Friday, March 30, 2012

Birchbox "welcome box"

I finally got the invite to join Birchbox earlier this month. I rushed to confirm and, like a fool, signed up for 12 months.
Knowing me I would want to have the subscription for at least that long anyways so I figured I'd save $10. Plus you get 110 Birchbox points that you can later redeem for product. (again, I'm justifying impulse buys)
This is the "welcome box" for March...
...all I can say for now is that they're on their game with customer service. As for the products.. the Jouer moisture tint is smaller than my pinkie, the color club polish is a nice shade, haven't tried one love, the perfume smells toxic, the teas are delish, and oro fluido is highly impressive.
So this month Birchbox gets  a virtual high five from me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

quick ASOS Haul

Did you know ASOS carries some Borjois? AND they have free shipping (no minimum. no code). This is my first experience ordering from and I gotta say it was fairly ok. I placed my order on the 14th and although marked it as "shipped" on the 15th, it wasn't actually in transit until the 21st. It arrived on the 24th. Soo slow processing time; normal ship time. I found funny that on the day it actually shipped, ASOS sent me a "your shipment is finally on its way" e-mail. Made me wonder if they knowingly lagged it on just my order. Have you ordered from ASOS? Let me know if you've gotten that e-mail..

Delice de Pudre has the most amazing scent I've smelled in a powder makeup product. Granted, not everyone has sentimental attachments to the smell of sunblock. It's advertised to be filled "with hints of sunshine" which translates to soft, golden micro-shimmers throughout the powder. It comes in two shades (I have #52) and has orange undertones.
This is lovely underneath peachy blushes as it adds subtle dimension to the color and more structure to the cheeks.
Because it can come across slightly orange on my skin (NC 40-42) I wouldn't double this as a contouring powder... Although it has that 'contouring blush' effect, it's not a natural shadow (as in 'the absence of light') shade and doesn't work well for fake-slimming.

I got another tin of Steam Cream. This is the best hand lotion, in my opinion, to keep at hand. It hydrates well, the scent doesn't last long and is fairly neutral (a plus if you have a nice perfume you'd like to wear without a distracting scent on your hands), and it sinks into the skin right away. Must be the steam.

Lastly, Figs & Rougue Sweet Geranium 100% organic lip balm. Woah that was a mouthful. SoCal was having pretty warm weather the day this package arrived and I think it has somewhat affected the texture of this balm (it was really really soft -like melted butter- and gritty). I'm letting it sit and settle for a couple of days before I try it.  I've never tried anything from this brand, or anything Geranium scented so this was pretty much an impulse buy... It was around $5 and looked bigger online (<-- that's me trying to justify this).
I have a weakness for lip balms in cute packaging.

Friday, March 23, 2012

march favorites

 It's not nearly the end of March but I figured I'd do these while things are still fresh in my mind

 MAC Face & Body
Key with this is to really work it into the skin. The more you buff it in, the thicker it becomes and the more coverage it gives you (and the less it sinks into your pores). It's still not full coverage, and doesn't cover redness but it has been lovely for everyday.
MAC Brow pencil - Spiked
Retractable pencils are my brow's best friend. This color is dark enough to match my black brows but light enough to not make me into a bushman.


Bobbi Brown Nude Pink
This has been on my cheeks almost every day since it launched in the Neons & Nudes collection. Lovely shade of pink with enough warmness in it to still look natural (NC 40). It's also matte!
I got MAC's Peaches blush for those days I wanted to be peachy. It's a sheertone so it doesn't make me look like an oompa loompa with my heavy hand AND it gives Nude Pink depth when used underneath it. I'm loving this combo.
Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm 50
Got this in a pinch when I forgot my lip balm. It's hydrating and sheer enough to be used on its own without looking like much. Revlon's Creme Brulee looks odd on me; this is a better shade for my skin tone.

I went to Ulta for the first time ever last month (none near me) and found 10 Naked 2s sitting on the shelf. Evidently I snatched one..
I've always had an issue highlighting the inner corner of my eyes. Everything is too shimmery, or too pale, too sallow or too pink. Bootycall is  slightly peachy with golden undertones and doesn't look at all frosty. It's perfection as far as I know.
Mac Cleanse-off oil
When you think of riding motorcycles, think of waterproof makeup. If not, you'll take off your helmet and reveal a patchy raccoon mess.
This oil removes the last tidbits of waterproof mascara without having to rub your eyes off.
Herb Pharm Nervous System Tonic
Cliched as it may be, beauty comes from within. When I'm stressed, I break out and stress some more. It's a vicious cycle.
A few drops of this in some OJ and it's smoooooth sailing. (I go to Follow Your Heart for all my health concerns)
Voice Recorder
This is the Sony Perfection (should be the actual name). Have you ever had a class right after a long study session? (I can't concentrate at all on what the professor is saying) If so, you NEED this in your life/backpack. I sit this on my desk, press record, and rest assured that this little guy will catch every single word my professor says on  everything. I don't have to worry about rushing to write down notes, I don't worry about making sense of my notes three weeks later during Finals.. I honestly don't know why everyone isn't doing this. Best $30 I've spent this month.
Bobby pins?
OK, not all bobby pins, these pins in particular. I can put all my hair up in a bun using 4 of these. Then I can take them off gently without tugging or breaking my hair. 

QOTP: What's the best money you've spent this month?

Sunday, March 18, 2012 GWP

Hello everyone,
I was just watching Lisa Eldridge talk about her lipstick palettes (HERE is the link to the video) and instantly fell in love with the look of Japonesque palettes. (and all the colors she's put in them)
On my hunt for them, I came across

Now, I don't know if this is a known website, or if I'm the last person in the world to find out about it.. But my goodness have they got a great deal going on at the moment.

$130 worth of useful stuff free with a $100 purchase. Yes, $100. 
I know, I know that's a big purchase. This website carries NARS, Japonesque, Beauty Blender, Tarte, Stila... so if you're someone like me you won't have a hard time dropping a Benjamin here. (yepp, I went there)

They also carry skincare (Origins, Boscia..) and hair care/tools (Hot Tools, Mason Pearson). For the purpose of not sounding like an infomercial any longer I'll stop describing the awesomeness of this site now.

My general rule with GWP is to not make a purchase just to receive the gift. 
But that's just me. I'm the nutty person who has special shopping lists for such an occasion.

So check out the site. If you've been eyeing that NARS Spring collection, or have been wanting to get your hands on a Beauty Blender,  now may be a good time to dive in and get yourself some free goodies to match.

QOTP: Let me know what your rules are with GWP if any.. Did u take advantage of this one? What did you get??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kevin Aucoin

Nordstrom has this little thing called free shipping.
I don't know about you guys, but I for one hate paying for shipping.
This of course means I have to accumulate a nice-sized wish list ($50-$150 worth) before I go out and make my order..
So when I heard about Nordstrom's 'free shipping with any purchase' (that's right, no minimum $$ order) I went happy bananas.


I've 'invested' on a Kevin Aucoin pencil sharpener.
I located the item on
put it in my cart
and checked out
$8  + tax
no more. no shipping.


I've been underestimating the power of a good sharpener.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nail polish haul.

CG Dorothy Who, AA Imperial Purple, Essie Shine of the Times, CG White Cap, CG Liquid Leather, CG Ruby Pumps. 

Hey guys
just a quick one today squeezed in during 30 Rock breaks on Hulu.
Anyone else watch? Is it me or is this season a bit bleh?

I'm in a dark/glitter nail polish phase by the looks of this.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to fix a broken eyeshadow..

About 5 years ago I bought my first MAC shadow, a dark grey Satin with tiny shimmers by the name of Print.
I didn't know about "pan form" (or palettes or colors) or 'back to mac'.. This guy came in original MAC casing; big and bulky. 

Print suffered the consequences of one of my experiments... so here I am attempting to both depot and 're-press?' him.

I'm really not an expert with these things... BUT I've managed to scour the internet for tidbits of useful info that I have compiled into this  one big recipe for eyeshadow success.

A great tip (imo) is to go through the instructions before the 'ingredients' list. This way you'll get an idea of what you're attempting.. and you can make the necessary adjustments.

You'll Need:
  • broken shadow =/
  • flat iron
  • knife or something to crush it with
  • a sharp tool to wiggle it out of the pot
  • rubbing alcohol

 Depot the shadow (if in pan form skip ahead)

If your shadow is cracked...

So apparently shadow pans are glued to their plastic containers... Before you can take the pan out, you're gonna wanna loosen up that glue with some heat.
Here I'm using an old flat iron. (Notice it's not touching the wood.) But you can also stick it in the oven, put it by the heater... place it by some hot soup?
Leave it in there for a few minutes keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't blow up or catch fire.

Check on that glue and set the pan free.
(I used the blade from an Olfa Touch-Knife because it's flat and not flimsy so it holds up against that heavy duty MAC glue.)

Carefully wedge your tool between the metal of the pan and the plastic container and take it all around the pan several times. If this is too hard put the pan back into the heat and wait another couple minutes.

Tilt the tool at a 45-ish angle and trace that circle again. Wiggle the blade gently to speed up the process.

Keep on tracing that circle (notice the cap is facing the other side) until it's lose. Wedge it out and set it aside.

Check the bottom of the pan for glue residue. You don't want it sticking to something else now that you've taken it out of the case.

(Once the glue cools you can remove it with some alcohol)

 If your eyeshadow isn't cracked.. 
Did  you know you can remove the plastic pan and put That on heat instead of the whole thing? This melts the glue quicker and prevents burnt labels.

See where that arrow is pointing?
Most single shadows have a plastic pan housing the metal pan. Urban decay's is a bit tricky, I don't recommend this for UD  shadows.

Take your tool and wedge it into that ridge vertically. You don't want to stab at it sideways like in the picture up top.. that'll just make ugly marks on the plastic.

No circling needed here. Just insert, wedge, and pop.

Re-press the shadow

"Before it gets pretty it's gotta get real ugly"

 Take your metal pan and poke the powder inside with something. Here I'm using  a plastic bobby pin.

You don't have to poke too much. Just enough to break down the big chunks of shadow.

I also did all this atop a paper plate. Once I was done poking, I picked up the plate, folded it taco style (without the pan inside) and shook the fallout back into the pan.

<---     =       x_x

I tried the whole "put it in a plastic bag" method but it didn't work for me.
The shadow got stuck to the plastic and I wasn't able to really break down the powder properly.

Finally, take some rubbing alcohol (I used 71% generic, but I hear you can also use vodka?) and drizzle it into the powder

Pour the rubbing alcohol into its cap (about halfway for rite-aid bottles) and then pour in just enough to cover the shadow.
You can also use an eye dropper or a measuring spoon...
Swirl the mixture around a bit so the alcohol is mostly mixed in. This makes sure all the shadow is compacted
Tap it a bit to make sure there's no 'air bubbles'. I don't actually know if this makes sense... but it doesn't hurt. Just be sure not to splash alcohol everywhere.

After a few minutes it looks like this.


 Take a quarter (anything that fits inside the pan) and cover it with some cloth (or a tissue or a..)

Use this makeshift shadow-presser to press down on that shadow.

 If you're lucky enough to have circle stamps small enough to fit, use them to press!
Experiment with cool designs, take pictures, and send them my way.
I'll be sure to give you a virtual pat in the back and perhaps a physical giftie.

Scrape the paste that forms around the edges and put it back in the pan. Press again. Lift...

...and VOILA.

Just set it aside where it wont be messed with for hours (5 hours should do fine if you're in a pinch for time.  I recommend leaving it for a day or two just to be on the safe side. You don't want traces of alcohol on your eyelids).

Once it's dry you can safely clean up around the edges, the bottom... write on it, print up a label for it, play with magnets, put a sticker...

and either put it back into its container or into a palette.

man that took longer than I thought. It's 3 AM now, I'm gonna call it a night.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Numero Uno

"was that a knock on the door?"
I grabbed my robe (just about to jump in the shower) and ran downstairs to open the door
-damn near about to run two doors down to catch the mail lady.
She must've seen the flash of blue and thought I was nuts
nonetheless she walked back to my door and kindly handed me a package.
"thank you" and I ran back upstairs.

It's really a pity I've yet to buy a digital...
I'll add pictures to words two minutes after I get one

-all nighter
-24/7 stash

yep, this is a makeup blog.

A "small" purchase I made taking advantage of that friends and family sale (still going on).
20% off? heck yes.

*edited on march 15, 2012
I now have a digital. An unexpected surprise!
soooo If swatches are requested, I'll update this post