Monday, November 23, 2015

Storytime Life Update

      Ever have one of those days where your mind just checks out?  Not just an "oh I don't feel like doing much" kind of day, but one of those "I am really trying and evidently I have forgotten how to chew" kind of checking out.  The kind that makes you wonder if you have a tumor in your cerebral cortex.
     I am having that kind of day.  Although day isn't an accurate designation of time.  I am having that kind of month.  The lights are on, but there is no one home.  After Halloween my brain dropped mic, and left the building.  No two weeks notice, no goodbye note telling me when he'd return. Nothing. What an asshole.

     For a bit I was sustaining a functional household purely on technology.  After all, why do you need to remember things when you have a computer that will give you names, numbers, dates and deadlines?  I could fake my way through a day, remembering most important appointments and required events.  Then 3 critical events occurred.

     1. We sold our old house.  We have been living with two mortgages and getting this one off our hands is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.   However, if you have ever been through the process of buying or selling a house you know the month of closing is a jungle of negotiations, assessments, inspections and paperwork. It's a mess and living an hour and a half away from said house (and other involved party members) makes it more so.

     2. Our computer decided to take a dump.  That's right, my lifeline to a functioning day (since old cerebrum decided to split) just stopped working.  I guess the strenuous schedule of signing legal documents, writing a blog, and playing minecraft just became too much for him, as he just declared "Sayonara bitches" and refused to boot up. With him he took my notes on future blog posts, all our family photos, and my sanity.  Edit: we have since recovered the files from the hard drive including the photos and notes.  My sanity has yet to be found.

     3. My husband left town for business.  This wasn't unplanned, we knew it was coming. It was just shit timing given everything else.  I think my adventures in single parenting was the final straw that knocked over this house of cards.

    So here I am now, sitting in front of a new computer screen.  I apologize for missing last week's post, but blogging from my phone just wasn't going to happen.   Also I just have now pieced together from various phone calls with my Dad and my recovered Google calendar that THIS THURSDAY is indeed Thanksgiving, not next week (which is what I have been telling myself for about 10 days now). When did that happen?

     What's my point in all of this?  I don't know.  I don't have one.  Maybe if I could make up one it would be that if you ever come across someone whether it be the cashier, waitress, customer, coworker, whomever and they clearly don't have all their marbles at the time...give them a break.  Even if they did just unload a whole cart of stuff at Target only to discover that oops their wallet is still on the kitchen table at home (yep that happened).

     We get so wrapped up in our own lives, our own struggles and demands that so often we overlook what's really important.  We end up treating one another horribly and why?  Because they slightly inconvenienced us?  Did the extra 10 seconds that person stayed stopped at the green light break your day?  Did the mother who forgot her wallet at Target ruin your life?  No.

     If my checking out has shown me anything, it's that I can spend a WHOLE MONTH doing nothing but inconveniencing myself through sheer forgetfulness and my life is still doing just fine.  If missing two weeks of guitar lessons, blog posts, doctor appointments hasn't derailed my life, someone getting a price check at the 10 items or less register certainly isn't going to.  

      Anywho, next week I shall return.  Hopefully my brain will be back from what ever spirit walk it's gone on and next week's post will be more engaging.  I do have some goodies to share with you all, and I have a special surprise coming in the mail (Spoiler: its the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani palette).  Hope to see you then!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday Palette Reviews: Smashbox, Tarte, Buxom

     Ah November, a beauty junkie's favorite time of the year, and the bane of their bank account.  Yes, the holiday palettes and gift sets are out and just begging for an impulse purchase.  Teasing us with their limited edition colors and quantities.

     This year I tried to do better.  Well, ok by "better" I mean I tried not to get just a boatload of eye shadow palettes, but rather select a palette from each category of eyes, lips and face.  It had varied results, there are just too many tempting eye shadow palettes out there.  However today, I will stick to my original plan and share my thoughts on one from each category (I will have more in upcoming posts I promise).

Smashbox ART. LOVE. COLOR. Master Class - $65.00

Smashbox ART. LOVE. COLOR. Master Class package inspired by artist Yago Hortal

     Available exclusively at Sephora, this years Master Class palette is inspired by artist Yago Hortal and his colorful designs. The kit comes with 32 Photo Op formula eye shadows in a 0.025oz size, 6 blushes that are 0.05oz, and 2 highlighters that are 0.07oz but look the same size as the blush.  It also comes with a set of 8 instructional cards as well as a small bio on Yago Hortal. 

Smashbox Master Class palette opened up, each tray is removable with names printed on clear covers

     The packaging is rather interesting.  The design is beautiful and very colorful, but rather bulky and not what I would call travel friendly. The products are located in two plastic trays which remind me of CD cases.  The trays are removable (which would be better for travel), and have the names printed on the clear covers which snap shut.  When open the palette lays flat, which is helpful as it is not held easily in one hand during application.  There is no mirror (I don't know where they would have put one) but again, it makes it less travel friendly.

Left Picture: left to right Posy Pink (cheek), Naked, Charmed, Candy, Framboise
Right Picture: left to right Java, Oxidize, Nutmeg, Alabaster, Sunset (cheek)

     I picked this palette up as a possible alternative to the Kat Von D palette that is sold out every time I go to Sephora.  I don't have much in the way of colorful eye shadow (most of what I own is akin to the Naked palettes by Urban Decay), and I was looking for an introduction to some brighter colors. As an introductory palette, I think this works nicely.  If you are someone more experienced and wanting intensely pigmented colors, I don't think you will be happy with this palette. 

Left Picture: left to right Persimmon (cheek), Custard, Torch, Goldenrod, Gold
Right Picture: left to right Gypsy, Spruce, Zoom, Sea, Glow (highlight)

    The color selection and formula is... safe for lack of a better word.  The formula is very soft (it will kick up powder when you dip into it) and blends out easily when applied dry.  The result is more of a wash of color rather than an intense bold application.  Which is great for beginners who want to ease into color.  The colors can be built up or used wet to achieve a bolder look, but it will take some extra work.  In that sense I don't find this a suitable alternative to palettes like the  Kat Von D where the pigmentation is more intense and less forgiving. 

Left Picture: left to right Bitten (cheek), Sky, Nile, Azure, Pacific
Right Picture: left to right Harbor, Steel, Cement, Cosmic, Prism (cheek)

   There are a few shades in this palette that I did not like at all.  Charmed, Sea, Cosmic and Silver Moon which are the chunkier, more glittery shades.  I would imagine that use of a glitter shadow glue would help with application. But seeing as I so infrequently want a glittery look, the extra work isn't worth it for these shades.  Everything else did apply smoothly and evenly, including the blush and highlight shades.  As I mentioned before they do kick up some powder, so just be sure to tap the excess of the brush to avoid some fallout during application. 
Left Picture: left to right Plum (cheek), Breeze, Celestial, Eggplant, Orchid
Right Picture: Ebony, Smoke, Silver Moon, Snow, Shimmer (highlight)

Tarte Bling It On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette - $44.00

Tarte Bling It On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette 

     Available exclusively at Sephora, this year's Tarte blush palette features 4 limited edition blushes (Dollface is the only one featured in the permanent line).  The full size, stand alone blushes cost $28.00 a piece and are 0.20oz. The blushes in this palette are 0.15oz and there is 5 of them, meaning the palette contains roughly $105.00 worth of product.  For this reason the Tarte blush palettes are always big sellers each holiday season. 

Tarte Bling It On palette blushes in Fetching, Dollface, Prim, Smashing, and Beaming

    The packaging is a slim and the cover is magnetized.  There is a decent sized mirror inside making it travel friendly.  The only thing I do not like is the black glitter on the outside.  While it looks very pretty, the glitter flakes can easily falls off and with continued use I imagine it will get worse. 

Tarte Bling It On blushes left to right Fetching, Dollface, Prim, Smashing and Beaming

    Personally I am a big fan of Tarte's Amazonian clay blushes.  They are well pigmented do last a considerable bit of time on me.  The color goes on semi-sheer and can be built up.  For us fair skinned ladies this is super helpful as it helps prevent the dreaded clown face. 

     The colors featured this year are very flattering and easy to wear.  The only shade I do not like is beaming as it has chunky silver glitter in it.  Why would they ruin a beautiful peach shade with silver glitter?  Who knows.  Maybe someone can use it as a highlight?  Not this lady.   The remaining 4 shades all have a matte or satin finish.

Buxom Leave Your Mark Full-On Lip Polish & Lip Cream Set - $59.00

Buxom Leave Your Mark Full-On Lip Polish & Lip Cream Set Packaging

     Again available exclusively at Sephora (I swear this post is not sponsored lol), this set features 8 mini sized lip polishes and 8 mini sized lip creams.  Each of the minis are 0.07 fl. oz and come with the standard doe foot applicator.  For comparison a full size of one of these lip glosses is 0.15 fl oz and cost $19.00. 

Buxom Lip Gloss swatches left to right: Hot Toddy, Bunny, Cherry Flip, Taylor, Dolly, Jennifer, Sophia, Purple Haze

     For those who have never tried a Buxom lip product before, the formula of these glosses feature a menthol derivative that gives the gloss a minty scent/taste and creates a tingling/cooling feeling on the lips.  The formula is very smooth and the tingling/cooling feeling does last for a bit on the lips.  It doesn't burn, but it is noticeable.  The best I can describe it is when you eat a strong mint like an Altoid or Life-Saver and you suck air in.  That cool tingle?  That's how your lips will feel.  I personally love it, but know some girls that are bothered by it. 

Buxom Lip Gloss swatches left to right: Zoe, Starr, Sandy, White Russian, Berry Blast, Olivia, Pink Lady

    Each of the colors in this kit are also in the permanent line.  There are no exclusive or limited edition shades featured, so if you fall in love with a particular color you should be able to get a full sized version.  True to most glosses, these offer a general wash of color but are not intensely pigmented.  The polishes feature anywhere from a fine shimmer (Sophia, Sandy) to a chunky glitter (Oliva, Starr).  The glitter doesn't affect the feel of the gloss, but I have found it does hang out on your lips after the product has worn off.  The creams are a flat glossy color and feature no shimmer or glitter. 

    Overall, this is a nice lip gloss set.  Is there anything super amazing or special about it? Other than the large sampling of colors, no.  I purchased this mainly because loving the glosses already, I wanted to expand my color options without purchasing the full sizes.  If you know that a bunch of these colors aren't going to work for you, or you don't like the glitter in the polishes, you might be better off purchasing a smaller holiday set or a few individuals in the full sizes. 

That is all I have for today.  Like I mentioned previously there will probably be another post in the near future with reviews on some other palettes I picked up (nothing big though, these were the main three I purchased this year).   Thank you all for stopping by and I will see you next week! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Ipsy vs. Boxycharm: Unboxing and 1st Impressions

     Hello everyone, and welcome to November!  To start off this month I want to try something different than I have done before and share what I have received in my Ipsy and Boxycharm subscription boxes.

     If you are unfamiliar with beauty subscriptions, the down and dirty explanation is that you fill out a questionnaire and based on the answers provided you are sent a box of surprise goodies each month. Depending on the service to which you subscribe, the goodies may be sample or full sized and be drugstore or high-end brands.  It's a really fun way to try out new brand and products that you haven't heard of or may be reluctant to buy on your own.

     I subscribe to two of these boxes, Ipsy and Boxycharm.  They are probably two of the more well known beauty subscriptions.  If you are interested in either of these, I have links to each service in my favorites tab here.  I pay for these boxes myself and any referrals I make with those links just awards me points to get additional products.  You can chose to use those links or not, it's up to you.


October Ipsy Glam Bag "Alter Ego" 

     The Ipsy subscription is $10 a month.  There is always a little cosmetic bag included and usually contains 4-5 products.  The products are more often than not sample sizes and are a good mix between high end and drug store products.

     This month (October's box) the theme was Alter-Ego.  It came with a duo-sided bag one side a metallic gold and the other a shiny black vinyl.  The products it contained were:
  • It Haircare 12-in-1 Amazing Leave-in Treatment - full size
  • LeeAnni Eco Go Away Gloomy Day Skin booster - Sample 0.5fl oz 
  • MICA Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Bronze - full size
  • Girlactik Beauty Precise Eyeliner Marker in Black - full size
  • the Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Committed - sample 0.04fl oz
     I was pretty surprised by this month's Ipsy bag.  Usually I get more sample sizes with this subscription and the majority here are full sized products. I am most excited to try out the liquid lipstick and the eyeliner.  The pinky-nude color of the lipstick is one of my favorite day to day colors, and it has a strong minty smell that I also really like.  The eyeliner I am interested in experimenting with as I do not have a lot of liquid type eyeliners.

the Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Committed
    The eyeshadow color is nice.  I don't often wear this color of bronze as it pulls really orange on my skin.  I also don't wear cream eyeshadow all that often so we will see how this one goes.  I really like that I got a full size bottle of the leave in treatment for my hair.  Often times sample sizes for hair products do not give me enough uses to determine if I really like it or not.  

MICA Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Bronze

    The skin boost I could take or leave.  I don't really understand what it's primary goal is other than to "boost skin" whatever that means.  It's an organic product with no preservatives which I know is a bonus for a lot of people.  There is warning on the side of the bottle that states it should be discarded within 6 months of purchase.  That kind of turns me off as I am currently trying out some other skincare items and I don't want this to expire by the time I get around to trying it. 


October Boxycharm "Faces of the Moon"

     Boxycharm costs $21 a month.  So it is twice the cost of the Ipsy subscription.  However this is almost entirely high-end makeup and a lot of it is full sized.  In fact every thing I got this month is a full sized product.  A nice thing that Boxycharm does, that Ipsy does not do is tell you how much the price of the full sized product is.  So you can keep a running total of how much you have spent vs how much the box is "worth" to you.

     This month's theme was Faces of the Moon and it included the following products:
  • Palmetto Derma Rejuvenating Antioxidant Mask - full size - $64.00
  • Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara  - full size - $24.00
  • Bellapierre Cheek and Lip Stain in Coral - $19.99
  • Lord & Berry Line/Shade Eyeliner - full size - $18.00
  • Cult Cosmetics Nail Polish - full size - $12.00
     So as you can see the value of the products you get far exceed the cost of the subscription box, which is nice if you want to try a number of high end products without fully investing in the cost.  I am probably the most excited for the Palmetto mask.  At $64.00 it is not something I would have ever bought myself, but it actually looks really nice and it smells fresh.  

     The mascara and the blush look interesting. I don't have much experience with the creme blush formula so there may be a bit of experimenting to do.  It may have to wait until spring as the coral color, while pretty, just looks better suited for spring/summer.   I love trying out high end mascaras but very rarely do I purchase them as I find that for my lashes drug store formulas work just as well. 

Bellapierre Cheek and Lip Stain in Coral 
      I am not very interested in this eyeliner.  It's a basic black pencil liner, not particularly dark.  It blends out very easily, which I am sure is due to it also being promoted as a shade, but I know for my eye type it means it will not stay put and most likely run.  

   So that is all that I got.   I know everyone gets something different depending on what their answers were on the questionnaires.  It would be cool to hear what others got in their boxes, if you would like to share you can put it in the comments below.  Thank you all so much for stopping by and I will see you next week!  

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