Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Have Makeup, Will Travel

I've come a mighty long way from having a couple of lipsticks and a tube of mascara that I could just throw into my purse for quick transport.  It's been a gradual climb, but I've now amassed a fair cache of cosmetics that not even a simple makeup bag could house comfortably.  Yes, my collection now warrants the next level up in mobile accommodations - a train case!  And would you believe me if I told you that I happened upon an awesome one at a local thrift store?  Really, it was Birthday Boy who found it, but still.  So, if you have a moment, I'd love to tell you about my second-hand store find - the SalonPro case by Caboodles.

Like most box train cases, it has reinforced metal corners, latched closures that lock and a top handle.  Unlike most train cases, this Caboodles has metal feet on the bottom to help preserve the integrity of the case and keep it clean, and is adorned in a fabric mash-up of pictorial excerpts from various magazine adverts/covers.

Before purchasing it, you know I had to give it a good once-over and other than a nick on its leather handle...

...and slight scuffing on the leather trim on one side, the case was in excellent condition!  #Winning!

And the interior, complete with a stair-step of six extendable trays and bottom compartment, was absolutely immaculate with not one tear or stain on the black fabric in sight.

Sewn into the two opposing walls of the unit are a series of elastic slots for easy storage and transport of various items and tools - an added convenience that I find to be extra cool.  #WinningAgain!

Still attached to the inner drawer and covered in plastic, the set of keys for the latches looked like they had never been removed, let alone used.  And that leads me to think that the case itself had hardly been used, if at all.  #WinningBIGtime!

So, needless to say, I am brimming with happiness over my first Caboodles train case.  Now I realize that I may have to go a bit bigger soon at the rate I'm going, but this medium-size case is doing its job and even putting in some OT as far as helping me store and organize my lot while I'm on the move.  Therefore, I may have to change Birthday Boy's name to Ol' Eagle Eyes as he was able to zero in on something that I didn't even notice at first.  And I'm the better for it.  My SalonPro Caboodles was a fortuitous, fabulous find that was most definitely right on time.  Thanks, BB/OEE!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Barbie: Stylin' Hair Brandy

In addition to the one Brandy doll I own, I do have another Barbie that was made in the TV/music star's image (I think Mattel made about four or five versions).  This one focuses more on fashioning a host of funky looks via the various hairpieces and accoutrements she comes with.  So, without further delay, I'd love to give you the rundown of another gem from their crown series of celebrity dolls - Stylin' Hair Brandy.

Stylin' and profilin' are definitely the names of this game as we catch this particular Brandy interpretation confidently rocking an ensemble indicative of the sassy nature of the real-life star.  From her short-sleeved, pink crop top... her formfitting, merlot pants with the pink lace overlay, SH Brandy is ready to funk you right on up and have fun while doing it.  Forever the fashion forward gal, she calls on a truncated, box bag and color matching platforms to help complete the look.

But the real fun comes when choosing a hairstyle for the diverse little diva.  From the clip-on Bantu knots shown above to a pair of curly add-ons, a braided tie-on, hair pick and bandana, Brandy has everything in her arsenal of convertible 'dos to get her coif snatched tight and right.

Cascading from beneath her crocheted, pink skully is a mixed waterfall of black braids and shocking pink locks, which plays nicely off her more sedated visage of mauve/gold lips and neutral eye.

So, there you have it.  Once again, attention has been diligently paid to every detail; Brandy's trademark baby hair, her gorgeous, wide-set almond eyes and her indomitable approach to style - everything has been accounted for.  And the doll even comes with a signed poster, which is the perfect "cherry on top" that's sure to sate the appetite of the avid fan and the consummate doll collector alike.  Very cool, indeed.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Minty Fresh

When I saw this on the shelf I did a double take.  I had been in hot pursuit of a polish this shade for a while and couldn't believe my fortune in finding this lovely lacquer while cruising my local Target last week.  And just in time for summer!  So, if you're up for hearing the lowdown on my latest color crush, I'd love to share with you my thoughts on Revlon's nail polish in Eclectic.

Eclectic is a creamy mint-green.  Not too green and not too pastel, it's the exact persuasion of mint I was looking for.  Revlon polishes have a thinner consistency than most other brands, but it applied smoothly, evenly and streak-free.  I devoted three coats of color to achieve a nice opacity and gained a high-shine, glossy finish in the process.  Once dried, I did notice a smattering of tiny bumps or bubbles on my nails - small flaws that I consider minor since they were only visible via an up-close inspection and didn't compromise the overall beauty nor clean look of the finish.  And it lasted up to a week (five/six days, which is average for me) before succumbing to my errand-driven, busy hands... all without the aid of a top coat or base coat.

I am loving this color, y'all!  And I can already tell you that besides Tropical Temptation, this shade is going to be in heavy rotation this summer.  I'm also thinking that this may be the very first bottle of polish that I actually use up in its entirety; it's that pretty to me.  And on my toes?  Fuggitaboutit!  Eclectic is going to get the super rock-out on my feet... please believe it!  So don't go rolling your eyes and sucking your teeth when I start documenting my summer shoe purchases and all you see is post after post of minty green toes.  Oh, yes, the seed of obsession has been firmly planted and is ready to sprout, y'all.  YOU. HAVE. BEEN. WARNED...

Revlon Eclectic is available at various drugstores, including Walmart and Target, and retails for around $6.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Purple Pleaser - 439

If you follow me on Twitter then you're prolly familiar with my recent resolve to wear more dresses during the upcoming spring/summer months.  I have a cute yellow smock with purple flowers that I absolutely canNOT wait to wear and I'm thinking about pairing it with this shadow when I do.  It's a showy little eye-dressing that I'd love to tell you about.  It's from Inglot and it's #439.

#439 is a glowy purple that leans a tad bit more red than blue and it's from Inglot's Freedom System lineup of single eyeshadows.  It has a firm, but smooth texture and is relentless in its output of bold, opaque color.  On the eye, it's a stellar performer that partners well with other shadows and boasts great staying power.  It has a pearl finish.

There's really not too much else I need to say about this gorgeous shadow, is there?  I mean, from day wear to nighttime fare, it's a stunner that would serve well in shoring up a whole host of looks.  And if I've done anything to whet the appetite of those who "bleed purple" and are looking for yet another item in the shade to add to their collection then GOOD!  Yes, today I'm your purple pusher with not even an utterance of an apology in sight.  But then again, it ain't exactly a hard sell; regardless of color preference, #439 is an ab fab eyeshadow!  And if you like what you see then you should go and check it out for yourself!

Inglot #439 is available at Inglot boutiques and select Macy's, and retails for $7.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Luminous Flush

Hey, guys!  Well, persistence has a big payoff as I have finally procured the blush that initially made my heart go pitter-patter upon seeing it online.  And although Mood Exposure was a dutiful salve for the disappointment I felt in not being able to get my hands on it right away, I still found myself waiting to exhale until this beauty of a blusher was in my possession.  So, without saucing on, I'm going to get right to the meat 'n' potatoes and spill the beans on Hourglass' blush in Luminous Flush.

Luminous Flush is a marbled champagne-carnation pink.  It is from Hourglass' lineup of Ambient Lighting Blushes, which pairs a selection from their Ambient Lighting finishing powders with a soft-hued blush for a soft-focus, multidimensional finish on the cheeks.  Nestled in a gold toned compact, complete with mirror, the blush is smooth and yields ample color with the slightest touch.

Luminous Flush full swatch (L), Blended out (R)

OK, so you know I couldn't wait to get my fingers in this and apply it to my cheeks and when I did... OH, MY!  The color looked so beautiful against my brown skin; it gave me a radiant flush that made me look as if I were glowing from the inside out and its soft-focus effect rendered my skin like that of a porcelain doll (sans the shine) - flawless.  It's like creating CGI, but with a compact.  It's like editing with Photoshop, but with a powder.  It's like accessing Hollywood special effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic, but without the million dollar price tag!  OK, I'm going a little overboard, but I think you get my point: it made me look pretty.

So, as you can tell, I am over-the-moon with Luminous Flush.  I think it's a fab blush that shades your cheeks with natural looking color while effortlessly imparting a skin-enhancing luminosity that is the cat's meow!  And if you're in the market for a one-stop blush that can multitask then I think you owe it to yourself to give this one a look-see.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush is available at Sephora and retails for $35.