Thursday, November 29, 2012

In lieu

Just wanted to check in with you ladies today! Sorry, but there won't be an actual post on the blog until after this weekend. I have quite a few college applications due by Saturday so I'm devoting most of my internet time to that. In lieu of anything beauty-related, here is some of the artwork I'm putting into my portfolio I'm submitting to colleges. Since I have these images already on hand, I might as well share them with you. I noticed that I hadn't posted much art on the blog lately anyway, so let's see some already, shall we?

For my AP Art concentration, my concept is about beauty products and their effect on a woman's confidence/way she views herself. I'm trying to have the concentration progress from the woman's natural beauty to something completely artificial and ugly. The first two pieces below represent the turning point and the beginning of the concentration, respectively.

Acrylic -- a monster's creeping out!
Watercolor -- the curiosity and seemingly endless choices you get with makeup.

And then here are some miscellaneous pieces I've done in the past year. Still searching for my own specific style, but it seems when it comes to drawing/pen-work, I favor heavy contrasting lines (see cross-contour, stencil, and ice cream pieces).

Micron Pen (cross-contour lines).
Original stencil printed on a matte medium transfer with acrylic paint -- a statement against our Starbucks overlords?
Micron Pen & Pencil -- experimenting with hand-drawn typography.

You may have noticed that not all of my art is as great as I make it to be on this blog (haha). And you might also have noticed that I quite like painting. ;) I'll be back soon (and hopefully I haven't pulled all of my hair out by then)!

Monday, November 26, 2012

But I'm not a Nudist

Back when I first started getting into makeup, the lip colors I was most enamored with were nudes. I remember being swayed toward them by Laura (back then lollipop26 on Youtube), who sported the nude lip so effortlessly. (I might have been sold over by her accent too.) Consequently, I was at the drugstore almost weekly to seek out all these nude lip products to feed my obsession. Yeah, it was that bad.

Nude, nude, nude, nude, nude...

Because of that, I built up a little collection of nude lipsticks and lipglosses. However, they have not been given much love in the past year or two. I'd grown away from nudes, and I now much prefer darker lip colors like reds, berries, and roses. I mean, I would probably never even touch nude lip colors unless I'm wearing heavy eye makeup (which is pretty rare). And so I decided to take an inventory of the nude lip products I owned. Thanks to this, I realize that I actually have a nice variety of nudes.

  1. Korres Cherry Lip Gloss in Nude: This is probably the least nude lip product I own. It's more of a 'my lips but better' shade. It's a redder/rosier nude with gold shimmers, which enhances your natural lip color making your lips appear as if they're nude (bare).
  2. Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipstick in Nude Blush: Like its name suggests, the color is similar to a natural flush of color in your cheeks. Nude Blush is probably my favorite nude lipstick because it is the most wearable, and it's oh so creamy. I need to start wearing this more often.
  3. Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Nude Lustre: Along with Nude Blush, this is my favorite nude lip gloss (it's always been, actually). It's a creme finish with the most subtle, barely barely noticeable, fine shimmer. I love it. Gotta finish this before it goes all bad!
  4. L'Oreal Colour Juice Lip Gloss in Strawberry Smoothie: Not much to say about this one because I've never really used it (got it because it was 75% off) and it's really sheer, but it has a really interesting opalescent finish.
  5. Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipstick in Sugar Plum Ice: This is a pale beige pink with a silver/frosty finish. It's actually really really frosty. But for some reason, I must have used it a lot back then because this is down to almost a nub. Perhaps I'll finish it soon (or try to).
  6. Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude: This is the last nude I ever bought. Everyone had raved about this when it came out, claiming it was the perfect nude nude. In many ways it is, but if I put it on now, I just look dead. It's basically a creamier, slightly pinkier version of the next one, Nude Attitude
  7. Revlon Matte Lipstick in Nude Attitude: Nude Attitude was my go-to lipstick when I wanted to completely blank-out my lips, which explains why it's one of my most-used nudes (along with Sugar Plum Ice). This is a matte, peachy nude. Again, I don't think I'd go for such a nude nude nowadays, but it's nice to have this on hand.

Thanks to this little inventory check, I think I'll go back and finish some of these lipsticks. If not, they'd probably just sit there forever. Might as well mix up my lip color instead of sticking to one all the time. What do you feel about nude lip products? Love them, hate them or just okay with them?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today was Thanksgiving for us Americans. My relatives came over to our little apartment to take part in my mom's annual turkey feast. The air was filled with warmth, conversation, and laughter. I always look forward to this day every year. I'm so very thankful for my family, friends, food, and the roof above my head. 

My mom's never-dry turkey.
Accidentally bought pre-sliced ham this year, oh well.
Surf clam sashimi and garlic + sesame oil-tossed green beans -- there's always a few Asian dishes.
My brother carving the turkey.
My little plate of food.
Almost full!

Cousins brought over homemade creme brulee, yesss!
Of course my brother and I had to do one of those "re-do" photos. I was probably 4 or 5 in that picture. I crouched instead of tip-toeing hahaha. My, have we grown.

It was nice to take a day off and just cook and eat and relax. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with your loved ones (that is, if you celebrate it). What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Faithful Companion

"It's been such a long time, dear friend," I said to Birthday Suit. "Sometimes I feel naked without you."

We embraced and I twisted open her cap to find that her edges had shrunken away. A pang of guilt hit me. I had neglected her and all of my makeup for far too long. Having met her three years ago, when the Benefit Creasless Cream Eyeshadows had just come out, Birthday Suit had been a constant presence in my makeup routine. That was, until I'd decided to take a break from makeup. 

I had always been fond of her. I'd crack a smile every time I caught a glimpse of her wearing her cute, dove-patterned lid. In the beginning of the hiatus, I'd open my drawer just to swatch her on my hand ever so often. But then, after a while, I left her alone. She just sat there, staring out wistfully from inside my drawer. It would be months, even a year before I lay my fingers on her again.

And when I finally did, she showed me what exactly she was made of. Even after all this time, she was the same lightweight, smooth, and creamy eyeshadow she was the first time we encountered each other. She had shrunk a little, but she was still that beautiful shimmery pale taupe I had fallen in love with in the first place. She was still my one and only, Birthday Suit.

Her smile was just the same as ever. It was bright. And it shone with gold sparkles here and there. Just like always. I found myself inevitably drawn to her yet again. We began to talk. She told me about how she loved watching me grow up, even if it was a little bittersweet. I told her about how much I wanted to have her with me everyday, on my eyes, but I just couldn't find the time.

We talked it out, then she reached for my hand. And she laid down onto the back of my hand, as comfortable as ever. I rocked my hand back and forth, and she smiled her same old illuminating smile at me. I smiled back, enchanted again by her beauty. Soon, we were talking and laughing and joking like old friends. 

Now, we're inseparable, just like me and my very own birthday suit.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Birchbox

My November Birchbox has arrived! It arrived one day after it was shipped, which I was rather impressed about. This month's box was all about giving. Birchbox is supporting a non-profit called The Art of Elysium with this, and I found that pretty flippin' cool. The organization encourages actors, artists, designers, and musicians to volunteer their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.

Like I said, pretty flippin' cool.

And again I am enamored by the perfect packaging design this company has -- gah, the polka dots! The products definitely met the expectations I set after last month's box. Let's take a look at what I received for this box.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray ($25): What a generous and cute sample! I've heard great things about this line, so I'm really excited to try it. Especially now that I am more fluent in my hair-prettying abilities.

One of the products I was most excited about after watching their sneak peak video was the Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer ($20), and it is indeed very very pretty! There's such an opulent pinky-gold shimmer/glow to it.

Next is the Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector ($58): This is such a pleasant surprise! I'm always looking for good spot treatments, and this is a pretty decent-size sample so I'm definitely going to give this baby a go. 

Packaged with a cute postcard was Atelier Cologne's Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue ($75-$195). It had such a fancy name, so I immediately thought that this would be a more mature scent. A quick sniff later and my assumption was confirmed; it's a little too strong for me.

Last, but certainly not least, was a little packet of a Potato Chip Chocopod from Chuao Chocolatier ($7.95)! Chocolate covered potato chips? Um, hell to the yeah!

I thought the postcard was too cute.

There was a little back story to the photograph and perfume:
"She turned the dial until the safe opened, revealing the diamond. She had stolen jewels before, but none compared with this one. She left a single rose and the scent of her perfume in its place for him to find. In a moment she'd be halfway around the world and he would be in pursuit. The chase began again..."
Albeit a little cheesy, I'll leave you on that note. I'm very pleased with this month's Birchbox and I really look forward to December's. Do you subscribe to the any of these sample box programs? What are your opinions of them? Let me know what you think! ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Five Things

It's been a while since my last Five Things post (...again), huh? I'm not sure why it took me this long to get one up the past two months, but well, here are a few things that are making me smile lately (in the midst of all the applying-to-college madness).

{My makeup drawers are messy for once.}
{Been listening to MIKA's new album non-stop.}
{Mmm, pita chips. Need I say more?}
{Trying to get some tips from the watercolor bible.}
{Been living in boots lately.}

So those are my "five things" as of late. I hope you're all having a lovely day. What are some things that have been tooting your horn lately?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Purples are Gray-t!

It was just another boring day in Maggie's room but then she decided to put makeup on!

I wanted to do a darker eye/fall-into-winter look, so by default I turned to purple eyeshadows. And well, I thought purple would be a good color for this kind of look anyway. Plus, I wanted to use my MAC Moth Brown that I got from Dovey, hehe.

In addition to Moth Brown, I also used a L'Oreal Infallible in Sahara Treasure that I got from Jian a while back. Next to Moth Brown, it turned into this lovely grayish-brown as opposed to its usual gold-bronze nature. Such an unexpected, but pleasant turn of events!

Even though my eyes were a little bit more dramatic, I thought red lips would still go well with the look. I really didn't want to do nude lips. That weird expressionless picture of me on the right was supposed to show off the perfect flush my Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine gives me!

Why yes, I do have weird bottom dimples.

To intensify the look, I used Urban Decay's Frigid to deepen the outer v, and to balance all the darkness, I popped on L'Oreal Iced Latte in the inner corners. Products used:

  • Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Birthday Suit
  • L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Sahara Treasure & Iced Latte
  • MAC Eyeshadow in Moth Brown
  • Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Frigid
  • Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace
  • L'Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner in Violet Volt
  • Max Factor 2000 Calorie Dramatic Look Mascara in Black (thanks Jian!)
  • Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine
  • NARS lipstick in Flamenco

Alas! Maggie would have been all dolled up with nowhere to go...but she did have somewhere to go. And she had forgotten that she'd run out of makeup wipes, so she ended up going out to dinner with her parents with all of that on (well, sans red lips)!? It was a lot more makeup than she was used to, but her parents said it was pretty (for once), so perhaps it won't be too bad if she were to wear something like this more often?

Yeah, I don't know why I'm speaking in the third person either.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Colors Around the House

So today I would like to introduce to you a new series on my blog, Colors Around the House. Basically, it's like my Color Play and Theme Play posts, except these posts will be inspired by things around my house. The objects in our houses can become forgotten, mundane, and everyday, so in an effort to rediscover the gems and lovely things around my house, I thought I'd take them and relate them to makeup -- something I forget about sometimes as well.

Also, it'll be a nice little activity for me to point out the things that make up my house before I leave for college next year. I'll start this off with three things around my house that aren't necessarily forgotten, but it'll do for now (because the things I might find later on could potentially be a little weird): my taupe circle scarf, blue denim shirt, and red heart-shaped sunglasses.

The knit/texture of the scarf really comes through here, doesn't it?

My love for taupes has spread from makeup to clothes and accessories. My knit circle scarf being one of them, I wanted to see if I had any makeup colors like it. Calvin Klein's Sensuous Taupe (line now discontinued) was the first to come to mind. Similar to my scarf, it's a warmer, browner taupe but with a satin finish. Next was Essie's Mochachino nail polish. It has the similar depth as my scarf, but just a little cooler. I wanted to show how taupes are often very purple, so I took out a neglected KATE trio in PU-2 as well. It's a very gray-toned purple color palette, so I thought it fit in pretty nicely.

Just sittin' cozily in the pocket.

Another item I pulled from my house is this much-loved denim shirt. It was actually my mom's from the 90's, but now it's mine since she doesn't wear it anymore. It's faded and worn so well -- it goes well with everything! Inspired by the more masculine look and fit of the shirt, I took out the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Lemon & Chamomile. I also picked out Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Le Bleu de Jim and L'Oreal HiP Pigment in Valiant to show the variations of blue in a denim shirt.

My window shades look kinda scary in the reflection.

My heart-shaped sunglasses have just been sitting around since summer ended, but every time I see them, I instantly smile. Just the sight of the sunnies are so cheerful, so I thought I'd pick out some cheerful reds. As NARS Flamenco lipstick is my only red lipstick, it had to go in. It's a juicy red that can be sheer or built up. The other two are deep, but bright colors: Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Enchanted and Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine. Enchanted applies like a balm as a reddish-pink, but stains to be a light red color. Plum Wine is a deep plummy red, but is still very vibrant and lively.

So, what do you think about this new series? The idea struck me this morning when I looked at those sunglasses above. I can't wait to show you some of the other knick-knacks I find in my home. It's really interesting to see how the things we're attached to can be right next to things we're not. What are some objects in your house that strikes up inspiration? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall, I heart.

Goin' all Yoda on the tag title. ;)

Why yes! I am giving in and doing the I Heart Fall tag that is taking Youtubeland/the blogosphere by storm right now (like Hurricane Sandy, eh?). You may have noticed my love for the season already, if you've been following my blog, but I thought I might as well partake in this fun little tag anyway.

First, let's put some toasty music on to warm us up before we read this tag. Let it simmer in the background while we read, shall we?

The song is Tourist by Yuna, a Malaysian singer-songwriter. Her voice is just like silk, isn't it?

1. Favorite Fall lip product? I don't know 'bout y'all, just being practical here, but it would have to be my Burt's Bees lip balm. It gets mighty cold up here, especially in the morning when I have to wait outside for the bus to get to school, so keeping my lips moisturized is my favorite thing to do (hah!).

2. Favorite Fall Nail Polish? I only recently got into nail polishes, but I think from the four I own, Essie's Mochachino would be the best fall nail polish. It is a lovely taupe with silver shimmers. See my full post here.

3. Favorite Starbucks Fall Drink? I used to be addicted to Starbucks, but thank goodness I curbed that. I still treat myself to their yearly holiday drinks, though. But before that comes around, I'd probably get a hot chocolate here and there. 
Perhaps I need to give that Pumpkin Spice Latte a go first?

4. Favorite Fall Candle?
 Not really a candle person, but I really like the smells of mint or cinnamon.

5. Favorite Fall Scarf or accessory: This taupe-colored knit circle scarf I got at Banana Republic last year. It was pretty reasonably priced, and it keeps my neck so warm! It matches with almost everything too, which is awesome. Another favorite fall accessory would have to be my beanies!

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
 I'm a bit of a scaredy cat, so I'd probably go with the haunted hay ride. You get to stay in a moving vehicle, right?

7. Favorite Halloween movie? 
Definitely definitely It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Hands down, the best. So adorable and timeless.

8. Favorite candy to eat on Halloween? 
Mmm, probably the leftover candy that I don't pass out, haha! I like Twix, Reese's, and Skittles. All candy is my weakness actually.

9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?!
 Well, that passed already...and it's still fall so I'll answer anyway?! I dressed up as a hipster panda for Halloween. I was rather satisfied with my costume actually, go see it here if you haven't already.

10. What is your Favorite thing about Fall? I'm pretty sure y'all know that I favor a lot of things about fall. The warm, vibrant colors in the trees warm me up on any cold day. It's the season where hot drinks finally feel right. I get to bundle up in layers (I really enjoy this actually). The brisk air. And of course, it's the wonderful precursor to winter, my favorite season of them all. See some of my fall posts here and here.

What's your favorite thing about fall? If you haven't already, you should totally do this tag! (That is if you like fall, though.) (And also if it's fall in your neck of the woods right now.) (Too many parantheses.) Speaking of winter, WE JUST GOT OUR FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON HERE TODAY! Exciting, I know. :D

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Overcast Blues

The past two weeks here in Boston have been gray and rainy. The ever-present clouds made me appreciate the little peeks of blue sky even more than usual. Clouds really do have their own kind of beauty. Their different shapes, sizes, and intensities can really make a day feel gloomy or cheery. They could be an eerie sign of forthcoming rain. Or they could just be stray clouds wandering the bright blue sky.

Another snap from last week's little hike.

It was a beautifully, clear, cloudless sky today, though, which made me miss them a little bit. I thought I'd put together some colors to remind me of the skies of yesterday.

I pulled together a few dark, cool-toned eyeshadows. They consisted of blues, grays, taupes, and a few other muted colors. There was nothing too loud in the colors I picked out. There's always this fragile serenity to clouds, so I used that conceptualize my colors.

  1. Avon Big Color Eye Pencil in Bluesmoke: Like the name suggests, this is a nice, deep navy blue with this gray smokiness to it. I think this would create the perfect navy blue smokey eye along with Revlon's Matte eyeshadow in Riviera Blue (3).
  2. MAC Pigment in Deep Blue Green: This is one heck of a pigment. It has a rich, deep bluish-charcoal base, but then it also has this gorgeous teal duochrome that makes it just so pretty.
  3. Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Riviera Blue: I remember I thought these eyeshadows were the bomb when they came out. Oh silly young, makeup noob me. It's a nice, deep gray-blue color in the pan, but applies so unevely.
  4. Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Frigid: In the pan, Frigid looks like a very promising, unique indigo color. However, it applies more purple rather than indigo. I still quite like it, though, because it's still a really different color. 
  5. MAC Eyeshadow in Moth Brown: I received this from Dovey this past week. I've never had much luck with giveaways, so this was such a pleasant surprise! Moth Brown definitely did not disappoint. It's this complex purple-gray-taupe that's so darn pretty, she explains it better here.
  6. MAC Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe: Between the two cooler taupes, Satin Taupe looks so much more brown. It adds a layer of complexity to the colors I gathered.
  7. Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Quad in Sandstorm (the last shade): This is a deep, almost completely gray taupe. This really reminds me of dark rain clouds.
  8. Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit: I thought the group needed a little light, and this was the best fit. As a champagne color, though, it's not too bright nor too dark, which was perfect here.
  9. Rimmel Lipstick in Airy Fairy: This is a cool-toned, mauve-pink with a gold sheen. It's such a unique shade because the color itself is very cool, but the gold sheen warms it up and creates a lovely lip color.
  10. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle: What's a fall/cloudy color palette without a deep lip color? This is like my beloved Revlon Soft Rose's younger sister! It's a browny-rose pink that I just adore.
Is it just me, or would 5, 6, 7, and 8 make a lovely quad? I'd totally buy it.

Some close-ups of the swatches.

(I was too lazy to swatch it on my nails.)

Also, befitting with the theme is this Essie nail polish in Power Clutch. It's a rich, charcoal color -- totally reminiscent of smoke and dark clouds. 

The other goodies she packed into the package.

I really want to thank Dovey for hosting such an awesome giveaway and for being so generous with the samples! As you can tell already, I'm lovin' Moth Brown. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. It's been a while since I last played with some colors, huh? Have a great rest of the weekend! :)