Tuesday, December 29, 2009

glazes aren't just for pottery

(Don't forget to enter the EcoTools giveaway. Dec. 30th is the last day to enter. See here to enter.)

Ahh, the holidays. The frenzy, the traveling, the cards, the postage, the standing in lines. Usually, I don't follow through with all of the holiday traditions. For instance, I don't send cards out. I always have the intention, but I never get around to it. I am just straight up lazy. Then, I resolve to get my ass in gear the next holiday season, but I fall in the same trap.

However, this Christmas was different. One morning several weeks before December 25th, I woke up with an immense amount of motivation, and I told the Scholar that we were going to take a family picture for the Christmas card or bust!

He quickly dressed himself and Cheeks, and I followed suit by putting one my face and a nice sweater (not a Christmas sweater, mind you. Just a regular black one.) Then, we sat in Cheeks' room--because it was the cleanest, ironically--and set the self-timer on the camera and proceeded to smile.

Cheeks was excellent throughout, and we managed to get our first family picture done. Then, I loaded the pics up, picked a holiday card, put in an order, received, and sent the cards out. Getting this accomplished felt incredibly excellent. People were excited to see how much Cheeks has grown, we were able to document our first Christmas, and I remembered how beautiful it is to send and receive mail through snail mail. In fact, I feel energized to send more letters out.

Anyway, as I was putting on my face, I struggled with what lipstick/gloss to wear. See, I wanted something to show up on camera, but I didn't want something very overpowering. I would put on a lipstick, and then rub it off because it just wasn't satisfying the need. Then I would try a gloss, and it looked natural, but just didn't really add any oomph to my lips. Finally, I saw that I had some Revlon Colorstay Mineral Lipglazes, and I figured I would try the Perpetual Plum shade. Viola! Success! In love!

These glazes are a step below a lip lacquer. They have beautiful pigmentation, but still have enough sheen that the lips don't look overdone. The Perpetually Plum shade I wore gave my lips a really pretty deep rose hue. So the glaze brightened my face and I still looked pretty natural.

The consistency of the glaze is thick and a touch goopy. This glaze does have a stickiness to it, which is one reason is lasts a long time on the lips. It is also quite moisturizing. The color is layerable, but be careful because you could have a hot mess if you layer too much glaze on. There is a citrus scent to the glaze, but I can't detect a taste. Finally, this glaze does not make my lips tingle, which is what the Super Lustrous glosses do to my lips.

I am so enthralled by these glazes that I was really excited to find that I had four different colors. In addition, I have been wearing Perpetual Plum since the family portrait. It is my go-to shade now. A positive vote from me!

Pics









Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let's Share (giveaway!) **CLOSED**

Hi Lovelies!!

You know what I hate? I hate when I have something coherent and eloquent to say and then I totally forget what I was going to say. When I finally get around to writing or saying what I wanted to say, nothing valuable come out and then I sound like a fool. And this is what happened just now. I had a fun intro to this entry in my head, and now I am drawing a blank. However, I want to get this show on the road so you are reading this mumbo jumbo instead.

Soo, here we go. Remember not long ago when I reviewed the new ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone cosmetic bags? Remember how I raved about the Overnight bag? Well, guess what!

I have been given the opportunity to give away three (3) Overnight bags, which means that we will have three (3) winners!

I am super excited about this opportunity to share the coolness and convenience of this new ecoTools product.
ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone overnight bag (open)

It is simple to enter this giveaway.
Here are the details:

When: The chance to enter this giveaway will end on December 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm eastern time.

Who: I am opening up the giveaway to all, US and international (if an international reader wins, just bear with me in the mailing process. I can't remember the last time I mailed internationally.).

How: In order to enter, you must (1) follow this blog (check the side bar to join/follow), (2) post a comment with your first name, email address (or you can email me your email address if you want to maintain privacy, my email is in the sidebar. Just be sure that you identify yourself in the email so I can connect the email to the comment.) under this post before the deadline mentioned above.

This is all you have to do, and you can only enter once.

Also, if you have a facebook account, be sure to become a fan of ecotools.
In addition, share the love about ecotools on twitter.

Yay for giveaways, and Yay for traveling is style!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jet-setting, but take away the jet and add a teething baby

Warning: long review, lots of pictures

Monday I was ready to conquer the world with Mr. Cheeks McGee, but Cheeks had another idea. You see, I had a long list of things to do, and I was actually very excited to get out of the house despite the cold and remaining slush. Unfortunately, Cheeks woke up ready to fight the day. He was angry, constantly crying, and repeatedly doing the "milk" sign. It was already nine in the morning, and he had had three tantrums. I couldn't even go to the bathroom in peace. The problem is that Cheeks is angry at the stubborn enamel beast that insists on making its presence known in his mouth. He is not at the age where he recognizes the importance of teeth; therefore, he wants to rebel against nature. To compound the situation, the Scholar was going to be out on business, which meant I would be left alone to wrangle this frustrated child alone (My, how I admire single mother. I will always tip my hat to you ladies. Always.).

So I did what any mature adult would do: I called Queen Fierce and told her that Cheeks and I were going to stay at her house for the evening. After talking to her, I quickly began packing the suitcase, which leads me to the following review.

Several weeks ago I received the earth-friendly ecoTools Cosmetic Bags designed by Alicia Silverstone, to try out and review. I was excited about the opportunity to review these bags because 1) I like Alicia Silverstone, 2) I have heard excellent things about ecoTools, 3) I have a thing for bags, and 4) I don’t have a satisfying cosmetic bag and this was an excellent opportunity to try something that could work.

You see, before encountering these makeup bags, I would have to strategically pack my toiletries in several different bags as if I was assembling a puzzle, and it was always a hassle. Plus, if I removed one piece from the puzzle the organization of the bag would collapse. I would try different bags, but they either couldn’t comfortable fit everything I carted, or they were too bulky and cumbersome. I refrained from buying replacements for what I had because I really didn’t know what I wanted nor what I needed. And yes, I even scaled back and minimized the size of products I would take to places.

So, when I received the ecoTools cosmetic bags in varying sizes, I was super excited to try them out.

Here is a list of what I received:
The Cosmetic Bag, which fits in a purse ($8.99)
The Train Case ($14.99)
The Overnight Bag ($19.99)
The 5 Piece Brush Set and Bag ($15.99)
ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone collection 2

ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone collection 1

First impression was that the bags were beautiful. They are made with hemp material and have a lovely and vibrant floral design on them made with non-toxic ink. Although they are cloth, they are very sturdy, and are a natural tan/beige color, which assists in hiding any possible dirt.

I quickly filled the bags up to see how much they could hold, and they did not disappoint. The overnight held everything I take on a trip (as far as face, hair, and body), and I still had room to spare. The Train Case was the same situation, but instead of just describing it, let me show you.

Here is the Overnight Bag
ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone overnight bag (open)
As you can see in the group picture, this is a sizable bag. However, I was not sure it would be able to fit everything I carry along. I thought for certain I would have to force the bag shut. One side of the bag has a fixed pocket where you can put shampoo, face wash, perfume, whatever you want, really. Then the other side has two removable clear (recycled PET) zip-up pouches. You can remove if you need more space or you could detach and throw the pouch into a bag for a quick switch-up. Also, the bag has a double zipper, so it opens all the way up for easy accessibility.
Here it is filled with everything I take.
ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone overnight bag (filled)
If you click on the picture, it will take you to the flickr photostream and you can see the list of contents.

Seriously, I love this bag. This is what I used when I was packing for my impromptu sleepover at Queen Fierce's. I just put everything in there, it was easy to organize, I didn't have to fight to close the bag, and it fit comfortable in the suitcase among the teethers, the toy truck, and toy bongos.


The Train Case

EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone traincase (closed)
I have some train cases that are on a smaller scale. However, I always underestimate the space I need when I buy train cases, and I always overestimate the amount of makeup I am going to wear. However, I don't like to scale back on the makeup because my mood inspires the makeup. Plus, I never know when I will need to do some extra concealing or need more drama.

Again, very deceiving look to this train case. I wasn't sure I would be able to fit my brush case plus the bajillion palettes I always pack. However, everything fit, and I had a ton of room to spare. What I really love about this train case is that there is a slim see-through plastic pouch velcroed to the lid. I used it for my brushes, but you can fit many things in it.
Here is everything I packed in the train case.
EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone traincase
If you click on the picture, it will take you to the flickr photostream and you can see the list of contents.

See the cool pouch filled with brushes? Those are all of the brushes I would typically take on a trip, but Alicia and ecoTools has simplified that (more about that in a minute). Here it is all inside the train case.

EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone traincase (open and filled)
Do you see how the sides are slack? That is because I have a lot of room to spare. Again, this fit very comfortably among the toys and clothes in the suitcase. I loved how I just did not have to worry about strategically assembling the palettes to make everything fit well. And since I was in a hurry, I didn't have to decide what stayed and what went. I just dumped and dumped.

Cosmetic Bag
This bag, seen in the group picture, is in my purse. I could not dedicate an individual picture to it because Cheeks was attempting to eat paper and I had to tend to him, so I forgot to take the pictures. However, it is a nice, roomy, little bag. It has a wide bottom, which allows for more space and easier visibility. I have a small bottle of hand sanitizer, a 3 oz bottle of lotion, several glosses, two lipsticks, one mark. compact, and a mini powder brush in the bag.

Now, the piece I love the most from the collection (other than the overnight bag): The 5 piece Brush Set and Bag. Oh la la, I love this set. The set includes a "Finishing Brush," which is a skunk brush, a Blush brush, an angled eyeshadow brush, and a lash/brow groomer. Overall the brushes are soft and dense. They feel sturdy, they wash well, and only the skunk brush shed two hairs. I have been using only these brushes (with exception to the brow groomer, that has been neglected) since I received the products, and I am surprised at how much I love them. The angled eyeshadow brush is very versatile. I have been able to use it to cover the entire lid, do crease work, outer "v," blend eyeliner, highlight, and blend shadows. I just clean the brush in between each process. The blush brush works really well. I have pretty much exclusively used it for blush. Since it is very soft, so it does take several applications to make the blush visible.

My favorite brush is the "Finishing Brush," or the skunk brush. Holy High Heaven! This brush is very soft, dense without being too sturdy, and very effective at applying foundation. As all of you know, I like to wear medium to fuller coverage foundation, and my favorite foundation is Revlon Colorstay, which can look cakey depending on application. Well, when I first used this brush I was friggin' amazed at how it applied the foundation. The brush left this sheer feeling, but definitely high-medium coverage on my face. My face didn't feel like it had much foundation on it at all. It was easy to stipple the foundation on and the buffing took little effort and not much time. I used the skunk brush with liquid, cream, and powder foundation. And the brush delivered every time (the lightest coverage was the powder foundation, of course. When used with powder, this brush leaves a very light finish). Also, I used a lot less foundation when I used this brush. I was so intrigued by the results that I compared this skunk brush to the other skunks I have, including the 187. It seems that the ecoTools skunk brush has less white fibers than the other skunk brushes have. Therefore, it deposits less foundation; however, the shorter hairs are softer and quite dense which makes the blending and buffing more effective. I am not a brush expert, but this is my reasoning. Either way, definitely worth trying out. I will say that the skunk brush does take a long time to dry after washing, about one full night and well into the morning (it was still a little damp in the morning), and when the skunk brush dries it smells a little like semi-dehydrated breath. Odd description, but that is what it reminds me of. The smell does dissipate; so you won't smell like breath all day. These four tools close very nicely in their own little pouch. Actually, I will probably only take these brushes, and maybe two more eyeshadow brushes just in case, when I go on travel. This set has proven that this is all I need, really.

Here are some pictures of the skunk brush (I focused on this brush because we are always looking for 187 dupes.)

ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone skunk

ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone skunk v.
MAC 187 on left (when facing monitor) and ecoTool By Alicia Silverstone on right.

Go to my flickr photostream (link in side bar) to see more pictures of the ecoTool skunk brush in comparison to the Studio Tool (Target) skunk, the Sigma skunk, the Sonia Kashuk, and other 187 pictures.

All in all, would I buy these cosmetic bags? Yes. Yes, I would. I wouldn't buy all of them at once, but I would definitely purchase the 5 piece brush set and the overnight bag. I think the prices are reasonable, especially considering that these products are environmentally friendly, and they are very pretty and stylish. You won't confuse these bags with your friend's black or clear cosmetic bags. These bags traveled really well, they feel sturdy, and I don't have to search any longer. I am super satisfied.

Oh, and as far as Cheeks and his teeth, well, he is still fighting for that top tooth to break through. Poor baby.

If you see anything that you would like me to review in the pictures, just holla!

Note on review: I did receive these product to review. However, I was not paid for writing a review, and I always vow to be honest. The gratis products did not sway my opinion one way or another.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You left me thirsty

I remember experimenting with mousse when I was a young teenager. It was so much fun to squeeze the button, and see the fluffy foam grow in the palm of my hand. Then, I would smoosh my hands together and gingerly place the mousse on my hair. The mousse would quickly dissolve and make a subtle crinkle sound as I scrunched my curls for good measure. Then, I would brave the merciless humidity of Puerto Rico, the mousse would immediate cave, and my hair would rapidly shrink several inches. All of that product, for what? Nothing.

After experiencing these disappointing effects with mousse, I swore it off for more than 10 years. Then, several months ago, I was intrigued with Herbal Essences’ Totally Twisted mousse. To add fuel to the fire, I found a coupon in the Sunday paper, and I saved it for my next visit to Target. After purchasing it, I immediately tried it on, and it was love at first try. After washing my hair, I would separate my hair into four sections. Then I would rake the mousse through my hair and scrunch section by section. This way, I was sure that the majority of the curls were coated with the product. (Note that I say "would" because I don't use the product anymore because I cut my hair super, super short and wear it straight. However, I just want to write the review because my experience was definitely notable.) After applying the mousse all over my hair, I would not touch the curls at all until my hair was dry, then I would fluff and fluff until the curls were a little less defined without being frizzy. Before fluffing the curls, the mouse would leave my hair a little crunchy and stiff, but with light scrunch that sensation would go away, and there was no flaking.

Well, after using this mousse for several weeks, and loving how defined and shapely my curls looked, I noticed that my hair was beginning to feel dry and stringy. It was still pretty, but just felt a little damaged. So, I would shampoo more regularly (I have dry hair, so it is not good to do frequently), and I would also slather on more conditioner, which would just create more buildup. During this whole "What is going on with my hair? OMG I love my mousse!" phase, I was trying to figure out exactly what was going on. Then, one day it dawned on me: maybe I should shelve the mousse for a minute and see what happens. After several weeks, my hair went back to normal. The curls were still pretty, but not as pretty as with the mousse; however, it felt soo much better.

Once, this realization came, I frowned. I so wanted to love this beautifully fruity-smelling mousse. I so wanted to forget about how inept mousse was in my teenage years. I just wanted to enjoy this mousse and embrace its abilities to control and define my curls. Alas, it was not meant to be. The product buildup was just too much for my hair.

I finally resolved (before I decided to cut my hair, which was not related to this product) to not use it every other day, and instead use it sporadically. I think my error was that I was using too much product, too often. But here is the thing, I have used and abused my hair for years. I have layered on product, after product, after product, and I have never experienced what I did with the mousse. And this was just one product. So, I will definitely take blame for my error of usage, but I also think this product played a role in drying out my hair. It seems that this mousse acts like a hybrid between a gel and hairspray. It has the staying power of a hairspray (it worked excellently in humidity), and the defining power of a gel. Therefore, along with providing the awesome staying power of a hairspray, it also has the awesome drying power that comes along.

Of course, this was my experience, and I am sure others will have different experiences, but I was just so amazed at the effects after using it for several weeks. Maybe using less is the ticket, but my hair requires a good amount of product to tame it. My hair is like a wild horse that fights to be broken. Either way, I have resigned myself to passing the mousse section in the hair aisle. Will I stop and smell the fragrance that comes out of the can? Yes, this mousse smells divine. If I let my hair grow out again, will I use what I have left? Yes, but maybe once every not so often. I would just want to slowly use it up because it hurts to throw away unused products. Would I buy this mousse again? No. Would I recommend this mousse to a friend? I might, say “hey, if you want to scrunch your hair and make it look beachy every once in a while, this product might work, but Oh wow, look there are five million other products that might be better.” So, in other words, I would not confidently recommend this product to a friend who has wavy hair, and I would definitely not recommend this product to someone who has similar hair to mine.

You know, now that I think about it, I have never had a fulfilling experience with Herbal Essences. The smell is always awesome, but the products always fall short with my hair.
Rating:1.5 out of 5 (Kudos for definition and stay power. It does do what it is supposed to do, but big “boos” for the dryness and the rapid buildup factor. It should come with warning.)

$3 to $5 at drugstores, Walmart, Target

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have finally met La Femme

How many colors are there really? Recently, I have been so very intrigued by the power of colors. I have been reading up on complimentary colors, neutralizing colors, and the creations of other colors. I don't know why I am so into learning about the dynamic world of color because, as mentioned before, I am pretty much only wearing neutrals. Even though, I know that I will always gravitate towards my tans, browns, and bronze palette, I still have this idea that I will sport the rainbow on a regular day. Therefore, I buy (or at least was buying, not anymore) pink, purple, green, and yellow eyeshadows. Here's the curious thing, I have different tones of the colors in my collection, and shamefully, not many of them get much attention.

Well, the last shopping fit I had focused around La Femme's eyeshadows and blushes in the colors mentioned above. I had heard great things about this brand, however, it is very difficult to find here in the US. Therefore the brand was a mystery to me for quite sometime, until one crazy night when I was up late/early (depending on how you see it) feeding Cheeks and surfing the net, I came across the MakeupMania website that sells La Femme products along with other professional makeup lines.

After several days of considering whether to finally try the line, I broke down and made an order. On MakeupMania, you can order a palette of 12 eyeshadows or blushes for $35, which is fantabulous. The website has a "palette lab" that gives you the ability to customize your palette. I will admit that although the "palette lab" is a great idea, the execution is a touch cumbersome because you click and drag the shades you want into the virtual palette. Unfortunately, the shades aren't named until you put the virtual pan in the virtual palette, and the swatches are not very good. So, picking the shades can be a gamble because you aren't really sure what the shade really looks like. Also, it is difficult to distinguish between the blushes and the eyeshadows. For instance, I thought I had ordered more eyeshadows than blushes, but as it turns out some colors were categorized as blushes instead of eyeshadows. It doesn't really matter because I feel like the consistency is the same and the shades are versatile; so I just shrugged off this discovery.

Now, I will give MakeupMania mad props on customer service. I got emails notifying me on the progress of my order (customized palettes take more time because they assemble and label the palettes). Also when one of the shades I ordered was on backorder, they went ahead and sent the palette with a similar color and assured me that once the backordered shade came in they would send it out. Months passed and I had totally forgotten about the backordered shade until one day an envelope was in my mailbox with the missing eyeshadow. I was incredibly surprised to have received it after several months.

Okay, so as far as the palettes, I like them, for the most part. The pans are about the size of a silver dollar. They are snugly fit inside the palette, and the cardboard palette seems to be quite sturdy. The shadows/blushes has a faint powdery smell, and many of them are soft to the touch (some are a little harder and require a little more pressure to pick up the shade). The pigmentation of the product is good, especially with the brighter colors. For instance, as far as the blushes I ordered a little goes a very, very long way. The shadows' shades pick up nicely, with the exception of "Lemon." Many of the shades I bought are matte, and the "iridescent" and "very frosted" shades are very low on shimmer. So if you are going for something that will catch the light, the shades I have chosen won't do it. Actually, I was a little disappointed with the shimmer level. It seems that there is very little difference between the matte and the shimmery shades.

The shadows/blushes do spread well and they last long with a base (Just a reminder: I always use a base because I have oily lids, and it usually is UDPP.). After I got my first palette, I used it nonstop for two months. I didn't even make a dent in the pans. Then I ordered my second palette, which was more colorful, and I played around with it, but I haven't used it as much as I thought. This is to no fault of the palette, just my mood. However, now after playing around with the palettes again for the review, I will put these back in rotation. I really do like the shades and, overall, I like the quality. I remember thinking that I would love to buy more palettes when I am in the shopping mood again, and I will definitely order them from MakeupMania again. So this is a good sign for the product.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 happy wallets (I love the price. I like the flexibility of customizing. It satisfies my matte hankering, and I have brighter blushes. Plus, I like the versatility of the colors. One thing, not much shimmer even in the colors that are supposed to be shimmery. Also, Makeupmania assembles and prints the names of the shades for you.)

Price: $35 at makeupmania.com for a palette of 12 pans. Sold separately, the pan are $2.50 and the palette is $14

And now, the pictures (no based was used for the swatches):
Palette 1
"Cheeks and Lids" (you can name your palette)
Blush and Neutrals Palette (La Femme)
This was the first palette I bought. If you click on the picture you can read the names. Blushes are in the top row, shadows bottom. Also, note the printed names I taped to the inside.

Blush and Neutrals Palette (La Femme)
Swatches of the top row of the above palette.

Blush and Neutrals Palette (La Femme)
Swatches of the bottom row of the above palette. "Lemon" is a "lightly frosted" shade, and "Frostee Beige" is a "very frosted" shade. See, not much shimmer. "Frostee Beige" is basically matte. Oh, and "khaki" is "very frosted."

Palette 2
"Sun, Leaves, and Grapes"
Purples and Greens Palette (La Femme shadows)
Click on the picture to read the names.

Purples and Greens Palette (La Femme shadows)
Top row of the second palette. "Gold Leaf" and "Yellow" are the only designated mattes.

Purples and Greens Palette (La Femme shadows)
Second row of second palette.

Let me know if you have any questions concerning this product or anything else.
Much love

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Friday and got a buffer?

So, Cheeks is getting a full night's rest, but for some reason I am up at 4 in the morning. Oh well, I might as well be productive. I just took pictures of swatches for the La Femme eyeshadows and blushes. I hope to get this review out before Thanksgiving since we are going to be busy.

Onto beauty!

So, I have to be better about checking the Happyface account because there are some gems to be found in the inbox. For instance a while ago, I received a nice email about the multitasking ability of Ms. Manicure products, and there were two that made me say "ohh, cool," out loud. I would like to pass this along.

First off, I have several Ms. Manicure products that I found at Target a while back, and I really do enjoy them. I have a specific nail clipper for my fingernails from Ms. Manicure, and I panic every time I can't find them (I hide them very well so that the Scholar doesn't use them for his man-toes.). I like the nail clippers because they have a cover around the bottom part of the clippers that makes them more stable when I am holding them, and the size of the clippers work really well for the size of my nails. Plus, I have had them for more than two years, and they have not gone dull, nor rusty, and they haven't lost their spring. In fact, come to think of it, I haven't bought another set of clippers since those. I also have a nail file that I really like for both my fingers and toes. The file is firm for better grip and control, and the grit is perfect for both types of nails. It files without tearing apart my nails.

Also, if you like cute packaging, this is a great inexpensive brand to satisfy that fetish. I, typically, don't get swayed by packaging, but I have to admit that Ms. Manicure's packaging makes me smile. It is very girly, cute, and fun. Several Christmases ago, I bought a cool kit as a stocking stuffer for The Grrl, and I received some matchbook nail files from my MIL. So, really these could make great stocking stuffers for the gift-giving season.

Okay, secondly, and this didn't even occur to me, but I learned that some of these products can be used for things other than nails.

For instance, their "Rock 'n Sole" pumice stone can not only be used to remove calluses, but it can also be used to remove pills from sweaters. You just put the sweater on a flat surface, and gingerly rub the dry stone over the trouble spots on the sweater. Now, remember that the stone is really used to remove calluses, so be gentle. I have yet to try this technique, but I do look forward to testing it because I do have some favorite sweaters that I can't bear to get rid of yet. Really, all they need is a nice refresher. I have bought two sweater shaves before, but they stopped working after several uses, and I am out 14 bucks, whereas, the pumice stone is about 2 bucks.



The other tip that I really intrigued me concerned refreshing suede. So, I went through a phase where I collected nail buffers (weird, I know) and I just used them for my nails. However, buffers can be used to spruce up your suede.
Here is the tip, "Spill something on your new suede boots? You might not have to head for the shoe store for another pair just yet. Grab an emery board, like Ms. Manicure ‘s Call Your Buff ($2.99), and lightly rub the stain. Use the soft, buffer side of this four-sided board to ensure that your boots don’t get damaged in the process. Then, hold the shoe over steam from a boiling pot (or teakettle) on the stove to completely remove it. This works for suede clothing as well! "
Who knew? I used to use my hair brush to buff out any water marks, but the suede would always get rattled.


Just to be clear, I have not yet tried these tips nor these products for the alternative uses. I just thought the tips were curious and helpful. I have, however, tried several Ms. Manicure products, and do not hesitate to purchase more of the products available. I think they are most excellent for the price, plus they are super cute. You can find the Ms. Manicure and Ms. Pedicure at many stores (e.g. Target, K-mart, Ulta, Wal-mart, and so forth).

Much love.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So...what's your sign?

Well, this is just awkward. Here I am vowing to myself and you that I am here to write, write, write, and another week passes. As I sat down to log in and post a new entry, I felt clumsy and shy. It was like I was a goofy kid trying to pursue the most beautiful person who is wayyy out of my league. How the hell do I approach such a radiant person? I will soo be rejected. What's the use? Blah, blah, blah.

In other words, I really didn't know how to go about writing an entry again. I have lost momentum and the inertia has set in. Lame, lame, lame. So as I was driving to my friend's house, I thought about what I could do to get this blog going again after being away so long. I thought about the awkwardness I felt just thinking about how long I had been away, and then I thought about what I have been up to. After all of this contemplation, I decided to just open my mind and stretch my fingers and let both do the work. Instead of plotting a specific review with pictures and stories, I just need to sit down and let out.

So here I am: I am sitting down and letting it out.
OUT, WORDS, OUT!
...uh...hmm...

Oh yeah, so I have been really slowing down on cosmetics buying. Right before my computer gave out, I had hit a saturation point. It reminds me of the time I ate way too many Oreos, the next time I saw them I wanted to throw up. Or another time I only drank cider every time I went to the bar, and then one night I got sick from drinking too much, the next day I would gag just hearing the word "cider." My aversion to Oreos still persists, and I have finally come around to drinking cider again, but it took some retraining. Anyway, my lust for makeup has been temporarily exhausted. I have an urge to use up some of the stuff I have, and that is what I am in the process of doing. I think I have enough colors in my stash to create whatever "perfect" color of the moment, and I am pretty sure I have enough skincare to fill a drugstore. Now, I did make an exception for combating the acne solution, but other than that, I just breeze through the skincare and cosmetics sections at stores unless I really need something.

I must say, it feels really good to look at the new makeup coming out and just shrug. Meh, there is nothing new under the sun. I guess I may be jaded, but I do believe it is only temporary. I won't be unimpressed with the newcomers for the rest of my life. Now, I have realized that I don't need all of the colored eyeshadows under the sun. I am really happy with neutral, right now.

To be clear, however, just because I am not shopping like I used to doesn't mean I don't have reviews coming. Also, just because I hit a temporary saturation point doesn't mean I don't have anything to write about. Don't fret. My shelves and drawers are full of goodies to review, and I still am interested in painting my face.

In fact, as I write this entry, I already feel the warm feelings coming back. I already feel the motivation, the urge, the fire, the...the...the desire to write about my personal thoughts on products.

So on this note, let me share what I have been in love with and what I have not been in love with.

Love:
1) Well, my face has been breaking out, and thank you, lovely ladies, for all of the wonderful recommendations. I got some Neutrogena spot treatment, and I started up the Clean and Clear blackhead remover routine again. So far, I have been having luck. Once I am finished with the spot treatment I am going get the Acne-stress 3-in-1 (it wasn't in store when I went, boo hiss). With this being said, I am really in love with the Clean and Clear blackhead remover. Remember I previously reviewed it? Well, I am loyal to it. I can really tell the difference between using it and not using it. My face looks and feels so much better when I use it. Definitely repurchase.

2) I am also all about mark.'s "For Goodness Face" moisturizer. It doesn't cause breakouts, I have repurchased several times, has SPF 30, doesn't feel sticky, doesn't smell, and just feels great. It is awesome!

3) I have rediscovered L'oreal's Voluminous mascara (waterproof). Oh my goodness! I tried it a long time ago and really hated it. However, this time around I decided to buy it because it was on sale for $4. Well, I love how it separates, lengthens, and voluminizes my lashes. Goodness, it looks like I am wearing natural-looking fake lashes. Now, this mascara is hit or miss on people, and fortunately, it is now a hit for me. Definite repurchase.

4) Palladio Herbal waterproof eyeliner in black brown is excellent. It reminds me of a milder version of Revlon Colorstay at a lower price (about $4.50 at Sally's). By milder I mean it feels a littler softer and is more smudgeable and blendable. I am really liking this eyeliner for my "softer, neutral, come-hither" days. Plus, it doesn't last a good amount of time. I would say definitely more than 5 hours.

5) Since I have been encountering a little bit of acne, I have had to whip out my standby Revlon Colorstay foundation and the Revlon Colorstay blemish concealer in medium/deep. This concealer is nicely pigmented, blends well, doesn't smear, and matches my skin really well. I love it! A little goes a long way too.

6) Cheeks has been giving me a little of a hard time at night so my dark circles are a little more prominent. Therefore, I went to Wal-mart and got NYC's cover stick in yellow to counteract the blue in my dark circles. This coverstick works like a charm. It is easy to blend, doesn't crease, and neutralizes really well. So, I swipe this one first, blend, and then top it off with my Maybelline Mineral Power concealer. Plus, the stick is going to last forever because a little goes a long way.

Meh:
1) After many months of trying out Sally Hansen Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy foundation in Sandy Beige, I feel kind of meh about it. The foundation feels great going on, and it does offer medium coverage, but for some reason, I am just not feeling the foundation. I love the pump, and the shades does a pretty good job of matching my skintone, but it lacks to longevity that Revlon Colorstay offers. It does an okay job holding up to my oily skin; I still get breakthrough, and I feel apprehensive about touching my face after several hours. This isn't a bad foundation, and I would recommend it to someone with normal skin, but I wouldn't necessarily rave about it after much time to consider if I like it or not. Now, I did rave about it when I first started using it (rave to myself, really), but I grew disenchanted with it. I think I just am supremely satisfied with Revlon Colorstay, and so I am just meh about this foundation. I will continue to use this foundation when I rotate my foundations just for kicks, but I won't repurchase it. In a market of so many foundations, this doesn't really stand out; I guess this is the best way to describe the foundation.

2) Clean and Clear advantage mark treatment is meh. The smell is annoying and somewhat overwhelming, the gel doesn't fully dry so it goops up when I put on moisturizer, and it really hasn't vanished my marks. Soo, next time I will definitely try the Neutrogena 3-in-1.

Alright, I plan on finishing the brush review, and touching on the ION demi hair dye. For now, I shall get some rest.

I hope all of you are having a splendid week, and thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Much love!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whew! I am back.

I am so glad I married a man who has a computer savvy brother. As a matter of fact, both my brother-in-laws are computer experts. Anyway, good ol' Stel is back with me (the comp). I aim to blog this weekend. I have missed being a part of the community, and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things.

I have chilled out with my purchases, but that doesn't mean I have a lot to write about.

By the way, does anyone have an recs for a good drugstore skincare regimen for acne-prone skin? My face is revolting, and I am always up for trying some new things.

Let's get this party started!

Monday, September 28, 2009

sick

My computer threw a tantrum and then fell sick this weekend, and I have to take it to the doctor to get treated. Therefore, my posts are delayed. Boo Hiss.

I am so sorry, I won't be delivering posts in a timely fashion, but I am hoping the visit to doctor will be a quick one.

Much love

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quick review: Pulse Perfection

So, I believe I mentioned before that I found Maybelline Pulse Perfection on sale at my local Target. I don't think the price point is appealing to the demographic in my area. Well, I seized the opportunity to try this mascara many were raving about.

After applying this mascara several times, I can openly and confidently say that I really do hate this product for many reasons:

1) The push button to turn on the vibration is at the end of the wand, which affects that amount of control I can have when I apply the mascara.

2) The formula is a little of the wetter side,which makes the mascara dry longer. And this seems to clump a little.

3) The brush is flexible like the "Define-A-Lash" brush, which inhibits control, again.

4) Yeah, sure this mascara produces longer lashes, but they look spikey and hard.

5) This is a high maintenance mascara application. I can't just swipe and go.

So far, I have had some great luck with Maybelline, but this was a bust for me. Come to think of it, the mascara being poopy on me is welcome because I would have been in trouble had a loved a $13 drugstore mascara.

Anyway, more reviews will come soon. I plan on swatching the La Femme shadows next. This takes a little time, especially now that Cheeks is teething and wanting to play all the time. Thank you for the patience.

Much love.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thank God I don't have dogs because they would be licking my mango feet

hi!

When I was a kid I really wasn't enthusiastic about mangoes. In fact, they kind of repulsed me. I didn't like the smell, the texture, the fibers getting caught in my teeth. I also didn't like how high maintenance they were to eat. I mean, what a thin layer to peel. Come on, now! The Grrl, on the other hand, was obsessed with them. I never understood it.

Then, more than 15 years later, I got pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, I anticipated the stereotypical cravings like pickles (I craved olives instead. In fact, one day I drank straight up olive juice. ewww.), marshmallows with potato chips, and ice cream with cheese. Instead, I craved oatmeal, which I loathe, and...MANGOES! Can you believe it?! Out of all the things I could crave, I wanted the fruit that made me gag. Actually, now that I think about it, it could have been worse: I could have craved PAPAYA, ewww. Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, I could not get enough mangoes to satisfy my hankering. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While passing through the kitchen, I would pick a mango up and caress and smell the skin. I would warn the mango of what I plotted to do with it. Seriously, my lust for mangoes was outrageous. Every time Queen Fierce visited me, I would put in an order for a box of mangoes, and she would graciously satisfy my demands. When I succumbed to the temptation to eat one, I would go barbaric on the fruit. I would savagely take a knife to the tender skin, and brutishly peel the thin skin away. When a piece of skin took some mango meat with it, I would stop what I was doing and rip the meat away with my teeth until I got all of the juicy goodness. The juice would drip down my hands, wrists, elbows, and I would lick my entire arm so that nothing went to waste. It was really not attractive, but definitely orgasmic. Mmm, mangoes.

Interestingly, unlike my craving for oatmeal (The minute I had Cheeks, my aversion to oatmeal returned.), my love for mangoes stayed with me. Now, if anything says "mango" I immediately perk up, pay attention, and salivate. So, when I read Vanessa's, from NessasaryMakeup, review on California Mango Mango Mend, my eyes twitched. The next time I was at Sally's beauty supply, I immediately grabbed it and put it in my basket.

California Mango Mango Mend is a "skin, cuticle, and nail treatment balm" (from the jar). It provides immediate moisture, shine, and smoothness. I really do like this balm for my feet. Not so much for my hands. This balm is not heavy, but it is greasy. I would describe it as a solid, gel-like petroleum jelly (petroleum jelly is in the ingredients, but it isn't at the tippy top). When I opened the jar, the consistency immediately reminded me of a water-based, clear hair shine pomade. However, it is much softer in density. A little goes a long way for this balm, and the smell is powerful. Unfortunately for me, the smell reminds me more of papaya (ewww) than of mango, but, again, I do like what it does for my feet so I overlook the misnomer.

So after my showers, I sit down, dip my index finger in the jar and take out a dollop of balm. Then, I smear it all over the sole of my feet and proceed to massage it in. My feet instantly feel a lot softer, and the bothersome dry spots cease to exist until I put my feet in a pair of sandals that causes a lot of friction. When I put this balm on at night, regardless of shower or not, the smoothness and moisture last until the next day, and this is without socks. It is such a relief to not hear my feet rubbing against each other or getting caught on my sheets. Now, my feet aren't super bad. I exfoliate them regularly and I moisturize every day. So I don't know how this would be with severely dry feet. However, this balm is excellent at providing quick moisture and maintaining soft and smooth feet.

As far as cuticles are concerned, it provides the necessary moisture, but I find that the balm is a bit much on the hands simply because it doesn't absorb quickly and the smell is quite strong. What I do is that I just rub in the remaining amount of balm into my cuticle and hands after moisturizing my feet, which doesn't last long because then I wash my hands to handle Cheeks. I do notice that if I use it regularly on my hands, I get less hang nails. However, I just can't get over the greasy feeling.

So, would I recommend this balm? Well, if you are happy with the creams and things that you already have for your cuticles and feet, than stick with that. If you are ready to try something to soothe your light to medium dry feet, then by all means try this product out. Just make sure you put some slippers on after putting this on your feet so that you don't leave greasy footprints all over the floor. Really, this is perfect for the nights when you want to moisturize and sock up your feet. The next morning, your feet will be like butter. In other words, this product is a "fun to have" as opposed to a "have to have" product.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (The smell is overwhelming, and it is greasy. However, it does work excellently well at smoothing, softening, and moisturizing your feet. The price is a little steep for what it is.)
Price: $7.99, 4 oz (a little goes a long, long way)
Where: Sally's beauty
california mango mango mend


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some people read tea leaves, I read makeup (there is a review somewhere in here too)

Makeup does more than just beautify and correct. With some analysis, the products also tell us what features we are obsessed with, whether for good or bad. For instance, when I open my makeup drawer and look at it, I see an ocean of lipsticks. I mean, seriously, my lipstick collection is like the Pacific Ocean. I have enough lipsticks to wear for the rest of my life, to hand down to Cheeks (unused), for Cheeks to hand down to his children (unused). Really, my collection belongs in a sideshow. In fact, Queen Fierce goes shopping for lipsticks in my stash, and I never miss the ones she picks out because I just have too many. Now, I want to be clear, I am not bragging. This collection is excessive, unnecessary, and kind of shameful. However, it is also very revealing. I have looked at the ridiculous accumulation of lipsticks and evaluated what it says about me. Sure, on a superficial level it says that I love lipsticks, but what else does it say? Hmm *index finger taps chin, indicating brain cogs in action*...Well, on one hand, I think it states that I am obviously obsessed with the mouth. I want people to look at my mouth when I am talking, to pay attention. I want people to listen and evaluate the words that are emitted. Lipstick is a great way to pull the other person's eyes towards the voice piece. I also cherish the power of voice, which is directly associated with the mouth; therefore, I want to celebrate my biggest weapon. I am obsessed with lipstick because I am obsessed with the mouth, because the mouth is powerful: it can be a thruway for souls to exchange, it can distribute poetry, and it can spew vitriol.

Of course, there is a flip side to this love of the mouth. My collection of lipstick also indicates that I am not quite satisfied with what I have. I am constantly searching for the perfect something, whatever the color of choice might be. Is this a bad thing? My instinct says "maybe." In addition to the variation of tones within the same color family, I also have several color families, which also exhibit the different moods and thoughts I had when I hunted the colors: pinks for my flirty moods, reds for my brazen moods, deep berries for my "don't-mess-with-me-or-I'll-bite-you" moods. All of these shades demonstrate the complexity that is human emotion, but there is always the underlying feeling that something just isn't perfect. Really, this realization is eye-opening and humbling. It's like the lipsticks are telling me, "T, look at me. Look at what you have created? You were always in a search to find a perfect lipstick, and you know it doesn't exist, let alone exist in just one tube. Stop trying to bottle up all of you in one tube. Dig deep into what you already have, ahem this collection, and create your own combinations. You will never find perfection, but you will eventually find satisfaction." Food for thought. I do believe I am finally at my saturation point on the lipstick point.

Now, let me transition to another makeup reveal: nails and nail polish. Nail Polish is a lot like lipstick: there are a variety of colors, and there is a lot of room for creativity. A person can always exhibit a little of his or her wild side by just picking the right nail polish color. Like lipsticks, there is a color for every mood and occasion. Like lipsticks, nail polish doesn't really discriminate between sizes and body types, and best of all, it can easily be changed. With this being said, just like there is an essential part to lipstick (moisture on the lips), there is an important step in ensuring the long life of a worn polish: top coat.

It is so very annoying to finish a nail painting job just to get an atrocious smudge or a dreadful chip. Seriously. A good top coat helps avoid this annoyance. Therefore, I shall introduce you to Wet n' Wild's MegaLast Quick Dry Ultra Gloss top coat. This gem of a nail product is only about $2, and it is fan-friggin'-tastic. Before finding this top coat, I was a loyal Seche Vite fan. However, after buying MegaLast, I have not once looked back at my Seche Vite that is sitting sadly in my nail products box. Like Seche Vite, MegaLast dries in a flash, provides a great and longlasting "wet" look, and it does a thorough job of protecting the nail polish. Unlike Seche Vite, MegaLast is less expensive (plus), it isn't thick (nice), it doesn't shrink once dried on the nail (good), and when/if chipping does occur it doesn't come off in horrible sheets.
For the test, I painted my left hand with just nail polish, and I painted my right hand with polish and then the top coat. My left hand started chipping after three days, and my right hand started showing minimal chipping and tip fade six days after initial application. Plus, my left hand looked shabby and dull by the second day, whereas, the right hand maintained its shine. Also, my right hand dried in no time. My left hand did smudge a little when I went to bed.

The MegaLast top coat will enhance many nail polishes. It can hold out on much of the everyday wear and tear we put our hands through. My top-coated mani survived the changing of diapers, the opening of packages, the washing of dishes, and the cleaning of bathrooms. However, I have to state that it does sometimes struggle when too many coats of a nail polish are under the top coat. I did do another test where I wore approximately three layers of a sheer Revlon shade, and my index finger (we will get back to this index finger) did chip after the second day. Oh, and the smell is kind of strong. The rest of the nails were in pretty good shape. This is just a wonderful, inexpensive, and effective product.

So what does all of this mean as far as revelations? Well, the use of nail polish reveals that I definitely use my left index finger a whole lot because that finger is the first to go. I like to point at things, I like to jab things, I use this finger to remove Cheeks hanging boogers (yes, this definitely comes with the parenting territory). Basically, my index finger is my utility knife: always handy, always there. The use of nail polish was also very revealing because it disproved something I thought was true. I use my middle finger a lot less than I thought I did. I mean, I do enjoy dropping the F-bomb when wearing berry lipsticks, but I guess I don't like to stick out my middle finger as much while wearing purple polish. Not a bad thing. And finally, the search for a good top coat has been satisfied. I found one that is willing to commit to its task without asking me to fork over my savings. This top coat provides qualities that I subconsciously search for in my life, commitment (long lasting, about 5-7 days), immediate gratification (dried very quickly), comfort (not heavy nor thick), protection (fights chips), care (isn't harsh on my nails), camaraderie (goes well with pretty much any nail polish). Sometimes I may look like I own the world, but deep down I am just another person seeking the ever-elusive perfection and tender, loving protection.

And people thought makeup was frivolous...
So what does your makeup say about you?

Rating for WnW MegaLast Quick Dry Ultra Gloss top coat: 5 out of 5 happy wallets. Are you kidding me, it's $2 and it works exceptionally well.

Price: around $2

Pics
Day 6 of wearing Color Club polish in "Power Play" with WnW MegaLast top coat on top. Two coats of color polish, and one coat of top coat. Notice, shine still evident, minimal tip fade, a small chip.

Another view of Day 6. See the tip fade. Not bad for the time span.

The hand without the top coat. Note the dullness, the more obvious chips. Beautiful color thought. I got this polish from 8ty8beauty.com a long time ago.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The pandas will attack my hair (Garnier Anti-humidity spray with bamboo)



Well, if you regularly read this blog then you know that I have been searching for a hairspray that will fight humidity. You also know that I really have not ventured into the land of hairsprays, so I am not very well-versed in what is good and what isn't. Therefore, I had a horrible experience with the Ion Hairspray (you can read that here). However, I recovered quickly from that debacle and I picked up Garnier Fructis's new anti-humidity hairspray. From what I noticed Garnier came out with different types of anti-humidity hairsprays; one volumizes, another does something else, and the one I got provides shine and sleekness. The hold on the Sleek and Shine hairspray is "ultra strong" and rates a 4 on a scale of 1-5. This hairspray promises to have "long-lasting hold" and fight humidity all day. The spray also contains bamboo extract (I think this is what makes it new), which provides elasticity and strength, which translates into a bold, resilient, natural-looking hairstyle. The hairspray comes in an aerosol can. Oh, and the spray smells like the other Garnier products: fruity and feminine.

So, what do I think about this hairspray? Well, I have been using it for more than a month, and it does actually keep my curls in check during super humid days. I did retest it recently during a rainy, misty day, and I was amazed at how nicely my hair kept. In fact, my hair looked exactly the same when I got home. In addition to fighting the frizz, my hair still felt considerably soft. I say "considerably" because the fact of the matter is that I do have hairspray in it. So my hair wasn't crunchy, instead it felt firm. It was like I had a pliable barrier around my head. However, I have to state during this retest, I did apply the hairspray on second-day, dry hair. The directions on the can suggest the person apply on damp hair for full effect, and here is the rub. I have applied this hairspray when my hair was damp, and it really did work to its fullest potential. My curls were defined, they did not frazzle, and my hair still had room to move, but, and this is a big "but" for me, when I apply the hairspray when wet my hair feels a little sticky, and it takes forever to dry. I really hate having wet hair all day. I mean my hair already takes a while to dry, and I really don't want to drag that time out further. The quicker my hair can dry, the quicker I can fluff it, the prettier I will feel. Plus, when I apply the hairspray on damp hair and it finally dries, it doesn't yield good second-day hair (and I sleep on a satin pillowcase to prevent frizz and breakage). On the second day the hair is difficult to fluff without frizzing it up because of the firming effect of the hairspray on the curls. Since the curls are so firm, when they are on a flat surface the curls just flatten and stay like that. Annoying!

I can't knock the hairspray for being effective; I really can't, but I am not a fan of wearing this when wet. I guess if it was super humid on a "wet-hair day" (The days when I wash or rewet my hair. Curly girls know what I am talking about.), then I would do a quick spritz of the spray all over my hair, but it isn't my favorite option. Now, if it is super humid on a second-hair day, then I will most definitely coat my hair in this.

Bottom-line: this hair is great on dry hair, not so much on dense, wet hair.

So, would I buy this again? Yes, I would, but strictly for dry hair days. This can is 8.25 oz, and I don't really need a lot for my hair, so it will last quite some time before I have to buy it again. I will say this, I am not looking for another hairspray. This satisfied my curiosity for quite awhile.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 happy wallets (I don't like the sticky effect it has on my wet hair, but I do wear other products, which could affect this feeling. Plus, the can doesn't state that it provides a natural feeling hair. It states that it provides "natural looking" hair. Overall, this hairspray does what it says, and it smells good.)

Price: honestly, I bought this a while ago and I can't remember. I do believe it was less that $6, maybe even $4, but I can't confirm (I looked around online, but I saw prices for the older version of this hairspray.).

Picture

My second-day hair with hairspray at the beginning of the day. See it looks natural and touchable, and it is. I forgot to take an "after the full day" pic because Cheeks was requesting all of my attention. By the time I was done for the day, I just passed out. However, the hair looked pretty much the same at the end of the day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Long lashes that can compete with the fake lashes on True Blood?

photo from Maybelline.com

Okay, so I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US vampires are totally taking over. It's crazy that they are all over the movies and TV. I haven't gotten too into the fad. I mean, I am not sporting any fangs or anything, and I am not asking anyone to bite me. However, I have been really into the Sookie Stackhouse novels and True Blood, which airs on HBO. The show is now into the second season, and some things have changed from the first season. For instance, the makeup. Since the beginning of the season I have noticed an influx in false lashes. Not just enhancing false lashes, I mean the super dramatic false lashes, and all the women are wearing them. I understand the concept of TV makeup, but these lashes are so very distracting. They look like the lashes that are shown on mascara commercials (Okay, can we talk about that too? Seriously, how in the hell do they justify fake lashes on a mascara commercial). I mean, the lashes they use are so long they virtually touch the top of the brows. Anyway, after seeing these lashes on the show, I got motivated to try out some lengthening mascaras.

First, I tried an Ulta one, and that was pure crap. In fact, it just went straight into the trash. Then, I tried Maybelline XXL extensions XX-treme length mascara. I have been wearing this mascara off and one for the past month, and I really do like it. This mascara does add a great amount of length, it holds curl, I can layer without much clumping, and I have not experienced any flaking, nor smudging. I also really like the second step brush. I say "second" because this mascara is a two-step process. First you coat your lashes with a microfiber primer, and then you coat your lashes with the further lengthening mascara part.

The primer is kind of easy to work with. I have to be careful to not overwhelm the lashes, when applying it. The primer brush can deposit a little too much white stuff, so make sure the brush isn't saturated. The primer really is the core of the lengthening process because of the little fibers that attach and extend the lash. Curiously, Maybelline call the first step "the tamer," but they should call it "the extender."

The second part of the mascara application is pretty easy; just swipe on. However, I have to make sure I cover all of the white primer. Really, the most troublesome part is making sure to cover all of the primed lashes well so that no white shows through. Other than that, good to go. Now, I will say that since this is a two-step mascara, it might not be the best mascara for on-the-go. It does take time to make sure to get cover the lashes in its entirety. Oh, and the mascara does look gray in combination with primer.

Now, let's get to the title. Does this compete with the false lashes on True Blood? No, of course not, but it most definitely lengthens the lashes. I am incredibly satisfied with this mascara, and I would definitely buy it again. It truly does add a VAVOOM quality to the eyes. In fact, I am really enjoying just wearing this mascara without any shadow or liner. Well played, Maybelline. You tugged at my purse strings again.

Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets. (It takes some time to make sure the primer doesn't show through, but I deem it worthy because the length is great.)

Price: $6-$7, I can't remember, but it is in this range.

Pics!
eye without Maybelline Colossal
no mascara, bare lashes

Maybelline XXL extension mascara
VaVoom! Pardon the messy brows.

Maybelline XXL extension mascara
HAWT

Has anyone else tried this mascara? Thoughts? Any other recs for a lengthening mascara?

Another survey that is all about me, because this blog isn't about me already

This morning Cheeks woke me up at 5:30 because he was hungry. Many will say, "What? That is so early!" And it is, however, I was so proud of him because he has been sleeping some kind of poopy recently. For instance, the night before he only slept for about three hours. The scholar and I were pulling out our hair trying to get him to fall asleep. I swear I will try to never break a baby's routine if I can't help it. Their revenge is miserable.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the survey. So this morning, I was reading through the blogs while I was feeding Cheeks, and I came across Aquaheart's "50 questions" survey. I thought it would be fun to complete on my blog. I think it is always fun to find out a little about the person behind the makeup.

Also, before I forget. I went to Target yesterday and trolled the makeup clearance aisle, and I found the Maybelline Pulse Perfection mascara. Yes, the Pulse Perfection was on clearance at my Target. I asked the associate why it was there, and she thought it was due to poor sales at that particular store. Soo, ladies and gents, check your Target clearance to see if they have any of the mascara there. You never know. I bought it for around 6 bucks. I also got some Maybelline lippies for around $1. Sweet.

Ok, it's all about me time:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:30 am, eastern

2. How do you like your steak? super rare. Like the cook shows the flame the steak from afar and then s/he puts it on my plate.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I can't even remember. I think I was pregnant, so it wasn't so long ago. I guess it was a forgettable movie.

4. What is your favorite TV show? I have many favorites: Pushing Daisies (canceled), Life (canceled), Psych, Bones, but the ultimate favorite is BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. I friggin' love BTVS, love. Not many people understand my connection to the show, but I don't care. The world's questions can be answered through that show. I love this show so much, I made the title bold. That says something.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Northern VA, it's what I know best, diverse, close to DC, lots of Vietnamese food restaurants, *weeps* One day, one day.

6. What did you have for breakfast? not yet. But I will probably have a almond butter and grape jelly sandwich (I am allergic to peanuts. Funny story behind this.) and cinnamon tea that I am obsessed with right now.

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Puerto Rican and Vietmanese pho. Yum Yum.

8. What foods do you dislike? liver.

9. Favorite place to eat? Other than a Pho joint, I enjoy (I know it is a chain, but I like it) Ruby Tuesdays. I like their turkey sliders and the salad bar, oh and those pumpernickel croutons.

10. Favorite dressing? Ranch

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Ford Explorer. This is the second "inherited" one.

12. What are your favorite clothes? jeans, scoop neck loose blouses, and button down shirts. Oh, and long sleeve shirts.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? I want to visit Quebec and Montreal.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? It's just at half. I just see things. Sure, I try to find the bright side, but really, it is what it is.

15. Where would you want to retire? Probably a city setting. Maybe Arlington, VA. Gosh, I love NoVA.

16. Favorite time of day? 10 am. Nice round number, still morning, still smiling.

17. Where were you born? Washington, DC

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? I usually don't watch sports, but when I do, I like soccer and hockey. Actually, I watch soccer to see the legs in action (HAWT), and hockey for the actual sport. In fact, I actively turn the channel to the hockey game, which I typically don't do for other sports.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? not concerned

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? not concerned

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? I am nosy so everyone and anyone. Please satisfy my curiosity.

22. Bird watcher? I am not a bird watcher, but my godmother is. She and her husband are avid bird watchers, and it is so interesting to hear about their adventures around the world. They have seen many beauties. So cool.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? morning. I am worthless at night.

24. Do you have any pets? no. We had a fish, Alexander the Great, but he died. So sad.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? yes, the baby slept the entire night!! *throws confetti*

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher or lawyer. Teaching won. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with the profession.

27. What is your best childhood memory? sneaking around with my sister looking for Christmas gifts. When we finally found them, I would teach my sister how to open the wrapping without doing damage. That was always fun.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? Dogs, but really, I am a fish person. I like the idea of having a dog, but then I think of dog breath, dog hair, dog poo. I know eventually we will get a dog, so I am preparing myself for that time. Honestly, I have never lived with a dog so maybe I will be okay. Actually, I did live with a dog in college *shudders*.

29. Are you married? yes, it's cool. I like it. However, don't do it just to do it. Marriage is a serious business. Check your ego at the door.

30. Always wear your seat belt? People don't?!

31. Been in a car accident? ugh, yes...

32. Any pet peeves? Really? In fact, one pet peeve is when people say they don't have pet peeves. I hate when people want to be rosy all the time. Funny story, when my sister was younger, she and my mother were fighting about something mundane. My sister yells at my mother, "Listen, I can't be happy all the time!" My mom retorts, "No, that would be psychotic." Exactly! One huge pet peeve is when people exhibit the Pollyanna syndrome. Gag me with a spoon.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pepperoni

34. Favorite Flower? Gerbera daisies.

35. Favorite ice cream? Rocky Road

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? I don't really have one. Oh wait, yes, I do. Chick-fil-A

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? I failed the written once, and I took driving lessons at school, after two weeks we would take a test and fail or pass. My instructor kept me for an additional two weeks. He noted my lack of confidence and deemed it a danger to society. He was very perceptive. Thank you, Mr. Madison.

38. From whom did you get your last email? I can't remember. This baby brain is horrible.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? First off, I would not max out a credit card unless, absolutely necessary (like to save a house, and even then I would cry the entire time). I fear debt. However, and tell me this doesn't make sense, but I always think what would I do if I won a ton of money. Well, after giving some away, paying off stuff, setting up funds for the babies, and so forth, I would raid the drugstore makeup aisle. I mean, how does that make sense. Usually, when you go up in the money ladder you upgrade your taste, but I kind of don't have an interest. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely buy more from the counters, but I have a feeling that I would definitely raid the drugstore makeup aisles. The drugstore aisle gives me more of a rush than the makeup counters do.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I dashed out of the house for a minute. That is spontaneous because I left Cheeks at home with the Scholar. Seriously, I just has a tiny bag with me and I could just rush out of my car. Soo nice. This is the one thing I miss about my childless life: the ability to just go.

41. Like your job? Yes, I like being a mommy. I pepper the mommy gig with some tutoring and volunteer work, which is great.

42. Broccoli? Can you say "GAS."

43. What was your favorite vacation? Alaskan cruise. I went right after graduating from grad school and right before entering the "real" world. It was divine. I ate well, read a lot, and saw humbling glaciers. I don't think I could recreate that trip.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? the Scholar. Yum to both the food and the man.

45. What are you listening to right now? the fan, the baby mumbling in his sleep, and the Scholar taking deep, sleepy breaths.

46. What is your favorite color? RED

47. How many tattoos do you have? None. I admire and enjoy looking at others with tattoos, but I never got one. Now, if I were to get one, it would be Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Sure, she is the villain, but did you feel her sex appeal and confidence? I wanted to be her when I first saw the movie.

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? You read this, you are tagged

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 6:40 am

50. Coffee drinker? Nope, tea drinker.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Brushes, T?! (the detail brushes)

The detail eye brushes
(click on the image to see in full)

1. Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine's Mop 1/4 brush (natural)
2. Loew-Cornell 272 Dome Round (natural)
3. Loew-Cornell Arttec Red Sable 165 round (natural)
4. E.L.F Professional Lip Defining Brush (natural, use as eye brush)
5. CVS Essence of Beauty small crease brush (natural)
6. Loew-Cornell 793 Angular Flat 1/4 brush (white nylon)
7. Maybelline eye contour brush (good for eyeliner, synthetic)

1. Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine's Mop 1/4 brush (natural)--I friggin' love this brush. I have two of these. They are excellent for detailed crease work, smudged liner, outer "v" work. Just a very versatile detail brush. Plus, this brush is around $3 at Michaels.

2. Loew-Cornell 272 Dome Round (natural)--I got this when I was obsessed with finding the perfect pencil brush. The tip of this brush is a little rounder than the MAC 219 and it is thinner as well. However, the brush is densely packed and firm, but still soft. I don't use this as much as I could. I usually gravitate towards it when I want to do create a dramatic, cut crease. This has the length to deeply sit inside my crease as I do the windshield motion to deposit crease color. About $10-$11 at Michaels.

3. Loew-Cornell Arttec Red Sable 165 round (natural)--This is like the Sonia Kashuk fluffy blending brush, but it is thinner and less dense. This does blend, but it is really very soft. So it will do light, light diffusing. I like this brush when I want to just hint at my crease contour. I use this on my less dramatic days, really. Not a must. Unfortunately, I can't find, nor remember, the price on this one.

4. E.L.F Professional Lip Defining Brush (natural, use as eye brush)--This is another example of using brushes for something they were not meant for. I really like this brush. When I first got it, I thought that it was kind of useless, and then I used it to darken my outer "v" and highlight my inner corner and I really enjoyed it. This is small and it is easy to handle around the tight corners of the eyes. It is also very soft, and not densely packed. Therefore, I don't get the sharp, precise crease line or outer "v" line. Instead I get a precise but diffused line. Very nice for $1.

5. CVS Essence of Beauty small crease brush (natural)--Another great brush from Essence of Beauty. Bravo CVS for having such great brushes. I use this for liner smudging, inner eye highlight, and overall detail touch up. The handle is small because it comes in a travel kit. I can't remember the price, but you get two or three crease brushes in this kit. This is a great mini pencil brush.

6. Loew-Cornell 793 Angular Flat 1/4 brush (white nylon)--Great for cream liner application. I prefer the angled brush to the flat liner brush. I can do a cat eye pretty easily with this brush. Plus, it is really easy to clean and manipulate. I think this could have been around $5 or $7, but I can't remember.

7. Maybelline eye contour brush (good for eyeliner, synthetic) --This brush and I have had a longlasting relationship. I have had this brush since freshmen year of college, and I have been out for a while. Pretty awesome brush. I thought I had lost it for a long time, and I was really sad because I could find a replacement (I did find it eventually). However, I have noticed that it is back in stores. This baby used to be hard to find, but not anymore. I really love this brush. Between the LC angle brush and this one, I choose the Maybelline. The brush is poopy for contouring, but it is magnificent for lining. This delivers a thin, precise line. I can also get a great cat eye with this brush. Just great! I don't know the price, however.

So the must haves from this bunch: Maybelline contour brush, CVS small crease brush, LC maxine mop 1/4 brush.

More to come. Let me know if you have any questions.
much love.

Products I am using right now

I have seen this survey on several blogs, and I decided to do it too. If you would like reviews on any of the product just give me a shout out.

Shampoo: Mixed Chicks shampoo (just finishing up, won't repurchase)

Conditioner: Herbal Essence Tousle me Softly (trying it out. smells very nice)

Styling products: 1) Herbal Essence Tousle me Softly mousse (crazy love it. Have been using it for one week, and I get excited to use after I wash my hair. So far no complaints.
2) Garnier Sleek and Shine Anti-humidity hairspray (very nice. Don't wear it every day, but when I do I am surprised at how nice it is. A review will come.)

Shower Gel: Dove Cucumber Melon soap bar.

Body moisturizer: Curel 24 hour comfort. (I friggin' love this stuff. There is a review on here)

Deodorant: Degree invisible solid in power, I think.

Fake Tan: I'm brown; no need to tan.

Cleanser: 1) Costco makeup wipes (love, cheap!), 2) Clean and Clear blackhead eraser/Cetaphil antibacterial bar soap (testing)

Toner: None.

Exfoliator: Clean and Clear blackhead eraser (I missed it when I didn't hav it)

Primer: None.

Foundation brush: testing the Essence of Beauty foundation brush. Very soft, a little too wide.
However, I prefer fingers and sponges.

Concealer: maybelline coverstick in beige and maybelline mineral power in beige. (both are great concealers. Coverstick is very thick, but does not budge. Mineral power is also really nice; a little thinner than coverstick.)

Powder: mark. powder buff powder foundation in "natural" (love)

Blush: Carmindy blush in "poppy" (I have reviewed it somewhere on here)

Bronzer: mark. pro bronze (excellent non-orange shade)

Highlighter: mark. get bright hookup highligher

Eyeshadow base: UDPP, L'oreal Crease, MAC paint in bamboo

Eyeshadows: I have been wearing a lot of mark. shadows recently

Eyeliner: HiP cream liner (I am not really liking it anymore though. It dries out too fast. boo hiss)

Curler: ELF lash curler. (Love it. Replaced my shu uemura)

Mascara: Prestige My Biggest Lashes (on Recessionista recommendation. It is nice, but have decided not to settle on it.)

Lipstick: MAC Twig with NYX round lipgloss in Ballerina Pink on top. (The gloss brings out the pink in twig without it being shocking)

Lipgloss: NYX ballerina pink, mark. exotic in rush, mark GBG in girly girl

Nail Colour: none for now

Let me know what you are wearing/using. This is how we continue to try out new products in the hopes of finally fining "the One."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Update and Tagged (11 happy things)!

Hi Chicas! How is everyone? I have been out because we took Cheeks McGee to the beach. It was a great time. However, now that we are home, Cheeks is all like, "hey, you! Yeah, you, the one who feeds me, I am gonna make you pay for taking me out of the routine. I won't sleep through the night, I will demand arms during the day, and I will cry loudly and incessantly when I want something. Oh, and I am gonna be hungry all the time. Yeah, that's what you get for taking me to the stinkin' beach."

Soo, I had all intentions of coming home and blogging the hell out of blogspot. I had fantasies of blogging so much that my keyboard was going to smoke and the computer was going to sizzle. Alas, this did not happen. Instead, I have been vegging out after long days of fighting with a cute 5 month old, and then I crawl into bed. In fact, I didn't even wash my face last night, and now I am suffering a poopy zit on my chin. Boo Hiss. But, no fear (not that you were), Cheeks is falling back into his routine, and I am getting back on schedule.

In the meantime, I shall do this fun survey that Recessionista sent me. Oh, but before I forget, I didn't take the Clean and Clear blackhead eraser to the beach with me, and my face definitely missed it. So it must be doing something right.

Ok, here is the survey (I love doing these things. you might see another survey go up tonight)

11 Things that make me Happy

1) My new family. When I was younger, I never planned on getting married. I always thought I would find a lover: we would live separately, but hang out on a regular basis. I never really thought I would find someone who would love me just the way I am and want to actually commit to me. I never really thought I would want to commit to anyone either. And yet, I met the Scholar. Pretty crazy. Then two years later, we have Mr. Cheeks McGee dictating what goes on in the house. It is so surreal. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night and look at these two men and just thank God with a humble heart. It doesn't get better. It just doesn't.

2) I may be 30, but I still crave being home with Queen Fierce. Those walls hold a lot of good memories, the smell of comfort food still emanates from the kitchen, and the bed is always welcoming.

3) The weekly calls from Mr. Serenity. He never tires of my Buffy-ridden conversations, and he guides me on which movies to watch and what to do with my car.

4) The daily texts from The Grrl. Holy Moly, thank God for unlimited texting because we can text like it is our job, especially on Sundays during True Blood. Oh Eric...

5) An excellent book that includes some type of awakening, a touch of romance, a strong heroine, a balanced dose of details, a magnificent voice, and a plethora of new words for me to discover. Wow, no wonder I shrug after reading many books.

6) Volunteering. Right now, I teach computer classes at my local library, and I love interacting with the participants. I love their stories, I like their excitement. I enjoy leaving feeling like I have helped someone. Plus, I get to hang out at one of my favorite spots.

7) Getting packages. Whoa, Nelly! I rip the package open in the elevator. I don't even wait until I get in the house. I know what is in the box, but I still get super excited.

8) Simple Christmases. I don't really even care about gifts. I like to keep things simple. This is difficult to do during Christmas especially since so many go overboard with gifts during this time. I like to chill in comfy clothes, watch TV, drink cider, snack on turkey, and just hang out. So whenver I come across a simple Christmas, it is a good Christmas.

9) Silence. Some poeple don't feel comfortable with silence. I cherish it. Funny story, when I was pregnant I read that it was good to talk to the belly so that the baby could get used to my voice. I was home alone a lot, and there were days where I was quiet for most of the time. Then I would freak out because I hadn't said anything to the future Cheeks, and I would immediately start a conversation, only to fall into silence 10 mintues later. It is so nice to just hear my own breath. Oh, also curious. I am a teacher by trade, and there were times in the classroom when I would just close my mouth. The students would look up from their notes and doodles. I would stare at them and say, "Sorry, I just got tired of hearing my voice, so I can only imagine how you are feeling. Let's take a minute to just enjoy the silence." Don't get me wrong, I am not shy, I just don't believe in superfluous talk.

10) Beading. I create something and it doesn't necessarily have to take months to make. Plus, I can wear it as soon as I am done.

11) Long Showers. Better than a long walk on the beach. So, so, so relaxing.

I tag the following:

Elaine, over at Stella's dreams. She blogs about adventures in new mommyhood, which is fun and heartwarming.

Beda from Beda's Beauty Blog. Excellent reviews, FOTD's and is a fellow islander.

Tanya at The Pink Train Case. An expert drugstore shopper, and all around fun chica.

Miss Marisol at A dirty martini kind of girl. One of the first blogs I started reading. Excellent chica.

Of course, anyone else can share on her (do I have male blogger readers?) blog, or in the comments section. This is a nice positive sharing, so why not keep it up.
Also, the tagged are not obligated to do it.

Much love.

Recessionista, thanks for sending this, it was fun to think about how happy I am.

Much Love.