Monday, December 27, 2010

Rant against combination palettes


I've been having a fairly good Christmas home with my parents, and it's been really nice to see them again. In a few days, I'm going to visit with the man's friends and family a bit, too, and I'm also looking forward to that.

Anyway, I haven't used up or bought anything new lately (SN order did come through, yay! And I also have a new luminzer!) but I have been looking at a lot of makeup.

Every November, gift sets and palettes come out from brands of all prices, and even from brands whose sole purpose is cheapie makeup kits. Invariably, no matter what the price, these palettes suck for me.

The very first allergic reaction to makeup I ever had was to a Color Workshop kit that I bought at Wegmans when I was fifteen or sixteen. The stuff turned my eyelids and lips into a dry, red, flaky mess. On principle, I will not buy from that brand again. Ever. I have no idea what ingredient caused the reaction as I've looked at the kits they sell now, read the lists, and not found anything that usually bothers me - so all I can assume is that they're so cheap that something nasty snuck in. I don't remember the stuff being of super great quality, anyway.

In my mid-twenties, I developed an allergy to beeswax that I talk about incessantly in hopes that it might spare someone else the medical trauma I went through before I figured that out. This rules out most palettes that include lip glosses or cream shadows because if it's from a brand I recognize, it's usually got that ingredient; and if it isn't, it's usually cheap as hell and I don't trust it. ELF might be the exception, but I talked about my ELF hate in my last post. Most of their lip products skeeve me out because they're essentially a gooey mess of dyed petrochemicals, and gooey messes of dyed petrochemicals like that only come off on everything I eat, drink, or kiss; dry my lips out because they seal moisture OUT, and don't even last that long. I don't mind one or two petroleum-based ingredients in a product where the bulk is natural oils and butters - but if there's nothing from a plant that didn't die in the Cretaceous in there, I don't want it.

Plus, allow me to point out the sheer idiocy of packaging cream and powder products in the same container - you drop that and not only are your shadows broken, but you also have to dig them out/off of the cream products. And lip products are the only thing I reapply throughout the day, so not being able to take that color with me would be very irksome.

Some companies make palettes that look awesome, then package them with a bunch of stuff I can't use. Tarte is terrible at this - they either include beeswaxy eyeliners or mascara in the palette/set or they include lip gunk. I got halfway through a deluxe tube of their lipgloss before I got sick and had to throw it out, and it was ok - but not really enjoyable.

Urban Decay seems better at sticking with eyeshadows in their palettes, which I prefer (a coordinating blush is ok, though, and blush/eyeshadow palettes are the only combo I find acceptable).

All in all, I despise these palettes that everyone seems to want so bad.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Used it! oil, ELF, lotion, thoughts on ELF in general.

1. Trial size citrus body lotion from whole foods. Alright, nothing special.

2. No-name brand Vitamin E oil. I like to oil my legs in the winter after shaving. There are better, cheaper oils I could use, and I never use Vitamin E for its intended purpose.

3. ELF Mineral Blemish Kit. I might buy this again. On sale. And keep it around in case of breakouts - I ended up applying it my whole face with a cotton powder puff - the round kind with the short little furs. It wasn't a miracle product, but it seemed to help a little (Damm you Evian lotion!).

4. ELF nail polish remover pads. Could be stronger, but pretty good for what they are - I use them on my toenails and they work. They also smell ok, which for nail polish remover is good because most of it smells terrible.

That said, I can't quite get behind the ELF love the way many people do. Most of the dollar items and Studio line seem to be full of petrochemicals and other crap fillers, their concealer pencil that was supposed to help heal my zits made them huger and more painful, their mineral powders ALL have bismuth oxychloride pretty far up on the ingredients list, and a liquid liner I bought smelled so terrible I threw it away immediately. There are very few ELF products that I actually like: the blemish powder, the Studio body kabuki, the mineral lipstick (but only if it's a good color, and so many of them aren't - ripe rose is the only one I've tried that I really liked), and the nail polish remover pads. I see people posting huge ELF hauls when they have sales and can't imagine wanting all that stuff!

81 items gone
23 full size items gone

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Used it! mostly crap petroleum, one full size skin serum

1. Aquaphor - small tube. Best for feet. Ironically, a doctor recommended it to me a couple years ago when my lips were really broken out, and I started using it again and my lips hate it!

2. Target brand vaseline lip balm knock off. I still have four of these lying around at varying stages of completion. After I developed my beeswax allergy, my lips were so sensitized that this was all I could use on them. Now, they're good for protecting my lips from toothpaste, but not much else. Sometimes I'll use a little to seal a more natural balm in.

3. Silk Naturals Green Tea and Aloe Serum. Pretty good stuff, but I just got a thing of the Oatmeal Serum instead - I've used a couple samples of it and like it better. Silk Naturals skincare is a thing of wonder all of you should try.

Running tally:
77 things total
20 full size products

Friday, December 17, 2010

6 more things are gone!

Used up a bunch more stuff!
1. Clinique salicylic acid spot treatment. This stuff could dry out zits, but always left me a little flaky and took longer than I wanted.

2. Kat von D tattoo concealer - light (sample decant). Hoped it could cover dark circles, but it can't without creasing. Also, I'd prefer something with less yellow and more peach.

3. Mix of Lucy Minerals foundation, silica powder, and Aromaleigh yellow shimmer. Not that I can make this again, but it wasn't the best.

4. Aromaleigh Opulent Lustre shadow sample - Tea. Gorgeous light yellowy green color - already have the full size! But given that the kids at work have started looking for greens, I do believe I'll quit while I'm ahead and break it out again later.

5. sample of Alba Botanica very emollient rinsing conditioner. This stuff wasn't bad, but I also didn't fall in love with it. It works ok, but not super awesomely.

6. trial-size jar of Yes to Carrots body butter. I might buy this again if it didn't smell so herby. Works fine, though.

Running tally:
74 things total
18 full size products

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hey everyone

Hi there!

I'm still here, but waiting until I use up a couple more things so I can have a more substantial use it post.

A couple things have just gotten knocked from my routine, though - my face broke out fairly badly a few days ago, and the best I could figure was that it was the Evian lotion (which I was using out of desperation for lack of a better cream), or maybe I'd had enough of the Desert Essence sunblock - which doesn't usually bother me on an occasional basis. So frustrating! I'm going to have to make a LuckyVitamin order soon for more cleanser, alba Sea Minerals cream, and shampoo. The Evian has been banished to foot and hand duty, and I'm thinking of saving the Desert Essence for running, when it's warm enough out to start that again. I don't really care what I look like while I'm pounding pavement - extra pale is fine!

I also have a Silk Naturals order on the way - mostly skincare and a full size of Ginger blush.

Anyway, I'm up to 36 followers - so I wanted to give you all a chance to introduce yourself and give me some feedback on my blog! Say hi! (Feel free to say hi if you lurk, too!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Copying from Phyrra again...

1. What’s been your go-to eye shadows, blushes or lip products this winter?
Sephora Pure palette, Wanderlust edition; anything in a sample baggie (want. them. gone.)

2. What class are you playing the most in Cata (if you play WoW?) If you’re not playing Cata, tell me about the game you’re playing?
No games here. I'm more a NY Times crossword puzzle sort of nerd. So excited to do today's! Sundays are my faves!

3. What’s on your nails?

Nothing. I still haven't gotten around to doing them. Sad, right?

4. If you were to be a fantasy character, what would you be?
Maybe an ent, because they're awesome.

5. If you could instantly know three additional languages, what would they be?
I already know Spanish, a little Portuguese, and a teeny tiny amount of French, and I'd like to know German, Finnish, and Catalan on top of that. I should also work on improving my Portuguese and French skills, because they are rusty and undeveloped. Actually, if you were to give me the opportunity to learn pretty much any language, I'd hop on it. Languages are awesome. Can I add Polish and Russian to the list?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Used it! short and sweet - kind of ambivalent

1. Whole Foods brand unfiltered apple cider vinegar - used for hair rinses, face masks, salad dressing - so glad i'ts gone. I'll be sticking to citric acid for hair rinses now - so much easier!

2. Whole Foods brand citrus body lotion. Not the best stuff ever, or the worst. I'm kind of eh on it. Also still have a travel size bottle to use up.

Running tally:
68 things total
16 full size products

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Updated blog sale!

Email emilys dot livejournal at gmail dot com if you're interested. Will ship international with small extra charge.

Aromaleigh Batch - $35 for everything including shipping!
Full Size Aromaleigh Nocturne Lite
Aromaleigh Nocturne Lite sample baggies (x4)
Aromaleigh foundation - Glissade 2w
Aromaleigh Gothic Lolita Shimmer Nightbright (green) - 10g jar, 95% full)

Drugstore Bonanza! $12 shipped!
Physicians Formula Bamboo Wear compact with a translucent glow Face Brightener pan in it.
NYC LE berry blush - swatched only
Wet N Wild color icon Vanity six-color palette - all colors used once
Wet N Wild iSparkle palette - all colors used once - brown, tan, olive green, yellow

All three $12 shipped!
Tarte mini cheek stains - Glitzed, Tipsy, True Love (all at about 90%)

Silk Naturals Sleep In a Jar Extra Light Peach - full size, 95%

Make a reasonable offer!
Jane Iredale Rose Gold powder
Physicians Formula grind-your-own loose powder highlighter

Used it! Also, a request for recommendations

So, I used up three more things!
1. EcoTools hand lotion mini. Not bad! Scent kind of grew on me, moisturizing without being sticky, a little goes a long way. I might actually buy this again.

2. Darling Girl Cosmetics sample shadow - Trust Fund. If you're into light yellow-golds, you will like this color. On me, I found it to be too much between gold and yellow, if that makes sense. Susan's blending skills are superb - definitely give this new company a try.

3. Homemade blend of shea butter and almond oil - worked pretty nicely on my feet, but overall too greasy for regular use. Will not make again.

Running tally:
66 things total
14 full size products

Oh, and also? I need your recommendations on a morning moisturizer with SPF 15 or above. I'd like it to not be greasy, not have avobenzone, not be mostly silicone and mineral oil, and not leave a really whitish cast. Fragrance free is a bonus!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Used it! Awesome blush sample, and some other stuff

More things aren't in my bathroom anymore!

1. Silk Naturals blush sample - Ginger. LOVE. Such a pretty pinky peach, and SN's formula is sheer and impossible to mess up, which with my fair skin is nice when I don't want to spend time blending. It's already in my SN cart for when I make my next order.

2. L'Oreal 360 deep cream cleanser for sensitive skin. Liked the scrublet, the cleanser was ok, but when I used it in the shower sometimes I accidentally got a taste of it - and yuck! Nothing that foul should go on my face.

3. Aromaleigh Bete Noire shadow sample - Solange. Medium-dark brown with gold/green sparkle. I already have the full size! Beautiful color, turns a warm bronze when foiled.

4. Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner. Used this for conditioner-only washes. Only got four uses out of it, so even though it's not bad, wouldn't repurchase.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shameless plug for my fitness blog

A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to get in shape because I was sick of being weak. I also decided that writing down my progress might help keep me motivated.

In Search of Fitness

Some quick questions

Hey everyone, I'm feeling a lot better now - still have four more days of antibiotics left, but I'm much improved! I haven't used anything else up yet - still working on that face wash and blush sample!

Anyway, I found these questions on Phyrra's blog and decided to use them as some quick writing starters.

1. Are you a Product Elitist?

No. Some high-end stuff is really worth the money. Some cheap stuff really works well. I pay attention to the ingredients lists and to performance. I like getting high-end stuff in kits or on sale to save some cash.

2. Do you wear bright eye shadows?
Heck yes! I can wear warm browns or brights, and like both effects. Lime green eyeshadow is my favorite!!! I can't really do anything anywhere between straight neutral and brights. Anything greyed makes me look like death.

3. What’s on your tips?

Nothing at the moment. I'm planning on doing Wet N Wild Shield soon.

4. What’s your favorite type of pet? Cat? Dog? Big or small? Scaled?
Cat. All other animals are either too needy or wouldn't let me know they were hungry. I really love cats, though. They're super cute!

5. Name a Guilty Pleasure.
Shitty SyFy Original movies. Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is my favorite! I also need to DVR Triassic Attack soon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

RIP bacteria-infested lipgloss

This morning, I had to throw away three lipglosses that had become contaminated with the bacterial throat infection I came down with on Tuesday night. I had been in the process of using them up, but I had to send them on their way sooner rather than later. Figured that if the nurse at the clinic recommended replacing my toothbrush, it was also time to say goodbye to the gloss.

1. Tarte Vitamin-Infused lipgloss mini in 40 Winks. Not too bad, I got through about 75% of it before I had to junk it. The glitter was a bit too chunky for my taste, and it was sticky, but it wasn’t bad. That said, I probably won’t be repurchasing.

2. Sally Hansen Soothing Lip Tint in Pinkberry. Got through about half of it. Sticky and not super great. I'm always looking for something shiny, colorful, and lasting that feels more like balm than anything else.

3. Aubrey Organics lip shimmer in Sugar Frost. Clear, slightly shimmery minty lip gloss. Not sticky at all, and probably the thing I’m saddest to see go. If AO repackaged this in a squeeze tube, I’d be all over it – but I’m going to be limiting my collection of wand-style lip stuff from now on (I’ll probably keep a few around at a time, but not amass a huge collection of them). I’d only gotten to use about a quarter of it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Used it!

1. VO5 blackberry sage tea conditioner. Pretty good at light conditioning. It was my second bottle. I'll probably buy another at some point, but it's not something I MUST HAVE around at all times.

2. BeFine chamomile and beet lip serum. Ok, kind of strangely greasy. Didn't irritate me, though, and that's what I needed at the time (my lips are ridiculously sensitive).

3. Aveeno body lotion mini - bought this when I needed an emergency hand cream. Kind of "eh."

Coming up on a face wash and blush sample...

Running tally:
59 things total
11 full size products

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Updated blog sale:

This is what's left. Email me at emilys dot livejournal at gmail dot com to buy. Will ship anywhere. I need some funds pretty badly at the moment.

Sheer Cover gone!
Sinful Colors polish gone
ELF lipstick gone.

Xed out hair stuff gone, #9 gone

Used it!

One real winner, one kind of "eh" product

1. Alba Botanica Sea Lipids cream. Will I buy this again? Yes. This is a good, moisturizing, but lightweight cream. It doesn't break me out. I like it. My skin responds really well to seaweed.

2. Some random tiny jar of spf 50 sunblock. It came packaged with a sunblock stick I wanted. I used it up as protection from windburn while I go running. It worked for that. I wasn't wowed or anything, though.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've been award-tagged!

I got blog awards from The Peach!

So in that spirit, here are a few other blogs I like and would like to pass on the awards to:

The Peach at Just Peachy - again.
Nea at Fashioned in Finland

I'm also supposed to list ten things I like:
1. My supportive inner circle
2. Employment
3. Endorphins
4. Chocolate
5. Coffee
6. Grey's Anatomy
7. Spring and fall weather
8. earrings
9. a good walk in the woods
10. anything lime green

Sunday, November 14, 2010

High-end vs. low-end vs. indie

In case you haven't noticed, there's a lot of debate about whether high-end makeup is any better than low-end stuff. A lot of this leaves out the indie companies at least half my stash comes from. So I thought I'd do a quick pros and cons of each category.

The biggest criteria people use when they refer to high-end and low-end products is cost and quality. Higher cost doesn't necessarily equate higher-quality, but it does sometimes. There are also some excellent and low-cost products out there.

High-end pros:
Packaging is always beautiful
Available at Sephora, Ulta, and online
Larger companies have access to some really good ingredients and formulas

High-end cons:
Some products really just don't work as well as you'd hope.
Sometimes the ingredients list looks just as bad as low-end stuff.

High-end winners (worth the dough - but maybe wait for sales anyway):
-Tarte cheek stains. Beautiful products. The natural formula ones are hit-and-miss (I swapped away Green Siren because it was so hard and waxy, but Natural Beauty and Ten are beautiful).
-Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners. Great staying power, and more color selection than cheaper knockoffs (some of which are actually ok)
-Korres eyeliners - creamy, natural colors without questionable ingredients.
-Josie Maran argan oil sunblock - doesn't clog skin, works great!
-Gabriel Color lipsticks (cost similar to high-end, available more at natural stores). Also good. I really like their lipglosses, too.

Low-end/drugstore pros:
Easily available.
Some really good stuff out thare.

Low-end/drugstore cons:
Much more likely to be full of synthetic crap.
Some really sucky products (I'm looking at you, Cover Girl smoky shadow stick).
Packaging often looks and feels cheaper.
Harder to find good bright colors.

Low-end/drugstore winners (Good stuff, great price, extra win!):
-Ecotools brushes. Most of my brushes are Ecotools, and they are excellent.
-Physicians Formula Healthy Wear powder foundation. SPF!!! 50!!!
-Wet N Wild Color Icon eyeshadow palettes - surprisingly good pigmentation!

Now, my favorite category of makeup is indie, artisan stuff. There are tons of small companies started by people who love makeup and just want to make some really good stuff for makeup fiends everywhere. Prices for indie stuff tend to be a little more than drugstore but less than high-end. Quality varies from brand to brand, and you have to be careful that you're not just buying repackaged mica. You can avoid this by knowing how plain mica behaves without a base and following bloggers.

Indie pros:
Wide variety of products.
Creators usually have a lot of passion for it, which shows.
Creators are very responsive to customer feedback.
Some really awesome stuff!

Indie cons:
You have to sample in order to know if a color will work, because you can't make returns and don't want to be surprised by products that don't look like the picture.
Shipping costs money most places.
Some shops have minimum orders.
Research is super-necessary.

Indie winners!
Silk Naturals skincare, eyeshadow, vegan lip gloss.
Hi-Fi shadows
Aromaleigh everything (so sad about them, still)
Fyrinnae shadows
adorned with Grace foundation and blush
Morgana Cryptoria vegan lipstick.

Probably will expound on this topic more later - but I have to get ready to kid-wrangle. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

100th post!

This is my 100th post! Holy crap! I never thought I'd have so much to say about makeup...

Several things for this momentous occasion.

I have now used up 56 things, and out of those, 9 were full size products (mostly hair stuff...).
Recently emptied products:

1. Zia Skin Basics cleanser with seaweed. I had no complaints about this - kept it in the shower to wash my face in the morning. Very gentle, and I'd probably consider buying it again if I had more disposable income.

2. Aveeno body wash - some combo of pomegranate and rice? It looked like sticky mucus with brown grains in it. It worked ok, but I'm not at all sad that it's gone.

Also! I've been wearing my HiFi Cosmetics shadows a lot lately, and must tell you that they are amazing! I'm thrilled with the wear and the color depth. Psycho Mind is still my favorite, but I've acquired some new greens, purples, and neutrals, too - and I adore all of them. I also got the lip gloss in Corrode, which is a sheer milky white with greenish pearlescence. Looks like a slight twist on a nude lip alone, and also funkifies any lip color. Love it! Will have to remember to post pics of stuff.

Stuff coming up:

1. Thoughts on low-end vs. high-end.
2. A rant against holiday palettes.
3. I'm almost out of a couple more things! (full sizes here, too)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blog Sale! - Quantity discounts! Lots of stuff still available!

If you want anything - EMAIL ME at emilys dot livejournal at gmail dot com
Willing to ship anywhere. You choose and pay for your shipping.

Sheer Cover Bisque foundation and brush. Sealed, new. 10$
Evian Nourishing cream 90%. $5
Physicians Formula grind-your-own-loose powder highlighter. $5
Neutrogena Skin Clearing mineral powder classic ivory. Used twice, no sponge. $5

Silk Naturals Sleep in a Jar Extra Light Peach full size. 90%. $4
Aromaleigh Nightbright Gothic Lolita shimmer powder. Used twice. $4
Jane Iredale Rose Gold powder. Used twice. $4
OPI polish in pale light green color. 90%. $4
Gabriel Cosmetics lipliner in Nutmeg. $2
Boots Expert scar care cream. 90%. $2

Hair clips - $2 each, or three for $4. No longer available: metal beak clips, plain brown claw clip (three teeth on each side)

$1.50 each (or all for $8):
EDM Rare Silk full size
50/50 mix EDM sunglight and mint
50/50 mix EDM sunlight and PMUP
NYX Kiwi single (90%)
ELF mineral lipstick Rosy Tan
Boom Shaka Laka macadamia mint lip balm
Wet n Wild gold polish
ELF earthy eyeshadow

Free with purchase
Crushed PF bamboo powder light translucent
Baggie of Fair wet n wild mineral foundation

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hempz haircare samples

I had sample packets of Hempz shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. I got two uses out of the conditioner and three uses out of the shampoo.

The shampoo is ok, but nothing special (though it is sulfate-free). The third ingredient is some sort of copolymer, which I don't like.

The conditioner seemed really nice at first - but it's so chock-full of silicone that I couldn't really do much with my hair because it was too floaty and slippery. But it still tangled, so go figure.

I'm expecting to use up a face wash and body wash this week, but it's taking forever!

Also, I'm still selling stuff in the post below. If you have ANY interest in ANYTHING on there, let me know. I'm willing to let most things go for just a little.

Friday, October 29, 2010

54 things gone (almost)

1. Gabriel Cosmetics lipstick sample - clay- actually not a bad color. I might seriously consider buying this at some point.

2. Lure Beauty shadow sample - Caroline. Pretty pale steely blue with greenish gold duochrome. Sadly, I'm not thrilled with the wear on this - it creases on me even with TFSI. (I actually have enough left for one more wear, but didn't want to do a blog post with just one thing)

So we'll see how things go. I'm pretty much not buying stuff for the time being (no money - and once I start getting paid from the job I'm starting soon, I'll have to start paying loans back instead). I may make an exception for a WNW Christmas palette, but probably not. In a perverse way, it might be fun to see how long I can go without buying anything new.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Used up a few more things

1. Aveeno shampoo sample packet (I always use at least twice as much conditioner than shampoo). Eh. The clean doesn't last long enough. Silicones do not belong in shampoo. I only had these packets because they were attached to body wash.

2. Tarte ReCreate silicone free primer sample. As with many of the primers I've tried, this one is a better moisturizer than a primer. Add some SPF to it, and I think it might be a nice product. Primers don't work as primers on me, but sometimes they're a nice substitute for foundation. I still think they're a scam, though.

3. adorned with Grace Illuminated blush sample baggie. This would be a great highlighter for someone with much darker skin than mine. As is, it's a half shade darker than me.

I also chucked a few things.

1. L'Oreal roll on foundation - Somehow made me patchy and oily at the same time, with highlighted dry spots. I just didn't want to fight with it anymore.

2. Cover Girl Lash Blast fusion mascara in brown (purple tube). Orange tube lash blast is great. Purple tube sucks.

Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog sale - I have some stuff I'm not using that I need to get rid of. Also, I'm kind of hard up for cash and could use some.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More things I've used up!

1. Cozy Moments shampoo bar sample. Not for me. I have two shampoo bars from other companies I'll be getting to later, after I finish my sample packets. I hope they work better. And I used an acidic rinse, too!

2. Aveeno moisturizing conditioner sample packet. Way more coney than I usually go for (I leave the silicones for leave-ins and avoid them during my showers).

3. Fyrinnae Arcane Magic Greenman's Magic sample. Pretty nice - I have so many golds and stuff that I should probably not repurchase. Lovely color anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally gone!

All done with the Bare Minerals Matte sample - which took longer than expected because I ended up having to mix it with a highlighter from another brand in order to lighten it enough.

Oh, and also? The sample jar looks like a 10g jar on the outside, but because the sifter goes down deeper and it has a shallower compartment area, it really holds the amount as a 5g jar - and it was half full.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two more samples down the hatch!

1. Urban Decay De-Slick in a tube sample packet. This had enough in it to use exactly once. Honestly, I'm not sure it's better than powder - applying it most certainly obliterated my blush. I did look less shiny for an hour or two, though. Not going to buy this.

2. Aromaleigh Bete Noir shadow sample in ambré. I actually did like this alright, if not enough to buy it again (not that I could, anyway). I'll miss how Aromaleigh was always great at making dark colors wearable on paler complexions like mine. This one was a dark olive green with some really nice lighter sparkles that really made it less intense.

43 things used up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Used up more stuff!

1. Silk Naturals Cream Concealer - light peach creamy concealer sample. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has managed to cover up my dark circles. I don't know why I expected this would.

2. Garnier face wipes - 10 pack. Alright in a pinch, but no substitute for a real face wash.

3. Bare Minerals mineral veil sample. As said before, waste of time. Silica, silk powder, and rice powder all work better for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Used up shampoo, lotion sample

I used up two more things!

1. GoodonyaToo açai açai salty dawg creme shampoo. This is not bad stuff. It definitely makes my scalp feel clean. My main complaints are texture (it's hard to work a salty, grainy paste into wet hair easily) and the feeling that I have to use too much. I have not yet found my Holy Grail hair cleansing product or routine yet. I suspect that living somewhere I can install a handheld shower head and being able to wash only the scalp hair when needed (I have a lot of hair) would be ideal.

2. Liza Lotion Blotch-be-Gone acne lotion. Also pretty good stuff. I got a sample of this in a pay-it-forward from the maker, Liza, and I do like it. It doesn't feel like it moisturizes enough, but it also doesn't leave flakes, and my skin is clearer than it has been lately. If going back to other lotion makes me break out, I'll think harder about buying some.

So now I'm at 39 products down!

Review - Bare Minerals Matte foundation

A while back, Sephora was giving away free Bare Minerals minis (packaged with a mini Mineral Veil and an extremely tiny kabuki brush). The sales assistant picked out Light matte as my best match.

Recently, as part of Project Use It, I've opened and started using these samples. I figured it would be a great opportunity to test out the "original" mineral foundation and see how it held up against my indie favorites.

I would love to be able to review it with my standard rubric, but I just can't. First of all, Light is too dark for me. I have been trying to make it work, with limited success. I have mixed it with the Mineral Veil. I have mixed it with silica powder. I have mixed it with highlighters. I have applied it over a sunblock that turns me pasty white. No matter what I do, it's still too dark. Today, the only reason it looks ok from afar is that I put on a bunch of a powder highlighter on top. Close-up, the caked-on powder is pretty evident.

This means that I can't review it against the other foundations because I'd be reviewing my own formula instead of Bare Minerals'.

Texture-wise, it feels like any standard mineral powder. I have a harder time than usual applying this evenly, and I can't figure out why. My kabuki brush just isn't transporting the powder well. The color mismatch makes it even more obvious. Also, it seems to take an enormous amount of product to get proper coverage. Again, the product being too dark highlights just how hard it is to get it to cover my face.

I'm disappointed. If anyone wants to send me samples of either Fairly Light or Golden Fair, so I can better judge the product's performance, let me know. An eighth teaspoon would be enough.

As for the mineral veil - its primary ingredient is cornstarch. Do you know how cheap cornstarch is? You probably have some in your kitchen. Save yourself some money and tint a jarful with a bit of your foundation.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Used up some more stuff!!!

Go me!

1. Garnier Nutrisse Triple Nutrition conditioner. This is my second bottle. I like it alright, it's cheap and moisturizing. But I like a little bit more slip.

2. Sample pod of Tarte Green Siren cheek stain. I didn't like the shininess on this one, so I swapped the full size away. But I finished the sample!

3. Sample tube of Kat Von D eye primer. Sucks as primer, much better as a concealer. Seriously, my eyeshadow creased with this. It doesn't do that with my other primers. If you want a good primer, do not buy this. I'm glad I was at least able to get some use out of it as a concealer, though.

4. Sample baggie of adorned with Grace Minerals Supreme Smoothing Powder. Good stuff, but I'm still planning on making my own silica-based powders in the future. If you like silica, don't like expensive, and want a peach tint, I can recommend this.

This brings me to 37 used-up products. I also gave up on a couple purple shadow samples because they show up grayish on me, and I found three baggies of green shadow that are too close to other things I own to keep around.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Much promised HiFi swatches!

I ordered a blogger review kit from Veronica over at Hi-Fi Cosmetics, told her I liked bright colors and neutrals, and let her surprise me. She sent me these five samples! The sample bags have some heft - they feel more like the amount some companies put in foundation or finishing powder samples.

Initial impressions from looking at the baggies:
Psycho Mind - darkish liner color.
California Girl - gold.
Queen of Disaster - Dark blue liner color.
The Hydra - Pretty turquoise!
Crazy Little Thing - sky blue? Neat!

Then I swatched them.

I was surprised at how close Crazy Little Thing looked to The Hydra because they looked more different in the baggies. The Hydra is sheerer and more shimmery, whereas Crazy Little Thing is a rich pearl. I have to play with these some more, because I think they could be more interesting if I try different things with them.

Queen of Disaster looks like it'll be a good liner color. The iridescence, and the fact that is can apply fairly sheerly, mean it might be more versatile than I think.

California Girl was kind of an outlier - all the other shadows are more creamy, and this one is more flyaway.

Psycho Mind is my surprise favorite. Do you see that? It's not gray at all, like I originally thought (I really look like death in gray). It's a shimmery plum with teal duochrome!!! Disenchanted EDM fans will be pleased to know that this is a lot like Shopping Spree, but better. I am so thrilled to own this.

I haven't had a chance to actually use any of these yet, but I will as soon as I'm done plowing through some more baggie samples from other companies. I think I'll really like them.

Disclosure: I paid for the shipping and etsy fees on these. The shadows themselves were pretty much free for review purposes. FCC, you can stop reading now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Ladies! Your EOTDs are lovely, so do us all a favor and quit apologizing for the state of your eyebrows.

We should never feel like we have to apologize for our appearance.

Also, usually I didn't notice your perceived flaw before you pointed it out.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Used up some more eye samples!

In the past few days, I've gone through a bunch of eye samples. And some other stuff. :)

1. Fyrinnae Griffonrider (Sample jar) Medium-light gold with blue shimmer. Not bad, but for gold, I prefer Polar Bear.

2. Silk Naturals Nekkid (Sample baggie decant) Flesh toned, good wash color. I think I liked Sassy Minerals Pixie Dust, which was similar in color but slightly more interesting, better.

3. NYX Jade (Sample decant of loose powder). Bright green, best used as an eyeliner. I have a pencil the same color, though. (Also, I cheated on this one and used some of it in a frankenpolish).

4. Fyrinnae Fluff (10g jar). Translucent powder. Good stuff, but since learning silica works well for me, in the future I'll probably make my own.

5. Carol's Daughter Hair Milk (sample packet). DO NOT LIKE. The lemongrass smell isn't great. At all. It kind of made me want Thai food immediately. Also, I looked up the ingredients later - it has beeswax in it (in a hair product? Who knew?). That explains why my neck's been itchy lately. I also didn't like how it makes me need to wash my hair sooner. When will I learn that my hair does not like product?

I finally got around to swatching some new stuff (including the HiFi review packet). Will post pics in a few days. Reviews to follow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Contest over at Phyrra's

Contest over at Phyrra's

Monday, September 27, 2010

Used up/gave up

Used up: Sample decant of Tarte Natural Beauty cheek stain (the red wax and oil-based one). I liked this enough to order a full size back during Tarte's Friends and Family sale, but figured I should probably use up the sample instead of throwing it out. Tarte's cheek stains are amazing. I have 5 minis and 3 full sizes. If anyone out there has minis of Tickled and Dollface they'd be willing to swap, please let me know!

Gave up: Sephora Plumping mascara (the black one that came in the birthday gift)
This stuff was ok. I was pleasantly surprised. Then it got harder to get color on my lashes, so I pulled out the stopper. That worked for a few days, but then it started flaking on me big time. Also, I don't think I like it any better than Lash Blast.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Used it! Pixie Sprinkles and some other stuff

Used up some more stuff!

1. Sassy Minerals Pixie Sprinkles eye shadow sample. It was a nice peachy white girl nude with rainbow sparkles. It wasn't too dark to bring up to the brow. It plus any funky liner equaled an easy and awesome look. I will be buying this in full size (well, after I use up some more stuff...)

2. Korres Quercetin and Oak antiaging primer. I'm not sure this did much as a primer, but it makes a pretty decent moisturizer. If it had SPF (pref. zinc oxide) in it, I would buy it again and wear it on no-foundation days. But it doesn't, and skin-cancer-survivor me doesn't want to risk it.

Also, I wanted to let everybody know that I have a blogger review kit from Hi-Fi cosmetics that I'll be swatching and reviewing soon (after I use up a few more samples from other companies). And my Pink Quartz Minerals order finally came - the owner sent me out a new package priority mail as soon as I let her know about the mishap, and she also sent me a free tinted lip balm to make it up for me! So I'll want to talk about that, too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

used it! soap and cleanser

Used a couple more things up.

1. Dr. Bronner's citrus soap. I like the mint and almond better. Not getting this again.

2. Origins foamy facial cleanser sample. This stuff had the odd effect of making my face feel grimy and stripped at once. Product fail.

3. Aveeno ultra-calming spf 30 facial moisturizer. This is almost gone. There's a use or two worth of product stuck to the bottom of the container that I can't quite get out. This makes me angry. I am giving up because I don't want to risk injury cutting it open. I would buy this again if I were in dire need of facial sunblock, but it is not my favorite product.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Used up some more stuff

1. Cozy Moments olive oil and goat's milk soap samples. Better than their sugar scrub cube. Not great, though.

2. DHC acerola lotion sample packet. More of a toner than a lotion. Ok, not great.

3. DHC silver nanocolloid cream. Moisturizing, nothing special.

4. Lucy Minerals Oil Control Calcium Carbonate finishing powder. Pretty good, just not my favorite ever.

5. Morgana Minerals vegan lipstick sample - Coraline's Kiss. It took me daily use over two weeks to use this up. Good stuff, I bought a full size and then figured I should use the sample packet up first.

I also gave up on some stuff.

1. Urban Decay lipstick sample - Gash. This stuff tasted so bad that I had to wipe it off immediately.

2. Garden of Wisdom cucuminoid serum sample. I can't put into words why I didn't like this. I just didn't.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Used it! eye treatment, foundation sample, concealer mix

I used three more things!

1. Dr. Dennis Gross eye treatment sample packet. Aside from a somewhat burny feeling upon application, I'm not sure this did anything. Will not buy full size.

2. Lucy Minerals original foundation sample. See review below.

3. 50/50 mix of EDM Aussie and Abbott's concealers - sort of brightens up the undereye area. I'm kind of glad it's gone now, though.

Lucy Minerals foundation review (regular kind)

Lucy Minerals is an independent company specializing in mineral makeup with added antioxidants. The color range isn't as great as some other companies, and if your skin is on the darker end of the spectrum, you're out of luck. If I ever make and sell mineral makeup, I'll either not do foundation at all, or try to have something for darker skintones.

They offer a few different formulas, an antioxidant-free one, an antioxidant-rich one, and two kinds of oil control - one with silica and one with calcium carbonate.

How'd it work?

A. Color matching.
4. Close, but not quite. I tried both Light and Cream. Light is closer, but still somewhat more yellow than I'd like.

B. Coverage.
4. Significantly reduces contrast between normal skin and blemishes/scar. This stuff is pretty high-coverage.

C. Adhesion/durability.
3. Gets me through an eight-hour day. If I go for a walk or sweat at all, it will start smearing off and creasing. It also has a somewhat chalky finish.

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
3. Does ok until lunch. I've tried both the regular (which I'm reviewing now) and the calcium carbonate. Neither is perfect.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
2. Functional packaging

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect. $14 for a 30g jar. You can get combo kits that lower the price somewhat, but not a lot. Shipping is free, though.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service. 1 point. I have heard nothing but good things.

Total: 24/30. This is pretty good stuff. It's a slightly heavier finish than I like, so I probably won't buy this again (especially since awG makes a really good color match for me). I used this for about two weeks straight, and I'm not sure the antioxidants have done anything for my skin. I think you really need to eat your fruits and veggies, not put them on your face.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some changes to the mineral foundation unit prices

A while back, I posted about price-per-gram of mineral foundations. Some things have changed, namely - Aromaleigh's products are no longer available. :( And Everyday Minerals appears to have kiboshed the 45% discount on stuff, therefore killing their spot as least-expensive mineral makeup. Way to go, EDM! Also, I added a rough estimate for Sassy Minerals, which wasn't around when I first made the list.

Remember, different brands have different densities even if they fill the same size jar, and different brands can require different amounts of product for equivalent coverage.

Keep in mind that most MMU companies pack by volume, not by weight, so the weights are approximate.

If I missed a company - and you know how much their foundation costs and how much (in grams) you get, let me know and I'll add it.

Unit prices on foundation

adorned with Grace
$13.49 for roughly 8 grams – $1.67/gr

Bare Escentuals/Minerals Original
$25 for 9 grams – $2.78/g

$12 for 5.5 grams – $2.18/g
$9 (with four other items) - $1.63/g

Lucy Minerals
$14 for 10 grams - $1.40/g

Meow Purrfect Puss
$10.95 for 6-8 grams – $1.82-1.37/g
$21.95 for 22-30 grams - $0.98-0.73/g

Meow Pampered Puss
$12.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.16 - 1.61/gr
$23.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.08 - 0.80/gr

Meow Flawless Feline
$14.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.49-1.87/g
$26.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.22-0.90/g

Sassy Minerals
$14 for 6-8 grams (est) - $1.75-$2.33/g

Silk Naturals
Note: Silk Naturals sells unmixed foundation by volume, not by weight, and a tablespoon of their foundation would fit into a 25g jar, which is a pretty standard size. You buy a bag of plain white foundation and mix the appropriate amounts of darker base colors into them, so you get an exact match. Both the white base and the colors you add to it are available in tablespoon bags and half teaspoon sample baggies.

They also use different ingredients that aren't as dense as other companies (silk powder, for example), so a tablespoon ranges from 4-5.8 grams depending on formula, with the lighter coverage being less dense than the heavier ones. The cost per gram is different between formulas, but the cost per volume is the same. For purposes of comparison with other brands, it's more useful to think in terms of volume:

As sold by the tablespoon in plastic baggies, the unit price works out to:
$1.37/g for original formula
$1.10/g for the vegan and medium formulas
$0.95/g for the heavy formula.

Since they come in baggies, you'll have to order your own jar (if you don't do the starter kit), and that'll add up to $1.50 to the cost. Or you could clean an old one out and use that - you're paying for product, not for packaging.

If you get the starter kit, which includes tablespoons of your base color, Ivory, a jar, and a scoop to measure:
Original formula: $1.50/g
Medium and vegan formulas: $1.20/g
Heavy formula: $1.03/g

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Used it! dry shampoo, blush, cream

I used three more things!

1. Tresemme dry shampoo. Full size. Buying this was a mistake. I used it up out of stubbornness. I keep wanting a way to freshen up my hair between washes (I wash it about every three to four days - no, I am not dirty, I shower every day), and the answer keeps being scalp wash, which is harder than dry shampoo. For reference, my hair is about hip length. I have a lot of it. The roots always get dirty before the length does, and my bangs get stringy. The one good thing about this stuff is that it brings the life back to my bangs. But so does baby powder, which is cheaper and doesn't smell like rotting oranges crossed with bathroom air freshener. Is Batiste any good, or should I just give up already?

2. Sample packet of DHC acerola cream. I'm not sure if this did anything special. I have no impression of this product, really, which is not a good sign.

3. Sassy Minerals Signature blush. I did like this; it is a very natural color even on my pale skin. It's probably impossible to overdo this one. It's a pale, dusky pink. Usually my blush style is something a little more showy, though. I would not buy this again, but only because it isn't my style.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Makeup crafts! Journal into palette

I wanted a palette so I could consolidate a bunch of makeup into one thing. I did not want to pay the kind of money that could get me a high-end item I really want on packaging. So I was wandering around CVS and I saw this:

Bingo! I took it home, and proceeded to cut the middle out of all the pages. You want to keep a piece of cardboard under the pages as you do this, or else you will gouge out the back cover.

Then, I used a piece of my cardboard (Trader Joe's Oyster Crackers - Yum!) to make a shallow "dish" that fit in the hole where the insides of the pages were. Then, I glued the pages together.

After that, I used the front inside cover page (the purple page) of the journal to cover the cardboard.

Then, I covered the bottom of the palette in promotional magnets.

Here is the result:

I'm pretty happy with it. It took an entire evening, but I was in the sort of foul mood that can only be resolved by a crafts project. It worked.


So, I had two makeup-related shipping mishaps in the same day, and I'm not pleased.

First, I swapped for a Korres green eyeliner pencil on Makeup Alley, and it arrived packaged in a paper envelope that had been torn. The pencil itself arrived in three pieces. So now I have a pencil I can't really use - and I swapped for an intact one.

Second, I made a small order from Pink Quartz Minerals on etsy, and somehow the address got changed (I discovered this upon closer inspection of the shipping notification email - the correct address I'd provided morphed into one that was incorrect. I spent an hour on hold with the post office only to be told it had been returned to sender earlier today. Really, makeup sellers, is it THAT HARD to cross-check that Paypal printed out the same address that you typed into it?

Argh. I was looking forward to playing with a new eye pencil and some new shadows today.

Used it! spray conditioner, SN moisturizer, Hourglass primer sample

I used up a full-size product and two more samples!

A while ago, I bought Garnier Triple Nutrition leave-in spray because I liked the conditioner in the line. I wanted to see if there was something else that could replace my Organix coconut milk serum. I used all of this up, and it was ok, but I still like the Organix better. This is a good choice if you have fine hair that tangles easily and prefer a spray.

I also found a sample packet of Hourglass mineral primer, which I liked a lot better than the Smashbox, but am still not convinced actually does anything. It's a white cream that rubs in clear, and it has some SPF.

Then, I also used up a sample of Silk Naturals jojoba moisturizer. I like this better than the firming one, but it still smells odd to me.

Out of all of these, no clear winners.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Used it! Primer and soap

I used two more things!

1. Smashbox Photo Finish primer sample. I really don't understand what the big deal is with this. I'm not sure it made my foundation (I was using it under Lucy Light foundation) look any different - just added an extra step to my routine.

2. Cozy Moments sugar scrub cube sample. Maybe this would work better in cube form than in sample sliver form, but I couldn't get it to lather on a bath poof or a washcloth, so the only way to use it was to hold it to my body with my hands - and it kept falling out. Actually, I didn't so much use this up as lose the last shards to the shower drain. Which begs the question - how are you supposed to finish the cube?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Used it! Soap and shadow

Used up two more things!

1. Kiss My Face Sudz pink soap bar trial size. I used this trial size every day for a month. You would get a lot of bang for your soap buck with this. It foams up on the poof nicely, smells great, but is a little bit drying. I tend to be lazy with lotion, so drying soaps are not good for me.

2. Morgana Minerals eyeshadow sample - Bubblegum Frosting. It's a bright, sparkly pink. I think it's a little too red for me, so I probably won't buy again, but it is really pretty. It also brought out the blue in my eyes, which was nice, but from a distance it looked like I'd somehow burned my eyelids. So probably not getting this again, but it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Even the dudes want in on the fun!

Ladies and gents, hide the concealer from your mister!

Introducing Project Use It!

Many of you have probably heard of things like Project 10 pan, where a makeup-a-holic attempts to hit pan on 10 things before buying anything else.

I am also trying to use stuff up. I have way more of everything than I need, so I'm going through all my tiny samples and some of my full-size items systematically. At the moment, I'm going through small sizes of foundation, powder, blush, sample eyeshadow baggies, and moisturizers. I am also currently unemployed as I struggle to finish my damn master's thesis, so buying new stuff is probably unwise. (Though I am going to make an exception for Silk Naturals, I think.)

As I finish things, I'll post about it here and tell you what I thought of the item I finished. I'll keep a log of things I liked enough to maybe buy again someday.

So far, I've used up this stuff:

VO5 Extra Body conditioner. For a cheapie, this actually did a pretty good job of conditioning my long, wavy, thick but fine hair. It also works well as a conditioner-only washing conditioner, but only if followed by an acidic rinse. I might buy this again sometime - I mostly used it because DBF bought it to try and didn't like it.

Aubrey Organics Calaguala Fern Treatment shampoo. I bought this bottle a year ago when I was struggling with some flakies (probably caused by the really hard water at the old apartment). This stuff does not smell pretty. At all. It's also brown, which looks pretty gross. It doesn't bother my scalp, but it also seems to overstrip my hair and cause it to get greasy sooner rather than later. I will probably not buy this again.

Sample size Sassy Minerals Warm Light foundation. I'm pretty sure I reviewed this before when I had another sample size. After using it for several days in a row, I determined that it is ok, but not HG material.

Sample size adorned with Grace Heavenly rice powder. This, I liked. The only reason I wouldn't buy it again is because I have a huge ziploc baggie of rice powder, so I could make my own similar product fairly easily.

Sample size adorned with Grace Merciful apricot concealer. Meh. I keep hoping for something that will erase undereye circles, but I have not yet found it. This is not it, either.

Sample size of Silk Naturals extra light peach cream concealer. Meh. I like the texture, but think I might need the darker color.

Sample packed of Korres Fig body milk. Like the texture a lot. Do not like the scent. My skin is soft but kind of yucky smelling.

Sample size Silk Naturals firming moisturizer. I did not like the way this smelled, and didn't notice any firming, either - unless that's what that tight feeling was.

Newer updates should be shorter as I use up even more stuff.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wonder what's in that stuff?

Proctor and Gamble will tell you if you know where to look.

Pretty nifty.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buy the stuff I don't use, please!

Email me at emilys dot livejournal at gmail dot com if you're interested in any of this. I have paypal

Prices include shipping, and I'll likely cut you a deal if you buy a lot of stuff.

Mario Badescu seaweed soap. 80-90% full. $10
Evian nourishing facial lotion. 90% full $10
Sheer Cover new, sealed bisque foundation with kabuki $10
Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Bronzer. Used twice. $8
Morgana Minerals Vegan Lipstick - Azalea Blue. 90% remaining. $7.50
Almay Pure Blends loose shimmer powder. Used only a few times. $5
Gabriel Color lipliner - nutmeg. $4
Silk Naturals GWP Eyeshadows: swatched, used once or twice: 9:59, Bubbly. $2/each
Coppertone faces spf 30 60% $2

*** I do not get email notifications if you comment on this - if you want to buy something, EMAIL ME!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hey readers!

I'm still here, still going makeup crazy. I've been very busy in real life recently - what with moving, visiting my family for a long weekend, and also putting in a lot of hours with a temp job that's over now :(

Since my last informative post, I've still been into minerals, and I've branched out into some high-end stuff * cough * Tarte * cough

I've made a couple Aromaleigh orders to try to get my hands on my favorites from my sample collection and try my hands at some random colors (morphing moon turns out to be a near-exact match for my eyes!). Some fortuitous swaps have gotten me some of the finishing powders, which I'm really excited about using (bust sad, too, because once it's gone, there's no more!)

Also, Tarte's friends and family sale plus some more fortuitous swapping has allowed me to amass a nice collection of cheek stains, and they are my new favorite product. Natural Beauty, Blissful, and Blushing Bride are the nicest colors of the group, though I haven't been disappointed with the others.

Right now, I'm looking for work again, so except for a Silk Naturals order, there will be nothing new not from a swap or amazingly discounted at the drugstore for a while.

I'm also using stuff up as systematically as possible, because I have way too many samples of stuff lying around, and it's cluttering up my storage.

Speaking of storage - my new apartment allows for a much nicer makeup storage system than the old one. So yay!

I have not forgotten you. Oh, did I mention I've only had functional Internet for a week? Eesh!

Cool contest over at Blix's

Win some eyeshadow
If you are very lucky
you will glitter

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blog sale! (Buy the stuff I don't use anymore, please!)

See updated entry 8/30


I need to find the cord to upload pics from my camera, but I decided I'd swatch all my eyeliners and take a webcam pic of them to give everyone a general idea.

At the bottom (the larger swatches), I have the Physicians Formula gel liners. The bottom row is the green eyes collection, and the second-to-bottom row is the blue eyes collection. These are great for getting close to the lashline, and they stay put when I use them on my upper lashline, but they smudge on the lower lashline.

Above the black PF liners, I have Milani Liquifeyes in Silver, Korres Soft Liner in White, and Milani Minerals liners in Black and Brown. Except for the Silver, which is more like Urban Decay 24/7 liners, they're good for a good, sharp line, and the white is good for waterlining (which I almost never do). The silver liner is also nice for the waterline, and it's super shiny!

On the upper right, the three liners there are all Milini Infinite liquid liners. They're the only thing that will stay on my lower lashline, but they definitely need an oil-based remover to get off.

Below the liquid liners are my two UD heavy metal glitter liners - Stagedive and Distortion. I have fun with these, but don't feel the need for more. Distortion seems to lighten whatever I have under it, which is kind of fun.

Most of pencils swatched in the middle column are UD 24/7 liners. From top to bottom: Covet, Mildew, Flipside, Golden Korres liner, Electric, and Lucky. I love these for a quick liner-plus-mascara look. I have zero, too, but I'm hoping to swap it away because the thicker pencil goes on too thick for my taste.

Eyeliner is so much fun! What's your favorite?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aromaleigh is gone. :(

I'm a loyal person. If I like you and you treat me well, I hold on to you and defend you with everything I have. If I like a business, I keep shopping there. If they treat me well if there's a problem, I spread the word and love them even more.

That kind of thinking kept me in the thrall of Everyday Minerals for far too long, buying more of a substandard product than I could humanly use and ignoring all the warning signs that they were starting to fail their customers. That loyalty prevented me from really reaching out and trying other companies for far too long - until December, when I started this blog and sampling from lots of places in order to find my new favorites.

Aromaleigh has been consistently among the top four (along with Silk Naturals, Fyrinnae, and adorned with Grace Minerals), and I have ordered from them many times and thoroughly enjoyed each order. When I had my one and only customer service problem with them, they more than made it up to me (I still really enjoy the extra goodies!).

To see a company hacked to pieces by vicious bitches on the Internet who stoop to personal attacks against a company's owner for no particularly good reason makes me doubt the good in people. Maybe if I weren't hoping to start my own company someday, I wouldn't be taking this news with such a heavy heart - I can't imagine putting myself out there, as Kristen did, only to be torn to shreds later by some of the most vindictive people I've seen on the Internet.

I am very sad today, trying to figure how the best combination of stuff to buy from her on my soon-to-be-stopping paycheck so that I don't end up without some things I'd wanted forever.

Hopefully Miss K can take some time to regroup and grace us with her sparkle again in the future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Foundation Review! Wet 'n Wild Mineral Foundation

How does cheap drugstore "mineral makeup" stack up to the stuff you buy online? I recently bought some Wet 'n Wild Naturals mineral foundation in Fair to try out.

A. Color matching.
3. Sort of matches. Even the fair color is too dark. My face looked darker than I'm used to. Maybe this would be useful as a contour powder...

B. Coverage.
2. Barely covers blemishes. For how opaquely dark my face looked, zits and stuff were pretty visible, still.

C. Adhesion/durability.
2. Lasts most of the day, but becomes patchy or rubs off easily. Streaks on my forehead! Ew!

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
2. Does not control oil. I got shiny. I think this is due to the fact that this product is mostly mica, filler, and colorants. There's no zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide is listed as a "may contain." Also, there are parabens and other ickies. I'm not sure why a dry powder needs a preservative, much less two.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
3. Beautiful presentation. So this is where I got suckered into buying this. There's a jar that screws onto a compartment that holds a mini buki brush. I instantly hated the brush and gave it away, but my EDM baby buki fits in the spot well. This makes it very travel-friendly.

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect. It was about five bucks. It's also only a 10g jar, as opposed to the more standard 25 or 30 you get with online companies. So the unit price is comparable.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service - not applicable. No point.

Total: 17 out of 30. If you buy this, know that you are getting a pretty jar full of ugly powder you'll want to throw away.

Reviews of other companies with pics coming soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reviews and hauls to come!

I've been going a little crazy with shopping lately, probably in reaction to the drought while I was unemployed. I got some new Urban Decay stuff, made a small Aromaleigh order with the sale they just had, a small Fyrinnae order because I was out of velvet gel primer, a Silk Naturals order (mostly for skincare and lip stuff), and today I took advantage of the adorned with Grace blog special to get some stuff I'd been wanting.

I'll probably take photos soon, then wait and do a review a week with them.

What would you like to know about what I ordered?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Earthen Glow Minerals Mineral Mousse, revisited

I need to revisit Earthen Glow's mineral mousse. Even thought it got really high marks the first time I reviewed it, my opinions have changed, and for the worse. The biggest changes are to the durability and packaging categories, and I'm pretty disappointed.

A. Color matching.
5. I can't even tell where the line is! I ordered Lora, which is "Light warm," after being warned that their fair shades were for the truly ghostlike, and on consultation with them via email. I also took a gamble and ordered a full size, so I could take advantage of the 30% off sale, and I'm glad I did because it does match very well.

B. Coverage.
4. Significantly reduces contrast between normal skin and blemishes/scar. Covers all but the worst of the red marks and the darkest part of my surgical scar.

C. Adhesion/durability.
2. This has been becoming much more patchy than it used to get, and with the increase in humidity has been sinking into the creases by my nose worse than it used to.

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
3. This is not controlling oil as well as it used to.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
1. I used to be really enthused about the packaging, until I used up half the product and couldn't get any more out of the airless pump. At all. Today, I had to resort to cutting the base of the pump off and pushing up on the inner base with my fingers in order to get any out. Not surprisingly, a whole bunch squirted out, so now I have a messy bottle that can't stand up and that has jagged edges on the bottom. Not cool.

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service. 1 point.
Company does not have good customer service, or service is unrated - 0 points. Customer service at Earthen Glow is slow, unpredictable at best, and at times contradictory. I am not pleased with my experience and will not be shopping there again.

Total: 20/30. This stuff is ok. I don't love it or anything anymore, and at this point I'm only using it because I have it and I want it gone.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'm still here!!! Some general thoughts.

Hi everyone! I'm not dead or anything, I've just taken on a job with the Census that is pretty time-and-energy consuming, and is also not the sort of job I can do with a computer on in the background. But I'm still around, still playing with and acquiring (and swapping away) tons of makeup.

Anyway, this is mostly some thoughts spurred by a discussion over at the forums about which company "won" most of Everyday Minerals business when they took several turns for the worse. A lot of us were super loyal to EDM and didn't buy really anything elsewhere (well, I tried Fyrinnae before I stopped buying EDM). Now, instead of being loyal to any one company, I'm spreading my makeup money out. I'm also finding different companies to be good for different stuff.

I've tried stuff from Silk Naturals, Meow, Aromaleigh, adorned with Grace, Earthen Glow, Morgana, Sassy, Lovely Android, Physicians Formula, and Urban Decay. I was already a Fyrinnae customer before I quit EDM. I've made more than one order from SN, Aromaleigh, awG, and Urban Decay. I've also acquired a bunch of PF in swaps and at the store. I plan to make another Morgana order because I need Watermelon lipstick in full size.

Places that get/will get lots of my business:
Fyrinnae - best value for eyeshadows, and I love Fluff and the velvet gel silica primer (which I use as mattifying lotion when I don't want to wear foundation).

SN is good for their vegan lip stuff and skin care (and I like some of their loose stuff, too. Sonic eyeshadow is a staple now.)

Aromaleigh has a lot of good eyeshadows, and I like the Gothic Lolita shimmers, too - but their foundation didn't work for me. Also, the owner is kind of nuts, but her husband is super sweet.

adorned with Grace has really nice foundation and blush, and free shipping in the US! I like their stuff, but don't feel compelled to collect it.

Morgana has fun vegan lipstick, and fun vegan lip stuff is super important to me.

Physicians Formula has a few really good things and a few really crappy ones. The stuff I like, I really like. The stuff I don't, I just want to to get rid of.

Urban Decay could get dangerous, but I'm trying to keep it in pencil territory.

I also like Gabriel Color for lip stuff and mascara.

Places I don't plan on buying from again (except maybe for one product I really like)
Meow, I wasn't overly impressed with their foundations, and it's more cost effective for me to order other stuff elsewhere.

Earthen Glow treated me pretty badly with CS, and one of the two products I ordered was unusable. I don't plan to order again.

Sassy - I will probably order Gasoline Rainbow in full size, but after that I am done. Too much bismuth makes me itchy, and I wish they had a way to search for only bismuth-free stuff. Also, I didn't like the foundation much.

Lovely Android's Pinkpocalyse blush is amazing. They have one other color I'd like to try, but they don't do samples yet, I don't think.

Places I haven't tried but would like to:
Sobe Botanicals - I'm intrigued by the lip stuff, mostly.
Sugarpill - a newish company with fun pressed stuff. More expensive than I usually go for, so I'll have to wait on this for a bit.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review - Sassy Minerals foundation.

I've been testing out some samples I got of Sassy Minerals foundation recently. Warm Light seems to be my best match with them. Let 's see how it held up!

A. Color matching.
5. I can't even tell where the line is! Very happy with that aspect.

B. Coverage.
3. Covers blemishes and makes scar less noticeable. Sheerer than I'd hoped.

C. Adhesion/durability.
3. Gets me through an eight-hour day - after that, my face looked patchy and cakey. Not good.

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
3. Does ok until lunch. After lunch, there was some dryness around my mouth and my forehead was oily to the touch.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
3. Beautiful presentation. Sample jar came with a seal, so no spilling!

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service. 1 point. Haven't tested it out yet, but they were very gracious about my two sample jar order.

Total: 23/30. Good product, but wasn't the best for me - I didn't like how it wore later in the day. Would be nice for an evening out or an afternoon event, but not great for full-day wear.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sephora Pure palette

I've been doing a lot of swapping lately, on Makeup Alley and on the smaller, mineral-focused forums I also frequent. It's a good way to pass things I don't like so much on to someone else who might use them more and also to try new things without spending a lot of money, which is good because substitute teaching does not really pay so well.

One of the best things I've gotten is the Sephora Pure palette in Wanderlust. It has six eye shadows and a blush. The colors are pretty much perfect for me - neutral browns with a pearly, but not too shimmery, finish, a bright blue, a bright green, and a dark blue. The blush is also nice, but I'm going to have to use it with a duo fiber brush because my EcoTools blush brush applied way too much. The blush is matte, which I like.

Hope you are all enjoying life! Things have been looking up around here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

EOTD - Aromaleigh Spring Solstice purples

I used:
Bellflower - inner lid
Ondberry - outer lid
Lupine - above the crease

I really like all the purples except Lupine, which is a bit too cool for me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

EOTD - adorned with Grace fall 09 colors

This is why I wanted Enthralling so much: I did this look with some sample packets I got in my first order from Franchesca.

Products used:
Fyrinnae shadow primer
awG Enthralling - inner lid
awG Remarkable - outer lid
awG Enigmatic - crease
Milani Infinite Eyes liner - Forever
Gabriel Color mascara

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review - Physicians Formula HealthyWear powder foundation

I am serious about sun protection. You would be too, after having had a skin cancer cut out of your face at 26. I never go outside in the daytime without proper protection. I usually use an SPF 50 spray sunblock (CVS brand, full-spectrum) on my neck and body, or sometimes Neutrogena sensitive SPF 30, which I don't like as much because it makes me even paler. For my face, I've been using MyChelle Sun Shield, which is a silicone-free, fragrance-free, physical blocker only SPF 28 product, and generally top it with mineral makeup. I've heard great things about Neutrogena's Helioplex compound, but avobenzone is degraded by titanium dioxide, which is in all my makeup.

Sometimes, though, a cream sunblock isn't what I want, and sometimes, I just want my face SPF to match my body SPF. So I was really excited by the new HealthyWear line from Physicians Formula - a pressed powder foundation in SPF 50! It combines chemical and physical blockers, so it'll last awhile. How is it, as a foundation?

A. Color Matching
4. Close, but not quite. My face looks slighty pinker than usual with this on. I'm using translucent light.

B. Coverage.
3. Covers blemishes. For a sheer coverage product, it mostly evens out skin tone and covers smaller spots. Does nothing for the scar, but that's faded a lot and nobody but me really notices it.

C. Adhesion/durability.
3. Gets me through an eight-hour day. Doesn't rub off too easily, but it does settle in the creases by my nose.

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
4. By mid-afternoon, some oil spots have broken out or some areas look dryer than normal. This does that think where my face looks a little shiny, but not oily - but if you touch it? Slimy.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
2. Functional packaging. It comes in a plastic compact with a pink sponge in the lower compartment and the product on a tray above that, with a mirror in the lid. The compact is hot pink and orange. Orange is not my favorite color. However, as others have stated, you will not lose this in your purse. The product pan on mine also isn't glued into the compact very well, and I'm going to have to fix it soon. Also - I emailed them to ask about the sponge - it's latex-free.

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect. Roughly $15.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service. 1 point. Yup! They have slow, but reliable, service.

Total: 20/30. If this matched my skin better, I'd be all over it. This is not for those days I want to look flawless, but it's amazing for when I want to go running and not have sweaty sunblock dripping into my eyes. As a sunblock in pressed powder form, I really like it. As a foundation, it does ok. I've used better. It's the easiest to use foundation I have, and would be great for travel. I have mixed feelings about the sponge - it feels a little rough. I think I like how the product applies with a baby buki better.

Would I buy it again? Probably, if for no other reason than it will help me avoid needing to have more skin cancers cut out of my face. A powder sunblock is great for hot, summery weather - all liquid sunblocks make my face sweat in the summer. I like how well this performs when I run, and can see it being useful for other outdoor activity in warm weather. And, it looks alright for when I'm pressed for time and don't want to have to tap out and brush on loose powder foundations.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Recently, I made two of the world's tiniest makeup orders ever. Like, seriously tiny.

I wanted to double check my foundation shade at adorned with Grace, pick up some clearance eyeshadow, and try out their new Merciful color corrector in Apricot.

Franchesca threw in samples of Merciful corrector in yellow and pink, too! The eyeshadow, Enthralling, was a free sample in my last order. I didn't have much in the way of yellow, so I snapped up five sample baggies for 1.63 - when decanted into a 3g jar, you end up with slightly more than a Fyrinnae sample.

I also wanted to find out what all the fuss about Sassy Minerals, a new player to the game, was about. So I ordered Warm Fair foundation and a sample of Gasoline Rainbow eyeshadow. They threw in samples of Warm Light foundation and Apparition eyeshadow. Good thing, too, because Warm Light is a much better match for me, and Apparition is pretty nice. Haul pictured below with two Fyrinnae colors that looked similar.

As you can see, Gasoline Rainbow and Fyrinnae Immortality are pretty similar - GR has more brightly colored shimmer, and I think I like it better. Apparition, on the other hand, is a very different beast from Fyrinnae Equality. Apparition looks lavender in some light, is more metallic than sparkly, and doesn't have Equality's rainbow shimmer. They are both really nice colors, though I have to quit with the gray shades, because they're not the best on me (but I love them anyway!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Liners!

So you all know how I got the blue eyes cream liners in return for some tinted moisturizers. I have another good story about how I got the green eyes ones!

I shop at CVS a lot - I like that I can return things that I buy there if I don't like them, and I like the savings you can get with the card.

I had five Extra Bucks burning a hole in my pocket. I wanted something new! So, I wandered over to the PF display, and saw the green liners I wanted so much. Now, getting those for half price would normally be good enough - but then I saw the new BambooWear compact. It also earned the buyer five Extra Bucks. AND it had a try me free rebate sticker!

So, I went up the register, bought the compact with my debit card, tore off the new Extra Bucks coupon, went back to the display, got the liners, and handed over the two coupons plus $1.41, and left the store with both products. I am good at the deals!

Here are all the jars open, so you can compare the colors.

I also did new swatch photos - these are all done with a Q-tip, so they aren't as precise as you'd get from the brush, but they do give a good idea about the color. The blue eyes ones are on the right, the green eyes ones on the left. All the colors are different! Even the black colors have different color sparkles - notice how the green eyes one has green shimmer, and the blue eyes one has blue shimmer?

I am probably not going to get the other colors, because I'd just end up with slightly different shades of purple and brown - but if they came out with new colors and included a white liner, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Have I mentioned that these are my favorite liners ever? I only wish they'd stay a little better on the lower lashline.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Aromaleigh mini-haul swatch pics!

As promised earlier today - pics!!

I got some Gothic Lolita eye samples, and requested HiFi mattes as my freebies.

I also got the entire Spring Solstice 2009 collection in samples. Love!!! :)

Sadly, I either forgot to take or deleted my swatches of this from the camera. :( They are lovely, though. Take my word for it.

Then today, in resolution of a customer service issue, I got all of this, plus a full size lookinforakiss shadow (not pictured). I had only asked for one of the Nocture Lite and the Gothic Lolita shimmers. This is people who want their customers to be happy!!!


Aromaleigh mini-haul, parts one and two (text only, sorry)

In February, I decided to use a gift code that my awesome boyfriend got me for Christmas. Nea (Fashioned in Finland) had raved about Aromaleigh's Spring Solstice eyeshadow collection, and it was on sale! So I picked out a complete sample set, and a few Gothic Lolita collection shades, knowing that with the discount, the gift card would cover it exactly. Unfortunately, with Aromaleigh's new sale system, it's impossible to use both a gift code and a coupon code at the same time. I emailed Steve (Mr. Miss K), and he said that he wouldn't charge my card for the extra $5.

Somehow, my card ended up getting charged. So I emailed back, and Steve told me that he'd tried to refund the card, but it had expired (D'oh!). So he offered me the chance to pick out $5 worth of stuff, and he'd send it to me.

I picked out samples of the Gothic Lolita shimmers in the apricot and blue colors, and a sample of Nocturne Lite treatment powder.

I got:
1. The shimmers (amazing!)
2. TWO sample of the Nocturne Lite (saving these for when it'll be possible to order a full size if I like it).
3. Five Bete Noire samples.
4. A FULL SIZE Rocks! Sonic lookinforakiss.
5. And - a whole pile of lip balm samples. I can't use these (stupid beeswax allergy), but I'm hoping a swap partner loves them, especially since Aromaleigh is discontinuing all of their lip products.

I'm VERY impressed by the customer service experience. When I have disposable income again, I will TOTALLY give Aromaleigh more money.

Swatch pics coming!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Hey all!
I've been a bit lazy on the makeup blogging front lately, but I still have stuff to say!

Coming up soon:
Pictures of a bunch of tiny makeup hauls, a full review of Physicians Formula stuff, some EOTDs, three more foundation reviews, and reviews of the two mascaras I own - I wrote a rubric about it, anyway! Sadly, I can't order more mascara to try anytime real soon, but I can talk about the stuff I already have.

Oh, and I got the green eyes Physician Formula gel liners! So swatches of those coming up, too.

Awesome forum!

I just joined this (relatively new) makeup forum, and wanted to let you all know about it.

It combines two of my favorite things - makeup and a sense of humor! If you're into those things, I highly suggest checking it out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Physican's Formula Shimmer Strips Cream Liner - Blue Eyes

I recently acquired the new Shimmer Strips Cream Liner for Blue Eyes from Physician's Formula - Here are some swatch pictures!

The set comes with three liners in cube-shaped jars that snap together like Legos. There's a matte blue purple shade, a pearly brown, and a black with blue shimmers in it. I was not really excited about the black, as I usually avoid it in favor of brown, but the blue shimmer makes it a lot softer and more interesting. You also get a liner brush with the kit.

I've tried all of them, and I really like them so far. The brush they come with works pretty well, and the product itself stays where I put it for the most part, and shows up nice and crisp. There isn't a lot of product in the individual jars, but I don't really mind that - you don't need a whole lot of it, and I might actually use something this small up.

I like these a lot - I might save up for the green eyes one after I get another job. I'm hoping that the sparkles in the black match the intended eye color, because that would be awesome - having a bunch of identical black liners isn't the neatest thing in the world.

Only problem is that you really need an oil-based remover or cleanser to get these things off, and they have a tendency to stain.

Friday, February 19, 2010

EOTD - over the rainbow

I was inspired by two videos to do this look, the tutorial below I saw on YouTube, and the eyeliner videos Blix posted to her blog (

Here it is: you can see that I went a little heavier on the green and blue and less heavy on the red than the original.

Products used:
Fyrinnae Shadow Primer all over lid and under lashline
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy all over lid and under lashline
TKB Trading Pops Micas (I've mixed mine with a bit of Fyrinnae Oil Control Powder for better adhesion)
-tangerine on inner third
-lemon drop on middle third
-green apple on outer third
-blueberry on outer V and under outer lower lashline
-grape in outer corner (just a little) and on middle lower lashline
-raspberry on inner lower lashline
-strawberry on inner crease
Silk Naturals Sonic to highlight
Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips for Blue Eyes liner - the black one
Gabriel Color Mascara in Black Brown - upper lashes only

Normally, I use two or three colors, not eight! But it was fun!