Wednesday, October 30, 2013

End of October Hauls

Last week my Sephora haul arrived just in time for the Halloween party. I didn't have a chance to post but since I got my most recent soap haul and my China Glaze nail polishes, I figured that now is the time to show it all off. 

Up first is what I got from Sephora during their Friends & Family sale. I got the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar & Nail Lacquer Set in NSFW because who could pass up a matching set of true red! Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon and SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Spectral Lacquer in Purple Wine. 

I've already gotten the chance to try out the OCC set and they are amazing but the lip tar does take a bit of practice. I noticed that it bled a bit which led me to believe that I may have been a bit heavy handed during the application. A little does goes a long way and I'd suggest just using a bit, and reapplying if necessary much later on. The nail polish is beautiful and as a side note, it looked great with my Captain Hook costume. 

Geeky Little Things (Wonder Witch) is a soap shop that I figured I'd give a shot. Now maybe it was because they Harry Potter themed soaps or maybe it was because the main moisturizers are either olive oil, shea butter, and/or oatmeal but something about this store seemed whimsical and cute. So in honour of Halloween, I decided to grab a couple of soaps and their Butterbeer balm. The packaging is lovely and I was more than surprised when I got everything.

I've already opened the Butterbeer balm and it's scent is a butterscotch base, with french vanilla, burnt sugar, and marshmallows. It's quite moisturizing and I'm so glad I opened it immediately to use. As for the soaps, here's what was in my order:

  • Madam Puddifoot's Green Tea Soap (Green Tea, Cucumber, and Oatmeal Soap)
  • Professor Trelawney’s Divination Bar (Oatmeal, Milk, Honey, and Poppy Seed Soap)
  • Hogwarts Express Pumpkin Pasties Soap (Pumpkin Almond Shea Butter Soap)
  • Honeydukes Salty and Sweet Soap (Salted Caramel Goat’s Milk Soap)
  • Dumbledore Sherbet lemon Bar (Lemon Oatmeal Soap)

Finally, I got my China Glaze nail polishes! These are all from the Monsters Ball lineup. Almost every year I have the hardest time finding these in stores but this year Groupon had them as an offer. As a result, I had to indulge! 

From left to right is: Bat My Eyes, Fang-Tastic, Howl You Doin', Boo-Gie Down, Ghoulish Glow, and Bump in the Night. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Comparison of Blushes (and Pressing)

So whenever I get a new blush, I always do a swatch comparison against the others that I have -- even if they aren't remotely the same. This helps me to place the colour so in that way in the future, I know where they fall with the others. Originally, I swatched the Whip Hand Cosmetics in Cheek Flash Distraction which came in my Wantable Makeup Box. 

Currently, these are the blushes I have in rotation, along with my franken-blush (read about that here) which is not pictured as it is in my UNII palette. So if you look at my hand along the bottom, you're seeing from left to right: the franken-blush, The Body Shop, tarte, and Whip Hands.

Since my Darling Girl Cosmetics haul arrived, I decided to add in the Purple Haze into the mix to get a better feel for it against the other blushes. So pictured below is the updated image for your viewing pleasure. The Purple Haze Duochrome blush appears just before the Whip Hands Cosmetics blush. 
Once more with feeling, from left to right of the second picture you are looking at swatches of:
  •  Franken-blush
  • The Body Shop All-In-One Blusher in Guava
  • tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Blushing Bride
  • Darling Girl Cosmetics DuoChrome Blush in Purple Haze
  • Whip Hands Cosmetics Cheek Flash Loose Blush in Distraction

I think the two new blushes are a great addition to the collection. But they are loose, which means that my desire to use them in the morning may be limited since I'm often in a rush. So, I decided to try my hand at pressing them. 

While it's recommended that use a binder with the loose pigments, I found that sometimes it's a bit troublesome to press them correctly. As a result, I've resorted to just pressing with alocohol. I don't know just yet if that will prove to be a problem in the future, but I can assure you that I will find out this week if that was a large error on my behalf. Anyhow, I present my three magnetic palettes!

I didn't need to picture them all, but I wanted to show how useful they have become. The palette on the right has become a designated "blush palette" so I went as far to depot the blush I have from The Body Shop into it as well. Here's a closeup of the 3 blushes and from top to bottom that is Darling Girl in Purple Haze, Whip Hand in Distraction, and finally the franken that I decided to fix (I didn't have the proper pressing tool at the time that I made it so it was a bit rough).

Price:  $16
Stars: ★★★☆☆ 
Would Recommend? Not really.
Takeaway: I feel a bit weird not really liking this one, but I've been using it for a few months now and the pigmentation is lacking. And since the pigmentation itself is lacking, the lasting power of it is a bit sad. It's not buildable so even I layered it on, it doesn't quite pop. Often when I use this one, I have to keep going over it till the colour finally shows a bit. 

Price: $26
Stars: ★★★★☆  
Would Recommend? Yes.
Takeaway: The pigmentation on this one is also somewhat lacking however unlike The Body Shop's blusher, I can build layers upon this one to make it a bit more visible. Also it lasts a bit longer on my wonderfully oily face which makes it a high contender. 

Price: $5.90
Stars: ★★★★☆ 
Would Recommend? Yes but with caution.
Takeaway: For this one, it's highly pigmented which is great, but if you're not careful, it will get everywhere. At some point it got into my hair and I couldn't get it out of my bleached parts for a day. That's probably a testament to it's lasting power, but do be careful since it's a loose powder. It's wonderfully beautiful and long lasting.

Note: I received this product for free with my complimentary Wantable Makeup Box.
Price: $18
Stars: ★★★★☆ 
Would Recommend? Yes!
Takeaway: This one pops and it's not hard to control either. It lasts all day to my surprise especially since I've been a bit stressed and therefore a bit oilier than normal. I'm pretty impressed with this one.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wantable October 2013 Accessories Box

I got my Wantable October 2013 Accessories Box (referral link) on Monday which made me pleasantly surprised; the shipping notification also came through on Monday so I suspect there was a bit of lag with the email. Nonetheless, I couldn't wait to see what I got especially since this was on heels of the October Makeup box. 

With this month's accessories box, I received 3 items (compared to last month's 4 items). The difference though was that two of the items in this box were right up my alley. In this box, I got:

  • Miranda Necklace: $20
  • Adore Ring: $24
  • Ruthe Necklace: $34
Upon seeing the ring, I fell in love with it. I can't explain it, it's kind of quirky but incredibly simple and with the current state of my wardrobe, I feel as though it will easily fit in with anything.

As for the necklaces, I liked Miranda immediately for it's simple nature. But then I saw Ruthe and just fell in love with that one. I love pearls, I think that they are beautifully unique (pearls, that is) even when imperfect so at first, when I saw it in the bag, I was hesitant. Once I took it out, I was in love, especially since it's a tie style necklace. 


The three boxes that I received have been amazing so far which leads me to the conundrum of trying to figure out what I should stick with. I'd highly suggest these boxes since so far they have been great! They are a bit pricey as one box (without the subscription) costs $40 and with the subscription they are $36. Thus far the boxes seem incredibly tailored, have high quality items, and seem to hit the mark. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Halloween Rant

I had been holding out on my annual Halloween rant because I held out the hope that perhaps, just maybe, stores were waiting till we got closer to Halloween to start putting out Halloween inspired makeup. But I guess that all of makeup land (with the exception of indie companies) has decided to skip it in favour of Christmas. Go figure.

This was from last year. It seems to have
not made it into production this year.
Every year around this time, I stock up on a few things: all things pumpkin and/or marshmallow. Oh yeah, and that's when I take a concrete approach to my entire makeup collection and check what I have along with what I need, and what needs to be replaced. Why? Because executing some looks for Halloween expands one's capability and tests thew quality along with the longevity of makeup. Seriously, think about it. You need these makeup creations to last all throughout Halloween night and it's a great test to not just what you can create, but how well makeup fares. So, each year, I think about the colours in my costume, what I need to execute on, test the makeup I currently have and prepare by creating a list of what I'll need. 

This year upon reviewing my collection, I realized that I hadn't replaced a lot of the colours that I gave away (yes, I still routinely prune my collection which involves giving items away to my friends or donating it if it hasn't been used). On top of that, longevity is key -- this year we're doing Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and a regular Halloween party so my costume needs to be on point. 

So this year for Captain Hook (which is just me repurposing an old costume), I need to make sure my makeup is on point because I will get all of the candy. Moving on, this means that were looking to stay at Disneyland for hours and if you've ever tried to touch your makeup at a park, you know that it's somewhat difficult. Which means that all of my top notch makeup is going with me. 

Back to my rant: This is why whenever you read my posts, I talk about traveling or just being able to carry makeup around. Sure, I can create custom palettes by depotting or pressing myself but golly is it tiring to do that. All I'm asking from companies is to just put together a legit Halloween palette. Perhaps toss in some awesome lipsticks and lip liners too. But really the question to them is simply:

Why must you hate on Halloween and skip it in favour of Christmas palettes? There's a market out there for it -- I can assure you it exists. Perhaps you think that they don't sell well, but maybe you need to stop selling palettes full of neutrals during October when people are looking for brights, bolds, darks, and everything else. 

I don't need a Christmas inspired palette right now. I need a Halloween palette with black, orange, purple, green, and white. Sure, toss in some other colours, but I need for them to be dark and I need them to varied. 

So, since regular companies haven't stepped up their game, here's a shout out to some of the few indie companies who understand their customers needs. Please note that I haven't ordered from all of these places so I've placed an asterisk by the ones that I have tried. I'm also not linking their Halloween or Seasonal page directly since it might go away depending on the time of the year. >_<

And for the other items! (Again, this list is only for indie companies and I'll add an asterisk to the ones I've tried myself).

Darling Girl Cosmetics Haul

My order arrived from Darling Girl Cosmetics on Friday and I was so excited to see it. Darling Girl currently has a high turnaround time (14-16 days) and when I checked in, the store was closed (likely to catch up on orders). I didn't fret about it, but I also didn't expect the package till next week so I was pretty content to see it waiting for me.

Now I admit, I totally forgot exactly what I ordered. I remembered the colours but I forgot that I ordered "petits" (which are in 3g jars) rather than samples (which are in zip lock bags). Part of my intent with this haul was to practice pressing eyeshadows so when it arrived and I found that they were in jars, my reaction was: "Darn it, the packaging is so cute, I don't want to press these." 

The pictures above are from the night that I first got them. I didn't really organize them properly so I had to align them again but take down their names. Off to the side on the right, you'll see two differently shaped items and that is the sample of "All of the Pumpkin" which is a gift with purchase and a sample of Burnished, one of the Wet Paint Pots (WPP). DG's WPP are of a creamy consistency that can be worn alone or layered with other eyeshadows.

Okay so, the samples are to the left now, and this time they are vaguely aligned in a way that I could remember the colours. Below you'll find the names of everything with the exception of the blush, Purple Haze, which I'll write about in another post.

My favourites from all of the swatches are: London Calling, Incognito, Attack of the 50ft Woman, Leviathan, and Monther Within. I think they all have a place in my collection, but some definitely stand out more than others. I haven't tried them out for longevitiy or tried them just yet in a look, but I have high hopes for all of them. I just need to figure out how to draw out "All of the Pumpkin" and "Burnished."

I did want to note that I did press the sample of "All of the Pumpkin" though. The sample size doesn't come with a sifter so it was a bit messy when I opened it. The shop did tape it down so it didn't make a mess anywhere else, but I realized that it would be friendly in it's loose format if I were in a rush in the morning (which I usually am) or if I were traveling. 

So after I was done swatching the first row, I ran into the "lab" and pressed it. 

Price: Varies based on size. The petits were $2.50 and the full size (blush) was $5.90.
Stars: ★★★★★
Would Recommend? Yes! 
Takeaway: DG has a variety of beautiful colours and any of them would be a welcomed addition to a collection (seriously, I just focused on colours that I didn't have already and I'm pretty impressed). 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wantable October 2013 Cosmetics Box

Items were received by Wantable complimentary.

A few days ago, over on Reddit, Stuart was kind enough to ask the community if there would be bloggers willing to "spread the word about Wantable." Being a current subscriber to their accessories box (in fact, my October one is on it's way and I can't wait) -- I reached out to them and asked if I could snag a cosmetics box because I had been on the fence about it. Sure enough, his team provided a free box and I'm happy to share it's contents.

A quick overview of Wantable: You fill out your preferences and they state that will never send your dislikes. In fact, with each box that you get, there's a review of all of the items along with your preferences. They also provide a retail price for almost all of the products (with the exception of the sample) so that you can gauge whether the box at $36 a month or a single box for $40 is worth it to you. Anyhow, let's take a look at the box.

You'll have to forgive Heero, as he might have confused this with his old pet monthly subscription box. I thought it was super cute that he decided to make an appearance. 

This particular box came with the following items:

  • Michael Marcus Nail Polish in Blood Red
  • Japonesque Angled Foundation Brush
  • Whip Hand Cosmetics in Cheek Flash Distraction
  • Lise Watier Feline Mascara Black
  • Skiin Instant Skin Tightener & Line Filler Sample

Wantable provided a freebie code on Thursday, October 10th which is the same day I ordered it and the box arrived on Tuesday, October 15th. So as with the Accessories box, super fast shipping. The box would have been here on Monday had the Post Office not observed Columbus Day. 

To start, I kind of had an idea of what to expect. If you check such places as /r/BeautyBoxes, it'll give you a decent idea of what's going out that month. It will not give you an exact idea since the boxes vary based on preference. I did expect the angled foundation brush (I seem to collect brushes even though I've switched to sponges) but everything else took me by pleasant surprise. 

Closer pictures to follow however I ask that you ignore the Halloween manicure. :( It's been a long week which is why it's taken so long to write this post.

The only thing not pictured is the sample of the skin tightener. Honestly, I'd actually like to give that a try before I post my thoughts about it.

My initial thoughts on everything else though? I really like this box. It seems small in quantity but the quality factor is high. Now I'm not familiar with these particular brands, so when I say quality, I'm actually not referring to the products but I'm referring to Wantable because they nailed it.

I have been feigning over a new blush colour but I seem to pick the same one each time. And even though this one is still pretty close in colour to the others, the pigmentation is pretty great which makes me quite impressed. The nail polish colour is amazing and I can assure you, before I started typing this post, I removed that black nail polish and I'll be putting that red on shortly. As a huge mascara addict, I could always use another and I'll be trying it out this week and next week to give my overall thoughts of the brand.

So, is Wantable worth it? YES. While you may not like the box they created for me, please keep in mind that they will make one specific to you. Thus far they have had amazing customer service and I'd would highly recommend them because even if you have a bad experience, they seem to very much want to help you and make things right. In conclusion, here's my referral link and... Go sign up. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October Hauls

I had been holding out as I anxiously await my order from Darling Girl Cosmetics to post some of the nifty new items I've purchased this month. I figured that there's no fun in waiting any longer since I've got some nifty new Halloween items to share. 

This year the Halloween pickings seem a bit slim though. While there's been lots of Halloween inspired eyeshadow collections that have come out, I have seen much else which is a bit sad. I did find a few new things to add though!

Sinful Colors: Faceted, Black Magic, & Glow in the Dark
Sinful Shine: Mirror Mirror, & Go Glossy

Sinful Colors: Irish Green
Sinful Colors Nail Art: Time Off, Sunset, & Bad Chick

Book of Shadows: The Dying Pilgrim & The Damned Souls

I've posted about Sinful Colors before so I won't get too much into that. The new additions that I am excited about is the two magnetic palettes from Book of Shadows. The two that I opted for are from the Silent Hill collection and they are quite sturdy. They don't strike me as being water resistant (not that I would test them for that), and don't seem like they would travel well unless they were in a train case. I do love them though and I think that they are a great addition to my collection in terms of organization. I do know that the UNII palette is a bit better for my travel needs but at least it will keep my train case in order. 

The eyeshadows pictured in the palette are from Shiro Cosmetics' Halloween 2012 collection. They come in loose form but I decided to press them in order to store it better. On the top is Pumpkin King, and from left to right on the bottom is Ragdoll, Oogie Boogie, and Finklestein. They are all available with this year's collection along with two new eyeshadows and a new lip gloss (Shiro Cosmetics, Halloween 2013).


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