Saturday, December 31, 2011

NerdLacquer and the Vet

No, these things are totally unrelated.  But I was at the vet today, taking my adorable cat Isolde in to see if she had ear mites, and while I waited for the test to come back, I thought I'd take a picture of my nail polish.

(This is the vet, obviously.  I loved how old school the color scheme was, and sue me, I was bored.  You can't tell, but there's a seven pound cat in that carrier.  She was trying to be very small.)

But yes!  In the terrible lighting of the vet's office, I decided to take photos of my nails.  I'm wearing NerdLacquer, an Etsy nail polish.  I know what you're thinking.  "Nail polish on Etsy?  I'm dubious about this idea!  Also, I would like nachos."  And I agree with you on all counts.  But NerdLacquer makes awesome polishes, in colors that you've likely never seen before.  They're reasonably priced, and they're a dream to apply.

This picture is all of the NerdLacquer polishes, as taken from their Etsy site.  They're currently only selling their holiday colors, due to Christmas depleting their stock, but they're working on making more.  The below pictures are of Warrior Ethos (which is the fourth from the left in the top row in the above mega picture).

Now, I normally hate reds.  And I normally loathe glitters (they're a pain in the ass to get off!).  But look at that.  It really does look like blood - it's more like a red jelly with glitter suspended in it.  And the glitter's a mix of silver microglitter, some silver hex glitter, and some fine black glitter.  BLACK.  GLITTER.  It's like a song written just for me, like a poem on the wind.  Have there ever been two better words put together than black glitter?  I didn't think so.  And come on, it's Klingon polish, I had to buy it.  I'm weak that way.  And for those of you who worry about those sorts of things, the cat is fine.  I thought she had ear mites, but she just has ear wax.  Yay!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ojon Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray

It'll likely come as no surprise to you that I'm a lazy bitch.  And if you've read this, you know that I have dry skin fairly often, so showering on a daily basis makes my skin upset.  I prefer to do it every other day, but even then, if I shampoo every other day, my hair and scalp freak the fuck out.  My hair poofs into a frizzy fro, my scalp breaks out into lovely little pustules, and it's generally a bad idea.  So I really like the fact that dry shampoo is coming into vogue.  I long loved Pssssst!, which forever was the only damn dry shampoo around.  Sure, you could always just use baby powder, but my hair is dark brown enough that most people just call it black.  White in that isn't the best thing in the world.  So today while I was at Ulta, looking for a new base coat for my nails, I figured I'd grab a new dry shampoo.  I have to work at nine in the morning tomorrow when I normally work nights; I don't want to get up earlier to shower.

photo from Ojon's website

I snagged the 1.5 ounce bottle of Full Detox Rub-Out dry shampoo by Ojon.  It was expensive as hell - 13.00 USD for maybe five or so uses - but I'd rather do that then spring twenty-four dollars for the full size bottle and hate it.  It's easy to use, as are most dry shampoos (hell, as are most shampoos for that matter).  You just point and spray and rub it in and then brush your hair.  This stuff does work really well.  My hair looks just how it did yesterday, just minus the grease and the yuckies.  It also makes my scalp tingle in a nice way, which I"m kind of digging.  However, the big drawback for this stuff is that it smells like the devil.  I have no idea what it smells like, but it kind of smells like Nag Champa incense mixed with body odor and Indian food.  If you use it in a really well ventilated area, with a fan going, and maybe with one of those rave slash medical masks, you'll be fine.  But for the price, I'm just going to go back to Pssssst!.  It's got a better name, anyway. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Julep - Box of Mystery

I love Christmas.  Now, lots of people may suspect the opposite.  This is probably largely based upon my hatred of Christmas carols (which I blame on being in a children's choir for a few years - sing those fuckers about five hundred times and tell me if you like good Saint Nick).  Or possibly my hatred of Christmas decorations (I GET IT, LIGHTS BLINK, THAT'S FANTASTIC, GOOD ON YOU).  But I love presents.  I love giving them more than anything else in the whole world.  To me, giving gifts is as close to the hunter/gatherer instinct as we can get in this day and age.  Plus, it means I can buy one or two things for myself and not look like a prat.  Which brings me to today's post!

Julep is a nail polish parlor up in the Pacific Northwest that also makes their own products.  They have a 'polish of the month' club that they call the "Maven" program (which is not the point of this post, but I'll explain in case you don't know).  Every month for 19.99 USD, they send you a box at the beginning of said month that includes at least forty USD worth of product.  They have little fashion "profiles", one of which you're put into when you sign up.  But if you hate your box for your profile that month, you can switch.  You can also skip the month, or just have the whole shebang sent to a friend as an impomptu gift.  I love Julep.  I love my Maven boxes.  It's like a gift every month, and it has cute packaging, and Julep polishes have one of my favorite nail polish formulas out there.

So when they announced they were doing a "Box of Mystery", I jumped all over that.  They described it as a box containing at least 60.00 USD worth of product but might have up to 200.00 worth.  For 19.99?  Yeah, I got myself one while I was shopping for other people's gifts.  It came today, so I took pictures at work.  (I'll put more up when I finally get a chance to use the polish!)

I squealed when I saw it had come in, not going to lie.  Happy flaily arms abounded.

This is what I got.  I got three polishes, a lipgloss (which they call a "pout popper", but I refuse to ever say that again unless someone A) has a gun to my head, or B) I've recently had a lobotomy), a nail file, and some pretty generous (30 ml) sample sizes of their glycolic scrub and age defying hand cream.

The age defying hand cream isn't really that special to me.  I've gotten samples of it in my Maven boxes before, and it's ... hand lotion?  It didn't really do anything that made me think "hot damn, I should spend 32.00 USD a bottle on it".  Now, the "Facial for Hands" glycolic hand scrub is totally a different matter.  I have debated spending that much on it, if only because that combined with my argan oil has been giving me baby soft hands.  The scrub smells like a fruit smoothie and feels like most facial scrubs.  I use it in the shower and slather my elbows up with it too, and that actually does make a difference.  It also just feels good - I'm an exfoliation junkie.

Onto the polishes!

This is "Jodie" (Julep names all of their polishes after girls).  It's a dusky rose color with a lot of bronze shimmer to it.

This is "Carrie", a lighter than bubblegum pink.  I normally wouldn't go for a color like this, but it's just bright enough that I'm excited to give it a go.

This is "Christina".  At first I was bummed out because it looked like a boring red in low light (and I actually hate red nail polish), but then I saw it had a buttload of gold shimmer in it, and now I'm stoked.

And lastly, I got a lipgloss.  I admit, I was pretty dubious about trying lipgloss from a manicure place, but I'm wearing it right now, and it's not awful!  It's not super sticky, almost feeling more like a lip cream than a gloss.  It's shiny without being glittery, so you won't look like you just took a moneyshot from an elf.  I dislike the smell (it's like they were trying to duplicate Chanel's lipstick scent, but way more floral), but it goes away once it's on your mouth.

This was a full size in the color "Arousal".  It's a pretty color, very close to my own lip color but better.  I can't find this exact color for sale on their site, but they do have some other colors available for 18.00 USD each.  They claim that this is a plumping gloss, and maybe they're right; my lips do look a little bit fuller.  But I'm also filled with Cepacol cough drops, and they do the same damn thing.

I also got a nail file, but nobody cares about that.  It's a nail file.  It files nails.

All in all, I'm super stoked to use all my loot over the next few days.  For 19.99, this was a great deal (the polishes retail for 14.00 USD alone).  And if you're interested in the Maven box, click here to sign up.  (Under the promo code, be sure to put down INTRO5 - you'll get your first box for five dollars, which ends up being about eight or nine bucks with tax).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Celebrity Perfume

I'm a fragrance junkie.  I come by this honestly (my mom wears Chanel No. 5 to bed in her own form of pricey aromatherapy).  As such, I was reading today that Madonna is releasing her own perfume - Truth or Dare.

Don't try deep-throating this bottle, Madge.

I wonder what it will smell like?  Then again, I always wonder what celebrity perfumes will smell like.  I know that they don't really smell like the celebrity, otherwise my beloved Britney Spears' "Curious" would smell like Jack Daniels and bad decisions.  But still, at the end of the day I feel the slightest bit guilty whenever I smell a celebrity perfume and like it.  Unless, of course, I like the celebrity.  (In case you're wondering - or are curious, ha ha! - the Brit perfume I like is basically a vanilla-y magnolia.  I wear it to bed in a cheaper version of my mother's bedtime ritual.)  I feel like I'm funding certain celebrities' bad behaviors with their perfume.  When we buy LAMB stuff, do we contribute to Gwen Stefani's craziness?  Do we fund J.Lo's ego with every bottle of Glow?  If that's the case, what the hell will happen if you buy Madonna perfume?  Will she literally crucify herself?  ... maybe now I have to get it just to make this happen.

But no matter what, I'm guessing that her perfume doesn't smell like hydrangeas.  Poor, poor hydrangeas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

MyGlam - December Bag

If you're into makeup and beauty, Michelle Phan has got your back.  She's an awesome resource (and quite frankly makes my old ass feel like a slacker).  In addition to her working for Lancome, doing her own tutorials, and being an aspiring filmmaker, she also started up her own sample bag company, MyGlam.  It's pretty similar to Birchbox in execution, if you're familiar with that program.  (With both programs, you go to the company's website, take a quiz about your preferences, and after signup you get a few beauty samples mailed to you every month for ten dollars.)  Birchbox allows you to purchase full size products from their website if you like what you got.  MyGlam doesn't have this (yet - this bag was their first), but they do have a community where you can talk about the produts and the girls who made the company, the "gurus", will talk about looks you can do with them. 

I've done Birchbox in the past, but cancelled when I didn't really get anything I liked.  When I saw that Michelle was doing something similar, I jumped onboard, and I'm glad I did!  They sold out really fast, so I was lucky to get one at all.  So, yes!  Here's pictures of what I got for my first bag!

It came in a really adorable bag.  It was shipped out standard USPS, so it took about the same amount of time to get out to me as Birchbox ever did (which is way too long, but I suspect that has more to do with the postal service being run by constipated gremlins than anything else).

One of the advantages to the MyGlam monthly subscription is that every month you get a little makeup bag.  This thing isn't super huge, but it's big enough where right now in my purse it's holding a pressed powder compact, blotting papers, a roll-on perfume, and five lip products (WHAT I HAVE A PROBLEM SHUT UP YOU'RE NOT MY MOM!). 

The bag even has a derpy mirror!

The products inside didn't come individually tissue wrapped or anything, which I prefer, as it's not a waste of paper.  Those of you who are Birchbox packaging addicts will be disappointed by this, but those of us who like trees or dislike garbage bags will enjoy it.

Same card, front and back.

The first thing I got was Mai Coture Salicylic Acid Blemish Control Blotting Papers.  I suspect this is because on my quiz thing I indicated my skin is a general plague area (which it is).  I've heard some people got blush papers (which is basically a blotting paper with blush and shimmer on it).  Thus far, these are ... blotting papers.  I don't know if the salicylic acid is helping yet, but I'll never kick blotting papers out of bed.  Plus, the package is thin, and I like that they're tear out, not pull out, as they don't explode into my purse this way.

Next was a sample of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara.  This is a pretty generous sized sample; I've used it three times, and it still has plenty left.  (I'm not going to put down the milligrams, because I'm not a fucking wizard and don't know how many applications per milligram are in a mascara tube.) Tarte says this stuff is supposed to be "lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning".  I don't know about all of that, but I do know that it's really nice and not clumpy.  It's noticable, gives me some decent doll-eye, and it's less 'oh hay thick how you doin'' than the Cover Girl Lash Blast I usually use.
Yay, a sample of a thing I already have a lot of!  Which isn't a complaint at all, I am a primer potion slut.  This is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in original, and if you don't have a bottle of this in any of their colors and wear eyeshadow, go get some.  Now.  It will make your eyeshadow stay on so much longer and look so much prettier throughout the day.  I still come home sometimes from work and think about how pretty my eyes are before I take it off.  It's a decent size sample as well - I think it's the same size that came in the Naked palate.  I am using this with the same glee that I use my others, if not a bit more, because I was running low anyway.

Why yes, that's an Urban Decay eyeshadow.  Why yes, it's fullsize!  I got Sin, which I speculate everyone did, because it's the most gorgeous taupey-pinky color that looks great on everyone.  (I already had one of these too, but I don't even care, I was running low.  Yet again.)  I saw this and literally gaped and squeed and made a general fool of myself in front of my roommates and cats.

This is NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in  Addis Ababa.  This pink is erm.  Bright.  Very not me.  I tried it on to see if this would look good on me, shrieked, and rubbed it off.  But the formula is pretty neato.  It does feel a bit like a lip gloss and goes on with a wand.  It's not sticky, though, and on the mouth, looks a bit like a matte pop of color.  It doesn't settle into the lips the same way lipstick todes.  It's one of those things you just have to try, and I'm sure I will - the full sizes retail for 6.00 USD each.  (Just not in this color.  If this color looks good on you, let me know, I want to shake your hand.)

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is on the right, and the Urban Decay eyeshadow is the pretty bit of shimmer on the left.

Lastly, I got some discount cards, which is pretty awesome.  Mama does like saving money.

Why yes, that is 15.00 off of the new Book of Shadows from UD.  The bottom is 25% off of the Mai Coture blotting papers or blush papers.  I gave the blush paper to my roommate, as she's fair where I'm not, so hopefully she'll get some use out of it.

So, that's what I got in my first Glam Bag.  Did any of you guys get in on this?  Do you guys have any questions?  I'll also take cheesecake recipes, I have some cream cheese in my fridge and nothing to do with it.  I feel like this post was kinda boring since I liked almost everything.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Argan Oil

Wow, I haven't written much about makeup here yet.  (Don't worry, I'll remedy that when I get a day off where I can swatch my stash.  God, that sounds dirty.)  Anyway!  Today's post is about Argan Oil, which is apparently for us Westerners, the ingredient of the moment.  It's seriously all the heck over - you know something's really trendy (or damn near played out) when it's all over your local Walgreens.  Their hair care aisle isn't really cutting edge.

 Now, you may wonder - what the heck is argan oil?  According to our always right and never ever wrong friend Wikipedia, "Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties".  So, that much makes sense.  It's apparently mostly processed by hand by certain women from communities over there, in a process that seems like it would be fun for about ten minutes (what, I'm a pansy who works in a cubicle).

See?  That would be fun for twenty minutes, tops.

The person who is ostensibly to blame for the argan oil craze is Josie Maran.  She's gorgeous and glowing and doesn't have a lot of wrinkles, and a lot of people (including myself) remember fapping to her while she was a Guess? girl (and also in the video for "Backstreet's Back".  Look it up if you don't believe me, she was Howie's lady.).  She started her own proprietary line of argan oil based things, including just the oil by itself, in the bottle. 

This stuff you can only get at Sephora, or from Josie Maran Cosmetics.  Now, you may be asking "that's great, I could figure out how to get it myself, Sarah, I do indeed have the internet".  To which I would reply, "well, fine, go do a whole blog yourself, douche".  But I won't.  Let's get to the nitty gritty - why use argan oil at all?
The reason I picked up a bottle of the Josie Maran oil was the fact that I live in Houston.  That may not mean a lot to you, but Houston is basically a swamp.  Now, you'd think that would mean we'd all have dewy, well-moisturized skin, but it actually ends up pretty much the opposite.  Because Houston is hot and swampy - Satan's Taint in geographical form - we all crank the AC.  Constantly.  Which means that our skin gets dry and leathery and gross.  Even in the two weeks where it is vaguely chilly, wherein the natives don toques and gloves and stockpile canned goods, the heat gets jacked up so high you'd think we were in Anchorage.  Still not helping the skin.  With all of this central air/heat action going on, after living here for a decade, my elbows had literally turned grey.  They looked like they belonged to a pterodactyl, not to a person with my skin tone.  They were mottled and grey, and when my roommate touched them, she actually shrieked.  It was time to do something.

So, I picked up the teeny baby bottle of the Josie Maran oil and started using it every night before bed.  My cuticles were also a general plague area, so I rubbed the oil onto them, then my elbows.  The first thing I noticed was that it absorbed like a dream.  I hate having Lotion Hands - that period of time between the lotion application and the time where you can actually do things again.  I tend to sit on my bed with my hands flopping limply, uselessly, like a T-Rex.  That five minutes feels like agony, and oils had always taken longer for me.  But the argan oil?  Two minutes, tops.

I also noticed that it didn't irritate my skin.  My elbows were so dry that most perfumed items hurt when they absorbed in.  Moisture shouldn't be painful.  It was part of the reason why I wasn't moisturizing - who wants to sit there in pain for five minutes?  But the Argan Oil just did the job.  It applied easily, it absorbed quickly, and within twenty-four hours, I could notice a difference.  One day, you guys.  My cuticles looked plumper, and my elbows felt softer.

I used my tiny 0.5 ounce bottle within a week.  My regimen was one drop per finger for cuticles, five per hand, and six per elbow. After doing some reading up on this stuff, I found out that it helps inhibit sebum production.  I know, right?  So after doing my slathering, I'd wait until the oil was a smidge absorbed into my hands before rubbing it on my clean face.  Bam!  Fewer breakouts!  I suffer from frizzies and flyaways.  One drop rubbed into my palms?  Bam!  No more flyaways!  I'm pretty sure that if it could have, this oil would wash my car for me.  It's that considerate.

But, with al amazing things, there is a downside. Here comes the bad news about the Josie Argan oil: it is expensive as shit.  That 0.5 ounce, one week supply, cost me 14.00 USD from Sephora.  I could always get a four ounce bottle - for a mere 96.00 USD.  Don't get me wrong, this is a really great product.  And if I ever marry a rich wo/man, I will absolutely start bathing in Josie Maran product.  But I don't.  I work at a cubicle, making cubicle salary.  So, what's a thrifty girl to do?  She's to get onto Google and see what her options are!

When you Google "argan oil", you get a lot of options.  And a picture of goats in an argan tree that is cute as fuck.

These are goats.  They're in an argan tree.  How did you get up there, goats?
But that doesn't help out my elbows.  So, I got onto ye olde trustie site, Amazon, and lo and behold, I found my thrifty grail.  It is Golden Argan Oil.  I don't even know if it has a brand name, that's pretty much all it says on the bottle.  I figured it wouldn't work as well when I got it, but lo and behold, it works just as well to my untrained eye.  It's 9.39 for an ounce, which makes it cheaper than the Josie Maran.  I don't know if goats like to hang out in its trees, though. 

Now, it should be noted, this review is just of pure argan oil.  I don't know if the shampoo you can get at pretty much every store is as amazing, or whatnot.  I'm getting some of the Josie Maran cosmetics for Christmas (my mom basically makes we kids do our own shopping, has for years), so I'll swatch/review them later on.

To Summarize:
1) Argan oil is awesome.  You can basically use it for any moisturizing/defrizzing needs for you or your sprogs.
2) Josie Maran is good shit, but y so expensive, woman?
3) If you shop around, you can get similar argan oils that will basically do the same thing for your skin.  It may not have some of the same kickbacks to Moroccan people that Josie's does, but in terms of sheer product, it's not bad at all.
4) Argan oil would sound cooler if it was spelled Argon oil.  Don't lie.  It would be.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: AHAVA Mineral Botanic Hibiscus & Fig

I'm a generous soul, so let's start out with the awesome things about this product.  I like that it's made without parabens and sulfates because preservatives suck and tend to make me itchy when used in quantity.  It really lives up to its claims that it moisturizes; the first time I used it, afterward I promptly said out loud, in the shower, like a crazy person "OH SNAP, MY SKIN FEELS AWESOME".  It's got more substance than a shower gel, it's more like a shower cream and a shower gel had a baby.  The fragrance is also lovely - it's light and fresh, perfect for a morning shower, but it's not heavy enough where it'll interefere with your perfume afterward.

But, alas, I'm also honest, so let me talk about the stuff that sucks.  First off, the price.  Granted, seventeen ounces is an awful lot of product, but twenty-two bucks?  It didn't make my skin that soft.  I still needed to moisturize afterward.  If it had made my skin soft enough where I threw out all of my lotions and oils, I'd pay twice that, but the lasting power of the moisture is just kind of meh.  And lastly (also worstly, but that's not even a word) comes the burny part.  This shit gave me a UTI.  I'd normally say maybe it's just me, but it gave my mother one as well.  She then pawned it off onto my younger sister while she was visiting from college who also started peeing blood the day after she used it, so she then gave it to me.  "Don't use it ... down there," she specified, giving me a knowing glance at my crotch.  I defied her good advice and happily used it to lather up my crotch 'fro, like I would with any other soap, because I am a normal person who isn't skeptical about soap having conspiracies against my urethra.  And oh, I was wrong.  How wrong I was.  As of this writing, I've mainlined some cranberry tablets and a fuckload of water in the hopes of easing the burn.  No results yet, but I'll keep you posted.

So, yes, this is nice if A) you have enough money to drop on sort of expensive body wash, and B) you avoid your vag area.  (I could name singular bits, but you know what I mean.)  Dudes, I can only assume this goes for your glans and double for your mega urethras.  But at least your pain will smell pretty good.  Here's the website if you're feeling daring.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First post, no pictures.


I'm well, how're you?

Oh, you're sick of beauty blogs?  I know, I am too.  Let's face it - I'm thirty-one, so I already seem too old for the internet.  And I'm not exactly a model.  And lord knows I can barely afford my rent, much less going to Sephora and getting some ridiculous haul. 

... my cats can contribute?  Fuck you, internet, you're not funny.

But in all seriousness: my name is Sarah, and this is my blog.  Among my group of friends, I'm the one most interested in makeup and "girlie" things of that nature, and as such, I tend to babble on about it to various disinterested parties who do not care one bit about what a "flakie" nail polish is, or how hard it was to find a certain lip balm.  At that point, we're forced to awkwardly change the topic back to something neutral like death metal or Norwegian men being prettier than Yanks (it's true, punk, look it up).  So, that's why I'm writing this.  Yes, I am the titular Fat Mexican (I'M THAT GUY!  THE GUY IN THE STORY!), and I do need makeup.  (And nail polish.  And skin care.  And accessories.)  But don't get your hopes up too high.  I'm not going to do MAC hauls every week.  I'm not going to have any scoops on what's going on over at MUFE (even though I'm debating going to that US store they just launched someday, omg)!  But I will post honest reviews and thoughts, I will let you know when exfoliants get stuck in your shower or what lippies smell like butt and why glitter polish can suck a fat one.  If you're a beauty product enthusiast (not obsessive, those people can shoo, you're kind of weird and smell like primer) or a beginner, let's hang out.  Or if I make you laugh.  That works too.

(P.S.:  I'm on Beautylish if you are.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

(P.P.S.: I'm sorry, internet, you're totally funny.  I can't watch that video you gave me of a greedy porcupine often enough.  Never change.)