Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Halloween Tag

Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday. It has been since I was little. I may have even mentioned it a time or two on here. So, even though I'm just a lurker on YouTube, I couldn't help but jump on his tag as soon as I saw it. I snagged the questions off of Marianne's blog here


1. What is your favorite Halloween movie? Hocus Pocus. I watch it every year, sometimes during other parts of the year (I do it with Christmas movies too; I'm not just playing favorites to one season). I'm also a huge fan of Practical Magic and Sleepy Hollow. I watch those multiple times in a year, too.

2. At what age did you stop trick-or-treating? I was probably in my early teens. I don't actually remember, probably because even though I stopped trick-or-treating, I still dress(ed) up to hand out candy. It's kind of the same thing, right? Except half of the work because I already buy the candy I like. 

3. What is your favorite Halloween tradition? For the past six years my husband and I have thrown a Halloween party for our friends and everyone has a blast. It's not the stuffy costume party like Allison's parents have in Hocus Pocus, though. Three words: apple.pie.shots. Other than the party, though, my husband and I dress up (like I said earlier) to hand out candy. 

4. What is your favorite Halloween food/beverage? Apple pie shots? Kidding. Not really. I love apple cider. Something about it being America's historical drink of choice, plus the plethora of its availability in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions makes me happy. Other than that, I guess I would say Italian beef, which sounds weird, but it's usually what we serve at our party, so I've come to associate it with Halloween. 

5. Do you like going to haunted attractions? Yes and no. I loved when we went to a haunted corn maze and when we went to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA because they had seven different haunted houses and creatures based on which "country"/section of the theme park you were in, i.e., zombies in Italy, werewolves in New France, vampires in France, etc. But, I'm also a chicken and I have an incredibly exaggerated startle reflex. So, even though I know it's all fake and nothing will hurt me, I still jump and shriek like a five year old, much to my embarrassment and my husband's ceaseless amusement.

6. Vampires, witches or werewolves? This is such a hard question. Seriously. I love vampires. I've totally fallen for the Victorian portrayal of tortured souls and endless love wrapped up in merciless killing machines. However, I love witches, as evidenced by my ongoing love for Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic. I love Salem and studying the historical witch trials, too. Werewolves are cool, but they're definitely my least favorite. So, I'm going to cheat and say.... Vampires for novels and movies, but witches in a scholarly, real-world sense. 

7. What is your favorite Halloween candy? It depends. Usually some combination of chocolate and caramel or chocolate and peanut butter. So, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Twix, Milky Ways, etc. No Whoppers or Hershey Bars, please. I don't like the malt and I prefer smoother chocolate a la Ghiradelli or Godiva, because I'm a chocolate snob.

8. Do you decorate your house for Halloween? Inside and outside. We've had the interior decorations up since the last week of August. No joke. After Halloween, the macabre stuff goes away, leaving the pumpkins and maple leaves through Thanksgiving and then it's full-on Christmas for a month. 

9. Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, or Hayrides? We grow our own pumpkins. I haven't been on a hayride in forever, so Corn Maze! 

10. What are your plans for this Halloween? The day of we're handing out candy before I have to go to work at 11 pm and the next night we're having our annual Halloween party. 

11. What is your favorite Halloween TV episode/special? I'm actually quite partial to "All Halliwell's Eve" on Charmed, Season 3 Episode 4, where they travel back to the 1600s and meet their ancestor. However, I am also a fan of Catherine Bell's series on Hallmark called The Good Witch. (See, I really do have a thing for witches...) And I'm super excited that they're turning the TV-movies into an actual TV series in 2015!

12. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever held a seance or done ouija? Yes, I believe in ghosts. There's just too many recordings, pictures, videos, personal experiences, etc. to deny there's something else after death and sometimes people don't move on. I have never held a seance or played with a ouija board because that is just inviting trouble, in my opinion. 

13. What is your scariest Halloween experience? When I was little, like six or seven, we went to a historical farm for some Halloween event and one of the actors came up and grabbed me from behind. I think that's part of what put me off going to a lot of haunted houses, even though I know they can't touch you anymore. I still hate when people sneak up on me. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Update

In case you missed it, or want to compare photos, here is the original Finish Six by Christmas post.

As you can see, I finished the big bottle of Mario Badescu Facial Spray and have made a nice dent in the smaller bottle. Likewise with the Ralph Lauren Romance Body Mist. I should easily polish that off in the next month.

I know it's hard to see any sort of progress on the mascara and the concealer, but I figured I'd photograph them anyway. I've been using the concealer regularly since April, so it's got to be close to being finished. And I've already noticed a textural difference in the Cargo mascara. It seems to be drying out more and more, which is good, since the first few weeks it had a really wet formula, which I don't personally care for. I'm definitely most proud of the pan on UD Sellout! There wasn't anything and then all of a sudden BAM! Beautiful, silver pan. I showed my husband and he was less than impressed, but I knew you guys would be proud. I'm also quite pleased with the progress on the Maybelline Nearly There. I figure it'll probably last me through November at this rate.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FOTD: Autumnal Bridal featuring the Lorac Pro Palette

Yesterday I posted my Bridal Beauty Inspiration post, and today I felt like recreating one of the looks for you. Since autumn is my favorite season, it was only natural that I picked the second "bride" picture/makeup. It centers around the gorgeous golds, browns, and garnet in the Lorac Pro Palette and I felt it was definitely appropriate given the season.

In sunlight.
In sunlight.
Indirect lighting.
Indirect lighting....and photobombed by my Cairn.
Products Used

It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair

Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire under eyes and on blemishes

Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory

Lancome Blush Subtil in Miel Glace

It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil + Benefite Gimme Brow in Light/Medium

Lorac Behind the Scene Eye Primer

Lorac Pro Palette
  • Light Bronze on the inner half of the eye
  • Gold on the outer half of the eye and underneath the inner half of lower lashline
  • Cream and Taupe to blend out the transition/crease
  • Garnet in the outer corner and under the outer half of the lower lashline
  • Sable to deepen the outer corner
  • Nude and Cream mixed together on the brow bone and inner corner
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel, smudged out

Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Black/Brown

It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter in Pillow

It Cosmetics CC + Lip Serum in Laugh

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bridal Beauty Inspiration

Today I'm bringing you something a bit different. I was contacted by the lovely Carolyn from a new-ish wedding planning website called Loverly. Basically, Loverly is like Pinterest with the added benefit of being able to shop directly from its site, but it's focused entirely on weddings. They have everything from stationary to dresses to beautiful inspiration pictures. It's been seven years since I was a blushing bride, but that doesn't mean I don't get all girly at the thought of planning hypothetical weddings, especially when you have such an awesome site like Loverly.

Carolyn asked me to style the makeup for three dresses from their vast inventory (click here to see for yourself) and these are the three I picked. I hope you guys like them! 

David's Bridal
smokey navy bridal

For the first bride, I envision an urban sophisticate. Her wedding takes place at evening, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, either in a gallery or even a yacht club. She keeps the classic elements of a wedding dress, but it's sleek and modern. Naturally, her makeup has to be elegant, but not ho-hum everyday. 

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette
  • Soft Light on the lid
  • Warmth in the crease
  • Midnight in the outer corner and underneath the lower lashes
  • Noir to darken the outer corner
  • Sheer Joy on the brow bone and inner corner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

MAC Sculpt and Shape powder duo 

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Whisper

David's Bridal

Autumn bridal beauty

The second bride is a true romantic, blending together the magic of a Medieval lady with the beauty of nature. The delicateness of her dress is offset by the rustic, autumnal colors of her makeup, making this the perfect look for a country church wedding or a gazebo beneath blazing maple trees. 

Lorac Pro Palette
  • Light Bronze on the inner half of the eye
  • Gold on the outer half of the eye and underneath the inner half of lower lashline
  • Cream and Taupe to blend out the transition/crease
  • Garnet in the outer corner and under the outer half of the lower lashline
  • Sable to deepen the outer corner
  • Nude and Cream mixed together on the brow bone and inner corner

Lancome Blush Subtil in Miel Glace 

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel

Lancome Hypnose Mascara

IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Naturally Pretty

Oleg Cassini

Classic bridal beauty

The third bride is classic, through and through. Getting married in a gorgeous cathedral, she channels her inner Grace Kelly. She pairs a princess ball gown with a timeless look, centered on winged black liner and red lips. Everything about her is perfectly sculpted,  but still soft, like the beautiful Hollywood icon-turned-real-life-princess. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Milk Chocolate

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
  • Suspect all over the lid and under lower lashes
  • Tease lightly through the crease
  • Foxy and Bootycall together on the brow  bone and inner corner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black

Chanel Inimitable Mascara

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NOTD: OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest

OPI's Every Month is Oktoberfest has got to be one of my all-time favorite nail polishes. Ever since it debuted in the 2012 Germany collection, I've picked this bottle up umpteen times in the store, only to discover it's Oktoberfest. Since I'm on vacation this week, I figured I could actually wear a dark color on my nails (my day job has a policy on nail polish, if you're curious. Only pale, neutral, conservative colors for me while working for The Man). 

It's a dark reddish purple base with what looks like reddish/golden shimmer in it. In indirect light, it's so dark that it looks black, but as you can tell from the bottle shot, it's definitely got warmth and dimension in the light. Oh, and please excuse the sloppy edges/cuticles. I was doing this in minimal light and I didn't realize how much product had pooled near my cuticles until it was too late. 

Update: 10/17/14

I re-did my nails and tried to be uber careful with them, but I still ended up flooding the cuticle area. I think it's just the formula. The first layer goes on rather patchy, so when you use a little more for the second layer, it ends up getting a little runny. I still love the color, so I don't really care. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Perfect Palette Tag

I've seen umpteen videos on YouTube featuring the Perfect Palette Tag and I thought it was a great idea to convert it to a blog questionnaire. I like it because I think it really hones in on what people like/look for in their palette choices, which can help other people decide if something is a yay or nay for them. 

Perfect Palette Tag Questions

1. Best Packaging  Urban Decay Naked 3 - I love the tin casing and the wavy, rose gold color. Naked 2 was on the right track, but the color is just too boring for me. 

2. Best Color Payoff  This one is a toss up between the Lorac Pro Palette and the Lorac Pro 2 Palette. The colors in both of these are just gorgeous and they don't require a ton of effort to get them to show up true to pan. And I appreciate that they don't turn into a muddy mess if I get a little overzealous with my blending.

3. Most Versatile  Probably the Lorac Pro Palette, because of the mix of mattes and shimmers and the wide (but wearable) color range. Not that the Pro 2 is bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I think some people might not like the Plum, Navy, or Jade in Pro 2, whereas the original Pro palette's Garnet and Deep Purple are actually pretty wearable, even for the color-phobes like me.

4. Best for Traveling  Lorac Unzipped because it's sleek, light weight, and has a nice mirror. The colors are great for daytime or nighttime. There's a nice mid-tone brown (Unspoken) that works well to fill in my eyebrows (someone with darker coloring would probably need something darker, obviously, or less red-based), and the darkest color (Untamed) also doubles as eyeliner, if you wanted a softer look. The golden or pink champagne colors (Undiscovered and Unreal) also work as a cheek highlight, depending on your preference for shimmer. I personally love shimmery highlights. You may not be able to tell from this description, but I've gotten a lot of love and use out of this palette while traveling. :) 

5. Biggest Regret  Definitely the Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes palette. It was expensive for the time (I think it was $52, but only had seven shadows versus the Naked palettes, which have twelve, and thus is slightly more justifiable to me). It was one of my first forays into higher end makeup, which is why I think I've held on to it for so long, although I'll be honest and admit that it is currently sitting in Makeup Purgatory while I try and decide what to do with it. In the six years that I've owned it (Let's just take a minute with that one... six years. SIX!) I've probably only used it a dozen or so times, not including the week I took it to New Orleans on vacation. It's shimmery and neutral and pretty, but there's only one matte in it and it's such a super dark brown that I'm disinclined to use it in the crease on a regular basis; I prefer it for eyeliner, instead. So... really, it's just varying shades of shimmery beige, which you all know I looooove, but I'm looking for a palette with a teensy bit more versatility these days.

6. Best Color Names  Hands down the Cargo Vintage Escape Eye Palette. If you recall from my original review here, I bought this solely for the autumnal names. Fall is my favorite season for a litany of reasons. If I could, I would leave fall stuff up around my house year-round. I mean, I kind of do, with some pictures or the unity candle from our wedding (it has maple leaves on it, if you're curious). But, back to the palette. Black Crow, Harvest Moon, Withered Leaves? I can't even stand it! They're named so perfectly! I'm not usually one that pays too much attention to makeup names, but in this instance, I make an exception.

7. Least Used  This one is another toss up, this time between Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes, Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette, and the Flirt! 40 eyeshadow palette. Like I said, Bobbi is chillin' in my "I don't know what to do with you" box, I'm actually planning on giving the Sonia Kashuk one away because I prefer the IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty or Naked Basics/Naked2 Basics palettes if I'm going for mattes, and I've purged over almost half of the Flirt! shadows because the color payoff was lacking or I have duplicate/better colors in other palettes. 

8. Most Used  Since I made it a point to start rotating my collection, I'd say they all get pretty even wear time. Right now, I'm all about Urban Decay's Naked2 Basics. But when the weather finally starts cooling off for good in Po'Dunk, I'll probably gravitate toward the Cargo Vintage Escape and the Lorac Pro 2 Palette. This summer was all about the Lorac Unzipped, though. 

9. Most Loved  For nostalgia sake, I'll go with my MAC and Lancome shadows that I have depotted into my MAC palettes. Some of the Lancome colors are from my wedding, need I say more?

10. Desert Island  Again, I'd have to say my MAC/Lancome customized palettes, just because a) I've had them the longest, b) they cost the most when you tally up all of the pieces, and c) I customized them to me, so I know I have everything I want/need. Then again, I could definitely be happy with something like the Lorac Pro Palette. But since it's a "desert island," I might go for Lorac Unzipped by itself.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Second Most Epic Empties Post Ever!

Since I can't do these things on time.... here's August and September's pile of stuff, in no particular order.

My purged eyeshadows from the Flirt! 40 palette (except the far right column) because either a) I have a similar color in a better texture or b) I didn't like the color or c) the payoff wasn't very good. The top right corner is actually MAC Electra. It's turns a weird silvery-blue on me that's not cute. Plus, I've had this for years and I hardly ever use it, so I will definitely not be repurchasing. The (mostly) used up eyeshadow beneath Electra is MAC Shroom. For being as pale as I am, I had one heck of a time getting this to even show up on my skin. I didn't even get that pretty wash of shimmer everyone talks about without PACKING it on and dealing with massive fallout. So, no. No more Shroom for me. And the bottom right corner is Lancome's The New Black. It's almost identical to Urban Decay's Creep, therefore, I have no need to repurchase.

Empty face products! I love Clinique's Perfectly Real foundation and after I get through my IT Cosmetics CC Cream (or if I need a heavier duty foundation in the meantime) I'll definitely repurchase. Next is MAC's Blot Powder. It was ok. I guess. My skin is getting to the point where I don't need an oil-control/super matte powder, so I was happy to get this out of my collection. Unless someone has a trick to getting the concealer out of the very bottom of the MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW15, I'd say this puppy is done. Shaking, pumping, nothing works. That little bit will NOT budge from the bottom. I actually bought a backup of this (stupidly) before I tried the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly. So... I'll probably use the second tube under my eyes, but it's too dark for my face, unless I'm wearing foundation. 

Empty eye products, including a very dingy looking clear Maybelline Great Lash. This is what I was using to set my brows before I tried Benefit's Gimme Brow. I actually have a backup of this already, so no need to repurchase for the time being. And yes... three Cover Girl Lash Blasts. But they're all different! One is brown, one is black, and the other is a waterproof black. The non-waterproof versions are actually dried out, but the waterproof one just had a funky smell. Plus it reached it's six month mark, so it's time to go. Below that is the dual-ended Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Whiskey and Zero (the one that actually came with the original Naked palette, if that's any clue as to how old it is). And last but not least is Too Faced Perfect Eyeliner in Perfect Storm. It was a pretty charcoal with silver glitter, but I doubt I would repurchase it or the UD 24/7s because I don't like having to sharpen my eyeliners. Do I sound like a broken record yet?

Empty lip stuff... On the top row is Maybelline Color Whispers in Pin up Peach and Made it Mauve and IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Love Story. I wouldn't repurchase any of them. The Color Whispers were actually kind of drying on my lips and the IT Cosmetics one turns a weird fuchsia stain on my lips. Yuck. The middle row is Jack Black Lip Balm in Black Tea & Blackberry, Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, Lypsyl, and Jack Black Lip Balm in Shea Butter & Vitamin E. I have a backup of the Lypsyl, since Walgreens sucked me in with their $0.99 deal, but there are times I don't appreciate its mintyness. The Fresh Lip Treatment was a rip off for how meh it turned out to be compared with how expensive it was. Jack Black is really bordering on Holy Grail status for me, but only their Shea Butter one... I love tea,  but the Black Tea/Blackberry was overpowering, especially if you tried to eat or drink anything after putting it on. I have several more Jack Blacks to get through, but I'm pretty sure they're all the Shea Butter ones from here on out. And finally, the lipgloss at the bottom is the IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Naturally Pretty. I actually took the stopper out to get the last bits out. I guess I could have melted it down a little more in a hot car or something, but I still say that's pretty darn good for a lip gloss. I'm trying out the IT Cosmetics CC Lip Serum gloss in Laugh and it's pretty similar to Naturally Pretty, so I have no need to repurchase. 

I'm purging two of my oldest perfumes - J. Lo Glow and Burberry Tender Touch. It pains me to get rid of either of them, but they're too old, turned sharp, and give me a headache any time I try to wear them. I pretty much rotate between two fragrances these days and I couldn't even tell you the last time I wore either of the two above. 

Starting from the top left, there's Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunblock in SPF 100. I wouldn't repurchase because I don't like how it a) dries out my skin, b) the white film it leaves all of my clothes, purse strap, car door, etc., and c) how it never really sinks in and remains greasy despite it's "Dry Touch" claim. Next is the Dove Visible Care body wash. See a more in-depth review here. And yes, I have already bought another one. Lastly is the Aveeno Stress Relief lotion. I have another bottle. I don't know if it actually works on stress relief, but it smells nice and there are days I tell myself it's working, even if it's just a placebo effect. On the bottom left is Eucerin's Intensive Repair hand cream. It sucked. It was greasy and thick, but somehow my hands were still parched. No on the repurchase. Then there's Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Grin & Bare It Body Lotion. It also sucked and wasn't very moisturizing. My original review is here, from 2011. My how opinions change. Next is Crabtree & Evelyn's Hand Therapy in Citron. This was nice, especially for summer, because of the citrusy scent. I'd probably pick up another one if I saw it at Ulta. And finally, Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream. This I would repurchase. It's thick, but not greasy, and there's no smell, which I appreciate. 

Here's a smattering of facial products. Only one Absolute Brightening Essence Mask, because I suck at remembering to do them. I still have quite a few left, lucky me. Next is my Mario Badescu Honey Moisturizer. I actually bought one of those beauty spatulas to scrape this puppy clean. Love it! On to another bottle already. I also tried a sample of the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. It was ok. I liked that it was blue (knowing full well that color doesn't matter in regard to efficacy). I prefer the Pixi Glow Tonic, though, because it has a higher percentage of glycolic. Then we have a super old bottle of Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, which I'm happy to be rid of. It's ok and did its job, but I hate having to go through someone to get a product. If I can't order it online or in a store, then I don't want it. And lastly, we have Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. I typically use the oil-free version and I like them, but this kind burned my eyes like crazy and I'm pretty sure it's responsible for the weird dry patch I developed under my eye and that mysteriously went away after I stopped using these. Granted, it only took me two tries on two separate occasions to declare that I hate these pads, but still. I was trying to be fair. But, in to the trash they go because I can't even bring myself to pass them on to someone and run the risk of them having the same weird reaction. 

Only a few hair care items. First is a trial size Living Proof Hold Flexible Hairspray. The nozzle got clogged and then quit working altogether about half-way through, despite my best efforts to unclog it. This was actually kind of sticky and I didn't like the smell, so I wouldn't get a full size. Second is the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Antifrizz Serum. It was ok. I have a couple other ones to get through, so no need to repurchase. Thirdly, we have Tresemme's Platinum Strength Strengthening Heat Protectant Spray. I didn't particularly like this, so I wouldn't repurchase. And lastly, the Got2Be Beach Trippin' Salt Infusion Waving Spray. It made my hair crunchy and sticky (yes, duh, I know there's salt in it) and I didn't get pretty mermaid waves. I got drowned rat, crunchy frizz. So, no. I won't repurchase. 

And for our conclusion, I have some purge items for you. The Lancome products kind of break my heart because these were the lip products I used for my wedding seven years ago. Yes, seven. I'm not a germaphobe but that's kind of pushing it for lip products, don't you think? Don't get me wrong. I love them, but it's time to let them go. I could only repurchase the Lancome Le Crayon Lip Contour in Caramel (the lip liner), since the Color Fever Gloss in Burning Up and Le Rouge Absolu in Bronze Light are discontinued, but I'm not a lip liner fan, so I'm not going to. And to be on the safe side, I threw in the Korres Lip Butters in Pomegranate and Quince? Maybe. The lettering is all scratched off. I can't even remember how old these are, so it's time to say goodbye, especially since I don't fancy sticking my finger into a pot and then having a dirty, sticky finger or having to carry around a lip brush with me when you have to reapply these every hour.