Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Flashback: Shimmer Strips

Hey, guys!  Does anyone remember these?  When I first started getting serious about my eyeshadow game, I was ravenous for just about any and every type of color embellishment for the eyes.  Besides stalking the MAC counters every time I went to the mall, I would scour my local drugstores' weekly ads for listed sales and amble into their brick and mortars to happen upon those that were unlisted.  And that's where I found these.  Snuggled in a discount bin amongst a motley of reduced makeup items were some Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips.  I grabbed two of them.  And if you don't mind taking a visual stroll down memory lane with me, I'd love to share some of my thoughts on these tubular shadows with you.

Shimmer Strips are eyeshadow duos coordinated to complement specific eye colors.   Housed in a tube about the circumference of a drinking straw, the paired pigments are pressed into the windows of the screw on/off wells located at opposite ends of the tube while the stubby, foam applicators used to access the pigments are firmly designed to help line, highlight and/or provide all-over color to the eye.


Being the true renegade that I am, I totally bypassed the eye color/shadow protocol and simply picked up what interested me: Green Eyes, which is a pale, celery green and pearly purple combo...

... and Blue Eyes, which couples an arctic baby blue with a rusty bronze. 

As the name of the product suggests, all of the shades had a pearl, shimmery finish.  I found the depth of the pigmentation to be decent (with the light-blue being the most suspect) and the domed applicator diligent enough in dispersing product, but wasn't overly impressed with either.  I can see me using the shadows in conjunction with or as a stand alone eyeliner, though.  But as an all-over lid color?  Not so much.  And the fault for that doesn't exactly fall squarely on the shoulders of the shadow; the applicator is pretty small, so having to dip it into the well multiple times to fully cover multiple lids just ain't my idea of a good time, you know?  And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of product in there anyway... What if I run out mid-lid?!  (Oh, the horror!) 

So, even though I'm not singing an aria over these Strips, they did make my spring cleaning cut (barely!) and should be fine working in cahoots with other shadows.  They're certainly not the worst I've ever tried.  And if you happen to find them somewhere for a steal like I did awhile back, they may be worth checking out and purchasing in lieu of a full priced eyeliner.  Gotta turn lemons into lemonade, y'all... #BOOYA! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Report: Summerizing

Hey, guys!  Well, with the start of summer quickly approaching, I took it upon myself to raid my own closet and take a comprehensive assessment of my current collection of season-worthy attire.  I've always had a bounty of T-shirts and tanks tops to throw on at the ready; however, my post-audit numbers revealed that my wardrobe is falling woefully short in other areas.  And for what I had envisioned my summer to look like fashion-wise, that's simply no bueno.  Therefore, I'm on a mission to summerize my wardrobe something proper.  I've compiled a list of my closet's haves and have-nots, and even managed to squeeze out a Memorial Day outfit in the process.  So if you're at all curious and have a moment to spare, I'd love to share with you the final tally of what I have going on thus far. 

HAVE:  I do have a bevy of easy-breezy tops, ranging from solid colors to playful prints.  Tops in general are what I seem to buy most often because normally I do not even have to bother with trying them on.  One thing about me: I absolutely LOVE to shop, but absolutely HATE trying on clothes!  Going to a dressing room with an armful of garments... the whole process drives me bonkers!  Shirts/tops are usually no-fuss items for me.  I just grab them and go.

HAVE NOT:  Outside the pair in denim and two other pairs, including the ones above, I am severely lacking in the shorts department.  Yes, yes, y'all... I think I own a total of three pairs of shorts.  Three!  And it's totally apparent that in this case, three is NOT the magic number.  I've got to up my game in this gam-bearing category and do it pronto!  In the meantime, I do have the apron-inspired pair above to don this Memorial Day weekend, which is actually a skort (skirt + short).


HAVE NOT:  "I think I have enough shoes," said no woman EVER!  And I am no exception.  But my need is real: I desperately need to add some more sandals to my roster of shoes.  I am so done with wearing the summer synonymous, cheap, rubber flip-flops - they aren't good for your arches and leave the soles of your feet black with street soot after a day's wear (#EWW!).  I'm on the lookout for some more cultured fare, some foot candy with some flair.  And if they have a little feminine garnish like the ones above then that's all the better!

Add on a pair of sunglasses (of which I have a full supply) and I'm all set and summerized for the holiday.

HAVE:  I own polishes aplenty, enough to keep my fingers and toes painted for quite some time.  Of course I had to make sure my feet were right and tight for this weekend.  I gave them a sprucing up with a dollop of pink.  And, yes, I went back to my signature flowers for decoration. 

HAVE:  And summer wouldn't be complete without a summer-worthy scent to gracefully herald your presence.  I have an entire catalogue of fragrances from which to choose, including this trio of Marc Jacobs rollerballs that I have yet to crack open.  Perfect for anytime of the year, I simply cannot wait to put these lovelies to use!

So there you have it.  Assembling an outfit to wear this weekend made me painfully aware of how scant my summer closet is.  I'm in dire need of a larger selection of shorts, shoes and accessories (oh, my!), especially belts.  And some items I thought were still viable no longer fit me.  Therefore, an overhaul is overdue!  It's time for me to plump up my emaciated wardrobe with some much needed essentials.  Operation Summerize is in full effect!  One outfit's down and in the books... with plenty more to go.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekend Report: Mixed Metals

OK, it is official, guys.  I am in desperate need of an impromptu vacation, PRONTO!  This week has been...  Well, let me sum it up for y'all in one word: YIKES!  I know that Memorial Day is slowly making its jolly way around the bend, but I can't wait.  I just can't.  Even if I ended up at the house, noshing on burgers and ice-cream while visually imbibing a steady stream of anime and sci-fi flicks on Netflix, I would gladly choose a "homecation" over no 'cation right about now.  But, thankfully, I'll be getting out of my cave and casually grabbing some sunshine this weekend.  No real agenda, though.  No plans.  Well, except for what I'm gonna wear on my face, that is...     

After prepping my eyes with the essentials to ensure an uninterrupted broadcast of vivid color, I will be recruiting the golden brown shade from Prestige's Mermaid palette to act as the headliner on my lids with MAC's gold darling Woodwinked in a supporting role in the inner corners.  Rounding out the cast of shadows will be the dark, sooty bronze from L'Oreal's HIP duo Forgiving.  This richly pigmented pearl will serve as the anchor, bringing subtle depth to the eye.

Closing out the eye show with a healthy dose of metallic shine will be Milani's Liquif 'Eye liner in Aqua smudged along my lower lash line.  When it's all said and done, my eye should end up looking like this:

On my face I will be using both a highlighting bronzer - theBalm's Betty-Lou Manizer - as well as a contouring or darker bronzer - CoverGirl Queen Collection's bronzer in Ebony Bronze.  To help my painted visage luminesce even more, I'll use the middle strip of Inglot's 131R to lightly tint the tops of of my cheekbones.  Along with a simple coating of Revlon's Lovers Coral on the lips, my face should end up looking like this:

So there you have it!  I am so ready for this weekend, you just don't know, guys.  Or maybe you do.  In any case, I'm going to take this two-day "staycation" I booked for myself and squeeze every ounce of veg I can out of it.  No agenda.  No real plans.  Just some much desired time away from it all... before having to hop back on the "wheel" and re-commit to the five-day process all over again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Product Purge: Makeup

Hey, guys!  Well, spring cleaning is still going on in my neck of the woods and now it's time for me to clear out some of the old makeup items that have been doing nothing but collecting dust.  From misguided purchases to underperforming, so-called bargains - these products have worn out their welcome and simply must go!  So, if you're at all curious, I'd love to show you the cadre of cosmetics that'll be unceremoniously getting the boot! 

Encouraged by the success I'd had with their HIP eyeshadow duos, I bought this L'Oreal single shadow with the hopes that it would be on par with its roster mates.  Granted, the shadow was on sale for only a dollar, but I just saw that as an awesome bargain.  Well, instead of it being a come-up, it ended up being a total let down: its casing was cheap and came unhinged easily, and the blue was dull with lackluster pigmentation to match.  At the cost of one hundred pennies, I think I can well afford to let this drugstore dud go.  And so I will.  

This was the very first concealer I ever bought.  I saw it listed as the beauty editor's fave in Essence magazine years ago, and went out to purchase it right away.  I was just getting my toes wet in the deeper end of the makeup pool back then and when I got my hands on this Flawless Skin concealer from Prescriptives, I just KNEW I was doing something!  Well, after a crash course in Concealer Shade 101 (and many odd looking applications later), I realized this was too dark for me.  I mean, it looked suitable after trying it on at the makeup counter when I bought it.  Ughhh... I can only imagine how tired a raccoon I must've looked wearing it to work day after day... after day.  Embarrassing.  Maybe I'll reassign it as a contouring agent.  Eh, never mind.  It's getting tossed... pronto!

This next band of misfits will be more than easy to let go of.  Discolored with visible separation from the sum of age and disregard, this set of nail polishes was part of a drugstore manicure set my mom bought for me some years ago.  Alas, I have no real use for any of these as their lack of quality is evident.  They're a cheap option to help introduce a youngin' into the world of self-pampered nails, but so not for me.  So, these will be exiting stage right ASAP.  (Sorry, Mom!)

Please do not ask me why I held on to these.  Two versions from MAC, one each from MUFE and Chanel - I've kept these vetoed shades/formulations of foundations for way too long now.  Again, please don't ask me why.  It's time that I right this wrong and free up some valuable real estate in my makeup drawer.  It's time for these unused samples to go bye-bye. 

Much like a young girl's neglected Barbie dolls, these drugstore brushes - with their matted bristles and flimsy ferrules - have no place in my much matured, cosmetic toy box.  These tools never proved useful as they are both impractical and inadequate for garnering guru-worthy results.  But, again, they were a gift that came in a set (yes, from dear ol' Mama).  And after holding on to them for many moons, it's finally time to let them go.

Not much to say about this one except for the obvious: it's so not for my skin tone.  I received this Clinique Moisture Sheer Tint in a makeup combo I picked up from a friend.  Seems like an OK product.  Problem is is that it's more of a cashew-beige.  Meanwhile, I'm more of a toasted chestnut.  Oh, well.  This one's a no-brainier.  Farewell, tiny tint!

Way before my gaggle of gel liners, I purchased this liquid-in-a-tube liner from CoverGirl.  It's a nice burnt brown with a nice consistency (still) that's saddled, unfortunately, with a not-so-nice brush.  This old school, Extremely Gentle Softliner's applicator just couldn't hold up as the bristles are now permanently disheveled and askew after having squeezed the brush through the tube's narrow opening during my few times using it.  It has completely flatlined.  And so it's time to put this eyeliner to rest.

So there you have it.  I'm getting closer to my goal of having completely cleared out my spaces of all the extras and the unused for spring, and guess what?  I feel good.  I feel good that I'm being decisive about what's being tossed and I'm excited about all the new things I'm making room for.  I still have a few more rounds to go, but progress is visible.  The Product Purge train is slowly pulling out of Makeup station... ready to make its next stop... furthering its steady advance towards Mission Complete - its final destination.  #CHOOCHOO