Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 2011 Favorites

Another month... flew by! I imagine the last month of 2011 will be the same.
Here are the favorites that maintained my cosmetic obsession this November:

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters, $7.49 each
I have nothing to say about these that hasn't already been said, but here are a few in my current rotation:

Left to right: Sugar Frosting, Pink Truffle, Sugar Plum, Creamsicle, Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Parfait
Great reviews and swatches can be found at Beauties in Bloom, Don't Call Me Jessie, and Beauty Gala.
There is not a thing I do not LOVE about 'em!

Sephora #55 Airbrush for liquid foundation application $34
It can be a pain to wash it after every use, but I'd rather spend the time washing this (best cleanser I've found for this purpose: Beauty Blender Cleanser), than trying to scrub foundation off of my fingers!  The application tends to be sheerer than other methods (beauty blender, fingers), but also very natural and quick!  Thanks for Jessica from Don't Call Me Jessie once again for mentioning this on her blog ages ago (it was on my list until the F&F sale!).

Pond's wipes $5-ish
They're extremely easy to find at any drugstore, which I love.  I'll admit they're not as good at eye makeup as MAC or CVS wipes, but they are rather wet and seem to more thoroughly remove base makeup from my skin.  I must admit, though, that I'm dying to try E.L.F. makeup wipes since I read Yu's recent rave review!

Toss up: Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Baby/Jingle G ($25 for the .33oz, $45 for the 1oz)
Obviously, the packaging is over-the-top adorable, but I really love how festive ornament Jingle G smells the way I wish fruitcake would smell!  I'm wearing it constantly in the cooler weather.
I had the mini-size of Wicked Style Baby, but I had been wanting one of the soft, felt-haired full-size bottles from the Wicked Style line.  I couldn't justify it until I noticed my husband sniffing me blissfully one afternoon... what a relief I remembered it was Wicked Style Baby that'd I'd spritzed that morning!  After confirming with a fresh spritz of it to the husband's nose, I ordered this during the V.I.B. sale at Sephora.  I heard Harajuku Lovers fragrances are going to be discontinued, so if you are wanting to collect them all you might want to get a jump on it!

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Enhancing Gel CreamLiner Glam Eyes ($10.95 at drugstores, but often on sale)
These are really great gel liners you can get at most U.S. drugstores.  The brush they come with isn't even half bad.  They also make amazing creaseless eyeshadows (as seen here).  The Glam Eyes and regular line alike come in many colors and several of the colors have glitters... I love The Dark Side of Beauty writer Nancy's eye looks with Stila Smudge Pot in Little Black Dress (black with purple glitters), but I can't find it anywhere.  Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips makes a black with purple sparkles, too, but I can't remember which set it's in cuz I hauled them all... but if you're wanting to dupe Nancy's amazing looks, I think these work well for the cost!  Check the packaging to find out which glitter you're getting :)
Pictured: Top = Glam Brown Eyes trio (the gold is a dupe for UD Primer Potion in Greed, and I'm wearing the black with bronze sparkles thickly as liner here), Bottom = Glam Green Eyes trio

Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre ($16)
I'm on my second bottle (for sanitary reasons), but I never want to be without this gorgeous, multi-purpose shimmer fluid.  The dropper packaging is rather stupid, I'll admit.  It also tends to lighten shadows a bit but its sparkle is just too beautiful to let that bother me.  Reasonable price, too, in my humblest.  The quickest, no-brainer/no-skill evening look I do with it is just dab it across my lids and high up on my cheekbones over my day makeup.
Don't have dirty thoughts! The consistency is definitely water-like :-P
MAC Nordstrom Exclusive Holiday 2011 Festive Face Kit (no affiliation, if you're wondering) $59.50
I don't know if this is still available or not, but this is all I took on my Thanksgiving visit to family in St. Louis and I found it to be extremely versatile!  I apologize I don't have photos of the looks I did with it, but I found it was super-easy to just vary the placement of the very blendable shadows included to get completely different, flattering looks.  The colors look amazing with my light eyes, and even better with my reddish (dyed) hair.  The brushes are also pretty decent and I didn't miss any brushes I'd left at home.  My review and swatches can be found here.  If you've got similar coloring to me you will NOT regret picking this set up!

Y'all ready for Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years yet?

Water Prize Giveaway Winner - The Last One!

All good things must come to an end - Fall is wrapping up and giving way to Winter, and my 100 Followers Giveaway has also found its last winner!

Congratulations, Amy of PrettyPinkLips.!

You win the Water Prize (the best, in my humblest):

I will be contacting you via e-mail for your shipping details and will mail your prize out as soon as possible.

Once again, I'd like to thank all of you guys for making this blogging thing more than an exercise in narcissism.  I really love reading all of your blogs and commenting, and I'm over the moon when you guys stop by and say hello
Sarah S.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Please don't TEAL my credit card number...

My hair is looking shaggy and brassy so I've *cleverly* cropped it out of the photos! :-P
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Frosting
So, it finally happened.  After years of shopping online with abandon at innumerable retailers, somebody finally hacked my information and made fraudulent charges on my credit card.
I feel so violated!
It is a small comfort to know I likely will not be held liable, and I know other people that have been victims of this kind of fraud.
To cheer myself up, I've done a colorful EOTD!  It's been a while since I reached for colors this vibrant :-D Works a charm <3

Method: Too Faced Shadow Insurance is my base all over, followed by the champagne shade (rehab, fourth from left) on the inner third of the lid applied with a flat eye shadow brush.  Next I applied the purple-tinged blue (bellbottom, second from right) to the outer 2/3 of just the lid with the flat brush, avoiding the crease to tame the bright blues for daytime.  Using just the side of the flat eye shadow brush, I carefully traced the turquoise (peggy, fourth from right) into the crease and outer v, being careful not to take it up too high (for this look, I'm sort of sneaking blue eyeshadows into my office by hiding them in the crease only to be seen when I close my eyes).  This makes for a harsh line, which I softened by using the slanted blending/crease brush with the champagne color (rehab) around the turquoise and up on the browbone as highlight.  Lastly, I used the pencil brush in the teal color (bukowski, third from right) to line the outer 2/3 of my lower lashline, used a white pencil on the waterline, and applied mascara to top and bottom lashes.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara 1 (decent mascara, but not really worth the $30 price tag, in my opinion), Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Liner in White, Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Angeles, EcoTools flat eyeshadow brush (great for concentrating color, can be used to apply concealer), pencil brush, slanted crease brush

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Bird that Dreams of Being Queen

I bought these adorable, gorgeous earrings from The Emporium at Worshipblues.  Her "shiny fings" are always so befitting her blog's style and I was so excited to finally secure some for myself!
I ordered "Freezing" but I don't know why I had it in my head that these had the bow-shaped crystals like the "Sprouting" earrings. Alas, they're missing that little "something" for me but when I opened up the box I realized they were perfect for my coworker, Hitomi (shhh, don't tell her, it's a suprise!).

I couldn't be happier with "The Bird that Dreams of Being Queen" earrings. First of all, of course the little bird post is adorable!  The story, horribly paraphrased by moi, is that the little bird steals the crown off the head of the queen and flies away:

There is a trapped gem inside the crown as well <3  They're amazing!
I apologize I don't have a full-face photo... my hair needs to be dyed and is super-shaggy right now, and I'm breaking out (PMS... argh).  I hope those of you that celebrate had a cozy, delicious Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NOTD: No fewer than two GUYS complimented me on this!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Plaid About You (limited edition Holiday 2011)
 Holding on to a patent faux-croc wallet from NY&C:
Just a word of caution: I noticed these showed mistakes in application and some tip wear far more readily than other patterns I've tried.  If you haven't used nail wraps before, I recommend starting with a lighter-colored pattern.
<3 Sarah S.

Air Prize Giveaway Winner

First of all, I'm sorry for the slow-down in blog posts!  We've had the same dark, dreary weather a lot of my favorite bloggers have been experiencing, not to mention the ramp-up to the holidays creating all kinds of busyness business to contend with!  I hope you guys will remember me when things have calmed down and I can post more regularly.

But on to a happier subject: the second-to-last Thanksgiving giveaway winner has been randomly selected...

Congratulations, artsavesyou  <3 And thank you for reading!

She wins the Air Prize:
I hope you'll enjoy! Bella Bamba is a real beauty!

I will be contacting you via e-mail for your shipping details and will mail your prize out as soon as possible.
*Please note that this week is a holiday in the States, so I will not be able to ship until next Monday, November 28th. Thanks for understanding xoxo

Also, don't forget that the final Thanksgiving giveaway drawing will be for the Water Prize and the deadline is next Tuesday, November 29th, at midnight! You can get two entries on the original giveaway post here.
Happy Thanksgiving and good luck, guys! Enjoy your Black Friday shopping, as well <3

REVIEW: NYX Highlight and Contour Powder

When I first opened up my compact of NYX Highlight & Contour Powder, I groaned.  I thought it would either go to waste or have to be sent back.  It looks like one of those giant Black&White Cookies from Manhattan:
Yum, but not so great for my fair-to-medium skintone!

Or so I thought.  When I swatched I was relieved to find both of the powders to be silky, sheer and *nearly* goof-proof.  I found them easy to both apply and blend with a regular blush brush from Eco Tools.  I got mine from for $8.50 (heads up; they're having a 20% off Thanksgiving sale with code TGS20 if you want to try your hand at contouring!).

There's a handy basic contouring guide on the outer packaging:

I applied according to these directions for the result below. What do you think?

Without Nyx Highlight & Contour Powder
With NYX Highlight & Contour Powder

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giveaway Drawing on Wednesday, November 23rd (and Three Dresses)

The next giveaway drawing is coming up!  To enter this one drawing only, simply leave your e-mail below for this prize and I will hold a random drawing on November 23rd! People who submitted entries on the original post will have 2 valid entries counted and will be automatically entered in subsequent prize drawings.

The next prize is the Air Prize:
Prize Air includes: Benefit Bella Bamba, Wet n Wild Color Icon Palette in Lust, CoverGirl LashExact waterproof mascara, Urban Decay Travel-size 24/7 eye liners in Zero and Ransom, Wet n Wild Color Icon Liner in Deep Blue, Stila Lip glazes in Grapefruit and Seashell, Urban Decay mini Primer Potion

Good luck, guys!
Also, in case you were curious, below are the three dresses I could wear to the holiday party... I apologize for the low-quality photos!

Black jersey column with spaghetti straps and a super-low back:


Cranberry jersey column with a gold-clasp detail and deep-plunging draped halter neck:

Black chiffon knee-length Goddess dress:

Which would you wear (keeping in mind this is an office party...)?

Friday, November 18, 2011


Dior Aurora (Full name: Diorskin Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora 001) is a gorgeous, sold-out, limited-edition satin-finish peachy bronzer from Dior's Spring 2011 collection.  Many of my favorite beauty bloggers have expressed that they've hit pan on theirs recently.  I often wind up disappointed when I spend more than $40 on a product, but I don't regret a thing about Dior Aurora (it was one of my September Favorites!).  It's the perfect no-brainer cheek color. 
I'm not sure if there are any readers out there who missed their chance to get this one, but just in case you were hoping for an affordable dupe, it just so happens I've lucked into TWO of them!
Honorable mentions: NYX Blush in Terra Cotta is a very similar peachy bronze, except it is an absolute shimmer bomb.  NYC Bronzing Powder in Sunny $2.99, is a matte bronzer of a similar intensity, but completely lacks the peach of Aurora.

Dupe Contestant #1 is Gold Coast, a blush in the Stila Loves Roxy Palette $14, LE but still available.  It's the top blush in the palette.

Dupe Contestant #2 is Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in 60 Coffee Cake (cute name, right?).  This is being discontinued, which is how I happened upon it; I saw it on clearance and when I got it home and tried it on my cheeks I found its glow really familiar! Retail price is about $7.49, but check your local drugstore to see if they've got it on clearance (I got mine for $4.40 at Meijer).

Both of these look more shimmery than Aurora in the swatches, but their shimmer blends away to leave more of a satin finish that more closely resembles Aurora.

In natural light (shade), left to right: Dior Aurora, Maybelline Coffee Cake, Stila Gold Coast

In natural light/artificial light mix

In warm artificial light

This Dupe Smackdown is a little different from the previous four.  I'm not really seeking a "Winner" this time.  Dior Aurora is a long-gone limited-edition product that I think is just fantastic enough to make me want to hunt down a similar color to get the same glowy-effect on days I can't be bothered to apply several different products.  Both Stila Gold Coast Blush and Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Coffee Cake satisfy this desire!  I did the classic test of applying Dior Aurora to one cheek, and it's potential dupe to the other, and found that both of these look and wear just as well.

Dior Aurora is on my right cheek, and Stila Gold Coast is on my left

FOTD: Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer in Medium, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.75 (a little too light), Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles in 60 Brightener (the pink one), Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Silk Eyeshadow in 6 Khaki Pulse, Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black, MAC Hue Lipstick
Betsey Johnson Earrings
Express Sweater
Someone wanted to see how this top looks on me, so here you go!
Haha, obligatory office bathroom picture!