Monday, March 30, 2009

My Birthmonth

Well, March is my birthmonth. That's right, I said "birthmonth." I feel self-generous the entire month, and I spread out the birthday spending throughout 31 days. My self-indulgence usually revolves around makeup and hair products, and I usually buy stuff that looks interesting and new. Come to think of it, Queen Fierce does say that it felt like she was in labor for an entire month when having me, sooo I think the concept of birthmonth is justified.

This month has been really nice for my wallet because there were sales left and right, so I was able to enjoy more for my buck. I shopped at elf, cherryculture, sally's, target, etc. I am enjoying what time I have left of having a little disposable income because Felix is coming soon, and I know that I will gravitate towards the diaper aisle instead of the lipstick aisle. Then, ironically, I know that I will go back to the lipstick aisle because he will have done something horrible to my lipstick. But that is a story for the future.

Here is what I bought at Cherryculture (free shipping for all orders!):
NYX lippies in

These lippies are really lovely in texture, pigmentation, and color range. Unfortunately, some of the colors I chose were wayyy too vibrant and pink for me, so I passed them on to my cool-toned friend. I love the price at $2, and next time they have another sale, I will get some more (right now they are having a sale, but I have reached my limit).

I also decided to try out some of the Wild 'n Crazy shadows. I had bought a matte black shade before, and I have been really happy with the pigmentation and staying power. I had also heard great reviews on them, so I decided to explore the other colors. I bought Ocean in Mood, Sassy Diva, Magic Purple, and Rosy Jubilee. Overall, these are really pretty shadows with a nice amount of pigmentation. I have just swatched them, so I will be sure to dedicate a full on review and look with them. The shadows range from $1.50 to $2.00, steal!

To top off the order, I got an Amuse palette. The pigmentation is great, but the shades are very, very shimmery, so I don't know how often I will grab this.
wild 'n crazy shadows: ocean in mood, sassy diva, magic purple, rosy jubilee

ELF haul (free shipping)
I bought all of the $1 brushes. Overall, I have been pleased with the quality of the brushes. There are a couple that are blah, but the majority of the eye brushes are great. I am also loving the big powder brush for a light application blush.
I also purchased the flat top powder brush from the studio line, which is $3. This is a gem. Super soft, super dense, great for foundation application. There is a chemical smell, but I have read that the smell dissipates after several washings. I think I will get another one, when another free shipping sale is offered.
In addition, I bought several lip pencils and lip glosses in ruby kiss, cherry tart, ruby slippers, pink lemonade, and maple sugar. I also bought a kit at Ross for $4.99 (saved a penny). The kit contained the smudge sponge, eyelash curler, dual-ended mascara in regular and waterproof black, black eyeliner, and a quad. The quad shadows are surprisingly nice for $1. Oh, and my Target has decided to bring back Elf, so now I don't have to wait to order it online, yay!
facial whip in toasted, ruby kiss, cherry tart, ruby slippers, pink lemonade, maple sugar

Avon (lippies for $2.99)
I got three ultra rich lippies in Berry, Berry Nice, Sheer Mocha, and Wineberry. They are lovely!Berry, Berry Nice; Sheer Mocha; Wineberry

MAC (no sale, this was a true treat! The scholar bought this)
I received the undupable 217 brush, and boy am I in love with this friggin' brush. I have been trying to find a dupe for it for a very long time, but I have not had luck, so the scholar gave me this. I also bought studiofix fluid foundation in NC40. I am really enjoying the goodies.

A ton of Sally Girl eyeshadows, several nail polishes ($.89 with the sally card), and several hair care products that I will review in due time.

Makeup Forever Mist and Fix spray (travel size to try out), and I got the beauty insider birthday gloss set

Arbonne (I went to a friend's party)
Baby Rash cream
Dual Volume Mascara in black. This was a splurge, but I am glad I splurged because I really, really like the mascara.

Oh, and I have an Ulta giftcard that I have yet to burn through (thanks, Nanni)

Overall, it was a great birthday. I have a baby on the way, I was able to relax, and I was able to take advantage of several sales. Yay!

Now, I shall be on a "you-better-think-long-and-hard-before-buying" buy.

Let me know if you would like any swatches or reviews on the products!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why did a put a limit of 10?

This task that I have given myself has been very difficult. For weeks, I have been trying to think about what 10 things are absolute must haves for me when it comes to beauty and such. I really am not a hoarder when it comes to other things in my life. As a matter of fact, sometimes I give/throw things away only to need them later and regret the impulse purging. However, when it comes to beauty products, I am a true collector and hoarder. My toiletries have crossed over to the guest bathroom, and to the Scholar's cabinets. I have had to put up additional shelving in the bathroom to accommodate all of my face products, concoctions, headbands, and so forth. It is never ending, but I stand proud. I will not be ashamed of my penchant for all things beauty.

Anyway, coming back to the list...these are things that I just crave and buy more of whenever I get a change (meaning when on sale or coupon). In no particular order

1) Aquaphor--the classic. I use it for everything. Dry, swollen eyes due to allergic reactions, dry lips due to constant picking or MAC lippies, dry cuticles due to constant bathroom visits because a fetus is bearing down on my bladder, chapped nose, ashy elbows, rashy bums, etc. I have tried substitutes, but this just has the perfect consistency and it lasts long on surfaces.

2) Face moisturizer, Heavy hand/body creams--I cannot stand feeling dry, parched. Right now, I am in love with Curel (we are in a long-term commitment), and as far as moisturizers are concerned, I absolutely enjoy Avon's moisture 24 for night (which has been replaced, I have yet to try the new one), and mark's for goodness face moisturizer for the day.

3) little portable travel containers--every time I go to Target, Walmart, or Sally's I buy little empty containers so that I can fill them up with my concoctions, or with body creams, or whatever. I have a fascination with containers. I have even been known to keep glass jars after the contents has been eaten. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't. Regardless, I love to have them.

4) Chapstick--yes, I have aquaphor, but the one drawback is that I have to use my fingers, and sometimes, my fingers aren't clean. This is where Chapstick steps in. I have tubes all over the house, the cars, my purses, pockets, and so forth. I am also particular, I only like the Chaptstick brand, cherry to be exact. Although, their new lip butter is climbing up my most favorable list.

5) Revlon Colorstay foundation--I always, always go back to this foundation. I don't know what the draw is, but it is like confidence in a bottle for me. I even like the smell of it. I have several bottles of it sitting around. I am constantly mixing shades to match my skin (On my lighter days I use Golden Warm, on my more normal days I use Natural Tan. Sometimes, I mix the shades to adjust). In fact, I just got Studiofix Fluid, which is wonderful, but I still go back to Colorstay. When I go into NYC, I always make sure to stop by the Revlon discount store to stock up on bottles. I also adapt the degree of coverage by adding moisturizer, other foundations, or changing the application tool. Colorstay has not failed me. (Maybelline Dream Liquid is pretty high up too.)

6) Aussie Deeeeep Conditioner--True story, I always buy a bottle or two when I go to the store. Always. I fear being without it. This is THE conditioner for my hair. It smells divine, does not leave a filmy residue, and leaves my hair manageable and soft. They say leave in for 3 minutes, but I use this conditioner as a styling product. Sometimes, I just leave this in, but most of the time, I like to mix with a little gel. Either way, my hair has had a longstanding love affair with this conditioner. Even Queen Fierce uses it regularly. One thing: the original is crappy, Deeeep is way better.

7) scarves--I am constantly doing something to my hair or wardrobe. Scarves are the best accessory. Right now, I am letting my hair grow out, and I am going au natural, so my hair and I are still trying to work together. Scarves are the great negotiator, plus they can work with the FOTD. I get the scarves at Walmart (bandanas for .94), thrift stores, Queen Fierce's closet and so forth. Again, I just love collecting them.

8) lipsticks--I go through color phases. Now I just want kool-aid stained cherry lips, before I was all about red, at one point, I was about berries, sometimes I venture into nudes. Regardless of color, I love having at least three lipsticks on hand at any given time. Queen Fierce hammered this dependency into my head. Queen Fierce: "Put some lipstick on so you don't look dead." "A woman should never been seen without lipstick." "Are you wearing lipstick?" "Never leave the house with dirty, torn underwear and without your lips painted." I started playing with lipstick at 3 or 4 years of age. I remember my sister was refered to as "pico de oro" (gold mouth/lips) at the tender age of 4 as well because she, too, was all about the lipstick. It has become a security thing.

9) makeup bags--I love to compartmentalize my things. I use bags for this. I love makeup bags, but I don't like to pay a lot for them. I get mine at the dollar store, and I use the little plastic covers that bedding comes in (not the huge ones, but the small ones for curtains, pillow cases so forth, more on that later). If my friends are giving them away, I am the first to grab them. I love filling them up with stuff. I love the noise of plastics clinking together. I love dipping my hand into the bag full of products. I get lost.

10) Fragrances--Another Queen Fierce legacy. I have been doused in some type of fragrance since I was a baby (Nenuco cologne). I love my natural musk, but I love it even more when I combine it with something that compliments it. One peculiar thing that is a testament to my personality, I don't necessarily have a signature perfume. I have a signature combination of notes, but I have yet to settle on just one fragrance. I get bored easily, plus, smells connect with moods. Why would I want to smell spicy if I feel gassy? It is probably the spice that caused the gas. ya know?

I would love to know what your 10 favorable items are. Please share!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


GlossQueen tagged me with the Kreativ Tag award. This is my first questionnaire tag, which I always find fun to read when other bloggers do it.
So I have to list 7 things that I love, and then pass it on to 7 bloggers that I love. Instead of passing it onto 7 bloggers I love, I am going to let you decide to do it on your own volition. Everyone is welcome. Of course, if you do it, I will read it because I am a nosey person!

here we go
7 things I love, in no particular order

1. Tootsie Roll lollipops. I love getting to the gooey middle and then peeling the lollipop stick. I try not to buy bags of the lollipops too often because I will go through a bag in a day.

2. Beads. I love the variety, the colors, the textures, the creations one can make with them.

3. NPR. pretty much my only news source. In fact, I am going to donate my car to the local station pretty soon. If they will take it, that is...

4. Historical fiction. a little bit of history, a whole of creativity.

5. Rainy Days. everything is fresh afterwards. I was content when it rained on my wedding day.

6. Women with strong and assured voices. What more can I say?

7. Weekly chats with Mr. Serenity, facebook convos with The Grrl, check-ins with Queen Fierce, and frontal lobe kisses from the Scholar. Oh, and I love when the Scholar holds my hand firmly in public. Recently, I have really enjoyed relaxing in Felix's room too.

Fun times, please feel free to do this questionnaire in the comments section or on your blog. It's fun to get to know each other.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shout out to the best lotion my hide has ever encountered

photo by Anna Cervova

let's treat our hands with tenderness, delicacy, and love.

I hate the feeling of dry, tight skin. I feel like I am wearing a leather suit that is 5 times too small for my body. I feel like I can't close my hands, bend my knees, rotate my ankles. Blah! Oh and the itch factor is unbearable. Every time I wash my hands or get out of the shower, I have to put lotion on. It's my thing. And the liquidy, "light but hydrating" lotion doesn't cut it either. Sometimes, in moments of desperation, I rub chapstick on my freshly washed hands and just rub that all over my hands. Ahh, relief.

I have tried several different lotions, and some disappoint others awaken an obsession. Usually, Shea butter is a must when I get out of the shower and have time. However, when I am in a crunch or too tired to emulsify the butter in between my hands, I go to lotion. Lubriderm (to be honest, the generic version) was at the top of the list for quite some time, but I got bored with it. Also, it was too greasy for my hands. So when I worked with paper, I would sometimes leave marks. However, the hydration felt fantastic.

What to do? Well, I bought little travel tubes of lotion to try them out. Recently, I came across an oldie, but goodie: Curel Continuous Comfort. Why hadn't I tried this marvelous concoction before? Why had I not taken the opportunity to luxuriate in this creamy, moisturizing, but non-greasy, not slow absorption product before? Was it the "steep" price of $7 for 13 oz? Maybe, but this is my skin we are talking about. Surely, I could splurge and pay $7 for a product that would quench the thirst of my arid skin, especially considering that a little goes a long way (this helps justify the price, with Lubriderm and other lotions, I would have to use double the amount to feel quenched).

Well, I am so glad I met this product. I am a loyal Curel lover now. I apologize to my skin for not treating it the way it should be treated (can you imagine how I would react if I used a $150 dollar lotion. I might have five orgasms and die.) I have been using Curel Continuous Comfort, and this is exactly what the lotion does: provide continuous comfort. There are times, when I wash my hands repeatedly, and I don't have to moisturize immediately after because Curel is still hydrating them. There is no greasy residue, the cream is absorbed very quickly yet it does not feel light and liquidly. Also the lotion doesn't leave a filmy sensation. I have applied this all over my growing belly and legs after showers, and I feel that same effects as the super moisturizing unrefined shea butter without the buttery residue. The smell is light and pleasant and it dissipates quickly. I am so in love that I buy backups whenever they go on sale. I have also bought little travel containers and I fill them with the lotion to have everywhere. No more dry patches, no more itchies, no more leathery tightness. This is a fantastic drugstore lotion. I love you Curel, I love you.

Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets. It is $7 for 13 oz, but a little goes a long way, plus Target throws it on sale every once and a while. In addition, coupons are available. I don't think I have bought this regular price yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I have no clever title for these wipes...

Oh no! It's midnight, and the weight of the entire day is working its hardest to convince me to just go to bed without washing my face. In fact, the reason I am up at midnight is because I am too lazy or tired to go to bed, let alone wash my face. However, it is a cardinal sin to go to bed with layers of primer, foundation, setting powder, blush, shadow, mascara and so forth. I always pay the price when I go to bed without washing my face. Not only do I look like Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd the next morning, but I immediately breakout.

Why is it that I love to apply makeup, but I hate to take it off at the end of the day? There are so many steps to removing the makeup. First, I remove the eye stuff with baby oil and a cotton ball, then wash the face twice, then I tone (although I have been skipping this step), and then I moisturize. Sometimes, I consolidate the eye and face makeup removal by using Jergens Face Cream makeup removal cream and a warm wash cloth. However, even then this is time consuming because I have to massage the cream in, and then use a wash cloth to wipe everything off several times. Arg!

So a while ago, I figured I would start exploring the world of makeup removal wipes. I have tested Lumene, Olay, Everyday Minerals, baby wipes, and the Target brand. I feel like Golidlocks; not enough cloth, not enough moisture, not enough cleaning agent, too rough of a cloth, too much fragrance, too drying, too sticky, just blah. I was about to give up. I started using the facial wipes to clean the counter tops after makeup application, instead of using them on my face. The wipes just left me frustrated.

Fortunately, things seem to be looking up. About two weeks ago, a PR company sent me some wipes to review* I was skeptical, but I decided to give them a try. The brand is called Simple. It is a brand from the U.K that has been around since 1960. The brand prides itself on catering to sensitive skin. Therefore, there are no fragrances nor dyes. According to the press release, these wipes are being introduced in the United States, specifically at Duane Reade in NYC.

As soon as I received the wipes, I started testing them. I have put my other makeup removal products aside for the last two weeks, and I have been focusing on these wipes. I tested them with different foundations, and different eye makeup looks (light to dramatic). I have waited an hour after using just the wipes to see how much it dried my skin, I have followed the wipes with toner, and I have also followed the makeup removal with soap and toner to see how much time these wipes would cut out. Here are my notes.

First the claims:
100% Alcohol free (non drying)
100% Oil Free
pH balanced
Will even remove Waterproof mascara

Now, the observations:
Size--The clothes are 7x7 inches big. These sheets are nice and big. I can fold over the sheet several times and concentrate on certain heavily made up areas without needing another sheet. I just use clean areas for each part of the face In fact, I have only used two sheets in one night once, and that was to see how much the first sheet took off (the Colorstay night). I really like the size of the cloth.

Texture and Moisture of wipe--the wipe is clothlike; very soft, no rough spots, and quite substantial. This wipe has not torn on me, and I can be unnecessarily rough on my face. As far as the moisture, I wouldn't mind if this wipe were a little more saturated, however, I cannot say that the wipe is on the dry side. When wiping my face, my face feels dewy, not wet. I prefer a little wetter feeling for glide. The moisture of this wipe is in between baby wipes and the Everyday Minerals wipes (those were crazy dry for wipes).

Fragrance--there is no distinct smell to this wipe. Actually, there is a very, very faint smell of "green" products. I don't know how to describe it, but it smells like something that would be considered "natural." It is barely noticeable; I just dug my nose in the package to capture the smell.

Removal of makeup:
Foundation--I have used these wipes to remove Revlon Colorstay foundation, Revlon colorstay mixed with Maybelline mineral liquid foundation, MAC studiofix fluid, mark. speedway foundation, Max Factor Pancake, and powder foundation. Obviously, the Revlon Colorstay is the most difficult to remove, and this wipe was up for the challenge. Overall, the wipe removed a great amount of the foundation with one cloth. When I swiped my face with a toner-saturated cottonball, I did have a little residue left, but it was just residue, not an excess amount of left over. Therefore, with straightup Colorstay, you might want to use two wipes instead of one; or you could follow up the majority of the removal with your favorite face soap. The wipe worked nicely in removing the other regular foundations. I just need one wipe and my face felt and looked clean. Either way, this wipe did cut down on the foundation removal steps at the end of the night.

Eye makeup--These wipes fare well with eyeshadow and brow filler. However, I have to beg to differ on the "will remove waterproof mascara" claim. I don't wear waterproof mascara on a regular basis, so when I read that this would even remove waterproof, I was excited about the prospect of it removing regular mascara, and I am a little disappointed. These wipes removed an ample amount of mascara, but I still wakeup with partial raccoon eyes the next day. Sometimes, I rub my eyes later in the night, and I have a little mascara residue on my fingers. I wear regular Lash Discovery mascara. The same goes for heavy-duty eye liner like the gel liners; I still get a left over line after cleaning. I have a hard time seeing these remove waterproof mascara.

Non-Drying effects--I usually get tightface with other wipes, but these simple wipes treated my face with tenderness. Typically, I feel the drying effects immediately, but I walked around the house for an hour after using the wipes (after removing the Colorstay foundation), and my face did not feel tight. Could I go the entire night without moisturizer? No, but these wipes are meant to "prep the face" for moisturizing, so we're good.

Breakouts?--No breakouts, and I have been using these consistently. I have not had any blemishes pop up.

So, what do I think?
Well, as mentioned before, these wipes can be found at Duane Reade stores in NYC. I don't live in NYC so these wipes are not readily accessible to me. I was wondering if I would ever really go to to order these. Last night, I heavily contemplated it, however, Duane Reade's shipping isn't very nice: $5.49 for up to a 1lb. So the only thing stopping me would be the shipping costs (the shipping doesn't go down with volume or total amount). However, I do take periodic trips to NYC, and I will most definitely go to Duane Reade and stock up on these wipes. Overall, out of all of the wipes I have tried, these are lovely!
As many of you know, I have a baby coming just around the corner, and I am going to be tired and pressed for time; however, I am sure I will periodically slap on some makeup to look less tired. So these will come in handy during my introduction to motherhood. These wipes really do cut down on makeup removal time, and I just touch up the eyes with a baby oil coated q-tip for the mascara residue on some nights. No skin off my back. I hope Simple broadens their region because I would love if these wipes were more accessible.

4 out of 5 happy wallets--nice, but needs a little more power for the mascara. Also, not readily accessible yet. If you are in NYC near a Duane Reade, definitely snag a pack.
Price: $5.99-6.49; 25 wipes to a pack.

*note: Although I was asked to review this product, I uphold my promise to stay honest. I was in no way swayed to manipulate the truth for a $6 pack of facial wipes. However, remember that this is just my experience and opinion. Of course, your experience may differ.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Honey, this ain't for your grandma...

The title references a conversation I had with a Body Shop sales associate this week. I just went in to browse (and to burn through some birthday money), and I decided to look at the Moroccan Rose collection they just released. The makeup collection was pretty, but too shimmery. The fragrance collection was very lovely. As I smelled the perfume, I marveled at the surge of rose products I have seen recently throughout different brands. I didn't get the perfume because it reminded me of the mark. Rebel Rose fragrance, which I have and love (finally, a rose that mixes with my body chemistry). Instead, I left with a curl booster hair product, which I will review (awesome!), and some pomade.

Anyway, here is the thing, I used to hate roses--as in the actual flower. When I was younger, I had a battle with a rose bush and that stupid plant won. I left the scuffle with cuts all over my legs. From that day on, I always kept my distance. Oh sure, they looked so lovely, but I was certain that deep down the rose was the devil's flower of choice. In fact, I would tell my dates and the scholar "No Roses, please." However, I do have a confession, I did use white and pink roses for my wedding because they were cheaper and I was on a budget. Plus, the roses and I came to a compromise: I would promote them by walking them down the aisle, and they would agree to be de-thorned. We both won that day.

Because of this aversion to roses, I really did ignore all rose products, both the smell and colors. Then, recently, I decided to fully relent and try mark.'s rebel rose collection. The fragrance is lovely: Rose (of course) with a hint of pepper and other spices. I smell clean, feminine, but seductive at the same time. Of course, always try a sample before buying the bottle, we are all different. I also purchased the Rebel Rose palette, which Pink Train Case features on her blog. This is a wonderful palette. The shades are heavily pigmented, and as you can see in Pink's pictures, and the shade coordination works very well. I will say that I was a little skeptical about how the pinks would work on me, but I have been really surprised. I have worn this palette several times, and I fall in love with it more and more.

I will mention, however, that this palette is not filled with all new shades. "Corset" and "Luvstruck" are part of the regular collection; "Rebel" and Saucy" are the new shades. I don't know if mark. plans on releasing the new colors individually. However, this palette is $9, so if the two colors were released, you would just save $1. If you like the color combo, then I would say it's worth the buy. (I do actually already have "luvstruck" and "corset" and I am fine with having the dupes.) As far as the new colors, "Rebel" is a low, low shimmer white shade, perfect for highlighting. The catalog says matte, but like "whisper" this is not fully matte; it has a sheen to it. "Saucy" is a deep, plummy purple. Very pretty. It does have a touch of shimmer, but nothing overpowering. The shimmer in "Saucy" ranges from pink, purple, and silver-blue.

I did a look just using the palette, of course I also used UDPP. I have to say that many looks can originate with this palette.

5 out of 5 happy wallets--nice price, lovely color combo, excellent pigmentation and staying power.
Price: $9.00

mark. rebel rose palette 3

mark. rebel rose palette 2

mark. rebel rose palette
rebel on lid also highlight
luvstruck in crease and a little above
saucy in outer corner and defines our crease
corset as liner on lash line
maybelline lash discovery in black

BTW, this is my birthday month (actually my birthday is today), so I have been doing some mad budget hauling, with the exception of two splurges. I will present my collective goods soon. I also have several more reviews coming soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The cure for a bad morning

Oh boy, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Instead of relishing in the miserable mood, I decided to do something about it.

What is a great calorie-free way to make us makeup lovers feel better?
Yup, some bonding time with makeup. I decided to force myself to be romantic and marry two cosmetics brands: Sally Girl and Mark. They were reluctant to meet each other at first, but with some smooth talking, I was able to set them up on a date. Now, they are on their way down the aisle, and I am the makeup artist at their wedding. This success brightened my mood instantly, and I started inviting more makeup products to the party. Next thing, it felt like we were at a Vanity Fair post-wedding party.


Here are some pics


The look of the wrong side
Whoa, mama! chill out with that fist.
Felix would run away from this, poor boy.

open that fist!
Much better. The fist has been forced open.

vanity fair eat your heart
-Everyday Minerals tinted silk dust as primer
-Revlon Colorstay w/ softflex foundation (oily/combo) in "Warm Golden" (this shade is too light for me right now. "Natural Tan" is the next option for me)
-Everyday Minerals foundation combo in "golden medium" and "butter tan" to darken the revlon foundation, add more coverage
-Maybelline coverstick concealer in "deep beige" and Everyday Minerals corrector in "bisque" under eyes
-Everyday Minerals brow powder in "medium brown" on brows
-MAC contour powder in "sculpt"
-NYX blush in "terracotta"
-WnW sheer illuminating powder in "moonlight" to highlight (limited edition. Looks like CD)

Sally Girl shadow in "purple haze" all over lid
Sally Girl shadow in "eggplant" in outer corner and crease (a little above crease too)
Sally Girl shadow in "beige" to blend edges and highlight under brow
mark. shadow in "plum velvet" in outer corner and crease (to further define)
mark. shadow in "cake" in inner corner
UD 24/7 liner in "lucky" all around eye
mark. shadow in "magic" on top of "lucky" to smudge, seal, and brighten
Ardell cluster/individual lashes on outer corner (four clusters on each eye)
Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara in black

mark. gloss in "loungerie" (this was an old collection, it has since been discontinued)

Sally and mark. are married!

sally and mark close up
The brows are a product of self-threading. I have been practicing this
ever since I saw Pursebuzz's video.

Let me know if you want any swatches, reviews, or other info.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What does Ulta mean anyway

A few weeks ago, I took a trip down to Ulta because they were having sales on several products that I was interested in. In addition to picking up the items that I wanted, I decided to venture over to Ulta's private label. They were having a sale on the entire line. The lipsticks were on sale for $4, and I decided to pick some up. I think these will be the only Ulta lipsticks and glosses I will get. I had high hopes for the lippies; the colors are lovely, the packaging is clean and sleek; however, there are some things I can't get over.

Packaging: A lovely, round, silver tube. The word "Ulta" is pressed into the tube. There is a peekaboo window at the bottom of the tube where you can see the lipstick shade. This is useful since the name of the shade is not on the outside of the tube. When you remove the cap there is a sticker on the tube with the shade name. I find this a little annoying because I like to read the shade on the outside.

Texture: Moisturizing. The formula provides a rich, dense finish that definitely coats the lips. In addition, when applied the lips pick up a subtle sheen. Overall, the lips don't look dry or unhealthy. They look moist and healthy. Kind of balmy. When the lippies are applied, they just glide on the lips, and the texture stays like that until it wears away. I really like the texture; my lips don't feel dry after applying, which is always a plus.

Coverage: The lippies range from a satin to a sheer finish. They all deposit color, but some offer more pigment than others. "Sheer Latte," "Black Cherries," "Heat Wave," and "Sheer Berry" have a lovely mid-pigment sheen to them. They leave a "my lips but better" finish. "Moroccan Red" has a deep pigmentation, but this can also be sheered out.

Longevity: These last as long as any average lipstick. They don't withstand eating or drinking, and they require the regular amount of reapplication. There is nothing promising as far as long-lasting goes. Of course, a lip pencil and the blot-powder-reapply method will make the lipstick last longer.

Smell: This is the dealbreaker for me. The smell is chemically/plasticy. The smell does not go away. My nose is constantly irritated by this smell. In addition, the smell really never subsides. My cheaper Wet n' Wild lippies smell better than the Ulta ones. Also, when I initially apply the lipstick, the smell enters my mouth and kind of makes my tongue uncomfortable and my throats gets a little scratchy. I thought I could get past the smell/taste of the lipsticks, but I don't know if I can. If I use a little chapstick under the lipsticks, it is a little more doable, but...ahhh, I know that I will not invest in any more of these lippies. In a nutshell, I would not want to kiss anyone on the lips while wearing these lippies.

So what does this mean for the lipsticks that I bought? Well, I will still wear them, but they won't be in heavy rotation. I will also be sure to pair the lippies with a nicely flavored balm under the lipstick to make them smell/taste better. Also, if I blot the lippies the smell is less potent, so I can use these as lip stains. Maybe I will give them away to someone who doesn't mind the smell. We shall see. Oh, and I tried one of the glosses in "raisin," and I didn't really like it either because of the smell. The texture was really sticky and thick, which makes for a great longlasting gloss, but, oh the smell!

2.5 out of 5 happy wallets--I love the colors and texture, but I just can't get past the smell/taste.
Price: regular $8, Ulta does put them on sale though

Ulta, if you are reading this, please do something with the smell because I these lippies really have the potential!

What does everyone else do when they encounter unpleasant smelling lippies?

top: Brilliant lip gloss in "raisin"
left-right: "Moroccan Red," "Heat Wave," "Sheer Berry," "Sheer Latte," "Black Cherries"

see the label on the inside.