Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If My Skin Liked Me, I Would...

I don't know if y'all have noticed, but I don't do much on skincare.  I do a lot on fashion and on beauty, just because I love them both, but skincare...ack.  My skin has never been predictable, or particularly nice to me, but it's finally started to be LESS evil.  So I'm sticking to my boring, basic skincare routine like freaking hot glue, but if my skin was nice to me (crazy thoughts) here are some of the fun skincare products I'd use.  This is also in the imaginary would where I have money to literally burn, FYI.

Kiehls Panthenol Protein Moisturizing Face Cream, $26 at kiehls.com, Kiehls Yerba Mate Tea Cleanser, $20.50 at kiehls.com, Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, $23 at kiehls.com: I used to have this Kiehls moisturizer early on in high school, and I remember totally loving it.  Not sure why I didn't repurchase it...hm...It's extremely rich and moisturizing, and never broke me out.  Now I use the Cetaphil cream, which is basically a cheaper, slightly less moisturizing version of the same time, but I'll always have fond memories of this little tub.  I've never been a toner person, mainly because of scarring memories of that 'Seabreeze' toner when I was little (ACK), but this Yerba Mate toner sounds fab.  First off, it's full of tea.  I love tea.  Tea can never be bad.  It sounds like it would be a great thing to put under your moisturizer if you tend to get oily by the middle of the day, as tea has great oil-cutting properties.  I had a sample of this Rare Earth mask and totally loved it.  It has exfoliating particles in it that lift off dead skin cells, and then it's full of different sorts of clay, which drag all the gunk out of your pores.  It smells and looks a little nasty, but hey, it works.

Clarisonic Mia, $149 at sephora.com, MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peels, $78 at sephora.com: I want a Clarisonic.  I want one so freaking badly.  For those of you that don't stalk the Sephora website obsessively--what's that like? lol--Clarisonics are basically brushes for your face.  They use sonic pulses to get the gunk out of your pores, and the brush lifts off dead skin cells and exfoliates them away, leaves your skin super duper clean and baby smooth.  Plus, this one is portable, and pink, and cheaper than the original, which is always a plus.  Back before Retin-A Micro ruined my skin (no bitterness there), I was a huge, huge fan of acid.  Not that kind of acid, the alpha and beta acids you can use on your face.  They're like enzymes, in that they exfoliate deeply without any of the scrubbing motions that can irritate sensitive skin.  This little set is like a glycolic acid peel done slowly, over a month.  It disposes of acne and dark spots and makes your skin all pretty and happy. 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $46 at sephora.com, Peter Thomas Roth Radiance Oxygenating Serum, $65 at sephora.com: I think mists like this and Evian water are so silly, but they're also so fun and glam in a retro sort of way.  Can you imagine whipping that little bottle out of your purse on a hot day?  So refreshing, plus there are supposedly extracts and antioxidants that do nice things to your skin, so it's a win-win.  I'm not really sure what this Oxygenating serum is supposed to do, but adding oxygen to my skin sounds nice, and a serum sounds moisturizing, and it's Peter Thomas Roth, so it must be good.  It's also $65 for one ounce, so I'm assuming it's awesome and would make my face look like I spent all day taking baths in rose petals.  Or something along those lines.

Images from:
kiehls.com, kiehls.com, kiehls.com, sephora.com, sephora.com, sephora.com, sephora.com.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Vacay Thoughts

So if y'all haven't noticed, I've set up these posts a few weeks ahead of time to go live while I'm in vacay, because while I love you all, I don't want to be blogging on the beach at Hawaii.  It's called vacay for a reason.  But anyways, here are some things I'm pondering:

Alexander Wang Amber Notebook Clutch, $625 at shopbop.com, Rebecca Taylor Alligator Print T-shirt, $125 at net-a-porter.com: Okay, I'd never buy this clutch, but I just think it's so hilarious.  It's made to look like a spiral notebook, and the spiral is a hinge that opens up to reveal a bunch of compartments and pockets.  You have to admit that it's clever and cheeky in a way that only Alexander Wang can do.  The same goes for this croc-printed tee.  I just love the idea of this.  It looks all basic and neutral from a distance, but then you get up close and BAM, it's crazy croc print.  I've never seen anything like this before.  Pair that with a pair of jeans and some leather boots and wow, you have an amazingly chic, simple outfit.

Buxom Chronicles Lipgloss Set, $28 at sephora.com, Juicy Couture Gen Y Toile Tote, $78 at zappos.com: Math time.  The full sized Buxom glosses are $17, and you get the amount of two full sized glosses with these four mini glosses.  Two full sized glosses cost $34, so you're saving $6 and you get a wide variety of colors.  That's a good deal, and I really like how the colors run from nice and neutral (Katie) to vampy (Violetta).  If I had the extra cash lying around to replace my perfectly good tote bag for school, I'd get this Juicy Couture bag.  I'm pathetically obsessed with quirky toile like this, it's a nice shape and size, and it has lots of convenient pockets inside.  I know the pattern is intense, but the neutral color palette makes it more versatile than it looks.

Maybelline Full 'n Soft Waterproof Mascara, L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara: It's pathetic, but mascara terrifies me.  I found one mascara that I absolutely adore, Max Factor Volume Couture Waterproof, and of course it's not being sold in the US anymore.  It's 100% waterproof but comes off with remover easily, never smudges or flakes, adds just enough volume and length with one clump-free coat, and is basically just awesome.  I have dry eyes and wear contacts, which means lots of eye drops, and all the other waterproof mascaras I've tried have run away (literally) in fear in the face of those eye drops.  Ugh.  I've been doing some Makeupalley research on drugstore mascaras (I refuse to buy designer mascara, they've all failed me so badly), and Maybelline Full 'n Soft Waterproof and L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof keep coming up.  They're both affordable, and seem to get good reviews.  Have any of y'all tried these?  I'm leaning towards Full 'n Soft, but I'm just so torn about it all.

Images from:
shopbop.com, net-a-porter.com, sephora.com, zappos.com, makeupalley.com, makeupalley.com.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Inspired by: Love Over Scotland/Plaid

Alright y'all, so I'm still in Hawaii.  I've been doing a lot of beach reading, and I wanted to do a post about one of my current favorite series.  It's called 44 Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith, and it's adorable.  There are the kinds of beach reads are like candy bars--yummy, but you know they're trash, and there are the kinds of beach reads that are more like a red velvet cupcake, still little and cute, but a bit more sophisticated.  This is the latter.  These books are short, easy reads, very light hearted and sweet, but they're really well written and unique.  They center around the lifes of a group of people who all, at one point, lived in an apartment building in Scotland.  There's a precocious six year old and a 60 year old female anthropology, and everything in between, so there's something for everyone.

Love Over Scotland and The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith: Here are two of the books in the series.  Yeah, one of the is called The Unbearable Lightness of Scones.  If that doesn't make you smile, the Grinch is missing you over in Whoville.

Anyways, the point of all this was that all that talk of Scotland was making me start to crave plaid (I know, I'm on a Hawaiian beach, and all I want is plaid and scones.  I'm crazy).  I picked out a few plaid pieces, and I really tried to go beyond the usual plaid boyfriend button-up and find some more unique pieces.

Joie Plaid Somalia Dress, $228 at revolveclothing.com, Joie Yarn Plaid Vanette Tank, $74 at revolveclothing.com: Taking the usual boyfriend flannel and turning it into a dress is a fun take on wearing your boyfriend's shirt in a public appropriate sort of way.  The belt is included, and adds a much needed emphasis to your waist.  This tank might be my favorite piece.  It's loose and drapey, very Alexander Wang, but the faded plaid adds a casual, countryish vibe to it.  The row of buttons down the front feminizes it just enough.  I'd pair it with some straight leg jeans and statement necklace.

J. Crew Tomboy Plaid Shirt, $72 at jcrew.com, J. Crew Wool and Cotton Plaid Scarf, $54 at jcrew.com: So I did one button-up, just to show that if you do it in a different, girlier color palette it doesn't have to scream 1995 grunge.  The white/gray/pink color palette is fun and feminine, and adds a really interesting twist to the usually boyish look.  This scarf has the same color palette, and it's equally gorgeous.  I love light wool scarves--they're really light and airy, but at the same time when it gets cold, they'll keep you super warm.  The muted colors make it the ideal complement to a lot of different looks, but I think I'd wear it with a pair of dark wash jeans, some knee-high leather boots, and a plain white v-neck.

McQ Wool Cable-Knit Biker Jacket, $365 at net-a-porter.com, Crumpet Checked Cashmere Cardigan, $695 at net-a-porter.com: Okay, so this first sweater isn't plaid, but to be fair, in the books they talk a lot about Fair Isle/heavily knitted sweaters, and this reminded me of those, but a fab modern version.  The cable knit definitely screams old school/my grandma knitted this for me, but the biker jacket cut and big zipper add a much needed badass quotient for something that's really comfy, but still makes a statement.  The cut of this Crumpet sweater is perfect.  It has all the ease of a cardigan with all the oomph of a motorcycle jacket, and it's so easy to wear.  The blown-up checks are a fun riff on plaid, and the black and white color combo is so graphic and fun, and a great contrast to the loose shape of the sweater.  And yeah, it's $700, but...it's cashmere?  It's like having baby kittens hug you all day.

Images from:
tesco.com, alexandermccallsmith.co.uk, revolveclothing.com, revolveclothing.com, jcrew.com, jcrew.com, net-a-porter.com, net-a-porter.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Drugstore Steal: NYX Shadows

So a few weeks ago, I had a little shopping spree at Ulta, which is one of the few stores where you can buy NYX.  Now, last time I bought something from NYX it was a total fail, which was mainly my fault.  But I decided to try again, with a more standard product. 

Enter the NYX Single Shadow in Golden Dune, $5.99 at ulta.com.  The amount of shadow you get is comparable to MAC, so it's a really great deal.  It comes in black plastic, snap-top packaging, and the shadow is embossed into four little pyramids.  Golden Dune is a really lovely color that's the lovechild of an antique gold and a warm taupe.  It has a combination of shimmer and metallic sheen.  The first swatch is turned away from the light, so you can get an idea of the color, and the second swatch is in the light, and you can see the metallic sheen.  It flashed sort of green in the photo below, but it doesn't at all in real life.

Alright, now for the dirty details.  In terms of the formula, it's really nice.  Even nicer than I expected it to be.  The shadow is very, very pigmented, it applied smoothly and evenly, and it's extremely finely milled.  The texture reminded me of my softer MAC shadows, and if it has one fault, it's that it is very soft.  So soft that I feel like it could damage it with my shadow brush.  The softness does make it a dream to apply and blend, but you need to be careful when handling it.  The color is absolutely lovely.  On my NW20 skin, it makes a great lid color; it's an easy way to wear gold without wearing GOLD.  On the lids it just looks like a neutral, sandy golden brown.  It's the perfect summer color.  I experienced little to no shimmer fallout, and it wore just as nicely as my MAC shadows.  I have to say, I am really impressed by the quality of this shadow, and I'm a total shadow snob.  NYX has a great range of colors (lots of MAC dupes) and great prices.  If only they had great availability.  Sigh.

Awkward Chic rating: A.  High marks for color and application, but I have some reservations about how soft the shadow is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Hawaii and Craving Maxi Dresses

So, as y'all know by this point, I'm in Hawaii at the moment.  I'm really not a "frolicking in my swimsuit" sort of person (although I am loving my new Delia's swimsuit, yes, I bought something from Delia's and it was awesome).  I'm a 'let me wear adorable cover-ups on the beach and not get too close to the water because I watched too much Shark Week when I was little" person.

My favorite cover-ups so far: this random T-Bags Pucci-print tunic I got in ninth grade, menswear button-ups, and maxi dresses, specifically maxi dresses.  They're just so fun to swish around the beach in!  So of course, this got me philosophizing about maxi dresses, which led to a massive online shopping hunt, and I just wanted to share a few of my favorites with you guys.

Mara Hoffman Long Open Back Column Dress, $342 at shopbop.com, Topshop Embroidered Mesh Maxi Dress, $135 at topshop.com, Winter Kate Damien Dress, $225 at shopbop.com: The print on that first dress is just so delicious--very modern geometric meets '60s Pucci meets Murano glass meets kaleidoscope.  The upside to a crazy print like that is that it will completely draw attention from any areas on your body that you'd want to camouflage.  All anyone will see is your silhouette and that print, nothing else.  It seems like it would draw attention to a squishy stomach or wide hips, but it's really the ultimate, chic distraction.  The slim, clean lines of the dress are the perfect contrast to the vibrant print (is this a maxi dress?  Shopbop thinks so, I have mixed feelings, but it's pretty so whatever), and the deep-cut back is the perfect, cheeky little surprise.  I love Topshop.  I wish LA had a Topshop SO BADLY.  Ugh.  Whatever.  This dress also has a deep back, with a slightly scandalous v-shape.  I love the sheer maxi dress over that little slip dress.  I wore that combo once and loved it to pieces.  You get all the sex appeal of the slip dress with all the drama and fun, summeryness of the maxi dress.  The pattern on the sheer dress would almost look like tattoos, which just makes it even cooler.  This last dress is the most casual.  Again, the print is fun and distracting, but not over the top.  What I really like is the cut.  It's flowing and voluminous, but the way that it hugs the waist and the hips ensures that all that volume in the skirt won't be overwhelming or unflattering.  Nice going, Nicole Richie (this is her second clothing line).

As for the styling with these, they all have a lot of fabric, and adding too much to all that fabric can make the overall look feel very heavy.  I'd keep the focus on the dress by doing a simple pair of sandals in a neutral tone, and then one piece of jewelry--a pendant necklace, a cuff bracelet, one piece that won't be overwhelmed by the dress but won't fight with it.

Image Sources:
shopbop.com, topshop.com, shopbop.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beauty Beach Essentials

So theoretically, when I'm sitting on the beach in Hawaii, I will have all of these products at my fingertips.  In my theoretical dreamworld where I take baths in money every other day.  But it's a nice thought.

The thing with beach makeup is that you're at the beach, so you don't want to mess with a ton of products.  You want simple neutrals, a little shimmer, a lot of SPF, and some subtle, yummy smellingness.

Pacifica Brazilian Mango Grapefruit Perfume, $22 for 1.2 oz at sephora.com, Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc Bronzer in Golden Mosaic, $38 at sephora.com: Traveling with perfume is a pain.  You risk explosions and heavily scented clothes for the rest of your life if you leave it in your luggage, but you can't take it on the plane unless it's less than 3 ounces.  This perfume is the perfect solution--just big enough for a vacation, and small enough to take on the plane.  The notes are mango, pineapple, and grapefruit, nice and tropical, just a hint of tartness to liven it all up.  As for beach makeup, when I think beach I think bronzey shimmer.  It's an easy look to accomplish, especially with a shimmery block like this Laura Mercier one.  The combination of the shimmery champagne, copper, gold, and bronze creates a multi-dimensional, natural looking tan with just a hint of skin-brightening sparkle.

Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunblock SPF 45, $9.99 at drugstore.com, Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 30, $30 at sephora.com: Sunscreen is a MUST.  Even if you want to get a nice tan, you need sunscreen.  I've read way too many press releases on skin cancer to ever even consider go to the beach without sunscreen.  However, I'm way too lazy to do that white, rub-in sunscreen, which goes on gross and oily.  I'm a huge, huge fan of spray-on sunscreen.  I've used that Neutrogena sunscreen for the last few summers, and it's fab.  You just spray it on, it feels nice and cooling, and it stays on forever without making you look like an oil slick.  For the face, I stay as far away from silicone-pumped sunscreens as possible (hello, breakouts).  This Peter Thomas Roth sunscreen is easy to apply, portable, and actually soaks UP oil instead of making you oily.  It's the perfect thing to wear every day over your foundation! 

Sephora Brand Dry Oil, $8 for 5 oz. at sephora.com, Urban Decay Naked Palette, $44 at sephora.com: Lotion is great, but with all that salt air and sun and wind at the beach, sometimes you need to step it up a bit.  That's where the dry oil comes in.  It's really, really easy to apply, just spray it on without rubbing it in, and it leaves a nice, beachy sheen.  Plus, it comes in yummy scents like coconut, guava, and nectarine.  Last but not least, even on the beach there's no way I'm letting go of the eyeshadow/liner addiction.  No way Jose.  But even I would settle for some soft, lovely neutrals.  I've heard really great things about this UD palette.  It has a mini primer, a dual-ended liner with Zero (black) and Whiskey (brown), and 12 pigmented, easy to wear shades.  Take this and a shadow brush, and you're set.  You have all the necessary shades to do a bronzey look, a neutral eye, a smokey eye, pretty much anything.

Image Sources:
Pacifica edp: sephora.com, Laura Mercier bronzer: sephora.com, Neutrogena SPF: drugstore.com, Peter Thomas Roth SPF: sephora.com, Sephora oil: sephora.com, UD palette: sephora.com.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Take a Trip to the Tropics

Some of y'all may know that I'm taking a little trip to Hawaii.  In fact, when this post goes live, I'll be on the Big Island, hopefully getting tan, probably the color of a lobster, but I can dream.  Anyways, while I'm gone, which is really until September 7th because I'm going straight from Hawaii to moving into school, there will be about one post a day.  Sorry y'all.

But since you guys can't come to Hawaii with me, I thought I'd post on this fab shower gel that my mom got me because of said vacation.  It's Boots Hawaiian Islands Pomegranate & Avocado Shower Gel, and it's $6.99 at target.com.  You get 6.7 ounces, which is about $1, which is decent.

Here's the snippet from the back of the tube: "Dive into paradise with this tropical blend of ingredients inspired by the Hawaiian islands: Anti-oxidant pomegranate extract and moisturizing organice avocado oil."  It smells exactly like POM juice.  Omnomnom.  No avocado to be found, but it is moisturizing, it lathers nicely, and you don't need to use much at all.  The scent lingers a decent amount of time after your shower, and Boots makes scrubs, lotions, and body butters in the same scent, so you can coordinate all your POM-smelling loveliness.

Awkward Chic rating:  A-.  It's a pleasant little tropical vacation in a bottle, and a definite pick-me-up in the middle of a long, boring week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fyrinnae Haul!!!!!

My Fyrinnae order came today in the mail.  All I have to say about that is OMG)(&(&YKJHKJYIGJKKU BRAIN EXPLOSION DUE TO SPARKLES.  Shipping/processing took about a week and half, much less than the website says that it would.  Now, on to the good stuff.  Warning: lots of sparkly pictures ensue.

The samples are $2, and the full-sized jars are around $5.90.  I got full sizes of Species 8472, Okapi, and Rapunzel Had Extensions, samples of Montalivet and Monarch Butterfly, and a free sample of Samhain Spirits.  The jars are about 1 inch in diameter, and the sample jars are a little shorter than the regular jars.  At first, I was surprised by how small they are, but honestly, they're $6.  I'm used to MAC pigment jars, which are bigger but $14 more expensive.  The Fyrinnae pigments are more tightly packed than MAC pigments, so you are getting more than you think.

Top to bottom and left to right: Samhain Spirits, Monarch Butterfly, Montalivet, Species 8472, Okapi, Rapunzel Had Extensions.  Loving the zebra packaging!  Also, the invoice had a little 'thank you!' hand written in gel pen.  Not a big deal, but a cute little touch. :)

First off, guys, this stuff is sparkly.  Like the sparkliest shadows I've ever seen.  I applied all of them dry, and haven't had time to test the wear time yet, but they are highly pigmented and go on very smoothly.  I think if you want maximum color/sparkle payoff, you need to apply them wet and foil them.  Also, when you try to blend them out too much they will begin to lose shimmer and color payoff, so you have to be careful with that.  You can't just swipe these on your lid and forget about it, you need to pat them on gently.  Trust me, the extra sparkle is worth the effort.

Samhain Spirits: So this was the free sample.  I love that I spent $20 and got a sizeable free sample in a color that goes so well with the rest of the stuff I purchased.  It might be delusional, but I feel like they actually put effort into picking my sample.  Love.  Samhain Spirits is a golden-copper-mauve with copper shimmer.  It's actually really, really gorgeous, dark enough to contour--but not too dark--and full of multi-dimensional sparkles.  I almost bought this, and now I'm really sad that I didn't.

Monarch Butterfly: I think it's fascinating that this shadow looks so grey-brown in the pot and when you swatch it it's 100% black with orangy-red sparkles.  It's really stunning, and I'm so, so glad that I ordered it.  I'm thinking of layering this with Carbon and Vainglorious (when I get it) to create the ultimate warm smokey eye.  Update: I just applied this, and hot damn, it's a dream to work with.  If you blend it out, it becomes a warm grey, which means you really only need one color to create dimension.

Montalivet: I think this one is my least favorite.  I still really like it, and it was a definite afterthought just to get the free shipping.  It's a sandy gold with a highly metallic, gold sheen.  It's very pretty, but my skin has such yellow undertones that this pulls very, very yellow on me.  I think it'll make a nice lid wash, but it might also make me look really sallow, so we'll see.

Species 8472: This is the shadow that Joeybunny (from Pink Sith) created with Fyrinnae.  It's a sandy-brown taupe with red shimmer, and almost looks like a fire opal in the pot.  It pulls a little greyish on me, but it's so, SO PRETTY.  It's flattering, it's neutral but still interesting and unique, and it seems like it'll be really versatile.  This was also the one shadow that blended out really nicely, without fading.  This on the lid with a warm brown in the crease--perfection.

Okapi: Okapi is exactly what I thought it would be, a bronzy burgundy with multi-hued shimmer.  It does look a lot like MAC's Vainglorious does in swatches, but it's a little warmer and has rainbow shimmer instead of copper shimmer.  I'm all over this one.  I think it's bronzy enough to not make me look like I have pinkeye, but warm enough to bring out the green in my hazel eyes.  Total winner.

Rapunzel Had Extensions: I struggled so much with describing and photographing this one.  In the jar it looks like a light, yellow-pink.  Swatched, in non-direct sunlight it has a golden sheen, in straight on sunlight it's a metallic gold, and when it's in the sun but not in 100% direct sunshine, it's a blue-ish pink with gold shimmer.  Phew, that's a lot of things in one.  I'm the most excited about this one, because I think it'll be a gorgeous lid color.

I just got these today and I'm going on vacay, so I haven't tried these on yet, but once I have and have access to a computer, I'll update this post with how the shadows wear, etc, etc.  But overall, I'm totally loving these Fyrinnae shadows.  I love the selection, I love the swatches on the website and how the Fyrinnae boys will respond to your tweets, and I love that they pack a ridiculous amount of sparkle into such a small jar.  These make me feel like I'm sitting at the makeup kids cool table.  I put off ordering from Fyrinnae for literally, almost a year, just because I was scared I wouldn't know what to do with the pigments, but guys, YOU NEED THESE.  These are game changing.

Crazy Can Be Good...Or Very, Very Bad

Today, y'all, I have two crazy pictures to show you.  One of them is crazy in a good way, and one of them is crazy in a terrifying way.  See if you can guess which is which.

So here's a picture of Jude Law, looking very, very tan, and um...cleavagey.  Lots of cleavage, and chest hair, and crazy eyes.  Wow.  Just wow.  I'm sure Sienna Miller is patting herself on the back right now for escaping this little bit of festiveness.

And as a little palette cleanser, here's the first picture of Coco Rocha from her wedding, at a castle in a custom-made Zac Posen dress.  I think that might be the prettiest fishtail dress I've ever seen.  The skirt is so swishy!  Not to mention, Mr. Rocha is pretty darn cute.

And on that note, happy Friday!

Images from:
gofugyourself.com, fashionista.com.


Related Posts with Thumbnails