What’s the Most Underrated Eyeshadow Palette?

Published in: Just For Fun, Urban Decay

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I was at Sephora last weekend getting a thank you gift for a friend (I got her a bottle of the new NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, and you know something is bomb dot com when you feel the urge to immediately go out and get it for one of your girlfriends), and of course I had to also do some browsing for myself, so I hit up the Urban Decay display ’cause I wanted a tube of Cannonball Mascara.

I noticed that the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette on display looked largely untouched, especially compared to the other Naked Palettes, and I was like, WHY?!

IMO, Naked2 Basics is one of the most underrated Urban Decay products in the entire line — heck, one of the most underrated palettes in general. I feel like the regular Naked palettes get most of the attention, but this one? I dunno… I really don’t think it gets the love it so richly deserves.

urban decay naked2 basics

It’s loaded with matte neutral shades, which, for me, are total workhorses, because I can wear them almost every day with almost anything. They’re also cool toned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a warm-toned gal/guy and still wear them. My skin is warm toned, and I love wearing this palette because I can really add depth and shape to my eyes (especially around the crease area, since my crease isn’t naturally that deep) with the cool-toned browns and taupes… Something about the cooler tones closely mimics the appearance of actual shadows and shading on my warm skin tone.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Wearing the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette ($29) on my eyes..

Don’t get me wrong — I still love my warm browns, but when I want to wear something that I know will look good in real life and pics, this is one of the palettes I consistently grab. It always delivers the goods, and you know about UD shadows — easy to blend, last all day long, and they’re packed with pigment too! (Of course, fallout is a challenge with them, but there are ways to deal with it.)

If you haven’t tried this one yet, and you’re looking for an easy-to-use matte palette with shades that look natural, check it out. It’s $29 for six shadows and a travel-friendly case, and you can find it in the permanent line.

OK, cutie patootie! In your estimation, what’s the most underrated eyeshadow palette out there now? Inquiring minds want to know!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. So, some exciting baby-related developments on this end… I think I mentioned last week that BG and I are at the point (37 weeks) when we have to see the doc every week, and yesterday at our visit, I found out that she’s dropped down pretty low, and I’m officially dilated to about 1 centimeter, which means that she’s getting ready to charge out of the gates!

Now, exactly when that will happen, we don’t know, but it’s getting close. It could be today, tomorrow or three weeks from now. But, yeah, the doc said that if she arrived right now, she’d be considered full term.

At some point today I want to take another pic of my bare tum for BG to have, and I also want to record a quick video hello, just for her to have as mementoes…

I wish I had things like that from before I was born, but I only have a handful of baby pictures. (Hey, it was the Philippines in the ’70s.)

In other news, the baby “go bag” is almost fully packed. All I need to add now are some snacks (any ideas?), makeup and some light reading! Gonna do that today. :)

Primers: An Absolute Necessity, or an Unnecessary Step?

Published in: Just For Fun

make up for ever primers

I lurve you, primer!

For me? Oh, so completely necessary! Rarely (um, like, never) do I skip primer. Even when I’m running ridiculously behind, frantically grabbing products, leaving a mess in my wake and rushing to do five-minute makeup, I still leave a little room for primer.

At times like that, it comes down to priorities, like, what do I need the most? It’s usually a face primer to blur mah pores and fine lines, and to smooth the surface of my skin a little before I apply foundation or tinted moisturizer. I call it “taking the edge off.” LOL! It’s so true though…

And when I’m not running ragged and have enough time to put on a full face, I’ll even “go there” sometimes with multiple primers. I might use one (or two!) different face primers that specialize on doing different jobs, like a color correcting peach primer under my eyes and around my mouth, or for spot treating places where I feel my pores need the extra help (usually, my cheeks and nose). Then, I’ll whack some eye primer on my lids to help my eye makeup last longer.

I’m practically married to NARS Pro-Prime for this; I’ll occasionally also work a little into my brows and lower lash lines, too (try it sometime!).

One type of primer I never wear is lip primer. I’ve tried it before, though, a few different brands, but it never seems to make much of a difference. When I used it, I didn’t really notice smoother lips or my lip products lasting longer. I’m still open to the idea, though, so if you know of a lip primer that’s, like, change-yo-life worthy, please let me know. My only prerequisite is that I’m able to hear angels singing when I use it. 😉

How about you, friend? Is primer an absolute necessity for you, or do you think it’s unnecessary?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. Sooo, somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that BG is coming early. This is partly because Susan Miller of Astrology Zone mentioned in my horoscope (Insert eye roll here…but seriously, Susan does not mess around! Her horoscopes for me have been crazy accurate in the past.) that a new baby could be arriving on February 22, and also partly because I’ve heard quite a few birth stories from friends whose babies came early at around 37 weeks…

I just hope that BG decides to stay put a while longer because I’m absolutely and completely not ready. I feel like I still have so much stuff to do and prepare before she comes. I’m trying to stay calm, but it’s been a challenge. *Takes deep breath*

It’s all going to be fine, right?? I gotta keep telling myself that…

I hope things are going well on your end. What have you been up to?

In What Ways Are You a Beauty Snob?

Published in: Just For Fun

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And by “beauty snob,” I mean, with what products and services do you insist on only going high end?

I like to think I’m pretty open to finding and loving beauty products, regardless of whether they’re drugstore or high end (and you gotta try everything once), but I dunno… I think I might be a beauty snob in a few ways.

But one thing I’m definitely not snobby about, although I kind of used to be back in the day, is foundation.

DUDE. There was a time when I’d only use department store/high-end foundations and concealers, mostly because of how hard it was to find budget products with a wide range of shades in my skin tone vicinity, but that’s changed over the past few years. Some of the big drugstore foundations lines have really stepped up their game, and now there are lots of great options and shade choices at the drugstore level that are just as good, if not better, than the pricier products on counters.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup comes to mind. It’s only $13, and in terms of coverage, texture and shade range, it’s SO GOOD. If I didn’t know it was drugstore, I’d guess it was in the $30 range.

Oh, and perfumes? I definitely have beauty snobbery tendencies in that area. I love wearing Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Tocca and quite a few other high-end scents.

Not as a general rule, but I dunno… I’ve sniffed a lot of drugstore scents, and I always try to keep an open mind, but most of them are too sweet for my taste, or they just don’t play well with my body chemistry. Plus, sometimes fragrances are just one of those things on which I like to splurge. A gorgeous bottle of a great perfume is such a nice treat.

Aaand I think I’m also a little snobby about my shampoos and conditioners, but that’s partly because of a traumatic incident in the ’90s when I was a college student. I went through a phase when I only bought very cheap shampoos and conditioners to save a few bucks, but after a few months, that, coupled with aggressive blow drying, darned near destroyed my hair. It was dry and stripped so badly that it looked like fried noodles.

No, really, it looked like crispy fried noodles. :(

A hairstylist who worked at the campus hair salon (yes, we had one on campus) cut off the fried bits and lectured me about the difference between good and bad products. Little did she know when she handed me a few samples of Biolage shampoo and conditioner that she’d just created a monster…

I do have to say, though, that like drugstore foundations and other face makeup, drugstore shampoos and conditioners have come a long way. Now there are lots of good ones out there in silicone-free and sulfate-free formulas, which is great! I’ve found some that I really like (Clairol Herbel Essences, Yes To, L’Oreal…)

What about you? In what ways are you a beauty snob?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. Hello, my friend, and good morning to you! How’s it going over there? Things are going OK here in preggers-ville (I’m 36 weeks now), but I can’t lie — it’s getting difficult. I feel like a stuffed sausage.

I probably won’t be posting very often over the next few days this week as I take care of some things (and because I don’t have as much energy as usual), but I’ll be around.

:)

The Guerlain Spring Glow 2016 Collection: For Ladies (and Lords) Who Love Luminous Looks

Published in: Collections, Guerlain, Makeup, Product Reviews

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You know what? Eff it! Let’s play hooky this afternoon. Whatdya say?

COME ON! Let’s do it. :) The sun’s out; we could drive into the city, go to the Japanese Tea Gardens, walk around, check out the cherry blossoms, have a cup of tea and watch the pink petals glide in the wind… Doesn’t that sound nice?

I would love that, actually, and by the way, I’ll be wearing the Guerlain Spring Glow 2016 collection, because this collection is all about that laid-back spring lifestyle.

No, not like you’re hiking up a mountain or, like, parasailing or doing X games. More like just enjoying a sunny day outside at the park, or kicking it in the city with your girlfriends.

guerlain spring glow 2016 packaging

Highlights from the Guerlain Spring Glow 2016 collection…

guerlain spring glow 2016

A few pieces from the Guerlain Spring Glow 2016 collection


(read more…)

Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 360

Published in: Just For Fun

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You might be wondering, “So what in tarnation is this Monday Poll thing anyway!?”

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past seven years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine.

  1. What’s the key to getting “brows on fleek”?
    Brow gel, because it does a little of everything! I use it to wrangle brow hairs into place, plump up the sparse spots and to map out the places I need to fill. And, depending on what color the brow gel is, you can use it for different things. Like, I’ll use a tinted brow gel to quickly add volume, color and shape to my brows, or I’ll use an untinted one to soften how things look after I use a pencil or brow powder — you know, to help everything up there look more natural.
  2. My career advice is to…
    Follow your passion, because if you have to spend the bulk of your waking hours doing something to pay the bills, it might as well be something you actually enjoy and believe in.

    That’s not to say, “Never take a job just for the paycheck!” because you gotta do what you gotta do. I’ve had many jobs that bored me to tears, that I absolutely didn’t enjoy and wasn’t invested in, but I do think that if you’re unhappy in your career, you owe it to yourself to keep looking.

  3. My favorite album is __________ because _________.
    Madonna’s Immaculate Collection, because I can listen to it over and over again; I never get tired of that album… Plus, I know all the words to every song!

    Also, it’s good road trip music.

  4. What goes into making “The Ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”?
    For me, it’s Jiff or Skippy brand creamy peanut butter (because I ain’t got time for that crunchy business), marmalade (or, alternately, raspberry jam) and two pieces of soft, fresh honey whole wheat bread from Rustic Bakery in Novato.
  5. What makeup do you have in your purse right now?
    Let’s see… Dumping out my purse to check…

    Apparently, I feel compelled to carry 10 nude lipsticks and glosses with me. WHY?!

    I see NARS Lipgloss in Instant Crash, Buxom Lipgloss in Ava, Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Liar, NARS Lipgloss in Chihuahua, Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Medium Dark, Guerlain Kiss Kiss Lipstick in Pinky Groove, MAC Eli Goulding Lipstick in Only You, Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lip Pencil in Ex-Girlfriend and Urban Decay Brow Pencil in Neutral Brown.

Le List

Your turn. :) Just copy and paste the following questions into a comment with your answers. I look forward to reading ’em!

1. What’s the key to getting “brows on fleek”?
2. My career advice is to…
3. My favorite album is __________ because _________.
4. What goes into making “The Ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”?
5. What makeup do you have in your purse right now?

In other news, THE SUPER BOWL! Did you watch? Understandably, because of the kitty connection, Tabs was pulling for the Panthers, but he was also happy to see Denver and Mr. Peyton Manning win.

He and Peyton train together sometimes during the off season. As one of the game’s all-time best tabby tight ends, Tabs has very good paws. He can catch just about anything thrown his way… :)

How ’bout the Kitten Bowl? I recorded it on Tivo, and I’m gonna watch it at lunch. No spoilers please! Don’t tell me who wins.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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