Playing dress-up, or trying to

Vivien Leigh is one of my favorite women ever to exist. Her life was bold, big, a bit tragic, and full of cats…we have some things in common.  I’ve always wished I had the talent to recreate costumes from her roles in film.  I lack that talent entirely, so I figured I’ll finally start playing with makeup to see what I can accomplish.  If I manage to make some of her looks work, perhaps I’ll find someone to commission a costume replica from!

Tonight’s attempt was one of Vivien’s many looks as Cleopatra in “Caesar and Cleopatra,” from 1945.  It was difficult to settle on one; some are more natural, one is definitely more bold. The one I’ve picked is somewhere in between, but still has winged liner…I’m a sucker for winged liner, and it’s a part of my every day makeup look, so why not? (photo:)

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I’m incorporating two new items into this.  One is a contour/highlight stick from Wet and Wild that was too inexpensive to pass up. I have absolutely no experience with highlight and contouring, at least not successfully. The rules seem to always involve a blender, so I picked up the cheapest one I could find in the store, which ended up being a Real Techniques one. I’ve had success with RT’s brushes, so it’s worth a shot and not a waste of money if I absolutely sucked at this.

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I think I did a pretty good job for my first time actually making effort! I admit that I had to do a quick Google search for “highlight contour guide.” Most of those seem about the same, though there’s different ones for different face shapes and such. I have no idea what shape my face is, and the one place I completely failed was my nose, but practice makes perfect and I’m not giving up yet!

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Ultimately, with some patience, I think I did alright. The wings on this particular eyeliner style aren’t my usual go-to and my technique needs fine tuning, but thanks to Tattoo Liner by Kat Von D(in Trooper), I didn’t have lines that were too shaky.  Brows are Dip Brow by Anastasia(in Granite), and Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (in Plath) by Kat Von D HUGELY OVERLINED on the bottom, I managed.

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I’m sure I’ll give a go at more Vivien/Cleopatra looks in the near future. Halloween is coming!

Cheers!

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Lip Care (for better use of matte lippies!)

I love matte lipstick. I may have an addiction even, and despite owning A Lot (especially ones by Kat Von D), I don’t wear lipstick half as often as I should.  It can make a neutral look really pop, and the matte lippes seem to stay on forever and ever and ever to the point that makeup remover cloths are needed to get them to go away.  Considering I spent my teens and 20s (yikes, dating myself) blotting eyeshadow over regular lipstick in an attempt to get it to stay put for a while, this is a miracle. My biggest issue? NOT having mega dry, chapped lips.  It seems that matte lipsticks suck all the moisture out of my lips, and I know I’m probably not the only person around with this problem.  Lip care is suddenly way more important to me. I use two products every day to help prevent chapped lips, and they’re both easy and accessible!

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(^That’s my dynamic duo. )

The first is a lip scrub by Cherry Tree Lane Soap on Etsy.  I’d spent a ton on lip scrubs from other companies by the time I found this shop, and they were always far more expensive.  Not only does this little pot of scrub help me support an independent company on Etsy, but it also comes in DIFFERENT FLAVORS! Everything from Absinthe to Wedding Cake!  I went with Mango Peach and it’s like a little treat every time I use it.  A little bit goes a long way, and it gets rid of dead skin like nobody’s business.  If there’s any lip scrub I’d recommend out of the bunch I’ve tried, it’s this one, hands down.  Bonus? It’s vegan, cruelty free, kosher, and alcohol-free!

My follow-up step is Water Blending Lip Oil from Nooni.  It soaks in slowly but is full of ingredients like sunflower, olive, and argan oils, spearmint, and green tea, among others that soothe and soften chapped, dry lips without being sticky like a lot of balms. I use this immediately after my lip scrub and let it do its thing for a while before applying lipstick.

The combination of these two products have helped me SO MUCH. I was sad that every time I wanted to wear one of my bright, fun lip colors, I knew I’d end up with dry lips eventually.  Nothing worked quite as well as these two beyond being a temporary fix, either.  I’ll hopefully be trying the Nooni Water Blending Lip Mask soon and might end up adding that to my usual routine.

The result after using these? Smoother lipstick applications and less touch-ups due to flaking.

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(pictured: strangely good bathroom lighting/no editing! and my current favorite lip color, Roxy by Kat Von D)

Cheers!

 

Fixing My Suddenly Awful Skin

As I mentioned in the previous post, my skin is currently a wreck. I’m stressed, Mercury is in Retrograde(if that’s something you’re into-I am), and my face is suddenly more oily than usual and I have breakouts in the weirdest places: above my top lip/under my nose, and my cheeks. There’s a spot or two on my chin, but that’s almost expected with oil and stress.  I’m going through a daily routine to get myself back to normal. Documenting it here seems appropriate!  In most cases when these breakouts show up, I can stick with this for a few days and get results quickly. I’m switching up masks here and there though, so perhaps the results will get here even faster!

First, the warm waschcloth. Warmth is mega helpful to open pores for more effective cleansing.  It’s not terribly glamorous (see photo below) but leaving a warm/hot damp washcloth on your face for a minute or two can go a long way before the real process begins.  *I don’t think I’ve ever taken a selfie with a washcloth over my face. It was more difficult than expected.*

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My go-to face cleansers are currently both from Lush. The closest Lush shop to me is nearly an hour away so I’ve found that mail order works well enough unless I’m heading to the area anyways…though when I do, it’s dangerous. Lush shops contain all sorts of fun bath bombs, skincare, hair care…it’s hard to leave with only the one item you went in to buy.  In the morning, I use a bar cleanser called Fresh Farmacy. This isn’t a bar that foams up much and I tend to even prefer rubbing the bar itself on my face instead of in my hands, because the goal of creating a lather just isn’t going to happen much.  This specific product contains chamomile, coconut oil, rose, lavender, and calamine so it’s great for sensitive skin but also works for all skin types to even out skintone and fix dry/oily spots to even out your face completely. It also smells nice and clean without being overbearing.  This was my first Lush skin product a few years back when I had a gigantic breakout out of nowhere and it did the trick, so I have stuck with it since!

My nighttime cleanser from Lush is called Coal Face. This is another bar-style product, but a bit more harsh when it comes to sopping up gross face oil that builds up over the course of a day.  The main ingredient in this is licorice root, which is extremely good at fixing blemishes, though the others such as rosewood and sandalwood oils, coconut oil, and charcoal make this a nice, solid way of once again evening skintone, reducing oil, and keeping your face clean and matte.  This bar does lather up pretty well and I tend to rub this between my hands before applying to my face.  Its ingredients are some serious business for getting rid of the bad things that show up on skin so I wouldn’t recommend this for daily use for folks with super sensitive skin, but once a day works fine for me and prevents oil buildup from happening overnight while I’m asleep.

Lush also is a company that is against animal testing, works with numerous charities world-wide, and their products are all vegetarian with some being vegan.  It’s good stuff, and I highly recommend it.

Pictured here are Fresh Farmacy(pink) and Coal Face(black):

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Next up is masks.  I mentioned my new love for Memebox masks recently and I am still working through trying the mini-pots in the Mini Magic set. I already covered the Pure To The Pore mask in my first post, but with my current situation of needing some extra TLC for breakouts, I’ve been on a rotation-after cleansing, I apply one of three masks: Pure To The Pore, Berry Bubbly , or Take It Easy.

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Berry Bubbly is, as it states, a purifying bubbling berry mask. It’s also the first bubble clay mask I’ve ever used! I get apprehensive easily with fads coming and going but since this was in my little mini-pot set, I had to try it.  I don’t use a spatula for this one since it’s a different consistency but it’s still easy to apply and work with. The bubbles don’t take long to start and there is a slight tingling feeling when the mask is doing its thing but thankfully, that’s easy to get used to. I’ve read reviews of bubble clay masks that sounded almost like they stung! This was nothing like that. If anything, it was a pleasant tingle mixed with a subtle berry scent.  In the end, after rinsing this mask off, I think my skin felt even better than it does after my use of Pure To The Pore.  Not only is my skin feeling clean and smooth-it’s also visibly clean and matte.  The bubbles must be magic! I may end up using this more than once a week. It’s antioxidant-rich with ingredients like raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry extracts, balances the sebum, and may even help with aging? Sign me up.

(*weird close-up photo to avoid actual photos of breakout issue*)

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The third mask in my current rotation is Take It Easy. This mask is packed with calmine, which is one of the main beneficial ingredients in my morning cleanser as well.  It reduces redness and helps keep skin calm and even in tone while also moisturizing.  This is my absolute favorite “JUST RELAX!” mask.  The texture is more whipped and less thick, so it’s somewhere between Berry Bubbly and Pure To The Pore and the results are somewhere in the middle as well. Because of the different consistency, I use a spatula to apply this mask so I’m sure there’s not globs of product in one spot but none in another. (I swear the spatula is amazing.)

Ultimately, my situation with these masks by Memebox  is simply that I’ve never been so impressed with one mask, let alone an entire line! I still have more to try but I’m surprised at how great these are so far.  None of these have made my skin worse, and they all seem to actually help. I’ve never had this happen!

My final step with cleansing is a toner.  I’ve tried a lot of different ones over the years, but my absolute default favorite is simply Thayer’s Witch Hazel.  Target carries this one now, and I’m sure other shops do as well, though I tend to order it up on Amazon. This specific witch hazel has rose petal and aloe vera, so it helps keep dirt and oil out but also softens skin and evens out skintone. There’s no alcohol in this either, so it won’t dry your skin out like a lot of toners do.  A little of this stuff on a cotton pad goes a long way to keeping your skin in check, even when a breakout happens.  A bottle tends to last quite a while, too!

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This isn’t very far into my planned mask rotation but a few days into me dealing with this breakout and I can tell my skin is healing up already.  That says a lot about these products-they’re beneficial AND work quickly even with me binging on greasy potato chips ‘cos stress eating is at an all-time high. Stress and diets don’t work well together in my case.  I’m excited to report back in a few days with results! Even MORE excited to get more products posted on here.

 

Cheers!

 

Oops, Retrograde got me.

I was all set for at least two posts but my skin decided to go wonky on me and I look utterly horrid now. Retrograde? Stress? Stress caused by the Retrograde? Stressed caused by everything AND the Retrograde? We may never know.  In any case, I definitely have some products to share asap, and I’ll do a blurb on what I’m using to get my face back to normal as well. (It’s mostly Lush stuff!)

In the meantime, here’s a photo of me last week in a very 90s hat that I grabbed up at an antique shop. 90s things are considered antique now? There go my stress levels again…

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Cheers and stay tuned, lovelies!

my first BH Cosmetics product: the Wild Child Baked Eyeshadow Palette

Autumnal weather is upon us, here in northern Illinois.  This means apple cider, pumpkins, spooky decor, shorter days, and for me, for some reason, adding some shimmer or more of a color pop to my eyelids. It happens every year, and I can’t explain it.  I have tasked myself with finding my “favorite,” eyeshadow palette. That’s impossible when I love eye makeup so very much, so I’ll be doing some posts in the near future about the ones I absolutely adore.

I have zero experience with BH Cosmetics products, but this one had a lot of good reviews.  I’m super late to hop on the “shimmer is good!” bus, but better late than never.  The Wild Child palette has nine shadows, all which are mega shimmery! They’re almost etherial.  The colors range from an almost-glowing white to a deep shiny purple.  I think the best part is that they can go on a bit more sheer if applied normally or with a wet brush, more bold and far more noticeable.

 

 

I’m using a primer and a wet brush in this little demo on my forearm and I’ll be able to show both application styles in another post that involves my actual face.(gasp!)  My go-to eye primer right now is Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base by Tonymoly.  It lasts a long time, it’s not expensive, and it makes eyeshadow pop…oh, and it’s adorable.

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For this demo, I put a line of this cutie little primer on my arm and rubbed it in slightly to smooth it, which is the same as I would do on my eyelids.  The top comes off and it goes on the same as a lip balm would, so it’s easy to use.

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After primer comes the shadow.  I like to use a wet brush or sponge applicator for brighter shadows as it makes the colors go on brighter and with less product used.  For this, I used a generic small brush from a set I was ready to get rid of (not my usual go-to!) but obviously anything you deem worthy will work just fine.  I’m a fan of good quality brushes, and I’ll cover that in a different post.

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Verdict: These colors are brighter over the white primer so they can be used in more neutral looks or kept in all of their shimmery glory.  The possibilities with these are endless.  I enjoy shadows that can work multiple ways, so this palette quickly got on my list of favorites.  A little gold sparkle on the inner eyelids can make such a difference and can turn a simple neutral overall look into something fancy with one stroke of brush.  Who doesn’t like feelin’ fancy? I absolutely recommend picking up this palette. Inexpensive, cruelty free, vegan, allergy tested, fun, a little flashy, and versatile. (and *it’s on sale for $8.03 right now!)

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! I’ll be back soon with more eye products, masks, and other fun stuff. Here’s a bonus photo of my “going to antique shops to look for pottery,” look yesterday. (autumn is witchy time, after all…and yes, there is a giant Rilakkuma in my closet.)

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Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Mask: Pure To The Pore by I Dew Care / Memebox

I’m hooked on skincare lately, and I’ve been trying all sorts of masks by different brands trying to find one or two that work for my specific concerns.  I’m aging, my skin has been weirdly oily compared to its usual “combination,” type, and let’s face it: masks are a fun, easy way to pamper ourselves.

The I Dew Care Mini Magic Clay Mask set seemed like a good idea.  Five masks with 3-4 applications per mini pot, and they’re all different so they can be used for rainbow masking (I’m sure I’ll get to that in a future post) or to test all five and see which works best for your face.  (Ulta deserves a shout-out for having a points system that kicks butt.)

First up in this kit is the Pure To The Pore mask.  It’s grey and gooey, and has no smell at all, which is super for someone prone to nasty headaches.  Here’s a pic of the full-size along with the I Dew Care spatula, which was recommended and is awesome for mask application:

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The full-size pot is 2.46oz vs the mini pot’s 0.3oz. The mini has 3-4 full applications, especially when the spatula is used because it helps spread everything evenly and prevents wasting too much product.  This means you’ll get way more bang out of the full-size.  (It’s worth it!)

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I have no method for applying masks that’s cute or proper or symmetrical even with this helpful little silicone spatula, so there won’t be any fun gifs or photos of the process. I guess the spatula makes it kind of like icing a cake, which is fun.  That’s a strange analogy.  IN ANY CASE, get some of this grey stuff on the spatula and apply it to your face, obviously avoiding your eye area and mouth. I can’t imagine anybody’s eyeballs need this type of cleansing and it can’t possibly taste good.

Here it is in all its completed glory! The headband pictured is also from the same brand. It’s a little tighter than most of my headbands, but it’s obviously adorable and it holds my hair off of my face better than any others I own.

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At this point, you need to find a way to kill 10-15 minutes while this stuff dries on your face.  My current go-to for time killing is Stardew Valley (photo, because of course).

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This mask is easier to remove than a lot of others I’ve tried. Warm water and a washcloth with light circle motions does the trick, and fast.  The only problem I ran into was completely soaking my swanky Tabletop Artisans shirt while I was rinsing my face. (it had to be changed before the “after,” photo because I’m a clod.)

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The Verdict? This may be one of the best masks I’ve ever used. It left my face feeling smooth, soft, and mega clean, without feeling oily or dewy after.  I think this is one that would work for all skin types, too!  This gets a very high rating with me and I’m excited to see what else this brand has to offer!

Next time, maybe I’ll cover how I accidentally overplucked my eyebrows, or how to conquer the ever-plaguing eyeliner wings.  Makeup posts are on the horizon!

Cheers!

 

*Stardew Valley is an adorable 16-bit game on Steam, and it’s highly addictive! Made by Chucklefish.

*Tabletop Artisans is an indie company based in Northern IL that specializes in “designer,” gaming accessories. Their first product, The Adventurer’s Kit, far surpassed their Kickstarter goal and they’ll have new things coming out soon!