Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Perfect Face Routine (Drugstore and High-end!)

I thought I'd do a round-up of all my face makeup--primer, BB cream, and foundation.  These are all products that I use either everyday or very often.  I like them all, none of them irritate my skin or break me out, and I'd buy them all again, so I really recommend them all.  For the record, I'm very pale with warm undertones, with acne-prone combination skin.  Oh, and there's a pretty nail polish at the end.

Primer: Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer, BB Cream: Garnier Fructis BB Cream:
A friend of mine gave me this primer.  It comes in a 1 ounce, flexible tube, smells like grapefruit, and goes on feeling like a light moisturizer.  I use a pea sized amount for my entire face in-between moisturizing and BB cream. It's chockful of anti-oxidants and other things that are supposed to be good for your skin, and it has no silicone!  Yay!  Silicone primers break me out like there's no tomorrow.  I've been using it every day.  I put my foundation on around 10AM, go to the gym, and bop around all day, and I've noticed that this definitely keeps my foundation lasting longer.  It still fades off my blemishes by the end of the day, but in terms of overall lasting power and keeping redness at bay, I get about 3 hours more wear from using this primer.  That makes me very happy!  I think this tube is going to last me a long time, but I think I'd buy myself one when I used it up.  After my primer I use a BB cream.  I know that sounds silly since I also use a foundation, but I've noticed that with a lighter foundation, like Colorstay, the BB cream helps give me just a little extra coverage and a slightly nicer finish.  I grabbed the Garnier Fructis BB cream because, well it was cheap.  I have the light-medium shade.  It's a pretty thick, moisturizer-esque consistency, with a yummy citrus-floral smell and SPF 15!  Yay SPF!  I love it for that reason alone.  Light-medium is definitely dark on me.  I couldn't wear this as my only coverage (both because it's too dark and it's too sheer), but it has a really pretty finish on the skin, and it's going to last me a long time, so I think it's a winner.

Drugstore Foundation: Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Buff Chamois 150, Nars Sheer Glow in Montblanc:
Sheer Glow I've reviewed before, and I still love it.  However, it's still $42 a bottle.  So that's difficult.  I picked up Revlon's Colorstay foundation as a day-to-day alternative to save some money.  Colorstay is about $12 at CVS and comes in a nice range of shades if you're pale, not so nice if you aren't.  It has a pretty, natural finish, layers nicely (I need 2-3 layers for good coverage), applies easily with my fingers, and lasts almost all day.  It's pretty liquidy and has a certain chemical smell, but I have no major qualms with it.  Long story short, Sheer Glow is definitely a nicer foundation, but Colorstay is a pretty good buy.  In terms of shade comparisons, Montblanc is slightly pinker and deeper than Buff Chamois, which is lighter and more neutral-toned.  Either one is a good match if you're NW15-20, but Buff Chamois is actually a better color for me.   Colorstay has a more natural, slightly matte finish than Sheer Glow, which has a very dewy finish.  They're both pretty negligible in terms of SPF.  Sheer Glow is a medium coverage foundation on me, and Colorstay is light-medium.  They both last for the same amount of time on me, and both work equally well with my combination skin (not making me too oily or dry and not breaking me out).  I wouldn't say that Colorstay is a dupe for Sheer Glow, but it's a viable alternative, especially if you want to save some money.

I know the Korres primer and Nars Sheer Glow are on the expensive side.  They are lovely, and if you can swing them, I recommend them.  However, the BB Cream does act as a decent primer and the Colorstay is a nice foundation, so they're good drugstore alternatives if you're like me and on a student budget.

OPI polish in Call Me Gwen-ever: Please excuse the horrible picture.  Call Me Gwen-never is a really lovely, muted orange-coral.  It's an opaque cream, covers in 2 coats, and lasts a full week on me with Poshe topcoat.  I've been wearing it for weeks--it looks equally good on fingers and toes, and I think it would be flattering on a wide range of skin tones and hues.  I got bored and did two stripes of Chanel Graphite with some tape.  Yay attempted nail art!

Images via:,,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cheap, Adorable Screen-printed Tanks? I Say Yes.

I love Etsy, y'all.  I was looking to buy some cute, casual tanks for wearing around the house.  I love the American Apparel tri-blend tanks--we've gotten them for sorority stuff, and they are the comfiest and have a really nice fit.  I was going to buy some of them, when I realized that they were being sold on Etsy, for the same price as at American Apparel, but with adorable screen-printing! Actually, if you factor in the American Apparel shipping vs. the Etsy shipping, it's cheaper to buy them on Etsy.

Anyways, I found the Zen Threads Etsy shop.  They sell a bunch of American Apparel products, tanks, cardigans, hoodies, etc, and home-wares, like towels and such, with a variety of screen-printed designs on them.  You can choose the item color and they give you a few options for the color of the designs, depending on the shirt.

I picked up the California Bear tank in tri-black with yellow ink and the Day of the Dead tank in tri-lemon with white ink.  How cute is that bear?!  And it has a little map of California on it (I'm from California, so this makes me inordinately happy).  I love Day of the Dead related things, so I think the slightly creepy, slightly floral nature of that skull is awesome.  It's just the right balance of morbid and sweet.  I got it in a bright tank with white ink to mitigate the whole, I'm wearing a skull t-shirt factor.

Obviously now I need to buy more of them (I have restraint issues).  If I could pull off the American Apparel pullovers--that shape is the worst on me--I'd totally get the Honey Pullover.  I like the weird bee.  It has a slightly Victorian, taxidermist feel to it.  And I'm dying over the Moose in Snow Shoes tank.  It's a moose!  Wearing snow shoes!

So when I got these in the mail and they were so much cuter than I'd been expecting, I realized that obviously I'd have to wear them out of the house.  At which point my housemate chimed in, "You never wear graphic tees!"  And she was totally right.  I am not a graphic tee kind of person.  But I have to make an exception for these.  They are totally quirky adorable and non-obnoxious.  I've been wearing them partially tucked into a colored denim mini with a little leather jacket.  It feels casual but still polished and summer appropriate.  So yes, I do wear graphic tees!  At least for now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TokyoMilk Dark Tainted Love No. 62 Perfume

TokyoMilk is a niche fragrance line, with fun, offbeat and affordable scents that come in adorable little packages.  ToykoMilk Dark is their new line of 'provocative perfumes' with fabulously morbid, almost Victorian packaging.  Reading the scent descriptions and seeing the packaging, I assumed that each 1.6 ounce perfume bottle would retail for about $80.  They actually cost $36.  So I ordered one just based off the website description!  (Not something I usually do at all)

I ordered the Tainted Love perfume; that's the box and the bottle below.  The box is black with white type, and an embossed pattern on two sides.  The bottle is a matte black cut glass with a shiny gunmetal cap.  On one side of the bottle is the creator's name, Margot Elena, on the next is the brand name, perfume name, the number of the perfume, and the notes in the perfume (in this case, dark vanilla bean, orchid, white tea, and sandalwood), on the next side is the embellished perfume number, and on the front side is the symbol attached to the perfume (in this case, a skeleton key), the brand name, and the perfume name.

So, here's my breakdown of the Tainted Love perfume:

Packaging: The packaging is obviously gorgeous.  It looks so expensive!  And it's a gorgeous addition to a vanity.  I like the balance of Victorian imagery and minimalist restraint.  In all honesty, I think the packaging clinched the purchase for me.

The scent: the listed notes are dark vanilla bean, white tea, orchid, and sandalwood.  When I sniff it, the first thing that hits me is the vanilla.  I think that's the most prominent note here.  Then I get sandalwood and white tea, which keeps that vanilla from getting too sweet and too wet.  The orchid keeps from going in a slightly masculine direction by adding just a whiff of florals.  The overall impression I get is vanilla and incense, slightly dry and smokey but still feminine.  It's an unusual scent, to be sure, but I really love it.  It's sweet and feminine, but it definitely has a strong edge to it.  In a way, it's almost slightly morbid, with a hint of danger underlying that vanilla.

Lasting power: I'm not trusting my nose with this.  To me, it doesn't seem to have a ton of sillage or lasting power.  I can't smell it really unless I try to, and while I can still smell it faintly at the end of the day, it's definitely not strong.  However, I was wearing it out the other day, and a friend of mine, from a few feet away, smelled it and commented on it (after I'd been wearing it for a few hours).  So I think it's decent in that regard?  It's certainly not overwhelming.  I'd say it's a subtle, close to your skin kind of perfume.

Awkward Chic rating: A.  I love the packaging, the price, and the scent.  The lasting power brings it down from an A+ to an A.  I want to try more of them!  I'm particularly eying Everything & Nothing, which has notes of rose, mandarin, tangerine, white jasmine, peony, muguet, amber, and white musk (Sephora describes it as refined, hopeful, and poetic), and also Excess, which has notes of patchouli, amber resin, blood orange, and oak bark (Sephora describes it as majestic, posh, and bold).  Don't those sound pretty?!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kate Spade Summer Purse Steal + Zoya

Guys, this purse is a total steal and everyone should get one, and that's basically the point of this post.  Well, also that I found some cute nail polish.  You should buy that too. 

Kate Spade Horseshoe Cove Scout in Natural/Black, on sale for $139 down from $278 at The story to how I just bought this bag is funny.  I was thinking of what I wanted for my 21st birthday, and one of the things that I was thinking about getting was a nice bag.  One of my good friends just bought one of the bags I was thinking about, the Mulberry Alexa, which is absolutely gorgeous.  It's also absolutely expensive.  So then I stumbled across a cheaper alternative, the Cambridge Satchel.  How cute are those bags?!  Adorable.  But the actual Cambridge Satchel website is super unreliable, and I don't love the colors that they have on Asos.  So then I stumbled across the Kate Spade Scout bags, and they happened to be wayyyy on sale.  Like half off.  And they come in an adorable range of colors, and have magnet clasps instead of actually having to use the buckles, and an adorable lining, and basically I love them.  They come in either all patent leather (for $50 more) or lacquered canvas with patent leather trim.  I ordered the black yesterday because I figured it would be the most practical and wearable (although I seriously debated about getting the pink version.  It's so cute!).  The interior is lined with a sweet polka dot fabric, and there are two main compartments, with a smaller zippered compartment as well.  The strap is adjustable, and the perfect length to wear cross-body.  What I really love is the size.  It's about 10" wide and 7" tall, which is just the right size to fit all the things I need without giving me too much space to fill with lots of things that I don't really need.

It also comes in Natural/Coral and Natural/Wheatgrass, and how cute is that pink.  I think aesthetically, for how much these purses cost (on sale!  so affordable!), these are a slam dunk.  The structured, boxy shape is very retro, the treated canvas has a summery feel, and the shiny patent trim adds a nice modern touch.  I'm really glad that I splurged on this, because I think it's the kind of purse that I can get a lot of wear out of, year round. 

Zoya polish in Wednesday, $8 at Zoya describes it as a faded, dirty medium turquoise with a green undertone and an opaque cream finish.  I actually got this a few months ago (ahem, I am the worst) and I've been wearing it allllllll the time, on my fingers and toes!  It's just such a fun color.  It's a slightly muted, greener version of Tiffany blue, and it's surprisingly flattering, especially against a tan.  It's bright, but it doesn't look childish.  It applies like a dream, opaque in two coats, and lasts a week on me (that manicure is 2-3 days old).  The picture on the left has flash, the picture on the right doesn't.

 Buy both these things!  They are great.

Images via,,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Steals: Target Winifred Braided Sandals

A few months ago, a friend of mine was wearing these adorable sandals.  I asked her where she got them, expecting her to say something like Kitson or some little local store in Austin, where she's from (because they look like something a little local brand would make, or the Kitson interpretation of that sort of thing).  But she said Target.  I don't usually look for shoes at Target because they honestly haven't been that great in the past. 

But the other week I was in Target running errands, and I ran into those sandals.  They are so cheap!  Given, they aren't real leather, but at $15, who cares.  They come in coral, blue, and a natural brown, and have braided faux-leather straps that adjust around the ankle.

Target Winifred Braided Flat Sandal, $14.99 at I picked up the brown version, since I figured I'd get the most wear out of them.  What I love about these sandals is that they look very elegant on (I would demonstrate with a picture, but my feet aren't that pretty).  The straps are pretty minimal, but the braiding adds a lot of visual interest.  It's a refreshing alternative to gladiators, and despite how they look, they are very comfy and they stay on the foot really well.  The sole is pretty thin and has no arch support, but again, it's $15.  That said, the quality of the sandal is pretty good for the price--I've worn them pretty constantly for a month and they are holding up nicely.
Here are the other two colors--I really want to pick up the pink!  And the blue.  Basically all of them.

Long story short: these are a great deal, super comfortable, and look really nice on.  You can wear them with a floaty sundress for an earthy touch, or with a cute colorful skirt and top for a beachy twist.  They're the perfect summer sandal because they're versatile, you can get all the colors, and if you lose or break them, it's not a big deal ($15!).

Images via

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eye Shadows

I HAVE INTERNET!  I know that's not exciting for most people, but it's really exciting for me (I'm paying bills, kids!) and now I can blog! (And just using exclamation points, I swear).

So I meant to review these a while ago, but I got distracted with life things.  I actually bought the taupe one in January, and used it almost every day this past semester, and I'm only about a third of the way through!  You can see the little dent I made below.  I have #15 Taupe and #12 Golden Copper, both $23 at  With the MUFE Aqua Creams, you get .21 oz.  That's $109.52/ounce, compared to $118.75/ounce for the Benefit cream shadows, so it's a good deal.  

They come in these little plastic tubs, with screw on black lids.  I like that the tubs are clear, so you can really see the color you're getting, and while I'm usually scared of twist-on lids for cream products, because I think they tend to dry out, I've had that taupe one for months and it's still going strong.  The packaging doesn't feel super luxurious, but it's sturdy and clean, which I like. 

As for the colors, you can see in the swatch that the taupe on the left is warm taupe with a slight metallic sheen, and the copper is a very warm, golden copper with a strong metallic finish.  I love the formula.  It does a have chemical smell that isn't so pleasant, but it doesn't linger on the skin.  In the tub, it feels firm, but when you run your finger across the shadow, it comes off on your finger like butter.  It is so intensely pigmented that I can just dab it two or three times and cover my entire lid.  I can really see one of these lasting a year with constant use.  You do have to blend them pretty quickly, as they set and then do NOT budge, but I don't have trouble blending them.

The lasting power is phenomenal.  I can go to the gym and run around all day, and it's still going strong 10 hours later, with little to no creasing (I do use a MAC Paint Pot as primer).  What I really love about these is that I can throw one on my lid, blend it with a crease color, throw in a little highlight, and be done for the day.  It's simple, but it can still be really high impact.  I've honestly stopped using powder shadows on my lids because I just love the wet-look finish you get from cream shadows.  Usually that comes with short staying power, but not in this case!

These Aqua Creams come in a wide range of fun colors, from the more neutral to the very dramatic.  I'm looking at picking up the pretty Warm Beige next.  

Awkward Chic rating: A+.  I am so sold on these.  I have next to no criticisms of them (the smell?  Eh), and the price is right.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not Quite Notorious Etsy Shop

Guys, I have real life friends starting real life businesses (also internet and a house now, so I may actually blog!  On a regular basis!  These are exciting things).  My BFFster Maud just started an Etsy shop, Not Quite Notorious, selling original prints and paintings (and maybe other paper goods in the future?).  Check it out!  Use the code GRANDOPEN to get 10% off until the 8th.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from her shop so far: 
My Monocle Brings All the Girls to the Yard painting, $65 for a 6.5x9 at, Had Cake, Ate it Too print, $15 for a 5x7 at Lots of her prints have Maud's trademark sassy wit.  My monocle brings all the girls to the yard?  Lawlz.  And I'm a sucker for any Marie Antoinette, Let Them Eat Cake reference.  I think she balances typography and kitschy, stylized illustrations really nicely.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee watercolor, $40 for a 9x12 at, Quentin Tarantino Cameo Print, $20 for 8x10 at Who doesn't love coffee?  Especially in triplicate!  She also has a whole series of filmmaker cameos with quippy sayings that are super cute and creative.

Long story short: buy my friend's awesome prints and paintings, and help keep her in coffee (she's an aspiring filmmaker, I hear they subsist solely on caffeine). 

Images via:


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