Friday, October 24, 2014

The Secrets of Blogging Tag

A bit of a different kind of post today!  (Maybe a nice break from my face?)  Tanya from Leopard Lace and Cheesecake tagged me to do the "Secrets of Blogging" tag thingy, which involves answering a few questions about, well, blogging.

1. When did you start blogging and why?  My first post was published in January 2013.  I had been reading beauty blogs for ages, and I asked my mom, sister, and husband if I should start one so that they wouldn't have to listen to me drone on about cosmetics.  They all said "absolutely!"  Actually, they're very happy listen to me ramble on about makeup because they know it's one of my hobbies, but I think they wanted to encourage me to create a blog to give me something fun to think about, and to be able to connect with like minded people.

2. How many people in "real life" know about your blog?  I think most everyone in my family knows about my blog (my mom has emailed them links to my garden posts), but I don't think they read it regularly.  None of my "real life" friends know about my blog.  Not even the ones I worked with at Sephora, which is silly, because they would probably enjoy it (you kind of have to be a cosmetic-aholic to work there).  I guess part of me doesn't want everyone to know just how into cosmetics (especially makeup) I am.

3. What are your favorite posts to read?  I have to choose?  I guess face/eye/nails of the day posts are pretty close to the top of the list, because I always find inspiration in them.  Reviews/swatches are always helpful; hauls are fun; personal posts are interesting.  I read and enjoy them all!

4. List a blog you have discovered recently  Geez, I'm constantly finding new blogs to read.  I often find new ones by googling a product, looking at the image results, and discovering that it's from a blog I would enjoy reading.  A couple that I have come across recently (even though they are established blogs) are Hello Jaa (amazing photos) and The Painted Rogue (really fun writing).

5. Which posts are you most proud of?  Hmmm.  One that comes to mind is my post about our carnivorous plant collection.  I try to do a good job on all of my posts.  Some are shorter or simpler than others, but I try to create posts that I am proud of and that I would enjoy reading if I was a reader and not the creator.

6. What advice would you give to future bloggers?  My attitude toward blogging might be different than most people's.  I'm not interested in monetizing my blog, which is why I don't have any ads on it.  At this point, I don't promote my blog in any way.  I read Twitter and Facebook everyday, but I very rarely post anything.  And it's never about my blog (see question 2).  When I feel like I'm not doing a good enough job with my blog the advice I give myself is as follows:  "Write about whatever you want.  This is your corner of the interwebz.  Don't feel pressured to post all the time, watch the numbers, or do it perfectly.  As soon as blogging becomes a chore, take a wee break from it."

So there you have it.  A little insight in to my blog, blogging, and blog reading habits!

Thank you, Tanya, for tagging me!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mulberry Nails and Look of the Day

There are times when I like being all match-y match-y with my makeup.  But instead of doing the traditional match-y match-y thing with my lips and nails, I decided to try to match my nails to my eyeshadow.

Butter London's Queen Vic is a wonderful berry shade that seems like a rather fall friendly color to me, and it's the shade I wanted to wear on my eyes, too.

Butter London Nain Lacquer in Queen Vic (sunlight)

So, the shadow I used doesn't match the nail color perfectly, but I liked the result nonetheless.

I used: from the Sephora Color Anthology Palette
                    --- berry purple on the moving lid
                    --- warm shimmery brown in the crease
                    --- light matte peach above the crease to blend out the brown
                    --- matte cream under the brow and inner corner

          Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in 1999
          Physicians Formula Eye Booster liquid eyeliner in Ultra Black
          Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara

from left: Sephora shadows, Urban Decay 1999 24/7 liner

Cheeks: Milani Baked Powder Blush in Berry Amore

Lips: NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

from left: Milani Berry Amore Baked Blush, NARS Dolce Vita lipstick

And then, later in the day, I decided to put on a berry lipgloss (MAKE UP FOR EVER lipgloss that was discontinued ages ago) just for the heck of it.

I think I look paler in this photo because I'm shiny and reflective (I didn't remember to reapply powder before I took it.)

The Sephora Color Anthology Palette was available around the holidays last year, but I snagged it on sale in the spring.  I noticed that Ulta has a palette on their website (by Beauty Gems) that looks exactly like it.  I suspect it is actually the same palette but without the Sephora nameplate on the front.

Earworm of the day: Lady Gaga's "Applause" -- it's on my workout playlist, and today it just stuck afterward.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Warm Browns With a Touch of Orange EotD with MUFE, Milani and Marc Jacobs

Yum.  Warm fall colors.

I used: from the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette
                  -- Celestial Earth (sparkly/shimmery warm brown) all over the moving lid
                  -- Pinky Beige (light shimmery shell) in the inner corner by the tear duct
           Mialni Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Mandarin in the crease
           Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Brown(Out) along the upper and lower lashes
           Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

from left: Marc Jacobs eyeliner in Brown(Out), MUFE Celestial Earth eyeshadow, Milani Bella Mandarin eyeshadow, MUFE Pinky Beige eyeshadow

Marc Jacobs eyeliner in Brown(Out) -- Gah!  So gorgeous!

Have a wonderful autumn day!

P.S.  Did you notice the alliteration in the post title?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Opening Opera Night in Detroit

The 2014-2015 opera season in Detroit has started!  Saturday was opening night, and the Richard Strauss opera Elektra is the first opera of the season.

Elektra is the story of a woman who is determined to kill her mother (Klytemnestra) and her mother's lover (Aegisth) for murdering her father (Agamemnon).  She enlists the help of her brother (Orest), but her sister (Chrysothemis) just wants a normal life with a husband and children.  Elektra's family tree looks something like this (she and her siblings are all the way at the bottom):

The scrim was painted to look like the family tree scrawled on a chalkboard.

The opera is quite interesting in that it is presented in one act with no intermission.  Elektra is on stage through the entirety of the opera.  It requires a soprano with great stamina and vocal range.  Christine Goerke was fabulous as Elektra.  Seriously sublime.

Elektra is a nicely "heavy" opera in the sense that it is both a tragedy and the music is kind of bombastic and grand.  I always describe this kind of music as the kind that "makes you feel like your stomach is being pulled out through your nose."  I felt slightly wrung out after the opera.  Love it!

Elektra's dress is all bloody!

The opera house was showcasing some of the costumes from this season, including Elektra, Madame Butterfly, and The Merry Widow.

I'm looking forward to The Merry Widow for the costumes alone.

Now, because this is a beauty blog, here are some photos of the makeup I wore on my face:

I'm not sure what happened with the lips in this picture.

On the eyes: Darling Girl loose pigment in Jeweled Taupe on the moving lid
                     from the LORAC PRO Palette
                               -- mix of Mauve and Sable in the crease
                               -- Nude in the inner corner by the tear duct
                               -- Cream under the brow
                     Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner liquid liner in Ultra Black
                     Tarina Tarantino Hyperliner eyeliner in Tommy Jet on the lower lashline
                     L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

Blurry to show the sparkle!

from left: DGC Jeweled Taupe (swatch over Fyrinnae Pixe Epoxy because that's how I wore it), LORAC PRO Palette Mauve, Sable, Nude, Cream

Look at that sparkle!

P.S. Pardon the super shiny forehead -- I remebered to apply my Mally Poreless Face Defender AFTER I took the pics, and I didn't have time to retake the photos.  I don't retouch my photos either (unless I'm attempting to make the colors more true to life).

Cheeks: NYX Powder Blush in Taupe to contour under the cheekbones
              Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

Lips: YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Opera Rose (of course)

from left: NYX Taupe blush, Hourglass Luminous Flush blush, YSL Opera Rose lipstick

I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to take any photos of my husband and my parents.  Boooooo.  Next time for sure!

Elektra got rave reviews, and rightly so.  It was amazing.