Friday, November 30, 2012

The E.L.F. on the Shelf

I'm not rich, but I am a makeup fanatic and spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 on beauty products in any given year (remember that budget I was trying to stick to from this past February? I managed to stay within the budget for 8 out of 10 months :-D The two bad months I spent about $430 and $745... yikes!).  The funny thing is, lately I've noticed what a HUGE majority of my go-to products on my everyday shelf in the bathroom are from Eyes Lips Face, better known as E.L.F., which is just about the cheapest makeup brand that I can think of.  So, while E.L.F. products take up a tiny fraction of the money I spend on makeup/beauty products, they're really the workhorses of my daily face these days.  Crazy, right?  Here's a list of the ones I'm using almost every day:

Essentials Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 in Light Beige (I don't know how but this doesn't break me out and does a darn good job of evening out my skintone) $1

Studio Maximum Coverage Concealer Oil-Free in Sand (this works so well in my undereye area!) $3

Studio Concealer Brush (works with that concealer flawlessly) $3

Studio Tone Correcting Powder in Cool (does a great job of keeping the undereye concealer free of creases) $3

Studio Cream Blush/Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia (so natural, I adore it!) $3

Studio Angled Blush Brush $3

Studio Golden Bronzer (Dior Amber Diamond dupe, worn as my highlighter) $3

Essentials Sheer Eyelid Primer (doesn't really make eyeshadow colors pop like a base product would, but it does keep my eyeshadows from creasing) $1

Studio Waterproof Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara (honestly doesn't lengthen or volumize very much, but it is very black, holds a curl, and provides a really great daily mascara look) $3

Essentials Spoolie (for my brows) $1

Some other favorites that I don't use daily but have bought multiples of:

Studio Flat-top Powder Brush (one of my favorites for applying liquid foundations) $3

Studio Contour Brush (one of my favorite eyeshadow brushes) $3

Essentials Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal (a nice dupe for Benefit High Beam) $1

When I noticed that I could be doing my makeup for special occasions or everyday life using all high-end brands like Burberry, Chanel, YSL, etc... and yet keep reaching for these budget gems I thought it was worth sharing with you all!

What E.L.F. does need to improve upon:
Eyeshadow.  The bad ones are crumbly, powdery and terrible and the good ones aren't quite pigmented enough or just fade very quickly.
Eyeliner: Actually, the cream ones in the pots in the Studio line aren't too bad, but packaging is a big problem with E.L.F. (of course, with high-end makeup part of what you're paying for is really luxe and well-designed packaging) and they dry out incredibly fast.  The E.L.F. pencils I've tried that require sharpening are too hard and tug at my delicate eyelids.
Foundation: They don't make any worth using if you have anything that needs covering, but the quality of their new Maximum Coverage Concealer does give me some hope.  Foundation is one of those products, like skincare, that most people are probably better off splurging on, though, anyway.

To be honest, I've not really tried many of their lip products... they seem to be pretty typical of cheap drugstore quality to me, and I simply prefer my lipsticks to offer a luxurious experience.  Especially because lip products tend to be all that I carry with me and who doesn't love to whip out a beautifully packaged lipstick or gloss in public?

I'm not in any way affiliated with E.L.F., just a satisfied fan of them.  I think their website is relatively navigable, and I haven't had any problems with them except for one recurring issue: they have made order packing mistakes on 3 out of my last five orders!  I know that's a pretty terrible rate, but each time I e-mailed them and they either rushed me the missing items or immediately credited my money back, no questions asked, within a couple of days.  So, while their order packers are kind of crap, their customer service is excellent.  You can get all my favorites for $31, likely with free shipping, at, and some of their products are sold at Target.

Can you guys recommend any other E.L.F. winners to me?  The worst part about E.L.F. is it's so cheap I'm always itching to buy back-ups I don't need... XD

<3 Sarah S.

Monday, November 26, 2012

L'Oreal Buys Urban Decay and... I just don't have anything left

Maybe you've heard this news.  As a gal committed to her vegan makeup collection, I find this super-disappointing and ultimately rather depressing.  Makes me feel like I don't even want to write a beauty blog anymore (what's the point, if practically all the makeup companies are owned by one or two BIG companies that test on animals? I don't want to promote them, even in my microscopic corner of the internet).
I'm still a big fan of Too Faced, and independent companies like Lime Crime and Fyrinnae.
I get tons of my basics from ELF, which is both affordable and of decent quality.
I guess all I'm trying to say is I really appreciate all of you guys and the support you've given my little bloggie for over a year, and I'll enjoy your blogs whether you're into cruelty-free only or not... but I'm feeling like I don't really want to blog anymore myself.  I've always bought everything for this blog with my own money, and I just don't know if I can generate a decent number of posts when I only use a few brands.
Anyway, <3 you guys.  This might be good-bye.
Sarah S.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Please help me decide?

Hi guys! I hope all has been well.  Sorry I have not been blogging but life has simply been all kinds of cray.

I finally decided to build my own Urban Decay eye shadow palette, and I'm stumped as to the last shadow to include... so I though I'd put it out to the blogosphere for assistance.  I already have the first five shadows picked out, and I'm just not sure whether I want to round the palette out with Cobra or Naked.  What do you guys think?

Top Row: Roach, Chase, Mushroom
Bottom Row: Foxy, Maui Wowie, Naked

Top Row: Roach, Chase, Mushroom
Bottom Row: Foxy, Maui Wowie, Cobra

*Please note: These are NOT my swatches.  I got them from the internet - I think most of them are from Temptalia. I couldn't swatch them myself because I don't have them yet.  I will gladly take them down if Temptalia asks me to.  Hope I'm not being a complete jerk using them for this purpose!

If I wasn't a terrible blogger I'd embed a poll or something, but as it stands I'd really, really appreciate it if you left me a comment about which shadow to choose.  Thanks, guys!
<3 Sarah S.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lisa Eldridge's "Biba" Eye

Hi guys! Sorry I'm neglecting my blog.  I'm really hugely pregnant (perhaps you want to see?).
Lisa Eldridge recently did this video with a look that inspired me to get off my rounded duff and play with my cosmetics.  I frickin' love her, by the way.  Besides her talent, she's extremely knowledgeable and affable, too :) When you watch her videos she can tell you about the history of classic looks like this one.

As you can see, I did this eye look over my daily makeup (which has been nothing more than tinted moisturizer, concealer, powder, brow powder, and blush) and it's almost totally worn off... not fabulous.
But, I had such fun with the bottom lashes I thought I'd make a little post on this bloggie.

Products - ELF Mineral Eye Primer, Too Faced Matte Palette, Physicians Formula Black Automatic Eye Liner, ELF Lengthening & Defining Mascara, Wet n Wild Color Icon Shadow Single in Sugar, Revlon Beyond Natural Lashes in Flirty (not cruelty-free anymore), DUO Lash Glue

Do you guys love 60's makeup half as much as I do? XD

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sleek 20% Off... Pigmented Vegan Blush!

Hey ladies! I just wanted to give you a heads up once I saw on that Sleek is offering 20% off of everything through September 5th... they've recently revamped their website and lowered their shipping charges to the U.S. AND now they include a note on their products that are suitable for vegans!
*happy dance*
I highly recommend trying out their blushes and contour kits (unfortunately their awesome eyeshadow palettes supposedly cannot be shipped to the U.S. due to ingredient restrictions).
I honestly prefer their pigmented blushes to NARS's! (not an affiliate link)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vegan Japanese Curry Rice

Hi guys! Sorry this isn't a beauty-related post, but I'm just so pleased with myself... one of my favorite things to eat when I lived in Japan was Japanese-style curry rice.  I went vegan shortly after returning to the U.S., so I haven't had one of my favorite foods of all time for 6 years because I was too lazy/intimidated to make a Japanese curry rice recipe from scratch (most people make it with store-bought sauce mix which isn't vegan).  However, after my most recent company BBQ where I was tortured into smelling my coworker's delicious curry rice while pregnant, I decided enough was enough and I had to give a vegan version a go.  My first attempt wasn't perfect, but it taught me some minor tweaks to make this delicious meal available to me again!

Best served over real Japanese glutinous rice <3

My first attempt, leftovers, shown with instant brown rice... not as good as the Japanese rice, if you can get it!

Vegan Japanese Curry (feeds 4)


2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 sliced onion

3 Boca Original Vegan Burgers micro-waved and diced (or cook Chik’n patties, slice into strips, and place on top like katsukare)

1 lb. diced potatoes (about 8 small-to-medium Yukon gold potatoes)

2 diced carrots

1 minced clove of garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp Earth Balance Margarine

¼ cup of flour

3 tbsp S&B Curry Powder
(I read in several other from-scratch recipes that any other curry powder won't do... look to an Asian/Japanese grocery near you for the best price, or find easily on

3 cups water

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Seasoning Mix

2 cups or 1 can of vegetable broth

1 tsp. of Better than Bouillon – Vegetable (or vegan vegetable bouillon cube, if you can find them)

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp A-1 Steak Sauce

1 tsp instant coffee

1-2 tsp sugar (depends how sweet you like your Japanese-style curry rice)


How to:

1)      Pre-mix the Seasoning Mix ingredients and set aside.

2)      Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in your pan.  Stir-fry onion over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger until they are browned (not burnt) and there is no liquid.

3)      Turn heat to low and add the flour, followed by the margarine.

4)      Add the curry powder and mix well. Let cook until fragrant.

5)      Add a cup of the water to dissolve the paste.  Then add the remaining water and the Seasoning Mix.

6)      Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7)      Heat the other 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan.  Stir-fry the potato and carrot, adding salt and pepper to taste, until the potatoes are translucent.

8)      Add the contents of the frying pan (and Boca Burger pieces, if using) to the Roux mixture that has been simmering, and bring to a light boil for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ooooh... Fyrinnae!

This isn't really a complete look (no eyeliner, some fallout, barely any mascara), but I just got my Fyrinnae order in the mail today, plopped some on just for fun, and these shadows are just... gorgeous! 

ELF Mineral Eye Primer
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
Fyrinnae Electro-koi (inner 1/2 of lid)
Sugarpill Asylum (outer 1/2 of lid and upper crease)
Fyrinnae Velvet Vampire (inner crease and lower lashline)
Fyrinnae Mephisto (outer crease)
Wet n Wild Megavolume Mascara (yellow tube)

I tried to find some good light, but - alas!- there was none to be found.  Sorry for this low picture quality.

Monday, August 6, 2012

We Have A Winner!

Hi guys!  A big Thank You to all of you for your great comments and reading my little bloggie.  I drew the winner yesterday for my 200 Followers/1-Year Blogiversary Giveaway of the four Coastal Scents 88 palettes and


is the Winner! You win the internets <3
I sent you an e-mail to the address given in your blog, so please respond within a couple of days so I can get your prize sent out to you.

Thanks again to everyone, xoxo!
Sarah S.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bubble Gum Swirl

I didn't really start out with the bubble gum ice cream pop in mind as inspiration, but as I just grabbed up my loose eyeshadow colors by whatever struck me this bubble gum ice cream pop look just came together... it's even got frosty "freezer burn" on the inner half of my lid and lower lashline :-P

Like this...
Or this "Froze Toes" XD

I've got such a craving for one of those pops now! Did you ever get the bubblegum flavor from the ice cream truck?  I loved how I could eat the frozen bubblegum with nobody warning me it'd stay in my stomach for seven years ^.^//

Products Used:
E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
Fyrinnae Calavera Cupcakes (inner eyelid)
Sugarpill Loose Shadow in Birthday Girl (outer eyelid)
Victorian Disco Rowena (crease and outer corner) (FYI this company is having problems filling orders and I don't recommend shopping with them at this time)
Wet n Wild Coloricon Shimmer Liner in Silver (lower lashline)
Physicians Formula Automatic Eyeliner Trio for Brown Eyes (black liner, waterlines)
Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner in Indigo Blue (upper lashline)
Wet n Wild Mega Volume Mascara (yellow tube)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I've found my HG Eye Cream - Boscia Enlivening Amino AG Eye Treatment

Look at me, blogging again so soon!  Maybe it's just a good blogging time of year ;)
I wanted to share with you the eye cream I've thoroughly tested for about 6 weeks now... I'm certain it is my HG and I don't want to be without it!
It's the (vegan, of course) Boscia Enlivening Amino AG Eye Treatment, $38.  It's not the cheapest cream on the block, but it's also far from the most expensive eye cream I've ever used.  Last summer I quite liked the cooling feeling of Dior Hydralife Sorbet Eye Creme and repurchased it, but it really wasn't doing anything for my eyes besides feeling cool and moisturizing slightly.  As soon as the colder weather hit, it almost seemed drying, in fact.  I tried a few other eye creams since then, and the best results I got from any were a very temporary reduction in fine lines around my eyes (29 here, starting to see those!).  Most times the fine lines reappeared within a few hours, and of course were completely present if I didn't happen to apply those creams that day.

What was the problem? I'm extremely prone to milia (little white pimple-looking spots around the eyes caused by trapped dead skin and oils.  Often these are caused by lotions/eye creams that are too rich for the eye area they've been applied to). 
So, all the eye creams I tried were light gels, or geared towards a younger eye with thin/light lotion textures.  Unfortunately, these creams really weren't moisturizing enough for my eye area, but I wanted to stay away from the heavily-scented, super-thick textured eye creams most older ladies use.  I'd rather have a little bit of fine lines than icky-looking milia, thanks!

I got a sample of the Boscia Enlivening Amino AG Eye Treatment earlier this year, gave it a try for a few days and thought it was pretty nice.  It does have a floral scent that is a little strong for my taste but it fades really quickly to nothing.  I didn't see an immediate reduction in my fine lines from the sample packet alone, but since it is vegan I thought I ought to give the full size a shot.  I gave up on the Dr. Hauschka I was using (which is okay, but didn't do anything for my fine lines that didn't wash off) and started using the Boscia eye treatment in early June, and in a matter of a few weeks my lines were gone and were staying away.  To be honest, I doubt this effect is permanent, but it's basically the most I've ever seen an eye treatment do (and I've used loads of different ones over the past couple of years).

I'll admit the Boscia cream does nothing for my dark circles, but I honestly don't believe any eye cream would be able to do anything for dark circles - how could they? It's not darker skin, it's thinner skin.  I don't think anything you put on your skin will make it thicker and with more concentrated melanin (skin pigment).

The gel-cream hybrid texture is really smoothing (almost feels like a silicone primer, but I'm not sure if it has silicones or not), slightly soothing but not overly cooling in that menthol-shock sort of way, thick enough to feel it when you've just put it on (but your skin actually absorbs it), and thin enough to spread around super easily. 

Plus, it comes in a pump!  Much more hygienic than so many eye creams that come in jars.

To sum it up really basically, this is the best eye cream I've ever tried, vegan or not.  The texture is perfect, the level of moisturization is perfect for me (oily skin, but drier eye area), and the results (early fine lines - gone!) last longer than a few days.  I love it and I have to restrain myself from buying more backups than I can use before it expires XD

<3 Sarah S.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Makeup Collection and Storage (vegan)

Hey there, beauties! I thought maybe you guys would like to know exactly what on earth could be left of my collection after my massive clearout (sent to the incomparable Aly of Wonderland Beauty.  She does very handy reviews, guys; go check her out!).  To be honest, there were loads of other stuff in my collection that I gave to my mother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousin as well.  I guess you could say I'm now a *reformed* cosmetics hoarder
 ;-)  I was partly inspired to do this by the Urban Decay issue (since resolved - and I kept a lot of my vegan Urban Decay stuff), Vivianna's streamlined collection, and simply noticing how much mileage I could get out of using just my vegan products.  I rarely use up anything makeup-wise, so this clearout made that a possibility at last.  I still have some well-known vegan products on my wishlist - more OCC Lip Tars and OCC Concealer, for example!  Also, I did not photograph my little saved stash of vegan goodies (which include Lime Crime palettes and eyeliners and backup vegan mascaras by Wet n Wild and E.L.F.).  The following is just the stuff I've currently dipped into that resides in or on my vanity.

Left side of vanity: Caboodles acrylic organizer, Real Techniques brush holder, Anna Sui brush cup, and Eco Tools by Alicia Silverstone brush cup.  This isn't all my brushes because some of them are laid out to dry after a wash.  Most of my brushes are E.L.F. Studio, Eco Tools, Tokidoki for Sephora, Too Faced, and Real Techniques.  They are all synthetic!  I also have a beauty blender there.

My vanity mirror can be flipped up and down.  When the mirror is out, you can see inside the center console.  Here I have vegan (but not cruelty-free any longer/purchased prior to announcement of selling in China) MAC eyeshadows, Sugarpill loose shadows, a Z palette filled with depotted Urban Decay palette shadows (all vegan shades) and E.L.F. Studio Blushes, and an acrylic lipstick holder I got off that holds Wet n Wild MegaLast lipsticks, vegan MAC Lipstick shades (only Mattes: Ruby Woo, Please Me, and Russian Red), Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty vegan lipstick, and vegan Lime Crime lipsticks.  I also have a non-vegan MAC lipglass in Nico which I found miraculously at the CCO in Florida this past February - I am keeping that for nostalgic reasons because I wore this on my lips to my prom in 2001 (dates me).

A small Z palette containing MAC Melba (vegan ingredients but not cruelty-free), and five more shades of depotted Urban Decay vegan shadows.

Right side of vanity: Two Muji 5-drawer Acrylic storage units - so worth it!  I'm sure I'll keep these forever, they are so handy. On top there is an Anna Sui black acrylic box that matches the brush cup I have.  I got both of them at last summer.  They were also pricey but I'm sure I'll keep them forever.  I've got another small acrylic holder inside there because I just don't have enough stuff to require it separately right now.  Inside there is the Fyrinnae Velvet Gel Silica Primer I'm testing, Stila Oil-free foundation in Shade C (a little short on coverage for my skin right now, but an ok foundation overall), Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, and a deluxe sample of Boscia BB cream (I still really like this stuff, one year later!).  Next to that are some MAC things for Back-2-MAC, and I plan to trade them for another vegan-ingredients Matte lipstick: Lady Danger!

Top Drawer of the Muji stack: Neutral Eyes drawer.  I've got my beloved Milani Brow Fix Kit, Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, E.L.F. Eyelid Primer; Fyrinnae, Victorian Disco, Wet n Wild, and Too Faced eyeshadows all in vegan shades.

Second drawer down in the Muji stack: Colorful shadows drawer.  Same brands as above plus E.L.F. (don't bother, these are often rubbish and fade crazy quickly) and Sugarpill.

Third drawer down: Vegan liners from Wet n Wild (their shimmer liners and some of their liquid liners), Stila (their waterproof felt-tip pen liners and smudgesticks), Physicians Formula (automatic pencil liners), and Urban Decay (I kept only the vegan shades of 24/7 pencils).

Fourth drawer down: Cheekies.  Sleek blushes are supposedly all vegan, so I'm psyched to have kept my blush by 3s in Lace and Pumpkin, and singles in Flamingo and Scandalous.  Anybody super nice from the UK want to send me more Sleek blushes? ;-) I have a mini of vegan Wet n Wild Mellow Wine and full-size vegan Heather Silk, a couple of Fyrinnae cheek highlighters (don't care for them, btw), the Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light (awesome), and E.L.F. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal (which I happened to like better than any of my Benefit highlighters, surprisingly).

Fifth drawer: E.L.F. Mineral Foundation in Light and Mineral Booster, Too Faced Amazing Face Powder Foundation, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and Milk Chocolate Soleil, and the E.L.F. Golden Bronzer (I consider it passable as a dupe for Dior Amber Diamond, which I gave away with no regrets to Aly).

Sixth Drawer: Lip Glosses! Lime Crime glosses and OCC Lip Tars in Grandma, NSFW, Melange, and Memento.  An E.L.F. gloss kit, a couple of Fyrinnae glosses I haven't used yet, and Wet n Wild glosses.  I also have a couple of OCC Lip brushes and a deluxe sample-sized Too Faced Perfect Lips Pencil.

The remaining drawers are full of sharpeners, Face Atelier Foundation samples I haven't colormatched yet, unopened glosses, a Wet n Wild LE bronzer I think is vegan, and more brushes.
I separated them by contour/highlight brushes, stippling/blush brushes, and foundation brushes.

Not pictured: My daily tinted moisturizer, eye cream, concealer, lip balms, and other items I store in my bathroom.  These are not numerous, but I use them every time I do a FOTD and nobody needs to see the state of my bathroom right now XD so I thought it wasn't necessary to include them in this post.

Disclaimer: These products are all vegan enough for *me*.  I am not an authority on what is vegan and if you are a strict vegan please double-check your products' ingredients. I do apologize if I have incorrectly labled some products as vegan when they are in fact not.  This is all just to the best of my knowledge!
I found a source that I personally trust for even more mainstream beauty products that are vegan:
Beth Br00tality.  Check out her list - you may be surprised what products you already use that are totally bunny-friendly!

Also, I don't think I need the "I'm not bragging" disclaimer because I'm a grown-ass woman with a career and expendable income, and I earned it :-P

So, what do you guys think? Is my collection lacking anything?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1 Year Blogiversary/ 200 Followers Giveaway

Happy Sunday, everyone!  It just so happens that my little bloggie hit 200 GFC followers recently, and today is my 1-year blogiversary!  I'd held on to this little prize I'd purchased for my 1-year and it just so happens I'm psyched I've got 200 beautiful readers eligible to win it :-D
I want to thank you guys all once again, also, for your really lovely congratulatory comments <3  I will always have a place in my heart for the supportive, beautiful beauty blogging community.

On to the prize!  I purchased a set of four 88-palettes by Coastal Scents.  These palettes are full of pigmented eyeshadows that last really well over primer and let you play around with colors before committing big money to a full-size shadow pot.  These palettes are full of, for example, Urban Decay Naked Palette dupes (they are the palettes that got me by until I was able to secure my own Naked Palette... remember those days of scarcity, my friends?).  If you've always wondered if red eyeshadow would make your eyes look ultra-lovely or just make you look ill, these palettes give you a selection of reds from primary to cranberry so you can find out without being stuck with a regretted purchase.  The finishes are a mix of shimmery and matte, plus some metallics.  If you only wear eyeshadow occasionally, they are a great alternative to investing in MAC, too.

If you want to win these four palettes, please comment below.  I will try to contact you for two days after the end-date for your shipping info, and no response will result in a re-draw.

This is open internationally! I will pick a number via on August 5th.
Please be 18 or get permission from your legal guardians.
Thanks so much again, lovelies!

Bonus EOTD: Red Smokey Eye

I used the instructions from Karen for a simple smokey eye.

Products Used:
Milani Brow Fix Brow Kit in Light
E.L.F. Eyelid Primer
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero
For the red shadow, you could use Sugarpill Asylum (I used an indie brand I can't recommend because they've run into difficulties fulfilling orders)
E.L.F. Exact Lash Mascara

<3 Sarah S.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

200+ Followers!

Hi guys! I was just planning to scan my sidebar of fave blogs this morning, and lo and behold I noticed I had hit over 200 followers!  I'd like to say a welcome to my new followers, and thank you to my readers for sticking around even though I haven't been updating consistently lately.  I love reading your blogs and your comments and sharing this completely fun hobby with you all!
I will have a giveaway coming up to celebrate, so I hope you'll stay tuned :-D I have a rather fun thing picked out for beauty lovers who crave variety in their makeup collection ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

EOTD - Rusty

Hi, gorgeous girls! My computer is driving me nuts as it seems to not register every key I hit, so I hope you'll appreciate the effort that is going into this write up as I have to go back every couple of letters to re-enter (yeah, it's super-irritating!).This summer I've almost completely skipped wearing eye makeup, save for the occasional play-around (which usually winds up here on the ol' bloggie), so I'm afraid my skillz have gotten a bit rusty.  This has inspired a sort of Fall colors rusty eye look on this lovely Saturday.  I hope you're all having a great weekend and like my look <3

No face shots b/c I really didn't wear any other makeup besides a little ELF concealer under my eyes :P

I used:
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy (lid only)
Victorian Disco The Life Binder (dry, lid only)
Victorian Disco The Earth Warder (dry, crease and outer corner)
Victorian Disco Zidane (dry, browbone and blending color)
Victorian Disco Godric (wet, lower lashline)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Demolition (upper lash line and flick)
Physicians Formula Automatic Eyeliner (brown shade from brown eyes trio, waterline)
Wet n Wild Waterproof Megaplump Mascara (red tube- forgot to curl my lashes but this stuff really holds a curl well)
Note: All items used are cruelty-free and vegan

Can you tell I'm ready for Autumn yet?  Especially apple cider and doughnuts; We've got loads of great Cider Mills in Michigan and they make amazing fresh cake doughnuts lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg (mmm!).
Also, you could probably guess from my color choices that I'm lemming NARS Autumn Leaves sheer lipstick really badly (go to Temptalia to see it - stunning!) but as NARS is not a cruelty-free or vegan brand I'm restraining myself... I'll let you guys know if I locate a lovely sheer rust lipstick that's CF and vegan, as I'm definitely on the hunt now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Milani Brow Fix Brow Kit - Rave!

Hi guys! It's been a long time since I've gotten excited enough about a product's performance (let alone a mundane product, like for the brows) to write up a review.  However, I had to do a full face of makeup after literally months of mere enhancement so I could feel confident to go take new passport photos.  I realized with full foundation (and my natural, dark brown hair color) that my brows were looking a little anemic.  I decided to try this nifty little palette I'd picked up ages ago at CVS, I think.

The tools can rotate up off the mirror on a hinge.  There's something sort of Batman-y or James Bond-y about it <3

The Milani Brow Fix Brow Kit in Light is $6.99, so a really cheap thrill.  I think originally I didn't buy it for my brows, but for the trio of shades in it I thought would make a great, easy everyday natural eyeshadow look.  I was right about that, but in filling in my brows this morning I realized that the darkest shade in the palette is really perfect for me.  I've never had brow-filling look so natural on me!  Most pencils I have skew reddish (which was fine when my hair was dyed red) and I don't have a wide selection of matte browns in my collection because when I wear eyeshadow, I tend to go for a bit more... pop!  The "hi-lite" shade is also excellent for shimmer in the inner eye corner but isn't too frosty for the browbone (I hate frost on the browbone, generally).  I really haven't done anything with the middle shade yet - it is too light for my brows but I could see it flattering a blond or a paler girl.  I think it might make a nice matte, sheer, skintone shade of eyeshadow, because in the swatch it basically hid in my skintone.

hi-lite, brow1, brow2 swatched using fingertip over bare skin (no primer)

The palette comes with a mirror (which I did use when I filled my brows and found it adequate), a sponge-tip applicator (which I also used for my browbone and tear duct highlight - it worked a treat), and a mini set of tweezers.  The tweezers are so tiny I'm sure it'd be annoying to use them to completely groom brows, but they worked at nabbing a stray hair in a pinch.

I filled my brows around 10 am and they still look freshly done at 5 pm, as this photo shows.

This is a really great little palette, a good value for the money, and widely available.  Definitely worth picking up! (ahem, I think I'll be heading out to purchase a back-up, tbh)

I purchased this palette with my own money.  Milani is a cruelty-free brand.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Consumer Success! Urban Decay Scraps Plan to Sell in China!

Hey guys! Excellent news! Urban Decay listened to the outcry of their current customers and decided not to sell in China in order to comply with the brand's core beliefs!  It makes me feel so great to see such a complete consumer victory!  Though I still feel uneasy that this situation even arose, I intend to become an Urban Decay customer once again because ultimately they did the right thing.
You can see their statement (where I saw it) at
They have also been re-certified by Peta and Leaping Bunny <3

Now please excuse me while I go retrieve my beloved complete 24/7 eyeliner collection from my give-to-my-cousin pile ;-)

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Hello out there to everyone who is still around!  I wanted to apologize for how little I've updated my blog this year, and thank you for having been a reader up to this point.  I don't intend to take the blog down or anything, but I find I just have zero desire to write up or photograph for any posts in the recent months.  My makeup purchasing has also dramatically decreased, and I gave away the bulk of my collection (most to Aly of Wonderland Beauty, and partly inspired by the Urban Decay issue and Anna and her very streamlined collection).  I could tell you what I've been using each day and it would fill up a single post... I've been that boring!  Though, I think at some point when I really feel my routine is perfected that I will probably update the blog with a post to share those treasures.

I just wanted to make a quick shout out to you all and let you know that everything is OK in my life because I know you are all so caring and sweet that I would hate to make anybody worry.  I hope you've noticed that I'm visiting your blogs as often as I can and I make sure to comment occasionally so you'll know you haven't lost a reader (and I really appreciate how you guys comment even when my posts aren't makeup/beauty related).  I hope you'll stick around for when my exhaustion lets up a bit and I get my blogging mojo back <3
Sarah S.