Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pet Peeve...

I really hate finding an eyeshadow I love and having it fall apart on me…  Especially if it was expensive or I had to order it online and wait (what always seems like) forever for it.  This was the case for NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Cleo and two of my Sugarpill pressed eyeshadows.  Granted, this was during traveling and I should have packed my shadows more carefully but it still happened.  I guess I could have salvaged the Sugarpill shadows (Bulletproof, a matte black, and Tako, a matte white) by using them as loose pigments but, because I was traveling, there were none of my little containers handy.  The NARS duo was beyond hope as they had blended all together.

The Sugarpill shadows are wonderfully inexpensive and very well pigmented, not to mention fun, but I chose to replace them with something that I knew wouldn't turn to dust on me: INGLOT freedom palettes.  But that's a subject for another blog.

NARS Cleo is such a beautiful combo but what impressed me most about it and other NARS duos I've used is how subtle the shimmer is.  So many brands use the terms "shimmer" and "frost" interchangeably.  I think of shimmer as a slightly more delicate sheen, for lack of a better description.  I only wish that NARS was a bit less expensive so it wasn't so hard to justify buying a replacement.

It's interesting to note that while Cleo, Tako and Bulletproof crumbled on me, NARS eyeshadow duo Nouveau Monde as well as Sugarpill's Poison Plum and Afterparty made the same trip without incident.

And the moral of the story, girls and boys?  Either be kinder to your shadows when traveling or only take things you know are secure.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Quest...

I am one of those super white people.  You know the type.  I'm Miss Glow-In-The-Dark, Lady Paler-Than-Death's-Horse, Madame Can't-Survive-Without-SPF and if I had a Cherokee name I'm betting that it would be something like She Who Fears The Sun.  But you can just call me Sally.

Being fair in an unfair world (yea, I went there) has always been a challenge.  Finding non-icky sunscreens, looking for colors that don't wash me out but the worst?  The endless search for a perfect foundation.

Of course I realize that most makeup wearers have this conundrum, this same odyssey for their "Holy Grail" foundation.  But I feel that being far paler than is average makes things a lot more complicated.  It doesn't help that so many brands oxidize on me.

My cousin recommended Bare Minerals to me and I was thrilled to find that it was in fact my shade, among it's many other attributes.  Gone were the lines of demarcation and the nasty germy application sponges.  It was beyond a relief.  And I was very loyal up until recently.  But I got restless watching all my favorite beauty gurus wear and recommend different liquid foundations.  Not to mention my Bare Minerals wasn't sticking on my t-zone very well anymore.

I tried Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair and found it, as usual, to warm for my skin.  It ended up giving me an orange hue and it was a little drying.  Not really the foundation's fault really.  My skin is White Sands, New Mexico.  Arid and, you guessed it, WHITE!  And fuller coverage foundations tend to be drier formulas in my experience.  But it was a start.

And so the search continued…  I then tried LORAC Breakthrough Performance in SMS 1. It was a significant improvement but still not perfect in that was a slightly too yellow.  But I really liked the texture.  Then I tried Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 110 and was pretty pleased to see something with pink undertones in it but the texture didn't stick to my skin like the LORAC foundation and it was still too dark.  So I combined the two and liked that better.  But was still not perfect yet.  My foundation still wasn't quite pale enough…  So I bought what I know to be the whitest foundation available, Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 1, and waited for it with bated breath.  My first try at mixing the three foundations was something that made even me look pastey which was actually a bit of a pleasant surprise as it's NEVER happened before.  I found that I had to be very light-handed with the Illamasqua foundation as it really is an off-white with a slight pink undertone.  It also made my foundation a bit drier but I recently corrected this with more moisturizer beforehand and adding NARS Illuminator in Copacabana to (what is now a very complicated) mixture to sheer it out, make me dewy and helps correct imperfections.

While I don't think my search for my perfect foundation is yet over I am glad to see brands making paler shades to accommodate those of us with this issue.  Might try NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia next. : p  And I wish you all luck on your journey to your perfect shade!

Here are some swatches.  I would like to remind you that I'm yet a novice and photography is not my forte!  The light's very yellow in my apartment.  Might wanna work on that...

From Left to Right:
1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair
2. LORAC Breakthrough Performance in SMS 1
3. Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 110
4. Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in 1
5. NARS Illuminator in Copacabana

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Attempts with Camera!

Obviously I need a LOT of practice but here are some Awwwww-inducing shots of my dog in his post-operation cone ("e-collar" if you're a vet and want it to sound better).  Is it wrong that I think of it as tragically adorable?

This is my Monty at roughly 4 months. 
Kinda reminds me of Elizabethan-era ruffs...

"No, Mom!" he seems to say.  "I would never chew up your favorite pair of shoes!  You must have me confused with someone else."

Poor baby!  In the Cone of Shame...

My dear friend Kayla's feet
Anyway, hope you enjoyed!  I'm lucky to have such a great subject to practice on :D

Oh Happy Day!

Briefly, I'll say that I purchased a camera recently and am in the process of trying to figure it out.  I've never been one for taking pictures so I'll ask that you're kind while I attempt snapping swatches and whatnot.  This has been a Mighy Classy service announcement.  We thank you for your attention.  ; )

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Bull, Just Brand! Vol. 1

Alright, now that I have some of the awkwardness of my first entry I'd like to get into something less... clumsy?  Here goes my first mini-series, so to speak.  The subject of these is my favorite brands including the good, the bad and the underwhelming of each.  Hope you (though I'm likely just typing to myself) enjoy!

Inglot (INGLOT?):  Not sure whether or not it's all in caps but, if it isn't, it should be.  This first brand was just kind of obvious to me.  They have:
1) an overwhelmingly amazing assortment of pressed eyeshadows pans
  a) in variety of finishes (and an impressive selection of mattes especially)
  b) which are relatively cheap ($5 for 2.5-3.2 grams of product as opposed to MAC's $11.50 pans that only contain apx. 1.5 grams)
  c) have wonderful pigmentation
  d) come in the travel-safe space-efficient "Freedom System"
2) beautiful creamy lipsticks in unusual shades (that are also cheaper than MAC's)
3) two of my favorite eyeshadow pigments of all time (in #64, #65)
4) and super helpful in-store staffs (Las Vegas Forum Shop, I'm talking to you!)

This isn't to say that Inglot doesn't have it's drawbacks like very few store fronts in the US (though I've heard they are trying to remedy this) and disappointingly small nail polish bottles for the price.  Also, while I really love the Freedom Systems magnetized palettes they do take some getting used to.  But mostly I've been very pleased with my experiences with this lovely Polish company.  They are very popular on Youtube and amongst bloggers but not otherwise well-known here in the States.  (So sad...)

And it's at this point in my blog that swatches to emphasize my point would be both welcome and expected.  But Alas!  In any case, till we meet again!

First Blog Entry... No Pressure!

While I realize that the internet is absolutely flooded/saturated with makeup lovers and gurus I just can't help myself!  I might be my only reader (ever) but putting my cosmetic opinions out in the wider world seems like fun so here goes...

My name is Sally.  I am (obviously) a makeup enthusiast without any professional training in the field whatsoever.  I am currently in the process of saving for a camera for swatches and haven't decided whether or not to purchase a camcorder.  I honestly don't know that I could film myself doing a tutorial so I'm leaving that on a back burner for now.  (Fascinating, no? *to be said in the style of Pepe LePue*)

I'll also warn you that in my blog I intend to put in personal things (Hello, Catharsis!) like pictures and updates on my dog, Monty, because I love him and am known around my neighborhood as "Monty's Mom."  He's a 15 week-old tri-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and oh-so-friggin' cute!  That's really all I have as an introduction for now.  Till we meet again!