Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 2012 $200 Makeup Budget

A February no-buy proved to be too difficult a challenge for me, so I decided instead to set a budget for the month and attempt to stick to it.  Now, $200 is a LOT of money for just makeup and I realize that, but this is one of my only hobbies and I typically spend a larger chunk of my income than $200 on makeup/beauty and the $200 includes shipping and sales tax.  FYI I used all the images I could easily get from Polyvore so some of the colors aren't what I actually purchased.  I also forgot to include a lip gloss and two gel eyeliners by Essence.
The cost breakdown:
1) Real Techniques Webstore $50 (two stippling brushes, a brow/lash brush/comb, eye shadow shader brush, eye brush set)
2) MAC $59 (Call Me Bubbles eye quad, Melba blush pro pan)
3) Milani (CVS) $6 (two clearance lipsticks - Red Delicious and Minky Pinky - and Leaf Green Runway eye shadow)
4) Physicians Formula (Rite Aid) $25 (Happy Booster blush in Warm, PH blush in Natural, and Youthful Wear Matte Translucent powder)
5) Wet n Wild (CVS) $2 (eyeshadow singles in Trashed and Golddigger)
6) e.l.f. $20 (two flat-top powder brushes, two stippling brushes, two makeup removing wipe packs)
7) L'oreal True Match Foundation $3 (Rite Aid)
8) Ulta $25 (2 Essence gel eyeliners and a lip gloss, plus the Real Techniques Core Collection)
9) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 001 Translucent $4 (Meijer)
10) Rimmel The Max Volume Flash Mascara $6 (CVS)

Have you ever tracked your incoming makeup to try to cut back on accumulation?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Foundation Collection and Application - A Comparison

I now have a bonafide foundation collection, and each foundation has been tested to determine my preferred method of application.  Funnily enough, most of my foundations work best with different application methods, which makes me glad I have such a selection!  I'm also including (what I hope is) a bonus for you guys; a comparison between the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and Core Collection Buffing Brush.  But that's not until the end. Please stick around and let me know if you like the same application methods as I do!

EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush $10
I like this with loose or pressed powder foundations (or whenever you want more coverage from a powder - this packs it on pretty densely) i.e. Bare Escentuals in Light $28 (not pictured) or e.l.f. Mineral Foundation in Light $5  Please note: Some won't like the super-thick base of this brush as it can't fit in a brush cup.
Combo = $15 to $38

e.l.f. Studio Flat-Top Powder Brush $3
I prefer this with sheer, watery liquid foundations, like my Jemma Kidd Light as Air, $38 on
Combo = $41

Sephora Pro Foundation Airbrush #55 $34
I prefer this with my Chanel Perfection Lumiere $55 (light-weight, medium coverage)... both are priciest in my collection!  This is my go-to when it's a special occasion but I won't be photographed.  This just doesn't photograph well on me (full review here).
Combo = $89

Beauty Blender Sponge $20 (but I always buy it in value-packs)
I like this best with medium-weight, full-coverage liquid foundations like my Bourjois Healthy Mix, $12 from when I bought it - this is my go-to for special occasions at which I can expect to be photographed because it covers well and doesn't cause much flashback.  I also love the beauty blender with my Boscia BB Cream, $38, which isn't the usual BB Cream texture (it's more light and gel-like).
Combo = $32 to $58

Real Techniques Stippling Brush $10
I adore this with my L'oreal Magic Smooth Souffle Foundation $15 (an airy mousse).  This is my HG, everyday combo and by far my favorite. It blends the easiest and quickest of all these combos! I must admit, though, that the stippling brush takes a bit longer to blend liquid foundations because they'll go on streaky at first. Not a problem with this mousse foundation at all :)
Combo = $25

Fingers -
BB Creams (i.e. Missha M Perfect BB Cream No. 23 $12.99 for 20mL from, not pictured), Tinted Moisturizers (Origins Vitazing $35, Stila Sheer Color Tinted in Medium SPF 20 $34, not pictured), L'oreal True Match Foundation $10 (light coverage with a heavier, lotion-like consistency)

Now, the moment of truth - because I TOTALLY lied. I claimed earlier I was going to compare the Real Techniques Stippling Brush with the Core Collection Buffing Brush, but the honest truth is that they don't compare at all.  The Core Collection Buffing Brush is more densely packed than the Stippling Brush, and I noticed a similar finish to the E.L.F. Flat-top Powder Brush when I tried it out with all my foundations.

Obviously, they don't look alike, but they offer the same finish and work best with sheerer liquid foundations.  They don't leave streaks as much as the Real Techniqes Stippling Brush so if buffing in a sheer liquid foundation is your thing, either of these will be great for you!  Seeing as the Core Collection Buffing Brush is smaller than the E.L.F. Powder Brush, it might be better for people who want to feel as though they have a bit more control over where the foundation goes (but the E.L.F. brush is $15 cheaper than the Core Collection kit and buffs in your foundation more quickly. Things to consider).

I hope you found this interesting and helpful!
Sarah S.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brown Smokey Eye with my Neglected Naked Palette

Greetings, lovelies! I forgot I had a high-collared brown shirtdress, and decided to try out that collar with it. I feel iffy about it, still, but I did get some compliments so it can't be all bad :)

I don't wear brown eyeshadows all that often.  Usually if I wear neutral shadows, it's just a quick wash across my lids for a rushed daytime look.  I've really been admiring the brown smokey look I've seen on starlets lately, though, so I decided to be matchy-matchy and do the brown smokey eye with that dress.

I really like the photo above because it best shows the gradation I tried to attain.  Using the Naked Palette, I put Dark Horse thickly along my upper lashline, followed with Sidecar across the upper lid.  I opened my eyes and defined my crease with bronzey Smog, then put Toasted in the gap between Smog and Sidecar; really, the hidden part of my socket you can't see when my eyes are open.
I dusted a bit of Smog under my lower lashes, then highlighted and blended the crease color out with Virgin (though I would have preferred Sin once I saw how that looked. I felt like Virgin was a bit too light for all over my browbone).
Next, I rimmed my eyes all around with Urban Decay 24/7 eye liner in Corrupt and tried to get it on my waterline (but the shimmer UD 24/7 pencils don't work so great there).
I finished the brown smokey eye with Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking on upper and lower lashes.

Haha, maybe you're thinking, "Naked Palette looks are done to death," but I am a weirdo and rarely use mine!  So this is a "different" look for me :-P

Bad angle (looks like I have no neck) but I like my smile.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February Empties

It seems like the haters are out in full-force this month!  Not only did I get a nasty comment, a fashion blogger I love wrote about her insecurities at Caught up in Cake, and Wayne Goss (a makeup artist and youtuber I admire immensely) just put up a video about hateful comments in the youtube/blogging world.

Check them out and support them!  We're all a sort of team of beauty-lovers here (in my eyes) and we're not about to let haters bring us down <3 even if we're sometimes our own hater.

Pictured: the blue tub is all that's left of my full-size tube of Stila Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Medium; the pale pink tub is all that remains of my latest tube of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo; sample of Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense; Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment 1oz.

I managed to finish up several products so far this month! I'm proud of myself because I'm trying to stop buying backups and new stuff when I've got perfectly good products to use.

Macademia Hair Treatment Oil - I loved this. I believe over the years that hair gels, waxes, sprays, mousses, and pomades have contributed to my acne, but since I've used this oil my skin has been pretty great so it obviously doesn't cause acne for me!
This is the $13.50 size and I don't love the bottle, but they've got a $39 size that's a better value and includes a pump (which I already purchased.  I hesitated about this purchase because I just started a full-size bottle of Ojon Damage Reverse Serum (which does the same job), but the packaging is this terribly annoying dropper).  Packaging matters!

CVS makeup remover wipes - love 'em, I have back-ups and would definitely repurchase

Ponds all-day clean makeup remover wipes - love 'em, I don't have more yet but I will certainly repurchase

My second tube of La Roche-Posay Effaclar duo - ADORE it. I am going to stop using it while I try to conceive/am pregnant but they'd better not change a THING with this because I'm going back to it immediately in about a year.  It is my skin savior!

Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense Eye Makeup remover sample - great stuff; if I didn't have a good travel-sized bottle of Clinique Take the Day Off and a full-size of Lancome Bi-Facil, I would be buying this Chanel remover.  I probably will buy it in the future.

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Medium (first full-size) - Love it, possibly more than Origins Vitazing. I already have a back-up of this but I'm going to use a new tube of Origins Vitazing to see if I like it better.  So far, the Origins Vitazing feels a little greasier to me so it looks like the (shock!) Stila is winning!

Dermalogica Active Moist - love that it doesn't make me break out, but it doesn't do much of anything, really; not very moisturizing. Still looking for a great SPF-free non-tinted moisturizer for nighttime that doesn't cause acne.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads  (box of 10) - I really like these but I think my skin reacts to them :( If I leave the tan on too long (more than overnight) I break out. I think I have the same problem I had with Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel pads. They might just be too harsh. They make my skin so nice at first but then my skin rebels and the smooth texture I initially got becomes all rough (yuck). I think I'm going to stick with Kate Somerville Exfolikate or Exfolikate for Acne because my skin has never gone rough using those.  Also, Vivo Per Lei Peel is good. While pregnant I'm going to try using Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel and Elicina cream because they are both pregnancy-approved.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple  12 oz.- Already bought a new, larger 16 oz. bottle. It doesn't 'wow' at first, but over time you realize your skin really loves it.  It is great with the Clarisonic, too.  I don't currently use it at night; I've been using Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing Oil at night (I think it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean so I haven't been using another cleanser afterward, but I do use a wipe first).

Any products you're proud of finishing this month?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

5am Flight Face and can you fashion bloggers help me?

I got this pretty collar from ASOS because it was the only reasonably-priced collar necklace I could find.  I was wanting one so badly ever since I saw this one on Sabrina from the Freaky Friday blog.
Problem is, I don't really have any crew-neck tops and I don't know if I ought to wear it with an open neckline... can a fashion blogger help a gal out and weigh in?

I took these photos around 4:30 am because I had to run and catch a flight to Kansas City last weekend.  I must say I think I look all right for a bleary-eyed lady at the buttcrack o' dawn!

Makeup: Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Medium, L'oreal True Match Foundation in W3, Physicians Formula Happy Booster Powder in Translucent, Too Faced Natural Face Palette Classic Radiance look, LA Splash Eyeshadow Sealer/Base, MAC All That Glitters Eye Shadow, Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner in Stray Dog, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk or Tokidoki Donutella gloss (not sure!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

DUPE SMACKDOWN #7: Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Eyeliners

Happy Friday, Beauties. I just wanted to again thank you all for your kindness and support!  It is so saddening when trolls make nasty critiques and it can feel so discouraging.  We're all putting ourselves out there by blogging, however, and unfortunately that type of person is also out there.  On the wonderful side, for every single mean troll there are dozens of people with gorgeous hearts, as all of your comments evidence.  I can't thank you enough <3

Top to Bottom: UD Dime, Milani Silver, UD Flipside, Milani Aqua, UD Electric, NYX Azure, UD Stray Dog, Sephora Taupe, UD Bourbon, Wet n Wild Copper, Milani Brown, UD Demolition

Back to fun makeup talk, now!  I have several black eyeliners, brown eyeliners, color eyeliners... but most of them have some nuance of difference. I did a comparison for fun in my stash (FYI I collected every Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner over the past year.  They're now $19 apiece!) and found a few cheaper alternatives to the pricier Urban Decay pencils - have you noticed these dupes in your stash?

UD Liner: Dime
Dupe: Milani Liquif'Eye Metallic Eye Pencil in 02 Silver (Milani pencils are $7.99 each)
These two wound up not being total dupes, so my apologies. In the warmer light at my house they looked dead-on, but in the harsh, reflective office fluorescent lighting the Milani looks lighter.  Disregard if you like!

UD Liner: Flipside
Dupe: Milani Liquif'Eye Metallic Eye Pencil in 04 Aqua

UD Liner: Electric
Dupe: NYX Slide On, Glide On, Stay On & Definitely a Turn On Water Proof Extreme Shine Eye Liner in Azure (sheesh, what a name. On the pencil it also says, "This eye liner is so good, the name had to be this long!" can anything be that good? haha). $8

UD Liner: Stray Dog
Dupe: Sephora Flashy Liner Waterproof in 14 Taupe $8

UD Liner: Bourbon
Dupe: Wet n Wild Color Icon in Copper $0.99 (best bargain! It's not as creamy, admittedly, but it lasts on your lashlines)

UD Liner: Demolition
Dupe: Milani Liquif'Eye Metallic Eye Pencil in 05 Brown

Top Row: UD Dime, Milani Silver, UD Flipside, Milani Aqua, UD Electric, NYX Azure
Bottom Row: UD Stray Dog, Sephora Taupe, UD Bourbon, Wet n Wild Copper, Milani Brown, UD Demolition (I messed up the order while swatching, sorry!)

Of course, quality/lasting power are legitimate concerns.  The picture above was taken after I washed my swatching arm with soap and water (minimal rubbing). As you can see, even the bargains didn't really budge!

Please share any dupes you've found in your liner stash below!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Should an "ugly" girl write a beauty blog?

I was on the fence about starting a beauty blog for ages. I thought, "I'm clearly no makeup expert and it's debatable whether I'm even an attractive person!" Lucky for me, my husband swears up and down that I am, indeed, pretty.  Extremely lovely and sweet readers have also insinuated as such. As we all know, it takes more than looks to avoid being ugly.  A kind person is never ugly, in my book.  We all have imperfections and insecurities (even the stunning among us). I, for one, have a "huge schnoz," as this commenter pointed out (on this blog post - a food blog I started randomly but am abandoning because it's a pain):

Youre a piece of trash because I read what you wrote on another girl's blog, implying that her "goth" makeup style is ???
get it through your head
In general,I disagree with telling anyone how to wear their foundation,blush/powder/eyelin­eretc. Everyone has their own style. Many light people tend to go light/lighter or mix it with a luminzer to make themselves brighter/radiant/porcelin like. An example would be dita von teese, who stays out the sun to maintain her light skintone and wears light foundation. Others prefer to be dark/darker andsunbathe or use bronzer all over their skintone. Different people have different preferences. You sit here and claim you love makeup but you have no respect for akeup style sof others. You have a huge shnoz and thin lips! horrid combo
I can sit here and tell you youre makeup is ???!
take your anorexic vegan ass out f here! no man wants an anorexic toothpick!Look up marilyn monroe,vida guerra,kim kardashain,shakira,jessica simpson,mulher melao,mayra veronica,coco austin,Sarah lime,Monica santiago,etc
Now, I'm not sure what ??? even means in this context, and I've always admired a variety of makeup styles so I have a feeling she got offended by some ambiguous phrasing on my part.  I'd love to see the post that got this person so fired up that they'd want to post insults, not on my beauty blog but on my comparitively unpopular food log blog.  I have no idea what comment of mine she is referring to and don't even think hunting and pecking would allow me to find it!

Now, I think pointing out my nose and (thin? really?) lips is kind of un-called-for (uncalled for? don't know how to spell that).  Yeah, obviously I have a big nose. I even had surgery to shave down the bump on it and straighten it, and that wasn't entirely successful (though it does have an improved appearance).  Obviously, with such a prominent nose I've had insecurity about it my whole life so I wonder what's up with the vicious trolling?  You want to take a dig at the scar on my nose, too, while you're at it? 

Why would anyone respond with offensive comments when they are offended themselves? If I am indeed "trash," I can welcome this commenter to the bin :-P

Also, not anorexic over here.  I don't think "anorexic" even ought to qualify as an insult. It's a disease, and I know people who have suffered from it.  Anorexia is not an offront to lovely, curvy beauty idols that she's listed - it's something that requires treatment.  I also know plenty of people who are naturally thin and have to deal with accusations of eating disorders all the time, and how horrible is that?  It's just as horrible as it is when people close to me who are carrying some extra weight or are even overweight/obese feel that people are critiquing their food choices or just generally judging them.

Part of the intent of this blog is that I meant to be a 'vigilante' for girls like me.  I wanted to celebrate every type of beauty, especially non-commercial and fringe, or whatever you'd call my style.  This isn't an aspirational blog (like a lot of gorgeous fashion and makeup blogs out there - which I also love) in which I show you how model-like and beautiful I am and how fabulous my life is and look how talented I am blahblahblah. I like those blogs, too (I'd rather see somebody toot their own horn and show some self-love instead of self-loathing), but there are plenty of genuine blogging celebrities already and I don't aspire to be one. This is just my corner of the beauty blogging world in which I share my opinions of products I've tried in the hopes that it can help other regular women figure out what is worth buying (or just so we can talk about beauty products because I simply love to!).  I also always try to encourage being adventurous with makeup (hello, colorful looks!) and confident in your own beauty even if you have a big 'ol schnoz like me.  This is the only face I have so I'm determined to enjoy it, acne and all.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Call Me Bubbles

The only thing I got from Shop MAC, Cook MAC was the eye shadow quad in "Call Me Bubbles."  And... you'll be shocked to know that this is MY FIRST MAC QUAD!
So far I'm really happy with it!  The matte coral shadow ("Full of Flavour") makes a really pretty blush:

I've got on NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk underneath the shadows, just FYI

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti kind of worn off into a stain, Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Eye Liner in Perversion
Sorry the photos are kind of blurry, but the colors are true :)

It really makes my green eyes pop, and I imagine it'd do even better with blue eyes!
What did you pick up from Shop MAC, Cook MAC?

Swatch Me Play

Hey y'all! I've just been playing around with some of my products looking for dupes and complimentary colors lately.  I wore the combo of L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush with Lorac Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss all day, then when I was playing with my black sparkly shadows I first compared Wet n Wild's new "Trashed" single with Sugarpill's Stella Chromalust with and without a base (NYX Eyeshadow Base White).  Using my new Real Techniques shading brush I just quickly used the Wet n Wild to define my crease. I didn't have any fallout and the brush and shadow are both awesome!

So happy together!
Top: L'oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush
Bottom: Lorac Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss

This doesn't really capture the metallic effect of Amber Rush, sadly. It was really glinty!

Two black shadows with multi-sparkles: Wet n Wild Trashed and Sugarpill Stella

Please note - these swatches are several layers of product!
Left to Right: Trashed over base, Stella over base, Trashed without a base, Stella without a base
Stella is clearly more full of the rainbow sparkles!

Same makeup as above, with just Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Perversion and Wet n Wild Trashed in the crease

This photo better captures the metallic glint of Amber Rush

Bonus: Here's my pretty ring I bought off of Amazon in lieu of this month's Jewelmint choices.

None of my crummy camera's photos could capture just how much this ring sparkles - my inner little girl is THRILLED!
Nail note: Sally Hansen Real Nail Polish Strips in Speed Dating

Also, a heads up: is having a sitewide 50% off sale now through February 29th! I wish I hadn't stocked up on my favorites from this line already (d'oh!).  I know this line isn't talked about much in the beauty community, but I personally find the quality great for this sale price.  I highly recommend:

Mortal Glow Blushing Creme in Swoon ( a gorgeous cream highlighter. Let me know if you'd like to see swatches!)

Bella Palette ( has a seriously fantastic peach blush and a couple of great everyday shadows and is really convenient to carry around)

Edward Palette (has a fantastic silver shadow, but the rest of it is ho-hum)

Jacob Palette (I adore all the shadows in this one)

Femme Fatale Lip Glosses

Monday, February 6, 2012

Roses Ultimes de Chanel

This is not a real post (sorry), just wanted to share this picture with you:
This look is so me! Someday I want to bleach out my pixie like that <3
The promo photo is from a Chanel e-mail and if you go to their beauty site it's amongst Glossimers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Totally Unrelated to the Super Bowl EOTD

This is just a weekend, playing-around sort of EOTD. I picked up Milani Runway Eyes shadow in Leaf Green at the CVS Milani clearance, and based my look around that:

Products used:
Garnier Tinted Eye Roller
Maybelline brow expert (forgot the shade - I chucked this out because it was not a good color for my brows and it was too hard to use as eyeliner. If I had to guess, I'd say the shade is just Light Brown)
NYX Eyeshadow Base White (this shadow needs a creamy base to make the color show/pop)
Milani Runway Eyes in #07 Leaf Green all over lid
Urban Decay (from the Book of Shadows III) Haight in the crease, bringing the crease in further than usual.  Loaded from the same palette deepening the outer crease.  Not certain but I believe I used Maui Wowie as the browbone highlight.
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner in Covet all around eye
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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My Everyday Look is All That Glitters

Hi gals! I felt pretty in pink today so I thought I'd share with you my "everyday" look as well as my happy pink outfit ^.^

Stila Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Medium
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
L'oreal Magic Smooth Souffle foundation in 518 Natural Buff
Dermablend Concealer in Medium Beige (I think, I'll have to double-check the shade name) for spots
L'oreal Magic Smooth Souffle blush in Angelic, topped with Physicians Formula Happy Booster blush in Natural. To be honest, I usually use my Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Coffee Cake, but it's discontinued so I used this combo today.
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Powder in Translucent (the L'oreal foundation is matte and this imparts a subtle, light-diffusing shimmer. I really like this over it and it does seem to extend the wear-time!)
MAC Mineralize Charged Water

Eyes: Too Faced Candlelight Shadow Insurance, MAC All That Glitters eye shadow, NYX Crystal Glitter liner in Crystal Onyx, Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, Garnier Tinted Eye Roller

Lips: Lorac Multiplex 3-D Lip Gloss in 4D - Gloss Spam! Sorry, it's just such a pretty gloss :-*

Sweater, sequined tank top, trousers - Express
Lariat necklace - Jewelmint
Watch - Fossil
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

You can't see it but my pants are gray with skinny pink pinstripes.  I love how the sequins on the tank caught the light here :)

  Did I successfully block the toilet from view? heh

 It's like a lollie necklace... nom <3 Happy Thursday, everybody!