Friday, November 20, 2015

Birthday Babe

And so another week has come and gone.  It was a pretty good week for me, too.  I got a lot done, had some fun... yadda, yadda, yadda.  But, as good as it was, it doesn't hold a candle to the seven days prior during which I celebrated the anniversary of my very first appearance here on this Earth.  Yes, it was my birthday week and I took full advantage of everything the day afforded me, including rounding up some freebies from a few observant outlets.  So, if you have a moment to spare, I'd love to tell you about one of my b-day steals.  It's a glossy beauty from bareMinerals called Marvelous Moxie in the shade, appropriately named, Birthday Babe. 

Marvelous Moxie is a line of hydrating lipglosses from mineral-based makeup giant bareMinerals.  Keeping in line with other offerings from the brand, these lip lacquers are free of parabens and sulfates, relying instead on natural ingredients like shea and avocado butters to smooth lips and provide high shine.  Birthday Babe is a mid-tone, semi-sheer coral with visible multi-colored shimmer.  Fitted with a doe foot applicator, it glides on smoothly, is somewhat tacky and has a sweet, minty scent that translates to a slight tingle on the lips.

Now, even though I know this shade of gloss is not particularly unique (I believe I may have two dupes in my collection already), I do have to say that I am genuinely fond of it.  It did keep my lips feeling hydrated way after it had worn off and was an easy wear.  Besides, it was a full-sized freebie (WOW!) and will you just look at the packaging?  They wished me a happy birthday and even called me gorgeous!  I mean, you can't beat that, can you?  No.  I don't think so. 

So this glammy gloss goes right in the #WIN pile for me - a solid A+.  One caveat: Birthday Babe is an Ulta exclusive only being offered to birthday babes who are signed up for their rewards program.  But no need for dismay as bareMinerals has a comparable shade already in its Marvelous Moxie lineup.  And if sparkly coral doesn't float you boat, they have an array of hues that may tickle your fickle fancy instead.   Either way, if you're into lipglosses, these definitely deserve a look-see and I'm so glad I was able to pick one up! #HappyBirthdayToME!

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss is available at Ulta and Sephora, and retails for $18.   

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rebels With A Cause

Hey, guys!  Well, no sense in me beating around the mulberry bush and/or trying to play coy, so I'll just jump right into it with both feet: this past week was a very good week for me.  Besides getting a lot done as far as furthering some personal plans, B-Boy (aka Birthday Boy) and I took a much needed timeout to indulge in a week-long helping of sporadic shenanigans.  Oh, you know how we do; it was a total mash up of food, frivolity and fun that ran well into the week's end.  Yes, we were a couple of rebels with a cause... and here's just a small sampling of some of the "trouble" we were able to get into.

Now, I hardly ever order takeout or go out to eat during most weeks, opting for a casual chow down at home instead.  However, all that usually goes out the window when B-Boy is involved and last week was certainly no exception.  Before hooking up with my "partner in crime", I treated myself to a guilty pleasure that had been invading my daydreams for some time now: orange chicken with a side of fried rice.  Generally speaking, Chinese food is not my customary go-to, but when it comes to this particular dish, I easily (and eagerly) fall victim to its savory siren song every time.

In addition to going to the movies to see the latest Bond flick Spectre, we also tooled around a few shops, including one of my favorite stomping grounds - Sephora.  B-Boy patiently lingered outside its doors while I ogled some of their shoppers' rewards.

You guys know how infatuated I am with collecting miniature versions of perfumes, so this reward I found especially interesting.  However, despite having plenty of points to cover the tab, I didn't bite.  I decided to hold out for something better and wait.  I don't know what I'm waiting for, but I'm waiting nonetheless.  Oh, and speaking of biting... 

I almost missed out on taking this picture as I was elbow-deep in my mission of shoveling this huge portion of fried calamari down my impatient throat.  OH. EM. GEE.  This calamari was so G.O.O.D!  I am so serious, y'all.  I love seafood and this delectable delight rides high on my list of all time faves.

Now, the calamari was just the appetizer... the prelude to the main course, you see.  And what a course it was!  To those familiar with my previous exploits, it's nothing new: fried catfish with mashed red potatoes and corn.  In lieu of broccoli as the green veggie, this time it was accompanied by string beans.  I'm not a fan of string beans at all, but its appearance on my plate did little to hamper my overall eating experience.  #YUM!

And while I'm stuffing my face with both hands, guess who ordered the lighter, greener fare?  Yes, it was a total gender role reversal that night!  Just to be clear, I am not an "Oh, I'll just have a salad" type of girl.  When I go out to eat, I EAT!  So while I'm in full-on Hungry Jack mode, it was B-Boy who played the "demure damsel" and noshed only on lettuce and cucumbers... and tomatoes... and some other healthy stuff.  Yeah.  I was a little surprised, but hey, that's what he wanted.  #BOOORING!  #Zzzzz!

And you know I had to top the night off with some sugar, honey!  Since my favorite pineapple upside down version wasn't available, I put an exclamation mark on the night's feast with a hunk of vanilla bean cheesecake, complete with a seismic dollop-ing of whipped cream.  Oh, my!  It was heaven on a plate.  I mean, I actually heard white robed angels singing gospels of praise while I slowly savored each bite in my mouth.  (OK, I didn't actually hear angels singing, but you get my drift.)  It was de-LISH!

So there you have it!  I had an awesome week, which was spent with awesome company eating super-dee-duper awesome food!  I mean, what more could you ask for?  Bonnie and Clyde were back at it again; two rebels on a mission to indulge in some gastro-centric mischief (as well as other delights).  And based on the evidence gathered, I think it's pretty safe to label this latest venture as #MISSIONACCOMPLISHED!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hair Love: CHI Iron Guard

OK, so I had been hearing about this product for quite awhile.  My sister, whose hairdresser uses it on her coif, is an ardent fan.  Now, I've said time and time again that I'm not on the lookout for any new hair products; when it comes to my hair, less is more and I've already locked in my star staples.  But you know how the story goes: cat, curiosity... et cetera, et cetera.  So I indulged and then deliberately waited two wash cycles just to be sure.  And now I'm ready to properly spill the beans on it.  It's CHI's 44 Iron Guard and guess what?  I really, REALLY like it!


Packaged in a fire engine red bottle that's signature to the brand, 44 Iron Guard is a hair thermal protectant from CHI - a company well-known for its fleet of flat irons as well as other tools and haircare products.  44 Iron Guard is formulated to help guard tresses against potential damage from heated tools while imparting a high impact shine and hairspray-like hold to styled 'dos.  It's a 3-in-1 dynamo that uses a fine mist of positively charged silk molecules to help build on the hair's strength and moisture from the inside out.


Now, I have to admit that I was a little scared to use a spray on my hair as a styling agent/heat protectant since I've been relying (successfully) on a serum after all these years.  So I did a blend of half 'n' half - using the spray as a base with a touch of serum on top before using my flat iron... and as far as I'm concerned, it lives up to its hype!  Along with the shine, it has awesome style memory as it kept my 'do looking fresh until it was time to wash it again.  I even tried it on its own (on a few sections), always spraying the Guard on my hand first then working it through my hair and it performed equally as well; however, I garnered a little more shine pairing it with the serum (understandably so).  Either way, my hair felt light and unencumbered, never crunchy or stiff as you only need a small amount to get the job done.     

So there you have it!  No, I do not NEED another hair product in my life... but, yes, this one's a keeper!  Worth noting to those sensitive to such things: Iron Guard does have a dissipating fragrance that I, personally, would describe as pleasantly modest.  And true to its name, not one hair on my head was scorched or damaged while using it, so - needless to say -  I really like this spray!  Yepper, CHI 44 Iron Guard is quite the brilliant performer and is going to fit in nicely as an added "gun" to my arsenal of hair products.  #WINNING! 

CHI 44 Iron Guard can be found at Walmart and Ulta, and retails for around $15/8.5 fl oz; $6/2 fl oz.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Project Pan: The Round Up

I know it's long overdue, but I promise you that I didn't forget.  For months now I've been holding out on giving the final status of my Project Pan "project" because I really wanted to make more of a measurable impact on the products, but at the rate I'm progressing I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon.  So, without further ado, I'm just going to "give up the tapes" and share with y'all a quick rundown of the end results.

The GOOD: MAC's Cranberry Eyeshadow -  Well, I've honestly been making a go at this one because I really like the shade.  Now, I can't say that I've been using it often because I haven't, especially on the eyes.  However, I have occasionally worn it on my lips with a gloss or as a complement to a lipstick and feel that it's an absolute stunner in its re-purposed role, which leaves me with high hopes for Cranberry.  The winter months are right around the corner and, like clockwork, everything of the "berry persuasion" will be on full display, so I have no doubt that I will have ample opportunity to make a real dent in this frosty looker.

The "OK": False Lashes - It's not that I don't like them.  To the contrary, I think they're rather fun.  I think because my homegrown lashes are pretty thick and curly on their own is why I find them kinda uncomfortable to wear.  And so I don't.  And even though plenty of women wear them as everyday fare, I would prefer to rock them for special outings... but haven't attended anything that would warrant such eye dressings in quite awhile, so there's that, too.  So, outside the one time I did a look with the Wispies, I have not made much progress with these at all. 

The "I Give Up": MAC's Dollymix - I can't even fake the funk with this one anymore, guys.  I tried and TRIED to like this blush and even made an effort to incorporate it into more looks, but to no avail.  I just don't like it.  Nope.  You know how certain items have the power to put a smile on your face just by looking at them?  Or how the simple fact that you even own a particular product or thing can ignite in you a sense of pleasure?  Well, Dollymix does neither for me.  It doesn't get me excited AT ALL.  I try my best to avoid it, ignore it.  Therefore, I think I'm officially done.  Yep.  I haven't been makeup shopping in a few moons, but when I finally make my way to a MAC counter I think I'll be trading this blusher in via their Back-to-MAC program (if they still have it!) for something more exciting.  A new lippy perhaps?  Sounds good to me!

So there you have it - the final lowdown on my Project Pan showdown!  And while I didn't make all the progress I had initially intended on making, I can't say that I'm completely disappointed.  I freely give myself a modicum of credit for at least making the effort to use some of the things I had long ignored.  Besides, playing in makeup is hardly an arduous, joyless task, so I can't exactly say that I'm any worse for wear because of it.  But the files on this Project Pan are now closed, making room for a possible second round of untouched products to be explored further?  Hmm... we'll see.  We shall definitely see...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Report: Feelin' Blue

Hey, guys.  Well, no sense in me mincing words and such - yesterday was a pretty horrible day for me.  Everything that could have gone wrong, did... and with a vengeance.  Broke one of my fave eyeshadow palettes?  Yep!  Hurt my finger trying to clean up the mess?  Yes, ma'am!  Liquid eyeliner stalled out on me midway through lining my second eye and couldn't find a replacement in time?  Check!  Nearly jacked up a project I had been working on and had to start from scratch?  Checkity-check!  Needless to say, I'll be starting my weekend early.  So I'm going to fight fire with fire and cure my blues by swabbing my lids with an ash-blue I talked about not too long ago.  Yesterday is already a memory.  It's time to start this weekend off anew!

This weekend warrior-princess is going to keep her war paint pretty simple.  I will be complementing a heaping of MAC's Love Lace with some wines and berries... and topping it off with a soft cat eye.  It'll be small, though.  More of a kitten eye, if you will.  When it's all said and done, my peepers will be looking like this:  

On my cheeks will be a pairing of a dirty bordeaux cream blush from L'Oreal HIP called Tempting and the pastel pink side from Stila's trio Lyric.  The latter is actually an eyeshadow, but I'll be using it to bring some tinted light to my cheekbones.  I plan on neutralizing my lips with Revlon's Soft Nude, topping them off with a lacquering of MAC's C-Thru Lipglass.  Once I'm done primping, I should end up looking like this:

So there you have it!  I am so happy it's Friday (and so thankful for Saturday and Sunday!) that I really don't know what to do with myself.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I know exactly what I'm going to do with myself.  I'm going to relax... do ME... and press the reset button before the start of the next week. 

Yep, yesterday's a memory now and I'm no longer feeling blue... but I AM feelin' the blue that I'm rockin'.  And it's feelin' - and lookin' - real good, if I do say so myself!    

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Report: Warm Autumn

Hey, guys!  Well, it's official.  We have officially crossed the seasonal threshold and entered into the vestibule of fall.  Not too hot, not too cold, it's one of my favorite times of the year.  So to help usher in the cooler months ahead, I decided to jump right into the swing of things and "autumnize" my weekend look by bathing my face in a wash of oranges, rusts and browns.  And I knew just the eyeshadow palette to recruit for such an occasion...

MAC's Call Me Bubbles has sat in my stash untouched for quite some time now, so I'm pretty proud of myself for having finally broken it in.  With its array of orange tones, I painted my lids with all of its shades except for the the cantaloupe in the bottom left-hand corner (Full of Flavor).  In addition to a primer, I used the tangerine-orange out of Revlon's Eternal Summer cream shadow quad as well as L'Oreal HIP's brown cream liner as color boosters to help add a little "nutmeg" to my soft, "pumpkin" eye.

To finish off my face, I used a dab of MAC's Format blush on the apples of my cheeks and tip of my nose, allowing my CoverGirl Queen's bronzer to take most of the credit for bringing life to my face via a soft contour.  And I went dark with my lips, opting for a rich mahogany from Prestige called Pudding with a highlight of orange in the middle of my pout, leaving my face to look like this:


Well, there you have it!  I am all pumped up and ready for fall, y'all!  And I didn't realize until I started prepping for this weekend that, even with all the variants that I own, I have never worn orange as the main color on my eyes before.  NEVER!  Wow, I gotta do better.  And with the new season spurring me on, I most certainly will. 

So here's to having an awesome autumn!  And my season opener of traditional oranges and browns notwithstanding, I look forward to rocking a bevy of bolds and brights these upcoming months.  You know how I do.  (Wink, wink!)