Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Had Me At "Hello"

Ahh, bareMinerals.  You've come a long way.  I was never really interested in the loose powder makeup thing so I kept my distance.  But when the Ready series of pressed eyeshadows came along, I was compelled to take a second look at what you had to offer.  Anxious to expand my cache of cosmetics, I decided to give you a chance to woo me... to sweep me off my feet and impress me.  After carefully scanning your catalogue of duos and quads, my eyes landed on a pairing that seemed to intimate that although it had a wild side, it could still be genteel enough to "take home to Mother".  I liked its confidence so I settled in and bought the flirtatious duo called The Vision.

Smartly dressed in black, bareMinerals' The Vision comes in a sleek, rubberized compact with a simple closure.

Besides a mirror, it also comes with a sponge applicator and a plastic insert with the simple greeting of "Hello".  Nice touch, but I wouldn't be won over so easily.  It's about quality with me; charm only gets you so far, buddy.  I still need to know what I'm working with.

The color combo is pretty awesome.  The pale blue called Illusion is a matte and the duo chrome teal/brown is a high pearl aptly called Mirage. 

And when I finally dipped my fingers into the shadows, I couldn't hide my excitement any longer.  The shadows felt amazing!  Illusion, the pale blue matte, was not chalky at all and both shades were equally soft and highly pigmented.

As pretty as the swatches were, I did wonder out loud whether Mirage was identical to MAC's Club - another well known duo chrome in the same color vein. 

But they are not only different in their finishes with Mirage being the "shinier" of the two, but they are different in color as well with Club being more of a green/brown and Mirage more of a teal combo.

Mirage (above), Club (below)
So after trying so hard to appear unimpressed and feigning disinterest, I had to acquiesce.  The Vision came with promises of a good time and it definitely delivered.  The flirting worked.  And the quality is amazing.  Oh, bareMinerals... I made you work hard for my attention, but who was I fooling?  As soon as I opened the tidy black compact, peeked inside and saw the insert... I have to admit... you had me at "Hello".

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow duo in The Vision is available at and retails for $20.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Thank You, Wojciech Inglot

I just heard the sad news that Polish chemist and Inglot cosmetics founder Wojciech Inglot passed away suddenly this past Saturday.  He was only 57.  I think you guys already know how much I love Inglot's products, especially their high performing, highly pigmented eyeshadows.  So I figure it only fitting that I dedicate today's post to highlighting three more gorgeous colors from their Freedom System lineup: Inglot 409, 415 and 105R. 

First off, I absolutely love their Freedom System eyeshadow palettes.  I think they're genius.  They come in a variety of sizes that allow you to customize and fill the palette with the shadows of your choosing; this mini palette is their trio. 

The lid is a see-through plastic/acrylic that is secured by small magnets situated at opposite ends of the palette.

The size of the magnets belie their actual strength.  Once engaged, they firmly lock together and stay locked, thus providing the shadows full protection and keeping them safe from harm.

Left to right: 409, 415 and 105R
I picked two pearls (Inglot 409 and 415) and one of their matte rainbows (Inglot 105R) to fill my 3-shadow palette.  All three shadows, including the matte, are soft to the touch and have excellent color payoff.  All are easy to blend and last all day on my lids with a primer underneath.

Inglot 409 (above), 415 (below)

I happened to come across Inglot right when I was becoming hardcore with my makeup game.  The consistency in the quality and performance of their shadows made me fall in love with mattes when all I had desired up to that point were pearls and frosts.  Not only are the shadows superb, but their gel liners are lovely, too!  I love their unique approach in designing the palettes and their command of the color spectrum, allowing those of us who are unafraid to frolic in bold, bright hues in just about every cosmetic medium possible.  I love that.  I truly appreciate that.  I thoroughly enjoy it.  And that's why I would just like to say 'thank you'.  Thank you, Wojciech Inglot, for bringing a little whimsy to the world of makeup and making it so much fun.

Inglot shadows and palettes can be found on their website and at select Macy's.  Inglot 409 and 415 retail for $6 each; Inglot 105R and the 3-shadow Freedom palette retail for $8 each.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Femmes Fatales, Volume 2

I told you guys I was going to do it.  Never mind that I had to raid several different stores in order to find the perfect one.  But I did it.  And now I have it.  I have successfully procured a perfectly pristine palette of theBalm's Shady Lady Vol. 2 from T.J. Maxx.  Again, for all those already familiar with the palette I ask that you indulge me for a moment.  For everyone else, let's ooh and ahh over the collection of lovely shades together, shall we?

Keeping in line with Shady Lady's animal motif, Vol. 2 boasts a bold zebra print that adorns both the palette as well as the sleeve it comes in.

On the back of the palette and sleeve is a preview of what goodness waits on the inside; all nine eyeshadow colors are listed by name and laid out in order of appearance.

The sturdy cardboard palette has a mirror and simple magnetic closure.  And the eyeshadows are a nice mix of buttery satins and creamy pearls - no glittery or frosty shades in the bunch.  Each and every shade had excellent color payoff as well.

Top row: Caught In the Act Courtney, Feisty Felicia and Insane Jane

Middle row: Bossy Bobbi, Makeout Mary and Just This Once Jamie

Bottom row: Mischievous Marissa, Tempting Tara and Devilish Danielle

Looking at both my Shady Lady palettes (Vol. 1 & 2) I noticed that there is a repeat of one color - Caught In the Act Courtney, which is a rusty, dark brown with bronze pearl.  But that doesn't bother me.  And don't you just love the names of the shadows?  Saying the cheeky names out loud is like taking roll call at an all girls detention center circa the 1950s.  It's the "bad girls club", indeed... but in a very good way.

theBalm Shady Lady Vol. 2 can be found at Sephora, or for $39.50 USD; it may also be found at select stores such as T.J. Maxx and/or Marshalls - price is about half retail or less, depending on location.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Fair Lady

A friend of mine posted an interesting comment on her social website page that garnered a lot of support.  She had expressed her disgust after overhearing the lewd, cuss-laden banter of two girls while riding a city bus.  She recounted how the girls were loudly describing their latest sexual encounters and how offended she was to hear them casually throw around f-bombs and other profanities with no regard for who was within earshot.  My friend stated how this, however, was no isolated event as she has witnessed a lot of grown women acting no better and sadly concluded that this was why so many men have no respect for women because so many women have no respect for themselves.  There was a resounding consensus as a litany of comments from numerous readers piled up below her post; a visual co-sign, each with its own testimony and observation.   I find it funny that my friend made this particular post because I have been thinking the very same thing.  And, needless to say, I totally agree with her assessment.

It's all over television, all over the Internet on YouTube and other websites: females, young and old, ruthlessly fighting each other over nonsense; women cursing each other out and threatening each other; chicks bragging about sexual conquests unabashedly; broads proudly posting half-naked to fully nude pics of themselves online.  It's literally everywhere.  You've got shows like Bad Girls Club and sites like WorldStarHipHop that feed the current outbreak of beast-like behavior amongst females by glorifying the violence and rewarding the crassness with instant fame (read: notoriety), even if it is just for 15 minutes.  And it's super duper cool nowadays for girls to take pictures flaunting a "devil-may-care" attitude by pursing their lips like a duck and "flipping the bird" to the world in their profile pictures -  social sites like Facebook and Twitter are littered with them.  What in the world is going on?!

What happened to girls being "sugar and spice and everything nice"?  I mean, I have no problems with being a tomboy (I used to be one!) and perhaps being a little rough around the edges, but we're talking about straight up, hardcore, man-like posturing.  Why the need to "bring the brawn" like a dude?  What are they trying to prove?  Why are females nowadays so incredibly aggressive?  And I seriously don't consider myself a prude, but the language I hear spilling out of the mouths of a lot females, especially the young ones, is atrocious!  Lewd and lascivious, their unbridled tongues could easily make the most uncouth of men blush... and often do!

Such a blatant disregard for any type of decorum just leaves me to believe that although there are many women in the world, there are not a whole lot of LADIES.  When you think of a lady you think of a female that exudes class, not crass, is graceful and is the definition of true beauty inside and out.  There's a softness to her.   A lady has an understated, but palpable sexiness to her that is more potent than ten naked women.  She is universally flattering... an asset... a complement... a true feather in any real man's cap.  A lady used to be commonplace, but just like so many treasures, she's become an endangered species.

Sad to say, but I feel that women (as a whole) have lost their refinement.  And with so many bereft of any semblance of class spoon feeding the younger ones that are totally void of refinement, it's no wonder why so many girls are hardened and wild acting.  And they're getting younger!  I saw on TV the other day a young girl around ten years old tell her mother to "shut up" and then call her the B-word.  Her mother responded my wagging a benign finger in her face and offering an empty threat, but you could tell she was beyond embarrassed.  Where in the world did the little girl get that from?

I had to change the channel.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Most Perfect Shade of Turquoise

You know how you may buy something because it looks nice or pretty, but you don't fully realize the total awesomeness of that item until you've actually used it or worn it?  Such is the case for me and Inglot's gel liner in #87.  I remember thinking when I bought it, "Ok, this is cool."  But when I finally opened it and swatched it for this post, my reaction immediately upgraded to, "WOW, this is amazing!"

Inglot 87 is just one of many colorful offerings from the Polish brand's line of matte gel eyeliners.  It comes sealed in a small plastic jar to help preserve the product and maintain its moisture.

And after pulling back the seal, I was truly taken aback.  It is the most perfect shade of turquoise, if there could ever be such a thing.  It's a lush aqua that begs to be admired in person for trying to capture the entire scope of its beauty via film is a somewhat arduous task.

The gel eyeliner itself is creamy and soft - so much so that my brush "sank" into the product and was amply coated after one stroke.

The eyeliner applies as smoothly as paint; it is not stiff or sticky and the matte color glides across the skin with virtually no effort, giving full-on opaque coverage with just one stroke.

I simply had no idea I would feel this way about Inglot 87 when I first saw it.  Yes, I could see its color through the plastic jar, but I surely did not experience nor appreciate it fully until I laid eyes on it.  And not only is it an exemplary shade of turquoise, but it has an awesomely velvety formula to boot.  So if you're on the hunt for some exceptional gel eyeliners, I definitely think Inglot has a line worth checking out.

Inglot 87 can be found at Inglot's boutiques, their website and select Macy's, and retails for $12.