Wednesday, June 8, 2016

STYLE: Witchy Accessories

Have you seen any fun accessories lately? Are you into rings that could double as weapons? What's your sign, baby?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BEAUTY: New at the Drugstore Spring 2016

With each new season comes the greatest of gifts. No, not your crippling allergies or an excuse to buy new clothes. I'm talking new drugstore makeup! Not that the industry needs a reason to give us new or limited edition products, but they do seem to love a seasonal release. I can't resist every new thing that catches my eye on an endcap at Walgreens.(Believe it or not, I am only human, though I'll let you know when I grow my unicorn horn. Hooves crossed!)

Having picked up some newbies here and there with a plethora of coupons mixed with sales, I realized I had a bit of a haul to share, and what am I here for if not to share my overly specific opinions on things you've never asked me about? I do what I can.

Let it be said: NYX makes some of the best damn liquid eyeliners in the drugstore - nay, the world! My ride-or-die everyday liner is the NYX Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner, and all the things I love about it are captured in the Vivid Brights line: a thin, flexible brush tip, opaque formula, and smooth application. I wouldn't necessarily classify these shades as vivid and bright, though. They're great colors (the full line contains 9 rainbow-spanning shades) and add a pop to your eyes, but I was expecting these to be VIVID and BRIGHT, but they're more like vivid and bright, you know? Still, I love 'em and their all day staying power so I'll reach for them when I need a little oomph on my eye.

Around this time last year, I was shouting my love for Provocalips from the rooftops (assuming, of course, that a blog post and vigorous texting with my sister are the modern day equivalent of rooftops). I'm in love with this stuff! No other lip color has ever lasted as long or as well on my lips. Plus, it's like stupid cheap and available basically everywhere. I'm done trying to convince you; honestly, it's your loss if you sleep on this stuff. What you do need to know, though, is that three new shades are now available, and the two I've purchased are just as great as the rest. The other new shade is a deeper berry color, but it looked too similar to Kiss Fatal for me to pick up.

I feel like I'm in high school again! Why? Because that's the last time I consciously purchased a CoverGirl eyeshadow. I love me some CoverGirl 3-in-1 foundation, but their eyeshadows usually leave me underwhelmed, with the exception of the eyeshadow single Disco Ball, which I wore almost exclusively from the late nineties through the early 00s. So much glittery fallout, so little time. Sigh. ANYWAY, I kept seeing swatches of this palette and was shocked how good it looked. It's obviously an attempt at a Naked 3 dupe, but these are nowhere near Urban Decay quality. I found that the shades swatch well, but lack some of that pigmentation when applied with brushes, which is a bummer, and no matter what colors I used my eye ended up a bit muddy looking within a few hours, even with an eye primer. Not a total miss, but not the drugstore beacon I was hoping for.

Here we have two products that I couldn't feel more differently about! First, the Jordana: this is a typical liquid lipstick, but what stood out to me was how very matte this looks when it dries down. It's almost chalky, but in a good way? It's surprisingly comfortable for just how matte it is, and lightyears more comfortable than, say, the ColourPop Matte Lips. Raspberry Tart, pictured here, is the perfect cool toned pink that my collection was missing. Bonus: the doe foot applicator has a little scoop shape so just enough product comes out. It's the little things.

Okay, bummer of all bummers: Moscow, this lovely midnight blue shade of Soft Matte Lip Cream, suuuuuuucks. Yes, I meant each and every one of those u's. Don't get me wrong, I love the SMLC line, but this shade is a streaky mess. Lack of pigmentation is one thing, but you can't even build the color up without cracking or wiping off the underneath layers. I tried a navy eyeliner as a base, and that too was rebuffed. This is the lipstick that does not want to be worn. There are so few cheap and accessible blue lipsticks that this is a real loss. Moscow, we hardly knew ye.

This is my first nail tattoo purchase, waterless or otherwise, and it was on a complete whim, but I'm kind of loving how simple these are to use. You just cut around the design, peel it from the backing, press it on your nail and seal with a topcoat. They have great staying power and look lovely over a bright polish base or on naked nails. The roses are fun, but not 100% my jam, so I'm impatiently waiting for some new designs to be released. 

Have you found any great new products lately? Can you point me in the direction of the best blue lipstick? How many rose-themed manicures do you think I can realistically get away with before people start to talk?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DIY: Eyeshadow Palette / Z Palette

I like makeup. Probably too much, actually. I've curbed most of my impulse purchases thanks both to my deep-seated love of tireless research, and the need to see the approval of at least five internet strangers before hitting the checkout. I've amassed quite a bit of eyeshadow over the years, though, and aside from my larger palettes, I have a lot of eyeshadow singles and small palettes that don't get as much use because they're easily overlooked or perhaps I only like a shade or two within the palette. I needed to fix this!

The time had come to de-pot my eyeshadows: remove them from their original packaging to compile them all into one, easy-to-use palette. That way I'd have the colors I like, toss the ones I don't love, and then could find them all in once place. I know I could buy an expensive Z Palette, but honestly you should by now that this is not my style! Curious how to revamp your collection? Read on!

+ Eyeshadows
+ Watercolor Palette 
(or other slim, clear case)
+ E6000 Glue
+ Scissors & Pen
+ Magnet Sheet
+ Small Magnets
+ Duct Tape Sheet (optional)


First things first: remove the plastic paint insets from the palette. They're not attached in any way in this particular palette so they pop right out. Set those aside and get back into watercoloring painting like you're in second grade again! You're welcome.

There will be some plastic prongs in the middle of the palette, but the brittle plastic breaks easily. I used some wire cutters to snip them, but a number of tools could accomplish this.

Now, we're off to the races! Trace the palette on your magnetic sheet and cut it out. You may need to trim and adjust for a perfect fit so play around with it.

This step is optional, but it adds a lil' somethin' somethin' to the overall look. I think it might also lessen the magnetic force a little bit, so don't feel too bad if you skip it. I stuck the magnetic cut-out to a sheet of duct tape, trimmed off the excess, and tucked the edges behind neatly. Use some glue to secure it to the palette.

Now comes the ~scary~ part: de-potting your eyeshadows! 
My stakes were pretty low since I'm working with drugstore shadows, and, admittedly, I made kind of a mess, but after trial and error I think this is the most foolproof way to handle this:

Put one palette or eyeshadow single on a baking sheet (I recommend covering the sheet in foil to prevent a potential mess) and place it in an oven which is preheated to 200 degrees F.

Use a timer and leave it in for about two minutes. The heat is warm enough to loosen to glue keeping your metal pans attached to the base/palette, but not so hot that it should melt any plastic in such a short time. Plastic in heat is not ideal, but this was the gentlest way I found to do this, and I experienced no melting or terrible fumes. Use your best judgement though!

Use a metal tool to pry and pop those pans right out! If they don't come out easily, place the whole thing back in the oven in 30 second bursts and try again.

Once all of your eyeshadows are free, secure a magnet (or even a piece of the magnetic sheet) to the back of the pan. I used self-adhesive magnets, but you can just glue them too.

Put all of your eyeshadows into your new palette and marvel at your handy result!

Obviously, some of my eyeshadows received a little damage in the process, mostly while I was trying to determine the best way to remove them from their respective palettes. I fixed them by spritzing some alcohol and pressing over them with a paper towel, but they're not perfect. This is about real life DIY though - I really don't care about looking Pinterest perfect, honestly! This is a useful project that solved an everyday issue for me and I couldn't be happier!

What's your biggest issue with your makeup stash? Have you ever made a DIY palette or other storage? What on earth should I paint with those watercolors?!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BEAUTY: My First ColourPop Order!

I love a good inexpensive beauty find more than anything (sorry friends & fam) and I'd had my eye on ColourPop for ages before finally treating myself to some birthday goodies a few months ago.

First, I tried three eyeshadows: two shades are Super Shock Shadow (Weenie and Telepathy from the KathleenLights Collection) and the other, Fantasy, is a Super Shock Pressed Pigment. Sleek twist-open pots offer a clear window so you can quickly see what's inside. The formula itself is almost beyond description. It's a powder, but it has such a soft feel that you'd swear it's a cream. The only thing I can compare it to is the feeling of perfectly moist soil - definitely a solid, but you can easily leave a fingerprint on the surface. Swirling a finger in the pot gives a wondrously pigmented result and the softness makes it a dream to blend.

Sorry, my impatient toddler fingers smushed 'em all.

L to R: Weenie, Telepathy and Fantasy

Swatches of Weenie, Telepathy and Fantasy...ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME?!

As you can see, the color is deep and beautiful. Like, seriously beautiful. Like, dipped-my-fingers-in-liquid-metal beautiful. I wore Weenie basically every day for weeks after I got it, and I still reach for it all the time. Telepathy is great for gilded smoky eyes, and Fantasy is always going to make a statement, and that statement is "Check out my eyes because they look AWESOME."

Weenie Super Shock Shadow on eyelids
Telepathy Super Shock Shadow on inner corners
Fantasy Pigment all over lids

You know I had to try some lip color, right? I've heard such mixed reviews on these matte liquid lipsticks, and now I completely understand why. I don't know if I love them or hate them! My first try-on was Succulent, and I was shocked by how dry and strangle-y it made my mouth feel. I can handle some dry lips - I love longwearing mattes - but this was by far the most Death Valley-esque lipstick I've tried. I felt like I'd sucked on a stick of chalk, a feeling I remember from when I used to dress up in my sister's elbow-length prom gloves and pretend to smoke chalk "cigarettes" and drink champagne, as most seven-year-olds do. Oh, just me?

All of the shades gave me this overwhelming dryness and usually crumbliness on the first go, but I found on subsequent wears they were much more comfortable. Maybe I just knew what to expect or maybe they needed to air out a little, but I do find myself wearing them regularly. I especially love Lychee because the purple hue is so bright and bold, but I've found LAX to perform the best of the bunch. Definitely exfoliate your lips and put a good balm down before playing with these guys!

Swatches of Succulent, LAX, Lychee, & Dr. M Ultra Matte Lips fresh from the tube
Swatches of Succulent, LAX, Lychee & Dr. M Ultra Matte Lips after drying down

Again, the shades are beautiful. Succulent is a great orange-y red, which is somehow toned down and neon all at once. LAX is the perfect dramatic blood red color. Lychee is bright and fun, but still really wearable. Dr. M is a very deep green, perfectly matte but also full of microscopic glitter. 

Ultra Matte Lips in LAX on the lips
Ultra Matte Lips in Lychee on the lips

I'm glad I gave into the hype and tried this brand, though I'll likely stay away from any more matte lip colors just to be safe. For such a decent price they really do have a lot to offer, and the delightful sensation of touching these eyeshadows is worth it alone!

Have you ever ordered from ColourPop? What are your favorite affordable makeup brands? Got any offbeat color lipstick faves to share? 

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