Archive for the ‘ Article ’ Category

Makeup Awesomeness, x2.

There are certain things in my stash that pair up so wonderfully that I decided to make a series of posts to share this with you guys.  It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, wine and cheese or pizza and beer..these things are nice on their own but once you’ve had them combined it becomes hard to go back.

First up I have something that I can thank for making my skin look really great.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer plus Coastal Scents Baby Buki

 

I got these things without the intent to review them because there were already so many thorough reviews floating around. This is the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer and the Coastal Scents Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki  Brush.

 

I picked up Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer after reading lots of positive things about it and I’m thrilled that I did.  It’s more like a sheer foundation than any tinted moisturizer I’ve used before. I used to use Tinted Moisturizer to add an extra level of coverage under my foundation but it never did much aside from keeping my skin looking dewy. Now I use this after a light application of Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Creme. My skin is oily so I don’t need much moisturizer underneath this and luckily this isn’t too moisturizing to get along with my skin. I then dust some mineral foundation over everything and I’m good to go. I was experimenting with different application methods (fingers, paddle style foundation brush) until I got my Coastal Scents brushes in the mail.

I ordered the Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki from Coastal Scents thinking it would be a good way to apply concealer under my eyes and to apply mineral foundation around my eyes, nose and mouth because of it’s (teensy) size. It’s about the size of my thumb! I used it to apply the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer on a whim and I fell in love with how well it applied and made my skin look. I have to be careful with how I apply things because I have combination skin that tends to get very oily but the parts that are dry get flaky as well. If I just rub foundation or whatever on my skin without care it will emphasize dryness and look flaky (even with exfoliating.) The combination of this little brush and this tinted moisturizer makes my skin look healthy and glowing while covering most of what I want under wraps. I’ll add undereye concealer and a little mineral foundation over it to set and finish and it’ll look fantastic! Now that I’ve used them together I can’t imagine putting the Tinted Moisturizer on any other way and I want backups of this brush- Luckily it’s not expensive!

If you’re skin is anything like mine then I highly recommend trying these two together.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, $42  at Sephora

Coastal Scents Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki $5.95  at Coastal Scents Website

 

Goth Makeup Tutorials and looks

I have some posts in the works but I wanted to share something in the meantime. I love online makeup tutorials- they are fun to try to re-create or use as a jumping  off point or inspiration. I’m going to share some of my favorites and I think I’d like to make this a regular thing.  They are both single tutorials and links to YouTube channels. I’m posting  the channels when there’s enough tutorials that fit into one category and I can’t choose a favorite.

morgueabsolue @ Blogspot.com

All of these looks are perfect inspiration for goth makeup ideas as well as for anyone who likes bold, dramatic makeup looks! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. If you find one you like and you don’t have the makeup or tools used in the video & want suggestions for alternatives then feel free to ask me, I may be able to help. Remember, if you can’t recreate them for whatever reason you can still learn a lot about placement, blending, color combination and so on. I’ve learned a lot from watching Makeup vids- My eye makeup always used to look the same even with different colors because I’d put shadows in the same place and make the same shape. I learned some new tricks from these types of vids and now I like my makeup much better. It’s always different because I’m trying new things!

*Try shadows from Sugarpill, Bloody Mary, Manic Panic for the bright matte color.

I’d love to hear what you think of the idea of  tutorial link posts that follow a theme. I want to do a volume 2 of these and then some other themes, like daytime looks, short hair styles, etc.   I have a backlog of things to review and my biggest problem right now is getting good pictures with the crappy light lately. I got some good advice on daylight bulbs from a blogger that i really admire so I’m picking one out and I think that’ll help a lot with winter swatch sessions- Yay!!

Speculation-Cowboy Junkie Set from Urban Decay

Why haven’t I seen this written about all over the place yet?

It seems like whenever Urban Decay puts out any new palette it gets hyped up like crazy.  I just happened to come across this after randomly going on UD’s website.

Here’s the description taken from the site-Cowboy Junkie Set: Midnight Cowboy (pink champagne w/ lots of silver glitter), Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (golden beige w/ bronze, gold & silver glitter), Midnight Cowgirl (subtle golden-beige w/ gold glitter), Romp (deep silvery grape), Lip Junkie Lip Gloss: Midnight Cowboy (sheer nude sparkle), 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil: Whiskey (dark brown).

Midnight Cowboy was one of the first non-drugstore eyeshadows I purchased. It was after I saw Jessica Alba for the first time on the cover of Jane magazine wearing Midnight Cowboy and looking awesome. I loved how it looked like little disco-balls on her lids. I knew I had to have it. Fast-Forward to 2010 and us Urban Decay fans are a bit jaded as Midnight Cowboy’s latest incarnation- Midnight Cowboy Rides Again has been in nearly every palette they release and we are frustrated by the glittery-fallout mess it makes when applied.However, Midnight Cowboy somehow remains one of their best-sellers and now we have a palette with three versions of Midnight Cowboy in one place.

Now that they made a palette with all three of them in one place maybe they will stop putting them in all the other palettes. Maybe this was a way to neatly solve that problem. Bloggers and beauty junkies alike complained all over the net about the prevalence of this shade in palettes, just as they complained about the primer potion’s genie-style bottle and Urban Decay listened to us then. The Primer Potion is now available in a squeeze tube. So maybe this is their way of answering us on the Midnight Cowboy Issue.

This palette is $38  @ UD’s website.

Drugstore Buying Guide-Skincare, Hair & Makeup!

Our local French Quarter Walgreens

Before I started reading reviews of makeup, skin and haircare I found the choices at the drugstore overwhelming. I buy both high-end name brand items as well as drugstore items but I used to only shop at the drugstore for stuff. Part of the reason why I started liking Sephora better is because you are more likely to find quality items whereas I found my drugstore makeup shopping was so often hit or miss. I was wasting money on stuff I couldn’t try first that ended up not working out. The cost and the inconvenience was adding up.  I just happen to have tried a lot of different brands as well as read a metric ton of reviews so I have some tips to share.

I’ll start with something I would have never tried if it weren’t for the great reviews on beauty blogs- Wet N Wild makeup!  I remember WnW as being play make-up, something for kids and teens more than something I would want to buy and use but they have undergone quite the brand makeover. Like most drugstore brands not everything will be great but the standouts of the line are the Color Icon shadows & palettes, their natural face powders & their blush especially the Color Icon Blush. They are one of the least expensive lines in the drugstore.

The best lipsticks I’ve found at the drugstore are L’oreal Color Riche Lipstick, Revlon Color Burst, Revlon Super Lusterous, Covergirl Queen Collection and Maybelline Moisture extreme. They all have good color payoff, are non-drying and come in an array of colors and finishes.

As far as lipgloss goes, Revlon seems to nail it with every line. They offer many types of glosses and so far I haven’t found one I don’t like. The only complaint I have is with their Color Stay Mineral Lip Glaze only because it has a light plastic smell and taste-some shades are worse than others. If you are looking for a sheer gloss to just add a bit of shine to your lipstick without overpowering it, CG wetslicks are great and inexpensive. Milani makes a nice sparkly gloss called 3d Glitzy Glamour Gloss (silly name, great gloss!) L’oreal Infallible 16hr gloss is great too. It doesn’t last 16 hours (what does??) but the colors are true and it has decent staying power.

Just a broad hint to those looking for bright colors at the drugstore. I have seen some that look bright and enticing but you get them home and it’s so disappointing (Cover Girl,Jane!) but one little thing- try eye shadow from lines aimed at women with darker complexions. Usually they are more pigmented in order to show up properly. There’s usually a wider selection of dark colors in the lipsticks too!

As an overall decent brand, Milani scores high on my list. They have lots of fun edgy colors. Their eyeliners are all amazing- I use them regularly and their Liquif-Eye pencils actually rival Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners. Their shadows go on a bit sheer, but so far that’s my only complaint. Check them out next time you crave a makeup fix!

Eye Liners & Mascara- I am never disappointed by L’Oreal’s liquid eye liner or mascara. They offer the blackest blacks and some great formulas but you will be paying the price. I don’t like to spend much on drugstore makeup when for $5 more I can get something from M.A.C but L’oreal’s Liner Intense liquid liner in Carbon Black is one of the best liquid liners I’ve ever used. They make a mean mascara as well.  Cover Girl Lash Blast, the original in the fat orange tube is a good mascara you can swipe on quickly that won’t make your lashes spidery and won’t clump or over-deposit product. Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara is decent but you need to be careful when applying- wipe the brush off and get any extra mascara off before swiping it on. I always brush my lashes after using this too but then it looks great! Rimmel makes good mascaras, lip liners,  and their moisture renew lipstick line is good. Cover Girl liquid last liner pencils are another Urban Decay 24/7 rival- they are creamy and smudgeable and once they set they stay put.

I will flat out tell you I do not love any drugstore foundation. Foundation is one of the most important things you put on your face and it’s what people notice when they look at you. I think the cheaper stuff works best if you have normal skin, no problems and a nice complexion minus things you’d want to cover. Then you could probably use anything but the fact is, many of us have some skin woe. If you have dry skin then not using a primer and wearing whatever costs $6 at Rite-Aid is going to highlight your flaws, look flakey, cakey and just not right. You can’t try before you buy and you’re usually paying at least half of what a decent foundation would cost  anyway. I cannot stress enough how “worth it” a good foundation is. I understand we can’t all afford it though so if you are buying drugstore one of the safest bets is Revlon. Both their Color Stay and Photo Ready formulas are pretty good. They are even better with primer underneath. If those two are good then they probably make others that are decent but I don’t have personal experience with them. L’oreal True Match has the most extensive choice of color but their liquid foundation looked horrible on me. It aged my skin and the coverage wasn’t to my liking either. Their powder is great though. It’s not cheap but it’s possible to get it on sale or with a coupon.

Things to avoid- Maybelline Blushes, the darker shades of Rimmel’s moisture renew lipsticks, Jordana lip liners, Cover Girl Cheekers blush, Covergirl single shadows, Covergirl foundation. I find a lot of Cover Girl and Maybelline lacking in quality.

Neutrogena, Almay and Physician’s formula make nice natural makeup for people with sensitive skin. Physician’s formula gel eye liners are worth picking up. Almay loose powder is fab.

~Skincare~

I usually purchase my skincare items from the drugstore. I’m such a color addict that I hate spending gobs of money on a cleanser from Sephora- I’d rather buy a bright shadow and get my cleanser for $5 at Walgreen’s which is silly because the better you take care of your skin the better makeup will look. Anyhow I have engaged in much trial and error in this area. I have found that one brand that never steers me wrong is Garnier. Their Moisture Renew line is amazing- You’ve heard me rave about their gel cream moisturizer but their cleansing foam rocks too. I will skip ahead a bit here and say that they are great for hair products as well. Their shampoos, conditioners and styling products all come closer to achieving what they claim to do than any others that I have tried.

Makeup remover is not something I think you need to spend a lot of money on. I have a bottle of Lancome Bi-Facil that I love for taking off waterproof or heavy eye makeup and I even use it to clean my eye brushes sometimes but I use a noname brand for regular everyday light makeup removal. Wal-Mart’s Equate brand facial cleansing cloths come in these double packages which last a long time if used daily and work great for a quick clean-up or to get light makeup off before properly washing your face. Wipes like that are great for after workouts!

I already wrote about the ingredients to look for when buying skincare products for acne or combination skin. I don’t think the brand matters so much as the ingredients in the products as for what you need specifically for your type of skin. If you need something with 2% Salicylic Acid there are about 15 different products from different brands where that is the main ingredient, so I have no opinion on brands when it comes to that stuff.

~Hair!~

I already mentioned the greatness of Garnier. If Garnier doesn’t have what you need, Tresemme or Tigi probably do. I am a huge fan of Tresemme styling products such as their shine spray, heat protector, curl creme and hairsprays. Tigi (the Bed Head people) make some great stuff but it’s a little pricey. You can find some TiGi dupes in the Got2B line. Got2B has some spray products that are great when you need big, and I mean BIG hair. If you were, say, wanting “scene” hair you would reach for Got2B glued freeze spray in the big yellow can. They do some hair-friendly glue type stuff for punky spikes and such. I remember guys I knew using actual glue in their hair- luckily, you can buy stuff for that now that’s much better for your hair than Elmer’s.

So, how about you? Do you shop drugstore cosmetics?  Any finds or fails you can share?

I have some lots of swatches and reviews coming up! Lots of indie companies including DreamWorld, Meow and Evil Shades! Fyrinnae too  ;D

Shopping Venemous Villains, Swatches, Thoughts

I had the opportunity to attend a launch party at MAC for the Venemous Villains collection. This is the collection inspired by Disney Villains and grouped in four mini-collections for each character.  The Villains they chose are Cruella De Vil, Dr. Facilier, The Evil Queen and Maleficent. I love the idea of this collection because it’s fun, it’s a little different and I think it’s well suited to anyone who loves a good dose of drama and darkness!

Now, I have a confession to make. I am actually pretty  new to all things MAC. I used to think they were too expensive but I’ve done a lot of experimenting with makeup and I have come to believe that you get what you pay for and I’d rather go for quality over quantity in building my makeup collection. Plus, they aren’t nearly as expensive as many other popular makeup companies. Their lipsticks average only $5 more than Drugstore lipsticks! Would you rather pay $9 for a lipstick that you can’t even open to look at, that may have a funky scent/taste  or that doesn’t last long on your lips or pay $14.50 for guaranteed quality, something you can swatch and try on in-store and that you know will be worth it?    /endrant.

I spent some time looking over swatches of this collection on Temptalia and Spektra and had pretty much made up my mind on my most-wanted items which turned out to be a good thing because the night of the event the place was mobbed and I wasn’t able to get my paws on the actual pieces. The MAC at Lakeside mall is a very small place- probably the size of our living room! Even though it was invite-only it was too crowded. They had a small area just outside the door roped off with people posing for pictures in front of giant cutouts of the characters and trying on costume pieces after having their makeup done. Inside they were circulating cupcakes, finger foods and champagne. My boyfriend ( who was dragged along last-minute b/c my friend had to work)  informed me the cupcakes were extremely yummy. They handed you a list at the door with the collection on it and you could mark down which items you wanted and hand it to the sales gals. I ended up doing that quite shortly after getting there, paying for my stuff and heading out as small, crowded spots are not something I enjoy!  I picked up Hot House lipglass ( which I’ve wanted for awhile!) French Quarter greasepaint stick and Vainglorious Eyeshadow. Thanks to the online swatches I knew what I was getting but unfortunately I ended up with one little disppointment anyhow. Vainglorious e/s looks amazing in the pot but loses it’s color and finish when swatched.

This is the swatch to show you Vainglorious. They are left to right- Hot House, French Quarter Greasepaint stick and Vainglorious Eye Shadow, all outside in sunlight just to show the color best but not the finish. Vainglorious came out looking terrible in these swatches and more brown than burgundy however it doesn’t look as nice when swatched as it does in the pan. It’s looks quite different to me and not nearly as pretty as I thought it would be :/

LtoR- Hot House Lipglass, French Quarter Greasepaint Stick &Vainglorious Eyeshadow.Now, this shows how gorgeous Hot House and French Quarter really look! Aren’t they amazing?  I have never used either product in any color before so I was curious and now impressed. The lipglass is sparkly, it’s a nice color that offers the coverage of a lipstick  but can be put on lightly for a flattering, Shimmery Raspberry color. It really sticks to lips so I think it would stay on for awhile. The Greasepaint stick would work as a liner, a smoky eye, a cut crease or a base for other shadows. Vainglorious will be good for a smoky eye too, I think. I plan to try it over primer and hope that helps. Even though it’s a little disappointing it’s still unlike any shadow I own so I will find a use for it.

The collection will be available at MAC starting Thursday, Sept. 30th.  I recommend checking it out. If you do, please  tell me what you got or what caught your eye!

Fall’s Most Goth-Friendly Beauty Trends

I don’t think I looked forward to fall quite as much before I moved to Louisiana. Instead of it meaning that snow will be falling eventually, it now means that I when I put effort into my appearance that it isn’t all for naught. No matter the amount of priming and prepping I undertake, August in New Orleans will make me sweat it all off! It gets to the point where it’s just NOT worth fussing with. So, I’ve been spending more time than is probably healthy daydreaming of what makeup looks I will play with once the weather makes it possible. Luckily, fall trends are  kind to us black-clad citizens, much kinder than summer. I personally start to lose hope after wading through a whole season’s worth of bronzers and pastels and just when I’m ready to give up, here come vampy lip colors and dark nail varnishes and I feel like it’s a breath of fresh, stylish air has come to me! Luckily, there’s lots of things to get excited about in the beauty-sphere this season.

Not that the red lip has ever gone out of style but this fall it’s truly everywhere. There are some really amazing new spins on it though!  Check out Kat Von D’s Painted love lipstick inAdora a sexy metallic shade of red.  If you’ve never rocked red or you tried it out but think it looked weird, try these tips; If you are super pale, or blond, or you know that your complexion is cool-toned, try a blue-based red. If you know you look washed-out easily, try a warmer red and avoid brown undertone.  If you have deep brown hair, try more of a tangerine hue. If you’re a redhead or think it’s all too much for you, try a red gloss. If you’re still feeling shy, try a sheer tinted balm such as HIP’s jelly balm.

Purple!  The latest Sephora catalog came with a gorgeous cover-model wearing loads of it. Purple shadow, liner, mascara, blush and the most striking deep purple metallic lipcolor.  Not many people can pull of such an abundance of  the same color though, even when it’s as divine as purple is! I suggest trying a purple lipstick, especially if you’re brunette. If you have small lips or dark colors don’t look good on them try a metallic or dark purple liner on your upper lids. Dark Purple toned blushes look best on darker skin unless they are light and shimmery, then it’s flattering across the board. Try a smoky eye in shades of purple for something that’s simply pretty. One of the most striking purple eye looks I’ve seen was in a mainstream fashion mag. The model had on a grayish-lavender shimmery shadow with a little dark purple in the creases and gray liner. She had blue eyes and pale skin and it all just looked so ethereal.

Rocker-chic  inspired makeup palettes, nail polishes, etc. are popping up all over the place. This can only be good for those of us who tend towards rocking out 365/yr, right?  Urban Decay is coming out with the “Black Palette” , six blackened shades for your glam-ness. Sinful Colors nail polish (available at Walgreens) has come out with a collection of black-based shades that make your usual black polish look positively boring. Sephora also has a rocker themed collection of nail polishes currently.

I’ve noticed all kinds of  interesting  eye liners popping up as well. Mac’s new Superslick liquid liners look amazing! I have yet to get my paws on any but swatches abound on the nettubes. Make Up For Ever released a new set of their aqua eyes liners in metallic shades. Urban Decay’s cult 24/7 liner pencils are now available in a set that retails for $39 and includes a full-size Zero (black) liner that costs almost half that price on it’s own. One trick i like to use with the 24/7 liners is when I’m real short on time I will use a little black on my upper lash line and then smudge one of these in a fun color on my lower lash line-fast and foolproof way to get a pop of color!

The most important reason yet to wish for fall, beyond mere colors of makeup or the insanely high temperature in NOLA, I know is…..boots. Heeled, high, sexy, BOOTS! What I am lusting after in particular is a non-hooker-ish, supple over the knee-version. I can’t find the image I have in my mind that I saw some-freakin-place but it’s of a pair with a low heel that are slouchy and flair up, ending just above the knee. I will find them.  😉

Deliciously Dark Makeup To Be Excited About!

I see that a lot of people reach my blog through search terms like “Goth Cosmetics.”  For all you gothic-ly inclined there are definitely some things to get excited about in the realm of makeup.  Between a killer sale, a new darkly delicious makeup collection and some tweaking of fall makeup trends, there’s lots to make our black hearts get all a-flutter!

First off, thank you to Muse for posting about this wonderful steal! All the Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes except the newest one, “Adora”,  are on sale. They were well worth the original price tag (IMO) of $36 but they are now $24.  If you don’t know of the KatVonD palettes, then this is a great way to get introduced! If you notice makeup then you’ve probably noticed how she is always rocking some seriously fierce eye makeup. The palettes can easily let you replicate her type of eye makeup but they are pretty versatile with lighter & brighter colors amongst all the dark and mysterious shades. The shadows are smooth and apply easily, they are super pigmented & true to color and because so many of the shades are dark and meant for smoky looks they are perfect for goth makeup looks.  Use the code V436CB upon checking out to increase the discount and bring the price down even further to $21.60. These palettes are available exclusively at Sephora.

The  limited edition collection being released September 30th from M.A.C is based on various villains from Disney tales. Is your dark little heart going pitter-patter yet?  The collection is broken up into mini-collections consisting of eye, lip, and face colors inspired by that particular character. The characters featured are Cruella De Vil, the Evil Queen from Snow White, Maleficent, and Dr. Facilier. I’ve been foaming at the mouth for this collection to come out. There are already pictures and swatches of the collection available online on sites such as Temptalia < and I can’t wait to get my greedy little paws on it! I may have something special to share concerning this collection but I won’t know until the week before it’s out.

There’s a lot of interesting looking releases and some fall makeup trends that I want to talk about but that’s for the other half of this post -coming soon!