but that's their opinion and sure their entitled but likewise you don't have to listen to them. 
Many people don't really know what their doing when they buy hair from what I've observed.  I'd like to give some suggestions and then follow up with some advice on caring for the hair.
First, make sure you have researched the type of hair you want to purchase.  Synthetic? Cheap, but looks like doll hair.  It's made from synthetic fibers, and isn't heat resistant *unless specified*  Synthetic hair holds its shape well, but there aren't many options, and don't expect to get months of wear from them, even with the best of care you will eventually have a tumbleweed.  It will matt, tangle and frizz up no matter how expensive the products you use are.  This leads me to the next point.  Do not waste money on expensive products if you have synthetic hair!  There was a lady bragging about how much she spent on her "synthetic wefts."  Sometimes you just have to let people feel they are all knowing.  I've been there so, I didn't fault her.  Too bad that Pureology had no chance of doing anything to that synthetic fiber.  She would have been better if she had washed her "purse dog" with that shit stuff.
Now, when you get to the human hair, you become a small fish in a huge pond. There are so many types of hair but the most common are: Indian Remi, Yaki, Virgin and Virgin Cuticle.  Depending on your own hair's texture it will determine what's most natural in terms of blending.  The good thing about human hair, is that you can customize it.  It can be permed, colored, relaxed, and flat ironed.  The best hair, in my opinion, is virgin cuticle.  This is hair that has not been treated at all.  You know when you donate hair and they don't want processed hair.  That's an example of virgin hair.  The cuticle intact helps to prevent frizz.  The unattached hair is good, but because it isn't aligned (same direction) it's more susceptible to tangling, which means shedding. 
How you care for your extensions should mirror how you take care of your healthy hair.  You will wash, condition, deep condition (microwave+plastic bag+deep conditioner+essential oil) and seal the hair shaft. 

(you too can have this hair)
Tips and Tricks:
  • Detangle the hair with a large tooth comb prior to washing.
  • Wash the hair ONLY when necessary (product buildup, dirt, sweat). 
  • Don't manipulate the hair when you wash it.  Use a basin and swish the hair around. 
  • Baking soda is a good method of cleaning extensions due to product buildup.
  • Never put the hair in the microwave longer than 30 second intervals.  Check before adding more time, and don't leave unattended (uh-oh!)
  • Use cold water to rinse your "hair" and let the water run in the same direction of the hair.  If possible, don't use hard water.
  • Moisture, Moisture, Moisture!  The hair is not attached to a scalp, so it won't get any oils, so whatever products you use, make sure there is adequate moisture or you will see the demarcation where your hair and the dry hot mess attached separates.  Not a pretty look, but it happens.
  • Air dry whenever possible.  Use a hanger, some clips or a hanger for slips/skirts and let the hair air dry.  If you plan to curl or straighten, this will be beneficial in ensuring less damage and split ends.
  • Don't buy hair just because the store clerk said "Everyone in Hollywood..." Secret?  It all from China, India, etc.  Some hair isn't even what it's sold as.  Try going to this forum.  This is grad school for extensions.  There isn't a trick, technique, brand of hair that they don't know about.  *Warning* Civilians must have thick skin here.  Lurk, learn, log off.
Remember, it's just hair, it doesn't define you, you wear the hair not the other way around.  Life is too short to think your hair is all you have.  Sure it sucks having alopecia, baby fine hair or just stagnant growth, but there's help and alternatives. Confidence is always beautiful!