Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Little World: Purples and Near-Purples

Recently I showed off my greens and mentioned that purple is my other pretend-neutral eyeshadow, in terms of colors I find ridiculously easy to wear and appropriately versatile. Here are my precious babies.

I have a few more purply-tinged shadows but deemed them too taupe, too grey, etc to be featured here. Addiction Concrete Jungle danced around the line but finally didn't make the cut, being out-lilacked by Rouge Bunny Rouge Lilac Reef Curassow (side note: Rouge Bunny Rouge has taught me so many bird names! I'm gauche. I'd never heard of a curassow before! It brings me comfort to know that neither has my spell-check.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Follow-Up FOTD: Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud

This is just a slapdash look and photoset featuring Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud as a followup to my last post about Dolce & Gabbana Peach. Though the colors look similar once applied, I think (and this is especially noticeable in person) that Rosebud is a bit more harmonious with my coloring since it is pinker and so am I.

The eyeshadows (which look patchy here, alas the day) are Shiseido Fondant and L'Oreal Infallible in Golden Emerald, which is going to be featured in my next Thrifty Thursday post, along with its various and sundry Infallible friends.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Gave Peach a Chance

It simply cannot be said that I have never fallen prey to hype or sale goggles. My mad purchase of Dolce & Gabbana Peach and Rosebud during Sephora Chic Week (auspiciously coinciding with my tax rebate) is a testament to this. 

I've been thinking, often, about my aesthetic (and a post is forthcoming about this) and the colors and textures I am drawn to like a moth to flame. Knowing the difference between what I love and what I merely like has curbed many a craving. It's lovely to have ideals of wearing an interesting color, but, too often, I don't, so often it's not really worth it.

Dolce & Gabbana blush in Rosebud, I knew I wanted. That elusive bright, light rose color--a blending of peach and pink, dancing around coral but never truly bright enough-- I had to have it. I had to. For most of the week, it was out of stock, so I decided to try Peach instead; I'd heard good things and the scant swatches made it seem harmless and pretty darn close to Rosebud. Wouldn't you know it, not one half hour later, Rosebud was back online. It's a timing thing. Had Rosebud been available, I probably never would have gotten Peach, but I did and here is another picture of  the two of them:

You can see how shadowed Peach is here. It was hard to get a good picture at the time of day and with the sharp 90 degree angle that the compact opens. 

This is a bit more true. You can see it's not what I would call a true peach; it looks a bit muted, even nude-y. Colors are so hard to define rigidly, I feel. Peach, coral, fuchsia, all of these can mean so many different things to different people. Anyway, I would call this a nude ruddy peach.

And my lovely Rosebud...

A coral-pink, shyer than Illamasqua Tremble.

And some comparisons:

Taking pictures was wildly frustrating. Taking pictures of Tremble always is. It's just too neon to really show well. But I think you can see even here that both Dolce & Gabbana blushes have lovely textures. They're creamy and soft; a matte without any chalkiness at all.

Sadly, very sadly, I knew pretty instantly that I had no strong love for Dolce & Gabbana Peach. It's funny, because it's not entirely unlike Shiseido Petal in depth, but Petal has more pink in it and that makes all the difference. Petal looks so harmonious on me and this, well...

I can't lay my hands on my camera at the mo so you get webcam shots of my Farewell-to-Peach FOTD.

You can see it's quite a bit less brown on my skin (which pulls things pinker anyway) than it appears in the pan, but it's still warmer than my personal preference. I don't hate it but at this point I'm scaling back to what is optimally flattering on my pasty-pink self and this blush just doesn't cut it, especially when I have Rosebud to settle my hunger for Dolce & Gabbana. I'm still experimenting with peach-as-a-color, but for the moment Vincent Longo Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Sandalwood is my go-to, as it is lighter and more pastel (though I'm not keen on the powder fallout.) More on that one later. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Products I've Purged: Shiseido neutrals, how I wanted to love you...

Of late, I've been feeling motivated to streamline my stash. Fortunately, I have found excellent and well-deserving homes for my castoffs. It's a bittersweet process but I know I'll only be left with things I love.

The two latest palettes to get the boot are Shiseido BR209 Strata and BR307 Voyage trios. I love love Shiseido eyeshadows (and many Shiseido products in general) but I never reach for these two. I wanted to swatch them before I send them to their new families because I commonly see these two mislabeled on the Internet.

As you can see, they're really not altogether bad eyeshadows: the pigmentation is good, they feel silky, and they have lovely fine colored microshimmer, which was impossible to capture.

Voyage has a tawny gold, a bright orangey gold, and a pale white gold. I'm not feeling Voyage because I don't love golds. As a trio, however, it works, and I can see someone who likes golds more than I do really enjoying this palette.

Strata is another issue entirely. Strata is a bit of a challenge as a trio. Shiseido trios are either tonally cohesive, with variations of one color, or interestingly clashy. Strata straddles those two lines, with a pale cool beige, a medium camel color with warm undertones, and a neutral espresso. The undertones of the three shades aren't strikingly different, but they don't seem to work together seamlessly. And the palest shadow simply disappears on my fair skin.

I slapped both colors on my lids so you can see them in action. They blend much better in real life but I am not great at taking pictures at this point.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Towards Post-Consumerism

Here, look at how pretty Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux
looks on my lovely model,  because otherwise
 you're not getting any pictures this post.
I have a lot of problems with spending in general. It's not that I'm in debt or think that I'm a particularly unwise spender. I try to live frugally so I don't beat myself up about buying things that I enjoy and will use if I'm living within my means. I just don't like what shopping and buying and accumulation in general says about me. 

I want to live a portable, simple life. I also want to be surrounded by beautiful things with satin textures. Ay, there's the rub. I think I'm this close to a more streamlined life but I'm always two blushes away from what I want. At this point, I am starting to really assess what I value and am purging the things I like so I live with what I love, which really does prevent me from buying more.

So there's that. But I have also noticed this: When I am striving to curb my spending in one area, I am inclined to spend rather improvidently in another area. The consumerist itches to be satisfied. If it's not nail polish, it's pens. If it's not pens, it's yarn. I could go on but it starts to circle back.

I think I've gotten smarter over the years, and I certainly notice all of this more, but I want to feel better about it. I want to replace the itch with another itch that is less dependent on currency and more dependent on creativity, on relationships. I'm not sure what that will look like or how that will come about.

Any ideas, tips, thoughts, blogosphere?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Giving Estee a Chance...

Estee Lauder is one of those brands that I really did not think about for a long while. It seemed to have a certain dated quality. The colors and textures didn't seem exciting or innovative. And then a couple of years ago, Tom Pecheux came on as creative director and suddenly, Estee Lauder had interesting finishes! Scaly gelee powders! Orange-red blush!

I had to try the new, Tom-ified Estee. 
I went to the counter intending to get a fuchsia blush or Arctic Sky (which never did turn up... moment of silence) but ended up drawn to an ombre light pinky-coral blush with a satin finish: Witty Peach. I guess you can  lead a horse to trendy bright colors, but you can't make her step away from the blush she's always going to buy anyway.

It looks like this. 

You can see a bit of powder dust here. Sadly, it's not one of my favorite textures. It's a bit comparable to other drier blush formulas with satin finishes like Sleek, NARS, and Shiseido, though I prefer it to NARS. (It's not as smooth as Shiseido and Sleek has a much better color payoff.)

Nonetheless, it has managed to survive many a purge since I got it last year because I am a sucker for how it looks. It's the perfect satiny, sheer but buildable coral. I have trouble with peach and/or anything too yellow, but this is practically perfect.

And a couple of swatches to show texture and color, respectively, a bit better.
Hello, armhairs! In case you ever doubted my Eastern European hirsute heritage...
The satin finish looks really nice and subdued on my cheeks. You can see how much better it looks swatched than the Physicians Formula or even the Lunasol, which I do like on my face...
I have a type.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tone It Down Taupe!

Here, have some taupe swatches. 
It is with the most mixed of emotions that I face today, Autism Awareness Day. On the one hand, there are lots of kind people out there who are changing their profile picture on Facebook and posting about autism awareness because they really do care about the autistic people they know. On the other hand, I'm seeing a lot of puzzle pieces and Autism Speaks icons and wristbands, and many of the autistic people I know find that representation hurtful. (Here's why.) (More why.)

Awareness is the first step, but it doesn't end there. Here's hoping that we can move from awareness to acceptance this month.

Recently, I saw an idea that I absolutely loved instantly. Tone It Down Taupe is a movement to raise awareness of those lacking autism in a way that turns alarmist rhetoric on its head. It's tongue-in-cheek but the message is important: fear rhetoric hurts real people. Neither allistic (non-autistic) or autistic people want to be cured. We want care and support and the tools to navigate through life, making healthy, meaningful connections with people.

So, in honor of Tone It Down Taupe, I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of taupe EOTDs this month. I have used much less significant excuses to wear more taupe and this way I can keep y'all informed about the cool stuff I'm finding out about effective advocacy for autistic people and ways to support them!

This is a beauty blog, after all, so have some more taupe swatches!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fyrinnae Serendipity and Daemon's Tail

Fully half of my face declined to be photographed today.  Imagine that. Hence, floating head.
Not too long ago,  Fyrinnae, cult cosmetic fave of those in the know, introduced pressed shadows. Of course, I bought a few. The texture is not luscious. When I swatched with a finger, it felt grainy, though it feels a bit better on my lids. I still enjoy the shadows and think they are a great bargain at 8.25$ a pop.

Here are a couple shadows that I like to pair up for a tonally cohesive eye:

Serendipity, formerly Te Amo, is a burnished, glowing rosy copper, while Daemon's Tail is an interestingly muddy ruddy purple brown with a softly shimmery finish and fuchsia and gold glints. It looks better in person, I promise. 

Worn together, they play off each other's slightly different texture but similar leaning toward rose.

This, children, is what happens when you crop the wonky half of your face after adding a watermark. Learn well.
For this look, I applied Serendipity on my lid and Daemon's Tail in my crease, lower lashline, and outer V. I've been meaning to wear eyeliner more often, really I have, but I forgot until after I had curled my lashes and applied Guerlain Maxi Lash and by then I couldn't be bothered.