Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Makeup Fail

I rarely post about products that bombed so hard for me that I chose to return them. Why? Well, I feel like if I hate something enough to not even try to make it work, I haven't spent enough time with it to give it a fair assessment. However, it occurs to me that you guys might be interested in things that failed really terribly for me, and in this case, I'm also just really curious to know if anyone else has used these products and figured out how to use them correctly, or if you loved them from the get-go.

A few months back I went to Nordstrom with my boyfriend's mom and we got makeovers at the Trish McEvoy counter. I had never used the brand before, and I was impressed with their innovative, less-is-more approach to makeup. They sell these awesome makeup bags with binder loops in them that you attach magnetic "pages" to, so you can keep your eyeshadows and blushes organized on those pages, and the rest of your brushes and products can be contained loose within the makeup bag. Pretty clever! I picked up a few things that the makeup artist used on me, but was put off by a few things. First off, she refused to put a nude lip color on me, even though I told her I had a hard time finding one that worked for me and was interested in purchasing one. Instead, she put a sheer berry color on me... Well, that's great, but as evidenced by my "Sheer Berry" series on the blog back in January 2011 when I first started the blog, I already have more sheer berry lip colors than I can shake a stick at. The second thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that they sold me the wrong brush; I know I should have checked at the counter, but I just didn't think of it since I was very specific about which one I was planning on buying as we were ringing up. So that was going back no matter what.

Now, the eyecolor that I came home with (a really pretty purple with gold flecks) is great, and I do use it. However, I could not for the life of me make two products that I was really excited about work on me; the Brightening Eyeshadow Primer in Sand ($25), a really flattering peachy-pink shade, and the "Finish Line" Eye Color Seal ($24), a product meant to seal powder eye color and help make it work as a liquid liner. From what I can see on Nordstrom's website, both products have high ratings. However, my eyeshadow was creasing more using the Brightening Eyeshadow Primer than with my other two go-to primers (Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base and MUFE's potted Aqua Creams), and despite using the Eye Color Seal exactly as instructed (when I returned it, the girl asked if I was sure I was using it right and gave me instructions again- yes, this is how I was using it!), I'd end up with a random streak or two of that color across the side of my face by the end of the day. Unacceptable; I've had better luck using water to pick up eyeshadow with!

The eyeshadow primer sheer on left, swatched heavily on right 
So... like I said before, neither of these products worked for me, and for the price I wasn't willing to deal with creasing or random purple streaks on my face from my eyeliner, so I took them back. I tried both items several ways and several times, but couldn't make it happen. It could just be body chemistry, since there are rave reviews online, but I just thought I'd put my two cents into the aether. Has anyone else tried these products? Did they work on you? I won't completely write off Trish McEvoy; the eyeshadow I bought is just fine, they used a beautiful blush on me that I may go back for at some point, and I like their innovative approach to organizing your daily makeup routine.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Queen Tiffany by bareMinerals

I am probably in the minority in that I like bareMinerals' color products more than their foundation. I tried their mineral foundation and it just didn't work for me; I have dry skin so that might be the problem, but at any rate, I ended up swearing them off for a bit. Then one day several years ago, I had just been thinking that I didn't have enough brown eyeshadows, and that it would be nice to have a pretty one that I could use as an allover wash of color, and I helped a customer wearing the most gorgeous shade like that. She was wearing Queen Tiffany by bareMinerals, and I immediately ran out and bought it.

Years later (if you know me, you know I ignore all common sense when it comes to when to toss old makeup), I uncovered this forgotten gem, and I've been using it quite frequently again. It's a loose medium- brown pigment that isn't too warm or too cool, and has the most gorgeous, subtle multi-colored shimmer. These are $14 for .02 ounces; on the pricey side, especially compared to comparable indie brands, but the color has lasted me forever and a little bit goes a very long way.  This color is also a chameleon, in that it changes fairly dramatically depending on the light; I've taken pictures in bright natural light, indoor light, and indirect natural light so you can see the differences.

Queen Tiffany: indirect natural light

Queen Tiffany: bright natural light
 A blurry one to show the shimmer!
Rainbow shimmer!
 In the next set of photos, I've swatched it dry on the left, wet on the right, and then dry again but blended out to be sheer below those swatches.

Indirect natural light

Indoor light

Bright natural light; once again, this pic is a little blurry to show the sparkles.
 And here it is on! I used it dry from lashline up through the crease, and then wet in the crease.

Summary: I love this color! I would purchase it again in a heartbeat if I lost it. It is a really great brown. Sure, it may be slightly overpriced, but it is such a workhorse and it goes with so many other colors. It's such an easy to wear color, and between blending out to be used sheer and being able to be used wet, you can use this one shade to create a nuanced eye look.

Do any of you guys own Queen Tiffany or something similar? Would you use it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NOTD: Crawford's Wine

I have another Nail of the Day from a few weeks to show you guys! I went through and bought a handful of Orly's the last time Sally Beauty was having their red tag clearance sale, and I've been going through and trying them all out.

Crawford's Wine is a rosy red with a bit of white shimmer running through it. There isn't so much to make it appear frosty, but it's a noticeable amount. I was undecided on whether or not I liked the shimmer when I bought it, but I thought it might be a fun color for toes even if it wasn't my favorite type of red. After wearing it, I think I have decided I prefer red cremes, but this was a nice enough formula, and the shimmer isn't super frosty. I could see this being a really fun color to use for stamping. I'm not sure whether or not this shade is still available, but it's not showing up on Orly's website so I don't think it is.

Here it is in direct sunlight:

And again in indirect light:

So, there you have it; not my new favorite polish, but I think it was worth the couple of bucks I spent on it. It kind of looks like a holiday shade to me, and I'm looking forward to playing around with it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A commemerative NOTD and assorted randomness

I can't believe I haven't shown this nail polish to you guys before; it's one of my favorites. It's from Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear line, and it's called Time to Shine. It's an antique gold metallic foil and I really love it; it works like a neutral and is such a chameleon. I wear it a lot when I don't know what color I am in the mood for, but want something that looks sophisticated and eye-catching.

I have some good news and some bad news. I'll break the bad news first; I won't be doing as many Nail of the Day posts going forward. The reason is the good news; I got the job I was interviewing for. I will now be working as a bridal consultant, and we're not allowed to wear nail polish lest it rub off on the expensive dresses. This is a totally legitimate concern; I've had completely dry nail polish rub off on paper while taking notes, and once I actually got a bit on the wall when I tripped, fell, and caught myself with the backside of my fingertips. (It was an awkward fall, as you can imagine). However, I have really weak, really ugly (from all the old breaks and peels) nails, so I'll have to at least keep my clear nail treatment on them at all times.

Can I just take a moment to say how excited I am for this job? I will be doing what the women on Say Yes to the Dress do (it sounds so cheesy when I put it that way...). I went with my friend to this same bridal salon when she was looking for her wedding gown, and the job looked like something that would be really interesting and rewarding. I know there are plenty of people reading this who may not agree with the wedding industry, but I love fashion, and I especially love PRETTY DRESSES, so to get to help people find a garment that will represent them on a very important occasion kind of sounds like the best job ever. This salon also runs a local wedding expo and partners with local wedding vendors, so it will be interesting to see how all of that functions; I've been thinking lately that someday I might choose to pursue event planning, and it will be interesting to get some insight into that side of things, too. I sort of thought working there would be a long shot; I wasn't sure if they were hiring, or if they had any specific experience requirements for the position (since I've never worked on commission before). Things fell into place, though. I am a little nervous about working on commission, but I think it will be really fun to get to connect on a personal level with my customers, instead of just sticking to the "Hi how are you?" and "Have a nice day" script like in a more traditional retail job where you don't have the luxury of 1.5 hours to devote to your customers. If any of you are in the market for a bridal gown... Let me know! 

And this is completely random, but the sky out my back window was GORGEOUS the other day, so I took pictures. Those orange streaks you see are not reflection off the panes of glass; that's sunlight filtering down through the clouds. I couldn't capture how vibrant the colors were in real life, but it was breathtaking. I caught my neighbor on her back deck looking at the sky, too! AND there was a rainbow visible out the front window, and people in the street were congregating to look at that! So inspiring. 

Ok, that bright spot above the houses is the reflection of a can light. Haha, sorry!
I got better pictures of the sky on my boyfriend's camera, but he hasn't pulled the pictures off of it yet. I'll have to bug him about doing that so I can show you guys. He does video production though, so he always spends an hour or two fiddling with and correcting any new pictures when he puts them on his computer. Not as time consuming as editing video, but still not exactly a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am process. I can't blame him for putting that off! 

Thanks to everyone who read my post a few days ago about feeling stuck in a rut; I really appreciated your comments, and all of the good energy and well wishes regarding my interview must have worked, because they hired me on the spot! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sinful Colors Polar Opposites

I finally gave in and got a magnetic polish! This is Polar Opposites by Sinful Colors, and I purchased it at Target. I can't find my receipt, but I remember it being around $5. In the bottle, it looks like a grey-blue with bright blue and violet shimmer. On the nail, the magnet separates the color to make dark charcoal areas and paler blue areas. It's really pretty! The magnet it came with had a sunburst design, which I quite like, and it was relatively easy to use, although I did accidentally touch my nails to the magnet a couple of times. Oops! I did two coats, and applied the magnet after the second coat one hand at a time. 

My poor nail polished magnet
Summary: I really liked this nail polish, I'd recommend it to anyone curious about trying out a magnetic polish. 

What do you guys think? Have you tried a magnet nail polish yet? I think some of the colors are quite pretty on their own even without the magnetic effect, I could see myself wearing this one without using the magnet.