Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pumpkin Pause

Hey Everyone,

In previous post I mentioned that I'd be switching gears. Well, by switching gears, I've decided to mosey on to a new blog called Pumpkin Pause, so you can find my latest writings there. While I will continue to focus on makeup, I'll be writing about a variety of other things as well.

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Focus

In the last few months that I've been gone, not much as really occurred and yet, some things have changed. I'm still not sure whether I want to return to blogging just yet, however since I took the time today to combine all of my blogs into one, I may have inadvertently caused a weird surge of posts that were dated between 2011 - 2013 with a variety of watermarks that are not attributed to this blog. So here we go.

Late last year my goals for this blog (Plum Eyeliner) were somewhat varied in the sense that it started as a fun activity. I'm not good with makeup and I'm better with words, so I figured it would be a good exercise in writing that could eventually lead me to be better at makeup. In that intial quest, I chose the name "Plum Eyeliner" because I was on a purple eyeliner kick at the time and I could not find a decent one. In my search, I found that blogs were lacking for people with my skin tone. So I figured that even if I failed at writing (lol), and failed at the attempt to become better at makeup, that it could still help others with their makeup quests. This is largely why I have never deleted this blog. Along the way here were my ideas of what this could turn into:

  • A makeup subscription box -- this was the first idea I came upon back when makeup subscription boxes were gaining traction. I decided that this wasn't the route to go for logistic reason. It's hard to customize makeup for a variety of skin tones and undertones which leads to the problem of either being all over the place, or not being enough. I mean for myself, I still have yet to find a makeup subscription box that works for me so I would I trully be able to create one for others. 
  • A makeup review site that featured more contributors however those that I had lined up dropped out due to other engagements. 
  • A search site that could catalogue makeup by skin tone, undertone, and skin issues. This one was a grandeur attempt that we had figured out the logic for, but hadn't begun building. The problem comes down it having to be user generated and I've got a whole 18 followers... Which isn't enough to generate that much content. 
I know that that sounds like a lot of excuses laced in there but do consider that I have a full time job and this was for fun. Which brings me to the point that writing became a scheduled thing which made it seem to loose it's glamour. Sure, I shouldn't whine about that, but constantly searching the market for new makeup and trying to get my hands on it and then reviewing it? So maybe I got a bit bored. Which leads me to that whole "I reorganized my blogs today, sorry for the SPAM."

Earlier today I disabled Etcteros and Red Laboratory Lacquers and combined them into this blog. Etceros was my sounding board for nonsense with the occasional linings of something worth reading and the review on subscription boxes that were more for lifestyle and pets, rather than makeup. RLL was disabled because though I still dabble in making my own nail polishes, blushes, and eyeshadows, it really was moreso for experiments which I can easily write about here. 

Which brings me back to this blog. So, I love writing... Sure, I'm still not great at that whole makeup thing. In fact for this whole year, the only cosmetics I've purchased was some new face cream, lots of nail polishes, soap, and an order from Hello Waffle that just went in today. With Halloween coming up, I imagine there's a lot more makeup that I'll be indulging in. The blog will remain but I think I'll be switching gears a bit. Instead of just focusing on makeup and what's new, I'll be throwing in my reviews from different areas such as that Quarterly Bill Nye box coming next month or those experiments that I've been tolling away on. 

I still want to change the name of The Plum Eyeliner though. Still haven't figured out that whole thing but I'll worry about that when I get there.

TL;DR: Goodbye etceteratech.blogspot.com & redlaboratorylacquers.blogspot.com. We'll see what's next.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dreamworld Hermetica Avalon Matte Samples

Items were received by Dreamworld Hermetica complimentary.

A while ago, Dreamworld Hermetica was looking for testers for their new matte line and volunteered. Unfortunately, life caught up with me and I was unable to provide my feedback in a timely manner. While I did swatch the samples, I have had very little time to experiment much with it. Hopefully later this weekend, I'll have more to show you. For the time being though, here are the swatches!



This particular line is the Avalon Mattes and each colour is marvellously brilliant. At first I thought I'd be receiving a few samples but definitely not the whole collection which was previously unreleased. In addition to each eyeshadow, the company sent an eye primer, and a jar of both Mistletoe and Grendel's Mother (which are from the Medieval Collection). Below you'll find the entire series along with the swatches. Please remember that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them a bit. 



Apple Island, Avalon Nyght, Laird, Sayge, Small Sea, and The Grove.




Ygraine, Woad, Noble, Chalice, Blade, and Avalon Sunset.





Arthur's Shield, Druid's Earth, Into the Myst, Pagan, Round Table, Grendel's Mother, and Mistletoe.

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Absence

While I've been absent, I've been trying a variety of things. This variety ranges from a seasonal Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter (which is divine for my dry skin), Bag Balm (does wonders for dry spots), to Shea Moisture hair care (my hair loves it), and everything in between. Sadly, I haven't been taking very many notes but here's what I can share with you as I slowly prepare for the onslaught of posts.

Quarterly - Bill Nye (NYE01)

Forgive me for my lack of updates. While I've mostly kept quiet everywhere (this includes most social media), I've been dealing with a lot personally and haven't really had the chance to sit down and write. During my absence though there's been a lot of things that I've been playing around with so I have a lot to go through. That's going to include both this blog and my makeup blog. For now though, let's review my first ever Quarterly box. This one was specifically curated by Bill Nye.

How did this discovery come about? Well, even if you didn't care, I'm still going to talk about it, because it's a bit of a fun story. Lately my co-workers and I have been talking about subscription boxes of different types. From Graze, to Wantable, we've been looking up a variety of different kinds and trying out a bunch. When my co-worker found out that there was a Quarterly box curated by Bill Nye, I immediately knew I had to get it. I purchased the box immediately (in September) and anxiously awaited the day that it would ship. A few weeks ago I finally received it and it came so quickly, Quarterly hadn't even sent out the shipping notification to me.

I had never subscribed to a Quarterly box prior to this so I knew that I really wouldn't know what to expect especially since it varies by curator. I knew that this would have to be awesome because it's Bill Nye... One of the ultimate science guys. So let's take a look at the box. 

When I first got the box, the thing that was missing was a description of the items. The box directs you to a website with a video but sadly each time I tried to check it out the video simply wasn't working. For a few of the items, I was genuinely at a loss as to what I needed to do next with them. I'm happy to say that the video is working now and that issue of the delayed video doesn't effect how I feel about the box.

For a cursory glance, the box came with a solar powered grasshopper, a salt water driven car, chalk, a paper plate, a plastic straw, a pen, a bag of beads, and a compass.

There are directions on how to create a sundial within the Manila
envelope (so that's what the chalk, paper plate, and straw were for), and since the car and grasshopper were in boxes, that seemed pretty simple to figure out. The only thing that perplexed me for a while was the little bag with beads. 

The night we got the box, one of my friends immediately built the grasshopper. Sadly, the little guy never sprang to life. Ultimately we know that with robotics kits that is something that could happen and that's not a reflection of the Quarterly box. After watching the video, I do wish that we built the salt water car with the solar panel from the grasshopper instead of committing the solar panel to living the life of a dead grasshopper.

Defying Life like a true solar
powered grasshopper.
The pen was amazing because I personally adore having more writing instruments around me. The pen works well but also has a great story behind it. It's made from recycled bottles and Nye mentions that he specifically uses blue because it can't be photocopied. 

Our friend mimicking
Dr. Frankenstein.
Admittedly we never got around to create the sundial but I'm still glad that we have all the pieces. As for the beads, I had no idea what was their deal till I saw the video (which I just checked out tonight). I can't wait till tomorrow when the sun is up to see what different colours they turn.

Overall, I really liked the box. A lot. I can't wait till the next one and I'm glad that I gave it a shot to begin with because there's nothing (to me) quite satisfying as being able to build something. Even if it doesn't work and even if you aren't sure, there's a certain satisfaction about troubleshooting it. And I'll be honest here, even if the items themselves didn't feel worth it (lulz, yeah right, come on... the compass alone is a solid piece), the fact that Nye put in a copy of the "Rules of the Road" which is the single page from which they made the rules (the "roadmap") for the Bill Nye the Science Guy show (which is what is in the yellow envelope) makes it so worth it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My First Stitch Fix!

I admit that trying out Wantable woke up this urge for me to finally update my closet. I had all these new accessories and nothing to pair it with. So after considering it for a bit, I decided to hold off on Wantable and start focusing on revamping my wardrobe. And by "revamp," I mean "Finally get clothes that fits and isn't over 5 years old." The problem though is that I simply do not have time to shop. Heck, I barely have time to write nowadays. So I did what has been the fashionable thing to do lately... Try to find a box that would alleviate the pressure of having to actually go to stores. 

Through /r/beautyboxes, I found out about Stitch Fix (referral link). It kind of seemed like a huge commitment, so I weighed on it for days. You create a style profile which seems quite in depth and then you spend $20 to pay a stylist to pick out clothes. Upon receiving the box, you have three days to decide what you want to keep -- if there's anything you want to return, you simply toss it back into a bag that they provide that has a label already printed, and drop it into a mailbox. Seems simple enough right? Well, the commitment is in the cost. If you keep anything, that $20 is applied toward your purchase. If you buy all 5 items in your box, then you get 25% off. (Oh and California residents have to pay additional sales tax). If you dislike everything, then you are out $20. Luckily, they try darn hard to make sure that you at least like something in the box (or so it seems). 

Getting a date can be tricky and you do have to check back if you haven't gotten a slot. I didn't realize this at the time so I went back and forth for weeks before finally deciding that I would at least try them out. That was October 22nd and the earliest ship date I could get was "The Week of November 20th." So here's my first ever Stitch Fix!

The packaging is actually quite nice and somewhat reminiscent of True & Co. Everything was stacked neatly on top of one another and wrapped in tissue paper. Along the side was an envelope with the information about the items in the box with pairing suggestions, the notation of cost for each items, a Holiday Fix packet (which included recipes), and the return bag.

There were a total of 5 items and that breaks down to 3 shirts, a blazer, and a pair of jeans. The shirts and the blazer are labelled "41Hawthorn" which leads me to believe that this is their brand. This is fine with me so long as they send pieces that work out for me. Without further ado, let's look at those pieces. 

41Hawthorn: Franklin Solid Side Gathered Knit - $48
41Hawthorn: Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse - $58
41Hawthorn: Queensland Dolman Jersey Top - $48
41Hawthorn: Benson 3/4 Sleeve Blazer - $78
Kensie Jeans: Johnny Skinny Jeans


When I first took everything out of the box, I immediately thought "Oh no, not jeans." I have had a long standing problem with jeans and it's very difficult to find jeans that fit correctly. The only jeans that seems to have fit me are Levi's Curve ID's and that's about it. So I tried the jeans on first and to my surprise, they actually fit! Not just that, but they might be flattering!

The next item I was on the fence about was the blue Moni Stud but seeing it on me changed my mind. It actually reminded me of my first lengha that I ever owned. What's interesting is that after trying everything out, the one that I ended up disliking was the purple Side Gathered Knit because the material felt weird and it just did not flatter my body type at all. I opted to keep it though because I figured that maybe I just didn't pair it correctly and had the perfect dress pants to go with it. 

So the damage? The damage pricey. (There's that commitment thing again). The total coming out to just about $242. Yes. I weeped a bit in the corner when I thought about the damage here. But here's out I logically worked it out for myself.

  1. I hate clothes shopping.
  2. I don't go clothes shopping.
  3. I hate going to stores and having to try on everything.
  4. I hate being disappointed when I go clothes shopping and find nothing.
  5. I shop online for clothes twice a year so that means that I don't have a steady flow of decent clothes in my wardrobe.

While this is expensive (still crying and still telling myself that it's okay to make this choice), this may work out since I can try on clothes at home and since they know my tastes, it's going to be catered to me. I'm opting to try one more month to see how it works out. With this box from Stitch Fix (referral link), I'm very impressed and very happy to have the new pieces in my closet. 

My First Graze Box!

Items were received by Graze complimentary.

Admittedly, I've been slacking on my updates. I signed up for Graze's Nibble Box on Halloween when they offered a free code through their Facebook page. On November 4th, the box was prepped and around November 11th I was notified it was shipped. I got the box on November 13th which was right after BlizzCon so I didn't really have much time to think. 

Unlike other boxes that I've come across, this one does not offer a tracking code and actually ship through normal mailing means. This meant that I didn't really know where my box was or why it was taking so long (now I know). Also when it arrived, it had a puncture that went right through the top to the bottom of the box. All that meant to me was that I needed to consume that sample immediately (no harm, no foul).

Let's take a look at the inside of the box. The box has a great presentation and everything is wonderfully prepped. 

  • Garden of England (top left): Strawberries black currants, and apple slices. 
  • Jalapeno Fiesta (bottom right): Jalapeno peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, salsa almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Key Lime Pie (top right): Lime infused raisins, sponge pieces, mini meringues and green raisins. 
  • Cracking Black Peppercorn (bottom right): Black pepper rice crackers.

I ended up eating the Garden of England one right away since that was the little tray that was punctured. I loved that one since it's been a while since I've feasted on black currants (currant rolls are my favourite pastry and I haven't had them in a long time). A few nights later when I split the remainder between my boyfriend and my friend, I ended up having the majority of the Key Lime Pie which was amazingly delicious. It was a surprising blend though I will admit that the mini meringues were a tad bit too sweet.

The other two were devoured by my boyfriend and my friend. My friend happened to love the Cracking Black Peppercorn and is currently trying to devise ways of just getting that in bulk. 

At this point my only true concern was that while this seemed great for a free box, I wasn't entirely sure of the cost and couldn't determine if it was worth it (at the time). After all, the samples are all small, there's no way it seems to properly configure (or rig) a box for your favourites, nor is there an option to buy your favourites. I do suspect this might be something that they have already considered. So when I decided to actually double check the website, I realized... well, shucks, the box is actually only $6. 

So it turns out that yeah, it's actually pretty much worth it. 


Graze is currently still invitation only and they are limiting the amount of "FriendCodes" that each person can give out. I have four two more if you'd like to give it a shot -- the first box is free. Leave me a note if you'd like my code!

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