Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Barbie: Rosie O'Donnell

Last week, Barbie announced some significant changes regarding its fashion doll line.  Already the hardest working doll in the toy business with a wealth of cultures and nationalities deeply embedded in the collection, they are further diversifying the brand by including a new line of dolls with an expanded range of eye colors, skin tones and even body types - the latter garnering the most attention.  In addition to Barbie's traditionally lithe, model-esque body shape, the Fashionistas Line will also offer a tall, petite and curvy version of the beauty.  It's a move that left many shocked and surprised (pleasantly), but I wasn't.  I knew that these were waters that had been previously chartered.  Long before "curvy" Barbie, there was Rosie - a Barbie made in the likeness of well-known "funny girl" Rosie O'Donnell.  Full-figured with her signature smile to match, she was a perfect replica of the star... and a welcomed visual departure from its usual celebrity iterations.        

Best known as the brash "wise-cracker" Doris in A League of Her Own, Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell has quite the entertainment resume.  With prominent roles on both the big and small screen, the Long Island-born comedienne even helmed her own talk show - a snapshot in time that has been dutifully captured with this doll.  From her signature pantsuit and sneakers to her microphone and additional accoutrements, every detail has been provided and accounted for.

Even the back of the box has been recruited for the sake of authenticity, displaying a full mockup of the set of her talk show to serve as a backdrop during playtime.

Keeping in line with the raven-haired entertainer's simple approach to aesthetics, Rosie's makeup is kept to a minimum; her brown eyes are lightly lined in a burnt sienna, allowing her lips to take center stage in a bright cherry-red.

So there you have it!  When they made the Rosie O'Donnell Barbie, they broke the mold... and defied convention.  Long before all the hubbub over "Curvy", there was Rosie - a doll that lauded the comic's achievements as well as her physical attributes.  It's a doll that acknowledges and celebrates the fact that women come in all sizes.  It's a doll that served as the precursor of what was to come...  And I'm so glad to have her in my collection! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Flashback: Expensive Pink

To utter that the last couple of weeks for me have been super saturated with work would be a gross understatement.  Besides my normal, everyday tasks, I've been inundated with an ever changing list of "to-do's" that have even sabotaged my free time.  You guys, I haven't even had a chance to play in my makeup!  *gasp*  Perish the thought, right?  So, needless to say, I'm long overdue.  And while I still haven't gotten my full Picasso on (yet!), I did take a moment to traipse down memory lane to find some inspiration.  It's an oldie, but goodie.  It's a true beauty.  It's Expensive Pink from MAC.

Expensive Pink is a duochrome eyeshadow that offers plenty of flash in its pan.  A colorful marriage of blush pink and a sunburst gold, it is a favorite amongst MAC aficionados and with good reason: it's not only potently pigmented, but buttery smooth to the touch and lends a gorgeous lustre to the lid via its high pearl finish, which - in MAC-speak - is considered a Veluxe Pearl.

Yes, yes, yes, y'all... I can already feel it!  With my creative hand heavily encouraged by this pretty, polished pearl, I feel fairly confident in saying that Expensive Pink will probably be my next indulgence as far as lid painting goes.  It's a staple that has earned its position in the ranks of "must-haves" from MAC - a solid winner in my book - and I'm so glad to have it in my cosmetic collection!

MAC Expensive Pink is available at Macy's and MAC boutiques, and retails for $10/pan; $16/pot.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Kiss Goodbye

Hey, guys!  How was everyone's holiday?  Mine was pretty darn good!  I took some much needed time off and spent it doing some things I wanted to do with some people I wanted to do it with.  I also, in between all the merrymaking, took some time out to reflect, recharge and renew.  I remember feeling a touch of ambivalence when 2015 rolled around because I knew that since I was still trying to figure a few things out that I would have to devote a good portion of my time to carefully planting seeds - seeds that were dormant for quite a while due to a lack of fertile ground in which to sow them.  Now, just to be clear, I don't mind hard work - that doesn't bother me at all.  I'm just used to having more details to work off of and I simply didn't have that this time around.  I had the WHAT, but not the WHERE nor the HOW, which gave me considerable pause and allowed my once viable soil to be sabotaged and grow dry.  And so I worked.  Boy, did I work!  I got on my hands and knees, pulled up those weeds of doubt and apprehension and tilled the soil until it was ready.  And then I planted.  I spent my 2015 pushing through all my prior misgivings and planted seeds both big and small.  I planted and cultivated and watered and tilled...

And now I'm ready to reap!

Goodbye, 2015!  My year of toil now over, I humbly gave it a wet, juicy kiss goodbye - along with a couple of pats on its behind for good measure - and sent it on its way.  Hello, 2016!  With much anticipation and wide open arms, I welcome this new year as I am now ready for my harvest!  Although all my crops are not going to peak all at the same time, this is my season to witness some of the fruits of my labor.   And I can already see the first class of buds slowly appearing before the bloom...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Silver Belles

'Tis the season, y'all!  With the holidays quickly rounding the bend,  I figured I'd do a little rifling through my stash to see what kind of pomp and circumstance I would decorate my face with to match the upcoming festivities.  I knew that I wanted to forgo any greens, reds, and even golds this time around; I wanted something that could go from zero to one-hundred in no time flat if desired as well as offered a little bit of a "tinsel" factor without any assisting accoutrements.  Well, it didn't take me long to decide on just what shadow(s) to recruit for the job.  I decided to go with two silver beauties and - at the risk of sounding like a broken record - I will tell you that neither of them have I ever worn before.  But no matter.  Looks like I'll be wearing them real soon.  So if you have a few moments to spare, I'd love to show what I picked.  They're two standards from MAC - Knight and Electra.


Knight (renamed Knight Divine) is a sooty, charcoal-tinged silver that hails from MAC's permanent line of eyeshadows.  It is nicely pigmented and has a pearl finish (Veluxe Pearl in MAC-speak).  Although it falls underneath the Veluxe Pearl banner, I will say that it is not as soft as some of the other VPs I own.  Not sure how its current iteration Knight Divine compares, but Knight has a slightly drier texture and a more muted shine, but does performs well on the eye nonetheless. 

Now this shiny gem I have yapped about before.  It is Electra and it is an icy-gray silver.  It, too, is packed with pigment and performs very well on the eye.  It is slippery smooth to the touch and has a frost finish.

Knight (top), Electra (bottom)
So there you have it - a quick peek at what I'll probably be donning on my eyes this coming week.  Eh, it's nothing new, fancy or sparkly, but definitely has the strength to elicit a celebratory state of mind when done the right way.

Yep, I've decided to make way down to "Tinseltown" by way of two silvery O.G.'s of the M.A.C.  I plan on making (and keeping) this holiday fuss-free, but drama-full... using a collaboration of light and dark to get my creative point across.  Holiday window dressings for the eyes - DONE!     

But what about the rest of my face?  Hmm... gotta figure that out.  I'm juggling a few ideas over here, but we will see...  We will most definitely see!

MAC Knight (Knight Divine) and Electra are available at Macys, MAC boutiques and, and retail for $16 each.


Friday, December 4, 2015

NARS Lip Pencils

Hey, guys!  OK, so I didn't even bother feasting on the buffet of sales Black Friday had to offer this year.  Participating and becoming a part of the annual stampede of ravenous shoppers just didn't interest me this go 'round.  But far from having a case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), I'm happy to report that I had my appetite for beauty bargains sated the week prior.  In addition to the lip gloss Birthday Babe, I was also able to cop a set of lip pencils that I'm absolutely over the moon for.  Some of you may already be familiar with them, but for the uninitiated... well, I just gotta spill the beans!  So, if you have a few moments, I'd love to share with you my thoughts on NARS' Lip Pencils in Rikugien and Cruella. 

Every year, Sephora offers up little birthday freebies to those who are enrolled in its buyers' rewards program and this year's perk is an exceptional plus - two mini NARS Lip Pencils.  Short on size but long on color, this diminutive duo is a great sampling of the range of hues as well as the finishes available from the line (Velvet Matte and Satin).  These crayon-like lipsticks boast rich emollients, including vitamin E and silicon, to help keep lips from drying out during wear and aid in achieving a "smooth like buttah" application.

First up is Rikugien, which is described as a "rose-pink".  It's a gorgeous, muted nude/natural with a Satin finish that felt super smooth during application and very comforting on my pout.  Nicely pigmented, it offered just a hint of shine with no discernible taste.  It did have what I would call a faint "ingredient" smell, which I didn't find off putting and did not transfer to the lips at all.


Second out of the pack is Cruella, which is a burnt blue-red.  It is potently pigmented and, true to its Velvet Matte moniker, the shimmer-/shine-free finish felt ├╝ber plush during application and wear.  It glided across my lips with ease without a tug or pull in sight.  Again, no discernible taste, but a faint "ingredient" smell. 

RiRi Woo (top), Cruella (bottom)

Out of curiosity, I lined it up next to MAC's infamous blue-red Ruby Woo (I have Rihanna's version RiRi Woo) and - as you can see - Cruella is darker, Woo is much brighter.  No dupe here.  Curiosity cured!

Rikugien (top), Cruella (bottom)

Well, there you have it!  You can safely color me impressed with this one, guys.  I mean it!  These NARS lippies are legit and definitely kept my lips feeling moisturized and soft.  The wear is so comfortable, even the matte, that it honestly felt like I was wearing nothing at all.  Both had nice staying power, however, they did fade significantly after eating.  But that's nothing that a little underpinning of lip liner can't solve.  So if your lips are in need of some hydrating, color therapy and you're in the market for yet another lip product, you may wanna give these lip pencils from NARS a look-see.  They come in a slew of arresting shades and would be a merited addition to any makeup maven's collection!

NARS Lip Pencil in Rikugien and Cruella are available at Sephora and, and retail for $26.      

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.