Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Flashback: MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows

Hey, guys!  Are you ready for the weekend?  I sure am!  And I've got a bit of a throwback for you to kick off the festivities.  Now, I know MAC currently has several variations of baked eyeshadows, but do you remember the original set of shadows that they came out with a few years back?  They were deeply pigmented duos that were a steady fixture in their shadow lineup until they decided to put them out to pasture and replace them with a whole new stock.  Well, I have a couple of OG's from the earlier batch that I absolutely L.O.V.E. and wanna share with you: MAC's Mineralize Eyeshadow in Bright Side Gallery Gal and Play On Plums.

First up is Bright Side Gallery Gal, which is a pairing of golden olive and champagne.  Not only is this baked baby potently pigmented, but it is super soft to the touch and yields ample color effortlessly with every swatch, whether used wet or dry.  In fact, except for the "wet" swatch being slightly shinier, I could hardly see a difference in opacity between the two - a trait you would be hard pressed to say about a lot of baked eyeshadows.

(L to R: Olive Dry/Wet; Champagne Dry/Wet)

Next is Play On Plums, which is a plummy, burnt raspberry coupled with apricot.  Like Bright Side, it is chock full of color and buttery soft to the touch.  Unlike its cohort, both of its shadows are marbleized and have a variation of veining running through them. 

(L to R: Plum Dry/Wet; Apricot Dry/Wet)

I really don't know why these shadows were discontinued.  I mean, MAC has an entire array of new Mineralize shadows that appear to be of the same ilk as the prior versions, but the color combos aren't all that appealing to me; I don't find the shades to be as inviting or as much fun.  They just seem OK, you know?  I think there were about five or six in the first collection - I grabbed only the two, but was tempted by all.  This latest collection?  Eh, not so much.

Which makes me all the more thankful that I bought these when I had the notion and didn't dilly-dally about.  These baked shadow duos are seriously awesome with a capital "A" and I'm so happy to have added them to my stash!  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Body Double

Do you have a skincare regimen for your body?  I guess you can say that I do, however, it's really not all that involved or complex.  I don't have a laundry list of items nor do I have an elaborate routine, preferring instead to keep my skin's upkeep extremely lowkey with a short roster of only two products.  They're my personal dynamic duo to help ensure supple and moisturized skin all year 'round.  And if you have a moment, I'd love to share them with you.

I, like most, use an exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells and maintain a healthy glow.  The reigning staple in my routine for this assignment is Giovanni's Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub.  I touched on this one before in a prior post, but it bears mentioning again as it is totally ab fab!  A decadent mixture of brown sugar and cocoa beans, it's as much of a delight to the senses as it is to the skin... buffing it to brightness without being too harsh or abrasive to the body.  #LOVE

Now, I know a lot of people give petroleum jelly and just about anything containing petrolatum the "side-eye", but my skin absolutely adores it!  Watery lotions and mineral oil-based creams simply won't do.  Petroleum jelly has been in my arsenal for years and has never let me down.  My body yearns for it and I've never had an adverse reaction (i.e. bumps, rash, breakouts) to speak of.  I usually get the "plain" version, but opted for Vaseline's cocoa butter concoction on a whim - which I'm enjoying just as much.  It has a light, sweet scent that fades after application and is deftly moisturizing.  It's truly a pomade for the skin that gives it a dose of polish without feeling heavy, smothering or super greasy.  #LOVELOVE

So, there you have it... my one-two punch for soft, glowing, quenched skin no matter what the season.  It's pretty straight forward and simple; no bells and whistles really.   None required.  And when it comes to body/skincare, that's exactly how I like it.  #WINNING

Vaseline Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly and Giovanni Hot Chocolate Scrub are available at Target, Walmart and various other drugstores.  Prices vary depending on outlet; Vaseline retails for around $2.99 (7.5 oz) and Giovanni Scrub for around $14 (9 oz).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Flashback: UD Book of Shadows III

Hey, guys!  Now I know most of you remember this one.  I got on the Urban Decay bandwagon kinda late and missed their first two Book palettes when they came out.  But upon hearing about its release and after seeing it firsthand, I was determined not to miss out on the third installment in the series - which is an awesome collection of gorgeous eyeshadows bound in a funky, "animated", visual ode to the great city of New York.  So, if you have a few moments, I'd like to take you down memory lane for a few and chit-chat about all the wonderfulness that is Urban Decay's Book of Shadows III.

Book of Shadows III is a robust assembly of products housed in two-tiered, black cardboard palette.  Lifting the lid of the palette reveals a pop-up diorama depicting New York City's landmarks as well as a cross section of some of the urbanites who dwell there.   Meanwhile, underneath is a pull out drawer where the shadows and all the other goodies are nestled.

In addition to its sixteen eyeshadows, it also includes two mid-size 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils and a mini UD Primer Potion.  All of the shadows are buttery smooth and potently pigmented.  While there is only one matte in the group, a black shadow called Perversion, the rest are pearls - with two flaunting the addition of glitter.  The Glide On eyeliners Ransom and Zero, true to their name, glide across the skin with ease while leaving an ample deposit of color.  The Primer Potion, although not my favorite eyeshadow primer, does a decent job of keeping shadows in place.

(L to R: Perversion, Uzi, Loaded, Kush)

(L to R: Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Last Call, Rockstar, Money)

(L to R: Money, Rockstar, Last Call, MCRA, Kush, Loaded, Uzi, Perversion)

(L to R: Haight, Maui Wowie, Smog, Bordello)

(L to R: Radium, Snatch, Suspect, Psychedelic Sister)

(L to R: Psychedelic Sister, Suspect, Snatch, Radium, Bordello, Smog, Maui Wowie, Haight)

I really like this palette and have yet to really take the colors for a spin, but I do have repeats of some of the shades in a few of my other UD palettes so I'm not hard pressed.  I heard that Urban Decay was coming out with a new Vice palette - Vice 3 - which is what prompted me to dust off my BoS III and give it a reminiscing glance over in the first place.  However, besides the original Naked palette, I think this will be my last large palette from UD... at least for a while.  I have my eyes on some other collections that'll be debuting soon and I'm eager to try more brands.  But I'm happy to have this Book of beauties in my possession, which I believe aptly showcases some of the very best shadows (color-wise) UD has to offer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Post Labor Day White

Well, actually they're off-white... but it's all the same.  With a rebel yell, you-know-who has decided to rock 'n' roll with a pair of white, tie-up you-know-whats and indulge in a little post Labor Day mischief.  I mean, does anyone really follow all that no-white-after-Labor-Day stuff?  Is it still a "thing" in the modern fashion world or just a stodgy, ol' remnant of days gone by?  Not that it matters much because you-know-who loves breaking the rules... and this one is no exception!  So, without further ado, let me show you the set of lovely sandals I recently procured called Shanna from Pour La Victoire.

Shanna is a strappy stunner from NYC-based handbag/shoe maker Pour La Victoire.  This 4.5" high-heeled sandal boasts a python embossed, leather upper with scalloped trim; genuine python bodice; shoestring, lace-up closure; metal/gold plated heel accents; and an embedded metal/gold logo under the bridge of its sole.  The shoe fits true to size and feels comfortable on.  However, due to the incline of the shoe and the slick surface of its bed, my feet slide around while wearing them so I will be equipping them with proper insoles in order to gain the traction needed to keep my feet stationed while strutting.

I really do adore these shoes, guys.  They're super cute and trĂ©s sex kitten, no?  Well, I happen to think so.  And I can't wait to wear them out while the weather still permits.  I just gotta assemble the right ensemble to complement them, that's all.

Yep, so I am slowly but surely rebuilding my wardrobe just like I promised, step-by-step... piece-by-piece.  It's all a labor of love that will take a bit of time... but, eventually, I'll get there.  And I have to admit - with an ever so sly grin stitched across my face - that I'm thoroughly enjoying the process!

Pour La Victoire Shanna is available via their website and Neiman Marcus, and retails for $245.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Drugstore Fare

Hey, guys!  Can I get a double high-five and a hardy "Hallelujah!" for it being the start of the weekend?  Woo-hoo!  Do y'all have any plans?  I have a few, but nothing too deep.  I'm thinking about revisiting some things I saw in various drugstores over the past week(s) or so for possible purchase... or not.  Of course, these would be things of the makeup variety.  But you already knew that, right?  So, without further delay, let me show you some of items that caught my eye, but haven't quite made the trip home with me yet.

First off, Black Radiance has some new eyeshadow palettes that look quite promising.  For those that aren't familiar, Black Radiance is a cosmetic line produced under the Markwins banner - the same company that also produces drugstore fave Wet 'n' Wild.  I'm very tempted to give two of their shadow trios a try, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet since even some of the newest Wet 'n' Wild palettes have been questionable and less than par.  Plus, although pretty, the color combos aren't all that unique enough to me to warrant a purchase.

Now, my eyes fix on this highlighter every time I pass by a Revlon display and I'll admit, yes, partly because it's pink.  However, part of its allure can also be found in the name itself - Rose Glow.  I think this would be a decent highlighter for a wide variety of skin tones, but just haven't rolled the dice yet on it.  This one's a strong "perhaps", though...

And then there's the Revlon cream blushes that I absolutely was floored to see when I saw them.  Unapologetically bright in retina bursting shades of fuchsia (Flushed) and orange (Coral Reef), these babies are definitely high on my "must-try", "must-have" and just about every other "must-" list I've composed.  I honestly can't answer why I haven't copped them yet.  Nope, I have no logical answer at all.  But I have a strong feeling that I will be correcting that wrong very soon...

Finally, there's the Flawless Eyeshadow quads from e.l.f.  Now, you guys already know that I'm not a true fan of e.l.f. products, but these looked interesting enough to at least take a gander through the menu of palettes being offered under the Flawless shadow line.  And they didn't look too shabby, either.

So, there you have it - some of the drugstore fare I've been eyeballin' as of late.  I really haven't been excited by a whole lot recently as far as new makeup products go, but these have piqued my curiosity a bit.  If any of you guys have tried any of the products listed, please feel free to let me know your take on them and how you fared.  As for me, I'll be mulling over this list to see what (if anything) makes the cut.

Anywho, here's to everyone having a splendiferous weekend!  Please be safe and enjoy!