Monday, January 20, 2014

Wedding Blog: Otherwise Engaged

Hi Everyone! Taking a break from makeup here to tell you about the launch of a new blog... Otherwise Engaged, a blog where I'll track my wedding planning experience. I know I haven't been the best at updating this blog regularly, so no promises as to where Otherwise Engaged will go, but I wanted to have some place to record the experience and voice some opinions. I expect there to be opinion pieces, how-to's, as well as general posts about the latest wedding-related decisions we've been making.

The last wedding I went to left me scarred... No, really. I cut my lip on a wine glass. Will I survive my own?
I know I may be biased, but I expect it to have a different tone than a lot of blogs charting wedding planning. For one, I work in the industry, so my view of things may be a bit different. Secondly, I am really ambivalent about a lot of the wedding industry and I'm not having a super typical OR super off-beat wedding. I'm not having a $60k, 200 guest wedding, I'm not getting married in a rustic-chic-DIY barn, but I am pretty detail oriented and neurotic. There are definitely moments where I feel like I am at war with myself during wedding planning for a number of reasons; the feminist in me is appalled that a dress can be so important, the broke grad student in me is upset that cake costs so much, and I really do take issue with the idea that once you get engaged, it's ok for people to define you by your relationship, and to define your relationship by the dollar value of your engagement ring. I talk to a lot of brides in my line of work, and I know that my ideas, while not radical by my standards, aren't exactly mainstream, either. There have got to be more people who think like me when it comes to weddings and the planning process, and I really do think you amazing ladies might comprised at least a few of them. If you're at all interested, I'd be really flattered if you stopped by and checked it out-- and even more pumped if you decided to follow me over there, too! So, come watch as I spend way too much time analyzing invitations and whether or not to change my last name...

E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer

Hi guys, today I'm going to write just a little bit about my primer du jour, E.L.F.'s Mineral Infused Face Primer. I'm on my third bottle, but I don't know if it's something I'll repurchase again. I like it well enough, and at $6 for .49 ounces, it's pretty economical. That being said, I run through it SO quickly! I usually don't have to repurchase face staples more than a few times a year (for foundation- powder and concealer typically last me even longer!), so I don't like that every six weeks or so I'm coming up dry on primer. Another issue I have with this is that because of the type of packaging, I don't know when I'm out until I only have about three days left of use! However, the packaging is really nice for the price; it's a pretty solid feeling pump bottle, and one pump is the right amount of product to cover my face; I always hate having to do half-pumps or having excess product that ends up being wasted.

The primer itself is a smooth, clear gel that feels comparable to Smashbox's primer, but perhaps a bit "moister". It's definitely not a lotion-type primer, though; it has that velvety silicone feel that people tend to either love or hate. I don't find it emphasizes dry patches on me, nor does it pill on my face like I have seen Smashbox's primer do. It is more effective than a few higher-end primers I have tried, and keeps my makeup looking intact for my entire work day. That being said, I don't see it improve application of my foundation quite as much as, say Make Up For Ever's primer does. But it also isn't priced like MUFE's face primer.

I may try more drugstore-level primers before I decide to stick with E.L.F. indefinitely, but it's a really decent primer for a really decent price, and it plays nice with the other make up products I've used on top of it. A primer would have to be really exceptional for me to want to spend the money on a high end primer after finding such an adequate product for $12/ounce, less than half of what I had been spending on primer.

What primer are you guys using right now? Do you love it?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rimmel Stay Glossy 3D: Love At The Movies

Is it wrong that I don't love lip gloss? I feel like so many makeup lovers have a soft spot for lip gloss, and yet I usually can't be bothered with it; I prefer lipsticks for a bold look or balms for a sheer wash of color. Hear me out. I am more aware of the sensation of lip gloss on my lips (whether it's sticky or not it still feels wet) and there's so much more that can go wrong with it; you can get fuzz or hair stuck on your lips, you can get one of those weird lines when you press your lips together, it can settle into fine lines on your lips, etc... Sometimes the scent is distracting; sometimes it affects the taste of food or drink. All in all, it just seems like a lot of trouble for such a subtle effect.

That being said, lip gloss does have a time and a place, and lately I'm beginning to see the light. It's a lot more polished (get it?) than a bare lip, has a little more sex appeal than a tinted balm, and I like that I can apply a subtle wash of color easily and quickly before dashing out. I don't have to spend as long coordinating the color to the rest of my makeup, the occasion, and what I'm wearing like I tend to do with lipstick. Finally, I can't deny that it's so much easier to reapply quickly than a full coverage lipstick is. Going into the colder months, I can tell that my lips are getting drier faster, and a layer of gloss provides a bit more moisture than most lipsticks.

I've used Rimmel's lip glosses before and I like them; the shape of the applicator is easy to use and it's a doe-foot, my favorite type (I hate tiny brushes). When I saw Love At The Movies, I knew I had to give it a shot; it's a sheer pink-coral shade with really fun microglitter that reflects bright fuchsia and coral. I like that it brightens up my look without being a really noticeable pop of color, and the microglitter adds some fun to what would otherwise be pretty staid, neutral looks. The texture is creamy and soft without being sticky, and it provides a bit of moisture for as long as it lasts.

Do you guys prefer gloss, balm or lipstick? Have you tried the Rimmel Stay Glossy line? I like the 3D collection, I think some of the shades are a lot of fun. I may try to get a few more!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NOTD: OPI I Knead Sour-Dough- and some news!

Hi guys, I'm showing off OPI I Knead Sour-Dough today, a polish that was underwhelming the first couple of times I wore it, but quickly earned a special place in my heart. Let me explain.

First, my complaints. You may notice in some of the pictures this gorgeous rose gold shimmer that flashes in the bottle at some angles- this is not visible on the nail. My second complaint is that it chips like crazy. I'm lucky if I get a full day with no tip wear. You'll notice that in the pictures, too; I took photos the morning after I painted my nails and I already have a couple of small chips.

Now, the neutral points: the color itself is beautiful, just lacking that nice shimmer I noticed in the bottle. I Knead Sour-Dough today is a slightly frosted muted burgundy. In low light it takes on a brown tone, and in bright light it looks a bit rosier. It's a chameleon, so I've shown you in shade, in indirect light, and then in direct light. The formula is really nice, it's easy to put on the nail; I like OPI's formula and brush, their colors just chip on me very quickly, with this being an especially bad culprit.

In Shadow

Brighter light...

In direct light

Finally, the reason this nail color has become extremely special to me; it was the color I happened to be wearing when I got engaged!

John proposed with my mother's ring, which is still soldered to her band. It is incredibly special to me to have her ring, and it was really neat knowing I got engaged with the same ring she did.

But he also gave me his great aunt's ring from about 1930 that I have been wearing more often; it sits lower and doesn't have prongs, so even though I'm a klutz I haven't been banging it on anything.

So there you have it! That's my big news, and I was also able to show off I Knead Sour-Dough to my nearest and dearest. It's a beautiful nail color, but I can only plan on wearing it for a day or two until it begins chipping.

To those of you who are engaged, do you remember what you had on your nails when you got engaged? Do you wear it for special occasions?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NOTD: China Glaze Stella

Have you ever stumbled across something in your stash that you had absolutely no memory of? That's how Stella was for me. It's a lovely color but not the type I typically pick out for myself, the paint on the bottle had been worn away as if it had been hiding out for quite some time, and I had absolutely no memory of purchasing the color or of wearing it, which is really unusual for me; even if I don't remember where I got some of my oldest polishes, I'll recall seeing the bottle and using the color. Not so with Stella. After some digging, it looks like this was released back in 2009 with the Retro Diva collection!

Stella is purple-fuchsia metallic shade with some micro-shimmer scattered throughout. It isn't a duochrome, but it does have wonderful depth that gives it a multidimensional feel. It hasn't worn very well-- it developed a few chips only hours after application, and now on the second day I'm seeing significant tip wear-- but I can't tell if that's because it is an old polish, or if the old China Glaze formula has been improved upon since this was made in 2009.

My camera was having trouble capturing the warmth in the color; it's much more of a raspberry color, and much less violet than in the pictures. So strange!

I'm excited to have found a beautiful color that I didn't know I had, but am still curious as to how I got the shade. It could have belonged to my mom, or been a gift, or maybe I just picked it up myself and never wore it. At any rate, the chips are kind of a bummer but it's a pretty enough color that I am positive I'll find myself reaching for it again!