Liquid Liner-Less

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

These past few weeks have brought with them quite a bit more excitement than I'm used to.  Firstly, I jumped on a bus down to Washington DC for a few days to catch up with some old college friends, then my birthday came and went, and finally, my family and I had to gear up and pack for a weeklong stay in Martha's Vineyard, all the while trying to get our house ready to sell!  To say that May has been a hectic month would be putting it mildly, but there was one great thing that came out of the scrubbing and organizing and packing of boxes; whilst rifling through my sister's things to get her room in order, I happened upon a tiny palette from Dior.  I could barely contain myself as I turned the case over, only to see the words "Beige Massai" written underneath (I had just watched Lisa Eldridge's All-Time Favorites video, so you can imagine my surprise).  So not only did I have an untouched Dior eye palette in my possession now, but it was also endorsed by my all-time favorite makeup artist? I could hardly keep from scrambling for my brushes right then and there.

It wasn't long before I had slapped together an eye look using a few of the five colors, and because of the sheer beauty and blendability of the shadows, I decided to leave the harshness of liquid liner out of the equation and subtly lined underneath my eyes with the dark brown shadow instead.  I used the upper right beige color all over the lid, the central brown color in the outer corners, and the bottom right warm brown as a blending color and through my brows.  I finished off the eyes with a coat of Loreal's Telescopic mascara.

I used to think that my face didn't look complete without a slick of black liquid liner, but I may just be coming around to the whole bare eye look.  It has an air of sophistication about it that I'm not sure I'm quite ready for yet, but I have a whole new appreciation for an eye that lacks liner.  If nothing else, this newfound appreciation shaves precious minutes off of my morning routine!

It appears that Dior no longer sells "Beige Massai", but they do pedal a similar looking palette under the moniker "Incognito", found here.  But it should be said that this is the kind of look that can be achieved without the help of a $60 palette.  Although the texture of these Dior shadows is beyond silky, I'm sure comparable colors could be found in the drugstore, or indeed in the Naked 2 or the Naked Basics palettes by Urban Decay.  How do you feel about leaving the liner off?

My First Brush with Sigma

Monday, May 20, 2013

I've always been a makeup girl.  If given the choice between new tools or new products, I'm picking the lipsticks every time.  And for a while this strategy worked for me.  Splurge on the makeup, and scrimp on the brushes. That is, until I became a base girl.  Until very recently, I pretty much stuck to my guns with foundation.  It was Clinique, or bust.  But after branching out and trying a few of the MAC offerrings, I found I could no longer apply all of my foundations with foundation brushes for fear of a streaky, uneven complexion.  So to the blogs I went, searching for better brush recs.  I found quite a few, but one brush kept popping up in the back of my mind.  I had remembered a lot of hype surrounding the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush from years ago, and after hearing a million and a half raves about it since, I decided I had to test it for myself.

A few clicks and three days later, a beautiful little box arrived from Sigma.  It has to be said that they package their brushes very securely for travel, and mine arrived in pristine condition.  The bristles, of which there are quite a few, are synthetic and are densely packed into the ferrule (that bit of metal on every brush; who knew there was even a word for that??), so a flimsy tool, it is not.  I could tell right away that this brush and I were going to get along just fine.  I was proved right after my first application of foundation with this bad boy.  There were no streaks in sight, and my skin was left with a near  dare I say it  flawless finish.  It should be said that I love my Real Techniques brushes, but to be honest, I haven't touched them since the F80 wiggled its way into my brush collection.  My only gripe?  It's a mild form of torture to get this thing clean.  But if my only concession for flawless-looking skin is a few more minutes at the sink, then I guess I haven't really got much to complain about.

The Birthday Benefit

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's officially May now, which means quite a few things.  Sneeze rates have gone up ten-fold nationwide, no-jacket weather is officially here to stay, hundreds of thousands of people are graduating from college, but most importantly for me, it's a reminder that I'm getting older.  My birthday countdown officially hit seven days out on Thursday, and I'm not sure I would have remembered had I not gotten an email from Sephora a few weeks back letting me know that my birthday present was ready and waiting for me on my next visit!

Ok, all joking aside, this year's present is actually quite generous, and I've already folded the two products into my everyday makeup routine.  Consisting of Benefit's "Watts Up" highlighter, and "They're Real" mascara, the Real Birthday Turn Ons kit contains two extremely generous sized samples that I'm sure plenty of people will actually use.  Watts Up is a peachy, gold-toned highlighter that blends best into creme-based foundations (I've found), and looks good day or night, dependent upon the amount you apply.  It makes me look luminescent and lit from within, and is just all-around lovely.  And holy smokes, if They're Real doesn't live up to its hype.  It definitely doesn't make my lashes look fake, but it provides both definition and volume at the same time, and makes me look like I have way more lashes than my mama gave me.

All in all, I'd say it's a solid start to the birthday season!  What did you think of this year's present if you got it yet, and how does it compare to year's past for you?

IKEA Tindra Candles

Sunday, May 5, 2013

As an interior design super-enthusiast, a visit to Ikea is a noteworthy occurrence.  One that I might add has mysteriously only happened a total of maybe seven times in my life.  Actually it's only recently that I began to even enjoy myself at Ikea.  Back in my design-snob days, I can remember scrunching up my nose at what I then thought were cheaply crafted and generic looking designs.  I was anti-contemporary and was so all about the heavy, dark, and not to mention expensive wooden furniture that would only look at-home in an hacienda.  That was back before I realized that money was a thing.

But getting back to the point here, I never in a million years thought I might come across something that I could blog about at an Ikea (beauty-wise, that is).  But lo and behold, on my most recent trip to Ikea, I learned that they sell candles.  And they're pretty decent at that!  For the standard size, they come in several different scents; vanilla, rose, apple, cinnamon, tropical fruit, and possibly some others.  They promise an impressive 30 hours of burn time, throw off quite a decent amount of scent (if lit in a small room), and can even be turned into drinking glasses post-burn.  Not to mention, they're a complete steal at just $1.99 a pop.  I couldn't believe how cheap they were when I happened upon them in the store, that I picked up three and thought absolutely nothing of it.

The even bigger surprise came when I got home and lit the Vanilla candle, only to realize that the scent was so much more than pleasant.  It wasn't sickly or cloying like the Yankee Christmas Cookie candle, it was just warm and sweet, almost like the scent of vanilla bean ice cream.  I usually detest sweet-smelling candles, but this one has jumped right to the top of my "Best Candles I've Ever Smelled" list.  This is good news for both myself and my wallet, which only has to cough up eight quarters next time the wax gets low.  And who knows, I may even spring for the $4 jumbo size!
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