Monday, April 28, 2014

The power of makeup.

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I thought I would share something that truly illustrates the power of makeup and humanity, in general. 

In May, 1945 Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO was one of the first men to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Though I had trouble tracking down a copy of his actual diary, this excerpt and one other can be found here. For anyone wanting more information on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in general, Ben Shepard's book After Daybreak: The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, 1945 seems to be very popular. 

The last paragraph is the key point, if you'd prefer to skip the grim backdrop of what they discovered. The emphasis is my own.

"I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen.

It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing could save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference.

Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated.

It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity."

And that, dear readers, is why I will never say makeup is frivolous or pointless or just caters to a woman's vanity. It is powerful because it empowers its wearer, even under the most horrific conditions.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Inspiration: Kate Winslet

I've loved her since Titanic and I seriously hope I can age half as gracefully as she has. I love her as a redhead. I love her blonde. She's like the perfect English rose, in my book, and her smile is to die for. I would probably be more into lipsticks if my lips looked like hers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Favorite YouTube Beauty Gurus for Redheads

I know this post is a little different, but I figured it might be helpful for fellow redheads out there who may be looking for new YouTubers to follow. As a natural redhead, I know how challenging it can be to find products that work for you, given the number of things to consider, such as the vibrancy of your hair color, the pale translucence of your skin color, if you have freckles or no freckles, etc.

So, here's a list of some of my favorite red-headed YouTubers, in no particular order:

Sharon Farrell - an Irish lass living in Australia. She worked for MAC at one time and is still an active makeup artist, especially in the bridal industry. I love her makeup skills. Even the crazy ones with acid green eyeshadow. Trust me. She makes it work!

Redheadphd - this girl makes me laugh! I love her reviews and her word choices. As a fellow graduate student, I definitely appreciate that she doesn't "dumb things down" for people. Why can't we be pretty and smart and be obsessed with makeup?

MakeupTIA - her videos are beautifully edited, to the point, and she includes a nice range of reviews, tutorials, and hauls/favorites.

TheBethanyFae and Bethany Jayne - it's the same girl, but she switched channels a little bit ago, so that's why I included both. She's so sassy, I love it! And she has a beautiful singing voice to boot!

Veronica Gorgeois - she's a real life esthetician, which makes her information on skin care all the more interesting.

BeautyWithBrittanyXo - while she's the youngest girl on the list, she's definitely peppy and full of life. Her videos range from tutorials, to favorites, to the randomness of her life. She doesn't look like she ever sits still!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

EOTD: Maybelline Copper Chic Quad

I was initially pretty excited to use this... until I actually had to use it. It's soooo shimmery. And that's saying something if I am complaining about the shimmer. These shadows are creamy and smooth, but there's something lacking in the actual pigmentation. This was the only look that I thought turned out well enough to photograph. The others were just so.. blah. Definitely not keeping this quad.

Maybelline Copper Chic Quad


  • MAC Constructivist Paint Pot as a base
  • 4 on the lid
  • 3 in the crease
  • 1 on the brow bone and inner corner
  • Clinique Chocolate Luster eyeliner on the top lash line
  • Maybelline Full 'n Soft + Maybelline One by One mascaras

Monday, April 14, 2014


I finally got my hands on one of MAC's cult classics: Syrup lipstick. I'm very happy to have it, but I will be featuring it in a Swatch War soon. So, I'll reserve my opinion/thoughts until then.

Nekkid lips.
MAC Syrup

Friday, April 11, 2014

EOTD: MAC Quarry + Shale + Cork

Something other than brown! Still pretty neutral, though, even though they are technically purples. 

  • Quarry on the lid
  • Shale all over Quarry (cuz I just didn't like how it looked...)
  • Cork in the crease
  • Phloof in the inner corner and on the brow bone
  • Stila Smude Stick in Tetra on the top lash line\
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

Thursday, April 10, 2014

EOTD: MAC Bisque + Copperplate

Hey look, another MAC matte, neutral look. Aren't I adventerous? Really, I think it's because I've already showcased my other MAC shadows, i.e., Naked Lunch, Sable, Jest, etc.. so all I really had left to show were the mattes. 

  • Bisque on the lid
  • Copperplate in the crease
  • Blanc Type on the brow bone
  • Mystery on top of liner
  • Clinique Really Black eyeliner
  • Maybelline Full 'n Soft + Maybelline One by One mascaras 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Swatch Wars! MAC Constructivist vs Maybelline Bad to the Bronze vs Clinique Fuller Fudge

I didn't think any of these would be actual dupes for one another, but I was so frustrated at my Bad to the Bronze for drying up within months of opening, I wanted to see if it was really worth repurchasing or if I could squeak by without it.
MAC Constructivist vs Maybelline Bad to the Bronze
Maybelline Bad to the Bronze vs Clinique Fuller Fudge

Clearly Constructivist is the darkest. It also has a slightly more reddish/plummy tone. Bad to the Bronze definitely has the flashiest/metallic/gold sheen. And Fuller Fudge is a mid-toned brownish bronze, minus the golden flash. 

I don't know if my Bad to the Bronze was a bad batch or if it's just the formula, but it's never been as creamy or easy to work with as the MAC Paint Pots or even the Clinique Chubby Stick.  (Just as an aside: I also bought the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded and I wasn't impressed with that, either.) I think I'll just stick with MAC and Clinique. Maybe I'll branch out and try a Laura Mercier Caviar Stick one day just to see what that's like. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EOTD: MAC Mattes

I don't think all of these shadows are full-on matte,  but it's definitely a departure from my usually shimmery looks. But still brown. So it's a compromise.

  • Bisque on the lid
  • Blanc Type on brow bone
  • Swiss Chocolate in the crease
  • Handwritten in the outer V and on top of the liner
  • Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Whiskey
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

Monday, April 7, 2014

EOTD: MAC Constructivist + Satin Taupe

Well, this week is MAC week. So be prepared for lots of browns/neutrals. Oh, wait... that's my usual look. Nevermind.

I really loved this look. I don't know why. Maybe because it looks kind of effortless. Just smokey, smoldery goodness.

  • Constructivist Paint Pot as a base
  • Satin Taupe all over the lid and under lower lashes
  • Wedge in the crease
  • Shroom on the brow bone and inner corner
  • Mystery over the liner
  • Smolder kohl on the top lash line
  • Maybelline Full 'n Soft + Cover Girl Lash Blast mascaras

Friday, April 4, 2014

EOTD: Smokey Pink with Urban Decay Naked 3

I don't have much to show from my week with Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette, only because I've already showcased the various "looks" when I first got it. 


  • Buzz all over the lid
  • Limit in the crease
  • Strange on the brow bone
  • Darkside in the outer V and on top of liner
  • MAC Smolder kohl on top lash line
  • Jordana Made to Last eyeliner in Black Point for tightlining
  • Maybelline Full 'n Soft + Maybellie One by One mascaras

Thursday, April 3, 2014

EOTD: Clinique Like Mink Duo

This duo is soooo pretty in the pan, but I'm just disappointed how it transfers (or doesn't, really) to the lid. The darker side is a shimmery pretty bronze, but on the lid it's just so sheer! As with all of my Clinique shadows, this is the old formula, so maybe these issues have been fixed, but I'm really torn on whether or not I want to keep them. 

  • Clinique Like Mink Duo - lighter color all over, with the darker color in the crease
  • Clinique Chocolate Lustre eyeliner on the top
  • Clinique Brown Sugar eyeliner on the bottom
  • Maybelline Full 'n Soft + Maybelline One by One mascaras

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tati's "WHAT'S IN MY MAKEUP BAG + Giveaway" Video

Since she does a lot more traveling than I do, here's a look at her travel must-haves, plus a giveaway for those who are interested. In general, though, she's one of my favorite YouTubers lately. I love her eye tutorials, in particular.

Swatch Wars! Clinique Lucky Penny vs Cover Girl Mink Eyeshadow

One of the fun things about the way I've been rotating my collection and systematically using my stuff is that I get to a) play around with it more and b) get to ferret out all of the dupes in my stash. While I wouldn't say these two are completely identical, they have enough in common that I feel I definitely do not need both. 
Clinique Lucky Penny vs Cover Girl Mink (direct sunlight). I would also like to point out the nice dip I have going in Lucky Penny. Hallelujah! I might see pan one day!
Clinique Lucky Penny vs Cover Girl Mink (indirect light)
Lucky Penny; Mink (direct sunlight)
Lucky Penny; Mink (indirect light)
They're both intensely shimmery copper colors that I absolutely love. These are two of my "lazy" pieces, that I can just slap on, blend out, throw some mascara on and I'm done. However, Lucky Penny has just a smidge more pink to it, whereas Mink is ever-so-slightly more peachy. How much is the average person really going to care about subtle nuances like that? Probably not a lot. The quality, however, is more noticeable between the two. Lucky Penny is a little softer/silkier than Mink, but Mink is in no way a bad eyeshadow. It's definitely not chalky or crumbly, which is the kiss of death for me.

Sadly, though, Clinique didn't bring Lucky Penny back in their reformulated line. I don't know if it's still available on blog sales, or eBay or other discounted makeup sites. BUT! Cover Girl's Mink is alive and kickin' online and at all the usual drug stores for around $3-4. So, I'll more than likely use Lucky Penny until it's gone and then I'll turn to Mink as a replacement. Unless Clinique brings it back, then I'll happily give away Mink to a friend. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Empties and Deadwood March 2014

Look at those babies! Used up all the way to the nubs!! Btw, that black thing in the Clinique liner is the twisty/pushy part, not the actual liner. 
Forever Luminous Hydrating Facial Wrap I still don't know how I feel about these. I don't think they're amaze balls, but they're not terrible. I'm just "meh" about them.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid This is a deadwood. I bought it several months ago and I hate it! I feel like this is making me breakout even more than my hormones. Not buying this again. Ever.

Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel This was really gooey. And slimy. I don't think it was that awesome at taking off my makeup, either. It foamed nicely, but it kept foaming and I felt like I had to scrub my face extra long and hard to make sure I got everything off. I wouldn't repurchase this. 

Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater and Glycerine Hand and Body Lotion Holy roses, batman! I love roses. I really do. I love real ones. I love candles. And I really did love this stuff,  but you have got to be in the mood for some roses if you're going to wear this. It permeates your entire area. People will smell you from several feet away. It was a nice, silky lotion, though. Absorbed quickly and wasn't sticky.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray This is a dud. I didn't like the smell. I didn't like the way it made  my hair feel. And I HATED the fact that it didn't spray evenly. The nozzle would get coated with hair spray and gunk up, yet still look fine, but when you sprayed it, it flew everywhere. This has never been an issue with my Tresemme. So, no. Never again, John Frieda. 

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes I just did a review here. And like I said in that post, if I needed them for traveling, I'd grab a pack. But I hardly use towelettes anyway. So it's kind of a waste to always have them on hand. 

Cover Girl Smoothers Concealer Illuminator Another deadwood, especially since it's starting to have this weird plastic-y smell. I bought this after TiffanyD raved about it on YouTube many moons ago and it's pretty much been rolling around in the drawer sense. It really does nothing on my particular skin. It isn't a good highlighter. It definitely isn't a good concealer. And it fades quickly, to boot. So, no. Into the trash you go.

Korres Guava Lip Butter This is deadwood, only because the jar cracked and thus the smell has started to turn. I bought this in a set years ago and it's been hibernating in my bedside table since the milky color it leaves on your lips isn't very attractive. When I finally busted it out again, the smell turned me off. This isn't the most moisturizing product during cold, bitter winters, but it's definitely good for spring/summer. Just not this particular scent/color... 

Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in Natural Pink As previously mentioned here, with a quick blurb of a review, I got this in a set a while ago and I'm just not impressed. It's a pretty color and it feels nice, but it fades in a nano second. Won't be repurchasing.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Rose There's a more in-depth look here, but I can say that now I'm actually torn on this one. I like it, but again, it's one of those products that isn't going to save your lips in a blistering winter. I do have another one of these waiting in the wings courtesy of Sephora's birthday gift program, so there's definitely no need to buy another one. One final gripe? They melt like a mo'fo' in your pocket, which irritates me because I like ease of portability. I shouldn't have to baby my makeup.

Softlips Pearl Deadwoooood. I didn't even want it when I bought it, but it came with a vanilla one (which I did want). It is true to it's name, though. It looks like you crushed up pale pink and white pearls and smeared them all over your lips. Wasn't moisturizing enough for me. And the smell is a wee bit overwhelming. 

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Really Black 07 I love that this pencil has a smudger built in on the end, especially when I'm being lazy or traveling. Originally, I hated the fact that this wasn't the blackest black eyeliner ever (hellooo.... your name is "Really Black"), but I got over it and appreciated its softer side, i.e., for lighter, cool-toned looks that brown or gray just wouldn't look good with. However, since I have fallen madly in love with the Stila Smudge Sticks and Maybelline Master Drama eyeliners (and I have a plethora of Urban Decay 24/7 liners to get through), I don't see myself needing a new automatic, black eyeliner pencil any time in the foreseeable future. Should that day ever come, I'd probably look at the "Intense" version of the Quickliner.