Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Report: A Hint of Smoke

Hey, guys!  We made it to another weekend (woo-hoo!) and let me tell you, I've more than earned my "me time" for this week.  I'm going to keep it light this go 'round with both my schedule and my makeup, opting for a soft smoky eye that'll carry me from sun up to sunset.  I'm planning a simple face with just a hint of drama, courtesy of a few simple products... 

Building on top of MAC's Constructivist Paint Pot, I'll be employing Inglot's #423 as well as Hustle, a sootier plum-bronze from Urban Decay's original Naked palette, to achieve the look I want.  Rounding out the cast of characters will be MAC's Carbon, which will be focused on the lash line, and my currently crowned favorite mascara - Lancome's Hypnose Star.

For my lips, I'll be going the nude route - Revlon's Soft Nude, to be exact, with MAC's C-Thru Lipglass lacquered on top for good measure.

So there you have it - my moderately drama-filled look for what will (hopefully) be a completely drama-free weekend!  This was so quick to whip up and put on that methinks I'll have to rock this smoky combo more often.  It's the perfect hint of smoke... and precisely what I was aiming for.  #MissionAccomplished!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bronzey Plum - 423

Hey, guys!  For this weekend, I was thinking of doing a smoky eye.  Whaddya think?  Haven't done one in awhile, but my recent trip to Sephora where I visually imbibed on all the colorful goodness of the new MUFE Artist Shadows left me drunk with inspiration.  And so I poured over my collection and settled on a shadowy gem that should totally sate my need for a little "smoke" this weekend.  Not too dark, this shade can be carried from day to night.  So, if you have a few moments to spare, I'd love to you the 411 on Inglot's #423.

#423 is a moody, burnished plum that hails from Inglot's Freedom System family of single eyeshadows.  It is potently pigmented, surrendering opaque color in every swipe, and is ├╝ber soft to the touch.  I have never had a performance issue with Inglot shadows as they have lasted all day on me atop a primer without fading and I don't expect any different from this lovely lid-lustre, which boasts a pearl finish. 

When I look at #423, I immediately think of MAC's Constructivist Paint Pot - which is a rich, plummy brown - as the perfect anchor and booster for this shade.  That and a touch of black at the base of my lashes should give it the right amount of smokiness I'm looking for.  Yeah, I think that's what I'm gonna do, y'all.  And then a possible pair-up with a nude lip?  Ooh-wee!  Yeah, I think that'll be happening, y'all.  I can feel it!  And besides, getting familiar with this shade (and finally rocking it) will keep me from buying a similar/duplicate shade when I pick out my MUFEs.  Oh, yes, they are coming.  Do you hear me?  They are coming and coming SOON!  I can't wait!  

Soooo much makeup... soooo little time...  *sigh* I just LOVE being a girl!

Inglot #423 is available at Inglot boutiques and select Macy's, and retails for $7.

Friday, October 17, 2014

OMG, It's the New MUFEs!

Guys, I think I may need some serious help.  At the very least, I need some medication of some sort because when I went into my local mini Sephora (the truncated version of Sephora located inside JCPenney department store), I nearly lost my mind.  Knowing full well that the satellite Sephoras do not carry the full shebang that the flagship stores do, I went in there to see if they had my shampoo (yes, shampoo AGAIN!) and, lo and behold, they had the new, reformulated Make Up For Ever eyeshadows!  Granted, they only had about 69 of the entire range of 210 shades, but it was enough for me to get lost in a whirlwind of swipes and swatches, and gather some intel on what I would eventually want to buy.  So, without any further yip-yap, I'm going to get right into it and show y'all what I spent a good couple of hours ogling and playing around with: the new Artist Shadows by MUFE.

Whites, Beiges, Pinks, Oranges: 

Already strapped with a reputation of having high-performance, highly pigmented products, Make Up For Ever has now introduced a "new and improved" rendition of their already awesome eyeshadows and blushes.  These gel-powder shadows are ultra blendable and come in five distinct finishes: Matte, Metallic, Diamond, Iridescent and Satin.   The top row display of muted neutrals alongside more passionate colors like Tangerine ME734 made me swoon...

Earthy Neutrals, Browns and Taupes:

But, believe it or not, it was the collection of sultry browns and taupes that made me salivate viciously!  My eyes went back and forth, back and forth... running over the array of earth tones and mauve-y taupes until I just couldn't take it anymore - I had to swatch!  I really didn't know what to swatch first, but I had to swatch.  And, OH. MA. GUDNESS...

Each and every shadow, regardless of finish, felt very smooth like crushed velvet.  They had a dry, firmness to them as opposed to them feeling "moist" or creamy like other gel formulated shadows, but were no less impressive as every shade relinquished color on cue and without much effort at all. 

Violets, Blues, Greens, Blacks: 

And then I laid my peepers on the eye-poppers of the day and I literally could NOT stand still!  You guys know how much I love my brights and bolds, and these MUFEs were serving them up big time.  I simply could not wait to get my already overworked fingertips into these...

(Black Purple ME930)

Now, each individual shadow retails for $21 (available at both Sephora and MUFE boutiques) and the palettes retail for $1; however, at Sephora, if you buy two shadows and a duo palette, you get a $9 discount (spending $34 total) and a $20 discount with a three/three combo (spending $44 total).  Really, they needn't say more - they already had me with the quality of the shadows, but they sealed the deal with the word "discount".  #HOLLAAAA!

So, can you see why I needed a dose of something to sorta calm me down and keep me from acting a complete fool in the store?  I do not consider shopping a spectator sport; if I see something I like, I buy it.  I don't window shop, but I was definitely a looky-lou this day as I was totally caught off guard and unprepared.  Oh, but don't worry, chickadees!  Dolce will not be a looky-lou for long.  I've done my research and will be turning in my homework very soon so I can get my hands on these babies.  Consider me a true "stan" of the new MUFE Artist Shadows and I could not be any more excited at the prospect of adding these vivid gems to my makeup collection! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lancome Hypnose Star

You know, for years I've been perfectly content with dressing my lashes in drugstore mascaras.  Far from being a mascara snob, my modest requirement of simply making my peeper sweepers more noticeable has been expertly handled by my L'Oreals, therefore I haven't felt the need to seek nor try out any from a higher retail bracket... that is, until now.  They're Real! mascara by Benefit was one of the first to whet my appetite for pricier fare and now this gem is making me downright ravenous for it.  It's Lancome's Hypnose Star and, if you have a few moments, I'd like to tell you a little about it.

Hypnose Star is a volume-inducing mascara inspired by the likes of iconic, animated vixen Betty Boop to deliver glamorous looking lashes while imparting a "glossy, gel-like finish" via their "black-diamond effect" formula.  The wand has a rounded side to ensure separation and definition, and a flatter side to expertly disperse product - a dual feature I had no prior knowledge of as I routinely applied it as I would any other mascara and got awesomely dramatic results nonetheless.  Fully "suited and booted" in a silky, ink-black from root to tip, my lashes instantly looked longer and more lush after only one round of coating!  No layering needed!  #Winning!

(Bare lashes)

(Bare lashes)

(Hypnose Star lashes)

(Hypnose Star lashes)

(Hypnose Star lashes)
(Hypnose Star lashes)

Guys, I think I may have to break down and legitimately cop this one.  The one I have now was a GWP ("gift with purchase" - thank God for freebies!), so when it runs out... *sigh*.  I think I may have to make the splurge.  I mean, my peeper sweepers looked like they were desperately trying to touch my eyebrows after applying.  And it didn't flake.  And it didn't make my lashes feel like they were burdened with a heavy coat of armor.  Now, that's pretty darn good mascara in my book!

So, while I still appreciate my L'Oreals, two mascaras in (They're Real!, Hypnose Star) and I'm already starting to think that an upgrade may be in order.  This Lancome Hypnose is definitely the bee's knees, y'all.  Gorgeous on all fronts, it has rooted a desire in me to branch out and give some more of these high-brow mascaras a second look. 

Lancome Hypnose Star is available at Sephora and retails for $28.50.

Friday, October 10, 2014

By Request: How I Cut My Bangs

Recently, I had a lovely reader compliment me on my bangs (or "fringe" for those across the pond!) and ask me how I maintain them.  I've been rocking bangs for quite a number of years now and have formed my own groove on how I cut and style them.  It bears repeating that I am NOT a professional hairdresser nor do I claim to be one; however, after many moons of tackling my own tresses, I know what works for me.  So if that one caveat hasn't scared you away, I'd love to share with you my regimen for how I cut my bangs.

I find myself needing to cut my bangs to keep them fresh about every three weeks.  My two choice weapons of mass construction: a narrow-toothed, rat tail comb and regular hair shears/scissors.  After washing and flat ironing, I part my bangs in a moderately wide inverted "V" then separate the section from the rest of my hair.

Next, I measure how long I want my bangs to hang, which would be right smack in the middle of my eyes, at the top of my nose's bridge.  Any shorter and I look like Moe from The Three Stooges; any longer and I look like Sam Sheepdog from the Bugs Bunny cartoons.  Either way: no bueno.  So, once I've established my desired length, starting with the front-middle section, I do a blunt cut straight across the bang, matching that section's length to the others (left side, right side) as I go. 

(Comb pointed at bottom, shortest length)
Once I have the entire bang cut bluntly, I then part it into vertical sections and pull the hair outward from my head at a 90 degree angle.  Doing this will reveal the length of the hair as going from long to short, with the shortest length appearing at the bottom.  This will be my "guide" as I will use the shortest length at the bottom as a guide for where I want to cut the longer lengths so that the entire vertical length of the bang ends up being a straight, even line.  I do NOT cut the guide, only the longer hairs above!  I repeat: I do NOT cut the guide!!

When I am done cutting along the guide across the entire width of my bangs, the process is complete.  My bangs are full, have movement and can be swooshed to either side - left or right - for style versatility.  I have cut my bangs after curling/bumping them as well as flat-ironing them straight with no real preference between the two; both result in the same ample fringe that has now become my trademark of sorts.

It's kinda funny to me that I'm up here talking about my bangs and how I cut them when I've been seriously entertaining thoughts of changing up my hairstyle and growing them out.  Hmmm... maybe I'll hold on to them for just a little while longer, huh?  Yeah, I just might do that.  We shall see.

But in the meantime, I hope this tutorial was somewhat informative and not too convoluted.  Cutting your bangs can be highly frustrating and kind of a daunting task.  However, once you find your rhythm after some practice, the style dividends undoubtedly become worth the toil since having a fabulous fringe could be all the change you need to bump your "ho-hum" style up to "simply bangin'"!  And if you've ever slacked on your eyebrow upkeep, a full bang will hide every unplucked sin and keep those caterpillars covered!  It's a win-win smorgasbord!

So, for all those who have been debating taking the plunge, debate no more.  If I can do it, trust me - you can, too!  Grab those scissors, guys, and bang away!