Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smoky look - with glasses!

Lots of Urban Decay Zero, blended out with Urban Decay Shag. For this, I used my E.L.F. eyelash curler before my mascara, which is lashblast by CoverGirl. My lashes curl a little naturally, so I almost never curl them if I'm wearing my contacts. On glasses days, I do curl my lashes if I'm also wearing mascara because it bends the lashes away from my glasses lenses and helps avoid those streaks that can mess up my vision. Lips - Milani Lip Flash crayon in 03

Friday, June 29, 2012

First Ever Try at a Half-Moon Manicure

  Here's more evidence of practice using sticky things to make a two-tone manicure! This time, I used the round stickers designed to show garage sale prices to block off part of my nail for a half-moon effect.

I'm still having trouble getting the stickies to adhere all the way to the edge of the nail, so I'm still getting some bleeding. But this an improvement, I think!

 Purple is Julep Morgan. Gray is Julep Annette. In a few weeks, I'll be letting you know what I think of the Julep Maven program.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Evil Shades Wyvern vs. Zombie

From a while ago:

Evil Shades Wyvern on inner part of lids, Evil Shades Eplefe on outer part of lids, Evil Shades Zombie in outer V and crease. Wyvern vs. Zombie. SyFy - are you listening?

Look at me! I'm making a face! I think I'm wearing Evil Shades Primrose Path lipstick here.

Taking good pictures of myself is hard.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Purple French Manicure

This is a beginner's attempt at a French manicure using those little white paper stickies as a guide. The darker color is OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI? and the lighter color is Essie She's Picture Perfect. Aside from some bleeding near the edges, it's not too bad. I definitely need more practice! 

Tips appreciated. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Current Skincare "Routine"

So, I have this thing with acne, and have since I got a huge zit in the middle of my chin right before fifth-grade graduation. When I was a teenager, it was as if the zit monster had attacked the entirety of my face with pretty much every kind of comedone, pustule, nodule, and pimple you can find in a dermatology textbook. I still struggle sometimes with hormonal jawline acne, but the rest of my face (ok, most of my face, the bumps happen right under the jaw usually) is pretty much clear. But finally, I think it's going to get better, and I've seen some major improvement over the past few weeks.

What am I doing?
[sometimes I use a mask before this - the AcneFree sulfur one's not bad - and being on summer break isn't either!]
1. Rinse face and apply thin layer of Anthony Logistics for Men Glycolic Cleanser (for various reasons, I opted for the men's b-day gift at Sephora this year). Let cleanser sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
2. Either tone (I'm almost done with the Alba Botanica Hawaiian one) or further exfoliate with First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads
3. Use a light moisturizer - I'm ramping up the power with a sample I got of Philosophy's Booster C powder. I like a non-oily product for this. Right now I'm using up some samples.
4. Apply sunblock. Again, not a consistent product, as I'm using a lot and testing these out lately.

[If I used a lot of makeup that day, I'll precleanse with my self-made cleansing oil]
1. Cleanse face with CeraVe foaming cleanser and facial brush (non-fancy manual one)
2. Tone if I feel like it.
3. Use Silk Naturals Super Serum - this has niacinamide and other vitamins that are supposed to be good for skin in it. Don't use this and acids at the same time unless you want a red face.
4. Use Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion - I got a deluxe sample of this free from Sephora - will find out when I run out how crucial this is to the process!
5. Depending on how dry my skin is after all this, either a teensy squirt of 365 facial moisturizer (Whole Foods' knockoff of Cetaphil lotion), a drop of Lucy Minerals Ambrosia Serum, or both mixed together.

Now, I'm not sure which of any of these products is doing the heavy lifting here, but I'm thinking it's probably the exfoliation provided by the AHAs in the morning cleanser or the FAB pads and the Super Serum. I'll have to update every so often

There was some ugly purging, but now I only have a small handful of cysts, and most of the "undergrounders" have surfaced, exploded, and started to heal over. I also have a lot of redness in the affected areas, so the evening rigmarole is intended to help with healing. We'll see.

Disclaimer: I'm no expert! Just a crazy lady with problem skin and an Internet connection.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This is Silk Naturals shadow in 4Matic, which I got as a sample baggie free with an order a while back. I mentioned it in my May Used It post a few days ago, and wanted to elaborate my thoughts on this color.

It's from the Fall 2011 collection, and it's described as a "light champagne color with just a hint of green." I like it. It definitely needs a primer to pop - it's very sheer without one. Here, I'm wearing it over Silk Naturals Stick'Em primer. It has sparkle and sheen, and I thought it worked really nicely. I'd buy it if I didn't already own a truckload of neutrals.

A lot of SN's colors are unique enough that I don't feel the need to combine them with other shades into looks - so all I did here was a winged brown liner (if you must know, Tarte's Aqua-gel brown eyeliner and Physicians Formula Eye Booster™ 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Felt-Tip Eyeliner + Serum, also in brown). Honestly, any liquid liner you like and get precise results with would work here. I could have saved myself a lot of time by skipping the Tarte. I think I'm wearing CoverGirl LashBlast mascara here, but I could be very wrong about that.

Anyway, this is something easy you can do for work or a casual around-town sort of day. You could easily ramp it up a notch for evening with either a darker color in the crease or a colored liner above the brown.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Salvaged Manicure in Blues

So I had a good thing going a few weeks ago with China Glaze's For Audrey (the lightest blue seen above). It's truly a beautiful color, and I'll definitely use it again. And then I used my fingernails to remove a bajillion staples from my bulletin boards at school. I expect absolutely no nail color to last through that - when I got home the tips were chipped, cracked, and awful looking. Incidentally, if anyone knows where to get the awesome staple removers designed for bulletin boards, let me know!!!

Enter a Q-tip dipped in enough nail polish remover to smooth out the chipped edges, a fresh coat of base coat, and butter LONDON's Slapper applied in a funky design from mid-nail up to the free edge. I'm looking pretty good!

I must've gotten cocky or overconfident or something, because after some mildly aggressive cleaning without any gloves on, I had chips again. Q-tips, nail polish remover, base coat, repeat.

So I repeated the pattern with some Revlon ColorStay Midnight, and some Zoya Indigo.  Because enough wasn't enough, I threw on a coat of a Wet'nWild glitter polish before my topcoat.

What do you think of my layers? Great salvage, or unmitigated disaster? I am so very, very new at nail art.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Back! Let's Look at May's Empties

Hi! I'm back. I went on a trip to visit my family and the out-laws out of state, and I've just been busy/apathetic.

Also, I got a new iPad (yay birthday money!!!) about six weeks ago, and I spend a lot of time on that now. I'd blog more on that, but then there's the photo issue. I'd use my real computer more frequently, but the battery won't hold a charge or take a charge unless it's been run down to zero power, so my laptop is now a desktop. That makes me do a lot less leisurely blogging from my sofa.

So, what did I use up in May? Let's take a look!

Benefit Stay Don't Stray primer sample (not pictured). Can I say for a minute how much I hate packaging liquid products like this? I get one wear out of them on the liquidy-ness level I'd get out of a full size, then they start to get dry and crusty. I think this worked ok. But I'm totally not sure and can't say if I'd buy more.

Giovanni Frizz Be Gone serum* (not pictured) This serum is ok at helping prevent tangles, but it's not magic, and I don't think the fruity floral smell is a good thing. I was hoping for something more neutral. 

Giovanni Wellness Conditioner* This product claims to use a fusion of Western science and traditional Chinese remedies for a conditioner that nourishes hair from the root. I picked it up at Target because it was on sale for two bucks and change. After using the entire bottle, I can say that this stuff smells strange, makes your scalp tingle, and softens hair without providing any additional slip. Also, I think that the peppermint oil in it is doing the tingly action, not the botanicals.

Kiss My Face Rough Seas body scrub*
This product was more fun than paying the same amount of money to ship a new blow dryer to me from due to not buying enough to get free shipping. It wasn't so fun that I'd repurchase. The jojoba beads didn't quite scrub off dead skin like I'd hoped.

L'Óreal Smooth Souffle foundation* I didn't so much use this up as give up on it. But oh boy, did I try. It worked ok when it was new, but within a couple weeks, it started pilling up on my face midday. Application methods did not make a difference, and neither did mixing it with powder.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Pebbles* This was another instance of "I give up!" While it wasn't as bad as the smooth souffle foundation, it also didn't mattify, correct skintone irregularities, cover, or really do anything except make me shiny. I pass. However, the container it came in will make a nice travel swirly dish.

Silk Naturals 4Matic eye shadow sample (not pictured). This is a really pretty taupe, and I might buy it if I didn't already have a million taupes (slight exaggeration).

Silk Naturals Oatmeal Serum* This is a solid product, and it was the second one I'd used up. It's thin, absorbs nicely, smells calming, and seems to reduce redness. If you have no major skin issues and just want a little light water-based hydration, then you should buy this. You should also buy this if you have a tendency to hurt your skin with too-harsh treatments.

Tarte pink lip gloss mini (the one that came with the ULTAmate kit - not pictured). I keep getting these as parts of kits. They keep not wowing me. I'll keep not buying full size ones.

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Pads* You should buy these if you like your face to burn and your eyes to water. If you don't like those things, then you should stay away from both these and the Desert Essence product they're a knockoff of.

May's tally: 10 products used up, 7 of them full size!

Have you tried any of these things? Same or different opinion?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Temporary break

Taking a break for a bit. Lots more mid-June. Say hi in the comments!