Friday, January 28, 2011

And the verdict is...

No dice on the Sephora blushes. I packed them on until my face felt itchy and burn-y and still nada. All three blushes are very pretty in the pan but none of them translated to color on my cheeks. Abricot Plaisir and Bronze Sensation showed up as a hint of shimmer but no true color.  Sad too because I wanted to like them, I really did. Guess I’ll be getting that Nars Orgasm after all…maybe. That color doesn’t strike me as all that rich or deep either. I’m not the darkest berry in the basket, but finding a blush that shows up on me is becoming quite challenging. Ah well, back to the old blush drawing board. I’ll be dropping the Sephora blushes back in their handy dandy bubble envelope and sending them right back to their warehouse. Other than that…

No FOTD today chickadees, I didn’t wear a lick of makeup. In fashion news, a little birdy tweeted that H&M will be launching an e-commerce site for the United States…

Now the e-store won’t be opening until end of 2011/beginning of 2012 so don’t get too excited…yet. Though I’ve never shopped at H&M before, I’m actually looking forward to this. That’s all folks!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

FOTD and Blush Business


This should have been posted yesterday but I was too busy being lazy. Don’t you hate that? I worked on my resume, read, did housework, caught up with my bestie Shan, watched youtube videos, watched tv, chilled with my Sun and daughter…but was too lazy to post a blog, lol. I am wretched, I know. At any rate…

My Sephora blushes arrived yesterday and though initially I was excited about them…now not so much.

 I’m probably jumping the gun here because I haven’t actually put them on my face, I’ve only swatched them. But the swatches….ermm, not impressed. They don’t seem to have a lot of color saturation and I’m afraid the matte pink blush might leave me looking ashy. Here are the swatches…

I'm pretty sure I kept mixing up Abricot Plaisir and Bronze Sensation.

 Again, perhaps I am just jumping the gun here. I’ll test them out on my face later and see what I can see. Does anyone else use Sephora blushes? If so, what shades?  What’s been your experience with them? On to the next…

I did another FOTD with my Stila Color Wheel Eye Shadow Palette that I got from Apothica. This time I opted for what I thought would be a somewhat deeper earthier look. No dice. The look turned out okay, but it wasn’t nearly as deep on me as it looked on the model in the Stila Artistry Lookbook that came with the palette. Here are the pics of the shadows I used and the Artistry Lookbook example…

Now here’s my rendition…

Peach Stila shadow from upper lash line to brow bone, Burnt Sienna Stila shadow in crease and outer v, Brick Red Stila shadow on upper lash line, Brick Red Stila shadow pressed into center of lid, Mabelline Full&Soft mascara in Very Black on lashes, Sephora Flashy liner in Flashy Ultra Brown smudged on waterline & lower lash line, NYX blush in Copper on cheeks and Mabelline ColorSensational Lipstick in Crazy for Coffee topped off with ELF Minty Lipgloss in San Diego on lips.

I didn’t hate this look, I actually liked it. I just wish it had been a little deeper. The colors in this palette, though pretty and good quality, are pale. On my brown skin they look kind of washed out. I still like the shadows though. I'll probably have to start using a base of some sort. My clean up under and around the eyes wasn't so great either...I'll have to do better with that next time. All in all, not bad.

Does anyone else have this palette or any other Stila shadows? Do the colors seem too pale to you? Let a sistah know pretty please :-)

Later doll faces!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My first Stila look and my weekend retrospective :-)

Sooo, I didn't do a Stila look over the weekend. Actually, I didn't wear any makeup whatsoever over the weekend. I didn't do my nails, I didn't get fancy and I didn't leave the house. Sound fun? I agree. What I did do was continue to recuperate from this nasty little upper respiratory infection I've had for almost 3 weeks now. Though I'm feeling a lot better, I'm still not 100%. I'm hoping that by the end of this week I'll be back to my old self :-)
I also did a lot of reading, planning and talking to my Sun (I hope something sank in). I also spent too much time worrying about my BFF. He spent  lot of time with me while I was sick doing a little care-taking so I was fearful that he would contract my virus. On Saturday (I think) he told me he felt the beginnings of something (cringe) and that really worried me. That's how it all started for me. I'm hoping and praying that he won't get bogged down the way I was...this virus is no joke. On to the next...

Despite not using my new Stila palette all weekend, I did glance at it lovingly a few times, lol. Because I was all hyped up about my Apothica purchases coming so quickly I did a little shopping so the Stila and the Sheseido would have some new company, lol. Here's what I bought...

Though I wanted to try out Orgasm by Nars, I just wasn't ready to pay $26 for one blush. Instead, I got this Sephora blush in Bronze Sensation (a shimmery rosey bronze), Abricot Plaisir (a shimmering natural apricot) and Peche Tendre (a matte warm light pink). The names are soooo extra though, I mean really. How am I supposed to pronounce them, lol. Anyway, I'm thinking that I can probably use these blushes to recreate Nars Orgasm. If not, I still have 3 pretty blushes as opposed to 1. I hope the colors look good on me.

Next I bought this Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Face Brush. Since I bought those pretty new blushes I knew I would need a decent blush brush. I actually meant to get the F50 but I'm hoping this brush will be just as good. I already have the Sigma eye brush kit and a small contour brush and am quite pleased with their quality. These brushes were mos def a worthwhile investment.

Last but no least, I bought a lot of stuff from ELF. I won't post pictures because it would take too long so I'll just list what I bought....

7 Luscious Liquid Lipsticks (I love these!) in Pink Lemonade '06, Bark, Maple Sugar, Caramel Candy, Brownie Points, Cherry Tart and Ruby Slipper

Eyelash curler, brow comb/brush and 2 eyelash/brow wands

The blush/bronzer duo that's supposed to be a dupe of Nars Laguna/Orgasm

A blush/highlighter called Gotta Glow

The 100 eyeshadow palette

The ELF Studio Treat&Tame in Dark

2 Mineral Lipsticks in Bare Brown and Prime Plum

And an ELF Essentials Lipstick called Fantasy

I probably don't need all the ELF stuff but I wanted I got it, lol. There's just something so addictive about makeup and makeup's can never have enough, lol. What say you? At any rate, I can't wait until all my goodies show up so I can play :-)

And now for my FOTD featuring my first Stila look...

1-24-11 FOTD = Stila Pale Pink shadow from upper lash line to browbone, Stila Dusty Rose shadow blended from upper lash line to crease, Stila Aubergine on upper lash line, L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Black on lashes, Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Ultra Brown smudge on waterline & lower lash line, Milani Blush in Sunset Beach on cheeks and Mabelline ColorSensational Lipstain in Bit of Brown topped with ELF Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Maple Sugar on lips.

That blush application looks really bad to me but oh well...still learning. During the process of creating this look I wasn't sure I could pull it off and I wasn't quite sure I liked it. It's one of the looks from the booklet that came with the palette. All of the models in the booklet are white so I wasn't quite sure how the look I chose (let alone any of the others) would translate on my brown skin. In the end, I thought it was okay. The shadows give great color payoff and were pretty easy to work with. I noticed that the darkest color I used (Aubergine) was very powdery. I guess that's just the case with some shadows whether they're high end or not. All in all, I did okay and the look grew on me as the day went on. 

Here's the look and shadows I used...

You can clearly see which colors I used: Pale Pink, Dusty Rose and Aubergine. I don't really agree with all the names though...they don't always fit the colors.

As an experiment I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance on my right eye and the ELF Mineral Primer on my left eye. I wanted to see if there was really a difference between how well these two primers worked. TFSI is $18 at Sephora ($17.80 at Apothica) and the ELF Mineral Primer is $3 on the ELF website. Here is a picture of the look at around 10 AM...

I'm pointing to the TFSI eye. See how bright and clownish that blush looks? It's actually a combo of Desert Rose by NYX and Sunset Beach by Milani.

And here it is at around 11 PM...

Side by side close up comparison...

So thought there's some color fade, neither eye has obvious creasing. The ELF eye shows a little more wear and the beginnings of some creasing, but not enough to be glaringly obvious. 

Things I like about the ELF Mineral Primer:

It's thicker, blends out easily, works just as well as more expensive primers, long lasting, no drastic creasing even after 12 hours of wear, no smell and not as greasy as some primers I've tried. 

Things I dislike about the ELF Mineral Primer:

The container is cumbersome and will present a problem when trying to get all the product out. Shadow color fades as time goes by.

Things I like about TFSI:

Prevents creasing, comes in different shades and packaging will allow for removal and use of all product.

Things I dislike about TFSI:

The price, greasy feeling, product separates in tube and comes out messy, takes a while to blend out, the smell and color fades.

The $3 primer wins in my book. That's all folks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Better than good Friday!

This Friday is a great Friday because #1, I'm feeling better! My antibiotics must have decided to kick in because I can breathe through my nose and the solid block of congestion that took up residence in my chest almost three weeks ago is dissipating. I'm so relieved I don't even have the words to articulate it...I'll settle for a nice deep breath *breathing deep*

Thanks Apothica!
#2, I got my Apothica order today! I am really really impressed with how quickly this order arrived...I mean, I just placed the order late Wednesday afternoon. I can't wait to test the Sheseido moisturizer and play with the Stila Color Wheel tomorrow. I'll make sure I do a FOTD post tomorrow using the Stila palette.

The two products actually arrived separately; the Sheseido moisturizer came via UPS (from Cosmetic Mall) and the Stila Color Wheel came via USPS Priority (direct from Apothica). That was kind of disconcerting because had I not been home, the Sheseido product would have been sent back to the UPS sort facility for redelivery. I'm assuming that Apothica may outsource for products they don't have in their warehouse at the time. Though I understand things happen, I'm hoping next time I place an order my products will be shipped via USPS Priority as stated on the Apothica website. Other than that, I have no beef! Both packages were securely shrouded in bubble wrap, arrived undamaged and sooner than I expected.  

In other news....

Two coats of Foxy Lady by Milani
My third Milani of the month didn't turn out so well. I applied it last night and today it looks like this...

The other hand looks even worse. Though I love the colors, the brushes and the smoothness of the formulas, I just can't deal with how long it takes for these polishes to dry. Perhaps this is why they have sat for so long unused on my nail polish rack. I'll either have to learn to be completely still for an hour or two after I do my nails or stop buying Milani polishes. Does anyone else have an issue with Milani polishes?

My other issue is with NYX eye shadows.

*Begin rant*

I haaaaaaaate NYX eye shadows sooooooo much! They are chalky, way too soft and too many of them have horrible color pay off. I have tried with NYX, I really have, but they just can't have anymore of my money (for eye shadows anyway). I bought 43 of their single shadows during a sale they had back in 2008 ($43) and bought their box of shadows a few weeks ago ($35). I wound up giving the singles to my daughter in 2009 because I couldn't do anything with them. She in turn gave them to her cousin because she said the colors didn't look good and barely showed up on her dark skin. I'm not sure what I'll do with the box of shadows because my daughter has enough of my cast off makeup, lol.

You may wonder why I gave NYX more of my money in the first place....well, I thought perhaps my first experience was a fluke. Perhaps those single shadows were sold off cheap because they were part of a bad batch. No dice. They're just crap shadows. Sorry NYX, no bueno. I love NYXblushes and glosses, but their shadows are worse than Coastal Scents if you ask me. 

Despite the poor quality of the shadows, I still created an okay FOTD...

I used three different shades of purple eye shadow for this look. I lined my waterline with Sephora's Flashy Liner in Deep Black and smoked out my lower lashline with the same shade of purple that I lined my upper lashline with. My cheeks were treated with Milani's Mineral Blush in Sunset Beach and my lips were covered with Mabelline ColorSensational Lipstain in Plum Flushed (topped by a Revlon gloss called Bronze Sensation). Even with my Sigma brushes, this was a chore to pull off. Not bad looking though if I do say so myself :-)

That's my Friday thus was yours? Any big plans for the weekend? 

I'll holla ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Have you tried Apothica?

I don't know about you, but I like my beautification supplies. From eye shadow to lipsticks to fingernail polish, all I can say, is ooh eye like it! Hence the blog name right, lol? So anyway, I recently received a gift card from and perused their site getting acquainted with the brands they offer...they offer a lot! So much in fact, I've gone over the site several times for a few hours at a time and have had the hardest time making up my mind on what to get. Sheseido, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox and many many more, the selection is incredible! Along with some of the aforementioned brands, Apothica also carries brands that I've never heard of like BECCA Cosmetics, It Cosmetics, Twist & Pout, Diane Brill and more. As I was going through the different brands I even noticed new brands being added as I browsed. I know things move quickly in the world of beauty, but Apothica seemed to really be on the ball, lol.

Image taken from the Apothica website.

At any rate, I must have spent 4 or more hours browsing (even enlisting help from my bestie Shan) before I finally decided on the Sheseido Pureness Matifying Moisturizer...

I've been searching for what seems like eternity for the perfect moisturizer for my super oily skin. I'm hoping the Sheseido will be a good fit for me. I also selected the Stila Cosmetics Color Wheel Eye Shadow Palette...

Image taken from the Apothica website.

I'm really looking forward to playing around with the Stila Color Wheel because it comes with a pro artist lookbook that can be used to create different looks. This will be great for me because I'm still very much a novice when it comes to makeup application techniques. 

After making my choices, I checked out with my Apothica gift card (they also accept Paypal) and promptly received an order confirmation e-mail. I was really impressed by how swiftly the order was confirmed because I'd just hit the submit order button. Since it was late in the afternoon when I placed my order, I fully expected no more info until the next business day....but guess who received a shipping confirmation email a couple hours later? Yep, that's right! I've ordered lots of beauty supplies from lots of different beauty sites, but never have I experienced such a quick turnaround. I can't help but rub my greedy little fingers together in anticipation of my goodies :-)

Other things to note about Apothica:

All U.S. orders of $49 or more ship free via USPS Priority Mail and arrive in approximately 2-7 business days.

60 day, hassle free return policy.

Loyalty points - 5% back in rewards.

Guaranteed lowest price - 115% price matching.

If you haven't already been to the site, I suggest you check it out now. After all, you can never have too many sources for good beauty products ;-)

Let me know if/what you buy, I love hauls :-D

Later gators!

*This blog post is sponsored by Though a sponsored post, my opinions of and my account of my experience with their website are honest and unbiased.*

On the mend...

I just looooove cats don't you, lol? So yesterday I finally went to the doctor, hooray for me! I've been sick with a terrible upper respiratory infection for two weeks and it has been the most miserable two weeks of my life since 2000. I was sick like this back in 2000 for three weeks. I had just switched jobs and my insurance hadn't kicked in so I had to suffer through. Since I stuck it out back then, I thought I could do it now too, but I didn't seem to be getting better. I tried several home remedies, nearly drowned myself in teas and chicken noodle soup and even tried sleeping my way through the sickness; all to no avail. I had to see a doctor....and so I did. The kindly doctor told me I could have avoided all this had I been using a humidifier as soon as winter started. She said that dry air aggravates the mucous membranes thus causing the risk of infection to increase. So for all you out there in winter wonderland and dry air, get a humidifier STAT! Along with her stern motherly advice, the good doctor also prescribed a course of antibiotics and a very strong prescription strength cold syrup. I took the syrup last night before bed and was out like a light. Though I'm supposed to take it three times a day, I probably won't. I don't much care for drugs and the way they make me feel. At any rate, I'm hoping the antibiotics will kick in soon so I can get back to my old self.

Mr. Sandman by Milani

Other than that, I've been practicing applying makeup (i.e. eye makeup/blush, I no longer wear foundation) and resting my sickly body. I'm nowhere near close to making my January goals (sad face) due to my illness, but I'm going to do my best to knock out as many as I can. In the meantime, here is a pic of the second Milani polish of the month...

I'm not a fan of this color but I have to say, I love Milani nail polish. The formulas are almost always smooth, they're usually opaque in two coats, the brushes are perfect to me and they have some really beautiful colors. One thing I do dislike about Milani polish is the fact that they take FOREVER to dry. Even with the miraculously fast drying Poshe base and top coat, this polish took forever. Mr. Sandman actually smudged and dimpled because I didn't wait long enough for it to dry before I went to bed. C'est la vie.

And just for your viewing pleasure (and some constructive criticism) here are some makeup looks I created...

Products unknown. Shades of gray smokey eye.

Milani Eyeshadow in Flare on the lid, ELF shimmering dark brown shadow in the crease/outer corner, Mabelline shimmery beige shadow on browbone, Sephora Lash Plumper Mascara in Black on lashes, Sephora Flashy Liner in Deep Black smudged on waterline, NYX blush in Copper on cheeks, Mabelline ColorSensational Lipstain in Bit of Brown topped by ELF Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Maple Sugar on lips

Sephora's Flashy Violet liner on the waterline with a smudging of black shadow underneath. NYX Jumbo pencil in Iced Mocha on the lid blended with 2 ELF shadows on the inner corner, outer v and crease. Sephora's Aspen Summit on the browbone. NYX Vixen on the lips and Mabelline's Lash Discovery in Very Black on the lashes.

Another really sick day. Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Violet on the upper & lower lashlines, Sephora Flashy Liner in Black on waterline, Mabelline Full&Soft Mascara in Very Black on lashes, Sephora Aspen Summit on Brownbone and Milani Mineral Blush in Sunset Beach lightly dusted on cheeks, clear gloss on lips.

I really don't like this look and I was feeling especially sick the day I did it. NYX blue on lid, NYX gold in crease, NYX cream on browbone, Mabelline sapphire liner & Mabelline Crazy 4 Coffee on lips.

Lancome 4Passion on lid, Lancome Pink Veil on browbone, Mabelline Black Smoke in crease/outer corner, Mabelline Unstoppable Liner in Onyx on upper lashline/ smudged on waterline, Mabelline Crazy for Coffee on lips, L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara and NYX Desert Rose on cheeks.

Dark shimmery orange NYX shadow on lid, brownish wine NYX shadow in crease/on outer corner, light shimmery orange NYX shadow on browbone, dark brown matte ELF shadow on upper lashline, Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Ultra Brown smudged on waterline/lower lashline, Maybelline Full&Soft Mascara in Very Black on lashes, NYX Copper blush on cheeks and Mabelline ColorSensational Lipstain in Bit of Brown topped with ELF Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Maple Sugar on lips.

Products unknown. Shimmery neutral eye with winged liner.

Products unknown. Shimmery neutral smokey eye.

Products unknown. Pink and purple smokey eye.

Those are the looks I did when I wasn't too sick to apply makeup, otherwise I was bare faced and in bed. So what do you think? Any tips or pointers? 

That's all for now folks. Adieu!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm sick :-(


How cute is that kitteh? He looks exactly like the cute little 7 month stray that found his way to my door earlier this week. As much as I loved that cute little nugget (and that's what I named him), I had to take him to the animal shelter after the third day. I'm allergic to most furry animals and with me being sick, Nugget aggravated an already aggravating situation. I miss his cute little self though. Here are a few pictures of Nugget, my Sun, myself and my BFF...

The little nugget

How cute is he? The little rascal was very high energy and loved to run and pounce on EVERYTHING. He was also very affectionate, he loved to jump up into my lap and have me pet him. He had this vibrating purr that reminded me of race car engines, lol.

Here's Nugget bonding with my Sun, me and my BFF. He loved my BFF the best, lol.

I really miss the little nugget but I don't miss the itchy nose, eyes and tons of cat fur floating around. I'm sure someone will adopt him and love him as much (if not more) than I did. but other than that...

I caught a really bad upper respiratory infection from my Sun and daughter last week and I have been so out of commission it's sad. I don't get sick often but when I do, it's usually really bad...and what I'm dealing with is pretty damn bad. As a result of this, I haven't felt like doing much of anything other than drinking lots of hot tea, eating tons of chicken noodle soup and trying to rest. Despite all my efforts though (and plenty of home remedies) I don't seem to be getting better. My next step is to go to a doctor (I hate western medicine) and accept the bottle of antibiotics I know they're going to prescribe. This will no doubt cause additional problems (hello yeast infection, ugh!).

Before I got sick, I filmed a video about an issue that's been weighing heavy on my heart for a while. Check it out...

This video doesn't even begin to scratch the surface about body image, self-esteem, healthy vs. unhealthy habits, etc. but, it's a start. Conversations need to be had, especially with teen girls, about how to maintain their health and self-esteem. Just like there's a natural hair movement picking up steam and empowering women, there should be a movement to empower women and girls to accept/love themselves and respect their journeys. Let's encourage one another starting today!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear January...

I have a few plans for you...

#1 - I have 96 nail polishes, most of which have never been used. 7 of my 96 nail polishes are Milani. This month will be a month of Milani and I will use every single Milani polish I have at least once. Here's the first one...

Ruby Jewels by Milani - Opaque in two coats, went on smooth, nice brush and the formula is just right.

#2 - Start my new Vision Board.

#3 - Upload all the videos I shot last year but never uploaded *shame face*

#4 - Finally see Burlesque.

#5 - Put together a completely thrifted outfit.

#6 - Do a blog give away.

It's good to have mini goals :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Brand New Day, Brand New Chance

So for many, today is the beginning of the new year. I acknowledge this simply because I live in America and we use the Gregorian calender. Unlike most I know, my new season doesn't begin until March 20, 2011, which is the day of the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring in the northern Hemisphere). Spring is the season for rebirth/regeneration, thus, the perfect time for my season of new beginnings. So, though I have not made any resolutions for January 1st (never have and never will), I have goals that I am working towards accomplishing. When those goals are accomplished, I will set new goals and so on and so forth. Along with goals set and awaiting accomplishment, I have daily affirmations and monthly projects I work on. The most important thing I can do for my Self, is to be Self-approved. The body isn't much without a strong mind and spirit so I am constantly working to improve on the triad. One of the aids I'm using is Iyanla VanZant's book "Until Today". I bought this book sometime last year but never started it. Since the first chapter coincides with "the new year", I figured I'd go ahead and start it. Has anyone else read this book? Is anyone currently reading this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Today while blog surfing, I came across a wonderful blog post by Sally McGraw of Already Pretty that mirrors many of my daily affirmations. Sally's post titled "The big Secret", reminded me that in our daily lives (especially with being constantly subjected to damaging messages from mass media) we may have many seeds of Self-doubt planted in our psyches. A good way to combat this is to be Self-approved and the best way to accomplish this (IMO) is to use affirmations. To some it may seem hokey and lame, but for me it is the equivalent of a having a suit of shining armor, a shield and a sword. I can protect my Self from the flaming arrows aimed at my psyche and I can cut through all the BS that advertisers, etc. try to feed me about my Self image.But no matter how you do, take the time to honor the divine in your Self. Remember that you are exactly where you need to be and you are doing exactly what needs to be done. Everything will be just smile :-)