Thursday, July 30, 2009

Favorite Lipstick Brands + Swatches

I'm not a huge daily lipstick person. A lot of times I'll leave the house without anything on my lips at all, but I will say that I have grown up a bit from my "lipgloss everyday" days. I used to be so against lipstick because I would occasionally try my mom's old Lancome lipsticks that would always dry out my lips and smelled like grandma makeup. You know what I'm talking about, it's like the smell of Cover Girl blush. Yucky.

Since then, I have found a couple exceptions to my previous rule of disliking lipsticks.

From low-end to high-end, I will start with my favorite inexpensive makeup line, NYX. Ahh, NYX, how do you do it over and over again? I have only tried their round lipsticks but I have at least 10 of them. Although one anti-lipstick-biased person such as myself would think cheaper makeup would mean dry lips, but this is not the case! NYX lipsticks are smooth, creamy, and have wonderful pigmentation. This is no sissy red or sheer nude to be found. During sales, I stock up on these in colors I wouldn't jump to buy from other brands so I can test different looks out. Crazy thing is that they run at $3.50 full price. Crazy good deal!



You can find a lot of my NYX lipstick swatches here, but here are a couple of lip swatches of NYX round lipsticks:

Indian Pink


Jupiter


Full face wearing Jupiter


And my favorite red, Snow White (entry with this look here)




Next is a drugstore brand that I tried on a whim and ended up loving, Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipcolor. This stuff smells like watermelon candy! If you like that, you will LOVE this stuff. It also feels like butter. Super moisturizing and comfortable on the lips. It doesn't last super long, but as moisturizing as it is, I didn't really expect it to. I just wish it were easier to tell the color from the drugstore stands but I suppose that's a trade off for paying a much lower price. $5.50 on drugstore.com.




I own Born With It and Berry Sorbet. Born With It is probably my favorite MLBB (my lips but better). It's a nice everyday shade that adds just a bit more pink to my natural color with a little hit of gold shine.



Berry Sorbet is more of a raspberry color with a lot of pink tones. I actually like wearing this color as a lighter wash for a nice pink-stained mouth, but I wanted to show you a true color swatch here. Either way, it's quite pretty.




I will only quickly mention MAC because I only own 1 MAC lipstick, Big Bow from the Hello Kitty collection, which I wore for this look. I love it. It's a buildable and sheer hot pink with blue flash and has pretty good lasting power. I need more!!! $14 each.




And finally, I have a YSL Rouge Pur Shine Sheer Lipstick. I was hoping it would look as nice as it does on Pandablush's swatch but I don't have the cute, pale pink lips that she does. Regardless, I really love how this lipstick feels more like a gloss than a lipstick but without the stickiness. It's a very pretty neutral but, like most sheer and glossy lipsticks, just doesn't have great staying power. Maybe more worth it in a different color? I'm willing to think so. $30 each.



Ridiculously pretty packaging though, isn't it?


It's a good balance for darker shadow.





All in all, I have to say that as price goes up, you are mostly just paying for packaging. The higher end lipsticks I own don't actually FEEL considerably (or at all) better and don't last longer. This is just my personal and quite limited experience though so absolutely prove me wrong and tell me what your very favorite lipstick color and brand is! Oh, and tell me WHY you love it. I want to expand my lipstick horizons like a proper grown woman. ;)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Gothbird FOTD

I've been a bit exhausted and under the weather the last couple days so I'm going to keep this entry short, but here is a quick FOTD using Mineral Magic Cosmetics eyeshadows.

Here's what I used:


* Mineral Magic Cosmetics Shadows in Bird, Goth, and Opal for highlight
* Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit
* Mac Mineralize Grand Duo Blush in Love Rock

Also, see that nifty dual-ended brush at the right there? One side has a flat angled liner and the other end is this unique cylindrical, angled-cut brush that actually works quite well with mineral eyeshadow. I've found mine to be super handy for travel. I'll be giving one away along with a few other Mineral Magic brushes very soon!

Here is the look:


I love the pop of canary yellow that Bird gives. SUCH a pigmented color! (oh, and please ignore my smudged eyeliner line :P) I wish Goth showed up better. It's a pretty reddish copper here, but has more mint-iridescent dimension in real life.



For some reason I always want to post good wavy-hair days. Maybe it was because I grew up with such straight hair. I shower at night and sleep on wet hair so when I can wake up with something that LOOKS styled, I call it a good hair day.



This look just got me thinking. I really enjoy the neutral look with a pop of color. Anyone else do this a lot? What is your "popped" color of choice?

X


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Looks at the Office

With the summer heat outside, I tend to want to wear lighter layers and loose tops. Sadly, indoor air conditioning isn't as forgiving so layers for me is a necessity. I haven't posted anything fashion-related for a while so I figured it was a good time to share some fairly typical work-wear lately.

Since I work in a creative field, I get to dress a little bit more casual and fashion-oriented than others in the building. Not quite weekend casual but certainly comfy and nice without being sloppy. Basically I'm saying that my examples won't be right for every office but it works for me. :)

Here are 3 face and fashion looks:

First is a very comfortable combination of dress, cardigan, and leggings. Rather Spring-Summery and the jersey material feels better than jeans. Gladiator sandals save my feet from wearing heels! A little bubbly, a little shimmery.

Cardigan - Target, Dress - Sirens, Leggings - Target, Gladiator sandals - Michael Kors Kids



And the makeup. Eyeshadow is all from Mineral Magic Cosmetics. (They have fantastic colors!!!)


Mineral Magic Cosmetcs - Self Control and Sunflower eyeshadows



Next is an office-chic look that is secretly just comfy stuff too. An oversized t-shirt tucked into a jersey pencil skirt. My faaaaaaaavorite Michael Kors platform heels are really the only thing making it fancy. Lately I've been big into looking put-together using no accessories, and I think this outfit really does it.

T-shirt and skirt - Forever 21, Shoes - Michael Kors

(please don't mind the mess! I was organizing my bags!)

Nude lips to compliment the deep green eyes. I think this green was from my Coastal Scents bajillion eyeshadow palette. Or maybe it's NYX wildfire.




And finally, what I like to call my "ballerina chic" type of outfit. Short flounce skirt, leggings, breezy tee, and boyfriend cardigan with a belt. I don't know what's wrong with me but I've been obsessed with these oversized t-shirts lately! So comfy, and so many ways to wear them. I think I have around 7 of them, all from Forever 21. :D

Purple Cardigan and Crane T-shirt - Forever 21, Flounce Skirt - Abercrombie kids, Leggings - Anne Klein Petites, Shoes - BCBGirls, Waist Belt - thrifted





There is something to be said for good proportions in clothing. It's the key to minimal accessorizing. I keep thinking back to high school and college when I used to wear huge, gaudy earrings and necklaces all the time. Don't get me wrong, I still love those but I couldn't live without my simple pearl studs now. :)

Anyone else have a current "fashion phase" they are going through? Because I'm sure my simple accessories and big tees won't last me forever!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Easy Summer Braids

NOTE: Just wanted to let everyone know I just posted some new clothes in the shop. Hopefully some of the tiny girls will appreciate. :)

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share with you a hairstyle that I've been sporting for the last few months, the french braid. I'm not talking about the one plait down the back of your head that you wore in the 2nd grade. This is much more contemporary and boho-style.

You can do this a couple of ways, but my favorite is the headband-type of braid that goes across the top of your head where your bangs might be.

For this style, I first brushed my hair over from the left ear all the way to my right so it faces the same direction. It might help to create a part using a comb, parallel to your hairline, to mark where your braid will be so you don't gather hair from the back of your head. You can also tie the hair you don't want braided in a low ponytail to keep it away from the rest of your hair. Start french braiding from the left ear up toward the top of your head. The smaller pieces you use, the smaller your braid will be and vice versa.

I apologize that my photos do have so many stray hairs, but I took these at the end of a long workday!


Braid over the top of your head and down behind your right ear. You will want to be very careful about keeping the braid tight here so it doesn't become loose throughout the day. The braid will go the angle your hands pull at it, so try to keep your hands pulled back and toward your neck, not held out from your head which will cause a loose braid. Now take a sturdy hair tie and tie all of your hair into a low side ponytail. If you have stray pieces sticking out, you can use bobby pins to secure the hair tucked under the sides of the braid. Use hairspray to set the look and fix any stray baby hairs, and you are done.


The look from afar. You can curl the ends of your ponytail for a nice textural contrast to the braid. Mine was curled from the day before. Braids work best with second-day hair!



Here is another variation I did using a much smaller braid starting at my natural side-part. I added a feather headband behind it to add to the earthy feel of the look. For this, I just tied the braid behind my ear with a small hair tie and left the rest of my hair loose.


And from father away. (same look as from the Solotica Hidrocharme Verde Marine post)



When you get the chance, you should definitely try out these looks. It's a refreshing and cute way to keep hair off your face in the hot summer heat. When you get the hang of it, it takes a very short amount of time to do too. Nothing better than a quick and stylish hairdo, am I right?

Let me know if you've been sporting braids lately. I know it's been very popular among starlets, but I just think it can be so practical too! Tell me if you love or hate this hair trend!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Blushes Comparison

I must say, I am a huge fan of MAC's Mineralize line, especially the blush colors. When the Mineralize Grand Duo blushes came out, I immediately fell deeply in lust with Love Rock. It has a hot pink shade on one side and a golden pink melange highlight on the other. For you frequenters of my blog, you know that I loves me some hot pink. Now I didn't initially intend to buy it when I visited my local Mac, but I had to quell my beating heart somehow. :P



Love Rock kicked off my little group of baked blushes. I came upon Petticoat Mineralize Skinfinish at a local Cosmetics Company store and, like Love Rock, couldn't stop staring at the pretty marbling of colors and the unique sheen that it produced. It was like looking at a sparkly jewel. I just couldn't put it down when I got home, thrusting it in the hubs' face and saying, "LOOK HOW COOL IT IS!" He was obviously not quite as enamored as I was, but agreed it was neat.



The third one was a spontaneous purchase from Marshall's because it was less than $5. Sugar's Sweet Cheeks baked blush in Cupcake. I thought the purple color was interesting and hey, it's only $5.


A comparison photo


And here are my swatches:




Petticoat really shows off the unique sheen it has in natural light. It's like a warm coral color with red pearl. It can be used all over as a blush or face brightener, but in my opinion it can be a little too much on its own. My favorite way to wear this is as a highlighter on top of other blushes to kick it up a notch. It definitely has that "OMG, what blush are you wearing!" reaction from friends. :)

Love Rock is one of my favorite blushes. When I'm in a hurry I just swirl it all together and apply to the apples of my cheeks. When there is a little more time, I can start with the solid pink and highlight the tops of my cheeks with the marbled side, which gives a nice peachy glow. The result is like you just came in from the snow: pretty, flushed-pink cheeks. I just wish it were bigger. Petticoat is huge compared to this tiny Grand Duo blush!

Cupcake is honestly one I haven't used much just because it's so frosty. The lavendar color is interesting but the pink side actually has a silver shine to it that just doesn't match my warm complexion very well. It works as a nice eyeshadow though, and it's pretty huge when you think of it that way. The packaging is not so great, as the baked part is just sliding around on top of the plastic container. Very messy! Oh well, it didn't exactly break the bank.

All in all, I'd say Love Rock I can't live without, Petticoat is one of those special purchases that I'm still giddy about (it's very limited edition and hard to find!) and Cupcake... Well, maybe I can use it for a special all-over purple look someday.

I'd love to grow my collection of mineralized products, so let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations. I've got my eye on a couple of the regular mineralized blushes. Those swirls just make me go crazy!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kohl's Coupon Code & My Favorite Bra

Just wanted to pop in to tell you guys that, while running around town for a few errands, I decided to stop into Kohl's to find a bra. I'm not a frequent Kohl's shopper, but my very favorite go-to bra is made by Lily of France and sometimes goes on sale at Kohl's for around $15.

It's called the "True Match" bra and it is bar none the most comfortable bra I've owned. The padding is made of memory foam so it is very soft and forms to your body. It feels like you, not padding (which I'm sure the people you hug might appreciate!) For most days, that's all I require. A bra that is comfy, soft, has a nice shape, and looks good under clothes. This seems to be extremely difficult for those on the small side of size 32A, but I literally had around 5 of these bras in different colors.



Today I scoured the racks and could NOT FIND IT! I checked the discontinued bras rack and saw a few, but none in my size. I've had to throw all but 2 of these away because I wore them until they broke so I freaked out. When I got home, I went the kohls.com and bought 3 of them. :P

So for any of you petite-chested girls who want a bra recommendation, this is it. Grab it now while you can. Kohl's has a coupon code, THREEDAYS, which goes through tomorrow (July 10-12) for 15% off everything. This basically almost covers shipping and these babies are already on clearance for $11.99. I should've bought more. Auuughhhhhh!

Hope you guys take advantage of this! I know I will be missing this bra for the rest of my life. :( :( :(


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sorry about the Hiatus

My computer got really jankety a few days ago and started making helicopter noises from the speakers. Then came the long beep, then the frozen screen.

Sorry for not being able to post! I am on my work computer right now, so I just wanted to update you guys on why I've been MIA. Hopefully all of my files were saved safely. Thank goodness for my husband, the tech genius! When I get everything reformatted and running again, I promise new posts will come.

In the meantime, here are some fun images of what I hope eventually might be my upgrade:

pink pc cases from newegg.com. click images for the link.



omg, I wish! someone's customized hello kitty pc!




Fairy Moon case from CoolerMaster via Gizmodiva.com. Princess-style with gold inlay!



Love that cut-out plate at the bottom covering the fan!



And just because it's too funny not to post, a pink, blinged Gundam:



Hope you all have happy computers and a virus-free week!

Jen


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