Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mini Spree!

Today I took advantage of an awesome coupon from Gap/Banana Republic and stocked up for fall! My favorite purchase is my new jacket!

I'm sooo excited to wear this and sip pumpkin spice lattes, but it is still sooo hot! Ugh. Fall. Here. Now. 
Look for the new September playlist to be uploaded very soon! Sorry this is a short post, but I'm working on something crafty and very cool to share with you within the next week or so! Oooh, intrigue!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pleasantly Surprised

This week I couldn't help myself and went to Sephora! While I'm stuck on my M.A.C eyeshadows, I found a shadow so pretty I broke my vow of not buying any more eye products this year! Oops. 

Buxom, a branch off of Bare Escentuals, has released a line of cream shadows called Stay There Eye Shadows that all are named after breeds of dogs! Sounds weird, but I was happy to learn that some of the proceeds will go to Canine Companions for Independence, a charity that benefits service dogs! 
Pictured below is Saint Bernard:
I love this color, it might be next on my list to get! I bought Pug, which is described on the Sephora website as smokey pewter, but I would describe it more of a silvery brownish purple. I've found so far that it really can read differently depending on the shadows I layer with it. Today I used it with my usual lineup of M.A.C browns and added a pollen-gold on the inner corners. This is my first baby step into mixing metallics on eyes, which I hear is a popular trend for Fall. 

                                   


You really have to see this color in person to love it. My crappy phone pictures don't quite cut it! So far, Pug seems to be as long-lasting as it claims to be, but I am wearing my UD Primer Potion, so I doubt a monsoon could take it off. The shadow feels very velvety when it dries and even the packaging commands you to "touch and caress" it. Umm . . . alright . . . I'm just glad it looks great and wears well! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flash Beauty Bargain!

This is going to be a short post, but I wanted to let you all know that right now at Target there is a Clinique Black Honey look alike on sale for $4 in the Pixi line! Run over and pick up what you can! 

Sindri now $4, regularly $16.


The cult favorite. $14 for the lipstick or gloss.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Wish I Were Wearing . . . 8/17


Friday, August 13, 2010

John Derian For Target

Starting September 5th, a new John Derian collection will be available at Target. 100 items in the collection will be under $25! I'm loving what I've seen so far.











Check out some images from the John Derian store! So cute! 

                              

                                    

                                       
My favorite item from the Target collection is the cake stand! I think that will be the first thing to sell out. What do you think of the collection? 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Guys . . . I've Lost My Mojo!

Everything I've tried to do lately has FAILED. Every innocent action like baking cookies to job hunting . . . I somehow manage to goof it up!
I tried to learn how to do a retro pin curl look for you (inspired by this post) and was so looking forward to a victorious show of my new look. Well . . . this was my best attempt:

 I was close, but the results were too uneven to wear down.  So, I pulled my hair back into a chignon.
OK,  getting better. Now to let the last curl down . . . 
NOPE. NO. NOT A REAL THING. 
After much fussing, this is what I managed. (Yes, this really was the least stupid picture I could get of myself on my phone. I now have DOZENS of truly embarrassing pictures on my hard drive.)



Has anybody else experimented with retro waves? Teach me! 
Before anybody asks, here's what I'm wearing on my face:

On my brow bone - MAC Llama
Across the whole lid- MAC Honesty
In the crease - MAC Embark and MAC Beautyburst
The inner corner - MAC Retrospeck
Liner- MAC Embark
Lipstick- Victoria's Secret Don't Stop

My next attempt/flop was baking my favorite cookies! You would think, as a former prize winning baker, that baking cookies I love would be pretty easy. Plus, my kitchen is operational again! It's missing a few parts (you'll see in the pictures), but using the oven was pretty exciting. I thought I would finally have something to show off to you. Oh, no. 

I ran out of flour AND sugar while making these. I made a half batch and added extra cocoa. These cookies have two kinds of PEPPER in them. See the spices? 

Can you spot my secret ingredient? Meanwhile, I've lost all cookie cutters. 
Symmetry is clearly not my talent. Also, keeping pastry bags from exploding.  Spot where things went wrong?
Whateves. They tasted the same! Here's the recipe (Taken from Martha Stewart):

3/4 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4-6 oz melted chocolate (for drizzle or dipping)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together and then beat them into the butter mixture. If it seems too soft, add 1/4 cup more flour. Divide the dough into thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least one hour. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into whatever shape you want. The orig. recipe suggests hearts, and supposedly if you cut a zig-zag into the top the heart will "break" while baking. This has NEVER happened all the times I've made these. What you lay on the pan is pretty much what you get. Let me know if you ever manage it, though!
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool, then drizzle the cookies with chocolate!

Try these! It seems odd at first, but I really love the spiciness. I wish you much better luck at your attempts! 

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Wish I Were Wearing . . . 8/6

It's so easy and fun to style outfits for myself on Polyvore, where everything is available without limits. However, I thought it would be fun for a challenge! Let me pull outfits for you! Give me a budget, an occasion or just something you haven't figured out how to work yet and I'll make a set just for you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eye Products I Trust

By now you all know well my obsession with beauty products. Here's a reminder . While I don't usually condone the purchase of pre-made palettes, I was struck by how well thought out Masquerade by Smashbox is.

The colors are absolutely complimentary, but versatile. With this palette, and a little brush skill, many looks can be achieved. For example, I easily see being able to pull off a smokey eye, a retro eye (esp. with that white), a look appropriate for day and a "naked" eye (a look so trendy for Fall). It costs $35, which may seem like a lot to spend on one item, but when you consider most eyeshadows of comparable quality and pigmentation run for around $15 per shade, it's quite a bargain.  Invest a little in makeup that is lasting and classic, then scrimp a little on trends. You will notice the difference. Most of my eyeshadow is MAC, but I actually use the colors I buy. Since they are so pigmented, they last a very, very long time. 

Two shades that I've actually committed to long enough to wear through a few times are MAC's Honesty and Beautymarked. They look pretty dramatic and sparkly in the pot, but I use them almost daily. I particularly love Beautymarked as a liner for fair skinned blondes (hello!) because it looks black, but is actually a VERY dark purple. Actual black eyeliner can look too harsh against my skin, so this is a nice illusion. Plus, it looks great against the browns I usually use. 

                 
It's all a matter of controlling your hand. It's so tempting, especially if you are coming from another brand, to pack it on. Resist and you can create a day look that can be later built into something dramatic for night. 

Another good investment is eyeshadow primer. Unless you are a genetic freak, or actually have the time and space in your purse to commit to touch-ups, your eye makeup WILL look different at the end of the day than when you first put it on. Why risk a meltdown, especially in this heat! Some will say that if you use a little foundation and set it with powder on the eyelid before you put shadow on, that it works just as well. I've done that, but now that I've switched to primer I've noticed a HUGE difference. I used to use MAC paints as a colored primer, but they switched formulas and have greatly disappointed me. I now use Urban Decay's Primer Potion in Original ($18). 

                                       
Urban Decay's packaging may be a touch juvenile looking, but this stuff is very serious. 
While I normally use eyeshadow as a liner, Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliners ($17) are the only pencils I use. 

                                       
I love them because they are long-lasting, but you do have a few seconds to smudge and play with the line you just drew on before it "locks" in. I recommend Rockstar (deep purple), Stash (deep goldish-green) and Zero (black). 
I switched to powder liner years ago (before the UD 24/7 discovery), because I wanted a line that wasn't so harsh and I was tired of trying to smudge pencil and shadow so it wouldn't look like the liner wasn't just sitting on top of the lid. Note, there is a difference between a harsh line and an intentionally crisp line, so often found in retro looks. If you are trying for that kind of line, use a gel pot liner. I'll demonstrate that technique in a later post. I can now wield a hard angle liner brush, which is probably the most common liner brush people are used to seeing, but often mishandled. However, when I first switched over to shadows as liners, the best purchase I ever made was the Benefit Get Bent Liner Brush ($16). 

                                        
It looks weird, but this thing is idiot proof. The head (which is much thinner in person, by the way) is bent at a 30 degree angle, which allows the user to hold the brush vertically and draw a controlled line, instead of raising and angling your hand to draw, often over the area you are trying to see. This brush is also great for using gel liners since it is so thin (seriously, this pic is bad) and offers great control. 

What are some of your most trusted eye products? 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Wish I Were Wearing . . . 8/1





That "book" is a bag!

Where Hamish Hangs His Mustache Comb