Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BEAUTY: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato // Review

I feel like I'm always trying to find the perfect red lip - the one that looks bold and crisp, stays put when I eat pizza (I feel like pizza is important enough to include in my list of demands) and doesn't strangle or dry out my lips. In my never-ending lipstick hunt I've found a few duds and a few solid players that I return to again and again, but I still haven't found the one.

Standard doe foot applicator.
I am always down to try a liquid lipstick because the saturated color and easier application tend to make for an awesome red lip. I picked up this Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in the shade Top Tomato - a classic blue-based red - in the hopes that it would be my one and only. It claims to give 24 hours of color, which made me skeptical to say the least, but also made me wonder under what circumstances I might want to be red-lipped for a full, uninterrupted day. Considering that, I decided to test its power for a more reasonable 12 hours to see how it stood up to my life and lips. Here are the results:

Application: 10:00 AM
It applies very evenly and is super opaque. I applied 2 layers to get a denser color and had no issues (some other liquid lipsticks freak out when you layer them). Keep lips apart while its setting - a minute or two - because it can be a little sticky. Also, make sure to apply to each lip separately instead of rubbing lips together like some people do with tube lipstick, and use the tip of the applicator to get a crisp outline. 
In this close up, you can see that the color in the tube appears to have tiny glittery specs, but on my lips the color appears more matte. At certain angles, some shimmer can be detected, but at others it is definitely matte - I'm considering this the perfect in-between finish.

11:00 AM
The formula is fully set and feels pretty comfortable on my lips. It feels somewhat heavy, but not to the point of discomfort, and is still flexible enough to allow my lips to stretch and move without cracking or flaking. It does not feel dry or like it's strangling my lips, which is a claustrophobic feeling I've gotten from other liquid lipsticks. So far, so good!

12:00 PM
Still going strong two hours in.

1:00 PM
The first real challenge! I ate lunch (and drank a glass bottled Coke!) in the 1:00 hour, and noticed some definite signs of wearing around the edges of my lips. I could see by the bites of my sandwich that it was coming off on my food a bit. I don't like to think about how much lipstick I've eaten in my life. The wear was noticeable, but even (no ring around the lips situation).

2:00 PM
I guess this can't stand up to the almighty sandwich. Bummer. Still, for a full meal the wear is not awful and was definitely less noticeable from a normal distance than it is in this super closeup.

3:00 PM
It didn't continue to wear down after eating - just maintained the same wear. I'd planned to not touch up the color in any way during this test, but around this point I realized I didn't want to walk around with messed up red lips if I could help it. I touched up the edges and a bit in the middle of my lips, and I found that the color was able to cover smoothly and meld with the first layer(s) for a refreshed red lip. I was super impressed! With some other liquid lipsticks, when you try to apply more on top of the old layer it will get lumpy and just look terrible. This stuff looked fresh all over again. I took a gamble and it paid off!

4:00 PM
 Success! The reapplication was very impressive.

5:00 PM
Still going strong now that we're back on track.

6:00 PM
My lighting was getting worse, but my lipstick was still doing well.

7:00 PM
Getting sick of taking so many pictures of myself, but not getting sick of these ruby red lips!

8:00 PM
Wahhhhh! I made the mistake of eating again (stupid human tendency) and it was even worse this time. I tried to eat carefully, but we had Chinese takeout and it was too intense of a meal for this lipstick.

9:00 PM
Despite the horror show seen above, the color is still okay from a normal distance. I wouldn't wear it like this if I was out, but it isn't as bad as it looks up close.

10:00 PM
Same deal. Messy, but whatever. And now you know the truth about how many times per day I change my hairdo. Up, down, up, down, repeat.

Conclusions
Despite what I'd heard, this stuff can't really stand up to eating. Many lip colors can't, so this isn't a deal breaker for me necessarily. It probably isn't the one (if that even exists) but I'm happy to have it in my red lip arsenal. It also never felt dry or like I needed to top it with a balm, which is a HUGE win to me. Being able to reapply without gumming up the works is also fantastic.

This lipstick is AMAZING for a day or night out that doesn't include eating, like going for drinks or bowling or to a party. I've done all of those with 100% success. I know it can't stand up to food so I avoid wearing it when I'm eating or just know that I'll have to reapply. There's still huge value in this product to me.

The shade is similar to some other popular blue-based reds, so I swatched it here next to those (MAC Russian Red and Revlon Balm Stain in Standout) so you can see a true representation of the color.
Have you tried this stuff? Are you into liquid lipsticks in general? What is your ultimate red lip product? Please tell me!







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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FASHION: Fruit Accessories

One  //  Two //  Three  //  Four  //  Five  //  Six  //  Seven  //  Eight  //  Nine  //  Ten  //  Eleven  //  Twelve

Are you into fruity accessories? Is carrying a full on wicker lemon a bit much for you? Don't you want a floppy banana for your phone now?


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ETC: Week in Instagram Photos

Hey, guys! I just got back from a relaxing New Hampshire vacation and I don't quite have the brain power to compose a lot of words, so here is a thrilling recap of my weeklong adventures in case you, for some reason, enjoying ogling other people's photos of old maps and fried appetizers (I totally do!).
Our semi-private lake cove and my daily view. Dreamy! 
1. Some "leggy" trees near our beach area //  2. A vintage map of Lake Winnipesaukee in our cottage
3. A local waterfall //  4. Dirty-haired woman-child near waterfall (aka gross selfie near water)
1 & 2. Awesome produce at a local farm stand. Those berries! 
3. You kind of can't go to NH without antiquing // 4. The spread for a CUPCAKE TASTING PARTY (very tiny forks not pictured)
1. Tilt'n Diner...a vacation staple //  2. A round of fried pickles for the table
3. Vintage poster browsing // 4. Perfume spraying machine in the bathroom! (what exactly would a 'Tommy Girl' mood feel like?)

Not pictured: the absolutely ridiculous amount of time I spent smelling everything in the Yankee Candle outlet like some kind of convict who had just been released from nasal prison. I could not get enough scent in these nostrils! I left with a bundle of scents that are all food or drink related, totally by accident. Standouts: Hot Cider, Salted Caramel, Maple Pancakes. My nose is ready, man.
I also got some baby candles
Oh, yeah! You can follow me on instagram if you want, since I guess that's a thing I do now?
Follow @neonrattail

Have you been on vacation lately or have one coming up? What do you like to do for fun on vacation? Are you still thinking about Tommy Girl perfume?


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

ROUNDUP: Cool Stuff on the Internet Vol. 5

It's time for another round of Cool Stuff on the Internet! Here's some fun stuff I found recently:

You may be familiar with the internet sensation of "Women Laughing Alone with Salad," (a stock photo rockstar, if such a title existed), but these photos somehow make even less sense. The above picture, for instance, seems to lack any discernible meaning or message - is it a play on 'sweet dreams' or something? Although he is definitely not dreaming, as evidenced by his haunting stare. If you're into seeing things like crash test dummies in a loving embrace, a child earnestly sniffing a cactus or two adult men sharing a single white turtleneck sweater then, please, take a gander.

Pictured above is the magnified contents of a random drop of sea water - yes, the same water you frolic in, and which occasionally ends up in your mouth. I know there are obviously sea creatures in the sea. I just don't like it when science is all "just in case you were trying to forget that you're dunking your whole body in a fish's toilet, here is some gross stuff you probably swallowed along the way. LOL!" I don't like the idea that something is so small I can't see it, yet also somehow has, like, 10 legs. Also, what are those curly little things?! Glad you asked - here's a breakdown of each new friend.

Let's take a moment to recover with what is, undoubtedly, one of the cutest things to happen on the internet. From the people who brought you "Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos" comes a tiny birthday party full of tiny presents and a tiny birthday cake for a tiny hedgehog. There's just no room for complaining here...this is about as good as it gets. Also, don't miss the cameo from the aforementioned tiny hamsters!

In case you're ever down on yourself for not having a hobby, or maybe having an embarrassing one, please keep in mind that some dude out there is actually dedicating his time, energy and van space (of course he drives a van) to collecting every single VHS copy of the movie Speed ever made (although he also has some laser discs for bartering). He's also wearing two pairs of sunglasses in the article photo so...you know. Part of me likes this and part of me wishes I had a copy just so I could keep it from him.

I'm sure some (most?) of you are like, "uh, cool...a cracker in the bottom of a cup," but when I see this picture I feel a deep calmness in my very being (and I also kinda want a Ritz). Much like "Things Organized Neatly" this tumblr gives me the satisfaction of seeing order and harmony through the lens of everyday objects. Why does it feel so satisfying to see a bottle cap fit snugly into a sink drain? I don't knooooow, but it feels so right.

In this vintage clip, top fashion designers predict what kind of crazy fashion hijinks we'd have gotten up to by the year 2000. Much like most future predictions (e.g. flying cars, robot maids, the value of Beanie Babies) these are pretty off, but entertaining nonetheless. Apparently, we should be covered in sheer mesh by now so that we can, presumes the video's narrator, "catch the males." Also, one of them thought we would wear lightbulbs in our hair. Seems dangerous. 

What cool stuff have you found lately? Leave me some links!


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Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY: Custom Face Mask

Face masks are kind of awesome, right? They can give you smoother, clearer, more even skin and all you have to do is slap some goop on your mug and kick back for a cool thirty minutes or so. That's awesome. Very few things in life have such a favorable effort to results ratio, and for that reason alone, I feel it's necessary to dedicate a little time (and the internet version of ink) to this unsung hero of skincare.

I've tried my share of face masks over the years - from the thick, green ones popularized by every movie portrayal of an old woman ever seen to the oh-so-satisfying peel off numbers, and every squeeze tube in between. One of my main girls is Queen Helene and her tingly Mint Julep Masque - so fancy it requires a 'que' ending (although, I don't know who she's trying to fool because it costs less than a fiver), but the 'Most Noticeable Results I've Ever Seen' award goes to Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay, hands down.
And the award goes to...
I love this stuff. Not only is it super powerful on its own - it even claims to be "the world's most powerful facial" - but it mixes quite nicely with your favorite add-ins, much like a delicious overpriced frozen yogurt. Did you realize you could customize your own face masks? You totally can. I love to pair this clay with organic apple cider vinegar that has "the mother" intact because it gives me better results and feels more 'active' than when I just use water. Because this stuff is so powerful, it can leave my face a little dry, but I counteract that completely by adding a dollop of honey to the mix. Soft skin ahoy! Finally, I like a little acne fighting help courtesy of tea tree oil.

There are a million ways to mix a custom face mask for your skin (e.g. aloe, vitamin E or jojoba oil for moisture, oatmeal or sea salt for exfoliation, green tea for antioxidant power) but this is how I do my thing - and how you can try it too:
WHAT YOU NEED
+ Clay Mask {Aztec Secret. which you can get here}
+ Apple Cider Vinegar {raw is best}
+ Tea Tree Oil {cheap at Trader Joe's!}
+ Honey {raw and organic it good, but here I just have the regular stuff}
+ Plastic Mixing Utensil & Plastic Bowl/Cup

HOW TO DO IT
Measure out your clay. I use about 1 tablespoon and mix it with an equal part of apple cider vinegar.

Stir with a plastic spoon or other utensil (I'm using an Ikea chopstick). Metal makes it angry.

Add in a healthy plop of honey and a few drops of tea tree oil.

Mix it allllll together and slather on your face. This one is on the thinner side, so it might be easier to apply with a cheap foundation brush (like the $1 one from ELF), but I just used my fingers.

This mask has deeply enveloped my nose stud. Also, ewww.
Let it dry - it should take about 15 minutes but you can leave it on a little longer if you wish. You will look fantastic at this juncture, so this is a great time to schedule any upcoming blind dates and/or photo shoots.

I recommend doing this before you get in the shower because rinsing off a mask at the sink takes forever and annoys me. You can also use a face cloth, but then you get clay all over it and that annoys me too. Try to be less annoyed than me because, hey - you have awesome skin now! 

Have you ever customized a face mask before? Do you like feeling like a swamp thing-type creature for beauty? What would you add to your custom mask?


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