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.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Top 5 Fantasy Heroines - #4

I know it's been a long time since I published my first post in this series. This was partly due to procrastination, partly due to lack of inspiration. Aside from my top pick, all of my favorite fantasy heroines are quite similar. At least the cinematic ones are. That's why for #4, I decided to turn to my favorite book series, Kushiel's Dart, and its sultry protagonist, Phedre.

All of the books in this series take place in a fictionalized country called Terre de Ange, which is based on Renaissance France. Terre de Ange was founded by a group of wandering angels, the head of which was named Elua. The other angels are collectively referred to as Elua's Companians, one of whom is called Naamah, and is the patron of Terre de Ange's courtesans. Phedre is a particular breed of courtesan called an
anguissette, which means she derives pleasure from pain. All courtesans begin as adepts, and eventually earn their freedom through the earnings they make by arranging assignations with patrons. Phedre was trained not just as a seductress, but a spy, which of course leads her into many interesting situations that place her in the presence of both monarchs and rebels alike.

Because the people of Terre de Ange are descended from angels, they are without question quite naturally beautiful. Phedre is no exception. Yet even she relies on the assistance of cosmetics, especially when she is planning to ply her charm and skills on a king in order to sway him to lend aid on behalf of her country:
A kneeling servant presented a tray with a dozen tiny jars of cosmetics and unguents, but I partook lightly of those, only a touch of carmine for my lips and a smudge of kohl to darken my lashes. Gazing in the mirror, I saw my face clearly for the first time since La Serenisssima.
from Kushiel's Chosen, by Jacqueline Carey. I got it off my Kindle, so no page number - has anyone come up with a way to reference quotations taken from e-books yet?)

When Phedre does her hair, it's in a simple composition called a "Lover's Knot," which is a loose bun.

So for this post, I had a bit of fun with Polyvore. All of the makeup in the image is pretty much taken from the passage I noted above from Kushiel's Chosen. Whenever I read or hear the word kohl, I immediately think of Guerlain's Terracotta Loose Powder Liner. For balance, I also added one from Clarins. The lipstick is YSL's Rouge Pur Couture. Deep red carmine lips definitely scream seduction. And the phrase in the necklace is taken from the motto of Terre De Ange, which is "Love as thou wilt."

I highly recommend this series, especially if you like epics like The Lord of the Rings. I tend to think of this as a more feminine version of a Tolkein-like fantasy.

Kushiel's Dart

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Goodies - The Candy Corn Edition

October officially kicks off my favorite three consecutive months of the year, because there is a fun holiday for each of them! In honor of Halloween, I picked up two candy corn themed goodies.

First is my cute little piggy bank. Target recently started producing a bunch of piggy banks, each with a really cool theme. They released their Halloween themed ones sometime last month, and when I first saw them, I had a total conundrum over which one to get. Ultimately it came down between this one and a vampire one. The reason I got this guy was because the colors were more fun, and the vampire piggies' glaze was kinda wonky and uneven. Go here to check out some other cool designs.

Next of course I have my yummy scented Philosophy body wash - what more is there to say about these other than they rock?! It never ceases to amaze me how much these always smell like the real thing they are imitating.

And last, if you haven't seen Xsparkage's cool candy corn eye tutorial, check it out:

There is no way I'm even going to try and dupe this! I don't wear bright shadow, I just admire it on others.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back from Vacation

I took a mini vacation to Las Vegas this past week to visit my family and relax. The bad news? I didn't win any jackpots. Want even more bad news? I came down with a vicious cold on the airplane, and spent much of my time sending my mom out for Nyquil and Matzo Ball soup (for some reason, Vegas casinos have the best delis). The good news though? For the most part, I got to do everything I had planned on, which included seeing The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, and dining at Wolfgang Puck's Postrio. Not only were the starters and main course delicious, but they gave me this awesome, full-sized graham cracker crust chocolate dessert for my birthday (pictured above). Definitely beats whatever free birthday treat you get at TGI Friday's!

On a beauty related note, I scoured nearly every Sephora and Ulta in Las Vegas and Henderson for an UD Naked palette, but to no avail (I found one in CA finally thought - more on that in another post). I also went to the new Lush store in the Mandalay Bay hotel, and it was an epic disappointment. Not only was it small, but they had no Halloween products in, and to top it off, the sales ladies were major stalkers. There were about 4 employees in a store that was no bigger than my first studio apartment, and when you managed to fend off one, another would come swooping in. Needless to say, I didn't purchase anything.