Monday, January 25, 2010

Playing with My New Toy - Eye of the Day

In my last post about the new Book of Shadows I said that you could make a lot of great neutral looks with the shadows, so I thought I should back it up. So... here you go.

Nothing crazy or bright - just a nice, basic neutral.

I used White Rabbit on the inner corners (it has a lot of sparkle, so it was used lightly), Drink Me, Eat Me all over the lid, Chessur in the crease to add some dimension, and Mad Hatter in the outer corner and outer half of the crease.

Since the overall look was so basic, I decided to add a little color to it by using a thin line of Queen on the inner half of lower lash line and rounded it by using Mad Hatter again on the outer half.

To complete, I used a thin line of Revlon ColorStay liquid liner in Black Brown and Stila Major Lash mascara.

Sweet, simple, fast. : )

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me...

...almost. My birthday isn't for another 3 days, but a present to myself arrived in the mail today so I thought I would share. It's already obvious that I'm slightly interested in makeup, but I am also a sucker for all things both Disney and Tim Burton. So what happens when you put the three together?

You get a product that I cannot pass up even on my strongest of days. The Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows.

This premiered on urbandecay.com on the 15th. I ordered it in the morning, and it was sold out by that evening.

As many already know, Urban Decay was approached by Disney to produce a product in honor of their new Alice in Wonderland film directed by the great Tim Burton. When you open the cover, there is a beautiful pop-up showing a shrunken Alice making her way through Wonderland.

There is a mirror at the back of the book, but I don't believe I will ever really use it to apply makeup because my book seems to want to close itself when not actually being held open. But I really don't mind this much.

There is also an extremely strong magnetic closure on the lid, so there are no worries of it flopping open accidentally - better to protect the delicate pop up pieces inside.


But on to what we really care about - the makeup inside. It comes with a travel sized primer potion, two 24/7 eye pencils - in zero (black) and flipside (a lovely blue), and 16 shadows.



On initial impressions, I think that Drink Me, Eat Me and Oraculum will be my favorites, but they are all lovely.

A nice characteristic of this book is that not all of the shadows are full of glitter like those of some BOS past. Chessur, White Rabbit, Wonderland, Curiouser, Midnight Tea Party, and Jabberwocky are all infused with the chunky glitter that UD shadow is known for, but the rest have either shimmer or silk finishes. And, while there are a few bright colors, most can be used with neutral looks, so I am sure to get a lot of use out of them.

This palette is a bit pricey at $52. However, I was able to justify the cost by figuring that, at that price, each shadow averages in at only $3.25 - and that isn't taking the liners or primer into account. That's about the same you would pay for a drugstore shadow, and since I will get good use out of all of these colors, it's a fair investment.

A note to those interested in purchasing this - do take note that these are not new colors. Rather, they are some of UD's more popular shades that have been renamed after Alice characters and themes. A sheet has even been provided in the packaging that gives a break-down of the shades' original names -

Underland - Flash; Alice - Painkiller (from the Show Pony palette); Oraculum - Baked; Queen - Last Call; Chessur - Chopper; White Rabbit - Polyester Bride; Wonderland - Maui Wowie; Curiouser - Grifter; Muchness - X; Mushroom - Mushroom; Midnight Tea Party - Midnight Cowboy Rides Again; Vorpal - S&M; Absolem - Homegrown; Drink Me, Eat Me - Sin; Mad Hatter - Twice Baked; Jabberwocky - Oil Slick

From what I can find, these have already been distributed to Sephora stores, and the store will be taking telephone orders tomorrow (the 22nd) but they're not yet offering it online. If you're interested in getting your hands on one of these, I suggest you act quickly. I haven't seen any information on how many units UD is providing to stores, so it's possible that it well sell out just as quickly as it did from the UD site. These are supposed to be limited edition palettes, so once they're gone - they're gone.

I will try to update this post as I learn more information about availability dates, but the fastest way to find out is to follow UD on twitter at www.twitter.com/UrbanDecay411.


Edit: It will be available on Sephora's website January 26 and will be coming out in the UK the first week of March.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes Less Is More

So this winter, as in winters past, I have been contending with an issue that plagues many during the cold months - dry skin. Generally my hands are the only bits really affected, and I can deal with that - just keep slapping on hand lotion. However it seems that my face has decided to also wage war against me by developing dry patches this winter; and this, my friends, cannot be tolerated. But unlike the rest of the body, I can't keep applying lotion to my face all day. So what to do?

For the past few months I've been throwing every moisturizing product I have in my arsenal at it, and nothing has helped long term. While each does seem to help when first rubbed in, the dry patches will have returned within a few hours time .

While perusing the skin care aisle, once again trying to find the one product that would relieve my suffering, my eyes landed on Cetaphil. Years ago I did try a product from this brand but was not enthused with it. I had tested out their cleanser but found that my face didn't really feel clean after using it, so I dismissed it as a brand not for me. But I took a look at the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, and the packaging said for "dry, sensitive skin". DRY. I felt like I'd tried everything else, so I thought - what have I got to lose?

Three days after using this cream at night and the dry spots have disappeared. Really? Somehow I feel like a cruel joke has been played on me! I've been spending my money on products in pretty packaging with advertising that promised to cure all my skincare woes, and all this time, the answer to my problem lied in a very plain white tub from a company with minimal advertising? Again - really?

For those of you who don't know, Cetaphil focuses on producing products without adding any unecessary ingredients - such as fragrances - that can often aggravate skin. So, I don't know if it's the cream that has cured my dry skin or if there were ingredients in other products that were causing the problem which then subsided when I stopped using them. Or perhaps a combination of both? Whatever the reason, I am just glad to be rid of the issue.

And an added bonus: this cream is so thick that it takes very little to moisturize my entire face. This jar is going to last me forever!

Maybe one day I'll give their cleanser another chance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Small Urban Decay Haul

Today I made a trip to Ulta in search of one item. Urban Decay's Hall of Fame.



This baby retails for $29, but is going for $18 right now. It comes with 4 mini versions of some of their best selling products - a Skyscraper mascara, 24/7 eyeliner in Zero, Midnight Cowboy lipstick, and the pocket rocket in Timothy.


But the main reason I wanted this thing is the primer potion. No, that's not the typical sized one, it's the XL. The normal UDPP sells for $17, so this set is like paying $1 extra for 60% more product and then getting 4 samples thrown in for free. Not bad, eh?


As for the minis, here's a look at Midnight Cowboy. Its formulation is so sheer that it really deposits no color at all, but does leave a lot of shimmer. I will certainly never invest in the full size version, but I will find a way to use the little product provided here.









Timothy applies as a lovely sheer red; so though bright in the tube, it's not scary when applied. It does, however, have a bit of a nasty smell to it - like a combination of brown sugar and burnt plastic. Also, if you are familiar with the full size Pocket Rockets, you know that each has a holographic image of a man who is sometimes dressed - and sometimes not. The hologram is not featured in the small version so poor mini Timothy will have to remain in his skivvies indefinitely.


The liner and mascara will get played with later.


This deal is good through January 16th, so I'd strongly suggest checking it out if you're an UDPP fan.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Perfume 101: Maintenance

In general, I am a person who believes that beauty does not have to be expensive. The majority of my beauty collection has come from either the drugstore or from large sales that I've stumbled across. However, there is one area where I am willing to open my wallet a tad (maybe more than a tad) wider -

Perfume.

While you can find some good basic scents (think those with only one note) at more reasonable prices, I gravitate towards those that blend multiple notes together to become something lovely and complicated; not a jumbled olfactory mess. And to get this - you pay.

For something that entails such a financial commitment, you should know how to take care of it; and frankly, many people don't. A little part of me dies inside every time I see an expensive bottle of perfume being sabotaged to degrade before its time. (Not really, but I felt the over-dramatization might help emphasize the subject's importance.)

Many of us like to store our perfume in one of two places:
1) in our bathrooms because it's convenient, or
2) near a window because the light looks lovely passing through the bottle.

I have, at one time, also been guilty of these, and both are terrible mistakes. You might as well be committing perfume homicide. Fragrance compounds in perfume will naturally break down over time, but exposure to heat and light will speed up this process. This will weaken the perfume's staying power and can actually change the scent. I'll bet you'd be none too happy if that $80 bottle of perfume were to suddenly smell differently (even more so when you find out you made it happen).

However, fret not. It's really not difficult to get around this. So long as you keep your bottles in a room that does not get extremely warm and out of direct line of sunlight, you will prolong the life of your perfumes. I keep mine on top of a dresser in my room away from a window and have some scents that haven't changed over years.

I hope this has informed someone and helped spare the life of some defenseless eau de parfum.

Happy smelling, everyone!

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