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!