Friday, February 28, 2014

Makeup for Glasses Wearers

I just got a new pair of eyeglasses the other day (I usually wear contacts, but it's good to take a break from wearing them a couple days a week), and it got me thinking about how it seems like attitudes towards glasses have changed.  When I started wearing glasses (at 16 months old back in the 70s) glasses were not particularly stylish, in my opinion.  Nowadays, glasses are seen as an accessory rather than just something functional that helps you see the world.  Heck, you can buy frames without any kind of correcting lenses in them just to look cool.

my new specs!

It also got me thinking about flattering makeup for when I'm wearing my eyeglasses.  I've read so many different makeup rules for glasses wearers that it kind of amuses me.  Some of the "rules": lots of liner versus very little liner; bold colors on the lips (to draw attention away from the eyes) versus  neutral colors on the lips (to not make the face look "cluttered"); neutral colors on the eyes versus bold colors on the eyes (to make them stand out); no shimmer or sparkle on the eyes (satin or matte only) versus shimmery shadows on the eyes; and so on.  Sheesh.  It does seem like there are a couple common ideas, though.  Concealer under the eyes and well-defined brows.  But the funny thing is, generally speaking, that is true for non-glasses wearers.  So, my conclusion?  There are no rules.  Wear whatever makeup you want to wear.

Bold lips and neutral eyes:

Lined eyes and natural lips:

Bold eyes and neutral lips:

What do you think?  Do you follow makeup "rules"?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sally Hansen Punch Drunk: Radiant Orchid for the Nails?

After hosting a "secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups" , Pantone, the New Jersey based corporation that started as a printing company and is now an expert in creating color matching samples for fabrics, paints, and inks, declared "radiant orchid" to be the color of the year for 2014.  Since then, there have been loads of lists of products, items, and things that fit into the color category of "radiant orchid".  Emily at had a post on her youtube channel ( of a list of beauty products that were "radiant orchid" type colors (video here), and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail color in Punch Drunk was on it.  So, of course, I went out and bought it.

This color is a one-coat wonder.  (All of the pics are with one coat.)

daylight bulb
natural light

It has a flat, wide brush that makes applying the polish really easy.  I only needed to use three strokes -- one on each side of the nail, and then one down the middle -- to get full coverage and color saturation.

It dries a a little bit darker than what you see in the bottle.

natural light

This is definitely in the "radiant orchid" family, but to my eyes it seems a little darker and duskier that what I think of as the perfect "radiant orchid" when it's actually on the nails.

captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple nd pink undertones

Radiant orchid is described by Pantone as "an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm."

Have you come across any radiant orchid-y things (beauty-related or otherwise)?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sephora and Drugstore Haul

Cosmetics companies are so good at making us (me) constantly buy new things.  All the pretty new colors they constantly manage to introduce that aren't like anything else on the market or in my stash (:P), and the beautiful packaging that it really just a feast for the eyes.  Plus, Sephora occasionally comes out with some nice free stuff.  So, here is my latest haul.

From my local CVS where everybody knows my name (cue the Cheers theme song):

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hr Eyeshadow in Caramel Cool -- After seeing so many swatches of the Limited Edition Dare to Go Nude collection, I knew I had to have Caramel Cool.  I think copper colors are flattering for my eye color, and I don't actually have any cream shadows this color (surprising).

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Highlighting Bronzer in Light Bronze -- This is one that looks pretty in the pan, and I've read that these blush/bronzer/highlighter hybrids from Maybelline have a good formula.

Swatches of Caramel Cool eyeshadow and Light Bronze Hi-light Bronzer:

From Sephora (I used a gift card that my mom gave me for my birthday back in November):

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush -- I didn't jump on these during the VIB preview sale because I wanted to wait until I saw some swatches.  This one appealed to me the most.  I still kind of want Diffused Heat just because of the way it looks in the pan.

Swatch of Ambient Light Blush in Luminous Flush:

Also from Sephora:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Lab Shine Diamond Collection Lipgloss in D8 and D14 -- This set has 2 full-size lipglosses.  D8 is described as a shimmering baby pink, and D14 is a shimmering indian pink (p.s. what is indian pink?).  This is a $38 value for $16, so it seemed worth it.

Swatches of MUFE Lab Shine lipglosses in D8 and D14:

The free stuff from Sephora:

Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP deluxe sample and printed scarf -- This was a 500 point perk.  I had been saving my points for a really long time, waiting for something cool to come along.  I decided to use them on this because the packaging of the perfume and the scarf looked really pretty.  The perfume itself smells really nice.  I am terrible at describing scents, so I'm not going to bother trying.  The large box in the group shot above contained the Rosabotanica set.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner in Intense Black -- I think this was just a deluxe sample with any $25 purchase.  Sephora says this is one of their best-selling liquid eyeliners, so I figured this would be a good way to try it.  It has a nice calligraphy-style pen tip, which is my favorite kind of tip, so I'm looking forward to using it.

Swatch of Stila Waterproof eyeliner:

What have you been hauling lately?

P.S.  I have a feeling I need to update my pop culture references.

Monday, February 24, 2014

NYX Pore Filler Review

There are a million (a little hyperbole) products on the market today that claim to reduce the appearance of pores, and the number keeps growing, which is fantastic because my pores are the bane of my existence  (more hyperbole) and I need all the help I can get.  I have found the NYX Pore Filler to be a life-saver (even more hyperbole!).

Ohhh magical!

NYX says: Reduce the look of your pores with our Pore Filler. The perfect pre-foundation basecoat, this talc-free, oil-free formulation includes Vitamin E to smooth and enhance your skin.

The packaging is a nicely functional white squeeze tube.

It has a mousse-like texture and a light tint that disappears when blended into the skin, and it is fragrance-free.

Pore Filler can be used as a primer, on it's own, or even patted over makeup.  I find it works best under makeup.

It feels light-weight on the skin, and has the silky slippery application of a silicone-based primer.  It does mattify the skin, and keeps oil at bay for a few hours when I wear it on its own (at least in the winter -- it's probably a different story in the summer).

I think this works very well to minimize the look of pores.  Obviously, it doesn't treat enlarged pores (a good salicylic acid product or retinoid does that), nor does it truly fill them in completely (the texture isn't thick enough), but it blurs them beautifully both on its own and under foundation.  I have rather large pores on my nose, and they look significantly smaller when I use this.  I usually only use this on my nose, a little on the cheeks next to my nose, and a little on my forehead. (Sorry, I'm not going to show you pics of a before and after of my pores.  I just can't bring myself to do it.)   I have decided to be brave and show you the before and after on a spot on one of my cheeks next to my nose.

This seems fairly similar to Benefit's POREfessional, but POREfessional is creamier when coming out of the tube, and it is highly fragranced.  If you like the results from POREfessional, I think you would like Pore Filler (and much prefer the price!).   They don't look like exact dupes when coming out of the tube, but they feel and wear the same once blended into the skin.

I can definitely tell a difference in the way my base (foundation or tinted moisturizer) applies, wears, and looks when I use Pore Filler.  Foundation doesn't pool in the pores on my cheeks, and my nose and forehead look much smoother.

Magical indeed!

NYX's Pore Filler is $14 USD.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Look of the Day Gemstone Series: Amethyst

It's February, so I decided to use February's birthstone, amethyst, as today's inspiration.

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and is a semi-precious stone.  According to Wikipedia, the name comes from the ancient Greek a- ("not") and methustos ("intoxicated"), which is a reference to the ancient Greek belief that it was an antidote to drunkenness.

source: American Gem Society

Shades of amethyst range from pinky-violet to deep purple, and intensity within one crystal of amethyst quartz can vary greatly.  However, the stones are most often cut so the finished gem will have a homogenous color, rather than for size, which would most likely include striations of color, which lie in a striped pattern parallel to the face of the crystal.

Amethyst birthstones

Amethysts can lose their color if overexposed to light sources such as sunlight or black light (so they should be protected when worn outside or in a discotheque). Amethysts can also be artificially darkened using radium radiation.  

The most prized amethyst gems have no blemishes or inclusions within the stone, and are a medium to deep purple with flashes of red.

I used several purples on my eyes ranging from light lavender to deep violet to create my amethyst look.

daylight bulb

with flash

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Orchid on the inner corner

Sephora Moonshadow Trio in Dusk Till Dawn -- lightest color on inner third of the lid

Darling Girl Cosmetics loose eyeshadows in Fra-gee-lay on the middle of the lid
Sushi Flower Diamond Dust on the lower lashline
from left: Fra-gee-lay, Sushi Flower

BFTE loose eyeshadow in Grape on the outer third of the lid

NARS eyeshadow single (I don't know the name becaue I depotted it looooong ago -- it might be Daphne)

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eyeshadow in Amethyst in the crease

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Limit to blend out the crease

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Strange under the brow

from left: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Orchid, Sephora Moonshadow in Dusk Till Dawn (lightest color), Darling Girl loose shadow in Fra-Gee-lay, Darling Girl loose shadow in Sushi Flower, BFTE loose shadow in Grape (all three swatched over Pixie Epoxy), NARS eyeshadow in Daphne (probably), Elizabeth Arden eyeshadow in Amethyst, Urban Decay eyeshadow in Limit, Urban Decay eyeshadow in Strange

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Ransom on the lower waterline
Milani Liquid Eye eyeliner pencil in Perfect Purple on the upper lashes
NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Purple on the upper lashes

from left: Urban Decay eyeliner in Ransom, Milani eyeliner in Perfect Purple, NYX liquid eyeliner in Extreme Purple

L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

Cheeks: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate to contour
             Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
             Wet 'n' Wild Fergie To Reflect Shimmer Palette in Rose Champagne Glow

from left: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate, Tarte blush in Exposed, Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Shimmer palette in Rose Champagne Glow

Lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N1
         Rimmel Stay Glossy lipgloss in Non Stop Glamour (I think -- there is no name on it)

from left: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N1, Rimmel Stay Glossy lipgloss in Non Stop Glamour

I have a set of amethysts that I wear frequently (it's not my birthstone, I just find amethysts really beautiful).

This ring belonged to my mother, and I "borrowed" it from her as a teenager.  I wore it ALL the time, so she decided it should just be mine.

These earrings were my grandmother's, and she gifted them to me for my birthday one year to match the ring.

My pendant was a high school graduation gift from my parents to match the ring and earrings.

In all of the above pics the purples photographed really blue, so I attempted to tone them (which I don't normally do) to make the colors a little more true to life.  The below picture was taken in indoor light and actually reflects the violet colors of the shadows better.  I didn't think to try indoor light until the end of the day, which is why the shadows are slightly faded.

Thank you for checking out my amethyst look of the day!