Friday, November 21, 2014

Artistic Endeavors


Aaaahhh!  Sorry for yelling in your ears, guys, but I finally got them!  I finally sat down and ordered and received my first three (of a possible seven, total) MUFE Artist Shadows!  Woo-hoo!  If you peeped my initial encounter with the shadows then you're probably already somewhat acquainted with the shades I have on deck.  But we're not gonna let that stop the ogle-fest, are we?  Of course not!  So, without further ado, I'd like to share with you what I ended up grabbin' and baggin' from Make Up For Ever's collection of Artist Shadows.




Besides the traditional, glossy, black MUFE box it comes in, each individual shadow arrives nestled in a thin, plastic pod with a clear, pop-on lid.  The pod is suitable for temporary holding, but not nearly sturdy enough for constant transport and secure storage as the lid easily detaches from the wispy base without much manipulation.  Conveniently printed underneath is the shadow's color code, which is a more legible read than the printing on the back of the actual shadow.




  
First up in my trifecta of terrific-ness is D-320 Golden Khaki, which is an apt description of the shade.  The color is akin to a pearly, antique gold with golden flecks of fine shimmer.  It is a Diamond shadow (i.e., it has glitter in it).   





Next up is ME-930 Black Purple, which I immediately fell in love with when I first laid eyes on it and having it was absolute!  Again - true to its name - it is a richly dark eggplant with a pearly finish.  In MUFE-speak, it is considered a Metallic.  





And last, but certainly not least, is the lovely I-918 Lavender.  No additional description needed as its name says it all.  It has a pearl finish to it as well and is categorized as an MUFE Iridescent.




(L to R: D-320 Golden Khaki; ME-930 Black Purple; I-918 Lavender)



Now, of course I had to snag a three-pan palette to place my pigmented wares in and I'm so glad I did.  Not only is it a more sturdier alternative to the pods the shadows come in thanks to its hard casing and magnetic seatings, but it's only one dollar!  Yes, uno buckaroonos, senoritas!  And at Sephora, buying a Custom Palette Case in conjunction with buying multiple Artist shadows garners you a significant discount: buy two shadows plus a duo case and you get a nine dollar discount off your purchase; buy three shadows plus a trio case and get twenty dollars off!  As if one needed any more incentive... #JACKPOT!


So, there you have it!  I am so happy with my selection of Artist Shadows and, as I mentioned earlier, plan to get a few more soon.  The texture on these gel-formulated shadows are awesome and each is as potently pigmented as the next - at least the ones I've dabbed my fingers in so far.  I'm noticing from Sephora's website that certain shades are sold exclusively online and not available for purchase at their stores, which is kinda frustrating because (of course) there are two that I really want, but they've been sold out for weeks.  *sigh*  Oh, well.  I'll keep looking... and checking... and wishing... and praying.

Until I get my hands on those elusive beauties, I'll just keep myself occupied with the ones I have - a somewhat easy "burden" to bear since the shadows are so lovely.  But I am waiting with bated breath and truly looking forward to adding a few more of the Artist gems to my small, but diverse, Make Up For Ever collection.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows and Palettes are available at Sephora and sephora.com, individually retailing for $21 and $1, respectively; OR $34 for two shadows and a duo case, $44 for three shadows and a trio case (via limited promotion, while supplies last).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Barbie: Exotic Beauty


There's a hint of mystery behind the visage of this beguiling beauty.   Olive toned with darkly rimmed doe-eyes,  she's recognized as a modeling sort who's very well travelled with a fully decorated passport and weighty portfolio to match.  But who is she?  She's been said to have friends in high places, taking a private audience with dignitaries and politicians, and rumored to have been styled by designer notables from Paris, France... one even claiming her as their muse!  But, who is she?  Well, she's a Brazilian belle who loves fashion, plays as hard as she works, and prefers to go by the simple moniker "Exotic Beauty".   




Resplendent in a full-skirted ballgown of greens and golds, this "sophisticated lady" always makes sure she's dressed to the "tens" since, for her, the "nines" is simply not enough.  Her perfectly tailored, sleeveless bodice of chartreuse and gold brocade cinches at the waist and stretches past her hips ever so slightly...



... while an A-symmetrical waterfall of dark and light sea-greens serves as the perfect footer to her fanciful frock.  Casually cascading over the pleated satin skirt is a weft of gold-flecked tulle, which dutifully complements the entire piece as well as aids in giving her every inch the elegance she was going for.



When it came to accessorizing, she thought of only one word: opulence.  Dripping from her ears is a set of gold, chandelier earrings while a matching three-tiered, gold necklace sits draped around her neck.





And keeping her feet in-step with all the opulence going on above and around her shoulders are a pair of gold-toned heels to help round out the ensemble.


As meticulous as she is with her wardrobe, she's even more so with her hair, opting for her raven tresses to be coiffed into a chic, tightly manicured chignon.


For her makeup, she played up her eyes as well as her heart-shaped lips; framed by a set of full brows, she laced her lids with white and hues of brown and bronze while playing up her naturally long lashes with extra mascara.  On her lips is a crisp perimeter of crimson red while the cushions of pout are gilded in a sparkly gold.  Soft pink rests on her cheeks, giving her a faint flush of color...


So, who is this jet-setting, adventurous girl-about-town who hails from Rio and loves to chronicle her traveling exploits in the leather journal (a gift from a very famous Italian designer, by the way...) she takes everywhere she goes?  Well, she's a lover of life and fashion who doesn't mind being referred to simply as "Exotic Beauty".  And why would she mind?  The title fits.  She's a beauty of a doll with great style to boot... and I'm so glad to have her in my ever growing roster of savvy fashionistas!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fresh Seaberry Face Oil


And so I got another skin care sample the other day and I must say that I'm kinda excited to try it out.  My bottle of Clinique moisturizer has been totally depleted, leaving an open slot in my regimen that I'd like to possibly fill with a newbie product.  You know me, y'all - always ready to try the new-new.  So now that face oils have become somewhat of small rage, I figured it was time to test out one I've been eyeing for awhile: Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil from Fresh.




Loaded with natural oil goodness such as rosemary and sweet almond, Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil is an antioxidant-laden elixir that boasts youth preserving properties as well as restorative attributes with the help of its headliner: seaberry/seabuckthorn oil.  It is paraben-free and sulfate-free, and comes in a amber tinted bottle complete with dropper for careful distribution of the product.




Clear in complexion with a lightweight consistency, I applied a droplet of Seaberry Face Oil to the back of my hand, which proved to be more than enough needed to saturate my skin and bring about a faint, dewy sheen.  It has a pronounced fragrance that I can best describe as being akin to an orange-y, spicey, chai tea, which I found to be intoxicating.  It does linger, though, so if you have an aversion to strong smells then you may want to give it a sniff test before purchasing.   But, again, I didn't find it to be bothersome at all.

 

You know, I initially was pretty hesitant about using an oil as a moisturizer.  When I think of the words "oil" and "face" together, I think of "clogged pores", "bumps", "breakouts", etc.  But besides the back of my hand, I did dab some on the front of my nose where my skin tends to get a tad dry and it felt good and caused no dermal explosions as of yet.  So, now I can't wait to see how it'll do on a wider test area before committing it to my entire face.  I'm encouraged, though.  Highly.  But whether yea or nay, I will definitely give you guys the full skinny as I continue to test it out throughout the week.

Here's to crossing fingers and toes that all goes well with this one...

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil is available at fresh.com and Sephora, and retails for $18.50/0.5 oz; $50/1.6 oz.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

High Flyer


OMG, guess what I did earlier this week, guys?  Well, the title sorta gives it away... BUT I have to tell you that I had one of the most incredible experiences ever!  And it was all courtesy of "Mr. Pop-Up" himself, Birthday Boy, who is keenly aware of the fact that I love to try new things.  So, in honor of my birthday, he came by and whisked me off cloak-and-dagger style to embark on a fly-by-the-seat adventure that had never even been a blip on my life's radar.  Totally surprised, but totally down for the cause, I eagerly picked up the gauntlet that was laid before me and dove head first into my very first session of indoor skydiving!





After a brief, five minute tutorial on how to position your body during flight as well as the hand signals the instructor will use to help guide you while in the loud wind tunnel, I put on a red striped jumpsuit along with adjustable goggles and helmet, and was ready to rock and roll.


Once I had on all of my flight gear, things got really real.  I kept a smile on my face as my group and I walked through the halls and down the stairs to the wind tunnel, but it totally belied the nervousness I was feeling growing inside my belly.  And please believe me when I say that the fact that I was wearing a helmet with the ominous numbers "911" was not lost on me at all.  I started to think, "What in the world am I doing and why am I doing it?"



And then we all filtered into the waiting area just outside the tunnel and things got even more realer as I quickly realized that the seating arrangement left me, Dolce, having to go into the tunnel first.  I adjusted my goggles under the guise of securing a better fit since my eyelashes were mashing up against the "lenses", but it was more empty fidgeting than anything as I knew my time was drawing nigh.  As I stood up after being called to the doorway, I turned to the awaiting group and asked if anyone wanted to go first instead of me.  No answer.  I asked again because, well, maybe they didn't hear me.  Again, blank stares; no one budged.  I surveyed the faces of the group one last time - a bunch of kids, none of them older than about fourteen or so - and quickly gathered myself.  I was the only adult and there was no way I was going to punk out in front of these youngins.  That's so not my style anyway.  So I walked up to the threshold and the tunnel came alive...


Like being caught in a tunnel with an oncoming train, the wind was strong and fiercely assailed my ears as it whipped across the front of my face.  This was it.  It was now or never.  And, honestly, it almost became never as the remaining enthusiasm I had left waned and fear tightened its grip.  The instructor saw the dread etched on my face and deftly coaxed me to step forward... lift up my arms... and let go...


 And then I flew...



With my arms stretched out east and west and slightly bent legs pointed south, I floated on air.  No, I flew.  I bobbled, I dipped and then I soared.  I flew.  I panicked, dropped then leveled myself out.  I flew.  I found it kind of hard to breath with the weight of the air snatching what little was still enough to breathe, so I opened my mouth to compensate.  I flew.  And then I flew some more.   What seemed like forever was actually two of the scariest, most exhilarating minutes of my entire life.  And then it was over... until my second two-minute round to fly.  This time one of the instructors grabbed me and took me for a ride that I could only describe as "terrifyingly awesome".  He was the Superman to my Lois Lane as we shot up through to the top of the tunnel seemingly at the speed of light and then descended to ground level just as speedily.  My heart raced, my stomach was doing jumping jacks as we went through this free-fall cycle a total of three times.  So scary, but so incredibly awesome!


And then it was over.  I couldn't keep myself from laughing.  I was so proud of myself for having  pushed the envelope and dared to venture outside my comfort zone big time.  I had accepted the challenge of indoor skydiving and conquered it.  And I actually liked it!  Wow, who woulda thunk it?


Visibly proud of himself for successfully concocting a well-received mission, Birthday Boy sat back and watched it all unfold.  He told me later that the group of onlookers he was seated with bust out laughing when I went on my tandem free-fall with the instructor.  I figured as much as I knew my eyes grew as big as saucers when we made the first, volatile ascent.  At first, the thought of people - strangers - laughing at the sight of me being stricken with fear left me beside myself.  But that moment was brief as I knew there was no malice behind that and I ended up laughing at the thought of them laughing at me.  I simply let it all go.  A reoccurring lesson, as I've said before, that keeps on popping up in my life.  A lesson I have learned many times over.  And this time around, I had a mighty good time learning it!  #ThanksBB!