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Showing posts from May, 2017

Selecting a Palette (somewhat a TMO): Sephulta

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At this point in the year my job becomes acutely stressful. Not only that, my birthday is also coming up, and I'd like to start thinking about adding a palette to my collection. 
Now, as I do have 6 palettes (counting my z-palette, and not counting my singles), I want to be especially careful when selecting a new palette. I am comfortable in my collection right now, but I also want to branch out and incorporate more subtle versions of color into my everyday look. Just because. 
So, here are my palette picks from both Sephora and Ulta. I'll also add a post on indie palettes I am interested in. 
1. Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette: The palette was rated A by Temptalia, and I do like the mix of browns and purples. I think this is an all-purpose palette, but I can see how it can be repetitive. The value of this palette is not great, as each shade is less than 1 g, compared to the Naked palette, $54, with 1.41 g of product. Though the quality of this palette I'm sure …

TJ Maxx Finds, ctd.

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Continuing with my posts about finds at TJ Maxx, I thought I would go through my collection today to review it all- the good, the bad, and the bottom line.


To begin, I am learning not to buy things simply because they are on sale. I once found both the Too Faced Cat's Eye (or something like that) palette, and the MUFE Artist's palette at very reduced prices, but I did not purchase- knowing I would never have bought them at full-price, knowing I would never use them.

Part of the fun, though, has to do with taking a risk. Sometimes I buy things blindly, and it ends up working out. Sometimes it does not. Let's begin, shall we?

I. Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Dolly. Full price, $22. Bought for $6.00. I am so glad I found this. It is a perfect color for me, lasts long, has excellent pigmentation and texture. This was definitely a good buy.

II. Buxom Eyeshadow Brush, bought for $5.00, maybe? retails now for $11.00. I don't use this brush as much as I once did, but its shape…

TM(yself)O: The Carli Bybel Palettes

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Part of the reason I began this blog was to document my makeup journey. Part of it was also to participate in the ever-growing online discourse of consumerism and consumer-awareness. I do enjoy a good "TMO" or talk-me-out-of a specific product, and today I am going to cover both palettes that Carli Bybel (a fellow Jersey girl) and BH Cosmetics have produced.


As of now, the original Carli Bybel palette from BH Comsetics is on sale online at Ulta for $10.00. That's a pretty good deal, and the reason I am including it in my TMO is because it is so affordable and tempting. Let's take a look:
PROS: 1) These are trendy, neutral colors, with colors that appeal to me. I feel as though many low-maintenance, yet glam-pretty looks can be made from this. 2) This palette will disappear soon, so the collector in me sort of wants to try something before it disappears forever.
CONS: 1) I don't believe that BH Comsetics highlighters can be fully used as eyeshadows. 2) There is no…

Wet n Wild Highlighters Review: Cult Favorites

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One of my favorite Beauty YouTubers at the moment is Samantha March, who has said recently that she has bought way too many highlighters. I feel like I am in the same boat.

Not only did a get a nice sample size of UD's Sin highlighter in my May Ipsy bag, I also bought two Wet n' Wild highlighters this month that I thought have reached cult status, which brings my count of Wet n' Wild cult status highlighters to three.

I thought I would take the time to share my thoughts on each of them, and how they compare to my more expensive ones.

To begin, Reserve Your Cabana is listed on my inventory as something I use as a setting powder. It does provide a very subtle sheen, and even has some SPF (15), which I think gives it a distinct fragrance, which I like. I've owned it for almost a year. It is not as luminous as my other highlighters, but it is nice to tone down a look or just to use a powder.

My more recent purchases are:

1. Precious Petals: a baked gelee formula highlighte…

The Ordinary, Advanced Retinoid 2 %, Review (and some Paula's Choice Shade)

I was never really a skin care person. At almost 26 years of age, I never really maintained a skin regimen. I am rather lazy, forgetful, and apathetic when it comes to that.

However, I did have tightly clustered lines on my forehead, as well as fine lines near my eyes. I also had redness around my nose area- Not really significant issues, but these things bothered me.

I bought the Retinoid 2% from The Ordinary, an oz for $9.80 and have been using it daily for three weeks. I have seen significant difference and am really very impressed with this product. It is not greasy, does not really smell like anything, and absorbs quickly.

I did do a bit of research on retinols, and though The Ordinary says this is a gentler retinol, I do moisturize and use sunscreen anyway.

The lines on my forehead have relaxed, especially the tight cluster of lines above my right eyebrow.

My skin has cleared up and evened out in tone, and I really have not had any breakouts since.

I would definitely recommend …

L'Oreal Infallible Liquid Eyeshadow Paints Review: Cool Ivory

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Good morning! I picked this up from CVS yesterday, for $8.00, for about 7 g of product. 
I really like (not love) the L'Oreal Infallible line. I own the setting spray, and the pro-matte foundation, as well as my all-time favorites- the Infallible 24-Hour Shadow. 
In the store, this was the last one of the shade Cool Ivory, a dual shimmer of white and light gold. I stayed away from the mattes because I was a bit hesitant on the effect of liquid mattes- and the fact that I have more powder matte shades than I know what to do with.
I could probably say the same about shimmer shadows too, but I really like the idea of swiping on a lid shade and being done. It also makes me think of an easy cut-crease look. 
After swatching the two, it is clear that they are not the same quality. The gold one (right) is far more opaque, while the white is a lot runnier. 



When blended out in the above picture, you can see how the gold remains, but the white sheers out a little.

For the eye look below, I …

My Z-Palettes

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This has been one of the most stressful weeks. It is characteristic of this time of year, I know that. But it does not make it any easier. The good thing, though, is that the school year will end soon enough and life will begin again in the fall.

Okay, enough rambling. You know what else is difficult but rewarding? Depotting.
Now, I know a lot of people are not fans of depotting. And certainly I think it is a personal thing. For example, I would never de-pot my Modern Renaissance palette or my Eyes-cream palette. To me, they are cohesive palettes and exist in its totality. However, I have done plenty of depotting over the last couple of months, and have come to some important conclusions.
Let's take a look at my two magnetic palettes:  I. The blushes: the one in the left-corner is a MUG blush in "Puppy Love." It is very pigmented and a rose-brown shade. It was easy enough to pop out of its compact- I should have just ordered the refill without the compact.

The rest of th…

Eyeshadow Wish List/ TMO

With my birthday at the end of June, I thought I would partake in a rather self-indulgent post, my eyeshadow wishlist:

1. The Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts Palette, $50.00. This will be a permanent palette, in what I believe is a smart move. I think this palette is absolutely stunning.

The realist in me, however, knows that this palette is similar in composition to the Modern Renaissance.  They share the same type of mattes. In some ways, in bests the MR in terms of variety of shimmers. When it comes to the shimmers, though. I already have these colors- all except for that purple: Queen Mother. When I think about it, I would only want this palette for that one color- which makes no sense. I would much rather buy a dupe of it in the form of a single.

2. Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Pigments (or something) in Rose Gold, $21. $21 for a single sounds ridiculous. At 1.7 g, it is almost twice as large as a typical eyeshadow single. What gets me about this is the almost duochromatic look of t…

Red Dwarf Inspired Eyeshadow

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Hi all,

So today I have been binge-watching one my favorite British sci-fi series, Red Dwarf. Purely for fun, I decided to combine it with my other favorite thing, eyeshadow.

Please enjoy the color swatches I've selected from my stash that I thought best represents the characters of Red Dwarf, especially if I ever want to do a wearable look inspired by one of the characters.

I. David Lister
These are inspired by the predominant color's of Lister's clothes, from the Modern Renaissance palette. For his worn leather jacket, Cyprus Umber. For a neutral/nude transition, warm taupe. For his bandana, Red Ochre, and for his "sheriff badge," and to symbolize his essential heroism, a bright sparkling gold- Primavera.

II. Arnold Judas Rimmer
While Lister's palette was warm toned as Lister represents the better qualities of humanity, Rimmer is essentially a cooler toned sampling. The three mattes are Kat Von D, and through the qualities of the shadows are soft, the color…

(Not a) Perfume Review: Not a Perfume

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Ah, minimalistic makeup. The entire concept is challenging to me, chiefly because it is a lie. I don't buy brands like Glossier and Milk Makeup because I do not mind looking like I wear makeup. I've put labor into the face. Anyone who wears makeup does.

To make consumption less conspicuous is a slippery slope, because it still is consumption, just packaged differently.

No other fragrance represents this better than Juliet Has a Gun's "Not a Perfume." I would never buy a full-size of this, but I had been quite interested in the claims of this product for some time. According to the company, "A fragrance made out of a single element called Cetalox. Usually used in perfumery as a base note, it plays here the lead role... Another advantage of this particular composition, is that it is entirely allergen free. The result is minimalist, elegant, pur.(sic)"
 Cetalox crystals can be purchased here, 8 g for $13.50. The travel size spray of this perfume can be pur…

Palette Review: Marc Jacobs Palette: The Tease

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Happy Friday! Today I am going to share a review of an exciting find from TJ Maxx: Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7, in The Tease.

It retailed for $59.00, and I picked it up for $19.99. As I bought it, I thought about Kimberly Clark's advice- that buy something on sale only if you would purchase it at full price.

I agree with that mentality to an extent, and agree that it saves people money in the long-term. If I used this logic, I don't know if I would have bought this palette. It has got some excellent shades, and some not-excellent ones. It also is a purple-toned palette, which is different than anything I own.

Let's start with the finger swatches. The colors don't match up with the layout of the palette as I ran out of room.




Shade #1: This is a metallic cool-toned purple, of nice quality. The shadow itself is soft, and true to color throughout. The purple pigment is not suspended in some kind of cloudy grey base. However, the shade itself is a bit washed out-…

Modern Renaissance 2, Subculture: Will I Buy It? (updated)

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So, that happened.

I am not sure how permanent the colors are, or what the final product will be, but boy do I have thoughts about this palette.

One of these thoughts is...maybe I don't want to buy it.

To me, this looks like a more mainstream version of Lime Crime's Venus 2 Palette. See below:

Now, are these two identical? No, of course not. But when it comes to the concept of an "inverted palette," the concepts and "color stories" are undeniably similar.
I'm not going to start giving my money to Lime Crime, but it does not make the "cooler nighttime sister" of Modern Renaissance any more disappointing. Especially because the first glimpse of the palette really doesn't live up to those claims- there are a lot of pastels.
Lastly, the two shimmers of the Modern Renaissance were a point of disappointment for me- too similar and not of enough color. Well, the two discernible shimmers here belong to that same champagne color family- again, bori…

Anti-Haul, Part I "That's a No From Me, Thanks"

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Happy Sunday! Today I thought I'd fight the Sunday blues by writing an anti-haul, one of my favorite types of videos/articles to see/read. As I've said before, Kimberly Clark is one of my faves, and she really brought this type of video/discourse into the online beauty community.

For me, anti-hauls are personal in a way that benefits others. These are based upon my personal preference and experience, so a reader might agree or learn that perhaps a specific product would then support their needs.

Please be aware that much of my reasoning will also be hyperbolic, much in the way hauls themselves are "OMGEE guise you neeeeeeed this!!!!"

Let's begin. The following are products that I actually want reeeeeaaaly bad. But I don't need them!!

1. TONYMOLY Inked Cushion Gel Liner, 2g/$10 g. Okayso this is one of those purchases that seem like a good deal. Ten dollars, and a good amount of product. Also, I will be perfectly honest when I say that I only want this because…

Shiro Matte Eyeshadow, Review

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My very first indie makeup purchase was Shiro cosmetics, earlier this year. I bought two matte sample jars, and one full size jar highlighter. We'll save the highlighter for another day. Let's talk about the two mattes. All swatches in photos on bare skin with no primer, and w/finger for ABH, brush for Shiro (as finger swatches with the loose formula are impossible.)

1.  There's No Such Thing as Magic. This one is mentioned a lot in recommendations, especially as a dupe for the Modern Renaissance palette's Buon Fresco. As the pictures will show, the Shiro shade is lighter, with particles of holographic glitter lightly scattered throughout. What I will note, though, is that when I use this shade in my crease with primer, it will darken on the skin. The formula seems to be...absorbent in some way? Buon Fresco has a more powdery formula that is much easier to blend. As I will mention below, the formula of this shade makes blending difficult, and involves tugging on the sk…

Unicorns and Makeup (essay) 🦄

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I blame tumblr.

I have not used the blogging platform for about two years, for personal reasons. One, I was getting a job and did not want a digital footprint in that sand. Two, though I think tumblr during my college days was invaluable in learning about social justice, privilege, critical thinking, etc., I can't deny the fact that, as with every form of social media, one contributes to a discourse consciously, and is rewarded with reblogs and likes. 
And of course, "the aesthetic."  The opalescent pastel aesthetic of the cool kids that typified much of site.
The past two years it was mermaids. 
And now it's unicorns?
The mermaid trend was reflected in makeup, hair ornaments, makeup, music videos, and dress. I understood the mermaid trend, as mermaids are 1/2 human, and perhaps have a standardized iconography and style one can mimic.
The unicorn thing is sinister.
What is it? Rainbows? Holographics? But unicorns are horses with horns on their heads. A quick google s…

Problem Brands, continued (rambling/rant)

Yesterday one YouTuber, whom I admired, posted a picture of themselves wearing a LimeCrime lip product. And I really did not have to hesitate. I unsubscribed. I understand that makeup is all about personal preference, choice, and how it's not that deep. But it's also personal preference which circles of conversation and influence I choose to pay attention to, and how we normalize exchanges with untrustworthy individuals and the companies they represent.

So, yeah. LimeCrime. Kimberly Clark is oddly forgiving of them as well, which annoys me. It's quite possible that some bloggers simply do not know the entire story, but a quick rifling through the internet will yield answers.

What other brands beside J* and Too Faced I won't personally give money to?

Lorac. With the holographic-packaging brunch palette came the beginning of the end. Lorac does churn out holiday editions and sets that simply are of crappier formulations than their permanent editions, but now even their &…

Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss: Oyster Pearl, Review

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I think it is safe to say that the liquid ultra-matte lipstick trend is on its way out. A year ago I bought two liquid lipsticks from Ipsy, and I haaaaated them. I'm seeing a lot of this sentiment on YouTube, as people acknowledge they were on a bandwagon, but it just didn't work out. However, that is not to say that people who enjoy liquid lipstick are wrong for their preference. Something I've learned is that trends can be thankless, and it's better to stick with what you love.

I love traditional bullet lipsticks, as well as glosses, as long as they are not sticky. I've been very interested in the Bite brand, as I was really impressed with the holiday duo I purchased in bronze/pepper. Pepper was a little too warm for me, but the bronze shade was really lovely. It was one of the most shimmery makeup things I've ever owned, and I am sad that I am almost finished with it.

Bite's Pearl Creme Lip Gloss line is relatively new, and the pictures on Sephora are re…

Deciem's Apology

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When do apologies work? When the company offers some transparency about where they went wrong. I'll be honest, I'm not mad at them. Especially with inexpensive the product was. See the apology below:

I placed my order on April 22. I contacted them about the status of my order on May 1. I received this email because my order has not yet been shipped.

What I don't like about this apology? I don't know what "very soon" means. No one can know what it means. Except for Deciem.

I also think it would have been better for them to offer a sample or discount or something with these late orders, but they did not do that.

Still, we'll let the products speak for themselves.

The Rush Routine

This morning I was set back 30 minutes due to sleeping late. I jolted awake at 6:00 on the dot, without an alarm, though I usually wake up at 5:30, even 5:15. Disoriented, panicked, I knew I would have to cut corners on my daily make up routine. With this in mind, today I learned what I would count as "essential" and "nonessential." Now, realistically, make-up is not essential. At all. I know this. But I knew if I was going to brave the day, I was going to put some color on my face.

On a day in which I am feeling right on time, early even, my routine is as follows:

Micellar WaterLaura Mercier Illuminating PrimerUrban Decay Primer PotionEyeshadow:Base cream powder shadeTransitionFyrinnae Pixie Epoxy + Lid shadeouter corner shadeeyelinermascara primermascarafoundation, which is a mix of:Manic Panic Virgin WhiteLa Roche-Posay's BB BlurJaponesque strobing liquid highlighter setting sprayhighlightblushcontour This usually takes 20 min. Today, however, that time neede…

May 2017 Haul

Okay, I am not a fan of haul videos or posts specifically. But because I know that this is a personal blog of personal ramblings with a non-existent readership, I've decided to keep track of my most recent purchases. I like the idea of "hauled it, but how was it?" videos I've seen lately, and that is precisely what I intend to write once I've made use of the following items, which are also listed as new on my inventory (save for the perfume and lip products):

1. The Ordinary:
                -Serum Foundation. I probably didn't need ANOTHER foundation...but I wanted to try this! I am curious to see how it matches my skin tone.
                -Retinoid 2%. As I've mentioned elsewhere, aside from moisturizes and cleansers, I am not interested in multi-step skin care regimens. I've started to look into other types of skin care after noticing some signs of crow's feet and forehead lines. We'll see what happens!

2. Too Faced:
               -Glitt…

My Highlighter Collection

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As of now, I have four highlighters in my collection that I have picked for daily use. I have decluttered some this past year, and the four I have work best for me. At this point, I don't really have a need for a new highlighter, nor do I particularly like the "duochrome" trend, commonly known as "holographic." Let's dive in, shall we:


1. Wet n' Wild's Reserve Your Cabana (RYC), about $4.00. I never knew this powder contained SPF, but it does, 15, which is not much, but still something. I wouldn't go about using this as one's only source of UV protection, though. This powder is lovely, with a subtle sheen. I commonly use this to set my under eye. I can't use it to dust all over my face, however, because it would be a tad too dark. As a highlight though, it is flattering, and I love the way it smells, though it is not perfumed. This highlighter I rarely use by itself, but frequently as a powder base for other highlighters. Overall I'd…

My Worst Ipsy Products of ALL TIME

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The following is a list of products that I have received from Ipsy over the past three years that were horrible. I will follow up with a list of the best ones, as well.

1. Anything Trestique. What is up with this? Seriously, whyyyyy? I received a dark brown eyeshadow crayon once that tugged on the eye and was impossible to blend. On the outer corner it was patchy and sticky. And I don't do smoky smudgy looks, so this was of no use to me. I also received a lip product from them, but either it was the wrong color or something because I did not use it. The quality of the eyeshadow pencil, however, was memorably awful.


2.  Rodial Eyeliner. My eyes are not extremely sensitive, but they do bug out a bit and get watery easily. This eyeliner ran, but also irritated my eyes pretty badly.


3. -417 Handcream. The product itself was okay, non-greasy lotion that absorbed quickly. The fragrance, however, was unbearable.




4. Margaret Dobbs nail buffer. What a mis-step. I am not impressed by your t…