Thursday, May 24, 2012

Majolica Majorca "Blood On"

(It should be noted that I first read about this blusher in Musings of a Muse's blog, which you should follow if you don't already.) 

I've never really had a relationship with blusher.  My mother uses it religiously, using three different colors to bring her pale skin to life.  If she doesn't, she tends to look like a zombie statue that someone made out of clay and hasn't yet fired in a kiln.  However, I'm half Mexican (and for some of you, I know the title of my blog is just now making some semblance of sense!), and as such, am not nearly as pale as my pure Irish mother.  I never really saw the point in blush.  And when I did put it on, I looked like a circus clown going to her other job as a streetwalker - camp and ridiculous.

But when I read Muse write about this blush, the color looked natural.  I love how I look when I blush, and when I get gussied up for Special Occasions, I pull out a super old school beauty trick and pinch my cheeks until I look flushed.  I get why blushes make sense for most people, but I wanted a natural looking flush.  And oh my god, I think I've found it.  Majolica Majorca, ilu.  Never leave.  ... wait, this is a LE?  KAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN.

It's a pretty generous size for what it is.  I got it off of eBay for ten bucks with three dollar shipping, which is pretty decent.

 Here's what it looks like in the container.  It looks hella red, I know, but give this girl a chance - she applies wicked sheer, so the color is totally buildable (you can put on layers and get your cheeks as blushy as you want them to be).

See what I mean?  And here's what it looks like on me.

These are in natural light, let me show you flash.

And why yes, I'm wearing it on my lips!  You can do that!  It looks okay!  I just look like I've been running around the block (which I haven't, stop laughing, you asshole)!  The wear time for me seems to be about six hours or so, but I usually wear BB cream underneath it.  Maybe that makes some sort of magical adhesion power, I don't know.

I'm probably going to have to buy another five of these and secret them around in my apartment like a squirrel, or an old woman with her costume jewelry, just so I never run out.  It's become a staple in my workday makeup routine.  Madly in love with this one.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nail MADNESS - Nail-Venturous Floam

I have a love/hate relationship with indie polishes.  I love the unique, different, and fantastically varied colors they offer.  No boring Essie polishes if you don't want them?  Yes please!  Supporting people and not huge companies?  If you know how much of a hippie I am, I'd much rather help out the little guy, the mom next door, as opposed to huge companies.  (Yeah, I know they're buying their stuff from The Man to make my polish, but I hope more profit ends up in their pocket.)

But oh, god, the quest to find the indie polish.  The sleepless nights, the email alerts, the shaking my tiny fist at the sky when that polish I wanted sold out in three seconds - that sucks.  I can just go on QVC and get me some Lippmanns, but if I want a specific indie polish?  I have to stalk it like a creepy dude from Hollywood.  And that's just what I did to get Floam by Nail-Venturous.  Amy at I'm feeling Nail-Venturous made this gorgeous thing, and I stalked NinjaPolish for a hot month to get it.  But it's mine, all mine, and I'm happy to say I love it just as much as I'd hoped I would.  Here's what it looks like about three minutes after application, no topcoat - because I got that excited about taking pictures of it and showing y'all.  (Though admittedly I got this about a week ago and didn't take photos because I'm a ditz, but shhh.)

I didn't even clean up my nails, and I don't care.  You can see the really dense glittering in here - basically this polish is a clear base with hella dense yellow, blue, and green matte microglitter.  And honestly, it really does end up looking like Floam!

The pros?  It's fucking gorgeous.  It makes me smile every time I look down at my hands.  I've gotten more compliments on this than any other polish I've ever owned, ever.  The first time I put it on, I got a solid eight days of wear before I noticed any sort of chipping, and that was with China Glaze basecoat / two coats of Floam / two coats of Seche Vite.  Eight days.  Eight!  The cons?  It's a bitch and a half to put on.  I had to wrestle a bit with it, but that's mostly something I expected.  With that much glitter in it, how could I not have to move it around?

I regret nothing in my goal to this polish, except maybe the bandwidth I sucked from NinjaPolish.  Indie polishes are really where my heart is, and will probably stay that way until major polish companies that aren't Chanel start to make colors like this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nail MADNESS - May Julep Box "Boho Glam"

I love my Julep box and look forward to it every month.  However, I'm starting to kind of get off of it, the more I get into crazy indie glitterbombs.  This month was a tiny bit underwhelming for me.  I normally get the 'polish lovers' box, but I already have a billion yellow and orange nail polishes.  So I went ahead and got the Boho Glam box this month.

Their pacakaging is always ridiculous cute, and this month was no exception.

Nicely sized foot file and a bag of goodies!

On the left is Sheryl, which looks just like a load of melted Werther's Originals with some shimmer mixed in.  It's pretty sheer on my nails, which caused me to scoff and immediately remove it.  Bah.  Sheers.  Then the purple is Kylie, the magnetic polish we all got.  I'm looking forward to using the striper magnet with some of my Nails Inc. magnetics and my China Glaze ones to see what happens.  The pedi prep I haven't used yet, but dear god - do not sniff it.  It smells like the devil's asshole.  And I also got a sample of the pedi creme, which is okay, but I still like my Burt's Bees coconut creme.

All in all - meh.  I'm not underwhelmed or overwhelmed, merely whelmed.  Maybe I just don't like summer colors - all bright and happy and cheery.  (It should be noted that this is what my nails look like right now.)

I'm wearing ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly on my index/middle/pinky and Julep Anne on the thumb and rings, each finished with a liberal dose of FingerPaints Asylum and Seche Vite.  Screw summer.  I want winter back.

Are you guys still into Julep?  What are you wearing?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sensitive Nose - Summer Fragrances

I have a really long history with perfume.  It starts with my mother; she has a really sensitive sense of smell, and for her - and subsequently me - aromatherapy is a very real thing.  Growing up, I came to associate the smell of Cover Girl Clean pressed powder with my mother.  To this day, when I smell it, I smile and feel homey and cosy.  She didn't splurge on much, but she has always worn Ysatis by Givenchy to bed.  The smell of it is enough to make both of our eyelids droop.  As I got older, I started to develop my own, decidedly different tastes in perfume.  In high school, I wore Joop! Nightflight for men and Polo Sport.  I fell in love with musky orientals.  Which was why I was surprised in recent years to find more of them made for women.  It gave me more options, and opened up something awesome - changing my perfume with the seasons.

It sounds terribly stuffy, but makes sense - the world itself smells different in the winter, spring, summer, and fall, so why shouldn't you?  The only problem with this is that I live in Texas, and we don't really have spring or fall.  We kind of go from summer for ten months to winter for two, then right back into ballsacky heat.  During those two months of winter, I tend to go for crisper oriental fragrances.  Lately, I've been wearing L'eauparKenzo (and yes, they smoosh it all together, don't ask me why).

It smells like clean, fresh sheets should always smell - minty, vanilla-y, and with a little bit of fresh rainfall mixed in.  The weartime isn't really that great; I can only smell it on myself for about four hours, max.  Granted, I haven't tried layering it, but I don't mind carrying the bottle around me if smelling it longer is crucial.  Just smelling it puts me in the mood for cooler weather and cosy blankets.  One ounce  of the eau de toilette spray sets you back 41.00 USD.  Considering how long perfume lasts, this isn't a bad deal.  I'll repurchase it.

I try to feign springtime around March and April with something floral and girlie.  Normally I don't like florals, so it took me eons to find the right one.  Whenever anyone smells Tocca's Florence on me, they tend to say things like "I wouldn't expect you to wear that, but god, it smells fantastic".  It's rose and Iris, and it smells the way I think Aslan smelled in every single Narnia book.  (Not so much wet Jesus lion, but more like flowering springtime and musk.)

I have gone through two bottles of this perfume.  It's something I find myself reaching for if I know I'm going to have a bad day, just because the smell anchors me so much.  Even though it's 68.00 USD for 1.7 ounces of the eau de toilette, I'll rebuy this until they stop making it.  And when they stop making it, I'll cry.

But now it's summertime, and the living is sticky.  I went out today to go to the gas station to replenish my Diet Coke stock, and that five minute trek was enough to make me shake my first and swear I'd never go outside again.  (It's 94 degrees Fahrenheit, in case you're wondering.  On May 5th.)  Florals make the bees come and inspect me now, and frankly, there's enough of the real things about to make me angry if I smell them.  So it's time to switch to something lighter and brighter.  These days, I'm wearing Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne.  It smells just like you think it will - like walking through an orange grove while eating an orange creamsicle, but not too cloying and overpowering.

from Neiman Marcus
In fact, the subtlety of this perfume is my only dislike of it.  At first it's pretty obvious I have it on, especially since I keep huffing my arm.  But three hours later, I forget I have it on at all.  I've debated buying an atomizer for my purse so I can put some in there.  This was a Christmas gift - my mom got me the 6.7 ounce bottle, which set her back 150.00 USD.  I don't know if I'd buy it myself (one ounce is 55.00 USD), but since I have a metric boatload of it, I'll never have to.

None of these are my Holy Grail perfume, which is something I'll write about another time, but what perfumes/colognes/scented oils are you guys wearing?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nail MADNESS - Nail Art for the Unartistic

When I was in junior high school, we had a mandatory art class.  Part of that art class was sculpting with clay a little figure that we'd eventually fire in a kiln (under supervision, of course) and paint.  I didn't realize until I moved away from Colorado how much of a hippie liberal arts school district I'd been in; it was only when I was under the oppressive bootheel of Arizona's public schools did I realize what a good thing I'd had.  Because while I was sculpting, I didn't get it.  Not the reason behind making us take the class - I didn't get how to do art.  Now writing, writing I get.  I love shaping words and images in people's minds.  I will debate at length why certain writers put commas in certain places.  I loved writing papers about why certain POVs were useful in creating a moral in a certain story.  But sculpting a little woman was beyond me.  I gave up and just poked some holes in a blob and told my teacher it was an abstract representation of the psyche of the woman in a world that was post-feminist and yet still bound by the patriarchy.  I got an A, which I think was mostly out of pity.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I'm not an 'artist'.  I love nail art, but I still don't ... get it.  Plus, beyond my ineptitude, I still have the whole 'no time for extensive nail work' thing.  One way I've found to make nail art super easy is nail decals.  Now, I'm here to tell you that there's two kinds of decals: the kind that are stickers, and the kind what are made out of nail polish.  DO NOT GET THE STICKERS.  Even if you put a topcoat on, as soon as you wash your hands they'll peel off.  I tried ones by Julep and Kiss both and they both said they'd last for five days minimum, more with a topcoat.  And what happened?  I went to wash my hands after I peed because i'm not a friggin' heathen, and bam.  Off with the nail stickers.  On the other hand, Sally Hansen Salon Effects are made with actual nail polish.  Does this make them harder to put on?  Absolutely.  Does this mean they'll last longer?  Um, yeah.  I put a topcoat on mine after using, and once had a mani last three weeks.  At 8 to 10.00 USD a pop (depending upon where I buy them), I'll take it.  And they're cute, too!

"Spun Up", a limited edition from around Halloween last year.

"Numbskull", a limited edition from around Halloween last year.
I also dig crackle for making it look like I put more effort into my nails than I really did.  It's also good for when you really like a color but just chipped the shit out of it by slamming it into your desk drawer at work while trying to root around for a paperclip and being a klutz.  Not that I'd know anything about that, nope.

This is Julep "Emilie" on my fingers (the green) with Chanel "Midori" on my ring finger (the yellow).  Over that, I've got plain old OPI black crackle.  That's about a week in.  You can see the desk injuries right around the cuticle.

And last but not least is my beloved Konad.  I love nail stamping, and it's honestly not as daunting as some people make it out to be.  Yes, it takes some time to do it and make it look good, but that's not too terrible.  In terms of skill needed, as long as you're partient and can handle repetition, you'll be okay.  There's a million and one tutorials on YouTube to help you get started.  And honestly, if I can do it, I know you can.  And I can do it.

That's Emilie again by Julep with Konad Special polish (plate M57) on top.  See how it came out mostly pretty clean?  You can do it too, I promise.

I can't draw a straight line even with the help of a ruler, but I like to gussy up my nails.  How do you do it?