Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in “Candid” Review, Swatches

I had a major “Oohh, sparkly” moment last week browsing in Sephora  when I saw this  gloss called “Candid” from Smashbox.  I remember liking their gloss formula very much but for some reason don’t have a single one in my stash, so I happily threw it in my little cart/box thing (Does anyone ever clean those things?!?, btw?)

The formula turned out to be awesome and exactly what I like in a gloss. Lipgloss, like most makeup is a personal preference sort-of-thing. I prefer smooth and non-sticky. This gloss is on the thinner side but not so thin that it slides around. It’s not at all sticky, it doesn’t have any unpleasant smell or taste (no noticeable taste at all) and it has average lasting time. ( It will transfer onto cups and such but lasted about 2 hours on me and I smoke)

Unfortunately, this will not be the lipgloss love of my life. I guess I like color too much. As pretty as this shade is, it does not show up enough for me. It provides a hint of color and noticeable shimmer, which is a really nice effect but it’s not my cup of tea. If you love natural lip looks and low-maintenance lip colors (this won’t be so noticeable as it fades) you might love this. It’d be perfect over darker lip colors or on it’s own with heavy eye or face makeup. I guess I just don’t love colors this sheer.

The Black Paragraph

If you like bold colors, lots of pigment and statement making makeup, this gloss isn’t for you. If you need something you can swipe on and look nice without needing a mirror or something in the morning, then check it out. If you want to add dimension to a very dark, matte color this would be really nice. I’m imagining it over black or dark matte red or wine. Pretty, no?

How pretty is this color!? "Candid" Lip Enhancing Gloss by Smashbox

3 swipes on my wrist. "Candid" Lip Enhancing Gloss; Smashbox

Bare Lips (in bad shape, I apologize)

Candid Lip Enhancing Gloss; Smashbox

Candid Lip Enhancing Gloss is available at Sephora $18.00

(P.S- I called this gloss by three different incorrect names in this one post. I shouldn’t write when I’m so tired, lol!) (PPS..Photo Formatting is all messed up. Sorry for white space)


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


Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil “Rehab”-Swatches

I just got a hold of the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow pencil, “Rehab.” The 24/7 shadow pencils are new in Urban Decay’s Spring 2011 collection.  I wanted to get swatches up asap so this isn’t a review as I haven’t worn it yet. I already know that I want more of them though! I’m excited about these- anything to make getting ready easier and faster!

R-"Rehab" swiped once, L-Rehab lightly colored in

Top-"Rehab" swiped once & smudged,R-Swiped once, L-Lightly colored in

























The shadow sticks are very pigmented. It doesn’t take any work to get true, vibrant color. The swatches set very fast and stayed put and I mean they really, really stayed put! These things feel bulletproof. I can’t wait to see how they stand up to my oily lids. I also plan to do some comparisons between these and NYX Jumbo sticks but I can tell you now that NYX jumbo sticks are more “sticky” feeling than these. The only thing I’m worried about is sharpening this. It’s similar to the 24/7 liners in that the outside is a little thick but since these are bigger, the outside is a little thicker as well. I’ll update with how that went once I’m forced to sharpen..which i don’t look forward to because it looks all pretty and new 😉

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils are currently available at ($20.)

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 @

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!!

The Balm Shady Lady Vol.2 Palette-Favorite things Pt.1

I’ve decided to write some posts about my favorite, most-reached-for products. If I’ve already reviewed any of them I’ll just post a little update.

First up is my most favorite daytime palette of shadows, The Balm Shady Lady Palette Vol. 2.

I had never heard of this brand prior to purchasing this. I was in Sephora to buy the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Palette but they happened to sell out. I was wandering around and this caught my eye as it had some shades that were similar to the ones that I wanted most from the Too Faced Palette.

I got the palette home, had a play and I had a good impression of it but I just didn’t end up using it and it sat untouched for a few months. I’ve recently been holding back on buying new eyeshadow until I’ve really dug in to the ones I have already so it was this palettes turn to see the light of day once again. The first time I used it, I was in a huge rush and used the champagne shimmer shade (Mischievous Martha) all over the lid with the deep brown w/bronze sparkle shade in the crease and outer V. (Caught in the Act Courtney) Before I applied the shadows I made a thick line with a black kohl pencil on my upper lid and smoked it up.  That’s become my “in a HUGE rush” eye makeup lately!

I’ve found that all of the colors except the lightest highlight shades look amazing on their own or in combination with each other. The color selection of this palette is a little more toned-down than the shades that usually catch my eye but once I started playing with them I realized that they reminded me of Urban Decay shades minus the chunky glitter, such as the two shades I mentioned above. “Caught in the act Courtney” reminds me of Urban Decay’s Twice Baked (one of my fave UD shadows) except the glitter is smaller, more bronze than gold and “Mischievous Martha” is like Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy minus the chunky glitter. It’s possible that it’s close to Stila’s “Kitten” and other such shades but I don’t own those so I can’t say for sure. I didn’t think such an unassuming color could look so amazing when worn! Mischievous Martha practically glows on my lid. It looks so luminous and flattering. You could use this palette with the lighter shades on your lid and the deeper ones as liners or crease colors (some of the colors are marked as shadow/liner) or you could use the deeper colors on the lid or create smoky eyes with the lighter colors as highlights.(some are marked shadow/highlight) This is a versatile palette. There’s no applicators included which doesn’t bother me but if you don’t own a single brush that could be a problem. I use a thin angled soft brush to apply these and it works a treat.

Insane Jane, Just this once Jamie,Devilish Danielle,Feisty Felicia,Makeout Mary,Tempting Tara,Caught in the act Courtney,Bossy Bobby, Mischevious Martha

I really appreciate the texture of the shadows as well. They are silky, rather thin feeling (as opposed to Too Faced which can feel thick) easily blendable and layerable. The glitter shades don’t feel gritty and are not over- the- top glittery either. The glitter shades all seem to be the same formula and they are the tiniest bit powdery compared to the shimmer shades formula. The shimmery shades glide on like silk, whereas the glittery shades seem to have a matte base which means they require more work to blend but it’s honestly not that noticeable. The shades marked highlight are more sheer than those marked “shadow” and “liner” which only makes sense. In the swatch pics I had a hard time getting the highlight shades to show, not so much because of the sheer formula but because they are pale and so am I. Very, very pale.


Now I want to talk about something that I will be discussing in all my reviews from here on. I’ve been thinking a lot about how when I started this blog I intended it to focus on subcultural, or alternative beauty. I was thinking this would basically be a goth beauty blog but I’d explore offshoots of the genre.I would review things from the viewpoint of someone who dresses goth and makes themselves up accordingly. Have you noticed those girls who describe colors that are like one step up from neutral as “scary?” That doesn’t help me because my perception is so different. However, I find pigeonholing this blog a bad idea. Also, I know not everyone reading would fall into those categories.  Instead I will review whatever I want but I’m going to add this bit at the end explaining how this product would fit into an “alternative” type look, or what kinds of looks it’d be best for…? I’m still figuring out exactly what I’m putting here.  This is my first shot so please bear with me. ;)-  OK- so, there are dark colors in this palette but they certainly aren’t the darkest of the dark or the most dramatic  shades out there. Personally, I find this palette perfect for when I’m rushing or when I’m going to be out in the daytime and want something not too harsh. I used to not pay attention to ” day” and “night” makeup differences, I always wore jet-black eyebrows, purple lips, and dark eye makeup but I’m nearing 30 and I know that my old repertoire can look harsh in bright sunlight. Also, I’m pressed for time in the morning. I know some of you have to hold down a straight job as well and may need a softer look for that. The colors and the formula on these are extremely flattering. Basically, if you usually wear neutral shades and want to step it up a bit this would work well. If you normally go dark and dramatic but need to take it down a notch, this is for you.  If you like a retro, pin-up look or simply want to look “pretty” these work a treat. If you want dark and dramatic, you should probably look elsewhere. If you don’t own any makeup brushes or applicators, you should pick something up with this unless you prefer to use your fingers (which I don’t recommend.)

I’m going to work on the format of the black paragraph. Suggestions, anyone?

The Balm Shady Lady Vol. 2. $ 39.50

Top 3 first- Insane Jane, Just This Once Jamie, Devilish Danielle, Feisty Felicia,Makeout Mary.Tempting Tara, Caught in the Act Courtney, Bossy Bobby, Mischievous Martha

Same Shadows, slightly different angle to catch the left row better. All dry, no primer as always ;D

I’m Back & Fun Stuff Coming Up!

I’m back- not 100% yet but getting better. Thanks for sticking with me. I have debated about whether or not to explain about my health problems but this is a beauty blog first and foremost and I don’t think this is the place to explain in depth. Basically, I had one fairly rare disease that causes my immune system to not function very well and in turn I caught a virus that is non-communicable but I’m stick with both of them. They are non-fatal but  non-curable and sometimes I feel fine but they flare-up from time to time.  Some flare-ups are worse than others and the length of time they go on can vary. This month of being sick was the longest time it’s persisted. When things get as bad as they have been, all I can manage to do is sleep.

While I was away I had a birthday and I cut all my hair off and dyed it fire-engine red. YAY!

I have a series of posts I’m working on that feature my current favorite things with pics, swatches and reviews. I’ve noticed that when I’m in a rush and need something that I know looks good without any guesswork there are certain things I can depend on and that I’d recommend highly to others. Those things are what I’ll be featuring in my favorite things posts. Now that it’s cold I’ve had to step up my skincare as well and with the new hair I’ve been trying new hair products so I have stuff to share on that front. The first one will be up soon- possibly tonight, if I can finish it!

Makeup  is  such a happy thing for me- when I’m sick and stuck in bed there’s no point in wearing any and I end up looking forward to doing my makeup again so much that I relish every minute of figuring out what I’m wearing and putting it on and experimenting with colors and techniques.  I’ve been looking forward to keeping up with the blog again and I’ve been enjoying reading others and leaving comments during my downtime. Thanks again for the people who kept visiting & subscribing despite the lack of updates. I appreciate it so much!!


I hate to go so long without posting but I’ve been soo sick. The past three weeks have had me feeling like death, then better, and worse yet again.  All I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately this will happen with me from time to time as I have chronic health problems. I’ll be back as soon as I can manage though. Posting on here always makes me happy and I look forward to having the energy to come up with a real one.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!