Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Goodies, Part 1: Inglot Eyeshadow Palettes

Hello everyone! I hope you all have been having a lovely holiday season. I haven't updated in two weeks, as I've been feeling pretty lazy.

Even though I had to work most of last week and this week, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Nevada to visit my family for Christmas. Even though we didn't do any big gift exchanges this year, I still thought it would be fun to post some of the items I received in thematic installments.

My mom and I had plans to meet up with my brother and his wife for dinner on Christmas Eve at one of our favorite local restaurants. Before that though, we had some time to see a movie (Black Swan, which I was a bit disappointed with) and do some shopping. And much to my excitement, in between the time I was there in October and now, an Inglot store had opened up! I've been dying to try Inglot since I watched some youtube reviews on it.

The Inglot shopping experience is a unique one. How they sell their items is by palette - for example, for eyeshadows, you can choose larger square shapes, or smaller round ones. Then you can purchase a palette of two, four, five or ten. The cost of the palette and the eyeshadows are tied together (meaning if you choose a two pan palette, you have to choose two eyeshadows to go with it, and the whole purchase has a flat cost). It was a little confusing at first, and I still don't know if you can actually purchase products individually, or if you have to buy everything together. I was under the impression it was the latter, which begs the question, what happens if you need to replace a shadow?

Anyway, my mom offered to purchase a palette for me as part of my Xmas gifts, and I also bought one for myself. I ultimately decided to get the five pan round eyeshadow palette because it was cheaper than the square pan palette. Each palette cost $25 including the shadows. It's a really great deal, because not only are you getting the palette, but five super-pigmented shadows.

Choosing the actual shadows was a really fun process! To start with, you get a magnetic tablet. All of the sample eyeshadows are laid out on one long table, separated by shade. Then you start pulling shadows and arranging them on your tablet, until you find a combination you like. Once that is done, you take your tablet to the register, tell them what type of palette you want, and they pull the sealed shadows from a set of drawers behind the counter (by the way, they sell a lot more than shadows - you can also get 5 pan palettes of concealers and lip product as well).

When choosing my shadows, I gave a wide berth to the pinks, purples and blues, and mainly focused on the super warm colors. The first palette I made includes a lot of oranges:
Unfortunately Inglot colors don't have names, just numbers (a pet peeve of mine, since I adore products even more if they have a cute name). But as you can see, the colors in this palette are a light champagne, gold, sparkly peach, sparkly burnt orange and a black with gold glitter.

Here is the second palette I made:This one begins with a buckwheat shade, a more yellow gold, a mid-tone brown, kelly green with gold flecks, and a mossy taupe green.

What is also cool about these palettes is that they have magnets on the corners, making them stackable:
So that is it for the moment, I have tomorrow off from work, so hopefully I'll get another post in before the new year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bath & Body Products I've Been Loving Lately

Well, it's soon as I go on a makeup no-buy (save for one slip-up...but I'll save that for another post), I turn my attention to something else beauty related, which in this case is bath products. From scrubs to lotions to soaps, I have a few things to show you. The first is a Turkish coffee scented sugar scrub from the Etsy store Wicked Soaps:And here is what the scrub looks like:
Yummy!? I guess it either looks like coffee grinds or mold, depending on your perspective (I'm on the side of coffee grinds). I'm actually not a huge coffee drinker (nor a pure one - if I do have coffee, it needs lots of flavored syrup, like hazelnut, and mountains of whipped cream), but I adore the smell. I'd say this is a particularly great weekday scrub for those mornings I need to haul my leaden body out of bed. The scent is strong and perks you right up, like a real cup of joe would!

Next are two offerings from my perennial favorite, Haus of Gloi:

It's a sugar scrub and a pumpkin butter, both in the Snow Wolf scent (I only took a photo of the pumpkin butter since the jar is exactly the same for both). First off, how cool is the label?! It's very Medieval Norse. Secondly, this has to be hands down my favorite scent of theirs thus far, because it's the most spicy and least sweet of their seasonal pumpkin butters. Winter is the best season for me, scent wise, because that is when the woodsy and musky scents come out. Conversely, summertime is the worst because that's when all the saccharine fruity scents are for sale (coconut is probably the only fruit inspired scent I really enjoy).

Last but not least, I ordered a trio of Lord of the Rings inspired soaps from Dreaming Tree Soap Soapwork, my favorite of which is the Fangorn Forest bar:
Fangorn Forest is where Merry & Pippin found themselves after escaping from the Orcs. It's also where they met up with Treebeard, who they journeyed with to Isengard (I am a bit of a Tolkein nut). The other two soaps in the bunch were Rivendell and the Shire. Rivendell smells about as pure and crisp as you'd imagine the actual place would. Fangorn Forest smells, well, woodsy (sorry, my brain isn't capable of coming up with better descriptions at the moment, I'm a wee bit tired). Hence why I like it so much. I thought the Shire smelled fairly similar to Rivendell, and I thought it could have used some cinnamon or something similarly foody (since the hobbits were obsessed with eating).

Well, it's absolutely pouring rain outside, so I'm going to pop in my Tudors season 4 dvd, and then get some sleep. Hope everyone's weekend is going well!

Monday, December 13, 2010

RIP Lush Matryoshka, RIP

I received my Lush order over the weekend, and my dear little Matryoshka did not fare well in her journeys:She suffered some major internal damage en route to California, and came to me a powdery mess. (The two pieces inside that crumbled are bath bombs; the outer red and green layers are soaps).
Even though this is still usable, I'm pretty upset with how badly packaged this was. It was just loosely wrapped in newspaper, when it should have been cushioned in bubble wrap. I won't say I won't ever order from Lush again, but I'm probably going to stick to sturdier items in the future, like shower gel that comes in plastic bottles.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2nd GWP Score - Estee Lauder Coach Makeup Bag w/ Goodies is a wonderfully informative yet evilly enabling website that alerts one to all the cool gwp's going on in the makeup world. Thanks to them, I found out about this Coach for Estee Lauder makeup bag, which could be purchased for $35 after buying a fragrance. They actually had three different bags to choose from - red, silver and gold - and each bag had a specific color palette for the makeup that came with it. I bought mine through the EL website, and unfortunately all they had in stock was the gold one (I would have preferred red, since that is my signature color for accessories). However, since I am a coach fanatic (please don't cast judgmental eyes my way!), I still had to get my hands on it.

Here is a sampling of what was inside:There was also a very cool retractable powder brush and an eyeliner pencil in navy, but they didn't make for very interesting photos, so I chose not to include them.

As for the fragrance I purchased in order to be eligible for the gwp, I think it is my holy grail for winter! It's called Sensuous Noir, and it's an exotic, musky blend that isn't overpowering, yet has great lasting power. It's almost like a female version of a male cologne. This is perfect for me, because I don't tend to cotton to fruity or overly floral scents (i.e., typical ingredients in female perfurmes). It didn't show up well in my pictures, but the bottle is a deep purple.

Overall, from the Dahlia palette to this, I've started to pay more attention to Estee Lauder, whereas before it was at the absolute bottom of my list of preferred makeup brands. Something about it almost seemed grandmotherly to me, and I generally hated the gold toned packaging (which they still have unfortunately). I'm slowly starting to change my mind about them, and will probably start to pay more attention to their offerings.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Harajuku Lovers and Pinkytoast

After last night's post, I was thinking about my new Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style perfume bottle, and what it reminded me of. This morning it hit me - it's so similar to the work of my favorite artist, Pinkytoast!

Close-up of the new Harajuku Lovers bottle:
Pinkytoast pictures:

I would gladly agree to go on a permanent make-up no buy if I could get my hands on the original of the Alice in Wonderland themed one!

I actually do own one Pinkytoast original painting, bought on a whim in 2004 for $90. Her prices have (deservedly) been raised to close to $400 now. The one I bought features one of her large, doll-like heroines journeying through a forest with her human-sized rabbit companions. The summer I bought it I was interning at a cultural heritage site, and part of my job was to catalog the art collection of the owner. It was probably one of the more fun times in my working life, and sparked this desire to start collecting art pieces for the fun of it. One of my coworkers at the museum I later worked at kind of naysayed me, saying really the only way to collect art nowadays and make a profit was to invest in contemporary (Yes, because I can really afford a Jeff Koons - anyway I could care less about the accruing value, I only care if I'm going to enjoy looking at it everyday). To drive home his point, he gave me this book called Collecting Contemporary Art, which I recommend anyway because learning about the contemporary market is truly fascinating (it includes a lot of interviews with top auctioneers and dealers).

And going back to the topic of life-long no-buys, I'm still contemplating the rules of my impending no-buy. I think it may involve taking an extended break from Makeupalley, since that is where most lemmings are born.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gift with Purchase Score - Harajuku Lovers Beauty Bento

Before my heart belonged to Russia, I was a bit of a Japanophile. I studied abroad there twice, once in high school and once in college. So when Gwen Stefani created her world of Harajuku Lovers, I might as well have gotten "A Fatal Attraction to Cuteness" tattooed on my forehead because I started to fiendishly collect whatever I could from them.

With the new release of the Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style perfume, Sephora had this cleverly packaged gift with purchase they were giving away when you bought a full sized bottle. Called the Beauty Bento, it contains eyeshadows, lipglosses, fragrance samples and eye and lip liners.

Even though I'm sure everyone knows this, a bento is a Japanese lunch box with little compartments to separate the food. I have fond memories of bentos, since my first hostmom would send me off to language school with the yummy lunch she made tucked into a cute Sanrio food container. For reference, here is an example of a typical lunch: where was I?

Oh yes, the makeup. Here are some more images of what is inside the Beauty Bento:

Sample vials of all 5 fragrances.

The eyeshadows and lip gloss pots up close. Notice the cute little fake grass separator, just like you'd find in a real bento!

And finally, the perfume I bought. It is Music (my favorite of all the 5 fragrances), in a Wicked Style outfit and hairdo:Now cross my heart and hope to die of makeup withdrawl, this is my last fragrance purchase for a long time. I still have to get through a full bottle of Benefit's Ready to Rock Rita, a bottle of Lolita Lempicka and my Tokyo Milk Kabuki fragrance. I'll also be working on a no-buy for makeup, but details on that later!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How I've Been Procrastinating

This weekend I was simultaneously working hard on my take home final, and working hard to avoid it. The good news is that I turned in the completed version yesterday, and I feel like I did a great job on it (finger crossed the teacher thinks so too!). For lack of anything better to write about, I thought I'd share my recent favorite means of procrastination:

The Tudors Season 4:
Oh Henry (okay, Johnathan Rhys Meyers), what will I do with my life when I finish all the discs for this, the last season! I just completed episodes 1-4, and there are only 6 episodes left. Thus far I'm enjoying this season immensely! Season 3 kind of dragged in the beginning, but Season 4 starts out fast and strong and sucks you in straight away. Also, I never cease to be amused by how they "age" Rhys Meyers to play a middle-aged Henry. Reportedly Rhys Meyers was too vain to wear a fat suit (b by the time of Henry's marriage to wifey #5, Katherine Howard, he was about 300 lbs), so instead they just added lots of facial hair and almost imperceptible amounts of grey around his temples.

The Tale of the Vampire Bride:
Okay, admittedly the cover is dreadful. I have it on Kindle thank god, so I don't need to see it at all. But the story itself is great! It's a true historical horror/romance hybrid written in diary format, detailing the transition of Lady Glynis Wright from English rose to the rebellious bride of Vlad Tepes, more commonly known as Dracula. It's a bit more verbose in parts than it needs to be, but that's due I think to the fact that the author is self-published, and didn't have an editor to guide her. Despite this, I was really sucked into the story, and was pretty devastated when it came to an end. (Cue Nelly Furtado's "All Things Come to an End," *weep*)

Youtube: Cupcakeonawire

There's something about her mannerisms I find endearing and since I make beaded jewelry for a hobby (when I find that elusive thing called time), I enjoy watching her craft oriented vids. Plus she's as obsessed with kawaii things as I am.

And lastly, coming up with my dream Christmas wish list:
Diane Von Furstenberg Designer Kindle cover for generation 2
Fred & Friends Babushkups

Alexander McQueen clutch. Only a mere $2265. This is my dream list after all :-)

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NARS Junkie Sephora Set

My internet is having a moment of uninterrupted connectivity, so I will take advantage of this time to post my new(ish) NARS goodies.

Junkie is an appropriate name for this set, for if I'm a junkie for any brand, it's NARS. On those makeupalley polls that pose the question, "If you could only wear one makeup brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?" I always answer "NARS
." So far, it's really the only brand that I could literally pick something from each category, and be satisfied with each product. Though I buy a lot more from MAC, there are many products from that line (foundation, for example), that I avoid. Now having enough money to buy everything from NARS? Ya, not so much happening for me now.

Which is why this set is so great - it gives you a bit of everything, in amounts that are somewhere between sample and full-sized. For m
e, the siren call of this set was really the eyeshadow palette:
(Top row, left to right = Unconditional Love, Night Star, Galapagos
Bottom row, left to right = Nepal, Ondine, Thunderball)

I was so excited about this, because I never buy NARS single eyeshadows on their own. They are a bit pricey at $23, even though you get a lot of product for the money. My problem is that I have a hard enough time finishing a $14 MAC eyeshadow single, let alone a NARS-sized one.

Also in this set are a lipgloss and multiple:The lipgloss is in Ophelia, the multiple is in Orgasm (of course, it's their favorite shade to promote). The lip gloss is actually full size, which is great, because lipgloss is one product I use up easily! And Ophelia is a beautiful color, a soft, warm pink. I think it will look nice with paired with the new Melusine duo.

The set also comes with a mini Laguna bronzer, which is about the size of a regular sized NARS eyeshadow single. No pictures though, because I swapped it away - bronzers have never really been my thing.

That's all for now folks, happy Friday!

Would You Rather Tag

Hey all! My home internet has been on the fritz, so I haven't been able to put up any of my planned posts this week. I took some photos of items from my NARS junkie box set, plus my new NARS Petite Monstre lippie, so once my internet issues have been solved, I'll hopefully get those up soon.

In the meantime, I'm doing this fun tag questionnaire from GYC's blog.

So would you rather...

1.Be extremely beautiful or extremely intelligent?
Well, as much as I'd like to answer the politically correct way, I've noticed through observation how much better those in the extremely beautiful category get treated compared to us plain janes. So for once, I would love to know what it's like to be extremely beautiful!

2. Go without brushing your teeth for a year or go without washing your hair for a year?
Oh yuck, this is a hard one! I'll say teeth, because I guess I could chew lots of gum and floss. My hair is super fine, and if I don't wash it every day, it's not a pretty sight!

3. Be Rich or Famous?
Rich. Rich and happily anonymous

4. Have an amazing shoe collection or an amazing makeup collection?
Well that's obvious, given the theme of my blog. Makeup all the way!

5. Be able to sing or be able to dance?
I'll say dance, specifically ballet. I admire the grace and litheness that is inherent in all ballet dancers. And once I see the new movie Black Swan, I know I'm going to want to enroll in a ballet class pronto (especially if I have a teacher as hot as Vincent Cassel) On a random note, here is the awesome trailer:

6. Be stranded on a Desert Island or in the Desert?
Well thanks to my boyfriend, I've watched enough Discovery Channel survivor shows to deduce that island living is a bit easier when you're stranded.

7. Have a Computer or a TV?
Computer, since you can still watch TV on the computer (provided of course your internet isn't jacked up like mine!)

8. Wear spots or stripes for the rest of your life?
Easiest question to answer by far, as I am a stripes devotee! I must have 10 striped shirts alone. I like how French they look :-)

9. Drink out of a Teacup or a Mug?
Teacup! So much more romantic! I actually used to collect teacups for awhile.

10. Receive a bunch of Flowers or a box of chocolates?
Though I love flowers, I'll go with chocolate since I have a sweet tooth and need a nightly truffle before bedtime.

11. Have a hug or a Kiss from someone you love?
A nice bear hug! My favorite are when you are close enough to smell the fragrant detergent of their clothes (weird, I know)

12. Wear Converse or Stilettos?
Converse, I went through a high-heel stiletto phase in college, and I'm over it, save for special occasions.

13. Meet Johnny Depp or Robert Pattinson?
Dude, seriously? If you don't pick Johnny, something is wrong with you! I don't have a huge crush on him, but he has got to be the coolest actor around. I want to thank him for Edward Scisscorhands, Benny & Joon, Gilbert Grape and countless other movies!

14. Be a Fairy or a Mermaid?
Fairy, I actually hate the ocean. Plus I want wings!

15. A Coffee or a Cup of Tea?
Strong Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk

16. Pink nails or Blue nails
Either, I love both

17. Live somewhere sunny or somwhere cold?
Sunny. As much as I find cloud cover romantic, I can't live in it if I have to drive to work everyday in rain and snow.

18. Have an amazing house or an amazing car?
House...who seriously answers car?

19. Be kind or funny?
Eh, I'd have to flip a coin on that one

20. Eat Sweets or Cake?
They're not the same thing?

21. Hold a Tarantula or a Snake?
Snake, they feel so cool!

22. Wear a necklace or a ring?
Necklace, rings actually end up annoying me, especially if I'm typing a lot.

23. If you had to choose, lose your sight or your hearing? else would I be able to oogle upcoming makeup collections!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Currently Coveting: Helen Ruth Russian Doll Scarf

Um, anyone have approximately $210 to lend me? Because I really need this Matryoshka-themed piece of loveliness:
I stumbled upon this by the kind of accident that only happens when you can't sleep and start trolling the internet at 2 AM. I love scarves, and have always dreamed of owning a Hermes one some day. I even bought the book on all the different ways you can tie one (I thought it would be coolest to turn it into a halter). But after discovering Helen Ruth, I think I would gladly forgo Hermes for one of her colorful creations (if I couldn't get the Russian Doll one, Titania comes in at a close second)!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Snoozefest: The Sephora 2010 Holiday Catalog

I received my new Sephora Holiday catalog today, and I have to say it was extremely underwhelming. Not necessarily in terms of the products advertised (though this one did seem to focus very heavily on their own brand, even more so than usual), but in its general theme and choice of makeup colors.

To have a better understanding of what I'm talking about, let's travel back to the year 2007, when they published a truly marvelous, and in my opinion, collectible catalog:If you remember this one at all, it was very whimsical in nature, and each model had a very distinct theme. A large array of makeup shades were showcased.

For example, there was the Sorceress...

And the Snow Sprite... name just a few. Both extremely love and unique, right? Well to contrast, let's now take a look at some images from this year's boring offerings:

Bright eyeshadow, red lips.
Ooh, now we threw some glitter on the red lips - that's variation, right?
And now the glitter is on the eyes, wheeeeeee!!

And seriously, red lips for holiday? How revolutionary. I can understand showcasing them in one image or so, but it is seriously repeated ad naseum throughout the whole catalog. I'll happily recycle this thing in the morning after I use it to put myself to sleep tonight.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Goodies: Haus of Gloi Edition

Considering it is 10/31, I decided to forgo my NARS Junkie review for a much more thematically appropriate post. Also, I just received the box containing my order from Haus of Gloi yesterday, and like an eager child at Christmas, I tore open the package immediately (speaking of orders and packages, I've been receiving so many lately, it's amazing my UPS man hasn't decided to stage an intervention).

As you can see from the package names, they are all Halloween/Fall related. I ordered two sample-sized products, and one full-sized one. From left to right, they are Saft Ernte Pumpkin Butter, Hex Soft Bubbling Scrub, and Pumpkin Queen Pumpkin Butter. The Pumpkin Butters are moisturizers. So far, I've just opened the Saft Ernte product:
It is without a doubt an olfactory delight! It smells simultaneously like fresh baked pumpkin pie and a spicy pumpkin latte. And the label is so cool! I tried looking up what exactly Saft Ernte meant (ideas anyone?), and unfortunately came up with nothing. It does sound appropriately witchy though! The Haus of Gloi people were also kind enough to send a perfume sample in Troika (which is also rather appropriate considering my blog theme, right?!):

And here is the back of the card:Everything that came is sealed, so I'm going to hold off on opening up the other two products until I find out if they have an expiration date, like Lush products.

I definitely will be ordering from Haus of Gloi again. Just a word of warning though - a lot of their seasonal products seem to be limited edition and sell out quickly, so if you see something you want, snatch it up before it goes!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sephora FF Haul Rave - NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

As I mentioned in my post below, I did quite a bit of damage this month, and part of that was due to the timing of the Sephora FF sale. I did haul quite a bit, but I'm not going to post everything, as some of it is just boring basic items (eyeshadow primers, blotting powder, etc). I will instead post the more unique and fun items, some that I loved, and some that I am returning. The NARS Melusine duo definitely falls into the love category!

I've been trying to build up the color selection in my eyeshadow stash, as I already have a lot of neutrals and greens. Purples intimidate me, because I am very warm-toned and blue eyed, and I just have it in my head that this shade works best on brown-eyed gals. So I'm glad I took a chance on this duo! The lighter shade is a beautiful, shimmery grey-lilac. It is utterly wearable and lovely. But the real showstopper is the rich purple on the right. Some NARS shadows I dislike because they apply streaky. This one applies like VELVET. It is so smooth and its color is so true to pan, it is an utter hit.

Here is a quick swatch I did with no primer (I just tried to pack the shadows on using my flat Eco Tools brush):

Another thing that concerned me before purchasing this duo was that it might be too similar to the only other purple colors I own, which are in the Kat Von D Beethoven palette. Here is a side-by-side photo of the two:
And here is a comparison of the colors swatched:As you can (hopefully) see, they're all pretty different. The top two shadows are from the NARS duo. The bottom one is Sinner and the one above that Galeano from the Kat palette. Galeano is much more lavender than the lighter color in Melusine. And Sinner is definitely much more glittery than the matte dark purple.

Next up I'll be going over the loveliness that is the NARS Junkie box. Til then, have a great Halloween weekend all!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

October Hauls Part 1 - MAC A Tartan Tale

First off, if anyone even reads this blog, I know it's not to check out my amazing photography skills. My camera is about 4 years old and I messed with the light settings awhile ago and have never managed to fix them. Hence the wonky flashes and washed out nature of most things.

With that disclaimer out of the way, boy, was October a fiscally draining month! With Venomous Villains (Or was that September? Close enough anyways), Sephora FF and now A Tartan Tale, I seriously gorged on makeup.

I was picked up my TT goodies today, and let me say that this is a collection I bought more for the packaging than the substance. I am a huge nut for plaid, so I knew right away I had to get some of the tins regardless of what was in them to use for storage later. Nevertheless, I'm pretty pleased with the makeup too (And the bear! I believe I showed remarkable restraint by abstaining from buying the full sized one).

The tin that I got is called the Glamorous Mineralize Kit, and inside it has one Zoom Lash (which I'll never use), a paint pot in Indianwood, a lip glass in Blessedly Rich and an eyeshadow duo called Noble Touch:
All in all very useful, everyday makeup.

I also picked up two items from this collection that didn't come in special packaging:(This is where I apologize once more for the obtrusive flash, since it's washing everything out). The blush is My Highland Honey and the lipstick is Faerie Glen (a lovely light pink Lustre, which I would have gotten anyway for the name alone!) The blush is a beautiful sheer orange.

I won't bother going into great lengths to describe anything, because there are other sites (*cough* Temptalia *cough*) that already do such an amazing job. I definitely agree with Temptalia's assessment that nothing in A Tartan Tale is a must have. MAC Holiday collections are really only great for newbies who need to build their stash (if I didn't already own 10,000 nude shades, I'd be all over the Dashing Lassie palette), or for those of us who hardcore collectors.

I'll admit I also ordered some TT items online that I'm still awaiting. Because I made the requisite purchase amount, I got the book included, and I'm probably more excited about that than anything else! I've really missed MAC promotional collectibles ever since they did away with the post cards.