Friday, November 28, 2014

Playing for the Pixie League

If you follow me on Instragram or Twitter, you've already seen this, but I figured I should do a post anyway, to explain why all the new FOTD posts will have different hair. I did this last week, before my birthday.

I feel reinvented.
Necklace: Olive + Piper

As someone who loves big earrings, I probably should have done this years ago.

Best part? I can let it air dry. I run one of these through my wet hair, style my bangs (comb them in the opposite direction, and then lightly in the direction I wear them), and POOF. Done.
This is the photo I took in to my stylist. Carey Mulligan is adorable.
[source]
I get bored with hair pretty often, and can't be bothered to style it in fun ways, which is why it's been red and is usually short. This is just, you know, short-er. But hair grows back and experimenting with cuts is a lot of fun for me. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to give it a shot. I love it.

Happy Black Friday to my US readers! Are you shopping? I never brave stores any more, and do my shopping from the comfort of our apartment. With fluffies and food. I don't have a lot of shopping left, so we'll probably just relax today, anyway. Eat leftover stuffing. Yum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything: Esqido Mink Lashes Voila and Little Black Lash

[Product was provided by PR for review.]

I reviewed ESQIDO mink lashes Oh So Sweet and Lashlorette in the past, and this time I thought I'd try two from both ends of the false lash spectrum - the more natural looking Little Black Lash, and the more va-va-voom Voila. These are, again, beautifully lush false lashes made from naturally shed mink hairs.
I already trimmed the band of the Voila pair here.
I used clear Duo glue and Sephora's Bulls Eye Lash Applicator (picked up during the VIB sale); I like the clear glue because you can be messier with it - it won't be as obvious. The applicator didn't exactly make magic happen, but I felt better about it because I wasn't wielding scarily pointed tweezers around my eyes. It took a few tries, but I think I'm okay at using it now. In the past, I skipped eyeliner because the lashes add enough drama, but this time, I used eyeliner as a guide for where to put the lash band, and it worked so much better. I would advise it, especially if you have a liquid liner that is thin and won't gunk up the lash band.

The Little Black Lash is nice and simple, but still adds plenty of lushness to eyes. I think it's a little harder to handle because of its sparseness - if you accidentally pull out hairs, it will be noticeable - but if you're careful, it shouldn't be a problem.
Esqido Little Black Lash pair.
Wearing Esqido Little Black Lash. The lip color is Dior Fluid Stick in Vie d'Enfer, which I probably won't wear again, ha. After I apply the lash, I gently curl my own lashes and the false lashes together. Don't put mascara on them! You definitely don't need it, anyway.
The Little Black Lash is the most comfortable, since it's the lightest, and since it's not overly dramatic, I could actually see using this one fairly often, when I just want to amp up a look.
Esqido Voila lash pair.
If you want drama, though, you'll want something on the other end of the scale, like these. Since the Voila lashes are so voluminous, instead of drowning them out with red lips, I wanted to play them up with a glowing, more neutral look, inspired by this.
[source]
Wearing the Voila lash. These are heavier than the Little Black Lash, but not uncomfortable. And they are definitely a statement lash!
ESQIDO mink lashes can be purchased on their site. They can be re-used up to 25 times (remove the glue after each use, don't apply mascara to them or abuse them!)

I think they're quite lovely, and they're perfect for the holiday season. Whether you want to go all the way glam or just want a boost to your lashes, any of the wide range will serve your purpose. I do think that they are softer and less artificial looking (in terms of material) than drugstore lashes that I've worn in the past. Soft and fluttery lashes for days!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Me-Time Tag

[No affiliate links.]

Yes, another tag, because they're fun and I can't seem to focus on anything else right now. I was tagged by the awesome Lindsay. So, let's talk about relaxing. With more hipster-filtered iPhone photos for your enjoyment. And then...let's relax.

1. What do you read or watch during me-time?
I rarely watch things when I'm on my own - S is more of the TV person than I am. As far as reading goes, I work my way through my list! I read a bit of everything. Lately I read Hold me Close, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone, which were really fun urban fantasies set in Seattle. I also read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and right now I'm on David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks.

2. What do you wear?
It depends. Sometimes I prefer to get dressed in jeans and regular "going out" clothing, because it's a bit more motivating and I feel better when I've got a freshly washed face and have put in my contacts. Other times, I relish glasses, cozy sweats, hoodies and fuzzy socks. And my Gap Kids robe that has stars on it (in the photo below).

3. What are your "me-time" beauty products?
I like to mask! Origins Charcoal Mask and Origins Drink Up are nice and fast - those are the two non-overnight masks that I have around right now. I also like the sheet masks that kind people send to me. Thank you, kind people.

4. Current favorite nail polish?
(Hrm. Is this on here because I'm sposed to spend my relaxing time pampering? Doing my nails doesn't count - I can't eat while I do them). I don't know if I'm totally fixed on anything right now, but Lippmann's Through the Fire is great for the holidays. If you're feeling wild, you can also put a coat of Ruby Red Slippers on top. Perfect.
Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers, Through the Fire.

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?
All the things.

I'm not even kidding. Everything is fair game. If S. is out of town or something, though, then it gets pretty extreme, as I hate to cook (and can't really manage much); I usually end up eating like a frat boy - cured meats and random pieces of fruit or string cheese or toast, ha.

6. Current favorite candle?
I don't have any right now! I keep meaning to buy one. I have my eye on this NEST one, or this Woodwick. I'd love to indulge in something like this, but can't bring myself to spend that much on candles.

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Sometimes. Right now it's cold, though, so I'm not even thinking about going outdoors unless I absolutely have to.

8. Would you ever go to see a movie alone?
No, I don't think so. I like movies every now and again, but I'm not a huge buff, and S can be persuaded to see most things if I do have an interest. I'm not against doing things by myself - I'd have meals by myself at restaurants, etc., but movies, nah.

9. Favorite online shop?
Amazon (I spend my life buying dog cookies, I swear), Nordstrom, Jetpens. Knitpicks.

10. Anything to add? Anything else you do during me-time?
I like to knit! I just bought a bunch of yarn at the Knitpicks sale, and I'm excited. I keep track of patterns and a project to-do list on Evernote, and also use Ravelry and a stitch counter app. If any of you are knitters, please. Let's talk knitting.
Warm wool things I've knit for S. I've got a project going right now, but it's not attractive all bunched up on circulars.

I also like to catch up on Tastefully Offensive's Tumblr, and read Awkward Zombie. It's been a while since I've made time to play games (I still want a 3DS, dangnabit), so I don't always get all of the jokes now, but some of them are pretty classic.

All right. Tis the season for coziness and indulgence. Do the tag and let me know!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Lip Product Addict Tag

I lifted this from The Gloss Menagerie, because it sounded like easy fun, and I did a tag for my birthday last year, too. This is just a casual, for-fun tag, with iPhone photos and cheesy filters. Because sometimes you need to satisfy your inner hipster.

(Here's the original tag. Have I done this before? I thought I did, but I couldn't find it. So. Maybe not.)

1. Favorite balm/lip treatment:
For daytime, Epic Blend's More Moisture in Unflavored. For nights or when my lips are very dry (for example, after wearing a matte lipstick all day), Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair.

2. Best eye-catching red:
This is a hard one - I like so many reds! Let's say, for high-impact, NARS Pure Matte in Mascate. For something classic, Rouge d'Armani 400. For bold yet elegant, Dior Trafalgar (I did actually buy a full-size, and am not still dabbing at the little card, thank you very much).

3. Best drugstore & best luxury:
Drugstore: Maybelline's Color Elixirs! Lots of shades, slight staining from darker shades, and a not-sticky, glossy formula. I have several. My favorite is Intoxicating Spice - I'm wearing it here.
Luxury: I'm a Dior girl. I like their Rouge Diors and Addicts. And, uh, everything else. Except...(see 5).

4. Best MAC lipstick:
I don't really have any of the "easy to wear" or natural MAC shades, because I don't necessarily find the formula to be my go-to for everyday lipsticks. I like MAC for its interesting shades - usually bold ones - so I pick MAC Lady Danger - #ladiesdanger time!

5. The most disappointing lip product:
The Dior Fluid Stick! It was pretty at first, but as time wore on, it became FAR TOO TACKY. Do not want.

6. Liner - yes or no?
Mostly no. I have a red one, for um, credibility reasons, or something, and I keep a clear one around to help fix lines when I wear a really pigmented lipstick. Or one prone to bleeding. But it's an as necessary kind of thing.

7. Best gloss:
Dior Addict Gloss, hands down.

8. Something extra:
I squee for minis.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comparison: Lip Hybrid Thingamabobs

[Products were purchased by me, except *, which was a gift from a friend.]

I thought I'd do a comparison post for these "hybrid" things, because there are a lot of them now, but I don't think they're all the same. Case in point, these three:
L-R: Lancôme Lip Lover in Framboise Étoile, Maybelline Color Elixir in Intoxicating Spice, Dior Fluid Stick in Vie d'Enfer*.
Now, I like lipsticks, and I like glosses, so I'm open to hybrids. My favorite glosses are Dior's Addict Glosses, and I also like Shu Uemura's glosses and MAC Cremesheens (only cremesheens, though); I like my glosses to be hydrating and not sticky. Preference for opacity and the presence of sparkle depends on my mood - texture is the deal breaker in every case. Same is true for the lipstick-gloss hybrids featured here.

So let's talk about texture, and the claims of each product.
Lancôme: "Alluring lip color meets the moisturizing effects of a balm in Lancôme’s Lip Lover’s three-in-one formula. The moisturizing base provides up to eight hours of hydration, a smoothing layer supports the reduction of fine lines, and the saturated pigments leave lips with intense color. "
Maybelline: "A trio of concentrates delivers the color of a lipstick, the cushiony care of a balm, and the glass shine of a gloss."
Dior: "A spectacular lip formula that packs the benefits of shiny gloss and pigmented lipstick into one color-rich product. This stunning hybrid imparts high-impact shine with maximum color to offer a new kind of lip color. It’s lightweight in texture, boasts sensational color payout, and delivers long-lasting wear and a no-makeup feel with coverage that is between a gloss and a lipstick.

Basically, they all claim to be balm + lip color + glossy shine. OKAY THEN. 
Sorry, I didn't  have super similar shades across the three formulas.
Nice pigmentation, check. Glossy shine, check (these all lose their spectacular shine after an hour or so, though the color remains, and they never dry down to a matte or satin finish.). But how do they feel? 

The Maybellines are nice; they're thick but slather on nicely. They're comfortable to wear and I actually pull them out quite often. The Lancôme Lip Lover is similar - it's a little thinner and hugs lips a little more (clinging to them in one nice coat), but it remains comfortable, and my lips don't feel dry afterward.

BUT THE DIOR. Vie d'Enfer, for serious.

It's the thinnest and least cushiony as it goes on, and it was tolerable for the first ten minutes or so. Gradually it felt stickier...and stickier...and stickier. Like you went too long without reapplying your gloss. Like you put double-sided tape on your lips and kept smacking them together. Every movement of lips made them stick together and pull apart. ON FIRE. My lips were ON FIRE. I don't know how people are wearing them! And, you can't argue that they stay put - I still managed to get some on my teeth while I was talking to S. 

Verdict: Maybellines are $5-10 and fantastic, along with the color range (some are more sheer, I think, but they are meant to be). The Lancôme Lip Lovers are also good; they don't have as strong a scent as the Maybellines or the Dior Fluid Stick, but at $23, I'd need to love a specific shade to opt for it over the Color Elixir. SKIP THE DIOR ($35!). Unless you really, really love tacky formulas. But honestly, at that price point, it needs to be so much better than it is.