Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coquette has me seeing green!

You guys, I am IN LOVE with Coquette's new Emerald Isle collection! Green is my favorite color, and this shade is gorgeous! I already have a couple of the items from this collection, but I feel like I need them ALL.

I got the Eyelash Lace Bustier for freeeeeeeeeeeeeee as a part of the EdenFantasys review program, and it's one of my favorite things EVER. The lace is gorgeous, it actually fits and supports my boobs, and it gives me some serious hourglass shaping! I wish it came in like 12 colors!

Satin and lace corset with hook and eye closure - Corset
The Satin and Lace Corset is also super pretty!  I bought this about the same time as the bustier, and I really love both! Unlike the bustier above that only comes in small, medium and large, this one comes in sizes up to 3X/4X! I think this might be one of the most popular Coquette items ever, all 6 sizes are currently sold out!

The Mesh Babydoll and G-String set is next on my wishlist! It's so simple but pretty! I love the lace decorating the top of the cups, it adds that little extra embellishment without being over the top. I'm actually surprised the bow is so understated, Coquette usually likes to stick as many ginormous bows on their lingerie as possible!

There is also a gorgeous green bra, g-string and garter belt set in this collection, but it doesn't look like Eden is carrying it yet. I hope they add it soon! It's decorated with the same lace as the eyelash bustier, so it's kind of the same look. I wish it was sold in actual cup sizes instead of small, medium, large, though, since I'm not sure the large bra will fit me. Worth a try, though!

Disclosure: I will receive a gift card from EdenFantasys  in exchange for this post, but all ideas and opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NYFW wrap-up

I started out doing such a good job of keeping up with NYFW, and then... Fail!  Here are my last couple of favorite looks from New York to tie that up, then I can start in on London and Milan!

Jeremy Scott Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
The Jeremy Scott collection as a whole was a little too much, but I like this dress.

Jeremy Scott Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Did I mention that the rest of the collection was a little bit too much?

Jeremy Scott Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
But at the same time, it's kinda the best thing ever.

Current Status: February

Current Song: Ho Hey by The Lumineers

Current nail color: Um, it's pink, and it's one of those 88 cent Bon Bons (not to be confused with my cat) from Wal-Mart. I'm sure it has a name, but I'm too lazy to hunt it down right now.

I lied, it's this:
Bonbons: 7325 Solid Pearly Pink Nail Polish Bonbons, 4 mL

Current drink: Anything with black cherry Mio energy in it!

Current food: Kim & Scott's Gourmet Grilled Cheese Stuffed Pretzels. SO NOM.

Current favorite show: Glee & Hart of Dixie

Current wish list: I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally want a new camera, preferably a dSLR, as my beloved camera is on its last legs, but being able to afford one is a long way off.

Current needs: A bunch of dental work.

Current triumphs: I did a really badass job of cleaning the fridge yesterday. Might not sound like a triumph, but if you saw what it looked like before, you'd agree and maybe give me a trophy.

Current bane of my existence: Winter, cold. Also: feline diabetes.

Current celebrity crush: Darren Criss

Current indulgence: Cadbury Eggs

Current blessing: Free cat food for an upcoming review! YAY!

Current excitement: Lula has a vet appointment tomorrow morning to check her blood sugar and see if we can cut back on her insulin. I'm really excited to see how much of an impact the last couple of weeks of doing injections and sticking to her special food have had!

Current mood: Hopeful

Current link: One Hundred Dates. Plus lots and lots of to catch up on fashion week! (I AM SO BEHIND!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New e.l.f. haul, reviews and swatches!

I've been wanting to order some new stuff from e.l.f. for a while, and they recently had a promo where shipping was free on orders over $13.50, so it seemed like a good excuse to order!  They almost always have free shipping over $25, but I rarely feel comfortable dropping a random $25 on make-up unless it's a total must have.  I spent $15 this order, which felt way more do-able!  I got 10 items for my $15, almost all $1 items except for a $2 nail polish, a $3 eye shadow and a $3 eyeliner.  There's just something fun about starting a new year with new makeup!

My order shipped the day after I ordered via FedEx SmartPost, and arrived a week later.   I think the fact that e.l.f. uses SmartPost is possibly the biggest complaint I have about them.  It takes FOREVER.  I'm used to getting packages via UPS Ground, which usually takes 2 days, or USPS which takes 3.  

I also wish they'd take a little more care with their shipping.  The items arrived in a padded mailing envelope, and inside of that were all just in a plastic bag printed with the e.l.f. logo.  As a result of the general rigors of traveling through the mail, some of the individual products' packages were a little dented and banged up.  Not a huge deal, since the products themselves weren't affected, but just adding a little bit of crumpled-up tissue paper inside the envelope would go a long way towards protecting the contents without adding weight that would bump up e.l.f.'s shipping costs.

Here's what I ordered, with both the official images from e.l.f.'s site and my own photos, since in my experience they often look quite different!  In the past, e.l.f's products have been really hit and miss, so I'll also give you a quick review of my first impressions.

(This post is not sponsored, btw, I paid for everything myself and don't have any kind of hookup/relationship with e.l.f.)

Liquid Eyeliner in Black and Silver- $1 each

I don't use liquid liner all that often, but I wanted some to play around with, so the $1 versions offered by e.l.f. seemed like a good choice.  They are pretty nice for a buck.

 They are pretty easy to apply, and don't smudge once they dry.  I don't have the steadiest hands, but I was able to draw a pretty decent line with the black one. (Except when I missed and managed to draw a line on my ACTUAL EYEBALL. Even I don't know how that happened.)  The brush for my silver one was all dried out and stiff when it arrived (thus the wonky line in the photo), so I contacted e.l.f. through their website, and they promptly shipped a new one. Sadly, THAT brush was all dried out and stiff, too! I'm sure I could ask for another replacement, but I think I'm going to just try soaking the brush in eye makeup remover to see if that helps.

Mineral eyeliner in black-$3

This is a pretty decent liner for $3. It goes on smoothly, and it's easy to draw a line with. Other than it being in twist-up "pen" form instead of a pencil you sharpen, I didn't really see much difference in quality between this and elf's $1 eye liner. It's nothing spectacular, but it will get you by for everyday use if you're on a budget!

Nail Polish in Pink- $2

I wasn't very impressed with the e.l.f. nail polishes I've ordered in the past, but they say they have totally redone their formula (and doubled the price in the process), so I decided to give it one more try.

First, I have to rant just a little bit here about some of e.l.f.'s packaging.  The nail polish comes in a little cardboard display box designed to hang from a hook in stores, and is encased in a plastic shell within that box.  It feels like packaging overkill, given that most nail polishes are just out in the open.  I would kind of get the excess packaging if this was a super-fancy brand, but... it's a $2 nail polish.  Save the wasted cardboard and plastic, and just send it as-is, e.l.f.  (They do this on quite a few products, btw, not just the nail polishes, but this was an easy one to use as an example.)

Amount of packaging vs. actual product size.

Although this new formula doesn't 100% suck, it certainly wasn't great enough to justify the price being double what it used to be. The consistency is still a little off, and it still goes onto the nail kind of uneven and streaky. The color for this one was too transparent for me, too. It's a very pale pink, but it goes on so translucently that you need like 3 coats for it to really show up.  I don't think I'll be buying any more nail polishes from e.l.f., I just haven't had any luck.

Lipstick in VooDoo and Fearless- $1 each

I already had one e.l.f. lipstick (Fantasy) that I liked quite a bit, so I wanted to try out a couple of others. VooDoo looked like a fairly neutral, easy to wear color, and I decided to try Fearless in the hopes of finally finding a red lipstick I actually like. I'm not madly in love with either one, but they're both pretty okay. Voodoo is definitely wearable, and although Fearless isn't the amazing red I've been looking for (it's a little too orange-pinky on my lips), I might actually wear it once in a while if I want a really bold lip.

One interesting note on these lipsticks- I totally forgot about having swatched them on my wrist, so I just went about the rest of my night and then went to bed.  When I woke up the next morning, they were STILL THERE.  I doubt they would have such crazy staying power on lips, but I still found it pretty impressive!

Blush in Innocence- $1
I don't use blush often, but for a dollar I figured this was totally worth trying out.  I'm really pale, so I went with a subtle, girly pink.

You know how sometimes they give animals at the zoo a treat inside a puzzle as enrichment, and the animal has to roll the box around or otherwise figure out how to get the treat out?  That's how I felt trying to open this frickin' thing.  It seriously took me like 3 minutes to get open.  The top doesn't flip up like a regular blush, it slides.  (I figured that out by the photo above, but even WITH that info it took forever.)  I finally had to hook a nail under the lid and pull REALLY hard, at which point the whole thing came apart in my hands.  Design fail.  The sad thing is that even once I knew what I had to do to to open it after the first time, I *still* have to fight to open it each time. It's easier to just leave the thing open.

Design problems aside, I'm not that impressed with this blush. I wish the texture was softer, it's a little gritty. It's also not very pigmented.  I applied some to my (super duper vampire pale) forearm to check out the color, and it basically disappeared as I was trying to blend it. I guess it will work when I want something REALLY subtle, but it's not what I was hoping for.

Natural Lash Kit- $1
Natural Lash Kit

To be honest, I really needed a new tube of eyelash glue, and buying this kit was cheaper than buying any glue you'll find at the store.  I haven't actually tried these yet, but I did open up the glue to check it out.  It has an icky superglue type of smell, but I was surprised to see that there is a little applicator built in to the bottle.  Kinda cool!  On the down side, it's really hard to screw the lid back onto the tube correctly, so this might dry out really fast if you aren't super careful.

Theraputic Conditioning Lip Balm in Orange Cream -$1
Strawberry Cr�me

I have this lip balm in blackberry and am pretty much obsessed with it, so I decided to give the orange flavor a whirl.  This was the BIGGEST disappointment!  I was expecting something yummy and creamsicle-y, since the blackberry's amazing scent and taste are why I love it.  Instead, this tastes/smells super chemically, like a slightly citrusy Pledge or Pine-Sol cleaner.  I had to wipe it off immediately.  The texture of the balm is creamy, just like the blackberry, but that's the only similarity.  This is probably going straight into the trash.  Yuck!

Matte eyeshadow in pearl- $3

I love a good matte white shadow!  There are a few other colors of elf's matte shadows I want to try, but since they're $3 a pop, I decided to just try one for now, and order the other 2 if I like this one.  I love that you get a little brush included for the price.

I'm kinda "meh" about this.  It is, in fact, a really simple matte white shadow.  It went on a little chunky without primer, but fairly smooth with.  It took me three coats to build up any real color, though. It's also a little hard to blend if you're using a primer. I usually dab my highlight color on near the center of my brow and kind of smooth it out from there, but this didn't really want to move.

Top half is without primer, bottom is with.

The brush isn't really suited to this style of shadow, either.  It's not fluffy enough.  It would work well for a solid eye shadow palette, though, or would do in a pinch.  I might order another one of these to try a new color in the future if they're on sale, but it's not on my must-have list by far.

Inspired by my nail polish packaging rant, I decided to gather up ALL of the packaging once I had opened everything, and I laid it all out for this photo. (This is all one photo, btw, even though the line I drew kinda makes it look like two.)

I get the need for packaging, obviously, but I'm always kind of struck by how MUCH I throw away with an e.l.f. order. This is one area they could really improve on!

Have questions about any of this stuff?  Ask em!

Italian Days at Publix- $25 Gift Card giveaway!

Another Publix post? Yep! But with it comes another chance to win! Yay!

This week (Feb 16-29) Publix is celebrating Italian food with their Italian Days event, where you can stock up on all the ingredients you need for tasty pasta dishes! During this event, you can also sign up at ClickCallMail (the General Mills promotion site) to win one of 500 Publix gift cards worth $100 each! You have to sign up at that site to enter the giveaway, but once you have an account it's a one click entry! (You can also enter in store if you prefer.) You'll also find some $1 off coupons on the site.

In addition to the big sweepstakes, you can enter a giveaway right here to win a $25 Publix gift card! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More NYFW!

I'm a little surprised that I haven't had that many looks to post yet! I mean, yes this is my third post about NYFW, but I look at every single designer's stuff, so percentage wise, very little has really caught my eye so far!

Catherine Malandrino Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I can't really pinpoint why I like this Catherine Malandrino look so much, but I do. Weird, since I can usually tell you *exactly* what I like or don't!

Carlos Miele Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I'm not in love with this exact design, but I really liked Carlos Miele's fresh ideas about dresses.

ICB Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
ICB's collection was so refreshing after a lot of really boring shows. Loving the layer of black under this dip dyed hem!

ICB Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Another ICB. I'd wear this belted. The whole collection was the perfect combination of innovative and wearable.

Naeem Khan Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This Naeem Khan dress is *everything*.

Nanette Lepore Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I liked pretty much everything in Nanette Lepore's collection, even though the hair was kind of dumb. The colors were perfect!

Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Oh, Marc Jacobs, you are just perfect.

Just one day of NYFW left!  Sadness.

I've noticed a few stand-out trends for fall so far:
*Leather gloves, mostly elbow-length.
*LOTS of neutrals, especially grey and beige.
*Lots of knee-length skirts and oversized coats.
*Lots of cut-out shapes, especially circles.
*Quite a bit of red and pink.
*So much leather and faux leather!  SO MUCH!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Carpet Fashion

Taking a quick break from Fashion Week blogging to discuss what people wore to the Grammys!

Confession: I didn't watch them. I just didn't care that much this year. Alas, alas.  Anyway...

(BTW- Dear CBS, if you post a photo gallery of red carpet photos, the wise thing to do is mention WHO the dresses are by!  Durrrr.)

I kinda detest Katy Perry, but I still like this Elie Saab. The hair is atrocious, though.

2012 Grammys: Red-carpet arrivals
This makes me want to whack Fergie on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and say "NO!" in a firm voice.

2012 Grammys: Red-carpet arrivals
There is soooo much wrong with Rebecca Black's dress.  There is soooooo much wrong with Rebecca Black being at the Grammys.

2012 Grammys: Red-carpet arrivals
Holy crap, Kathy Griffin actually looks really good!

2012 Grammys: Red-carpet arrivals
It's such a shame that Adam Levine's girlfriend ran into a pack of rabid wolverines on her way to the show.

2012 Grammys: Red-carpet arrivals
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz (really?) look adorable.

Gwenyth looks both bored and boring.

I don't know who Esperanza Spalding is wearing, but I like it!

Who did you like? Who needs a new stylist?

All images lovingly stolen from CBS and Huffington Post.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NYFW Days 2+3!

Altuzarra Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I love the cut of this Altuzarra dress!

Christian Siriano Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Loved this one from Christian Siriano, too!

Hervé Léger by Max Azria Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I love this whole look from Herve Leger by Max Azria! 

Hervé Léger by Max Azria Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
And this one. Not surprising, I tend to be a fan of all things Max Azria. 

Mara Hoffman Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Mara Hoffman's target customer seems to be Carmen Sandiego.

Prabal Gurung Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I want to tear off the weird sea creature attacking this Parbal Grurung dress and just have a cool blue dress, please.

Ruffian Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Ruffian seems to be all about Carmen Sandiego Chic, too.  Weird. 

I'm still yet to really fall in love with any collections. Hoping for some real stand-outs in the next few days! I'm excited for DVF tomorrow (well, technically today), Betsey Johnson on Monday, Badgley Mishcka on Tues and Anna Sui on Weds. And, okay, I hate to admit it, but I'm looking forward to Whitney Eve on Weds, too.