Sunday, August 29, 2010

Product Dupe: Milani v. MAC

I was thisclose to making a purchase at MAC, but the people at my local freestanding store are either, too pushy, too suspicious, or arrogant.  I've been a little down, so I didn't really feel like having to get my game face on to swatch the new collection.  I don't mind relying on other people's opinion, but I feel like there's an art to applying makeup on me and discerning if it is something worth purchasing or passing. 
So, I pacified my time by playing in my stash.  I sent loads of stuff abroad to my cousins who know nothing about makeup.  They're quite conservative and don't really thing anything but lipstick is a necessity.  I don't mind, they fancy me to be the "strange" cousin.  So I found this creme strobe tint by MAC, and I remember it was the reason I passed on those drops a few collections back.  I bought it for around 25 USD with the intent on adding a touch of "glow" to my complexion.  I thought since my skin is so dark, what would bronzer do?  I mean for fair skin it's sold as a tool to add color and is applied to where the "sun would naturally hit your face.  So after a few women of color told showed me different and how to apply it, I bout this and never used it. I got it home and the coppery tone concerned me since my skin turns orange with foundation and I only wear foundation on special occasions and I haven't had any lately.
Milani v. MAC on dark skin
I am neutral about MAC, so that said, I wasn't very impressed with the application.  Neither has the ingredients listed, but judging by the texture, the strobe tint is a much thinner consistency than the Milani bronzer.  It's also much sheerer.  The Milani has a trio of colors blended together to form one shade.  It's a thick custard consistency and is quite smooth for a drugstore brand.

swatched on white towel
I really wish I had a friend with fair skin to be fair with my swatches.  I love that Karla Sugar swatches the whole lot of colors from the darkest to the lightest.  Many people forget about ranges outside of themselves.  Swatching on a napkin feels inconsiderate, but a) I can barely take proper photographs, and b) I don't have any mates here.  It's also dark right now at half nine so ....

The good: Both go on smooth and light on the skin.  There was no oily feeling and my skin didn't feel like it was melting.  Neither oxidized after an hour.
The bad:  Milani is much cheaper than MAC and it is more opaque as well.  At around $3.99 this really kicks MAC's arse and that's enough to get my card revoked but I'm the idiot who bought both!
The bottom line:  Milani beats MAC hands down in this round.  I don't really buy much Milani, it's not as easy to find.  They have lovely nail varnishes and eyeliner, but I'm not biased toward them over MAC at all, but these are my opinions based on this experiment.

what do you think?


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Healthy Alternatives that taste good!

 Yesterday, I purchased a drink from what I thought was a healthy snack alternative due to the extreme heat.  I went to Jamba Juice because the line at Pinkberry was too long, and I'm lazy and watching people make decisions when I'm hungry is a bad combination.  So, I grabbed a brochure on the way out to find my Protein Berry minus banana extra strawberries had more calories than a scoop of ice cream! GAH!  I would have thought there was less than 110 calories which a serving of Pepsi has.  So, now I know why my ass isn't shrinking.  I capitulated over this for a long time.  I spent a good $5 spot each time and am already addicted. So, I found the ingredients, and made a low calorie, low fat, alternative and you only need a few items.
    • strawberries
    • soy or whey protein
    • soy milk
    • orange juice

I started with a scoop of this soy protein at the grocer, and placed it at the bottom of my blender, because the protein has to be blended, it will disgust you to no end, if you don't blend it properly.  *Disclaimer:  You can modify any of the ingredients to suit your specific needs.  I didn't have any low fat soy milk, so I used what was available. 

Add frozen strawberries, if you don't have a very high grade blender, get the ones that are sliced and buy them in bulk, it's much cheaper.  If they aren't frozen, you'll need ice.  I've found if you use frozen, it tastes better, and colder.  
Pour milk over the strawberries, you'll need it to help blend the protein and strawberries.  Not only did I goof and get regular soy, I purchased Vanilla, which is going to be counter productive, you don't want this sweet, but I'll tell you how to remedy that.

Blend it until it's a smooth yet thick consistency.  I like mine very thick so I can use a spoon.  It gives me the feeling of eating as opposed to drinking because I'm on this water issue.  I think eating healthy is part mental.  Sometimes we need to feel like we're eating, i.e. carrot sticks or popcorn to feel like snacking on junk.  So, because I have vanilla, I put a splash, of orange juice and that took the sweetness out but added more calories.  If you do use orange juice get 100% not concentrated, it will be better for you and less calories by way of sugar. 


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kat Stacks v. men and women

I must live under a rock, because many of the "household names"  out there aren't familiar to me.  Enter "Kat Stacks Bitch!"  I heard that and thought it was a spoof of Rick James or something.  Unfortunately, the title is one of the blonde on the left photo courtesy of Google.  I am admittedly gobsmacked.  I don't have a heaven or hell to put anyone in, so I don't judge.  Well, this girl has some serious game.  I don't hate, envy or feel insecure about myself because of her.  She makes me think about things I try to forget.  You know the "one" girl/woman your man is curious about, then he gets sucked in and he gets caught?  She's that girl.  I cannot wrap my head around this soap opera.  She's not fake, what you see is what you get, and then some, but They fall hard.  If it wasn't enough to know about her previous scandals with well known artists, they keep calling, texting, tweeting her knowing, the minute they slip, which they will, her wrath will have them and possibly their career by the balls.  That cell phone in her hand?  It's worth millions!  If it could talk? That's fine, she speaks for it.  Why do men do that to themselves?  What is it with people that the worse something is for you, the more they have to have it? Even as she was blasting Soulja, she was being hit up by other men and their wives!  Really?  Did you not see this?  Seriously, I felt violated watching it, and I don't even know who this guy is.  Why do men do that?  *shrugs* I cannot understand it, but I guess Adam "it was that woman!" ran it first. 
I'm sad about it.  This girl doesn't have to look for men, they come to her.  From a female standpoint, I should be scared to death of women like her.  There are some lines I cannot cross in the bedroom.  I.just.can't.  But, judging by this interview for her it's not personal, it simply is.  She has learnt that men cannot be trusted, and doesn't see them as lovers, rather conquests.  This girl is everything I'm not.  I don't curse, look, party or play like her.  Does this mean my partner will, in the back of his mind, have some fantasy she can fulfill?  Sure, don't trip on her.  Well I didn't want to but I read about this woman who intentionally failed to tell men she had sex with she is HIV positive.  One of my biggest fears, is having that disease because my partner cheated and BOOM!
I don't care how her life plays out, she's grown and she lives with herself and her choices and accepts the price.  What worries me, is that there are so, so SO many young girls who want to be like her?  This girl was stripping at age 15 to survive! Why would anyone want that for themselves?  They have so much ahead of them and to have to live that sort of life is sad.  But it's not just the music industry, this happens everywhere.  For example, whilst perusing comments on social networking sites, if I had a pound for every girl who wrote, "XXX, you are my idol, I want to be like you, you inspire me," I'd never live long enough to spend it all and I can spend money without leaving the bed. 
It makes me wonder what's happening with kids and their parents.  Maybe we are just like other generations, but this is the one I'm in so, I need to up my game and bring solutions and not problems. Or, maybe it's just life.  People get sucked into things until they figure out on their own, those things are not what they appear and people aren't who they seem.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NYX: Part Two the Cremes

(cherry, orange, milk and yellow)
I'm starting to want to take back my words about editing my photos.  In my defense, I had been washing my hands more than usual this week.  But damn gee, they're quite dry.  Oops! I guess it's true the camera captures the details, my hands look like they belong on the end of Snoop Dog.  Aw well, got to be able to make fun of one's self. 
 This brings me to today's review.  I previously discussed my opinion on NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, and displayed a few swatches.  This lot is from the same ideology (eye shadow base) and although these don't crease as quickly as the shimmers, they still contain mineral oil which is an emollient.  Emollient = CREASING no matter how dry your lids are.  They don't come off as easily either.  In the swatch, I had just tested the colors on my hand and went about for an hour and washed with gentle soap and water, no rubbing as if the swatches were on my eyes and there is still remnants of the colors.  I didn't notice until posting the pic on the left.  I am neutral on whether I see that as a plus, because I would need to use and oil based product (virgin olive, coconut, jojoba) in order to remove them from my eyes, and my eyes are so sensitive and my vision so poor I fear I'll have blurred vision.  That's my fault for being vain.
Used yellow as a base with 88 palette e/s
Overall, these are nice, much better in terms of eyeshadow base (not primer) and helping shadows maximize the efficacy.  In the above photograph, I used the "yellow" pencil (not as opaque but buildable) over a primer and used a random gold from the notoriously cheap 88 eyeshadow palette.  That palette is everywhere and everyone has it in their product line and all of us addicts have at least one in our possession.  This photo was taken at the END of the day (notice the chapped lips and glazed eyes) and there is no creasing and it was very hot today.  It was record breaking heat.  Look at my hands, face, lips, I'm practically breaking into tiny bits ☺
I got these on sale at ULTA cosmetics locally, and I believe they carry them online.  They were on sale, but they shouldn't be more than $5.00 at the most.  I can help you find a retailer if you wish. 

with flash and ash

I would recommend these if you don't already have a base, but to be honest, something with a semi oil based finish can perform the same, unless you are trying to manipulate the color of the eyeshadow.  White base, will brighten, darker base adds intensity.
(l-r cherry, orange, milk and yellow)


Monday, August 23, 2010

NYX: Part One has been all sorts of bad, and I've neglected doing my hair and makeup and .... weight loss.  Stress sucks!  I have had the worst year since last year, but I'm determined to get my mojo back.  I started by getting my eyebrows threaded.  Aside from the eyes, these photos are not false.  THIS is exactly how shitty bad I look.  I'm thinking of plastic surgery.  My breasts are so gone they look like I've been nursing twins!  One day at a time.  I wanted to review and post photos of some of the products I've been hoarding collecting over time.   I don't have the face or voice for YouTube, so I can share my bits and try to contribute HERE!!!  I scored these ones at  ULTA cosmetics for a buy one get one free.  I think they cost about $3.99 plus tax.  It's not a bad deal if you can catch them, but they are not good if you use them alone. 
They go on like silk, they are so creamy.  As a result of the emollients, they will crease like Vaseline and they don't hold eye shadows if your eyes get wet.  I shed a tear or two thinking the base would prevent creasing.  It's as if there was never any shadow and they crease and if you try to reapply eyeshadow, it's with the crease still there.  Best thing, start all over, or don't use these if you plan to be anywhere near vapor or water.  I know a lot of people rave about these, but I don't reach for them.  I like them, they add a bit of "punch" to any shadow (especially those misses lacking pigmentation) or pigments, but they need to be kept cool if you plan to use them frequently.  In fact, if you want to sharpen them, freeze them first.  Also, some are depotting them?  Meh, I have paint pots, cream eye shadows, paints, etc, and I don't reach for them and it's easier for me to use the stick form than my fingers or brushes.

I don't know my shade in MAC but if I could it'd be NC47

Again, the pigmentation is amazing for darker skin tones, so even if you choose to use them as an eyeshadow alone, I'd highly suggest you use a very good primer, (UDPP) underneath and blend a bit into the skin.  Straight from the pencil is how I swatched these in natural light with no flash and I did NOT do any editing or manipulation to the photo.  I want these to be as close to "real" as possible without being worthless.  I'm tempted to do some touch ups, but I think that would be counterproductive if I'm trying to show images of products.  I reserve the right to change my mind, as I notice my colors are deeper than they are looking at my hand.  It appears to have a bit of a shadow. 

Electric Blue, Mountain Green, Pure Gold, Purple Velvet
The above photo is more accurate than the swatches, I took these on my patio so they are a bit more clear than when I simply stood next to the window pane.  I would recommend these for anyone who wants simple, inexpensive, and quick bits of color.  I don't recommend these if you live in warm climates like Florida, but for the price, I say get them either on sale, or use the weekly coupon.  Good luck!


Monday, August 2, 2010

What is it about PINK ?

freaking adorable!
I'm an old bird.  I am far too "mature" to admit this, but something in the color pink makes me stupid.  I can be shopping, and the color jumps out at me, and then I'm in a sort of spell wherein whatever the item is, I want it.  I've purchased pens, scissors, notebooks, things which mean nothing all because of my love of the color pink. It's embarrassing, but my Post It notes, phone case, laptop, nightgown, slippers, mobile, track suits and more!
I can't say it's really a spell because I do have some sense when it comes to cars, clothes and bedding.  If I find it sexy, the color is always black, but little trinkets?  I don't know why.  I ask myself this often and even though there are other women who are in the same pink boat, which normally is a deterrent.  If everyone has something, I usually am turned off.  I'm happy to wear my wide leg jeans even though skinny jeans are all the rage.  "Who gonna check me boo?"  But, I cannot get myself to switch to another color.  I've tried and it just.won'

Nope, I wasn't raised like a spoilt "princess" with a Pepto Bismol room adorned with faeries and stuffed bunnies.  On the other hand, I wasn't a tomboy so I'm not overcompensating.  In fact, I have sense enough as I stated to know when I've crossed the line from "cute" to fucking ridiculous gaudy (Katie Price and Peter Andre's wedding).  It's not brought on by my obsession with makeup either, it started before then as well.  I really felt it was a phase but I'm embarrassed now that I'm learning to socialize more and the comments regarding how much pink I have or how I gravitate towards things of said color has become bl**dy embarrassing, but I can't stop.  Today, I saw the cutest compact (ew even the way I say that aloud) and it was that color, so I didn't buy it.  I lied at break about where I was going and bought it! What?! Yep, told a lie to go get it because I didn't have the balls get it earlier.  Eek!  What next?  I can't have them over.  This obsession with beauty, hair, shoes, nails, may be what kept me isolated.  The fear of being rejected for my "hobbies" and further judged.  At least I can blog it all out....♥