Friday, February 25, 2011

More makeup from e.l.f.!

Thanks to my tax return, I've put in another order from e.l.f. (Eyes Lips Face). They had a special running where you got 10 free mineral eyeshadows with any purchase of $20 or more, so I have a LOT of stuff to review! My e.l.f. review posts always end up so long that I'm going to break this one down into at least 3 parts so it is less overwhelming.

In general, I like e.l.f. a lot. The products can be kind of hit or miss, but where else can you spend $25 and get 25 new makeup items to play with?

My biggest negative for e.l.f. is that they ship via the slowest carrier in the world, FedEx Smart Post. Seriously, carrier pigeons would be faster. Apparently their service has improved since a few years ago when it would take people a month to get their order, but when you are used to getting things 3-5 days after your order them, seeing something take an entire week to travel about a thousand miles gets annoying. Seriously, my package arrived in Earth City, MO at 5pm on the 18th, and didn't leave that location for two entire days (NOT a weekend!)! Earth City is 4 hours from my house. It took another 2 days for my package to make that journey! I ordered on the 11th and got my package on the 22nd. 11 days! The online companies I order from most often get my stuff here within 3-4 days of when I order(and they offer free shipping!), but I think anything under a week is fine.

The item I was most excited about from this order is the 100 color eyeshadow palette, which is $10. It was obviously inspired by the success of the 88 and 120 color ones from BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents.

What you see is pretty much what you get here- the photo from the site is a nice representation how the colors actually look in person.

I love that this has a built-in mirror, but I find it kind of hilarious that it comes with TWO eyeshadow applicators. Two? Even if they are dual-sided, that is only enough for 8 colors, unless you clean them religiously between uses. I obviously clean my makeup brushes between colors, but sponge applicators just aren't worth cleaning. I guess you could use them for your favorite colors? I'm just really not sure what the logic was behind this. Putting a two sided sponge-tip applicator in a eyeshadow quad makes perfect sense, because you can use one surface for each color. I mean, including 20 little applicators would have also been pretty silly, but how about three or four mini brushes instead? I just don't think I will get over the hilarity of TWO applicators in a 100 color palette any time soon.

I like that this palette offers a nice mix of bright colors and neutrals. If you are new to playing with color, this would be an awesome way to find out which shades look good on you without spending a ton of money on colors you may never use again. I mean, out of 100 colors, there have to be at least a few you love, right?

I wondered how many colors in this palette would be duplicates of ones I already have, since I own almost every shade of e.l.f.'s eyeshadow quads. Surprisingly, not many. There were a few that felt familiar when I saw them on, but I think that for the most part these are new colors.

The main down side to the palette is that the quality of the shadows is a bit hit and miss. I'd say that around 60% are nice, soft, richly pigmented colors. Sadly that means that about 40% are not so great, mostly because they barely show up on the skin. I'm trying to figure out a way to go through and mark the colors that work well (or maybe mark the ones that don't work?) to make this easier to use.

Although some of the colors go on smoothly and blend nicely, some are almost impossible to blend or get even coverage with, and others get that sort of gritty look you sometimes see with cheap shadows.

I would love to see this redesigned with a focus on 1) removing the low quality shadows so that you can use all of the colors together with the same results and 2) a little more thought put into the colors included. For instance, there isn't really a nice dark brown, they are all medium tones. When I was doing a green eye look, I really wanted a nice deep, dark green to use in the crease, but no luck. An actual yellow (the only one in the palette is super pale and a bit golden), a light blue and some better medium greens would also be really appreciated!

It is also really tough to tell how the color is going to look on just by looking on it. Some colors that look dark in the tray are pale on the skin, and you can never really tell which are shimmery and which are matte.

I'm not going to go through and swatch all 100 colors, but I did find this site which has some nice swatch photos if you are interested.

I tried out a pretty run of the mill pink look, and a somewhat more unusual green/grey one. Here's how they turned out:



This green was especially hard to blend and get even coverage with, but it is a fun color.

I swatched the bottom 5 colors in the 3rd row. The next to last one is the lid color from my green eye above.

Overall, I would give this 3/5 stars. If I am going to have a 100 color palette with little bits of each color, I would rather have it be mostly bright colors that I don't use often and would thus only need the small quantities of to experiment with. Instead this is at least half neutrals, which feels like overkill.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fall 2011 BCBG

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Most of BCBG Max Azria's collection was a letdown, but I loved this dress.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

30 Days

I have been Netflixing it up a lot lately. Last week I came across the show 30 Days, by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who did Super Size Me. The basic idea of the show is that someone tries out a lifestyle totally different from their own for, you guessed it, 30 days.

The first episode is Morgan himself (and his fiance) trying to live on minimum wage for a month. At first I thought it wouldn't be authentic because they already have a home and insurance and such, but to make it more realistic they temporarily moved to a new city, found an apartment they could afford on that wage, started with no furniture, etc. Basically exactly like if you moved to a new town with about a week's wage in your pocket.

I found it SO relateable. They bring up a point about how home is supposed to be a sanctuary, but when you are living in a total craphole that is all you can afford on what you make, it is more of a stressor than a place to de-stress. They talk about the idea of having to deny yourself food when you're hungry, which isn't something a lot of people are used to. Not being able to go to a doctor, even though not going may mean an injury or illness getting worse. Even though I was making a few dollars per hour more than minimum wage in FL, that is pretty much how I lived, too.

They bring up the concept that we have "sick care" in America, not "health care". That is, if you have a heart attack and no money or insurance, you can go to the hospital and be taken care of, but if you want treatment to *prevent* having a heart attack, you are out of luck.

There are 3 seasons, 2 of which you can watch online. Other eps include a straight Christian dude going to live with a gay man in the Castro in SF, a month on a Navajo reservation, working in a cole mine and a hunter living with a family of PETA members. Totally worth checking out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Face Candy Couture Review & Swatches

I have been meaning to write this review for about a month, I'm so far behind! I was sent some free samples by Face Candy Couture, a company that does a wide range of colors of eye shadows! Here are the sample bags I got:


The first thing I noticed is that the sample bags are TINY!! Here is one on top of the standard size of sample bag I've seen from other companies:

Big difference! Of course, Face Candy Couture's samples are free, vs paying for samples from most other companies. I'm kind of on the fence about the samples- on one hand, yay for being free! But on the other, you don't get to pick which colors you get and the bags are way too tiny to maneuver a brush in, so you either have to dump them out into something or squish a pinky finger in there. If I had to pick, I think I would much rather spend $1 on a larger sized sample bag in a color I picked than get itty bitty samples for free. The plus side of not picking colors, though, is you may end up loving a color you never would have picked out yourself. Here are the 5 colors I received in my envelope (pics from FCC's website):

Smurfette

Blue Lightning

Baby Cakes


Pink Sparkle

Wonder


My Swatches:

And swatches. These were all just swatched over e.l.f.'s eye primer and applied dry.

As I'm sure you probably know by now, as useful and awesome as swatches are, there is a big difference between how an eye shadow looks on your hand and how it looks on your eye, so here are a few looks I tried out with the samples:

This is the "Pink Sparkle" color on my lid, although it is kind of hard to see here.
This color is way more Barbie Dreamhouse than it is photographing. There is a LOT of glitter! I like it quite a bit, despite the fact that you get a lot of glitter fall-out. Definitely keep something handy to clean up under your eye after applying this!

I kept trying the Pink Shimmer with black liner, and it just didn't look quite right. I almost always wear black liner with my pink shadows, but with this color it felt too harsh or too hard or just too... *something*. After pondering a million options, I finally tried the Pink Shimmer with Unicorn from Glamour Doll Eyes used as a liner, and loved how it turned out:


I also love Pink Shimmer with Boyfriend Sweater from Glamour Doll Eyes as a liner:

Extreme eyelid close-up alert!

Next I played with the blues. I never really order blues because they just look unflattering on me, but I wanted to at least play with these enough to be able to review them!

This is Smurfette worn on the lid with Blue Lightning as a liner. Pardon my horrible liner application, I don't think I had slept ina very long time when this was taken!
Same thing with the eye open and my giant upper part of my lid covering everything.
This is Smurfette on the lid with Blue Lightning in the crease and a random black eyeliner. Funny, but I can barely tell the two blues apart in this pic even though they look totally different in their packages.
Up next: Baby cakes!


This is a hard color to describe- it is a sort of yellow-orange gold, somewhere between citrusy and metallic. This is another color I would never pick out for myself, but it was fun to try. (Shown here with a brown color from an e.l.f. quad in the crease and brown e.l.f. liner pen.)

Full size (1.2 grams in a 5 gram jar) jars from Face Candy Couture are $4.99, but there is currently a special where you can get 3 for $9.99.

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadows Review and Swatches

I was just looking through my drafts folder on blogger and found that I never posted my reviews of the e.l.f. mineral shadows I got back around March! Yikes! It's amazing what gets lost in that folder! On the plus side, since I've had these for like 3 months now, I can report back on them in a pretty informed way! (This is not a sponsored review, btw! Just my opinions on things I paid for with my own dollars!)

As I mentioned in my last e.l.f. post, I got 10 free mineral shadows with my e.l.f. order- score! These sell for $3 each, so that's $30 worth of free stuff with an order I only paid $30 total for!

I already had two of the mineral shadows and wasn't crazy about them (nice quality but WAY too shimmery for me, and I like shine) so I probably wouldn't have gotten around to actually buying any of these for quite a while. But who can say no to free? The two mineral shadows from my last order looked nothing like the colors shown online, so I am including both the photo from e.l.f.'s site and my own photos for each color so you can compare!

For this post, I'm just going to cover the 5 neutral shades I got, I'll save the 5 colorful ones for another post!



Elegant
Angelic is pretty much exactly what it looks like- a very shimmery white. I don't use this a lot because I prefer matte colors for under my browbone, but it is nice and pigmented and will totally do the trick if you want a sparkly white.

Elegant
Innocent (matte)
I really wish e.l.f. did more matte mineral shadows! Although Innocent looks almost white online, it is actually the color of the lightest shade of ivory pressed powder you would normally find in the foundation isle. I really like this under my browbone if I don't want to do pure white. It makes a really nice neutral backdrop to build up other colors around. This is one of the top 2 of my 12 mineral shadows in terms of what gets used the most.



Elegant
Natural is a hard color to photograph. If you look at my swatch photo above, you'll see that it looks VERY different than this photo from the site. The actual color is somewhere in between- it isn't quite as dark and orange as it photographed on my hand, but the picture from the site makes it look matte and bland beige, which it isn't either. It's a very coppery color, a little lighter than a very shiny new penny. I use this one occasionally, but not a lot.

Elegant
Celebrity is one of my top 2 favorite mineral shadow colors, and I use it quite a bit. It isn't quite as dark as it photographed in my pic, but it's otherwise pretty accurate. This is a really great shimmery neutral! I like to pair it with Innocent and then a dark matte brown in the crease.

Elegant
Socialite is another really hard color to describe. It looks dark brown in the pic I took, but here it looks almost purple. I know this isn't the most flattering description, but it reminds me of dirt. Think about how soil just looks plain brown until you look closely and see the little bits of stone and sand and plants mixed in.

Here's Socialite in a couple of different lights, applied both wet and dry:



In natural sunlight


Indoors with flash

I admittedly don't use this color a lot, but I do think it is really interesting!

In another post, I'll cover the other mineral shadows I got: Beachy, Dreamy, Outdoorsy, Elegant and Glamorous!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday


1. The TV show/website that I watch/read that I would be embarrassed to tell anyone about is I'm pretty embarrassed that I watch TV at all, I think it's such a waste of time. I watch really horrible reality TV like Wife Swap and Teen Mom and Say Yes to the Dress. I should not own a TV.

2. An item of clothing that is worn and torn but that I love far to much to throw away is the pants I'm wearing right now, actually. They're gym pants from A&F that I've had for like a decade. There is a giant hole in the butt (oh, the google searches THAT will bring me), but since they have an inner layer that isn't ripped, it isn't that bad. (Okay, it is.) It's not like I wear them out of the house or anything, they're just SO COMFY.

3. My grocery store impulse buy is I'm way too cheap for impulse buys.

4. Something I do at work to pass time that I wouldn't want my co-workers to know about is
Well, given that I now work from home, this doesn't really apply! We did some amusing things to pass the time at Disney, though.

5. One thing in my life that I could give up, but never will is This is tricky. I *could* give up almost anything. I've given up (not by choice) a lot of things over the past few years, mostly on a temporary basis. So I don't think there's anything I could say never about!

6. A little indulgence that I have is spending way too much money on coffee!

7. The junk drawer/area in my house is At the house I'm at now, junk is everywhere as I try to sort out what to take back to Florida with me and what to get rid of.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Yandy Lingerie Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review an item from the online lingerie store, Yandy.com.

I was really impressed by their selection, and probably spent an hour flipping through everything to pick out what I wanted to review. You will find everything from tame to scandalous, sleepwear to corsets!

Ladybug CorsetMaxime Baby Doll

They also have a really expansive collection of plus size lingerie! I really appreciate that since my boobs never seem to fit into standard sizes!

Plus Size Black and Pink Chemise and ThongPlus Size Rosette Babydoll Set

You will also find costumes, wigs, shoes, and something that surprised me- regular clothing!

Empire Waistband Dress With Jeweled AccentStriped One Shoulder Tie Waist Top

I chose to review the Microfiber Camisole and Boyshorts in black.

Microfiber Camisole & Boy Short Panty

It is super soft and stretchy, perfect for lounging around in! The straps are adjustable and even removable. I ordered the size Large, which according to the size chart should fit sizes 10-14, C-D cup. I had a feeling the top would be a little small on me, which it is, but the panties are perfect! The top would probably work a lot better on someone shorter than me (I'm 5'11"). The quality of both pieces is great, this isn't the kind of lingerie that is going to fall apart after a few wearings.

Thanks to Yandy for letting me try out this set! If you still haven't picked up something for V-Day, whether it is to surprise your significant other or just pamper yourself, go pick something up!

Inappropriate Love Poem Tweets

I have no idea how we ever get onto the topics of conversation that we do, but tonight Katie and I ended up writing Twitter-length V-Day poems for some of our favorite fellas.

My first two:

@Mark_Salling Roses are red, violets are blue, Happy V-Day, I say we screw.

Too sappy? Possibly. I'll try again.

@Mark_Salling I like the mohawk, Atop your head, Now drop your pants, And get in bed.

Sometimes I'm just so romantic it hurts.

Katie's ode to Neil Gaiman:

@Neilhimself My dear Mr. G, everyone can see, that you totally want me

(I suggested "To my Valentine/ The so divine/ Mr Neil G/ Come do me")


And to her truest love, Helena Bonham Carter (who we are pretty sure does not tweet, but who cares?)

Bellatrix and Mrs. Lovett, tell the boys where they can shove it, and WOW DID IT GO TO A DIRTY PLACE IN MY MIND AFTER THAT

Well, it started well.


And me again, for my favorite dude in a hat:

@360FromTheEdge Mr The Edge, You rock the stage, With your Explorer, Wanna make out?

Hmm, I think I may have screwed up there at the end. Let's try again.

@360FromTheEdge You're hotter than Bono, I know this is true, But um, I wouldn't mind if you brought him along or anything, if ya know what I mean.

Hmm. This is really not going well.

@360FromTheEdge Black knit beanie cap, Perched atop your head, Will you keep it on, Even while in bed?

I give up. Let's try a haiku:

Hey, guitarist dude
Such a large effects unit
Can I push buttons?


Katie's turn again:

@Lord_Voldemort7 Dark Lord Voldy, please make me your pawn. I'll be your Death Eater if you'll show me your wand.

I sometimes worry about her choice of men.


And for my beloved Stephen Colbert:

@StephenAtHome You're in my bedroom every night, So I think that you should know, I'm kinda cheating on you with, That dude from the Daily Show.


Hmm.
Maybe we shouldn't quit our day jobs.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Stuff I Totally Need Saturday #6: Shoooooooes!

Stylefind has a contest going where you can win free shoes every week for a year from Saks. I've been entering it almost daily since December, and every now and then I pop onto the Saks site to daydream. (I'm snowed in, what else am I gonna do?)

Here are a few things you can buy me, should you also be snowed in, but unlike me are snowed in and also have money:

Brian Atwood Dante Fishnet Pumps-$640

I kind of want to make out with these. Look at the shape of the heel! Loooooove!

Michael Kors Rhinestone Strap Suede Slingback- $145

I usually don't like Michael Kors's stuff (Sorry, MK), but I can imagine how awesome these would look on. Hate the gold interior (black would be way better), but still. Pretty sweet.

Jimmy Choo Cosmic Patent Leather Pumps- $695

Everybody loves a nude heel, especially with a subtle platform! They also come in black and white, but nude is the way to go.


Alexander McQueen Strappy Samurai Sandals- $1095

It's no secret that I loves me some McQueen!

Gucci Inga Strappy Leather Ankle Boots- $940

This shoe is all "Hey look at me! I'm just a plain nude pump! HAHA! JK! LOLZ!!11!1!"


I think that the moral of this post is that I like nudes and straps. (Have fun with that, Google search results!)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Snow Post

So, winter happened. I don't remember ever being under a blizzard warning before, but we only ended up with three or four inches instead of the eleventy billion feet they were predicting. Still, it means I can't get to the grocery store for coffee, so that's not good.

It is a Law of Blogdom that when it snows you have to post photos, so here are mine! (And a little video of the giant snowflakes of dooooom. They don't show up quite as impressively as in person, though.)


There used to be a road there.




Can you tell where the cats have been?