Thursday, June 14, 2018

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Hiatus for the New Glossier Cloud Paint Shades


I no sooner go on hiatus than Glossier does something I've wanted them to do for the past year: they release more dark skin friendly shades of their *Cloud Paints. There's still no true red, but there is finally a warm shade for deeper skintones, a bright coral named Dawn. The other new shade is a slightly muted, rich plum named Storm.


One of the best things about these blushes is that they mix together so well, giving you extra shade options. I often add a dab of Dusk to Beam or Puff for a more natural, less pastel shade. Here are a few other color mixes I tested; I'm especially fond of how Storm and Puff make a sort of lavender color:


As per usual, these new Cloud Paints were purchased using store credit earned via affiliate link clicks. A special thank you to everyone who uses the affiliate links I post. You help this blog thrive!


* NOTE: This is an affiliate link. It is not mine; it is for the YouTuber Jacquelyn Lovene. I have more than enough store credit, so I'm passing on the love. If you don't want to use an affiliate link, just head to Glossier.com. 

I purchased these two tubes of Cloud Paint using store credit earned via affiliate link purchases. I am not a Glossier Rep and my reviews are always honest.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Blog Semi-Hiatus: I'm Preparing to Move

Kirby in his natural habitat.

People do a lot of stupid things for love, including quitting their jobs and moving a thousand miles away to live with their partner. This July, I'll be exchanging Pennsylvania's cloudy skies for the sunny-but-only-summer-for-two-months midwest. My fiance Kirby and I will be setting up house together, and I'll have the added burdens of training for a new job and updating my permanent address on dozens of websites. (Uuuuugh.) In short, I won't have a ton of time to photograph my face or write crotchety articles for the next two months.

This isn't to say the blog will be completely dead; I already have a few posts planned for June and July. I'm just taking a break from my usual twice a week schedule and will only post when I have the time. If all goes well, the blog should be back on schedule by August.

Meanwhile, I'll do my best to keep up with your comments on this blog, to add new photos to Instagram, and to jot down content ideas. Feel free to comment on this post and tell me what you'd like to see on this blog in the future.

Also, I'm still using Ko-Fi for charitable donations. I'm hoping to collect at least $20 for ProLiteracy. If you've enjoyed my blog, want to support a good cause, and have a few bucks to spare, consider clicking the Ko-Fi button on the sidebar and donating. If you don't have the money, that's no big; spreading the word about fantastic charitable organizations like ProLiteracy also helps.

Thank you for your continued support!

Monday, June 4, 2018

REVIEW: Kat Von D 24 Hour Super Brow Long Wear Pomade


I'm not a huge fan of the Kat Von D brand for a variety of reasons, but I was still intrigued when Influenster decided to include me in their Kat Von D brow product campaign. For some weird reason, I've been really in to brow products lately, and I've been especially keen on comparing various micro pencils to my old faithful Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. Given my product preferences and how I normally wear my brows, I assumed they'd send me the Kat Von D Signature Brow Precision Pencil. Instead, I received the 24 Hour Super Brow Long Wear Pomade and the new #70 brush. I was a bit irked at first, since I admitted to myself years ago that I'm too lazy for brow pomades. Yet I've actually started to like this product over the past few weeks, albeit for very specific situations.

The Kat Von D Long Wear Pomade (as I'll be calling it for the rest of the review) retails for $19 for 5 grams of product in a glass jar with a plastic lid. This is on the cheap side as far as pomade price-per-gram goes:

ELF Lock On Liner and Brow Cream, $4 for 5.4 grams -- $0.74/g
Makeup Revolution Brow Pomade, $8 for 2.3 grams -- $3.48/g
Kat Von D Long Wear Pomade, $19 for 5 grams -- $3.80/g
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow, $18 for 4 grams -- $4.50/g
MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme, $19 for 2.8 grams -- $6.79/g
Benefit Ka-Brow, $24 for 3 grams -- $8.00/g

The ELF pomade is obviously a steal compared to all of these, including the Kat Von D, but it lacks a decent color range. By contrast, the Kat Von D Long Wear Pomade currently boasts 16 shades, 7 in "regular" brow colors and 9 in bright editorial or mixing shades, like a pure white and a vibrant pink.

 From left to right: Kat Von D Long Wear Pomade in Medium Brown; Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Medium Brown and Chocolate; L'oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Brunette; Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner.

Influenster sent me the shade Medium Brown, which is probably my closest match in the range, but not the best shade for me overall--I tend to prefer something ashier, like the aptly-named Anastasia Ash Brown. Still, it's not overly warm, and it's definitely a workable shade for me.


Here's a shot of one brow with the pomade and one brow without, just so you can see the undertones. Again, my brow hairs are cooler and this product definitely leans warm.


The actual application of the Kat Von D Longwear Pomade was about as fussy as I expected: you have to dip your brush in to the pomade, then wipe most of the product off on to the lid or the edge of the jar, or you'll end up with way too much pomade. While I prefer a less drawn-on look most of the time, I think you'll want to use light strokes no matter what look you're going for, since that makes it easier to control the application and shape. I started at my arch and worked back, since that's the more sparse part of my brows, then filled in the front of my brows with what was left on the brush.

Speaking of the #70 Pomade Brush: it's very meh. I found it a bit bigger and thicker than I like for most pomades. The smaller, thinner Anastasia #12 is better if you want to make precise lines and/or have more control over your application, and it comes with a spoolie.

The actual texture of this pomade is a bit lighter and less dense than Anastasia Dipbrow, but I don't think the Kat Von D is quite as workable. You need to work quickly and in small sections because attempting to go back over this product once it has dried will create a bit of a mess: you might pull up a bit of the pomade, but it's more likely that the wet stuff on your brush will stick to the already-dried parts. See this portion of my brow:


Is it super visible to the naked eye? No, but again, I always work slowly and with a light hand to prevent more obvious snafus.

The good thing about the fast drying time, however, is that it seems to improve the wear. I didn't wear this pomade for 24 hours because I refuse to sleep in my makeup, even for the sake of science, but I did wear it for 12+ hours on a very humid day that included some traipsing about town and an hour on the porch in a misty rain. Here it is at the 10 hour mark:



As you can see, the pomade stayed decently in place. I do seem to have a bit of fading right in the middle of the arch, but it wasn't noticeable to the naked eye--I actually didn't see it until I looked at this macro shot. I also have a brow hair that has clearly jumped ship, but that's normal for me and isn't the fault of the pomade. (I skipped clear gel on this day to get the most fair and accurate photographs possible.)

I've also tested this on my lids as eyeliner, and it works okay for that. It's not as smooth or workable as a regular gel liner, and it doesn't seem to have the same wear time on my oily lids as it does on my brows, but it definitely gave me a rich, dark line for most of the day without smearing or flaking. If you were in a pinch or trying to cut down on products in your travel makeup bag, this could work as a liner.

While the Kat Von D Long Wear Pomade is a solid product, and the shade range sets it apart, I don't think it's better than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow. I found Dipbrow a bit easier to work with and even longer-lasting. Still, I enjoy wearing this product on days when I'm out in the elements for a while and I don't want to worry about touch-ups.

RATING: 4 out of 5
Kat Von D products are available at Sephora.
This product was sent to me by Influenster in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

FOTD: A Six Product Face and Floundering Wedding Makeup

(NOTE: The MAC Fix+ bottle actually contains Clinique Moisture Surge Spray. I just think the MAC bottle has a better spray nozzle.)

A friend of mine recently pointed out that, while she loves a lot of the makeup looks I wear, she has very little patience for the number of products I use when wearing a full face, in large part because her makeup bag is on the small side. It's always a bit weird for me to realize this, but even when I'm doing a "simple," "clean" look, and even though I almost always use relatively light, thin layers of product, I tend to use a lot of individual products. Even something as basic as this plum FOTD contains almost a dozen products.

So I decided to do a "five product face," which is one of my favorite Instagram and YouTube tags. I ended up using six products because I have such dry skin except for my oily nose and eyelids, but you could easily skip the eye primer or moisture spray I used if you were trying to conserve room in your bag.

For me, the real trick to reducing the number of products you need is using everything for more than one purpose. I applied my Philosophy Skin Tint in a thin layer all over my face, then tapped a tiny bit more on areas where I needed more coverage, like my undereyes. I mostly used the Kat Von D pomade for my brows, but I also pressed a bit in to the outer half of my upper eyelid to make my lashes look thicker. (This obviously looks better when my eyes are open and I'm not being photographed by an HD camera.) Lastly, I used my newest Besame lipstick, Exotic Pink, on both my lips and cheeks. Just remember that if you want to use your lipstick as a blush, it usually works best to dab it on the back of your hand, then rub your finger in to it until it warms up and thins out.


BASE: Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint, Clinique Moisture Surge Spray

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CHEEKS: Besame Classic Color lipstick in Exotic Pink

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EYES: Catrice Prime and Fine Eyeshadow Base, Kat Von D 24 Hour Super Brow Long Wear Pomade, Glossier Lash Slick

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LIPS: Besame Classic Color lipstick in Exotic Pink
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My makeup for this summer wedding season isn't going quite so well, however. I managed to get a beautiful Vince Camuto dress for $30, and while I think it's perfect for these special occasions, I'm...kind of at a loss of what makeup to wear with it. I'm so used to wearing the same basic color palette of black, gray, rich blue, and (to a lesser extent) white that I'm really out of my comfort zone with something so colorful. I mean, even my patterned clothes are mostly black and white.

I decided to do something based on the periwinkle, almost-lilac shade of the dress background and the pink flowers. But the look I came up with seems a little too soft. The best way to fix it, from what I'm seeing, would be to add more definition around the eyes. But how do I do that without making the look too dramatic for the day and limiting how sweatproof it is? What about a navy winged liner to match the hem--would that be a better choice? I need heeeelp!


BASE: MAC Face & Body foundation in C1 + White, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, L'oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter in Fair, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in 50 Ivory [D/C]

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CHEEKS: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff, Glossier Haloscope in Quartz

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EYES: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Glossier Lidstar in Lily and Moon, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Vanilla Kiss, YSL The Shock Mascara, Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner

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LIPS: NYX Lip Liner in Nude Pink, Rodin Luxury Lipstick in So Mod

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Products I Want Brands to Release


"Products I Want Brands to Release" and "Gaps In My Collection" videos and posts are some of my favorites. They're not pushing people to rush out and buy specific products NOW NOW NOW, but they spark conversations about possible dupes and market trends. They can even encourage brands to work on that item you've always wanted or improve their current range. I just haven't written one of these posts until now because, frankly, I feel like most of my makeup needs are met by my current collection and the small gaps I can find seem rather niche. Then the hilarious Nisipisa posted her video, and I was inspired. Okay, plenty of people would skip over a Colourpop rainbow palette, including me...but when she pointed out that they'd yet to produce one, I realized, "Huh, yeah, that's definitely something they could make bank on."

So here we have it: my list of products I want brands to release, AKA an entire post of whinging.

#1: New packaging and shades for the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint.


I've complained about this all spring, and I promise to leave the petty whines behind when summer arrives. But since we're still in May, let me repeat: I really love this product, but the packaging is the stuff of nightmares, and the shade range is perplexing. As much as I want to give this tinted sunscreen my full-throated recommendation, I'm hesitant to put others through the strugglebus that is this oozing, unsanitary jar. Philosophy, if you love your consumers, you'll put the Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint in a tube, and you'll add more shades to draw in a larger audience.

#2: A warm, dark-skin-friendly Glossier Cloud Paint Shade.

Like the aforementioned Philosophy tinted sunscreen, I wanted to give the Glossier Cloud Paints a solid five out of five stars, but the fiddly packaging and limited shade selection stayed my hand. It's been over a year since Glossier launched the Cloud Paints, and they've become a staple in my collection. Yet there's still only one shade that will, by Glossier's own admission, work for dark skin, and it's the very cool-toned Haze. The colors and shade names are inspired by the colors of a sunset, and that means there's plenty of room for a bold red--think liquid NARS Exhibit A.



I'm glad Glossier has been picking up steam, releasing a new product every three months or so and opening new show rooms, but honestly, it's time for them to pause on new launches and update their existing range.

...actually, I take that back: I'm a candle whore, so I'm more than ready for the home fragrances they mentioned last year. (As long as they don't smell like Glossier You, that is. I was not a fan of Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume 2.0 that perfume.)

#3: 1970s inspired products from Besame.

This is so not my decade re: vintage makeup, and until now, I didn't think it was Besame's, either. Their lipstick shades stop right at 1970 with Chocolate Kiss, and their range is heavily weighted toward the 1920s through the 1950s. Then Besame released their Avengers: Infinity War collection with lip glosses purportedly inspired by a 70s product, and I realized that that decade ended almost forty years ago. I'm pretty sure that's prime vintage territory. And while the amount of frosty lipsticks I'm seeing in contemporary photographs and magazine ads make me think I'd pass on most 70s products the company produced, this 1972 blush ad gets me bodied:


#4: Mini versions of the new MAC Strobe Cream shades.

It's no secret that MAC Strobe Cream is one of my all-time favorite products; I've gone through countless travel size tubes, since they're famously a better value per ounce than the full size bottle. So I was thrilled when I realized they'd updated the range and added new colors, including the stunning Peachlite. So flattering! So warm without being gold or stark! Do want!


But for whatever reason, MAC hasn't released mini sizes of the new shades. If you go for the smaller one ounce size, you can only get the original Pinklite shade. The tints in Strobe Cream are so sheer and subtle, you might say it's not worth making minis of all of them. But I'm enough of a highlighter hound to buy multiple shades if they're made available, and I know I'm not the only one. Come on, MAC, take my money!