Section: Just for Fun

The Day in Beauty Vol. 19: Benefit Ready, Set, Brow! and Squid With Glowing Eyeshadow

Published in: Benefit, Eyes, Just For Fun, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

benefit ready set brow

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!

Seriously, I don’t know why I keep trying, because every single time I try to make a kissy face in a photo, I feel like I look completely ridiculous.

How do girls do it?!

How do they take those kissy face pictures and look cute? It’s one of life’s mysteries I’ll never understand…

But I keep trying, like I am here with my latest crush from Benefit, Ready, Set, Brow! ($24)

It’s a freaking awesome clear brow gel, and I never thought I’d be raving again about a brow gel other than Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, which had been my absolutely loyal ride-or-die for a while (I can’t even tell you how many tubes I’ve gone through), so much so that I always stocked up whenever Sephora had a VIB sale, but I don’t know if that’s going to be happening anymore with Ready, Set, Brow! in my life.

Basically, it’s really, really good, maybe even be better than Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel.

Now, you might be thinking, “Karen, it’s a clear brow gel. How mind-blowing can it be?”

Well, pretty mind-blowing!

You know that look of brushed-up brows that’s really popular right now? I can never get that exact look with Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel. Even though it seems like it has good hold and usually keeps my brows in place, I don’t think it’s strong enough to hold my brow hairs in place when I want them to go places they don’t naturally want to go.

Maybe my brow hairs are just too unruly… I don’t know.

But I can never quite get that Cara Delevigne pushed-up brow look with Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel, but with Benefit’s bad boy, I totally can.

The brush has teeny, tiny teeth, which are great at grabbing and maniuplating the hairs, so I can really get in there and push them around (Anastasia’s, by comparison, has a brush that looks like a regular old mascara brush).

Plus, the gel itself has extra super duper strong hold and dries stiffer than Anastasia’s. I could probably jump out of an airplane or stand in front of a Beyoncé fan with this stuff in my brows and they wouldn’t move.

Ready, Set, Brow! comes out in a few days on June 24. Look for it when it does because it’s a winner.

urban decay space cowboy moondust

Glitter!

Oh, and that glittery action in that picture on my lids? That’s Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy. The Moondusts are part of Urban Decay’s permanent line, and they’re astronomically sparkly.

Right before I took these pics, I was wearing a really basic 15-minute neutral look, and you know how it is — you’re puttering around, but then you get the urge to do something jazzy with what you’re wearing, so I took Space Cowboy, which is basically like a pressed golden peachy beige glitter in a pan, and picked up some of it by swirling a finger in the pan. Then I pressed it on my lids.

Et voilà! Sparkle for days.

If using your fingers freaks you out, you could also load up a flat eyeshadow brush and spray it with something like Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix before applying it to your lids.

I mean, you could also spray the brush first, then dip it into the pan (which is what a lot of peeps do), but when I do that, it changes the texture of the eyeshadow when it dries.

Just a quick tip there! 🙂

Via @urbandecaycosmetics on Instagram

Via @urbandecaycosmetics on Instagram

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Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 427

Published in: Just For Fun

flamingo vans

Flamingos are fabulous!

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 eight (!) 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. Which character would you be from Game of Thrones?
    Khaleesi, of course. She’s got the best hair. And dragons. And she was married to Khal Drogo, who was brutally hot. And he wore eye makeup. 🙂
  2. Would you rather be a sexy mermaid or a sexy sasquatch?
    Honestly, since I already feel like a sasquatch 99% of the time because I keep forgetting to shave my legs (and my toes), I’ll go with sexy sasquatch.
  3. What’s your least favorite yoga pose?
    All of them, because I’m so not flexible. But actually when I go to yoga consistently, I really enjoy it. My favorite pose is probably the swan dive, and the ones I do not enjoy are poses involving headstands…because I’m afraid of being upside down.
  4. Describe your eighth-grade self in five words…
    • Awkward
    • Frizzy
    • Shy
    • Clueless
    • Studious
  5. Are you a twin?
    In the scientific sense, no, but in the metaphysical sense, I would call Tabs my twin. My spirit twin.
  6. When was the last time you wore winged liner?
    On Saturday, but I didn’t go balls out with it (I don’t know, can I say balls out??). Rather, I didn’t go all out with it. I’ve been doing this modified sort of kitten liner that doesn’t take much effort at all, which I love. I just use my favorite NARS angled brush (I think it’s the 47) dipped into some black eyeshadow (MAC Carbon), and I just trace the outer half of my lash line, then do a quick flick of the wing. Then I kind of buff out the top of the line to make it a little fuzzy, so it’s not super crisp. Then, if I still have time, I go over it slightly with a gel liner (MAC Blacktrack). Seriously, it’s so easy.

monday-poll-le-list-spring-2016

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

1. Which character would you be from Game of Thrones?
2. Would you rather be a sexy mermaid or a sexy sasquatch?
3. What’s your least favorite yoga pose?
4. Describe your eighth-grade self in five words…
5. Are you a twin?
6. When was the last time you wore winged liner?

These shoes were made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do! That pair at the top? My friend Marisol got me them for my birthday, and…THEY HAVE FLAMINGOS. I love them.

I’ll be breaking them in on many walks this week, which are always super helpful for me. It seems so basic, right? Going for a walk? But if I’m ever stuck on a problem, or if I start to feel anxious or antsy, I’ll stick Connor in her baby carrier and go for a quick walk — get some fresh air, say hi to my neighbors, pet a neighbor’s dog or a cat — and afterward everything seems much better.

Happy Monday, my friend. 🙂 You should get yourself some new shoes this week and go for a walk.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 402

Published in: Just For Fun, Tabs

tabs-summer-2016-cat-modeling-perfume-3

What up, girl? As you know, I’ve got about a bajillion responsibilities as CFO (Chief Feline Officer) of Tabs the Cat Industries LLC. Plus, there’s my side work with Makeup and Beauty Blog. Plus, there’s my main gig as an internationally acclaimed kitty supermodel. But I feel like I’ve taken on yet another big job raising my protege/little sister, Connor Claire. Needless to say, I’m one busy kitty. Really, really busy.

tabs-summer-modeling-2016

tabs-summer-2016-disco-cat

But I like it that way. I could have spent this weekend sitting by the pool in my Gucci bikini, but I chose to practice some new kitty modeling poses instead.

tabs-summer-2016-cat-modeling-perfume

tabs-summer-2016-disco-cat-2

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:)

The Day in Beauty Vol. 18: Bath & Body Works Honolulu Sun Body Lotion, Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Polish in Splish Splash, and Birthday Vibes!

Published in: Deborah Lippmann, Just For Fun, Nails

honey lavender latte final

Happy weekend, my friend!

Hey, girl, haaaay! Happy Saturday. I hope you’re doing well. Hello from sunny Novato, Californ-eye-aye. I’m still in celebratory mode because…

birthday cake

Thursday was my birthday!

Thursday was my birthday, and it was a great one, not that I did anything too ambitious, but we did leave the cave (huzzah!) and brave the outside world for the afternoon with my Babylove (a.k.a. Connor Claire).

Connor actually took me out to lunch (her dad helped, of course). We went to the town of Petaluma a few miles north of us in Sonoma County to a place called Della Fattoria. It’s a really cute Napa-style place right on the downtown boulevard with long wooden tables, communal seating and Italian-inspired California cuisine, and they have this otherworldly fresh-baked bread and a glorious dessert case filled with things that look like homemade Hostess Cupcakes and Ho Hos…but we didn’t have dessert because there was a Baskin-Robbins pistachio almond ice cream cake waiting for me at home.

Anyway, though, at lunch, I had a honey lavender latte for the first time ever, and if you do anything in this life, please, please have a honey lavender latte… SO delicious. You get the sweetness from the honey and the floral notes from the lavender, and I know it might sound weird because, you know, lavender is used in a lot of bath products, but no. They’re really good!

And I also had a cup of broccoli cheddar soup and a spring panzanella salad with crisp, fresh peas; asparagus; various leafy greens; chicken and these HUGE croutons… I’m drooling just thinking about that salad now. If you’re ever in Petaluma, I highly recommend it.

Broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli cheddar soup

Spring Panzanella Salad

Spring panzanella salad

El Hub's dish, a turkey bacon sandwich

El Hub’s turkey bacon sandwich

So yeah, nice birthday. Super mellow. After lunch we just did a little window shopping around downtown Petaluma, then headed back home for ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins (with Connor supervising…because she can’t quite sing happy birthday yet, LOL!).

And the birthday wasn’t the only milestone this week. Connor had one, too, because she’s starting to hold her head up when we do tummy time now, which is very exciting.

connor holding head up

Sweet babylove!

I can’t wait till she starts crawling, but at the same time I’m a little scared, because then she’ll be mobile and, like, I don’t even know how I’m even going to keep up with her.

As for new developments on the beauty front, I got this lotion last week…

bath body works honolulu sun

Bath & Body Works Honolulu Sun Body Lotion and Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro in Splish Splash

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June Is Acne Awareness Month… How Aware Are You?

Published in: Just For Fun

acne, acne awareness,

Acutely aware of what seems to be a constellation forming on my chin…

This week, while browsing the web, I came across a post that said that June is Acne Awareness Month.

Did you guys know about this? Because I, your high oily-ness, did not.

The post is an interesting roundup from the writers of the site about their acne, and it gave me a fair bit of amusement and some feelings of solidarity, because as someone who writes often about skincare and beauty and is in constant awe of makeup and the skills that people use to apply it, I’m also in CONSTANT awareness of my acne.

(Did you just think of Mad Eye Moody yelling CONSTANT VIGILANCE? Because I did. #harrypotternerd4life.)

Getting back to Acne Awareness Month…I don’t know exactly how I feel about it. I feel like there are already “awareness” and “appreciation” months for everything nowadays. One could say that it would bring better awareness to taking care of your skin, but wait — September is already National Skin Care Awareness Month (and May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month).

I’ve waxed poetic about my acne before, but it’s been flaring up more than usual lately, especially around my chin. The moisturizers and oils that (ironically) served me well for a few months aren’t helping anymore, and I’m still looking for something to use this summer (Murad has some very helpful articles on their website in honor of Acne Awareness Month).

Acne-wise, the things I struggle with the most are whiteheads, papules, pustules, and the occasional cyst (so, SO attractive).

I would like to think that sometimes I’m less aware of my acne, for my own sake, but when it comes down to it, it’s usually constantly in my awareness. It’s always there because, well, it’s front and center. It’s the first thing I notice when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I address before I go to bed.

Did you know that June is Acne Awareness Month? And what do you think of the constant cycle of awareness/appreciation months?


Marcella Yakalis


Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

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