Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nails of the moment: contrast

Now that fall is coming, I wanted to do something resembling the striking contrast between bright fall leaves and dark clouds. I found a bright gold and a matte gray by SpaRitual at Marshall's, and this is what I came up with:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I've been swatching since middle school!

Found the inside of this box lid while cleaning. Apparently, I've been swatching nail polish since middle school. I like how I was trying out all the mixtures I could.

Did your cosmetics love start so early?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog sale!

Hi! I am finding myself in need of cash and extra space, so I'm selling all this good stuff! I hope it goes to someone who loves it better than I do! As always, make me an offer. Shipping is actual cost.

Physicians Formula stuff:
1. seasons bronzer - light. Used twice. $5
2. youthful wear powder - light. Used twice. $5
3. cashmere wear blush - natural. very light use. $4
4. mineral wear blush - natural. very light use. $4
5. mineral wear airbrushing powder - translucent light. use as shown. $3

Revlon stuff
1. colorstay foundation. ivory. used up to the top of the word Revlon. $4
2. colorstay whipped foundation

Stila Daydream palette. Extremely light use. Some scratches on case. $7

Urban Decay stuff:
1. Greed UDPP - 85% $9
2. Sin UDPP - 85% $9
3. Shadow pencils - use as shown. $3/each
4. liners - flipside $5; lust $8
Korres gold liner - $6

Pixi illuminator - $7
ELF studio blush and bronzer - $1.50
theBalm Bahama Mama bronzer - $7
Revlon Photoready palette - $3

Benefit they're real mini mascara; tarte lash primer mini; lancome hypnose mascara mini - all new and untouched. $3/each

theBalm tutti frutti plump my pucker - new, sealed - $7
sally hansen gloss, nectar, new, sealed - $4
juelp daylight defense lip balm. new. $2
yes to carrots lip butter, new. $2
shea moisture vanilla hibiscus lip balm, new, sealed, $2
revlon just biten kissable stains in rendevous, romantic. never twisted up. $3/each
milani lip flash. use as shown. $2
elf cream eyeshadow, $1.50
new and unused fantasy makers red lipstick mini. 50 cents.
elf ripe raisin mineral lipstick. 80%. $1

all Essie polishes $4 each.

opi tangerine - $4
china glaze holo - $4
china glaze glitter from halloween collection - $4
china glaze blue neon - $4
zoya manhattan mixer - $4
zoya dierdre - $4

all these polishes (madison nail company top and base coats, neon green and citrine sinful colors polishes, sally hansen HD polish, matte purple one), dollar each.

lot of brushes - $11 - PENDING

Maybelline Color Tattoo - too cool - claimed
Maybelline Color Tattoo - bronze color. Est. 95% left. $4.50
Physicians Formula felt tip brown eyeliner. New in box. $6

 fragrance samples and 1 oz philosphy amazing grace body wash and lotion. whole lot $8.

Everything in this last picture is free with purchase.

Friday, April 26, 2013

New makeup brush setup

Organized eye brushes!!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Retro daytime look

I forget exactly what I used for this - but I know that Makeup Geek eyeshadows were involved, Urban Decay Mildew liner, and Morgana Cryptoria Wild Strawberry lipstick over a red Milani lipliner.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sephora + Pantone Universe first impressions

I went to Sephora today to get an in-person look at the new(ish) Color of the Year collection from Sephora + Pantone Universe. This year's color is Emerald, or, green. I love green! Here's a photo of the swatches I took in the best light I could find - the sun filtering through clouds in the parking lot:

Let's look at the left: from my pinkie knuckle down to the green lines is one of the shadow trios. I like the green, and the white is ok. I think the blurple would make me look like I'd gotten in real good with some fists. If the blurple took up the tiny corner and the matte green took up all the space that the blurple does, then I would buy this. Because the biggest color is make-me-look-like-I-like-barfights-blurple, I will probably pass.

Next to that is the most neutral of the three trios. There's a shimmery beige, a matte tan, and a shimmery green. I like this one. It's basic with a pop of color. It's my second favorite. 

The third trio is the one I like the most: it's got an antiqued gold, a forest green shimmer, and another emerald color. This is a green smoky eye in a box. I am a sucker for those dark greens, and I love it. This is the one I'm most likely to buy. 

The green lines are a collection of liquid liners that are all somewhat different from each other. I like two of them (the ones on the right), but a **** ton of one color liner isn't my cup of tea. I would have rather they concentrated on one or two really good colors and sold them individually. 

The large green splotches are two of their cream products. The lid stain (in the little pot) has beeswax, so I'm not even swatching that. The larger green swatch is a cream shadow that comes in a small compact. I like this. It has really nice pigmentation and some subtle shimmer. To the right of that swatch, I tried out the glitter. The glitter has no base to it, so you need to use it on top of a cream shadow. Even then, it fades. The smaller green dot is the jumbo waterproof pencil. Also quite nice. 

There are a lot of other things with this collection that look pretty interesting, too. They have a blush that looks pretty idiot-proof and is nice and neutral. There's a brush set in a fancy case. The brushes themselves are really nice, but the case (except for the decorative panel on the front) is cheap cardboard. I also like the large makeup case.

What do you think about Emerald?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

February Empties

Studio 35 Beauty Acetone: works great, cheap, effective. I usually mix in some glycerin and water. I think Sally's has even cheaper acetone, though.

Softsoap Juicy Apple body wash. Good if you like dry, itchy skin and bright pink bubbles. I mixed this with a minty body wash and liked it more that way.

Butter London Hardwear topcoat: The first half of this bottle worked pretty well. The second half got thick and required lots of thinner. Even then, it left brittle strings trailing from my nails to the bottle. An $18 topcoat should not do that.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads: These are Holy Grail for me. I tried a cheaper alternative and the jawline acne started to come back. I'll continue with what works, thanks. Now, I'm on my third jar of these.

E.L.F. nail polish remover pads. I still have one more of these sitting unopened. Now that they're two bucks instead of one, I won't be buying more.

L'Óreal miracle blur finishing cream sample - I liked this enough to buy a full size, but I'm starting to question why. I need to work with it some more.

Repechage samples: I actually really liked the mask. Maybe not quite enough to pay full price, but it did seem to decongest and brighten somewhat. The scrub was so-so. I have definitely tried others I liked a lot better.

Random lotion samples: Meh. I am glad they're out of the house!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

No buy progress

This year for Lent, I decided to stop buying anything related to beauty. No makeup, no hair stuff, no skincare, no nothing. I have enough of everything to last me a while, and I wanted to see if I could quit buying stuff I didn't really need and make myself more aware of my purchases. See, I've bought too many things that just didn't work out, or I haven't ended up using as much as I thought I would.

(incidentally, I have a very lightly used UD Vice Palette for sale - $39+ shipping)

So, I really wanted to commit to a longer no-buy than the month-long ones I've done in the past, which often included exceptions for a category or two. Nothing but nail polish? Guess what I got a lot of that month. So far, I have stuck to my guns and not bought anything since Ash Wednesday, which was on February 12 this year. I did get two nail polishes as a gift for Valentine's Day, and I did get my March Julep Maven box because I'd accumulated enough points to get that for free. But I will not use actual money to purchase any product intended to beautify my body until April 1, at the earliest.

I am hoping to get a better idea of what kinds of products I genuinely love, so I can make better choices about future purchases. A lot of beauty blogs seem focused on buying the newest, greatest thing (which is awesome), but I want Emily's Makeup Box to focus more on color combinations and look ideas for different situations. For now, forcing myself to think about why I want to buy things is helping clear my head and focus more on other areas of my life. My thesis defense is finally scheduled for the end of this month, I have seven more months to plan my wedding, and I want to be more focused on starting this next, exciting phase of my life than on tracking down the newest palette.

Anyone else on a no buy right now?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Adventure Time!

Hot Topic has been selling Adventure Time themed nail polishes, which combine my interest in beauty products with my appreciation of their namesake TV show. I bought myself the princess duo, and Future Mr. Emily bought me the Finn and Jake duo for Valentine's Day.

For those not in the know, Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is an excellent cartoon show on Cartoon Network. It features Finn, a human boy in early adolescence, and his talking dog Jake. They live in a magical post-apocalyptic world and go out on errands and journeys because of teenage boredom, an urgent request from Princess Bubblegum, or an emergency caused by a dastardly villain.

This manicure is a polka- dotted fauxnad. On my thumbs, I put Finn dots over three coats of Jake. On the other fingers, it's Jake dots on three coats of Finn.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January '13 Empties

Here's what got used up this month. Some of these are good products, which I enjoyed using even if I wouldn't buy them again, and the rest were more miss than hit.
1. Giovanni 2chic body wash - Brazilian Keratin and Argan. This is good stuff to have around in the winter, and I liked it ok. I might buy it again, but I haven't really found any body washes that I really love. This is why I have five of them in my shower right now and still want more. Back to this stuff: mild, somewhat nutty scent, little exfoliating grains, good foam, creamy feel. Not bad, but on the more expensive side of the body wash spectrum.

2. Tarte Smooth Operator tinted moisturizer - Agent 00. Yes, I really used up a full-size foundation product! I'm kind of moving away from tinted moisturizers in favor of more traditional foundations. Since I used up the whole damn thing, I'm pretty qualified to say how it worked for me. As a replacement for foundation, this product failed for me. It started to slide around on my face (which gets oily) fairly quickly. So I decided to sub it in for both foundation and moisturizer. Used that way, it worked a lot better for me. Since it's the dead of winter, I'm not exposed to as much UV radiation, and the SPF 20 seems sufficient. I also got better coverage when it wasn't being diluted by other products already on my face. 

3. Salma Hayek Nuance Firm and Smooth Serum. This is a great moisturizing product, but I didn't feel like it had that much other benefit. 

4. Salma Hayek Nuance brow pencil - blonde. A little hard for my taste, but otherwise a good product.

5. Cover Girl LashBlast Length mascara. Note to self: in future only buy orange tube and green tube. Definitely no to future buys of purple tube, red tube, or yellow tube.

6. Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara. I honestly noticed no difference between this formula and the older Lights, Camera, Lashes one. They both give me great volume and length, they both smudge a bit under my eye, and they both dry out and get clumpy way sooner than a mascara that costs this much should.

7. Wet'N'Wild Mega Plump mascara sample. Ok, so I didn't really use this so much as it dried up waiting to be tested. I think that's enough said.

8. Lush Cupcake Fresh Mask face mask sample. I think I liked this, but it wasn't amazing enough to repurchase. There's a floral scent there that I don't think adds anything. I'd rather the natural ingredients be allowed to shine more.

9. Korres Quercetin and Oak primer sample. I really like this, as a moisturizer. It doesn't seem to make a huge difference with makeup longevity, and it doesn't have sun protection, so it occupies that niche of evening makeup, for something so fancy you redo your whole face.

10. E.L.F. wipes. I love wipes but hate paying for the convenience of them, so I was hoping these'd be good. They're not. They leave behind a grimy feel and they smell like floral lotion on dirty feet.

11. Pantene Age Expert shampoo and conditioner samples. You might like this if you like drugstore products and a silicone party in each bottle. I got these for free from Walgreens, so I used them.

12. Garnier Fall Flight shampoo and conditioner samples. Ditto.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ulta haul

So, I went to Ulta today to see what I could find worthy of the 20% off coupon. I got this:

BareMinerals Ready Remix The Wild Thing, OPI liquid sand nail polish in Get Your Number, Physicians Formula Bronze Boost Goddess Glow shimmer powder, and some vanilla scented polish remover pads.

Shadow swatches. Top left: pale oyster with strong light green duochrome. Top right: satin chartreuse with some sparkle. Bottom left: greened gold brown. Bottom right: the ocean on a stormy day.
Shimmer swatch - it's a diffuse, coppery shimmer with medium small flecks

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Caviar Manicure 1st Time

I've admired caviar manis for a few months now. So, when I saw the beads at the dollar store, I snapped them up. I used a Clinique polish I've had forever as the base.

I don't think I'm a fan. There's a lot you have to do to get this right, and this'll probably be very short-lived. 

1. You have to clean up the edges of your base color really well before you add the beads. 
2. Then, I use a clear coat as the "glue." 
3. The minute you touch it, the beads will start falling off. I'm kind of worried they'll be all over my bedding by morning. 

The only place I can see this working is a special event. One with plenty of time to get ready first. I'll probably do this a few more times until I'm out of beads, but I won't be seeking them out again. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Makeup Ponder No. 1

Is this my wedding eyeshadow?

Check out Vampy Varnish's scoop on the new Urban Decay Oz themed palettes. I think I need the Glinda one for my wedding. What do you think?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blue Frankenmani

Here's the best shots I could get of a blue green Frankenpolish I made.