Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May ipsy glam bag: Jetsetter

Hi, all!
It's been a crazy-busy month! We're in the process of moving house and my daughter has a ton of extra-curricular activities that amp up in the Spring. Life is good...and nuts, but mostly good. This month's ipsy glam bag is a welcome treat. The theme of the month is Jetsetter. Like I've said before, the themes confuse me, but that's okay. Maybe it's called Jetsetter because you can take sample sizes on a plane?!? I dunno. Anyway, here's what I got and what I thought.

1. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil in Ozone + BONUS Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Failbait and Bittersweet - First, can we take a moment for the packaging? I want everything used on this model to be on my face right now!

The pencil is such a cool idea. It's a lip primer that holds onto your lipstick or gloss for a longer wear time.  It just gives a bit of a white cast, but it's mostly clear.

The glosses are gorgeous. They're as sticky as they can get while still leaving you with the ability to use your mouth, but they're beautiful. I applied the gloss at 8 a.m., drank a soda straight from the can (no straw), ate an uncut apple, had lunch, and it's still on my lips at 2:30 p.m.! There was transfer, of course, and the color and shine have worn down a bit, but it's still there.

Those colors are just soooo pretty! Failbait (the pink one) is great for everyday wear. It's a pink that should work for every skin tone. The purple one called Bittersweet is an amazing color. It stained my hand a bit after I swatched it. I really had to scrub with a wet wipe to get if off.
(Full size $20. Sample size $15)

2. Pixi by Petra Beauty Bronzer in Summertime -  This bronzer looks a bit intimidating for fair skin, doesn't it? It's really not, though. It can go on lightly and blends out beautifully. It's not too warm, so you won't look like a Cheeto.

It does have shimmer. It's a very fine shimmer with no glitter at all. It just leaves you glowy and radiant and it's very natural looking. It's great for warming up your complexion. I've also used it as an eyeshadow. Gaw-geous!!! It's sold with a kabuki brush. Alas, we did not get the brush, but I'm thrilled with the bronzer.
(Full size with brush $18. Sample size approximately $5)

3. BelláPierre Cosmetics Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Ebony - I'm saying it right now, I love this eyeliner! My Rimmel ScandalEyes liner is getting pretty stubby, so I was thinking about replacing it soon and this showed up at my door. Kismet!

It's a super-smooth gel liner pencil is a highly pigmented matte black. It is absolutely budge-proof. I rubbed the swatch hard and didn't bother taking a second photo because it looked the same as the first photo. It was so easy to tightline with. I'm in love!
(Value $14.99)

4. Bare Republic Naturals SPF 30 Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion - I wasn't too thrilled to get another sunscreen in my bag. I've had plenty others and have never been inspired  to buy the full sizes. This one is a totally different story. I'm definitely getting the full size version. It's chemical-free. The active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It's an interesting formula that starts off as a lotion and then when it's applied feels like powder. It works wonderfully under makeup. It smells like sweet coconut. Just remember to shake it. It's part of the instructions. I sometimes don't read instructions. Just shake it. Avoid the mess. You can thank me later.
(Full size $14.99. Sample size $3)

5. NUXE Rêve de Miel® Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel - This one is a bit odd. I feel like it did a good job of getting my face clean, but I couldn't place the scent. I asked my husband what he thought and he said, "Old lady." So there's that. I looked it up and it's made with honey and sunflowers. I guess that's it. Old ladies smell like honey and sunflowers according to Seán. My skin felt really good after using it. I'd consider buying the full size version.
(Full size $19. Sample size $1.42)

The bag - Now we're down to what may be my favorite part. Ipsy has been knocking it out of the park with the bags lately. This one's my fave. I nearly bought one a lot like it a couple of weeks ago, but I really can't justify buying a small makeup bag when I get one in the mail every month. It's canvas with red lining and the cutest graphic on the front. It's from the company Breakups To Makuep and is smaller than their signature lipstick makeup clutch.
(Full size $35. Ipsy size approximately $25) 

If you're keeping track, that's an approximate grand total value of $64.41. What did you get in your ipsy glam bag this month?


Friday, April 24, 2015

A Redhead's Life

Grandma and me. I was about 2 years old here.
Hi, all!

In case you don't know me (or missed the title), I'm a redhead. I was born a redhead and even when I've had black hair (or brown hair or burgundy hair...), inside I've always been a redhead. I've been thinking a lot lately about why my hair, specifically my hair color, is so wrapped up in my identity.

The college years.

I remember once in fourth grade a new girl came to school. She had hair the same color, length, and thickness as mine. Once we got over our mutual jealousy, we became great friends. There was a boy I was friends with in elementary school who called me Fire Baby. It sounded like a super hero name, so I loved that. I loved the idea of shooting fire balls and commanding volcanoes.

My Dad. This is where my hair color came from.

My Dad (a redhead) was so attached to my hair that Mom had to sneak me out to get it cut. He cried. Or nearly cried. There's a good chance I exaggerated the incident in my head. Either way, he was very upset. His Dad was also a redhead. And so is my brother.

Chauncey says hi!

The stereotype that I've heard my whole life is that redheads have terrible tempers. For me, that's very much untrue. I'm rarely angry. There's just not that much to get riled up over. Also, (Note: South Park writers PAY ATTENTION!!!) for the record, if souls exist we have them the same as anyone else. To be honest, my dog (also a redhead) has more soul than most people I've met. Just saying. He's awesome.

Ginger to the left, Ginger Grant to the right. No. Just no.
Photos from WikiPedia.

I've heard about all of the "ginger bashing" that's been going on. I never experienced that in the United States. It wasn't until I started going to Europe that I encountered any of that. I've had a man shouting "ginger" in my face while walking into Tesco. I've had a group of tourists pointing at me and calling me a leprechaun. I was in the audience of a talk show and the host felt the need to walk through the audience and point out all the "gingers". That was the last time I watched his show. It was a bit shocking to have so much hatred directed toward me considering that part of Europe has the highest concentration of redhead population. Also, I seriously hate the word ginger. How does a brown root compare to vibrant red hair? It doesn't. And if it's a reference to Gilligan's Island's Ginger, that's not my name. She's gorgeous and I'll gladly take the compliment, but that's not my name.

My natural state. See how much brighter Zara's hair is than mine? Waaaah!

In the States, people would constantly tell me how much they love my hair and have stopped me to ask me the name of my dye. At that point my hair was natural, so they were out of luck. Now, not so much. The thing about being a natural redhead is that red fades over time. I can't do mousy hair. I'm not about that life at all. So, when my hair starts feeling like it needs a pick-me-up I throw some color on it. Actually, my super-genius hair dresser throws some color on it. She's amazing. We went with a bolder, darker shade of red recently. I love it. It's definitely a statement color.

Not so matchy-matchy any more.

Now my daughter Zara's getting so much attention for her gorgeous hair. She loves it!

Bonus photo of my dog being awesome.
He's snuggled up to Caius with Berkeley in the background.

The redhead life is not for everyone. You have to be comfortable with being noticed. A lot. It's not a color for wallflowers. If  you're lucky to be born with it, you're lucky enough. For the rest who wish they were, thank goodness for great hair dyes. If you're interested in trying out a red (or any other color), check out the shades at Madison Reed. They have so many to choose from. If you haven't heard of Madison Reed, they are a hair dye company that has created a dye free of PPD, sulfates, resorcinol, ammonia and gluten!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beautifully Bohemian: April's ipsy bag

Hi, all!
It's time for my monthly ode to ipsy. The theme of the month is Beautifully Bohemian. I'm really not sure what's so Bohemian about this month's goodies, but that's okay. Many of the themes have puzzled me. It doesn't take much.

1. JulieG Nail Color in Damsel - I flat out love JulieG nail polishes, so I was thrilled to get this one. They're inexpensive, great coverage in one or two coats, and are chip resistant. What's not to love? This one is described as a mid-tone pink creme. Yup. It photographs darker and a bit more purple than it actually is.
(Value $3.99)

2. KCO Colors by Beauty Brands Cream Lipstick in Natural Born Beauty -  This lipstick is just lovely. It's supposed to do all sorts of things like protect your lips from the environment. I dunno about that, but it is moisturizing and so pretty. It's a brownish rose sort of shade.

It is nicely pigmented. The first swipe goes on slightly sheer, but it can be built up easily. There's only the barest hint of a scent to it. It lasts like a normal lipstick. Reapplication will be necessary after drinking or eating.

After playing with it for a while, I thought that it looked familiar. It's pretty much an exact dupe for Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink (except it's $12 cheaper!) The Make Up For Ever lipstick has a bit more of a shine to it and is slightly more coppery.
(Value $8.00)

KCO on the left, Make Up For Ever on the right

*edit - May 8, 2015 - this happened....

Nope. Nope. Nope.

I tried gluing it back, but nope! I had to de-pot it. It literally lived in my lipstick drawer. I didn't carry it in my purse or stick it in my pocket. I wasn't rough with it. I had only used it a couple of times and then it broke. I'm so not impressed with the packaging. I still love the formula and the color. I'm just not sure I'd buy more.

3. theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Dude Eyeshadow Single in Flirty - I've been wanting to try theBalm for a while now, so I was happy to get this in my bag. This shade is from the NUDE Dude Volume 2 palette.

I love the packaging. The whole pin-up thing is adorable.

Flirty is described as a shimmering golden violet and I'd say that's about right. To be totally honest, I was hoping for more impact, but it does go on beautifully and blends out like a dream.
(Palette $36. Sample Value $3)

4. MicaBeauty Eye Primer - This primer is really good. It's kind of sticky, which grabs on to eye shadow. It doesn't crease. It's also a great color for me. It covers up all the imperfections on my eyelids to create a blank canvas.

Can you see it? It blends well into my own skin tone.

The swatch below on the left is without the primer. On the right the swatch is over the primer. Big difference! My only real issue with the primer is the price. I currently own a few primers that do the same thing, but are much (much!) cheaper.
(Full size $44.95. Sample value $22.48)

5. Olive Natural Beauty The Olive Lip Balm in Oats & Honey - I'm totally on the fence with this lip balm. It performs well. I love that it's organic. It feels great and is very hydrating. The scent, however, is a bit strange. You can really smell the oats. It smells like some sort of baked goods. But in a weird way. If something smells like a cupcake, I'm all about that. This is more like a bran muffin. It's not bad, really. Just odd. I'd be interested in trying some of their other scents.
(Value $5.95)

The bag - I flipping love this bag! I love that it's woven. When I saw it previewed, I was afraid it was a print, but no, it's really woven. The colors are fun. Maybe this is where the Bohemian theme comes into play because it does have a bit of a retro-found-this-at-a-market vibe. It's lined with a khaki nylon.

I'm definitely a happy camper this month. I did like everything, even though the lip balm smells strange. The grand total for this month's bag is $43.42. If you're interested in checking out ipsy, you can use my referral link or just Either way. It's a monthly personalized beauty subscription service that's only $10/month.

If you already subscribe, what did you get this month?


Monday, March 30, 2015

A Cinderella Birthday

That dress, though!

Hi, all!
My little princess had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I'd share. Her birthday was "Cinderella". The timing was perfect with the release of the new live-action version, which was soooooooooo flipping gorgeous, by the way! We had her party at Cinemark and then all went to the film. 

 My darling husband designed the invitations, which we had printed at a photo kiosk as a 3x5 photo. This is one of my favorite birthday tips. The invitations are personal, gorgeous, and way cheaper than ordering generic invitations and writing in the information.

There was a small issue with the cake I made. The carriage wheels fell off on the way to the party. No biggie.

Before the accident.

The cake was chocolate and vanilla. The carriage was made by using two small cakes I made in Wilton's Mini Wonder Mold. I trimmed the flat (top) part to make them really flat and then trimmed a bit off the dome parts to have a flat place to stabilize it on the cake and to have a place to put the decorative bits at the top of the carriage. I stuck the two mini cakes together with a ton of frosting and anchored it to the main cake with a drinking straw. That part didn't budge. The wheels are made from Girl Scout's Tagalongs. I should have placed them on at the venue. Now I know better.

The candle was something Zara and I decorated together using peel and stick rhinestones. I couldn't find a candle fit for a princess, so we made one. 

What age was she again? I can't remember.

As part of the activities, we had a cookie decorating station with different frostings and sprinkles. I had a couple of sets of cookie cutters for a really (really, really) long time and have never had the opportunity to use them until now. There were dresses, shoes, castles, and tiaras.

Looks yummy!

Zara's cookie (before it hit the floor) had some special decorations. Yeah...those are what you think they are, unless you have a very clean mind. In that case, they're just pearls.

Zara's cookie. (Photo by Jen)

And then we had a special guest! Cinderella herself dropped by to wish Zara a happy birthday!

Cinderella got swamped!
She sang "Happy Birthday", talked to the kids, answered a million questions (mostly about her shoes), and...

Happy Birthday, Zara!

 ...had her picture taken with each child (and some adults!) It was magical! If you live in this area, check out Putnam Princess Parties. They were amazing!

Royal cuddles.

After the party, the guests left with tokens for the cinema's arcade and a treat bag filled with Zara's favorite candies, some stickers, and bubbles. I've scaled back on the treats over the years. In the beginning, I went totally overboard with personalized bags. Each one had the kid's name and was tailored the the kid's tastes. Seriously. I've learned this all just ends up in the floor of the car anyway. (That is, if your kid is anything like mine.)

The bubbles were from the Dollar Tree's wedding section. I found a pack of princess stickers at the Dollar Tree, put them together and came up with filler for practically nothing. The bubbles came in a pack of 8 for $1 (of course), and the stickers were a pack of 90 for $1.

Bubbles for cheap.
The rest of the decorations were picked up at a party store. We had a Cinderella table cloth, center pieces, a banner, and themed napkins and treat bags. And, of course, no decent photos of any of it.

The whole experience was wonderful. The staff at Cinemark could not have been more helpful. (They even went to Wal-Mart for us when we ran out of plates). Cinderella (the princess and the film) was glorious. It was truly a magical night.



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